Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray Review

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

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

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

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

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Cover unwrapped

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

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Discs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Watch the Sailor Moon Cast Reunion Panel from the 2015 Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

Roland Parliament, Tony Daniels, Susan Roman, Ron Rubin and Jill Frappier at the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

The 2016 Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration is this Saturday, July 9th, at the Ontario Science Centre. Last year I attended the event and recorded the voice actor panel. This panel included Roland Parliament, voice director for the first 65 episodes and the voice of Melvin, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, and Jill Frappier, the voice of Luna. If you missed last year’s event you can watch the panel below.

This year’s event looks like it will be a lot of fun. It has some great guests including voice actors Vince Corazza, the voice of Alan and Tuxedo Mask, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, and David Fraser, the voice of Raye’s Grandpa and other minor roles in the series. Jennifer Cihi, who sang many songs for the English dub, will be there to perform a concert. For more information on this and other events at the convention check out the event’s web site.

The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, is now available on Hulu

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

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week, just in time for Christmas, we get Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask. Usagi slept over at Mamoru’s last night so they now know each other’s identity. We get a flashback to Mamoru’s childhood where he wore a hat that looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury. Believe it or not we’re actually halfway through the first story arc at this point. In another 7 episodes we will be saying goodbye to the Dark Kingdom and introducing Chibusa and the Black Moon Clan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

Fans who previously viewed the subtitled version when it was originally released will notice a considerable change in this version. One of my favourite parts of this episode was creepy Umino who looks like a Heartless from the Kingdom Hearts games. For whatever reason this scene was updated for the Blu-Ray release to include a less monstrous looking Umino. Since the updated home video versions are used for the English dub these are the visuals we get. Another change we see is that when Sailor Venus shows up at the end of the episode we originally saw her looking like Sailor V from behind but Sailor Venus from the front. This animation mistake was corrected to include Sailor Venus from all angles. To see changes between the two versions of Sailor Moon Crystal check out Crystal Comparisons.

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

Next week is Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. Make no mistake though. This will feature Minako Aino as Sailor Venus more than as Sailor V.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Venus wearing Sailor V's mask

Meet Roland Parliament, Ron Rubin and more at a Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration September 27th at the Ontario Science Centre

Roland Parliament - Guest of honour at the Sailor Moon Celebration

Ron Rubin - Guest of Honour - Sailor Moon Celebration

A single day Sailor Moon convention will be taking place in Toronto next month on September 27th. Toronto Sailor Moon fans should be sure not to miss it. The event is being put on by Emily from Moon Chase! and will feature special guest Roland Parliament, the voice of Melvin and voice director for the first 65 episodes of the original English dub of Sailor Moon and Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis the cat throughout the series. As described on Moon Chase! and the Facebook Event for the page, the event will include:

  • Q&A session with Roland Parliament: ask your burning questions about what it was like to be the voice of the geeky Melvin, the experience of voice directing Sailor Moon, or even find out more about his book Sailor Moon Reflections
  • Q&A session with Ron Rubin: ask your questions about what it was like to be the voice of a talking cat and how being part of the anime series and movies from beginning to end influenced his view of Sailor Moon and the role of Artemis
  • Autographs and photo ops with Roland Parliament and Ron Rubin
  • Sailor Moon merchandise: presentation on a selection of merchandise available in Japan and Canada, includes some real life merchandise that you can see up close!
  • Sailor Moon Classic versus Sailor Moon Crystal: open discussion of the two animes
  • Mythology and Sailor Moon: discussion of the influences of mythology in the story of Sailor Moon
  • Gender, Sociology and Sailor Moon: discussion of the aspects of gender, race, and socio-cultural significance of Sailor Moon (and Sailor Moon cosplaying) in North America
  • Sailor Moon singalong: It’s like a group karaoke! Sing along to various Sailor Moon songs, in English and Japanese. Lyrics will be on a screen so everyone can follow along.
  • Cosplay parade
  • And more!
  • Sailor Moon Celebration at the Ontario Science Center

    There will be a lot to keep a fan busy with a number of panels, a vendor area and craft area. Tickets are currently only $10. The price of tickets will be going up tomorrow, August 27th, so get your tickets now. If you didn’t get a chance don’t worry, they are only going up to $12. Entry into the Ontario Science Centre exhibits must be purchased separately for those who are interested in them. I visited the Ontario Science Centre last summer and found there were a lot of interesting exhibits there which are worth checking out.

    Along with your ticket you can order a $2 International Sailor Moon Day wrist band which is exclusive to this event. The event carries some Sailor Moon Day branding as it was originally planned for Sailor Moon Day earlier this month before being delayed.

    International Sailor Moon Day 2015 Wrist Bands

    Roland Parliament recently wrote the book Sailor Moon Reflections which recounted many memories from his time recording Sailor Moon. Though I never got a chance to formally review the book I did read it and found it to be fantastic. It is a very interesting take on the history of Sailor Moon that any fan of the original dub should check out.

    Sailor Moon SuperS episodes 130 and 131 are now available on Hulu

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Ikuko Mama's clone

    The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon SuperS are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get episodes 130 and 131 and everyone in Usagi’s entourage are targeted by the PUAs that are the Amazon Trio. First it’s her mother and then it’s her best friend, but will either stray from their committed relationships? Once you’ve watched these episodes you’ll want to watch the Sailor Moon SuperS Special as well. You can read more about that later in this post.

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi going to school

    Episode 130, Protect Mom’s Dream: Double Moon’s New Attack, is all about Usagi’s mother Ikuko Tsukino who is generally referred to as Ikuko Mama. In over three seasons we’ve somehow never had an episode focus on either of the Tsukino parents, so this one is a nice change. Usagi gets really mad that she didn’t get to eat a piece of her mother’s pie, which is a classic Usagi reason to get upset, and she storms off. This leads to a nice moment between Ikuko Mama and Chibiusa. What a lovely yet tragic relationship these two share. Chibiusa is stranded in the past and while Usagi does offer some sort of a parental figure to her, what with her being her actual mother, their relationship is much closer to that of sisters. Ikuko Mama believes herself to be Chibiusa’s aunt though as she lives with the Tsukinos she is more of a parent to her. Too bad all of her memories of Chibiusa are destined to disappear whenever she returns to the future. Will she still be alive when Usagi ascends to be Queen of Crystal Tokyo and Chibiusa is born? Will she ever be able to reclaim her lost memories? It’s hard not be a bit sad whenever I see these two interact. Ikuko Mama shows Chibiusa a series of photos of Usagi when she was growing up. This reminds me of the intro to the Sailor Moon SuperS movie where we see clips of all of the Sailor Guardians growing up. More importantly we see a calendar in the background of this scene which states 1995. The timeline for Sailor Moon makes no sense, as the episodes all seem to take place during the actual seasons and years they aired in over a five year period, though Usagi ages only two years over that time. Here Usagi, 14 years old throughout the first season, is 15 years old as determined by her birthday last season and her age being stated in episode 132 which is only two episodes and a short special away. A calendar in the first season showed 1992 while one in this episode shows 1995. Something doesn’t add up!

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - 1995

    Ikuko Mama is targeted by Hawk’s Eye, because she is older than the teenaged girls Tiger’s Eye goes after. This doesn’t seem to work very well, as she is quite happily married to Kenji Papa! Hawk’s Eye creates an elaborate lie about his own mother who looks just like her making pies. He really lays it on thick! When the fighting ensues Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon and finally powered up permanently to Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon with the weapons we’ve sort of already seen a couple of times. Not sure why this needed to be dragged out this much.

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - The Tsukino family

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 131 - Tiger's Eye hits on Naru

    Episode 131, Catch Pegasus: The Amazon’s Trap, is a great humour filled episode. Last episode Hawk’s Eye tried to seduce a married woman and this week Tiger’s Eye has about as much trouble trying to seduce Naru despite her relationship with Umino. This relationship is rock solid, not likely to be broken up by a slick peacocking PUA or some message from the future as we’ve seen with others in the series. Hawk’s Eye is hilariously shattered at the idea that a young lady could pass on his advances but be interested in such a seemingly low class guy as Umino, but he will not be deterred. He comes up with a great tactic, to fake a terminal illness! It somewhat works, as Naru decides it is the right thing to do to be at his side. Umino is broken up by this, going into a depression and drinking a ton of McDonald’s milkshakes which are MoG shakes but the similarity is no coincidence. All of this doesn’t work though. Naru’s love for Umino is too strong! They truly are the strongest couple in the series!

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 131 - Umino drowns his sorrows in milkshakes

    Next, you should really watch the Sailor Moon SuperS Special which originally aired on April 8th 1995, two weeks after episode 131, which aired March 25th, and a week before episode 132, which aired April 15th. Although this episode aired on TV and fits chronologically within the Sailor Moon SuperS season it has never been released in English to date and is unlikely to appear on Hulu next week. If you look around the Internet you should be able to find a copy of this special.

    Sailor Moon SuperS Special - A Lemures dummy

    The special is broken into three parts which are each a sort of mini episode. The total length is about that of two episodes, so each episode is somewhat shorter than usual. The first part is a series of flashback clips which is generally uninteresting. The other two parts are much more better.

    Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Haruka and Michiru during SuperS

    In the second part, The Return of Haruka and Michiru! The Ghostly Puppet Show, We get a look at what Haruka and Michiru are up to this season as they fight an evil ventriloquist’s dummy. The dummy being the evil one. Haruka is sick throughout. A fight naturally ensues at which point we learn that Michiru would gladly sacrifice many lives just to save Haruka, which is funny but completely contradicting all of Sailor Moon S. As an indicator that we won’t be seeing them later in the season, the two agree that the core group of Sailor Guardians can handle the new threat. At this point in the manga Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn would not have joined the story of the dream arc yet, but in the anime they never do.

    Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Lilica Hubert

    Next is the third part, Chibiusa’s Adventure! The Dreaded Vampire Castle, which is an adaptation of the first Chibiusa’s picture diary manga side story. It focuses on a young girl named Lilica who joins Chibiusa’s class. She seems like a nice enough girl until some of the boys in her class start disappearing. It turns out Lilica is actually a vampire, so it’s a good thing the girls had a garlic filled lunch allowing them to use Sailor Special Garlic Attack which is naturally never used in any other episode.

    Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Sailor Special Garlic Attack

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    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi playing in a sandbox

    Sailor Moon SuperS episode 130 - Usagi the rabbit in a play

    Sailor Moon S episodes 94 and 95 are now available on Hulu

    Sailor Moon S episode 94 - Unazuki kissing Makoto

    The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon S are now available to stream on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week’s shows are all about love as episodes 94 and 95 deal with romance. First we have Unazuki dreaming of her first kiss and then we have a deepening of the romance between Umino and Naru.

    Sailor Moon S episode 94 - Unazuki being sexually repressed by Rei

    Episode 94, Protect the Pure Heart: The Three-Way Battle, is all about the purity of the first kiss. The main character and target this week is Unazuki Furuhata. Upon listening to this episode it seemed that Unazuki’s voice sounded a lot like Sailor Iron Mouse’s. This is because Miyako Endou, the actress who normally portrays Unazuki, did not voice her for episode 94. Instead she was voiced by Eriko Hara for this episode only. Eriko Hara also provided the voice of Sailor Iron Mouse in SailorStars as well as a number of monsters including the Dream Princess from episode 11. The main plot focusing on how pure a first kiss is. This all seems a bit silly. Yes Unazuki is young and there’s no shame in saving yourself for the right person but this story takes it a bit far. This kind of purity is often associated with a first sexual experience which is in itself a bit silly, but even more ridiculous when applied to something as innocent as a kiss. There is this pervasive idea presented in this episode, and throughout the series in general, that a young woman’s feelings are somehow embarrassing and that she should protect her innocence as if it was something sacred. We see this in Usagi’s reaction every time it’s asked if she’s kissed Mamoru. To me this seems like a somewhat antiquated point of view, the opposite being to allow women to be free to decide how to pursue their sexual interests without worrying about being shamed for it. When Unazuki has her pure heart removed what remains is a sort of husk without a soul intent on kissing anything that moves, which happens to be Makoto and Usagi. This insinuates something very impure and wrong about promiscuity which seems a bit too much like slut shaming to me. Rei needs to use her scroll to suppress her sinful desires.

    Sailor Moon S episode 94 - Naked Usagi and Mamoru or Adam and Eve

    In one scene Michiru mentions that the first kiss was between Adam and Eve. This is subject to some debate but I’ll avoid getting back on my soap box for this minor point. Usagi imagines the first kiss being being Adam and Eve who look just like her and Mamoru. She pictures two naked people kissing, complete with the somewhat visible outline of a nipple. No censoring on this one. It looks like they’re lying in grass. Must be the Garden of Eden.

    Sailor Moon S episode 95 - Umino and Naru

    Episode 95, Let Moon Help With Your Love Problems, once again focuses on Umino and Naru’s relationship. We’ve actually seen this touched on a number times at this point. Umino is trying to advance things, because saving someone’s life a bunch of times isn’t quite cutting it, so he goes to Usagi for advise. The brilliant idea is to enrol the two in a kind of game show for couples. Unfortunately Haruka and Michiru are also competing! Too bad the Death Busters have their eye on the monument they are doing all of this around. Luckily Haruka and Michiru drop out at the last minute. Why is this fortunate? Well if they hadn’t then perhaps the Daimon would have targeted them for their Pure Hearts instead of Umino. How differently the series would have played out had that happened. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Umino confesses his love to Naru in an impassioned speech which brings the audience to tears just as the Daimon bursts out. Naru is targeted and once again Umino shoves her aside and takes the attack for her. This is becoming a habit for him! Oh well Umino doesn’t have a Talisman. A humorous scene takes place during the battle. Some eligible bachelors invite the girls to dance. “Let’s dancing”. They accept and then they turn into monsters and attack them. Never accept an invitation for a dance during combat!

    Sailor Moon S episode 95 - Michiru and Haruka

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    Sailor Moon S episode 95 - Let's dancing

    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.

    Keep reading for more images of the set and photos of all pages of the included booklet.

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    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, Review

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

    Act 7 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask, is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Usagi has just found out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask, we learn more about the Dark Kingdom and we get our first look at Sailor Venus! But first, could Mamoru be Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard?

    terry-bogard_fatal_fury Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

    One of the first things we see in this episode is the flashback to Mamoru’s past. Mamoru’s parents died when he was just 6 years old. We get a look at them, two faceless people who have dark hair like his. Funny we see their faces in the Manga, though this doesn’t ever really come back. The more important issue is Mamoru’s hat, which looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury, a fighting game series originally on the Neo Geo. Am I forcing this connection? I don’t think so. I’ve never played a Fatal Fury game in my life but this connection was instantly obvious. In addition to this Tuxedo Mask does a bunch of punching in this week’s episode! His exchange of blows with Zoisite was not in the original Manga. Sailor Moon is attacked by Zoisite and then Artemis and Sailor Venus come to her rescue while Tuxedo Mask just watches. His punching must be due to an attempt at making him look more like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Preparing to punch

    The episode starts out with Mamoru and Usagi’s tender moments but this scene seems plagued with inconsistent animation to me. I’ve not been one to complain about the animation in this series to date but after starting to feel like things were improving this episode in particular seemed like a disappointing step back. After this we get to meet Queen Metalia, the evil energy that is behind the Dark Kingdom, and we get a bit more back story for Queen Beryl. We unfortunately don’t get a good look at a normal woman in the North Pole discovering the Dark Kingdom like we do in the manga but the same story seems to be going on here.

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Queen Metalia

    As expected, the VHS tapes from the original story were not kept, but instead updated to DVDs. Really? No Blu-Rays in 2014? Regardless of the technology upgrade the story can’t help but feel a bit dated. Video rental stores are not what they used to be, and the idea of the youth of today not spending enough time at the arcade because they’re renting video only reminds us that arcades are also not close to as popular as they were in the 90s. This is why things like updating Crown from an arcade to a Karaoke bar made sense for the live action series, but that Sailor Moon Crystal being so faithfully adapted but still taking place in moderns times at times doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, do these DVDs look like Kuri’s boobs?

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Yumiko, Kuri and Naru renting antiquated DVDs

    As technology goes, Ami’s computer has been replaced with a “FinePad” in this episode, an obvious take on the iPad. The icons in the background look like those on iOS though the windows and the red, yellow and green buttons on them are similar to Mac OS. This level of multitasking would be too convenient for an iPad.

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Ami's FinePad

    A funny scene in this episode shows us more of creepy, creepy Umino. Original manga and anime Umino was nerdy but pretty much harmless and non threatening but Sailor Moon Crystal Umino is downright creepy! Here he shows up to share that he’s looking for Sailor Moon, which makes sense as he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else into doing so, but we almost forget that this is part of the Dark Kingdom’s plot as this creepiness fits right in with his character! Not sure why he’s made to look like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. He also looks a bit like Professor Tomoe.

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

    This episode finally introduces us to two new charters, Artemis and Minako Aino as Sailor V and Sailor Venus. The first appearance of Sailor V in this episode is on Luna’s computer. In the manga when this conversation takes place you can see a bit of Minako’s bow but it’s not as obvious that this is Sailor V. Once the battle commences it’s Artemis, not Sailor Venus, that saves the day. We see the top of his head followed by him jumping and slashing Zoisite, who doesn’t die in this episode. Then we finally see both him and Sailor Venus together.

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Artemis

    The episode does an odd thing with Sailor Venus’s introduction. First we see her from behind, clearly wearing Sailor V’s outfit, but then when seen again from the front she’s clearly dressed as Sailor Venus. That’s a quick costume change!

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor Venus

    In two more weeks, October 18th, we’ll see Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. This one will be all about Sailor Venus. The team is finally all together!

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

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

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    Sailor Moon episodes 31 and 32 are now available on Hulu

    Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler

    The latest two episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday two new episodes, subbed by Viz, are added online. This week we have episodes 31 and 32 which are two of the funniest episodes of the series.

    Sailor Moon episode 31 - Rhett Butler rescues Luna

    In episode 31, Love and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever, we meet Rhett Butler, a fat alley cat who falls in love with Luna. The search for the last Rainbow Crystal is on and leads Zoisite and the Sailor Guardians to the house of a young girl, but it’s her cat who’s actually the final Rainbow Crystal carrier! Rhett Butler choses to protect Luna from all of the stray cats in Tokyo. Their adventures take them deep into the sewers and ultimately back to the surface where Rhett Butler turns into the monster Bakene who is still able to keep his wits and protect Luna despite his monster status, a feat that none of the human Rainbow Crystal carriers were able to do. Like many of the romances early in the series, this one is short lived and the reasons are simply because there are other plans for some characters. Artemis will be showing up in just a few episodes and so there’s just no room to keep Rhett Bulter around beyond the scope of this episode, but in the final moments it’s quite clear that Luna and Rhett Butler shared a great love.

    Sailor Moon episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

    In episode 32, Umino’s Resolve: I’ll Protect Naru, we see Umino’s protective side as he suits up and becomes Tuxedo Umino Kamen. Now that Usagi has new friends it’s long overdue that Naru and Umino hook up with each other so that we don’t have to feel bad about how neglected they are! Umino is of course completely socially awkward and has no idea how to win over Naru so he asks Usagi who describes what she is into as qualities attributed to Tuxedo Mask. Umino naturally decides to dress as Tuxedo Mask and protect Naru, which is met with some apprehension but is ultimately fairly successfull. They go on a date together to see Red Man, and when Zoisite misses Naru he ends up making a monster of the Power Ranger style character who attacks everyone in site, forcing Umino to step up as protector. Once again Umino isn’t terribly effective, but his heart is in the right place, and that’s what counts. This is one romance that isn’t about to get sidetracked by some inconvenient destiny as Umino and Naru are set to have a long and happy relationship.

    Sailor Moon episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen and Naru

    And here’s a funny still from episode 31:

    Sailor Moon episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter looks at Sailor Mercury's butt

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party, Review

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Usagi and Mamoru dancing

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

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Jadeite lives

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

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

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

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Creeper Umino

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

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

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

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Makoto Kino

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

    Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5 Preview - Sailor Jupiter

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

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