New Funko Pop! Vinyls include Sailor Chibi Moon, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto, Queen Beryl and keychains

Queen Beryl Funko Pop! Vinyl

The Funko web site has revealed the 2nd wave of Sailor Moon themed Funko Pop! Vinyls which will be coming in November, just in time for Christmas! This wave includes Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn and Queen Beryl. Queen Beryl will be a Toys R Us exclusive. There will also be Pocket Pop! Keychains. Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon are the two keychains featured on the blog post, though there may be more.

Sailor Saturn Funko Pop! Vinyl

Apparently Sailor Chibi Moon is the must have Vinyl since she’s the only new character who has a keychain shown and there’s a Barnes and Noble exclusive glitter version of her. Not really sure what the appeal of that is but if you must have every exclusive ever, you’ll probably want that! Barnes and Noble is an American book store chain. Not sure who, if anyone, will be distributing this exclusive in Canada.

Glitter Sailor Chibi Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl

Do you plan on getting these? I’ve made my thoughts on them clear before! I think they’re kind of ugly but I still have a couple of them. On a recent trip to Gamestop I saw a Bob Ross and Justin Bieber Funko Pop! Vinyl so I’m not sure what figure they could possibly make to surprise me anymore. If I live long enough I’m sure I’ll have a Funko Pop! Vinyl made out of me. There will be one created for every fictional or real living or dead being to ever remotely resemble a humanoid. Funko Pop! Vinyls will outnumber of us all until the universe is so packed with them that there isn’t room for anything else. We need not fear entropy. The end of time will occur when every particle in existence is part of a Funko Pop! Vinyl.

Keep reading to see the rest of the new figures.

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Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, will not be returning for the next Sailor Moon musical

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Sailor Saturn

An announcement has been made on the official Sailor Moon site stating that most of the cast of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be reprising their roles for the next musical which will be taking place in the fall. The exception to this is Karin Takahashi, who was also Sailor Saturn and Hotaru in the Un Nouveau Voyage musical, who will not be returning for the next musical. I thought she did a great job in the last couple of musicals and am sorry to see her go. (Update: The new actress who will be portraying Sailor Saturn is Mirai. I was originally confused by the statement thinking it meant she will be announced in the future, as Mirai is the Japanese word for “future”.)

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Returning cast members include Hotaru Nomoto as Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi as Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi as Sailor Mars, Kaede as Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa as Sailor Venus, Shuu Shiotsuki as Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka as Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii as Sailor Pluto, Airi Kanda as Sailor Chibi Moon, and Yuga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask. We don’t have any specifics about the musical at this time but it seems only logical that this 5th in the recent set of musicals would cover the Stars story arc of the Sailor Moon manga. With the musical taking later this year there is always the chance of other cast changes between now and then, but for the moment only one change in casting is anticipated.

The Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be performed at Anime Matsuri in Houston in April

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal poster for Anime Matsuri

The first ever North American performance of a Sailor Moon musical will be taking place in Houston Texas during the Anime Matsuri convention in April. The news of this special performance of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical was posted on the official Sailor Moon site and Anime Matsuri site last month. The specific date of the musical performance has not yet been announced but it will be during the convention weekend which takes place from April 7th to the 9th at the George R. Brown convention centre in downtown Houston, Texas. This may be a slightly modified version of the musical as the entire cast will not be present. At this time only the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, with the exclusion of Chibiusa, will be in attendance. Notice that the poster specifically made for this event features all regular cast members but Airi Kanda who plays Chibiusa.

Fumio Osano aka Osabu aka Osa-P

In addition to the musical there will be many Sailor Moon themed guests. This includes Fumio Osano, Osabu, who is best known as the editor of the Sailor Moon manga. Also appearing are voice actors from the English versions of Sailor Moon Crystal and Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime Cristina Vee, who plays Sailor Mars, and Christine Cabanos, who plays Sailor Saturn.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Sailor Team

Confirmed guests for the musical are Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus,
Syu Shiotsuki, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii, Sailor Pluto, Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, and Yuga Yamato, Tuxedo Mask. Also attending are dancers Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa and Ayumi Sagisaka.

Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto, has died of cancer at age 44

Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto

I am sad to report that Susan Aceron Gray, who voiced Sailor Pluto during the Cloverway dub of the Sailor Moon anime, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. She was 44. She played many other characters through the series including the Kisenian Flower from the Sailor Moon R movie, Byruit (Viluy), Cyprine and Petirol of the Witches 5, Mistress 9 and Elizabeth (Unazuki).

I was lucky enough to meet Susan Aceron over 10 years ago at Anime North in Toronto. She was very kind and quite happy to meet her fans. Her work was cherished by Sailor Moon fans around the world. She will be missed.

Source: Moon Chase!, Obituary

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 2 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Contents

The latest Blu-Ray release for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity Arc was released on July 27th in Japan. This is the second of three releases covering this story arc and includes episodes 30 through 33. The set also includes a 24 page booklet with episode descriptions, interviews and character art. This is a Japanese only release with no English subtitles. You can order it from online retailers such as Amazon Japan for 6516 yen, about $65 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Front

The packaging for this release highlights Sailor Uranus and Neptune with a great cover image on the Blu-Ray itself. The colours on the box match Sailor Uranus’s Sailor Fuku with a yellow bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Disc

Episodes included in this release are Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Act 31 – Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, Act 32 – Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, and Act 33 – Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. These cover the Witches 5’s Viluy, Tellu, Cyprine and Ptitlol, the appearance of Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as well as the origins of the Holy Grail and Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon. Also included is the first appearance of Sailor Saturn, but only in flashback form, and a brief appearance by Mistress 9.

I watched all four episodes and didn’t notice any changes in animation from the original streaming release as had been done with the first 26 episodes. As there were no changes to the last release either I suspect we won’t be seeing any changes to the episodes of this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Special Booklet 2 - Pages 12 and 13 - Interview with Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

The packaging advertises a 28 page booklet. Funny I only counted 24. I suppose we could be really creative and count the cover page and back cover as “pages”? Like with other booklets this includes episode summaries, interviews and character art. This one includes interviews with five voice actors Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Yukiyo Fujii, Sailor Saturn and Ai Maeda, Sailor Pluto.

Some audio commentaries are also included with the episodes themselves. The same voice actors appear for all four of the commentaries. This includes Hisako Kanemoto, Ami, Rina Sato, Rei, Misato Fukuen, Chibiusa and Yukiyo Fujii, Hotaru. I don’t speak Japanese so I don’t know what they talk about.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Blu-Ray

It’s a bit hard to justify buying this Japanese only release at this price which is close to what you’d pay for the entire 14 episode Dark Kingdom story arc in Japanese and English. Surely the four episodes per disc is a better deal than with earlier releases but since there are no changes to the animation this time around you can still watch the streaming version for free instead of buying this.

The third volume, including the final five episodes of this story arc, will be released on Blu-Ray on August 31st. You can preorder it online from sites like Amazon Japan. It costs a bit more, with an MSRP of 10,584 yen, about $105 US dollars. This post on the Sailor Moon official site indicates that the version will include a box to store all three volumes in, which seems to justify this roughly 50% increase from the previous volumes.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the included special booklet.

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Meet the cast of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo in Toronto September 1st to the 4th

Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon) Toby Proctor (Tuxedo Mask) Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars) Adam Gardner (Sailor Moon News web master) Susan Roman (Sailor Jupiter) and John Stocker (voice director)

Toronto Sailor Moon fans will have a chance to meet stars from the original and new dubs of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo in Toronto the weekend of September 1st to the 4th. From the 90s dub of the original Sailor Moon anime the convention will feature Linda Ballantyne, Sailor Moon, Katie Griffin, Sailor Mars, Susan Roman, Sailor Jupiter, Toby Proctor, Tuxedo Mask, Jill Frappier, Luna and Ron Rubin, Artemis. This is the main group that’s advertised as “The Stars of Sailor Moon” who will have a Sailor Moon Q&A panel.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Cast Reunion Panel at Fan Expo 2013 featuring Susan Roman, Katie Griffin, Linda Ballantyne, Toby Proctor and John Stocker

With a convention of this size there are a lot of other voice actors present, some of which are in the new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal which is being done by Viz. Voice actors from the new dub include Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Veronica Taylor, Sailor Pluto, Todd Haberkorn, the voice of both Jadeite and Kenji Tsukino and Cassandra Lee Morris, Calaveras of the Ayakashi Sisters.

Fans may know Veronica Taylor best as the voice of Ash Ketchum and Ash’s Mom in Pokémon. Does this mean a Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover will be announced at the convention? No. Of course not.

Do you plan on attending? I’ll be there this year. This will be my third time attending Fan Expo. It’s a great convention.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The 10 Sailor Guardians

The entire Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view online. The final episode we’ll see for a while, Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey aired on Japanese television on Monday June 27th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it was available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. This week is a bit of a mixed bag as we wrap up the story of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn and then move on for a teaser of the upcoming Dream arc. We still have no official confirmation that this new arc will be adapted. This episode is just doing exactly what the equivalent manga chapter did. While it seems likely at this point that we will be seeing more episodes this would certainly not be the first show to have a really awesome cliffhanger final episode which we never saw a follow up to.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Title Screen with Sailor Saturn

As always we start with an unreasonably long flashback! This week’s spans 3 minutes and 13 seconds which covers half of the last episode! At least we see a lot of Sailor Saturn. The opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, is the first version sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. The full length version of this song is also heard in the episode itself. This is my favourite version of the opening so it was nice to hear. The ending theme used is Eternal Eternity sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus, Junko Minagawa and Sailor Neptune, Sayaka Ohara.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon blasts out of the Pharaoh 90/Mistress 9 monster juice thing and in doing so causes some damage. She gives everyone super transformations! Well almost everyone. How come Tuxedo Mask doesn’t get an upgrade? He’d look great in some transparent shoulder pads! Poor guy. At least he has his male privilege to fall back on.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Saturn smiles Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 - Super Sailor Moon going to her death

Sailor Saturn, who was supposed to be destroying the world at the end of the last episode, decides to attack Pharaoh 90 and go to her death. She turns and smiles to her friends just like Sailor Moon had last week. This was a nice touch, as both seem willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Three Women and a Baby

Unfortunately Sailor Saturn has to die. Sailor Pluto is the one to do this. She’s upset about it, although this was kind of the plan all along. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were ready to kill Hotaru in order to save the world. The solution now is to lock her, Pharaoh 90 and the Tau Star System away forever. Sailor Pluto does this with the Dark Dome Close attack. Her penance for killing Sailor Saturn? Her and her friends have to raise the reincarnated baby version of her! There’s some sort of odd justice here. This will be a tough conversation when she gets a bit older and asks why she has three moms! This is basically a genderbend version of Three Men and a Baby, a mediocre 80s comedy movie by Leonard Nimoy. “Well you see we helped killed your Dad and then killed you, so you’re adopted. Sorry not sorry.”

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The Messiah

Sailor Moon becomes Neo Queen Serenity. OMG she was the one we saw in the visions. This isn’t the future version of Neo Queen Serenity possessing Sailor Moon in some way. This is Usagi in full control of her faculties. There’s no other consciousness in there. So I wonder why she doesn’t seem to remember what happens. Sailor Moon asks where this baby came from, and Sailor Uranus basically says it’s “From precious you”, which no doubt is a terrible translation, but basically she believes that Neo Queen Serenity caused Sailor Saturn to reincarnate as baby Hotaru. Sure. The original Queen Serenity is the one that sent everyone to reincarnate in the present time after they were all killed. Future Neo Queen Serenity is the one who sent Sailor Pluto back in time to reincarnate as Setsuna. It stands to reason that Sailor Moon, the present version, is the one that did this. There’s no other consciousness which is doing stuff here. It’s not insinuated that old lady uploaded consciousness computer simulated Queen Serenity on the Moon has any real power here. Why doesn’t Sailor Moon have full memory of doing this? It doesn’t really add up to me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn leave and then we have a commercial break. There’s meant to be a massive passage of time here but I don’t feel that this is well conveyed at all. In the original manga the Infinity arc concludes here which is the end of a chapter. Following this we get The Lover of Princess Kaguya side story which is a full manga book which is the equivalent of the Sailor Moon S movie, which then has a side story about Rei. There are a bunch of other side stories published later which are understood to take place during this break which is basically the time when the girls are preparing for their high school entrance exams. Ami’s First Love, which was adapted in an anime special, falls into this period as well. The first three story arcs all follow one another directly, but the Dream arc was never meant to do so. When the manga was rereleased in 2003 the chapters were broken up differently so they ended up breaking this particular Act up very poorly so that this passage of time isn’t properly demonstrated and happens between pages of the same story. I think Sailor Moon Crystal had a good chance to pace things out a bit differently and have the season end here, but they didn’t do that and instead, it’s time to go to high school.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - High school girls

This episode is kind of like the first episode of Sailor Stars from the original Sailor Moon anime. Those first 6 episodes of Sailor Stars basically fix the problems that the SuperS season skipped, including some characters which will be returning later in the Dream arc. The girls are supposed to be in high school before meeting Pegasus as we see here. Most of the girls have Juban High School Uniforms. Rei does not, as she goes to her own school which does not use high school entrance exams. We don’t really have an equivalent to these in the West. I suppose maybe the SATs are something similar but as a Canadian this is also something I only know of through TV and movies. I’ve never had a test so important in my schooling that it required me getting addicted to caffeine pills like Jessie Spano. So much to say Japanese high school entrance exams are a big deal and the source of a lot of stress, and the girls are meant to have been preparing for this during the long period covered by the commercial break which we don’t even get in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Solar Eclipse

Chibiusa says she’s going to leave on April 1st, at the time of a Solar Eclipse. The next Solar eclipse that will occur on April 1st is in 2098 and there certainly wasn’t one in the 90s when the manga was written, but this is pretty nitpicky even for me. She mentions in her letter to her mother “Please come to pick me up”. How exactly does this work? Is Neo Queen Serenity from the future going to travel to the 30th century to come pick up Chibiusa? Who’s guardian the Space-Time Door with future Sailor Pluto dead and Diana in the past?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Artemis and Luna cry for Diana

Speaking of Diana! Usagi says to Luna, who isn’t present when this is said, that she will see Diana “very soon”. What does this mean? From the frame of reference of Diana then she would see her parents soon, in the future. From Luna and Artemis’s point of view they won’t see her soon at all. Diana is a kitten. Chibiusa, who is born in less than a decade, is 900 years old in the 30th century. Is Diana a permakitten born in the 20th or 21st century and never aging? Permakittens would revolutionize the pet industry! Kittens are most of the reason people have adult cats!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Usagi and Chibiusa see Pegasus

So the gang are watching the eclipse and they hear a bell. They turn around to see… Pegasus! Well we don’t see Pegasus but in the manga version of Act 38, the final image has Usagi and Chibiusa seeing Pegasus. There’s no preview for another episode, but we will likely at some point be seeing Act 39, Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream. This will be part of the 4th story arc which, if current trends continue, will likely be referred to as Season 4 or Season IV in Japan. I’ve still been calling them arcs or phases but I may start using the term season if that becomes well established. We have no specifics on if and when we might get new episodes but perhaps we will learn something tomorrow at the live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday.

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.

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The next Sailor Moon musical, Amour Eternal, has a terrible name

Amour Eternal - Did you mean Amour éternel?

An update has been posted to the official Sailor Moon site which reveals the name of the latest musical, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal, as well as a complete cast listing. The new musical has been confirmed to be covering the Dream arc of the manga, adapted as Sailor Moon SuperS in the original Sailor Moon anime. This title is just the worst! Amour, as most probably know, is the French word for love. Eternal however is not French at all. It’s a full on English word. What the hell? Why not Amour éternel, which would actually be proper French? Are we supposed to pronounce it in French? It just sounds gross to say Amour Eternal. It’s just bastardizing two languages. It’s gross. The last two musicals all had fully French names. Is this supposed to be a misspelled French word or is this intentionally terribly mismatched English and French words? This is just bad and it will not stop bothering me and I will probably not be able to avoid mentioning how terribly stupid it is at least once in any post referencing this musical. This offends me as both and English and French speaking person and it should bother you too.

Everlasting love translates to Amour éternel

This title will just lead to more confusion on what the name means. Amour éternel would translate roughly to everlasting love or eternal love. I guess eternal is more the word we’re going for since it’s the actual English word in the horrible title.

Here’s an English translation of the cast, courtesy of Wikimoon:

Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon: Hotaru Nomoto
Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury: Yume Takeuchi
Rei Hino/Sailor Mars: Karen Kobayashi
Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter: Kaede
Minako Aino/Sailor Venus: Rimo Hasegawa
Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus: Syu Shiotsuki
Michiru Kaiou/Sailor Neptune: Sayaka Fujioka
Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn: Karin Takahashi
Sailor Pluto: Mikako Ishii
Sailor Chibi Moon/Chibiusa: Airi Kanda
Helios: Hikaru Hiyama
Queen Nehellenia: Sayu Otsuki
Zirconia: Kanami Sakai
Tiger’s Eye: Chihiro Ando
Hawk’s Eye: Riona Tatemichi
Fisheye: Yumi
Dead Moon Circus: Yoshika Kobayashi, Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Chiemi Doi, Ayano Nagasawa, Ayumi Sagisaka
Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask: Yuga Yamato

Some newcomers and some repeat performances here. Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are all new actors, as we’ve seen announced previously. We already saw that Yuga Yamato would return as Tuxedo Mask. Shuu Shiotsuki, Sayaka Fujioka, Mikako Ishii and Karin Takahashi will be reprising their roles as Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn. Airi Kanda will also be returning as Chibiusa. Riona Tatemichi, who previously played Rubeus in the Petite Étrangère musical, will be playing Hawk’s Eye. The rest of the cast are newcomers to the musicals, as those characters have no appeared before.

We Are The New Pretty Guardians - The cast of the next Sailor Moon musical

We previously reported that Hikari Kuroki would play Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury. This role is now credited as Yume Takeuchi. I don’t know what prompted this change in casting, but this replacement was posted as a separate update on the Sailor Moon official site on the same day as this updated cast listing was shared.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru in thorns

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal premiered on Japanese TV on Monday June 6th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at around 10:30am, it was available to stream first on Crunchyroll and later on Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth, mostly takes place inside of Mistress 9 and in an elevator.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Chibiusa and her Crystal

Mistress 9 ate the Silver Crystal of the future. This is the one Chibiusa stole from her mother in the 30th century and has been using to fight as Sailor Chibi Moon. More importantly, Chibiusa’s soul is now fundamentally tied to this Crystal which causes all sort of problems, mainly that she’ll die if it’s apart from her body and consumed by an evil entity. How exactly does this work? Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal of the present is similarly tied to her soul. It’s her Star Seed and all that fun stuff. What’s Neo Queen Serenity doing in the future? In the last story arc Neo Queen Serenity still seems bound to the Silver Crystal of the future so what happened to her when her daughter went gallivanting around time with it? Sure she was dormant for most of the last season but now that her daughter is gone on her training is Crystal Tokyo defenseless? Did Neo Queen Serenity need to somehow disassociate herself from the Crystal? If I take a powerful Crystal and keep it in my pocket for too long will my soul get tied to it like Golum being bound to the one ring?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

My favourite part of this episode takes place within Mistress 9. Chibiusa, bound to her Crystal, is lost inside of Mistress 9 who basically ate her. Hotaru goes out of her way to protect her and her Crystal. These are two sort of ghosts or spirits stuck inside of this body which has been controlled by this evil entity. Hotaru hasn’t known Chibiusa that long, but she has strong feelings for her and is protecting her with everything she has. It seems like Mistress 9 won’t be getting full access to that Crystal just yet, which is unfortunate since she immediately destroys the Taioron Crystal once she gets something better. This is kind of like getting a new phone, deciding you don’t need your older out of date phone, and destroying it only to realise there’s some software problem with the new one and you can’t use it but oops I obliterated the iPhone 4s. Too bad so sad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - A terrible directory

A lot of this episode takes place in an elevator which somehow leads to a bunch of weird mistakes. Let’s see what we know. The gang starts on the 56th floor, obvious from the sign we see and what is mentioned, and Sailor Venus decides to take one group and go down floor by floor while Sailor Moon and the people who want to kill Hotaru are going to take the elevator to the basement. Look at this chart. How terrible is this thing? It has a column with floor numbers, a column with descriptions, a second column with floor numbers and … that’s it. There are no descriptions for the second column! What’s on floors 31 to 60? The manga equivalent pages show an extra column there with descriptions of what’s on those floors, but there’s nothing here. Minor nitpick but that’s how it is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Elevator

Sailor Moon gets in an elevator with Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and in doing so they go down. All indications from shots in the elevator shaft seem to indicate that it is going down at incredible speeds. A line in the manga, omitted from this version, speaks about the effect of the acceleration that Sailor Moon is feeling. Watching the floor numbers we seem to go from 50 to 40 in a number of seconds. Then we go from 30 to 20 in nearly a minute. It’s a few minutes more until we get to 6. Following this things get weird, we go into this weird other dimension, and then we arrive at floor zero. Or is it? There is clearly space for two digits on the display however when we are in single digit floors, like 6, we don’t have a preceding zero. It’s “6” not “06”. Also the numbers take up the full height of the display while the display on the final floor takes up half. The manga chapter has the gang travel down to floor negative infinity. With the infinity symbol, ∞, being like a horizontal 8. The manga has them mostly travel through basement floors to get there though. Here the floor indicator, which looks like “oo” could be taken to mean infinity. There is no negative floor indicator on the display. The reason for which those two os aren’t touching could be an artifact of the display. The show have easily avoided ambiguity by just putting another row of dots between the two numbers and having oo display as ∞. Also notable is that there are 60 buttons shown and 60 floors in the directory, so any basement floors don’t seem to be listed. If there really are on the minus infinity floor what does this even mean? If they go down infinity floors they would go through the earth, outside of our solar system and galaxy and beyond the reaches of the known universe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Floor infinity and Professor Tomoe

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru has a messed up face

There is a flashback to when the Death Busters arrived. We see the accident once again and Hotaru’s face is real messed up in one shot! Koalinite is called Kaori, as she appears to have been a normal human woman working for Professor Tomoe before this incident. She was infected by an egg and then Professor Tomoe decided to infect himself with one. We also learn that Mistress 9, who was placed inside of Hotaru, was once Pharaoh 90’s partner. This seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. The other Witches 5 however were created artificially.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Sailor Uranus on Uranus

For the second time we see Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on their home planets. Uranus seems tiny. We can actually see the curvature of the planet. Uranus has a diameter of about 4 times that of the Earth. That means its surface is much flatter than the Earth’s surface. Do you ever find yourself gazing out at the horizon and actually noticing the curvature of the Earth? Probably not. Based on the curve we see here Uranus should be roughly the size of The Little Prince’s asteroid. Just imagine tracing out a circle from that thumbnail image and it wouldn’t even be larger than your computer screen. Alternatively if Uranus is the right size Sailor Uranus could be huge. She’d probably be about the size of the Earth’s Moon for this to work. Sailor Pluto appears to actually be on Pluto. Previously we saw her guarding the Space-Time Door but it wasn’t clear exactly where it was. What’s the deal with this thing? In Crystal Tokyo when there was this door at the end of a long hall which led to the Space-Time Corridor, were people traveling to Pluto as an intermediate before going back in time? Did the door itself move at some point? Who’s even protecting this door in the 30th century now that Sailor Pluto is dead, Diana went back in time and Neo Queen Serenity has no Crystal? Maybe it’s that pink haired kid who isn’t Chibiusa. How rare would children be in a world where humans live 1000 years? Pretty rare.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Princess and Queen Serenity

We learn that when they were bored and alone Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto would look at Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity. For some reason Princess Serenity is pointing to her bracelet in this image. It must have been new at the time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Professor Tomoe

Bad news for Professor Tomoe, who turns into this big monster thing. Sailor Moon hesitates to kill him because he was Hotaru’s father a few minutes earlier. Realistically he hasn’t been Hotaru’s father for some time, though I wonder if Kaolinite and Professor Tomoe have little spirits of themselves wrapped up in thorns inside their minds somewhere. Oh well. He gets killed.

Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are attacked and Super Sailor Moon transforms back into normal Sailor Moon. She seems to think this is because something happened to her friends. Not a great omen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Next week is Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere. There’s more of Hotaru’s ghost resisting Mistress 9 and being all bad ass. With only three more episodes the story arc will be done soon. These next three episodes were originally one massive manga chapter!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 36.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Young Hotaru

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 16th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Afterwards it was streamed on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu starting at about 10:30am Eastern Time. This week we get Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Guardians. The gang is mostly all together and we get a ton of back story about Sailor Pluto and Hotaru. We also face off against the last of the Witches 5. Things are advancing quite a bit now as we’re over half way done the Infinity story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Pluto

First things first. Sailor Pluto is back, and we get a bit of an explanation as to how. Pluto immediately recognizes Sailor Chibi Moon and knows her as both Small Lady and Sailor Chibi Moon. This means that the Sailor Pluto we see here has the same memories as the one we saw in 30th century Crystal Tokyo. She mentions that she was reincarnated by Neo Queen Serenity, the future version of Usagi, not Queen Serenity, the mother of Princess Serenity from Silver Millennium. This means that this is not the reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto that died in Silver Millennium, but the reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto which we saw die at the end of the Black Moon story arc. She reincarnated back in time, which may seem silly but in a series in which both reincarnation and time travel exist, it is not unreasonable to assume this to be possible. Later it is stated that Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were reincarnated in the present. But Sailor Uranus and Neptune did not die in the future. We will later learn the specifics but so much to say everyone died when Silver Millennium fell. So where did future Sailor Pluto who protects the Space-Time Door in Crystal Tokyo come from originally? She is not the future version of this character but rather the past version. Sailor Pluto in Silver Millennium can’t be the future version of this Sailor Pluto as we see her as a child talking to the original Queen Serenity. Is there a second Sailor Pluto kicking around somewhere right now which was the original reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto which died when Silver Millennium fell, who will live out her long life protecting the Space-Time Door? Sailor Pluto has died twice but as far as we have seen, has been reincarnated only once. She seems to exist outside of time but she is not beyond the causality of life and death. Something just doesn’t add up here. Does anyone have plausible theories as to what is going on?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Diana on the table

Act 27

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Diana and Chibiusa have breakfast thanks to recycled animation

Act 32

As we’ve seen this new story arc is rich on stock footage but there’s even more recycled animation going on here. As you can see by the above screenshots, one from the first episode of the Infinity story arc, Act 27 Part 1, and the other from this week’s episode, there’s some reuse happening. While Chibiusa’s pose may not be identical in this exact frame look at Diana if you need proof that this is the same. The toast toping and clothes have changes but the rest of the shot is nearly identical right down to Chibiusa’s hands and the furniture. In addition to reused animation this story arc is full of flashbacks to earlier episodes. We even get flashbacks to scenes earlier in the same episode, sometimes only a few minutes apart. Every second of animation costs quite a bit of money. If this process can be tweaked to avoid a few minutes of animation per episode that is an immense cost savings. The animation this season has been terrific but you can’t get something from nothing. It seems that one cost saving measure that has been done is to try to reuse as much animation as possible in a number of ways. It’s important not to be too negative about this. The alternative is a show every second week or poorer quality animation.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - The gang

You know all that drama where we can’t work together? Well everyone is friends now. Yay! The reason for the drama was not ignorance but it seems like Sailor Uranus and Neptune knew what was going on all along! Since they protect the solar system from outside invaders they consider it their job to protect against the Death Busters, a threat from another dimension. So everyone’s cool now? Not quite. The new guys still don’t want Sailor Moon and her friends to help, and it seems to boil down to not putting her in harm’s way. The drama must continue!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Usagi reading Nakayoshi

In one scene we see Usagi reading a comic with Sailor V on the cover. The title reads “Nakayoshi”. Codename: Sailor V mostly ran in RunRun but the first issue did appear in Nakayoshi, the magazine which would later run the Sailor Moon comic.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Hotaru the cyborg

Tons of back story on Hotaru this week. Chibiusa is supposed to meet her for a movie but she can’t make it because she’s undergoing surgery. As excuses to miss a date go, having surgery is a pretty rock solid one. Hotaru is pretty much a cyborg, with all sorts of artificial parts inside her arms and legs. This goes back to an accident which occurred years ago in which Hotaru’s mother died and Hotaru was left at the brink of death, seeming to have been saved only thanks to this surgery. When Chibiusa wants to call Hotaru, she uses a phone number which goes right to her room. Once again we’re adapting something from the 90s which doesn’t fit the world today. I remember having a “kid’s line” which had a different ring at my house. Do people still do this in 2016? I think most people just have cell phones. The eternal struggle of faithful adaptation vs. adapting to fit with the times. Once again Sailor Moon Crystal goes for the faithful adaptation, which I respect, but it creates an inconsistent universe in which these characters live.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Cyprine and Ptilol of the Witches 5

With four of the Witches 5 down that only leaves Cyprine … or does it? Cyprine of the Witches 5 somehow separates herself into Cyprine and Ptilol, which always makes me wonder why they aren’t called the Witches 6. They go on to say that they are one Witch, something which seems to be an attempt to have their name make some sort of sense.

The fight starts with Haruka and so she transforms into Sailor Uranus. Unfortunately we don’t see Sailor Neptune or Pluto transform, making it increasingly unlikely that we will see a Sailor Pluto transformation sequence in this story arc. We should not abandon all hope though! I’m still hoping to see a Sailor Saturn transformation sequence in my lifetime!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Sailor Jupiter attacks Sailor Uranus

The Sailor Guardians get sort of brainwashed and start fighting each other. They’re not fully controlled but rather their existing negative feelings for each other are amplified and so it’s the Sailor Moon version of Civil War. Nothing like an excuse to have the good guys fight each other! Things get pretty intense in the ensuing fight as the two teams really dish it out against each other in a fairly impressive display.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - The Holy Grail

Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon fail to stop the fighting on their own, which causes Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask to unite and create the Holy Grail. It looks a lot like the clay one which they made not long ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Super Sailor Moon

Next week is Act 33, Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, in which the Holy Grail is used to well… have Sailor Moon transform into Super Sailor Moon. More importantly, as seen from the clips in the preview, we will be getting our first look at Sailor Saturn. Don’t get too excited though. Sailor Saturn will not be appearing in the present. As we can see by the slightly grainy quality to the clips in which we see her bow and boots, this is actually a flashback. This scene is where Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto remember their fateful encounter with Sailor Saturn as Silver Millennium fell.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 32 and the next episode preview for Act 33.

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