A Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album is coming April 4th

Sailor Moon The 25th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album

A second Sailor Moon Tribute Album, this time called Sailor Moon The 25th Anniversary Memorial Tribute, is coming on April 4th 2018. This one is to commemorate the 25th Anniversary while the previous tribute album, released in January of 2014, celebrated the 20th anniversary. The album will sell for 3000 yen, about $28 US, and is already available to pre-order from sites such as Amazon Japan. Like the last tribute album this will be a collection of songs performed by Japanese artists and bands. These will likely all be covers of songs from the Sailor Moon series. Since the 20th Anniversary Tribute Album was released before Sailor Moon Crystal began airing it only included covers of songs from the original Sailor Moon anime series. La Soldier, a song from the musicals, was also included though it also appeared in the original anime. It seems possible that we will be seeing songs from Sailor Moon Crystal and the musicals with this release but without a specific track listing we don’t have a ton of details. Since so many iconic songs were included with the last tribute album it seems reasonable to expect that an effort may be made to avoid duplicating too many of those tracks or at least to revisit songs which were not included on the last tribute album, but again this is simple speculation.

Amongst the talent included in this work are a number of Japanese artists and bands some of which were previously involved with Sailor Moon and many who were not. I’ll go through a run down of who’s been announced and where you can find more about them.

Yoko Ishida

First is Yoko Ishida who has been affiliated with Sailor Moon since back in the days of Sailor Moon R. She provided the vocals for Otome no Policy, Maiden’s Policy, the ending theme for Sailor Moon R. More recently she provided the vocals for a number of songs at the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert and can be heard on many tracks on the CD recording of this event.

Sonoko Inoue

Next is Sonoko Inoue, a singer and actress. You can learn more about her from her web site, Twitter profile and Instagram page.

Gesshoku Kaigi

Gesshoku Kaigi is a band composed of members who seem to like to dress is steampunk and other peculiar costumes. They’ve performed songs for games and anime series. Check out their web site and Twitter profile for more.

Silent Siren

Silent Siren is an all girl band who have an album titled “Girls Power”, which seems fitting for Sailor Moon! The group was formed by amateur models. For more on these girls check out their web site, Twitter profile and Instagram page.

Ziyoou-vachi

Ziyoou-vachi is a four piece rock band. They have a interesting fashion sense to say the least. Check out their web site or Twitter profile for more.

BiSH

BiSH, known as Brand-new idol SHiT, is well… an idol group that is relatively new, formed in 2015. Learn more about them from their web site or Twitter profile.

Etsuko Yakushimaru

Etsuko Yakushimaru, is the other artist who is not new to the world of Sailor Moon. She previously sang the vocals for the first version of the Sailor Moon Crystal Season III opening theme New Moon Ni Koishite or In Love With The New Moon. She has also performed theme songs for many other anime series. You can learn more about her from her web site.

LiSA

LiSA, short for Love Is Same All, is a singer who has performed songs for a number of anime series. For more on her check out her web site, Twitter profile and Instagram page.

That’s all the information we have for now. As April 4th approaches I expect we will be getting more information about the track listing and what artists are performing what songs. Are you a fan of any of these artists and bands? Who are you most excited to hear on this album?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD was released in Japan on December 6th. This sells for 3500 yen which is about $31 US. Media in Japan is usually more expensive than in North America so this price is actually pretty reasonable. This CD includes the entire performance of the Sailor Moon Classic Concert which was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan this past August. Now that I’ve given the CD a few listens I felt like sharing some thoughts on it. You can pick up the CD from Japanese retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Back

All around the album is great. It’s a real mixed back of very classical sounding renditions while others have a more modern feel. It’s not simply the case that all songs are performed in the same style as we’ve seen with the Sailor Moon SuperS Orgel Fantasia album which makes everything sound like it’s played by a music box. The selection of music is also quite varied. While it is mostly renditions of popular opening and ending themes from the original Sailor Moon anime there is also a bit of background music as well as music from musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal. Sadly nothing from the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series has made the cut!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet 1 - Makoto Yoshida and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

The CD comes with your standard sort of insert booklet that’s only a handful of pages. It includes a full track listing and information on the many people who worked on the music and this concert in particular.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Track listing

I’ll give a few thoughts on each of the tracks. This won’t be anything thorough! I’m not really a music buff and I know even less about actual concert music. I took the trumpet in school for 3 years pretty much because it was part of the curriculum and after the end of the 3rd when some of my classmates who had started that same year had surpassed me in skill it was evident that it wasn’t happening for me so I concentrated on drawing and messing around with computers. One of those paid off. The set comes in two discs with a total of 21 tracks.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 1

Disc 1 track 1 is background music from the introduction to episodes.

Track 2 is Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend), the iconic Sailor Moon opening theme! This has been done in a variety of styles over the years and here is yet another! A fairly faithful adaptation.

Track 3 is Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), a song which was featured in Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S and that has been redone a few times. This is one of my favourite songs from Sailor Moon and it’s very well done on this CD. It has an epic quality that fits it quite well.

Track 4 is Heart Moving, the first ending theme for the first season. This is a decent instrumental version of the song but not the greatest. While I don’t have any strong feeling about this song as an ending theme there are a number of instrumental versions which feature in important and emotional scenes in the first season including when Sailor Moon is discouraged after the death of her friends and finds the motivation to continue fighting. This version doesn’t evoke the same emotional reaction in me than that particular version does.

Track 5 is Princess Moon, the second ending theme for the first season. This track reminds me of something out of ballet which I think suits it. It starts to show the range that this concert can offer.

Track 6 is Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) which is the first ending theme for Sailor Moon SuperS. Why do we jump ahead so far instead of staying somewhat chronological? No clue. This is similar to the TV version and is a good track.

Track 7 is Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) which is the Sailor Moon R ending theme. This is a punched up version which isn’t really classic as many of the tracks leading up to this have been. It includes vocals by Yoko Ishida who originally performed the song back in the 90s. I prefer the version on the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album personally.

Track 8 is “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) which is the second ending theme for the Sailor Moon SuperS season. It has a sort of big bang feel and includes vocals once again from Yoko Ishida though she did not perform this song in the original anime.

Track 9 is background music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune. This is a variety of music used in the anime mostly when the characters are introduced or transform. It features a lot of violin as the music in the original Sailor Moon anime did, with Michiru being a violinist. This is quite a good track for fans of those characters! They always did have great theme music.

Track 10 switches gears and gives us a song from Sailor Moon Crystal. Eternal Eternity is the first ending theme for the 3rd season, which is also all about Sailor Uranus and Neptune. All versions of this song just remind me of the Utena opening theme.

Track 11 is short and just gives us the music for the commercial break bumper for the first season. It sounds so much like the original version that I was expecting the weird “chirp” sound which can be heard on the laserdiscs of the first season.

I guess there was an intermission at this point? On to disc 2…

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 2

Track 1 has Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, speaking over some background music and then transforming to Sailor Moon’s first season transformation music. A fairly faithful version of this music.

Track 2 is Moon Revenge, the theme song from Sailor Moon R The Movie. This is one of the better songs from the original anime. This version is great as well. It’s a more classical rendition lacking the more upbeat tone of the original song but it works quite well. Some portions remind me of the instrumental version featured in the film.

Track 3 is Tuxedo Mirage, the ending theme for Sailor Moon S. The version here is very similar to what we heard on TV, without the vocals. A good track but it just doesn’t give us anything new.

Track 4 is La Soldier which is a song which was used in a number of the early Sailor Moon musicals as well as the final episode of Sailor Moon R (Let’s pretend episode 89 doesn’t exist because I hate it!). This is a good rendition but not as good as the original and nothing could top the Tommy heavenly6 version from the Tribute Album for me.

Track 5 is a Three Light Medley which merges two songs which the Three Lights performed during Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars). When this one started I was a bit worried because the Three Lights are a pop group and their music doesn’t translate to classical music. Still the orchestra manages to give these songs a disco kind of 70s pop sound which I think works really well. The track lacks vocals I think because the concert hall didn’t have enough place to include Taiki’s forehead.

Track 6 takes a song from the recent Sailor Moon musicals with Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) from the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical. Again we go with a somewhat modern sound almost fitting to an 80s TV drama theme song if that makes any sense. I appreciate the unique take on the song and that an orchestra can have such an atypical sound.

Track 7 is Moon Pride, the first Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme. It’s performed with a big band sort of sound. Enjoyable.

Track 8 is Gekkou (Moonbow), the first Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme. Again this track is quite similar to the original version which had a very orchestral sound. Decent but nothing new here.

Track 9 is New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon), the Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme. It has what I believe is a lot of saxophone and other brass instruments. A fun track.

The final track is an encore which is the Sailor Stars Song, the opening theme for the Sailor Stars season of the original anime. Yoko Ishida performs the vocals for this version, though again she was not the one to contribute the original vocals. She does a decent job. She attempt to rouse the crowd and get them to sing along which doesn’t seem to work all that well. I’m not sure if this is because the crowd isn’t participating much or simply because they didn’t bother to put a mic in the crowd to properly pick up the audio. I don’t know how popular the Sailor Stars Song is in Japan but I wonder if this was really the best track to try to get people to sing along to. If they’d done this with Moonlight Densetsu, the iconic opening theme used for the first four seasons, no doubt a ton of people would know the words. Does the average Japanese casual fan know the words to the intro of the final season which had significantly poorer ratings?

All considered I quite enjoyed this CD and recommend fans import it if they’re interested.

Keep reading for more pictures of this CD including photos of all remaining pages of the booklet.

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A Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album is coming December 6th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album cover

A CD collecting music from the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert is coming December 6th! This concert, where the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed songs from various Sailor Moon series, took place in Japan on August 2nd and 3rd at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. This album will be released in Japan but is available to order online from sites such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan. The price is 3500 yen which is about $33 US.

The album collects mostly opening and ending themes from all five seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, a couple of songs from the musicals, a few songs from Sailor Moon Crystal and a bit of instrumental background music. Some songs are instrumental while others include vocals. A track listing is available on the Official Sailor Moon site. I’ve translated it and included it, and a description of where the songs are from, below for your convenience.

Disc 1:

1. Background Music
2. Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Opening theme for the original Sailor Moon anime
3. Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love) – Song featured in Sailor Moon R episode 68 and Sailor Moon S episode 102
4. Heart Moving – Season 1 ending theme #1
5. Princess Moon – Season 1 ending theme #2
6. Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #1
7. Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
8. “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #2
9. Background Music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune
10. Eternal Eternity – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme #1
11. Commercial Break Bumper Background Music

Disc 2:

1. Moon Prism Power Make Up! Background Music (Although the title is similar to that of a song from the original Sailor Moon anime this is the background music which plays when Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon)
2. Moon Revenge – Sailor Moon R The Movie theme
3. Tuxedo Mirage – Sailor Moon S ending theme
4. La Soldier – Song from many early Sailor Moon Musicals
5. Three Lights Medley: Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars) – Two songs from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
6. Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) – From the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical
7. Moon Pride – First Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme
8. Gekkou (Moonbow) – First Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme
9. New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme
Encore. Sailor Stars Song – Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme

In order to promote this release a four minute video of the concert has been released. You can watch it embedded below.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this album once it’s released.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album vendor exclusive items

Fans in Japan can get special exclusive incentives from various retailers. Amazon Japan and CD Japan are not included. One of the incentives is from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club however this item does not appear to be available from the international Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II review

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II

The second full Sailor Moon Crystal soundtrack was released on July 27th in Japan. This features music which is mostly from the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, referred to as Season III in Japan. This is a 2 CD set which is mostly instrumental music though TV sized versions of the season’s opening and closing themes are also included. The CD can be purchased online through sites like Amazon Japan for 3,240 yen, which is about $32 US. This may seem expensive for a CD soundtrack but this is a pretty standard price in Japan. The first soundtrack was released on iTunes for only $18. No indication yet as to if and when this might happen for this release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II

The packaging looks great. As with the last release we have a stained glass window style art piece. This one features Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn, four of the central characters of the season. The discs themselves feature images of their guardian planets. Disc 1 shows what I deduce must be Uranus and Neptune and disc 2 shows Pluto and Saturn. Note of course that since the early 90s when the Sailor Guardians were originally created Pluto is no longer a planet so it’s really a planet and a dwarf planet on the second disc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Booklet - Page 1 and 2 - Track listing

Included is a short booklet which appears to have a track listing and some interviews. Have I mentioned I don’t speak Japanese? That means I also don’t read Japanese. Looks nice enough! I’ve included photos below for anyone who can read that.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Disc 1

The CDs themselves contain music you’ve likely already heard in the series. While it is advertised as music from “Season III” that does not mean that this is only new music. A lot of the tracks seem to be repeats of music we’ve heard before in the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal and thus would have already been released in the first Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks. There’s still a lot of new music, mostly that related to the new characters such as Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru as well as their super powered counterparts and the villains the Death Busters and Witches 5. Yasuharu Takanashi has been the music composer for the entire series so the new music sounds like the old music. The music in this series is great, as it has always been. I feel that the animation this season was a vast improvement and the solid soundtrack complements it nicely.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Disc 2

The TV sized versions of the opening and closing themes are a nice addition. This includes three versions of the new opening theme In Love With the New Moon and the three ending themes. The first, Eternal Eternity, is sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa and Sayaka Ohara. The second is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The third is Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. We’ve already gotten full length versions of all of these in the individual CD singles so these are not repeated on this release.

I would recommend fans pick up this release if they have the means and interest to import it. It’s a good way to support the show and these kinds of releases. If it comes out on iTunes later that would be a good alternative way to purchase it, avoiding import costs and having a generally lower price tag. If you just don’t want to pay for it I’m sure you can find it online somewhere.

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

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Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 3 single review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - Cover

The 3rd and last Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD single was released on June 22nd. If you’re interested in purchasing it you can get it from Amazon Japan. This third single features the third versions of the opening and ending themes for this season. The opening theme is still In Love With the New Moon, as it has been all season, but this one is sung by Momoiro Clover Z who performed the ending theme Moon Pride for the first 26 episodes. The new ending theme is Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, is sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. The CD single comes with normal and karaoke versions of full length versions of both songs as well as a DVD with TV sized and full length videos for each.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - Full picture

The packaging is much like the other two singles. Now that we have all three we can put them together to get a full image of all of the Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - CD

As the music goes if you’ve seen the later episodes of the season you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. This version of the opening theme isn’t my favourite. I still prefer the first version, sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. The ending theme is decent. I believe this is the only theme for Sailor Moon which features a man so that’s something!

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - DVD Menu

The DVD is pretty basic. The menu doesn’t have much exciting. The opening and endings are the ones from the streaming version only in standard definition and without credits. Later versions of the intro featured Super Sailor Chibi Moon and then later Sailor Saturn but this one only has normal Sailor Chibi Moon alongside Super Sailor Moon. Fans looking to see wet t-shirt contest Mamoru without credits may appreciate this. The full length versions have clips from throughout the season. The intro has clips from the four episodes late in the season which used this intro. The ending theme has footage of Mamoru from throughout the season’s first 12 episodes which demonstrates just how little he’s actually done lately. That’s cool though because he looks good in a wet t-shirt.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - Wet t-shirt contest Mamoru

Keep reading for more images of the packaging.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The 10 Sailor Guardians

The entire Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view online. The final episode we’ll see for a while, Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey aired on Japanese television on Monday June 27th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it was available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. This week is a bit of a mixed bag as we wrap up the story of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn and then move on for a teaser of the upcoming Dream arc. We still have no official confirmation that this new arc will be adapted. This episode is just doing exactly what the equivalent manga chapter did. While it seems likely at this point that we will be seeing more episodes this would certainly not be the first show to have a really awesome cliffhanger final episode which we never saw a follow up to.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Title Screen with Sailor Saturn

As always we start with an unreasonably long flashback! This week’s spans 3 minutes and 13 seconds which covers half of the last episode! At least we see a lot of Sailor Saturn. The opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, is the first version sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. The full length version of this song is also heard in the episode itself. This is my favourite version of the opening so it was nice to hear. The ending theme used is Eternal Eternity sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus, Junko Minagawa and Sailor Neptune, Sayaka Ohara.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon blasts out of the Pharaoh 90/Mistress 9 monster juice thing and in doing so causes some damage. She gives everyone super transformations! Well almost everyone. How come Tuxedo Mask doesn’t get an upgrade? He’d look great in some transparent shoulder pads! Poor guy. At least he has his male privilege to fall back on.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Saturn smiles Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 - Super Sailor Moon going to her death

Sailor Saturn, who was supposed to be destroying the world at the end of the last episode, decides to attack Pharaoh 90 and go to her death. She turns and smiles to her friends just like Sailor Moon had last week. This was a nice touch, as both seem willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Three Women and a Baby

Unfortunately Sailor Saturn has to die. Sailor Pluto is the one to do this. She’s upset about it, although this was kind of the plan all along. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were ready to kill Hotaru in order to save the world. The solution now is to lock her, Pharaoh 90 and the Tau Star System away forever. Sailor Pluto does this with the Dark Dome Close attack. Her penance for killing Sailor Saturn? Her and her friends have to raise the reincarnated baby version of her! There’s some sort of odd justice here. This will be a tough conversation when she gets a bit older and asks why she has three moms! This is basically a genderbend version of Three Men and a Baby, a mediocre 80s comedy movie by Leonard Nimoy. “Well you see we helped killed your Dad and then killed you, so you’re adopted. Sorry not sorry.”

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The Messiah

Sailor Moon becomes Neo Queen Serenity. OMG she was the one we saw in the visions. This isn’t the future version of Neo Queen Serenity possessing Sailor Moon in some way. This is Usagi in full control of her faculties. There’s no other consciousness in there. So I wonder why she doesn’t seem to remember what happens. Sailor Moon asks where this baby came from, and Sailor Uranus basically says it’s “From precious you”, which no doubt is a terrible translation, but basically she believes that Neo Queen Serenity caused Sailor Saturn to reincarnate as baby Hotaru. Sure. The original Queen Serenity is the one that sent everyone to reincarnate in the present time after they were all killed. Future Neo Queen Serenity is the one who sent Sailor Pluto back in time to reincarnate as Setsuna. It stands to reason that Sailor Moon, the present version, is the one that did this. There’s no other consciousness which is doing stuff here. It’s not insinuated that old lady uploaded consciousness computer simulated Queen Serenity on the Moon has any real power here. Why doesn’t Sailor Moon have full memory of doing this? It doesn’t really add up to me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn leave and then we have a commercial break. There’s meant to be a massive passage of time here but I don’t feel that this is well conveyed at all. In the original manga the Infinity arc concludes here which is the end of a chapter. Following this we get The Lover of Princess Kaguya side story which is a full manga book which is the equivalent of the Sailor Moon S movie, which then has a side story about Rei. There are a bunch of other side stories published later which are understood to take place during this break which is basically the time when the girls are preparing for their high school entrance exams. Ami’s First Love, which was adapted in an anime special, falls into this period as well. The first three story arcs all follow one another directly, but the Dream arc was never meant to do so. When the manga was rereleased in 2003 the chapters were broken up differently so they ended up breaking this particular Act up very poorly so that this passage of time isn’t properly demonstrated and happens between pages of the same story. I think Sailor Moon Crystal had a good chance to pace things out a bit differently and have the season end here, but they didn’t do that and instead, it’s time to go to high school.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - High school girls

This episode is kind of like the first episode of Sailor Stars from the original Sailor Moon anime. Those first 6 episodes of Sailor Stars basically fix the problems that the SuperS season skipped, including some characters which will be returning later in the Dream arc. The girls are supposed to be in high school before meeting Pegasus as we see here. Most of the girls have Juban High School Uniforms. Rei does not, as she goes to her own school which does not use high school entrance exams. We don’t really have an equivalent to these in the West. I suppose maybe the SATs are something similar but as a Canadian this is also something I only know of through TV and movies. I’ve never had a test so important in my schooling that it required me getting addicted to caffeine pills like Jessie Spano. So much to say Japanese high school entrance exams are a big deal and the source of a lot of stress, and the girls are meant to have been preparing for this during the long period covered by the commercial break which we don’t even get in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Solar Eclipse

Chibiusa says she’s going to leave on April 1st, at the time of a Solar Eclipse. The next Solar eclipse that will occur on April 1st is in 2098 and there certainly wasn’t one in the 90s when the manga was written, but this is pretty nitpicky even for me. She mentions in her letter to her mother “Please come to pick me up”. How exactly does this work? Is Neo Queen Serenity from the future going to travel to the 30th century to come pick up Chibiusa? Who’s guardian the Space-Time Door with future Sailor Pluto dead and Diana in the past?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Artemis and Luna cry for Diana

Speaking of Diana! Usagi says to Luna, who isn’t present when this is said, that she will see Diana “very soon”. What does this mean? From the frame of reference of Diana then she would see her parents soon, in the future. From Luna and Artemis’s point of view they won’t see her soon at all. Diana is a kitten. Chibiusa, who is born in less than a decade, is 900 years old in the 30th century. Is Diana a permakitten born in the 20th or 21st century and never aging? Permakittens would revolutionize the pet industry! Kittens are most of the reason people have adult cats!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Usagi and Chibiusa see Pegasus

So the gang are watching the eclipse and they hear a bell. They turn around to see… Pegasus! Well we don’t see Pegasus but in the manga version of Act 38, the final image has Usagi and Chibiusa seeing Pegasus. There’s no preview for another episode, but we will likely at some point be seeing Act 39, Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream. This will be part of the 4th story arc which, if current trends continue, will likely be referred to as Season 4 or Season IV in Japan. I’ve still been calling them arcs or phases but I may start using the term season if that becomes well established. We have no specifics on if and when we might get new episodes but perhaps we will learn something tomorrow at the live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday.

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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 Season III CD 2 single review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 2 - Cover

The second of three CD singles with theme songs for Sailor Moon Crystal Season III was released on Wednesday May 25th. You can order it along with the first CD from Amazon Japan. It features the second version of the opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, this time sung by Mitsuko Horie, the voice of Sailor Galaxia from the original Sailor Moon anime. The new ending theme is Maiden’s Advice by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. This is a CD/DVD combo. The CD includes the second opening and ending in full length versions as well as karaoke versions. The DVD includes music videos for both songs. This includes shorter TV sized openings and full length versions. The CD is not very expensive, about $13 US plus a bunch of shipping, and I would suggest picking it up to support the show though if you’re feeling cheap I’m sure you can find it somewhere.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 2 - Backs

The packaging is nice, as with the first disc. It comes with an insert with the lyrics and an ad for the Blu-Ray. The back of the case features Sailor Saturn, Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Jupiter. This seems like an odd grouping until you see the back of Sailor Mars’s hair on the side. This fits together with the back of the first CD and no doubt the third CD will fit on the right.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 2 - CD

What can I say about these songs? I didn’t care as much for this version of In Love With the New Moon as I did the first one. It’s enjoyable just not quite as catchy. The ending theme speaks for itself. Maiden’s Advice embodies everything that is Chibiusa. I feel like I’ll get cavities listening to it!

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 2 - DVD menu

The DVD features are nothing spectacular. The TV sized opening and endings are pretty much exactly what we see in the episodes only without credits and in lower resolution. The music videos accompanying the full length versions are nice enough. They both features footages of the episodes which we’ve seen to date, right up the end of the latest episode, Act 33. The In Love With the New Moon video shows clips from the entire series, focusing a lot on Usagi’s relationship with Haruka. The video for Maiden’s Advice is all about Chibiusa! It’s just like you’d expect.

Momoiro Clover Z

The final CD will be released on June 22nd. You can pre-order it from Amazon Japan. The listing shows an image of Momoiro Clover Z though I imagine the art will be consistent with the other releases and perhaps showcase Tuxedo Mask on the cover. This will once again feature the opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z, the band who performed Moon Pride during the first two story arcs. The new ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, will be sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. I believe based on the timing of other themes that this new opening and ending theme will be featured during Act 34 which will be available on Monday May 30th. If not, they will almost certainly be featured during Act 35.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail art project

The most recent episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week’s title is the longest to date as we get Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. But is this the title? That is what the original manga chapter is called and from the title card appears to be the proper Japanese title but the Crunchyroll and Hulu subs and page titles call it “Episode 31 – Act.30 INFINITY 4 Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh – SAILOR URANUS, SAILOR NEPTUNE”. Why change the name like this? Seems an odd choice! This week we continue to deal with drama related to our new friends and Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Infinity 4 - Sailor Uranus - Haruka Tenoh - Sailor Neptune - Michiru Kaioh

First things first, we have a new opening theme song. Somehow I didn’t realize we were getting it this week. This story arc will actually have three opening and three ending themes. These are the second batch. The opening theme song, In Love With the New Moon, is now sung by Mitsuko Horie who is best known as the voice of Sailor Galaxia. She also covered the Sailor Stars Song as part of the 20th Anniversary Album. It’s a bit odd to hear a slightly changed version of the theme song we’d just started to get used to. I tend to prefer the first version but I wonder if my feelings would change had I heard this one first. I guess we will be getting this version for another few weeks before it is replaced with the Momoiro Clover Z version of the song. They sang Moon Pride for the first two story arcs of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Ending - Chibiusa and Luna P

The new ending theme is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The ending theme is full of pink and Luna Ps as far as the eye can see. A big change from the last ending theme we had. This will eventually be replaced by Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. A CD single with the current opening and ending themes will be released on May 25th, after which I suspect we will be getting the third opening and closing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibusa is bad at keeping secrets

As the episode begins it is immediately obvious that these new Sailor Guardians can’t be our friends. Prelude to drama! Sailor Uranus and Neptune straight up attack Sailor Moon and her friends because we sort of have the same mission but we aren’t friends so we just aren’t. In the process Chibiusa immediately betrays her promise to Haruka and Michiru by revealing that Sailor Neptune’s Mirror is a Talisman. Too bad she doesn’t share Hotaru’s secret and tell us who the big bad guy is but whatever we needed to make Ami work a bit this week anyway.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Messiah

Another shared dream. This one shared by Mamoru and Usagi, who see the “Deity of Destruction”. The Messiah? Looks like Princess Serenity with a staff, maybe a glaive, to me. The two seem surprised to share a dream, even though this has been happening consistently for the past few episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Haruka surprises Usagi

Usagi is chilling in the park and someone comes by from behind covering her eyes with a sort of “guess who” thing. I hate this game, especially when the person who plays it isn’t someone you play it with a lot. Guess right and it’s not a big deal. Guess wrong and it’s drama drama drama. So Usagi guesses Mamoru, which is odd since she recognizes that Haruka smells like Sailor Uranus. I guess she’s bad at this game too. At this point everyone seems to know who’s who and when Haruka gets close… Mamoru shows up!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibiusa interrupts an awkward moment

The drama continues at Mamoru’s apartment and while things are tense Chibiusa crashes the party! She appears to be oblivious to the problem but we eventually learn that her and Diana are actually trying to get them to make up. Chibiusa’s makeup attempt includes making the Holy Grail! This is an odd thing. Chibiusa remembers seeing this item, which Sailor Moon used back in the day aka the future, in a painting in her mother’s room. So the Holy Grail that is made in this episode actually doesn’t exist yet! Mamoru looks up the Holy Grail in “An Encyclopedia of World History”. I don’t really think of the Holy Grail as being a historical object what with it in all likelihood never having actually existed, but whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Diana and Chibiusa

Finally once Chibiusa and Diana are asleep Mamoru and Usagi have a little moment where they both admit to being jealous and then they probably have sex. But Chibiusa and Diana aren’t really sleeping so Chibiusa maybe sees her parents having sex. I guess it’s in Chibiusa’s best interest to encourage her parents to have sex because that’s how she’ll be made some day, unless human sexuality changes drastically in the next seven or so years.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Tau Star System

On to part two which has almost nothing to do with the first half of the episode. Ami enrolls at Mugen Preparatory School, which is a sort of high school exam preraration school given at Mugen Academy but with a ton of students from others schools, hence the variety of uniforms. Ami is a genius, so it makes sense that she goes here, but she’s actually investigating too! She goes up to the 13th floor and sees a scale model of a galaxy. I say galaxy of course because I know that’s what it looks like. Yui Bido, actually Viluy of the Witches 5, refers to it as a scaled down universe, and states that it’s the Tau Star System. Let’s correct some confusing terminology here. The Universe is vast and contains at least a hundred billion galaxies. This model contains a single galaxy. This is hardly a scale model of any Universe as we know it. It’s also referred to as the Tau Star System. What exactly does this mean? A solar system is a star with planets and such around it. A star system can mean a few stars orbiting each other, such as a binary star system, but when you get to galaxy scale, containing hundreds of billions of stars, you don’t call things a star system anymore. So much to say, what we see about this thing contradicts the wildly varying things it’s called. It’s not that hard to get these things accurately, especially given Naoko Takeuchi’s interest in space. I’m sure this won’t get better as the story arc proceed and we learn more about the Tau Star System. Everything we know about physics also tells us that you can’t just scale something down like this. Is this galaxy made up of tiny stars with tiny planets around them filled with tiny people made up of tiny cells and tiny molecules made up of tiny atoms? Whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Ami jumping out of a window

Ami starts to poke around. She throws a pen into a camera which is bad ass. She’s on the 13th floor. She sees a door that is labeled “Underground laboratory”. She’s on the 13th floor and sees a door that leads to a lab which is under the ground, generally accepted to be at floor one. In there she finds Daimons and the enemy shows up. She’s underground at this point. She runs to the nearest window and … she’s back on the 13th floor! What exactly is going on here with a dedicated stairwell that goes down 13 floors but doesn’t open up to any other floor? Is there some sort of portal through space that leads from one floor to another? Anyway Ami is totally bad ass again by jumping out the windows, diving into a pool and transforming while diving, emerging as Sailor Mercury. Pretty awesome. Reminds me a bit of Ami’s first transformation in the live action series which is done while she’s falling.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Viluy of the Witches 5

Sailor Mercury fights Viluy who fights with nano robots. Advanced technology which is basically a swarm of tiny robots all working in unison for something. For whatever reason the cloud of nanobots appears as formulae over Sailor Mercury. Why not? Sailor Uranus and Neptune appear and transform for the first time. The transformation sequences are brief and similar to those from the original Sailor Moon anime. After a few attacks magic beats technology yet again. Viluy’s power level was 202. I’m not sure how accurate this scale really is, but they keep using it. The page of the book which the Holy Grail appears on happens to be 202. What an odd reference.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail

Finally we see an old friend. Reika and Motoki are at the University and we see a new first year student, Setsuna Meioh. If the resemblance was not immediately obvious this is the civilian identity of Sailor Pluto, who died last season in the distant future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Setsuna Meioh

Next week is Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, in which we will see Sailor Pluto once again.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 Preview - Setsuna Meioh

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 31.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Cover

The first of three Sailor Moon Crystal season III theme song CDs was released on April 27th in Japan. I ordered mine from Amazon Japan so I was lucky enough to get it by Thursday the 28th. This CD single costs 1365 yen, about $13 US, and contains two tracks and a bonus DVD. The songs included are the current opening and ending themes for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity arc. If you’re looking to check out the full length versions of these songs you should support the official release and buy the CD though you should be able to find these tracks somewhere on the internet.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - CD

The opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, is sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. She previously covered Otome No Policy in the 20th Anniversary Album. Included with the CD is an ad for Etsuko Yakushimaru’s rock band Sōtaisei Riron’s latest album New World which was released on the same day. This is my favourite of the two tracks on this short single. A karaoke version is also included if that’s something you’re interested in.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - New World ad

The ending theme, Eternal Eternity, is sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa and Sayaka Ohara. This song embodies the Infinity arc as it is sung by these characters.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - DVD Menu

Four music videos are included on the DVD. The TV sized opening and closing are pretty much what we’ve seen on TV and in the streaming show, but with lower resolution. The longer album length music videos included clips from Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity arc. There appears to have been some attention put into what clips would be included as they have footage up to and including Act 29, which was the latest episode to air prior to this CD’s release, but nothing further as far as I noticed.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Back

Two more CDs will be released at one month intervals. A second CD with the same opening In Love With the New Moon, but sung by Mitsuko Horie, the voice of Sailor Galaxia from the original Sailor Moon anime, and the second ending, Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa will be released on May 25th. A third CD single with the opening In Love With the New Moon but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z and the third ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask, will be released on June 22nd.

Keep reading for more images of this CD’s packaging. No screenshots are included since they’re all from scenes we’re already seen before.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Cover

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Back

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Lyrics

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - DVD

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Spine

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 1 - Fan Club ad