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.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 12 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Cover

The last volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray last month, on September 9th. I’ve dragged my feet on this review so much that the next disk, volume 13, is released today in Japan. Volume 12 can be purchased from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $43 US. The next and final volume can also be ordered from Amazon Japan for 5994 yen, about $50 US. As always this release contains only two episodes, in this case Act 23 and 24, in Japanese only and the cover art included is of Black Lady, Chibiusa’s older and eviler self.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Contents

The charm included with this release is Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, her transformation broach for this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Crystal Star Charm

Two episodes are included on this disk. Act 23 – Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, and Act 24 – Attack – Black Lady. The video quality as always is great. As with other DVD and Blu-Ray releases some minor changes to the animation have taken place since the streaming version. Nothing of significance is included with these particular episodes. Nothing changes any of the scenes in any major way. The biggest change with Act 24 is the colour and brightness for certain scenes. As always you can check out Crystal Comparisons for screenshots which show the changes for any particular episode, including Acts 23 and 24.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Special booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs

A 20 page full colour booklet is included once again. Unfortunately I am unable to identify the subjects of the first interview. The names are Nozomi Matsuura and Yukiko Kariya. This web site indicates that they work for Bandai, but no other details are given. The second interview is with the voice actors playing the Black Moon Clan. This includes Mamoru Miyano, the voice of Prince Demande, Hiroki Takahashi, the voice of Rubeus, Tsubasa Yonaga, the voice of Saphir, and Houko Kawashima, the voice of Esmeraude. Also included in the booklet are the usual episode summaries for Act 23 and 24, character designs for Black Lady, Prince Demande and Saphir, backgrounds and screenshots from the episodes and a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu.

These episodes include an audio commentary featuring cast and crew from the show. This includes Munehisa Sakai, director of the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, Hisako 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.

Should you get this? Should you pay over $50 to buy and ship this set with only two episodes in a language you can’t speak when an English and Japanese version will eventually be released for much less and you can watch the series for free online in the mean time? That’s your call!

Keep reading for more images of this set’s packaging including images of all pages of the included special booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Cover

The latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray July 8th. As always my review is so late that the next volume, volume 11, is about to be released on August 12th. Regardless, let’s talk about volume 10. This set, like many others, includes two episodes on Blu-Ray in Japanese only. You can order it from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, which is about $42 US plus shipping.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Full cover

The art for this release features the often neglected but never forgotten Sailor Pluto! This is fitting since her character is featured prominently on the disk. We have Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto, and Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Sailor Jupiter's Star Power Stick

The charm is Sailor Jupiter’s Star Power Stick. This fits with the trend we’d been seeing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Special Book - Pages 16 and 17 - Backgrounds

Included as always is a 20 page full colour special book. This includes summaries for Act 19 and 20, art, character designs for Sailor Pluto and some of the Black Moon Clan, a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu, as well as two interviews. The first interview is with Akiko Kosaka, a composer who provided many songs for the original anime as well as Gekkou, the ending theme for Sailor Moon Crystal. The second is with Ai Maeda, the voice of Sailor Pluto.

Quality for this release is great, as always. The video is 1080p and looks better than the streaming releases. There are a lot of minor changes to the animation from the original version. Nothing from these episodes in particular jumped out as me as being significant. You can always check out Crystal Comparisons to see changes for any episodes, includes the acts 19 and 20 which are provided in this set.

The disk is Japanese only and also include a commentary track featuring Munehisa Sakai, the series director, as well as Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus, and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. I can’t really comment on the content of these commentaries, as I don’t actually speak Japanese.

I can’t tell you whether or not it’s worth it to buy this set. Do what you did with the last 9. The video quality is great and it’s worth having for a hardcore collector but North American fans who like their money may find it makes sense to wait for the English dubbed and subbed release we will be getting at some point in the future.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9  - Packaging

I’m a little late with this review but the latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal, volume 9, was released on Blu-Ray on June 10th. Like with other releases this only includes two episodes, in this case Act 17 and 18. These stories, part of the Black Moon story arc, focus on Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The cover for this release features all of the Sailor Guardians together in their civilian school uniforms. The volume 10 box art will feature the often neglected Sailor Pluto. You can buy volume 9 from Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $42 US, plus shipping. Pre-orders for volume 10 will be shipped out tomorrow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Charm - Sailor Mars's Star Power Stick

The charm included with this release is Sailor Mars’s Star Power Stick. We will likely be seeing Sailor Jupiter and Venus’s Star Power Sticks as the next two charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Cover art

The contents of the disk are pretty standard. Two episodes are included. Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter and Act 18 – Invasion – Sailor Venus. Video quality is great, as always. There are animation changes from the original streaming versions which are mostly minor and cosmetic. Crystal Comparisons is a great site to check out to compare the two versions. A frame which had Chibiusa incorrectly wearing a short sleeved blue uniform has been corrected to have her with the white uniform she wears in the rest of the scene. A scene in Act 17 had Usagi using the Moon Stick instead of the Cutie Moon Rod to use Moon Princess Halation. This has not been corrected for the Blu-Ray version.

Commentary are included as always. On these episodes we have Munehisa Sakai, the director for the series, as well as Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus. As always I do not speak Japanese so I can’t really comment on the quality of the commentary itself.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Special Booklet - Pages 6 & 7 - Act 18 summary

Once again a 20 page full colour special booklet is included. This book includes episode summaries and art for the included episodes 17 and 18. The first interview is with Revo, the composer for Sailor Moon Crystal’s opening theme Moon Pride. The other interview is with Ryo Hirohashi, the voice of Luna, and Yohei Obayashi, the voice of Artemis. Character art included shows Luna, Calaveras, Petz, Asanuma and a bunch of items.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Special Booklet - Pages 8 and 9 - Screenshots

It’s hard to recommend buying this. Episodes are still available to stream for free online. This is a Japanese only release with no subtitles. It’s probably worth the wait to get the English version which Viz will be released at some undetermined time in the future. But you don’t need me to tell you whether or not to buy something.

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Listen to previews of every song from the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - Sea of Fire by Rei Hino

We previously announced that a Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD would be released on April 29th. Previews of all songs have been posted to the official Sailor Moon Instagram page. The first 9 tracks posted match the names given in the track listing earlier. The final song was previously posted to YouTube. The clips on Instagram are all 15 seconds, the maximum length for videos on the site, but with a sample of every track we get a good idea of what’s in store for next week.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection - I'm Going Down by the Shitennou

All video clips are embedded below.

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Check out a preview of the Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

A Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection CD will be released on April 29th. A preview of this CD has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon site. Just what is this? This is not music or songs from Sailor Moon Crystal but rather songs performed by the voice actors from the show. The old Sailor Moon Anime frequently had these and occasionally included them in the series. The site mentions that it has been nearly 20 years since the release of a Character Music Collection. This should be a surprise to fans of the 2003 Sailor Moon Live Action series which had many albums and singles of character songs by the main cast.

The full track listing in Japanese is on the Sailor Moon official site. There are 10 tracks in total. Songs will be performed by the voices of Sailor Moon by Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Mercury by Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mars by Rina Sato, Sailor Jupiter by Ami Koshimizu, Sailor Venus by Shizuka Ito, Tuxedo Mask by Kenji Nojima, Jadeite by Daisuke Kishio, Nephrite by Kosuke Toriumi, Zoisite by Masaya Matsukaze and Kunzite by Eiji Takemoto. All of the Sailor Guardians have their own solo tracks, as does Tuxedo Mask. The Shitennou all perform together on one track. Two duets are done, one with Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter and the other with Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus. The final track has all of the Sailor Guardians performing together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Character Song Collection

You can preorder the CD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for 3240 yen, about $27 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 5 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Cover

The latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released in a limited edition Blu-Ray set on February 11th. In fact that was so long ago that the next set is now out! Like with other sets this includes two episodes with Japanese audio in a collectible box with a full colour booklet and charm included. The disk is region A, meaning it will play in North American Blu-Ray players, but it does not have any English audio or subtitle options. It can be purchased from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for as little as 5,194 yen, about $44 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Contents

No real surprises here. The cover features Sailor Venus. The charm included is of Sailor Venus’s transformation pen. This is different from previous charms simply because Sailor Venus has a very different looking transformation item in the first season as this is what she used in her days as Sailor V.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Sailor Venus's transformation pen

The episodes included are Act 9, Serenity – Princess, and Act 10, Moon. This covers Sailor Moon being revealed as Princess Serenity and that aftermath as well as the trip to the Moon. Minor animation fixes occurred on these episodes as was the case with other volumes. This is nothing too drastic. I can’t say there was anything that jumped out as me as an obvious change when I watched it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Disk

The disks include an audio commentary which is in full on Japanese so I can’t really comment on that content as I am unable to speak or read Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Booklet - Pages 10 and 11

Also included, like with other volumes, is a 20 page full colour booklet. The interviews included with this volume are with Yasuhiro Kato, the CG animation director, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus. The booklet also includes episode summaries, character art and a special page by Fumio Osano, Osabu.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 5 - Booklet - Pages 12 and 13

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 4 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Box

The 4th volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray was released in Japan on January 14th. Because I’m irresponsible with my money I’ve purchased this, so here is my review. The set is Japanese audio and contains just two episodes, Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask and Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. It comes with a 24 page full colour booklet and a charm of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item in a decorative box.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Contents

As with other releases, minor changes to the animation are included. This one it no different, though some of the changes here are more considerable. One of my favourite parts of act 7 is the part where Umino drops in uninvited to a conversation between Usagi, Makoto and Ami to talk about Sailor V. He’s ultimately creepy and for some unexplained reason is a black shadowy figure with yellow eyes and a mouth, looking something like a Heartless from the Kingdom Hearts games. For whatever reason this has been fixed up for the Blu-Ray release so that he is just normal looking, though still intensely creepy, Umino. While changes in the past were largely cosmetic, this is one that is a little more intrusive and something I’m not very comfortable with.

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Umino is less creepy than in the streaming version

Other changes in the episode were not as big a deal. Act 7 contains what I would consider to be the worst animation of the series to date. Some of those shots have been fixed up, but a lot of the really terrible looking shots remain. An error that occurred in the original streaming version of act 7 was that Sailor Venus was wearing Sailor V’s uniform when seen from behind but then Sailor Venus’s orange uniform when seen from the front. This has been fixed to correctly show Sailor Venus’s uniform for all angles. It was unclear it this had been intended or not, as the idea might have been that at first Sailor Venus looked like Sailor V, but upon closer investigation was actually wearing a different costume. This wasn’t really what the scene seemed to insinuate so it’s a decent thing to change. I didn’t notice anything but fairly cosmetic changes to act 8.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Sailor Venus is no longer dressed as Sailor V

The rest of the content was pretty much as expected. The cover of this one includes an image of Sailor Jupiter. The charm included, to go with the charm bracelet included in the first volume, is of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item and bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Sailor Jupiter charm

Also included as always is the full colour booklet. It includes interviews with Yukie Sako, animation director and character designer and Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There are also episode summaries, production art and a special page by Fumio Osano as always. Photos of all pages of the book are included at the bottom of this post.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Booklet - Page 12 and 13

The disk itself includes the two episodes, act 7 and 8, as well as and audio commentary for each. The commentary track is in Japanese with no subtitles so I can’t really comment on it. From a brief listen I can tell that voice actors Kenji Nojima, Tuxedo Mask, and Shizuka Ito, Sailor Venus, are on this one as well as some other Japanese people who worked on the show who’s names and jobs you will quickly figure out if you can understand the commentary.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Disk

You can import this disk from online stores such as Amazon Japan, CD Japan or YesAsia for as low as 5194 yen, which is about $45 US, though shipping can be considerable on some sites. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD versions will be released on February 11th if you’re feeling cheap. With only two episodes included as always I can’t really recommend buying these when a free an legal way to support the show always exists with the streaming options. If you’re hardcore about the show and video quality well you’ve probably bought other volumes so I don’t need to tell you what to do.

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Sailor Moon Crystal voice actors and character artwork plus new musical information

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

The Sailor Moon live event featuring new information about the upcoming Sailor Moon musical and Sailor Moon anime is complete and with that we have a great deal of new information. For the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, we have some new character art for all five of the main cast as well as the full cast listing. Most notable is the return of Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon from the 1992 Sailor Moon anime, who will be reprising her role as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal. This was heavily insinuated at the original event announcing the new anime but now we have official confirmation.

New character designs for Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon Crystal

New voice actresses will be joining the show for the voices of Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The new cast will include Hisako Kanemoto as Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato as Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu as Sailor Jupiter and Shizuka Ito as Sailor Venus. Click on their names to view their Wikipedia pages and see what roles they’ve done in the past.

The cast of Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère

In addition to the new information about the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal we also got details about the Sailor Moon musicals! Last September’s new musical, Sailor Moon La reconquista, will be released on DVD on July 9th 2014. Most of the cast, with the exception of Sailor Mercury, will be returning for this summer’s new musical which is titled Petite Étrangère, which is French for “Little Stranger” with the feminine usage of both words leading us to believe we’re talking about Chibiusa. The musical will play in Tokyo from August 21st to the 31st and in Osaka from September 5th to the 7th. The new Sailor Mercury will be played by Momo Koyama.

Here’s a look at all of the new voice actors from Sailor Moon Crystal:

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon Crystal

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