Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Witches 6

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 30th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, it was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth, has Chibiusa dead and the gang reluctantly fighting to save her.

First off we have a new opening theme. Once again it’s In Love With the New Moon but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z. They sang Moon Pride, the opening theme for the first two story arcs. This version is fine but I prefer the first version by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Not sure I have much else to say about that. Momoiro Clover Z seems like a perfectly mediocre J-Pop band.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa is dead

Chibiusa is dead. The day fans have been waiting for since the 90s is here! With her soul ripped out, Chibiusa’s body dies. The doctor announces quite clearly that she went through cardiac arrest and then passed away. All hope is not lost though, as Mamoru is able to keep her alive through some sort of healing touch. It’s as if he’s able to keep her blood pulsing with his heart which only makes sense considering he has magic healing powers. In the manga he mentions that her body is so small that supporting her is easy, but in Sailor Moon Crystal we get the impression that this is draining on him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Usagi and Chibiusa

Usagi is heartbroken by this, and really feels as if Chibiusa is dead. What option is there to save her? Well they just need to kill Hotaru! Actually they don’t have to kill anyone, they just need need to defeat Mistress 9. Not every enemy needs to be killed when they’re defeated! Oh right this is the manga version where Sailor Moon kills pretty much anyone. Original anime Sailor Moon seems to win over and heal more villains. Anyway the trolley problem is a bit different now. Instead of kill Hotaru vs. the world it’s Hotaru vs. Chibiusa vs. the world. And now the trolley has run over Chibiusa and is heading towards the world and pulling the lever will make it roll back in time, bringing Chibiusa back to life and then killing Hotaru. I’m not sure I want to attempt to illustrate that. So much to say despite hesitation everyone, including Mamoru, supports the idea of moving forward and trying to get Chibiusa’s soul back.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Hotaru stuck in some vines

The whole thorn thing seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. There are thorns around the building at Mugen Academy which makes it seem something like when the Makaiju grew all over the apartment building in Sailor Moon R. There are thorns and roses all around the lobby. What’s more Hotaru’s soul, which we see occasionally inside of Mistress 9, is held down by thorns. The manga doesn’t have this level of thorniness, and Hotaru is just seen sort of floating around in nothingness. This is a sort of physical visualization of the way she’s restricted inside of Mistress 9. All this really means is that Hotaru is still alive, so there’s still hope.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Eudial seduces Sailor Mars

The Witches 5 return and now there are 6. Everyone seems to be getting a dream of something they would like. Sailor Mars sees a version of Eudial which pretty much just want to make out with her. She pins her down holding her hand and seems to want to kiss her. Did I ever mention that Eudial is my favourite of the Witches 5 and that Sailor Mars is my favourite Sailor Guardian? I’m totally shipping these two. The rest of the gang are presented with predictable things. Sailor Mercury sees a powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer, which is cool but probably nothing compared to the supercomputer on the Moon which has the consciousness of Queen Serenity uploaded to it. Sailor Venus holds a microphone for a while but doesn’t actually sing, which is disappointing. Sailor Jupiter likes flowers. The recurring theme is making them all want to quit being Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa tries to kill Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon gets a whopper of a dream. Chibiusa tries to choke and kill her! This is fake, unlike the time Chibiusa tried to shoot her in the head! This really is a great episode for Chibiusa haters! Sailor Moon doesn’t buy it though.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Kaolinite is a monster

Turns out Kaolinite is actually a monster! This is not in the manga and new to Sailor Moon Crystal. She transforms into this weird kind of Daimon who the Sailor Guardians quickly dispose of. We see a couple of new attacks with Sailor Neptune’s Submarine Reflection, which is awesome, and Sailor Pluto’s Chronos Typhoon, which is completely disappointing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Silver Crystal of the future

To wrap up the episode Mistress 9 eats the Chibiusa’s Silver Crystal! How terrible! Does she even know that Chibiusa’s soul is in there? Good news for Hotaru though. She’ll have some company inside of Mistress 9.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme - Mamoru in a wet shirt

Next is the new ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. This ending theme contains wet shirt Mamoru which I find looks like something out Yaoi fan art. I guess some readers will appreciate this!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Next week is Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2. Mistress 9 has reunited Chibiusa and Hotaru inside her being. Isn’t that great! Even in death these two good friends can hang around together! We’ll also see naked Usagi in this episode if that’s something that interests you.

Keep reading for more images of this episode and the next episode preview for Act 35.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Sorry for the late review but I was in Italy last week. Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, aired on Japanese TV on Monday April 18th and is available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Actually Act 29 is out at this point too. This episode has the gang heading out to the woods and facing off against the first of the Witches 5. It’s really all about the final scene where Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon, but we’ll get to that.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Chibi Moon blushing

There’s a lot of Hotaru this week as we see that Chibiusa seems to have a bit of a crush on her. She’s not about to use magic and time travel to make out with her or anything like she did with her last crush though. They’re mostly good friends, but as we see this season the show is all about girls liking girls. We learn a bit about Hotaru’s relationship with Kaolonite and her father. There’s a bit a “you’re not my real mom” kind of scene going on. Professor Tomoe sounds sort of like a zombie. This isn’t an unfair assessment of his state but, given his portrayal in the manga has no voice and that he’s more crazy than zombie in the original anime, I feel like this portrayal is showing what’s to come a bit too much. Also I’m staring to wonder if Professor Tomoe lives in his lab coat. He’s a Professor, but he’s not always in the lab with beakers. The only Professor I know that wears a lab coat this much is Professor Oak from Pokémon. Who would you cast as the voice of Professor Tomoak in the Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover? Professor Tomoe is an Academic professor and he owns a school so he really should be wearing something else while performing some of those duties. We actually see a clock showing 1am while he’s at home and still in his lab coat. Take a second to unplug! While Sailor Moon has outfit changes galore for some of the girls, including pyjamas and judo outfits this week alone, the men don’t get so lucky.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Professor Tomoe

Though largely faithful to the manga as always, there are minor changes which bear mentioning. In the manga version of Act 29 Minako comments that they seem to be Sailor Guardians because they flew through the sky. Upon reading this I wondered did Sailor Guardians really fly? They generally did not in the original anime and though they are often seen in the sky in the manga since it’s not animated we don’t really think of them as floating. In Sailor Moon Crystal however they are often seen just chilling in the sky, pretty much flying, but for whatever reason the reference to flying was removed from this episode.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus and Neptune flying

Identities, as usual, are not well hidden in Sailor Moon Crystal. The similarity between the new Sailor Guardians and the mysterious Haruka and Michiru are immediately noted by Usagi. This bypasses an obvious problem with many superheroes comics, which is something that is seen in the original Sailor Moon anime, which is that these costumes should not by any reasonable logic be hiding these people’s identities. This just makes it a bit inconvenient as we need to ignore the fact that Usagi’s parents and friends don’t ever seem to see any really good photos of Sailor Moon that would allow them to tell what’s going on. All in all the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal actually do a decent job of this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Michiru and Mamoru

Mamoru and Michiru have a bit of a thing. They meet in a book store and have a nice chat after which Michiru gives Mamoru tickets to her concert. Usagi sees all this and is totally jealous. More on this next episode, which you probably already saw.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Rei

Rei is chilling in the mountains to purify herself for her 15th birthday. That’s right! Rei’s birthday is April 17th. Coincidentally this episode aired on April 18th, incredibly close to her birthday. I say coincidentally because this date was not chosen to fit with the release date. The Sailor Guardians’ birthdays were determined back in the 90s and they have astrological significance. It’s very doubtful that the Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 schedule was intentionally delayed to make this birthday, which is mentioned in the manga, fit closely enough.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Haruka and Makoto doing Judo

As the gang head out to the mountains some may find similarities between this episode and Sailor Moon S episode 105, I Want Power: Mako Lost in Doubt, in which Makoto goes to the mountains to train. Here Rei goes to the mountain but Makoto also has a prominent part. Mugen Acamedy, not content to fill in Tokyo Bay and build stuff there, also seems to own property here including a gym where we find Haruka practicing Judo. I did Judo for a short time when I was really young and I got my yellow belt. I didn’t do any terribly elaborate moves so I’m wondering how these two still have their white belts! When Haruka beats up Makoto it’s mentioned that it’s wrong for a man to use all his strength against a woman, and Haruka states that there should be no difference and Makoto agrees. There’s a good point to be made in here somewhere but one needs to tread carefully in supporting it rather than encouraging men to physically assault women. These girls are fighting for a good reason of course and they can’t expect their opponents to pull any punches, regardless of what their gender might be.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Eudial

This week’s enemy is Eudial of the Witches 5, who is posing as a Mugen Academy official and brainwashing students into serving Pharaon 90. She mentions that she’s level 78 and hoping to raise her level by beating the girls. Sounds like a fun RPG. How exactly does this levelling system work? Why didn’t we start with Mimete who has a lower level? There’s a nice little fight and then when it’s done the new Sailor Guardians show up. Sailor Moon chases them and …

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon! This is a big thing in the manga which actually doesn’t happen until Act 29. I foolishly made my blog post about Act 29 ahead of time, as I was traveling last week, mentioning this event as being the big deal in Act 29 but it already happened. We can get into conversations about consent here. Sailor Uranus surprises Sailor Moon who doesn’t actively avoid the kiss, but still doesn’t seem to expect or endorse it. Her not minding it isn’t really relevant since Sailor Uranus doesn’t ask. There’s blushing that will occur but we don’t see that until Act 29. All that said, the importance of having the show’s hero involved in a lesbian kiss generally overshadows other concerns so I’ll try not to get too bogged down in that. Let’s not forget that the first time Tuxedo Mask kissed Sailor Moon she was unconscious and unable to consent. I could write all day about this kiss, which we never saw in the original Sailor Moon anime, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 Preview - Haruka kissing Usagi

The consequences of the kiss will be seen next week with Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, which has actually already aired and I already watched it so I’ll be working on that review next.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 Preview - Minako loves Mimete

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.

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Sailor Moon Crystal’s voice actors for Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and more revealed at this morning’s live event

Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus and Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Moon

There was a live streaming event this morning in Japan, related to the upcoming Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. Art was shown, but since we’d seen that earlier this week this was not a big revelation. We did not get any details about a schedule for the series but we did get cast information for the upcoming season. Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune, joined the event. The actress voicing Sailor Saturn, Fujii Yukiyo, showed up momentarily via a separate video.

Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

In addition to this the actors playing the Death Busters, including the Witches 5, were announced. A full cast list, with IMDB links, is included below.

Sailor Uranus – Junko Minagawa
Sailor Neptune – Sayaka Ohara
Sailor Saturn – Yukiyo Fujii

Professor Tomoe – Takuya Kirimoto
Kaolinite – Hikari Yono
Pharaon 90 – Takaya Hashi

Eudial – Chiaki Takahashi
Mimete – Yuki Nagaku
Viluy – Rina Honizumi
Tellu – Naomi Ohzora
Cyprine – Umeka Shouji

I don’t watch much newer anime but a lot of these voice actors have a great deal of experience from recent years. MoonSisters.org posted a nice summary of all of their works on their Facebook Page. Most noteable is Takaya Hashi, who will be voicing Pharaon 90, who played a few small characters in the original Sailor Moon anime. He played Astronomer Dr. Sergai Ajimov in episode 120 of Sailor Moon S and the ventriloquist in the Sailor Moon SuperS Special.

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Ptilol and Cyprine

Another odd thing was the inclusion of Cyprene but not Ptilol. In the recent musical Un Nouveau Voyage only Cyprene appeared, though Cyprene and Ptilol, twins, appeared together in the manga and original Sailor Moon anime. Assuming Sailor Moon Crystal will continue to be faithful to the manga it seems only logical that Ptilol will also be making an appearance. If this is the case she will likely also be voiced by Umeka Shouji.

The Exhibition of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Also announced at the event this morning was “The Exhibition of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” in Tokyo from April 16th to June 19th. This exhibit will have stuff from the Sailor Moon comics and anime as well as merchandise for sale.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity arc character art

An image of the Infinity arc’s art was revealed, but as this was the same we’d seen earlier this week this wasn’t really anything new. We continue to wait for some confirmation of a timeline for the new episodes. At this point we can only speculate as to when it will be released.

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

Thanks to Twitter user @aers00 for streaming the event. I was unable to view the feed on Niconico and so I was happy to have an option to watch it while showering and getting ready this morning. I hope others who were looking to do the same found the feed as well.

Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus

Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune

Voice actors playing the Death Busters

Sailor Moon Crystal’s English dub is coming to Hulu in November and Blu-Ray in 2016 plus the English voices for the Witches 5 have been announced

Sailor Moon Crystal English dub coming in November

This past weekend Viz Media held their Sailor Moon Panel at New York Comic Con. We got a lot of news about Sailor Moon Crystal. First and most importantly, the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be coming to Hulu and Viz.com next month, some time in November. We previously learned that the dub cast would be the same cast which was used for Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal English Blu-Ray 2016

We have also learned, via a flyer of their upcoming releases, that Sailor Moon Crystal would be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2016. The first release is “Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1: The Dark Kingdom Arc” and will include Sailor Moon Crystal Acts 1 to 13. This Blu-Ray set will no doubt include the original Japanese and English dubbed versions of Sailor Moon Crystal, including optional subtitles. We’ve previously learned that Viz’s version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be the updated version used for the Japanese Blu-Ray releases, which had minor changes to the animation from the original streaming version.

Viz English dub of Sailor Moon voice cast for the Witches 5

In casting news we have also learned the voice actors who will be playing the Witches 5, who are 6 of the new villains from the upcoming dub of Sailor Moon S. Now that the Infinity story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal has been announced in Japan, it stands to reason that this same cast will be around to voice these characters once those episodes are dubbed into English. The new cast includes some returning actors who have done other voices in the series. Erin Fitzgerald will voice Eudial. Kira Buckland will voice Mimete. Laura Post, who previously voiced a kindergarden teacher in Sailor Moon R episode 52 and the monster Amaderasu in episode 53, will voice Tellu. Cricket Brown, who previously voiced Usagi’s teacher Haruna, will play Viluy. Johanna Luis, who previously voiced An the Alien also known as Natsumi in Sailor Moon R, will play both Cyprine and Ptilol who somehow count as one of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon S episode 112 - Mimete and Cyprine of the Witches 5

Source: @TheMatthewPaul on Twitter, @sailor_moon_na on Twitter.

First images of Professor Tomoe, Kaolinite and the Witches 5 from the Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical have been revealed

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - The Witches 5

A pamphlet for the upcoming Sailor Moon Musical Un Nouveau Voyage or A New Journey has been posted to the official Sailor Moon site. This update includes images of the previously unseen Professor Tomoe and Kaolinite. We also found a picture of 5 of the Witches 5, Mimete, Eudial, Viluy, Tellu and Cyprine. There are actually 6 members in the Witches 5. Did we leave one out on the assumption that Japanese children can count? Ptilol is has not been revealed at this time though since she’s just a mirror image of Cyprene with red instead of blue hair and clothes I’ve put together this approximation of what she might look like. This is absolutely not a real image of Ptilol, just a silly image edit I made.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Fake image of Ptilol of the Witches 5

The newly revealed cast members are the following:

Yuki Kaon as Professor Tomoe
Kei Ohgi as Kaolinite
Ayaka Ida as Mimete
Saya Chinen as Eudial
Yui Hasegawa as Viluy
Momoko Sadachi as Tellu
Maana as Cyprine

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Pamphlet

Since this musical continues to use an all female cast Professor Tomoe is portrayed by a woman.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Pamphlet

Image source: Vietnamese Sailor Moon Fan Club

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Professor Tomoe

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Kaolinite

Sailor Moon S episodes 102 and 103 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon S episode 103 - Sailor Chibi Moon and her Pink Moon Stick

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon S are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. With this week’s addition of episodes 102 and 103 we wrap up one story and start a new chapter. This is the sort of end of Kaolinite but then we see the return of Chibiusa, who we haven’t seen at all this season!

Sailor Moon S episode 102 - Minako as Sailor Moon

Episode 102, The Stolen Pure Heart: Usagi’s Crisis, is the continuation of the cliffhanger we were left with last week. Usagi can’t transform into Sailor Moon because Kaolinite has taken her broach. She asks for a ride from Haruka and Michiru, who are now convinced, along with Kaolinite, that Usagi is Sailor Moon. How does one get out of such a pinch? Dress up Minako as Sailor Moon! Minako does a decent job with the disguise as she manages to convince everyone that Usagi is nothing more than a fan, which gets Kaolinite to give up the broach as if it was worthless. A fight ensues in which Kaolinite takes the full brunt of Sailor Planet attack and then has her own attack reflected at her with Sailor Uranus’s World Shaking because apparently that’s how it works. She is frozen and then falls in the rubble of Tokyo Tower. She is assumed dead! This episode features the second time we hear “Ai No Senshi”, a song which we first heard during Sailor Moon R when the Sailor Guardians faced off against the Ayakashi Sisters.

Sailor Moon S episode 102 - Kaolinite dies

Sailor Moon S episode 103 - Spy8ing on Rei

Episode 103, The Arrival of a Small Pretty Guardian, is the beginning of a whole new part of Sailor Moon S, but the beginning of the episode doesn’t hint at it that much. The target is a drummer friend of Rei’s and the rest of the girls assume that this is actually a date. This causes a humorous confrontation in a restaurant where they are trying to spy on Rei and her friend, which ends in a mess, as expected. At a fair Usagi sees something in the reflection in the water which looks like Luna P, but it can’t be! Luna P doesn’t get seen much after this. I believe we don’t see her again until the Sailor Moon S finale and then never again. During the fight a familiar voice is heard. It’s Chibiusa transformed into Sailor Chibi Moon wielding the Pink Moon Stick, which she is not very adept with. Sailor Chibi Moon is not useful for pretty much the entire season so her appearance in fights is a bit of a joke. With that Chibiusa has returned! This episode also features the introduction of Eudial of the Witches 5. There are 5 of them but Eudial is the one that hangs around for the longest.

Sailor Moon S episode 103 - Luna P

To date the story has focused on Usagi and the rest of the Sailor Guardians but the series is about to get really focused on Chibiusa once again. Many fans dislike the way Chibiusa takes the focus away from other characters, but in reality she’s in the anime a whole lot less than she is in the manga. When Chibiusa leaves at the end of the Black Moon story arc in the manga she returns immediately and remains until the end. In the anime she’s gone for some time, returning only in this episode and staying only until the beginning of SailorStars. The anime gains and discards characters throughout the series, keeping nothing but the core 5 girls while in the manga when a new Sailor Guardians comes on board they mostly stay for good.

Sailor Moon S episode 103 - Usagi and Chibiusa

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