Queen Beryl and the Shitennou Petit Chara figures are coming in May

Dark Kingdom Petit Chara figures - Jadeite, Nephrite, Queen Beryl, Kunzite, Zoisite, Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity

We’ve got some great villain Petit Chara figures coming in May! The latest set includes Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, Queen Beryl, Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisyte and Kunzite. These were announced on the official site and are also listed on the Premium Bandai and Kiddy Land sites. This is being called the Dark Kingdom set though I would say the Silver Millennium set might be a more accurate title with the inclusion of Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. Regardless the Dark Kingdom characters are the big appeal of this set as we’ve already gotten a number of Sailor Moon variants including Princess Serenity, though this is the first time we get Prince Endymion himself, rather than Tuxedo Mask or Mamoru. I’m still waiting for a Moonlight Knight figure perhaps bundled Ail and An.

Dark Kingdom Petit Chara figures - Jadeite, Nephrite, Queen Beryl, Kunzite, Zoisite

These aren’t the first villains we’ve seen in this line of toys, which previously saw the release of the Ayakashi Sisters, the Black Moon Clan and the Amazon Trio. I’ve already gotten a few of these figures and look forward to adding these to my collection.

Dark Kingdom Petit Chara figures - Nephrite and Jadeite

Seeing Jadeite from this set reminds me of the super deformed version so of various characters we saw in Sailor Moon R episode 58. We only need Morga to be able to recreate this whole scene!

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Sailor Moon stage show with Jadeite, Morga, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Luna

Dark Kingdom Petit Chara figures - Kunzite and Zoisite

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Dark Kingdom Petit Chara figures - Jadeite, Nephrite, Queen Beryl, Kunzite, Zoisite, Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity

A new iPhone case, sold with or without crystals, is available exclusively to official Sailor Moon Fan Club members

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

A new item is now available for pre-order from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club. If you’re not already a Fan Club member, you’re pretty much out of luck as the period to sign up has long since passed. The latest item is a cell phone case for Apple iPhones featuring an image of Princess Serenity by Naoko Takeuchi which was made for the Sailor Moon Exhibit. It comes in a somewhat affordable “Normal Version”, only $20.99 US, or a “Crystal Version” which is a significantly less affordable $140.99 US. Preorders can be done until January 27th and the item will be released in March.

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

What kind of gems account for this difference in price? Any actual precious stones would likely drive up the price much more than $100. These are Swarovski crystals which are basically cut glass. Actually that’s not completely accurate. These are lead glass which is a kind of glass that has a high refractive index which basically means it’s more shiny than normal glass! The case is available for iPhones only and at that it’s only for 6, 6s and 7 models. I’m out of luck to get one to fit my iPhone 6+ but maybe I’ll just buy another Sailor Moon case and stick some rhinestones on it.

What do you think of this case? Will you be picking one up?

Source: Sailor Moon Fan Club Newsletter, Otaku Mode Shop

The first batch of Sailor Moon Fan Club exclusive merchandise is an art print, the recent art book and a lottery to buy a night gown or a bath towel

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Manga Print

Members who signed up for the official Sailor Moon Fan Club should have received an e-mail this morning informing them of the merchandise which they are able to order. You can check out an online copy of this e-mail using this link. These Fan Club items are available to members worldwide, but only if they previously signed up for the club.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Manga Print

There are two exclusive items which fans can order. The main item is a Sailor Moon Primo Art Print. It’s manga art by Naoko Takeuchi which was featured in the April 1993 issue of Nakayoshi. The print is A4 sized, which is roughly the size of a standard 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. It’s a nice looking print, ideal for framing. It’s $230.99 US. A bit more than I’d be willing to shell out for something like this. It’s a limited edition item meaning they will only print those that are bought through the fan club but they will make as many as are ordered. The print will be released in March 2017.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book Exclusive Sticker

The other item isn’t really an exclusive at all. It’s the recently released Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Art Book which I’ve already reviewed on this site. The exclusive that comes with it is a sticker of the cover art. At $27.99 the price is comparable to what you could pay to order it online so this seems as fine a place as any to order the book if you’re interested in getting it but haven’t yet and don’t mind waiting until next month to get your hands on it.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Princess Serenity Series Princess Room Dress and Hairband

The other two items are only available through a lottery. They are a Princess Serenity Series Princess Room Dress with Hairband and Bath Towel. A room dress seems to be a sort of pyjama or night gown and it costs $94.99. The bath towel is $77.99. If you are interested in ordering either you will have to fill out this form which enters you into a lottery for a chance to pay a bunch of money for these.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Princess Serenity Series Princess Bath Towel

All in all these items seem fairly expensive. This is pretty much what fans were expecting considering the Japanese Fan Club items. If you haven’t signed up for the Fan Club yet membership is closed so you won’t actually be able to order these. To put in an order you’ll need to sign in with an account which has purchased a Fan Club membership. If you don’t have one you will be told you need to first buy the membership which is out of stock.

Incredibly expensive Sailor Moon themed mugs are coming in February

Sailor Moon x Noritake mugs

A couple of great looking Sailor Moon mugs have been announced on the official Sailor Moon site and are available to pre-order from the Bandai site. These mugs are decorated in Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion themes and sell as a set for 9,250 yen, about $90 US! I’ve got a couple of Sailor Moon mugs kicking around and I paid anywhere from $10 to $15 for them so this does seem a bit steep to me!

Sailor Moon x Noritake mugs - Princess Serenity

The mugs are made by Noritake, a Japanese dinnerware company, which makes fancy items such as these porcelain mugs. These classy designs don’t feature overt images of anime characters but instead have a classic looking design inspired by these characters from Sailor Moon. They are made in Sri Lanka which isn’t where Arthur C. Clarke lived and he was a genius so I guess they are worth nearly $100 for the set! What do you think? Will you skip buying an excessively expensive Pullip Doll to buy these ultra expensive mugs?

Sailor Moon x Noritake mugs - Prince Endymion

What do you think? Would you spend nearly $100 to get this set?

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 9, Serenity – Princess, gives us a very important flashback to the Silver Millennium. We also finally learn the true identity of Princess Serenity because in 2016 did anyone really still wonder who she really was? I suppose if some viewers of the live action series could really have been wrong about this anything can happen!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion

Next week in Act 10, Moon, the gang will actually be traveling to the Moon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity - Princess

Watch the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, January 8th at 9pm Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released this Friday, January 8th, on Hulu and Neon Alley. As always the episode will be available to stream at 9pm Eastern Time, 6pm Pacific Time. This week we get Act 9, Serenity – Princess, as the past is revealed! We will finally get a proper flashback to the events of Silver Millennium and this means lots of kissing!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Silver Millennium

As the title suggests we will be learning the true identity of Princess Serenity. What am I saying? Obviously we already know that it’s Minako! Just like we had two episodes with Tuxedo Mask’s name in a row (Act 6, Tuxedo Mask and Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask) we now get two episodes in a row that are Minako’s name (Act 8, Minako – Sailor V and Act 9, Serenity – Princess).

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity - Princess

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 7 review

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Packaging

The 7th volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released in a Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray on April 8th. This release has Princess Serenity on the cover and wraps up the Dark Kingdom story arc. This is a Japanese language release with no English audio or subtitles. Those looking for an English version of Sailor Moon Crystal can continue to watch the streaming version with English subtitles. You can order this disk from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for as low as 5046 yen, about $42 US. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD will be released on May 13th at the same time as volume 8 is released on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Cutie Moon Rod Charm

As with other releases, this comes in a special collectible box and includes a charm and full colour 20 page special booklet. The charm included in this release is Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod, which is the attack item she uses in the second story arc. The Cutie Moon Rod does not appear on the episodes included in this release.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 10 and 11 - Interview with the voice actors for the Shitennou

The special booklet follows the same format as the previous booklets did. It includes episode summaries, interviews, character designs and a special page by Fumio Osana, also known as Osabu. The interviews are with producer Junichiro Tsuchiya and the voice actors for the Shitennou, Daisuke Kishio, Kosuke Toriumi, Masaya Matsukaze and Eiji Takemoto. The character designs included are of Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Shitennou, Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs for Princess Serenity, Endymion and the Shitennou

There are only 2 episodes included on this disk. Included are Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, and Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangère. This has the Sailor Guardians vanquishing Queen Beryl and Queen Metalia and concludes with the appearance of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

Streaming version

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 Blu-Ray - Queen Serenity with a new dress

Blu-Ray version

All home video releases include some minor updating to the animation, and this release is no different. Some of the changes however were no just cosmetic. The major change which I found a bit upsetting was the modification to young Queen Serenity’s dress. In a scene in Act 13 we see a flashback to a young Queen Serenity petting a kitten Luna. In the original streaming version Queen Serenity is seen wearing a dress that is similar to Princess Serenity’s, and quite unlike the dress that adult Queen Serenity wears throughout the series. This seemed like a neat side reference, reminding us that Queen Serenity was young herself once, and perhaps also the Princess at the time. In this updated episode her dress is modified to look like it does when she is an adult.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Zombie Sailor Mars

Streaming version

Other changes to the episodes included the removal of white eyes when the Sailor Guardians are wounded. Seeing zombie Sailor Guardian eyes was a bit off putting but kind of cool. Now they have pupils again. There was also some amount of injury added to the various girls after they had been beat up. Even the preview image for Act 13 in the special booklet shows the Sailor Guardians with dirt on their faces that does not appear in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Page 2 and 3 - Act 13

A great resource to comparing the streaming version to the home video releases is Crystal Comparisons. This site has a thorough comparison of both versions of the show with many screenshots broken down by episode. Check out all the changes in Act 13 and Act 14 to see what was modified for this release.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 7 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Osabu's page

The audio commentary for both episodes on this disk is provided by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Fumio Osana, the editor for the Sailor Moon manga, and another voice which I was unable to identify. I do not speak Japanese so I don’t have anything to add about the content of the commentary.

As usual I can only recommend this release to hardcore fans. With only two episodes and no English audio or subtitles most fans are better off just watching the streaming version or waiting for the inevitable domestic dubbed and subbed release which is yet to be announced.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 5 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Cover

The latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released in a limited edition Blu-Ray set on February 11th. In fact that was so long ago that the next set is now out! Like with other sets this includes two episodes with Japanese audio in a collectible box with a full colour booklet and charm included. The disk is region A, meaning it will play in North American Blu-Ray players, but it does not have any English audio or subtitle options. It can be purchased from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for as little as 5,194 yen, about $44 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Contents

No real surprises here. The cover features Sailor Venus. The charm included is of Sailor Venus’s transformation pen. This is different from previous charms simply because Sailor Venus has a very different looking transformation item in the first season as this is what she used in her days as Sailor V.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Sailor Venus's transformation pen

The episodes included are Act 9, Serenity – Princess, and Act 10, Moon. This covers Sailor Moon being revealed as Princess Serenity and that aftermath as well as the trip to the Moon. Minor animation fixes occurred on these episodes as was the case with other volumes. This is nothing too drastic. I can’t say there was anything that jumped out as me as an obvious change when I watched it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Disk

The disks include an audio commentary which is in full on Japanese so I can’t really comment on that content as I am unable to speak or read Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Booklet - Pages 10 and 11

Also included, like with other volumes, is a 20 page full colour booklet. The interviews included with this volume are with Yasuhiro Kato, the CG animation director, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus. The booklet also includes episode summaries, character art and a special page by Fumio Osano, Osabu.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Booklet - Pages 12 and 13

Keep reading for more images of this set including photos of all pages of the booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10, Moon, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Jadeite with a cape and sword

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10, Moon, was released November 15th on Crunchyroll,
Hulu and Niconico at 7pm Japan Standard Time. The episode was available an hour early to fans who observe daylight savings time due to the fact that the Japanese don’t roll back their clocks. This will be the same for the next 6 months worth of episodes. Lots happens this week as the Sailor Guardians go to the Moon to learn about their past!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Kenji Papa's classic "upset that Usagi has a boyfriend" face

The episode starts out with a fun scene of Usagi and her family at home. This lets us see Kenji Papa doing his oh so famous “What? You have a BOYFRIEND?!” face. The original manga chapter of this story has Shingo and Usagi playing with a game system which appears to be a Super Famicom (Japanese Super Nintendo), which would fit with the technology of the time. What is this updated to in 2014? Shingo is playing with what appears to be an original model Gameboy Advance, released in Japan in March of 2001. This seems seriously dated as the GBA SP was released in 2003 and the next generation Nintendo DS was released nearly 10 years ago in 2004. The style choice may have been made because the Gameboy Advance form factor is more generic, vaguely resembling the PSP or or less so the Vite, Wonderswan or Sega Game Gear. Do kids these days even think this thing looks like a game system?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Usagi and Shingo playing Gameboy Advance

The girls go to the Moon and this is decently done, but I took a few astronomical issues with how this was portrayed which I will touch on at the end of the post for those who are interested. Once on the Moon there is a sword set in stone, which is called various things including the Holy Sword or the Sword of the Silver Crystal. Venus is the only one that is able to pull it, though the other girls working together were able to budge it. This sword is seen as the T in the word Crystal in the show’s logo, so it’s no big surprise when we see it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Sailor Venus and her sword

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal logo

Queen Serenity appears as a computer simulation recreated from her memories. This sets the technological level of Silver Millennium well past that of Earth in 2014, let alone 1992 or the ancient past when all this occurred. We’re nowhere close to the kind of whole brain emulation or mind uploading that would be required to do something like this. Sailor Moon’s attacks and transformation always seem like magic but an advanced civilization like this would be capable of machine level super intelligence so advanced that such things may very well be possible through technological progress rather than anything mystical, but that’s hardly hinted at in the rest of the series. It would be more internally consistent to assume that their magical abilities helped them achieve technological progress, or that the simulation is a mix of both.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity talking to her daughter Sailor Moon

We learn about the tragic events on the Moon. Endymion was killed and so Serenity, in grief, took her own life. In the manga it appears that the sword Sailor Moon uses on herself is the one Sailor Venus later removes from the stone. Sailor Moon Crystal clearly shows her using Endymion’s sword for this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Princess Serenity taking her own life with Prince Endymion's sword

The biggest deal with this episode are the Shitennou couplings! We knew we kept them all around for a reason. Kunzite snoops on Beryl and Metalia much as he did in the Manga however this time he has Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite with him. Venus has full memories of them in the past, when they all had capes like Kunzite’s, and the Sailor Guardians went to Earth to fall in love with them. This was never shown in the manga, except in a single image. The couplings are consistent with that image as Sailor Mercury is in love with Zoisite, Sailor Mars is in love with Jadeite, Sailor Jupiter is in love with Nephrite and Sailor Venus is in love with Kunzite. Sailor Venus and Kunzite’s relationship is hinted at in both the Sailor Moon and Sailor V manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Nephrite with a cape

A new attack is used as the Sailor Guardians use their Sailor Planet Attack. Kunzite is meant to be killed at this point, but we didn’t keep the rest of the Shitennou around just to have them killed off now! They will be alive for some new scenes in coming episodes!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Sailor Planet Attack

Queen Beryl revives Tuxedo Mask who is now under her control. She is clearly in love with him and in order to keep other girls from stealing him away she dresses him up in the most ridiculously terrible beige sweater. This hurts my brain less than the checker pattern Endo wears in the manga, but it is considerably less stylish. This is something an 80 year old might decide to wear, which isn’t too far off considering just how old Mamoru is if his reincarnation is considered.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Endo has a terrible sweater

Update: Alita from the Facebook page has pointed out that this is a common sweater type that is worn with a school uniform in Japan. I had no idea this Mr. Rogers style was so common but it is. I always appreciate it when readers who are more familiar with Japanese culture than me for point things like this out.

Mr. Rogers sweater

Next time in Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, Tuxedo Mask is evil. He’s about town with mixed memories calling himself Endo, a short form of Endymion. This episode will not be available until December 6th which is three weeks from now, since Sailor Moon Crystal is only released on the first and third Saturday of every month. Hang in there Sailor Moon fans!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 Preview - Usagi sees Endo

Now, on to the somewhat nitpick astronomical issues I took with this episode. I am not trying to point these out in an attempt to mock the show, but in the interest of education for those who may be interested. It is mentioned that they travel to the Earth during a full Moon. Knowing the phase of the Moon tells us a lot about what we should expect to see as far as illumination of the Earth goes. Ami mentions that the Moon is right above them, indicating it is roughly the middle of the night at the time, and that the Sun is pretty much on the complete other side of the Earth. While they are flying from the Earth to the Moon, located somewhere between the two, they gaze back at the Earth and it is more than half illuminated by the Sun. This is not possible while the Moon is full. For the Sun to fully illuminate the Moon, almost none of the Earth would be illuminated from the vantage point of the Moon or somewhere in between. The Earth should actually appear like a New Moon, with just a sliver of illumination at most.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Earth should not be more than half lit when the Moon is full and the observer us between the two

Luna mentions that they are traveling to the Sea of Serenity also known as “Mare Serenitatis”. This is located on the surface of the Moon far from the edges, as seen from the Earth. If you find the rabbit on the Moon, it’s near the ball that makes up the body. When landing in this area the Earth should be seen high in the sky, however the Earth is seen in the horizon from this vantage point. Because the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, the same part is always facing us which means that from the Moon the Earth would always occupy roughly the same spot in the sky, and unless you are located on what we see as the edges of the Moon, the Earth would never be anywhere near the horizon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Earth is too low in the sky for where they should be on the Moon and if the Sun was obscured like this there would be a partial lunar eclipse

Finally as they are leaving Luna mentions that the Sun is about to rise on Earth. We see the Earth with the Sun completely covered, only starting to appear from behind it. This would be a rare astronomical event which we on Earth would observe as a full or partial Lunar eclipse, as can be seen in this post I made about the recent Lunar eclipse. If the Sun, as seen from the Moon, is obscured by the Earth that means the Earth is casting it’s shadow on the Moon. Surely this happens during a full Moon, but no ellipse was mentioned as happening during the episode. It should also be mentioned that were the Sun actually behind the Earth as is seen here an observer would not be able to see any details on the surface, as it would not be illuminated at all.

Keep reading for more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview for Act 11, Reunion – Endymion.

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