The Infinity Arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will not be released in English starting this week

Usagi watching TV

After Act 26 was released in English on Hulu last Friday some users were hoping that the new episodes of the Infinity arc would already be dubbed and released starting last night. This didn’t seem likely as these episodes were only released in Japanese recently and the process to dub episodes is quite involved. Now that Friday night has come and gone with nothing new we have confirmation that the English episodes of the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will not be released right away.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon breaks the 4th wall

We continue to wait for some news about Sailor Moon S being dubbed. The cast was announced last summer at Anime Expo. Sailor Moon R has been completed released on video since December. The gap between episodes being released has been significantly longer than any other, but we still have no specifics about when the first episodes of Sailor Moon S will be released on Hulu or on home video. This is by far the most common question I get asked on this site and I never have a good answer. We will likely have another Moonlight Party with some sample episodes released when the DVD and Blu-Ray are first announced but there’s no telling when that might be. As always when I hear any news about this I’ll post something to the site.

Sailor Moon S episode 90 - Sailor Neptune and Uranus

New episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal are coming in about a week and we still have no news about an English release

Usagi watching TV

New episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released on Japanese TV on Monday April 4th, just 8 days away, at 11pm Japan Standard Time, about 10am Eastern Daylight Time, but we still have no news about when it will be available to watch in North America. After nothing came out of C2E2 last week fans were hoping to hear something at Anime Boston which had its official Sailor Moon panel on Friday afternoon. There was no news at this panel. Twitter user @abzeronow was at Anime Boston and reported that there was nothing to report. The panel at Anime Japan which showed us a ton of new footage also had no news about any streaming version, either for Japanese or North American viewers.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 133 - Chibiusa is an old lonely cat lady watching Sailor Moon

At this point it seems as if the show will only be released on Japanese TV next week, and so we will not likely have a simultaneous streaming version to watch here like we did with the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal. There has been no indication that it will be simultaneously released on Crunchyroll, Hulu, Neon Alley or even on the Japanese streaming service Niconico which is usually region blocked and has inferior video quality. We also have no indication of when the show might eventually be made available on any such services.

Luna using a computer

Where does this leave us? It’s likely we will have to wait for less than official sources to watch the show. At first a raw version (in Japanese with no English subtitles) of the show will probably find its way online. If no official subtitled release is available it is likely that some group of fansubbers will release an English subtitled version for fans. The legality of this is a bit questionable, but rest assured that I will report any news of such a release on this site as it becomes available. Given the time needed to get a copy of the show, translate the script, time it to the video, author and upload such a version, it would likely be mid to late week before that’s available.

Meet Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff and see Viz’s Official Sailor Moon Panel at C2E2 in Chicago this weekend

Luna waking Usagi

This weekend is the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. This event will feature an Official Sailor Moon panel hosted by Viz and voice actors from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Michelle Ruff, the voice of Luna. The official panel will be held on Saturday March 19th at 11:30am. This will be run by Viz Media staff including Charlene Ingram so we may have some news about the dub of Sailor Moon S that we are long overdue to get more information about. This is probably the topic I get the most e-mails and messages about! If things proceed as they have in the past we may very well be getting an announcement for a new Moonlight Party, some episodes to be released on Hulu and news about Sailor Moon S on DVD and Blu-Ray. We may also get news about Sailor Moon Crystal’s DVD and Blu-Ray release. This is all speculation of course. Keep checking this site for any significant news that may come from this event.

Sailor Moon Crystal episode 01 - Usagi and Luna

In additional to taking part in the Official Sailor Moon panel Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff will also be holding a panel Bringing Characters to Life – An Hour with Michelle Ruff and Stephanie Sheh on Sunday, March 20th, at 10:45am. Both of the voice actors will also be available to signs autographs Saturday from 1:15pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 7pm and on Sunday from 2:45pm to 4:30pm.

Viz's cast of Sailor Moon S announced at Anime Expo 2015

Charlene Ingram, the Viz Media rep who runs all of the Sailor Moon panels and Moonlight Parties, will also be holding the VIZ Media Industry Panel on Saturday, March 19th, at 4:15pm. While the important Sailor Moon info will probably be covered earlier in the day at the Sailor Moon panel, Sailor Moon may be covered a bit at this time.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will finally be released in the United States starting December 14th 2015

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars title screen

At long last the final season of Sailor Moon, Sailor Stars, will be released in the United States of America. This season, released in Japan way back in 1996 was never dubbed into English and was never released on video in English speaking North America. Hulu and Neon Alley have been releasing the original Sailor Moon anime series subtitled at a rate of two episodes per week and we will finally be getting the fifth and final season on Monday December 14th. It was not clear whether or not we would see the episode on the 14th or 21st, as the current schedule would have the final episode of Sailor Moon SuperS, episode 166, playing on that day. Viz has a precedent of only including the final episode of the season on one day so as to not break up the season. We now have official confirmation, from the Neon Alley schedule for the month of December, that episode 167 will indeed be released on Monday December 14th. The schedule does note that the “Start of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” is on the following Monday, with episode 168, which is actually the second episode of Sailor Stars. There is still the possibility that someone has made the mistake with this schedule and that episode 167 will be held off until the 21st but at this time the schedule does indicate that episode 167 will be December 14th.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Fans who have not seen Sailor Stars before will be excited to see Eternal Sailor Moon, the return of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn as well as the Sailor Starlights and many more. It will still be a while until they all show up though as the first 6 episodes of the series are sort of like a follow up to Sailor Moon SuperS, giving us more closure on Queen Nehelenia. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will show up right away as Sailor Saturn is also brought back into the fold. This conveniently brings the story back in line with how the Dream arc of the original Sailor Moon manga left off with the whole group together. Sadly Chibiusa and Tuxedo Mask won’t be around for long, so enjoy them while you can.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 168 - Sailor Saturn

What new character are you most excited to see? Sailor Iron Mouse? Princess Kakyuu? Sailor Chibi Chibi? So many to chose from!

2015-12-06 Update: The original article title and content stated that this was the first release of Sailor Stars in North America. While Sailor Stars was never released in the US and Canada, it was released in Mexico which is part of North America. I often use the term North American when referring to the series because I am a Canadian so in many cases specifying United States of America is not the whole story. In this case however, Hulu is still not available to Canadian Sailor Moon fans and so the series is really only being officially released in the United States. Canadians may use a proxy to watch Hulu, as I have been doing, but this isn’t an official release. The original French dub of Sailor Moon also did not included Sailor Stars and only a small part of what was seen in France was ever broadcast on Canadian television. Sailor Stars will likely remains unreleased officially in Canada until either some streaming option can be made available or until the home video release for Stars makes its way here.

Thanks to reader Julian for the note about Mexico.

Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal in English this Friday November 20th during Moonlight Party 5

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Sailor Moon

As we previously mentioned, the English dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal will start being released this Friday, with a new episode being released every Friday after this. These can be streamed online on Hulu and Neon Alley. To mark this event Viz will be holding Moonlight Party 5, at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time, this Friday. This event will stream on YouTube. The episodes themselves are not part of the stream, which does not suffer from the same region specific problems that Hulu does. As always there will be contests where you can win prizes. You can watch the event in the embedded video below.

To learn more about Moonlight Party 5 check out the Facebook Page for the event.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.2 Ami - Sailor Mercury - Ami and Luna

The English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will begin November 20th with new episodes every Friday

Sailor Moon Crystal Act.1 Usagi - Sailor Moon - Usagi and Luna

Great news for fans who have been waiting to see Sailor Moon Crystal in English! The anime schedule for Viz Media has been updated with the first two episodes of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal beginning Friday November 20th. The 3rd episode will be available on Friday November 27th with new episodes being available every Friday. New episodes can be streamed for free on Hulu and Neon Alley in the United States.

Hulu

If you live in Canada, or in another country in which these services are not offered, you’re out of luck. There are of course ways to make it appear as if you are accessing these sites from another country. A free option is hola.org though there are others.

As we have mentioned before the cast for the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be the same as that of Viz’s new English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. Chances are if you liked that dub you will like this one too.

Will you be watching the English version of Sailor Moon Crystal? Have you been holding off watching it until this version is out? This is also a great option for children who are too young to follow subtitles.

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.

Viz’s Sailor Moon R Season 2 Part 1 release does its best with poor masters

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Cover with sticker

The third Blu-Ray and DVD release of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on July 14th in North America. This release, with dubbed and subbed episodes by Viz, includes the first half of Sailor Moon R. As with other releases to date the packaging and extras are great but the video quality is quite poor. Viz has obviously gone to great lengths to provide the best product they can but it simply seems that they have continued to receive poor quality source material and are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

I never did get around to reviewing the first season’s sets. My order was delayed for months on Amazon.ca and by the time and canceled I reordered the sets it was too late for a review to be relevant. Many fans have spoken about issues with those discs. Mainly it came down to the video quality. Viz made a blog post to discuss their issues citing bad masters as the reason for the poor quality. Unfortunately this post was essentially useless as all of the original images they have shown are a mix of two fields due to interlacing. Without getting into too many specifics with standard definition TV technology video comes one field at a time which is why with older videos you will often see stills with lines in them where it looks like two images appear at once. This is not apparent when watching video, but looks quite bad in paused or still images. The Japanese DVD releases for the first season of Sailor Moon were progressive scan, not interlaced, so all we can say for sure is that the masters Viz got were not the best TOEI had to offer, but comparing interlaced images to a final product is intentionally deceptive and gives us no actual indication of what the video quality of the masters are really like.

These sets have HD video, but they are not from an HD source. Sailor Moon was animated on animation cels and then recorded on 16mm film. That film was then converted to 480i standard definition video which is generally what is used as a source. In many cases with older shows, including many anime shows, the original 16mm film will be used as a reference to create an HD 1080p video and this creates a very high quality video. That is not what is occurring with these sets. TOEI provided Viz with 480i standard definition sources which are by all indications quite bad. Viz used video processing to clean up this source material and upscale it to 1080p for the Blu-Ray sources as well as the videos we’ve been seeing on Hulu for over a year. To say the results aren’t as good is an understatement.

The video quality here is not terrible, but not great. The first season sets were highly processed to the point where little grain on the video could be seen but the video quality suffered. It seems as if this set has undergone less processing so more of the original grain remains. While this may seem like it is a lower quality finish, this is simply because it is closer to the source material. I do not have the ability to make Blu-Ray screenshots with my current AV and computer setup, but I was able to find a few on Imgur. These are from episode 51 and I have included screenshots from the Japanese region 2 DVDs (resized to the correct aspect ratio) for comparison.

Viz Blu-Ray screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Minako, Rei, Makoto, Usagi, Haruna, Naru and Umino

Viz Blu-Ray

Japanese DVD screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Minako, Rei, Makoto, Usagi, Haruna, Naru and Umino

Japanese DVD

Viz Blu-Ray screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Natsumi and Usagi

Viz Blu-Ray

Japanese DVD screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Natsumi and Usagi

Japanese DVD

It should also be mentioned that, unlike with the first set, there is no pillarboxing. This means that the right and left side of the screen are black rather than being a weird decorative graphic which no one really liked.

What is the alternative? I think people may forget how much worse we’ve had it. The 90s dub was done with fairly low quality masters but as it was intended for standard definition TV broadcast we didn’t really notice. The DVDs were of low quality. ADVision’s DVDs for the first two seasons of Sailor Moon were probably the worst quality release of anything I’ve ever seen. We can be happy that episodes 67 is actually included on this release, where it had been completely omitted previously.

The episodes included on this set cover the alien story arc which introduces us to Ail and An as well as the beginning of the Black Moon Clan story arc which introduces us to Chibiusa, Rubeus and the Ayakashi Sisters.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Rei, Sailor Mars

Video quality aside the packaging and included 96 page booklet are great. The booklet includes summaries for all episodes and a great deal of character art. The cover art looks great as the does the disk art for both the Blu-Ray discs and DVDs.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Blu-Ray - Reversible cover

A reversible cover is included and pictures all of the members of the Black Moon Clan. Unfortunately some sets to not include this cover. This was acknowledged by the manufacturer as being a problem and so a replacement is available. Included below are the instructions on getting a replacement cover, as shown on the Right Stuf tumblr:

A number of customers have contacted us regarding the reversible covers of the Sailor Moon R Set 1 Limited Edition, reporting that their copy does not have a reversible cover. If your copy of Sailor Moon R Set 1 Limited Edition does not contain a reversible cover, a replacement cover will be provided to you directly from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment at no cost to you. Please call the toll-free number 1-800-553-6937, where you will be asked for your name, mailing address, and telephone number so you can receive your replacement. Thanks everyone for your incredible patience while we worked with the manufacturer to resolve this issue.

There are some nice extras included. Creditless versions of the opening and closing credits show the original opening and the only closing used in Sailor Moon R. There are interviews with cast members from Anime Expo as well as some behind the scenes interviews that were done during recording. A lot of the art which is included in the booklet is also included in photo galleries on the disc.

This set does not lack great special features. The packaging looks great and the booklet is full of good content. No doubt if Viz had access to better source material for the video, the final product would have been great. It’s unfortunate that this release suffers due to problems outside of their control. All the bell and whistles doesn’t change the fundamental fact that this is just not a good quality release, but it’s the best we’ve got. Fans of the show who watch it online should still consider getting this set. It is the best you’ll get in a domestic release. The only alternative would be to import a Japanese or other international release or pirate the series by downloading fansubs.

You can buy this set and the others which have already been released using the links below to support the site.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging.

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Viz’s new English voice actors for Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn and more revealed at the Anime Expo Sailor Moon Panel

Viz's cast of Sailor Moon S announced at Anime Expo 2015

Viz’s Sailor Moon panel took place today at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. You can watch the stream of the event at Ustream. The main announcement that took place was the cast of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon S. Though most of the cast appeared in earlier seasons the new characters who’s voices were announced were Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Saturn and Professor Tomoe.

The new cast, all of whom were in attendance, are listed below:

Professor Tomoe by Keith Silverstein
Sailor Uranus by Erica Mendez
Sailor Neptune by Lauren Landa
Sailor Saturn by Christine-Marie Cabanos

Keith Silverstein as the voice of Professor Tomoe

Keith Silverstein also voiced Usagi’s father Kenji Tsukino while Erica Mendez also voiced Reika, Motoki’s girlfriend.

We previously mentioned that Erica Mendez would be appearing at Unplugged Expo July 31st to August 2nd in Toronto based on her role as Reika. Now that she’s been cast as the voice of Sailor Uranus fans of Sailor Moon will have another reason to meet her.

Erica Mendez as the voice of Sailor Uranus

There was more announced at this event. We’ve learned that there will be another Moonlight Party on July 17th. This will coincide with the release of the English dub of the second half of Sailor Moon R on Hulu.

Lauren Landa as the voice of Sailor Neptune

It was also announced that the dubbed version of Sailor Moon Crystal will be exclusive to Hulu. We can infer from this that Sailor Moon Crystal will not likely be playing on English television. Though the subtitled version of Sailor Moon Crystal will remain available on Crunchyroll and Niconico, this does not leave any option for viewing Sailor Moon Crystal in Canada, where Hulu is not available. Canadians still have no legal option for viewing the streaming version of the subbed and dubbed versions of the original Sailor Moon Anime. This said there are many proxy.

Christine-Marie Cabanos as Sailor Saturn

A clip of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal was shown, and can be seen at the 41 minute mark of the stream. The first two episodes will be premiering at Anime Expo today at 6pm Pacific Time, which is 9pm Eastern Time.

Stephanie Sheh as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal

The Sailor Moon Crystal English dub will premier at Anime Expo on July 3rd in Los Angeles

Anime Expo Logo

The first two episodes of the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal will be premiered at the Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles on Friday July 3rd at 6pm, as part of Sailor Moon Day. The anime convention’s schedule is now online, where the event was listed. This will be Act 1, Usagi – Sailor Moon, and Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury. The English dub, by Viz Media, will keep the same cast that their new English dub of the original anime used. Some of those actors will be present at the convention. Since this convention takes place in California all times will be in Pacific Time.

Anime Expo will take place the weekend of July 2nd to the 5th in Los Angeles California. The convention will feature many guests from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon Anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. In attendance will be Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, Cristina Vee, the voice of Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus, Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask and Sandy Fox, the voice of Chibiusa and Black Lady. Kyle Hebert, who played the Priest who turned into the monster Boxy in the new dub, will also be at the convention though he may not be involved in the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal or the Sailor Moon themed events.

KISS and Momoiro Clover Z

Also at the convention will be Momoiro Clover Z, the band which performs the Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme, Moon Pride, and ending theme, Gekkou or Moonbow. Momoiro Clover Z will be performing on Thursday July 2nd with KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. The two bands recently collaborated on a single released as Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS. Watch the video below.

Friday is Sailor Moon Day at Anime Expo. This starts with the Official Sailor Moon Panel by Viz Media and the cast of Sailor Moon from 10am to noon. Following this from 1pm to 2:30pm will be a screening of Sailor Moon’s best episodes, though we don’t know what those will be at this time. From 4:30pm to 5:30pm will be a Sailor Moon Cosplay gathering. Then from 6pm to 7:30pm is the English dub premiere of Act 1 and 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal. Other events listed in their schedule that will likely be relevant to Sailor Moon fans are the Viz Media panel on Thursday July 2nd at 1:15pm and the Viz Animation Panel featuring Neon Alley on Saturday July 4th at 4pm.

Viz Media

Source: Anime Expo schedule via Moonkitty.net