Sailor Starlight Pullip dolls announced

Sailor Star Maker, Fighter and Healer Pullip dolls

Sailor Starlight Pullip dolls have been announced on the official Sailor Moon site! The Sailor Starlights Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer join many other Pullip dolls already released. There isn’t much in the way of details at this time as we don’t have a date or price for these, though the price point would likely be the same as other dolls, costing between $150 and $180 US when released domestically.

Pullip dolls are high quality very expensive dolls with disproportionally large heads and eyes for their size. Different model Pullip dolls are used for different basic figures. Most Sailor Moon characters are Pullip dolls while Chibiusa and Sailor Saturn are Dal dolls, which are a bit smaller as the basic model is of Pullip’s sister. Tuxedo Mask is a Taeyang doll, which is Pullip’s boyfriend. One has to wonder if the Sailor Starlights would have alternate costumes as the Three Lights or, if such a doll were planned, if they would make male Taeyang dolls for the Three Lights Seiya, Yaten and Taiki. Many of the other Sailor Guardians had civilian costumes as Bandai Premium exclusives.

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 176 and 177 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 176 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 176 and 177 we get episodes featuring on Rei and Seiya and then Ami and Taiki. Don’t be fooled! These really are more episodes about the Sailor Starlights than they are about the Sailor Guardians. This is consistent with the rest of the Sailor Stars season which focuses a lot on the newer characters.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 176 - Seiya transforming

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 176 - Sailor Star Fighter transforming

Episode 176, Fighter’s Secret Identity: the Shocking Super Transformation, isn’t all that shocking. As always we are expected to be surprised by the revelation of a character being a Sailor Guardian. More on that later. The target this week is Akane Gushiken, who Rei knows as Sister Angela, one of the nuns from her school. She is pushing Seiya real hard and he’s getting pretty pissed about it. Standard story where she pushes him because of his potential and she’s not really evil and stuff. Not that anyone in this season is actually evil but that’s another story. Seiya, and the other Three Lights, are performing in a musical The East 42 Storyt. This would presumably be a joke on West Side Story. Once her Star Seed is taken Sister Angela turns into Sailor Director, with humourous results. Next comes the reveal! Seiya is Sailor Star Fighter! I wasn’t really sure this was something the audience wasn’t supposed to have queued in on but the title suggests it is. No character is privy to this revalation so the “Shocking” aspect of the transformation would have to be on the part of the viewer. I suppose with the Three Lights being male and the Sailor Starlights being female there may be some people who didn’t see this coming. What this episode does do is answers questions about the gender of the Three Lights. Seiya is seen in a very revealing outfit while rehearsing for the musical. This shows him to have a male physique, with abs and pecks, but without breast. During the transformation sequence we see Seiya, with no shirt, having a torso resembling a shirtless male transforming into Sailor Star Fighter who clearly has breasts. While most characters throughout the series transform only their clothes, there seems to be a more physical transformation amongst the Sailor Starlights. This is not the same as in the manga, where the Sailor Starlights are women who disguise themselves as men in their civilian identities. Because the best way to hide is by being members of a super popular pop group. The episode wraps up with a shot of Princess Kakyuu, which is who Seiya is waiting for, but this fades into an image of Eternal Sailor Moon. There is some confusion in Seiya’s heart.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 176 - Princess Kakyuu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 177 - Ami and Wataru Amanogawa

Episode 177, A Star of Dreams and Wishes: Taiki’s Transformation, is all about Ami clashing with Taiki! One of Ami’s teachers is Wataru Amanogawa. He discovered a comet 15 years ago, which he called Françoise, and it is due to return! Amadagawa and Taiki participate in a television show together which focuses on the comet. While doing it a child mentions that his grandfather told him that people turned into stars after they died, and asks if this is true. Amadagawa, a hopeless romantic, assures the child it may be possible if some believe it. Taiki chastises him for this! This seems like a cold and rude thing for Taiki to do but he’s totally in the right here. People don’t turn into stars when they die. This is nonsense. Stars are massive balls of burning gas, undergoing nuclear fusion. Perhaps more tact can be used against young impressionable children though. Sailor Iron Mouse shows up and no surprise Amadagawa is the target. This leads to Taiki transforming into Sailor Star Maker, which shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. If you somehow made it to episode 176 before realising the Three Lights are the Sailor Starlights, it should be fairly obvious who Sailor Star Maker and Healer are once we learn that Seiya is Sailor Star Fighter. So this is great because we get to see the amazing Star Gentle Uterus. It looks like rain will get in the way of the comet, but luckily that clears up just in time. How fantastic. Nothing worse than bad weather interfering with stargazing!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 177 - Wataru Amanogawa and Taiki talking about space

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 177 - Françoise the comet

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 174 and 175 have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Seiya and Usagi

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 174 and 175 we get a decent introduction to the Three Lights Seiya, Yaten and Taiki as they get into high jynx at Juuban High school.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Usagi and Seiya

Episode 174, A School Storm: The Transfer Students Are Idols, introduces us to a distraction for Usagi. Like with many Sailor Stars episodes we start off with Usagi writing a letter to Mamoru, who is off in the States studying. She will write him a lot but we don’t get any letters the other way. In 2016 Usagi would be sending text messages of some kind to Mamoru. In 2006 maybe it would be AOL instant messenger. In 2001 it might be ICQ. In 1996 though, it’s ancient pen and paper. This may seem archaic but this really was a different time where the Internet was a new and evolving thing that not everyone had access to. Email was common a couple of years later but in 1996 I did not have any regular access to the Internet, which I only occasionally used to find sites to trade Sailor Moon tapes. Enter Seiya. Usagi and him had a brief encounter last week but this week’s encounter is not at all subtle about their relationship. In a scene that mimics Usagi’s first encounter with Mamoru the two walk into each other on the street. Seiya even goes so far as to call Usagi “Odango Otama”, Mamoru’s first season nickname for her. There is no question. Seiya is here to replace Mamoru and everyone seems to know it but Usagi. Mamoru is out of sight and out of mind. Usagi writes to him but doesn’t hear back. Seiya is here and wants to be a part of her life. He is the appealing simple boy in contrast to her difficult and complicated current relationship. It only makes sense for her to gravitate towards him but Usagi is ever faithful to Mamoru. Only making this distraction more obvious, the Three Lights are attending Juuban High school, where Usagi, Minako, Makoto and Ami attend. Rei is at a different school but manages to show up all the time because she is, like everyone but Usagi, crazy about these new students. Not only are they sharing a school but they all sit next to each other. Minako asks Yaten to sit next to her. Taiki sits in front of Makoto, who is nervous of course. Seiya takes it upon himself to sit behind Usagi, which bothers her like it would bother no other girl in the whole world. As she formally introduces herself as “Tsukino Usagi” Seiya intentionally mispronounces her name as “Tsumiki Dango”, a reference to rice cakes that are eaten while starring at the Moon, further mocking of her “odango” hair style. Seiya is good at everything, and shows his prowess in various sports. This brings us to football jock Yuji Kayama, the target for this episode. He does not have a True Star Seed and so turns into Sailor Guts, a disgusting Phage who shoots sweat bombs at his enemies. The Sailor Starlights show up and we get to see the first instance of Sailor Star Maker’s Star Gentle Uterus. What is this about? I don’t even know. I tried many times to listen to this attack and find that it sounds like something different but there is no question that she is really saying “Star Gentle Uterus”. There is no alternative Japanese meaning to uterus that is not known to us ignorant western folk. It’s the womb inside of a woman where babies are made. This does make some sense with the concept of Maker, but it just seems like such an odd attack name.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Star Gentle Uterus

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Seiya kissing Minako

Episode 175, Becoming an Idol: Minako’s Ambition, steps up Minako’s polyamourous abilities! In Sailor Moon SuperS we saw her successfully dating two men at the same time. Now she’s trying to date three! She seems to be trying to get hooked up with all of the Three Lights! Usagi has taken a number of photos of her with all three of them. The sauciest being one of her and Seiya that looks like they’re kissing! In reality she pretending to have something in her eye and got Usagi to take a candid when they were close. Minako’s plan is simple and self serving. She is working as the Three Lights’ assistant to try to learn to be an idol herself and maybe score one of them as her boyfriend! What teenage girl would not like every aspect of this! It turns out being an idol is actually hard work! As we follow the Three Lights on an average day there isn’t a lot of down time. This brings us to Saki Itabashi, a photographer who is working with the group. Sailor Iron Mouse targets her as being someone full of ambition enough to perhaps have a True Star Seed! Oddly she doesn’t notice the Three Lights, who are right under her nose, as being potential targets. I’m sure there’s no reason for which these guys are being ignored. Finally Minako decides that all of this assistant work isn’t worth it and she decides to concentrate on being an idol herself.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - The Three Lights

Something neat that viewers may notice is that Sailor Iron Mouse disappears with the help of a magic phone booth. This is not unlike Doctor Who’s TARDIS or the phone booth from the Bill & Ted films, both of which function as time machines. Which was this inspired by? Naturally the TARDIS is going to be assumed to be the inspiration as Doctor Who has been popular since its resurgence in 2005 and was itself the likely inspiration for Bill & Ted’s phone booth time machine. That said I think there is a case for Bill & Ted being the actual inspiration here. Doctor Who was popular back in the day but in 1996, when Sailor Moon Sailor Stars would air, the series was in the early part of a very long hiatus, having been off the air since 1989. The Bill & Ted movies did not come much later, in 1989 and 1991, but they would have been more in the public consciousness at this point in time. Additionally Doctor Who does not actually travel in a phone booth. His TARDIS is a Police Box, which is like a specialized phone booth only used to phone the police and protect a victim. The time machine from Bill & Ted however is actually a phone booth and, like Sailor Iron Mouse’s machine, is not bigger on the inside. This more similarly matches the style of her machine. All said I am not hip to what exactly was popular in Japan in the mid 90s, but as a teenaged boy who was only saw Doctor Who in passing but was a big fan of the Bill & Ted films, this is what immediately came to mind when I first saw this device.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Sailor Iron Mouse and her phone booth

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten - The Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Usagi's Luna comic

The Sailor Starlights are first seen in the US today as Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 172 and 173 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

At long last Sailor Moon fans in the United States can now see the Sailor Starlights in a legal release! This week on Hulu and Neon Alley‘s new episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars we get to see the Sailor Starlights Sailor Star Fighter, Maker and Healer, also known as the Three Light Seiya, Taiki and Yaten. But first we must wrap up this short 6 episode arc and close the story of Nehelenia. Many have noticed that I’m often negative in my reviews so I will just say that this week we are getting two absolutely fantastic episodes of the series. Now let me talk about these wonderful episodes as I complain about little problems I have with them.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Sailor Saturn

Episode 172, Moon Power of Love: The Nightmare Ends, is the last in this mini arc that we are starting out the Sailor Stars season with. The main focus here is on Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn. For some reason Sailor Chibi Moon is disappearing. This is somewhat like how Marty McFly was disappearing while time traveling when it looked like his parents weren’t going to get together. This is nonsense in a time travel movie and is double nonsense here. Time travel isn’t involved. Nehelenia does not come from the future and is not affected by time travel. Galaxia, who we will learn is the one that released Nehelenia, is also not traveling through time. Many things have threatened Mamoru and Sailor Moon but they don’t generally result in this Marty McFlying of Chibiusa. Beyond this time travel is not used to resolve the situation and to save Chibiusa either. Whatever. This episode isn’t about Chibiusa McFly. It’s all about Sailor Saturn being awesome! Sailor Saturn appears so late in Sailor Moon S that we don’t get much of a look at her. She is gone for SuperS and although she will be around for this season, she actually doesn’t get much screen time. She never actually gets a transformation sequence or any stock footage attacks. She does manage to use two moves in this episode. First she uses the Silence Wall to block Nehelenia’s attack. She then uses Silence Glaive Surprise which, in the Manga, just makes mist, but here it seems to be much more important. It releases a massive amount of energy even though it is blocked by Sailor Chibi Moon so that it isn’t completed. The insinuation seems to be that this attack would destroy Sailor Saturn and Nehelenia if used to completion.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

Finally Usagi shows up after climbing through a bunch of rose bushes. She takes pity on Nehelenia. This is what Sailor Moon is about! This is how Sailor Moon SuperS should have ended. Nehelenia is evil, sure, but she has a rich back story where we can see her as young and innocent and then corrupted. Usagi and her friends feel her pain and this is something which hurts her much more than hostility would. In the Sailor Moon Manga the Sailor Guardians kill the bad guys. In the Sailor Moon Anime they use compassion to find non violent solutions to their problems and this is what I love about the anime. This all works out well. Mamoru is healed, Sailor Chibi Moon returns and sticks around until the end of the episode only. Young Nehelenia is seen waking up from what seems like a bad dream. It’s not clear exactly what her fate is. Either there is some sort of reboot or she’s trapped in a dream of an ideal world, possibly not unlike death. Whatever it’s all good.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Mamoru and Sailor Chibi Moon

I must stop for a moment to discuss what isn’t happening now. Chibiusa leaves at some point and isn’t seen again for most of the season. This is done without any fanfare. I mentioned in my thoughts on episode 167 that her fake leaving should have been retooled as a better departure either at the end of 172 or the beginning of 173. Either place would have been fine. As the final insult when I grabbed my Japanese R2 DVD for Sailor Stars volume 2 to get screenshots of episode 173 it has Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn on the cover. Nonsense! Chibiusa is not on this disk at all, which includes episodes 173 to 178. The original laserdisc containing this same image contained episodes 171 to 174, and so it included the majorly Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon centric episode which this refers to. So I am sad to see Chibiusa leave, even though I understand why she is gone and the story of the season works best without Usagi having her family around, but it is still an unfortunate departure from the manga, where all 10 Sailor Guardians are present throughout.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 2 Japanese R2 DVD

Sailor Stars Volume 2 on DVD

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 2 Japanese Laserdisc

Sailor Stars Volume 2 on Laserdisc

Finally we get to episodes 173, Farewells and Encounters: the Transitioning Stars of Destiny. We open with a look at the new idol group the Three Lights! It seems everyone is a fan. Minako and Makoto like Seiya. Rei likes Yaten. Ami likes Taiki. Usagi doesn’t seem to know anything about them and is instead preoccupied with the fact that Mamoru is leaving for America. No only did Chibiusa leave between episodes, but her boyfriend is going too! At the airport Mamoru gives her a ring and puts it on her ring finger. He does not flat out ask her to marry him but the symbolism of the ring and its placements is essentially a marriage proposal. The two kiss in the airport as strangers walk by. A North American audience may not find this noteable but in Japan kissing in public is uncommon, which is why it will often seem important for characters to verify that they are alone before they kiss. This public gesture demonstrates the strength of their feelings for one another. Mamoru leaves in this episode, and there is a strange light seen outside of his plane. We won’t learn until much later what that is specifically about. For Usagi, Mamoru has gone to America to study.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru kisses Usagi at the airport

As Mamoru leaves, Seiya enters. It’s not even a little bit subtle and it isn’t supposed to be. Even while they are still at the airport the Three Lights arrive, and so Usagi’s potential love interest Seiya enters her life. As he crosses Usagi he senses something about her. The target for this episode is an actress Alice, who is doing a movie with the Three Lights. This puts Usagi once again in Seiya’s presence. She doesn’t know who he is and assumes he is trying to pick her up by suggesting she should. The combat starts and we see one of my favourite villains of the series, Sailor Iron Mouse. She is one of the Sailor Animamates, the Sailor Guardians who work for Galaxia. Sailor Iron Mouse extracts a Star Seed from Alice but it isn’t a True Star Seed so it’s just like a Mirror of Dreams that isn’t Golden or a Heart Crystal that isn’t a Talisman. The Sailor Starlights show up and fight alongside Sailor Moon. For no real reason Usagi decides not to tell her friends about this encounter.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Sailor Iron Mouse

A note on gender. Things get a bit complicated when it comes to the Three Lights and the Sailor Starlights. In the manga they are women who dress as men when they are the Three Lights. In the anime they are men in their civilian forms and women in the Sailor Guardian forms. We can debate weather they are originally or truly men or women. I tend to feel that their true forms are their Sailor Guardian selves and that the Three Light male identities are their disguise. This does not really matter at the end of the day, as gender is fairly fluid in this series, with sexual preference being an independent vector to gender. They are who they are, they love who they love and they are loved by whoever loves them, regardless of their gender. All said I will refer to the Three Light with masculine pronouns and the Sailor Starlights with feminine pronouns.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Seiya Kou

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Taiki Kou

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Yaten Kou

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Usagi is sad that Chibiusa and Mamoru are leaving

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Galaxia

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru proposes to Usagi

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru meets Seiya

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru leaves for America

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Sailor Stars Petit Chara figures coming in September

Eternal Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Chibi and Sailor Starlights Petit Chara figures

The latest Petit Chara figures have been announced on the Sailor Moon official site and this Sailor Stars set will include Eternal Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Chibi and the Sailor Starlights. This set will be released in late September. You can pre-order them from Premium Bandai.

Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer Petit Chara figures

Petit Chara figures are non poseable super deformed figures. This season of Sailor Moon was never released in North America, though many fans are likely still familiar with the story through fan subs and the manga. Eternal Sailor Moon is simply the powered up form of Sailor Moon for this season. Sailor Chibi Chibi is a mysterious girl of unknown origin, whos actual identity varies depending on what continuity we’re talking about. The Sailor Starlights are Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Maker and Sailor Star Healer, Sailor Guardians from another solar system who traveled to Earth in search of their princess.

Eternal Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Chibi Petit Chara figures

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