Viz’s Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray looks fantastic and is well worth buying despite the unpopular cover art

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Sailor Moon R The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray April 18th and it looks amazing. I’m not talking about the lacklustre cover art which everyone seems fixated on but rather the video quality of the actual Blu-Ray. This is a top quality release which seems to come from the film source. The level of detail is absolutely not something which could have simply been gotten from software upscaling, which is what has been used for all of the home video releases we’ve seen for the Sailor Moon TV series to date. But don’t take my word for it! Look at these screenshots to see the difference. Prior to this release I watched the Japanese DVD as my gold standard. The French DVD release which came out in 2014 looks great too, but is still in the same ball park. It has a slightly cleaned up image and a higher resolution due to them having different TV standards. The old DVD we got from Pioneer in 1999 is borderline VHS quality, but it is an unmated full screen so there’s a bit more to the picture. This new Blu-Ray is in a league of its own. View the full sized versions of these pictures to see the difference. There’s a small amount of loss of quality from the JPEG compression on these uploads but it should give you a good idea of the difference.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - French DVD - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

French DVD (2014)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

Pay attention to small details in the image like Fiore’s nose or the lines on Mamoru’s face. This new Blu-Ray image is not something which could have been extrapolated through software from any of the standard definition masters. This is a high quality HD transfer from film source and it looks as good as we could hope for! Fans who were lucky enough to have seen the film in theatres probably noticed that they could see a lot of detail in the image and we see that in this release as well. Look at another comparison between a wide shot of the street which gives us a lot of small details of individual characters.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Wide shot of the street

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Wide shot of the street

Japanese DVD (2002)

It’s really refreshing to see such a nice quality release from Viz considering some of the earlier stuff we’ve gotten from them. I’ve always said that they’re doing the best that they can with low quality masters and this seems to confirm that idea. They’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using too much post processing and such but at the end of the day if you start off with a low quality master there’s really only so much you can do to try to make it look nice. The minor differences between the different releases of the original anime don’t add up to much but this release is on another level. This is a great movie, part of the best of what Sailor Moon has to offer, and at the relatively low price it’s being sold for it’s a no brainer to pick it up.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray  - Cover

But wait, you’re all thinking, what about this terrible box art??? Indeed, the cover art isn’t the best. For weeks fans have been criticizing it. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best box art compared to their other releases but is that what’s most important? We’ve gotten a lot of really nice looking boxes with great little booklets and the video content always looked kind of terrible. Here we have the opposite, a box which isn’t that nice and a top quality release inside! All things considered I’d rather we get a release with a cover drawn by 3 year old with crayons if we could somehow keep getting quality releases like this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon returns to life

Let’s look at what else is in this release. First off is the feature, which is only 1 hour long. This is the first of the Sailor Moon movies and it includes both a new English dub by Viz and a Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Sailor Moon R The Movie is one of my all time favourite films and my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies. It includes some of the best animation seen in the series. I watched the film in Japanese with English subtitles as I’d already heard the dub in theatres and found it to be good. Having seen a number of different versions of the film countless times I didn’t notice anything amiss with the translation, but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on it more than that.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Also included is the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special. This originally aired with Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres in Japan. It was also included in North American theatres when it played here. This is a fun little extra, running at only 16 minutes, with some new animation but mostly recycled clips from the TV series. This extra feature also looks great. This makes me wonder what kind of masters TOEI had access to when they put it together! This release was obviously mastered from a film source but the TV clips included also seem to come from a higher quality source even than we’ve seen with the Japanese DVD releases. With the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the original Sailor Moon anime in Japan being advertised as being software upscaled from standard definition sources I wish they had access to the same source material they used in 1993 when this special was put together. Just look at this shot of Ami from her first appearance early in the first season with the fine detail in the lines. It isn’t the best but it’s nothing like what we’ve gotten in any other TV release of the series. Let’s hope the Japanese release we get in June looks something close to this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians - Ami from the TV series

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Cast Interview

There are a few extras on this disc. When Sailor Moon R The Movie played in theatres it was introduced by an interview with the cast. This included Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Ben Diskin, Fiore and Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask. When I saw this in theatres I thought it was a bit silly to have it before the main feature. I was there to watch the movie, not see something which wasn’t more thrilling than your run of the mill DVD extra. Having it as an extra like this however is totally reasonable. This feature is about 10 minutes.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - LA Premiere Q & A

Also included is an interview which followed the LA Premiere. This included nearly all of the voice actors from the film, Viz’s Charlene Ingram and the ADR voice director for the film, Suzanne Goldish. The cast present included Carrie Keranen, the Xenian flower, Ben Diskin, Fiore, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff, Luna, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon. The only main actors not present were Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, and Johnny Yong Bosh, Artemis. The interview included your standard kind of banter about how mind blowing it is to see Sailor Moon the big screen and the fan reaction. Suzanne Goldish, ADR director, tells a humours story about how her notes had her flip flopping from calling the villain Fiole, which means nothing, and Fiore, the objectively correct character’s name and the Italian word for flower. This explains why the voice actors refer to him as Fiole in the pre-movie interview. ADR directors don’t have the star power of the voice actors but they usually have some good insight into the production which makes for interesting stories.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Character art

Note that this book is not included with the film.

There is also some character art on the disc itself. I wanted to grab some screenshots but this feature wasn’t included on the DVD and the tool I used to get Blu-Ray screenshots doesn’t support menus. I’ll spare you photos of my TV and assure you these are character designs for the film similar to those seen in the above photo from the Japanese art book. It would have been nice to see a booklet with some character bios and maybe some of this kind of art but there’s nothing in the way of inserts with this release. The Japanese Sailor Moon R The Movie art book includes over 100 pages of content. It would have been easy for Viz to put together 20 or so pages to accompany this film!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Discs

We also get the standard trailers which are included in all Viz releases. If you haven’t been convinced to buy the remastered uncropped Ranma 1/2 Blu-Ray release at this point it’s just not going to happen.

So what’s my final verdict? Isn’t it obvious? Just buy the movie! Don’t bother with the DVD as it doesn’t showcase the high quality video of the HD transfer. Buy the Blu-Ray which includes the DVD if you somehow don’t have a Blu-Ray player in 2017. I got mine on Amazon. You can also get it from other retailers like Right Stuf. If you don’t want a physical copy you can save a few bucks by getting it digitally on iTunes or Amazon Video, but be warned that the digital version is currently only available in English. This is a high quality release of a great movie which every fan should own. Go get it!

Now that we’ve agreed that it’s worth getting whether you have another copy of the film or not a practical question is whether or not it supersedes any other release. Should you just throw your old copy out? The old Pioneer release has some advantages, mainly the old dub which some people have nostalgia for an the unmated full frame image. For most people in 2017 with widescreen displays this has limited appeal, but to this day the English release is the only way to get this full pictured version. Even the original Japanese laserdisc version was presented in widescreen. As for the Japanese release it still has some special features which are nice. A rare DVD feature that all of the Japanese Sailor Moon movies have is an isolated music only track which is a nice addition which isn’t on this release.

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Usagi and Luna dream of the Ford Fusion constellation in a bizarre Ford commercial

Sailor Moon Dreams of the Ford Fusion Constellation

You thought the Japanese Sailor Moon merchandise was expensive? Has your love of Sailor Moon made you buy a car?! In the latest in Ford’s “Overdubs” ad campaign they have remixed a clip from Sailor Moon to have it look like Usagi and Luna are daydreaming about the Ford Fusion car complete with specs that only a car salesmen would bother quoting. Commercials don’t have credits but it sounds like Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff, the new voices of Usagi and Luna, are reprising their roles here. Watch the clip below!

The original clip which was edited here is from episode 13 of the first season. It has Usagi stargazing at the Motoki and Tuxedo Mask constellations. I know what you’re thinking! We don’t have Motoki and Tuxedo Mask constellations! That’s because Japan is more down south than many parts of the US and Canada so they have Motoki and Tuxedo Mask constellations over there. That’s also why they see the rabbit on the Moon and we only see a face. QED.

Sailor Moon episode 13 - The Motoki constellation

At this point in the series, which is quite early, Usagi imagines that Motoki and Tuxedo Mask are the same person. Eventually Jadeite shows up to challenge her, her friends, and most of the city to come fight at the airport.

Sailor Moon episode 13 - The Tuxedo Mask constellation

So … will you be buying a Ford Fusion? As much as I’d love to spend my hard earned money on a car that one of my favourite anime characters endorsed I just bought a van because I’m going to need room for a car seat and stroller in April.

Sailor Moon episode 13 - Motoki as Tuxedo Mask

Meet Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff and see Viz’s Official Sailor Moon Panel at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend

Luna waking Usagi

This weekend is the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. This event will feature an Official Sailor Moon panel hosted by Viz and voice actors from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Michelle Ruff, the voice of Luna. The official panel will be held on Saturday March 19th at 11:30am. This will be run by Viz Media staff including Charlene Ingram so we may have some news about the dub of Sailor Moon S that we are long overdue to get more information about. This is probably the topic I get the most e-mails and messages about! If things proceed as they have in the past we may very well be getting an announcement for a new Moonlight Party, some episodes to be released on Hulu and news about Sailor Moon S on DVD and Blu-Ray. We may also get news about Sailor Moon Crystal’s DVD and Blu-Ray release. This is all speculation of course. Keep checking this site for any significant news that may come from this event.

Sailor Moon Crystal episode 01 - Usagi and Luna

In additional to taking part in the Official Sailor Moon panel Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff will also be holding a panel Bringing Characters to Life – An Hour with Michelle Ruff and Stephanie Sheh on Sunday, March 20th, at 10:45am. Both of the voice actors will also be available to signs autographs Saturday from 1:15pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 7pm and on Sunday from 2:45pm to 4:30pm.

Viz's cast of Sailor Moon S announced at Anime Expo 2015

Charlene Ingram, the Viz Media rep who runs all of the Sailor Moon panels and Moonlight Parties, will also be holding the VIZ Media Industry Panel on Saturday, March 19th, at 4:15pm. While the important Sailor Moon info will probably be covered earlier in the day at the Sailor Moon panel, Sailor Moon may be covered a bit at this time.

The voice cast from Viz’s Sailor Moon Crystal dub will be the same as the cast of the new dub of the original anime

Sailor Moon Crystal dub voice cast

This past weekend was Anime Boston at the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston. At the convention Viz announced the voice cast for their upcoming dub of Sailor Moon Crystal. We’ve known for some time that Viz had the rights to dub Sailor Moon Crystal and it seemed only logical that the dub cast would be the same as the cast for Viz’s new dub of the original anime. This has been confirmed to be the case. Only the main voice actors were mentioned but it stands to reason that all of the cast will return. The slide shown above confirms Sailor Moon, the Sailor Guardians, Tuxedo Mask and the cats are all returning.

Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon – Stephanie Sheh
Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury – Kate Higgins
Rei Hino/Sailor Mars – Cristina Vee
Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter – Amanda Miller
Minako Aino/Sailor Venus – Cherami Leigh
Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask – Robbie Daymond
Luna – Michelle Ruff
Artemis – Johnny Yong Bosch

This is no surprise. These voice actors are all on board to do the dub through SailorStars, the final season, so why wouldn’t they also keep them to do the Sailor Moon Crystal dub?

The series will be using the updated animation used for the Japanese Blu-Ray releases. As mentioned in my reviews of these Blu-Rays there are a number of minor animation updates for these which are generally cosmetic.

Source: Fandompost

Sailor Pluto isn’t a Sailor Scout anymore in Animation Domination HD’s take on Sailor Moon Crystal

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sailor Pluto

Animation Domination High-Def have put together a parody video of Sailor Moon Crystal. In this video Sailor Pluto is essentially fired as a Sailor Scout because Neil deGrasse Tyson, the host of Cosmos which plays on Fox along with Animation Domination shows, decided that Pluto wasn’t a planet any more. Watch this hilarious video below and then keep reading for a nitpicky breakdown of everything wrong with it.

I wrote an article back in 2006 that similarly asked the question of what would happen to Sailor Pluto as a result of the downgrade of Pluto’s planetary status. It was not animated and not nearly as funny. The Moon Stick web comic also tackled the issue a few years ago with this comic.

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - The Sailor Guardians

Many commenters are saying that this video is wrong because Pluto is a planet again. This is quite incorrect. An irresponsible and downright dishonest University publication made statements about Pluto being a planet following an informal survey after an internal debate and the press reprinted and tweaked this story to lead people to believe something had changed. There is no agreement amongst the scientific community that Pluto has being reinstated as a planet. For more on that check out episode 318 of the Reality Check podcast in which I discuss Pluto’s status as a planet and drop more than a few Sailor Moon references.

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Moon

Okay now that all that is out of the way let’s take all of the fun out of this video by pointing out the many inaccuracies, as hardcore Sailor Moon fans. Feel free to mention any other problems you notice in the comments!

  • The video mentions it as Sailor Moon 2015, though Sailor Moon Crystal premiered on July 5th 2014
  • The costumes are all wrong. Not even sure where to start here. Pretty much all of the colours are wrong. They actually look more like school uniforms than their Sailor Scout uniforms with the scarves closer to Minako’s uniform than the bows they usually have, they are wearing socks, there are no tiaras, there are no broaches. They’re just all wrong.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Venus

  • The border around much of the video is similar to one used by DiC for episode previews, which isn’t used by Sailor Moon Crystal
  • Minako says that Pluto is “like a fucking asteroid or something now”. It’s not quite an asteroid, but a Dwarf Planet. This isn’t really something the video got wrong as they could simply be insinuating that Minako just doesn’t know much about Astronomy.
  • The basic idea of this video is that the Sailor Scouts get their power from planets. This is not correct, as is mentioned Sailor Moon is a Sailor Scout and only represents a Moon. Sailor Chibi Moon also isn’t tied to any planet. The Amazon Quartet, Phobos and Deimos, the Starlights and tons more get their power from astral bodies which are not defined as planets.
  • Sailor Mercury mocks Sailor Pluto for being old enough to drive yet hanging out with 8th graders. It’s hard to make an equivalent here because the Japanese school system is totally different but at the beginning of the Sailor Moon series the characters are 14 years old putting them in roughly 9th grade. As the manga progresses, which is what Sailor Moon Crystal is more closely based on, a year passes for each story arc. Sailor Pluto appears in the second story arc making the characters at least 15 at the time of these events. Factoring in that Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn aren’t around until the third year and they could easily be as old as 16 at this point. All this said Sailor Uranus is shown to have a driver’s license, not to mention the fact that old man Mamoru is in a full on relationship with Usagi and also has his driver’s license. Of course Sailor Mercury says this while texting a college guy.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Mercury sexting

  • Sailor Pluto claims to be 41 years old. Since she is originally from the future this is hard to properly quantify, as she could be quite old and living outside of time near the Space-Time Door could have her age at a different rate or be considered to be essentially ageless. All said, she’s portrayed in the manga and anime as being a few years older than the rest of the girls but nothing close to 41.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Old Sailor Pluto

  • Minako says she’ll kill herself before being 41 yet she is alive and well in the 30th century. Of course Minako has literally died a number of times in all continuities and come back from it without issues, so this is entirely possible, but she’ll likely be pushing 1000 in Crystal Tokyo so no need to judge.
  • Luna has a British voice, similar to that portrayed by Jill Frappier. This is unlikely to be how Luna sounds in the new dub of Sailor Moon Crystal. The new dub of the original anime has Luna voiced by Michelle Ruff who doesn’t sound anything like Jill Frappier did.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Luna

  • Luna tells Pluto get a job. Sailor Pluto has a job. She protects the Space-Time Door.
  • When asked to find a husband Sailor Pluto says that she’s divorced. Divorced people can still find love! The greater problem is that Sailor Pluto is clearly in love with King Endymion who’s still married to Neo Queen Serenity.
  • Finally, this whole video is nonsense since Sailor Pluto has already been confirmed as appearing in Sailor Moon Crystal during it’s second season which is set to start next Saturday.
  • Source: The Animation Domination High-Def Facebook Page.

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    Listen to a bunch of new clips from Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub

    Cricket Brown as Haruna having her skirt flipped by Umino

    We’ve got four new dub clips to share from Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub. The first, uploaded to YouTube last week, is an exchange between Jadeite and Queen Beryl from episode 5, Scent of a Monster: Chanela Will Steal Your Love.

    Two more clips have been added to Hulu’s Sailor Moon page. The first clip has Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars fighting Jadeite in episode 13, Girls Unite: The End of Jadeite. The next clip is an extension of the clip we already saw between Luna and Sailor Moon from the first episode, but this time includes her transformation and a short clip of Naru’s voice.

    Finally we have more leaked footage, this time from San Diego Comic-Con. This fooage includes Umino from episode 2, Punishment Awaits: The House Of Fortune Is The Monster Mansion, acting evil under the influence of the fortune teller’s cards and interacting with Usagi, Naru and Haruna. We also see Usagi’s first meetings with Ami from episode 8, The Girl Genius Is a Monster: The Brainwashing Cram School of Horror, and with Rei from episode 9, The Cursed Bus: Enter Mars, the Guardian of Fire Several.

    In these clips we hear the voices of Stephanie Sheh as Sailor Moon, Kate Higgins as Sailor Mercury, Cristina Vee as Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff as Luna, Cindy Robinson as Queen Beryl, Todd Haberkorn as Jadeite, Ben Diskin as Umino and Danielle Nicole as Naru. Cricket Brown will be playing Haruna. This actress had not been announced previously. The actor voicing Rei’s grandpa is still unknown. Check out this link to see the rest of the cast.

    The new Sailor Moon dub will be included on the upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray release coming November 11th. You can pre-order it from Amazon using the link below.

    Listen to Michelle Ruff as the voice of Luna from Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub

    Luna trying to wake up Usagi

    Viz has posted yet another clip of their new Sailor Moon dub. This one features Luna, as voiced by Michelle Ruff. This is the first scene where Luna talks, as she explains to Usagi that she is Sailor Moon. Usagi is voiced by Stephanie Sheh. Watch the full clip below.

    The DVD and Blu-Ray including the new Viz dub will be released on November 11th.

    The cast of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub has been announced

    Johnny Yong Bosch

    This weekend at Anime Expo Viz Media announced the cast of their new Sailor Moon dub which will include all episodes, including the never before dubbed 5th season Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. Here’s a rundown of the cast:

    Stephanie Sheh – Sailor Moon
    Kate Higgins – Sailor Mercury
    Cristina Vee – Sailor Mars
    Amanda C. Miller – Sailor Jupiter
    Cherami Leigh – Sailor Venus
    Robbie Daymond – Tuxedo Mask
    Michelle Ruff – Luna
    Johnny Yong Bosch – Artemis
    Danielle Nicole – Naru
    Ben Diskin – Umino
    Tara Platt – Ikuko Mama
    Keith Silverstein – Kenji Papa
    Nicolas Roye – Shingo
    Cindy Robinson – Queen Beryl
    Todd Haberkorn – Jadeite
    Liam O’Brien – Nephrite
    Lucien Dodge – Zoicite
    Patrick Seitz – Kunzite

    When it was first announced that Viz would be producing a new dub of Sailor Moon it was not clear who, if anyone, might be returning from the original cast. As we can now see this is an all new cast without any returning voice actors. Most of the cast seems comprised of voice actors having done other anime work. Let’s hope this new team does a great job!

    Sailor Moon fans already planning to go to Unplugged Expo in Toronto this September 27th and 28th will be happy to see that Johnny Yong Bosch, who will be attending the convention, will be voicing Artemis in the new series.

    Source: Moon Chase