Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 and 4 discussion

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Sailor Mars, Mercury and Moon

This is a review and discussion of Live Action Sailor Moon Act 3, The 3rd Senshi is Miko Rei, and Act 4, Sneaking into the Party! These episodes originally aired on TV in Japan October 18th and 25th 2003. Since Act 3 includes a date of October 22nd on a blackboard and Act 4 takes place at a Halloween party, it is safe to conclude that these episodes of the series were intended to take place roughly during the same dates in which they were aired. Assuming this trend was meant to continue we can estimate that roughly a year of time is elapsed over the course of the series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Sailor Mars

Act 3 introduces us to the Miko, or Priestess, Rei Hino who becomes Sailor Mars. Once again this episode quite closely follows the equivalent manga story for Act 3, which has a plot by the Dark Kingdom around Hikawa Shrine causing the disappearance of girls, where Rei is suspected, and where ultimately she travels to a pocket dimension and transforms into Sailor Mars. Rei is played by the lovely Keiko Kitagawa. Though most of the actresses have had minor acting and modelling careers following the series Keiko Kitagawa has without a doubt had the most success. She is a very accomplished model and has acted in many movies and TV series in Japan.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - A game show at Karaoke Crown HQ

The episode opens with a game show hosted by Luna. A lot of the sense of realism becomes a bit hard to grasp with some of the things which take place at Karaoke Crown. How does Luna, a cat with no opposable thumbs, do any of this? How did she create the forged year long passes that the girls use to freely come and go? How did she set up the headquarters? How does she set up things like gameshow buzzers on a whim? All magic, perhaps? There’s no evidence that she’s able to transform into a human to do this work… yet. Luna quizzes the girls and the answers we get are at best intentionally misleading and at worst, completely false. In an answer to the question of how many more Guardians there are, the correct answer is given to be 2. Let us ignore Sailors Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn as they do not appear in this series, but the answer is still incorrect. There are 4 Sailor Guardians who protect the Princess. Okay let us assume, for argument’s sake, that one of the remaining 3 Sailor Guardians is the Princess, meaning two more to protect her, but there’s still this pesky business of a 6th Sailor Guardian which appears in the later half of the series. Without getting into specifics, this is perhaps something Luna should have some knowledge about! Little things like this, and the general way the show plays out, lead me to believe that even with a relatively short run of the show, a lot of the plot points were not known ahead of time but instead were a bit made up as the show goes on. Minako in the opening, for example, is seen interacting with the others and wearing a school uniform that never appears in the series, but resembles what is seen in the manga and anime.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Umino?

A bit of probably pointless trivia. This guy in Usagi’s class… doesn’t he look a bit like Umino? Perhaps it’s just a guy with glasses.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Ami doesn't want to have lunch with Usagi

In class Usagi invites Ami to eat with her and her friends. She is at first excited but, upon seeing her friends looking at her oddly, declines the invitation stating that it would be too suspicious if all of a sudden they were friends. This seems to be a fabricated excuse on Ami’s part because of a potentially uncomfortable situation with Naru and Usagi’s other friends. Usagi and Ami bonded quickly before it was even known that she was Sailor Mercury, simply because they ran into each other on a bridge. They could have stated that, perhaps leaving out the part about the magical talking stuffed cat which can arrange game shows without thumbs, and it should be good enough!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Usagi's mom is a bit nuts

Meanwhile Ami visits Usagi’s house, and their friendship appears to be developing, but we will eventually see that things aren’t all that easy. We learn in the process that Usagi’s mother is a bit nuts.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Rei Hino

Enter Rei! She first bumps into Usagi on a bridge, leaving behind a bracelet which leads Usagi to try to track her down. With all of the disappearances and rumours about Hikawa Shrine, Usagi gets scared when she hears a couple of crows. These crows aren’t named however they could be Phobos and Deimos, Sailor Mars’s two pet crows.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Usagi and Rei

Some girls show up at the shrine and bully Rei, taking her weird birdhouse looking thing and even pushing her to the ground. Usagi to the rescue! It doesn’t take much for her to befriend someone, and she immediately tries to be kind with Rei, again not knowing that she’s really a Sailor Guardian. It seems like the series constantly assures us that Usagi would get along with these girls if they didn’t have super powers, so that we don’t think they are just together for convenience.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Rei attacks

In a classic Terminator move it looks like Rei is about to attack Usagi and Ami with a charm but it turns out she’s attacking a pack of leaves turned monster behind her. Kyle Reese does this to Sarah Connor in the first film. The Terminator does this to John Connor in the second. Usagi and Rei get whisked away to this pocket dimension type thing where everything has a blue haze to it. The fight goes on as expected with Rei becoming Sailor Mars and using Youma Taisan, which is an attack unique to the live action series similar to her Fire Soul from the anime and manga.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Where did Tuxedo Mask come from?

The fight is won and everyone starts leaving the blue pocket dimension thanks to Sailor Mercury. Sailor Moon gets cut off and … Tuxedo Mask… is in the blue dimension? Where did he come from? Jadeite mentioned 6 girls were kidnapped. Did he kidnap Tuxedo Mask as well? Did he sneak in at some point? It seems plausible that he snuck in through the portal as it was closing, but this isn’t clearly demonstrated.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Rei snubs Usagi and Ami

The episode concludes when Usagi, happy to have her friends together, suggests a karaoke party. Rei says that she hates karaoke and doesn’t intent to join them! Big spooky music, this is clearly the conflict to be dealt with in Act 4…

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask and Usagi the bear

Act 4 on its surface appears to be a story unique to the live action series, but it actually has some similarities to the manga Act 4, Masquerade РDance Party. This is also somewhat similar to episode 22 of the original anime, Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss. In these there is a gem to be revealed at a masquerade party which invites the attention of the Sailor Guardians, Nephrite and Tuxedo Mask, who all fight to get the crystal. Here the masquerade is instead a Halloween themed disguise birthday party for a girl who is again revealing a gem with all parties interested in getting it.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Nephrite

This episode introduces us to a great relationship of the series, and that’s Queen Beryl and Jadeite! She point blank says to Jadeite that if he loves her, he should be of some use to her. It seems that Jadeite’s motivation is his love for Queen Beryl. This dedication, as we will see throughout the series, is beyond that of the other Shitennou. With that we are introduced to Nephrite, the second of the Shittennou, who looks nothing like his manga or anime counterparts! He has short red hair and a reddish uniform. While Jadeite looks much like other versions of Jadeite, we will see that this similarity is not there for the rest of our Dark Kingdom villains!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Skirt pants

Another first of the series we see here is Rei and her skirt pants! Back in 2003 when this show was first airing I had never seen a person wear a skirt and pants at the same time. This was a fashion trend that eventually became somewhat common, but whether this was due to my ignorance of high fashion or not, this was the first time I saw it and I thought it was weird! I’ve since come to accept and appreciate Rei’s shirt pants and pretty much anything she wants to wear to be honest.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Rei and Ami

The tension with Rei continues. Not only does she not like karaoke but she doesn’t want to attend the party with Ami and Usagi. Ami confronts Rei alone about this and insightfully suggests that perhaps Rei is afraid of friends. This seems right on the mark as Rei says that friends and family eventually abandon a person, and we get some insight into her past that we will be seeing more of as the series goes on. By the end of the episode Rei warms up to Usagi and Ami a little, stating that even though she still hates karaoke, she would be okay with a get together if it didn’t involve karaoke. If only all social problems were this easily resolved!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Usagi transforms in public

In two cases in this episode Usagi does a terrible job of hiding her super powers. In the first case, while looking for fancy dresses for the party, Usagi uses her magical clothes changing phone in front of a crowded street full of traffic to change her outfit a number of times. In the second case, at the end of the episode, Ami calls out “Tsukino-san” to Sailor Moon in front of Tuxedo Mask. Sailor Moon responds by calling Sailor Mercury “Ami-chan” and Sailor Mars “Rei-chan”. Tuxedo Mask appears to be too dense to notice this, as the eventual revelation of Usagi’s identity much later in the series is a total surprise to him.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Ami as a cat

Ami shows up at the party wearing a ridiculous cute/sexy cat costume. Luna makes a comment asking how they could have known it was a Halloween party. This is ridiculous for a few reasons. For one, they clearly seem to know as Ami and Usagi both came with costumes. Sure they have those phones which can copy another person’s costume, but there do not appear to be any other sexy cat or ridiculous furry bear costumes present at Yuka’s party. The other reason should be obvious and that’s that it’s Halloween! During Act 3 we see a date of October 22nd on a blackboard. Act 4 aired on October 25th, within a week of Halloween. It stands to reason, based on this and the fact that this is a Halloween party, that it is in the whereabouts of Halloween at this point! Why, then, is a Halloween costume party so out of the question?

Adam dressed as Jadeite

Back in 2002 I was invited to a Halloween party at a friend’s house. This friend had Halloween parties every year and they were always dress up parties. I made my own Jadeite costume for this party and, upon arriving, was informed by all my friends that it wasn’t a costume party! The correct question is not how one could have known it was a costume party, but how anyone in their right mind could expect that one wouldn’t think such a thing was a Halloween costume party! I spent the night ignoring my friends and talking with people at the party who I had never met. They, having no prior contact with me, did not have the social responsibility of explicitly informing me that this was not a costume party and so I was not upset at any of them.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Sailor Mars, Moon and Mercury

Much like in the manga and anime versions of the episode, the guest of honour of the party, in this case Yuka, is possessed by a monster so that she can steal her own gem. The monster, in this case, is a ridiculous looking cactus. It splits into 3 pieces requiring precise timing of three attacks to defeat him. The trick? The three girls sing Minako’s hit song “C’est la vie” in unison. This was a trick used in the film Hudson Hawk by a bank robber played by Bruce Willis and his partner. They sang a song of a particular length to get the timing of their job just right, and like in Sailor Moon, the trick worked! As Rei sang along with “C’est la vie” all I could think was “Who hates karaoke now, Rei?”. This will not be the last time we hear Rei sing in this series!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask holds Sailor Moon

With the fight completed Usagi leaps to catch the jewel, in doing so nearly falling off the ledge of the building. Tuxedo Mask grabs her and in doing so puts her in a much more favourable position that Sailor Moon and Ami were in Act 2. Tuxedo Mask, in this case, is fully stable on the roof. Although Sailor Moon told Ami not to give up when in a much worse position, she tells Tuxedo Mask it’s no use. Where did that optimism go? They both fall and Sailor Moon creates a magic bubble to float to the ground. In the manga and anime equivalent stories, the two fall off of a balcony and Usagi uses her disguise pen to create an umbrella which allows them to defy physics and float to safety. Since the disguise pen in this series is a cell phone app, things needed to be switched up a bit.

Feel free to leave a comment with your own thoughts on these two episodes. If you’re looking to watch along with the series you can get English subtitled fan subbed versions from sites such as Miss Dream, TV-Nihon and Sea of Serenity. What does everyone think of the new banner?

Keep reading for more screenshots from these episodes.

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Christian Louboutin’s new lipstick looks like Sailor Moon’s Diguise Pen

Christian Louboutin's lipstick looks like Sailor Moon's Disguise Pen

If you’ve been living under a rock you may not have heard that Christian Louboutin, the man who brought us extra expensive red bottom shoes, will be releasing a line of extra expensive lipstick! Why does this mean anything to Sailor Moon fans? Well check out this lipstick and tell me it doesn’t look like Sailor Moon’s Disguise Pen, referred to as the Luna Pen in the English dub. Sailor Moon receives this pen from Luna and uses it frequently to transform her appearance, which often includes putting on lipstick. Christian Louboutin’s lipstick has a similar shape to the Disguise Pen including an ornate cap which resembles the red gem on the top of Sailor Moon’s Disguise Pen and a little gold trim which is nearly identical. What do you think?

Christian Louboutin's lipstick looks like Sailor Moon's Disguise Pen

At 90$ this new ultra expensive lipstick will cost you less than a Sailor Moon Pullip doll. It comes in 20 different shades of red.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury, premiered July 19th in Japan and worldwide. It’s available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode marked the introduction of Ami Mizuno who we soon discover is actually Sailor Mercury. As with the first episode, this story follows the manga very closely. The episode where Sailor Mercury appeared in the original Sailor Moon anime was also fairly faithful to the manga, so fans of the old show may see some similarities there.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Sailor Mercury and Sailor Moon

It would be easier to list the differences to the manga than the similarities. The main ones that come to mind are Ami seeing an image of Silver Millennium when she touches Usagi and Sailor Moon attempting to reuse her Supersonic Waves attack. Once again we see that this adaptation follows the newer version of the Sailor Moon Manga as the Crystal Disk is actually a CD Rom and not a 3.5″ floppy disk as it had been in the original publication of the manga and 1992 Sailor Moon anime. We can conclude by this that the series does not take place in the early 90s, but either some time later or in the present time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - The Crystal Disk

The episode starts out with our introduction to the genius girl Ami, who’s scoring perfect in her tests, getting the best grades in her class. Her genius is in part attributed to the Crystal Seminar, a new cram school she and other students are attending. Luna is looking into Ami which leads her to have suspicions about the Crystal Seminar, which is actually a plot by the enemy to brainwash smart students into helping them find the Silver Crystal. Usagi befriends Ami who turns out to be a whiz at video games. Once her true identity as Sailor Mercury is revealed their new friendship moves to a whole new level.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Ami at her comput

This episode also includes the introduction of the Disguise Pen which Usagi gets by tilting the Sailor V arcade game. She uses it to transform into a doctor in order to sneak into the Crystal Seminar. In one scene where Luna is investigating Ami with her computer we can see that she’s also looking into Tuxedo Mask. There’s also a silhouette of Rei with little info about her but her name is visible in the reflection of the screen seen in Luna’s eyes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Luna at her computer

The final scene shows us our first look at the Hikawa Shrine and Rei Hino, who will soon become Sailor Mars. The Niconico feed gives us a next episode preview for Act. 3, Rei – Sailor Mars which will be playing in two weeks, on August 2nd at 7pm JST, 6am EST and 3am PST. Once again we are following the manga with a story of the cursed 6 o’clock bus which introduces us to Sailor Mars. The preview shows us our first look at Zoisite who didn’t show up until much later in the original Sailor Moon anime. Will Sailor Mars kill Jadeite in the next episode like she does in the manga?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Rei Hino

Keep reading for more screen caps of the episode and next episode preview.

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Sailor Moon episodes 15 and 16 are now available on Hulu

Mamoru and Rei have a romantic coffee date

As of this morning, June 30th, episodes 15 and 16 of Sailor Moon are now available streaming in Japanese with English subtitles for free on Hulu. DVDs and Blu-Rays of Viz’s release of Sailor Moon will be availalbe later this year. Episodes 1 to 23 are now available for digital download from various retailers. Also don’t forget that starting Saturday you’ll also be able to watch the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu.

Sailor Moon episode 15 - Rei and Mamoru

In episode 15, Usagi’s Panic: Rei’s First Date, we are introduced to a romantic pairing which will tear the fandom apart! The main story is about some park getting destroyed and the groundskeeper becoming evil but no one cares about that as much as all of the dating that happens. Rei falls for Mamoru and nabs a date with him! This drives Usagi crazy and so she gets a date with Umino in order to spy on them. Usagi generally mistreats Umino while Rei and Mamoru’s date is relatively lack luster. Then some squirrels attack people and the good guys beat the bad guys.

Sailor Moon episode 16 - Tuxedo Mask and Usagi getting married

In episode 16, A Girl’s Dream: Usagi Becomes a Bride, Usagi is all about getting married, even though she doesn’t have a boyfriend. The Dark Kingdom is targetting Usagi’s sewing teacher, and everyone gets all wrapped up in a wedding dress contest. Usagi has fantasies about marrying Tuxedo Mask and Motoki, seemingly at the same time. Too bad both of them have girlfriends at this time, though Usagi doesn’t quite know it yet. Tuxedo Mask is really Mamoru (spoiler) and is dating Rei while Motoki’s girlfriend is Reika who we’ll see later. Usagi once again abuses of her Disguise Pen. This time to get a wedding dress which is actually different than the dress we see later in the series during Mamoru and Usagi’s premonitions of the future. Whether she actually ends up with that dress is a bit of a time paradox.

Sailor Moon episode 16 - Usagi and Motoki getting married

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Sailor Moon episodes 11 and 12 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 11 - Rei, Usagi and Ami at Yume Land

This morning, June 16th, episodes 11 and 12 of Sailor Moon became available to view streaming for free, with ads, on Hulu. These episodes are subbed by Viz and will be released at a rate of two episodes per week. Dubbed episodes as well as a DVD and Blu-Ray release will be coming later this summer.

Sailor Moon Episode 11 - Dream Princess

In episode 11, Usagi vs. Rei: Nightmare in Dream Land, we get our first look at Rei and Usagi’s unique relationship. They turn out to be the best of friends but they fight through the best and worst of times. Usagi, Rei and Ami go to Dream Land to investigate a Dark Kingdom plot! While there they see Mamoru on a child’s train, hang out with some robot animals, assault a small child and fight the Dream Princess who’s actually a creepy looking doll monster.

Sailor Moon Episode 12 - Rei and Ami on the cruise ship

In episode 12, I Want a Boyfriend: The Luxury Cruise Ship Is a Trap, Rei wins a contest for a trip on a cruise ship and brings Ami, much to Usagi’s disappointment. Usagi abuses of her disguise pen to turn into a photographer to sneak aboard and gets a crush on the ship’s captain who’s actually Jadeite!

Sailor Moon episode 12 - Usagi crushing on Jadeite

I’m shipping these two

Sailor Moon’s Disguise Pen toy coming this July

Sailor Moon Moonlight Memory Series Disguise Pen

Another great cosplay accessory is coming this July. Sailor Moon’s Disguise Pen, known as the Luna Pen in the English dub, has been announced on the official Sailor Moon site. The toy is called the “Moonlight Memory Series Light Disguise Pen”. It’s a high quality replica which lights up and actually writes! Unlike Usagi’s pen it does not appear that this gives collectors the ability to transform into a costume of their choice.

Sailor Moon Moonlight Memory Series Disguise Pen really writes!

The pen will be available for preorder later this week from Bandai Premium Bandai for 4860 yen (about $47 US) and will be released in July. It is currently also up for preorder at CD Japan for 6400 yen (about $62 US).

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