Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Genderbent Minako

The latest episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese television on April 25th at 11pm Japan Standard Time and was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu following that around 10:30am Eastern Time that same morning. I watch the show on Crunchyroll due to the quality of their feed and the fact that as a Canadian it’s my legal option. This week’s episode, Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, has Usagi struggling with the kiss she shared with Haruka.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Sailor Moon blushing

The kiss is meant to occur early in Act 29 of the manga but, like most of this story arc’s episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, the last episode ended with a scene from the next act. The clip before the bumper however shows us the kiss again and we see this time that Sailor Moon has a blushing reaction to it. This insinuates that she liked it and Usagi will be dealing with these feelings throughout this episode and the rest of the season. Is Usagi gay? Classifying her as such doesn’t seem to be terribly helpful. Sexuality is fairly fluid amongst the characters in Sailor Moon, which reflects real people’s feelings quite well. Usagi loves Mamoru and her dedication to him doesn’t really waver. She has also been shown to find other girls in the series attractive, most prominently Rei when she first showed up, and here she is clearly attracted to Haruka as well. Beyond this other girls in the series have feelings of attraction to other girls. Haruka seems to exclusively like girls. Michiru loves Haruka but also seems attracted to other men. While many of the women in the series are attracted to men, they are comfortable in also being attracted to women. This really is a great way to portray characters as they aren’t terribly bogged down by labels or preconceptions. No doubt viewers and readers dealing with similar feelings appreciate seeing such things portrayed in a series they watch.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka in Usagi's dreamSailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka in Usagi's dream

Everyone is sharing the same dream in this episode. Last week we had a few people having a shared dream, voiced by Hotaru, but it was somewhat limited. Here all of the main Sailor Guardians are getting the same dream this time voiced by Haruka. Things are so different in an anime series than in a manga. If we see a statement made on the pages of a comic we don’t really know who is saying them. In a series with voice actors there’s a bit more revealed. The dreams are all about talismans, and no one seems to know if they are good or bad, or what they should do about them. Not really useful. The real prophetic dream which we see is Usagi’s vision of Haruka. She’s dreaming about her kiss and seems to have a good idea that Haruka is the Sailor Guardian who kissed her. She sees here as male and female but the female version she sees has a scarf and vest which aren’t actually seen until later in the episode. Sounds like some magic dreaming prediction! Of course in a series full of magic with dreams already predicting the future in this episode, this explanation doesn’t seem to be terribly out of place.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka kissing Usagi

While discussing Mugen Academy the cats mention the Tokyo Bay reclamation project. I didn’t really understand what this term meant at first so I looked it up and in this context it’s referring to filling up the Bay with some sort of fill to make new land and building that up. This certainly makes sense in the context of what is going on. We’re in downtown Tokyo which is space which has been inhabited in some form or another for hundreds of years. It doesn’t make sense that there would be room for all of these new constructions but if Tokyo Bay was filled in to do this, we understand where all of these buildings are coming from. There is a lot of precedent for this in the real world as a lot of Tokyo Bay is reclaimed land, which has changed the shape of the shore line over time. About 250 square km (100 square miles) have been reclaimed from Tokyo Bay.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Chibiusa and Hotaru make a promise

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita make a promise in the Sailor Moon anime

Chibiusa is all about secrets this week! Hotaru totally knows her secret and then Hotaru basically tells her that her father is making monsters. This should be a big deal and if Chibiusa acts on this it’s game over for the season but she doesn’t. When she seals the promise with Hotaru they lock their pinkies. This reminds me of Kazuko and Hiromi from episode 21 of the original anime, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime. When Chibiusa goes on a helicopter ride she promises not to divulge what she discusses with Haruka or Michiru. Why are these two even taking this gamble? We will see next week how well she hides this. Chibiusa seems really impressed with flying in a helicopter. Normally I would agree that this is a big deal but let’s not forget that Chibiusa literally flies through time, so I’m thinking a helicopter ride to her would be like me going for a horse pulled wagon ride through an overgrown pumpkin patch. The helicopter drops Chibiusa off in the middle of the street and the townspeople are rightfully disturbed by this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Won't this cause noise problems?

There’s a concert. Actually there are two concerts. These are in the same building on different floors at the same time. How practical is this? You know when you’re in a movie theatre watching a quiet drama and in the next theatre there are a bunch of Autobots killing Decepticons and you can hear the vibrations from the explosions coming through? I imagine Mimete’s loud pop music in a massive auditorium might have some bleeding out onto the classical violin performance that Michiru is doing. Anyway there’s a bunch of drama over tickets here! Haruka gives Usagi a bunch, which she shares with her friends, but in comes Mamoru who got tickets from Michiru. He was going to share them with his girlfriend, but she’s already going so he takes Chibiusa. Rather than communicate, which good couples should do in order to avoid misunderstandings and conflict, he just doesn’t say anything and runs into her at the event. Good plan bro! There are all sorts of concerns going on now with Usagi having been kissed by a girl and Mamoru maybe doing something with Michiru.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Minako's Sailor V compact

While everyone but the cats seemed covered with tickets for Michiru’s concert, the real show that Minako wants to see if Mimete’s. This is a concert which is offered free to Mugen Academy students and in order to prove your attendance to that school you seem to only be required to wear a school uniform. Minako has a plan which involves using her old compact from her Sailor V days. The Sailor Moon manga follows the Sailor V manga, but Sailor Moon Crystal hasn’t really touched on this much. In Codename: Sailor V Minako would use this to transform into various things much like Usagi does with her transformation pen. In the original Sailor Moon anime Minako does not have access to such an item as when she disguises herself as Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon S she states that she borrowed Usagi’s pen to do so, which she should not need to do if she had the ability to do so with her compact. This makes one wonder where old transformation items end up. The ones that aren’t hurled into masses of evil energy or dropped in alternate dimensions before the world is recreated I mean.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Minako as a boy from Mugen Academy

Anyway Minako decides to transform into a boy. An odd decision since there are a lot of female fans at the concert, but this is something she choses to do. It was nice to see this scene actually remain in Sailor Moon Crystal. Back in Act 5, when Sailor Jupiter first appeared, the manga had Usagi transforming into a man at the bridal shop. For whatever reason this transformation was not included in Sailor Moon Crystal and some fans speculated that it was because it had a character changing their gender. Whether or not this was truly the reason this does not seem to have been a problem with this episode. While posing as a boy Minako is clearly attracted to Mimete, complete with the hearts all around. Mimete of course is evil and part of the Witches 5. They don’t mention her power level but it’s 40. Why are we sending the weakest one second? This is a messed up RPG strategy.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Mimete of the Witches 5

Finally the two new Sailor Guardians reveal themselves to be Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Did anyone not know these names at this point? They also use their attacks which is cool enough.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Sailor Neptune

Next week is Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. In it Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5. She’s power level 202 if that seemed important to you.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 Preview - Mamoru and Usagi

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 30.

Continue reading

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6, Tuxedo Mask, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Shirtless Mamoru

It’s the most anticipated release of the weekend! The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available in English on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 6, Tuxedo Mask, shows us shirtless Mamoru! We also get a look at Sailor V, who we see so little of in the original Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Sailor V and Artemis

Next Friday is Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask. Original title, isn’t it? Usagi slept over at Mamoru’s so now everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Usagi discovers that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6, Tuxedo Mask

Premium Bandai exclusives for Sailor V and Black Lady Pullip Dolls are Artemis and Luna P

Luna P included with Black Lady's Pullip Doll

The Bandai exclusives for the Sailor V and Black Lady Pullip Dolls have been revealed! Sailor V will come with Artemis and Black Lady will come with Evil Luna P, which is just like Luna P only with a symbol of the Black Moon Clan on her forehead instead of a Crescent Moon. Bandai exclusives for Pullip Dolls are usually alternate costumes. In the case of most Sailor Guardians, this meant a civilian form school uniform. As Sailor Venus already came with Minako’s school uniform it makes sense that it not be included with this release. Black Lady couldn’t very well have had a school uniform since she never goes to school!

Artemis included with Sailor V's Pullip Doll

We had previously announced these two Pullip Dolls, high quality very expensive dolls with huge heads and eyes. Sailor V will be available later this month and Black Lady will be available in January. To get the Bandai exclusives the dolls must be preordered from the Premium Bandai site (Sailor V, Black Lady) for the price of 18,000 yen (about $150 US).

Sailor V Pullip Doll - Bandai

More images of the dolls were released along with this news. The above image shows Sailor V along with Artemis for scale.

Black Lady Pullip Doll - Bandai

Sailor V Pullip Doll without a Mask

Black Lady Pullip Doll

Black Lady Pullip Doll

Source: The Sailor Moon Official Site (Sailor V, Black Lady) & Premium Bandai (Sailor V, Black Lady)

Support the site by ordering some of the previously released Pullip Dolls using the links below.



Continue reading

A Sailor V Pullip Doll is coming in November

Sailor V Pullip Doll

A new Sailor V Pullip doll was announced this week on the Official Sailor Moon Site. This doll is coming in November. Though the price has not yet been revealed it will likely be the same as other dolls that have been released, which end up costing about $150 to $180 US. A Sailor Venus Doll was released a while back, but this new design is of Sailor V, Minako’s alternate identify from before she became Sailor Venus.

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Covers

The Codename: Sailor V comic predates the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon comic by a few months. In this story, which takes place chronologically before the events of Sailor Moon, Artemis gives Minako the power to transform into Sailor V and fight the Dark Agency herself. This character later appeared in the Sailor Moon comic, anime and live action series, where she ultimately becomes Sailor Venus.

Ayaka Komatsu as Sailor V from the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series

Many Pullip dolls have Bandai exclusive alternate costumes. In the case of Sailor Venus we already have a Minako’s school uniform released so it remains to be seen what, if any, alternate costume may be in store for Sailor V.

Sailor Venus Pullip doll - Minako's school uniform

Pullip dolls are detailed and very expensive somewhat creepy looking dolls with irregularly large eyes and heads. Sailor V joins a long list of other Pullip dolls which have already been released. Support the site by ordering some of them using the links below.



Super Sailor Moon, Sailor V, Sailor Pluto and Zoisite dressed as Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts figures revealed

S. H. Figuarts Super Sailor Moon

There have been a lot of new S. H. Figuarts figures revealed since I last posted about them. A Super Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts figure has been officially announced. It was originally revealed at the Wonder Festival 2015 Winter along with many other figures! Also revealed at this convention were the long awaited Sailor Pluto, Sailor V and Zoisite dressed as Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts. In total this makes 4 different Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts figures, 3 of which are mostly just different colours. This is likely the case because it’s much easier to reuse existing molds and change the colours of a figure than to make new molds and a completely new figure. A Sailor Chibi Moon figure had already been revealed which we posted about last year. All figures will cost about $40 to $50 once released in North America.

Sailor Pluto S. H. Figuarts

Super Sailor Moon has a few cool accessories with the Kaleidomoon Scope, her attack item from Sailor Moon S, as well as the Holy Grail which she originally uses to transform in to Super Sailor Moon.

Sailor V S. H. Figuarts

Sailor V looks great. No accessories are shown to be included though this doesn’t mean she won’t have any. The Sailor Venus figure came with a Sailor V mask but this is a drastically different costume. Zoisite dressed as Sailor Moon is from anime episode 33 in which Zoisite posed as Sailor Moon in order to lure in Tuxedo Mask. His colours are slightly different than Sailor Moon’s with a darker costume and green eyes. No accessories are shown here either, though Zoisite stabs Tuxedo Mask while in that costume in the anime. That might be something nice to include.

Zoisite as Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts

Sailor Moon episode 33 - Zoisite as evil Sailor Moon

Sailor Chibi Moon is only in her original form, not her Super Sailor Chibi Moon form. She comes with her Cutie Moon Rod.

Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts

Source: Sailor Moon Official Site announcement for Super Sailor Moon, info about Anime Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Collectibles post about Super Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Collectibles post about Wonder Festival 2015 Winter

Support this site by buying the following S. H. Figuarts toys from Amazon:


Keep reading for more images of these figures.

Continue reading

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 -  Sailor Jupiter clone attacking Sailor Jupiter

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter, is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we get introduced to Petz as she faces off with Sailor Jupiter. This gives us a chance to delve into Makoto’s tragic past.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa in her incorrect coloured uniform with Luna-P

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa with a white top

This episode has been changed from the next episode preview. As I mentioned in the review of the last episode, Chibiusa was seen wearing a short sleeve dark blue uniform which does not match what is usually seen in the manga or original anime. Chibiusa has two main outfits. This new short sleeved uniform is from her new school and has a white top. Her original blue uniform which she brings with her from the future has long sleeves. Whenever the blue uniform is seen with short sleeves this is a mistake. This has been updated in this episode to reflect the correct colours. I feel like this must have been a last minute correction as can be seen in these comparison shots between the original blue inform from the episode preview at the end of Act 16 and the updated white uniform from Act 17.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa with a white top

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa with a blue top

There is still one instance of the incorrect colours that comes through in this episode. When Chibiusa is walking through the street she is seen wearing a white top at first and as she leaves the frame her top turns blue. No doubt all of this confusion is because the animators sometimes see blue as white, as occurred during dressgate.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa cheating at the crane game

Chibiusa is seen using Luna P for all sorts of trivial purposes such as cheating at the crane game or making an umbrella with a bunch of birds. She also excels at the Sailor V game. Makes sense since she’s from the future and has more experience with games than people who were, by the original ages shown in the manga, born in the late 70s. We get to see a Tuxedo Mask doll in the opening scene, the puppet from last week’s episode, as well as a couple of Sailor V dolls. How odd it must be for these people to live in a world full of merchandise made after themselves.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - A Sailor V doll

A URL is seen on a poster for the Sailor V video game. The complete URL is not seen but we can see the partial URL “orV.gamecenter_news.jp”. This is either part of a URL along the lines of http://sailorv.gamecenter_news.jp or an e-mail address ending with a similar domain name. Whatever it might be this is an invalid URL or e-mail address. An underscore is not a valid character in a domain name. These must include only letters, numbers or dashes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Mamoru reads in front of an invalid URL

We unfortunately do not see a glimpse of Sailor Pluto in this episode. The manga shows a very brief look at her as Chibiusa thinks back to Abracadabra, the words which activated Luna P. We will have to wait until Act 19 to get a proper look at her. Another character who does not appear once again is Motoki’s sister Unazuki. Although she appeared in a cameo in Act 3 all of her subsequent appearances in the manga have been omitted from Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - King Endymion and Neo Queen Serenity

We do get to see Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion who look just like Usagi and Mamoru. There seems to be less of an attempt to mask their identity here than there was in the original Sailor Moon anime. It can easily be inferred from this episode that Chibiusa is in fact Mamoru and Usagi’s daughter.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Makoto's father was Brock from Pokémon Brock from Pokémon

Makoto brings Ittou Asanuma back to her apartment and tells him about how her parents died in a plane crash. We get to see a picture of her parents. Her father bears a striking resemblance to Brock from Pokémon. Included above is a drawing of Brock I made back in the 90s. One difference from the manga is that Ittou Asanuma doesn’t mention Mamoru’s super powers, as he overhears him talk about sensing Chibiusa’s thoughts and feelings through touch. He did catch Luna talking, which was only a matter of time since she doesn’t do a great job of hiding the fact that she can talk! Makoto seems to very easily share her secret about being a super hero to him, then gives him a fairly innocent kiss on the forehead.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Crop circles

This episode’s enemy is Petz, the third of the Ayakashi Sisters. The pseudoscience this time around is crop circles. For whatever reason this story arc is riddled with pseudoscience, previously covering fortune telling and dowsing, now touching on crop circles. The paranormal explanations, and the one given in this series, is that crop circles are the result of alien crafts. In reality no such elaborate explanation is necessary as crop circles have been quite definitely proven to be man made.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Petz

As with other episodes we wrap up with a Sailor Guardian being kidnapped and an Ayakashi Sister being killed. Sailor Jupiter is now a prisoner of the Black Moon Clan and Petz is now dead.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Calaveras

Coming up next, on March 21st, is Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus. This episode will introduce us to Chibiusa’s class mate Momoko. The enemy will be Calaveras who is channeling Rubeus, following in the tradition of the Black Moon Clan practicing things which are no supported by science. Unlike previous episodes however it seems like her channeling of Rubeus is nothing more than an elaborate scam to con the general public. This is consistent with the real world where channeling is not real and used exclusively by charlatans and delusional people.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Invasion - Sailor Venus

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 18.

Continue reading

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako winking

Sailor Venus is here! In the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Minako – Sailor V, we are introduced to Minako Aino, Sailor Venus and her trusty “partner” Artemis. I put “partner” in quotes because I’m totally shipping these two. The episode is available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. The main theme of this episode? Winking! Minako just loves winking, and it’s getting contagious! Artemis winks twice and Mamoru winks at Usagi in this episode. It’s a winking epidemic!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako petting Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Artemis winking

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Mamoru winking

This episode is a big lie! Princess Serenity is revealed to be Sailor Venus which is complete nonsense. The identity of Princess Serenity is the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon! All flashbacks of her clearly show her to have very Sailor Moon like hair. Sailor Moon gets a new tiara this week with a crescent moon like Princess Serenity’s on her forehead and of course there’s the simple fact that the Moon Princess is from the Moon, which is what Sailor Moon is named after. Somehow we continue to act as if it’s a legitimate mystery. Usagi has dreams where she’s called Serenity by Endymion who’s face is also obscured. So who is Endymion supposed to be if not Mamoru? Shingo? Motoki? Kenji Papa? There aren’t many contenders here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Endymion, the mysterious unidentified man

Things with the Shitennou continue to deviate from the manga. Zoisite is still alive and escapes. The original manga story has Kunzite talking to Zoisite’s decomposing body and eventually has him die as well, but none of this happens. In the next act the Shitennou are supposed to be brought back to life thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal, and then turned into gems. Perhaps they will just be turned directly into gems, or perhaps things will progress differently. We shall see! The past association between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou continues to be alluded to as Sailor Venus makes mention of Kunzite’s true past. This is likely something that will be revisited in a future episode. Kunzite kisses Beryl’s hand in this episode. How will Minako feel about this, assuming they get all hooked up like they should.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Kunzite kissing Beryl

Kunzite uses Tokyo tower to essentially kill everyone in town, only in this anime version the people are seemingly alive and just having their energy drained, not partially decomposed corpses. Jupiter is meant to sense the effects of the blackout, due to her association with lightning and electricity, but instead Sailor Venus approaches Kunzite alone. This makes sense given she is basically a shield for the true Princess. When the rest of the Sailor Guardians come in, Jupiter is flying while carrying the rest of the girls. Cool trick!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Jupiter flying with everyone in tow

Minako uses her transformation pen to transform. This is what she used to transform into Sailor V and Sailor Venus in the manga. Her transformation is full of ribbons. She uses her Crescent Boomerang attack in this episode, which is the attack she also used as Sailor V in the Codename Sailor V manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Venus's transformation pen

As the battle progresses we take a brief moment to share Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask’s first consensual kiss. This is important since the last kiss we got had Tuxedo Mask taking advantage of an unconscious Sailor Moon. Good thing they got this in, as Tuxedo Mask is then wounded defending Sailor Moon, as seen in the episode preview. Yes, the very last moment of the episode was in last week’s preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon's first consensual kiss

Next week is Act 9, Serenity – Princess. For all the stagnating deceptions of this week’s episode, the next episode will be jammed packed. Tuxedo Mask is severely wounded and kidnapped by the Dark Kingdom. The past events of Silver Millennium are revealed. Princess Serenity and Endymion are revealed. The Silver Crystal is revealed. All this an more coming Saturday November 1st.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Preview - Sailor Moon freaking out

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

Continue reading

Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, starting October 18th at 6am EST

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

This Saturday, October 18th, the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time. Set your alarm clocks because this is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. This week’s episode is Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. Despite the title Sailor V will indeed by Sailor Venus in this episode. We continue to attempt to keep the worst kept secret in Tokyo as everyone believes Sailor Venus to be Princess Serenity! This is nonsense of course because she doesn’t have pig tails in her silhouette like a certain other character in the series.

Sailor Moon manga Act 8 - It's still only 6am

This episode includes a scene where Kunzite talks to the dead bodies of Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite. Since they are still alive, how will this scene play out? Also this week Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask share their first consensual kiss!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako, Sailor V

Until now the manga acts have followed the anime acts in a 1 to 1 ratio, even preserving the titles. How long will this last? Many speculate, and I’m starting to think this is correct, that this trend will continue right into the Black Moon story arc beginning with act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère. The original expectation was that the 26 episode Sailor Moon Crystal series would be a retelling of the Dark Kingdom arc, but at this rate they will be done telling that story in half of those episodes wrapping up the Black Moon story arc with episode 26. Should there be filler episodes, a reasonable time to start with that would be after all five of the Sailor Guardians are together, so after this week. Should the next episode preview list Act 9 as Serenity – Princess, we know that the trend of sticking with manga titles will continue. Should it have another title, all bets are off and we may not be getting to the Black Moon story arc during Sailor Moon Crystal’s first year.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Tuxedo Mask being killed

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

Act 7 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask, is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Usagi has just found out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask, we learn more about the Dark Kingdom and we get our first look at Sailor Venus! But first, could Mamoru be Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard?

terry-bogard_fatal_fury Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

One of the first things we see in this episode is the flashback to Mamoru’s past. Mamoru’s parents died when he was just 6 years old. We get a look at them, two faceless people who have dark hair like his. Funny we see their faces in the Manga, though this doesn’t ever really come back. The more important issue is Mamoru’s hat, which looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury, a fighting game series originally on the Neo Geo. Am I forcing this connection? I don’t think so. I’ve never played a Fatal Fury game in my life but this connection was instantly obvious. In addition to this Tuxedo Mask does a bunch of punching in this week’s episode! His exchange of blows with Zoisite was not in the original Manga. Sailor Moon is attacked by Zoisite and then Artemis and Sailor Venus come to her rescue while Tuxedo Mask just watches. His punching must be due to an attempt at making him look more like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Preparing to punch

The episode starts out with Mamoru and Usagi’s tender moments but this scene seems plagued with inconsistent animation to me. I’ve not been one to complain about the animation in this series to date but after starting to feel like things were improving this episode in particular seemed like a disappointing step back. After this we get to meet Queen Metalia, the evil energy that is behind the Dark Kingdom, and we get a bit more back story for Queen Beryl. We unfortunately don’t get a good look at a normal woman in the North Pole discovering the Dark Kingdom like we do in the manga but the same story seems to be going on here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Queen Metalia

As expected, the VHS tapes from the original story were not kept, but instead updated to DVDs. Really? No Blu-Rays in 2014? Regardless of the technology upgrade the story can’t help but feel a bit dated. Video rental stores are not what they used to be, and the idea of the youth of today not spending enough time at the arcade because they’re renting video only reminds us that arcades are also not close to as popular as they were in the 90s. This is why things like updating Crown from an arcade to a Karaoke bar made sense for the live action series, but that Sailor Moon Crystal being so faithfully adapted but still taking place in moderns times at times doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, do these DVDs look like Kuri’s boobs?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Yumiko, Kuri and Naru renting antiquated DVDs

As technology goes, Ami’s computer has been replaced with a “FinePad” in this episode, an obvious take on the iPad. The icons in the background look like those on iOS though the windows and the red, yellow and green buttons on them are similar to Mac OS. This level of multitasking would be too convenient for an iPad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Ami's FinePad

A funny scene in this episode shows us more of creepy, creepy Umino. Original manga and anime Umino was nerdy but pretty much harmless and non threatening but Sailor Moon Crystal Umino is downright creepy! Here he shows up to share that he’s looking for Sailor Moon, which makes sense as he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else into doing so, but we almost forget that this is part of the Dark Kingdom’s plot as this creepiness fits right in with his character! Not sure why he’s made to look like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. He also looks a bit like Professor Tomoe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Creepy Umino looks like a heartless Heartless - Kingdom Hearts

This episode finally introduces us to two new charters, Artemis and Minako Aino as Sailor V and Sailor Venus. The first appearance of Sailor V in this episode is on Luna’s computer. In the manga when this conversation takes place you can see a bit of Minako’s bow but it’s not as obvious that this is Sailor V. Once the battle commences it’s Artemis, not Sailor Venus, that saves the day. We see the top of his head followed by him jumping and slashing Zoisite, who doesn’t die in this episode. Then we finally see both him and Sailor Venus together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Artemis

The episode does an odd thing with Sailor Venus’s introduction. First we see her from behind, clearly wearing Sailor V’s outfit, but then when seen again from the front she’s clearly dressed as Sailor Venus. That’s a quick costume change!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor Venus

In two more weeks, October 18th, we’ll see Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. This one will be all about Sailor Venus. The team is finally all together!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

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

Continue reading

Sailor Moon episodes 41 and 42 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Uwara and Ami

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning, September 29th. As with every Monday two new episodes subbed by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week we see episodes 41 and 42 where we reunite lost lovers and finally get some backstory on Sailor V.

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Rhett Butler lost cat

First up we have episode 41, I Won’t Run Away from Love Anymore: Ami vs. Mamoru. The title is kind of silly. Mamoru, as Endymion and later Tuxedo Mask, spends a decent amount of time fighting Sailor Jupiter in an alley before doing much with Sailor Mercury. Ami makes the title because this episode is all about her being reunited and finally going on a date with Ryo Uwara, one of the Rainbow Crystal carriers. Mamoru has been collecting all the old Rainbow Crystal carriers, including Rhett Butler, the obese alley cat who fell in love with Luna. In one scene his owner has a sign with his image on it, as he has been cat napped. Not many of the humans affected seem terribly disturbed. What’s worse is that once Rhett Butler is finally freed Luna is right there and doesn’t seem to be terribly affected by his presence. After all they shared she just kind of ignores him. I guess new hotness Artemis is in town so she has no time for old and busted Rhett Butler. For shame.

Sailor Moon episode 41 - Luna and Rhett Butler reunited

Next is episode 42, Sailor Venus’s Past: Minako’s Tragic Love in which we get a look at what Minako did while she was Sailor V. The Dark Kingdom is trying to manipulate her via her old friend Katarina from back in the day. Minako was in love with Alan while in London working with Katarina of the police department to fight the Dark Kingdom, called the Dark Agency in the Sailor V comic. When Sailor V is thought to be dead she learns that Katarina and Alan were in love with each other and leaves them to be happy together. This episode also includes Usagi disguising herself as an actual sailor! Sailor Sailor Moon! Sailor Guardians aren’t sailors in name only as their uniforms, similar to Japanese school uniforms, bear a resemblance to sailor uniforms as we can see by the vague resemblance here.

Sailor Moon episode 42 - Sailor V crying

Sailor Moon episode 42 - Usagi as a Sailor