As Sailor Moon R: The Movie premiered in Los Angeles tonight anime retailer Right Stuf added the film to their online store. The listing, currently only including a DVD option priced at $17.98, lists a release date of April 18th 2017! The film will include Japanese and English audio tracks with English subtitles. For now we only have a promotional image for the cover. (Update: a Blu-Ray DVD combo option has been added to Right Stuf’s web site for $26.98)
The film will be playing in theatres starting next weekend. A full list of theatres can be found on the Eleven Arts web site. If you’re not lucky enough to have the film showing in your city you will still have a chance to see it when it’s released on video in April. Do you plan on picking this release up?
Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.
Support the site by buying the set with the links below. This could be a nice Christmas gift for a Sailor Moon fan in your life!
There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.
As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.
I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.
Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.
The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.
There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.
The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.
The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.
Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.
If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:
Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.
Sailor Moon S Part 1 was released on DVD and Blu-Ray yesterday, November 15th. It is available in stores across North American and from online retailers. The set includes episodes 90 to 108, which covers half of the season introducing Sailor Uranus and Neptune and then covering the return of Chibiusa. The episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed with Viz’s new cast which did Sailor Moon Crystal and the last two seasons.
The English episodes have not shown up on any streaming sites like Hulu and Yahoo! View yet. The dubbed episodes are available to view on Amazon Video. The digital price is $3.99 per episode and $39.99 for the whole half season in HD. It doesn’t look like a standard definition version is currently available on Amazon Video. The entire series in Japanese with English subtitles remains available subtitled on Hulu, Neon Alley, Yahoo! View and Tubi TV.
Have you gotten your set yet? I’m still waiting to get mine in the mail! Support the site by ordering the set from Amazon using the links below.
This Friday there is yet another Moonlight Party planned. These events, hosted by Viz, are a sort of online pyjama party to celebrate all things Sailor Moon. In the past most of these have been accompanied by the release of some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu. This is done as advertisement for an upcoming home video release. Well now we are getting a Moonlight Party ahead of next week’s release of Sailor Moon S on home video and it doesn’t look like there is any plan to have any dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S released online at this time. Details for the Moonlight Party have been posted to the Facebook Page for the event and the YouTube video of the event itself. Nothing in either of these mentions that we should expect any episodes. In the past when episodes were released along with a Moonlight Party this was always announced ahead of time. There will be dub clips from the new episodes, supposedly something more than what we’ve already seen, as well as trivia questions, prizes and all the usual fun we get with these Moonlight Parties.
I don’t post this to discourage you from joining in! The event should still be a lot of fun. I had speculated when this event was first announced that it could come with some free to watch dubbed episodes and it seems like, all things considered, this is unlikely to be the case. You can watch the event using the embedded video below. It will be at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time.
Want to see some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S? Well then you really should order Sailor Moon S part 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray using the links below. The set comes out next Tuesday, November 15th and will contain the first half of Sailor Moon S.
The latest Sailor Moon Musical, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal, premiered today in Tokyo. This musical covers the Dream story arc of the manga, which has the gang facing off against the Dead Moon Circus and meeting Pegasus. This was adapted as Sailor Moon SuperS in the original Sailor Moon anime. The main actresses playing Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are all new for this musical with the rest of the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask reprising their roles.
I haven’t seen the musical yet since I don’t live in Japan. I don’t know any of the specifics about an upcoming streaming version but usually one of the later performances gets streamed which would ultimately lead to us being able to view a fan subbed version. A number of English speaking Sailor Moon fans were in attendance for the premiere. Were you lucky enough to see it? If so, what are your thoughts?
The DVD of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be released on March 15th 2017. This was announced on the Sailor Moon Official Site. It will cost 7800 yen, about $75 US. It will include the musical and bonus features. We don’t have the specifics on those special features at this time.
For more images from the musical check out Natalie.mu.
The first English home video release of Sailor Moon Crystal is coming this Tuesday, August 16th, in stores and online. This set will include the first 14 episodes of the series, which covers the Dark Kingdom story arc, in Japanese with English subtitles and with the English dub of the show. Since the Japanese release had only two episodes per release this is quite a bargain. The set will be available for a prerelease sale at Viz’s booth at Otakon this weekend for only $65. You can order the limited edition from sites like Right Stuf, which includes a bonus sun catcher for some pre-orders, and Amazon for an MSRP of $80. The regular Blu-Ray version is a bit cheaper with an MSRP of $60. Order this from Right Stuf or Amazon if you don’t care about the booklet, sun catcher and art cards. If you hate life and want to watch the show in a lower quality than you can with the free streaming version you can also get the DVD version from Right Stuf and Amazon for a bit less. Don’t do this. Even if you are a time traveler who can’t bring a Blu-Ray player with you to the past because old TVs don’t have HDMI you get the DVD with the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack so just get that.
Viz has put together an unboxing video which can be viewed on their site or in the embedded clip below.
The packaging looks good. The art cards included are the cover art for all of the Japanese releases. The included special book looks a lot like the ones that came with the Japanese releases only with interviews with the English cast. The sun catcher catches sun. You really don’t have any reason not to buy this set. With the quality of the show there’s no reason to expect this release to be plagued by the video quality issues the releases of the original Sailor Moon anime were.
Frustrated at the ultra expensive 2 episode disks of Sailor Moon Crystal that were released in Japan? Good news! It looks like the Infinity arc of Sailor moon Crystal will be released with 4 episodes per disk on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan. News about these releases is out on the official Sailor Moon site. This season of Sailor Moon Crystal will span 13 episodes and only 3 disks are listed. Further the disk have been listed on Amazon Japan (Disk 1, 2 & 3) and CD Japan. Though there aren’t specifics on every release yet, the first release is listed at 100 minutes on both sites. Each episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is roughly 24 minutes, so 100 minutes covers 4 episodes. With 13 episodes this season it seems likely that the third release, with an MSRP of 1000 yen more than the other two releases, will have five episodes on the disk.
The first disk will be released in Japan on June 29th with the others being released at roughly 1 month intervals July 27th and August 31st. The first two disks are selling on Amazon Japan for 7,068 yen, about $64 US. The third disk is selling for a slightly higher price of 7,872 yen, about $72 US.
All Blu-Ray and DVD releases of Sailor Moon Crystal’s first two story arcs feature minor updates to the animation from the streaming release. We have no confirmation at this time what changes, if any, might be done to the Infinity arc as it is released on home video.
Still too expensive for something without subtitles? That’s fine. A single disk from Japan costs about the same as the entire first story arc, containing 14 episodes, will cost in the North American release which is coming in August. If you’re able to make due with the free streaming options we already have available it seems prudent to wait.
The DVD for Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage will be released on February 24th. Those interested in shelling out 6,233 yen, about $55 US, can preorder the DVD from Amazon Japan. Two clips have been released on the official Sailor Moon site to promote this release. They are embedded below.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this musical, which I realize I never wrote a proper review for, I am already disappointed with this DVD release. I am once again asking myself, “Why DVD and not Blu-Ray?”. The last two musical DVDs have had terrible video quality, with interlaced 480i video. This musical deserves better than VHS era resolution. An HD version does not seem possible as footage from these clips show video artifacts normally seen with interlaced video.
Without getting into too many technical specifics an interlaced video is when one field is shown at a time, something we dealt with in the days of standard definition video because of the way a TV signal worked. We don’t need to deal with this anymore in the era of HD terminals. DVD supports progressive scan video, which is usually what is used for movies. Some older TV shows and the occasional low budget film will be shot on video and only have interlaced source material. This musical, which took place in 2015, really should have been shot on some modern cameras but it looks like either the cameras are cheap or there is some really poor video editing going on once again. In contrast Star Trek is 50 years old and was released on Blu-Ray in beautiful 1080p HD years ago.
So buy this thing like I am because you like to support Sailor Moon. It will have some cool features no doubt and it is the only legal way of watching this musical on home video. The less than totally legal way to watch this musical, with English subtitles, would be to download the fansub from Miss Dream.
The new Sailor Moon musical, Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage, began playing today in Japan. The show will run from September 18th to the 25th and then from October 2nd to the 4th. Though the show played in the evening that was in the past in Japan because of this mysterious thing we have call time zones.
This musical covers the Infinity story arc, which includes the appearance of Haruka, Sailor Uranus, Michiru, Sailor Neptune and Hotaru, Sailor Saturn. The enemies are the Death Busters including Professor Tomoe, Kaolinite, the Witches 5 and Mistress 9. I don’t live in Japan so I haven’t seen the show yet though some images can be found at natalie.mu. I’ve included a few in this post but you should check out the full article for many more. I’ll have more thoughts on the musical once I actually see it.
The DVD for this show, because we still aren’t doing Blu-Rays for musicals, will be available on February 24th in Japan for 7800 yen, about $65 US. As the announcement on the Sailor Moon official site indicates there will also be DVD rereleases of the first two new musicals, La Reconquista and Petite Étrangère. These will be available at the musical and include exclusive covers. The new covers are manga art by Naoko Takeuchi. This is not new art but rather art which was originally included on the jackets of the Sailor Moon Manga.
The third Blu-Ray and DVD release of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on July 14th in North America. This release, with dubbed and subbed episodes by Viz, includes the first half of Sailor Moon R. As with other releases to date the packaging and extras are great but the video quality is quite poor. Viz has obviously gone to great lengths to provide the best product they can but it simply seems that they have continued to receive poor quality source material and are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.
I never did get around to reviewing the first season’s sets. My order was delayed for months on Amazon.ca and by the time and canceled I reordered the sets it was too late for a review to be relevant. Many fans have spoken about issues with those discs. Mainly it came down to the video quality. Viz made a blog post to discuss their issues citing bad masters as the reason for the poor quality. Unfortunately this post was essentially useless as all of the original images they have shown are a mix of two fields due to interlacing. Without getting into too many specifics with standard definition TV technology video comes one field at a time which is why with older videos you will often see stills with lines in them where it looks like two images appear at once. This is not apparent when watching video, but looks quite bad in paused or still images. The Japanese DVD releases for the first season of Sailor Moon were progressive scan, not interlaced, so all we can say for sure is that the masters Viz got were not the best TOEI had to offer, but comparing interlaced images to a final product is intentionally deceptive and gives us no actual indication of what the video quality of the masters are really like.
These sets have HD video, but they are not from an HD source. Sailor Moon was animated on animation cels and then recorded on 16mm film. That film was then converted to 480i standard definition video which is generally what is used as a source. In many cases with older shows, including many anime shows, the original 16mm film will be used as a reference to create an HD 1080p video and this creates a very high quality video. That is not what is occurring with these sets. TOEI provided Viz with 480i standard definition sources which are by all indications quite bad. Viz used video processing to clean up this source material and upscale it to 1080p for the Blu-Ray sources as well as the videos we’ve been seeing on Hulu for over a year. To say the results aren’t as good is an understatement.
The video quality here is not terrible, but not great. The first season sets were highly processed to the point where little grain on the video could be seen but the video quality suffered. It seems as if this set has undergone less processing so more of the original grain remains. While this may seem like it is a lower quality finish, this is simply because it is closer to the source material. I do not have the ability to make Blu-Ray screenshots with my current AV and computer setup, but I was able to find a few on Imgur. These are from episode 51 and I have included screenshots from the Japanese region 2 DVDs (resized to the correct aspect ratio) for comparison.
It should also be mentioned that, unlike with the first set, there is no pillarboxing. This means that the right and left side of the screen are black rather than being a weird decorative graphic which no one really liked.
What is the alternative? I think people may forget how much worse we’ve had it. The 90s dub was done with fairly low quality masters but as it was intended for standard definition TV broadcast we didn’t really notice. The DVDs were of low quality. ADVision’s DVDs for the first two seasons of Sailor Moon were probably the worst quality release of anything I’ve ever seen. We can be happy that episodes 67 is actually included on this release, where it had been completely omitted previously.
The episodes included on this set cover the alien story arc which introduces us to Ail and An as well as the beginning of the Black Moon Clan story arc which introduces us to Chibiusa, Rubeus and the Ayakashi Sisters.
Video quality aside the packaging and included 96 page booklet are great. The booklet includes summaries for all episodes and a great deal of character art. The cover art looks great as the does the disk art for both the Blu-Ray discs and DVDs.
A reversible cover is included and pictures all of the members of the Black Moon Clan. Unfortunately some sets to not include this cover. This was acknowledged by the manufacturer as being a problem and so a replacement is available. Included below are the instructions on getting a replacement cover, as shown on the Right Stuf tumblr:
A number of customers have contacted us regarding the reversible covers of the Sailor Moon R Set 1 Limited Edition, reporting that their copy does not have a reversible cover. If your copy of Sailor Moon R Set 1 Limited Edition does not contain a reversible cover, a replacement cover will be provided to you directly from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment at no cost to you. Please call the toll-free number 1-800-553-6937, where you will be asked for your name, mailing address, and telephone number so you can receive your replacement. Thanks everyone for your incredible patience while we worked with the manufacturer to resolve this issue.
There are some nice extras included. Creditless versions of the opening and closing credits show the original opening and the only closing used in Sailor Moon R. There are interviews with cast members from Anime Expo as well as some behind the scenes interviews that were done during recording. A lot of the art which is included in the booklet is also included in photo galleries on the disc.
This set does not lack great special features. The packaging looks great and the booklet is full of good content. No doubt if Viz had access to better source material for the video, the final product would have been great. It’s unfortunate that this release suffers due to problems outside of their control. All the bell and whistles doesn’t change the fundamental fact that this is just not a good quality release, but it’s the best we’ve got. Fans of the show who watch it online should still consider getting this set. It is the best you’ll get in a domestic release. The only alternative would be to import a Japanese or other international release or pirate the series by downloading fansubs.
You can buy this set and the others which have already been released using the links below to support the site.