The Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical premiered today in Japan

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - Usagi, Mamoru and Chibiusa

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.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Amazon Trio

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?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

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.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Sailor Team

For more images from the musical check out Natalie.mu.

The first 14 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD Tuesday August 16th

Sailor Moon Crystal set 1 limited edition Blu-Ray

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.

The Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity arc will have four episodes per Blu-Ray and DVD release

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - A DVD

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Haruka and Michiru

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.

A terrible looking DVD of the Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical will be released on February 24th

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD

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.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - The Sailor Guardians

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.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - The Sailor Team

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.

Source: Offical Sailor Moon site (Link 1, Link 2)

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD

The Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical began today in Japan

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Usagi and Haruka

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.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

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.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - DVD info

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.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage - Sailor Mars Crepe

There are a lot of exclusive food and drink items available at the show including Sailor Moon themed Crepes and some Sailor Moon Drinks and deserts at the Terrace Café.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage - Tuxedo Mask Desert

Have you seen the musical? If so, what did you think?

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Haruka and Michiru

Keep reading for more images from this musical.

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Viz’s Sailor Moon R Season 2 Part 1 release does its best with poor masters

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Cover with sticker

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.

Viz Blu-Ray screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Minako, Rei, Makoto, Usagi, Haruna, Naru and Umino

Viz Blu-Ray

Japanese DVD screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Minako, Rei, Makoto, Usagi, Haruna, Naru and Umino

Japanese DVD

Viz Blu-Ray screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Natsumi and Usagi

Viz Blu-Ray

Japanese DVD screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Natsumi and Usagi

Japanese DVD

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.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Rei, Sailor Mars

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.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Reversible cover

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.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging.

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The Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical DVD will be released January 28th

Pretty Guardian Petite Étrangère DVD cover

This coming Wednesday, January 28th 2015, the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical will be released in Japan. This second musical covers the Black Moon Clan story arc introducing us to Chibiusa, Sailor Pluto and Crystal Tokyo. As with the release of last year’s musical, La reconquista, this DVD is region 2 and will have Japanese audio. Not terribly useful for English speaking fans with region 1 DVD players.

News about this was posted on the Sailor Moon Official site along with the following commercial:

This follows presentations of the Petite Étrangère musical in the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China from January 18th to the 20th.

You can preorder the DVD from Amazon Japan for 6233 yen, which is about $53 US. They ship worldwide, though the fees can be considerable.

Two more videos were posted to the Sailor Moon YouTube channel. One is a digest of various clips from the first day and the other is the “Ai No Starshine” song. Both can be seen below.

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Box art for the Sailor Moon Crystal vol. 2 Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

The box art for the second volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Deluxe Limited Edition has been released. This set looks a lot like the first set which we recently reviewed. The episodes included on this disk are act 3, Rei – Sailor Mars, and act 4, Masquerade Dance Party. Sailor Mercury appears on the cover despite first appearing in act 2. We will likely see Sailor Mars on the next set.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury's transformation item charm

This set also includes a charm to go with the charm bracelet included in the volume 1 Blu-Ray box. This charm is of Sailor Mercury’s transformation item. Another 24 page colour booklet will be included with this set. The animation will be cleaned up to fix mistakes or awkwardly drawn scenes from the streaming version, and will include audio commentaries. This Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray will be released on November 12th and can be preordered from Amazon Japan, CD Japan, JList and YesAsia. If you are patient, don’t care about swag and want to save a bit of money you can wait until December 10th to get the regular edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia) or the DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia). These is a Japanese release with no English audio or subtitles. The Blu-Ray disk will play in North American region A Blu-Ray players or PlayStation 3s though the DVDs are region 2 which will not play in a North American region 1 DVD player.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury'

Source: The official Sailor Moon site and Moonkitty.net

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1

The first volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray was released on October 15th. There are a few versions of this release at different price points. I ordered the Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray version. This release only contains two episodes of the series, act 1 and 2, showing us the introduction of Usagi and Ami. You can order the volume 1 deluxe limited edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), regular edition Blu-ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan). The deluxe limited edition has a lot included, but at 5994 yen (about $53 US) it’s a hefty price tag for only two episodes. These are Japanese discs. The Blu-Rays are region A meaning they will play in a North American Blu-Ray player or PS3, but there are no English subtitle or audio tracks.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Moon Stick charm and bracelet

The packaging is impressive. The first thing you will notice when opening to box is that it plays the Moon Pride theme song. Inside are the Moon Stick charm and charm bracelet. Should you choose to continue to spend large amounts of money on the limited edition Blu-Rays you will be able to collect the other 12 charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Booklet cover

Also included are two books. The first includes art from the show, episode summaries and interviews with Munehisa Sakai, director, and Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon. The second is a book of storyboards of the opening and ending themes for the series.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Opening storyboards

There is not a ton to the Blu-Ray itself. As mentioned there are only two episodes, which auto play when the Blu-Ray is started. As we previously mentioned there are some scenes which have been reanimated since the original streaming version was released. This includes the changes to the intro. For example, Queen Serenity has white hair in the intro instead of being blonde like in the intro for the first two streaming episodes. These changes are minor and cosmetic. It doesn`t fundamentally change the experience of watching the show. Overall the video quality is quite good, which is not surprising as the Crunchyroll HD feeds were comparable. The disc has some special features. Mainly the textless opening and ending themes. There are also two audio commentaries, though as they are in Japanese I did not find much use in listening to them.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Overall this set is expensive and while there are a decent amount of cool knick knacks, only including two episodes lowers the value. If you’re a collector or completist, it may be worth picking up, but if you’re just looking to watch the show, the streaming versions are perfectly acceptable. It’s quite likely there will be an eventual North American Blu-Ray release with English audio and subtitles. Fans who don’t like to watch their anime raw may prefer to wait for such a release. If you’re looking to watch the updated animation with English subtitles, you can download them from Sailor Moon Center. As of posting this article only episode 1 has been released (720p, 1080p), but episode two should follow shortly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Keep reading for more photos of the set.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

Act 7 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask, is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Usagi has just found out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask, we learn more about the Dark Kingdom and we get our first look at Sailor Venus! But first, could Mamoru be Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard?

terry-bogard_fatal_fury Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

One of the first things we see in this episode is the flashback to Mamoru’s past. Mamoru’s parents died when he was just 6 years old. We get a look at them, two faceless people who have dark hair like his. Funny we see their faces in the Manga, though this doesn’t ever really come back. The more important issue is Mamoru’s hat, which looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury, a fighting game series originally on the Neo Geo. Am I forcing this connection? I don’t think so. I’ve never played a Fatal Fury game in my life but this connection was instantly obvious. In addition to this Tuxedo Mask does a bunch of punching in this week’s episode! His exchange of blows with Zoisite was not in the original Manga. Sailor Moon is attacked by Zoisite and then Artemis and Sailor Venus come to her rescue while Tuxedo Mask just watches. His punching must be due to an attempt at making him look more like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Preparing to punch

The episode starts out with Mamoru and Usagi’s tender moments but this scene seems plagued with inconsistent animation to me. I’ve not been one to complain about the animation in this series to date but after starting to feel like things were improving this episode in particular seemed like a disappointing step back. After this we get to meet Queen Metalia, the evil energy that is behind the Dark Kingdom, and we get a bit more back story for Queen Beryl. We unfortunately don’t get a good look at a normal woman in the North Pole discovering the Dark Kingdom like we do in the manga but the same story seems to be going on here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Queen Metalia

As expected, the VHS tapes from the original story were not kept, but instead updated to DVDs. Really? No Blu-Rays in 2014? Regardless of the technology upgrade the story can’t help but feel a bit dated. Video rental stores are not what they used to be, and the idea of the youth of today not spending enough time at the arcade because they’re renting video only reminds us that arcades are also not close to as popular as they were in the 90s. This is why things like updating Crown from an arcade to a Karaoke bar made sense for the live action series, but that Sailor Moon Crystal being so faithfully adapted but still taking place in moderns times at times doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, do these DVDs look like Kuri’s boobs?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Yumiko, Kuri and Naru renting antiquated DVDs

As technology goes, Ami’s computer has been replaced with a “FinePad” in this episode, an obvious take on the iPad. The icons in the background look like those on iOS though the windows and the red, yellow and green buttons on them are similar to Mac OS. This level of multitasking would be too convenient for an iPad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Ami's FinePad

A funny scene in this episode shows us more of creepy, creepy Umino. Original manga and anime Umino was nerdy but pretty much harmless and non threatening but Sailor Moon Crystal Umino is downright creepy! Here he shows up to share that he’s looking for Sailor Moon, which makes sense as he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else into doing so, but we almost forget that this is part of the Dark Kingdom’s plot as this creepiness fits right in with his character! Not sure why he’s made to look like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. He also looks a bit like Professor Tomoe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Creepy Umino looks like a heartless Heartless - Kingdom Hearts

This episode finally introduces us to two new charters, Artemis and Minako Aino as Sailor V and Sailor Venus. The first appearance of Sailor V in this episode is on Luna’s computer. In the manga when this conversation takes place you can see a bit of Minako’s bow but it’s not as obvious that this is Sailor V. Once the battle commences it’s Artemis, not Sailor Venus, that saves the day. We see the top of his head followed by him jumping and slashing Zoisite, who doesn’t die in this episode. Then we finally see both him and Sailor Venus together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Artemis

The episode does an odd thing with Sailor Venus’s introduction. First we see her from behind, clearly wearing Sailor V’s outfit, but then when seen again from the front she’s clearly dressed as Sailor Venus. That’s a quick costume change!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor Venus

In two more weeks, October 18th, we’ll see Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. This one will be all about Sailor Venus. The team is finally all together!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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