Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon Crystal, gave birth to a baby boy at some point in 2016

Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon Crystal

Rina Sato, who provided the Japanese voice of Sailor Mars in Sailor Moon Crystal, has announced that she had a baby boy at some point this year. According to a number of Japanese news sites this was mentioned in a blog post on December 31st, the first she’d made since August. She also mentioned getting married. When exactly this occurred isn’t clear.

Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, in December 2016

I’m a bit surprised to learn this news! While Rina Sato has not been active on her blog she has still been consistently posting to Twitter throughout the year. Her posts talk about attending various events, many of which are accompanied by very much not pregnant photos of herself. That said there is a lengthy gap in which there are no photos of her during the first half of 2016. Her blog post mentions that this is a private affair, so it would make sense that she not share details about it on her professional Twitter account. All considered I would say it’s likely she had her baby boy earlier in the year rather than later.

Congratulations to Rina Sato! I wish her all the best in this new chapter of life.

Source: Rina Sato’s blog via IT Media, Livedoor News, Yahoo! News and @thesailorbook on Twitter

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 2 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Contents

The latest Blu-Ray release for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity Arc was released on July 27th in Japan. This is the second of three releases covering this story arc and includes episodes 30 through 33. The set also includes a 24 page booklet with episode descriptions, interviews and character art. This is a Japanese only release with no English subtitles. You can order it from online retailers such as Amazon Japan for 6516 yen, about $65 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Front

The packaging for this release highlights Sailor Uranus and Neptune with a great cover image on the Blu-Ray itself. The colours on the box match Sailor Uranus’s Sailor Fuku with a yellow bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Disc

Episodes included in this release are Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Act 31 – Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, Act 32 – Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, and Act 33 – Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. These cover the Witches 5’s Viluy, Tellu, Cyprine and Ptitlol, the appearance of Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as well as the origins of the Holy Grail and Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon. Also included is the first appearance of Sailor Saturn, but only in flashback form, and a brief appearance by Mistress 9.

I watched all four episodes and didn’t notice any changes in animation from the original streaming release as had been done with the first 26 episodes. As there were no changes to the last release either I suspect we won’t be seeing any changes to the episodes of this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Special Booklet 2 - Pages 12 and 13 - Interview with Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

The packaging advertises a 28 page booklet. Funny I only counted 24. I suppose we could be really creative and count the cover page and back cover as “pages”? Like with other booklets this includes episode summaries, interviews and character art. This one includes interviews with five voice actors Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Yukiyo Fujii, Sailor Saturn and Ai Maeda, Sailor Pluto.

Some audio commentaries are also included with the episodes themselves. The same voice actors appear for all four of the commentaries. This includes Hisako Kanemoto, Ami, Rina Sato, Rei, Misato Fukuen, Chibiusa and Yukiyo Fujii, Hotaru. I don’t speak Japanese so I don’t know what they talk about.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Blu-Ray

It’s a bit hard to justify buying this Japanese only release at this price which is close to what you’d pay for the entire 14 episode Dark Kingdom story arc in Japanese and English. Surely the four episodes per disc is a better deal than with earlier releases but since there are no changes to the animation this time around you can still watch the streaming version for free instead of buying this.

The third volume, including the final five episodes of this story arc, will be released on Blu-Ray on August 31st. You can preorder it online from sites like Amazon Japan. It costs a bit more, with an MSRP of 10,584 yen, about $105 US dollars. This post on the Sailor Moon official site indicates that the version will include a box to store all three volumes in, which seems to justify this roughly 50% increase from the previous volumes.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 1 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Contents

The first of three volumes of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is now available on Blu-Ray. Volume 1 was released on June 29th in Japan. This is a Japanese language release so there is no English audio or English subtitles. You can import it from sites like Amazon Japan for 6909 yen, about $67 US. This release features four episodes, where the first 26 episodes of the series were only released on disks containing two episodes a piece. This time we get Act 27 parts 1 and 2 as well as Acts 28 and 29. The set comes in a smaller package than the earlier releases, which should fit more conveniently on your shelf. It also includes a 24 page special booklet with interviews and art.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The episodes included are Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part and Second Part, Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, and Act 29 – Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers. This covers the introduction to the Death Busters, the Sailor Guardians facing off against Eudial and Mimete, meeting Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru as well as Sailor Uranus and Neptune. With the first 26 episodes, plagued by sloppy inconsistent animation, a number of minor improvements and changes were done to the animation for the Blu-Ray release. None of this is present here. If you’ve seen the streaming version you’ve seen the version which is presented on this release. It seems they put a bit more time and money into the animation the first time so there was no need for updates.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - DVD

The episodes include an optional audio commentary. These four episodes all feature commentary by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Cover

As with earlier releases a 24 page special booklet is included. The contents are somewhat like what we’ve seen before. There are episode summaries, interviews and character designs. Osabu’s page is not present in this booklet. There are a total of five interviews included. These are with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisaka Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Rei and Makoto designs

All in all this set is a more worthwhile purchase than the previous sets were. The cost is about the same and there are twice as many episodes. Without any changes in animation though, there isn’t much to get from collecting these when the streaming version is subtitled and free, though not quite at Blu-Ray quailty. Further now that we know that English Blu-Ray sets are coming with entire story arcs costing close to what a single Japanese disc does, it seems a little pointless for an English speaking North American fan to buy these Japanese only releases. All said we haven’t seen the English release yet. It seems unlikely that it will be plagued with terrible video quality like all North American releases of the original series have been, but that’s still a possibility. We may find that this is the better quality set to have when all is said and done. The French DVD and Blu-Ray came out last week and seems to be of exceptional quality though, so it seems likely the English release will be the same.

The next set will be released on July 27th and can be pre-ordered from sites like Amazon Japan. It is similarly priced at 6909 yen. It will include four episodes, Acts 30 to 33, bringing us to Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon and the first flashback look at Sailor Saturn.

Keep reading for more photos of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 12 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Cover

The last volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray last month, on September 9th. I’ve dragged my feet on this review so much that the next disk, volume 13, is released today in Japan. Volume 12 can be purchased from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $43 US. The next and final volume can also be ordered from Amazon Japan for 5994 yen, about $50 US. As always this release contains only two episodes, in this case Act 23 and 24, in Japanese only and the cover art included is of Black Lady, Chibiusa’s older and eviler self.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Contents

The charm included with this release is Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, her transformation broach for this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Crystal Star Charm

Two episodes are included on this disk. Act 23 – Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, and Act 24 – Attack – Black Lady. The video quality as always is great. As with other DVD and Blu-Ray releases some minor changes to the animation have taken place since the streaming version. Nothing of significance is included with these particular episodes. Nothing changes any of the scenes in any major way. The biggest change with Act 24 is the colour and brightness for certain scenes. As always you can check out Crystal Comparisons for screenshots which show the changes for any particular episode, including Acts 23 and 24.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Special booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs

A 20 page full colour booklet is included once again. Unfortunately I am unable to identify the subjects of the first interview. The names are Nozomi Matsuura and Yukiko Kariya. This web site indicates that they work for Bandai, but no other details are given. The second interview is with the voice actors playing the Black Moon Clan. This includes Mamoru Miyano, the voice of Prince Demande, Hiroki Takahashi, the voice of Rubeus, Tsubasa Yonaga, the voice of Saphir, and Houko Kawashima, the voice of Esmeraude. Also included in the booklet are the usual episode summaries for Act 23 and 24, character designs for Black Lady, Prince Demande and Saphir, backgrounds and screenshots from the episodes and a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu.

These episodes include an audio commentary featuring cast and crew from the show. This includes Munehisa Sakai, director of the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Should you get this? Should you pay over $50 to buy and ship this set with only two episodes in a language you can’t speak when an English and Japanese version will eventually be released for much less and you can watch the series for free online in the mean time? That’s your call!

Keep reading for more images of this set’s packaging including images of all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 8 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Contents

The latest release of Sailor Moon Crystal on Blu-Ray was released on May 13th. Volume 8 collects acts 15 and 16. It’s packaging showcases Chibiusa. You can buy this volume on Amazon Japan and CD Japan. It only has Japanese audio with no English subtitles, though it will play in North American Blu-Ray players.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Sailor Mercury transformation item charm

The charm included this time is Sailor Mercury’s Star Power Stick. Her original transformation item was released with volume 2 when Sailor Mercury first appeared on the cover. It’s a safe bet that the next 3 releases will have Sailor Mars, Jupiter and Venus’s Star Power Sticks as charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Special Booklet - Page 2 and 3 - Act 15 summary

The 20 page special booklet included this time has the same breakdown as others, included episode summaries, screenshots, character art and a special page by Fumio Osano, Osabu. The interviews included in this release are with Yu Kaminoki, producer for the series and Misato Fukuen, the voice actress who plays Chibiusa. The character art included mostly focuses on Chibiusa but also has Koan and Berthier of the Ayakashi Sisters. There’s a heavy amount of focus on Chibiusa with her gun. Can any gun nuts identify exactly what model of gun this is and whether or not it can be equipped with an optional flower clip?

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Special Booklet - Page 14 & 15 - Character art

The episodes included are Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, in which Sailor Mars faces off again Koan, and Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, in which Sailor Mercury faces off again Berthier. Chibiusa showed up at the end of the last release so now we begin focusing on the battle with the Black Moon Clan. Both episodes on this disk have minor changes to their animation that’s been done for the Blu-Ray release. I didn’t note anything terribly significant as far as changes go. You can check out the differences in Act 15 and Act 16 on Crystal Comparisons, which details the changes between the streaming version and home video versions of the show.

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

Chibiusa in her incorrectly coloured uniform from the next episode preview for Act 17

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa with a white top

Chibiusa in her correctly coloured uniform in Act 17

More shocking here is the lack of change! The next episode preview for Act 17 shows Chibiusa with a short sleeved but dark blue uniform. As we’ve covered in our review of Act 17, this was an incorrect colour which was actually corrected for the episode proper. The animators change things like this up until the last minute and update all kinds of things for the Blu-Ray but no one is bothering to fix up the next episode previews so that they don’t include these errors! Shameful!

As always as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment much on the audio commentary. There are three people appearing on these commentaries. You can hear Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury and Munehisa Sakai, the series director for Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 8 - Packaging

As with other releases it’s hard to justify buying a fairly expensive release for just two episodes. I don’t imagine I’ll change anyone’s mind on buying these at this point. Either you’ve bought the other releases and will buy this too, or you won’t be buying any. With free viewing options available for Sailor Moon Crystal and an English version inevitably happening in the future, this isn’t something many English speaking fans will find much value in.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

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Listen to previews of every song from the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - Sea of Fire by Rei Hino

We previously announced that a Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD would be released on April 29th. Previews of all songs have been posted to the official Sailor Moon Instagram page. The first 9 tracks posted match the names given in the track listing earlier. The final song was previously posted to YouTube. The clips on Instagram are all 15 seconds, the maximum length for videos on the site, but with a sample of every track we get a good idea of what’s in store for next week.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - I'm Going Down by the Shitennou

All video clips are embedded below.

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Check out a preview of the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

A Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD will be released on April 29th. A preview of this CD has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon site. Just what is this? This is not music or songs from Sailor Moon Crystal but rather songs performed by the voice actors from the show. The old Sailor Moon Anime frequently had these and occasionally included them in the series. The site mentions that it has been nearly 20 years since the release of a Character Music Collection. This should be a surprise to fans of the 2003 Sailor Moon Live Action series which had many albums and singles of character songs by the main cast.

The full track listing in Japanese is on the Sailor Moon official site. There are 10 tracks in total. Songs will be performed by the voices of Sailor Moon by Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Mercury by Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mars by Rina Sato, Sailor Jupiter by Ami Koshimizu, Sailor Venus by Shizuka Ito, Tuxedo Mask by Kenji Nojima, Jadeite by Daisuke Kishio, Nephrite by Kosuke Toriumi, Zoisite by Masaya Matsukaze and Kunzite by Eiji Takemoto. All of the Sailor Guardians have their own solo tracks, as does Tuxedo Mask. The Shitennou all perform together on one track. Two duets are done, one with Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter and the other with Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus. The final track has all of the Sailor Guardians performing together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

You can preorder the CD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for 3240 yen, about $27 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 6 review

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Packaging

The 6th Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray set was released on March 11th. It can be purchased on Amazon Japan and CD Japan. MSRP is 7020 yen, about $59 US dollars. If you’re thinking of importing this keep in mind it is in Japanese only and there are no subtitles. The disk will play in North American Blu-Ray players for this who still want to buy it. There is also a regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD that will be released April 8th, when vol. 7 is being released in a Deluxe Limited Edition set. The DVDs will not likely play in a North American region 1 DVD player.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Contents

As with other volumes the disk comes in a collectible box. This one features a silhouette of Tuxedo Mask on the cover. The cover of the disk itself has an image of Usagi and Tuxedo Mask on it.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Sailor Moon's transformation brooch charm

Every set comes with a charm which goes on the charm bracelet included with volume 1. This release includes Sailor Moon’s transformation brooch. This is the second Sailor Moon item included as volume 1 had Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Booklet - Pages 12 and 13

A 24 page full colour booklet is also included. Amongst the pages are episode summaries, character art for Tuxedo Mask, the Shitennou and Reika, interviews with Yasuhara Takanashi, music composer for the series, and Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask as well as a page by Fumio Osano, Osabu. Photographs of all pages in this booklet are included at the bottom of this post.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Booklet - Pages 14 and 15

The contents of the disk aren’t terribly exciting. Two episodes are included as usual. This time we have Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, and Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria. Many fans took issue with the many changes in Act 12 hoping they would be corrected with the video release but this not the case. Sailor Venus still does not kill Queen Beryl. Sailor Moon still breaks Beryl’s necklace with the sword. The Shitennou still die. Kunzite still says something that sounds like penis. Most of the video releases have some minor updates to the animation. Though I did not notice any specific changes with these episodes it’s likely they are updated as others had been.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray vol. 6 - Disk

There is an audio commentary on this disk. I don’t speak Japanese so it’s hard for me to tell exactly what is going on or even who is present. I would seem that the voice actresses for Sailor Mars, Rina Sato, and Sailor Jupiter, Ami Koshimizu are present. There is also a man who’s identity I couldn’t figure out.

This set will likely appeal to fans with a lot of money or who feel they must have every bit of Sailor Moon on video. The video quality is better than the streaming version but is that difference really worth buying something in a language you can’t understand? I leave that call to you because at this point if you’re likely to buy this you probably already have the other volumes.

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

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Sailor Moon Crystal Volume 3 Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition

The 3rd Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray disk was released on December 10th. Like with the other versions is cames with a number of extras and contains a whopping two whole episodes in 1080 HD. The episodes included are act 5, Makoto – Sailor Jupiter, and act 6, Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition - Full Cover

The box is quite nice looking as always. This one features Sailor Mars on the cover, even though her introductory episode was in the last set. The square box contains a lot. The Blu-Ray box itself has a full image of Sailor Mars and her crows Phobos and Deimos. The charm included in this set is of Sailor Mars’s transformation item. It goes with the charm bracelet included in volume 1.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition - Sailor Mars charm

Included in this set is a 20 page full colour booklet featuring episode descriptions, art designs from the episodes and a couple of interview. The first interview is with series writer Yuji Kobayashi and the second is with Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition - Booklet -

The image quality on this releases is top notch. I tend to watch the Crunchyroll feed because I like the image quality they have. The Blu-Ray version looks better as the image is much more fluid, less choppy. A lot of scenes have been reanimated or touched up with these episodes, and I suspect all episodes will get this same treatment. Act 7 has what I consider to be the worst animation so I’m hoping that episodes gets a good facelift.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition

Again I would recommend this set only to serious collectors. Unless you’re a real completist you may find it perfectly fine to just watch the streaming version. If you’re curious about the changed scenes there are surely some other ways to get your hands on these episodes. The audio is Japanese only, no subtitles. There are also audio commentaries included on this disk but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on them. I mentioned in earlier reviews that the Blu-Rays were region A, which covers Japan and North America, but it turns out they are actually region free. The DVDs on the other hand are region 2 so they are not playable in a North American DVD player unless you are lucky enough to have one that isn’t region locked.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition

You can buy the Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray now for 5194 yen or $43 US (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), or pre-order the regular edition Blu-Ray for 3566 yen or $30 US (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD for 2722 yen or $23 US (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) which will be released on January 14th.

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Sailor Moon Crystal voice actors and character artwork plus new musical information

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

The Sailor Moon live event featuring new information about the upcoming Sailor Moon musical and Sailor Moon anime is complete and with that we have a great deal of new information. For the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, we have some new character art for all five of the main cast as well as the full cast listing. Most notable is the return of Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon from the 1992 Sailor Moon anime, who will be reprising her role as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal. This was heavily insinuated at the original event announcing the new anime but now we have official confirmation.

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

New voice actresses will be joining the show for the voices of Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The new cast will include Hisako Kanemoto as Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato as Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu as Sailor Jupiter and Shizuka Ito as Sailor Venus. Click on their names to view their Wikipedia pages and see what roles they’ve done in the past.

The cast of Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère

In addition to the new information about the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal we also got details about the Sailor Moon musicals! Last September’s new musical, Sailor Moon La reconquista, will be released on DVD on July 9th 2014. Most of the cast, with the exception of Sailor Mercury, will be returning for this summer’s new musical which is titled Petite Étrangère, which is French for “Little Stranger” with the feminine usage of both words leading us to believe we’re talking about Chibiusa. The musical will play in Tokyo from August 21st to the 31st and in Osaka from September 5th to the 7th. The new Sailor Mercury will be played by Momo Koyama.

Here’s a look at all of the new voice actors from Sailor Moon Crystal:

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon Crystal

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