Viz’s Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray looks fantastic and is well worth buying despite the unpopular cover art

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Sailor Moon R The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray April 18th and it looks amazing. I’m not talking about the lacklustre cover art which everyone seems fixated on but rather the video quality of the actual Blu-Ray. This is a top quality release which seems to come from the film source. The level of detail is absolutely not something which could have simply been gotten from software upscaling, which is what has been used for all of the home video releases we’ve seen for the Sailor Moon TV series to date. But don’t take my word for it! Look at these screenshots to see the difference. Prior to this release I watched the Japanese DVD as my gold standard. The French DVD release which came out in 2014 looks great too, but is still in the same ball park. It has a slightly cleaned up image and a higher resolution due to them having different TV standards. The old DVD we got from Pioneer in 1999 is borderline VHS quality, but it is an unmated full screen so there’s a bit more to the picture. This new Blu-Ray is in a league of its own. View the full sized versions of these pictures to see the difference. There’s a small amount of loss of quality from the JPEG compression on these uploads but it should give you a good idea of the difference.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - French DVD - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

French DVD (2014)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

Pay attention to small details in the image like Fiore’s nose or the lines on Mamoru’s face. This new Blu-Ray image is not something which could have been extrapolated through software from any of the standard definition masters. This is a high quality HD transfer from film source and it looks as good as we could hope for! Fans who were lucky enough to have seen the film in theatres probably noticed that they could see a lot of detail in the image and we see that in this release as well. Look at another comparison between a wide shot of the street which gives us a lot of small details of individual characters.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Wide shot of the street

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Wide shot of the street

Japanese DVD (2002)

It’s really refreshing to see such a nice quality release from Viz considering some of the earlier stuff we’ve gotten from them. I’ve always said that they’re doing the best that they can with low quality masters and this seems to confirm that idea. They’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using too much post processing and such but at the end of the day if you start off with a low quality master there’s really only so much you can do to try to make it look nice. The minor differences between the different releases of the original anime don’t add up to much but this release is on another level. This is a great movie, part of the best of what Sailor Moon has to offer, and at the relatively low price it’s being sold for it’s a no brainer to pick it up.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray  - Cover

But wait, you’re all thinking, what about this terrible box art??? Indeed, the cover art isn’t the best. For weeks fans have been criticizing it. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best box art compared to their other releases but is that what’s most important? We’ve gotten a lot of really nice looking boxes with great little booklets and the video content always looked kind of terrible. Here we have the opposite, a box which isn’t that nice and a top quality release inside! All things considered I’d rather we get a release with a cover drawn by 3 year old with crayons if we could somehow keep getting quality releases like this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon returns to life

Let’s look at what else is in this release. First off is the feature, which is only 1 hour long. This is the first of the Sailor Moon movies and it includes both a new English dub by Viz and a Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Sailor Moon R The Movie is one of my all time favourite films and my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies. It includes some of the best animation seen in the series. I watched the film in Japanese with English subtitles as I’d already heard the dub in theatres and found it to be good. Having seen a number of different versions of the film countless times I didn’t notice anything amiss with the translation, but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on it more than that.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Also included is the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special. This originally aired with Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres in Japan. It was also included in North American theatres when it played here. This is a fun little extra, running at only 16 minutes, with some new animation but mostly recycled clips from the TV series. This extra feature also looks great. This makes me wonder what kind of masters TOEI had access to when they put it together! This release was obviously mastered from a film source but the TV clips included also seem to come from a higher quality source even than we’ve seen with the Japanese DVD releases. With the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the original Sailor Moon anime in Japan being advertised as being software upscaled from standard definition sources I wish they had access to the same source material they used in 1993 when this special was put together. Just look at this shot of Ami from her first appearance early in the first season with the fine detail in the lines. It isn’t the best but it’s nothing like what we’ve gotten in any other TV release of the series. Let’s hope the Japanese release we get in June looks something close to this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians - Ami from the TV series

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Cast Interview

There are a few extras on this disc. When Sailor Moon R The Movie played in theatres it was introduced by an interview with the cast. This included Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Ben Diskin, Fiore and Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask. When I saw this in theatres I thought it was a bit silly to have it before the main feature. I was there to watch the movie, not see something which wasn’t more thrilling than your run of the mill DVD extra. Having it as an extra like this however is totally reasonable. This feature is about 10 minutes.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - LA Premiere Q & A

Also included is an interview which followed the LA Premiere. This included nearly all of the voice actors from the film, Viz’s Charlene Ingram and the ADR voice director for the film, Suzanne Goldish. The cast present included Carrie Keranen, the Xenian flower, Ben Diskin, Fiore, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff, Luna, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon. The only main actors not present were Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, and Johnny Yong Bosh, Artemis. The interview included your standard kind of banter about how mind blowing it is to see Sailor Moon the big screen and the fan reaction. Suzanne Goldish, ADR director, tells a humours story about how her notes had her flip flopping from calling the villain Fiole, which means nothing, and Fiore, the objectively correct character’s name and the Italian word for flower. This explains why the voice actors refer to him as Fiole in the pre-movie interview. ADR directors don’t have the star power of the voice actors but they usually have some good insight into the production which makes for interesting stories.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Character art

Note that this book is not included with the film.

There is also some character art on the disc itself. I wanted to grab some screenshots but this feature wasn’t included on the DVD and the tool I used to get Blu-Ray screenshots doesn’t support menus. I’ll spare you photos of my TV and assure you these are character designs for the film similar to those seen in the above photo from the Japanese art book. It would have been nice to see a booklet with some character bios and maybe some of this kind of art but there’s nothing in the way of inserts with this release. The Japanese Sailor Moon R The Movie art book includes over 100 pages of content. It would have been easy for Viz to put together 20 or so pages to accompany this film!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Discs

We also get the standard trailers which are included in all Viz releases. If you haven’t been convinced to buy the remastered uncropped Ranma 1/2 Blu-Ray release at this point it’s just not going to happen.

So what’s my final verdict? Isn’t it obvious? Just buy the movie! Don’t bother with the DVD as it doesn’t showcase the high quality video of the HD transfer. Buy the Blu-Ray which includes the DVD if you somehow don’t have a Blu-Ray player in 2017. I got mine on Amazon. You can also get it from other retailers like Right Stuf. If you don’t want a physical copy you can save a few bucks by getting it digitally on iTunes or Amazon Video, but be warned that the digital version is currently only available in English. This is a high quality release of a great movie which every fan should own. Go get it!

Now that we’ve agreed that it’s worth getting whether you have another copy of the film or not a practical question is whether or not it supersedes any other release. Should you just throw your old copy out? The old Pioneer release has some advantages, mainly the old dub which some people have nostalgia for an the unmated full frame image. For most people in 2017 with widescreen displays this has limited appeal, but to this day the English release is the only way to get this full pictured version. Even the original Japanese laserdisc version was presented in widescreen. As for the Japanese release it still has some special features which are nice. A rare DVD feature that all of the Japanese Sailor Moon movies have is an isolated music only track which is a nice addition which isn’t on this release.

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Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray Review

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.

Support the site by buying the set with the links below. This could be a nice Christmas gift for a Sailor Moon fan in your life!

There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Cover unwrapped

As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Discs

I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.

Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.

The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 - Interlacing artifacts in Makoto's tiara

There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.

The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Limited Edition Book - Rei bio

The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Ad for Sailor Moon S Part 2

Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.

If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:

Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.

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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 Sailor Moon Crystal English dub will premier at Anime Expo on July 3rd in Los Angeles

Anime Expo Logo

The first two episodes of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be premiered at the Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles on Friday July 3rd at 6pm, as part of Sailor Moon Day. The anime convention’s schedule is now online, where the event was listed. This will be Act 1, Usagi – Sailor Moon, and Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury. The English dub, by Viz Media, will keep the same cast that their new English dub of the original anime used. Some of those actors will be present at the convention. Since this convention takes place in California all times will be in Pacific Time.

Anime Expo will take place the weekend of July 2nd to the 5th in Los Angeles California. The convention will feature many guests from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon Anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, Cristina Vee, the voice of Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus, Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask and Sandy Fox, the voice of Chibiusa and Black Lady. Kyle Hebert, who played the Priest who turned into the monster Boxy in the new dub, will also be at the convention though he may not be involved in the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal or the Sailor Moon themed events.

KISS and Momoiro Clover Z

Also at the convention will be Momoiro Clover Z, the band which performs the Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme, Moon Pride, and ending theme, Gekkou or Moonbow. Momoiro Clover Z will be performing on Thursday July 2nd with KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. The two bands recently collaborated on a single released as Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS. Watch the video below.

Friday is Sailor Moon Day at Anime Expo. This starts with the Official Sailor Moon Panel by Viz Media and the cast of Sailor Moon from 10am to noon. Following this from 1pm to 2:30pm will be a screening of Sailor Moon’s best episodes, though we don’t know what those will be at this time. From 4:30pm to 5:30pm will be a Sailor Moon Cosplay gathering. Then from 6pm to 7:30pm is the English dub premiere of Act 1 and 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal. Other events listed in their schedule that will likely be relevant to Sailor Moon fans are the Viz Media panel on Thursday July 2nd at 1:15pm and the Viz Animation Panel featuring Neon Alley on Saturday July 4th at 4pm.

Viz Media

Source: Anime Expo schedule via Moonkitty.net

The first 14 episodes of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon R will be available on Hulu starting Friday April 10th during Moonlight Party 3

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Chibiusa pointing a gun at Usagi

New episodes of Viz’s dub of Sailor Moon will be available to stream on Hulu and Neon Alley starting Friday April 10th but only remaining online until June 7th. This is noted on the Neon Alley Schedule and will be celebrated with the 3rd Moonlight Party. The dubbed episodes released will be 47 to 60. This will include the first story arc featuring Ail, An and the Makaiju up to the first episode featuring Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan. As we have previously mentioned Chibiusa will be voiced by Sandy Fox. Watch a preview clip of Chibiusa’s arrival below.

The Moonlight Parties are online streams on Viz’s YouTube Channel which coincide with the new release of Sailor Moon episodes. The event will be hosted by Charlene Ingram, Viz Media’s Senior Marketing Manager of Animation. The episodes will not be streamed on this event but will be simultaneously available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Moonlight Party III will start at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time. Details can be found in this Facebook event. Four episodes will be featured throughout the Moonlight Party. This will include episodes 47, 48, 54 and 60. Episodes 47 and 48 will introduce us to Ail and An, the aliens, as Usagi and her friends regain their memories and become Sailor Guardians again. Episode 54, The School Festival Is for Me?! Queen Rei’s Song, has Rei performing some songs for a festival. Episode 60, Angel or Devil? the Mysterious Girl from the Sky, introduces us to Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan.

Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 1 Blu-Ray and DVD Box

These episodes will also be available on DVD and Blu-Ray starting on July 14th with Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 1 which will include episodes 47 to 68. This will be the first time Sailor Moon episode 67, The Beach the Island and a Vacation: The Guardians’ Break, will be released on home video in North America after being skipped in ADV’s terrible subbed only release on DVD from back in the day. This set is currently only available for pre-order from The Right Stuf. It comes with a 96 page colour booklet and collectible coin.

Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 1 Blu-Ray and DVD Box

Watch the trailer for the Blu-Ray and DVD release below.

Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 1 Blu-Ray and DVD Coin

Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 1 Blu-Ray and DVD Coin

Support the site by buying the first season of Viz’s release of Sailor Moon on Blu-Ray or DVD using the links below:

The cast of the new Viz English dub of Sailor Moon R was announced at Katsucon this weekend

Viz Media

This weekend is Katsucon in National Harbor Maryland. On Friday, February 13th, Viz hosted a Sailor Moon panel in which the dub cast for Sailor Moon R was announced. The panel was hosted by Charlene Ingram and included Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, the voice Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, the voice of Sailor Mars and Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The new actors who will be joining the show for Sailor Moon R are Johanna Luis as the alien An also known as Natsumi Ginga, Brian Beacock as the Alien Ail also known as Seijirou Ginga, Sandy Fox as Chibiusa and Veronica Taylor as Sailor Pluto. Veronica Taylor is likely the best known of these voice actors for providing the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokémon.

Sailor Moon R episode 75 - Sailor Pluto

You can watch the panel on Ustream below:

The first season of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray in two half season sets. Buy them from Amazon using the links below to support the site:

Source: The Fandom Post