Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 2 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Contents

The latest Blu-Ray release for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity Arc was released on July 27th in Japan. This is the second of three releases covering this story arc and includes episodes 30 through 33. The set also includes a 24 page booklet with episode descriptions, interviews and character art. This is a Japanese only release with no English subtitles. You can order it from online retailers such as Amazon Japan for 6516 yen, about $65 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Front

The packaging for this release highlights Sailor Uranus and Neptune with a great cover image on the Blu-Ray itself. The colours on the box match Sailor Uranus’s Sailor Fuku with a yellow bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Disc

Episodes included in this release are Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Act 31 – Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, Act 32 – Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, and Act 33 – Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. These cover the Witches 5’s Viluy, Tellu, Cyprine and Ptitlol, the appearance of Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as well as the origins of the Holy Grail and Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon. Also included is the first appearance of Sailor Saturn, but only in flashback form, and a brief appearance by Mistress 9.

I watched all four episodes and didn’t notice any changes in animation from the original streaming release as had been done with the first 26 episodes. As there were no changes to the last release either I suspect we won’t be seeing any changes to the episodes of this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Special Booklet 2 - Pages 12 and 13 - Interview with Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

The packaging advertises a 28 page booklet. Funny I only counted 24. I suppose we could be really creative and count the cover page and back cover as “pages”? Like with other booklets this includes episode summaries, interviews and character art. This one includes interviews with five voice actors Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Yukiyo Fujii, Sailor Saturn and Ai Maeda, Sailor Pluto.

Some audio commentaries are also included with the episodes themselves. The same voice actors appear for all four of the commentaries. This includes Hisako Kanemoto, Ami, Rina Sato, Rei, Misato Fukuen, Chibiusa and Yukiyo Fujii, Hotaru. I don’t speak Japanese so I don’t know what they talk about.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Blu-Ray

It’s a bit hard to justify buying this Japanese only release at this price which is close to what you’d pay for the entire 14 episode Dark Kingdom story arc in Japanese and English. Surely the four episodes per disc is a better deal than with earlier releases but since there are no changes to the animation this time around you can still watch the streaming version for free instead of buying this.

The third volume, including the final five episodes of this story arc, will be released on Blu-Ray on August 31st. You can preorder it online from sites like Amazon Japan. It costs a bit more, with an MSRP of 10,584 yen, about $105 US dollars. This post on the Sailor Moon official site indicates that the version will include a box to store all three volumes in, which seems to justify this roughly 50% increase from the previous volumes.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 1 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Contents

The first of three volumes of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is now available on Blu-Ray. Volume 1 was released on June 29th in Japan. This is a Japanese language release so there is no English audio or English subtitles. You can import it from sites like Amazon Japan for 6909 yen, about $67 US. This release features four episodes, where the first 26 episodes of the series were only released on disks containing two episodes a piece. This time we get Act 27 parts 1 and 2 as well as Acts 28 and 29. The set comes in a smaller package than the earlier releases, which should fit more conveniently on your shelf. It also includes a 24 page special booklet with interviews and art.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The episodes included are Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part and Second Part, Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, and Act 29 – Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers. This covers the introduction to the Death Busters, the Sailor Guardians facing off against Eudial and Mimete, meeting Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru as well as Sailor Uranus and Neptune. With the first 26 episodes, plagued by sloppy inconsistent animation, a number of minor improvements and changes were done to the animation for the Blu-Ray release. None of this is present here. If you’ve seen the streaming version you’ve seen the version which is presented on this release. It seems they put a bit more time and money into the animation the first time so there was no need for updates.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - DVD

The episodes include an optional audio commentary. These four episodes all feature commentary by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Cover

As with earlier releases a 24 page special booklet is included. The contents are somewhat like what we’ve seen before. There are episode summaries, interviews and character designs. Osabu’s page is not present in this booklet. There are a total of five interviews included. These are with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisaka Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Rei and Makoto designs

All in all this set is a more worthwhile purchase than the previous sets were. The cost is about the same and there are twice as many episodes. Without any changes in animation though, there isn’t much to get from collecting these when the streaming version is subtitled and free, though not quite at Blu-Ray quailty. Further now that we know that English Blu-Ray sets are coming with entire story arcs costing close to what a single Japanese disc does, it seems a little pointless for an English speaking North American fan to buy these Japanese only releases. All said we haven’t seen the English release yet. It seems unlikely that it will be plagued with terrible video quality like all North American releases of the original series have been, but that’s still a possibility. We may find that this is the better quality set to have when all is said and done. The French DVD and Blu-Ray came out last week and seems to be of exceptional quality though, so it seems likely the English release will be the same.

The next set will be released on July 27th and can be pre-ordered from sites like Amazon Japan. It is similarly priced at 6909 yen. It will include four episodes, Acts 30 to 33, bringing us to Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon and the first flashback look at Sailor Saturn.

Keep reading for more photos of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 12 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Cover

The last volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray last month, on September 9th. I’ve dragged my feet on this review so much that the next disk, volume 13, is released today in Japan. Volume 12 can be purchased from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $43 US. The next and final volume can also be ordered from Amazon Japan for 5994 yen, about $50 US. As always this release contains only two episodes, in this case Act 23 and 24, in Japanese only and the cover art included is of Black Lady, Chibiusa’s older and eviler self.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Contents

The charm included with this release is Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, her transformation broach for this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Crystal Star Charm

Two episodes are included on this disk. Act 23 – Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, and Act 24 – Attack – Black Lady. The video quality as always is great. As with other DVD and Blu-Ray releases some minor changes to the animation have taken place since the streaming version. Nothing of significance is included with these particular episodes. Nothing changes any of the scenes in any major way. The biggest change with Act 24 is the colour and brightness for certain scenes. As always you can check out Crystal Comparisons for screenshots which show the changes for any particular episode, including Acts 23 and 24.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Special booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs

A 20 page full colour booklet is included once again. Unfortunately I am unable to identify the subjects of the first interview. The names are Nozomi Matsuura and Yukiko Kariya. This web site indicates that they work for Bandai, but no other details are given. The second interview is with the voice actors playing the Black Moon Clan. This includes Mamoru Miyano, the voice of Prince Demande, Hiroki Takahashi, the voice of Rubeus, Tsubasa Yonaga, the voice of Saphir, and Houko Kawashima, the voice of Esmeraude. Also included in the booklet are the usual episode summaries for Act 23 and 24, character designs for Black Lady, Prince Demande and Saphir, backgrounds and screenshots from the episodes and a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu.

These episodes include an audio commentary featuring cast and crew from the show. This includes Munehisa Sakai, director of the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Should you get this? Should you pay over $50 to buy and ship this set with only two episodes in a language you can’t speak when an English and Japanese version will eventually be released for much less and you can watch the series for free online in the mean time? That’s your call!

Keep reading for more images of this set’s packaging including images of all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 8 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Contents

The latest release of Sailor Moon Crystal on Blu-Ray was released on May 13th. Volume 8 collects acts 15 and 16. It’s packaging showcases Chibiusa. You can buy this volume on Amazon Japan and CD Japan. It only has Japanese audio with no English subtitles, though it will play in North American Blu-Ray players.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Sailor Mercury transformation item charm

The charm included this time is Sailor Mercury’s Star Power Stick. Her original transformation item was released with volume 2 when Sailor Mercury first appeared on the cover. It’s a safe bet that the next 3 releases will have Sailor Mars, Jupiter and Venus’s Star Power Sticks as charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Special Booklet - Page 2 and 3 - Act 15 summary

The 20 page special booklet included this time has the same breakdown as others, included episode summaries, screenshots, character art and a special page by Fumio Osano, Osabu. The interviews included in this release are with Yu Kaminoki, producer for the series and Misato Fukuen, the voice actress who plays Chibiusa. The character art included mostly focuses on Chibiusa but also has Koan and Berthier of the Ayakashi Sisters. There’s a heavy amount of focus on Chibiusa with her gun. Can any gun nuts identify exactly what model of gun this is and whether or not it can be equipped with an optional flower clip?

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Special Booklet - Page 14 & 15 - Character art

The episodes included are Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, in which Sailor Mars faces off again Koan, and Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, in which Sailor Mercury faces off again Berthier. Chibiusa showed up at the end of the last release so now we begin focusing on the battle with the Black Moon Clan. Both episodes on this disk have minor changes to their animation that’s been done for the Blu-Ray release. I didn’t note anything terribly significant as far as changes go. You can check out the differences in Act 15 and Act 16 on Crystal Comparisons, which details the changes between the streaming version and home video versions of the show.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa in her incorrect coloured uniform with Luna-P

Chibiusa in her incorrectly coloured uniform from the next episode preview for Act 17

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa with a white top

Chibiusa in her correctly coloured uniform in Act 17

More shocking here is the lack of change! The next episode preview for Act 17 shows Chibiusa with a short sleeved but dark blue uniform. As we’ve covered in our review of Act 17, this was an incorrect colour which was actually corrected for the episode proper. The animators change things like this up until the last minute and update all kinds of things for the Blu-Ray but no one is bothering to fix up the next episode previews so that they don’t include these errors! Shameful!

As always as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment much on the audio commentary. There are three people appearing on these commentaries. You can hear Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury and Munehisa Sakai, the series director for Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Packaging

As with other releases it’s hard to justify buying a fairly expensive release for just two episodes. I don’t imagine I’ll change anyone’s mind on buying these at this point. Either you’ve bought the other releases and will buy this too, or you won’t be buying any. With free viewing options available for Sailor Moon Crystal and an English version inevitably happening in the future, this isn’t something many English speaking fans will find much value in.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

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Listen to previews of every song from the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - Sea of Fire by Rei Hino

We previously announced that a Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD would be released on April 29th. Previews of all songs have been posted to the official Sailor Moon Instagram page. The first 9 tracks posted match the names given in the track listing earlier. The final song was previously posted to YouTube. The clips on Instagram are all 15 seconds, the maximum length for videos on the site, but with a sample of every track we get a good idea of what’s in store for next week.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - I'm Going Down by the Shitennou

All video clips are embedded below.

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Check out a preview of the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

A Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD will be released on April 29th. A preview of this CD has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon site. Just what is this? This is not music or songs from Sailor Moon Crystal but rather songs performed by the voice actors from the show. The old Sailor Moon Anime frequently had these and occasionally included them in the series. The site mentions that it has been nearly 20 years since the release of a Character Music Collection. This should be a surprise to fans of the 2003 Sailor Moon Live Action series which had many albums and singles of character songs by the main cast.

The full track listing in Japanese is on the Sailor Moon official site. There are 10 tracks in total. Songs will be performed by the voices of Sailor Moon by Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Mercury by Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mars by Rina Sato, Sailor Jupiter by Ami Koshimizu, Sailor Venus by Shizuka Ito, Tuxedo Mask by Kenji Nojima, Jadeite by Daisuke Kishio, Nephrite by Kosuke Toriumi, Zoisite by Masaya Matsukaze and Kunzite by Eiji Takemoto. All of the Sailor Guardians have their own solo tracks, as does Tuxedo Mask. The Shitennou all perform together on one track. Two duets are done, one with Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter and the other with Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus. The final track has all of the Sailor Guardians performing together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

You can preorder the CD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for 3240 yen, about $27 US.

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

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

The latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray on November 12th (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, JList, YesAsia) while the regular edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia) and DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia) will be released on December 10th. This release, like the first one, only included two episodes. This month we have Act 3, Rei – Sailor Mars, and Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party. To celebrate Sailor Mars’s appearance we have Sailor Mercury on the cover and a Sailor Mercury charm included. Each Deluxe Limited Edition set comes in a fancy box with a special book and a charm to add to the charm bracelet which was included with vol. 1. This charm is of Sailor Mercury’s transformation pen.

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

The disk itself is similar to the first one. Episodes are included in HD with great image quality. Some of the scenes which originally had some pretty bad animation have been touched up. The Blu-Ray is region A, which will play in a North American Blu-Ray player, however the audio is in Japanese and there are no English subtitles. An audio commentary is included, also in Japanese, so I don’t have any real details on what they talk about!

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

The box also comes with a special 24 page book. This includes a summary and images for act 3 and 4, interviews with Atsutoshi Umezawa, executive producer for Sailor Moon Crystal, and Hisako Kanemoto, the voice actress for Sailor Mercury, character art for Sailor Mercury and other characters, backgrounds and a special page by Osabu, Fumio Osano, editor of Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 2 - Book - Act 3 - Rei - Sailor Mars

The set is expensive for only including two episodes, but has a lot of cool extras. It may be of interest to collectors but if you’re just looking to watch the show, you may want to stick with the free and totally legal streaming version.

Keep reading for more images from this set including photos of all pages of the included book.

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Watch the next episode preview for Act.2 Ami – Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Crystal 02 - Sailor Mercury

The preview for the next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal was not included in the Crunchyroll and Hulu feeds of the show however it was included in the Niconico version. I had not seen it when I posted about the first episode, only speculating about what was coming next. You can watch that clip by viewing it on Niconico or watching the YouTube clip embedded below.

Act.2 Ami – Sailor Mercury, follows the naming convention for chapters of the manga as we’re introduced to Sailor Moon’s first companion, the Sailor Guardian Sailor Mercury as voiced by Hisako Kanemoto. From the looks of it this episode will once again be following the manga fairly closely. Episode 2 will air on Saturday July 19th at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 6am Eastern Standard Time or 3am Pacific Standard Time. Check out this link for details on how to watch the show.

Sailor Moon Crystal 02 - Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury

Want to keep watching the next episode previews? You’ll have to keep watching on Niconico which is only free for the first two weeks. Niconico’s premium service is fairly painless to sign up for through the web site with Pay Pal for 540 yen (about $5 US) per month. This is also the easiest way to view the show in Japanese without subtitles.

Sailor Moon Crystal 02 - Usagi as a nurse with Luna

Sailor Moon Crystal 02 - Queen Beryl

Sailor Moon Crystal voice actors and character artwork plus new musical information

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

The Sailor Moon live event featuring new information about the upcoming Sailor Moon musical and Sailor Moon anime is complete and with that we have a great deal of new information. For the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, we have some new character art for all five of the main cast as well as the full cast listing. Most notable is the return of Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon from the 1992 Sailor Moon anime, who will be reprising her role as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal. This was heavily insinuated at the original event announcing the new anime but now we have official confirmation.

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

New voice actresses will be joining the show for the voices of Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The new cast will include Hisako Kanemoto as Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato as Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu as Sailor Jupiter and Shizuka Ito as Sailor Venus. Click on their names to view their Wikipedia pages and see what roles they’ve done in the past.

The cast of Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère

In addition to the new information about the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal we also got details about the Sailor Moon musicals! Last September’s new musical, Sailor Moon La reconquista, will be released on DVD on July 9th 2014. Most of the cast, with the exception of Sailor Mercury, will be returning for this summer’s new musical which is titled Petite Étrangère, which is French for “Little Stranger” with the feminine usage of both words leading us to believe we’re talking about Chibiusa. The musical will play in Tokyo from August 21st to the 31st and in Osaka from September 5th to the 7th. The new Sailor Mercury will be played by Momo Koyama.

Here’s a look at all of the new voice actors from Sailor Moon Crystal:

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon Crystal

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