This weekend is the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. This event will feature an Official Sailor Moon panel hosted by Viz and voice actors from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Michelle Ruff, the voice of Luna. The official panel will be held on Saturday March 19th at 11:30am. This will be run by Viz Media staff including Charlene Ingram so we may have some news about the dub of Sailor Moon S that we are long overdue to get more information about. This is probably the topic I get the most e-mails and messages about! If things proceed as they have in the past we may very well be getting an announcement for a new Moonlight Party, some episodes to be released on Hulu and news about Sailor Moon S on DVD and Blu-Ray. We may also get news about Sailor Moon Crystal’s DVD and Blu-Ray release. This is all speculation of course. Keep checking this site for any significant news that may come from this event.
In additional to taking part in the Official Sailor Moon panel Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff will also be holding a panel Bringing Characters to Life – An Hour with Michelle Ruff and Stephanie Sheh on Sunday, March 20th, at 10:45am. Both of the voice actors will also be available to signs autographs Saturday from 1:15pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 7pm and on Sunday from 2:45pm to 4:30pm.
Charlene Ingram, the Viz Media rep who runs all of the Sailor Moon panels and Moonlight Parties, will also be holding the VIZ Media Industry Panel on Saturday, March 19th, at 4:15pm. While the important Sailor Moon info will probably be covered earlier in the day at the Sailor Moon panel, Sailor Moon may be covered a bit at this time.
A few great PROPLICA toys from Sailor Moon S are being released by Bandai. Sailor Moon’s Holy Grail, used to transform into Super Sailor Moon, will be released in February and the Cosmic Moon Compact will be released in May. For whatever reason Bandai refers to the Holy Grail as the Rainbow Moon Chalice. They used that name when the first toy was released in the 90s and they are using that name again, even though this item was only ever referred to as the Holy Grail in the Sailor Moon manga and anime. It makes sound and light, as can be seen in the promotional video below which has the voice of Kotono Mitsuishi, who plays Usagi, saying “Crisis Make Up” while the Holy Grail shines in a number of colours. Watch a video below of the Holy Grail.
The Cosmic Moon Compact is the transformation item used by Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon S and the Infinity arc of the manga. It opens to reveal a heart shaped crystal which makes plays the music of Sailor Moon’s third transformation, while the crystal blinks. This toy once again uses the voice of Kotono Mitsuishi. You can watch a video of this below.
A Spiral Heart Moon Rod PROPLICA item was previously announced. It is released this month. I just never got around to posting about it.
PROPLICA items are high quality but they aren’t cheap. These replicas are perfectly to scale and look just like you’d imagine these items to look like in the real world. The Holy Grail will cost 10,800 yen, which is about $90 US. The Cosmic Moon Compact will cost 6500 yen, which is about $63 US. The Spiral Heart Moon Rod costs 11,880 yen, about $96 US.
This past weekend Viz Media held their Sailor Moon Panel at New York Comic Con. We got a lot of news about Sailor Moon Crystal. First and most importantly, the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be coming to Hulu and Viz.com next month, some time in November. We previously learned that the dub cast would be the same cast which was used for Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime.
We have also learned, via a flyer of their upcoming releases, that Sailor Moon Crystal would be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2016. The first release is “Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1: The Dark Kingdom Arc” and will include Sailor Moon Crystal Acts 1 to 13. This Blu-Ray set will no doubt include the original Japanese and English dubbed versions of Sailor Moon Crystal, including optional subtitles. We’ve previously learned that Viz’s version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be the updated version used for the Japanese Blu-Ray releases, which had minor changes to the animation from the original streaming version.
In casting news we have also learned the voice actors who will be playing the Witches 5, who are 6 of the new villains from the upcoming dub of Sailor Moon S. Now that the Infinity story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal has been announced in Japan, it stands to reason that this same cast will be around to voice these characters once those episodes are dubbed into English. The new cast includes some returning actors who have done other voices in the series. Erin Fitzgerald will voice Eudial. Kira Buckland will voice Mimete. Laura Post, who previously voiced a kindergarden teacher in Sailor Moon R episode 52 and the monster Amaderasu in episode 53, will voice Tellu. Cricket Brown, who previously voiced Usagi’s teacher Haruna, will play Viluy. Johanna Luis, who previously voiced An the Alien also known as Natsumi in Sailor Moon R, will play both Cyprine and Ptilol who somehow count as one of the Witches 5.
This week with the two latest additions of Sailor Moon to Hulu we get episodes 126 and 127. This completes the Sailor Moon S season, so fans can now watch all of the first 3 seasons of Sailor Moon for free on Hulu and Neon Alley. We actually wrapped up the main story of Sailor Moon S last week with episode 125 so now we have a couple of sort of terrible episodes focusing on other things which happen following the main altercation with Mistress 9, Pharaon 90 and Sailor Saturn which no one ever asked for but that we are getting anyway.
Episode 126, A New Life: Parting of the Stars of Destiny, seemingly immediately follows episode 125. We don’t actually follow up with what Super Sailor Moon and Baby Hotaru will do but instead we start by seeing Chibiusa asleep. We eventually do see where Baby Hotaru ended up. She is with her father, Professor Tomoe, who is obviously still recuperating from his injuries. Chibiusa is happy to see that Hotaru is healthy and safe, though it seems like it might be a while until they can hang out again. It’s important to note that Professor Tomoe is relatively innocent in this whole affair. He was controlled by an evil entity all this time. The only thing he did which was wrong was that he agreed to allow some unseen unknown power to bring his daughter back to life while still suffering from the trauma of seeing her die. Almost anyone would have made that same decision. At this point it seems like there is a happy ending for Professor Tomoe and Hotaru. It would certainly be bad if in not too much time some girls who previously tried to murder this baby came by and forcefully took her from her father. All that is well and good but now the episode gets really awful. Everyone should have been totally cool with Usagi being great but instead Sailor Uranus and Neptune randomly start to fight Sailor Moon because they want her to prove that she’s really worthy. She doesn’t really do anything to prove this worth, and just fights for a bit, and maybe because they respect that she’s kind of scrappy they have a complete change of heart, kneel to her and we’re all friends again. What an awful waste of time that leaves a sour taste in our mouths for characters that were otherwise so well handled for the rest of the season. Too bad we won’t be seeing them at all next season.
Episode 127, A Guardian’s Realization: Strength Lies Within a Pure Heart, may seem a bit familiar to fans. Didn’t we just see this in Sailor Moon Crystal? It’s time for Chibiusa to leave, again, but she’s quite sad about it. The real failure of this episode is that Chibiusa gave a better and more emotionally touching goodbye at the end of episode 88, after she left at the end of Sailor Moon R. Here we sort of do a weaker version of that sadness and Chibiusa once again leaves. She returns almost immediately though, which is reminiscent of the manga. When Chibiusa leaves after the Black Moon story arc of the manga, as seen in Sailor Moon Crystal episode 26, she immediately returns. This doesn’t happen the first time around in the anime as Chibiusa remains gone for a number of episodes. Perhaps the writers would have kept her away had the plot of Sailor Moon S, based on the Infinity arc of the Manga, not required her to be linked to Hotaru’s story. I feel this episode should simply not have happened and instead we should have seen this in Sailor Stars. By the time Chibiusa finally leaves for the future she’s fake left three times before finally leaving anti climactically between episodes. Chibiusa isn’t being forgotten any time soon though. She’s about to dominate the screen for the entire next season as Sailor Moon SuperS, which will begin streaming on Hulu next Monday, is all about Chibiusa!
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We’ve gotten a lot more than usual added to Hulu and Neon Alley this week. Sailor Moon S is almost done as we wrap up most of the story with episodes 124 and 125, introducing us to Sailor Saturn. In addition fans can also watch the second half of Sailor Moon R, episodes 69 to 89, dubbed by Viz on Hulu. These episodes were added with this past Friday’s Moonlight Party 4.
Episode 124, The Coming Terror of Darkness: Struggle of the Eight Guardians, is where a bunch of fighting happens before the epic finale. The Sailor Guardians are set to stop Mistress 9 and so they are storming the enemy stronghold. Sailor Pluto freezes time to prevent a helicopter accident and dies anticlimactically for breaking this taboo. Sound familiar? Indeed, this is taken right out of the Black Moon Clan story arc of the manga, only Sailor Pluto doesn’t die in Sailor Moon R and her returning for the SuperS movie and Sailor Stars is not ever really explained. So a ton of monsters show up. They are red proto Daimon type things which is what happens when you don’t put a Daimon seed in anything. They are quickly dispensed with. Inside the building Sailor Uranus and Neptune confront Professor Tomoe, or rather the Daimon Germatoid who is in control of him. The two are separated so that Germatoid can be dispensed with leaving Professor Tomoe as the good guy he once was. Sailor Moon has a fun confrontation with Hotaru, who tries to get the Holy Grail, because she’s really just evil Mistress 9 posing as an innocent girl. This doesn’t really work out as Mistress 9 is revealed once again!
Episode 125, The Shining Shooting Star: Saturn and the Messiah, features the very very brief appearance of Sailor Saturn. As Sailor Guardians go Sailor Saturn is the least shown one of the bunch as this it the only time we will see her until Sailor Stars and she is the only Sailor Guardian never to get an animated transformation sequence. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re still dealing with Mistress 9! She couldn’t get the Holy Grail from Sailor Moon in the last episode so she tries to get her father to get it which … works perfectly. Sailor Moon gives the grail to Professor Tomoe who in turn hands it to his daughter. But Mistress 9 puts it in the big Galaxy contraption thing to summon Pharaon 90, the big evil from the season that we haven’t really seen at all, but we are to believe he’s behind all the bad stuff. Things are going bad but… Hotaru turns into Sailor Saturn! This is great! She returns Chibiusa’s Pure Heart to her. Everything is looking up. Sailor Saturn can even go and kill Pharaon 90, too bad she’ll have to die to do it. The moral thought expedient continues! First we wanted to kill Hotaru to stop the end of the world but now she is willing to sacrifice herself to save the world. The end result is still Hotaru dying, but since she is willing it’s somehow better. Sailor Moon won’t have it though. She was not on board with killing Hotaru and she is not on board with letting Sailor Saturn kill herself and so she hurls herself into Pharaon 90 after Sailor Saturn. Emerging from the chaos is a battered Super Sailor Moon and a baby Hotaru. This pretty much ends the main story of Sailor Moon S. What follows next week are two kind of terrible episodes which follow the conclusion of the primary story arc.
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We’re getting that much closer to the end of Sailor Moon S with the two latest episodes added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 122 and 123 we get introduced to three more members of the Witches 5!
Episode 122, Believe in Love: Ami, the Kindhearted Guardian, is a total Sailor Mercury episode. In fact it’s very reminiscent of her first episode in which the Dark Kingdom uses computers to try to drain Crystal Seminar students’ energy to feed to Metalia. This week the Death Busters are using computers to steal Mugen Academy students’ Pure Hearts to feed to Hotaru. As we are getting close to the end of the season we need to go through more of the Witches 5 and so we are introduced to Viluy. Viluy poses as a student at Mugen Academy, Yui Bidou, and in doing so she crosses Ami who is investigating the school. She is very intelligent and we learn that the research done at Mugen Academy is not only cutting edge for the mid 90s but actually quite ahead of anything we’ve done by 2015. She has an army of nano robots. Nano robots or nanobots are miniscule robots which, when working as a team, are capable of great feats such as turning the world into grey goo. We have nothing close to what is portrayed in this episode in existence today as nanotechnology is still in its early stages. Viluy uses these robots to attack the Sailor Guardians but when her bracelet is damaged they end up turning on her which kills her. This episode continues to ask us moral questions as Ami defends Hotaru from Haruka and Michiru who want to kill her in order to save the world from destruction.
Episode 123, Shadow of Destruction: the Messiah of Silence Awakens, introduces us to the final two members of the Witches 5. Cyrpine and Ptilol are considered to be a single member of the Witches 5 because of reasons I don’t pretend to understand. Do we refer to twins as a single entity? Then why are we calling a six member team the Witches 5? I think it’s nonsense personally, but that is what they are called. How much can they be considered to be a single person when they end up attacking each other? Things get pretty serious in this episode as Kaolinite kidnaps Sailor Chibi Moon. Her Pure Heart is so great that when it’s fed to Hotaru she transforms into Mistress 9. This leaves Chibiusa near death as Mamoru needs to use his own body’s energy to sustain her life. The gang is now ready to confront Mistress 9 and the Death Busters in the next handful of episodes. They missed their chance to kill Hotaru while she was young and defenseless. We’ll see what kind of destruction she will bring now. A funny scene in this episode shows Professor Tomoe adjusting his glasses with his middle finger, making it seem like he’s making a rude gesture.
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The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon S have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have a bunch of the Witches 5 dying as we explore the mysterious Mugen Academy and get some backstory on Hotaru and Professor Tomoe’s tragic past. Why does so much happen in such a short time? Well there are not many episodes of Sailor Moon S left and there’s a lot of story related to the Infinity Arc which we haven’t touched on at this rate so the solution is just to go through characters and plot points at neck break speed. A bit of a change from the first season where each of the Shitennou were given roughly equal billing and now we have a very uneven distribution of episodes for each of the Witches 5.
Episode 120, An Invasion from Another Dimension: Mystery of Mugen Academy, goes into Hotaru and Professor Tomoe’s history a bit. Now that Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are sort of trying to kill Hotaru, her and her family have skipped town. Chibiusa tries to see her but is unable to. A little research into Professor Tomoe shows that he has a tragic past. In a flashback scene we see him in a lab accident which seems to kill Hotaru. An entity from another dimension, Pharaon 90, appears to offer to save her life but in exchange he enters Professor Tomoe’s eye, essentially taking over his body. While Professor Tomoe is this season’s villain, he actually cares a lot for his family and is powerless to stop the enemy. We learn that Professor Tomoe owns Mugen Academy, the school that Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru attend. Mugen is the Japanese word for Infinity. When this manga arc is referred to as the Infinity Arc, the word is Mugen, which is also the name of the school. At Mugen Academy Mimete uploads herself into a monitor, which seems like a great plan until Tellu shows up. In the style of all of the Witches 5, she pulls the plug and Mimete dies! We are tempted to cry for Mimete as she begs for her life with her cutesy little voice, but let’s not forget that she killed Eudial in cold blood not long ago.
Episode 121, A Bewitching Flower That Steals Hearts: Tellu, the Third Witch, further develops the very short lived Tellu. When at episodes 120 you’ve only shown two of the six Witches 5 you have a problem which can only be solved by killing a bunch of them in short time. Last episode Tellu killed Mimete and we need to off her too if we want to move on! Tellu’s short lived single episode plan involves using evil plants to steal people’s Pure Hearts. This all goes decently but not really well for her and she ends up getting killed by her own plant monster. Oops! Now we only have three more of the Witches 5 to get through with 6 episodes left in the season. Also Kaolinite is still around and being the villain so we’ll have to take care of her at some point. With Tellu defeated she leaves behind a student ID from Mugen Academy. That place again, two episodes in a row? Well we didn’t talk about it for the rest of the season but something definitely seems up with it now!
Viz’s Sailor Moon panel took place today at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. You can watch the stream of the event at Ustream. The main announcement that took place was the cast of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon S. Though most of the cast appeared in earlier seasons the new characters who’s voices were announced were Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Saturn and Professor Tomoe.
The new cast, all of whom were in attendance, are listed below:
Keith Silverstein also voiced Usagi’s father Kenji Tsukino while Erica Mendez also voiced Reika, Motoki’s girlfriend.
We previously mentioned that Erica Mendez would be appearing at Unplugged Expo July 31st to August 2nd in Toronto based on her role as Reika. Now that she’s been cast as the voice of Sailor Uranus fans of Sailor Moon will have another reason to meet her.
There was more announced at this event. We’ve learned that there will be another Moonlight Party on July 17th. This will coincide with the release of the English dub of the second half of Sailor Moon R on Hulu.
It was also announced that the dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be exclusive to Hulu. We can infer from this that Sailor Moon Crystal will not likely be playing on English television. Though the subtitled version of Sailor Moon Crystal will remain available on Crunchyroll and Niconico, this does not leave any option for viewing Sailor Moon Crystal in Canada, where Hulu is not available. Canadians still have no legal option for viewing the streaming version of the subbed and dubbed versions of the original Sailor Moon Anime. This said there are many proxy.
A clip of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal was shown, and can be seen at the 41 minute mark of the stream. The first two episodes will be premiering at Anime Expo today at 6pm Pacific Time, which is 9pm Eastern Time.
The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon S were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. This week with episodes 118 and 119 we once again spend a lot of time familiarizing ourselves with the mysterious Hotaru as Sailor Saturn is finally revealed, but not actually seen.
Episode 118, Battle Inside the Demonic Space: The Sailor Guardians’ Gamble, teaches us to be superstitious about cards! In a world of magic wielding girls this is not that odd. For whatever reason the Joker is considered a bad omen as Hotaru seems to keep ending up with it in a game which is something like Old Maid. Here the Joker looks like Death which is fitting for Hotaru. Mimete puts far too many games into the Daimon making machine which causes a weird rip in space causing their house to turn into something like a TARDIS, with doors and openings leading to random places. When a lion comes out of a desk one can’t help but think of Narnia, a whole world accessible through a wardrobe. When the Sailor Guardians come to help Chibiusa, they run into Professor Tomoe. He tries to hide his reaction to seeing the Sailor Guardians, but shouldn’t an average person be quite taken aback by this kind of sight? They have no idea he’s the evil boss but he knows they’re a thorn in his side but is dependant on them to save his daughter! All goes decently well because Hotaru doesn’t pick the Joker, which is somehow important.
Episode 119, The Messiah of Silence Awakens? Stars of Destiny, finally stops jerking us around about the true identity of Hotaru. Hints have been dropped pretty heavily to show us that she is the Messiash of Silence who will bring about destruction but here we get better confirmation and learn that she is also Sailor Saturn. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto see that the way to avoid the end of the world is killing Hotaru. Naturally the other Sailor Guardians are not totally on board with this. This poses and interesting moral question which is at the heart of the Sailor Moon S series. Is a single person’s life worth sacrificing to save many, in this case around 6 billion? We previously asked it when we considered the lives of the Talisman carriers. For Sailor Uranus and Neptune that answer was yes, as they were ready to sacrifice the lives of others, and ultimately their own, to do what they thought would save the world. Ultimately that sacrifice was unnecessary. Here we have a completely innocent girl, with no control over the evil which lurks inside her, and killing her seems to be the solution to saving the world. Is it “right” to kill her? Is it right to push a man on the tracks to stop a trolley which would otherwise kill five? People have debated these questions for years without coming to any consensus. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto ascribe to a utilitarian philosophy which prioritizes the well being of the rest of the planet over a single life. Sailor Moon and the rest of the Sailor Guardians feel that no life is worth sacrificing though they are not accepting the fate of the world, simply hoping for an alternative in which no one dies. We’ll have a number of episodes to continue to weigh this moral question.
In this episode we see Hotaru in her school uniform, which we’ve not seen much of to date, insinuating she does not spend a lot of time at school due to her illness. There is also a shot of the planet Saturn that is show which includes Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. A bit of a goof up in the animation department.
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The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon S were added to Hulu and Neon Alley yesterday. This week we got episodes 116 and 117 which once again focus mainly on Hotaru as her friendship with Chibiusa deepens.
Episode 116, Sunny Skies After a Storm: A Friendship Dedicated to Hotaru, is all about a fun picnic. It’s fitting that we just got an episode of Sailor Moon Crystal this past weekend which shows how Usagi understands why Black Lady is possessive of Mamoru and recalls the fault in herself for feeling the same way but here in the anime no such revalation has taken place. Usagi is completely jealous of Chibiusa and Mamoru, as always. The whole gang, Usagi, Mamoru, Chibiusa and Hotaru, go to a lovely garden for a picnic. The random dude that works there is the target of the Daimon. What a coincidence that this was the exact place Sailor Moon was! Fighting ensues and Hotaru has a total freakout moment where she gets all glowy eyed and attacks the monster. If I didn’t know any better I’d say there is certainly something up with this girl!
Episode 117, Higher and Stronger: A Cheer from Usagi, is a pretty silly one. An early scene has Mimete and some yet unshown members of the Witches 5 playing Twister. It isn’t really Twister though, as a real Twister board has a 4×6 pattern of coloured circles with all of the same colour in a row. This board has randomly dispersed coloured circles with numbers, but still has the player putting a hand or foot on some specified dot. The target for this episode is a runner named Shun Hayase who Hotaru is infatuated with. He was sick when younger and was able to overcome it, and Hotaru hopes to be able to do the same. In the original dub of this episode the runner’s English name is Sean Hayes. This is meant to be the closest English approximation to the name Shun Hayase, which I think fits. This seemed ridiculous to me as I watched the episode as Sean Hayes is a prominent American actor best known for playing Jack in the TV series Will and Grace. This seems like a total coincidence however as Shun Hayase’s appearance in the original Japanese version of this show predates Will and Grace by a number of years. Inspiration is impossible, barring time travel, and if the creative talents behind Sailor Moon had time machines Sailor Moon R would have made more sense. The dub would have been recorded once the series was airing and popular, so there may have been a bit of a joke intended with the name adaptation which sounded close enough. Hatoru gets to meet her idol while Chibiusa does an adorable cheer, but he gets his Pure Heart ripped out by Mimete’s monster.
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