Sailor Moon R episodes 53 and 54 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 53 - Usagi stealing Manami's bottle

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Every Monday two new episodes in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week we have episodes 53 and 54 which focus on Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon R episode 53 - Manami peeing in Natsumi's face

Episode 53, Mamoru and Usagi’s Babysitting Mayhem, is technically a Sailor Mercury episode in that she gets a new attack but it’s not really about her. Ail and An have a Cardian that attacks babies, because the one that attacked children from last week wasn’t bad enough. I know we eventually find out that vampire tree isn’t really evil, but these Cardians are just jerks. Baby Manami’s mother is hospitalized while protecting her son and the completely irresponsible and unprofessional hospital choses to entrust the safety of the baby to Mamoru, who is a complete and total stranger. Oh but Mamoru must have known the baby a little, right? Not at all. Mamoru and Usagi are so unfamiliar with this baby that they are actually surprised to learn that Manami is a boy when they see his penis! Manami’s penis eventually proceeds to urinate all over Natsumi’s face when she drops by to visit. Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship strengthens throughout this episode as they care for Manami together, witnessing both his first steps and first words! This is in sharp contrast to their relationship with their future child who’s already very capable of walking and talking when they first encounter her! It doesn’t really matter that Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship improves throughout this episode as that will all become irrelevant when his memories return anyway, but it seems like progress. Ami’s involvement is pretty loose, but she gets mad at the Cardian and uses a Shabon Spray Freezing attack.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Usagi and Rei tolerating each other for a change

Episode 54, The School Festival Is for Me?! Queen Rei’s Song, is a legit Sailor Mars episode. There’s a festival at Rei’s school which she is super controlling and bossy about. Rei works really hard to write songs she will perform at the festival, which goes super well until it is attacked by a monster. Rei gets all upset and uses a new attack, Fire Soul Bird. Also at the festival are Natsumi and Seijuro’s fashion show where they dress in all sorts of strange costumes. They do this for completely selfish reasons as it builds up the crowd’s energy level, which they drain to feed their vampire of a tree. As the episode closes Rei and Usagi share a brief pleasant moment with each other which is quite nice.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Natsumi and Seijuro dressed as squids

Rei performs the song Eien no Melody (Eternal Melody) in this episode, which was translated into English in the DiC version as Oh Starry Night.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Rei singing

Support the site by buying these and other episodes on Amazon Instant, or buying the DVD or Blu-Ray release of season 1 part 1.

Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts, Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero and more figures revealed at Tamashi Nations 2014

Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts

A ton of new Sailor Moon figures were revealed at this past weekend’s Tamashii Nations 2014 event in Tokyo. We have Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures, a new line of Figuarts Zero figures in a Sailor Moon Crystal style and super deformed Tamashii Buddies for the main five Sailor Guardians.

Original anime colour Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures

We already knew we were expecting to see a Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figure so that was no real surprise, but Sailor Chibi Moon was news! Also on display is the original anime colours Sailor Moon. The S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure had a slightly different colour palette, including a more pink colour than her original red, but this one is more what fans of the 1992 Sailor Moon anime are used to. S. H. Figuarts figures are high quality highly posable figures. These new S. H. Figuarts figures will likely cost about the same as the other ones that have been released, about $40 to $50 US. What kind of accessories will be included with these figures? We can only speculate, so here we go. The Tuxedo Mask shown has neither a cape or a rose, which would be obvious additions. Sailor Chibi Moon may include her Pink Moon Stick and Luna P. Sailor Pluto remains the only Sailor Guardian not to get an S. H. Figuarts figure as we’re now moving on to other characters. Should we expect to get Chibi Chibi, Ikuko Mama, Shingo and Red Buttler S. H. Figuarts before we see her?

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero

The other big revelation was the new line of Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero figures. The original Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero line is from Sailor Moon R but these ones are from the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, and have a whole other level of detail to them. I wasn’t terribly impressed with what the Sailor Moon R Figuarts Zero figures had to offer at their price point, but I find these new ones to be quite nice. The Figuarts Zero line are not posable. They are stationary small statuettes. If pricing is similar to the other Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero figures they should cost somewhere in the range of $80 to $90 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Mercury Figuarts Zero

Also revealed were more Tamashii Buddies, small non posable super deformed figures. These tiny figures are just 9 cm tall, about 3.5″. Announced to date are Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. Though no prices are given these slightly more affordable figures tend to sell for about $15 US.

Sailor Moon Tamashii Buddies - Sailor Moon

Source: Sailor Moon Collectibles and HOBBY maniax

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Sailor Moon R episodes 51 and 52 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Sailor Moon receives the Cutie Moon Rod

This morning, November 3rd, the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 51 and 52 as Sailor Moon upgrades her transformation and attack item and we get a better look at Minako.

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Rei breathing fire

In episode 51, A New Transformation: Usagi’s Power-Up, the gang go watch the Cherry Blossoms. This seems a bit like a school trip but for convoluted reasons all of the Sailor Guardians, who are not in Usagi’s class, come along. Naru chokes Umino in a sleeping bag and everyone has a good time eating while watching the cherry trees bloom. An interesting animation technique is used in this episode as character are animated as talking to each other while a zoomed out version of the group appears in the background. During this interaction we see that Usagi is lazy and makes bad lunches but Rei is even lazier and brought fast food burgers. Usagi feeds Rei a sandwich covered in a spicy sauce causing her to breather fire, one of the last times she’ll use her Fire Soul technique and the only time it’s used while she is not transformed into Sailor Mars. A monster shows up, breaks Sailor Moon’s transformation broach and then she falls into a hole which takes her to visit Queen Serenity who upgrades her broach to the Crystal Star, returns the Silver Crystal to her and gives her the Cutie Moon Rod! Where was this weird subspace type world she visited? It’s never really revealed but it looks a bit like Silver Millennium.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako hugging Artemis

Episode 52, The Targeted Kindergarteners: Venus to the Rescue, is a Minako episode which is all about shipping Minako and Artemis. The episode opens with Minako hugging Artemis in bed then she accuses him of peeping on her while she’s changing. Ultimately Minako runs into a young girl who is getting bullied and helps her out. The monster of the week is attacking kindergarten children and so Minako has decided to protect them. The young girl she befriends is a fan of Sailor Moon but, much to her chagrin, has never heard of Sailor Venus! This changes of course when Sailor Venus saves her life. Minako gets a new attack in this episode, her Crescent Beam Shower. The rest of the gang will eventually also be getting new infrequently used attacks in upcoming episodes.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako talking to a young girl

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 -  Princess Serenity and her Guardians with Luna and Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, went online yesterday, November 1st, on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode is full of revelations as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Silver Crystal and tons of details about the past are finally revealed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

Did anyone really think Minako was the Moon Princess? That was all a bit silly with the last episode. Minako was the ruse and now we are finally shown the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon history, the true identity of Princess Serenity. But not content to have super obvious things finally revealed we are now being really secretive about the true identity of the woman from the past who killed Prince Endymion. Boy I wonder who the evil woman might be? Her face is obscured so I have no idea who this is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Queen Beryl

Indeed, the big thing in this episode is this great flashback to Silver Millennium, the kingdom on the Moon from some time in the distant past. The English dub mentioned this time to be 1000 years ago which seems about right but an exact timeline is not ever given. Looking at the technology and architecture of Earth at the time it would seem that a Midlevel setting is what we’re seeing. This isn’t a flashback to when Prince Endymion was on Earth in the 1950s. The places on Earth also appear to be European rather than Asian, despite the people clearly speaking Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Usagi with her friends

Usagi is revealed to be the Princess and so the proper pecking order is well established. The other girls are her guardians, and this is shown both in their willingness to protect her in battle but also in the way they all come together to support her as friend now that she’s pretty down thinking Mamoru is kidnapped and likely dead. One concern she expresses is that they need to get him before his body deteriorates. No wonder she wants to return to a worry free teenage life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite

The Shitennou are all still around which didn’t really go anywhere. In the manga version of this story we get a nice flashback showing they were Endymion’s generals back in the day and we see Jadeite’s body undo decomposition but all of this is skipped. Changes are expected to this story seeing as they are all still alive, rather than having been killed like in the manga, but I expected more rather than less to occur this week. For now we will continue to wait to see what is in store for those characters in the coming episodes. Kunzite recognized the name Endymion when it was mentioned so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

Next time we go to the Moon! Everyone is kind of waiting around but the girls want some answers and Luna suggests they may be found on the Moon. November 15th episode is Act 10, Moon. We’ll see more flash backs and a look at Queen Serenity, Princess Serenity’s mother from back in the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

Check out more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview below.

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Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 and 48, on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The first two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Two new episodes are added every week and now that we’ve worked through the first season Viz is starting to post episodes from Sailor Moon R. For the first 13 episodes of the series, including these two, we deal with what fans call the Makaiju arc as the enemies are Ail and An, aliens who steal human energy to feed their tree the Makaiju. Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan will not be showing up until episode 60. Until then is this short “filler” story arc which was not in the manga which fans have mixed feelings about. I personally loved this story line and am not adverse to parts of the anime that aren’t in the manga. From a technical point of view seeing Sailor Moon R in HD is a treat. The R2 Japanese DVDs were progressive scan for the first season but beginning with Sailor Moon R the episodes were interlaced, as they had been in their original broadcast. This was not an issue back in the 90s when everyone watched Sailor Moon on their CRT TVs, but in the age of HDTVs and watching things on computer screens it’s certainly nice to see a show in progressive scan. Ultimately this show doesn’t look like newer shows animated in HD, it’s still an old master from the 90s with some processing done to it to make it look as good as it can. That said I still feel like the quality looks better on the Japanese DVDs than the Hulu feed, interlacing issues aside.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Natsumi and Seijuurou

Episode 47, Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear, is the start of something new. Sailor Moon is just a normal girl again, with Luna and Artemis alone remembering the events of all that happened. Two aliens arrive on Earth, along with a big tree! Ail and An, joke names for “alien”, are the new villains who use Cardians, monsters born from cards, to drain human energy. Their relationship is strong at first as Ail and An speak kindly of their love for each other, but this won’t last long. They disguise themselves as teenagers and enrol in the local school because… well I’m not sure why they bother to do this. It would be easy enough to just hide in their apartment and go out at night draining energy. There doesn’t seem to be much of an end game to integrating in to the local culture. As luck would have it they go to the same school as a bunch of superheroes, Usagi, Ami and Makoto’s school. Ail poses as Seijuurou and An poses as Natsumi, because An isn’t really a good Japanese name. When a monster attacks Naru, who is a magnet for monsters, Usagi comes to her defence. Luna has no choice but to restore her memories! This seems shocking as Usagi has memories of everyone including herself dying a horrible death. She transforms into Sailor Moon and saves the day.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Luna giving Usagi her memories back

Episode 48, For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again, deals with the rest of the Sailor Guardians not having their memories. Usagi is Sailor Moon again but can she fight the Cardians on her own? Auditions for a movie are a convenient excuse to get Naru, the monster magnet, as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako in a room together. A monster comes by and so Luna gives all the girls their memories back as well! Poor Naru. At least the first time around Usagi’s abandoning of her friend was gradual as the rest of the Sailor Guardians appeared one by one. This time around they all show up at once and she’s dropped like a bad habit.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Rei is ready for a fight

The real conflict doesn’t come from any monsters at all, but from Natsumi and Seijuurou’s interfering with Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship! Mamoru doesn’t get his memory back in this episode. In fact he won’t be getting it for a while. Natsumi is instantly infatuated with him, wanting to make him hers. What is Usagi to do to stop her? She has no relationship with Mamoru to fall back on and is unable to convince him to be with her without all those past memories to help. Let’s not forget that Mamoru was in quite a happy relationship with Rei before that pesky destiny put a stop to it. Beyond that, Seijuurou is into Usagi, trying to win her over. This naturally creates some friction between Ail and An who’s jealously only pushes them more towards the humans they are falling for.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Natsumi loves Mamoru

Also check out Hulu’s new banner which they’ve added for Sailor Moon R. It would have been nice to see Chibiusa or some other new characters on here but since there are no new Sailor Guardians in this season, except for a very brief appearance by Sailor Pluto, we will have to contend with this.

Hulu's Sailor Moon R banner image

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1

The first volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray was released on October 15th. There are a few versions of this release at different price points. I ordered the Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray version. This release only contains two episodes of the series, act 1 and 2, showing us the introduction of Usagi and Ami. You can order the volume 1 deluxe limited edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), regular edition Blu-ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan). The deluxe limited edition has a lot included, but at 5994 yen (about $53 US) it’s a hefty price tag for only two episodes. These are Japanese discs. The Blu-Rays are region A meaning they will play in a North American Blu-Ray player or PS3, but there are no English subtitle or audio tracks.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Moon Stick charm and bracelet

The packaging is impressive. The first thing you will notice when opening to box is that it plays the Moon Pride theme song. Inside are the Moon Stick charm and charm bracelet. Should you choose to continue to spend large amounts of money on the limited edition Blu-Rays you will be able to collect the other 12 charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Booklet cover

Also included are two books. The first includes art from the show, episode summaries and interviews with Munehisa Sakai, director, and Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon. The second is a book of storyboards of the opening and ending themes for the series.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Opening storyboards

There is not a ton to the Blu-Ray itself. As mentioned there are only two episodes, which auto play when the Blu-Ray is started. As we previously mentioned there are some scenes which have been reanimated since the original streaming version was released. This includes the changes to the intro. For example, Queen Serenity has white hair in the intro instead of being blonde like in the intro for the first two streaming episodes. These changes are minor and cosmetic. It doesn`t fundamentally change the experience of watching the show. Overall the video quality is quite good, which is not surprising as the Crunchyroll HD feeds were comparable. The disc has some special features. Mainly the textless opening and ending themes. There are also two audio commentaries, though as they are in Japanese I did not find much use in listening to them.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Overall this set is expensive and while there are a decent amount of cool knick knacks, only including two episodes lowers the value. If you’re a collector or completist, it may be worth picking up, but if you’re just looking to watch the show, the streaming versions are perfectly acceptable. It’s quite likely there will be an eventual North American Blu-Ray release with English audio and subtitles. Fans who don’t like to watch their anime raw may prefer to wait for such a release. If you’re looking to watch the updated animation with English subtitles, you can download them from Sailor Moon Center. As of posting this article only episode 1 has been released (720p, 1080p), but episode two should follow shortly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Keep reading for more photos of the set.

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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 Crystal sanitary napkins to be released in Japan November 1st

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

In an effort to monetize anything and everything, we are now getting Sailor Moon Crystal branded feminine hygiene products! These sanitary napkins, by Elle Air, will be on sale in stores across Japan starting November 1st. Sailor Moon characters will be featured on the Elis Ultra Guard pad packaging. A total of six designs are available in both nighttime and daytime versions. Characters paired on the boxes are Sailor Moon with Luna, Sailor Mercury with Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter with Sailor Venus. Check out the designs featuring various character logos in different colours that are shown in the circles in the images above and below.

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

Source: Official Sailor Moon site, Elle Air site

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 Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

Act 7 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask, is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Usagi has just found out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask, we learn more about the Dark Kingdom and we get our first look at Sailor Venus! But first, could Mamoru be Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard?

terry-bogard_fatal_fury Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

One of the first things we see in this episode is the flashback to Mamoru’s past. Mamoru’s parents died when he was just 6 years old. We get a look at them, two faceless people who have dark hair like his. Funny we see their faces in the Manga, though this doesn’t ever really come back. The more important issue is Mamoru’s hat, which looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury, a fighting game series originally on the Neo Geo. Am I forcing this connection? I don’t think so. I’ve never played a Fatal Fury game in my life but this connection was instantly obvious. In addition to this Tuxedo Mask does a bunch of punching in this week’s episode! His exchange of blows with Zoisite was not in the original Manga. Sailor Moon is attacked by Zoisite and then Artemis and Sailor Venus come to her rescue while Tuxedo Mask just watches. His punching must be due to an attempt at making him look more like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Preparing to punch

The episode starts out with Mamoru and Usagi’s tender moments but this scene seems plagued with inconsistent animation to me. I’ve not been one to complain about the animation in this series to date but after starting to feel like things were improving this episode in particular seemed like a disappointing step back. After this we get to meet Queen Metalia, the evil energy that is behind the Dark Kingdom, and we get a bit more back story for Queen Beryl. We unfortunately don’t get a good look at a normal woman in the North Pole discovering the Dark Kingdom like we do in the manga but the same story seems to be going on here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Queen Metalia

As expected, the VHS tapes from the original story were not kept, but instead updated to DVDs. Really? No Blu-Rays in 2014? Regardless of the technology upgrade the story can’t help but feel a bit dated. Video rental stores are not what they used to be, and the idea of the youth of today not spending enough time at the arcade because they’re renting video only reminds us that arcades are also not close to as popular as they were in the 90s. This is why things like updating Crown from an arcade to a Karaoke bar made sense for the live action series, but that Sailor Moon Crystal being so faithfully adapted but still taking place in moderns times at times doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, do these DVDs look like Kuri’s boobs?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Yumiko, Kuri and Naru renting antiquated DVDs

As technology goes, Ami’s computer has been replaced with a “FinePad” in this episode, an obvious take on the iPad. The icons in the background look like those on iOS though the windows and the red, yellow and green buttons on them are similar to Mac OS. This level of multitasking would be too convenient for an iPad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Ami's FinePad

A funny scene in this episode shows us more of creepy, creepy Umino. Original manga and anime Umino was nerdy but pretty much harmless and non threatening but Sailor Moon Crystal Umino is downright creepy! Here he shows up to share that he’s looking for Sailor Moon, which makes sense as he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else into doing so, but we almost forget that this is part of the Dark Kingdom’s plot as this creepiness fits right in with his character! Not sure why he’s made to look like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. He also looks a bit like Professor Tomoe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Creepy Umino looks like a heartless Heartless - Kingdom Hearts

This episode finally introduces us to two new charters, Artemis and Minako Aino as Sailor V and Sailor Venus. The first appearance of Sailor V in this episode is on Luna’s computer. In the manga when this conversation takes place you can see a bit of Minako’s bow but it’s not as obvious that this is Sailor V. Once the battle commences it’s Artemis, not Sailor Venus, that saves the day. We see the top of his head followed by him jumping and slashing Zoisite, who doesn’t die in this episode. Then we finally see both him and Sailor Venus together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Artemis

The episode does an odd thing with Sailor Venus’s introduction. First we see her from behind, clearly wearing Sailor V’s outfit, but then when seen again from the front she’s clearly dressed as Sailor Venus. That’s a quick costume change!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor Venus

In two more weeks, October 18th, we’ll see Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. This one will be all about Sailor Venus. The team is finally all together!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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