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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The voices of Chibiusa and Tuxedo Mask will sing ending themes for Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Mamoru and Chibiusa

The new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, covering the Infinity arc of the manga, will have three different ending themes! When the trailer launched we previously announced that the new opening would be “In Love With the New Moon” sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru and that the ending theme would be Eternal Eternity sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa and Sayaka Ohara. An announcement on the official Sailor Moon site tell us that this is only the first ending theme as there will be two others! Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa, will sing Otome no Susume or Maiden’s Advice and Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask, will sing Eien Dake ga Futari o Kakeru or Only Eternity Brings the Two Together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Chibiusa kissing her future Dad

A CD single with the opening theme In Love With the New Moon and first ending theme Eternal Eternity will be released on April 27th. Two others CDs will be released at about a month interval. A CD single with the same opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, but sung by Mitsuko Horie and the second ending, Maiden’s Advice, will be released on May 25th. Mitsuko Horie provided the voice of Sailor Galaxia in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars and sang the cover of the Sailor Stars theme on the 20th Anniversary Album. A third CD single again 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 will be released on June 22nd. Momoiro Clover Z sang the original opening theme, Moon Pride, which appeared before the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Momoiro Clover Z dressed as Sailor Moon characters

All three will be a CD/DVD combo with music videos included. MSRP is 1500 yen, about $13 US, each. You can pre-order these CDs from online retailers such as Amazon Japan (1st CD, 2nd CD, 3rd CD) and CD Japan (1st CD, 2nd CD, 3rd CD).

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray Vol. 11 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Cover

Late as usual here is my review of the 11th volume of Sailor Moon Crystal on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray. This volume was released on August 12th and includes two episodes, Act 21 and 22, in a collectible set which includes a 20 page colour booklet and charm of Sailor Venus’s Star Power Stick. You can order this from Amazon Japan and other online retailers for about 5,194 yen, about $43 US, plus a ton of shipping. The next volume, volume 12, will be released next week on September 9th.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion

The art on the cover of this volume is of Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion, the future versions of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Since a lot of this second story arc takes place in the future these characters feature prominently in the episodes on this disk.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Sailor Venus Star Power Stick Charm

The charm included this time is Sailor Venus’s Star Power Stick. As with all of the other ones you can put them all together on a charm bracelet and be really cool.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 2 and 3 - Act 21 summary

Included are Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, and Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis. These two episode are based on two chapters of the manga from the versions which were released in 2003 however both episodes were originally a single manga chapter, Act 20, Complication – Nemsis. Because of this the pace may seem a bit slow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 6 and 7 - Act 22 summary

Like with other releases there are a number of mostly minor changes to the animation. These mostly result in touch ups which make the animation a bit nicer looking and very occasionally results in more significant changes to what appears on screen. I’m unable to take screenshots of Blu-Rays with my current AV setup but a great site for examining these differences is Crystal Comparisons.

Almost nothing of significance is changed for Act 21. In one scene a chair is added behind Usagi mostly to compensate for an earlier continuity issue where a chair disappeared and then reappeared behind her. Other than that the changes are mostly cosmetic.

The next episode previews remain unaltered. I’ve mentioned Chibiusa’s shirt gate time and time again. The next episode preview for Act 22 which appeared at the end of Act 21 originally included her blue long sleeved uniform, which was an error, and that uniform still appears in this version. This had been corrected in the streaming version of Act 22 and is still corrected on this release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

If you check out the changes for Act 22, you’ll note some changes for the appearance of Black Lady. In the original streaming episode Black Lady first appeared pretty much as a shadowy black figure with glowing eyes who later became more visible. The intention was, and still is, to obscure her identity. Now in the Blu-Ray we see her as being more transparent and smokey than previously in her first appearance and then darker in her later appearance. It seems to do the job better, but was anyone really still wondering what her true identity was at this point? There are a couple of other minor changes to this episode. When Usagi is possessed by Neo Queen Serenity her eyes glow and in the streaming version they are a bit darker. The reactor effects have been redone a bit to add some circles around the main column of energy. We also see the Sailor Guaridans standing behind Sailor Moon in one scene where we previously didn’t.

Both episodes include an audio commentary. These feature Munehisa Sakai, director of Sailor Moon Crystal, Kenji Nojima, the voice of Mamoru Chiba and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Cover

Also included is the 20 page full colour special book. This one features the usual episode summaries, character designs, backgrounds, page for Osabu and two interviews. The first interview is with Momoiro Clover Z, the musical group which performs the Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme, Moon Pride, and ending theme, Gekkou. The second interview is with the four voice actors who portrayed the Ayakashi Sister. Wasabi Mizuta provides the voice of Petz. Rumi Kasahara, who provides the voice of Berthier, had previously voiced many small roles in the original Sailor Moon anime including Ptilol of the Witches 5. Tomoe Hanba voices Calaveras and Satsuki Yukino provides the voice of Koan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 4 and 5 - Interview with Momoiro Clover Z

As always I recommend this only to hardcore fans. English speaking fans should contend with the streaming version until the eventual multi language Blu-Ray is released by Viz. This is a cool set with some cool stuff in it, but it’s hard to justify the price tag for two episodes.

Keep reading for more photos of the set including all 20 pages of the special book.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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. 6 review

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Packaging

The 6th Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray set was released on March 11th. It can be purchased on Amazon Japan and CD Japan. MSRP is 7020 yen, about $59 US dollars. If you’re thinking of importing this keep in mind it is in Japanese only and there are no subtitles. The disk will play in North American Blu-Ray players for this who still want to buy it. There is also a regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD that will be released April 8th, when vol. 7 is being released in a Deluxe Limited Edition set. The DVDs will not likely play in a North American region 1 DVD player.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Contents

As with other volumes the disk comes in a collectible box. This one features a silhouette of Tuxedo Mask on the cover. The cover of the disk itself has an image of Usagi and Tuxedo Mask on it.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Sailor Moon's transformation brooch charm

Every set comes with a charm which goes on the charm bracelet included with volume 1. This release includes Sailor Moon’s transformation brooch. This is the second Sailor Moon item included as volume 1 had Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Booklet - Pages 12 and 13

A 24 page full colour booklet is also included. Amongst the pages are episode summaries, character art for Tuxedo Mask, the Shitennou and Reika, interviews with Yasuhara Takanashi, music composer for the series, and Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask as well as a page by Fumio Osano, Osabu. Photographs of all pages in this booklet are included at the bottom of this post.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Booklet - Pages 14 and 15

The contents of the disk aren’t terribly exciting. Two episodes are included as usual. This time we have Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, and Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria. Many fans took issue with the many changes in Act 12 hoping they would be corrected with the video release but this not the case. Sailor Venus still does not kill Queen Beryl. Sailor Moon still breaks Beryl’s necklace with the sword. The Shitennou still die. Kunzite still says something that sounds like penis. Most of the video releases have some minor updates to the animation. Though I did not notice any specific changes with these episodes it’s likely they are updated as others had been.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Disk

There is an audio commentary on this disk. I don’t speak Japanese so it’s hard for me to tell exactly what is going on or even who is present. I would seem that the voice actresses for Sailor Mars, Rina Sato, and Sailor Jupiter, Ami Koshimizu are present. There is also a man who’s identity I couldn’t figure out.

This set will likely appeal to fans with a lot of money or who feel they must have every bit of Sailor Moon on video. The video quality is better than the streaming version but is that difference really worth buying something in a language you can’t understand? I leave that call to you because at this point if you’re likely to buy this you probably already have the other volumes.

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

Continue reading

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 4 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Box

The 4th volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray was released in Japan on January 14th. Because I’m irresponsible with my money I’ve purchased this, so here is my review. The set is Japanese audio and contains just two episodes, Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask and Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. It comes with a 24 page full colour booklet and a charm of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item in a decorative box.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Contents

As with other releases, minor changes to the animation are included. This one it no different, though some of the changes here are more considerable. One of my favourite parts of act 7 is the part where Umino drops in uninvited to a conversation between Usagi, Makoto and Ami to talk about Sailor V. He’s ultimately creepy and for some unexplained reason is a black shadowy figure with yellow eyes and a mouth, looking something like a Heartless from the Kingdom Hearts games. For whatever reason this has been fixed up for the Blu-Ray release so that he is just normal looking, though still intensely creepy, Umino. While changes in the past were largely cosmetic, this is one that is a little more intrusive and something I’m not very comfortable with.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Creepy Umino looks like a heartless

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Umino is less creepy than in the streaming version

Other changes in the episode were not as big a deal. Act 7 contains what I would consider to be the worst animation of the series to date. Some of those shots have been fixed up, but a lot of the really terrible looking shots remain. An error that occurred in the original streaming version of act 7 was that Sailor Venus was wearing Sailor V’s uniform when seen from behind but then Sailor Venus’s orange uniform when seen from the front. This has been fixed to correctly show Sailor Venus’s uniform for all angles. It was unclear it this had been intended or not, as the idea might have been that at first Sailor Venus looked like Sailor V, but upon closer investigation was actually wearing a different costume. This wasn’t really what the scene seemed to insinuate so it’s a decent thing to change. I didn’t notice anything but fairly cosmetic changes to act 8.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Sailor Venus is no longer dressed as Sailor V

The rest of the content was pretty much as expected. The cover of this one includes an image of Sailor Jupiter. The charm included, to go with the charm bracelet included in the first volume, is of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item and bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Sailor Jupiter charm

Also included as always is the full colour booklet. It includes interviews with Yukie Sako, animation director and character designer and Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There are also episode summaries, production art and a special page by Fumio Osano as always. Photos of all pages of the book are included at the bottom of this post.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Booklet - Page 12 and 13

The disk itself includes the two episodes, act 7 and 8, as well as and audio commentary for each. The commentary track is in Japanese with no subtitles so I can’t really comment on it. From a brief listen I can tell that voice actors Kenji Nojima, Tuxedo Mask, and Shizuka Ito, Sailor Venus, are on this one as well as some other Japanese people who worked on the show who’s names and jobs you will quickly figure out if you can understand the commentary.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Disk

You can import this disk from online stores such as Amazon Japan, CD Japan or YesAsia for as low as 5194 yen, which is about $45 US, though shipping can be considerable on some sites. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD versions will be released on February 11th if you’re feeling cheap. With only two episodes included as always I can’t really recommend buying these when a free an legal way to support the show always exists with the streaming options. If you’re hardcore about the show and video quality well you’ve probably bought other volumes so I don’t need to tell you what to do.

Keep reading for more images of the set and photos of all pages of the included booklet.

Continue reading