Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection set 2 review

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover

The second Japanese Blu-Ray set of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on August 9th. This includes the second half of the first season of Sailor Moon remastered in HD for Blu-Ray. This is a Japanese only release, meaning no English dub or subtitles. I got a copy and wanted to provide some thoughts on it. I previously did a more thorough review of the first set, which includes screenshot comparisons between various versions. I would recommend checking out that post to get an idea of the quality if you are interested in picking up this release. The set is available through online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan but beware that the cheapest you’ll find it for is about $150 US. This is considerably more expensive than the North American Blu-Ray releases from Viz.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 46 - Princess Serenity attacks Queen Beryl

So why would someone want to get this set instead of buying the English version? It really comes down to minor improvements in video quality. I don’t have many nice things to say about the Viz Blu-Ray releases. The picture quality in these is pretty low due to being authored from some pretty bad masters. This Japanese version has better source material which leads to a better final product. The catch? No matter how much software they throw at it, this is still an upscaled version of a standard definition source. What this means is that a DVD equivalent 480p quality source was used and using software algorithms it was extrapolated into a 1080p HD video which is used for the Blu-Ray. Does this look better than a DVD? That’s a somewhat subjective question but it certainly doesn’t look like it would if the original film source was used to get an HD version, as has been done with the recently released Sailor Moon R movie. Still, this is pretty much the best quality version of Sailor Moon you’ll find. If you’re such a perfectionist that you absolutely need to have the original Sailor Moon anime in the best quality possible, then you’ll want to buy this set. Most people won’t find this to be necessary.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Rhett Butler

I’ve included a few screenshots in this post, with more at the end if you scroll down, to give an idea of the quality. Again, check out my first volume review for specific comparisons. This second half of the first season contains some great episodes with some fantastic animation. Seeing them in good quality is a real treat. The episodes included start with episode 24, Nephlite’s final episode, and continue until episode 46, the season finale for the first season. It begins and ends with people dying and there’s a bunch of dying in between as well! This is indeed a heart wrenching half season to watch but to me it’s anime at its best.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover art comparison

As with the first set, and pretty much all releases of the original Sailor Moon anime, the box art used on the cover art and discs is reused from the first video releases of Sailor Moon on VHS and laserdisc back in the 1990s. This is great iconic art which continues to hold up with this release. There seems to be no need to replace it. Featured in this art are Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, both of whom first appear in this set, as well as group shots and images of Serenity and Endymion, two characters who are especially relevant in these episodes.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Disc 1 art comparison

There isn’t a ton in the way of special features in this release. We have creditless opening and ending credits and the 15 second commercials which were shown on TV when this originally aired. This is something which has been included time and time again with Japanese releases of the Sailor Moon anime. While there were many, many other special video features included in the first season laserdisc video releases none of these appear in this or the previous set. This seems like it would have been something fairly easy to include in this set but there seems to be little interest in resurrecting this old footage.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Booklet episodes 29 to 31

A nice looking booklet of episode descriptions is included. These short descriptions include a single screenshot per episode as well as pieces of production art that pertain to characters introduced in those particular episodes. I’ve included a sample page above and will include a few more later in the post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter look at Sailor Mercury's butt

All considered I stand by my assessment of the last set that the quality is “good but not great” and it won’t be worth buying for most fans who are either really picky about quality or don’t like having money. While the available English versions don’t have terribly good video quality this is not a huge improvement over the original Japanese DVD releases and many other international releases of the series. It would have been really great to see a better quality release for these Blu-Ray sets but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem feasible at this time.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

Sailor Moon R part 1 will be released next month. It can be preordered from Amazon Japan and CD Japan. Since this season was originally only released in interlaced video quality on the original Japanese DVD I anticipate a more significant video quality improvement with this set.

Keep reading for more screenshots, as well as photos of the box art and the included booklet.

Continue reading

The new Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray sets look good but not great in HD

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Cover

The first of many Japanese Blu-Ray releases of the original Sailor Moon anime was out on June 14th. I got my copy from Amazon Japan and it is available in stores and via other online retailers. The set includes the first half of the first season, that being episodes 1 to 23, and sells for a whopping 15,747 yen which is $140 US. Why, you may ask, would someone bother to buy this release when they can get the Viz Blu-Ray release for a fraction of the price? I don’t have an answer which would convince most fans. This is a Japanese only release with no subtitles. There is however a significant improvement in picture quality over what we got from Viz, but this is no real surprise given what we’d had. Ultimately though this is a software upscaled HD version of a standard definition master. What this means is that they used video which was roughly DVD quality and extrapolated using software algorithms to make a 1080p HD video. While this will look better than a DVD to most people it’s still nothing close to what we would have gotten if Toei went back to the film source and made an HD transfer, like we recently got for the Sailor Moon R movie. Don’t take my word for it! Check out some sample screenshots.

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Viz Blu-Ray - Ami

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Ami

Japanese Blu-Ray

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Ami

Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 8 - Japanese DVD - Ami

Japanese DVD

In the above image, and many other samples included at the end of this post, we have a comparison between four versions of the same scene. The top two compare the Viz Blu-Ray to the new Japanese Blu-Ray, and it’s hard to see the differences with just a thumbnail but if you look at the full sized versions of each image you’ll see that there’s a difference. Also included for comparison are a screenshot from the Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray which was included with Sailor Moon R The Movie and the original Japanese DVD. I include screenshots from Make Up! Sailor Senshi because when that special was done it used footage from the original film source which, in 1993, was not yet lost as it apparently is today. Since that film was then transferred to HD this gives us a look at what this release would roughly look like if we’d had the opportunity to have a better master. It’s not perfect as the aspect ratio was changed for cinema so we have a cropped image but it should give an idea of what we could have gotten. The Japanese DVD gives an impression of what the master likely looked like before software upscaling.

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon shocked by her transformation

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon shocked by her transformation

Japanese Blu-Ray

If you look closely at the fine details you’ll see that even with this new Japanese Blu-Ray there’s some blurriness to the image. We don’t actually see the imperfections in the lines that make these images and the backgrounds which aren’t using as solid colours as the foreground don’t look as nice as they could. All that said this looks nice on a TV. It doesn’t blow your mind when you’re sitting a few feet from your TV trying to put a crying 2 month old to sleep at 5:30am but if you’re sitting on a couch looking at the show it looks pretty good. In an alternate dimension where someone in the mid 90s knew better than to discard masters for a shows which, given the evolving nature of video and high definition TV, they should have known better than to do, we would have a nicer looking Blu-Ray. Unfortunately we don’t live in that dimension so this is what we have and it seems like this is the best looking version of Sailor Moon we’ll get. It’s not leaps and bounds above anything else we’ve seen but it is a mild improvement.

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon poses

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon poses

Japanese Blu-Ray

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Sailor Moon poses

Make Up! Sailor Senshi Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Japanese DVD - Sailor Moon poses

Japanese DVD

These are just a few comparison screenshots. Be sure to click them and then click the link that says “1920×1080″ to see the full image. I’ve included many more at the end of this post for reference. There will be some distortion due to jpeg compression on these but that should be minor.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Comparison between Laserdisc, Japanese DVD and Blu-Ray

Besides the image quality, what do we have here? Some pretty nice looking box art. Is it really classy and iconic to keep using the exact same laserdisc artwork or is it lazy? I think it’s a bit of both. Some people have criticized Viz for their Blu-Ray releases but I thought their artwork was on point. Here we’ve got art which has been used time and time again being recycled yet again. This was used in the 90s for the original laserdisc and VHS releases of the series, again when the DVDs were released in 2003, yet again when those DVDs were rereleased and once again with these. That art has been seen in other places over the years. This art is of course fantastic, as it was when it first appeared on those massive vinyl sized laserdisc covers which credit art director Kazuko Tadano for having made them. Once again the above image is just a sample. All of the disc art was reused from earlier covers and I’ve included photos of all of these comparisons at the end of this post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray disc 1 menu

The episodes included are… do I even need to talk about this? It’s episodes 1 to 23. It’s the first half of what might very well be the best season of anything ever produced on the planet in the history of history. This goes from Usagi becoming Sailor Moon right through her meeting Ami and Rei and fighting Jadeite and Nephrite. The next half will begin with Nephrite’s tear jerker final episode. Not a ton in the way of special features are included. On the fourth disc there are creditless lower quality versions of the opening and first ending theme as well as the 15 second commercials which played after every episode, promoting the next one. The laserdiscs for the first season actually had many more fun extras which have never been included in the DVD releases. Given what we see with the musicals it doesn’t seem out of the question to include a ton of silly bonus features. It would have been nice to see them here! I understand that there may have been no HD source for these but not every special feature in a Blu-Ray needs to be 1080p HD! The low quality credits and ads are proof of that.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Booklet - Episodes 8 to 10

The special booklet which is included gives episodes summaries for all of the episodes in this set. This is a nice addition. Each episode has one screenshot, some character art and a brief description to go with it. I would assume we’ll have something similar with the next set which comes out on August 9th.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Back

So what’s the verdict? Is it worth spending so much money on this release? This is almost certainly not something anyone but a hardcore collector would want to bother getting. There are less expensive ways to watch Sailor Moon in a language you understand. If, however, you are a videophile that absolutely needs to have the best of the best, well go ahead and get that line of credit approved so that you can buy all of these!

Keep reading for more screenshots, images of the packaging and photos of all pages of the included booklet.

Continue reading

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