Check out these new stills from the Sailor Moon Eternal films

Sailor Moon Eternal sample stills

Update – 2020-08-14: The original post categorized these as a leak as I was not aware that these images had been posted to the official site.

A collection of 10 new stills from the first of the two Sailor Moon Eternal films has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon site. The post advertises a collaboration with Lawson convenience stores for a number of products. These 10 stills will be available from Lawson photocopiers. Though we’d already seen a couple of these, most of them seem to be new showing us single frames from animation which will likely be seen in Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1, which will be released in theatres on January 8th 2021.

Here’s a look at each still individually.

Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 - Transformation Sequence - Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Super Sailor Moon

Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Super Sailor Moon posing. We had already seen this as part of footage which was already released so this is a higher quality image than the other samples.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mercury poses

Sailor Mercury posing during her post transformation speech. The pose is similar to past seasons but the designs are updated.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mars poses

Sailor Mars posing. Again the same pose with new designs. Her wrist seems a bit less limp if that makes sense.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Jupiter poses

Sailor Jupiter posing. Her hair isn’t holding as well as it has.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Venus poses

Sailor Venus posing. Her finger seems to keep getting bigger.

Sailor Moon Eternal trailer - Super Sailor Moon and Mamoru

Super Sailor Moon hugging a faceless Mamoru. We’ve seen this one already as well.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Pegasus and Chibiusa

Pegasus and Chibiusa. Many have pointed out that Pegasus is pony sized in these films.
He does seem to be a bit smaller than what we’d seen in the first Sailor Moon anime, but Chibiusa’s size is a bit inconsistent in Sailor Moon Crystal. An earlier image of Chibiusa and Pegasus which we saw made him look much smaller.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Helios

Helios. We’d seen his designs but this is the first actual frame of him that we’ve seen.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Artemis, Diana and Luna

Artemis, Diana and Luna. Luna’s eyes are now blue, while they were red in previous seasons. This may be so that her eye colour is consistent with human Luna who we will be saying likely in the second film which will be released on February 11th 2021.

Sailor Moon Eternal - The Amazon Trio

The Amazon Trio. Striking a pose!

At this point we are certainly seeing more and more of the art style. While I would like to see more of it in action these stills give us a decent indication of what we’re in for next year. What do you think?

Source: Sailor Moon Thailand on Twitter

Watch the Sailor Moon: The Power of Female Friendship panel today at Comic-Con@Home

Comic-Con @ Home

This afternoon, July 25th 2020, at 3pm Pacific Time (6pm Eastern Time) fans will be able to watch a virtual Sailor Moon Panel, Sailor Moon: The Power of Female Friendship, live on YouTube. This is part of San-Diego Comic-Con’s virtual convention which is being held this year instead of a live convention which would be impossible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel will be hosted by comic book historian Jessica Tseang and includes voice actors from Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon including Michelle Ruff, the voice of Luna, Kate Higgins, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Amanda Celine Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, as well as comic book writer Sam Maggs, and comedian Chris Bryant.

To view the panel head over the Comic-Con site or watch it directly on YouTube (the video will likely be unavailable until shortly before the event starts). It seems like other panels remain available after the original live broadcast so fans who aren’t able to watch the panel live or are seeing this post too late should still be okay to watch it.

Will you be checking out the panel? For those reading this in the future, did you watch the panel and what did you think?

Here’s the latest news on the Sailor Moon Eternal films from the Sailor Moon Fan Club newsletter

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Usagi conspicuously talking to Luna in front of her family

The Sailor Moon Eternal films are coming to theatres in Japan on September 11th 2020. We don’t have a ton of information about these films but a recent mock interview shared with Japanese members of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club gives us some morsels of information about the films. We could have inferred most of this information already, but it’s nice to get some confirmation about some of these things.

I am not currently a member of the Sailor Moon Fan Club so I did not receive this newsletter however I read about it on the Tuxedo Unmasked web site. If you don’t already follow that site I suggest you do as there’s a ton of research that goes into those articles which I always enjoy reading. If you can read Japanese you can check out this scanned version of the Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Members Only Special Issue volume 13. I do not, so I will be referencing Tuxedo Unmasked’s translation.

Sailor Moon Fan Club Newsletter volume 11 - Page 3

The interview isn’t with an actual person who exists in the real world. Instead it’s a fake conversation between Luna and Usagi in which they destroy the fourth wall and talk somewhat in character about the upcoming films. This reminds me a bit of the Sailor Moon Memorial laserdiscs which are season recaps hosted by Usagi and Luna. So what does the interview tell us?

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Paralympic games

First there’s a reminder that the movies will come out “After the Olympics” which is a bit vague. The 2020 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo, will run from July 24th to August 9th. The film has already been announced to be released on September 11th so this bit of dialogue is less precise than what we already know. The actual release date appears on the page and later in the interview.

Then Usagi asks Luna what actually happened in Act 4 of the manga. We already knew that these two films will cover the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga which is the story which was adapted as the Sailor Moon SuperS season of the original Sailor Moon anime. This means it will include the Dark Moon Circus, Pegasus, the Amazon Trio, the Amazoness Quartet, Zirconia and Queen Nehelenia. Despite the similar characters the actual stories of the manga and anime differ quite a bit though, so Sailor Moon Eternal will be new to fans of the original Sailor Moon anime!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Viewing the eclipse

We learn that the new movie will be about the Dead Moon Circus who break free of a mirror during an eclipse. That eclipse was is seen at the end of the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal’s third season many, many eclipses ago. We will see Usagi and Chibiusa switch bodies, which is something that also happened in the original Sailor Moon anime though this was a minor story contained to one episode. It is also mentioned that this is a very Chibiusa intensive story! This arc is basically a romance between Chibiusa and Pegasus/Helios so there’s no ignoring that she will feature heavily.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 158 - Old Sailor Chibi Moon and Young Sailor Moon

More importantly they ask where the visuals for Sailor Uranus, Neptune and the other Sailor Guardians representing the outer planets are. Luna muses that this must mean that Hotaru’s awakening will be in the second film. This fits with what I had been assuming about the films. These characters only appear in the second half of the manga’s arc and it seems like a good split of the films would be to include them only in Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2, or whatever it is we will be calling it. This would start with us seeing what Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru have been up to for the past while and having them join the rest of the team. In the original Sailor Moon anime this never happens during Sailor Moon SuperS and the short six episode arc which starts off Sailor Moon Sailor Stars does its own quick version of these events. If this information is to be trusted it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing any designs for these characters for the first film, though I still think it may be possible they will appear briefly as an end of movie teaser.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Sailor Saturn gives Hotaru her memories

Following this exchange we get some quotes from Chiaki Kon, the film’s director, Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, the film’s writer, Kazuko Tadano, the animation director, Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. These are some nice little comments but they don’t really tell us anything new about the films. Misato Fukuen comments that she will finally get to see “an important character” who we can only assume is Pegasus. It seems they’re all being very careful not to tell us anything!

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 158 - Chibiusa kissing Pegasus

This all makes me wonder if the person that wrote this fictional exchange actually knows anything we don’t or if they instead are just inferring all of this from what we already know? I can’t say for sure. For now we are all anxiously waiting until September and wondering just when we’ll be getting the movies outside of Japan! I’m hopeful for some sort of limited North American theatrical run around the same time as the film will be released in Japan but that may be too optimistic of me! We may instead only get the film some while later, possibly not until 2021, and it’s not really guaranteed that it will be out theatrically here at all. I’ll be sure to share anything conclusive as that information becomes available!

Source: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Mailer Vol. 13 translated by Tuxedo Unmasked

Keep reading for the full interview translation.

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Yuranis León’s Sailor Moon music video is something that has the words Sailor and Moon in it

Yuranis León - Sailor Moon

Here’s a music video by Instagram influencer Yuranis León which is called Sailor Moon and has the words Sailor Moon in the lyrics and even has the words Sailor Moon appearing on the screen though I’m not sure what, if anything, it has to do with Sailor Moon.

I don’t think I have a very good explanation for what this is or even who Yuranis León is. As far as I can tell she is an Instagram influencer which I think means she has a popular Instagram account but doesn’t have any sort of “normal” job for which people follow that account other than is just being a very popular account. This is a thing which happens now and I am an old person who does not understand the world I live in. Yuranis León has recently released a music video “Sailor Moon” which is very popular. It has nearly 10 million views on YouTube which is more than many recording artists can hope to get. I suppose this makes her a singer, though her popularity predates this activity as far as I can tell.

Yuranis León - Sailor Moon - Shooting money out of a gun with a cat

So what does this have to do with Sailor Moon? I’m not sure. It seems as if this was a video made by someone who had heard the name Sailor Moon but had no real idea what it was. Everything is pink though Sailor Moon isn’t really about pink things. In the back of the video where Yuranis León spends some time dancing is something which looks like a toy box but this seems to fit more with Barbie than Sailor Moon. If this song had been about Barbie I think it would have worked about as well or maybe a bit better. She has a cat and Sailor Moon also has a cat though this cat doesn’t look much like Luna. The cat does resemble the fluffy white cat Luna from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series though! Could that be a reference? Almost certainly not. Her name is Yuranis which is sort of like Uranus? Not really.

Yuranis León - Sailor Moon - Toon Makers' Sailor Moon Luna

Update:

Following my posting of this article Aurélia, a fan who frequently comments on the posts here at Sailor Moon News, added a translation to the lyrics. They have many more references to Sailor Moon than I expected! It seems like the song itself is heavily related to Sailor Moon while the music video itself doesn’t really match the lyrics. Here is her translation:

Somos las Sailor, las Sailor Scouts
[We are the Sailor, the Sailor Scouts]
Que llegamos todas a salvar al mundo
[Who all come to save the world]
A salvar el mundo de todas las malignas
[To save the world from all the Youma]

Porque somos las Sailor Scouts, las Sailor Moon
|For we are the Sailor Scouts, the Sailor Moons]
Las Sailor Moon, Moon, Moon, Moon
[The Sailor Moons, etc.]
Fuego de Marte, enciéndete, enciéndete
[Mars fire, ignite, ignite]
Burbujas de Mercurio, estallen, estallen
[Mercury bubbles, blast, blast]
Rayo creciente de Venus, fulmina, fulmina
[Crescent beam of Venus, strike, strike]
Curación lunar acción, curación lunar acción
[Moon Healing Escalation, Moon Healing Escalation]

Ay, me transformaste
[Oh, transform me!]

What do I even tag this in? It doesn’t reference any particular incarnation of Sailor Moon. I’ve chosen “Reference” but I’m not sure there’s even anything that would pass for a Sailor Moon reference in here. It’s just using the words “Sailor Moon”. I can’t really tag it in “Fan Community” because I haven’t seen any evidence that Yuranis León is a fan. I guess she must be to use the name Sailor Moon in this song. Whatever. I watched it. Now you have to watch it. If you have Sailor Moon fan friends who you hate you can send this to them so that they have to watch it too.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Luna

Thanks to @JulioDHH on Twitter for spotting this one. He asked fans to flag it and instead I’m sharing this with a bunch of fans which probably isn’t what he would want but here we are. Forgive me Julio!

Viz Media promises to reprint the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Blu-Ray booklet after referring to Sailor Uranus and Neptune as being in a “friendship”

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Relationship chart

Sailor Stars – Relationship chart

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 was released on DVD and Blu-Ray June 18th but some fans were not pleased with what they got! A relationship chart found in the booklet which is included in the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set refers to Sailor Uranus and Neptune as having a “Friendship”. This was noted by some fans including Erica Friedman of Okazu who wrote an article about it and brought the issue up with Viz directly.

Viz Media responded fairly promptly to the concerns on Twitter and through a statement on their web site. This statement makes it clear! Sailor Uranus and Neptune aren’t friends but partners (that being romantic partners and not a couple of gals selling insurance together).

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Moonlight Legend lyrics

Sailor Stars – Moonlight Legend lyrics

Though the updated version of that statement clearly addresses the Uranus/Neptune relationship dynamic the original message is all about a problem with the “romaji” lyrics in the booklet. Upon close inspection we see that this is actually a reference to the first words of Moonlight Legend which in the English translation are not translated as “I’m sorry” but left as “Gomen-ne”. This seems like a bit of a non issue all considered. In both cases we can get a bit of context if we look back at past versions of the booklet. supersonicjc did some investigation of earlier versions and found that the lyrics issue had been there since the first season. Looking at past relationship charts and the Sailor Stars chart we can see other issues which I think could use some attention.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Updated relationship chart

Sailor Stars – Updated relationship chart

First we can look at the Sailor Stars relationship chart and see what else is there and what else is missing. I jokingly put together an updated version of the chart (above) with all sorts of ships which I support but this wasn’t meant to be anything serious. Since Usagi and Mamoru are listed as “Love” and not “Friendship” then we see that there is in fact an option for listing romantic love that is more than mere friendship. The obvious choice would be to put Haruka and Michiru with a “Love” connection. It’s also a bit odd that the link is put between Sailor Guardians rather than their civilian identities, as is done with other relationships. Jokes aside there is one legitimate relationship aside from the many couples I like to ship and that is Luna and Artemis. Though their relationship was a long time coming it was first hinted at in Sailor Moon R, cemented in the Sailor Moon S film which is arguably canon and finally confirmed in Sailor Moon SuperS with the arrival of Diana. No doubt Artemis and Luna of the future are in the relationship, but I think it’s safe to consider present day Luna and Artemis to have a “Love” connection as early as Sailor Moon SuperS as well as in this Sailor Stars chart.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon S - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon S – Relationship chart

Looking at past relationship charts we see fairly similar things. Sailor Uranus and Neptune are not in Sailor Moon SuperS and so they aren’t in that chart. They are introduced in Sailor Moon S and that chart lists them not as “Friendship” or “Love” but rather as “Partners”. This is technically true but they are also, obviously, much more than partners. The term “Partner” is sometimes used for gay and lesbian couples in place of gender specific terms such as “boyfriend and girlfriend” or “husband and wife” for a number of reasons. It distinguishes the platonic “I’m going out with my girlfriends” from the “I had a hot date with my girlfriend”. Guy don’t often use “boyfriend” in this non romantic sense but we’re not talking about boys here. It’s gender neutral use can also potentially mask the nature of someone’s same sex relationship in a social or professional situation where it’s unknown how others may feel about the term. The term “Partner” could also be preferred by some gay and lesbian couples as it sounds more serious than boyfriend or girlfriend for committed couples who due to whatever legal issues in their country may not be able to marry. So much to say the Sailor Moon S chart should have used “Love” for Sailor Uranus and Neptune as they used for Usagi and Tuxedo Mask. Why it isn’t Usagi and Mamoru or Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask I can’t say I understand. The term “Partners” is exclusively used to describe Sailor Uranus and Neptune in the Sailor Moon S chart where others who are described by the term in other charts, such as Usagi and Luna, are listed as “Friendship” on this one which was likely intentional.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon SuperS - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon SuperS – Relationship chart

Other couples listed in the Sailor Moon S chart, as well as others, are not romantically linked at all. This includes Usagi’s parents Ikuko and Kenji who are only linked through their children. They are present in the Sailor Moon R, S and SuperS charts and in none of these are they shown to be in “Love” or in any way romantically involved. Naru and Umino are also in the R, S and SuperS charts. Though their relationship grows gradually throughout the series one can not deny that they are in a full on relationship in Sailor Moon S and SuperS, if not earlier, with the first indication of their romance dating back to the first season. They are linked only through mutual “Friendship” to Usagi (listed as “Best Friend” and “Friend” in Sailor Moon R) as well as mutual “Teacher/Student” links to Haruna.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon R - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon R – Relationship chart

There are others “Lovers” listed in the Sailor Moon R chart, a term unique to that season’s chart, which includes sibling lovers An and Ail as well as Saphir and Petz. The abusive relationships such as Koan and Rubeus or Esmeraude and Demande are not reflected, which is probably for the best.

The term “Partner” which doesn’t appear elsewhere on the Sailor Moon S chart also appears in many places on the Sailor Moon R chart. This includes Luna and Usagi, Luna and Artemis as well as Artemis and Minako. In this sense the usage is not a romantic one, though a case could be made for two of those three couples, but rather in the sense that they are partners in their roles as superheroes.

Sailor Moon S episode 110 - Haruka and Michiru

What does all of this, taken together, tell us? There are a number of relationships in the series which are not acknowledged in these charts. While I can see the concern over Haruka and Michiru’s relationship being downplayed in this way, it’s hard to see how it could have been deliberate “LGBTQ Erasure” as the Okazu blog post puts it, though that text does suggest that “mere lazy editorial decisions” may be the reason. The new dub of Sailor Moon, with this new Sailor Stars dub specifically having a lot of relevant dialogue, makes it very clear that these two are not just friends but lesbians in a romantic relationship. This is an older relationship in which their sexual activities are hinted at as heavily in the dub as they were in the Japanese version. It isn’t something that is, or needs to be, spelled out in black and white but there’s little doubt as to what is going on. As Usagi enters high school in Sailor Stars she suggest, quite awkwardly, that her and Mamoru could take things to the next level, somethings which never happens in the anime. It is clear that Haruka and Michiru already have this more mature relationship between them. Viz has generally stayed true to their commitment to portray this relationship as honestly as the source material did and this relationship chart is at odds with this. It isn’t the 90s anymore and the industry and audience are more permissive about having LGBTQ characters in their fiction, for which we should all be grateful. Whatever the reason for which this occurred, we should be glad that Viz is acknowledging and correcting this oversight.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - First season - Moonlight Legend lyrics

First season – Moonlight Legend lyrics

As for the song lyrics, this really seems like a non issue. If this was such a big deal would someone perhaps have caught the error the last four times these lyrics were included in a booklet? Going back to the first season we see this same error of not translating their first two words of “Moonlight Legend” occurred in every single release. I seriously doubt Viz will be going back and issuing reprints of five different booklets just because of this problem!

If you’re interested in getting this set, be it the Limited Edition with this booklet or any other version, consider supporting the site by buying it through the Amazon links below.

Keep reading for more images showing the exact same lyric error with every booklet.

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Check out these Sailor Moon socks from Everything Legwear

Luna, Artemis and Diana socks from Everything Legwear

There’s certainly been no shortage of Sailor Moon products in or out of Japan lately and this even includes socks! I was recently contacted by the folks at Everything Legwear to let us know about some of their Sailor Moon products. There are a ton of Sailor Moon socks that you can find on their Sailor Moon store on Amazon. The prices seem reasonable for sets of 2 to 5 socks for $13 to $20 with designs featuring many characters and symbols from the series. The ads below show a few of what I’m told are the more popular items. Though Sailor Moon News does not have a business relationship with Everything Legwear we do use Amazon ads so if you buy products through links in this post this site will get a commission.

We had previously heard that Everything Legwear had the Sailor Moon sock license in 2017 when License Global made an announcement about a large number of companies who had made merchandising deals with TOEI to distribute Sailor Moon product. These, and many other products, have shown up in stores online and in the real world.

Sailor Moon socks from Everything Legwear

I once bought some Sailor Moon socks at EB Games and I’ll be honest, none of them fit! Keep an eye on the sizes as a lot of these are women’s socks which seems to indicate that this adult size 12 shoe wearing man isn’t exactly the target demographic! Hopefully you have better luck!

Have any of you bought socks from Everything Legwear? What do you think of them? Do you plan on picking any of these up?

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray review

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Cover

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan on March 20th and I’ve been working on this post since around then. The musical was originally performed in Japan last summer but I’d never gotten around to seeing any version of it until now. As such this will be a review of the Blu-Ray itself as well as my thoughts on the musical. If you’re looking to pick it up there are three version up on Amazon Japan. The limited edition Amazon Blu-Ray, now sold out, includes two folders. The regular Blu-Ray seems to be the same without the folders. Finally the DVD is a bit less expensive but of much worse quality. Keep in mind that as is often the case with Japanese Sailor Moon releases this set includes no English audio or subtitle options.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Back

Right off I have to say that I’m very happy to see that this release is on Blu-Ray and not just on DVD. I have not hidden my contempt for the sub par DVD releases we’ve gotten for the recent musicals, always featuring horrible looking 480i standard definition video. This release finally gives us a Sailor Moon in high definition! Looking at the fine print on the back of the box we see that it’s technically 1080i and not 1080p as you might see for most Blu-Ray releases. I guess they just love that interlaced video! What’s the difference? It’s nothing major! 1080i mean it’s interlaced instead of the 1080p progressive scan. Interlaced video works with scan lines where odd and then even lines are updated one at a time instead of the entire image being loaded one complete frame at a time. If you pause an old VHS tape you have probably noticed how there are often two images overlaid on the screen at a time which is the side effect of this. It can also affect the quality of screenshots. At such a high resolution it’s harder to notice and in motion it’s even less obvious. Most television is broadcast at 1080i and still of very high quality, so it’s really not a big problem as far as I’m concerned. Screenshots included in this post have not been modified to eliminate the scan lines and they still look decent.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Luna and Usagi

Overall the image quality is quite good! This musical looks great in high definition and after seeing so many standard definition releases, this really is a pleasure. The musical features a lot of fun special effects which are projected onto the stage and these are all captured beautifully in high definition. The sets, actors and costumes all appear clearly like only those who attend these shows in person have been able to see in the past! The camera work on the musical is good, following the important action when needed and letting us see the full musical. All special features included are also in high definition and those look great as well.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Zoisite, Kunzite and Jadeite

The musical itself is quite enjoyable. This is the Nogizaka46 musical meaning it features members of the band Nogizaka46 as the main cast. They make up two teams, Team Moon and Team Star, and this three disc set includes the full musical in both Team Moon and Team Star versions! From what I could tell both of these musicals were essentially the same, with the main cast of Sailor Guardians differing between teams. All other characters were played by the same actors in both versions. As this covers the Dark Kingdom story arc the extended cast includes Tuxedo Mask, Queen Beryl, the Shitennou, Queen Serenity as well as Umino and Naru. It’s great to see Usagi’s friends included in this musical.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Naru and Umino

The story of the musical follows that of the manga quite closely, which also follows quite well with the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. This is more faithful than most other musicals. Although there is no English dub or subtitles on this set fans familiar with the series should still be able to follow easily enough. We start out with the first story, introducing us to Usagi, Umino, Naru and even Haruna as well as Luna and Morga. We then move on to the second with the introduction of Mercury and then Mars, all somewhat following their introductions from the manga. Next we start to combine stories by having Sailor Jupiter introduced during the Masquerade Dance Party and things start to deviate.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - The Shitennou with the Sailor Guardians in the past

The main difference in this version, which we start to see at the party, are the pairings between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. This was originally hinted at in some art in the Sailor Moon manga though those relationships, aside from a bit of Minako and Kunzite’s, were not really fleshed out. These were brought back in Sailor Moon Crystal which was a nice addition, though the series was so closely based on the manga that there wasn’t room for much deviation. They were kept alive to dwell on the pairing only to be killed off later before it really went anywhere.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Tuxedo Mask attacks Usagi

The rest of the musical goes through the story of the manga which has been touched upon in previous musicals. The gang go to the Moon and talk to a hologram of Queen Serenity. We get a series of deaths and suicides and evil Mamoru trying to kill Usagi and ultimately the world is saved.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Chibiusa arrives

Finally the musical ends with an interesting scene! The gang are hanging around and Usagi sees something falling from the sky. Is this meant to be Chibiusa? If so, why are we including this scene? The first story arc of the manga does indeed end with the arrival of Chibiusa to set up the Black Moon story arc but in that case there was the intention to have it continue! The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is, as far as I understand it, only meant to be a one time thing. Could this really be setting up a Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical 2? Not sure about that!

Nogizaka 46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Puppet Luna

Technically the musical looks great. The puppet work on Luna was particularly impressive. There was an actor who can very clearly be seen controlling Luna, which can be a bit distracting, but the actual cat’s movements were something which would not have been possible by other means. Beyond Luna there were also Phobos and Deimos puppets. These two crows were also controlled by human puppeteers which can be seen on the stage. Luna even gets a chance to ride on one of the crows!

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star - Q and A

The musical is followed by the now expected seemingly never ending series of encores which includes an enjoyable rendition of La Soldier, a classic from the first Sailor Moon musicals, and a version of Moonlight Densetsu sung by the entire cast. We then have each cast member sharing a few words and crying, which has become another staple of the final performances of the musicals.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star - Happy Birthday

Aside from the Team Moon and Team Star discs there is a third disc which includes bonus features. Each feature has both a Team Moon and Team star version. The first feature is a “cast cam” which is a bunch of behind the scenes footage of rehearsal and the performance of the musical. One moment includes the cast of Team Star singing happy birthday to Ranze Terada who plays Sailor Mars in Team Star. This was funny to me as it was, in September 2018, her 20th birthday which reminds us that she, and many others in this musical, are so young that they were no only born after Sailor Moon started airing but even after the original Sailor Moon manga and anime were done.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star Game

Next there is a game! I should remind everyone at this point that I do not speak Japanese so it was a bit hard to tell exactly what was going on. In each case they pitted the Sailor Guardians, who were a different group between the Team Moon and Team Star games, against the Dark Kingdom, who are the same actors in both versions and therefore both games. As far as I can tell Team Moon did a game of charades and Team Star did a Pictionary or Win Lose or Draw style game where one sketches something and the others have to guess it. Both seem entertaining but it’s hard to get much from these features when you don’t speak the language.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Sailor Mars

Finally we have a series of clips to highlight the various characters. These are all clips from the musical but often the camera angle is changed to focus on that particular character. This sort of features seems mostly useless to me.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star Disc and Extras

The packaging is good. This is a nice looking set with photos of both casts on the front. The art of the discs themselves is quite nice. There’s an insert with a few pages again showing both casts.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive folders

Since I ordered the Amazon Japan limited edition version my copy also came with two mini folders. One features Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask and the other features the Sailor Guardians.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Minako and Rei

All in all I would say this set is quite worth it. Yes it is expensive compared to buying a movie in North America but it’s not much more than the other musical releases and it really is a much higher quality release. After so many sub part standard definition DVDs it’s a real treat to get this Blu-Ray. The image quality is fantastic. The set includes two full versions of the musical and numerous extras. The lack of English audio or subtitles is of course a problem for English speaking fans. This set was made for a Japanese audience but other fans should enjoy it.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Q and A

Ultimately fans may find that this istheir best chance at seeing this musical. Like many others I enjoyed watching the fan subbed versions of the musicals supplied by Miss Dream. After they received a takedown notice for four recent musicals, it seems that they will not be subtitling any of the newer musicals. (June 8th update: Miss Dream’s Dan Bednarksi has clarified in a comment on this post that the issue had to do with the trouble getting a translator for this musical. The two teams added complication to this issue as it would potentially double some of the work needed.) As a result importing the musicals on video may be the only way some fans will be able to see them! I certainly hope that some time soon we will be seeing international releases of these musicals with subtitles for fans to enjoy. Perhaps this will happen around the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal!

Keep reading for a lot more photos of the set and screenshots from the musical.

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A new Sailor Moon musical based on the Princess Kaguya’s Lover manga side story is coming in 2020

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga vol. 11 - Princess Kaguya's Lover

We have finally gotten an update about the next Sailor Moon musical! According to an update on the official Sailor Moon site it will be coming next summer, in 2020, and it will be following the manga side story Princess Kaguya’s Lover. Fans may be most familiar with this story as Sailor Moon S The Movie, the film adaptation of the manga. This covers the story of Luna falling in love with a human while the earth is attacked by the evil ice alien Princess Snow Kaguya.

Nogizaka 46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Puppet Luna

Luna in the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical

Though we don’t have any real details on the musical we can be fairly certain that it will have Luna transforming into Human Luna. As Luna features heavily in the manga story I am curious to see how they handle cat Luna before her human transformation in the final scenes. The recent Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical featured a fairly detailed puppet Luna which, aside from the somewhat distracting puppeteer, made for a very convincing effect. Could this technique have been done in anticipation of this musical? This would probably be a better choice than to just have people dressed up as cats as they did in the first Sailor Moon musical.

Artemis and Luna from the Summer 1993 Sailor Moon musical

Artemis and Luna in the first Sailor Moon musical (1993)

It’s worth mentioning that this was the third “New Musical” which was announced in early 2018 along with the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical and The Super Live musical. At the time we had no details about what this third musical was about and it was simply referred to as “New Musical”. It was originally scheduled for summer 2019 but we now have confirmation that the musical is delayed until next summer. Without any other news about upcoming musicals it seems like we may not be getting a musical in 2018 which would make this year the first year without a Sailor Moon musical since 2012.

Logo - 3rd Sailor Moon Musical

The name “New Musical” was almost certainly a placeholder so we should expect a better title to be announced at some point! We have quite a bit of time to wait for this musical so there’s no telling how much longer we’ll have to wait until we get more specifics on this one. Hopefully it won’t be too long! Will we be seeing those Dream Arc Sailor Moon Crystal movies before this musical is out? I won’t be holding my breath for either!

Sailor Moon manga - Princess Kaguya's Lover - Human Luna

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Meet Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Keiko Han, the voice of Luna, and Katsuji Mori, the voice of Nephrite, at the Animazement convention in Raleigh, North Carolina May 24th to the 26th

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

Great news for Sailor Moon fans in North Carolina! They will have a chance to meet the Japanese voices of Sailor Moon, Luna and Nephrite at the upcoming Animazement convention in Raleigh May 24th to the 26th! This includes Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon as well as her voice in Sailor Moon Crystal! She has also done a number of other roles in other popular anime series such as Misato in Evangelion. Returning to Animazement is Keiko Han, the voice of Luna from the original Sailor Moon anime as well as the plush and CG Luna from the fantastic live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. Finally there is also Katsuji Mori, who voiced Nephrite in the original Sailor Moon anime. When not drinking chocolate parfaits Katsuji Mori is an anime voice acting veteran and the main star of many classic series having played Ken the Eagle in Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), Tekkaman in the original Tekkaman series and Go Mifune (Speed Racer) in Mach GoGoGo.

Keiko Han, the voice of Luna in Sailor Moon

A specific schedule doesn’t seem to be available quite yet but it stands to reason that they would be available for autographs and potentially some panels. Be sure to check out the full schedule when the event approaches. Are any of you in the area and planning to attend this convention? Let us know in the comments!

Katsuji Mori, the voice of Nephrite

Sailor Moon Monopoly game review

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Board

The Sailor Moon Monopoly game is now out in stores and online. I got my copy from an EB Games store in Ottawa (the Canadian equivalent to GameStop) a while back and it seems like many fans have done the same. With the game in hand we can get a good look at exactly what’s going on with the various pieces! As we’d discussed earlier this seems to be Sailor Moon S the game for reasons which I can’t really fathom. The various characters are mostly all from Sailor Moon S, mainly the villains being the Witches 5, Professor Tomoe and Mistress 9 as well as the inclusion of all Sailor Guardians including Sailor Moon S’s new additional Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn. With the Viz video releases now having reached the end of Sailor Moon SuperS this seems an odd way to do it. Perhaps the game was simply in development for too long or this may have been an intentional choice as many of the Sailor Guardians introduced in this season would not appear in Sailor Moon SuperS and a Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Monopoly game would not be as recognisable to fans. For whatever the reasons, it’s Sailor Moon S Monopoly!

As with many other versions of Monopoly this really is the same old game we’ve seen time and time again with a different esthetic. This was immediately obvious to me as I’ve played countless hours of the game in my youth and I even spent quite some time programming a Monopoly computer game in Turbo Pascal when I was a child (the game mostly worked well but lacked houses, hotels, Chance and Community Chest cards). This is good for purists who want to have the same game experience as normal Monopoly. One thing which I think is fairly odd however is the completely random grouping of characters for most of the properties. Allow me to rant a bit about each one.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Mortgaged Properties

First we have Luna and Artemis, as a single property, bundled with Mimette of the Witches 5. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just use this, one of the only two pairs of properties, as Luna and Artemis? Mimette does not fit with Luna and Artemis at all. The characters don’t ever actually interact.

Next we have Eudial, Viluy and Tellu. This actually works! They are 3 of the Witches 5 and since there are no sets of five properties (most are groups of three) this sort of works!

Then there’s Cyprene/Ptilol with Kaolinite and … Sailor Chibi Moon! Kaolinite does have a brief interaction with Chibiusa at some point and the two characters do show up together in succession in the later versions of the Sailor Moon S credits. Cyprene and Ptilol fit only with Kaolinite. It would have made more sense to have put Mimette with her fellow Witches and then put Chibiusa with either her parents or maybe with Sailor Saturn!

Next is Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. There are all Sailor Guardians so this works decently. Aside from Sailor Moon they do spend some time together before Sailor Venus joins the show so I’ll say this is one of the three less terrible one.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Next is Sailor Venus, Professor Tomoe and Sailor Pluto. None of these characters have much to do with each other, except perhaps for a brief interaction between Sailor Venus and Pluto in one episode of Sailor Stars. Sailor Venus belongs with the Sailor Guardians from the first season while Sailor Pluto fits in better with Sailor Uranus and Neptune or even with Sailor Chibi Moon. I would personally have put her with King Endymion but that’s because I like trolling people. Professor Tomoe is a villain and if he’s going to be paired with anyone but his fellow villains from the season it should probably be his daughter, and not the Sailor Guardians who steals his baby from him in Sailor Stars.

Next is Sailor Uranus and Neptune with … Tuxedo Mask! Naturally Sailor Pluto would have worked better here. There’s nothing these two lesbians love more than the show’s male love interest! At least Sailor Uranus and Neptune are together where they belong.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Board

On the last side we have Sailor Moon with Sailor Saturn and Mistress 9. This sort of works since Sailor Moon fights Mistress 9 and sort of saves Sailor Saturn but these characters would fit so much better elsewhere. Saturn should be with her father or her friend Chibiusa and Mistress 9 could easily fit with the villains! It does of course work that two versions of Hotaru be grouped together.

Finally we have the only grouping that works well, and that is Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion. The only issue here is that they don’t really appear in Sailor Moon S so they don’t fit with the game at all.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 9 - Makoto the cop

Other groupings make some sense! The railroads are all items, either Talismans or Sailor Saturn’s Silence Glaive. The utilities are replaced by Sailor Moon’s items, that being her broach and rod. Jail and Free Parking are unchanged. It seems like there’s an opportunity here to use something a bit more Sailor Moon themed for these. Maybe Pharaon 90 sends you to the Tau Star System or something like that. A missed opportunity which leaves art which ultimately clashes with the rest of the game.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Tokens

When it comes to the game pieces they are nice! These are the three Talismans, Sailor Moon’s Cosmic Heart Compact and Spiral Heart Moon Rod, and the Holy Grail. They’re all things and not characters but then aside from the dog most Monopoly game pieces are just things anyway.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Money

The money is a bit odd. The colours and values are more or less kept from real Monopoly with different characters appearing on each bill. The money is all shown with an M with a slash through it. Moon dollars or something of the sort. It’s not like Sailor Moon takes place in a universe they don’t use normal currency. We frequently see prices and money in the series being yen. Is there some rule that a themed Monopoly came have some weird non existent currency?

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Love Cards

Finally we have the Love and Friendship Cards. These seem to basically be Chance and Community Chest cards with the flavour language changed and the same dollar amounts and consequences. The descriptions of what is occurring are just random events occurring during Sailor Moon S.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Friendship Cards

Should you buy this game? If you wanted to I imagine you already would have! It’s just one of a very, very, very long series of Monopoly games with images based on many franchises. The specific decisions made in adapting this game seem to be pretty poor as someone with a minor amount of effort would likely have been able to put together property groupings and other aspects of the game which work much better. It seems like someone with next to no knowledge of the franchise was given a list of characters, art and perhaps episode summaries of Sailor Moon S and that they threw together a version of Monopoly that superficially seemed to have made sense. For my money the Sailor Moon games by Dyskami Publishing are a much better way to play a Sailor Moon game.

Keep reading for more photos of this game.

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