Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto, has died of cancer at age 44

Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto

I am sad to report that Susan Aceron Gray, who voiced Sailor Pluto during the Cloverway dub of the Sailor Moon anime, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. She was 44. She played many other characters through the series including the Kisenian Flower from the Sailor Moon R movie, Byruit (Viluy), Cyprine and Petirol of the Witches 5, Mistress 9 and Elizabeth (Unazuki).

I was lucky enough to meet Susan Aceron over 10 years ago at Anime North in Toronto. She was very kind and quite happy to meet her fans. Her work was cherished by Sailor Moon fans around the world. She will be missed.

Source: Moon Chase!, Obituary

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail art project

The most recent episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week’s title is the longest to date as we get Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. But is this the title? That is what the original manga chapter is called and from the title card appears to be the proper Japanese title but the Crunchyroll and Hulu subs and page titles call it “Episode 31 – Act.30 INFINITY 4 Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh – SAILOR URANUS, SAILOR NEPTUNE”. Why change the name like this? Seems an odd choice! This week we continue to deal with drama related to our new friends and Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Infinity 4 - Sailor Uranus - Haruka Tenoh - Sailor Neptune - Michiru Kaioh

First things first, we have a new opening theme song. Somehow I didn’t realize we were getting it this week. This story arc will actually have three opening and three ending themes. These are the second batch. The opening theme song, In Love With the New Moon, is now sung by Mitsuko Horie who is best known as the voice of Sailor Galaxia. She also covered the Sailor Stars Song as part of the 20th Anniversary Album. It’s a bit odd to hear a slightly changed version of the theme song we’d just started to get used to. I tend to prefer the first version but I wonder if my feelings would change had I heard this one first. I guess we will be getting this version for another few weeks before it is replaced with the Momoiro Clover Z version of the song. They sang Moon Pride for the first two story arcs of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Ending - Chibiusa and Luna P

The new ending theme is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The ending theme is full of pink and Luna Ps as far as the eye can see. A big change from the last ending theme we had. This will eventually be replaced by Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. A CD single with the current opening and ending themes will be released on May 25th, after which I suspect we will be getting the third opening and closing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibusa is bad at keeping secrets

As the episode begins it is immediately obvious that these new Sailor Guardians can’t be our friends. Prelude to drama! Sailor Uranus and Neptune straight up attack Sailor Moon and her friends because we sort of have the same mission but we aren’t friends so we just aren’t. In the process Chibiusa immediately betrays her promise to Haruka and Michiru by revealing that Sailor Neptune’s Mirror is a Talisman. Too bad she doesn’t share Hotaru’s secret and tell us who the big bad guy is but whatever we needed to make Ami work a bit this week anyway.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Messiah

Another shared dream. This one shared by Mamoru and Usagi, who see the “Deity of Destruction”. The Messiah? Looks like Princess Serenity with a staff, maybe a glaive, to me. The two seem surprised to share a dream, even though this has been happening consistently for the past few episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Haruka surprises Usagi

Usagi is chilling in the park and someone comes by from behind covering her eyes with a sort of “guess who” thing. I hate this game, especially when the person who plays it isn’t someone you play it with a lot. Guess right and it’s not a big deal. Guess wrong and it’s drama drama drama. So Usagi guesses Mamoru, which is odd since she recognizes that Haruka smells like Sailor Uranus. I guess she’s bad at this game too. At this point everyone seems to know who’s who and when Haruka gets close… Mamoru shows up!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibiusa interrupts an awkward moment

The drama continues at Mamoru’s apartment and while things are tense Chibiusa crashes the party! She appears to be oblivious to the problem but we eventually learn that her and Diana are actually trying to get them to make up. Chibiusa’s makeup attempt includes making the Holy Grail! This is an odd thing. Chibiusa remembers seeing this item, which Sailor Moon used back in the day aka the future, in a painting in her mother’s room. So the Holy Grail that is made in this episode actually doesn’t exist yet! Mamoru looks up the Holy Grail in “An Encyclopedia of World History”. I don’t really think of the Holy Grail as being a historical object what with it in all likelihood never having actually existed, but whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Diana and Chibiusa

Finally once Chibiusa and Diana are asleep Mamoru and Usagi have a little moment where they both admit to being jealous and then they probably have sex. But Chibiusa and Diana aren’t really sleeping so Chibiusa maybe sees her parents having sex. I guess it’s in Chibiusa’s best interest to encourage her parents to have sex because that’s how she’ll be made some day, unless human sexuality changes drastically in the next seven or so years.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Tau Star System

On to part two which has almost nothing to do with the first half of the episode. Ami enrolls at Mugen Preparatory School, which is a sort of high school exam preraration school given at Mugen Academy but with a ton of students from others schools, hence the variety of uniforms. Ami is a genius, so it makes sense that she goes here, but she’s actually investigating too! She goes up to the 13th floor and sees a scale model of a galaxy. I say galaxy of course because I know that’s what it looks like. Yui Bido, actually Viluy of the Witches 5, refers to it as a scaled down universe, and states that it’s the Tau Star System. Let’s correct some confusing terminology here. The Universe is vast and contains at least a hundred billion galaxies. This model contains a single galaxy. This is hardly a scale model of any Universe as we know it. It’s also referred to as the Tau Star System. What exactly does this mean? A solar system is a star with planets and such around it. A star system can mean a few stars orbiting each other, such as a binary star system, but when you get to galaxy scale, containing hundreds of billions of stars, you don’t call things a star system anymore. So much to say, what we see about this thing contradicts the wildly varying things it’s called. It’s not that hard to get these things accurately, especially given Naoko Takeuchi’s interest in space. I’m sure this won’t get better as the story arc proceed and we learn more about the Tau Star System. Everything we know about physics also tells us that you can’t just scale something down like this. Is this galaxy made up of tiny stars with tiny planets around them filled with tiny people made up of tiny cells and tiny molecules made up of tiny atoms? Whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Ami jumping out of a window

Ami starts to poke around. She throws a pen into a camera which is bad ass. She’s on the 13th floor. She sees a door that is labeled “Underground laboratory”. She’s on the 13th floor and sees a door that leads to a lab which is under the ground, generally accepted to be at floor one. In there she finds Daimons and the enemy shows up. She’s underground at this point. She runs to the nearest window and … she’s back on the 13th floor! What exactly is going on here with a dedicated stairwell that goes down 13 floors but doesn’t open up to any other floor? Is there some sort of portal through space that leads from one floor to another? Anyway Ami is totally bad ass again by jumping out the windows, diving into a pool and transforming while diving, emerging as Sailor Mercury. Pretty awesome. Reminds me a bit of Ami’s first transformation in the live action series which is done while she’s falling.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Viluy of the Witches 5

Sailor Mercury fights Viluy who fights with nano robots. Advanced technology which is basically a swarm of tiny robots all working in unison for something. For whatever reason the cloud of nanobots appears as formulae over Sailor Mercury. Why not? Sailor Uranus and Neptune appear and transform for the first time. The transformation sequences are brief and similar to those from the original Sailor Moon anime. After a few attacks magic beats technology yet again. Viluy’s power level was 202. I’m not sure how accurate this scale really is, but they keep using it. The page of the book which the Holy Grail appears on happens to be 202. What an odd reference.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail

Finally we see an old friend. Reika and Motoki are at the University and we see a new first year student, Setsuna Meioh. If the resemblance was not immediately obvious this is the civilian identity of Sailor Pluto, who died last season in the distant future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Setsuna Meioh

Next week is Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, in which we will see Sailor Pluto once again.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 Preview - Setsuna Meioh

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 31.

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Sailor Moon Crystal’s voice actors for Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and more revealed at this morning’s live event

Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus and Kotono Mitsuishi, Sailor Moon

There was a live streaming event this morning in Japan, related to the upcoming Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. Art was shown, but since we’d seen that earlier this week this was not a big revelation. We did not get any details about a schedule for the series but we did get cast information for the upcoming season. Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune, joined the event. The actress voicing Sailor Saturn, Fujii Yukiyo, showed up momentarily via a separate video.

Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

In addition to this the actors playing the Death Busters, including the Witches 5, were announced. A full cast list, with IMDB links, is included below.

Sailor Uranus – Junko Minagawa
Sailor Neptune – Sayaka Ohara
Sailor Saturn – Yukiyo Fujii

Professor Tomoe – Takuya Kirimoto
Kaolinite – Hikari Yono
Pharaon 90 – Takaya Hashi

Eudial – Chiaki Takahashi
Mimete – Yuki Nagaku
Viluy – Rina Honizumi
Tellu – Naomi Ohzora
Cyprine – Umeka Shouji

I don’t watch much newer anime but a lot of these voice actors have a great deal of experience from recent years. MoonSisters.org posted a nice summary of all of their works on their Facebook Page. Most noteable is Takaya Hashi, who will be voicing Pharaon 90, who played a few small characters in the original Sailor Moon anime. He played Astronomer Dr. Sergai Ajimov in episode 120 of Sailor Moon S and the ventriloquist in the Sailor Moon SuperS Special.

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Ptilol and Cyprine

Another odd thing was the inclusion of Cyprene but not Ptilol. In the recent musical Un Nouveau Voyage only Cyprene appeared, though Cyprene and Ptilol, twins, appeared together in the manga and original Sailor Moon anime. Assuming Sailor Moon Crystal will continue to be faithful to the manga it seems only logical that Ptilol will also be making an appearance. If this is the case she will likely also be voiced by Umeka Shouji.

The Exhibition of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Also announced at the event this morning was “The Exhibition of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” in Tokyo from April 16th to June 19th. This exhibit will have stuff from the Sailor Moon comics and anime as well as merchandise for sale.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity arc character art

An image of the Infinity arc’s art was revealed, but as this was the same we’d seen earlier this week this wasn’t really anything new. We continue to wait for some confirmation of a timeline for the new episodes. At this point we can only speculate as to when it will be released.

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

Thanks to Twitter user @aers00 for streaming the event. I was unable to view the feed on Niconico and so I was happy to have an option to watch it while showering and getting ready this morning. I hope others who were looking to do the same found the feed as well.

Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus

Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune

Voice actors playing the Death Busters

Sailor Moon Crystal’s English dub is coming to Hulu in November and Blu-Ray in 2016 plus the English voices for the Witches 5 have been announced

Sailor Moon Crystal English dub coming in November

This past weekend Viz Media held their Sailor Moon Panel at New York Comic Con. We got a lot of news about Sailor Moon Crystal. First and most importantly, the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be coming to Hulu and Viz.com next month, some time in November. We previously learned that the dub cast would be the same cast which was used for Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal English Blu-Ray 2016

We have also learned, via a flyer of their upcoming releases, that Sailor Moon Crystal would be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2016. The first release is “Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1: The Dark Kingdom Arc” and will include Sailor Moon Crystal Acts 1 to 13. This Blu-Ray set will no doubt include the original Japanese and English dubbed versions of Sailor Moon Crystal, including optional subtitles. We’ve previously learned that Viz’s version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be the updated version used for the Japanese Blu-Ray releases, which had minor changes to the animation from the original streaming version.

Viz English dub of Sailor Moon voice cast for the Witches 5

In casting news we have also learned the voice actors who will be playing the Witches 5, who are 6 of the new villains from the upcoming dub of Sailor Moon S. Now that the Infinity story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal has been announced in Japan, it stands to reason that this same cast will be around to voice these characters once those episodes are dubbed into English. The new cast includes some returning actors who have done other voices in the series. Erin Fitzgerald will voice Eudial. Kira Buckland will voice Mimete. Laura Post, who previously voiced a kindergarden teacher in Sailor Moon R episode 52 and the monster Amaderasu in episode 53, will voice Tellu. Cricket Brown, who previously voiced Usagi’s teacher Haruna, will play Viluy. Johanna Luis, who previously voiced An the Alien also known as Natsumi in Sailor Moon R, will play both Cyprine and Ptilol who somehow count as one of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon S episode 112 - Mimete and Cyprine of the Witches 5

Source: @TheMatthewPaul on Twitter, @sailor_moon_na on Twitter.

Watch Sailor Moon S episodes 122 and 123 on Hulu

Sailor Moon S episode 122 - Yui Bidou, Viluy of the Witches 5

We’re getting that much closer to the end of Sailor Moon S with the two latest episodes added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 122 and 123 we get introduced to three more members of the Witches 5!

Sailor Moon S episode 122 - Pure Hearts extracted by software

Episode 122, Believe in Love: Ami, the Kindhearted Guardian, is a total Sailor Mercury episode. In fact it’s very reminiscent of her first episode in which the Dark Kingdom uses computers to try to drain Crystal Seminar students’ energy to feed to Metalia. This week the Death Busters are using computers to steal Mugen Academy students’ Pure Hearts to feed to Hotaru. As we are getting close to the end of the season we need to go through more of the Witches 5 and so we are introduced to Viluy. Viluy poses as a student at Mugen Academy, Yui Bidou, and in doing so she crosses Ami who is investigating the school. She is very intelligent and we learn that the research done at Mugen Academy is not only cutting edge for the mid 90s but actually quite ahead of anything we’ve done by 2015. She has an army of nano robots. Nano robots or nanobots are miniscule robots which, when working as a team, are capable of great feats such as turning the world into grey goo. We have nothing close to what is portrayed in this episode in existence today as nanotechnology is still in its early stages. Viluy uses these robots to attack the Sailor Guardians but when her bracelet is damaged they end up turning on her which kills her. This episode continues to ask us moral questions as Ami defends Hotaru from Haruka and Michiru who want to kill her in order to save the world from destruction.

Sailor Moon S episode 122 - Viluy getting killed by nanobots

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Ptilol and Cyprine

Episode 123, Shadow of Destruction: the Messiah of Silence Awakens, introduces us to the final two members of the Witches 5. Cyrpine and Ptilol are considered to be a single member of the Witches 5 because of reasons I don’t pretend to understand. Do we refer to twins as a single entity? Then why are we calling a six member team the Witches 5? I think it’s nonsense personally, but that is what they are called. How much can they be considered to be a single person when they end up attacking each other? Things get pretty serious in this episode as Kaolinite kidnaps Sailor Chibi Moon. Her Pure Heart is so great that when it’s fed to Hotaru she transforms into Mistress 9. This leaves Chibiusa near death as Mamoru needs to use his own body’s energy to sustain her life. The gang is now ready to confront Mistress 9 and the Death Busters in the next handful of episodes. They missed their chance to kill Hotaru while she was young and defenseless. We’ll see what kind of destruction she will bring now. A funny scene in this episode shows Professor Tomoe adjusting his glasses with his middle finger, making it seem like he’s making a rude gesture.

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Professor Tomoe showing the finger

Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Mistress 9

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Sailor Moon S episode 123 - Mamoru keeping Chibiusa alive

First images of Professor Tomoe, Kaolinite and the Witches 5 from the Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical have been revealed

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - The Witches 5

A pamphlet for the upcoming Sailor Moon Musical Un Nouveau Voyage or A New Journey has been posted to the official Sailor Moon site. This update includes images of the previously unseen Professor Tomoe and Kaolinite. We also found a picture of 5 of the Witches 5, Mimete, Eudial, Viluy, Tellu and Cyprine. There are actually 6 members in the Witches 5. Did we leave one out on the assumption that Japanese children can count? Ptilol is has not been revealed at this time though since she’s just a mirror image of Cyprene with red instead of blue hair and clothes I’ve put together this approximation of what she might look like. This is absolutely not a real image of Ptilol, just a silly image edit I made.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Fake image of Ptilol of the Witches 5

The newly revealed cast members are the following:

Yuki Kaon as Professor Tomoe
Kei Ohgi as Kaolinite
Ayaka Ida as Mimete
Saya Chinen as Eudial
Yui Hasegawa as Viluy
Momoko Sadachi as Tellu
Maana as Cyprine

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Pamphlet

Since this musical continues to use an all female cast Professor Tomoe is portrayed by a woman.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Pamphlet

Image source: Vietnamese Sailor Moon Fan Club

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Professor Tomoe

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Kaolinite