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 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru dies

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired Japanese TV Monday June 13th 11pm. Immediately afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, the show became available to stream first on Crunchyroll and then on Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 36 is the first of a three part finale for the Infinity arc, as this was once a single long chapter of the manga. The episode is all about Hotaru freeing herself from Mistress 9 and the consequences of that as well as a power up for Sailor Chibi Moon.

Phanto from Super Mario Bros. 2 Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Pharaoh 90 happy face

We get an idea of the Death Busters’ end game here. Pharaoh 90 wants to vesselize the planet. How odd! Up until now we’ve only seen the vesselization of living being but he wants to do it to the planet. What will this look like? Literally a comical smiley face on planet earth. No this isn’t a bad photoshop but rather a screenshot from the episode! Looks like Phanto from Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic to me! They seek to make the Earth a second Tau Star System with this. Wait a minute how do you make a planet a star system which is shown as a galaxy? I don’t really understand the scope of the astronomical references of this arc.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 36 - Mistress 9 with elf ears Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Mistress 9 has elf ears

Mistress 9 is some weird looking in this episode. What’s with the elf ears? This could be a reflection of the monster inside. She does have a more monstrous looking face as time goes on in the manga. I think, however, that those ears are inspired but a misinterpretation of some art in the manga. Only one panel shows Mistress 9 with pointy ears and I don’t think it was meant to be elf ears at all. She has all sorts of things sticking out of her in this one image and the sharp things near her ears just happen to look like pointy ears. She has normal small round ears in all other panels in the manga. She’s also got bulging Total Recall dying on the surface of Mars eyes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru protects the Sailor Guardians' souls

Mistress 9 is chowing down on hostes or souls. She eats Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus’s but this doesn’t last long. Hotaru protects them, along with Chibiusa’s soul and Crystal, and decides it’s time to GTFO. She leaves Mistress 9’s body, which is actually her body, and is able to take those souls with her. Great news? Actually it means she’s going to have to die.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

Hotaru uses her last bit of life to bring Chibiusa’s soul back to her, along with her Crystal. What follows is a tearful and heart wrenching farewell. She mentions that she feels like her encounter with Chibiusa was destiny, pointing out that this seems odd because they’re both girls. The obvious interpretation of this is that destiny is usually something that would connect lovers. In Japan there is an idea, shared amongst other Asian cultures, that a red thread connects lovers together through fate or destiny. Why does Hotaru think this is odd? Because they aren’t lovers, or because their relationship is not heterosexual and therefore not fitting with her expectation? This story arc, and the show as a whole, has precedent dealing with same sex relationships. Ultimately the romantic aspects of Hotaru and Chibiusa’s relationship are subject to interpretation. There’s nothing overt about this relationship, but this is one of the many insinuations that it has romantic undertones. In case you were wondering, of course I’m shipping these two!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Sailor Chibi Moon flies

Mamoru encourages Chibiusa to go out in fight. You can see this is hard for him, but he pushes her for it anyway. Chibiusa is totally bad ass here. She digs deep and finds the will to fight to save the world. A lot of fans may not have liked her portrayal in the original anime but it’s hard not to like Chibiusa now. She seems to have immediately increased in power and she jumps out the window and flies to where she’s going. We previously saw that Chibiusa appeared to be the only member of the team that was not able to fly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Tuxedo Mask transforms

I was really hoping that this episode would have an amazing transformation sequence for Tuxedo Mask. In the manga we see him transform and get a look at his nakedness. Sadly this doesn’t occur here. I was hoping for a full on elaborate stock footage calibre transformation for Tuxedo Mask. Instead we see him glow and quickly transform behind his cape. I blame the patriarchy.

Ryuk from Death Note Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Mistress 9's Daimon

When Hotaru left Mistress 9’s body, it meant that Mistress 9 was also no longer bound to that body. The Daimon inside escaped, destroying the body, which killed Hotaru. This Daimon kind of looks like Ryuk from Death Note. I don’t know much about this series, and only ever saw the terrible live action movie adaptation, but this guy from that show immediately came to mind when I saw it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon

What’s the gang to do? Sailor Chibi Moon does an effective Pink Sugar Heart Attack for a change but that isn’t enough. We need Super Sailor Moon … but wait! Chibiusa gets a grail too and she becomes Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Unfortunately we don’t get a full transformation sequence for Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Oh well.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Next time is Act 37, Infinity 11 – Infinite – Judge. Sailor Saturn. That’s all. Who cares what else happens in this episode because it’s Sailor Saturn! We’ve been waiting for this for like… ever! Finally we will start seeing a proper representation of Sailor Saturn in an animated series after she got totally shafted in the original Sailor Moon anime. I can’t wait!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 37.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, Monday June 13th at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV tomorrow, June 13th, at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, the episode will be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. . Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, is the first of a three part conclusion to the Infinity arc. These next three episodes were originally one massive chapter of the original Sailor Moon manga. Because of this the pacing may seem a bit off.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Sailor Moon cries

Hotaru is a big deal this week, trying to free herself from the evil Mistress 9 who’s ingesting human souls like they were candy. One major thing we just might see in this episode is a Tuxedo Mask transformation sequence. The equivalent manga chapter, which we expect should be faithfully adapted as all others before it have, shows Mamoru transforming into Tuxedo Mask. We never got an elaborate stock footage transformation for Tuxedo Mask in the original Sailor Moon anime. This happened a few times but these were quick and nothing like what the other Sailor Guardians did, and by that I mean we didn’t see a glowing naked version of him. Fingers crossed!

Sailor Moon Manga Act 36 - Tuxedo Mask transforms

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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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, Monday June 6th starting at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Usagi

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV on Monday June 6th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it will start to be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. In Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, the gang continue to fight against the Death Busters and work their way down Infinity floors under Mugen Academy which should take them out of the other side of the earth, outside of our galaxy and beyond the end of the known universe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Mistress 9 has eaten the Silver Crystal which contains Chibiusa’s soul. Inside of Mistress 9 she’ll meet Hotaru’s soul and they’ll get up to all sorts of fun.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Mistress 9

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Witches 6

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 30th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, it was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth, has Chibiusa dead and the gang reluctantly fighting to save her.

First off we have a new opening theme. Once again it’s In Love With the New Moon but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z. They sang Moon Pride, the opening theme for the first two story arcs. This version is fine but I prefer the first version by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Not sure I have much else to say about that. Momoiro Clover Z seems like a perfectly mediocre J-Pop band.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa is dead

Chibiusa is dead. The day fans have been waiting for since the 90s is here! With her soul ripped out, Chibiusa’s body dies. The doctor announces quite clearly that she went through cardiac arrest and then passed away. All hope is not lost though, as Mamoru is able to keep her alive through some sort of healing touch. It’s as if he’s able to keep her blood pulsing with his heart which only makes sense considering he has magic healing powers. In the manga he mentions that her body is so small that supporting her is easy, but in Sailor Moon Crystal we get the impression that this is draining on him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Usagi and Chibiusa

Usagi is heartbroken by this, and really feels as if Chibiusa is dead. What option is there to save her? Well they just need to kill Hotaru! Actually they don’t have to kill anyone, they just need need to defeat Mistress 9. Not every enemy needs to be killed when they’re defeated! Oh right this is the manga version where Sailor Moon kills pretty much anyone. Original anime Sailor Moon seems to win over and heal more villains. Anyway the trolley problem is a bit different now. Instead of kill Hotaru vs. the world it’s Hotaru vs. Chibiusa vs. the world. And now the trolley has run over Chibiusa and is heading towards the world and pulling the lever will make it roll back in time, bringing Chibiusa back to life and then killing Hotaru. I’m not sure I want to attempt to illustrate that. So much to say despite hesitation everyone, including Mamoru, supports the idea of moving forward and trying to get Chibiusa’s soul back.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Hotaru stuck in some vines

The whole thorn thing seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. There are thorns around the building at Mugen Academy which makes it seem something like when the Makaiju grew all over the apartment building in Sailor Moon R. There are thorns and roses all around the lobby. What’s more Hotaru’s soul, which we see occasionally inside of Mistress 9, is held down by thorns. The manga doesn’t have this level of thorniness, and Hotaru is just seen sort of floating around in nothingness. This is a sort of physical visualization of the way she’s restricted inside of Mistress 9. All this really means is that Hotaru is still alive, so there’s still hope.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Eudial seduces Sailor Mars

The Witches 5 return and now there are 6. Everyone seems to be getting a dream of something they would like. Sailor Mars sees a version of Eudial which pretty much just want to make out with her. She pins her down holding her hand and seems to want to kiss her. Did I ever mention that Eudial is my favourite of the Witches 5 and that Sailor Mars is my favourite Sailor Guardian? I’m totally shipping these two. The rest of the gang are presented with predictable things. Sailor Mercury sees a powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer, which is cool but probably nothing compared to the supercomputer on the Moon which has the consciousness of Queen Serenity uploaded to it. Sailor Venus holds a microphone for a while but doesn’t actually sing, which is disappointing. Sailor Jupiter likes flowers. The recurring theme is making them all want to quit being Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa tries to kill Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon gets a whopper of a dream. Chibiusa tries to choke and kill her! This is fake, unlike the time Chibiusa tried to shoot her in the head! This really is a great episode for Chibiusa haters! Sailor Moon doesn’t buy it though.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Kaolinite is a monster

Turns out Kaolinite is actually a monster! This is not in the manga and new to Sailor Moon Crystal. She transforms into this weird kind of Daimon who the Sailor Guardians quickly dispose of. We see a couple of new attacks with Sailor Neptune’s Submarine Reflection, which is awesome, and Sailor Pluto’s Chronos Typhoon, which is completely disappointing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Silver Crystal of the future

To wrap up the episode Mistress 9 eats the Chibiusa’s Silver Crystal! How terrible! Does she even know that Chibiusa’s soul is in there? Good news for Hotaru though. She’ll have some company inside of Mistress 9.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme - Mamoru in a wet shirt

Next is the new ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. This ending theme contains wet shirt Mamoru which I find looks like something out Yaoi fan art. I guess some readers will appreciate this!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Next week is Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2. Mistress 9 has reunited Chibiusa and Hotaru inside her being. Isn’t that great! Even in death these two good friends can hang around together! We’ll also see naked Usagi in this episode if that’s something that interests you.

Keep reading for more images of this episode and the next episode preview for Act 35.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Infinity 7 - Transformation - Super Sailor Moon

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!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Super Sailor Moon

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Neo Queen Serenity creates a paradox

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 Moon Crystal Act 33 - What's a patron?

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

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.

The trolley problem Sailor Moon variant

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 Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Flying Sailor Guardians

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Mistress 9

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Chibi Moon dies

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 Preview - Usagi cries

Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 33 and the preview for Act 34.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, May 23rd at 10:30am

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Super Sailor Moon

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

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!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

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.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 33 - Haruka and Michiru have patrons

“Ho ho ho! We’ve got patrons, so we never lack for money!”

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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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Setsuna

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV on Monday May 9th and is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week Sailor Pluto returns as Setsuna Meioh while Makoto faces off against an evil plant lady! Overall I thought this was a really great episode with fantastic animation, though I found some of the subtitles a bit distracting. There seemed to be some fairly basic grammatical errors or just sentences that weren’t written like people really talk.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Setsuna Meioh

The big thing this week of course is the return of Sailor Pluto. Throughout most of the episode Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto’s civilian identity, doesn’t have any memory of being a Sailor Guardian. What exactly is going on here? The Sailor Pluto we saw in the future did not come from the present. While the Space-Time Corridor can be considered to exist outside of time in some sense, I always assumed that Sailor Pluto guarded it throughout time. So there should be a Sailor Pluto in the past, present and future, living through time. Which Sailor Pluto is this? We will get a bit of an explanation next week which really only raises more questions. I have a lot of thoughts on this but I will get into them in my Act 32 review.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Reika and Motoki argue

Reika and Motoki show up again, as they’re going to school with Setsuna. The two are bickering and fighting a bit as Motoki has mentioned Makoto, one of the many young girls that comes into his arcade, and Reika doesn’t really appreciate this. Imagine how she’d feel if she watched the live action series! While on the train Motoki suggests going to have dinner near the Mugen Academy. Reika doesn’t want to because of the ominous clouds! Oddly when we see the buildings in the distance there does not appear to be any more clouds there than over the train the two are on, where it’s also raining. What?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Chibiusa's hot teacher Sailor Moon SuperS episode 135 - Kyuusuke, Chibiusa and Momoko badmouth Morino

Back at Chibiusa’s school we make an important discovery. Chibiusa and her friends have a hot teacher! Where did she come from? She looks nothing like this in the manga. In the anime we see their teacher in the Sailor Moon SuperS season, but this does not appear to be that same character. That character was struggling with aging while being single and Kyuusuke teased her for not being able to get a man. This teacher shouldn’t have any such problems! Meanwhile Kyuusuke is not subtle about his attraction to Chibiusa. As the class is encouraged to give the items they made to someone special, Kyuusuke choses to give his Sailor Moon pencil holder to Chibiusa. She misses the point obviously. Shouldn’t she be totally into this guy because he looks just like her father?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - A Brock looking guy who's into Makoto Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Makoto's father was Brock from Pokémon

Speaking of guys who look like fathers, who’s this guy who’s hitting on Makoto in the botanical gardens? He kind of looks like Brock from Pokémon. You know who else looks like Brock from Pokémon? Makoto’s Dad! If Chibiusa is any indication girls really dig guys who look just like their Dad so Makoto should be all over this dude! Instead she daydreams about her Sempai, who we learn is named Nichogi. This episode, and the manga equivalent, are the only time we hear his name which was never mentioned in the original Sailor Moon anime. He doesn’t look like Brock from Pokémon which just doesn’t make sense if Chibiusa, Freud and Jung are to be trusted and all things considered I don’t think they should be.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Makoto and Nichogi Sempai

This week’s villain is Tellu of the Witches 5 who is posing as Ruru Teruno. She’s in charge of phys ed and the botanical gardens. What an odd combination of interests that also overlap with Makoto’s very specific mix of girly and tom boy tendencies. Her power level is 404, double that of last week’s villain, but because this manga is from the mid 90s it’s unlike it’s a reference to http code 404, page not found. Tellu has created the Tellun flower which is this evil flower which drains people’s energy, a plot not unlike that of the Sailor Moon R movie. The Tellun plant in bloom blankets the floor with pink flowers which looks a lot like the asteroid which was blanketed in Kissenian flowers in the film.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Tellu

Lots of Hotaru going on this week as we see that girls are terrible to each other sometimes. The other students at her school comment about how weak she seems and that she wears long sleeves even in summer. A change that we saw last week was that Mugen Academy students were starting to wear different uniforms with short puffy sleeves over the longer sleeve versions we’d seen earlier, and that Hotaru continues to wear. Next week we will see just why it is that Hotaru wears long sleeves and stockings. She’s not just hiding scars but also something kind of evil as she gets upset at her classmates and crushes a metal pencil box in a frightening display.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Hotaru might be kind of evil

Usagi starts to suspect Hotaru, as she’s the daughter of Professor Tomoe, and so she comes along with Chibiusa to visit her. If only Chibiusa had been honest and shared Hotaru’s secret that her father makes monsters we would be able to avoid a lot of this stuff but whatever. Usagi snoops around Hotaru’s house while Chibiusa helps her friend get her Silver Crystal fix at which point she once again shows signs of being some sort of evil being stuck inside the body of an innocent looking young girl.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Pink Sugar Heart Attack

Sailor Chibi Moon steps it up this week by finally getting her Moon Rod. She pleads to her mother to get a weapon and then Luna P turns into this item. I’m not sure her mother did this because I thought Luna P was more related to Sailor Pluto. So she uses this device to do her ridiculously sweet Pink Sugar Heart Attack move which is animated nearly identically to how it was in the manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Sailor Pluto is not dead

Finally Sailor Pluto shows up with her Dead Screen attack killing Tellu, who somehow turned into a big monster, and saving the day. Unfortunately this appearance is not preceded by a transformation sequence. Based on what happens in the manga it is entirely possible that we won’t be seeing Sailor Pluto or Saturn transforming in this particular story arc, though we can hope that a minor change will allow them to transform on screen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 Preview - Sailor Chibi Moon reunited with Sailor Pluto

Next week Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Soldiers. will give a bit of an explanation as to where and when Sailor Pluto came from. We’ll get some back story on the new Sailor Guardians and face off against the final members of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 Preview - Cyrpine

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

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