Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 and 2 discussion

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury

This is a review and discussion of the first two episodes of the Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. Act 1, I am Sailor Moon!*, and Act 2, Ami Became a Friend*, which originally aired in Japan October 4th and 11th 2003.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Luna and Usagi

Act 1 mainly introduces us to Usagi, played in this series by actress Miyuu Sawai. Fans may notice the considerable similarities between this episode and the first episode of the original anime series and the first act of the manga. Don’t let that fool you! The first few episodes may go along closely with the manga, in a similar way to how Sailor Moon Crystal did it, but this doesn’t last terribly long as the series will go in its own direction soon enough. That said, this one is a lot like that first story. We have Usagi meeting Luna, getting her powers and thwarting a monster, controlled by Jadeite, which is attacking Naru’s mother at her place of business. Sound familiar? It should!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Sailor V

The episode starts out with Sailor V confronting Tuxedo Mask. Here’s one great change from the original anime in that we get to see Sailor V in action rather than just in a few posters and video games. As with other continuities Minako Aino is not yet Sailor Venus but instead fighting as Sailor V. We already get a look at the real life Minako though. She’s not an aspiring idol at all, she’s a full fledge pop star! She’s really hiding in plain sight with her career too. Her new hit song is “C’est la vie” (French for “That’s life”) which is a bit of a pun as it also sounds like “Sai-la V”, a close approximation to how a Japanese person would pronounce Sailor V. Further her new album is called Venus. She’s not even trying! This hit song is popular with Usagi. She plays it on her alarm clock to wake up and even performs it with her friend Naru at Karaoke Crown. That’s right! The Crown arcade has been updated to be a Karaoke parlour in this series! What a great opportunity to sell music along with the show!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Act 1 - Plush Luna

On her way to school in the morning, late as usual, Usagi is confronted with a plush cat which falls from the sky. That’s right, Luna is a stuffed plush toy in this version! This seems a bit odd. A talking cat? Suspicious. A cat that moves around however is not that suspect. A plush on the other hand that does anything but be completely immobile is incredibly suspicious! Beyond this Luna the plush cat is CG in some scenes but a toy with swappable eyes in others! This is probably the cheapest part of the show. Easy to animate a real cat but having a realistic looking CG or even animatronic cat, like in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, would have been even harder to pull off! When Usagi runs into Luna, the talking plush, at home, she suspects she might be dreaming. I’ve often been unsure if I was dreaming or awake during a dream but I’ve never had this sensation while actually awake, but then I’ve never talked to a plush cat. Luna gives her a cell phone which looks identical to the toy. Using the camera Usagi can use it to change her clothes. Now that’s an app that would be popular with the kids!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Naru confronts her mother

Naru, as in the anime and manga equivalents, plays a prominent role in this story as the plot features around her mother’s Jewelery store. In this particular incarnation it’s not a sale but rather a fashion show that is taking place. Amongst the signs we see the name Mayumi Osaka, the name of Naru Osaka’s mother. This is the only version of Sailor Moon in which her mother has a family name! Naru’s mother is taken over by a monster in this version, not replaced as she usually is. When Naru confronts her mother she doesn’t recognize her daughter at all. How was her total lack of any memories of the woman she’s replacing not an issue before? Imagine being dropped in at your workplace with no memory of your job, you coworkers’ identity or even where you desk is! Naru calls her out on it and is immediately suspicious, which in itself is suspicious. This girl is ready for invasion of the body snatchers, shape shifters, robot doubles from the future or whatever problem it could be! Instead of assuming her mother is having some critical and medically concerning memory loss, it’s “Who are you?”. Wolfie’s fine Naru. Your step parents are dead. This borderline paranoid preparation however, does not stop her from being knocked unconscious. Poor Naru.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - The Moon Stick

The fact that Naru’s mother was possessed rather than replaced however meant that the monster of the week couldn’t be straight up killed but needed to be healed. This means that Usagi couldn’t use Moon Frisbee now renamed Moon Tiara Boomerang as it would leave Naru orphaned, assuming she doesn’t have a father around because well dads in this show are mostly dead or not around themselves. Instead Usagi gets her Moon Stick right off the bat and uses Moon Healing Escalation to purify the monster and restore Naru’s mother. You’ll eventually see the pattern but the Moon Stick is also just like the toy.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Sailor Venus and Sailor V in the same image?

And so the bad guy is beat and we are briefly introduced to Tuxedo Mask. This show is all about trying to confuse the audience on the expectation that they have no idea what Sailor Moon is about. When Luna tells Sailor Moon that she’s one of the four guardians of the princess we see Sailor Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and … Sailor V! Yes we see Sailor Venus and Sailor V next to each other. Perhaps they’re different people in this version? Many fans at the time of the series first airing were convinced that Sailor Venus was the Princess in this version.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Mercury

Act 2 once again follows its equivalent manga counterpart quite closely. It’s all about Ami Mizuno, the genius from Usagi’s school, who attends a cram school which is targeted by a monster and eventually becomes the second guardian, Sailor Mercury. Still some of the details varie considerably as we’ll see. Ami Mizuno is played by Rika Izumi, but you wouldn’t have known it in 2003. The actress went by the name Chisaki Hama at the time, changing her professional given name to Rika and eventually using her birth name Rika Izumi in all aspects of her life. She is younger than the rest of the main cast and was only 14 in this and other early episodes of the series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Motoki and Kamekichi

During the previous episode we got a look at Karaoke Crown and here we learn that it’s the new hideout! Always working at the front counter is Motoki who in this version is fanatical about turtles, including his pet Kamekichi which, at least during the day, is kept at his place of employment. Usagi has a special yearly pass which was forged by Luna who is “borrowing” a bit of Karaoke Crown’s space for a massive headquarters. Space in downtown Tokyo is at a premium so I imagine this headquarters is hurting the owner’s bottom line quite a bit! As long as Motoki can afford to feed his turtle I guess everything will turn out all right.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Ami and Luna

Luna suspects that Ami is a Sailor Guardian, and so she ambushes her on the bridge, leading Usagi, who has no idea what’s up, to start a conversation with her and immediately become friendly. Ami, as we’ve learned, has a lot of phonies trying to be her friend because she’s smart and because her mother is a doctor because I guess in Japan these are good reasons to want to be someone’s friend? My best friend in high school is smart and his father was a doctor but I we probably became friends because we both played a lot of Super Nintendo, which was important to me when I was 14. Usagi is delighted to hear that Ami is a fellow Sailor Guardian, but Ami is not happy to hear the news. She thinks Usagi is a poser who just wanted to be her friend so that they could save the world and stuff. This is nonsense of course, as Usagi had no idea about Ami’s Sailor Guardian status at the time. While Luna thinks it’s important to force Ami to be a Sailor Guardian, Usagi doesn’t want to force her to do anything. Here we see where Sailor Moon’s true strength comes from. It’s not about the power of her crystal or anything like that. It’s that she’s has a big heart and is a good caring friend. There’s a recurring theme about her befriending lonely girls who happen to be superheroes and this is the real difference she makes in their lives.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - A MiniDisc

Fans of the various incarnations of the manga and anime will notice that there is no floppy disk or CD rom in this version. Instead there is a side plot where Ami borrows a MiniDisc of Minako’s new album from Usagi. What in the hell, you may be asking, is a MiniDisc? It was a format for recording and playing music which was fairly popular in Japan, a bit popular in Europe and not that well adopted here in North America. It stored music digitally, like a CD, so it had better sound quality than a cassette tape, but could easily be written and rewritten to which kept some of the convenience of an audio tape. Usagi’s copy of Venus by Minako Aino has a hand written label suggesting this is not a store bought album. Perhaps we should be referring to Usagi as Pretty Guardian Pirate Moon!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Moon holds Ami

The enemy attacks the school where the next Sailor Guardian happens to be. Ami starts to fall off a ledge and Sailor Moon catches her. Now we have a fairly unfortunate situation where Sailor Moon is holding the ledge with one hand and Ami with the other. Have you ever done a pull up? That’s not that hard. How about a muscle up, which is when you pull yourself right over the pull up bar? Quite difficult. I’ve done very few in my life and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Well if you’re hanging off a ledge and you want to pull yourself up without using your feet, you pretty much need to do that. Here Sailor Moon can only pull herself up with one arm and she is holding all of Ami’s weight with the other. Does Sailor Moon get super strong when she transforms? If not, there was really no way out of this situation. Some rare people can do a one armed muscle up but I don’t imagine anyone can do it with an extra hundred or so pounds of weight to drag. It reminds me of a similar scene in the film “This Is The End” which did not end well for the person hanging for their life. So Ami says she’ll transform to get out of it but Sailor Moon is convinced that they’ll figure something out. Maybe she could use her Moon Stick to create a bubble around them so that they slowly float to safety. Oh I’m getting ahead of myself…

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - The monster of the week and the teacher

This episode’s monster is a double monster! The main humanoid part is an actor in a suit while the dog part is CG. The humanoid part possesses the teacher but leaves her body at one point. This helps free up the monster to be killed by Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, who use a synchronized combination of Moon Twilight Flash and Mercury Aqua Mist. This is the first time Mercury Aqua Mist gets used. There is an unnamed move in the original manga which resembles this. It is first named here in the live action series and is later written in as Mercury Aqua Mist for new versions of the manga and this was adapted in Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon’s Moon Twilight Flash is done with her Moon Stick here. In the manga this was done using her tiara in Act 4.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Rei Hino

The episode wraps up with a teaser for Act 3. We see Jadeite leave a gem at the Hiyakawa Shrine and get our first look at Rei Hino!

*A note on titles. The live action series had no titles included when it originally aired on TV. Episodes were simply titled Act 1, Act 2 and so forth. After the series aired in its entirety a Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Memorial Book was released in Japan which, among other things, included a list of titles for the episodes. I have this book but I can’t read any of it since it’s in Japanese and so I will be using this episode title list from Genvid. I would have been happy to just call the episodes by their Act number but it seems this relatively obscure list of titles is now commonly referenced when people discuss the show and so I am including them. Just keep in mind that back when the show first aired, no one knew anything of their titles beyond the number.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on these episodes. Looking to watch along with the series? Though there is no official international release of the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series you can get English subtitled fan subs from sites such as Miss Dream, TV-Nihon and Sea of Serenity.

Keep reading for more screenshots from these episodes.

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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

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo and Mamoru are good friends

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal has been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get Act 11, Reunion – Endymion. A mysterious new boy Endo is in town and he happens to look exactly like Mamoru only his eyes are red so there’s just no way it’s him. Mamouru and Motoki, while under evil influences, appear to have a romantic interest in each other where such a thing was not previously insinuated. This is problematic not because is it showing a same sex relationship, but because it associates that relationship with the characters being evil. Ignoring all else, one could get the impression based on this coupling that homosexuality is evil, or that evil characters were more likely to be homosexual. Given the relationships found between same sex characters elsewhere in the series it seems evident to me that this is not the position of the author Naoko Takeuchi and not what is meant to be shown here. All said, taking this relationship on its own one can see why it is potentially controversial.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo is absolutely no Mamoru

Next week is Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metalia, as things get real and the gang faces off against Queen Beryl. We are getting close to wrapping up the Dark Kingdom story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Reunion - Endymion

Watch the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, January 22nd at 9pm Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Evil Tuxedo Mask

This Friday the next English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released. As with every week the episode will be available at 9pm Eastern Time, 6pm Pacific Time, on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get Act 11, Reunion – Endymion. Last we saw Mamoru was dead. Now there’s a new guy in town who looks exactly like him, but with slightly different eyes and who likes Motoki a lot more than he used to.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo and Mamoru are good friends

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Reunion - Endymion

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo and Mamoru are good friends

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available. Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, can be streamed on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. This week a mysterious familiar looking fellow named Endo shows up in Tokyo.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo is absolutely no Mamoru

So who is this Endo who looks exactly like Mamoru but has no costume? Everyone seems to very quickly notice that he is Mamoru but for some reason quickly discounts it because his eyes seem to look a bit different. It’s hard enough to accept the show’s basic concept that a tiny mask or tiara completely hides one’s identity. Indeed Sailor Moon Crystal, like the Manga, does a great job of not falling for this too much as people are pretty quick to recognize the true identities of other despite their costumes. Why is is that all of a sudden no costume and simply telling people your name is Endo is a perfect disguise? Then there’s of course the fact that the name Endo is clearly short for Endymion, but also the name of Motoki’s effeminate friend. I guess this is supposed to be a colossal coincidence since Evil Mamoru takes Endo’s name?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo brainwashes Motoki

Endo instantly bonds with Motoki. His reason for targeting the arcade actually makes some sense. He senses something about the Sailor V video game, which is over the Sailor Guardians’ headquarters, and so he infiltrates the place by befriending Motoki. Endo and Motoki’s relationship in the Manga is a bit gay, most noticeably in a reach around arcade stick grab panel that is seen at one point, but generally in the way they hang off of each other. Brad from Moonkitty make an interesting observation on Twitter that it’s trouble to associate homosexuality with evil. Indeed the examples of homosexuality in the first arc of the manga and subsequently the first season of the anime, are amongst villains. Sailor Moon is fairly good about portraying their heroes as being gay or lesbian once Sailor Neptune and Uranus show up, as well as hinting at some same sex attractions amongst other characters earlier in the series. I like to think this early connection between evil and homosexuality was not intended as a correlation, but all things considered it’s nice to see it toned down.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 11 - Reunion, Endymion - Endo's suggestive reach around arcade stick grab

Motoki’s heterosexuality is also present in this episode as we get a better look at Reika, Motoki’s love interest. We originally saw a brief glimpse of her in act 3 but this is the first time she is fully present. She seems a bit miffed at Endo and Motoki’s affections for each other.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Reika

This week we get a look at Ami’s apartment, which we are supposed to be really impressed with because it is fancy looking. Perhaps this is a cultural difference but I find the fact that Usagi’s family lives in a full on house in crowded Tokyo to be more impressive and desirable than Ami’s apartment living. Minako humorously asks if her carrying around a sword in an apartment lobby is conspicuous and everyone thinks it is. The sword’s strength is demonstrated as Minako then uses it to destroy one of Ami’s mother’s diamonds.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Does this sword make me look sketchy?

As things develop the headquarters is infiltrated by Makoto who is herself brainwashed into stealing the Silver Crystal. When things get serious I guess there wasn’t much to fill the episode as we painstakingly watch every character’s transformation sequence. There is a lot from the original anime that I miss but excessive stock footage is not one of those things! In the original manga publication this act and the next were actually a single story but they were split for later publications. This is why they likely needed to fill a bit of time. During the ensuing battle Venus uses her “Venus Love Me Chain” attack for the first time and Rei kicks evil Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Sailor Mars kicks Tuxedo Mask

Beryl shows up and it’s revealed that Endo is actually Mamoru, and for some reason people are surprised by this. Does anyone actually ship Beryl and Mamoru? I mean, I love to ship all kinds of people and relish in how much it annoys fans but this coupling just doesn’t work for me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Sailor Moon comforts an injured Luna

Luna and Usagi’s relationship has some attention this week. She console’s Usagi at the beginning of the episode and later, after being attacked by a very evil Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon hugs her once more. Their complex relationship is obviously much more than owner/cat dynamic and closer to one of mentoring and close friendship.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 Preview - Evil Tuxedo Mask and Queen Beryl

Next time is act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria. As I mentioned this next story was originally part of act 11 in the first manga publication. During the 2003 rerelease of the manga the story was split in two. Sailor Moon Crystal is following those chapter breaks for episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Enemy - Queen Metaria

On December 20th we’ll be seeing more of evil Tuxedo Mask, some Mamoru/Queen Beryl shipping and some pretty violent shocking events.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 Preview -

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5, Makoto – Sailor Jupiter, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Sailor Jupiter pose

Saturday September 6th the 5th episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 5, Makoto – Sailor Jupiter, became available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode marks the introduction of Makoto Kino, Sailor Jupiter. Once again it follows the manga fairly closely but there are a some differences to note this time around.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Makoto saves Usagi

This episode is all about Usagi getting herself into trouble and Makoto saving her! First it’s from a car which almost hits her, which may very well have killed her. The second time Makoto stops a baseball from almost hitting Usagi in the face. We know from the original Sailor Moon anime that Sailor Moon can take a high speed tennis ball to the face so that’s no big deal. Usagi and Makoto become instant friends, despite the fact that many of the student are scared of Makoto having heard she got kicked out of her last school for fighting. Once again we see Usagi’s greatest quality, her easy ability to make friends. Even without knowing her new classmate has super powers, she’s immediately nice to her, offering to show her around the arcade and such.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Makoto and Motoki

While at the arcade Makoto runs into Motoki and she is instantly smitten by him. Motoki is later used by the enemy to lure in Makoto which is a very effective ploy, as he reminds her of her old “sempai” or rather another student at her school from a higher grade. This idea of Makoto’s sempai recurs in many series. She did not leave her old school for fighting but rather because her heart was broken by this boy. Here we get to see Makoto’s sempai in a flashback scene and we learn that he broke Makoto’s heart because he had a girlfriend. During this scene I kept waiting for her Rainy Day Man to show up, but alas there was no such person to console her.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Makoto and her sempai

There is no cross dressing in this episode. For shame! In the manga when Usagi visits the Bridal Boutique she disguises herself as a well dressed groom before transforming into Sailor Moon. Here we have Usagi getting lured from her bedroom by Tuxedo Mask and remaining in her pyjamas when she gets to the action! Luna calls Rei and Ami and while Rei is wearing her standard Miko Robe Ami is wearing some sort of comfortable night clothes that may very well be pyjamas. Girls! Don’t leave home like this. Take a hint from Optimus Prime. Transform and Roll Out. These girls are always waiting until they’re in front of the monster to transform. This is a terrible way to keep a secret identity. Oh and yes the implication with Mamoru at Usagi’s window is that Mamoru knows that she is Sailor Moon. I think the handkerchief from the last episode gave her away.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Pyjama party

Sailor Jupiter does two attacks in this episode. The first is Flower Hurricane, which cuts clothes and paralyses opponents. The second is Jupiter Thunderbolt which in the manga kills Nephrite but here it does not finish the job. This follows Jadeite not being killed by Rei in act 3, a change from the manga. Clearly something is being planned by keeping them all alive. All four Shitennou are shown to be alive and well in the next episode preview for act 6. Nephrite also makes the comment “I’ve seen this look before” as Sailor Jupiter charges up her Thunderbolt. In an image in the manga it’s insinuated that Sailor Jupiter and Nephrite had a romantic relationship during Silver Millennium. Similarly in act 3 Jadeite made a comment about how beautiful and familiar Sailor Mars’s face looked, and they are also paired together in the manga. Surely there has not been much deviation from the source material to date but this small change may be indicative of something substantial to come in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Nephrite not dying

Finally we see the first appearance of the new Moon Stick in this episode! At this point we’ve seen it in other places, such as the cover art for the first Blu-Ray (which does not include episodes where Sailor Moon actually has the Moon Stick…) but it’s nice to see it in the show. It’s a bit different from the original anime Moon Stick or even the one seen in the manga. The silver crescent moon is a bit similar to the live action series Moon Stick but there are differences from that one too. Surely we will be getting a toy of this Moon Stick in time!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 - Luna gives Usagi the Moon Stick

The next episode, airing September 20th 2014, will be Act 6, Tuxedo Mask. As the title suggests it’s all about Tuxedo Mask. Will we see Mamoru with his shirt off like we do in the manga? Find out in two weeks!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Tuxedo Mask

Until then here are more screenshots from the episode.

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Sailor Moon episodes 29 and 30 are now on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 29 - Motoki and Reika

The two latest episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday Viz adds two new episodes of the series with English subtitles. This week we have episodes 29 and 30 as the search for all of the Rainbow Crystals continues. The major theme for these episodes is relationships!

Sailor Moon episode 29 - Kunzite and Zoisite

In episode 29, Total Chaos: the Messy Love Rectangle, Usagi and Makoto are devastated to learn that Motoki has a girlfriend, Reika. Since it’s still early in the series Usagi hasn’t figured out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask so she’s still fawning over Motoki while Makoto is reminded of her old boyfriend. The Makoto/Motoki coupling in the anime continues throughout the first season as he’s used by the DD Girls to try to trick her when they go to the North Pole. In the live action series this relationship is more important as it’s ultimately insinuated that they are to be married after Usagi and Mamoru tie the knot. This episode also features a nice romantic scene between Kunzite and Zoisite. These lovers were a male/female couple in the dub as Zoisite’s gender was swapped while here in the original subtitled version we see their relationship as it was intended, a strong love between two men. The art in this episode is particularly interesting, as there are many cool animation tricks showing super deformed characters and hidden frames that aren’t always that obvious, including the kind of racist portrayal of Usagi shown below.

Sailor Moon episode 29 - Usagi as a racist Japanese stereotype

In episode 30, Grandpa Loses Control: Rei in Danger, we are introduced to Yuuichirou who shows up at Rei’s shrine and is immediately smitten with her. Though Rei and Mamoru’s relationship is well established at this point the end of that is near, thanks to pesky destiny, so a romantic interest for her is found in Yuuchirou. He’s a bit of a bumbling idiot but has a good heart and cares about her. We also see Rei’s Grandpa showcased in this episode as he plays host to another of the Rainbow Crystals. Rei’s Grandpa is romantically linked with every young girl to visit the Hikawa Shrine because he’s a pervert!

Sailor Moon episode 30 - Rei kissing Yuuichirou

Enjoy the romances this week because next week is pure comedy with two of the funniest episodes of the series.

Sailor Moon episode 30 - Rei's Grandpa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 1 first impressions

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Usagi and Luna

This morning the first episode of the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, premiered worldwide on Crunchyroll, Niconico and Hulu. The show is free to watch on a number of these services. For more details, check out these instructions on how to watch the show. I personally found the quality of Crunchyroll’s stream to be higher than Hulu or Niconico’s and so I would recommend checking them out to watch the show if you haven’t already.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Title screen

The episode, titled Act.1 Usagi – Sailor Moon, resembled the first episode of the original Sailor Moon anime quite closely. This is fairly expected given this series is meant to resemble the Manga closely and the first episode of each series was quite faithful to that. In fact the first Act of the manga is also titled Usagi – Sailor Moon. With only 26 episodes for this series we certainly can’t expect an episode per episode repeat of the original show.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Morga

In this episode we get a pretty good look at Silver Millennium, the ancient kingdom on the Moon, as well as Princess Serenity and Endymion through a couple of Usagi’s dream sequences. Once again we have Morga, a monster impersonating Naru’s mother as ordered by Jadeite, as the main villain of the episode. We are also introduced to Luna, Naru, Umino, Shingo, Sailor Moon’s mother Ikuko and her teacher Haruna. We also see mention of Sailor V, who will later be appearing as Sailor Venus, who shows up in a newspaper, is mentioned by Umino and is the star of her own video game.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Serenity and Endymion

One aspect which bothered me a bit was the reaction Usagi had to her first meeting of Mamoru. Instead of being annoyed but a little intrigued she is instead completely infatuated with him from the beginning. We shall see how this relationship develops throughout the series. If this show truly does mirror the manga, things should escalate fairly quickly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Super Sonic Wave Attack

Sailor Moon makes two attack in this episode. The first is the same Supersonic Waves attack which she made in the first episode of the original anime, which she almost never uses again. The second was Moon Tiara Boomerang. This attack was first used in the live action Sailor Moon series. In the original Manga the attack was Moon Frisbee and in the original anime it was Moon Tiara Action. In the rereleased Manga books the move was updated to be called Moon Tiara Boomerang, as is seen here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Ami Mizuno

Act.2, as I guess we are now referring to the episodes as acts, will be premiering in two weeks time, July 19th at 7pm JST, 6am EST and 3am PST in the same places. Since Ami is shown very briefly at the end of this episode I would imagine she will be joining as Sailor Mercury as of the next act. This would be consistent with Sailor Mercury’s appearance in the second act of the Sailor Moon manga “Act 2: Ami – Sailor Mercury”.

Keep reading for more screenshots from the episode.

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Sailor Moon episodes 15 and 16 are now available on Hulu

Mamoru and Rei have a romantic coffee date

As of this morning, June 30th, episodes 15 and 16 of Sailor Moon are now available streaming in Japanese with English subtitles for free on Hulu. DVDs and Blu-Rays of Viz’s release of Sailor Moon will be availalbe later this year. Episodes 1 to 23 are now available for digital download from various retailers. Also don’t forget that starting Saturday you’ll also be able to watch the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu.

Sailor Moon episode 15 - Rei and Mamoru

In episode 15, Usagi’s Panic: Rei’s First Date, we are introduced to a romantic pairing which will tear the fandom apart! The main story is about some park getting destroyed and the groundskeeper becoming evil but no one cares about that as much as all of the dating that happens. Rei falls for Mamoru and nabs a date with him! This drives Usagi crazy and so she gets a date with Umino in order to spy on them. Usagi generally mistreats Umino while Rei and Mamoru’s date is relatively lack luster. Then some squirrels attack people and the good guys beat the bad guys.

Sailor Moon episode 16 - Tuxedo Mask and Usagi getting married

In episode 16, A Girl’s Dream: Usagi Becomes a Bride, Usagi is all about getting married, even though she doesn’t have a boyfriend. The Dark Kingdom is targetting Usagi’s sewing teacher, and everyone gets all wrapped up in a wedding dress contest. Usagi has fantasies about marrying Tuxedo Mask and Motoki, seemingly at the same time. Too bad both of them have girlfriends at this time, though Usagi doesn’t quite know it yet. Tuxedo Mask is really Mamoru (spoiler) and is dating Rei while Motoki’s girlfriend is Reika who we’ll see later. Usagi once again abuses of her Disguise Pen. This time to get a wedding dress which is actually different than the dress we see later in the series during Mamoru and Usagi’s premonitions of the future. Whether she actually ends up with that dress is a bit of a time paradox.

Sailor Moon episode 16 - Usagi and Motoki getting married

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