The updated Sailor Stars relationship chart lists Sailor Uranus and Neptune as Partners, not Lovers

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Sailor Uranus and Neptune are Partners

This afternoon I received my replacement booklet for the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Blu-Ray set. I was surprised to see this so quickly as I’d only put in the request 11 days ago on September 8th and today on the 19th it arrived at my door. Great turnaround by Viz and Warner Brothers! I was however a bit surprised to check out the relationship chart and to see Sailor Uranus and Neptune were listed simply as “Partners”. I was hoping their connection would show “Love” like is indicated for Usagi and Mamoru. Additionally the lyrics for Moonlight Legend have not been corrected.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Relationship Chart

In the press release by Viz it did indeed state “Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are not friends, but in fact, partners” and we understand in this context that this means romantic partners and not, say, two people working together to sell insurance. In the relationship chart is that so clear? Are they partners in fighting evil or partners in the bedroom? Having watched the dubbed version of Sailor Stars Part 1 the faithful adaptation makes it clear beyond any doubt that these two share an intimate relationship with a number of suggestive lines. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post on the issue, they were previously listed as “Partners” in the Sailor Moon S relationship chart and that didn’t seem to have caused the same concern. Of course no one even noticed the error with the lyrics going back to the first season so I’m not sure how much people paid attention to such specifics. It’s worth noting that the term “Lovers” was used extensively in the Sailor Moon R relationship chart, though these two were not in that season.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Romaji Lyrics

Although the original press release mentioned “The erroneous text is in the romaji provided with the song lyrics.” and fans assumed this was in reference to an untranslated piece of text from Moonlight Legend, the Sailor Moon anime opening theme for all but this season, this doesn’t appear to have been fixed. I’m wondering if there was perhaps another romaji problem that was corrected? I did not do a page by page word for word comparison of both booklets to check.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Replacement Booklet with Letter

Other minor changes exist in the relationship chart such as the Three Lights’ names being corrected to given name first, where this was inconsistently using their family name first in the old chart. They are also listed as “Sailor Star Lights” as a group where they weren’t before. Minor formatting changes exist on other pages but as I mentioned I didn’t do an exhaustive comparison.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Letter

What do you think? Am I being extra picky by expecting these two to be listed as being in “Love” after all that’s gone into this? Did you get your replacement booklet yet? Have you noticed any other differences?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Comparison

Viz Media has begun the replacement program for the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars booklet

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Relationship chart

Following the release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1’s Limited Edition Blu-Ray on June 18th, some fans found issues with the included booklet. Viz Media has posted an update on their official web site which has details on how to get a replacement booklet. This involves sending an e-mail to SailorMoonStarsBooklet@visionmedia.com with your Full Name, Phone Number, Email address and Mailing Address.

Sailor Moon S episode 106 - Haruka holding Sailor Neptune

I sent in my own details and the response from Viz mentioned that replacement booklets would start to be sent out “no later than the end of September”. There was no need to send in the original booklet or provide any proof of purchase for the original set.

Sailor Moon S episode 110 - Haruka and Michiru

We previously reported on the issues with the booklet. The main concern was that Sailor Uranus and Neptune’s relationship was mentioned as being a “Friendship”. I jokingly suggested many other changes to the chart to reflect the reality of the season. Viz does not get into any details about the changes being made to the booklet in their post, referring only to “several errors”. They had previously mentioned that there will also be a correction to Japanese Romaji lyrics for the theme song “Moonlight Legend”. This pertains to the first line which was not translated in the English version of the lyrics. This error has been in those lyrics in every booklet since the very first season. Odd that this only gets corrected in the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars booklet as this is the only season not to use this song as its opening theme, instead featuring it only once during the end credits of the final episode of the series.

Viz’s full statement appears below:

Updated: SAILOR MOON Season 5 Set 1 Statement
Dear SAILOR MOON fans,

The booklet included in the Limited Edition version of SAILOR MOON Sailor Stars Season 5 Part 1 included several errors which we have addressed.

For those of you who purchased that product, we now have a replacement solution for the booklet. As soon as possible, please send an email to SailorMoonStarsBooklet@visionmedia.com with the subject line “Sailor Moon Replacement” and include the following details:
Full name
Phone number
Email address
Mailing address to where the replacement booklet should be shipped

Once you have provided the information, you will be on your way to receiving a replacement booklet.

Thank you again for your continued patience. We appreciate your ongoing support for SAILOR MOON. If you have any questions or thoughts on the replacement process, please reach out to us through this page or through social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialVIZMedia
Twitter: @VIZMedia and @Sailor_Moon_NA
The VIZ Media Team

Here is the complete response I received via e-mail:

Dear SAILOR MOON fan,

Thank you for your email and for providing your contact information.

Replacement booklets will start to ship by no later than the end of September 2019. Requests will be fulfilled in the order received assuming complete and correct contact/shipping information has been provided.

We appreciate your patience and your ongoing support. If you have any questions or thoughts on the replacement process, please reach out to us through this page or through social media.

Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialVIZMedia
Twitter: @VIZMedia and @Sailor_Moon_NA

The VIZ Media Team

It’s not clear if or when sets sold at retail will include the new booklet. You can buy Sailor Stars Part 1 from Amazon using the links below. Part 2 will be out November 12th.

Viz Media promises to reprint the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Blu-Ray booklet after referring to Sailor Uranus and Neptune as being in a “friendship”

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Relationship chart

Sailor Stars – Relationship chart

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 was released on DVD and Blu-Ray June 18th but some fans were not pleased with what they got! A relationship chart found in the booklet which is included in the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set refers to Sailor Uranus and Neptune as having a “Friendship”. This was noted by some fans including Erica Friedman of Okazu who wrote an article about it and brought the issue up with Viz directly.

Viz Media responded fairly promptly to the concerns on Twitter and through a statement on their web site. This statement makes it clear! Sailor Uranus and Neptune aren’t friends but partners (that being romantic partners and not a couple of gals selling insurance together).

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Moonlight Legend lyrics

Sailor Stars – Moonlight Legend lyrics

Though the updated version of that statement clearly addresses the Uranus/Neptune relationship dynamic the original message is all about a problem with the “romaji” lyrics in the booklet. Upon close inspection we see that this is actually a reference to the first words of Moonlight Legend which in the English translation are not translated as “I’m sorry” but left as “Gomen-ne”. This seems like a bit of a non issue all considered. In both cases we can get a bit of context if we look back at past versions of the booklet. supersonicjc did some investigation of earlier versions and found that the lyrics issue had been there since the first season. Looking at past relationship charts and the Sailor Stars chart we can see other issues which I think could use some attention.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Stars - Updated relationship chart

Sailor Stars – Updated relationship chart

First we can look at the Sailor Stars relationship chart and see what else is there and what else is missing. I jokingly put together an updated version of the chart (above) with all sorts of ships which I support but this wasn’t meant to be anything serious. Since Usagi and Mamoru are listed as “Love” and not “Friendship” then we see that there is in fact an option for listing romantic love that is more than mere friendship. The obvious choice would be to put Haruka and Michiru with a “Love” connection. It’s also a bit odd that the link is put between Sailor Guardians rather than their civilian identities, as is done with other relationships. Jokes aside there is one legitimate relationship aside from the many couples I like to ship and that is Luna and Artemis. Though their relationship was a long time coming it was first hinted at in Sailor Moon R, cemented in the Sailor Moon S film which is arguably canon and finally confirmed in Sailor Moon SuperS with the arrival of Diana. No doubt Artemis and Luna of the future are in the relationship, but I think it’s safe to consider present day Luna and Artemis to have a “Love” connection as early as Sailor Moon SuperS as well as in this Sailor Stars chart.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon S - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon S – Relationship chart

Looking at past relationship charts we see fairly similar things. Sailor Uranus and Neptune are not in Sailor Moon SuperS and so they aren’t in that chart. They are introduced in Sailor Moon S and that chart lists them not as “Friendship” or “Love” but rather as “Partners”. This is technically true but they are also, obviously, much more than partners. The term “Partner” is sometimes used for gay and lesbian couples in place of gender specific terms such as “boyfriend and girlfriend” or “husband and wife” for a number of reasons. It distinguishes the platonic “I’m going out with my girlfriends” from the “I had a hot date with my girlfriend”. Guy don’t often use “boyfriend” in this non romantic sense but we’re not talking about boys here. It’s gender neutral use can also potentially mask the nature of someone’s same sex relationship in a social or professional situation where it’s unknown how others may feel about the term. The term “Partner” could also be preferred by some gay and lesbian couples as it sounds more serious than boyfriend or girlfriend for committed couples who due to whatever legal issues in their country may not be able to marry. So much to say the Sailor Moon S chart should have used “Love” for Sailor Uranus and Neptune as they used for Usagi and Tuxedo Mask. Why it isn’t Usagi and Mamoru or Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask I can’t say I understand. The term “Partners” is exclusively used to describe Sailor Uranus and Neptune in the Sailor Moon S chart where others who are described by the term in other charts, such as Usagi and Luna, are listed as “Friendship” on this one which was likely intentional.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon SuperS - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon SuperS – Relationship chart

Other couples listed in the Sailor Moon S chart, as well as others, are not romantically linked at all. This includes Usagi’s parents Ikuko and Kenji who are only linked through their children. They are present in the Sailor Moon R, S and SuperS charts and in none of these are they shown to be in “Love” or in any way romantically involved. Naru and Umino are also in the R, S and SuperS charts. Though their relationship grows gradually throughout the series one can not deny that they are in a full on relationship in Sailor Moon S and SuperS, if not earlier, with the first indication of their romance dating back to the first season. They are linked only through mutual “Friendship” to Usagi (listed as “Best Friend” and “Friend” in Sailor Moon R) as well as mutual “Teacher/Student” links to Haruna.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - Sailor Moon R - Relationship chart

Sailor Moon R – Relationship chart

There are others “Lovers” listed in the Sailor Moon R chart, a term unique to that season’s chart, which includes sibling lovers An and Ail as well as Saphir and Petz. The abusive relationships such as Koan and Rubeus or Esmeraude and Demande are not reflected, which is probably for the best.

The term “Partner” which doesn’t appear elsewhere on the Sailor Moon S chart also appears in many places on the Sailor Moon R chart. This includes Luna and Usagi, Luna and Artemis as well as Artemis and Minako. In this sense the usage is not a romantic one, though a case could be made for two of those three couples, but rather in the sense that they are partners in their roles as superheroes.

Sailor Moon S episode 110 - Haruka and Michiru

What does all of this, taken together, tell us? There are a number of relationships in the series which are not acknowledged in these charts. While I can see the concern over Haruka and Michiru’s relationship being downplayed in this way, it’s hard to see how it could have been deliberate “LGBTQ Erasure” as the Okazu blog post puts it, though that text does suggest that “mere lazy editorial decisions” may be the reason. The new dub of Sailor Moon, with this new Sailor Stars dub specifically having a lot of relevant dialogue, makes it very clear that these two are not just friends but lesbians in a romantic relationship. This is an older relationship in which their sexual activities are hinted at as heavily in the dub as they were in the Japanese version. It isn’t something that is, or needs to be, spelled out in black and white but there’s little doubt as to what is going on. As Usagi enters high school in Sailor Stars she suggest, quite awkwardly, that her and Mamoru could take things to the next level, somethings which never happens in the anime. It is clear that Haruka and Michiru already have this more mature relationship between them. Viz has generally stayed true to their commitment to portray this relationship as honestly as the source material did and this relationship chart is at odds with this. It isn’t the 90s anymore and the industry and audience are more permissive about having LGBTQ characters in their fiction, for which we should all be grateful. Whatever the reason for which this occurred, we should be glad that Viz is acknowledging and correcting this oversight.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray booklet - First season - Moonlight Legend lyrics

First season – Moonlight Legend lyrics

As for the song lyrics, this really seems like a non issue. If this was such a big deal would someone perhaps have caught the error the last four times these lyrics were included in a booklet? Going back to the first season we see this same error of not translating their first two words of “Moonlight Legend” occurred in every single release. I seriously doubt Viz will be going back and issuing reprints of five different booklets just because of this problem!

If you’re interested in getting this set, be it the Limited Edition with this booklet or any other version, consider supporting the site by buying it through the Amazon links below.

Keep reading for more images showing the exact same lyric error with every booklet.

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Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie are coming to theatres in July and August

Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies

Great news! The 2nd and 3rd Sailor Moon films, Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie, are coming to theatres in North America this summer. Sailor Moon S The Movie will be shown with an encore presentation of Sailor Moon R The Movie Saturday July 28th and Monday the 30th while Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie will be shown with the Ami’s First Love special Saturday August 4th and Monday the 6th. The Saturday showings will have Viz’s new English dub of the film while the Monday showings will be in Japanese with English subtitles. This was announced earlier today at Viz’s Moon Panel at Anime Central in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago. A trailer has been uploaded to YouTube and can be seen below:

The movie posters for these two movies are similar in style to what we saw when Sailor Moon R The Movie was released in theatres.

Sailor Moon S The Movie Sailor Moon Supers The Movie

Fans will be able to get tickets and a complete list of participating theatres from the Fathom Events web site. Currently no theatres are listed but there will surely be more added as we get closer to the dates. It seems practical to refer to the SuperS film as Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie rather than it’s full official title Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. I hardly hold this against Viz as I’ve been known to do the same myself! This will be the first time Ami’s First Love is released here in North America. This short animated special, which was originally shown alongside the SuperS film in Japan, tells the story of Ami receiving a love letter which she suspects is from her intellectual rival Mercurius.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

Sailor Moon S The Movie is adapted from a manga story The Lover of Princess Kaguya which focuses on Luna and her infatuation with a human man. It is well known for featuring Human Luna.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Human Luna

The Sailor Moon SuperS film is an original story not based on any manga chapter. It has Chibiusa befriending Perle, a sort of fairy boy who’s rebelling against Badiane, a villain who is attempting to put the Earth’s children into an eternal sleep in the Black Dream Hole. The film’s story has some similarities to the film The Matrix, which was made a few years after it, though these may be a simple coincidence.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Perle, Chibiusa and Diana

Do you plan on checking out these films?

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Japanese Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volume 1 review

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volumes 1 and 2 have now been released in Japan. These are my thoughts on volume 1, which was released on October 4th. I delayed getting this review up so long that volume 2 was since released on December 6th. Some of you expressed interest in seeing the quality, given some issues with the Viz Blu-Ray releases of Sailor Moon R, so I’ve included a lot of screenshots within the post and at the end of it. This collection includes Sailor Moon R episodes 47 to 68 in Japanese and Japanese only! There is no dub and no subtitle track on this release so it may have limited value to English speaking fans. Be warned!

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Viz Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Japanese Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese DVD - Young Ail and An

Japanese DVD

The video quality in this release is what I would again call good but not great. To see examples just click through on the images and then on the 1920×1080 link to see the full picture. There is a bit of loss from JPEG compression but it should give a decent idea of the relatively quality of the releases. Basically, as with the first season, what we have is an upscalled or upconverted and cleaned up version of existing standard definition masters. So while the video here is 1080p, Blu-Ray resolution, this was not obtained from going back to the film source (film is used as an intermediate in animation from this era) but instead the old video sources were used and with various filters these were extrapolated into high definition video. I’m not a fan of this technique. I’d just as soon see a good quality standard definition release than pretend this is “really” HD, but your mileage may vary. The techniques used to upscale these is fairly impressive and the image we get is probably the best we’ve seen for the original Sailor Moon anime, but it still isn’t what we’ve seen for things like the Sailor Moon R Movie which was released on Blu-Ray earlier this year.

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Viz Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Japanese Blu-Ray

All that said Viz used a similar technique when they released their Blu-Rays a few years ago but they seem to have had significantly inferior quality master video sources to work with. The actual techniques they used to convert the video to high definition were likely different as well, as we’ve seen minor differences in the various releases they had as the series was, and continues to be, released. I don’t think it’s fair to put the blame solely on Viz for the poor quality release we got from them, as they have done great work with high quality source material as we’ve seen with their Sailor Moon Crystal releases and their release of Sailor Moon R The Movie on Blu-Ray which is considerably nicer looking than the Japanese DVD. That said their releases of the Sailor Moon TV series are so bad that the Japanese DVD release and many other international releases are of much nicer video quality.

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi - Interlacing artefacts

Japanese DVD screenshot with visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese DVD screenshot without any visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Viz Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese Blu-Ray

One reason for which I was more excited for the Sailor Moon R release than the first season was that the Japanese DVDs for Sailor Moon R and beyond had interlaced video. What does this mean? A standard TV signal is interlaced, meaning the signal is sent one field at a time. Every second scan line is refreshed every 30th of a second but only one field is sent every 60th of a second. This means when you look at a still you’ll often see these lines in it looking like saw teeth or a comb. The images above illustrate this by looking at the interlaced DVD image. This isn’t really noticeable on older TVs or even modern HDTVs but if you’re watching video on a computer screen, pausing, getting screenshots or trying to convert the files for download, like many fan subs you may have downloaded, this can be a problem. You probably noticed this back in the VHS days when you’d pause a film and sometimes there would appear to be a double image while other times there would not. For a show which was at some point on film, like Sailor Moon, this isn’t visible in all frames. For shows that were shot on video, like the live action series and the musicals, there’s no getting around the fact that every frame will have visible interlacing. Because of this I often need to find scenes with little motion for my live action screenshots or to use a filter to remove odd or even lines. The DVD standard supports progressive scan, which does away with this interlacing problem, and the first season DVDs were converted to progressive scan which made them look a bit nicer on an HDTV. The deinterlacing process does not negatively affect picture quality because all of the information is there. For whatever reason, probably cost related, this was not done for Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS or Sailor Stars on DVD. Now that the video is going through all kinds of post processing to upconvert to HD resolutions, removing any interlacing artifacts was the first thing that was done. So much to say this is one way in which these Blu-Rays are objectively better than the Japanese DVD release. The upconverting is a bit of smoke and mirrors but the deinterlacing is one aspect which is a real noticeable improvement.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Easy to read credits!

As an indication of the quality of the video in this release we can finally read the text in the Sailor Moon R credits with some success! If you’re like me you pass the time listening to “Otome no Policy” while trying to read some of this text. I’ve always been able to make out some words on the laserdisc and DVD releases but it seems like much more is visible now. Note that the quality changes as the season goes on and while it was harder to see the words in the early episodes this becomes easier with some of the later episodes. So what does this text say? It’s mostly nonsense. These are sentences which are grammatically correct english which seems to have some meaning but the text has no bearing on Sailor Moon. “CONVERSATION is impossible as the open topped rail diesel car clatters into the 3/4 mile Trebelica tunnel” … “For Bedimir the Trebelica tunnel is a masterwork, three years in building”. Web searches for terms like “trebelica” and “bedimir” don’t identify this text as being anything important or even references to real people or places. Others, however, like Stari Bar in Montenegro, appears to be references to a real things. This could be an actual magazine or newspaper clipping but the exact source isn’t something that is terribly obvious, even when the text is mostly legible. Often in movies and TV shows fake newspapers are used and this could be an example of such a thing. This is not Lorem ipsum, which is a sort of real looking but totally nonsensical pseudo latin text which is often used for fake newspapers and such in films.

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - The Moonlight Knight

Japanese Blu-Ray

As for the content on these Blu-Rays we have pretty much the first half of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 to 68. These are episodes I have some fondness and nostalgia for! I got into Sailor Moon when there were only 65 dubbed episodes which included the first half of Sailor Moon R and I didn’t see the second half until I got some fansubs some time later, before they were eventually dubbed. It’s probably due to this that I have a greater level of nostalgia for those episodes which include only the first half of Sailor Moon R. My bias makes me want to argue that they are somehow of better quality but I simply can’t trust my own opinion on this issue to be unclouded. The first half of this release is the Makaiju story arc, known as the Doom Tree saga in the original English dub. I really enjoy these episodes even if they aren’t based on any manga story like the rest of the season. Ail and An, the villains, are compelling characters and these episodes tie in nicely to Sailor Moon R The Movie, though no one present seems to notice the similarity between these nearly identical looking enemies. The rest of the episodes introduce us to Chibiusa, the time traveling girl lost in time, and some of the Black Moon Clan. This set includes episode 67, the swimsuit episode where Chibiusa somehow befriends a plesiosaur, which for a long time was not available to English speaking fans but this episode has since been released to stream and on Viz’s release so its inclusion is less exclusive than it once was.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Disc 4 menu

Not much in the way of special features here! Aside from the episodes themselves we have the same usual extra. “Clean” opening and closing credits which means the opening and ending theme animations without the actual credits. The picture quality for these is not too great, and not as good as the rest of the Blu-Ray. Also included are the 15 second commercials! These originally played on Japanese TV to advertise the next episode and they are not the same as the next episode previews, though they are quite similar. These weren’t included in the Sailor Moon R laserdisc release, as the only special features in those releases were on the first season discs, but they were included in the Sailor Moon R memorial. These aren’t terribly exciting but it’s better than nothing as features go! I’m including the disc 4 menu above, which includes those extras. The rest are available at the bottom of the post. The menus are basic. Links to the episode with an image showing the disc art in nice quality.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Episode guide episodes 58 to 60

Also included is a booklet with episode descriptions. Each description includes a bit of production art for that episode which is a nice touch!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 1 art comparison Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 2 art comparison

The cover art for this release and the included discs is mostly reused from the laserdiscs which were again reused for the DVDs. I’ve included a lot of images showing what art was reused for what. One exception is the image of Chibiusa on the cover which is a bit awkwardly out of place as it’s not from any laserdisc art for Sailor Moon R. The main thing which I liked about this release was the inclusion of Ail and An as well as the Moonlight Knight. These characters, unique only to the first 13 episodes of Sailor Moon R, dominated three of the laserdisc covers but were completely absent from the DVD cover art. Similarly they are generally absent from other home video releases as it seems like most people would rather just treat Sailor Moon R as “Chibiusa and Black Lady”. Though they aren’t featured on the cover art itself we see them on the disc art which is quite a nice inclusion! These are characters featured in a quarter of the season after all! It’s half of this set!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Back Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus's shoe mistake on the Blu-Ray
Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus shoe mistake laserdisc Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Venus's show fixed on the DVD

Also of note is the return of a Sailor Venus shoe error on the image on the back of the box. This error dates back to the laserdisc days but it was corrected with the Japanese DVD release. For whatever reason this error creeped back up! It’s clear that the DVD art wasn’t actually reused here but that we’re seeing laser disc art. The DVD art had modified colours that aren’t seen here. Basically the shoe problem, as discovered by Twitter user Sailor Mikey, is that Sailor Venus should have an open shoe with the top of her foot exposed but in this image it’s orange across the top of the foot.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inner back art comparison

Also notable is the art on the back of the box itself, inside the sleeve, which is actually an amalgam of two laserdisc covers. The individual art is used for the discs, which you can still see, but this image is a new composite of the two. We have Sailor Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter put together but the Ayakashi Sisters are removed. Again we don’t want the outside box art to actually represent characters restricted to these episodes! This was mostly seamlessly done as the Sailor Guardians were in front of the Ayakashi Sisters for the most part however if you pay close attention there is a bit of an odd point at the end of Sailor Jupiter’s hair as this was previously covered by Calaveras’s neck.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inside back

All in all I’m not sure this set would appeal to most English speaking fans however if you’re a real completist and want the series in its best possible quality, and don’t have the Japanese DVDs or some other comparably nice looking international release, this might be worth picking up. It’s not cheap! Both collection 1 and collection 2 can be ordered from sites such as Amazon Japan. These will set you back about $150 US dollars plus shipping a piece! I’ve already gotten my second set in the mail though I haven’t had much of a look at it yet besides taking a few photos of the box art. It stands to reason that it’s more of the same but I’ll put together a nice review if I have a bit of time.

Keep reading for more screenshot comparisons, photos of the box art, the included booklet and the menus.

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Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD December 5th

Sailor Moon Crystal volume 3 Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD set

This past weekend was Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. This event included Viz’s Moon Panel, showcasing all things Sailor Moon. The bulk of what we usually see at these panels is a recap of existing information but occasionally we get something new. In this case we have gotten details, including box art, of the third Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray and DVD set. The set then became available to pre-order on Right Stuf’s web site. The set looks like the other two we’ve gotten from Viz, with box art reminiscent of the Japanese releases. Since we had less Japanese releases for this season, grouping together 4 episodes per disc instead of 2, we have less postcards included.

Sailor Moon Crystal volume 3 Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD set - Suncatcher

The set will include Acts 27 through 38 which, because of the split up Act 27, is actually 12 episodes. Not much in the way of details on the special features but it looks like we’ve got a booklet with art as we did with the other releases. Right Stuf pre-orders will also include a collectible suncatcher because nothing says Sailor Moon like a sun catcher! MSRP for the set is $79.99 US but Right Stuf has the pre-order up for $71.99. Will you be picking this one up?

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga

The other “news” from the panel was about the Eternal Edition Manga which is coming out in January. We got some art of the covers and the colour pages inside but this is mostly information we knew or had inferred from previously available information. It is nice to have confirmation of what we had suspected though. These will look like the Japanese Compete Edition manga versions which came out recently. They have the same new cover art and a lot more colour pages than we’ve seen in previous releases.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga - Colour Pages

Support the site by ordering the first two Sailor Moon Crystal sets or pre-ordering the Eternal Edition manga using the links below.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga - Colour Pages

Image source: @NJ_ on Twitter.

Viz’s Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray looks fantastic and is well worth buying despite the unpopular cover art

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Sailor Moon R The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray April 18th and it looks amazing. I’m not talking about the lacklustre cover art which everyone seems fixated on but rather the video quality of the actual Blu-Ray. This is a top quality release which seems to come from the film source. The level of detail is absolutely not something which could have simply been gotten from software upscaling, which is what has been used for all of the home video releases we’ve seen for the Sailor Moon TV series to date. But don’t take my word for it! Look at these screenshots to see the difference. Prior to this release I watched the Japanese DVD as my gold standard. The French DVD release which came out in 2014 looks great too, but is still in the same ball park. It has a slightly cleaned up image and a higher resolution due to them having different TV standards. The old DVD we got from Pioneer in 1999 is borderline VHS quality, but it is an unmated full screen so there’s a bit more to the picture. This new Blu-Ray is in a league of its own. View the full sized versions of these pictures to see the difference. There’s a small amount of loss of quality from the JPEG compression on these uploads but it should give you a good idea of the difference.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - French DVD - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

French DVD (2014)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

Pay attention to small details in the image like Fiore’s nose or the lines on Mamoru’s face. This new Blu-Ray image is not something which could have been extrapolated through software from any of the standard definition masters. This is a high quality HD transfer from film source and it looks as good as we could hope for! Fans who were lucky enough to have seen the film in theatres probably noticed that they could see a lot of detail in the image and we see that in this release as well. Look at another comparison between a wide shot of the street which gives us a lot of small details of individual characters.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Wide shot of the street

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Wide shot of the street

Japanese DVD (2002)

It’s really refreshing to see such a nice quality release from Viz considering some of the earlier stuff we’ve gotten from them. I’ve always said that they’re doing the best that they can with low quality masters and this seems to confirm that idea. They’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using too much post processing and such but at the end of the day if you start off with a low quality master there’s really only so much you can do to try to make it look nice. The minor differences between the different releases of the original anime don’t add up to much but this release is on another level. This is a great movie, part of the best of what Sailor Moon has to offer, and at the relatively low price it’s being sold for it’s a no brainer to pick it up.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray  - Cover

But wait, you’re all thinking, what about this terrible box art??? Indeed, the cover art isn’t the best. For weeks fans have been criticizing it. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best box art compared to their other releases but is that what’s most important? We’ve gotten a lot of really nice looking boxes with great little booklets and the video content always looked kind of terrible. Here we have the opposite, a box which isn’t that nice and a top quality release inside! All things considered I’d rather we get a release with a cover drawn by 3 year old with crayons if we could somehow keep getting quality releases like this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon returns to life

Let’s look at what else is in this release. First off is the feature, which is only 1 hour long. This is the first of the Sailor Moon movies and it includes both a new English dub by Viz and a Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Sailor Moon R The Movie is one of my all time favourite films and my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies. It includes some of the best animation seen in the series. I watched the film in Japanese with English subtitles as I’d already heard the dub in theatres and found it to be good. Having seen a number of different versions of the film countless times I didn’t notice anything amiss with the translation, but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on it more than that.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Also included is the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special. This originally aired with Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres in Japan. It was also included in North American theatres when it played here. This is a fun little extra, running at only 16 minutes, with some new animation but mostly recycled clips from the TV series. This extra feature also looks great. This makes me wonder what kind of masters TOEI had access to when they put it together! This release was obviously mastered from a film source but the TV clips included also seem to come from a higher quality source even than we’ve seen with the Japanese DVD releases. With the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the original Sailor Moon anime in Japan being advertised as being software upscaled from standard definition sources I wish they had access to the same source material they used in 1993 when this special was put together. Just look at this shot of Ami from her first appearance early in the first season with the fine detail in the lines. It isn’t the best but it’s nothing like what we’ve gotten in any other TV release of the series. Let’s hope the Japanese release we get in June looks something close to this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians - Ami from the TV series

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Cast Interview

There are a few extras on this disc. When Sailor Moon R The Movie played in theatres it was introduced by an interview with the cast. This included Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Ben Diskin, Fiore and Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask. When I saw this in theatres I thought it was a bit silly to have it before the main feature. I was there to watch the movie, not see something which wasn’t more thrilling than your run of the mill DVD extra. Having it as an extra like this however is totally reasonable. This feature is about 10 minutes.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - LA Premiere Q & A

Also included is an interview which followed the LA Premiere. This included nearly all of the voice actors from the film, Viz’s Charlene Ingram and the ADR voice director for the film, Suzanne Goldish. The cast present included Carrie Keranen, the Xenian flower, Ben Diskin, Fiore, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff, Luna, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon. The only main actors not present were Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, and Johnny Yong Bosh, Artemis. The interview included your standard kind of banter about how mind blowing it is to see Sailor Moon the big screen and the fan reaction. Suzanne Goldish, ADR director, tells a humours story about how her notes had her flip flopping from calling the villain Fiole, which means nothing, and Fiore, the objectively correct character’s name and the Italian word for flower. This explains why the voice actors refer to him as Fiole in the pre-movie interview. ADR directors don’t have the star power of the voice actors but they usually have some good insight into the production which makes for interesting stories.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Character art

Note that this book is not included with the film.

There is also some character art on the disc itself. I wanted to grab some screenshots but this feature wasn’t included on the DVD and the tool I used to get Blu-Ray screenshots doesn’t support menus. I’ll spare you photos of my TV and assure you these are character designs for the film similar to those seen in the above photo from the Japanese art book. It would have been nice to see a booklet with some character bios and maybe some of this kind of art but there’s nothing in the way of inserts with this release. The Japanese Sailor Moon R The Movie art book includes over 100 pages of content. It would have been easy for Viz to put together 20 or so pages to accompany this film!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Discs

We also get the standard trailers which are included in all Viz releases. If you haven’t been convinced to buy the remastered uncropped Ranma 1/2 Blu-Ray release at this point it’s just not going to happen.

So what’s my final verdict? Isn’t it obvious? Just buy the movie! Don’t bother with the DVD as it doesn’t showcase the high quality video of the HD transfer. Buy the Blu-Ray which includes the DVD if you somehow don’t have a Blu-Ray player in 2017. I got mine on Amazon. You can also get it from other retailers like Right Stuf. If you don’t want a physical copy you can save a few bucks by getting it digitally on iTunes or Amazon Video, but be warned that the digital version is currently only available in English. This is a high quality release of a great movie which every fan should own. Go get it!

Now that we’ve agreed that it’s worth getting whether you have another copy of the film or not a practical question is whether or not it supersedes any other release. Should you just throw your old copy out? The old Pioneer release has some advantages, mainly the old dub which some people have nostalgia for an the unmated full frame image. For most people in 2017 with widescreen displays this has limited appeal, but to this day the English release is the only way to get this full pictured version. Even the original Japanese laserdisc version was presented in widescreen. As for the Japanese release it still has some special features which are nice. A rare DVD feature that all of the Japanese Sailor Moon movies have is an isolated music only track which is a nice addition which isn’t on this release.

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Sailor Moon S Part 2 will be released on home video June 20th

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray

We finally have a specific release date for Sailor Moon S Part 2 and it just squeaks in to Spring on June 20th! The DVD and Blu-Ray sets are up for preorder on Right Stuf and these include a June 20th release date. The DVD set has an MSRP of $39.99 while the Blu-Ray is priced at $69.99. Right Stuf has them for $35.99 and $62.99. We also have a good look at the box art including the back which has details about the release.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray - Back

We’d previously learned from Viz’s Moon Panel at Anime Boston that we’d be getting the sets in June but we didn’t have a specific release date until now. Sailor Moon S Part 2 includes… well the second half of Sailor Moon S. This covers episodes 109 to 127 which concludes the story of Hotaru, the Death Busters and all that fun stuff. It includes Japanese audio as well as Viz’s new English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. This will be the first time these episodes are heard in English as Viz has no longer been releasing episodes in an effort to promote their home video releases as they’d done in the past.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon S Part 2 will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray in June

Sailor Moon S Part 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray in June 2017

We finally have confirmation from Viz Media that the second part of Sailor Moon S will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in June. We previously had only learned, based on an insert included in the Sailor Moon S Part 1 release, that it would be out in Spring 2017. The first day of Summer is June 21st so if the release is out before the 21st it will technically count as Spring! All of this was announced by Viz Media at Anime Boston’s Moon Panel which was held this past Saturday April 1st.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 coming in Spring 2017

Twitter user Absolute Zero Now was live tweeting the panel and snapped a couple of relevant photos. The first is of a slide stating the release would be out in May but the second stating it would be out in June. This was confirmed by Viz Media as being the updated and correct date at the panel and on Twitter.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 is not out in May

This release will include episode 109 to 127, concluding the Sailor Moon S season with the battle with Mistress 9 and the appearance of Sailor Saturn. The set will include the new English dub by Viz which has not previously been heard. Bonus features will include interviews with the cast, production art and more. This release still does not have a listing on the stores of online retailers such as Amazon and Right Stuf. These should be up in the coming months as a specific release date is determined.

Sailor Moon R The Movie is coming to theatres in North America in January 2017

Sailor Moon R: The Movie

Last night was Moonlight Party 6, a Sailor Moon themed streaming party put on by Viz. Their big announcement was that Sailor Moon R The Movie, the first of three Sailor Moon movies, will be dubbed by Viz and released in theatres in January. The “Make Up! Sailor Guardians” short will also be included. Watch the announcement trailer embedded below.

The trailer doesn’t include the date, which was mentioned in the streaming event, but January is mentioned in the video description and that date was confirmed by the official North American Sailor Moon Twitter account.

The film will be released in English and in Japanese with English subtitles. The main cast who are voicing the new Viz English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal will be reprising their roles in this movie. The new character of Fiore will be voiced by Ben Diskin. He previously provided the voice of Umino in the series. You can watch a clip introducing him below.

Viz will be making an HD remaster of the movie for this theatrical release. The Japanese DVD release was remastered from the original film source. While it is possible Viz does the same its more likely they had access to standard definition DVD source material which they are transferring to HD using software. Its hard to tell exactly from the trailer but it seems based on the quality of that video that this is the case. Since the video quality of the Sailor Moon movies in the Japanese and international releases has been superior to those of the TV series, we can expect better quality that what we’ve seen for the Viz releases we’ve seen to date.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie - Mamoru and Fiore

Sailor Moon R The Movie tells the story of Mamoru’s friend Fiore who attacks the world along with the Kisenian flower. Though it is not explicitly mentioned Fiore is clearly from the same alien race as Ail and An. It was originally released in December of 1993 and, although the movies are hard to place in continuity, takes place near the end of Sailor Moon R. Though it was originally dubbed back in 1999 it has long since been out of print, with the rest of the Sailor Moon films.

Make Up! Sailor Senshi

“Make Up! Sailor Guardians” is a short video which originally played with the film in theatres. It was never released in North America though it was released on laserdisc and DVD in Japan. The basic story of this has Usagi and Chibiusa sitting in a cafe overhearing some girls talk about the various Sailor Guardians as we see clips from the first two seasons. There is some new animation but most of it is a rehash of stuff we’ve seen before. Some music included in this special was released on CD but not seen elsewhere in the series.

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Chibiusa and Usagi at the Dam Dam Hamburger and Coffee Restaurant

Perhaps the reason Sailor Moon R The Movie is so hard to place in continuity is because it itself takes place as a fictional movie within the world of the Make Up! Sailor Guardians short which is itself questionably in continuity with the series. Wouldn’t everyone find out who Sailor Moon is when they watch the film that is clearly advertised on a poster in the Dam Dam Hamburger and Coffee restaurant? Why do these girls have such a hard time remembering all of the characters when they are all clearly shown in this poster a few feet from their table? Do they not recognize Chibiusa who is clearly featured on the poster and even has Luna P with her?

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Two girls talking about the Sailor Guardians

I’ve always considered Sailor Moon R to be my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies and one of my all time favourite films. I’ve always dreamed of seeing this movie in theatres and am thrilled to finally have a chance. It is likely this movie will have a limited release. We will share updates about when and where you can watch the movie as they become available.

The Moonlight Party was partially meant to promote the upcoming release of Sailor Moon S part 1 on home video. It will be released in stores and online this Tuesday November 15th. Support the site by ordering your copy from Amazon using the links below.

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