The first episode of Sailor Moon aired 25 years ago today

Sailor Moon episode 01 Screenshot - Japanese DVD

It’s time to party like it’s 1992! 25 years ago today, on March 7th 1992, the first episode of the Sailor Moon anime “The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation” aired on Japanese TV. At this time last year we were still celebrating Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary in Japan but that has finally been replaced with the ongoing 25th anniversary. The Sailor Moon manga predates the anime series by a few months, with its first story being published in Nakayoshi December 28th 1991. Codename: Sailor V, the series which inspired Sailor Moon and which Sailor Venus comes from, was published earlier that year in RunRun starting on August 3rd 1991.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi runs into Mamoru

I can’t really be nostalgic about what I was doing in March 1992, listening to Kris Kross and being full of teenage angst! I certainly wasn’t watching Sailor Moon, which wouldn’t be seen here in Canada for another 3 years. I wrote articles about the 15th and 20th anniversaries on Powet.tv and at the time nothing was going on with the franchise. Now, with Sailor Moon Crystal in full swing, a new series of musicals in production, a movie in theatres and mountains of merchandise Sailor Moon is an international sensation once again!

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Silhouette

Are you doing anything today to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of this great show? If you’re looking to watch the first episode again you can stream it on Yahoo! View with subtitles or dubbed by Viz. Canadians can watch the first episode of TubiTV.


The original Sailor Moon anime is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan starting this summer

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection vol. 1

Great news for completists who want to have Sailor Moon in the best possible quality! The original 90s Sailor Moon anime is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan with the first half of season 1 coming out on June 14th 2017 and the rest of season 1 coming August 9th. These are Japanese language releases with no English audio or subtitles. Following the release of the first season Sailor Moon R and then the 3 movies will be released. These sets won’t be cheap! This first volume, containing episodes 1 to 23, is being sold by Amazon Japan for 15,903 yen, about $140 US. Set 1 and set 2 are also available from CD Japan for $175 US a piece. This is also listed on the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary page. Why, you might ask, would I buy this set when Viz already released a less expensive Blu-Ray set of the Sailor Moon anime and I can watch these episodes for free in HD on Yahoo! View? Quality! The Viz release didn’t look great and to this date the Japanese region 2 DVD releases remain the gold standard of video quality. Some other international releases have been comparable in quality but nothing released in North America has really been close.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection vol. 2

The HD version of the original Sailor Moon series has been aired on Japanese TV since April 6th 2015. Unfortunately we shouldn’t expect anything too mind blowing in the way of quality. This won’t look like Sailor Moon Crystal or any other recently made anime series on Blu-Ray. The product description on the Amazon Japan listing and the official site clearly state that the HD video source was upconverted from SD source material, that being a standard definition of 480 lines of horizontal resolution. What this means is that this isn’t a high definition transfer of some analog film source but instead a software upgrade of the source material which had DVD equivalent resolution. This may be a practical consideration. I don’t know if Sailor Moon ever existed on film or if the cels were recorded directly to standard definition video. You can’t get something from nothing. While the software scaling to improve the video will likely appear nicer than anything else we’ve seen, it’s still just software tricks to resize, resample and smooth out the picture, something that TVs and Blu-Ray players are also able to do with a good quality DVD. I don’t expect this video quality to be a significant improvement to the Japanese DVDs that are already on the market, but this is always a bit subjective.

It should be noted that up until now only the first season of Sailor Moon and the movies were ever released in progressive scan (480p). Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS and SailorStars were only ever released in lower quality interlaced video (480i). These releases will almost certainly have gone through a software deinterlacing process which will make them appear nicer on a more modern flat panel display instead of the CRT TVs that were common in the 90s when Sailor Moon was originally produced. The movies may also be of a higher quality if the original film source is used. When the region 2 Japanese DVD releases of the films were released they went back to the film source to create anamorphic widescreen releases rather than using the matted standard definition source material. I’m hopeful that this release, and perhaps even the Sailor Moon R movie Viz will be releasing in April, will have a legitimate high definition transfer.

Sailor Moon episode 1 and Sailor Moon R episode 47 on YouTube

To advertise this, as part of TOEI’s 60th Annivesary, the official Sailor Moon site has announced that fans in Japan can watch the first episodes of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R on TOIE’s YouTube channel. These videos, however, are not available to view outside of Japan.

These discs appear to be free of region restrictions, meaning that they will play in any country’s Blu-Ray players. Note that Japanese Blu-Ray coding is a non issue for North Americans who share region A with Japan. The lack of English, however, may be more concerning.

Do any of you moneybags have enough disposable income to justify this purchase? By this summer I’ll be knee deep in diaper and formula bills but I’ll likely still scrounge up the many hundreds needed to buy these sets.

24 years ago today, the first episode of the Sailor Moon anime aired in Japan

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Luna freaking out with a bandage on her head

Episode 1 of the original Sailor Moon anime, The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation, aired on Japanese TV on March 7th 1992, 24 years ago today. It’s been a long time and love for the series is still going strong! More than that we are 4 years into the 20th anniversary and we are showing no signs of letting up that celebration!

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi runs into Mamoru

The Sailor Moon official web site’s title remains the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Project Official Site. The official Twitter account is @sailormoon_20th. This branding isn’t going anywhere any time soon! It’ll look really silly next year as we celebrate the 25th anniversary. The manga will be 25 years old on December 28th of this year!

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Crybaby Usagi's Magnificent Transformation

If you’re feeling nostalgic you can watch episode 1, The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation, on Hulu either in Japanese with English subtitles or dubbed in English.

12 new episodes of the Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub will be released during Moonlight Party 2 Friday November 21st at 7pm Pacific Time

Viz's Sailor Moon - Moonlight Party 2 logo

This coming Friday will be Moonlight Party 2, featuring new Viz dubbed episodes starring Sailor Jupiter and Venus. Once that starts, Friday at 7pm Pacific Time or 10pm Eastern Time, you will be able to view it by following this link. This will include a behind the scenes celebration with Viz as episodes 24 through 36 of the new dubbed episodes are available through Hulu and Neon Alley. Like with the first Moonlight Party in September there will be interaction with fans, contests and a chance to meet some of the voice actors.

Sailor Moon episode 24 - Naru crying

This event will also include watching episodes 24, 25, 33, 34 and 35. The episodes themselves will not be streamed on the YouTube link. Viewers will need to view these directly on the Hulu or Neon Alley sites, which are not available in Canada and other areas. Episode 24, Naru’s Tears: Nephrite Dies for Love, is as the title suggests the tragic death of Nephrite. Episode 25, Jupiter, the Powerful Girl in Love, is the introduction of Sailor Jupiter. We then skip over the other six Rainbow Crystals to episodes 33 through 35 which cover a short story arc which includes the introduction of Sailor Venus in Enter Venus, the Last Sailor Guardian, the revelation of the Moon Princess in The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears and the aftermath of that in Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamoru’s Past.

Building up to this event Viz has released a couple of new clips from the upcoming second half of season 1 featuring the voices of Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus who did not appears in previously released episodes.

Sailor Moon episode 25 - Makoto Kino

Here are a couple of clips of Sailor Jupiter from her first episode, Jupiter, the Powerful Girl in Love. In the first clip Makoto and Usagi talk over lunch for the first time and in the second we see her learning that she is Sailor Jupiter and her first transformation. Sailor Jupiter is voiced by Amanda Celine Miller.

Shortly before this clip was released Amanda Celine Miller joked on twitter that the inspiration for her Sailor Jupiter voice came from Harvey Firestein.

Sailor Moon episode 36 - Minako does Usagi's hair

Two clips of Minako were also released. The first features Minako trying to cheer up Usagi while doing her hair in episode 36, Usagi’s Confusion: Is Tuxedo Mask Evil?. The second clip shows the Princess Seminar from episode 37, Let’s Become a Princess: Usagi’s Bizarre Training, which is really not a Sailor Venus centric clip but in it she does her Crescent Beam attack. Sailor Venus is voiced by Cherami Leigh.

In that second clip we hear a grunt by the new voice of Artemis, Johnny Yong Bosch, whose voice will be heard for the first time during the new episode we’ll see tomorrow.

Sailor Moon episode 37 - Artemis is Luna's contact

This event is publicity for the DVD and Blu-Ray set of season 1 part 2 which will be released in February 2015. Season 1 part 1 was released last week. The dubbed season 1 part 1 is also available on Amazon Instant along with the first season and a half of subbed episodes.

Read the whole press release about the event below:

Continue reading

The entire first season of Sailor Moon is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon

This morning, October 13th, the final two episodes of the first season of Sailor Moon were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. With the addition of episodes 45 and 46 the entire first season is now available to stream in Japanese with English subtitles. This two part story concludes the battle with the Dark Kingdom and Queen Beryl, wrapping up the first story arc for the Sailor Moon anime. These are a couple of the better episodes of the series. These two episodes were heavily edited and reduced to a single episode, Day of Destiny, in the DiC English dub. If that’s the only version you’ve seen these episodes should not be missed.

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Moon mourns the death of her friends and is touched by the ghost of Sailor Jupiter

Episode 45, Death of the Sailor Guardians: The Tragic Final Battle, has, as the title suggests, everyone dying! The Sailor Guardians head to the D Point in the North Pole to fight the Dark Kingdom but are intercepted by the DD Girls who basically kill everyone but Sailor Moon. It’s not all in vain as the Sailor Guardians manage to kill all of the DD Girls, leaving Sailor Moon to move on. Naturally she’s a bit shaken by the death of her friends, and can’t find the strength within herself to move on but their ghosts appear to give her the words of encouragements she needs to move on and face Tuxedo Mask and Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - Sailor Moon presents her locket to Tuxedo Mask

Episode 46, Usagi’s Eternal Wish: a Brand New Life, has Usagi left alone with all of her friends killed. When she finally meets Queen Beryl she is shocked to see that Tuxedo Mask is evil and loyal to her. In an excruciating and violent fight he beats her up quite a bit while she avoids fighting back until the last moment where she attacks him with her tiara. After restoring his memories thanks to the power of her locket he is in turn killed by Queen Beryl. Sailor Moon is now truly alone, having lost all her friends and now her lover, and must face off against Super Beryl, which is Queen Beryl amalgamated with Queen Metalia. The battle is won, thanks to the ghosts of her friends, but since this is still the first season using the Silver Crystal kills Sailor Moon. Her last wish is to make things like they were, and so the world is transformed. The Sailor Guardians are alive again but have no memory of what happened or even knowing each other, but the Dark Kingdom has now been defeated.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - The Sailor Team face off against Beryl

Next week we start with Sailor Moon R! But the story of the Black Moon Clan won’t begin right away. First we will begin with a short set of episodes surrounding Ail and An, two aliens who use cards and a big tree to drain people’s energy.

Sailor Moon episodes 43 and 44 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 43 - Sailor Mars yelling at Sailor Moon

Episode 43 and 44 of the original Sailor Moon anime were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning, October 6th. As with every Monday two new episodes in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week the first season is starting to wrap up as the gang tries to get into the Dark Kingdom to free Tuxedo Mask and have a flashback to their past.

Sailor Moon episode 43 - Sailor Mars with the Moon Stick

Episode 43, Usagi Abandoned: The Falling-Out of the Sailor Guardians, centers around the girls having a mutiny against Sailor Moon! But things aren’t as they seem. The mutiny is nothing more than a ruse to try to get Sailor Moon into the Dark Kingdom to rescue Tuxedo Mask. In this process Sailor Mars steals the Moon Stick from Usagi! Seems fitting after Usagi stole her boyfriend! This is the episode which was recently reanimated, scene by scene, by a team of over 250 different animators. If you haven’t already watched Moon Animate Make-Up! I would suggest watching that version of the episode instead of watching this.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Princess Serenity gazing at the Earth

Episode 44, Usagi’s Awakening: A Message from the Distant Past, is all about the flash back. Other stuff happens, mainly Kunzite dying and the discovery of a portal to the artic but really we are all about the flash back sequence. Kunzite attempts to randomly send the Sailor Guardians through time but thanks to a little meddling from the Moon Stick they are sent to the Moon where they get a lovely lesson in history from the ghost of Queen Serenity, Usagi’s mom from her past life. The Moon used to be a great place to live back in the days of the Silver Millennium, and Princess Serenity fell in love with a man from Earth, Prince Endymion. Too bad an army from Earth led by Queen Beryl destroyed the kingdom on the moon and killed everyone. Queen Serenity uses her last bit of strength to send everyone into the future to be reincarnated, including some generic Sailor Guardians! Indeed we see Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus in this episode but we also see some other Sailor Guardians in these bubbles that are going to the future. Some have speculated that one is Sailor Neptune due to her hair but as this episode was made before even Sailor Pluto has made an appearance in the manga any resemblance to future characters is purely coincidental. It’s unclear what the exact timeline of this past is, though based on the Earth technology it seems medieval. The DiC English dub stated this time period to be “1000 years ago” and this seems like a decent approximation. The name Silver Millennium does not actually refer to any particular period of time, but rather the kingdom itself which is located in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Not Sailor Neptune

Differences from the manga in the events of the past are numerous. Beryl’s jealousy isn’t really touched upon. The Shitennou are present but there’s no mention of them being Endymion’s generals. Princess Serenity is killed instead of taking her life after Endymion dies. Queen Serenity seems to be a ghost rather than a hologram generated by a supercomputer which she uploaded her consciousness to. We’ll see all that before long in Sailor Moon Crystal. This episode also marks the first appearance by Kae Araki as the voice of Usagi and Princess Serenity. Kotono Mitsuishi was off due to an illness and missed 7 episodes. Kae Araki later returned to voice Chibiusa and Black Lady.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion dying

Also Queen Serenity is Jesus.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Queen Serenity is Jesus

Sailor Moon episodes 41 and 42 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Uwara and Ami

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning, September 29th. As with every Monday two new episodes subbed by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week we see episodes 41 and 42 where we reunite lost lovers and finally get some backstory on Sailor V.

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Rhett Butler lost cat

First up we have episode 41, I Won’t Run Away from Love Anymore: Ami vs. Mamoru. The title is kind of silly. Mamoru, as Endymion and later Tuxedo Mask, spends a decent amount of time fighting Sailor Jupiter in an alley before doing much with Sailor Mercury. Ami makes the title because this episode is all about her being reunited and finally going on a date with Ryo Uwara, one of the Rainbow Crystal carriers. Mamoru has been collecting all the old Rainbow Crystal carriers, including Rhett Butler, the obese alley cat who fell in love with Luna. In one scene his owner has a sign with his image on it, as he has been cat napped. Not many of the humans affected seem terribly disturbed. What’s worse is that once Rhett Butler is finally freed Luna is right there and doesn’t seem to be terribly affected by his presence. After all they shared she just kind of ignores him. I guess new hotness Artemis is in town so she has no time for old and busted Rhett Butler. For shame.

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Luna and Rhett Butler reunited

Next is episode 42, Sailor Venus’s Past: Minako’s Tragic Love in which we get a look at what Minako did while she was Sailor V. The Dark Kingdom is trying to manipulate her via her old friend Katarina from back in the day. Minako was in love with Alan while in London working with Katarina of the police department to fight the Dark Kingdom, called the Dark Agency in the Sailor V comic. When Sailor V is thought to be dead she learns that Katarina and Alan were in love with each other and leaves them to be happy together. This episode also includes Usagi disguising herself as an actual sailor! Sailor Sailor Moon! Sailor Guardians aren’t sailors in name only as their uniforms, similar to Japanese school uniforms, bear a resemblance to sailor uniforms as we can see by the vague resemblance here.

Sailor Moon episode 42 - Sailor V crying

Sailor Moon episode 42 - Usagi as a Sailor

Sailor Moon episodes 39 and 40 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 39 - Makoto skating

The latest episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime, in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz, have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. As with every Monday two new episodes are added. This week we have episodes 39 and 40 which showcase just how terrible Mamoru is at being a bad guy. The Dark Kingdom is doing a pretty terrible job with this guy.

Sailor Moon episode 39 - Ami, Rei and Minako skating

First up we have episode 39, Paired With a Monster: Mako, the Ice Skating Queen, and it’s all about skating. It’s episode 39 but it feel like episode 390 by the way they’re just kind of going through some winter sports. Last week was skiing. This week is skating! Supposedly back in the day skating was really popular on the Moon. So where did the ice come from? Currently the Moon is a barren wasteland, and freezing cold as there’s virtually no atmosphere, so water could only ever exist as ice, though only in shaded areas. Silver Millennium is said to be located in the Sea of Tranquility which gets a decent amount of sun during it’s days which last 14 Earth days. Images of the Moon show flowing fountains at times and ice skating rinks in this episode where the people are wearing ear muff to keep warm. Also the Moon has a very small axial tilt meaning it would have virtually no seasons. So Usagi is a terrible skater, even though Princess Serenity was apparently really great at it. Makoto on the other hand is great right out of the gate and so she’s targeted by the enemy because that’s right this week they’re looking for really good skaters to find Sailor Moon! It’s not until she’s properly transformed that Sailor Moon actually starts to skate well and then Tuxedo Mask joins her. But isn’t he a bad guy? Oh yeah I guess Tuxedo Mask is kind of mad at Kunzite so he joins Sailor Moon in this episode. Beryl needs to keep a leash on this guy. It’s total nonsense. A little arguing amongst bad guys is one thing but teaming up with your top enemy is not a good idea. Also if you’re a fan of skating and hockey you should be sure to check out the Keeping Karlsson podcast for all the best hockey pool strategies.

Sailor Moon episode 40 - Shingo stealing Usagi's towel at the hot springs

Episode 40, The Legendary Lake Yokai: The Bond of Usagi’s Family, is a hot springs episode! But it’s not quite as saucy as you might think. Usagi and her family are going on a little trip to the hot springs, which based on what I’ve seen in anime seems to be a huge deal in Japan. We get some good Shingo/Usagi shipping action as they fight and he steals her towel. Mamoru is an absolutely terrible bad guy in this episode as he just kind of hangs around looking at the lake because Queen Beryl made a mistake in sending him. The lake is home to a lake monster which actually has nothing to do with the Dark Kingdom. Aside from Sakiko we haven’t really seen any monsters that weren’t directly created by the Dark Kingdom before. Turns out the lake monster is a jealous girlfriend that’s mad that a boy she was in love with hooked up with a girl from space. This story strongly parallels the Beryl/Endymion/Serenity love triangle. Beryl is in love with Endymion and he falls in love with Serenity who is from the Moon, leaving her. But then instead of turning into a lake monster Beryl took her army and killed everyone on the Moon. We all deal with our jealousies in our own ways. I’m not the only one to see this similarity as the lake monster mistakes Usagi for the woman stealing hussie from her day. Sailor Moon heals the monster releasing the jealous girl from her curse. The rest of the girls eventually show up for some hot springs fun which will make some of our readers happy, like that guy that keeps asking if they’re going to do a beach episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. You know who you are!

Sailor Moon episode 40 - Makoto, Minako, Rei and Ami at the hot springs

Speaking of sexy bodies at the hot spring, check out Kenji Papa in this episode! He’s looking fit. What does he do between this point and when they go to the VR place in Sailor Moon R where he’s got a gut?

Sailor Moon episode 40 - Ikuko Mama and Kenji Papa

Sailor Moon episodes 37 and 38 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 37 - Usagi as a Princess

This morning, September 15th, the two latest episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. Every Monday two new episodes, subbed by Viz, will be added. This week we have episodes 37 and 38 which are all about the Dark Kingdom’s terrible attempts to uncover Sailor Moon’s identity.

Sailor Moon episode 37 - Artemis is Luna's contact

In episode 37, Let’s Become a Princess: Usagi’s Bizarre Training, the Dark Kingdom is running a Princess Seminar in the hopes of capturing Sailor Moon. The logic is pretty simple. Sailor Moon is Princess Serenity so by running a seminar that looks for certain Princess like innate abilities, they will be able to find Sailor Moon! The first thing they look for, the ability to throw a discus, is a decent test. Usagi does great at this as it’s nearly identical to her Moon Tiara Action which she used consistently until she got the Moon Stick and didn’t need to any more. Unfortunately the other tests, how to drink soup, how to politely serve tea and how to dance, are things that Usagi was terrible at and disqualified her from being considered to be Sailor Moon. Turns out Kunzite totally missed the boat on this one as he had no idea Sailor Moon was completely awkward, which calls the logic of this trap into question. One discovery that is made in this episode is that the person Luna has been communicating with through her computer at the arcade is actually Artemis who for reasons unknown continued this deception instead of simply coming clean. Also Artemis eats cat food right out of the can. How does he use the can opener?

Sailor Moon episode 38 - Usagi can't ski

In episode 38, The Snow, the Mountains, Friendship and Monsters, the plot of the week assumes that Sailor Moon is a good skier. The Dark Kingdom has a ski contest going off of the assumption that Sailor Moon would be the winner. Usagi is in fact a completely terrible skier. It’s only because she had no control over herself that she awkwardly and ineptly flew to the front of the pack and into the enemy’s trap. There is no indication as to why the Dark Kingdom would think Sailor Moon was good at skiing, but we can chalk this up to another failure on Kunzite’s part. Meanwhile this episode gives Usagi and Rei a chance to have a heart to heart about Mamoru. Rei comes to terms with the fact that Usagi stole her boyfriend and gives her blessing to the relationship.

Sailor Moon episode 38 - Usagi and Rei

Don’t forget that you can also now watch the first 23 episodes of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub on Hulu.

Watch the first 23 episodes of Viz’s new Sailor Moon English dub on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi runs into Mamoru

Last weekend Viz released a number of dubbed episodes to Hulu and Neon Alley. You can currently watch the first 23 episodes of Viz’s new English dub but these episodes may not be there for long so watch them while you can. I haven’t had a chance to watch too many episodes but after watching a bit the dub seems decent. There are less changes to the script than there were in the original dub though some jokes not in the original version have been added, such as making fun of Mamoru’s pants or referring to Ami’s IQ like it was a Dragonball Z power level.

This first half of the season coincides with the episodes being released on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 11th. It’s not clear how long these episodes will remain online but they may be removed when the home video version is released. We’ve already seen pictures of the packaging. Check out the new video below which shows the super high tech foil used in the box.

Start watching starting with the first episode and see how you like it!