The first ever North American performance of a Sailor Moon musical will be taking place in Houston Texas during the Anime Matsuri convention in April. The news of this special performance of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical was posted on the official Sailor Moon site and Anime Matsuri site last month. The specific date of the musical performance has not yet been announced but it will be during the convention weekend which takes place from April 7th to the 9th at the George R. Brown convention centre in downtown Houston, Texas. This may be a slightly modified version of the musical as the entire cast will not be present. At this time only the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, with the exclusion of Chibiusa, will be in attendance. Notice that the poster specifically made for this event features all regular cast members but Airi Kanda who plays Chibiusa.
In addition to the musical there will be many Sailor Moon themed guests. This includes Fumio Osano, Osabu, who is best known as the editor of the Sailor Moon manga. Also appearing are voice actors from the English versions of Sailor Moon Crystal and Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime Cristina Vee, who plays Sailor Mars, and Christine Cabanos, who plays Sailor Saturn.
Confirmed guests for the musical are Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus,
Syu Shiotsuki, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii, Sailor Pluto, Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, and Yuga Yamato, Tuxedo Mask. Also attending are dancers Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa and Ayumi Sagisaka.
Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.
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There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.
As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.
I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.
Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.
The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.
There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.
The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.
The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.
Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.
If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:
Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.
Ford has release the latest in their Overdubs series of commercials and this one features the entire cast of Sailor Moon. We previously reported on the first commercial, starring Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff as Sailor Moon and Luna. This one has Stephanie Sheh as Sailor Moon, Kate Higgins as Sailor Mercury, Cristina Vee as Sailor Mars, Amanda C. Miller as Sailor Jupiter and Cherami Leigh as Sailor Venus. Watch the clip below.
The original episode this footage comes from is Sailor Moon R episode 72, Rubeus the Heartless: The Tragic Sisters. We can tell this by the fact that they are fighting on a bridge against Petz and Calaveras. Following this altercation they are healed with Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal. It makes me wonder how they got that Ford Fusion up to the upper part of that bridge…
This weekend, Novemeber 11th to the 13th, Sailor Moon fans will be able to meet voice actors from the original and new dubs of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center. In attendance from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime will be Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. Fans will also be able to meet Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal.
Though not one of the main cast fans will also be able to meet Ryo Horikawa from the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon. He is best known as the voice of Vegeta from Dragonball Z but he also provided the voice of some guest characters in the original Sailor Moon anime. In Sailor Moon S episode 119 he voiced Thomas Harris, a DJ who was targeted by Mimete of the Witches 5 . In Sailor Moon SuperS episode 140 he played Yoshiki Usui, a fashion designer who was targeted by Fish Eye.
The main panel to catch is “Sailor Moon Celebration Panel with Stars Linda Ballantyne & Susan Roman” on Saturday at 12pm. You’ll be able to see Cherami Leigh at the “Q&A Session with the Stars of Fairy Tail: Cherami Leigh, Chris Sabat, Jamie Marchi & Eric Vale” Sunday at 11:30am. Ryo Horikawa has three panels. Friday at 5pm is “E-manga Promotion with Ryo Horikawa”, Saturday at 4:30pm is “Dragon Ball Z with Ryo Horikawa & Chris Sabat & Eric Vale” and finally Sunday at 12:30pm is “Anime Q&A with Dragon Ball Super’s Ryo Horikawa”.
Will any you be at this convention? Who are you most looking forward to meeting?
This coming weekend Sailor Moon fans in Texas will be able to meet some of their favourite voice actors from the original English dub of the Sailor Moon anime at Realms Con at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. Fans will have a chance to meet Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, Katie Griffin, the voice of Sailor Mars, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter and Toby Proctor, the voice of Tuxedo Mask.
Realms Con is a yearly multimedia convention focusing on anime, comics, gaming and horror. The convention will run Friday to Sunday, September 30th to October 2nd. Will any of you be attending this weekend?
Here are some fun art pieces that might interest some Sailor Moon fans. They are paper cut Sailor Soldiers. These are made out of small cut and assembled pieces of coloured paper put together in a frame. You can order them from the Memorobelia Studios Etsy shop. These are individually made by artists Ale and Matt. They aren’t cheap, costing from 80 to 95 euro (about $90 to $106 US) but the cost reflects the hard work that goes into them and looks to be worth it based on how nice looking these are.
Toronto Sailor Moon fans will have a chance to meet stars from the original and new dubs of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo in Toronto the weekend of September 1st to the 4th. From the 90s dub of the original Sailor Moon anime the convention will feature Linda Ballantyne, Sailor Moon, Katie Griffin, Sailor Mars, Susan Roman, Sailor Jupiter, Toby Proctor, Tuxedo Mask, Jill Frappier, Luna and Ron Rubin, Artemis. This is the main group that’s advertised as “The Stars of Sailor Moon” who will have a Sailor Moon Q&A panel.
With a convention of this size there are a lot of other voice actors present, some of which are in the new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal which is being done by Viz. Voice actors from the new dub include Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Veronica Taylor, Sailor Pluto, Todd Haberkorn, the voice of both Jadeite and Kenji Tsukino and Cassandra Lee Morris, Calaveras of the Ayakashi Sisters.
Fans may know Veronica Taylor best as the voice of Ash Ketchum and Ash’s Mom in Pokémon. Does this mean a Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover will be announced at the convention? No. Of course not.
Do you plan on attending? I’ll be there this year. This will be my third time attending Fan Expo. It’s a great convention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2016 Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration is this Saturday, July 9th, at the Ontario Science Centre. Last year I attended the event and recorded the voice actor panel. This panel included Roland Parliament, voice director for the first 65 episodes and the voice of Melvin, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, and Jill Frappier, the voice of Luna. If you missed last year’s event you can watch the panel below.
This year’s event looks like it will be a lot of fun. It has some great guests including voice actors Vince Corazza, the voice of Alan and Tuxedo Mask, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, and David Fraser, the voice of Raye’s Grandpa and other minor roles in the series. Jennifer Cihi, who sang many songs for the English dub, will be there to perform a concert. For more information on this and other events at the convention check out the event’s web site.
This weekend is Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. Once again this convention will play host to a number of Sailor Moon actors, this time with a lot of the cast from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. Could this mean we will finally be getting news about the English dub of Sailor Moon S? It’s been a whole year since the voice actors for Sailor Moon S were announced at Anime Expo 2015. We are long overdue to see these episodes. The voice actors will be signing Sailor Moon S art at the convention so I think it would be reasonable to expect to learn something related to Sailor Moon S at Sunday’s panel!
This convention will feature Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, new voice actors from Sailor Moon S Erica Mendez, Sailor Uranus, Lauren Landa, Sailor Neptune and Christine Cabanos, Sailor Saturn. Most of the events will be going on this Sunday, July 3rd. The Sailor Moon panel will be at 10am Pacific Time and an autograph session will be held at 1:30pm. The cast will be signing Sailor Moon S posters provided by Viz.