Sailor Moon S and SuperS Movie showings were plagued by technical issues and suffered from poor attendance

Sailor Moon S Dish Network playback issues

Last month Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie played in theatres here in North America. Unfortunately many fans who attended showings of these films had negative experiences, mostly due to technical issues. One of the more common complaints was that the wrong movies were played. The first weekend was meant to show an encore showing of Sailor Moon R The Movie, originally shown in theatres in January of 2017, along with a first time presentation of Sailor Moon S The Movie. Many theatres instead played Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie as well as the Ami’s First Love special, which should have been a week later. This may not seem like a big deal but amongst many fans Sailor Moon S holds a special place, being the only one which is based directly on a manga story. Others had issues with the sound in the theatre being far too loud. In some cases the movie failed to play. One user got the photo which I posted above showing an error with the satellite connection which appeared to be streaming the film. In another case the screen’s subtitles were too low making them hard to read. Others who planned to watch it dubbed instead got a subbed version.

Some have asked why the film wasn’t simply played on film or some other kind of physical media to avoid this kind of problem. This was likely a cost savings measure. For a wide release movie it makes sense to send hard drives or film reels across the country but for a one time only or weekend long release like this such a thing isn’t feasible. Traditionally smaller release movies would have reels going from city to city with those showings happening at different times in different places. Digital technology allows us to have these kinds of releases taking place across the country simultaneously. In this case there were some issues doing so. I’m not an insider in the world of movie theatres so it’s hard to say if these problems are due to a new system that some places aren’t experienced with, limitations of the technology or something completely different such as inadequately labeled movie titles. It’s very difficult for me to get a feel for just how widespread these problems are. I don’t have specific metrics on who had a great experience and who didn’t, though when I asked about it on Twitter and Facebook and got a number of responses just from my own followers, this seemed to me to be an indication that the problems were fairly widespread. To be clear I saw a showing of the SuperS film with Ami’s First Love and did not experience any technical issues.

An empty theatre at a Sailor Moon SuperS screening

Many fans also commented on how few people attended their showings compared to the better turnouts for Sailor Moon R The Movie last year. I was excited to attend the R Movie with a packed theatre and was a bit surprised to see that there was only myself and one other group of fans in attendance to see Sailor Moon SuperS and Ami’s First Love. The fact that I went to a late addition evening showing may have been a factor but from what most fans are saying, there wasn’t the same kind of turn out anywhere for these. It’s hard to say exactly why this might be but many seem to feel that this was not marketed as well as the R Movie had been. Again I don’t have any specific metrics for this. Box Office Mojo has numbers indicating that last year’s showings of Sailor Moon R The Movie grossed $452,053. They unfortunately don’t have any numbers listed for the S and SuperS films and I was not able to find specific numbers elsewhere.

Did you have issues seeing the film?

Source: @lambdapower, @itsmoonrevenge, @BailliePuckett, @Meiruechan, @_MegumiAi_, @Internetcanunot

The new English voice cast for the Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies as well as the Ami’s First Love special have been announced

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Luna kisses Kakeru

Last weekend was Anime Expo in Los Angeles and, as has occurred at past conventions, Viz had a Moon Panel on Sailor Moon Day. One thing which was announced at this panel was the cast for the upcoming English versions of Sailor Moon S The Movie, Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and the Ami’s First Love special which plays with Sailor Moon SuperS. The films will be showing in theatres in late July and early August. The cast is a mix of new voice actors, a few who are returning after minor roles and some main cast members doing minor roles in the films.

First up is the cast of the Sailor Moon S Movie which has Kakeru, the man who Luna falls in love with, Himeko, an astronaut and part of Kakeru’s love triangle, and Princess Snow Kaguya, the villain of the film.

Sailor Moon S The Movie English cast

Kakeru – Chris Hackeny
Himeko – Claudia Lenz
Princess Snow Kaguya – Melissa Fahn

Himeko is voiced by Claudia Lenz, who also goes by the name of Eden Riegel, who previously voiced Koan in Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Perle, Chibiusa and Diana

For the long titled Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole we have a cast which includes Poupelin, Banae and Oranja, the three villain henchmen, Perle, the reformed villain and love interest for Chibiusa, the Bonbon Babies, giant candy looking monsters, and Badiane, the main villain seeking to imprison the Earth’s children into an energy dreaming eternal slumber not unlike The Matrix.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie English cast

Poupelin – Kyle McCarley
Banane – Ben Diskin
Oranja – Robbie Daymond
Bonbon Babies – Erica Mendez
Perle – Colleen O’Shaughnessey
Badiane – Tara Sands

We have a few returning cast members here! Banane is voiced by Ben Diskin who is Umino in the series and the Ami’s First Love special as well as Fiore from Sailor Moon R The Movie. Oranja is voiced by Robbie Daymond who plays Tuxedo Mask in the series and all of these movies. The Bonbon Babies are voiced by Erica Mendez who Sailor Uranus in the series and films and also voiced Reika. Badiane is voiced by Tara Sands who has played a number of single episode roles in Sailor Moon and was also Bulbasaur in Pokémon.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

Finally we have the Ami’s First Love short which plays with the Sailor Moon SuperS film. The only new voices here are Bunnun, the voice of the monster, and Mercurius, Ami’s rival.

Ami's First Love voice cast

Bonnun – Colleen O’Shaughnessey
Mercurius – Kyle McCarley

Both of these actors were also in Sailor Moon SuperS. The voice of Bonnun, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, is also Perle in the SuperS film. The voice of Mercurius, Kyle McCarley, was also Poupelin in the SuperS film.

For show times and a list of participating theatres be sure to check out the Fathom Events web site. The Sailor Moon S movie will be shown with the R movie dubbed on July 28th and subbed on July 30th. The Sailor Moon SuperS movie will be shown with the Ami’s First Love special dubbed on August 4th and subbed on August 6th.

Though the Fathom Events site only lists US theatres Canadians will also have a chance to see these films on those same dates at select Cineplex theatres. Though show times and theatres are not yet listed on their site keep and eye out on their listings for dubbed and subbed showings of Sailor Moon R and S as well as dubbed and subbed showings of Sailor Moon SuperS and Ami’s First Love.

Are any of you going to be able to see these films in your cities? It was a real treat to see Sailor Moon R in theatres a couple of years ago and I hope to be able to get out to see the other films as well!

Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie are coming to theatres in July and August

Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies

Great news! The 2nd and 3rd Sailor Moon films, Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie, are coming to theatres in North America this summer. Sailor Moon S The Movie will be shown with an encore presentation of Sailor Moon R The Movie Saturday July 28th and Monday the 30th while Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie will be shown with the Ami’s First Love special Saturday August 4th and Monday the 6th. The Saturday showings will have Viz’s new English dub of the film while the Monday showings will be in Japanese with English subtitles. This was announced earlier today at Viz’s Moon Panel at Anime Central in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago. A trailer has been uploaded to YouTube and can be seen below:

The movie posters for these two movies are similar in style to what we saw when Sailor Moon R The Movie was released in theatres.

Sailor Moon S The Movie Sailor Moon Supers The Movie

Fans will be able to get tickets and a complete list of participating theatres from the Fathom Events web site. Currently no theatres are listed but there will surely be more added as we get closer to the dates. It seems practical to refer to the SuperS film as Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie rather than it’s full official title Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. I hardly hold this against Viz as I’ve been known to do the same myself! This will be the first time Ami’s First Love is released here in North America. This short animated special, which was originally shown alongside the SuperS film in Japan, tells the story of Ami receiving a love letter which she suspects is from her intellectual rival Mercurius.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

Sailor Moon S The Movie is adapted from a manga story The Lover of Princess Kaguya which focuses on Luna and her infatuation with a human man. It is well known for featuring Human Luna.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Human Luna

The Sailor Moon SuperS film is an original story not based on any manga chapter. It has Chibiusa befriending Perle, a sort of fairy boy who’s rebelling against Badiane, a villain who is attempting to put the Earth’s children into an eternal sleep in the Black Dream Hole. The film’s story has some similarities to the film The Matrix, which was made a few years after it, though these may be a simple coincidence.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Perle, Chibiusa and Diana

Do you plan on checking out these films?

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Japanese Sailor Moon movie Blu-Ray set review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray - Cover

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray, a set including all three of the Sailor Moon films, was released in Japan on February 7th. This is the first time the Sailor Moon S and SuperS films were released on Blu-Ray and the set looks really great. It also includes the Make-Up! Sailor Senshi and Ami’s First Love specials which played with the R and SuperS movies in theatres as well as a handful of special features. MSRP is 15,000 yen, about $140 US. You can order it from sites such as Amazon Japan or CD Japan. The set is Japanese only with no English subtitles. I believe the discs are region free as no region code is listed on the box but regardless Japanese Blu-Ray discs are region A which is the same region as North America. Fans looking to see the films in English can already buy Sailor Moon R The Movie from Viz which has similar video quality. Though the other films have not been announced they will likely be released eventually.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Princess Serenity

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

A lot of people were wondering what the video quality is like. This release looks fantastic. That said, so did Viz’s Blu-Ray release of the R movie. With such poor quality in Viz’s Blu-Ray releases of the original TV series many blame them for the job they did with it but their Sailor Moon Crystal and R Movie releases show that they are able to make a nice looking product with nice looking masters. These films are HD versions taken from the original film source and it shows. They look considerably superior to the TV series Blu-Rays which have been released in Japan as these were simply software upconverted versions of standard definition video sources.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Usagi gives Mamoru a rose

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

I’ve got a lot of comparison screenshots between this new Japanese release, Viz’s release of the R movie and the Japanese version. You can also compare it to the original English DVD release but this doesn’t have much value as that was such a poor quality release. Still the English version has an unmated 4:3 picture so there is a bit more of the image to see. For all of the images in this post just click on it to enlarge and then click on the hyperlink showing the image dimensions (for example, 1920×1080) to see the full picture. These suffer from minor compression artifacts because they’re uploaded as JPEGs but you should get an idea for the difference or rather lack of any difference in quality between versions.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Umino cameo

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Umino cameo

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Umino Cameo

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Umino Cameo

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

These are just a few comparisons. I’ll include more at the end of the post with the rest of the images of the packaging.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Usagi and Mamoru

Now about the contents. The Sailor Moon films are really a great part of the series. Due to the nature of their release they’re often overlooked. Here in North America for example they were released fairly late with the original dub and with the entire series now released subbed to stream and coming out on home video we only have the first film which has been released theatrically and on video. Though it is often hard to fit the films into continuity, they still generally follow what’s going on with the associated series. Their standalone stories are enjoyable and an easy introduction to the series for new fans.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Young Mamoru and Usagi

First is Sailor Moon R The Movie. This is one of my favourite films of all time, let alone one of the better anime films and, in my opinion, the best of the Sailor Moon films. It centres around Fiore, a childhood friend of Mamoru’s who happens to be an alien. It isn’t explicitly mentioned in the film but Fiore is of the same alien race as Ail and An from the early episodes of Sailor Moon R. It’s full of all of what makes Sailor Moon great with emotional scenes, dramatic battles and of course Sailor Moon sacrificing herself and showing compassion for the enemy, which I consider to be her true strength. I’ve spoken at length about my love of this film before! It’s great.

Make-Up! Sailor Senshi - Chibiusa and Usagi

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

As a bonus feature with Sailor Moon R The Movie is Make-Up! Sailor Guardians, a short which was originally shown with the film in theatres. I don’t have a great amount of love for this feature since it’s mostly clips, but there is a bit of unique animation. The quality here is not quite that of the film but better than any release of the TV series, of which it features many clips. As I mentioned in my review of Viz’s release of the R movie it seems like the original footage, which is claimed to be lost, was available back when this special was put together because the TV series clips featured throughout are of good quality authored from film source and not converted somehow from a standard definition video source as all Blu-Ray releases of the TV series have been.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Human Luna

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon S movie - Human Luna - Princess Kaguya

Japanese DVD (2002)

Next we have Sailor Moon S The Movie. This is the only film which is based on the Sailor Moon manga as Naoko Takeuchi wrote a standalone story “The Lover of Princess Kaguya” following her trip to Cape Canaveral in the United States. It is the story of Luna who falls in love with a man and turns into a human herself. Also some ice villain. My feelings are mixed on this one. Simply put I don’t care for it all that much. When I first saw it on bootleg VHS back in the 90s I was fairly underwhelmed. I can never really pinpoint why though. Upon reflection I find the villain uninteresting and having little to tie into the story and I think Kakeru is generally annoying and unintelligent for a scientist. His conflict with Himeko is a bit forced. Still I find the drama around Luna’s feelings compelling and certain aspects of the film are enjoyable, such as Tuxedo Mask dressed as Santa Claus.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Sailor Moon in a Dream

Japanese Blu-Ray (2018)

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Usagi choses reality

Japanese DVD (2002)

Finally we have Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. This is the only one of the films with a proper title and it’s a mouthful, hence I often just call it the SuperS Movie or SuperS The Movie, to keep with the convention set by the other films. It introduces us to Perle, or Peruru as I will always think of him due to the subtitles used on VKLL’s version of the film. Perle is a sort of fairy, possibly a bird animated through magic, who is defecting against Badiane, the villain who is possibly an alien who is attempting to enslave the world’s children into an eternal dream like state in which she syphons off their energy. Last year I wrote an article arguing that this film’s plot is similar to that of The Matrix, which was released a few years later. I really enjoy this film. The animation is good and the story interesting. It introduces us to some fun characters and concepts. The main plot is a sort of science fiction story and the idea of enslaving people into a perfect happy dream at the cost of their freedom presents interesting philosophical questions which are fun to think about. Perle’s character somewhat mimics that of Pegasus/Helios as Chibiusa has romantic feelings for him. Having seen this film before watching the later half of the Sailor Moon SuperS season it was this relationship which I was originally exposed to which is a bit backwards to be sure.

Ami's First Love - Ami in the bath

Along with the SuperS Movie is Ami’s First Love, a special which was included with the film in theatres. This short is entirely composed of new animation and tells the story of Ami receiving a love letter which she thinks is from a rival student but which turns out to be from a monster. Her “First love” in this case would be Mercurius though she doesn’t really have any direct interaction with this Umino looking guy. This is a funny special and well worth watching. It remains some of the last bits of animation, along with the SuperS Special, that we haven’t seen an official release for here in North America. I expect that if and when Viz gets around to releasing the SuperS film that it will include Ami’s First Love with it. I’m curious to see what rating it gets as it features a semi naked Ami getting out of the tub, but it really isn’t anything too explicit. Quality for this special is quite good and similar to that of the other films. As with the rest of the release the masters used appear to be the film source which means a high quality HD image.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Low quality creditless opening

Low quality “clean” opening

As bonus features go we have the same thing which was including in the laserdiscs and I do mean the exact same thing! All special features are standard definition source, converted fairly poorly to HD. This includes three commercials for every film, “clean” (no credits) opening and ending themes and an interview which is included with the R Movie. The commercials aren’t that great. Each has one which was clearly made before any animation on the films was done, in HD, another is a short one with clips and finally there’s a longer commercial with more clips.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Trailer - Mamoru in front of a billboard

Trailer

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Tuxedo Mask in front of a billboard

Completed scene

One interesting aspect of the commercial for Sailor Moon R The Movie is that it includes a clip of Tuxedo Mask when he first appears with a different billboard. In the film itself the billboard is of men in Tuxedos. Tuxedo Mask blends in with the billboard and then we see that he’s actually separate from it and standing on a lamp post. In the commercial there are no men in Tuxedos on the billboard which makes us wonder why he’s even perched so oddly in front of it. Was this unfinished animation where the Tuxedos weren’t filled in? An attempt to keep audiences unspoiled on the nature of this big Tuxedo Mask reveal? Given what I’ve seen from other Japanese film trailers not giving spoilers doesn’t seem to be a huge priority!

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Bonus feature - Kunihiko Ikuhara wearing Mamoru's jacket Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi and Mamoru

An interesting feature with the R Movie is an interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara, director of the film and one of the directors of Sailor Moon for which much of what made the series great is attributed. Unfortunately without subtitles there isn’t much to get out of this interview as is. I recall having seen this subtitled on my VKLL fan sub of the R Movie back in the day but what I never noticed previously was that he’s wearing Mamoru’s green jacket! This is a jacket which he wears consistently throughout the entire Sailor Moon series which makes me wonder if Kunihiko Ikuhara owned this jacket and based Mamoru’s jacket on it, if he went out of his way to get a jacket like Mamoru’s or if this is some sort of coincidence and green jackets are more common than I thought. I can’t take credit for noticing this! I believe it was something I saw on Twitter by Tuxedo Unmasked though I can’t pull up the original reference. As you can see in the caption of the photo on this blog post, he made a comment about the jacket at least as early as June 2017!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Laserdisc - Track listing Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Scene Selection Menu 1
Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Scene Selection Menu 2 Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Bonus Features Menu

An interesting thing I noticed while looking at the laserdiscs for the films is that the track listings are actually identical. The track numbers for each scene is the same on the old laserdiscs and the Blu-Ray. Similarly we can see from these comparisons that the special features are the same, just not always in the exact same order. The DVD release also had a lot of these special features included but the Kunihiko Ikuhara interview was previously only on the laserdisc release.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray - Booklet - Pages 2 and 3

The set also includes a cool booklet which is full of images and character art of all of the films. This is similar to the booklets which have been released with the Blu-Ray releases of the TV series. I’ve included photos of all pages of this booklet later in the post. While this is a nice thing to include I think the theatrical programs included with the DVD set were much better.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray - Comparison - Sailor Moon R The Movie

Finally let’s talk about the box art. With three movies there was no single image to use on the cover which covers all three and so for whatever reason the S Movie poster gets the cover. Inside we have the R Movie as the front and SuperS Movie as the back. I’m including photos of the laserdiscs for comparison but this is not the source of this artwork. The images used are the original theatrical posters for the films. I only have a poster for the R Movie myself! This art is also found on the insert for a U2 CD!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray - Inside cover Sailor Moon R The Movie poster
U2 in front of a Sailor Moon R The Movie poster

All in all this is a great release. Do I recommend it? Well it’s in Japanese and has no English so as always that’s of limited value given the price point. These are films I’ve seen a couple of dozen times each so I don’t find it terribly hard to follow along. That said there will probably be releases of these films by Viz at some point. This may be in a few years so the set is still worth getting if you would expect to watch it a few times before that happens.

Keep reading for more pictures of this release including photos of the box art, screenshot comparisons between releases and photos of all pages of the included special booklet.

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All three Sailor Moon movies will be released as a Blu-Ray set in Japan

Japanese Sailor Moon movie Blu-Ray set

The Sailor Moon movies are being released on Blu-Ray in Japan. The three film set will also include the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special which played with Sailor Moon R The Movie as well as the Ami’s First Love special which played with the SuperS Movie, referred to in Japan and in this set as the mouthful title “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole”. The set itself is being referred to as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Movie Blu-Ray which as a name doesn’t really make much sense in English since there’s more than one movie included so it’s not really “The Movie” at all.

Japanese Sailor Moon movie Blu-Ray set

Why, you may be asking, should you be spending your hard earned money on this? The set will retail for 15,000 yen, about $130 US, and won’t include any English dub or subtitles. Meanwhile Sailor Moon R The Movie has already been released on an English DVD and Blu-Ray set for a fraction of that price. It seems like it’s only a matter of time, though likely a very, very long time, before the other two films are released as well. The R Movie release looked great on Blu-Ray and we should expect roughly the same quality from this Japanese release as they will actually go back to the film source to make a proper HD version rather than being lazy and using software to upscale standard definition video to HD as we’ve seen with all HD releases of the TV series.

The box art for this release is nothing too shocking. The sleeve has the art for the S Movie while the inner box has the art for the R Movie. This was used for the theatrical poster, the laserdisc and VHS releases back in the day as well as the DVD set of the films. We don’t see the art for the SuperS movie anywhere on here, though the discs themselves will likely have similar art on them. Many fans complained about the quality of the art on the Viz release. How much is nice box art worth to you? Over double the price?

Sailor Moon DVD-Box The Movie

Pictured above is the DVD set released in 2002. This set was titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon DVD-BOX The MOVIE and retailed for 15,000 yen, which is the exact same price as this new Blu-Ray set. While these may be expensive keep in mind that DVDs and laserdiscs and any other home video medium has always been incredibly expensive in Japan. The DVD set used a different image for the cover and then had individual cases for each movie which used the original theatrical poster art. I find this approach more aesthetically pleasing and less confusing than having various movie posters as cover art that aren’t related to any single film. The nature of the Sailor Moon movies is that there is no single image that fully represents any of them. Even the cover for the DVD set includes Super Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon as well as Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto who aren’t in the first film as well as older costumes which don’t reflect the updated shoulder pads from the SuperS film.

Source: Sailor Moon Official Site

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie has the same plot as The Matrix

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and The Matrix - Dream coffins are basically The Matrix

A few weeks ago I was rewatching the 1999 hit film “The Matrix” and I came to a realization that I somehow hadn’t before. The Matrix and the 1995 animated film Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie have basically the same story. Both movies’ villains have a massive farm of humans stuck in a simulated reality for the purpose of enslaving them and draining their energy for their own purpose.

The Matrix - Pods of humans

In The Matrix a bunch of robots which have captured all of the people of Earth to have them living in pods which plug them into a complex computer simulation, called the Matrix, which exists just to keep people occupied while they are used as a power source to keep the machines running. I’m still not sure why they didn’t populate it with cows.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Children in Dream Coffins

In Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie the villain Badiane kidnaps the world’s children by the boatload and puts them into these pod like Dream Coffins where they sleep forever in a simulated reality, their dreams. Marzipan Castle appears to be a futuristic spaceship with metallic walls which look like large computer circuit boards. Badiane uses the children as a power source for her Black Dream Hole by extracting their Sugar Energy, which grows inside of children’s dreams, from them. Her plan is to envelop the Earth into her Black Dream Hole, placing all of the humans into Dream Coffins. In the case of this movie it seems likely that cow and calf dreams do not generate Sugar Energy.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Marzipan Castle

Elements of choice and happiness come into both films. In The Matrix we learn from Agent Smith that an original incarnation of The Matrix simulation was a paradise but that this didn’t work. Humans rejected this reality and kept trying to wake up from it.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Usagi choses reality

In Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie, when Sailor Moon enters the Black Dream Hole she goes into a seemingly perfect dream world where she can be alone with Mamoru. When things appear too good to be true she asks him if she is more important to him than Chibiusa. When he chooses her she knows that it’s an illusion and, like Neo being freed from the Matrix, breaks out of her Dream Coffin. Sailor Moon does the equivalent of choosing the Red Pill, a symbol of the truth, to escape her simulated reality, rather than remaining blissfully ignorant like Cypher eating his delicious simulated steak. For her like those early crops of humans a paradise may seem like what she wants but she just doesn’t believe it.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and The Matrix - Usagi and Neo escape The Matrix

The similarities seems obvious with a little thought, but is it just a coincidence or is there some inspiration at play? The Matrix, released in 1999, was a tremendous influence on decades of movies which followed it to the point where what was groundbreaking at the time seems standard upon repeated viewings since this is what so many films look like these days. But Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie was released in 1995, a whole 4 years before the Matrix. The Wachowskis are huge anime fans with Ghost in the Shell, released in 1996, being their most obvious influence. There was certainly enough time for them to have seen and drawn inspiration from the film. Though the English dubbed version of the film wasn’t out until years later many anime fans had seen the film not long after its Japanese release.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - The Sailor Guardians in a simulated reality

While I’m sure one could splice together clips of the film and present a compelling conspiracy theory for why The Wachowskis absolutely ripped off this movie, I don’t think this one is guaranteed. It’s possible and the timeline would work out, but given we don’t have any specific indication that either Lana or Lilly Wachowski were Sailor Moon fans I’m willing to accept that this may be a coincidence. Stories of simulated realities had existed before in science fiction stories and I don’t pretend that everything that was similar to something which came before it was necessarily an homage or rip off.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Badiane

The Matrix and Sailor Moon SuperS The Nine Sailor Soldiers Gather! The Miracle of The Black Dream Hole are both great films with a great science concept at their core. Do you think the similarities are more than chance?

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Agents

Agents Banane, Poupelin and Orangeat?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 186 and 187 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 186 - A big dog licking Chibi Chibi

This week is all about Chibi Chibi with the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars added to Hulu and Neon Alley. First in episode 186 Chibi Chibi found the world of sweets or rather some old dude’s mansion and she gets into all kinds of trouble and next she transforms into a Sailor Guardian, Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 186 - Chibi Chibi gives her doll some tea

Episode 186, Chibi-Chibi’s Mystery: The Big Noisy Chase, is all about Chibi Chibi getting into mischief. Chibi Chibi is so mysterious! She’s got a nice fancy looking doll and she’s always got treats. Usagi suspects she might be traveling to the world of sweets which we can all laugh at but is it all that weird? I mean is the world of sweets more weird than Chibi Chibi’s actual origin story? In this world of magic and superheroes maybe she’s been hanging out at Marzipan Castle with the Bonbon Babies! Anyway Chibi Chibi keeps almost dying but being perfectly fine, getting into a confrontation with a dog that is nice and similar such things. She ends up at a mansion, cue the mansion music because that’s how many mansions there are in Sailor Moon. She has been befriending this old dude Jotaro Kiriyama that has a bunch of antiques. You guessed it! He’s the target this week and he turns into Sailor Antique because he has antiques! He calls a horse, just like Chibiusa calling Pegasus, and that has hilarious consequences. Throughout the fight all of these priceless antiques get wrecked which is all fun and games.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 186 - Sailor Antique on his horse

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - The Three Lights fan club has unexplainable clout

Episode 187, The Shining Power of a Star: Chibi-Chibi’s Transformation, is all about Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon! But first we learn all about the Three Lights Fan Club and its immense power. We’ve learned before about this club, which all of the girls are part of. Ami is member 25! A shocking revelation which tells us what a super fan she is. Who’s member #1? Well it’s Sonoko Ijuuin, a student at Juuban High School, where the Three Lights happen to go to school. Sonoko does not approve of Seiya and Usagi’s friendship. She thinks Usagi is beneath Seiya and does not want them to associate with each other. She suggests a bet, over a baseball game. If she wins, Seiya stops seeing Usagi. If Seiya and Usagi win, they can continue to have a relationship. I don’t really understand where she gets the ability to demand this. Can’t Seiya just tell this lady to screw off? These guys are the Three Lights. They will get along just fine without a handful of ungrateful disrespectful fans! I’m pretty sure the #2 member of the fan club would be perfectly happy to be the new #1. If not then maybe #3 and so forth because I’m pretty sure #25 is cool with Usagi! Whatever they agree to this charade because they literally hate freedom. Sonoko is the target and becomes Sailor Leaguer. In the fight Usagi drops her Eternal Tiare. Chibi Chibi picks it up and transforms into Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon, a pint sized Sailor Guardian! Well that sure is weird! She also upgrades Sailor Moon’s item to the Moon Power Tiare. This new weapon uses Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss as an attack, which has the exact same effect as her last attack, healing Phages. So they beat the bad guy and then they win the baseball game which means two people who had no valid reason not to be friends are allowed to be friends again.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - The Moon Power Tiare

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - Usagi and Seiya win a game so they can be friends

Sabrina Grdevich, the voice of Anne and Sailor Pluto, to appear at Unplugged Expo in Toronto September 27th and 28th

Anne Granger voiced by Sabrina Grdevich

Sabrina Grdevich joins the guest list at Unplugged Expo 3 to be held at the Chestnut Conference Centre September 27th and 28th in Toronto. Sabrina Grdevich has done a great number of voices in Sailor Moon! She provided the voice of Anne Granger, the alien, during the Doom Tree Saga. Later in Sailor Moon R she provided the voice of Sailor Pluto as heard through the Luna Sphere and during her appearances later in that season and in the S and SuperS movies. Susan Aceron took on the role of Sailor Pluto during Sailor Moon S. Sabrina Grdevich also supplied the voices of many monsters such as the Jumo the evil doll, Ninjana and Nancy Vargas, the photographer turned monster, Mistrust, a monster who creates illusions in Ami’s mind, as well as Andrew’s younger sister Lizzie.

Luna P - Sailor Pluto - Pu

Outside of Sailor Moon she has also done some live action work including a recurring role in the Canadian drama traders and the android whose face opens up in A.I..

Sailor Pluto

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