A new Sailor Moon Classic Concert will take place this summer

Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018

Following last year’s 25th Anniversary Classic Concert we are getting yet another Classic Concert with this summer’s Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018. An image, which will likely be used for posters and the album cover, has art in the style of the original Sailor Moon anime as opposed to least year’s concert which had Sailor Moon Crystal inspired designs. I have a nostalgic preference for the original anime myself though it would certainly have been nice to have seen these designs incorporate musical instruments or something of a musical theme as we saw last year.

The concert will be performed August 28th and 29th at the Tokyo Art Theatre and September 7th at the Osaka Festival Hall. A set list for the concert was posted to the official Sailor Moon site which gives us a good idea of what to expect. There are similarities to the last Classic Concert but there are also some new songs we haven’t heard in a while, such as a nice assortment of character songs from the original anime, mostly those from the Sailor Moon R era. I couldn’t find a translated list of the songs online anywhere but so made an attempt to provide one here.

Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018 set list

I’ve done my best to translate the track listing below. I don’t speak or read Japanese so I usually just copy and paste this kind of thing into Google Translate which gives me a rough idea of a translation, usually enough to understand what song it’s a reference to. In this case the set list was only on an image so it was a bit trickier figuring out what these songs were. The list below is incomplete with a few sections including ??? when I just couldn’t make any guess at a translation. This includes kanji which I have no ability to translate. If anyone can shed light on some of those missing or incomplete titles please mention it in the comments and I’ll update it.

Update July 11th: Thanks to a comment by Mayuri I was able to complete the track listing!

M1: Background music
M2: Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Sailor Moon anime opening theme
M3: Background music
M4: Character songs (Since this is a single song it seems likely this will be samplings from five character songs into a single song)
M4-1: Onaji Namida wo Wakeatte (Sharing the same Tears) – Ami Mizuno’s character song
M4-2: Sei Hi Ai ~ Fire Soul Love ~ – Rei Hino’s character song
M4-3: Starlight ni Kiss Shite (Kissing in the Starlight) – Makoto Kino’s character song
M4-4: Route Venus – Minako Aino’s character song
M4-5: Tuxedo Mask’s Entrance Theme
M5: I am Sailor Moon – Sailor Moon’s character song and the ending theme to the Make Up! Sailor Senshi special
M6: Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Advice) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
M7: La Soldier (Piano) From many early Sailor Moon musicals and Sailor Moon R episode 88
M8: Birth of a Legend (Piano)
M9: Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Tuxedo Mirage – Piano – Seems like a mix of the Sailor Moon opening theme and the ending theme for Sailor Moon S
M10: New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Opening theme to Sailor Moon Crystal Season III
M11: Eye Catch Background music (Commercial break bumpers)
M12: Toccata and Fugue (Bach) (Violin & Piano) – A piece of classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach
M13: Uranus and Neptune Medley (Violin & Piano)
M14: eternal eternity (Violin & Piano) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season III first ending theme
M15: Sailor Starlights Make Their Appearance
M16: Three Lights: Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars) – Two songs from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
M17: Wandering Stars
M18: Shadow Galaxia (Part 1)
M19: Golden Queen Galaxia
M20: Shadow Galaxia (Part 2)
M21: Sailor Stars Song (The Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme)

Songs M17 to M20 aren’t specific songs that I’m aware of but likely cover background music or songs related to the Stars arc centering around the Sailor Starlights and Galaxia.

It seems likely that a CD of this concert will be announced and released afterwards. As with the last concert this will likely be a mix of various musical styles using classical and other instruments. Do any of you plan on attending any of these performances?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD was released in Japan on December 6th. This sells for 3500 yen which is about $31 US. Media in Japan is usually more expensive than in North America so this price is actually pretty reasonable. This CD includes the entire performance of the Sailor Moon Classic Concert which was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan this past August. Now that I’ve given the CD a few listens I felt like sharing some thoughts on it. You can pick up the CD from Japanese retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Back

All around the album is great. It’s a real mixed back of very classical sounding renditions while others have a more modern feel. It’s not simply the case that all songs are performed in the same style as we’ve seen with the Sailor Moon SuperS Orgel Fantasia album which makes everything sound like it’s played by a music box. The selection of music is also quite varied. While it is mostly renditions of popular opening and ending themes from the original Sailor Moon anime there is also a bit of background music as well as music from musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal. Sadly nothing from the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series has made the cut!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet 1 - Makoto Yoshida and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

The CD comes with your standard sort of insert booklet that’s only a handful of pages. It includes a full track listing and information on the many people who worked on the music and this concert in particular.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Track listing

I’ll give a few thoughts on each of the tracks. This won’t be anything thorough! I’m not really a music buff and I know even less about actual concert music. I took the trumpet in school for 3 years pretty much because it was part of the curriculum and after the end of the 3rd when some of my classmates who had started that same year had surpassed me in skill it was evident that it wasn’t happening for me so I concentrated on drawing and messing around with computers. One of those paid off. The set comes in two discs with a total of 21 tracks.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 1

Disc 1 track 1 is background music from the introduction to episodes.

Track 2 is Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend), the iconic Sailor Moon opening theme! This has been done in a variety of styles over the years and here is yet another! A fairly faithful adaptation.

Track 3 is Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), a song which was featured in Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S and that has been redone a few times. This is one of my favourite songs from Sailor Moon and it’s very well done on this CD. It has an epic quality that fits it quite well.

Track 4 is Heart Moving, the first ending theme for the first season. This is a decent instrumental version of the song but not the greatest. While I don’t have any strong feeling about this song as an ending theme there are a number of instrumental versions which feature in important and emotional scenes in the first season including when Sailor Moon is discouraged after the death of her friends and finds the motivation to continue fighting. This version doesn’t evoke the same emotional reaction in me than that particular version does.

Track 5 is Princess Moon, the second ending theme for the first season. This track reminds me of something out of ballet which I think suits it. It starts to show the range that this concert can offer.

Track 6 is Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) which is the first ending theme for Sailor Moon SuperS. Why do we jump ahead so far instead of staying somewhat chronological? No clue. This is similar to the TV version and is a good track.

Track 7 is Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) which is the Sailor Moon R ending theme. This is a punched up version which isn’t really classic as many of the tracks leading up to this have been. It includes vocals by Yoko Ishida who originally performed the song back in the 90s. I prefer the version on the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album personally.

Track 8 is “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) which is the second ending theme for the Sailor Moon SuperS season. It has a sort of big bang feel and includes vocals once again from Yoko Ishida though she did not perform this song in the original anime.

Track 9 is background music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune. This is a variety of music used in the anime mostly when the characters are introduced or transform. It features a lot of violin as the music in the original Sailor Moon anime did, with Michiru being a violinist. This is quite a good track for fans of those characters! They always did have great theme music.

Track 10 switches gears and gives us a song from Sailor Moon Crystal. Eternal Eternity is the first ending theme for the 3rd season, which is also all about Sailor Uranus and Neptune. All versions of this song just remind me of the Utena opening theme.

Track 11 is short and just gives us the music for the commercial break bumper for the first season. It sounds so much like the original version that I was expecting the weird “chirp” sound which can be heard on the laserdiscs of the first season.

I guess there was an intermission at this point? On to disc 2…

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 2

Track 1 has Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, speaking over some background music and then transforming to Sailor Moon’s first season transformation music. A fairly faithful version of this music.

Track 2 is Moon Revenge, the theme song from Sailor Moon R The Movie. This is one of the better songs from the original anime. This version is great as well. It’s a more classical rendition lacking the more upbeat tone of the original song but it works quite well. Some portions remind me of the instrumental version featured in the film.

Track 3 is Tuxedo Mirage, the ending theme for Sailor Moon S. The version here is very similar to what we heard on TV, without the vocals. A good track but it just doesn’t give us anything new.

Track 4 is La Soldier which is a song which was used in a number of the early Sailor Moon musicals as well as the final episode of Sailor Moon R (Let’s pretend episode 89 doesn’t exist because I hate it!). This is a good rendition but not as good as the original and nothing could top the Tommy heavenly6 version from the Tribute Album for me.

Track 5 is a Three Light Medley which merges two songs which the Three Lights performed during Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars). When this one started I was a bit worried because the Three Lights are a pop group and their music doesn’t translate to classical music. Still the orchestra manages to give these songs a disco kind of 70s pop sound which I think works really well. The track lacks vocals I think because the concert hall didn’t have enough place to include Taiki’s forehead.

Track 6 takes a song from the recent Sailor Moon musicals with Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) from the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical. Again we go with a somewhat modern sound almost fitting to an 80s TV drama theme song if that makes any sense. I appreciate the unique take on the song and that an orchestra can have such an atypical sound.

Track 7 is Moon Pride, the first Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme. It’s performed with a big band sort of sound. Enjoyable.

Track 8 is Gekkou (Moonbow), the first Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme. Again this track is quite similar to the original version which had a very orchestral sound. Decent but nothing new here.

Track 9 is New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon), the Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme. It has what I believe is a lot of saxophone and other brass instruments. A fun track.

The final track is an encore which is the Sailor Stars Song, the opening theme for the Sailor Stars season of the original anime. Yoko Ishida performs the vocals for this version, though again she was not the one to contribute the original vocals. She does a decent job. She attempt to rouse the crowd and get them to sing along which doesn’t seem to work all that well. I’m not sure if this is because the crowd isn’t participating much or simply because they didn’t bother to put a mic in the crowd to properly pick up the audio. I don’t know how popular the Sailor Stars Song is in Japan but I wonder if this was really the best track to try to get people to sing along to. If they’d done this with Moonlight Densetsu, the iconic opening theme used for the first four seasons, no doubt a ton of people would know the words. Does the average Japanese casual fan know the words to the intro of the final season which had significantly poorer ratings?

All considered I quite enjoyed this CD and recommend fans import it if they’re interested.

Keep reading for more pictures of this CD including photos of all remaining pages of the booklet.

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A Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album is coming December 6th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album cover

A CD collecting music from the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert is coming December 6th! This concert, where the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed songs from various Sailor Moon series, took place in Japan on August 2nd and 3rd at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. This album will be released in Japan but is available to order online from sites such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan. The price is 3500 yen which is about $33 US.

The album collects mostly opening and ending themes from all five seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, a couple of songs from the musicals, a few songs from Sailor Moon Crystal and a bit of instrumental background music. Some songs are instrumental while others include vocals. A track listing is available on the Official Sailor Moon site. I’ve translated it and included it, and a description of where the songs are from, below for your convenience.

Disc 1:

1. Background Music
2. Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Opening theme for the original Sailor Moon anime
3. Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love) – Song featured in Sailor Moon R episode 68 and Sailor Moon S episode 102
4. Heart Moving – Season 1 ending theme #1
5. Princess Moon – Season 1 ending theme #2
6. Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #1
7. Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
8. “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #2
9. Background Music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune
10. Eternal Eternity – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme #1
11. Commercial Break Bumper Background Music

Disc 2:

1. Moon Prism Power Make Up! Background Music (Although the title is similar to that of a song from the original Sailor Moon anime this is the background music which plays when Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon)
2. Moon Revenge – Sailor Moon R The Movie theme
3. Tuxedo Mirage – Sailor Moon S ending theme
4. La Soldier – Song from many early Sailor Moon Musicals
5. Three Lights Medley: Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars) – Two songs from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
6. Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) – From the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical
7. Moon Pride – First Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme
8. Gekkou (Moonbow) – First Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme
9. New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme
Encore. Sailor Stars Song – Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme

In order to promote this release a four minute video of the concert has been released. You can watch it embedded below.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this album once it’s released.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album vendor exclusive items

Fans in Japan can get special exclusive incentives from various retailers. Amazon Japan and CD Japan are not included. One of the incentives is from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club however this item does not appear to be available from the international Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 174 and 175 have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Seiya and Usagi

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 174 and 175 we get a decent introduction to the Three Lights Seiya, Yaten and Taiki as they get into high jynx at Juuban High school.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Usagi and Seiya

Episode 174, A School Storm: The Transfer Students Are Idols, introduces us to a distraction for Usagi. Like with many Sailor Stars episodes we start off with Usagi writing a letter to Mamoru, who is off in the States studying. She will write him a lot but we don’t get any letters the other way. In 2016 Usagi would be sending text messages of some kind to Mamoru. In 2006 maybe it would be AOL instant messenger. In 2001 it might be ICQ. In 1996 though, it’s ancient pen and paper. This may seem archaic but this really was a different time where the Internet was a new and evolving thing that not everyone had access to. Email was common a couple of years later but in 1996 I did not have any regular access to the Internet, which I only occasionally used to find sites to trade Sailor Moon tapes. Enter Seiya. Usagi and him had a brief encounter last week but this week’s encounter is not at all subtle about their relationship. In a scene that mimics Usagi’s first encounter with Mamoru the two walk into each other on the street. Seiya even goes so far as to call Usagi “Odango Otama”, Mamoru’s first season nickname for her. There is no question. Seiya is here to replace Mamoru and everyone seems to know it but Usagi. Mamoru is out of sight and out of mind. Usagi writes to him but doesn’t hear back. Seiya is here and wants to be a part of her life. He is the appealing simple boy in contrast to her difficult and complicated current relationship. It only makes sense for her to gravitate towards him but Usagi is ever faithful to Mamoru. Only making this distraction more obvious, the Three Lights are attending Juuban High school, where Usagi, Minako, Makoto and Ami attend. Rei is at a different school but manages to show up all the time because she is, like everyone but Usagi, crazy about these new students. Not only are they sharing a school but they all sit next to each other. Minako asks Yaten to sit next to her. Taiki sits in front of Makoto, who is nervous of course. Seiya takes it upon himself to sit behind Usagi, which bothers her like it would bother no other girl in the whole world. As she formally introduces herself as “Tsukino Usagi” Seiya intentionally mispronounces her name as “Tsumiki Dango”, a reference to rice cakes that are eaten while starring at the Moon, further mocking of her “odango” hair style. Seiya is good at everything, and shows his prowess in various sports. This brings us to football jock Yuji Kayama, the target for this episode. He does not have a True Star Seed and so turns into Sailor Guts, a disgusting Phage who shoots sweat bombs at his enemies. The Sailor Starlights show up and we get to see the first instance of Sailor Star Maker’s Star Gentle Uterus. What is this about? I don’t even know. I tried many times to listen to this attack and find that it sounds like something different but there is no question that she is really saying “Star Gentle Uterus”. There is no alternative Japanese meaning to uterus that is not known to us ignorant western folk. It’s the womb inside of a woman where babies are made. This does make some sense with the concept of Maker, but it just seems like such an odd attack name.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Star Gentle Uterus

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Seiya kissing Minako

Episode 175, Becoming an Idol: Minako’s Ambition, steps up Minako’s polyamourous abilities! In Sailor Moon SuperS we saw her successfully dating two men at the same time. Now she’s trying to date three! She seems to be trying to get hooked up with all of the Three Lights! Usagi has taken a number of photos of her with all three of them. The sauciest being one of her and Seiya that looks like they’re kissing! In reality she pretending to have something in her eye and got Usagi to take a candid when they were close. Minako’s plan is simple and self serving. She is working as the Three Lights’ assistant to try to learn to be an idol herself and maybe score one of them as her boyfriend! What teenage girl would not like every aspect of this! It turns out being an idol is actually hard work! As we follow the Three Lights on an average day there isn’t a lot of down time. This brings us to Saki Itabashi, a photographer who is working with the group. Sailor Iron Mouse targets her as being someone full of ambition enough to perhaps have a True Star Seed! Oddly she doesn’t notice the Three Lights, who are right under her nose, as being potential targets. I’m sure there’s no reason for which these guys are being ignored. Finally Minako decides that all of this assistant work isn’t worth it and she decides to concentrate on being an idol herself.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - The Three Lights

Something neat that viewers may notice is that Sailor Iron Mouse disappears with the help of a magic phone booth. This is not unlike Doctor Who’s TARDIS or the phone booth from the Bill & Ted films, both of which function as time machines. Which was this inspired by? Naturally the TARDIS is going to be assumed to be the inspiration as Doctor Who has been popular since its resurgence in 2005 and was itself the likely inspiration for Bill & Ted’s phone booth time machine. That said I think there is a case for Bill & Ted being the actual inspiration here. Doctor Who was popular back in the day but in 1996, when Sailor Moon Sailor Stars would air, the series was in the early part of a very long hiatus, having been off the air since 1989. The Bill & Ted movies did not come much later, in 1989 and 1991, but they would have been more in the public consciousness at this point in time. Additionally Doctor Who does not actually travel in a phone booth. His TARDIS is a Police Box, which is like a specialized phone booth only used to phone the police and protect a victim. The time machine from Bill & Ted however is actually a phone booth and, like Sailor Iron Mouse’s machine, is not bigger on the inside. This more similarly matches the style of her machine. All said I am not hip to what exactly was popular in Japan in the mid 90s, but as a teenaged boy who was only saw Doctor Who in passing but was a big fan of the Bill & Ted films, this is what immediately came to mind when I first saw this device.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Sailor Iron Mouse and her phone booth

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten - The Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Usagi's Luna comic

The Sailor Starlights are first seen in the US today as Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 172 and 173 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

At long last Sailor Moon fans in the United States can now see the Sailor Starlights in a legal release! This week on Hulu and Neon Alley‘s new episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars we get to see the Sailor Starlights Sailor Star Fighter, Maker and Healer, also known as the Three Light Seiya, Taiki and Yaten. But first we must wrap up this short 6 episode arc and close the story of Nehelenia. Many have noticed that I’m often negative in my reviews so I will just say that this week we are getting two absolutely fantastic episodes of the series. Now let me talk about these wonderful episodes as I complain about little problems I have with them.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Sailor Saturn

Episode 172, Moon Power of Love: The Nightmare Ends, is the last in this mini arc that we are starting out the Sailor Stars season with. The main focus here is on Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn. For some reason Sailor Chibi Moon is disappearing. This is somewhat like how Marty McFly was disappearing while time traveling when it looked like his parents weren’t going to get together. This is nonsense in a time travel movie and is double nonsense here. Time travel isn’t involved. Nehelenia does not come from the future and is not affected by time travel. Galaxia, who we will learn is the one that released Nehelenia, is also not traveling through time. Many things have threatened Mamoru and Sailor Moon but they don’t generally result in this Marty McFlying of Chibiusa. Beyond this time travel is not used to resolve the situation and to save Chibiusa either. Whatever. This episode isn’t about Chibiusa McFly. It’s all about Sailor Saturn being awesome! Sailor Saturn appears so late in Sailor Moon S that we don’t get much of a look at her. She is gone for SuperS and although she will be around for this season, she actually doesn’t get much screen time. She never actually gets a transformation sequence or any stock footage attacks. She does manage to use two moves in this episode. First she uses the Silence Wall to block Nehelenia’s attack. She then uses Silence Glaive Surprise which, in the Manga, just makes mist, but here it seems to be much more important. It releases a massive amount of energy even though it is blocked by Sailor Chibi Moon so that it isn’t completed. The insinuation seems to be that this attack would destroy Sailor Saturn and Nehelenia if used to completion.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

Finally Usagi shows up after climbing through a bunch of rose bushes. She takes pity on Nehelenia. This is what Sailor Moon is about! This is how Sailor Moon SuperS should have ended. Nehelenia is evil, sure, but she has a rich back story where we can see her as young and innocent and then corrupted. Usagi and her friends feel her pain and this is something which hurts her much more than hostility would. In the Sailor Moon Manga the Sailor Guardians kill the bad guys. In the Sailor Moon Anime they use compassion to find non violent solutions to their problems and this is what I love about the anime. This all works out well. Mamoru is healed, Sailor Chibi Moon returns and sticks around until the end of the episode only. Young Nehelenia is seen waking up from what seems like a bad dream. It’s not clear exactly what her fate is. Either there is some sort of reboot or she’s trapped in a dream of an ideal world, possibly not unlike death. Whatever it’s all good.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Mamoru and Sailor Chibi Moon

I must stop for a moment to discuss what isn’t happening now. Chibiusa leaves at some point and isn’t seen again for most of the season. This is done without any fanfare. I mentioned in my thoughts on episode 167 that her fake leaving should have been retooled as a better departure either at the end of 172 or the beginning of 173. Either place would have been fine. As the final insult when I grabbed my Japanese R2 DVD for Sailor Stars volume 2 to get screenshots of episode 173 it has Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn on the cover. Nonsense! Chibiusa is not on this disk at all, which includes episodes 173 to 178. The original laserdisc containing this same image contained episodes 171 to 174, and so it included the majorly Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon centric episode which this refers to. So I am sad to see Chibiusa leave, even though I understand why she is gone and the story of the season works best without Usagi having her family around, but it is still an unfortunate departure from the manga, where all 10 Sailor Guardians are present throughout.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 2 Japanese R2 DVD

Sailor Stars Volume 2 on DVD

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 2 Japanese Laserdisc

Sailor Stars Volume 2 on Laserdisc

Finally we get to episodes 173, Farewells and Encounters: the Transitioning Stars of Destiny. We open with a look at the new idol group the Three Lights! It seems everyone is a fan. Minako and Makoto like Seiya. Rei likes Yaten. Ami likes Taiki. Usagi doesn’t seem to know anything about them and is instead preoccupied with the fact that Mamoru is leaving for America. No only did Chibiusa leave between episodes, but her boyfriend is going too! At the airport Mamoru gives her a ring and puts it on her ring finger. He does not flat out ask her to marry him but the symbolism of the ring and its placements is essentially a marriage proposal. The two kiss in the airport as strangers walk by. A North American audience may not find this noteable but in Japan kissing in public is uncommon, which is why it will often seem important for characters to verify that they are alone before they kiss. This public gesture demonstrates the strength of their feelings for one another. Mamoru leaves in this episode, and there is a strange light seen outside of his plane. We won’t learn until much later what that is specifically about. For Usagi, Mamoru has gone to America to study.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru kisses Usagi at the airport

As Mamoru leaves, Seiya enters. It’s not even a little bit subtle and it isn’t supposed to be. Even while they are still at the airport the Three Lights arrive, and so Usagi’s potential love interest Seiya enters her life. As he crosses Usagi he senses something about her. The target for this episode is an actress Alice, who is doing a movie with the Three Lights. This puts Usagi once again in Seiya’s presence. She doesn’t know who he is and assumes he is trying to pick her up by suggesting she should. The combat starts and we see one of my favourite villains of the series, Sailor Iron Mouse. She is one of the Sailor Animamates, the Sailor Guardians who work for Galaxia. Sailor Iron Mouse extracts a Star Seed from Alice but it isn’t a True Star Seed so it’s just like a Mirror of Dreams that isn’t Golden or a Heart Crystal that isn’t a Talisman. The Sailor Starlights show up and fight alongside Sailor Moon. For no real reason Usagi decides not to tell her friends about this encounter.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Sailor Iron Mouse

A note on gender. Things get a bit complicated when it comes to the Three Lights and the Sailor Starlights. In the manga they are women who dress as men when they are the Three Lights. In the anime they are men in their civilian forms and women in the Sailor Guardian forms. We can debate weather they are originally or truly men or women. I tend to feel that their true forms are their Sailor Guardian selves and that the Three Light male identities are their disguise. This does not really matter at the end of the day, as gender is fairly fluid in this series, with sexual preference being an independent vector to gender. They are who they are, they love who they love and they are loved by whoever loves them, regardless of their gender. All said I will refer to the Three Light with masculine pronouns and the Sailor Starlights with feminine pronouns.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Seiya Kou

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Taiki Kou

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Yaten Kou

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Usagi is sad that Chibiusa and Mamoru are leaving

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Galaxia

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru proposes to Usagi

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru meets Seiya

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru leaves for America

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Volume 11 of the Sailor Moon Manga is out now

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Sailor Moon Manga Vol. 11 cover Sailor Chibi Chibi

Volume 11 of the Sailor Moon Manga’s new English edition by Kodansha is in stores and available online today. This book features Sailor Chibi Chibi on the cover, a character so shrouded in mystery that if I were to tell you who she is I would spoil the whole story for you! This book covers the beginning of the “Stars” arc, the final story arc of the Sailor Moon manga to be completed with the next volume. In this book we have the appearance of Chibi Chibi as well as the Sailor Starlights posing as the Three Lights. Buy this book through the Amazon link below to support our site.

The book as always comes with some nice looking colour pages. Check out a couple of previews of that below.

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