Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD a couple of months ago, on June 18th. Fans who haven’t already picked it up can get from stores locally or from online retailers such as Amazon. Since it’s been out a while I’ve had the time to watch the entire set and so I wanted to give some general impressions about it. Though the video quality of these releases has generally not been great, this series looks better than sets in the past have. The new English dub is pretty good, as it has been for the rest of the series, and the script remains mostly unchanged.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Seiya

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Seiya Kou

Japanese DVD

First let’s look at the video. The quality certainly does not compare with that of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets which have been released more recently, but it’s fairly good. To be sure this won’t look like a newer anime series such as Sailor Moon Crystal does on Blu-Ray. This Blu-Ray was mastered from older standard definition video which was put through software to upscale it to high definition. What that gives is something that I wouldn’t really say looks any better than the Japanese DVD releases which came out well over a decade ago. That said I’m not sure that comparison really matters. We’ve never gotten Sailor Stars in North America before. The subbed version was out on Hulu a few years ago but there was no dub and that release used similar source material as this. When it comes to comparisons, we don’t have an old North American release to compare it to. This release certainly looks better than nothing, which is the baseline!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Professor Tomoe and Baby Hotaru

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Japanese DVD

In this post I have provided comparisons to the Japanese DVD release. Since the Japanese Blu-Ray releases have not gotten to Sailor Stars yet I don’t have that for comparison. It’s pretty difficult to conclusively say if one is better than the other. The Viz Blu-Ray is certainly HD, in that it is 1080p, but that HD image lacks detail that would be there if it had been mastered from a film source. Anime of the time was drawn on cels and shot onto a film intermediate which was then transferred to video before broadcast. We have been told that this higher quality film version of Sailor Moon is lost. It is fairly evident from close examination of screenshots, or even upon viewing the video itself, that this is an upscaled version of standard definition video. There has also been some amount of post processing done in order to clean up the image. This means the colours will look more solid and have less noise on them, but potentially at the cost of detail, but is it detail that matters? Sailor Moon, like most traditional animation, is largely chunks of solid colour separated by solid black lines. The filters used seem to be optimized to this, giving a consistent colour and clear lines. Had this been a live action series with actors with pores and hair as well as other textured things, a different type of upscaling filter would likely have been used. While we shouldn’t necessarily mourn the loss of some grain there is a loss of detail in the backgrounds which aren’t as much just solid colours as we can see from the example of the cherry blossom tree behind Professor Tomoe in the above pictured image. Had we gone back to the film source for these, something which we’ve been told is impossible, then the image would likely look much better. If you check out my review of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets and look at the samples of the Make Up! Sailor Guardians on Blu-Ray you’ll see what that could have looked like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Young Queen Nehelenia

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

Japanese DVD

With earlier releases by Viz we had more ghosting, which means a double image or shadow near some lines, as well as some interlacing artifacts. I didn’t notice any such problems in this set. No doubt the quality has improved likely due to the fact that these episodes were made four years after the first season so the quality of the masters available get a little better with each year. This is likely also why the ADV releases of Sailor Moon seasons 1 and R were the worst while the Pioneer releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS looked much better. Don’t take my word for it though! Check out the many comparison images here and later in the post to judge for yourself. There’s no objectively correct answer to how much post processing looks best, sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preference. While there has been some change in quality with these screenshots due to jpg compression it should give a good idea of what each looks like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Japanese DVD

Moving on from the video quality to the content. This is the first time we’re getting an English dub of Sailor Stars which is quite a treat. For years people considered this season to be impossible to market to the North American public, though I never really understood why. Is it really all that scandalous to have men who transform into women and vice versa? Sure, the Sailor Starlights’ outfits are fairly revealing but as far as anime goes this isn’t terribly shocking. It’s a joy to finally hear Sailor Stars in English. This is a cast we’ve heard for the past four seasons and three films as well as for Sailor Moon Crystal so even though it’s a departure from the DiC/Cloverway dub of most of our youth, for me there was still enough familiarity with the cast that it feels like Sailor Moon. The new actors for the Sailor Starlights do a great job. Having women play them as both men and women works well. This was the same approach which was used for the Japanese dub many years ago. The alternatives, either having two actors per character or having men do the voices would likely not have worked as well. For those who don’t appreciate the English version they also have the option of listening in Japanese with English subtitles.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Saturn

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Sailor Saturn

Japanese DVD

The episodes included are the first half of Sailor Stars. This includes the amazing six episode Nehelenia arc in which she is given a very different ending as she got in Sailor Moon SuperS. The rest of the episodes are about Usagi getting to know The Three Lights, more specifically Seiya, as she grows further and further out of touch with Mamoru who is away and somehow completely out of touch. This parallels the Sailor Starlights who have appeared and who fight Sailor Galaxia’s Sailor Animamates. My feelings on Sailor Stars have changed over the years. I originally found Seiya sort of annoying as he was just a distraction from Usagi’s true relationship which she never waivers from. This is generally true but I find the story much more appealing. She is hurting and though there is no infidelity he fills a need she has for companionship. His interests in her are not reciprocated which is more tragic than anything. I’ve given more thoughts on all of the episodes in my individual reviews which you can find by searching the episode numbers in the search field on the site if you are interested. So much to say it is a very good half season and I’m glad that everyone can see it now, assuming some fans haven’t already seen it some other way!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Special features

There aren’t a ton of special features included. Each disc has an Art Gallery which doesn’t seem to be Japanese concept art but more likely something by Italian artist Marco Albiero who does a remarkable job of duplicating the original anime style. For whatever reason the Blu-Ray viewing software I use to take screenshots couldn’t load the Art Galleries so you can take my word for that.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Lauren post, the voice of Nehelenia

Also included are three voice actor interviews. The first is with Laura Post, the voice of Nehelenia. Having also been in SuperS it’s a bit odd to see this interview here but she mostly talks about her appearance in those first 6 episodes which fits.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi

Next we have an interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi. This is the longer of the interviews. She does the whole thing with her dog! A few things stood out to me. First she mentions that the season was pretty long. This is objectively untrue as Sailor Stars is the shortest Sailor Moon season with only 34 episodes. One can hardly blame her for thinking this though as Usagi and Sailor Moon dominate this season like no other. It would be difficult to count but it seems likely that Usagi had more lines in Sailor Stars than any other seasons except perhaps the first one. There was much less focus on other Sailor Guardians. Chibiusa who dominated SuperS is gone, along with her father, for most of the season. Stephanie Sheh also makes a joke that it was lucky that Usagi didn’t have a cell phone because if Mamoru didn’t respond to a few texts this would be a sign of trouble. More generally she is lucky that this occurred at the dawn of the Internet age where it would be believable that Usagi would not have access to e-mail or chat software. I consider myself an early adopter of the Internet and I had no Internet access at home while Sailor Stars was airing. Ami is shown to communicate with some people through the Internet, but she is clearly an outlier amongst her friends. She also mentions that she ships Usagi and Mamoru and thinks her relationship with Seiya is inappropriate. This is probably best as such a view reflects her character’s! There’s also a funny bit where she wonders what’s up with the Starlights, asking similar questions that many fans have like if they’re men who turn into women, women who turn into men, women dressing as men or what? All around I found the interview very humourous. It’s obvious that Stephanie Sheh has spent a lot of time with the Sailor Moon character throughout the years and has many thoughts about the series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Chibi Chibi

Finally we have “A Chibi Interview with Stephanie Sheh”, the voice of Chibi Chibi. It’s a short interview where she talks about that character. She mentions being happy to play Chibi Chibi and points out that in the Japanese version the voice of Usagi played Chibi Chibi as well, but it wasn’t clear why. This is funny because in the manga there is a clear connection between the characters which doesn’t actually exist in the anime. It might make more sense for Chibi Chibi to share voice actors with another character, but I’ll avoid the specifics for now. Fans who are familiar with the end of the series will understand why.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - The non super credit less opening

Beyond the interviews we have a “Clean Opening” and “Clean Ending” which basically means the intro and ending without Japanese credits overlayed. These are of a very poor quality! The Japanese releases humourously refer to these as being “Non Super” meaning they aren’t HD. While they are technically HD in that they are encoded on the disk as 1080p, they are clearly taken from something of roughly the same quality as a VHS tape. A nice extra to have though one we’ve seen on every Japanese release ever.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Blu-Ray opened

As for the packaging this set continues to look quite nice, as have other released to date. This is all new art, whereas the Japanese releases have continued to reuse the original laserdisc box art for decades. The special booklet that is included with the Limited Edition is quite nice, including episode summaries and art of a number of characters. I believe all of this art is once again done by Italian artist Marco Albiero. The booklet also includes a relationship chart which has been the source of some controversy which I posted about closer to it’s release as well as an ad which refers to the first three seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal as the entire series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Booklet - Final message

Since this booklet is meant to cover the entire series it has cast information and summaries for the entire season. It also includes a nice goodbye message to the fans which I will quote below.

To all the longtime fans and those who joined us during this journey: This previously unreleased season is here because of you. Your support makes the stars twinkle brighter and we couldn’t have done this without you!

Starlight Honeymoon… THERAPY KISS!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Eternal Sailor Moon

All considered I think this set it worth getting. The video quality is not the best possible but it is quite good. While the Japanese Blu-Ray which is coming in November will probably look marginally better, it won’t even have English subtitles, let alone English audio, so it’s of little use to most fans. If you’re only looking to watch the Japanese series with subtitles you can of course always stream these episodes, but buying this set or digital downloads of the episodes is the only way to get Viz’s English dub. I look forward to seeing part two of Sailor Stars and rewatching the final episodes. For those of you who are interested in this set but have not gotten it yet, you can support the site but buying it using the Amazon links below.

Keep reading for more images of the box art and comparisons of the video quality between this Blu-Ray and the Japanese DVD release.

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will be released on Japanese Blu-Ray starting in November

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 1

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who are really picky about video quality and don’t like having money! The final season of the original Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan with volume 1 coming November 13th and volume 2 coming January 8th 2020. This follows decent but expensive releases for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime. While the quality of these has generally been better than what was released by Viz, these are still HD upscaled versions of standard definition source material. By this I mean to say that TOEI did not go back to the film source to get these HD versions but has done post processing on the same masters used for their DVD releases many years ago.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 2

The cost of these is certainly not cheap! MSRP for each volume is 14,800 yen, about $136 US. You can already pre-order the standard or vendor exclusive versions of volume 1 from Amazon Japan. Having just watched the first Sailor Stars set released by Viz and been fairly happy with the video quality it gets harder and harder to justify getting these sets, which only include Japanese audio and no subtitles! Certainly the video quality of the earlier seasons is the worst of the Viz releases and every season the sets look a little better. It’s easy to assume this is due to Viz doing a better job, which is certainly part of what’s going on, but I also think it’s just a matter of the masters for the series looking better for the later seasons. The ADV DVD releases of Sailor Moon’s first season and Sailor Moon R were horrendous but the Pioneer DVD releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS were much better looking for the same reasons.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 1 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 6

The art which we’ve seen looks quite good. As with previous releases this is box art which was originally used for the initial VHS and laserdisc releases. This art is done by Katsumi Tamegai who was an animation director for many episodes throughout the Sailor Moon series, including the final episode. This art was also used for the Japanese DVD release. Volume 1 has an image of Eternal Sailor Moon on the outside and Usagi with Chibi Chibi on the inside, though she’ll only show up for the last two episodes of the set. I’ve included images of the laserdiscs for reference throughout this post.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volumes 3, 4 and 5 - The Sailor Starlights and the Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 9

The outer cover for volume 2 is an amalgamation of three different laserdisc covers showing each of the Sailor Starlights and their civilian Three Lights counterparts. The inside shows Princess Serenity and a less evil Galaxia which I suppose is a bit of a spoiler!

Included in volume 1 are episodes 167 to 183 while volume 2 will have episodes 184 to 200. This is the same breakdown Viz used with their release as it splits the season evenly with 17 episodes per set. The special features are much like what we’ve gotten with other releases. This includes low quality (non super) creditless versions of the opening and ending credits and 15 second commercials for each episode. A booklet with episode descriptions will also be included.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Vendor exclusives

As always we have vendor exclusives for a number of retailers. You can see them shown in the image above. It isn’t always obvious what these are! Members of the official Sailor Moon fan club who order the set through the club will get A4 sized sticker sheets with each volume as well as a laserdisc jacket sized poster for buying both volumes. We don’t know what images those will include at this time. A4 size is roughly equivalent to a standard 8.5×11″ letter piece of paper. A laserdisc jacket is roughly the size of a vinyl record jacket.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive box

The Amazon exclusive which is available to customers buying both volumes is a box to house both sets which has art similar to the laserdisc box which housed all of Sailor Stars.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box

The Animate exclusive, which is available only to those ordering both volumes, is a set of three acrylic key rings. Each features an image of one of the Sailor Starlights with their Three Lights alter ego from the box art.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box back

The Seven Net exclusive for volume 1 is an acrylic plate, which I believe is what is sometimes called a pencil board, showing an image of Eternal Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians. The exclusive for volume 2 is a B2 sized tapestry featuring an image of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn which was originally on the back of the Sailor Stars laserdisc box. B2 size is about 20″x28″.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn

Finally the Neo Wing exclusives are a separate A2 sized cloth poster which comes with each volume. These are images of the first two laserdisc covers, that being Eternal Sailor Moon for volume 1 and Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon for volume 2. A2 size is about 16.5″x22″.

Have any of you been buying these sets?

Here’s our first look at Sailor Moon Eternal, a Sailor Moon Crystal movie covering part of the Dream arc of the manga, will be released in 2020

Sailor Moon Eternal -

Today is June 30th, Usagi’s birthday, and to celebrate this there was a birthday party event held in Japan. We often get Sailor Moon news at such events and this year was no different! We finally have our first look at the designs for the upcoming new season of Sailor Moon Crystal which will be taking place as two theatrically released films. It was announced that the first of these movies will be called Sailor Moon Eternal and will be released in 2020. This could be anywhere from 6 to 18 months from now, so we will have to be patient to see when this finally happens! Also keep in mind the original release of Sailor Moon Crystal was planned for 2013 but that it actually first aired in 2014, so delays at this stage are certainly still possible, but things are finally coming together.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Moon

Along with the news was the revelation of a number of character designs for the series. The first was the poster featuring Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Super Sailor Moon. A teaser trailer which was posted to the newly redesigned Official Sailor Moon Site also included images of Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Chibi Moon all of whom have those little transparent shoulder pad things to show that they’re Super. You can watch that trailer embedded below.

The music used in the trailer in Moonlight Legend, the opening theme for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that this music will be used in the film. While this is possible it may simply be that the new music for the new Sailor Moon Eternal film is either not ready or that they otherwise don’t wish to release it at this time.

Kazuko Tadano Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus sketch from 2013

A sketch by Kazuko Tadano from 2013

Now that we’ve gotten a first look at the designs for this film we finally see what Kazuko Tadano, character designer for the first two seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, chose to do for Sailor Moon Crystal. A lot of fans have commented about how similar the designs look to the 90s anime, which certainly makes sense if we consider this! What we’re seeing is a bit of a mix of the aesthetic of Sailor Moon Crystal’s 3rd season designs, the original anime designs and a little something new. When Kazuko Tadano was announced as the Dream Arc’s character designer Sailor Moon sketches she made in 2013 (above) were used as a baseline for what we might be seeing. Though the designs aren’t identical we can certainly see some similarities to what we’re seeing now.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Eternal will cover the first half of the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga. This is the same story which was the basis for the Sailor Moon SuperS season of the anime, though in this case the manga and anime had some significant differences. Though we don’t know exactly where the two movies will split, it is likely this will include the introduction of Pegasus as well as the villains the Amazon Trio, the Amazoness Quartet and Zirconia of the Dead Moon Circus. It will probably include early appearances by Helios and Queen Nehelenia, though they will feature more prominently in the second film. Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn may not show up in this one as they are not present for the first few chapters, though they could show up at the end of Sailor Moon Eternal. Since they were completely neglected from Sailor Moon SuperS it will be nice to see them included in Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mars

What do you think of the new designs? I’m really liking them. While the animation in the first two seasons wasn’t stellar, I thought season 3 was a great improvement. I can’t say I’m so attached to any Sailor Moon Crystal designs to be too bothered by this change. As long as these new films continue to be a faithful adaptation of the manga storyline, as the first three seasons have been, then the core of what makes Sailor Moon Crystal what it is should remain, even if there isn’t a consistent visual style. As always it’s a bit difficult to get a full feeling of what’s in store with just a few images. To see this animation style in action will be something. For now we’ll have to wait a while longer but at this stage we can at least confidently say that Sailor Moon Eternal is real and after more than 3 years we are finally getting more Sailor Moon Crystal! It remains to be seen how or when the film will be released here in North America.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Jupiter

PS: Not to rub it in but I was totally right and this art looks nothing like the Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike designs we saw last fall.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Venus

Get caught up with Sailor Moon Crystal before the movie comes out by buying the first three seasons using the Amazon links below, or save your money by streaming it on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Neon Alley.

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Check out the cover art for the upcoming Sailor Stars DVD and Blu-Ray release

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

We’ve got our first look at Viz’s upcoming home video release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray later this year. It was previously announced that this set would be out in the Spring, but we have not received any specifics about a release date beyond this. The box art features Eternal Sailor Moon with her Eternal Tiare. This was shared in an article on the Kodansha Comics web site discussing Sailor Moon. It is mentioned that the first 17 episodes of the season will be included in this first set which will also contain behind the scenes interviews. This is the English release by Viz which will include the first ever English dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Osabu

The article includes a humourous interview with Sailor Moon editor Fumio Osano, commonly referred to as Osabu, in which he seems to suggest that North American readers may be interested in the Eternal Editions of the manga because of their large hands. Perhaps he has been baffled by the size of American comics since seeing an Xbox controller years ago! He also discusses his involvement with the manga over the years and more specifically his work as it relates to the North American audience.

Source: @fredjfrancis on Twitter

The Eternal Editions of the manga which are mentioned really do look great. They feature new translations, larger glossier pages and all colour pages which originally appeared in Nakayoshi. Order the first two volumes and pre-order others using the links below:


Though Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is not yet available to pre-order you can support the site by buying previous releases using the links below:



This Fall’s musical will be called Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final

Sailor Moon Le Movement Final

An update posted to the Official Sailor Moon site this morning revealed that the name of the upcoming musical, taking place in Japan this fall, will be called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final. The above logo was included with the post. No other details were included.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Taking a bow

We have previously learned that almost all of the cast will be reprising their roles with the exception of Karin Takahashi who will not be returning as Sailor Saturn. That role will be played by Mirai. Though we’ve received no official confirmation of the subject of the musical it seems logical that this will focus on the Stars arc of the manga. The wings in the logo suggest we will be seeing Eternal Sailor Moon, who appears at the end of the Amour Eternal musical. The title, French for “final movement”, suggests that this final arc of the manga will somehow finalize the story of these musicals. I had been hoping that after this 5th musical we would somehow continue the story of Sailor Moon with some kind of original musical that takes place after the story of the manga. Perhaps this will still be the case!

Update: I misreported the title as “Movement Final” and not “Mouvement Final”. This is the correct French word for Movement.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 184 and 185 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 184 - Chibi Chibi tries to take Seiya's towel

This week on Hulu and Neon Alley‘s new episodes of Sailor Stars we get a real mix of emotions. First in episode 184 we get one of the more comedy filled episodes of the entire series and then things sober up real quick for episode 185 which is about a little girl who might die in surgery.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 184 - Seiya the wolf and Usagi the sheep

Episode 184, A Night Alone Together: Usagi in Danger, is a bit of a contradiction. How can you be alone together? How can you be alone together when there are a dozen or so people in your dining room? I’m getting ahead of myself. There are burglaries in Usagi’s neighbourhood so Seiya offers to be a sort of bodyguard. Luna thinks this is a bad idea, likening Seiya to a dog or worse a wolf that wants to eat the sheepish Usagi, an obvious metaphor for some sort of unwanted sexual advance. Seiya comes over anyway, and seeing a photo of Mamoru and Usagi together, gets quite upset. Usagi is happy in the photo, which is no doubt at the core of what’s really upsetting him, but he then becomes upset at Mamoru for hurting Usagi. Things get a little intimate as it seems Seiya is about to kiss Usagi… and then Chibi Chibi stuffs some cake in his face. Classic Chibi Chibi! Next up is a sexy shower scene where we see a partial nude butt for Seiya! This shower is perfectly timed with the arrival of Usagi’s friends who see Seiya in a ridiculous tiny towel, which Chibi Chibi tries to take with humourous consequences. Yaten and Taiki join the party and things are really staring to get crowded. They play a card game which appears to be Hearts and then… Haruka and Michiru are down the street with car trouble so why not. Then a TV crew shows up to ask what they’re having for dinner which means the Three Lights need to hide because I guess it’s scandalous that they’d be at Usagi’s house, even though the convoluted explanation of events is totally legit. Sailor Aluminum Siren and Lead Crow show up to target the TV show guy, because once again we are completely passing up opportunities to steal Star Seeds from Sailor Guardians for whatever reason. Usagi has trouble finding a place to transform but finally does so in Chibiusa’s attic room. This makes me wonder what is going on with this room. When Chibiusa left and the Tsukino family forgot that she existed, did they also forget that there is a room in the attic or do they just use it for storage now? Chibiusa seems to have left with a backpack too small for most of her possession. Is it full of children’s toys, clothes and a dusty Stallion Rêve that smells funky? A fight breaks out and there are way too many people and it’s all funny. Still all considered Usagi’s family must have a ridiculously expensive house given its size and the neighbourhood.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 184 - Too many Sailor Guardians in Usagi's dining room

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 185 - Princess Kakyuu

Episode 185, Taiki’s Song Filled With Passion and Faith, is unfortunately another Taiki episode. I won’t pretend to hide my dislike for this character, and this episode is another example of why I don’t really appreciate him. A young girl Misa is in the hospital awaiting important surgery. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a TV show for little kids. She’s definitely going to survive the surgery. They wouldn’t have a character in a children’s show like Sailor Moon die in surgery. Right. So Misa draws Princess Kakyuu which is kind of weird, since we haven’t seen this character yet. Interestingly enough there are also three stars in the sky above the Princess, which I imagine represent the three Sailor Starlights. I don’t know what little green celestial body is, but it’s cool. Taiki is given to young Misa as a gift, complete with bow on his head, but he draws the line at autographs! He notices Kakyuu and mentions that it’s the Princess they’ve been singing for, but Taiki is losing faith! It seems the image of Kakyuu came to Misa when she heard their music, but it hadn’t been there lately. Oh no! Taiki sings for Misa but her surgery is delayed because the Doctor gets turned into a Phage. I don’t know about Doctors but if I get my Star Seed removed and I turn into a monster I’m at least taking the rest of the day off, but the Doctor does his job and Misa is fine!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 185 - Misa recovered and not getting her baby stolen

During the fight the monster x-rays Eternal Sailor Moon. We see her skeleton and there are no bones in her wings. A bird, who’s wings Eternal Sailor Moon’s most resemble, has bones in its wings. So what exactly is holding these feathers in place?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 185 - Sailor Moon's skeleton

Support this site by buying the first two seasons of Sailor Moon on DVD and Blu-Ray using the links below.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 184 - Seiya the dog and Usagi the sheep

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 170 and 171 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 170 - Young Ami studies basketball

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get parts 4 and 5 of the 6 parts mini series that starts off this season. We have the Sailor Guardians split up into unlikely pairings as they are left to make due with what they have and fight Queen Nehelenia. This gives us interesting explorations of all of the Sailor Guardians. Next week this arc will wrap up and we will also see the first of the Three Light and the Sailor Starlights Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Healer and Sailor Star Maker.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 170 - Sailor Mercury and Sailor Uranus

Episode 170, Night of Destiny: The Sailor Guardians’ Ordeals, spends a nice amount of time having the gang prepare for battle. The girls are all together in civilian mode to talk about what to do about this whole problem of Mamoru getting kidnapped by Nehelenia and sucked into a world of mirrors. Usagi gets real upset and has an epic transformation into … Eternal Sailor Moon. Okay this is getting lame at this point. Eternal Sailor Moon is the new Super Sailor Moon. We need to stop making a big deal of it every time this transformation happens. This leaves the rest of the girls ready to transform and I know what you’re thinking! Will we finally see Sailor Saturn’s transformation sequence? No. Transformation is done off screen and the gang use Sailor Teleport to go after Usagi and save the day. Unfortunately as they are flying around they are broken up and left into a series of unusual pairings. Though most of the core group have been paired together with one another at some point in the series there has been very little one on one contact between the original Sailor Guardians and the newer ones. This next couple of episodes gives us a bit of that. First off we have Sailor Mercury and Sailor Uranus left in some sort of ancient ruins. When the two run we learn from Haruka that although she always thought Michiru was keeping up with her when they ran the truth is that Michiru was pacing herself. This is indicative of the power balance between the two. Haruka sees herself as leading in that relationship but Michiru is able to hold her own and is willing to let Haruka believe what she would like. There’s a nice flashback of Ami when she was a kid. She was basically terrible at basketball but after reading a bunch of books on strategy was able to help her team in other ways. This is indicative of her overall role in the group. Bubbles and other lame water based attacks aren’t beating the bad guys but Sailor Mercury is able to use her brain to save the day. She does so to find the source of the Nehelenia’s power. After the defeat the two are trapped in mirrors anyway. Next up is Sailor Mars and Neptune. I wasn’t crazy about this one. It’s insinuated right away that Sailor Neputune has a better power of prediction than Sailor Mars. All this time we see Rei as having a strong power but it is instantly neutered in this simple interaction where Sailor Neptune knows what’s right and Sailor Mars seems to be bluffing. To be continued…

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 170 - Sailor Neptune and Sailor Mars disagree

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 171 - Sailor Venus saves Sailor Pluto

Episode 171, For Love: the Endless Battle in the Dark World, continues where we left of fighting these evil Nehelenia monsters. Sailor Mars and Neptune quickly dispatch the one they are fighting but then inexplicably fall unconscious into a pond and are trapped in mirrors. What is the point of beating these things if they lose anyway? Defeating these Nehelenia clones seems roughly equivalent to being found innocent by a Quintesson. Next up is the unlikely paring of Sailor Venus and Sailor Pluto. They don’t fair so well. They fall into a chasm and Venus uses her Venus Love Me Chain as a rope to save both of them. The Nehelenia monster shows up and drops them in the ravine. Their fate is no different than that of their friends who beat their Nehelenia clones as they as well get stuck in mirrors. Oh well. Meanwhile Usagi marched through the snow to find a field of flowers which made her lose all memories. Sailor Jupiter shows up to save the day and takes a beating protecting Usagi. She loses her rose shaped earring in the process and this reminds Usagi of Tuxedo Mask’s roses. How lovely would it have been if Usagi had been reminded of her cherished friendship with Makoto instead but she is looking for her boyfriend and so this memory is what breaks the spell. She continues to march towards her destination on a giant stairway which is filled with thorny rose bushes. Back at the top of the tent we have the common pairing of Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn. Sailor Saturn means business as she threatens what seems to be the real Nehelenia with her Silence Glaive. To be continued…

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 171 - Sailor Jupiter protects Usagi

Next week we will wrap up this Nehelenia story with a real high quality final episode. After that we are introduced to the Sailor Starlights at last!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 171 - Sailor Saturn threatens Nehelenia

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 168 and 169 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Sailor Saturn gives Hotaru her memories

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. This week we get episodes 168 and 169, which takes us half way through this 6 episode mini arc which starts off the season. Sailor Saturn finally returns and then the town is enthralled with mirrors for mysterious reasons.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Hotaru Tomoe

Episode 168, Saturn Awakens: the Ten Sailor Guardians Unite, gives us more Sailor Saturn than we’d previously seen in the entire series! We had only seen here briefly at the end of Sailor Moon S before she was turned into a baby. She has been growing at an astonishing rate and seems to be developing the language skills to go with it. Judging by what is happening with Usagi and Mamoru it doesn’t look like much time has passed at all since the last episode, so there’s really no implication that Hotaru could have possibly learned all of these things at a normal rate. She is speaking easily, referring to her three parents as Haruka Papa, Michiru Mama and Setsuna Mama. At night Hotaru is visited by the ghost of Sailor Saturn who gives her the memories she had lost. This insinuates that her functional memories returned as she aged but her specific memories of her life are unlocked all at once from her alter ego. She remembers many things including her relationship with Chibiusa. How sweet! It would be a shame if Chibiusa would leave and never return in a few episodes. Another thing she sees is a memory of Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, who are now her parents, trying to kill her. She doesn’t struggle with this at all. She also has no bad feeling when seeing her loving father who is still very much alive and was recently separated from her. So Hotaru transforms into Sailor Saturn. We need a monster so this week we still have these Nehelenia glass monsters. Sailor Moon powers up into Eternal Sailor Moon and uses an attack which resembles, but is not named, Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss. This is done with her new weapon the Eternal Tiare. This doesn’t last long.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 169 - Usagi's classmate stuck looking at her mirror

Episode 169, The Cursed Mirror: Mamoru Caught in a Nightmare, is all about teenagers being addicted to looking at themselves in the mirror! Replace the mirrors with cell phones and you’d have a scathing commentary on 2015 society! This one reminds me a bit of episode 5, Scent of a Monster: Chanela Will Steal Your Love, where students were infatuated with these Chanela pets. This time a lot of people, including Mamoru, are almost hypnotized by mirrors. The girls first notice this in their school but then Usagi notices this at Mamoru’s place. When she goes to see him she sees a suspicious boy looking for him. This is the one and only anime appearance by Ittou Asanuma, who we’ve seen in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. Inside Mamoru can’t stop starring at mirrors and he even buys a ton of them. Since we need an action beat we once again face off again the Nehelenia mirror monsters! Not compelling at all! It turns out Nehelenia is the one in the mirror and she manages to somehow pull Mamoru into it! To be continued…

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 169 - Mamoru loves mirrors

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 169 - Ittou Asanuma

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 169 - Nehelenia steal Mamoru

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Mamoru has a thing in his eye

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Hotaru remembers her friend Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will finally be released in the United States starting December 14th 2015

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars title screen

At long last the final season of Sailor Moon, Sailor Stars, will be released in the United States of America. This season, released in Japan way back in 1996 was never dubbed into English and was never released on video in English speaking North America. Hulu and Neon Alley have been releasing the original Sailor Moon anime series subtitled at a rate of two episodes per week and we will finally be getting the fifth and final season on Monday December 14th. It was not clear whether or not we would see the episode on the 14th or 21st, as the current schedule would have the final episode of Sailor Moon SuperS, episode 166, playing on that day. Viz has a precedent of only including the final episode of the season on one day so as to not break up the season. We now have official confirmation, from the Neon Alley schedule for the month of December, that episode 167 will indeed be released on Monday December 14th. The schedule does note that the “Start of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” is on the following Monday, with episode 168, which is actually the second episode of Sailor Stars. There is still the possibility that someone has made the mistake with this schedule and that episode 167 will be held off until the 21st but at this time the schedule does indicate that episode 167 will be December 14th.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Fans who have not seen Sailor Stars before will be excited to see Eternal Sailor Moon, the return of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn as well as the Sailor Starlights and many more. It will still be a while until they all show up though as the first 6 episodes of the series are sort of like a follow up to Sailor Moon SuperS, giving us more closure on Queen Nehelenia. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will show up right away as Sailor Saturn is also brought back into the fold. This conveniently brings the story back in line with how the Dream arc of the original Sailor Moon manga left off with the whole group together. Sadly Chibiusa and Tuxedo Mask won’t be around for long, so enjoy them while you can.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Sailor Saturn

What new character are you most excited to see? Sailor Iron Mouse? Princess Kakyuu? Sailor Chibi Chibi? So many to chose from!

2015-12-06 Update: The original article title and content stated that this was the first release of Sailor Stars in North America. While Sailor Stars was never released in the US and Canada, it was released in Mexico which is part of North America. I often use the term North American when referring to the series because I am a Canadian so in many cases specifying United States of America is not the whole story. In this case however, Hulu is still not available to Canadian Sailor Moon fans and so the series is really only being officially released in the United States. Canadians may use a proxy to watch Hulu, as I have been doing, but this isn’t an official release. The original French dub of Sailor Moon also did not included Sailor Stars and only a small part of what was seen in France was ever broadcast on Canadian television. Sailor Stars will likely remains unreleased officially in Canada until either some streaming option can be made available or until the home video release for Stars makes its way here.

Thanks to reader Julian for the note about Mexico.

Sailor Stars Petit Chara figures coming in September

Eternal Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Chibi and Sailor Starlights Petit Chara figures

The latest Petit Chara figures have been announced on the Sailor Moon official site and this Sailor Stars set will include Eternal Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Chibi and the Sailor Starlights. This set will be released in late September. You can pre-order them from Premium Bandai.

Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer Petit Chara figures

Petit Chara figures are non poseable super deformed figures. This season of Sailor Moon was never released in North America, though many fans are likely still familiar with the story through fan subs and the manga. Eternal Sailor Moon is simply the powered up form of Sailor Moon for this season. Sailor Chibi Chibi is a mysterious girl of unknown origin, whos actual identity varies depending on what continuity we’re talking about. The Sailor Starlights are Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Maker and Sailor Star Healer, Sailor Guardians from another solar system who traveled to Earth in search of their princess.

Eternal Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Chibi Petit Chara figures

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