Following the success of last year’s Sailor Moon 4-D attraction Universal Studios Japan will be having yet another Sailor Moon 4-D ride starting May 31st 2019! This isn’t just a repeat of what was there last year but instead a whole new story! While I’m not fluent in Japanese it seems like this one is called Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Moon Palace Edition. Where the first event featured Sailor Moon fighting Morga and the Dark Kingdom from the first story arc this new attraction will feature Super Sailor Moon as well as all 10 Sailor Guardians, that being Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Chibi Moon. We can see an image of the CG versions of these characters above.
The inclusion of all of these characters makes me wonder when this attraction will take place in the story. These ten characters are first brought together in the Infinity arc of the Manga. While only the core group continue into Sailor Moon SuperS in the anime, all of them return in the Dream and Stars arc in the manga. Sailor Moon eventually upgrades to Eternal Sailor Moon in Stars so it would likely take place prior to that. We also don’t see any of the other Sailor Guardians upgraded to their Super forms and Saturn isn’t a baby so it probably makes the most sense for this to to be taking place around the end of the Infinity arc before Hotaru becomes a baby and Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna take off for a while. The most telling clue is that Sailor Moon’s Cosmic Heart Compact is the transformation item being used for merchandise. This was her transformation item used in the Infinity arc, so that is probably where this takes place. All that said there’s no Moon Palace featured in the Infinity arc. The palace is mentioned in the title and in the description of the plot.
As with the last attraction there will be a bunch of exclusive merchandise sold at this event. We have Cosmic Heart Compacts in different colours. Are these supposed to represent the various Sailor Guardians? This would be nonsense since only Sailor Moon uses a Cosmic Heart Compact to transform. In the Infinity arc of the manga the other Sailor Guardians don’t use any transformation items while in Sailor Moon S the others continue to use their Star Power Sticks which they received in Sailor Moon R. Sailor Chibi Moon uses the Prism Heart Compact to transform during the Infinity arc or Sailor Moon S and this doesn’t much resemble the Cosmic Heart Compact. Even Sailor Moon’s actual Cosmic Heart Contact is red, of which only one of these Compacts is, and it isn’t clear that this one is tied to Sailor Moon. In all there are 11, not 10 of these, so I don’t even know that there are meant to represent individual Sailor Guardians. They’re just different coloured Cosmic Heart Compacts which to me seems to be a very odd piece of merchandise.
Did any of you get a chance to visit this attraction last year? Do you expect to be able to go to Japan while this new event is on?
A commercial has been released for the Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D ride which is coming to Universal Studios Japan. From this commercial we can get a better idea of what the ride will look like! The CG models we saw in an earlier press image do appear to be the designs we will be seeing in this show, meaning it won’t be done in the traditional animation style of either the original Sailor Moon anime or Sailor Moon Crystal. Watch the short commercial below.
Since the footage shows an actual theatre and audience reactions this won’t be exactly what the ride will look like, but it seems likely that the characters and designs shown are what we will see. There needs to be audience interaction because otherwise we wouldn’t have any way to realize it’s actually in 3D. Remember those ads for Avatar that showed the Navi sticking their hand out and trying to grab audience members? Me neither.
Featured in the clip is a monster which looks a lot like Morga, the monster from the first Sailor Moon manga story and the first episode of the original Sailor Moon anime as well as Sailor Moon Crystal. In those versions Morga poses as Naru’s mother though it isn’t clear if that will be the case here.
The final moment of the trailer shows a rose appearing. This is Tuxedo Mask’s trademark however the rose is something which first appeared in the original Sailor Moon anime as it did not originate in the manga and didn’t appear in Sailor Moon Crystal.
What do you think of these designs? The CG sure does look dated. With almost all western animation being done in CG these days this short ride doesn’t look to be up to par even with the lower budget shows that use this kind of technology. That said the simple designs do look more like the 90s anime brought to life even though they don’t resemble actual humans. This may have been an intentional style choice rather than an economic constraint. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.
The Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D attraction is coming to Universal Studios Japan in March of this year. The latest update on the Sailor Moon official site, as well as the attraction’s official site, includes details on merchandise available at the event but also has some CG art to go along with the announcement. Could this be the kind of visuals we could be expecting from the event? The original announcement was accompanied with some unique looking art which seemed quite similar to the original Sailor Moon anime but had designs including details unique to the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. With this being a 4-D event, meaning that it will be in 3D with some added effects, it would seem fitting if the animation was done in CG which lends itself well to 3D video. We certainly haven’t gotten any confirmation about what the footage will look like but if these visuals in the banner are any indication we could be looking forward to 1990s quality computer animation for this event.
We also have a bit of detail about the story of the footage. Apparently, now brace yourself for this, there are monsters targeting people’s energy and the Sailor Guardians need to stop them! Seems pretty standard but we are assured that this is actually going to be an original story, so it’s unlikely we will be seeing existing footage augmented to make use of 4-D technology.
We also have some details about merchandise which will be available at the event, including an Instagram page dedicated solely to posting pictures of merchandise that will be sold at the attraction. The main draw seems to be the Cutie – Universal – Rod, a Universal branded version of Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod which she uses in the second story arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal which corresponds to the Sailor Moon R season of the original anime. Also available are a pin set of Sailor Moon’s attack items, a Luna P container and more. The photos you can get at the event will include one of 7 backgrounds with one available each day of the week. Will some fans be willing to go every day to get a complete set? I would assume so!
There is also going to be a chance to meet “Tuxedo Mask”. This sounds a bit like the chances to meet Disney Princesses and such at Disney theme parks and cruises. You won’t be meeting any actor or actress who’s ever portrayed Tuxedo Mask in any fiction you care about but more likely just someone who’s wearing the costume. Good for kids who have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality but hardly compelling to adult fans who have different kinds of complex relationships with the line between fantasy and reality.
All of this starts on March 16th in Japan! If you’re planning to attend I suggest checking out some of the links above for details on how to get tickets. Will any of you be in Japan to see this show? Let us know in the comments!
Keep reading for more pictures of the merchandise.
It has been announced on the Official Sailor Moon site and the Universal Studios Japan site that a new attraction, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D, will be taking place from March 16th to June 24th. This made me wonder … what the hell does 4-D even mean? 3D, as we all know, refers to movies which appear to have depth into the “3rd dimension”. This technology has been around for a long time but it is common in modern films such as the recently released Star Wars films and James Cameron’s Avatar. No doubt this will have at least 3D but what is the 4th? Time? Well a video, that is not a single static image, generally exists across the dimension of time so that’s probably not it. The announcements don’t really give that detail, but we can infer based on past events using the 4D name exactly what this might mean. It seems unlikely that such an event will include a tesseract or anything which is actually in 4 dimensional space.
As this is a Universal Studios event so there is precedent for this such as the Shrek 4-D ride which appeared at Universal Studios locations across the globe including Japan. 4D is a marketing term used to describe physical effects that coincide with the film. I once saw an undersea film which sprayed air at my feet and poked the back of my seat when snakes appeared to make it seems more immersive which I think was at the Vancouver Aquarium. Other effects could be moving or vibrating seats or even smell. Years ago I also saw a Spongebob 4D film about Krabby Patties at Canada’s Wonderland though I don’t recall what 4D effects that had besides some moving seats.
So what would a Sailor Moon 4D ride have? It seems likely it would be a 3D film with some added effects like moving and vibrating seats and perhaps some gushes of air. The specific “4D” effects would depend on the on screen action. The art used in the press releases resembles that from the original Sailor Moon anime rather than Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon is seen with her Crystal Star Brooch which she wears during Sailor Moon R. A photo op sample has one of the girls pictured holding Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod which replaces the Moon Stick which Sailor Moon loses in the fight with Queen Beryl and that Sailor Moon has throughout Sailor Moon R. Sailor Moon also has those weird white things in her hair which only show up for Super Sailor Moon during Sailor Moon S although she does have these with her original costume in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. Though we don’t have any specifics it seems likely that we’ll get some new animation for this rather than it being just modified existing animation but we can’t be sure at this time.
The Universal Studios Japan site mentions that you need to follow their Twitter account and retweet certain messages to be eligible for a lottery to see the event but since this is at an amusement park there’s no doubt that it will be opened to the public. No news at this time if there’s any chance that this attraction will be held anywhere else. Certainly there are a lot of fans who would love to visit such an event in North America but are there enough to fill those seats and make it worthwhile? I’m sure some accountant will figure that out.
There is also some food which will be available at this event. The above photo shows a crescent bread, Luna corn soup, a shrimp salad, a strawberry cheese, a berry, pistachio and pine cake and a non alcoholic strawberry and lemon soda.