Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru in thorns

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal premiered on Japanese TV on Monday June 6th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at around 10:30am, it was available to stream first on Crunchyroll and later on Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth, mostly takes place inside of Mistress 9 and in an elevator.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Chibiusa and her Crystal

Mistress 9 ate the Silver Crystal of the future. This is the one Chibiusa stole from her mother in the 30th century and has been using to fight as Sailor Chibi Moon. More importantly, Chibiusa’s soul is now fundamentally tied to this Crystal which causes all sort of problems, mainly that she’ll die if it’s apart from her body and consumed by an evil entity. How exactly does this work? Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal of the present is similarly tied to her soul. It’s her Star Seed and all that fun stuff. What’s Neo Queen Serenity doing in the future? In the last story arc Neo Queen Serenity still seems bound to the Silver Crystal of the future so what happened to her when her daughter went gallivanting around time with it? Sure she was dormant for most of the last season but now that her daughter is gone on her training is Crystal Tokyo defenseless? Did Neo Queen Serenity need to somehow disassociate herself from the Crystal? If I take a powerful Crystal and keep it in my pocket for too long will my soul get tied to it like Golum being bound to the one ring?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

My favourite part of this episode takes place within Mistress 9. Chibiusa, bound to her Crystal, is lost inside of Mistress 9 who basically ate her. Hotaru goes out of her way to protect her and her Crystal. These are two sort of ghosts or spirits stuck inside of this body which has been controlled by this evil entity. Hotaru hasn’t known Chibiusa that long, but she has strong feelings for her and is protecting her with everything she has. It seems like Mistress 9 won’t be getting full access to that Crystal just yet, which is unfortunate since she immediately destroys the Taioron Crystal once she gets something better. This is kind of like getting a new phone, deciding you don’t need your older out of date phone, and destroying it only to realise there’s some software problem with the new one and you can’t use it but oops I obliterated the iPhone 4s. Too bad so sad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - A terrible directory

A lot of this episode takes place in an elevator which somehow leads to a bunch of weird mistakes. Let’s see what we know. The gang starts on the 56th floor, obvious from the sign we see and what is mentioned, and Sailor Venus decides to take one group and go down floor by floor while Sailor Moon and the people who want to kill Hotaru are going to take the elevator to the basement. Look at this chart. How terrible is this thing? It has a column with floor numbers, a column with descriptions, a second column with floor numbers and … that’s it. There are no descriptions for the second column! What’s on floors 31 to 60? The manga equivalent pages show an extra column there with descriptions of what’s on those floors, but there’s nothing here. Minor nitpick but that’s how it is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Elevator

Sailor Moon gets in an elevator with Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and in doing so they go down. All indications from shots in the elevator shaft seem to indicate that it is going down at incredible speeds. A line in the manga, omitted from this version, speaks about the effect of the acceleration that Sailor Moon is feeling. Watching the floor numbers we seem to go from 50 to 40 in a number of seconds. Then we go from 30 to 20 in nearly a minute. It’s a few minutes more until we get to 6. Following this things get weird, we go into this weird other dimension, and then we arrive at floor zero. Or is it? There is clearly space for two digits on the display however when we are in single digit floors, like 6, we don’t have a preceding zero. It’s “6” not “06”. Also the numbers take up the full height of the display while the display on the final floor takes up half. The manga chapter has the gang travel down to floor negative infinity. With the infinity symbol, ∞, being like a horizontal 8. The manga has them mostly travel through basement floors to get there though. Here the floor indicator, which looks like “oo” could be taken to mean infinity. There is no negative floor indicator on the display. The reason for which those two os aren’t touching could be an artifact of the display. The show have easily avoided ambiguity by just putting another row of dots between the two numbers and having oo display as ∞. Also notable is that there are 60 buttons shown and 60 floors in the directory, so any basement floors don’t seem to be listed. If there really are on the minus infinity floor what does this even mean? If they go down infinity floors they would go through the earth, outside of our solar system and galaxy and beyond the reaches of the known universe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Floor infinity and Professor Tomoe

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru has a messed up face

There is a flashback to when the Death Busters arrived. We see the accident once again and Hotaru’s face is real messed up in one shot! Koalinite is called Kaori, as she appears to have been a normal human woman working for Professor Tomoe before this incident. She was infected by an egg and then Professor Tomoe decided to infect himself with one. We also learn that Mistress 9, who was placed inside of Hotaru, was once Pharaoh 90’s partner. This seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. The other Witches 5 however were created artificially.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Sailor Uranus on Uranus

For the second time we see Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on their home planets. Uranus seems tiny. We can actually see the curvature of the planet. Uranus has a diameter of about 4 times that of the Earth. That means its surface is much flatter than the Earth’s surface. Do you ever find yourself gazing out at the horizon and actually noticing the curvature of the Earth? Probably not. Based on the curve we see here Uranus should be roughly the size of The Little Prince’s asteroid. Just imagine tracing out a circle from that thumbnail image and it wouldn’t even be larger than your computer screen. Alternatively if Uranus is the right size Sailor Uranus could be huge. She’d probably be about the size of the Earth’s Moon for this to work. Sailor Pluto appears to actually be on Pluto. Previously we saw her guarding the Space-Time Door but it wasn’t clear exactly where it was. What’s the deal with this thing? In Crystal Tokyo when there was this door at the end of a long hall which led to the Space-Time Corridor, were people traveling to Pluto as an intermediate before going back in time? Did the door itself move at some point? Who’s even protecting this door in the 30th century now that Sailor Pluto is dead, Diana went back in time and Neo Queen Serenity has no Crystal? Maybe it’s that pink haired kid who isn’t Chibiusa. How rare would children be in a world where humans live 1000 years? Pretty rare.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Princess and Queen Serenity

We learn that when they were bored and alone Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto would look at Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity. For some reason Princess Serenity is pointing to her bracelet in this image. It must have been new at the time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Professor Tomoe

Bad news for Professor Tomoe, who turns into this big monster thing. Sailor Moon hesitates to kill him because he was Hotaru’s father a few minutes earlier. Realistically he hasn’t been Hotaru’s father for some time, though I wonder if Kaolinite and Professor Tomoe have little spirits of themselves wrapped up in thorns inside their minds somewhere. Oh well. He gets killed.

Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are attacked and Super Sailor Moon transforms back into normal Sailor Moon. She seems to think this is because something happened to her friends. Not a great omen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Next week is Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere. There’s more of Hotaru’s ghost resisting Mistress 9 and being all bad ass. With only three more episodes the story arc will be done soon. These next three episodes were originally one massive manga chapter!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 36.

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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

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 192 - Minako's drawer

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Sailor Moon attacks Metalia

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This is the last full episode to cover the Dark Moon story arc so in a sense it can be considered the season finale, but the story will not conclude until the beginning of next week’s episode which will also serve as a season finale. Last week’s episode had some rather disappointing deviations from the original manga source material. Fans will be happy to see that this week’s episode is fairly faithful, with a number of minor changes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

First, a comment on the title which, like with the manga, does little to describe what is actually going on here. We’re promised the “Final Battle” but no such thing happens. There is a sort of battle with Metelia but there is no conclusion here. The battle does not finish as the final blows are not taken. Secondly the title mentions reincarnation, which does not actually happen in the strictest sense. The end of the last episode has Sailor Moon killing Tuxedo Mask and herself but they aren’t actually reincarnated because neither actually died. More on that and the 1990 hit film which inspired both scenes later. But that’s just me being nitpicky. And speaking of nitpicky, this episode has some pretty messed up looking animation in it. This is nothing new to the series but I wasn’t this bothered by some of the less consistent animation quality since act 7 so I think it needs mentioning.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

Luna continues to kick a lot of ass in this episode. She’s pretty scrappy in Sailor Moon Crystal and that doesn’t stop here. She attacks Metalia, this massive unstoppable evil energy. This fails, naturally, and eventually Luna asks Artemis to bring her to the Moon to consult with Queen Serenity and to beg her to seal Metalia away. In a flashback we get a look at Luna when she was a young kitten along with a much younger Queen Serenity, though still one with white hair. The Queen’s dress matches Princess Serenity’s quite a bit. I wonder is she was even Queen yet at this point, though we don’t really know much about Queen Serenity’s background or her parents. Once Usagi becomes Neo Queen Serenity she continues to keep the dress style she had as Princess. Similarly Chibiusa has that type of dress when she appears as a Princess.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Zombie Sailor Mars

Some minor changes occurred in the Sailor Guardians’ actions in the this episode. They first try to use Sailor Planet attack, which fails. This results in an odd bit of imagery showing them all with white eyes looking like zombies. Then instead of being transported back to their headquarters like they did in the manga they simply stay in the North Pole to attack again, giving up their transformation items and their lives. This is coupled with a number of inspirational flashbacks where Usagi is shown encouraging or befriending each of them, which helps them find the strength they need to keep fighting. This is very similar to a scene from the Sailor Moon R movie in which each of the Sailor Guardians has a similar flashback to encourage them to help Usagi on the asteroid.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Guardians dead

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Orgel protects Sailor Moon from suicide

While all of this goes on Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are trapped inside the Silver Crystal which itself gets consumed by Queen Metalia. While they originally appear to be dead, they are both revealed to be alive. They are not resurrected in any way. Both escaped death by the same convenient plot twist, inspired by the 1990 hit film Problem Child. In this film John Ritter’s character is shot by Michael Richards but the bullet is deflected by a lucky dried prune which is in his pocket. Similarly Sailor Moon escapes death by having the sword deflected on the Orgel watch that Tuxedo Mask gave her. Tuxedo Mask escapes death by using the exact same Problem Child inspired trick of having the sword hitting the gems that he has symbolizing the Shitennou.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Shitennou

The scene with the Shitennou again shows a small change from the manga. As Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite appear as ghosts, now with their full memories and loyal to Mamoru, the gems they are linked to shatter. Originally in the manga these gems take some of the force but only chip a little. Tuxedo Mask keeps them as they make another appearance during the Black Moon Clan story arc. How this change will affect the next arc remains to be seen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Moon Stick and the Silver Crystal

Another change is that Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask manage to escape from inside of Queen Metalia before the final attack. This is different even from the next episode preview at the end of Act 12 which shows Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick growing into a full staff with the sky filled with Queen Metalia, which is no longer the case with the clear view of the moon seen in the final version of the episode. The final battle itself is yet to come.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Conclusion and Commencement - Petite Étrangère

Next time on January 17th we’ll see act 14, Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangère. The episode title as shown here has the spelling “Petite Étrangére”. This is incorrect, as the second E in étrangère has an “accent grave”, towards the back not towards the front. French titles also only capitalize the first letter of the first word but we’ll let that one slide. This is still an improvement over the manga title “Petit Etranger” which omits the accent for the first E (the correct spelling is Étranger), a practice which is generally discouraged and lazy for upper case letters, but it is also wrong because it uses the masculine form of both words which are incorrectly used as it’s a reference to Chibiusa who is by all indications very much female. I don’t mean to harp on spelling too much but this is an episode title so it would have been nice for them to have done a bit of research on this one, especially in light of them having properly spelled the title of last year’s musical “Petite Étrangère”. The spelling of “Materia” for act 12 seems more likely to be a mistake when this case is considered.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask fight Queen Metalia

This next episode will have the real end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the beginning of the Black Moon Clan arc. Some are referring to this as season 2. This will mark the appearance of Chibiusa, though nothing in the preview mentions anything but the conclusion of the battle with Queen Metalia and the aftermath.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and the Moon Stick

I’ll be traveling on the weekend of the 17th so my review may be a bit late but I will be sure to have something posted sooner or later.

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

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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

The entire first season of Sailor Moon is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon

This morning, October 13th, the final two episodes of the first season of Sailor Moon were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. With the addition of episodes 45 and 46 the entire first season is now available to stream in Japanese with English subtitles. This two part story concludes the battle with the Dark Kingdom and Queen Beryl, wrapping up the first story arc for the Sailor Moon anime. These are a couple of the better episodes of the series. These two episodes were heavily edited and reduced to a single episode, Day of Destiny, in the DiC English dub. If that’s the only version you’ve seen these episodes should not be missed.

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Moon mourns the death of her friends and is touched by the ghost of Sailor Jupiter

Episode 45, Death of the Sailor Guardians: The Tragic Final Battle, has, as the title suggests, everyone dying! The Sailor Guardians head to the D Point in the North Pole to fight the Dark Kingdom but are intercepted by the DD Girls who basically kill everyone but Sailor Moon. It’s not all in vain as the Sailor Guardians manage to kill all of the DD Girls, leaving Sailor Moon to move on. Naturally she’s a bit shaken by the death of her friends, and can’t find the strength within herself to move on but their ghosts appear to give her the words of encouragements she needs to move on and face Tuxedo Mask and Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - Sailor Moon presents her locket to Tuxedo Mask

Episode 46, Usagi’s Eternal Wish: a Brand New Life, has Usagi left alone with all of her friends killed. When she finally meets Queen Beryl she is shocked to see that Tuxedo Mask is evil and loyal to her. In an excruciating and violent fight he beats her up quite a bit while she avoids fighting back until the last moment where she attacks him with her tiara. After restoring his memories thanks to the power of her locket he is in turn killed by Queen Beryl. Sailor Moon is now truly alone, having lost all her friends and now her lover, and must face off against Super Beryl, which is Queen Beryl amalgamated with Queen Metalia. The battle is won, thanks to the ghosts of her friends, but since this is still the first season using the Silver Crystal kills Sailor Moon. Her last wish is to make things like they were, and so the world is transformed. The Sailor Guardians are alive again but have no memory of what happened or even knowing each other, but the Dark Kingdom has now been defeated.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - The Sailor Team face off against Beryl

Next week we start with Sailor Moon R! But the story of the Black Moon Clan won’t begin right away. First we will begin with a short set of episodes surrounding Ail and An, two aliens who use cards and a big tree to drain people’s energy.

Sailor Moon episodes 33 and 34 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 33 - Sailor Venus appears

Episodes 33 and 34 of the original Sailor Moon anime are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday two new episodes, subbed by Viz, are added online. This week we get the introduction of Sailor Venus and the revelation that Usagi is Princess Serenity.

Sailor Moon episode 33 - Zoisite as evil Sailor Moon

Episode 33, Enter Venus, the Last Sailor Guardian, introduces us to Minako Aino, Sailor Venus, as well as her cat Artemis. Note of course that she is by no means the last Sailor Guardian. The introduction of this character is actually somewhat secondary to the rest of the plot, as she only appears late in the episode and does not introduce herself as Minako to most of the girls until episode 34 at the end of which Usagi still doesn’t know who she is. Minako does appear briefly early on as she overhears Usagi mention that she is Sailor Moon in a crowd. Not the best way to hide your secret identity! The plot revolves around Zoisite disguising himself as Sailor Moon in order to lure in Tuxedo Mask. This ultimately works as he stabs Tuxedo Mask in the shoulder, injuring him severely and discovering his secret identity. Meanwhile Kunzite has the Sailor Guardians trapped until Sailor Venus comes to the rescue. Usagi asks if Sailor Venus is actually the Princess they’ve been looking for. I guess she hasn’t seen the new intro.

Sailor Moon episode 34 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

Episode 34, The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears, is one of the more eventful episodes of the series. All cards are on the table! Zoisite, and Queen Beryl by association, have discovered that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask! He challenges him to come to Twilight Tower with his Rainbow Crystals. Usagi has the misfortune of running into him in the street right before he’s whisked away to the showdown. Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship grows during a long elevator ride just as he discovers she is Sailor Moon and then she discovers that he’s Tuxedo Mask! As if that wasn’t enough, Tuxedo Mask is mortally wounded and Usagi is revealed to be the Princess they’ve been searching for all this time. Rei isn’t going to be happy about this!

Sailor Moon episode 34 - Usagi is Princess Serenity

Official artwork from the new Sailor Moon anime series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon 2014 Anime "Sailor Moon Crystal" official artwork

We’ve finally got a look at what Sailor Moon will be looking like in the new anime series, titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, which is confirmed to begin airing this coming July. Along with this artwork, shown above, we have our first look at the logo for Sailor Moon Crystal as well as a synopsis of the story. The word Crystal in the title is a reference to the Silver Crystal, the object of immense power which drives much of the plot of the Dark Kingdom story arc.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal logo

Earlier today on the official Sailor Moon site a cryptic message went up stating only “8 days. Coming soon.”. Something big is coming, but have we already seen it? In the files hosted on the official site was this one (mirror) which was not linked on the main page. It featured the logo for the new series in which we see the title Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, artwork of Sailor Moon and her Silver Crystal as well as a brief synopsis. This synopsis, as translated by Anime News Network, is included below:

Usagi Tsukino is a second-year middle school girl who is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she is full of energy. One day, she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, and she transforms into Sailor Moon, a sailor-uniformed pretty guardian of love and justice! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi seems to have a mission to find the Illusionary Silver Crystal with the other guardians and to protect the princess.
Meanwhile, the queen of the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl, also sends minions to the town where Usagi lives to obtain the Illusionary Silver Crystal, which has immense power. This causes strange events to unfold….

Can Sailor Moon really find the Illusionary Silver Crystal with the other Sailor guardians, and protect the princess…!?

Based on this we confirm once again that the anime series will be a retelling of the Dark Kingdom story arc where Sailor Moon fights Queen Beryl and searches for the Silver Crystal and the Moon Princess. From the logo we can see a sword which is likely the Holy Blade, also called the Sword of the Silver Crystal, a sword which is wielded by Sailor Venus in the Sailor Moon manga.

The rest of the image includes information we already know, mostly about cast announcements that have already been made. As always we will continue to bring you all new information about this new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, as it becomes available.

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A commercial for Bandai’s PROLICA Moon Stick

PROLICA Moon Stick Commercial

Here’s a commercial for Bandai’s PROLICA Moon Stick replica. This 1:1 high quality Moon Stick will be on sale this coming April. It will be expensive (about $90 US) and there have not been any details about a North American release of the product to date. You can pre-order it from JList now.

This commercial clearly shows that this Moon Stick is meant to be modelled after the item from the original Anime. We previously speculated that this toy might be from the new anime, set to start in January, and that the similarity and use of Kotono Mitsuishi’s voice were telling of the show’s designs and casting, but we now know that this is not relevant as it is based on the 1992 anime’s designs.

PROLICA Moon Stick Commercial 1:1 scale