The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Sailor Moon attacks Metalia

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view in English on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is the final full episode of the Dark Kingdom story arc. Everyone is putting their life on the line this week to defeat the evil Queen Metalia!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

This is the version of the episode with modified animation, originally used for the Japanese DVD and Blu-Ray release. Amongst the changes is Queen Serenity’s dress who in the streaming version, shown above, shows a dress that looks like Princess Serenity’s. This was changed to reflect a style of dress that was similar to what Queen Serenity wears as an adult. I didn’t like this change at all. I thought it was nice to see Queen Serenity in a different light, dressing like her daughter later would, perhaps when she was still Princess herself. Oh well. At least we still have kitten Luna!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Final Battle - Reincarnation

Next week is Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangère, which will sort of span both story arcs. We will conclude the Dark Kingdom story arc and then end with a setup for the Dark Moon Clan arc with the arrival of the “small stranger” Chibiusa.

Note: I will be traveling all week so this post was written last week and scheduled to go online after the episode airs. Should the episode not go online for whatever reason, I apologize for the confusing and misleading post!

Watch the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, Friday Febuary 5th at 9pm

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Guardians fighting Queen Metalia

The English version of the next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available on Hulu and Neon Alley this Friday, February 5th. Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is the last full episode of the Dark Kingdom story arc. The girls are facing off against the evil Queen Metalia putting everything on the line.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

One fun thing about this episode is a look at kitten Luna, from back in the early days of Silver Millennium. The above screenshot shows the original streaming version of this scene where Queen Serenity, then much younger, is wearing Princess Serenity’s dress. The updated Blu-Ray version, which we will be seeing on Friday, includes changes to that scene to give Queen Serenity a dress which matches what she wears later. I thought the original was a nice touch, which I assumed was intentional, and so I didn’t appreciate this change.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Final Battle - Reincarnation

Note: I will be traveling the week this episode is released so this post was scheduled to be published automatically on Wednesday.

Watch the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10, Moon, January 15th at 9pm Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

This Friday the next English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available on Hulu and Neon Alley starting at 9pm Eastern Time, 6pm Pacific Time. With Act 10, Moon, the gang will be travelling to the … well the Moon. They don’t do so on a rocket ship but instead with magic. There we will see Usagi’s mother Queen Serenity, who has had her consciousness uploaded into a super computer. This will lead to wonderful and terrible flashbacks as we learn of the tragic fate of Princess Serenity and Endymion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Nephrite with a cape

One great thing about this episode is the suggestion that the Sailor Guardians were romantically linked to the Shitennou. This was only hinted at in the manga with an image showing them together but it was never clearly demonstrated in the story.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal to air in Portugal starting May 2nd. Listen to a preview now!

Sailor Moon Crystal to air in Portugal on May 2nd

The first country to air a dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be Portugal! The Portugese dub of the series will begin airing this Saturday May 2nd at 8:30pm local time on BIGGS. This will be the equivalent of 3:30pm Eastern Time, 12:30pm Pacific Time. Check out this link to watch a commercial for the series which features clips from the new Portugese dub courtesy of the Sailor Moon Portugal Facebook Page. There isn’t much talking in this commercial but you can hear Sailor Moon using her “Moon Tiara Boomerang” attack and saying her famous “In the name of the Moon I will punish you” line. You can also hear a clip of Usagi’s classmate Yumiko.

Sailor Moon’s voice in this dub is provided by Raquel Ferreira whose previous anime credits included the voices of Ash Ketchum and Jessie of Team Rocket in Pokémon. She is also a singer who has appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Tuxedo Mask will be voiced by Rogério Jacques who also provides the voice of Nephrite. The voice of Sailor Mars and Luna will be provided by Cristina Cavalinhosas. Fernanda Figueiredo, who was the voice of Sailor Moon in the Portuguese dub of the original Sailor Moon anime, will be voicing Sailor Moon’s mother Queen Serenity.

The dub will be done by 112 Studios who have done many other Anime dubs such as Beyblade, Bakugan and Inuyasha.

Source: Sailor Moon Portugal

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.

Continue reading

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Sailor Moon attacks Metalia

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This is the last full episode to cover the Dark Moon story arc so in a sense it can be considered the season finale, but the story will not conclude until the beginning of next week’s episode which will also serve as a season finale. Last week’s episode had some rather disappointing deviations from the original manga source material. Fans will be happy to see that this week’s episode is fairly faithful, with a number of minor changes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

First, a comment on the title which, like with the manga, does little to describe what is actually going on here. We’re promised the “Final Battle” but no such thing happens. There is a sort of battle with Metelia but there is no conclusion here. The battle does not finish as the final blows are not taken. Secondly the title mentions reincarnation, which does not actually happen in the strictest sense. The end of the last episode has Sailor Moon killing Tuxedo Mask and herself but they aren’t actually reincarnated because neither actually died. More on that and the 1990 hit film which inspired both scenes later. But that’s just me being nitpicky. And speaking of nitpicky, this episode has some pretty messed up looking animation in it. This is nothing new to the series but I wasn’t this bothered by some of the less consistent animation quality since act 7 so I think it needs mentioning.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

Luna continues to kick a lot of ass in this episode. She’s pretty scrappy in Sailor Moon Crystal and that doesn’t stop here. She attacks Metalia, this massive unstoppable evil energy. This fails, naturally, and eventually Luna asks Artemis to bring her to the Moon to consult with Queen Serenity and to beg her to seal Metalia away. In a flashback we get a look at Luna when she was a young kitten along with a much younger Queen Serenity, though still one with white hair. The Queen’s dress matches Princess Serenity’s quite a bit. I wonder is she was even Queen yet at this point, though we don’t really know much about Queen Serenity’s background or her parents. Once Usagi becomes Neo Queen Serenity she continues to keep the dress style she had as Princess. Similarly Chibiusa has that type of dress when she appears as a Princess.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Zombie Sailor Mars

Some minor changes occurred in the Sailor Guardians’ actions in the this episode. They first try to use Sailor Planet attack, which fails. This results in an odd bit of imagery showing them all with white eyes looking like zombies. Then instead of being transported back to their headquarters like they did in the manga they simply stay in the North Pole to attack again, giving up their transformation items and their lives. This is coupled with a number of inspirational flashbacks where Usagi is shown encouraging or befriending each of them, which helps them find the strength they need to keep fighting. This is very similar to a scene from the Sailor Moon R movie in which each of the Sailor Guardians has a similar flashback to encourage them to help Usagi on the asteroid.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Guardians dead

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Orgel protects Sailor Moon from suicide

While all of this goes on Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are trapped inside the Silver Crystal which itself gets consumed by Queen Metalia. While they originally appear to be dead, they are both revealed to be alive. They are not resurrected in any way. Both escaped death by the same convenient plot twist, inspired by the 1990 hit film Problem Child. In this film John Ritter’s character is shot by Michael Richards but the bullet is deflected by a lucky dried prune which is in his pocket. Similarly Sailor Moon escapes death by having the sword deflected on the Orgel watch that Tuxedo Mask gave her. Tuxedo Mask escapes death by using the exact same Problem Child inspired trick of having the sword hitting the gems that he has symbolizing the Shitennou.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Shitennou

The scene with the Shitennou again shows a small change from the manga. As Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite appear as ghosts, now with their full memories and loyal to Mamoru, the gems they are linked to shatter. Originally in the manga these gems take some of the force but only chip a little. Tuxedo Mask keeps them as they make another appearance during the Black Moon Clan story arc. How this change will affect the next arc remains to be seen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Moon Stick and the Silver Crystal

Another change is that Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask manage to escape from inside of Queen Metalia before the final attack. This is different even from the next episode preview at the end of Act 12 which shows Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick growing into a full staff with the sky filled with Queen Metalia, which is no longer the case with the clear view of the moon seen in the final version of the episode. The final battle itself is yet to come.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Conclusion and Commencement - Petite Étrangère

Next time on January 17th we’ll see act 14, Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangère. The episode title as shown here has the spelling “Petite Étrangére”. This is incorrect, as the second E in étrangère has an “accent grave”, towards the back not towards the front. French titles also only capitalize the first letter of the first word but we’ll let that one slide. This is still an improvement over the manga title “Petit Etranger” which omits the accent for the first E (the correct spelling is Étranger), a practice which is generally discouraged and lazy for upper case letters, but it is also wrong because it uses the masculine form of both words which are incorrectly used as it’s a reference to Chibiusa who is by all indications very much female. I don’t mean to harp on spelling too much but this is an episode title so it would have been nice for them to have done a bit of research on this one, especially in light of them having properly spelled the title of last year’s musical “Petite Étrangère”. The spelling of “Materia” for act 12 seems more likely to be a mistake when this case is considered.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask fight Queen Metalia

This next episode will have the real end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the beginning of the Black Moon Clan arc. Some are referring to this as season 2. This will mark the appearance of Chibiusa, though nothing in the preview mentions anything but the conclusion of the battle with Queen Metalia and the aftermath.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and the Moon Stick

I’ll be traveling on the weekend of the 17th so my review may be a bit late but I will be sure to have something posted sooner or later.

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Set you alarm extra early because Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10, Moon, will be available at 5am Eastern Time November 15th

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

Good news and bad news! Japan does not observe daylight savings time. When many of us rolled our clocks back a couple of weeks ago, our good friends in Japan did not do the same. What does this mean for us Sailor Moon Crystal fans? Some of us will get the next episode one full hour earlier than we’re used to. 7pm Japan standard time this coming Saturday, November 15th, will actually be 5am Eastern Time and 2am Pacific time for North Americans on the east and west coast who observe DST. If you’re one of those lucky fans who don’t observe daylight savings or don’t know what it is, don’t panic. Sailor Moon Crystal will air when you expect it to. Not 100% sure at what time 7pm JST is where you live? Crunchyroll’s countdown timer is a good indicator of exactly how much time is left until the episode will be available to stream. As with all new episode, you can also watch it on Hulu and Niconico.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Moon

This week is episode 10, Moon, and like the title suggests the gang is going to the Moon! Luna thinks this is where all the answers will be and she’s right. A computer simulation of Queen Serenity is waiting to reveal all the truths about the tragedies of Silver Millennium and we should also be seeing Sailor Venus getting the sword which is featured so prominently in the Sailor Moon Crystal logo. The sword can be seen in Sailor Venus’s hand in the screenshot below.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

The manga version of this story featured Usagi and Shingo playing an old game system, something like a Super Famicom. Will this be included and updated for this show?

Sailor Moon R episodes 51 and 52 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Sailor Moon receives the Cutie Moon Rod

This morning, November 3rd, the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 51 and 52 as Sailor Moon upgrades her transformation and attack item and we get a better look at Minako.

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Rei breathing fire

In episode 51, A New Transformation: Usagi’s Power-Up, the gang go watch the Cherry Blossoms. This seems a bit like a school trip but for convoluted reasons all of the Sailor Guardians, who are not in Usagi’s class, come along. Naru chokes Umino in a sleeping bag and everyone has a good time eating while watching the cherry trees bloom. An interesting animation technique is used in this episode as character are animated as talking to each other while a zoomed out version of the group appears in the background. During this interaction we see that Usagi is lazy and makes bad lunches but Rei is even lazier and brought fast food burgers. Usagi feeds Rei a sandwich covered in a spicy sauce causing her to breather fire, one of the last times she’ll use her Fire Soul technique and the only time it’s used while she is not transformed into Sailor Mars. A monster shows up, breaks Sailor Moon’s transformation broach and then she falls into a hole which takes her to visit Queen Serenity who upgrades her broach to the Crystal Star, returns the Silver Crystal to her and gives her the Cutie Moon Rod! Where was this weird subspace type world she visited? It’s never really revealed but it looks a bit like Silver Millennium.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako hugging Artemis

Episode 52, The Targeted Kindergarteners: Venus to the Rescue, is a Minako episode which is all about shipping Minako and Artemis. The episode opens with Minako hugging Artemis in bed then she accuses him of peeping on her while she’s changing. Ultimately Minako runs into a young girl who is getting bullied and helps her out. The monster of the week is attacking kindergarten children and so Minako has decided to protect them. The young girl she befriends is a fan of Sailor Moon but, much to her chagrin, has never heard of Sailor Venus! This changes of course when Sailor Venus saves her life. Minako gets a new attack in this episode, her Crescent Beam Shower. The rest of the gang will eventually also be getting new infrequently used attacks in upcoming episodes.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako talking to a young girl

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 -  Princess Serenity and her Guardians with Luna and Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, went online yesterday, November 1st, on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode is full of revelations as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Silver Crystal and tons of details about the past are finally revealed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

Did anyone really think Minako was the Moon Princess? That was all a bit silly with the last episode. Minako was the ruse and now we are finally shown the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon history, the true identity of Princess Serenity. But not content to have super obvious things finally revealed we are now being really secretive about the true identity of the woman from the past who killed Prince Endymion. Boy I wonder who the evil woman might be? Her face is obscured so I have no idea who this is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Queen Beryl

Indeed, the big thing in this episode is this great flashback to Silver Millennium, the kingdom on the Moon from some time in the distant past. The English dub mentioned this time to be 1000 years ago which seems about right but an exact timeline is not ever given. Looking at the technology and architecture of Earth at the time it would seem that a Midlevel setting is what we’re seeing. This isn’t a flashback to when Prince Endymion was on Earth in the 1950s. The places on Earth also appear to be European rather than Asian, despite the people clearly speaking Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Usagi with her friends

Usagi is revealed to be the Princess and so the proper pecking order is well established. The other girls are her guardians, and this is shown both in their willingness to protect her in battle but also in the way they all come together to support her as friend now that she’s pretty down thinking Mamoru is kidnapped and likely dead. One concern she expresses is that they need to get him before his body deteriorates. No wonder she wants to return to a worry free teenage life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite

The Shitennou are all still around which didn’t really go anywhere. In the manga version of this story we get a nice flashback showing they were Endymion’s generals back in the day and we see Jadeite’s body undo decomposition but all of this is skipped. Changes are expected to this story seeing as they are all still alive, rather than having been killed like in the manga, but I expected more rather than less to occur this week. For now we will continue to wait to see what is in store for those characters in the coming episodes. Kunzite recognized the name Endymion when it was mentioned so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

Next time we go to the Moon! Everyone is kind of waiting around but the girls want some answers and Luna suggests they may be found on the Moon. November 15th episode is Act 10, Moon. We’ll see more flash backs and a look at Queen Serenity, Princess Serenity’s mother from back in the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

Check out more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview below.

Continue reading