Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Berthier playing chess

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is now available to view for free on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week’s episode is tons of fun with the Tuxedo Mask puppet, some fan service in the form of swimsuits, young Ami and her daddy issues and of course Berthier who may or may not have been an inspiration for Elsa from Frozen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Sailor Mercury and her visor

This episode had a number of differences from it’s original manga version, in changes, omitted scenes and in added content. That said, it also had a lot in common and like the rest of Sailor Moon Crystal is a very faithful adaptation.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Sailor Moon mad at Chibiusa

In the opening scene of the episode Usagi gets upset at Chibiusa but what she doesn’t do is raise her hand threatening to hit her as she did in the manga. This sort of changes the tone of the next scene where Usagi feels a sense of guilt but not about raising a hand at Chibiusa but instead about not protecting Sailor Mars who is now kidnapped.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Tuxedo Mask Puppet and ventriloquist Luna who Chibiusa already knows

Chibiusa runs off and, as usual, hides in the park. Mamoru takes her home and talks to her with his Tuxedo Mask puppet. This puppet has been in the original manga, original anime and even in the latest musical, Petite Étrangère. All of a sudden I wonder just where he go that thing. Is Mamoru such a megalomaniac that he built a puppet of himself? Maybe he found it in a store and finds it so bizarre that products of his alter ego exist that he had to buy one. He uses his ventriloquism to make the puppet talk and also makes the excuse that this is why Luna seems to talk. But why doesn’t Chibiusa expect Luna to talk? We will later learn that one of Chibiusa’s good friends in the future is Diana, a talking cat herself and daughter of Luna and Artemis. Chibiusa also travels with Luna P which looks just like Luna who she must surely know in the future. While Chibiusa has trouble recognizing her mother and father why would she also have trouble with this cat that looks so much like her ball and why would she be at all surprised to hear one talk?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier of the Ayakashi Sisters

Enter Berthier! She uses dowsing to find water and help with her chess game. Dowsing is not real. This whole arc is riddled with pseudoscience. I understand that within the context of the story these people can use magic but just like UFOs and to a greater fortune telling were the nonsense in the last show dowsing is the nonsense this week. Historically it’s just something that used to be used to find water or minerals underground using items such as a divining rod but when there are modern dowsing products which claim to do things like detect bombs, directly contributing to a loss of lives in war zones, I feel people can do with being reminded that dowsing has no basis in reality.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Usagi, Naru and Ami in swimsuits

Those who read the comments on this blog will note that one particular commenter has been asking since the beginning just when we will be getting a beach episode, particularly desiring that we see some of the characters in two piece suits. Well his day has come. This week we see Ami, Naru and Usagi in swimsuits at the pool. In the original manga version we see these three only wearing simple one piece suits but they have been updated a bit for the show. Ami’s suit as seen from the pool seems like a simple one piece, though when seen from behind the design doesn’t appear to be that consistent. This is fitting with how she is usually portrayed in the original anime as well. Naru’s suit is the most interesting as it looks quite a bit like the bikini she wore in episode 23 of the original anime. While Sailor Moon Crystal is frequently manga based it only occasionally takes cues from the original 1992 Sailor Moon anime. This suit also bears a bit of a resemblance to the dress that Naru wears to the ball. Finally we have Usagi’s suit which goes from a one piece in the manga to a two piece bikini here in Sailor Moon Crystal. This seems like blatant fan service as Usagi wears her towel on her head. An awkward thing to do when your goal is anything but exposing your bare midriff to your fans. Apologies for speaking entirely too much about such a silly thing, but if the comments are any indication there are people who consider such things to be quite important.

Sailor Moon episode 23 - Naru's swimsuit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Naru swimming

Another anime original thing which makes it into this episode is Usagi’s inappropriate cheering at a chess tournament. In both the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal she makes a spectacle while cheering for Ami and is told to be quiet. One background character in this scene looks a bit like Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho, written by the husband of Sailor Moon’s creator Naoko Takeuchi.

Sailor Moon R episode 71 - Usagi's inappropriate cheering

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Usagi cheering inappropriately and Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho

Berthier is shown to be the the 3rd ranked chess player in the world. Later in the episode Ami beats her. Does this make Ami the 3rd ranked chess player in the world? You would think someone with such a skill would do more than just occasionally play on their iPad! I guess she does have world saving to do. Berthier’s clothing is ridiculous. It’s a full on super villain costume. That’s cool for fighting the forces of good and all but the way she just wears these clothes to a chess tournament like it was nothing is a bit silly.

Berthier from Sailor Moon and Elsa from Frozen

Speaking of the way Berthier dresses, some have mentioned similarities between her and Elsa from Frozen. See the image included above that explains the parallels between the two. This seems a bit far fetched to me. The controlling of the power and similarities in her relationship to Koan aren’t really the same. She does not encase herself in an ice tower. The similarities are mostly cosmetic and even that could be a coincidence. Elsa and Berthier both have ice powers, and so they dress in blue, a colour associated with cold. They also have white hair or light hair which is also natural for someone with ice powers. The braid is really the biggest similarity going on here. All considered I think Elsa bares more of a passing resemblance to Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy. Why not just get the Elsa Disney Infinity figure instead of the Rosalina Amiibo which has been so hard to find?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Young Ami with a chess board

This is a fairly Ami centric episode, as she is the one to get kidnapped this time around. One big addition to the story not in the manga was the inclusion of young Ami and showing more of her father. Young Ami is quite cute and shown being abandoned by her father who is a painter. She is also shown having an interest in playing chess. Sailor Mercury uses a new ability Shine Snow Illusion. This isn’t enough to save her from getting kidnapped. Who will be next?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Shine Snow Illusion

The next episode is Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter. The episode preview shows some shipping between Makoto and Ittou Asanuma. His scenes were cut from episode 16 but we’ll be seeing more of him next time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 -Ittou Asanuma

A couple of visually interesting things are seen in the next episode preview. Usagi has no nose in one shot and Chibiusa is wearing a short sleeved version of her blue school uniform. This seemed off to me and a post on the moonsisters.org Facebook page made me realize what is what. Chibiusa’s white school uniform is normally the one that has short sleeves while her blue school uniform has long sleeves.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Usagi has no nose

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa in her incorrect coloured uniform with Luna-P

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

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Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 and 48, on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The first two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Two new episodes are added every week and now that we’ve worked through the first season Viz is starting to post episodes from Sailor Moon R. For the first 13 episodes of the series, including these two, we deal with what fans call the Makaiju arc as the enemies are Ail and An, aliens who steal human energy to feed their tree the Makaiju. Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan will not be showing up until episode 60. Until then is this short “filler” story arc which was not in the manga which fans have mixed feelings about. I personally loved this story line and am not adverse to parts of the anime that aren’t in the manga. From a technical point of view seeing Sailor Moon R in HD is a treat. The R2 Japanese DVDs were progressive scan for the first season but beginning with Sailor Moon R the episodes were interlaced, as they had been in their original broadcast. This was not an issue back in the 90s when everyone watched Sailor Moon on their CRT TVs, but in the age of HDTVs and watching things on computer screens it’s certainly nice to see a show in progressive scan. Ultimately this show doesn’t look like newer shows animated in HD, it’s still an old master from the 90s with some processing done to it to make it look as good as it can. That said I still feel like the quality looks better on the Japanese DVDs than the Hulu feed, interlacing issues aside.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Natsumi and Seijuurou

Episode 47, Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear, is the start of something new. Sailor Moon is just a normal girl again, with Luna and Artemis alone remembering the events of all that happened. Two aliens arrive on Earth, along with a big tree! Ail and An, joke names for “alien”, are the new villains who use Cardians, monsters born from cards, to drain human energy. Their relationship is strong at first as Ail and An speak kindly of their love for each other, but this won’t last long. They disguise themselves as teenagers and enrol in the local school because… well I’m not sure why they bother to do this. It would be easy enough to just hide in their apartment and go out at night draining energy. There doesn’t seem to be much of an end game to integrating in to the local culture. As luck would have it they go to the same school as a bunch of superheroes, Usagi, Ami and Makoto’s school. Ail poses as Seijuurou and An poses as Natsumi, because An isn’t really a good Japanese name. When a monster attacks Naru, who is a magnet for monsters, Usagi comes to her defence. Luna has no choice but to restore her memories! This seems shocking as Usagi has memories of everyone including herself dying a horrible death. She transforms into Sailor Moon and saves the day.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Luna giving Usagi her memories back

Episode 48, For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again, deals with the rest of the Sailor Guardians not having their memories. Usagi is Sailor Moon again but can she fight the Cardians on her own? Auditions for a movie are a convenient excuse to get Naru, the monster magnet, as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako in a room together. A monster comes by and so Luna gives all the girls their memories back as well! Poor Naru. At least the first time around Usagi’s abandoning of her friend was gradual as the rest of the Sailor Guardians appeared one by one. This time around they all show up at once and she’s dropped like a bad habit.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Rei is ready for a fight

The real conflict doesn’t come from any monsters at all, but from Natsumi and Seijuurou’s interfering with Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship! Mamoru doesn’t get his memory back in this episode. In fact he won’t be getting it for a while. Natsumi is instantly infatuated with him, wanting to make him hers. What is Usagi to do to stop her? She has no relationship with Mamoru to fall back on and is unable to convince him to be with her without all those past memories to help. Let’s not forget that Mamoru was in quite a happy relationship with Rei before that pesky destiny put a stop to it. Beyond that, Seijuurou is into Usagi, trying to win her over. This naturally creates some friction between Ail and An who’s jealously only pushes them more towards the humans they are falling for.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Natsumi loves Mamoru

Also check out Hulu’s new banner which they’ve added for Sailor Moon R. It would have been nice to see Chibiusa or some other new characters on here but since there are no new Sailor Guardians in this season, except for a very brief appearance by Sailor Pluto, we will have to contend with this.

Hulu's Sailor Moon R banner image

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 31 and 32 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler

The latest two episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday two new episodes, subbed by Viz, are added online. This week we have episodes 31 and 32 which are two of the funniest episodes of the series.

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler rescues Luna

In episode 31, Love and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever, we meet Rhett Butler, a fat alley cat who falls in love with Luna. The search for the last Rainbow Crystal is on and leads Zoisite and the Sailor Guardians to the house of a young girl, but it’s her cat who’s actually the final Rainbow Crystal carrier! Rhett Butler choses to protect Luna from all of the stray cats in Tokyo. Their adventures take them deep into the sewers and ultimately back to the surface where Rhett Butler turns into the monster Bakene who is still able to keep his wits and protect Luna despite his monster status, a feat that none of the human Rainbow Crystal carriers were able to do. Like many of the romances early in the series, this one is short lived and the reasons are simply because there are other plans for some characters. Artemis will be showing up in just a few episodes and so there’s just no room to keep Rhett Bulter around beyond the scope of this episode, but in the final moments it’s quite clear that Luna and Rhett Butler shared a great love.

Sailor Moon episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

In episode 32, Umino’s Resolve: I’ll Protect Naru, we see Umino’s protective side as he suits up and becomes Tuxedo Umino Kamen. Now that Usagi has new friends it’s long overdue that Naru and Umino hook up with each other so that we don’t have to feel bad about how neglected they are! Umino is of course completely socially awkward and has no idea how to win over Naru so he asks Usagi who describes what she is into as qualities attributed to Tuxedo Mask. Umino naturally decides to dress as Tuxedo Mask and protect Naru, which is met with some apprehension but is ultimately fairly successfull. They go on a date together to see Red Man, and when Zoisite misses Naru he ends up making a monster of the Power Ranger style character who attacks everyone in site, forcing Umino to step up as protector. Once again Umino isn’t terribly effective, but his heart is in the right place, and that’s what counts. This is one romance that isn’t about to get sidetracked by some inconvenient destiny as Umino and Naru are set to have a long and happy relationship.

Sailor Moon episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen and Naru

And here’s a funny still from episode 31:

Sailor Moon episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter looks at Sailor Mercury's butt

Sailor Moon episodes 25 and 26 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 25 - Makoto Kino

The latest two episodes of Sailor Moon, 24 and 25, were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. Viz will be adding two new episodes of Sailor Moon every Monday. These are subbed only episodes. Dubbed episodes will be added at a later date.

Sailor Moon episode 25 - Sailor Jupiter

Episode 25, Jupiter, the Powerful Girl in Love, starts us out on a lot of new things. In this episodes Zoisite takes over as the new bad guy searching for the Rainbow Crystals. This marks the introduction of Makoto Kino, Sailor Jupiter. Makoto defends Usagi and she is getting bothered by some thugs on the street and they become instant friends. Meanwhile Makoto has met Crane Game Joe, who uses his telekenetic power to cheat at crane games. As with many other Rainbow Crystal carriers, Joe posesses a unique power. These people can be tracked down thanks to the Moon Stick which Usagi recieves in this episode.

Sailor Moon episode 26 - Usagi strangling Umino

Episode 26, Restore Naru’s Smile: Usagi’s Friendship, gives us a look at how Naru is doing after her heartbreak from episode 24 when Nephrite died. She is still troubled by what she went through, but Usagi and Umino are there to help get her back in good spirits. This marks the begining of Naru and Umino’s relationship which is off to a great start as Umino puts himself in danger to defend Naru from a monster. Naru’s affections for Umino are shown as she uses the bandage that was all she has left of Nephrite to patch him up. It’s a good thing Naru has Umino to keep her company as Usagi’s growing circle of super powered friends is putting her on the back burner.

Sailor Moon episode 26 - Umino saving Naru

Buy the first half of season 1 on DVD and Blu-Ray this November.

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.

Sailor Moon episodes 23 and 24 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 23 - Sanjoin Masato and Naru

This morning, July 28th, episodes 23 and 24 of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. These episodes, subbed by Viz, will be included in the subbed and dubbed DVD and Blu-Ray sets which will be released starting November 11th, though season 1 part 1 will stop at episode 23. Both episodes this week are all about Nephrite and Naru.

Sailor Moon episode 23 - Naru blocking Sailor Moon's tiara

Episode 23, Wish Upon a Star: Naru’s First Love, has Nephrite intrigued by Naru, who’s producing some sort of interesting energy that he isn’t familiar with. That energy turns out to be her love for him, a concept he’s simply not familiar with. Naru steals a jewel from her mother, assuming this is the crystal Nephrite is searching for, and puts herself in danger by getting close to Nephrite who she still thinks is Masato Sanjoin. When Sailor Moon attacks Nephrite with her Tiara Naru sacrifices herself to protect him. The tables soon turn unexpectedly as a monster attacks Naru and Nephrite defends her, attacking the monster.

Sailor Moon episode 24 - Naru and Nephrite

Episoe 24, Naru’s Tears: Nephrite Dies for Love, has quite a spoiler of a title! This is one of the most heart wrenching episodes of the series, as we are brought to actually care about Nephrite just long enough for him to be killed. Naru is completely in love with Nephrite at this point, and Nephrite is starting to feel the same way. Zoisite exploits this by having Naru kidnapped and Nephrite fights to rescue her, getting injured in the process. Naru and Nephrite enjoy a peaceful time together as they make plans to share chocolate parfaits. This is short lived though, as Nephrite is soon attacked and fatally wounded in the process. Ultimately Nephrite dies in Naru’s arms, leaving nothing but a torn piece of her pyjama she used to bandage him.

Sailor Moon episode 24 - Naru crying

Episode 23 is part of the first half of season 1 which is currently available for digital download and in the upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray set which can be ordered below. Episode 24 and the later half of the season will be released at a later date, so for now the only way to watch the newer episodes is on Hulu and Neon Alley.

Sailor Moon episodes 21 and 22 are now available on Hulu

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita from the Sailor Moon anime

As of this morning, July 21st 2014, episodes 21 and 22 of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. These subbed episodes by Viz will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 11th along with their new English dub. For now two new episodes are released every Monday.

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita as students from the Sailor Moon anime

Episode 21, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime, takes place at an animation studio working on the Sailor V anime. This episodes provides a meta look at the making of Sailor Moon, as many characters included are based on those who worked on the Sailor Moon anime. The two main characters Hiromi and Kazuko are themselves inspired by two of Sailor Moon’s animation directors Hiromi Matsushita and Kazuko Tadano. Though both characters are female, Hiromi Matushita is actually a man. I had the priveledge of meeting these two at Otakon 2008 and they had fond memories of this episode and mentioned that the designs of those characters were loosely based on themselves. When Nephrite targets Hiromi it tears her and Kazuko apart. Their friendship is put to the test as they are both tempted by the power of magic pencils!

Sailor Moon episode 22 Nephrite and Naru dancing

Episode 22, Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss, has everyone who’s anyone crashing a ball to try to steal what they think is the Silver Crystal. Princess Diamond is holding an event to show off her jewels and that attracts everyone including Nephrite, Naru, Usagi and Tuxedo Mask. It turns out Princess Diamond is a dead ringer for Naru, which Nephrite takes advantage of in order to try to steal the jewel. This episode furthers Naru and Nephrite’s completely dysfunctional relationship, but that’s not the only terrible behaviour that happens between future lovers! Usagi, who crashes the party more to have a good time than to do her duty in searching for the crystal, gets drunk and is found passed out by Tuxedo Mask who takes advantage of the situation to kiss her. Is this romantic, assault or a little of both? Ultimately the jewel was only pricessless, so everyone went home empty handed. This episode follows an act of the manga fairly closely, which has become pretty rare at this point in the series.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Naru attacking Princess Diamond

Episode 1 through 23 had previously been released for digital download. Next week with episodes 23 and 24 we’ll start to get into new episodes which are not currently available.

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Sailor Moon episodes 19 and 20 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 19 - Nephrite as Tuxedo Mask with Naru

Episodes 19 and 20 of the original Sailor Moon anime were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning, July 14th. Two new episodes from Viz’s sub of the series are added every two weeks. English dubbed episodes will be coming later. The DVD and Blu-Ray release for the first half of the season will be available on November 11th.

Sailor Moon episode 19 - Sailor Mars wearing a mask

In episode 19, Usagi’s Joy: A Love Letter from Tuxedo Mask, Nephrite poses as Tuxedo Mask in order to lure in Sailor Moon! This actually attracts Naru, who suspects that this is Masato Sanjoin, who is actually Nephrite. This marks the beginning of Naru and Nephrite’s dysfunctional and tragic love affair. Meanwhile Usagi is anxious to meet Tuxedo Mask, completely oblivious to the plot, and Rei is stuck at home sick upset she can’t go meet Nephrite who is posing as the secret identity of her boyfriend Mamoru! In this episode we also see Mamoru transform into Tuxedo Mask for the first time.

Sailor Moon episode 20 - Sakiko

Episode 20, The Summer, the Beach, Youth and Ghosts, is one of the episodes which was never released with an English dub so some fans may still not have seen it. It has Usagi, Ami and Rei traveling to a sketchy looking hotel that seems to be haunted. After a disappointing beach trip they befriend a young girl named Sakiko who is somehow linked to the strange ghost that is around the hotel. We can only speculate as to why this episode was ultimately cut from the English dub but as it has pretty much no bearing on the overall story, and doesn’t even feature Nephrite, it may simply have been omitted because it wouldn’t be missed. That being said it is a nice side story that’s worth checking out.

Sailor Moon episode 20 - Sakiko, Rei, Ami and Usagi at the beach

Hulu is free but if you’d like to watch these episodes commercial free think about supporting the site and downloading these and other episodes on Amazon Instant through the links below.

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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