A two day concert, Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians, is coming to Tokyo November 9th and 10th

Anza and Akiko Kosaka from the Sailor Moon Crystal visual book

A two day concert named “Akiko Kosaka’s 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians” will be taking place in Tokyo on November 9th and 10th. This two days concert will actually include two different performances with completely different artists on each day. November 9th will be a relaxed piano concert with some conversations and the 10th will have a band performance. So what exactly is this? Akiko Kosaka is well known for having written many songs for the original Sailor Moon anime as well as Sailor Moon Crystal but in this case it is likely her involvement writing many songs for the Sailor Moon musicals which is the basis for this concert. We can tell from the other artists appearing at this event that this will almost certainly involve performances of a number of Sailor Moon musical songs as this will involve performers from the musicals. Across the two days actresses who portrayed almost all of the Sailor Guardians in the musicals, that being everyone but Sailor Pluto, as well as others will be performing. Sailor Pluto is likely only absent because Yuuko Hosaka, who originally played Sailor Pluto in some musicals, was originally scheduled to be involved with the event but had to cancel.

With this year’s Sailor Moon musical being delayed until 2020 this concert may serve as a nice alternative for some fans. I can only speculate as to the specific format but with there being performers to represent each characters with no duplicates it seems likely that some effort to have someone take the part of the Sailor Guardian they previously portrayed is likely. Will they wear some sort of costume or just sing some classic songs? Who knows! Here’s a breakdown of who’s going to be involved and when.

Anza as Usagi from the first Sailor Moon musical

Not everyone is going to be involved with both days, but here’s a list of the actors which are going to be there for both November 9th and 10th. Akiko Kosaka, who’s career is being celebrated with this concert, will evidently be there for both days. Anza, the first actress to play Sailor Moon in a musical from 1993 to 1998, will likely be performing as Sailor Moon. Hisano Akamine, the third actress to play Sailor Mercury from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Mercury. Misako Kotani, the second actress to play Sailor Mars from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Mars. Emi Kuriyama, the seventh actress to play Sailor Jupiter from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Jupiter. Akiko Miyazawa, the fourth actress to play Sailor Venus also played Queen Beryl and musical exclusive characters Bilhah Emerald and Elizabeth Bathory, a vampire. She will likely be performing as Sailor Venus. Sanae Kimura, the first actress to play Sailor Uranus from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Uranus.

Yuuta Mochizuki, the second actor to play Tuxedo Mask, also played Kunzite in the very first musical and later the musical exclusive character Count Dracul. He is also well known for playing the Red Power Ranger in Zyuurangers, the series which was adapted in North America as the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. He will likely be performing as Tuxedo Mask. Hikari Ono has played Hawk’s Eye, Sailor Star Maker, Loof Merrow, a musical exclusive pirate, Bloody Dracul Vampir, a musical exclusive vampire who is Dracula’s daughter, and Prince Demande. It isn’t clear who she would be portraying in this concert as there doesn’t seem to be an actress to represent each of the Sailor Starlights.

The only person who will only be at the first day performance is Sakoto Yoshioka who played Princess Kakyuu in a musical in 1997. While it’s possible that she could be reprising her role as Princess Kakyuu, there is currently only one Sailor Starlight scheduled to be present on the first day so it doesn’t really add up.

There are a more performers who will only be there on the second day. This is when the full cast was originally planned to be together all at once. Yuuka Asami, the sixth actress to play Sailor Neptune from 1999 to 2002, later returned to play Jadeite in 2003. She will likely be performing as Sailor Neptune. Mao Mita, the fourth actress to play Sailor Saturn from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Saturn. Tamaki Dia Shirai, the third actress to play Chibiusa from 1995 to 1996, will likely be performing as Sailor Chibi Moon. Ryuuji Kasahara played a number of characters including Kunzite, Death Ra, a musical exclusive member of the Death Busters, Tiger’s Eye, MC Fly, a musical exclusive minion of Galaxia, Chaos, Professor Tomoe, Baron Gilles de Rais, a musical exclusive vampire, and Dark Nibiru, a musical exclusive character. It’s not clear who he will be portraying. Momoko Okuyama, the first actress to play Sailor Star Healer in musicals from 1996 to 1998, may be reprising her role but once again as there is no Sailor Star Fighter actress involved we can’t be sure what role she will be playing.

Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music history

With this event only taking place on a single day it may prove more difficult to get tickets than other musicals. Do any of you hope to be able to make it to this concert? I’m certainly hoping a CD or video release will be made available for fans who aren’t likely to attend.

Source: Sailor Moon official site Original Story with an Update.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will be released on Japanese Blu-Ray starting in November

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 1

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who are really picky about video quality and don’t like having money! The final season of the original Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan with volume 1 coming November 13th and volume 2 coming January 8th 2020. This follows decent but expensive releases for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime. While the quality of these has generally been better than what was released by Viz, these are still HD upscaled versions of standard definition source material. By this I mean to say that TOEI did not go back to the film source to get these HD versions but has done post processing on the same masters used for their DVD releases many years ago.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 2

The cost of these is certainly not cheap! MSRP for each volume is 14,800 yen, about $136 US. You can already pre-order the standard or vendor exclusive versions of volume 1 from Amazon Japan. Having just watched the first Sailor Stars set released by Viz and been fairly happy with the video quality it gets harder and harder to justify getting these sets, which only include Japanese audio and no subtitles! Certainly the video quality of the earlier seasons is the worst of the Viz releases and every season the sets look a little better. It’s easy to assume this is due to Viz doing a better job, which is certainly part of what’s going on, but I also think it’s just a matter of the masters for the series looking better for the later seasons. The ADV DVD releases of Sailor Moon’s first season and Sailor Moon R were horrendous but the Pioneer DVD releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS were much better looking for the same reasons.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 1 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 6

The art which we’ve seen looks quite good. As with previous releases this is box art which was originally used for the initial VHS and laserdisc releases. This art is done by Katsumi Tamegai who was an animation director for many episodes throughout the Sailor Moon series, including the final episode. This art was also used for the Japanese DVD release. Volume 1 has an image of Eternal Sailor Moon on the outside and Usagi with Chibi Chibi on the inside, though she’ll only show up for the last two episodes of the set. I’ve included images of the laserdiscs for reference throughout this post.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volumes 3, 4 and 5 - The Sailor Starlights and the Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 9

The outer cover for volume 2 is an amalgamation of three different laserdisc covers showing each of the Sailor Starlights and their civilian Three Lights counterparts. The inside shows Princess Serenity and a less evil Galaxia which I suppose is a bit of a spoiler!

Included in volume 1 are episodes 167 to 183 while volume 2 will have episodes 184 to 200. This is the same breakdown Viz used with their release as it splits the season evenly with 17 episodes per set. The special features are much like what we’ve gotten with other releases. This includes low quality (non super) creditless versions of the opening and ending credits and 15 second commercials for each episode. A booklet with episode descriptions will also be included.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Vendor exclusives

As always we have vendor exclusives for a number of retailers. You can see them shown in the image above. It isn’t always obvious what these are! Members of the official Sailor Moon fan club who order the set through the club will get A4 sized sticker sheets with each volume as well as a laserdisc jacket sized poster for buying both volumes. We don’t know what images those will include at this time. A4 size is roughly equivalent to a standard 8.5×11″ letter piece of paper. A laserdisc jacket is roughly the size of a vinyl record jacket.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive box

The Amazon exclusive which is available to customers buying both volumes is a box to house both sets which has art similar to the laserdisc box which housed all of Sailor Stars.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box

The Animate exclusive, which is available only to those ordering both volumes, is a set of three acrylic key rings. Each features an image of one of the Sailor Starlights with their Three Lights alter ego from the box art.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box back

The Seven Net exclusive for volume 1 is an acrylic plate, which I believe is what is sometimes called a pencil board, showing an image of Eternal Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians. The exclusive for volume 2 is a B2 sized tapestry featuring an image of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn which was originally on the back of the Sailor Stars laserdisc box. B2 size is about 20″x28″.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn

Finally the Neo Wing exclusives are a separate A2 sized cloth poster which comes with each volume. These are images of the first two laserdisc covers, that being Eternal Sailor Moon for volume 1 and Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon for volume 2. A2 size is about 16.5″x22″.

Have any of you been buying these sets?

Listen to the English voices of the Sailor Starlights in this clip of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

As part of Viz Media’s ongoing effort to promote and build up hype for their upcoming release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (coming to home video on June 18th!) they have released and English clip which includes our first impression of the voices of the Sailor Starlights! This clip from episode 173 is the first appearance of the Sailor Starlights. Check it out below!

As we previously mentioned the Sailor Starlights will be voiced by Melissa Hutchison as Sailor Star Fighter, Erika Harlacher as Sailor Star Maker and Sarah Williams as Sailor Star Hearler. These are their feminine Sailor Guardian identities. I’m anxious to hear if their portrayal of the Three Lights, their masculine civilian identities, will differ.

If you’re planning on picking this set up on Blu-Ray or DVD please consider supporting the site by buying it through the links below.

Stage on!

Source: @VIZMedia on Twitter

The English voices from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars have been announced

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Dub Voice Actors

Earlier this week Viz Media announced the new English dub cast for their dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which will be coming to home video on June 18th. Though I’m used to calling this Viz’s “new” English dub this is the first time the final season is being dubbed in English and so these characters have not had English voices before! The voice cast includes Stephanie Sheh as Chibi Chibi, Sailor Chibi Chibi, Melissa Hutchison as Seiya Kou, Sailor Star Fighter, Erika Harlacher as Taiki Kou, Sailor Star Maker, Sarah Williams as Yaten You, Sailor Star Hearler, and Carrie Keranen as Sailor Galaxia.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon

Fans will probably notice that Stephanie Sheh is also the voice of Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon, in Viz’s dub. Her being cast as Chibi Chibi follows with the Japanese casting where Kotono Mitsuishi, the Japanese voice of Sailor Moon, also played Chibi Chibi. Why is this casting important? In the manga it certainly makes sense for Chibi Chibi to have the same voice as Sailor Moon! Her true identity turns out to be a future version of Sailor Moon so they should share a voice. In the anime however that identity is not kept and aside from the visual resemblance, due to the characters resembling each other in the manga, they are not the same person or even related in any way. The end of the anime was written before the manga was completed and the casting was likely done before the identity of the character was known or decided. So much to say it isn’t really necessary to have Chibi Chibi voiced by Sailor Moon’s voice actor.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

The rest of the voice actors have experience in other anime. The three Sailor Starlights are voiced by women, as was the case in the Japanese version. These characters are men while they are in the civilian disguises as The Three Lights and transform into women when they are Sailor Guardians, their genuine selves. In the manga it’s insinuated these are simply disguises but in the anime they actually transform their bodies. Melissa Hutchison who plays Seiya, the more prominent of the Sailor Starlights, is best known for playing Clementine in the Walking Dead video games. Erika Harlacher who plays Taiki has voiced many anime characters including Kurapika in Hunter x Hunter. Sarah Williams who plays Yaten has voiced many video game and anime characters including Sayaka Miki in Madoka Magica and Jinx in League of Legends. Carrie Keranen who plays Sailor Galaxia has previously voiced a number of single episode character in Sailor Moon including Kazuko Tadashita, one of the animator from episode 21, Saeko Yamamoto and Blizzar, the skier and monster from episode 38, Utonberino, a cardian
from Sailor Moon R episode 55, Amanju, a cardian who was chosen by Ail in Sailor Moon R episode 57, Avogadora, the Droid in Dark Fruit in Sailor Moon R episode 66, as well as the Xenian Flower from the Sailor Moon R movie.

Sailor Galaxia

Source: @VIZMedia on Twitter

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Check out the Sailor Starlights and Princess Kakyuu from the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical

Princess Kakyuu, Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer from the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical

The official Sailor Moon site has been updated with an image of Princess Kakyuu and the Sailor Starlights, Sailor Star Maker, Fighter and Healer, from the upcoming Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical. The cast of this musical was previously announced with Asami Okamura as Princess Kakyuu, Riona Tatemichi as Sailor Star Maker, Meiku Harukawa as Sailor Star Fighter and Saki Matsuda. as Sailor Star Healer. What do you think of the new costumes?

satomi_okubo_as_sailor_cosmos_with_chibi_chibis

Last week we also got a look at the Sailor Cosmos and Sailor Chibi Chibi costumes as it was announced that Satomi Okubo, who previously played Sailor Moon in earlier musicals, will be returning as Sailor Cosmos.

The Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical poster, story, cast and schedule have been released

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

A ton of information about the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical has been released! The musical will start in September and run in three different cities in Japan, those being Tokyo, Aichi and Osaka. As expected this musical will cover the Stars arc of the manga, which has the Sailor Guardians joining forces with the Sailor Starlights to fight Sailor Galaxia.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

Check out the new cast members! Note that I don’t speak Japanese so for some of these I couldn’t get a good English version of the name so I just included the Japanese text. I’ll update those when I get some better into.

Harukawa Meiku - Sailor Star Fighter

Seiya Kou, Sailor Star Fighter, will be played by Meiku Harukawa.

Riona Tatemichi as Rubeus

Taiki Kou, Sailor Star Maker, will be played by Riona Tatemichi. Riona previously played Rubeus in the Petite Étrangère musical.

Saki Matsuda Sailor Star Healer

Yaten Kou, Sailor Star Healer, will be played by Saki Matsuda.

Princess Kakyuu

Princess Kakyuu will be played by 岡村麻未.

Coco Isuzu Sailor Galaxia

Sailor Galaxia will be played by Coco Isuzu (Twitter, Instagram).

Aoki Shion - Sailor Iron Mouse

Sailor Iron Mouse will be played by Aoki Shion.

Sailor Tin Nyanko

Sailor Tin Nyanko will be played by 橋垣美佑.

Sailor Aluminum Siren will be played by 小林由佳.

Juri Hirayu - Sailor Lead Crow

Sailor Lead Crow will be played by Juri Hirayu (Twitter, Instagram).

Hirani Yamaguchi as Chibi Chibi

There will be two actresses playing Chibi Chibi. Hinari Yamaguchi and 新津ちせ.

There will also be some dancers playing additional villains. These are 椎原夕加里, 肥田野好美, 匂坂あゆ美 and Ayano Nagasawa. A number of them played villains in past musicals.

Performances in Tokyo will be from September 8th to the 18th. Performances in Aichi will be September 23rd and 24th. Performances in Osaka will be held from September 29th to October 1st.

Will any of you be attending this round of musicals?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 192 and 193 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Minako loves Artemis

This week’s new episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars on Hulu and Neon Alley are all about Yaten threatening people! First he gets upset at Minako for trying to do the thing he’s doing and then he tries to steal an incense burner from innocent little Chibi Chibi! It’s also all about fetish costumes as Minako auditions to be an idol in all form of ridiculous costume and then the gang dress up as maids for a sort of school run Maid Café. This week also features the double whammy of two piece swimsuits and Usagi holding a child in her arms.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Yaten threatens Minako

Episode 192, Go for Your Dream: Minako Becomes an Idol, continues Minako’s quest to become an idol. Didn’t we already see this episode? Episode 114 is kind of exactly this as Minako faced off against Mimete to become an idol. Minako made it to the final five in the episode before losing. Usagi herself tried to be an idol in episode 7 as well. In the live action series Minako is an idol all along, but in the anime she has to work for it! This is a popular topic in Japan. Frankly I was a bit baffled by these kinds of episodes back in the 90s, as such a thing was not that common here. I’d seen shows like Star Search but in this pre American Idol world it seemed to be a bigger thing in Japan. These days there is no shortage of shows which are pretty close to what is depicted here, somewhat of a mix between American Idol and a beauty pageant. While stars for such shows are often picked with their physical appearance in mind, this is less overtly stated as a requirement than it might be in Japan. What’s more the circus in Japan seems to just be amped up to 11, with competitors showing up with rabbit ears, tuxedos, school uniforms and other costumes that are indistinguishable from cosplay. Yaten is real upset at Minako for trying to be an idol. Yaten, an idol himself and member of what is surely the most popular boy band in Japan, thinks being an idol is incompatible with Minako’s duties as a Sailor Guardian. I wonder if throughout this episode Yaten, when coming face to face with Artemis, has noticed that he has a crescent moon in his forehead that looks just like the one Luna has. Artemis doesn’t seem to be very jealous of Yaten either, which is odd considering both loves of his life, Minako and Luna, have shown overt signs of being attracted to him. Oh well Artemis and Luna are great at hiding their emotions. They never even talk about their daughter who went back to the future between episodes with no fanfare. The competition of course includes a swimsuit portion. This must be good news to some readers, though sadly Minako only sports a one piece suit. Some other competitors wear bikinis though. Minako performs Route Venus at the competition. Though this song first appears in Sailor Moon SuperS it is a Sailor Moon R character song for Sailor Venus and is performed by Minako’s voice actress Rica Fukami. The target this week is Takuya Moroboshi who is like the Japanese Simon Cowell. He turns into Sailor Musician who is totally ridiculous looking, like most Phages. During the fight Usagi asks Luna to watch Chibi Chibi. I always find this funny as Usagi did it to Chibiusa in Sailor Moon R as well. Minako ultimately wins the competition, but decides not to pursue it at this time. I guess hypocritical Yaten got through to her! She seems to think she can become an idol at any time because she forgets that she lives in Japan and that her chances of success diminish with each passing year.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Sailor Musician

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 193 - Minako dressed as a French maid

Episode 193, The Stolen Silver Crystal: Princess Kakyu Appears, is all about a Maid café though I’m not sure it was called that at the time. A little poking around tells me the first Maid Café dates back to 2001 but this episode aired in November 1996. Regardless of the specifics, this a restaurant where the girls dress up as French maids to serve their customers. It’s nice to see these school girls replace the highly fetishized Japanese school uniform with a French maid outfit. Seiya takes a page from 80s romantic comedies as he appears outside of Usagi’s balcony to chat with her. Usagi is there with Chibi Chibi who is dressed a rabbit. Could Chibi Chibi’s rabbit outfit be a clue to her actual identity? No. The rabbit outfit is in no way related to her identity in the anime. At this point on my first viewing I still thought she was Princess Kakyuu which we’re about to learn is not the case. Chibi Chibi got that incense burner a few episodes ago which is surrounded with butterflies and smells like Princess Kakyuu. This causes jerk faces Taiki and Yaten to try to get it from her. This is pretty sketchy, seeing large teenage boys threatening a little kid to fork over something. Naturally this causes Makoto and the rest of the girls to come to her defense. The target this week is … Sailor Moon! Sailor Lead Crow does something right for a change and targets someone who actually has a True Star Seed. She threatens to destroy the school with a black hole, as if a school which endorsed a fetish café was worth saving, and this seems to work on Usagi who submits to those bracelet things. Her Star Seed is the Silver Crystal and when it is retrieved Sailor Moon turns into Usagi. Let’s tease this apart for a moment. A normal person, when deprived on their Star Seed, becomes a Phage who is Sailor something which has to do with their interest. When Sailor Moon loses her Star Seed her Phage is Usagi dressed as a maid, which happens to be what she was wearing before. Is Sailor Moon’s Phage Usagi? So Lead Crow is sucked into the black hole, because these things are dangerous, and so are Usagi and Chibi Chibi but that’s okay because Princess Kakyuu shows up and it seems like she’s the one to destroy the black hole somehow. Wow it’s great this big climactic thing we were waiting for finally happened. I can’t wait to see what Princess Kakyuu does!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 193 - Princess Kakyuu

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Minako's drawer

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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 178 and 179 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 178 - Yaten and Luna

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars have been released on Hulu and Neon Alley. Episode 178 and 179 were accidentally released early last Thursday but were taken down after a day, returning once again this morning. This week we get a great Yaten episode and a so so Taiki episode. I hope everyone loves shipping Luna with Yaten!!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 178 - Luna in a dress

Episode 178, Luna’s Discovery: The Real Face of Yaten, is an episode in which I don’t believe Luna actually learns that Yaten is Sailor Star Healer as the title seems to insinuate. It is possible that the title is not a reference to Luna learning Yaten’s secret identity but instead seeing his true self under the hard exterior he puts on. More on that later. This episode is all about shipping Luna and Yaten! What a lovely couple! We know that Luna is into humans from the Sailor Moon S movie. We can also infer from her jealousy of Artemis and the Nun she thought he was into as being a further sign of her acceptance that cats can be attracted to humans. When Luna goes missing it turns out that she’s been with Yaten, living the good life, riding around in limos, overhearing conversations about their mission that don’t reveal a ton. Yaten is shooting a movie with a really terrible woman name Noriko Okamachi, an actress who is always carrying around her persian cat. She hits on Yaten but is quickly shot down. She later accuses him of being gay for turning her down, which causes Luna to scratch her face. Meanwhile Luna has been dressed up in some adorable/ridiculous girly clothes! Iron Mouse show up and takes Noriko’s star seed. The episode title insinuates that Luna sees Yaten transform, but this does not appear to happen. Luna is injured and left by Yaten who then runs some distance before transforming, seemingly while no one is watching. Naturally should he have transformed in front of a cat, that probably wasn’t something he considered a security risk, but we know it would have been. During the fight Sailor Star Healer mentions a cat and Sailor Moon asks if it’s Luna, to which she responds that it sounds like a nice name. The next day at school Yaten sees Usagi with Luna, referring to her by name. He really should be putting two and two together and figuring out that Usagi is Sailor Moon at this point, but that is a discovery for another time by another person.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 178 - Sailor Star Healer

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 179 - Makoto and Taiki on a cooking show

Episode 179, Friend or Foe? Star Lights and the Sailor Guardians, has a brief appearance by Haruka and Michiru. Great, so where’s Hotaru? Ah no of course we don’t see her. More on them next week! This episode is not about these cool characters we like. It’s about Taiki. Who likes this guy? He read poetry in this episode! Wow what a sensitive guy. Taiki seems to be all about slumming it on bad TV so he’s doing a cooking show this week, and Makoto comes along. This is a bad choice as the producers have clearly not properly vetted their guest to discover that she’s actually completely terrified of being on camera. Usagi to the rescue who manages to pretty much blow up the studio in a cooking mishap. The enemy is Sailor Chef and we see Taiki transform but we kind of already did a Taiki episode so there’s nothing really novel here. This episode includes a special sneak appearance by two new Sailor Animamates Sailor Aluminum Siren and Sailor Lead Crow. They are visible only briefly and partially obscured as we learn that Sailor Iron Mouse is doing a terrible job and is apparently replaceable. Oh no!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 179 - Michiru and Haruka

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 179 - Sailor Aluminum Siren, Sailor Iron Mouse and Sailor Lead Crow

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 178 - Lost cat Luna

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 178 - Luna scratches Noriko

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