The 4th volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray was released in Japan on January 14th. Because I’m irresponsible with my money I’ve purchased this, so here is my review. The set is Japanese audio and contains just two episodes, Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask and Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. It comes with a 24 page full colour booklet and a charm of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item in a decorative box.
As with other releases, minor changes to the animation are included. This one it no different, though some of the changes here are more considerable. One of my favourite parts of act 7 is the part where Umino drops in uninvited to a conversation between Usagi, Makoto and Ami to talk about Sailor V. He’s ultimately creepy and for some unexplained reason is a black shadowy figure with yellow eyes and a mouth, looking something like a Heartless from the Kingdom Hearts games. For whatever reason this has been fixed up for the Blu-Ray release so that he is just normal looking, though still intensely creepy, Umino. While changes in the past were largely cosmetic, this is one that is a little more intrusive and something I’m not very comfortable with.
Other changes in the episode were not as big a deal. Act 7 contains what I would consider to be the worst animation of the series to date. Some of those shots have been fixed up, but a lot of the really terrible looking shots remain. An error that occurred in the original streaming version of act 7 was that Sailor Venus was wearing Sailor V’s uniform when seen from behind but then Sailor Venus’s orange uniform when seen from the front. This has been fixed to correctly show Sailor Venus’s uniform for all angles. It was unclear it this had been intended or not, as the idea might have been that at first Sailor Venus looked like Sailor V, but upon closer investigation was actually wearing a different costume. This wasn’t really what the scene seemed to insinuate so it’s a decent thing to change. I didn’t notice anything but fairly cosmetic changes to act 8.
The rest of the content was pretty much as expected. The cover of this one includes an image of Sailor Jupiter. The charm included, to go with the charm bracelet included in the first volume, is of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item and bow.
Also included as always is the full colour booklet. It includes interviews with Yukie Sako, animation director and character designer and Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There are also episode summaries, production art and a special page by Fumio Osano as always. Photos of all pages of the book are included at the bottom of this post.
The disk itself includes the two episodes, act 7 and 8, as well as and audio commentary for each. The commentary track is in Japanese with no subtitles so I can’t really comment on it. From a brief listen I can tell that voice actors Kenji Nojima, Tuxedo Mask, and Shizuka Ito, Sailor Venus, are on this one as well as some other Japanese people who worked on the show who’s names and jobs you will quickly figure out if you can understand the commentary.
You can import this disk from online stores such as Amazon Japan, CD Japan or YesAsia for as low as 5194 yen, which is about $45 US, though shipping can be considerable on some sites. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD versions will be released on February 11th if you’re feeling cheap. With only two episodes included as always I can’t really recommend buying these when a free an legal way to support the show always exists with the streaming options. If you’re hardcore about the show and video quality well you’ve probably bought other volumes so I don’t need to tell you what to do.
Keep reading for more images of the set and photos of all pages of the included booklet.
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