Yuko Mizutani, the voice of Ikuko Tsukino in Sailor Moon Crystal, dies at age 51

Yuko Mizutani

It is with great sadness that I report that Yuko Mizutani has died as a result of breast cancer. She passed away on Tuesday, May 17th, at the age of 51. Yuko Mizutani has been a voice actress for many years but Sailor Moon fans would know her best as the voice of Sailor Moon’s mother Ikuko Tsukino in Sailor Moon Crystal. She has provided voices for characters in many other popular anime series such as Tekkaman Blade, Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (Samurai Pizza Cats), Martian Successor Nadesico, Saber Marionette J and Digimon. She will be remembered fondly by fans in Japan and throughout the world for years to come.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Ikuko Mama and Luna

Sailor Moon Crystal is still ongoing and Ikuko Tsukino will continue to appear later in the series. It remains to be seen who will continue in this role in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Ikuko Mama

Sailor Moon SuperS episodes 130 and 131 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Ikuko Mama's clone

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon SuperS are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get episodes 130 and 131 and everyone in Usagi’s entourage are targeted by the PUAs that are the Amazon Trio. First it’s her mother and then it’s her best friend, but will either stray from their committed relationships? Once you’ve watched these episodes you’ll want to watch the Sailor Moon SuperS Special as well. You can read more about that later in this post.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi going to school

Episode 130, Protect Mom’s Dream: Double Moon’s New Attack, is all about Usagi’s mother Ikuko Tsukino who is generally referred to as Ikuko Mama. In over three seasons we’ve somehow never had an episode focus on either of the Tsukino parents, so this one is a nice change. Usagi gets really mad that she didn’t get to eat a piece of her mother’s pie, which is a classic Usagi reason to get upset, and she storms off. This leads to a nice moment between Ikuko Mama and Chibiusa. What a lovely yet tragic relationship these two share. Chibiusa is stranded in the past and while Usagi does offer some sort of a parental figure to her, what with her being her actual mother, their relationship is much closer to that of sisters. Ikuko Mama believes herself to be Chibiusa’s aunt though as she lives with the Tsukinos she is more of a parent to her. Too bad all of her memories of Chibiusa are destined to disappear whenever she returns to the future. Will she still be alive when Usagi ascends to be Queen of Crystal Tokyo and Chibiusa is born? Will she ever be able to reclaim her lost memories? It’s hard not be a bit sad whenever I see these two interact. Ikuko Mama shows Chibiusa a series of photos of Usagi when she was growing up. This reminds me of the intro to the Sailor Moon SuperS movie where we see clips of all of the Sailor Guardians growing up. More importantly we see a calendar in the background of this scene which states 1995. The timeline for Sailor Moon makes no sense, as the episodes all seem to take place during the actual seasons and years they aired in over a five year period, though Usagi ages only two years over that time. Here Usagi, 14 years old throughout the first season, is 15 years old as determined by her birthday last season and her age being stated in episode 132 which is only two episodes and a short special away. A calendar in the first season showed 1992 while one in this episode shows 1995. Something doesn’t add up!

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - 1995

Ikuko Mama is targeted by Hawk’s Eye, because she is older than the teenaged girls Tiger’s Eye goes after. This doesn’t seem to work very well, as she is quite happily married to Kenji Papa! Hawk’s Eye creates an elaborate lie about his own mother who looks just like her making pies. He really lays it on thick! When the fighting ensues Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon and finally powered up permanently to Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon with the weapons we’ve sort of already seen a couple of times. Not sure why this needed to be dragged out this much.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - The Tsukino family

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 131 - Tiger's Eye hits on Naru

Episode 131, Catch Pegasus: The Amazon’s Trap, is a great humour filled episode. Last episode Hawk’s Eye tried to seduce a married woman and this week Tiger’s Eye has about as much trouble trying to seduce Naru despite her relationship with Umino. This relationship is rock solid, not likely to be broken up by a slick peacocking PUA or some message from the future as we’ve seen with others in the series. Hawk’s Eye is hilariously shattered at the idea that a young lady could pass on his advances but be interested in such a seemingly low class guy as Umino, but he will not be deterred. He comes up with a great tactic, to fake a terminal illness! It somewhat works, as Naru decides it is the right thing to do to be at his side. Umino is broken up by this, going into a depression and drinking a ton of McDonald’s milkshakes which are MoG shakes but the similarity is no coincidence. All of this doesn’t work though. Naru’s love for Umino is too strong! They truly are the strongest couple in the series!

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 131 - Umino drowns his sorrows in milkshakes

Next, you should really watch the Sailor Moon SuperS Special which originally aired on April 8th 1995, two weeks after episode 131, which aired March 25th, and a week before episode 132, which aired April 15th. Although this episode aired on TV and fits chronologically within the Sailor Moon SuperS season it has never been released in English to date and is unlikely to appear on Hulu next week. If you look around the Internet you should be able to find a copy of this special.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - A Lemures dummy

The special is broken into three parts which are each a sort of mini episode. The total length is about that of two episodes, so each episode is somewhat shorter than usual. The first part is a series of flashback clips which is generally uninteresting. The other two parts are much more better.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Haruka and Michiru during SuperS

In the second part, The Return of Haruka and Michiru! The Ghostly Puppet Show, We get a look at what Haruka and Michiru are up to this season as they fight an evil ventriloquist’s dummy. The dummy being the evil one. Haruka is sick throughout. A fight naturally ensues at which point we learn that Michiru would gladly sacrifice many lives just to save Haruka, which is funny but completely contradicting all of Sailor Moon S. As an indicator that we won’t be seeing them later in the season, the two agree that the core group of Sailor Guardians can handle the new threat. At this point in the manga Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn would not have joined the story of the dream arc yet, but in the anime they never do.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Lilica Hubert

Next is the third part, Chibiusa’s Adventure! The Dreaded Vampire Castle, which is an adaptation of the first Chibiusa’s picture diary manga side story. It focuses on a young girl named Lilica who joins Chibiusa’s class. She seems like a nice enough girl until some of the boys in her class start disappearing. It turns out Lilica is actually a vampire, so it’s a good thing the girls had a garlic filled lunch allowing them to use Sailor Special Garlic Attack which is naturally never used in any other episode.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Sailor Special Garlic Attack

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Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi playing in a sandbox

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi the rabbit in a play

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23, Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady kissing her father Tuxedo Mask

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 23, Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we are finally introduced to Black Lady, who is Chibiusa aged and made somewhat evil by Wise Man. Black Lady is all about being evil and making out with her younger father from the past, Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Sailor Pluto warns the Sailor Guardians about getting lost in time

The episode starts out with Sailor Pluto warning the Sailor Guardians about not wandering around in the limbo and getting lost in the storm in the Space Time Corridor. Sailor Moon wants to go anyway, and Sailor Pluto caves. Then they find Luna-p and nothing really changed about the severity of the situation, but Sailor Pluto tells them they can’t go on and since Sailor Moon passes out, they give up.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Castle of Darkness

We get a better look at Nemesis this week. Previously I postulated about the state of the surface of Nemesis, which is never very clearly described. Here we see that there are a large number of volcanic eruptions on the surface, so it does at least have a solid rock like surface. Most of the time there seems to be spent somewhere underground. Traveling deep into its core there is a kind of alternate dimension. Black Lady talks about this Castle of Darkness at the bottom, but it’s really just a slab of rock. Supposedly someone would build a castle here but there’s really nothing going on. Nemesis is kind of lame, all things considered. No wonder they want to conquer Earth!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady

This episode marks the first real introduction of Black Lady. Seems like this was a long time coming. Chibiusa is taken away by Wise Man during Act 21. We see Black Lady a number of times throughout Act 22 be we never get a clear look at her. Finally seeing her it doesn’t feel like a huge surprise, especially since she’s been shown in the anime and manga for some 20 years. As always her appearance here matches that of the manga more than the original anime were she had very little exposition. Physically she seems about the same, though I can’t help but notice she has disproportionately large breasts. Compared to the rest of the Sailor Guardians the proportions seems a bit off. This establishes a contrast between Black Lady and child Chibiusa, though it seems innapropriate to sexualize such a character.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady kissing her father Tuxedo Mask

Black Lady’s first order of business is to capture and brainwash Tuxedo Mask in order to seduce him. Naturally this a bit odd as she is his daughter. While a lot of her bad behaviour is motivated by Wise Man’s corruption, there’s no indication that this is. This incestuous relationship will not help Wise Man achieve his goals. Chibiusa is a young girl who is infatuated with her father. This in itself is not that odd for a child. She gets thrown into an adult’s body and she deals with her conflicting feelings as it makes sense to her, by trying to hook up with her father. Let’s remember of course that Chibiusa is over 900 years old while Mamoru is about 19 years old at this point. It may seem creepy for such a young girl to be with such an old guy, but she’s much older than the teenagers he’s usually hanging around with, she just lacks the maturity which comes with a regular transition through adolescence and adulthood. This relationship is a result of a young girl’s emotions expressing themselves through the actions of someone who seems to be in adult, but in many ways is not.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady and a half dressed Mamoru

We first see Chibiusa kissing Tuxedo Mask while he is in his full Tuxedo. In the scene immediately afterwards Mamoru is seen only wearing his white shirt. These are the shirts usually reserved for the girls that sleep over at his place. Are we to believe something happened between this original kiss and the time where Mamoru is somewhat dressed down?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Usagi's brainwashed mother

The gang travels back to the present day. Why do we keep doing this? Naturally this stay does not last very long but while there we learn that they used Luna-P to erase Usagi’s mother’s memories. This seems a bit drastic. I realize Chibiusa put some of those memories there but she’s been gone for what, a day? Maybe a few hours? Oh well the time storm thingy was too much let’s forget about ever getting Mamoru and Chibiusa back. Should we also go around brainwashing Motoki, Asanuma and anyone else Mamoru knows to avoid any hard questions about his disappearance? We didn’t do so last arc when he died or in this arc when the other girls were kidnapped for much longer times! Usagi mentions that she’s happy to be home but then is sad because her boyfriend and future daughter are lost to time. She feels guilty for being upset about this and everyone finds her impossible to please. In the grand scheme of problems this seems like a pretty huge one and regardless of the relative comfort of sleeping in one’s own bed this kind of problem seems like a legitimate reason to be a bit bummed. All considered, Usagi takes it quite well!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Chibiusa walks through her father
Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - King Endymion petting Diana

Back in the future King Endymion has a chat with Diana the kitten. He then pets her. Wait a minute! How is this possible? We don’t know much about King Endymion’s ghost like maybe a hologram maybe a sort of astral projection type representation but we do know that he does not have an actual physical form. Chibiusa walks right through him in Act 20 but now that a kitten needs petting he’s able to muster some sort of ability to be solid which he was not able to do to hug his own daughter who’s been traveling through time to save him and his family. No wonder this girl has daddy issues.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady and King Endymion

Finally Black Lady confronts her actual father in the Crystal Palace. She seems to want to make out with him too but since she’s not a kitten that doesn’t seem possible. She gets kicked out of the Crystal Palace by Neo Queen Serenity. I know she’s being kind of evil here and kicking her out makes some sense but still this is being done by her own mother. It was probably the making out with Tuxedo Mask part that set her off.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 24 - Black Lady

Next time, on June 20th is Act 24, Attack – Black Lady. The battle continues as everyone sees more of Black Lady and she introduces everyone to her new boyfriend, Endymion, which naturally turns some heads. We’ll get to see Endymion wielding the Cutie Moon Rod.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 24 - Attack - Black Lady

With Act 24 coming in a couple of weeks there has still not been any confirmation of any episodes past Act 26. The first episode of the third story arc, should such a thing be announced, should be playing the first Saturday of August but for now we have had no official confirmation that this will happen. As always if we learn any news about the new series and new episodes we’ll post it to the site right away.

Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 23 and the next episode preview for Act 24.

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Schedule of Sailor Moon related events at Unplugged Expo in Toronto September 27th and 28th

Unplugged Expo III

Unplugged Expo III is just a week away, September 27th and 28th, in Toronto. Sailor Moon fans will be able to meet Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune and Serena’s Mom, Sabrina Grdevich, the voice of Anne and Sailor Pluto, Roland Parliament, the voice of Melvin and author of the upcoming Sailor Moon Reflections, Ron Rubin, the original voice of Artemis, and Johnny Yong Bosch, the new voice of Artemis. The Unplugged Expo schedule has been posted to their web site. Here’s a run down of what’s going on.

Saturday at noon they’ll be starting off with the Sailor Moon Celebration voice actor panel featuring Barbara Radecki, Sabrina Grdevich, Ron Rubin, Roland Parliament and hosted by Emily from Moon Chase.

Saturday afternoon at 4pm Emily from the Moon Chase Sailor Moon News blog will also be running her Sailor Moon Merchandise panel in which she talks about all kinds of licensed Sailor Moon items from Japan and here in North America.

Saturday evening at 6pm and 8pm and Sunday morning at 11am Roland Parliament, the voice of Melvin and voice director for the first 65 episodes of the dub, will be reading excerpts from his new book Sailor Moon Reflections, The inside story of the original recordings of the English version of Sailor Moon. He will have a limited number of copies of the book for sale at the convention.

Sailor Moon episode 37 - Artemis is Luna's contact

Sunday afternoon at 3pm will be the Sailor Moon Now and Then panel featuring both voices of Artemis, Ron Rubin and Johnny Yong Bosch. This panel will discuss how much has changed throughout the series and discuss Sailor Moon Crystal. Emily from Moon Chase will also be hosting this panel.

For autographs and photo ops the Sailor Moon cast, Barbara Radecki, Sabrina Grdevich, Ron Rubin and Roland Parliament, will be available Saturday at 1pm. Johnny Yong Bosch will be available Saturday at 2pm and again Sunday at 1pm. Johnny Yong Bosch and Ron Rubin will be having a joint autograph and photo session Sunday at 4pm.

These are all the Sailor Moon events officially listed but there will be a lot more going on at the con including a lot of Sailor Moon cosplayers! Toronto Sailor Moon fans should be sure not to miss this one!

This week is your last change to pre-register for Unplugged Expo 3

Unplugged Expo 3

Pre-registration for Unplugged Expo 3 is in it’s final week, ending September 8th. Until then you can save $10 off of the door price of $35. The weekend of September 27th and 28th in Toronto you’ll be able to meet Sabrina Grdevich, the voice of Anne and Sailor Pluto, Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune and Serena’s Mom, and Johnny Yong Bosch, the voice of Artemis from Viz’s new dub.

More clips of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub including Usagi, Ikuko Mama, Jadeite and Beryl

Sailor Moon opening - Queen Beryl in the Dark Kingdom

Two new clips of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub have been leaked. These feature the beginning of episodes 1 and 2. You can hear the voices of Usagi, Ikuko Mama, Jadeite and Queen Beryl. These were recorded at Anime Expo on July 5th. Viz premiered the first two episodes of their new dub at a panel where they unveiled the new cast. Recording was not allowed at the panel which is why the video is not visible. Because these only included audio I’ve embedded the YouTube clips to only include the progress bar.

The first clip is the beginning of episode 1, The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation. You can hear Usagi’s opening monologue followed by the scene where she wakes up late for school and talks to her mother. Usagi is voiced by Stephanie Sheh and Ikuko Mama is voice by Tara Platt.

In this second clip we hear the first bit of episode 2, Punishment Awaits: The House Of Fortune Is The Monster Mansion. It starts out with side characters talking about the fortune house but then contains a brief exchange between Jadeite and Queen Beryl. Jadeite is voiced by Todd Haberkorn and Queen Beryl is voiced by Cindy Robinson.

Thanks to Dakota from our comments for finding these clips.

Source: Baillie Puckett‘s YouTube channel.

Watch more leaked Sailor Moon Crystal footage including the ending theme

Sailor Moon Crystal episode 1 - Ami Mizuno

This will likely be the last leaked clip we’ll be posting about since the premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal is just around the corner. In this new leaked footage we see a flashback of Serenity and Endymion in Silver Millennium, Usagi being late for school and talking with Ikuko Mama, Sailor Moon talking with Luna, a brief look at Ami and the ending theme, Gekkou, by Momoiro Clover Z. Watch the clip, which may be removed shortly, below.

Keep reading to see some screenshots of the clips.

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Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune, to appear at Unplugged Expo in Toronto September 27th and 28th

Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune, at Unplugged Expo

Barbara Radecki, who voiced Sailor Neptune in the Cloverway dub of Sailor Moon S, will be making an appearance at Unplugged Expo 3 this September 27th and 28th at the Chestnut Conference Centre in downtown Toronto. Barbara Radecki also provided the voice of Serena’s mother in both the DiC dubbed first two seasons and the Cloverway dubbed S and SuperS seasons and one of the Doom and Gloom Girls in the episode Day of Destiny.

Ikuko Mama - Serena's Mom

Last year’s Unplugged Expo had a huge gathering of Sailor Moon voice actors to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show. I had a fantastic time at Unplugged Expo 2. For more on that check out the first and second panels that were recorded at that convention.

Sailor Neptune

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