This weekend, June 3rd to the 5th, is Villains Con at the David S. Palmer arena in Danville, Illinois. The convention will feature Jennifer Cihi, who provided the vocals for a number of songs from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime, and Lauren Landa, the new voice of Sailor Neptune for Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal.
Here at Sailor Moon News I occasionally get questions via e-mail, Facebook or other social media accounts. The vast majority of those questions in the past 6 months have basically been “When are we getting the new English dub of Sailor Moon S??!!”. I respond with words but I never really have a good answer and we still don’t have one. Here’s a clip from that new dub from Viz’s official Sailor Moon panel at MomoCon yesterday, May 28th, at 7pm in Atlanta Georgia.
This clip features Erica Mendez as Sailor Uranus and Lauren Landa as Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon S episode 106, The Bond of Destiny: Uranus’s Distant Past. Both voice actors were announced almost a year ago on July 3rd at Anime Expo. Yes we have been waiting a really long time to see these episodes! The video caption says “More news soon!” and we certainly hope this is true. With other new dubbed episodes they are usually announced with some clips and then a Moonlight Party when they appear on Hulu. This is usually part of an advertisement campaign for the next home video release. Season Moon R part 2 has been out since October and was announced long before that.
Here’s hoping for something “soon”!
Update 2016-05-31: The original clip was removed so I’ve added different footage from the same YouTube user comparing the new dub to the original.
Anime North is this weekend, May 27th to the 29th, at the Toronto Congress Center and 9 actors from the original dub of the first Sailor Moon anime will be there! This includes two voices of Sailor Moon. The first voice of Sailor Moon Tracey Moore, provided her voice for only the first 11 episodes as well as another four throughout the series. Linda Ballantyne was the third voice of Sailor Moon, providing her voice for the S and SuperS seasons. Also appearing are Katie Griffin, the voice of Sailor Mars, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune, Jill Frappier, the voice of Luna, Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, Toby Proctor, the second voice of Tuxedo Mask, and John Stocker, voice director for Sailor Moon S and SuperS. Toby Proctor, having himself replaced Rino Romano as the second voice of Tuxedo Mask, mostly acted alongside Terry Hawkes and not the two Sailor Moon voice actors in attendance, though he did appear in four episodes with Tracey Moore.
The panel with these voice actors will take place on Friday at 5pm. On Sunday at 11am Tracey Moore and John Stocker will be holding a behind the scenes of voice acting panel. The voice actors will be signing autographs throughout the weekend. Check out the Anime North schedule for the exact times.
The convention is full of Sailor Moon related events. A Sailor Moon panel will be held Saturday at 10am and a Sailor Moon Merchandise presentation will be held Sunday at 11am.
Though I am Canadian I don’t live in Toronto. I’ve been to Anime North a number of times and have always had fun but unfortunately I won’t be attending this year.
The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 23rd at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Following this it was available to stream first on Crunchyroll and then on Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at around 10:30am. Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, introduces us to Sailor Saturn as well as to Sailor Moon’s new powered up form.
Everything before the opening credits is repeated footage. We had some of this in earlier episodes too. This is a way to recap but also a cost savings tactic. Not only is this all footage we’ve seen but this repeated footage itself has flashbacks in it, so there’s stuff in here that we’re seeing for a third time at least!
The episode starts out with Sailor Moon powering up to Super Sailor Moon. This is probably a deal to some people. I don’t really care about power ups. This is Sailor Moon, not Dragonball Z! The power level of our heroes and their attacks or those of their enemies are largely irrelevant. So Super Sailor Moon beats a level 999 Witch. The struggle between hero and villain is never about power in Sailor Moon. One thing stands out to me here. Who names Super Sailor Moon? Sailor Chibi Moon recalls the name from her past, Usagi’s future. She is the first to say the name and the rest of the gang catch on and use it. Sailor Moon’s new uniform doesn’t come with a name tag. If Usagi learned the name from Chibiusa and in turn tells her the name in the future, then where did it even come from? Basic paradox. The name Super Sailor Moon is Kyle Reese.
Speaking of Neo Queen Serenity, what’s up with that hair? Usagi, Princess Serenity and Sailor Moon are blonde however the Neo Queen Serenity we’ve seen in 30th century Crystal Tokyo has always had white or silver hair up to now. The Neo Queen Serenity we see here is from beyond what we saw in the Black Moon story arc, because Chibiusa speaks to her about Sailor Moon having saved the future and has her uniform she got at school in the past. This newer Neo Queen Serenity has blonde hair. Is this a mistake, a new look for Queen Serenity going forward or does she also, like she did in the past, go through transformations between her civilian look and her more formal look as queen? The manga, being black and white, is no help here!
Sailor Uranus is upset at the damage to the windows in her apartment. I’d be surprised that the building wasn’t evacuated due to concerns of structural integrity! She admits that her rent is a million yen a month, which is about $9000 US. I’ve paid rent for a year that cost about that! When asked how they afford it Sailor Uranus says that they have patrons so they don’t have to worry about money. Sailor Moon asks what a patron is and we don’t get an answer. So what does this mean? It’s not a word that is commonly used in this sense in English. I originally read the manga in French where they used to French word “patron” which, in Canada, means boss. I thought maybe this was some kind of joke about prostitution. A little research tells me this is hardly the meaning they were going for. As far as I can figure it’s a reference to some sort of financial backer for artistic ventures, which in this case might be Michiru’s violin playing or perhaps Haruka’s race car driving. This does not explain the embarrassment in the statement. Surely there’s something more to this story, but I don’t understand it.
Finally we get to see Sailor Saturn in this episode! Doesn’t she look great? We learn of the last time she appeared, and get to see Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in their native environments. Sailor Neptune appears to be on a rocky planet, which doesn’t really mesh with what I know about the surface of Neptune. The three are then transported to Saturn, which also seems a lot more solid than I would expect, and there they summon Sailor Saturn who shows up and kills them. As Silver Millennium was falling, Sailor Saturn seems to have picked up all the bits and pieces by conveniently killing the rest of the Sailor Guardians. Why? I guess it would be boring for them to keep living for a really long time? We then learn that the three of them were reincarnated on Earth, although we know of course that Sailor Pluto was reincarnated from her future self, unless there are two that is.
Once again we have a trolley problem as we weigh the morality of killing Hotaru to save the world. It’s simple really. If Hotaru becomes Sailor Saturn, she will destroy the world. This will kill everyone including Sailor Saturn. Alternatively if Hotaru is killed, everyone else survives! Also Hotaru is dying anyway. The only way to cure her is to let her become Sailor Saturn which means everyone dies. This is sort of like the trolley problem. In this thought experiment a trolley is flying out of control down a track which will kill five people. You can pull a lever which sends the trolley onto another track which saves those five and kills one person. Do you pull the lever? I feel like my experience with Sailor Moon has taught me that I should not pull the lever. Utilitarian ethics dictates one should go for the greater good, and should feel morally obligated to pull the lever. Similarly, the morally correct solution to the Sailor Saturn problem, prioritising the needs of the many over the needs of the few, means that Hotaru should be killed. Sailor Moon doesn’t go for this and neither does Chibiusa. They are convinced there is a better way in which everyone can be saved. They refuse to sacrifice one life at any cost, but Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are more practical about the issue, opting for child murder to save the world. Would you pull the lever?
Sailor Pluto makes the argument that because the future exists Sailor Saturn must have been killed. This is a really odd comment, and reminds me of seeing a later episode of a TV show and then going back, knowing they are going to get to a certain point and trying to figure out how. It makes me wonder of course whether or not Sailor Pluto lived through these years already, in the past of the future self which died and was reincarnated in the present. If she did then she would remember the world not ending and possibly some serious stuff going on in Tokyo around this time.
I don’t think I’ve addressed the issue of flying before. In the old anime, there was usually no flying, but in the manga the characters seem to fly around a lot. They do it a lot in Crystal too, and because it’s animated it’s more obvious than seeing static people floating in manga pages. This week we see the Sailor Guardians fly right into the broken window of the apartment building but more specifically this includes everyone but Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Are they unable to fly? They show up a bit afterwards and then when Sailor Chibi Moon runs off she literally runs away, through the elevator and then jumping from rooftop to rooftop, at a height of over 20 feet with every jump. When she gets to Hotaru’s place, Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto beat her there, but were nice enough to not murder her friend. It certainly would make sense that Sailor Chibi Moon be less powerful than the rest. I imagine Tuxedo Mask can fly but was being a nice guy accompanying his daughter who can not.
Hotaru may not turn into Sailor Saturn this week but she does transform into Mistress 9. She basically kills Sailor Chibi Moon by stealing her Silver Crystal and then turns into this older eviler version of Hotaru. In the manga she doesn’t appear with the dress and everything in this chapter, but here she does. Chibiusa is essentially killed in the process. This is Sailor Moon though so she’s only mostly dead.
Next week is Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1. Chibiusa’s dying, Mistress 9 is running amuck and we’re still debating whether or not it’s cool to kill Hotaru who isn’t all that innocent any more. I believe we will be seeing the third opening and ending songs with Act 34, though I’m not sure. The second themes appeared for the 5th episode following the first CD release. The second CD came out today, May 25th, and the next episode is the 9th of this story arc with 5 remaining. The new intro will still be In Love With the New Moon but this time performed by Momoiro Clover Z. The new ending theme will be Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask.
Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 33 and the preview for Act 34.
The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV this coming Monday, May 23rd, at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Following this, at 10:30am Eastern Time, the show will being to be available to stream in North America. The show is generally first available on Crunchyroll, though the stream for devices may not show up during the first bit. For example when I used to get up early on Saturday mornings to watch the show I couldn’t watch it on my PS3/PS4 app, but needed to watch it on my computer instead, though after a few hours this was not a problem anymore. Neon Alley usually has the stream available a bit before Hulu, which is at first restricted to Hulu Plus users.
This week we are getting Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. Good to see someone’s getting a transformation during this story arc! I don’t care about Super Sailor Moon though. I care about Sailor Saturn! Based on the preview and manga we should see her this week, but it’s in the form of a flashback to the fall of Silver Millennium when Sailor Saturn showed up to murder a bunch of people. We won’t be seeing Hotaru transform into Sailor Saturn but she will turn into something!
The original manga version of Act 33 features a comment about how Harukua and Michiru have patrons. I never quite understood the meaning of this comment and wonder if it will be included in Crystal so that we can speculate about it all over again.
The most recent episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week’s title is the longest to date as we get Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. But is this the title? That is what the original manga chapter is called and from the title card appears to be the proper Japanese title but the Crunchyroll and Hulu subs and page titles call it “Episode 31 – Act.30 INFINITY 4 Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh – SAILOR URANUS, SAILOR NEPTUNE”. Why change the name like this? Seems an odd choice! This week we continue to deal with drama related to our new friends and Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5.
First things first, we have a new opening theme song. Somehow I didn’t realize we were getting it this week. This story arc will actually have three opening and three ending themes. These are the second batch. The opening theme song, In Love With the New Moon, is now sung by Mitsuko Horie who is best known as the voice of Sailor Galaxia. She also covered the Sailor Stars Song as part of the 20th Anniversary Album. It’s a bit odd to hear a slightly changed version of the theme song we’d just started to get used to. I tend to prefer the first version but I wonder if my feelings would change had I heard this one first. I guess we will be getting this version for another few weeks before it is replaced with the Momoiro Clover Z version of the song. They sang Moon Pride for the first two story arcs of Sailor Moon Crystal.
The new ending theme is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The ending theme is full of pink and Luna Ps as far as the eye can see. A big change from the last ending theme we had. This will eventually be replaced by Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. A CD single with the current opening and ending themes will be released on May 25th, after which I suspect we will be getting the third opening and closing.
As the episode begins it is immediately obvious that these new Sailor Guardians can’t be our friends. Prelude to drama! Sailor Uranus and Neptune straight up attack Sailor Moon and her friends because we sort of have the same mission but we aren’t friends so we just aren’t. In the process Chibiusa immediately betrays her promise to Haruka and Michiru by revealing that Sailor Neptune’s Mirror is a Talisman. Too bad she doesn’t share Hotaru’s secret and tell us who the big bad guy is but whatever we needed to make Ami work a bit this week anyway.
Another shared dream. This one shared by Mamoru and Usagi, who see the “Deity of Destruction”. The Messiah? Looks like Princess Serenity with a staff, maybe a glaive, to me. The two seem surprised to share a dream, even though this has been happening consistently for the past few episodes.
Usagi is chilling in the park and someone comes by from behind covering her eyes with a sort of “guess who” thing. I hate this game, especially when the person who plays it isn’t someone you play it with a lot. Guess right and it’s not a big deal. Guess wrong and it’s drama drama drama. So Usagi guesses Mamoru, which is odd since she recognizes that Haruka smells like Sailor Uranus. I guess she’s bad at this game too. At this point everyone seems to know who’s who and when Haruka gets close… Mamoru shows up!
The drama continues at Mamoru’s apartment and while things are tense Chibiusa crashes the party! She appears to be oblivious to the problem but we eventually learn that her and Diana are actually trying to get them to make up. Chibiusa’s makeup attempt includes making the Holy Grail! This is an odd thing. Chibiusa remembers seeing this item, which Sailor Moon used back in the day aka the future, in a painting in her mother’s room. So the Holy Grail that is made in this episode actually doesn’t exist yet! Mamoru looks up the Holy Grail in “An Encyclopedia of World History”. I don’t really think of the Holy Grail as being a historical object what with it in all likelihood never having actually existed, but whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.
Finally once Chibiusa and Diana are asleep Mamoru and Usagi have a little moment where they both admit to being jealous and then they probably have sex. But Chibiusa and Diana aren’t really sleeping so Chibiusa maybe sees her parents having sex. I guess it’s in Chibiusa’s best interest to encourage her parents to have sex because that’s how she’ll be made some day, unless human sexuality changes drastically in the next seven or so years.
On to part two which has almost nothing to do with the first half of the episode. Ami enrolls at Mugen Preparatory School, which is a sort of high school exam preraration school given at Mugen Academy but with a ton of students from others schools, hence the variety of uniforms. Ami is a genius, so it makes sense that she goes here, but she’s actually investigating too! She goes up to the 13th floor and sees a scale model of a galaxy. I say galaxy of course because I know that’s what it looks like. Yui Bido, actually Viluy of the Witches 5, refers to it as a scaled down universe, and states that it’s the Tau Star System. Let’s correct some confusing terminology here. The Universe is vast and contains at least a hundred billion galaxies. This model contains a single galaxy. This is hardly a scale model of any Universe as we know it. It’s also referred to as the Tau Star System. What exactly does this mean? A solar system is a star with planets and such around it. A star system can mean a few stars orbiting each other, such as a binary star system, but when you get to galaxy scale, containing hundreds of billions of stars, you don’t call things a star system anymore. So much to say, what we see about this thing contradicts the wildly varying things it’s called. It’s not that hard to get these things accurately, especially given Naoko Takeuchi’s interest in space. I’m sure this won’t get better as the story arc proceed and we learn more about the Tau Star System. Everything we know about physics also tells us that you can’t just scale something down like this. Is this galaxy made up of tiny stars with tiny planets around them filled with tiny people made up of tiny cells and tiny molecules made up of tiny atoms? Whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.
Ami starts to poke around. She throws a pen into a camera which is bad ass. She’s on the 13th floor. She sees a door that is labeled “Underground laboratory”. She’s on the 13th floor and sees a door that leads to a lab which is under the ground, generally accepted to be at floor one. In there she finds Daimons and the enemy shows up. She’s underground at this point. She runs to the nearest window and … she’s back on the 13th floor! What exactly is going on here with a dedicated stairwell that goes down 13 floors but doesn’t open up to any other floor? Is there some sort of portal through space that leads from one floor to another? Anyway Ami is totally bad ass again by jumping out the windows, diving into a pool and transforming while diving, emerging as Sailor Mercury. Pretty awesome. Reminds me a bit of Ami’s first transformation in the live action series which is done while she’s falling.
Sailor Mercury fights Viluy who fights with nano robots. Advanced technology which is basically a swarm of tiny robots all working in unison for something. For whatever reason the cloud of nanobots appears as formulae over Sailor Mercury. Why not? Sailor Uranus and Neptune appear and transform for the first time. The transformation sequences are brief and similar to those from the original Sailor Moon anime. After a few attacks magic beats technology yet again. Viluy’s power level was 202. I’m not sure how accurate this scale really is, but they keep using it. The page of the book which the Holy Grail appears on happens to be 202. What an odd reference.
Finally we see an old friend. Reika and Motoki are at the University and we see a new first year student, Setsuna Meioh. If the resemblance was not immediately obvious this is the civilian identity of Sailor Pluto, who died last season in the distant future.
Next week is Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, in which we will see Sailor Pluto once again.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 31.
The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal airs on Japanese TV Monday May 2nd at 11pm Japan Standard Time and will be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu immediately afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. Episodes are sometimes limited to Hulu Plus users at first but should be viewable on Neon Alley right away. I always watch the episodes on Crunchyroll myself because I’m Canadian and find the feed is of a better quality. Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh has got to be the longest Sailor Moon Crystal episode title to date! The new Sailor Guardians have introduced themselves but we’re about to see that they’re not quite as friendly as we might have hoped.
As Mamoru and Usagi struggle with their relationship troubles we’ll be getting our first look at the Holy Grail, an item which is first seen as Chibiusa creates a replica of it based on what she’s seen in the future, even though it doesn’t exist yet. We’ll also be seeing an old friend we thought was dead!
The latest episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese television on April 25th at 11pm Japan Standard Time and was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu following that around 10:30am Eastern Time that same morning. I watch the show on Crunchyroll due to the quality of their feed and the fact that as a Canadian it’s my legal option. This week’s episode, Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, has Usagi struggling with the kiss she shared with Haruka.
The kiss is meant to occur early in Act 29 of the manga but, like most of this story arc’s episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, the last episode ended with a scene from the next act. The clip before the bumper however shows us the kiss again and we see this time that Sailor Moon has a blushing reaction to it. This insinuates that she liked it and Usagi will be dealing with these feelings throughout this episode and the rest of the season. Is Usagi gay? Classifying her as such doesn’t seem to be terribly helpful. Sexuality is fairly fluid amongst the characters in Sailor Moon, which reflects real people’s feelings quite well. Usagi loves Mamoru and her dedication to him doesn’t really waver. She has also been shown to find other girls in the series attractive, most prominently Rei when she first showed up, and here she is clearly attracted to Haruka as well. Beyond this other girls in the series have feelings of attraction to other girls. Haruka seems to exclusively like girls. Michiru loves Haruka but also seems attracted to other men. While many of the women in the series are attracted to men, they are comfortable in also being attracted to women. This really is a great way to portray characters as they aren’t terribly bogged down by labels or preconceptions. No doubt viewers and readers dealing with similar feelings appreciate seeing such things portrayed in a series they watch.
Everyone is sharing the same dream in this episode. Last week we had a few people having a shared dream, voiced by Hotaru, but it was somewhat limited. Here all of the main Sailor Guardians are getting the same dream this time voiced by Haruka. Things are so different in an anime series than in a manga. If we see a statement made on the pages of a comic we don’t really know who is saying them. In a series with voice actors there’s a bit more revealed. The dreams are all about talismans, and no one seems to know if they are good or bad, or what they should do about them. Not really useful. The real prophetic dream which we see is Usagi’s vision of Haruka. She’s dreaming about her kiss and seems to have a good idea that Haruka is the Sailor Guardian who kissed her. She sees here as male and female but the female version she sees has a scarf and vest which aren’t actually seen until later in the episode. Sounds like some magic dreaming prediction! Of course in a series full of magic with dreams already predicting the future in this episode, this explanation doesn’t seem to be terribly out of place.
While discussing Mugen Academy the cats mention the Tokyo Bay reclamation project. I didn’t really understand what this term meant at first so I looked it up and in this context it’s referring to filling up the Bay with some sort of fill to make new land and building that up. This certainly makes sense in the context of what is going on. We’re in downtown Tokyo which is space which has been inhabited in some form or another for hundreds of years. It doesn’t make sense that there would be room for all of these new constructions but if Tokyo Bay was filled in to do this, we understand where all of these buildings are coming from. There is a lot of precedent for this in the real world as a lot of Tokyo Bay is reclaimed land, which has changed the shape of the shore line over time. About 250 square km (100 square miles) have been reclaimed from Tokyo Bay.
Chibiusa is all about secrets this week! Hotaru totally knows her secret and then Hotaru basically tells her that her father is making monsters. This should be a big deal and if Chibiusa acts on this it’s game over for the season but she doesn’t. When she seals the promise with Hotaru they lock their pinkies. This reminds me of Kazuko and Hiromi from episode 21 of the original anime, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime. When Chibiusa goes on a helicopter ride she promises not to divulge what she discusses with Haruka or Michiru. Why are these two even taking this gamble? We will see next week how well she hides this. Chibiusa seems really impressed with flying in a helicopter. Normally I would agree that this is a big deal but let’s not forget that Chibiusa literally flies through time, so I’m thinking a helicopter ride to her would be like me going for a horse pulled wagon ride through an overgrown pumpkin patch. The helicopter drops Chibiusa off in the middle of the street and the townspeople are rightfully disturbed by this.
There’s a concert. Actually there are two concerts. These are in the same building on different floors at the same time. How practical is this? You know when you’re in a movie theatre watching a quiet drama and in the next theatre there are a bunch of Autobots killing Decepticons and you can hear the vibrations from the explosions coming through? I imagine Mimete’s loud pop music in a massive auditorium might have some bleeding out onto the classical violin performance that Michiru is doing. Anyway there’s a bunch of drama over tickets here! Haruka gives Usagi a bunch, which she shares with her friends, but in comes Mamoru who got tickets from Michiru. He was going to share them with his girlfriend, but she’s already going so he takes Chibiusa. Rather than communicate, which good couples should do in order to avoid misunderstandings and conflict, he just doesn’t say anything and runs into her at the event. Good plan bro! There are all sorts of concerns going on now with Usagi having been kissed by a girl and Mamoru maybe doing something with Michiru.
While everyone but the cats seemed covered with tickets for Michiru’s concert, the real show that Minako wants to see if Mimete’s. This is a concert which is offered free to Mugen Academy students and in order to prove your attendance to that school you seem to only be required to wear a school uniform. Minako has a plan which involves using her old compact from her Sailor V days. The Sailor Moon manga follows the Sailor V manga, but Sailor Moon Crystal hasn’t really touched on this much. In Codename: Sailor V Minako would use this to transform into various things much like Usagi does with her transformation pen. In the original Sailor Moon anime Minako does not have access to such an item as when she disguises herself as Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon S she states that she borrowed Usagi’s pen to do so, which she should not need to do if she had the ability to do so with her compact. This makes one wonder where old transformation items end up. The ones that aren’t hurled into masses of evil energy or dropped in alternate dimensions before the world is recreated I mean.
Anyway Minako decides to transform into a boy. An odd decision since there are a lot of female fans at the concert, but this is something she choses to do. It was nice to see this scene actually remain in Sailor Moon Crystal. Back in Act 5, when Sailor Jupiter first appeared, the manga had Usagi transforming into a man at the bridal shop. For whatever reason this transformation was not included in Sailor Moon Crystal and some fans speculated that it was because it had a character changing their gender. Whether or not this was truly the reason this does not seem to have been a problem with this episode. While posing as a boy Minako is clearly attracted to Mimete, complete with the hearts all around. Mimete of course is evil and part of the Witches 5. They don’t mention her power level but it’s 40. Why are we sending the weakest one second? This is a messed up RPG strategy.
Finally the two new Sailor Guardians reveal themselves to be Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Did anyone not know these names at this point? They also use their attacks which is cool enough.
Next week is Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. In it Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5. She’s power level 202 if that seemed important to you.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 30.
Sorry for the late review but I was in Italy last week. Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, aired on Japanese TV on Monday April 18th and is available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Actually Act 29 is out at this point too. This episode has the gang heading out to the woods and facing off against the first of the Witches 5. It’s really all about the final scene where Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon, but we’ll get to that.
There’s a lot of Hotaru this week as we see that Chibiusa seems to have a bit of a crush on her. She’s not about to use magic and time travel to make out with her or anything like she did with her last crush though. They’re mostly good friends, but as we see this season the show is all about girls liking girls. We learn a bit about Hotaru’s relationship with Kaolonite and her father. There’s a bit a “you’re not my real mom” kind of scene going on. Professor Tomoe sounds sort of like a zombie. This isn’t an unfair assessment of his state but, given his portrayal in the manga has no voice and that he’s more crazy than zombie in the original anime, I feel like this portrayal is showing what’s to come a bit too much. Also I’m staring to wonder if Professor Tomoe lives in his lab coat. He’s a Professor, but he’s not always in the lab with beakers. The only Professor I know that wears a lab coat this much is Professor Oak from Pokémon. Who would you cast as the voice of Professor Tomoak in the Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover? Professor Tomoe is an Academic professor and he owns a school so he really should be wearing something else while performing some of those duties. We actually see a clock showing 1am while he’s at home and still in his lab coat. Take a second to unplug! While Sailor Moon has outfit changes galore for some of the girls, including pyjamas and judo outfits this week alone, the men don’t get so lucky.
Though largely faithful to the manga as always, there are minor changes which bear mentioning. In the manga version of Act 29 Minako comments that they seem to be Sailor Guardians because they flew through the sky. Upon reading this I wondered did Sailor Guardians really fly? They generally did not in the original anime and though they are often seen in the sky in the manga since it’s not animated we don’t really think of them as floating. In Sailor Moon Crystal however they are often seen just chilling in the sky, pretty much flying, but for whatever reason the reference to flying was removed from this episode.
Identities, as usual, are not well hidden in Sailor Moon Crystal. The similarity between the new Sailor Guardians and the mysterious Haruka and Michiru are immediately noted by Usagi. This bypasses an obvious problem with many superheroes comics, which is something that is seen in the original Sailor Moon anime, which is that these costumes should not by any reasonable logic be hiding these people’s identities. This just makes it a bit inconvenient as we need to ignore the fact that Usagi’s parents and friends don’t ever seem to see any really good photos of Sailor Moon that would allow them to tell what’s going on. All in all the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal actually do a decent job of this.
Mamoru and Michiru have a bit of a thing. They meet in a book store and have a nice chat after which Michiru gives Mamoru tickets to her concert. Usagi sees all this and is totally jealous. More on this next episode, which you probably already saw.
Rei is chilling in the mountains to purify herself for her 15th birthday. That’s right! Rei’s birthday is April 17th. Coincidentally this episode aired on April 18th, incredibly close to her birthday. I say coincidentally because this date was not chosen to fit with the release date. The Sailor Guardians’ birthdays were determined back in the 90s and they have astrological significance. It’s very doubtful that the Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 schedule was intentionally delayed to make this birthday, which is mentioned in the manga, fit closely enough.
As the gang head out to the mountains some may find similarities between this episode and Sailor Moon S episode 105, I Want Power: Mako Lost in Doubt, in which Makoto goes to the mountains to train. Here Rei goes to the mountain but Makoto also has a prominent part. Mugen Acamedy, not content to fill in Tokyo Bay and build stuff there, also seems to own property here including a gym where we find Haruka practicing Judo. I did Judo for a short time when I was really young and I got my yellow belt. I didn’t do any terribly elaborate moves so I’m wondering how these two still have their white belts! When Haruka beats up Makoto it’s mentioned that it’s wrong for a man to use all his strength against a woman, and Haruka states that there should be no difference and Makoto agrees. There’s a good point to be made in here somewhere but one needs to tread carefully in supporting it rather than encouraging men to physically assault women. These girls are fighting for a good reason of course and they can’t expect their opponents to pull any punches, regardless of what their gender might be.
This week’s enemy is Eudial of the Witches 5, who is posing as a Mugen Academy official and brainwashing students into serving Pharaon 90. She mentions that she’s level 78 and hoping to raise her level by beating the girls. Sounds like a fun RPG. How exactly does this levelling system work? Why didn’t we start with Mimete who has a lower level? There’s a nice little fight and then when it’s done the new Sailor Guardians show up. Sailor Moon chases them and …
Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon! This is a big thing in the manga which actually doesn’t happen until Act 29. I foolishly made my blog post about Act 29 ahead of time, as I was traveling last week, mentioning this event as being the big deal in Act 29 but it already happened. We can get into conversations about consent here. Sailor Uranus surprises Sailor Moon who doesn’t actively avoid the kiss, but still doesn’t seem to expect or endorse it. Her not minding it isn’t really relevant since Sailor Uranus doesn’t ask. There’s blushing that will occur but we don’t see that until Act 29. All that said, the importance of having the show’s hero involved in a lesbian kiss generally overshadows other concerns so I’ll try not to get too bogged down in that. Let’s not forget that the first time Tuxedo Mask kissed Sailor Moon she was unconscious and unable to consent. I could write all day about this kiss, which we never saw in the original Sailor Moon anime, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
The consequences of the kiss will be seen next week with Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, which has actually already aired and I already watched it so I’ll be working on that review next.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.
The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available this Monday, April 18th. Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, will air on Japanese TV at 11pm Japan Standard Time and be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu immediately afterwards starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, 7:30am Pacific Time. This episode has the students of Mugen Academy attending a retreat in the woods as Rei faces off against Eudial of the Witches 5.
We’ll see more of Haruka and Michiru, but not much more of Sailor Uranus and Neptune than we did last week. Not that one has to do with the other!
I’ll be traveling in Italy all throughout next week so I won’t have my review up until at least a week after this episode airs. I hope everyone enjoys it!