The Dream story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will be two theatrical films directed by Chiaki Kon

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event

Yesterday there was a special live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday, June 30th. The main news pertaining to new Sailor Moon Crystal, which is what everyone has been waiting for, was that the upcoming 4th story arc or 4th season will not be presented as episodes but as two theatrical films. These will be played in theatres in Japan but it isn’t clear at this time what that means for international fans. Will we get the films in theatres ourselves? Will it be streamed online at a later date, perhaps split into individual episodes? A free simulcast seems a bit unlikely as there wouldn’t be much of an incentive to get people into theatres if the movies were available online on the first day. We will have to wait and see for more details as we still don’t have any timeline of when this might happen. After the event this information was posted to the official site.

Chiaki Kon - Director of Sailor Moon Crystal phase 3

We’ve also learned that these two movies will be directed by Chiaki Kon, who was the director for the Infinity Arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. I really dug the animation style of the latest season so I’m happy to see her return, but it doesn’t look like all fans share that sentiment.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Happy Birthday

The rest of the live event wasn’t all that compelling. Since it was Usagi’s birthday there was a cake and Happy Birthday to You was sung, which it seems is now public domain and not subject to copyright.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical trailer - The Starlights and Princess Kakyuu

There was also a new trailer shown for the upcoming Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final. This included another look at the new characters from this musical. This trailer can be seen embedded below.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Reading a letter from Naoko Takeuchi

There was also a message from Naoko Takeuchi which was read by Sailor Moon’s voice actor Kotono Mitsuishi. No new information was included but it was about looking back at her time with the manga and thanking fans. This letter was also shared on the official site. This letter mentions that in 1992 she was 26 years old. This doesn’t match with many sources stating that she was born on March 15th 1967. If she was indeed 26 in 1992 this would put her year of birth at 1966. According to the Naoko Takeuchi Wikipedia talk page there are sources which indicate that she was born in 1966. It would seem plausible that this is in fact the case. This would mean that my most viral Tweet where I wished Naoko Takeuchi a happy 50th birthday in March of this year was in fact wrong as she would have turned 51 this year. Without confirmation of her year of birth we can’t be sure one way or another.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 intro

The most annoying part of the event was when they screened the intro and ending themes from the last story arc. This would have been a great time to see something new instead of something we’ve seen well over a year ago!

For now we must continue to wait for more details about these two movies and what they mean for North American fans or the possibility of a Stars story arc. Sailor Moon fans have certainly learned to be patient with Sailor Moon Crystal!

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No, Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, is not the voice of Wonder Woman in the Japanese dub of the film

Kotono Mitsuishi is not the Japanese voice of Wonder Woman

This past weekend Wonder Woman was released in North America and in many cities worldwide. This film has been a tremendous success. Over the past few days I’ve seen the follow bit of trivia more than once on Social Media:

For the Japanese dub of the film, Wonder Woman is voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, best known as the voice of Sailor Moon. Like Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon is a princess heroine of divine heritage and based on Greco-Roman mythology.

The source of this information is the IMDB trivia page for the Wonder Woman film. I’m pretty sure this isn’t true! Kotono Mitsuishi did the voice over narration for the Japanese Wonder Woman trailer, which many news sources including this site reported on back in March. It seems likely that this information was mistakenly used as evidence that Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Usagi in Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, would actually voice Wonder Woman in the Japanese language dubbed version of the film. The narration in the trailer is not the actual voice of Wonder Woman who’s English voice can be heard in the trailer. I can find no indication by doing searches of various sites in English and Japanese that Kotono Mitsuishi will be the voice of Wonder Woman.

It seems quite unlikely that Kotono Mitsuishi would voice this role as she was not the one to do the Japanese dubbed voice for Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman. We can see from the Japanese Wikipedia page for Batman V Superman that this was actually done by voice actress Yūko Kaida who may be known to readers for some of her anime roles. It seems likely that she will be the one to voice the character for the Wonder Woman film. Actors will often dub the voices of the same actors in multiple films especially when there are part of a series where the actors appears in more than one film.

Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman

While it is certainly possible that independent of her doing the narration for the trailer Kotono Mitsuishi will also be included with the Japanese dubbed version of the film which isn’t set to be released until the 25th of August we don’t actually have any good evidence beyond this bit of IMDB trivia which indicates that this might be the case. Keep reading for more exploration of the specific research which led me to this conclusion.

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Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, narrates the Japanese Wonder Woman trailer

Japanese Wonder Woman poster

Do you like female super heroes? The Japanese Wonder Woman trailer is out and it is narrated by none other than Kotono Mitsuishi, the Japanese voice of Sailor Moon in the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal! Watch the trailer below!

For years I’ve tried to argue that Sailor Moon is the most iconic female comic super hero! This was certainly true in the 90s when Sailor Moon was a worldwide phenomenon. Wonder Woman is the other obvious answer people give when asked who the most popular female comic book character is. I have no interest in detracting from her importance as a character but having been featured in one TV series 40 years ago and only in 2017 having her first theatrical film she has some catching up to do! Still when most people in the English speaking world hear “comic book super hero” they think of Superman, Batman, capes and tights, which brings Wonder Woman to mind.

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

The Wonder Woman film will be released on June 2nd in North America and August 25th in Japan. It stars Gal Gadot who will be reprising her role from the Batman v Superman movie from last year. I think she did a great job in the last film and am looking forward to seeing this film. It’s always great to see a film like this promoting women as being strong, independent and kicking ass.

Sailor Moon/Wonder Woman crossover by Andriu

If you’re a fan of Sailor Moon and Wonder Woman crossovers check out TeePublic to get a cool looking shirt for $14. It will also be on sale at Ript Apparel on Sunday March 26th for just $13. Don’t miss it!

Japanese Wonder Woman book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will begin this April

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity arc character art

An announcement has been posted to the official Sailor Moon site about an upcoming convention appearance at AnimeJapan 2016. In this article it is mentioned in passing, as if it was something we already knew, that the new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal will be coming this April! These new episodes will cover the Infinity arc of the manga which introduces us to Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn as well as the Death Busters. We don’t have any specifics about the time except that it will be some time in April.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 133 - Chibiusa is an old lonely cat lady watching Sailor Moon

Details will be revealed at the AnimeJapan 2016 convention on March 26th in Tokyo. Guests in attendance will include Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune, and Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn. Attendees present at this panel will receive a Sailor Moon Crystal postcard. Hopefully this event will give some specifics about a premier date and streaming options for international viewers outside of Japan. It is safe to say that one way or another, an official or unofficial fansubbed version will be available within a few days of any new episode’s release, but it would be much more convenient, morally and otherwise, to have the show streamed along with the original broadcast on Japanese TV.

Usagi watching TV

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

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

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

Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

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

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

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

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

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

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Ptilol and Cyprine

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

The Exhibition of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity arc character art

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

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

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

Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus

Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune

Voice actors playing the Death Busters

The Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is officially being referred to as “Season III”

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

The official Japanese Sailor Moon site has referenced the upcoming Infinity story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal as “Season 3″ in a news posting about next Wednesday’s streaming event. Since the announcement of new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal a semantic confusion has been gripping the fandom! Some referred to this third story arc as “Season 3″ while others called it “Season 2″, the first 26 episodes having only taken place over a year, it seems logical to refer to them as a single season. Further adding to the confusion Hulu refers to the first 26 episodes as “Season 1″ on their site. If they add the new episodes as “Season 2″, this could be a problem. I personally chose to follow the Japanese convention of calling it a 3rd “Phase”, intentionally avoiding the confusing term season, but now we are safe to officially refer to this as the 3rd season. Fear not! As always I will strive to be as unconfusing as possible in my posts.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

As previously reported, the streaming event will take place next Wednesday January 27th at 8pm Japan Standard Time, 6am Easter Time, 3am Pacific Time on Niconico. The post on the site was to mention that Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon, will be making an appearance at the event. We will keep you advised of any details which we learn on Wednesday.

Source: Sailor Moon Official Site, Niconico

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 7 review

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Packaging

The 7th volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released in a Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray on April 8th. This release has Princess Serenity on the cover and wraps up the Dark Kingdom story arc. This is a Japanese language release with no English audio or subtitles. Those looking for an English version of Sailor Moon Crystal can continue to watch the streaming version with English subtitles. You can order this disk from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for as low as 5046 yen, about $42 US. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD will be released on May 13th at the same time as volume 8 is released on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Cutie Moon Rod Charm

As with other releases, this comes in a special collectible box and includes a charm and full colour 20 page special booklet. The charm included in this release is Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod, which is the attack item she uses in the second story arc. The Cutie Moon Rod does not appear on the episodes included in this release.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 10 and 11 - Interview with the voice actors for the Shitennou

The special booklet follows the same format as the previous booklets did. It includes episode summaries, interviews, character designs and a special page by Fumio Osana, also known as Osabu. The interviews are with producer Junichiro Tsuchiya and the voice actors for the Shitennou, Daisuke Kishio, Kosuke Toriumi, Masaya Matsukaze and Eiji Takemoto. The character designs included are of Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Shitennou, Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs for Princess Serenity, Endymion and the Shitennou

There are only 2 episodes included on this disk. Included are Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, and Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangère. This has the Sailor Guardians vanquishing Queen Beryl and Queen Metalia and concludes with the appearance of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

Streaming version

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 Blu-Ray - Queen Serenity with a new dress

Blu-Ray version

All home video releases include some minor updating to the animation, and this release is no different. Some of the changes however were no just cosmetic. The major change which I found a bit upsetting was the modification to young Queen Serenity’s dress. In a scene in Act 13 we see a flashback to a young Queen Serenity petting a kitten Luna. In the original streaming version Queen Serenity is seen wearing a dress that is similar to Princess Serenity’s, and quite unlike the dress that adult Queen Serenity wears throughout the series. This seemed like a neat side reference, reminding us that Queen Serenity was young herself once, and perhaps also the Princess at the time. In this updated episode her dress is modified to look like it does when she is an adult.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Zombie Sailor Mars

Streaming version

Other changes to the episodes included the removal of white eyes when the Sailor Guardians are wounded. Seeing zombie Sailor Guardian eyes was a bit off putting but kind of cool. Now they have pupils again. There was also some amount of injury added to the various girls after they had been beat up. Even the preview image for Act 13 in the special booklet shows the Sailor Guardians with dirt on their faces that does not appear in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Page 2 and 3 - Act 13

A great resource to comparing the streaming version to the home video releases is Crystal Comparisons. This site has a thorough comparison of both versions of the show with many screenshots broken down by episode. Check out all the changes in Act 13 and Act 14 to see what was modified for this release.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Osabu's page

The audio commentary for both episodes on this disk is provided by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Fumio Osana, the editor for the Sailor Moon manga, and another voice which I was unable to identify. I do not speak Japanese so I don’t have anything to add about the content of the commentary.

As usual I can only recommend this release to hardcore fans. With only two episodes and no English audio or subtitles most fans are better off just watching the streaming version or waiting for the inevitable domestic dubbed and subbed release which is yet to be announced.

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

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

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

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

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

All video clips are embedded below.

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

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

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

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