Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 1 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Contents

The first of three volumes of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is now available on Blu-Ray. Volume 1 was released on June 29th in Japan. This is a Japanese language release so there is no English audio or English subtitles. You can import it from sites like Amazon Japan for 6909 yen, about $67 US. This release features four episodes, where the first 26 episodes of the series were only released on disks containing two episodes a piece. This time we get Act 27 parts 1 and 2 as well as Acts 28 and 29. The set comes in a smaller package than the earlier releases, which should fit more conveniently on your shelf. It also includes a 24 page special booklet with interviews and art.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The episodes included are Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part and Second Part, Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, and Act 29 – Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers. This covers the introduction to the Death Busters, the Sailor Guardians facing off against Eudial and Mimete, meeting Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru as well as Sailor Uranus and Neptune. With the first 26 episodes, plagued by sloppy inconsistent animation, a number of minor improvements and changes were done to the animation for the Blu-Ray release. None of this is present here. If you’ve seen the streaming version you’ve seen the version which is presented on this release. It seems they put a bit more time and money into the animation the first time so there was no need for updates.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - DVD

The episodes include an optional audio commentary. These four episodes all feature commentary by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Cover

As with earlier releases a 24 page special booklet is included. The contents are somewhat like what we’ve seen before. There are episode summaries, interviews and character designs. Osabu’s page is not present in this booklet. There are a total of five interviews included. These are with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisaka Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Rei and Makoto designs

All in all this set is a more worthwhile purchase than the previous sets were. The cost is about the same and there are twice as many episodes. Without any changes in animation though, there isn’t much to get from collecting these when the streaming version is subtitled and free, though not quite at Blu-Ray quailty. Further now that we know that English Blu-Ray sets are coming with entire story arcs costing close to what a single Japanese disc does, it seems a little pointless for an English speaking North American fan to buy these Japanese only releases. All said we haven’t seen the English release yet. It seems unlikely that it will be plagued with terrible video quality like all North American releases of the original series have been, but that’s still a possibility. We may find that this is the better quality set to have when all is said and done. The French DVD and Blu-Ray came out last week and seems to be of exceptional quality though, so it seems likely the English release will be the same.

The next set will be released on July 27th and can be pre-ordered from sites like Amazon Japan. It is similarly priced at 6909 yen. It will include four episodes, Acts 30 to 33, bringing us to Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon and the first flashback look at Sailor Saturn.

Keep reading for more photos of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

Continue reading

Meet the cast of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal at Anime Expo this weekend, July 1st to the 3rd

Viz's cast of Sailor Moon S announced at Anime Expo 2015

This weekend is Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. Once again this convention will play host to a number of Sailor Moon actors, this time with a lot of the cast from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. Could this mean we will finally be getting news about the English dub of Sailor Moon S? It’s been a whole year since the voice actors for Sailor Moon S were announced at Anime Expo 2015. We are long overdue to see these episodes. The voice actors will be signing Sailor Moon S art at the convention so I think it would be reasonable to expect to learn something related to Sailor Moon S at Sunday’s panel!

Sailor Moon S poster from Viz Media

This convention will feature Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, new voice actors from Sailor Moon S Erica Mendez, Sailor Uranus, Lauren Landa, Sailor Neptune and Christine Cabanos, Sailor Saturn. Most of the events will be going on this Sunday, July 3rd. The Sailor Moon panel will be at 10am Pacific Time and an autograph session will be held at 1:30pm. The cast will be signing Sailor Moon S posters provided by Viz.

The next Sailor Moon musical, Amour Eternal, has a terrible name

Amour Eternal - Did you mean Amour éternel?

An update has been posted to the official Sailor Moon site which reveals the name of the latest musical, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal, as well as a complete cast listing. The new musical has been confirmed to be covering the Dream arc of the manga, adapted as Sailor Moon SuperS in the original Sailor Moon anime. This title is just the worst! Amour, as most probably know, is the French word for love. Eternal however is not French at all. It’s a full on English word. What the hell? Why not Amour éternel, which would actually be proper French? Are we supposed to pronounce it in French? It just sounds gross to say Amour Eternal. It’s just bastardizing two languages. It’s gross. The last two musicals all had fully French names. Is this supposed to be a misspelled French word or is this intentionally terribly mismatched English and French words? This is just bad and it will not stop bothering me and I will probably not be able to avoid mentioning how terribly stupid it is at least once in any post referencing this musical. This offends me as both and English and French speaking person and it should bother you too.

Everlasting love translates to Amour éternel

This title will just lead to more confusion on what the name means. Amour éternel would translate roughly to everlasting love or eternal love. I guess eternal is more the word we’re going for since it’s the actual English word in the horrible title.

Here’s an English translation of the cast, courtesy of Wikimoon:

Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon: Hotaru Nomoto
Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury: Yume Takeuchi
Rei Hino/Sailor Mars: Karen Kobayashi
Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter: Kaede
Minako Aino/Sailor Venus: Rimo Hasegawa
Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus: Syu Shiotsuki
Michiru Kaiou/Sailor Neptune: Sayaka Fujioka
Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn: Karin Takahashi
Sailor Pluto: Mikako Ishii
Sailor Chibi Moon/Chibiusa: Airi Kanda
Helios: Hikaru Hiyama
Queen Nehellenia: Sayu Otsuki
Zirconia: Kanami Sakai
Tiger’s Eye: Chihiro Ando
Hawk’s Eye: Riona Tatemichi
Fisheye: Yumi
Dead Moon Circus: Yoshika Kobayashi, Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Chiemi Doi, Ayano Nagasawa, Ayumi Sagisaka
Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask: Yuga Yamato

Some newcomers and some repeat performances here. Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are all new actors, as we’ve seen announced previously. We already saw that Yuga Yamato would return as Tuxedo Mask. Shuu Shiotsuki, Sayaka Fujioka, Mikako Ishii and Karin Takahashi will be reprising their roles as Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn. Airi Kanda will also be returning as Chibiusa. Riona Tatemichi, who previously played Rubeus in the Petite Étrangère musical, will be playing Hawk’s Eye. The rest of the cast are newcomers to the musicals, as those characters have no appeared before.

We Are The New Pretty Guardians - The cast of the next Sailor Moon musical

We previously reported that Hikari Kuroki would play Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury. This role is now credited as Yume Takeuchi. I don’t know what prompted this change in casting, but this replacement was posted as a separate update on the Sailor Moon official site on the same day as this updated cast listing was shared.

The cast of the next Sailor Moon musical, which starts October 15th, has been announced

We Are The New Pretty Guardians - The cast of the next Sailor Moon musical

A new Sailor Moon musical is coming in October and the cast for the core five girls has been announced on the official Sailor Moon site. The image of the new cast, included above, was accompanied by a brief introduction by each of the cast members. The musical will run from October 15th to November 6th in three different venues across Japan. The performances in Tokyo will be from October 15th to the 23rd. Next is Fukuoka on October 29th and 30th. Finally performances in Osaka will take place from November 4th to the 6th. We don’t have much in the way of details about this musical at this time. The last musical covered the Infinity arc of the manga but we don’t actually know if this one will cover the Dream arc which follows it or do something different.

Check out the cast listing below

Hotaru Nomoto – Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon
Hikari Kuroki – Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury
Karen Kobayashi – Rei Hino, Sailor Mars
Kaede – Makoto Kino, Sailor Jupiter
Rimo Hasegawa – Minako Aino, Sailor Venus.

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

Support this site by buying the first two seasons of Sailor Moon on DVD and Blu-Ray using the links below.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Minako's drawer

Continue reading

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Umino with a DVD

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to watch on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, has Sailor Venus facing off against the final member of the Spectre Sisters, Calaveras.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Shitennou as ghosts

This episode also features the return of the Shitennou who were killed in the last season. They’ve returned as ghosts summoned by Mamoru with whom they used to be real good buddies.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Invasion - Sailor Venus

Next Friday is Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto, in which we will hear Veronica Taylor, the English voice of Ash Ketchum from Pokémon, as Sailor Pluto.

Watch English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, Friday March 11th at 9pm EST

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Calaveras

The next English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available to view on Hulu and Neon Alley this Friday at 9pm Eastern Time. Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, has Sailor Venus facing off against the final Spectre Sister Calaveras who uses antiquated DVDs in her evil plot. They must be cheap 480i DVDs like the Sailor Moon musicals use!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Shitennou as ghosts

We’ll see the Shitennou as good guys this week. Mamoru summons them from the gems he keeps. Too bad we couldn’t see more of them in Sailor Moon Crystal, after being kept around for a somewhat anticlimactic ending.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Invasion - Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl figures coming in April!

Sailor Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl Sailor Mars, Sailor Moon, Luna, Sailor Mercury, Tuxedo Mask, Artemis, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus

These great looking Sailor Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl figures are coming in April. This image, shared by Funko of their set up for Toy Fair in New York, shows Sailor Mars, Sailor Moon, Luna, Sailor Mercury, Tuxedo Mask, Artemis, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus in Vinyl figures. Toy Fair starts tomorrow but this was shared on Funko’s blog and Facebook page as a sneak peek this afternoon. The card with them states “April 2016″ as a release date. I had heard some time ago that these were coming at some point but this is the first we see of the actual figures.

Sailor Moon Funko Pop! Vinyl Sailor Mars, Sailor Moon, Luna, Sailor Mercury, Tuxedo Mask, Artemis, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus

They seem to make these Pop! Vinyl figures of pretty much every franchise. It’s nice to have Sailor Moon join the mix. Do you plan on getting these?

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Venus wearing Sailor V's mask

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal has been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, which introduces us to Sailor Venus and her faithful companion Artemis. We have two new main voice actors in this episode. Minako Aino is voiced by Cherami Leigh and Artemis is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch. You can follow these actors on Twitter at @cheramileigh and @johnnyyongbosch.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako winking

The gang is finally back together and the show will try to tell us that Sailor Venus is actually the Moon Princess. I’m not sure how many people are meant to be fooled by this as all flash backs to Silver Millennium show a girl who clearly has Usagi’s hair style.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako petting Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako - Sailor V

Watch the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, January 1st at 9pm Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako winking

The next English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available this Friday, January 1st, at 9pm Eastern Time on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, which introduces us to Sailor Venus. Is there really anyone who is going to believe that Minako is actually Princess Serenity? Regardless, we will be made to believe this is true in this episode. With the introduction of Minako we will also see Artemis, her wise mentor who I’m totally shipping her with.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako petting Artemis

Cherami Leigh will be voicing Sailor Venus and Johnny Yong Bosch, Adam the Black Power Ranger, will voice Artemis the cat. As with other voice actors these are the same voices which Viz used in their new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. Follow them on Twitter at @cheramileigh and @johnnyyongbosch.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako - Sailor V