Sailor Moon Crystal Season III CD 3 single review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - Cover

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

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

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III - 3rd single - CD

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

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

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

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

Keep reading for more images of the packaging.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Witches 6

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 30th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, it was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth, has Chibiusa dead and the gang reluctantly fighting to save her.

First off we have a new opening theme. Once again it’s In Love With the New Moon but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z. They sang Moon Pride, the opening theme for the first two story arcs. This version is fine but I prefer the first version by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Not sure I have much else to say about that. Momoiro Clover Z seems like a perfectly mediocre J-Pop band.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa is dead

Chibiusa is dead. The day fans have been waiting for since the 90s is here! With her soul ripped out, Chibiusa’s body dies. The doctor announces quite clearly that she went through cardiac arrest and then passed away. All hope is not lost though, as Mamoru is able to keep her alive through some sort of healing touch. It’s as if he’s able to keep her blood pulsing with his heart which only makes sense considering he has magic healing powers. In the manga he mentions that her body is so small that supporting her is easy, but in Sailor Moon Crystal we get the impression that this is draining on him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Usagi and Chibiusa

Usagi is heartbroken by this, and really feels as if Chibiusa is dead. What option is there to save her? Well they just need to kill Hotaru! Actually they don’t have to kill anyone, they just need need to defeat Mistress 9. Not every enemy needs to be killed when they’re defeated! Oh right this is the manga version where Sailor Moon kills pretty much anyone. Original anime Sailor Moon seems to win over and heal more villains. Anyway the trolley problem is a bit different now. Instead of kill Hotaru vs. the world it’s Hotaru vs. Chibiusa vs. the world. And now the trolley has run over Chibiusa and is heading towards the world and pulling the lever will make it roll back in time, bringing Chibiusa back to life and then killing Hotaru. I’m not sure I want to attempt to illustrate that. So much to say despite hesitation everyone, including Mamoru, supports the idea of moving forward and trying to get Chibiusa’s soul back.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Hotaru stuck in some vines

The whole thorn thing seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. There are thorns around the building at Mugen Academy which makes it seem something like when the Makaiju grew all over the apartment building in Sailor Moon R. There are thorns and roses all around the lobby. What’s more Hotaru’s soul, which we see occasionally inside of Mistress 9, is held down by thorns. The manga doesn’t have this level of thorniness, and Hotaru is just seen sort of floating around in nothingness. This is a sort of physical visualization of the way she’s restricted inside of Mistress 9. All this really means is that Hotaru is still alive, so there’s still hope.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Eudial seduces Sailor Mars

The Witches 5 return and now there are 6. Everyone seems to be getting a dream of something they would like. Sailor Mars sees a version of Eudial which pretty much just want to make out with her. She pins her down holding her hand and seems to want to kiss her. Did I ever mention that Eudial is my favourite of the Witches 5 and that Sailor Mars is my favourite Sailor Guardian? I’m totally shipping these two. The rest of the gang are presented with predictable things. Sailor Mercury sees a powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer, which is cool but probably nothing compared to the supercomputer on the Moon which has the consciousness of Queen Serenity uploaded to it. Sailor Venus holds a microphone for a while but doesn’t actually sing, which is disappointing. Sailor Jupiter likes flowers. The recurring theme is making them all want to quit being Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa tries to kill Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon gets a whopper of a dream. Chibiusa tries to choke and kill her! This is fake, unlike the time Chibiusa tried to shoot her in the head! This really is a great episode for Chibiusa haters! Sailor Moon doesn’t buy it though.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Kaolinite is a monster

Turns out Kaolinite is actually a monster! This is not in the manga and new to Sailor Moon Crystal. She transforms into this weird kind of Daimon who the Sailor Guardians quickly dispose of. We see a couple of new attacks with Sailor Neptune’s Submarine Reflection, which is awesome, and Sailor Pluto’s Chronos Typhoon, which is completely disappointing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Silver Crystal of the future

To wrap up the episode Mistress 9 eats the Chibiusa’s Silver Crystal! How terrible! Does she even know that Chibiusa’s soul is in there? Good news for Hotaru though. She’ll have some company inside of Mistress 9.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme - Mamoru in a wet shirt

Next is the new ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. This ending theme contains wet shirt Mamoru which I find looks like something out Yaoi fan art. I guess some readers will appreciate this!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Next week is Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2. Mistress 9 has reunited Chibiusa and Hotaru inside her being. Isn’t that great! Even in death these two good friends can hang around together! We’ll also see naked Usagi in this episode if that’s something that interests you.

Keep reading for more images of this episode and the next episode preview for Act 35.

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Sailor Moon Crystal English dub will premier at Anime Expo on July 3rd in Los Angeles

Anime Expo Logo

The first two episodes of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be premiered at the Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles on Friday July 3rd at 6pm, as part of Sailor Moon Day. The anime convention’s schedule is now online, where the event was listed. This will be Act 1, Usagi – Sailor Moon, and Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury. The English dub, by Viz Media, will keep the same cast that their new English dub of the original anime used. Some of those actors will be present at the convention. Since this convention takes place in California all times will be in Pacific Time.

Anime Expo will take place the weekend of July 2nd to the 5th in Los Angeles California. The convention will feature many guests from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon Anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, Cristina Vee, the voice of Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus, Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask and Sandy Fox, the voice of Chibiusa and Black Lady. Kyle Hebert, who played the Priest who turned into the monster Boxy in the new dub, will also be at the convention though he may not be involved in the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal or the Sailor Moon themed events.

KISS and Momoiro Clover Z

Also at the convention will be Momoiro Clover Z, the band which performs the Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme, Moon Pride, and ending theme, Gekkou or Moonbow. Momoiro Clover Z will be performing on Thursday July 2nd with KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. The two bands recently collaborated on a single released as Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS. Watch the video below.

Friday is Sailor Moon Day at Anime Expo. This starts with the Official Sailor Moon Panel by Viz Media and the cast of Sailor Moon from 10am to noon. Following this from 1pm to 2:30pm will be a screening of Sailor Moon’s best episodes, though we don’t know what those will be at this time. From 4:30pm to 5:30pm will be a Sailor Moon Cosplay gathering. Then from 6pm to 7:30pm is the English dub premiere of Act 1 and 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal. Other events listed in their schedule that will likely be relevant to Sailor Moon fans are the Viz Media panel on Thursday July 2nd at 1:15pm and the Viz Animation Panel featuring Neon Alley on Saturday July 4th at 4pm.

Viz Media

Source: Anime Expo schedule via Moonkitty.net

Pre-order the first Sailor Moon Crystal visual book

Sailor Moon Crystal visual book

This Friday, August 22nd 2014, a Sailor Moon Crystal visual book will be released in Japan by Kodansha. This book will include information and images from the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, including voice actor and staff information as well as a number of bonuses. Included will be a sleeve for the previously released Moon Pride single by Momoiro Clover Z and a DVD featuring the TV sized version of Moon Pride and a trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal. This DVD will be region 2, viewable only on Japanese DVD players or for those who have a region free DVD player or drive.

The art book, likely the first of many of it’s kind, can be preordered from Amazon Japan or CD Japan. Once I receive my copy I’ll post more information and images.

Source: Moonkitty, Sailor Moon: The Moonieverse and the Sailor Moon official site

Momoiro Clover Z’s Moon Pride CD single is out now

Momoiro Clover Z - Moon Pride CD Single

The CD single for Momoiro Clover Z’s Moon Pride was released on July 30th. The single is also available for digital download on iTunes. The Japanese physical release comes in two versions. The CD only version includes a bonus track of Moon Revenge covered by Momoiro Clover Z which is also available in the iTunes release. The Blu-Ray combo pack includes a Blu-Ray of the music video. All versions contain the theme song to Sailor Moon Crystal, Moon Pride, and the ending theme, Gekkou. It was recently revealed that the lyrics to the Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme Gekkou were actually written by Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi. It is credited to Sumire Shirobara which is actually Naoko Takeuchi’s pseudonym. I guess Surikurume was taken.

Moon Pride CD Single - Blu-Ray CD Combo

I picked up both physical copies on Amazon Japan (CD only version, Blu-Ray combo pack). It’s unfortunate that buying both was necessary to get the Blu-Ray and bonus track! The Blu-Ray is pretty simple. It has no menu and plays the music video for Moon Pride by Momoiro Clover Z. This includes some scenes from the intro to Sailor Moon Crystal, a bit of footage from transformation scenes and the first episode and other footage of Silver Millennium which may or may not be from future episodes of the series. You can watch the full video in the embedded clip below or download a subbed version from Sailor Moon Center.

The Blu-Ray version does not include the overlaid text and CD box art. This combo version includes only the opening and ending themes on the CD, with bonus karaoke versions of each song. The art on the cover features the Sailor Guardians from Sailor Moon Crystal. This is the art that is included for the iTunes release, though the contents are the same as the CD only version.

Moon Pride CD Single - CD Version

Though the CD only version does not include the Blu-Ray it does have the bonus track of Moon Revenge by Momoiro Clover Z. Moon Revenge was originally the theme song for the Sailor Moon R movie and was at the time sung by Peach Hips, which means the vocals were comprised of the voice actors who played the Sailor Guardians in the original Sailor Moon anime. While it’s nice to see a cover of this song it is certainly much more fitting to hear the version as sung by our favourite voice actors. As it is played in the Sailor Moon R film the voices of certain characters are heard when they appear on screen, which complements the film perfectly. The CD only version features Momoiro Clover Z in Sailor Moon style uniforms on the box art.

So what is a North American fan to do? Well you can certainly import them from Amazon Japan (CD only version, Blu-Ray combo pack) or CD Japan (CD only version, Blu-ray combo pack). Both versions are relatively inexpensive but the shipping costs will be high. CDs are not region coded so fans throughout the world will have no problem listening to them. Japanese Blu-Ray discs are region A so they are viewable in North America, but not all over the world. Alternatively you can just buy the individual track or all three plus karaoke versions from iTunes. Brad at Moonkitty compiled a list of iTunes links for many countries so you can buy them if you’re in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan or Peru. Certainly, there are web sites where you can download rips of the CDs for free, but as Sailor Moon fans it would only be right to support the show by purchasing this CD if you plan on listening to it.

Keep reading to see photos of both CDs and their inserts.

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Sailor Moon La Reconquista DVD Review

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD

The Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical was released on DVD July 9th. What’s that? DVD and not Blu-Ray? Indeed, this is a DVD only release for a musical which was recorded in 2013. The quality of the release is not great. It’s 480i interlaced video though it is in a 16×9 wide screen aspect ratio. It appear to either have been shot on low quality video cameras or simply converted to low quality standard definition video. If a higher quality source existed, there does not seem to be any reason to downgrade it to interlaced video. Whatever the reason for this may be, this seems like something that was released in the 90s and is not fit for release in 2014.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Sailor Moon and Endymion

The first disc is just the main feature, the Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical which played in Tokyo last fall. A number of screenshots are included at the end of the post to get an idea of the video quality. This is a Japanese only release so don’t expect to be seeing any subtitles. As it’s a region 2 release it will not play in a North American DVD player so be sure you have the proper equipment to play it if you are thinking of purchasing it.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Special features - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

The second disk includes all of the special features. We begin with an interview with Satomi Ookubo, the actress who plays Sailor Moon, and Yuga Yamato, the actress who plays Tuxedo Mask. This is followed by some behind the scenes footage of rehearsals. There are some Q&As including a press event and some questions following one of the performances of the musical. Footage of the girls at Karaoke gives us a look at them singing Moonlight Densetsu, the theme song from the original Sailor Moon anime. We see footage from a live promotional performance. A few clips featuring Momoiro Clover Z are included. They are first seen performing Moonlight Densetsu following one of the musical performances and then there’s this weird skit where they are characters in a cell phone game which is just all around bizarre.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Special features - Karaoke

The packaging is fairly standard and also includes a program which I’ve included photos of below. This has a number of images of the cast of the musical, bios and other information.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Booklet - Cover

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend picking up this release since the quality is fairly low, but it is the best legal way you may have to support this musical and watch it legally. I am happy to have paid money for this after having resorted to watching a free fansubbed version of the musical when it was first released. You can order the DVD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan. Keep reading for screenshots of the main feature, behind the scenes featurettes, DVD menus and photos of the packaging, insert and program.

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Watch the music video for Momoiro Clover Z’s Moon Pride

Moon Pride music video - Endymion and Serenity

Check out this music video for Moon Pride, the theme song to Sailor Moon Crystal by Momoiro Clover Z. The music video shows a decent look at Silver Millennium, the ancient kingdom on the Moon where Princess Serenity and Endymion fell in love. We also have a good look at the Sailor Guardians, including transformation footage of Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus which we hadn’t seen yet.

This video is an advertisement for the CD and Blu-Ray release of Moon Pride to be released on June 30th. Both the CD and Blu-Ray release include Moon Pride, the opening theme, and Gekkou, the ending theme. Both are performed by Momoiro Clover Z. The CD and Blu-Ray combo pack version includes this music video. The CD only version includes a cover of Moon Revenge, the theme song from the Sailor Moon R movie, as performed by Momoiro Clover Z. Check out the cover art for both releases:

Moon Pride by Momoiro Clover Z - CD and Blu-Ray box art Moon Pride by Momoiro Clover Z - CD box art

Pre-order the CD only version (CD Japan, Amazon Japan) or the CD and Blu-Ray combo pack (CD Japan, Amazon Japan).

Keep reading for more screen shots from the music video.

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Sailor Moon Crystal to be released on Japanese DVD and Blu-Ray starting October 15th

Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray Charm Bracelet

Although Sailor Moon Crystal just started airing this past weekend plans for a DVD and Blu-Ray release are already in the works! The first two episodes will be released on October 15th by Evil Line records, who can’t spell Crystal. There will be three versions released. A more expensive limited deluxe edition Blu-Ray, a regular edition Blu-Ray and a DVD. These are Japanese releases, likely only including Japanese language audio and no subtitles. The Blu-Ray discs are region A and will play in North America but the DVDs are region 2 and will not play in a North American region 1 DVD player. Check out this ad for the release.

The first DVD and Blu-Ray will include a whopping two whole episodes collected on one disk! A total of 13 disks will be released to contain the 26 episodes of the series. Owning all of these won’t be cheap! The limited edition Blu-Ray of the first disk is 7500 yen (about $75 US), will include a full colour booklet. The limited edition will also include a different charm with each disk, starting with a Moon Stick charm and bracelet with volume 1. By sending in a voucher included with volumes 1 and 13 Japanese residents you will be able to get a special box to store all 13 disks in. This will be a music box which will play Moon Pride, the theme song by Momoiro Clover Z.

Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray box

There are plans for an audio commentary as well as textless opening and closing special features. Future limited edition Blu-Ray volumes will cost 6500 yen (about $65). Not wanting to spend that much? The regular edition Blu-Ray releases will be 4500 yen (about $45) a disk and the DVDs will cost only 3500 yen (about $35) per disk. So much to say you should decide whether having a nice Moon Stick charm, bracelet and a voucher for a box which might be hard to get outside of Japane is worth and extra $30 or $20 for just the charm in later volumes. You’d be looking at an extra $270 for a fully equipped charm bracelet with 13 charms and a box to store it and the disks in. You could buy a high priced Sailor Moon Pullip doll and Proplica Moon Stick for that much!

Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray Charm Bracelet

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Watch more leaked Sailor Moon Crystal footage including the ending theme

Sailor Moon Crystal episode 1 - Ami Mizuno

This will likely be the last leaked clip we’ll be posting about since the premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal is just around the corner. In this new leaked footage we see a flashback of Serenity and Endymion in Silver Millennium, Usagi being late for school and talking with Ikuko Mama, Sailor Moon talking with Luna, a brief look at Ami and the ending theme, Gekkou, by Momoiro Clover Z. Watch the clip, which may be removed shortly, below.

Keep reading to see some screenshots of the clips.

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