Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 and 2 discussion

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury

This is a review and discussion of the first two episodes of the Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. Act 1, I am Sailor Moon!*, and Act 2, Ami Became a Friend*, which originally aired in Japan October 4th and 11th 2003.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Luna and Usagi

Act 1 mainly introduces us to Usagi, played in this series by actress Miyuu Sawai. Fans may notice the considerable similarities between this episode and the first episode of the original anime series and the first act of the manga. Don’t let that fool you! The first few episodes may go along closely with the manga, in a similar way to how Sailor Moon Crystal did it, but this doesn’t last terribly long as the series will go in its own direction soon enough. That said, this one is a lot like that first story. We have Usagi meeting Luna, getting her powers and thwarting a monster, controlled by Jadeite, which is attacking Naru’s mother at her place of business. Sound familiar? It should!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Sailor V

The episode starts out with Sailor V confronting Tuxedo Mask. Here’s one great change from the original anime in that we get to see Sailor V in action rather than just in a few posters and video games. As with other continuities Minako Aino is not yet Sailor Venus but instead fighting as Sailor V. We already get a look at the real life Minako though. She’s not an aspiring idol at all, she’s a full fledge pop star! She’s really hiding in plain sight with her career too. Her new hit song is “C’est la vie” (French for “That’s life”) which is a bit of a pun as it also sounds like “Sai-la V”, a close approximation to how a Japanese person would pronounce Sailor V. Further her new album is called Venus. She’s not even trying! This hit song is popular with Usagi. She plays it on her alarm clock to wake up and even performs it with her friend Naru at Karaoke Crown. That’s right! The Crown arcade has been updated to be a Karaoke parlour in this series! What a great opportunity to sell music along with the show!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Act 1 - Plush Luna

On her way to school in the morning, late as usual, Usagi is confronted with a plush cat which falls from the sky. That’s right, Luna is a stuffed plush toy in this version! This seems a bit odd. A talking cat? Suspicious. A cat that moves around however is not that suspect. A plush on the other hand that does anything but be completely immobile is incredibly suspicious! Beyond this Luna the plush cat is CG in some scenes but a toy with swappable eyes in others! This is probably the cheapest part of the show. Easy to animate a real cat but having a realistic looking CG or even animatronic cat, like in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, would have been even harder to pull off! When Usagi runs into Luna, the talking plush, at home, she suspects she might be dreaming. I’ve often been unsure if I was dreaming or awake during a dream but I’ve never had this sensation while actually awake, but then I’ve never talked to a plush cat. Luna gives her a cell phone which looks identical to the toy. Using the camera Usagi can use it to change her clothes. Now that’s an app that would be popular with the kids!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Naru confronts her mother

Naru, as in the anime and manga equivalents, plays a prominent role in this story as the plot features around her mother’s Jewelery store. In this particular incarnation it’s not a sale but rather a fashion show that is taking place. Amongst the signs we see the name Mayumi Osaka, the name of Naru Osaka’s mother. This is the only version of Sailor Moon in which her mother has a family name! Naru’s mother is taken over by a monster in this version, not replaced as she usually is. When Naru confronts her mother she doesn’t recognize her daughter at all. How was her total lack of any memories of the woman she’s replacing not an issue before? Imagine being dropped in at your workplace with no memory of your job, you coworkers’ identity or even where you desk is! Naru calls her out on it and is immediately suspicious, which in itself is suspicious. This girl is ready for invasion of the body snatchers, shape shifters, robot doubles from the future or whatever problem it could be! Instead of assuming her mother is having some critical and medically concerning memory loss, it’s “Who are you?”. Wolfie’s fine Naru. Your step parents are dead. This borderline paranoid preparation however, does not stop her from being knocked unconscious. Poor Naru.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - The Moon Stick

The fact that Naru’s mother was possessed rather than replaced however meant that the monster of the week couldn’t be straight up killed but needed to be healed. This means that Usagi couldn’t use Moon Frisbee now renamed Moon Tiara Boomerang as it would leave Naru orphaned, assuming she doesn’t have a father around because well dads in this show are mostly dead or not around themselves. Instead Usagi gets her Moon Stick right off the bat and uses Moon Healing Escalation to purify the monster and restore Naru’s mother. You’ll eventually see the pattern but the Moon Stick is also just like the toy.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 1 - Sailor Venus and Sailor V in the same image?

And so the bad guy is beat and we are briefly introduced to Tuxedo Mask. This show is all about trying to confuse the audience on the expectation that they have no idea what Sailor Moon is about. When Luna tells Sailor Moon that she’s one of the four guardians of the princess we see Sailor Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and … Sailor V! Yes we see Sailor Venus and Sailor V next to each other. Perhaps they’re different people in this version? Many fans at the time of the series first airing were convinced that Sailor Venus was the Princess in this version.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Mercury

Act 2 once again follows its equivalent manga counterpart quite closely. It’s all about Ami Mizuno, the genius from Usagi’s school, who attends a cram school which is targeted by a monster and eventually becomes the second guardian, Sailor Mercury. Still some of the details varie considerably as we’ll see. Ami Mizuno is played by Rika Izumi, but you wouldn’t have known it in 2003. The actress went by the name Chisaki Hama at the time, changing her professional given name to Rika and eventually using her birth name Rika Izumi in all aspects of her life. She is younger than the rest of the main cast and was only 14 in this and other early episodes of the series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Motoki and Kamekichi

During the previous episode we got a look at Karaoke Crown and here we learn that it’s the new hideout! Always working at the front counter is Motoki who in this version is fanatical about turtles, including his pet Kamekichi which, at least during the day, is kept at his place of employment. Usagi has a special yearly pass which was forged by Luna who is “borrowing” a bit of Karaoke Crown’s space for a massive headquarters. Space in downtown Tokyo is at a premium so I imagine this headquarters is hurting the owner’s bottom line quite a bit! As long as Motoki can afford to feed his turtle I guess everything will turn out all right.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Ami and Luna

Luna suspects that Ami is a Sailor Guardian, and so she ambushes her on the bridge, leading Usagi, who has no idea what’s up, to start a conversation with her and immediately become friendly. Ami, as we’ve learned, has a lot of phonies trying to be her friend because she’s smart and because her mother is a doctor because I guess in Japan these are good reasons to want to be someone’s friend? My best friend in high school is smart and his father was a doctor but I we probably became friends because we both played a lot of Super Nintendo, which was important to me when I was 14. Usagi is delighted to hear that Ami is a fellow Sailor Guardian, but Ami is not happy to hear the news. She thinks Usagi is a poser who just wanted to be her friend so that they could save the world and stuff. This is nonsense of course, as Usagi had no idea about Ami’s Sailor Guardian status at the time. While Luna thinks it’s important to force Ami to be a Sailor Guardian, Usagi doesn’t want to force her to do anything. Here we see where Sailor Moon’s true strength comes from. It’s not about the power of her crystal or anything like that. It’s that she’s has a big heart and is a good caring friend. There’s a recurring theme about her befriending lonely girls who happen to be superheroes and this is the real difference she makes in their lives.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - A MiniDisc

Fans of the various incarnations of the manga and anime will notice that there is no floppy disk or CD rom in this version. Instead there is a side plot where Ami borrows a MiniDisc of Minako’s new album from Usagi. What in the hell, you may be asking, is a MiniDisc? It was a format for recording and playing music which was fairly popular in Japan, a bit popular in Europe and not that well adopted here in North America. It stored music digitally, like a CD, so it had better sound quality than a cassette tape, but could easily be written and rewritten to which kept some of the convenience of an audio tape. Usagi’s copy of Venus by Minako Aino has a hand written label suggesting this is not a store bought album. Perhaps we should be referring to Usagi as Pretty Guardian Pirate Moon!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Sailor Moon holds Ami

The enemy attacks the school where the next Sailor Guardian happens to be. Ami starts to fall off a ledge and Sailor Moon catches her. Now we have a fairly unfortunate situation where Sailor Moon is holding the ledge with one hand and Ami with the other. Have you ever done a pull up? That’s not that hard. How about a muscle up, which is when you pull yourself right over the pull up bar? Quite difficult. I’ve done very few in my life and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Well if you’re hanging off a ledge and you want to pull yourself up without using your feet, you pretty much need to do that. Here Sailor Moon can only pull herself up with one arm and she is holding all of Ami’s weight with the other. Does Sailor Moon get super strong when she transforms? If not, there was really no way out of this situation. Some rare people can do a one armed muscle up but I don’t imagine anyone can do it with an extra hundred or so pounds of weight to drag. It reminds me of a similar scene in the film “This Is The End” which did not end well for the person hanging for their life. So Ami says she’ll transform to get out of it but Sailor Moon is convinced that they’ll figure something out. Maybe she could use her Moon Stick to create a bubble around them so that they slowly float to safety. Oh I’m getting ahead of myself…

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - The monster of the week and the teacher

This episode’s monster is a double monster! The main humanoid part is an actor in a suit while the dog part is CG. The humanoid part possesses the teacher but leaves her body at one point. This helps free up the monster to be killed by Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury, who use a synchronized combination of Moon Twilight Flash and Mercury Aqua Mist. This is the first time Mercury Aqua Mist gets used. There is an unnamed move in the original manga which resembles this. It is first named here in the live action series and is later written in as Mercury Aqua Mist for new versions of the manga and this was adapted in Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon’s Moon Twilight Flash is done with her Moon Stick here. In the manga this was done using her tiara in Act 4.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 2 - Rei Hino

The episode wraps up with a teaser for Act 3. We see Jadeite leave a gem at the Hiyakawa Shrine and get our first look at Rei Hino!

*A note on titles. The live action series had no titles included when it originally aired on TV. Episodes were simply titled Act 1, Act 2 and so forth. After the series aired in its entirety a Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Memorial Book was released in Japan which, among other things, included a list of titles for the episodes. I have this book but I can’t read any of it since it’s in Japanese and so I will be using this episode title list from Genvid. I would have been happy to just call the episodes by their Act number but it seems this relatively obscure list of titles is now commonly referenced when people discuss the show and so I am including them. Just keep in mind that back when the show first aired, no one knew anything of their titles beyond the number.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on these episodes. Looking to watch along with the series? Though there is no official international release of the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series you can get English subtitled fan subs from sites such as Miss Dream, TV-Nihon and Sea of Serenity.

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A Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl will be a New York Comic Con exclusive

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

Funko has announced some of their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyl exclusives for New York Comic Con and they include Sailor Venus’s alter ego Sailor V! The convention will take place in Manhattan at the Javits Center the weekend of October 5th to the 8th. This is great news for those that have done the full physical, psych evaluation and DNA testing required to get the NYCC Fan Verification™®© status required to attend the event.

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

So what’s involved in getting an exclusive Funko Pop! Vinyl at New York Comic Con? You just walk up to a booth and buy one, right? In past years Funko has run a lottery ahead of the convention for time slots where attendees can buy things from their booth. It seems that this is the case this year as well. The Funko Twitter account pointed fans to the NYCC Lottery page where they can go into lotteries for certain events. I don’t have a Fan Verified™®© account but it seems like the Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl should be showing up there.

Funko made a video showcasing their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyls including Sailor V. Check it out below.

Funko Pop! Vinyls are an overly simple cheap and fairly ugly line of nearly identical looking figures covering pretty much every franchise to ever exist in the history of time. Their business model seems to be to make toys based on as many brands as possible and it’s going quite well for them. They can be found at pretty much every booth at every comic, anime, gaming or pop culture convention as well as on most of the shelf space at GameStop, a novelty toy store that used to sell video games. All said I sure would like to get my hands on one of these figures but unfortunately I have no plans to attend New York Comic Con. Will any of you be lucky enough to be attending?

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

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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.

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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)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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