Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 -  Princess Serenity and her Guardians with Luna and Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, went online yesterday, November 1st, on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode is full of revelations as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Silver Crystal and tons of details about the past are finally revealed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

Did anyone really think Minako was the Moon Princess? That was all a bit silly with the last episode. Minako was the ruse and now we are finally shown the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon history, the true identity of Princess Serenity. But not content to have super obvious things finally revealed we are now being really secretive about the true identity of the woman from the past who killed Prince Endymion. Boy I wonder who the evil woman might be? Her face is obscured so I have no idea who this is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Queen Beryl

Indeed, the big thing in this episode is this great flashback to Silver Millennium, the kingdom on the Moon from some time in the distant past. The English dub mentioned this time to be 1000 years ago which seems about right but an exact timeline is not ever given. Looking at the technology and architecture of Earth at the time it would seem that a Midlevel setting is what we’re seeing. This isn’t a flashback to when Prince Endymion was on Earth in the 1950s. The places on Earth also appear to be European rather than Asian, despite the people clearly speaking Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Usagi with her friends

Usagi is revealed to be the Princess and so the proper pecking order is well established. The other girls are her guardians, and this is shown both in their willingness to protect her in battle but also in the way they all come together to support her as friend now that she’s pretty down thinking Mamoru is kidnapped and likely dead. One concern she expresses is that they need to get him before his body deteriorates. No wonder she wants to return to a worry free teenage life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite

The Shitennou are all still around which didn’t really go anywhere. In the manga version of this story we get a nice flashback showing they were Endymion’s generals back in the day and we see Jadeite’s body undo decomposition but all of this is skipped. Changes are expected to this story seeing as they are all still alive, rather than having been killed like in the manga, but I expected more rather than less to occur this week. For now we will continue to wait to see what is in store for those characters in the coming episodes. Kunzite recognized the name Endymion when it was mentioned so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

Next time we go to the Moon! Everyone is kind of waiting around but the girls want some answers and Luna suggests they may be found on the Moon. November 15th episode is Act 10, Moon. We’ll see more flash backs and a look at Queen Serenity, Princess Serenity’s mother from back in the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

Check out more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview below.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, at 6am Eastern Time November 1st

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Preview - Sailor Moon freaking out

Tomorrow morning at 7pm Japan Standard Time, 6am Eastern Time and 3am Pacific, the next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available to stream online on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week is episode 9, Serenity – Princess. A lot will happen this week as the Moon Princess, Princess Serenity, is revealed, we finally see the Silver Crystal and we get a flashback to the events of Silver Millennium on the Moon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Serenity, Princess

The manga equivalent of this story also included a look back at the Shitennou in their original lives as well as them after their deaths. As they haven’t died yet in this continuity we’re sure to see something a little different this time around.

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

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

Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, starting October 4th at 6am EST

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Usagi discovers Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will soon be available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, will be available to stream starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time on Saturday October 4th. This is 6am Eastern Time and 3am Pacific Time. Usagi has just discovered that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask! Where will their relationship go from here?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Mamoru Chiba - Tuxedo Mask

No doubt this episode will continue to follow the manga, as others have, but some things just might not be fitting to 2014. The manga story for this act has the Dark Kingdom using rented VHS tapes to brainwash people. People rented tapes in 1992 but this hasn’t been done in some time. The VHS tapes will need to be updated, but what will they be replaced with? DVDs and Blu-Rays are common but people don’t really rent videos in any format anymore. It’s tricky adapting an over 20 year old story so faithfully. This manga story also has Zoisite getting killed, though with none of the Shitennou having been killed yet this is unlikely to happen. Finally we will be seeing Sailor Venus show up at the end of this week’s episode. The whole gang will soon be together.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Usagi and Mamoru dancing

The 4th episode of Sailor Moon Crystal became available on Saturday August 16th. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party, has everyone crashing a party put on by the D Kingdom in order to steal their jewels, hoping to find the Silver Crystal. While this is an early story in the manga it is somewhat similar to episode 22 of the Sailor Moon anime, Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Jadeite lives

The episode largely follows act 4 of the original manga with one major exception, Jadeite is still alive. In the manga Sailor Mars kills Jadeite at the end of act 3 however in the last episode it was unclear if Jadeite actually died during the fight. Indeed Jadeite is still alive which is the biggest change to the story we’ve seen to date. Perhaps this change will lead to more differences down the line, as all of the Shitennou are still alive at this point leaving things open for different stories. In act 3 Jadeite made comments about how beautiful he thought Sailor Mars was, which may be related to a past and future relationship between the two of them. Manga art from the final Dark Kingdom story shows pairings between the Shintennou and Sailor Guardians during Silver Millennium. Sailor Mercury was with Zoisite, Sailor Mars is with Jadeite, Sailor Jupiter was with Nephrite and Sailor Venus was with Kunzite, a relationship which was also alluded to in the Sailor V manga. This may seem odd to anime fans who have only seen the Shintennou as villains however in the manga they were all friends of Endymion and good people from Earth prior to being corrupted by Queen Metalia. While we’ve followed the manga closely to date this may not last forever. By act 4 of the live action series we were still following the manga episode by episode but major changes were just around the corner.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Newspaper from the future showing Sailor Moon doing Moon Twilight Flash

Sailor Moon gets a new tiara and attack this week! Her last tiara was destroyed by Sailor Mars as she burned Jadeite and so she gets a new upgraded one and with that has a new attack which she uses to destroy Nephrite’s shadow. The attack she uses in the manga is Moon Twilight Flash, seen frequently in the live action series, though the attack is not named in this episode. Strangely enough an image of Sailor Moon using this attack is seen in the newspaper on the morning before she gets her tiara upgrade and is first able to use this attack.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Creeper Umino

Another fun moment has Umino acting like a total creeper when he reveals a photo of Princess D. Indeed Umino always having images of women at hand when needed is in itself creepy but something about the way he acts and speaks in this scene is particularly funny.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask kissing Sailor Moon without consent

And speaking of creepy, the final scene of the episode needs to be addressed. Sailor Moon, after a long day at the party, passes out. In the manga she does this after consuming alcohol. While unconscious Tuxedo Mask approaches her and kisses her, causing fans to swoon at this romantic moment. She is unconscious and unable to consent to his advances. This behaviour is completely inappropriate. Luckily Luna shows up and comes to Sailor Moon’s defence.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Makoto Kino

Unfortunately we have to wait 3 weeks for the next episode! We’ve gotten used to seeing shows every two weeks but Sailor Moon Crystal is released on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month, not every two weeks. The next episode will be available on Saturday September 6th. Act 5, Makoto – Sailor Jupiter, will introduce us to Makoto Kino who becomes Sailor Jupiter. We see a shot of her at the end of the episode and more of her during the next episode preview. This again follows the manga schedule with Sailor Jupiter appearing in act 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 Preview - Sailor Jupiter

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

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Today was the Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical’s opening night

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical - Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion

Earlier today (yesterday in Japan by now) was the first performance of the new Sailor Moon La reconquista musical. A bunch of Sailor Moon fans and even Naoko Takeuchi and Fumio Osano were in attendance. Fan reactions seem positive at this point. All of the songs were new. The story is said to be close to the manga. The Sailor Guardians are now using smart phones, which seems like an appropriate modern version of their seemingly futuristic communicators at the time of the original series. We also see in some images that there are swords! I have not gone seeking out any elaborate spoilers but if you’re interested in that you can check out this full review by Sailor Moon fan Yosenex.

A Tweet by Sailor Moon Obsession shows us that the program for the musical includes new art by Naoko Takeuchi.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical program - New art by Naoko Takeuchi

A couple of Japanese web sites have some photos from the musical posted online. Check out natalie.mu and Sponichi Annex for some of those.

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The new Sailor Moon anime will begin airing this winter on Niconico

Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars from the Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical

The Sailor Moon live event is now over. We didn’t learn a ton but it was mentioned that the new Sailor Moon anime would begin airing this winter. It was also mentioned that it would be streaming on Niconico, a Japanese streaming video service. Fumio Osano was in attendance but didn’t have much to tell us. Not much else was learned aside from it being based on the old anime but not being a remake, which is fairly vague.

The Shitennou from the Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical

The event began with a look at various products we’d already talked about on this site. It then included an introduction to certain cast members of the new musical, Sailor Moon La Reconquista. In attendance were Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus as well as all four of the Shitennou. Finally a performance of Moonlight Densetsu was done by Momoiro Clover Z who were confirmed to be doing the theme song for the new anime, which is information we already had. Also unchanged was the quality of Momoiro Clover Z’s performance.

Momoiro Clover Z posing after their performance of Moonlight Densetsu

The event closed with a fairly anticlimactic Q&A. The reaction of the sleep deprived fan base seems to be mostly disappointment at this early hour. It’s safe to say everyone was hoping for a bit more information about the anime. Be patient Moonies! Winter is coming. Now go home and go to bed.

New information about the Sailor Moon “La Reconquista” Musical

Sailor Moon musical "La Reconquista" banner

We’ve got new information and a better look at the cast of the new Sailor Moon musical set to play in Japan this September. A lot of this can be found on the musical’s official site. The musical now has a title “La Reconquista”. We also have a look at the Sailor Soldiers and Tuxedo Mask in their costumes.

Sailor Moon musical "La Reconquista" - Yuuga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask

Noteable is that Tuxedo Mask and all other male characters are being played by female actresses. The musical’s story will be focusing on the Dark Kingdom story arc meaning Queen Beryl, the four Shitennou and Queen Serenity are all characters. The Shitennou, male characters, are also being played by women. A curious character included in the cast list is “Lemures Leader”. The monsters from the Dead Moon Circus are called Lemures while the monsters from the Dark Kingdom are referred to as Youma. Lemures is a name for spirits of the dead while Youma simply means monster. We can speculate about what this means but it’s likely they’ll just be referring to a group of monsters as Lemures.

Miss Dream offers us the following cast list name translation:

Sailor Moon: Satomi Ookubo
Sailor Mercury: Miyabi Matsuura
Sailor Mars: Kanon Nakaki
Sailor Jupiter: Yuu Takahashi
Sailor Venus: Shiori Sakata
Tuxedo Mask: Yuuga Yamato
Queen Beryl: Hatsukaze Midori
Kunzite: Ryo Saika
Zoicite: Misaki Komatsu
Nephrite: KORO
Jadeite: RUUTO
Lemures Leader: Shintani Mayumi
Queen Serenity: Jamie Natsuki

Sailor Moon musical "La Reconquista" full poster

Shows run from September 13th to the 23rd. Tickets go on sale August 17th. More information is available on the official site. If you’re interested in attending you might want to make plans to be in Japan in September.