Wednesday 2 June 2021

In the Name of the Moon, Sailor Moon magically debuts on Netflix worldwide!

 Written by Pony Princess.

“Moon Prism Power, MAKE UP! ” Sailor Moon fans across the world, all hail the undisputed queen of magical princesses, as she makes her grand and stunning streaming debut into Netflix.

Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie Official Trailer from Netflix

Timing is just right to have a movie about fighting for hope, love and justice during Earth's darkest hour battling the COVID-19 pandemic. For most of us forced to stay home, the announcement of Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie is not just a miracle but a reminder of hope, determination and that strength will prevail during challenging times.

For those unfamiliar with Sailor Moon, it is a global hit media franchise based on the manga written by Naoko Takeuchi. The franchise spawned a business empire of licensing and merchandising spanning from toys, cafes, musicals, live action drama series, make up, jewellery line, feminine products and heck, you can even get a Sailor Moon themed marriage registration form in Japan!  

Make your miracle romance permanent with a
Sailor Moon marriage registration form comes bundled in the "With" magazine published by Kodansha. 
Source: Soranews 

Gorgeous-looking posters for Part 1 and Part 2 for the Japanese release.
Yes, the Japanese get all the good stuff!
Source: Moonsticks

After many months of waiting, Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie is making its grand debut outside of Japan on Netflix. Set to release on June the 3rd, Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie is the continuation of Season 4 from the Sailor Moon Crystal animated TV series released in 2014.  In Japan, the film is known as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Eternal and is a 2 part theatrical release. Due to the global pandemic of 2020, Part 1's release in Japan was postponed from September 11 2020 to January the 8th 2021. Part 2 was released on the following month on February 11, 2021. 

The first official teaser unveiled to the Japanese audience.
Moonies or ardent Sailor Moon fans will tear up in the first 5 seconds of the teaser.
I know because I did.
Source: 東映映画チャンネル

Part 1 of the Japanese Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie trailer
Source: Sailormoon-official 

Part 2 of the Japanese Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie trailer.
For fans, stay till the end for a special fan service!
Source: Sailormoon-official 

The good news is, international fans and viewers outside of Japan get to see both parts released on Netflix worldwide on June the 3rd. 

The Netflix release doesn't get an official poster but at least we get to see this. Cool, Netflix.
Source: Netflix

Here are more posters for the Japanese release.
After the pandemic, I am moving to Japan.
Source: Moonsticks 

Here is a quick rundown about the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal movie.

For those who follow the Sailor Moon Crystal series, the story continues from a cliffhanger at the end of Season 3 when Usagi and Chibi Usagi hears a mysterious sound of a bell. The film will be a stunning rendition and retelling of the fourth story arc or Dream arc from the original Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal is a reboot version of the 90s series.
It was released in 2014 and now running in its 3rd season.
Source: Den of Geek


It is April, the beginning of spring. The Sailor Scouts are celebrating their entrance into Jyuban high school when a mysterious pegasus came to Chibi Usa for help. Things become stranger when a sudden eclipse brought the arrival of the Dead Moon Circus troop which sets foot in Azabu Juban town where Usagi and her friends lives. The townsfolk are enthralled by the circus in town which unbeknownst to them is led by the evil Queen Nehelenia who is out to conquer Earth. It is up to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts to put a stop to her nefarious plans. 

One of the major plus points about Sailor Moon Crystal is its faithful adaptation to the original manga, right down to the individual panels and sequence. Above is the anime while below is the manga as shown on the right panel.
Source: Toei Animation (2014)

Sailor Moon Manga Act 38 - Beginning of a new journey.
Source: Naoko Takeuchi, Kodansha

Returning creative staff includes Chiaki Kon who directed Season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal and Kazuko Tadano who handled the character design for the original 90s anime series. 

Kotono Mitsuishi is the voice of Sailor Moon since the first anime series was released in the 1990s.

Japanese Dub Voice Talents 
  • Kotono Mitsuishi as Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon
  • Hisako Kanemoto as Ami Mizuno / Sailor Mercury
  • Rina Satou as Rei Hino / Sailor Mars
  • Ami Koshimizu as Makoto Kino / Sailor Jupiter
  • Shizuka Itou as Minako Aino / Sailor Venus
  • Misato Fukuen as Chibi Usagi / Sailor Chibi Moon
  • Kenji Nojima / Tuxedo Mask
  • Junko Minagawa as Haruka Tenou / Super Sailor Uranus
  • Sayaka Ohara as Michiru Kaioh / Super Sailor Neptune
  • Ai Maeda as Setsuna Meioh / Super Sailor Pluto
  • Yukiyo Fujii as Hotaru Tomoe / Super Sailor Saturn
  • Ryo Hirohashi as Luna
  • Taishi Murata as Artemis
  • Shoko Nakagawa as Diana
  • Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Helios / Pegasus
  • Nanao as Queen Nehelenia
  • Naomi Watanabe as Zirconia
  • Yuko Hara as JunJun
  • Reina Ueda as CereCere
  • Sumire Morohoshi as PallaPalla
  • Rie Takahashi as VesVes
  • Shota Aoi as Fish Eye
  • Satoshi  Hino as Tiger's Eye
  • Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Hawk's Eye
Source: Moonsticks

Convention panel with the English dub voice talents for the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal Movie at Anime NYC 2017
Source: Vizmedia

English Dub Voice Talents 
  • Stephanie Sheh as Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon
  • Kate Higgins as Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury
  • Cristina Vee as Rei Hino/Sailor Mars
  • Amanda C. Miller as Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter
  • Cherami Leigh as Minako Aino/Sailor Venus
  • Sandy Fox as Chibi-Usa / Sailor Chibi Moon
  • Veronica Taylor as Setsuna Meioh/Sailor Pluto
  • Erica Mendez as Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus
  • Lauren Landa as Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune
  • Christine Marie Cabanos as Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn
  • Robbie Daymond as Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask
  • Michelle Ruff as Luna
  • Johnny Yong Bosch as Artemis
  • Deby Dayberry as Diana

So for viewers who are new to Sailor Moon, will it be worth adding Eternal to your must-watch list?  Well, I have taken the liberty to include a little bit of trivia to help you gain more context and hopefully pique your curiosity to give Eternal a shot.  I will use visual references from the 90s Sailor Moon since I personally grew up with the series during that era. 

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 1991 - 1997 series

The manga of Sailor Moon illustrated and written by Naoko Takeuchi. In Malaysia, the manga was translated into Bahasa Malaysia. The Chinese version is also available.
Source: Naoko Takeuchi, Nakayoshi

Readers of the manga are often treated to mini-poster pullouts featuring original illustrations.  
Source: Naoko Takeuchi, Nakayoshi

Sailor Moon or Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is a manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. The animated series is produced by Toei Animation and ran from 1991 – 1997 with 200 episodes.  Back in the late 90s, I remembered fondly sitting in front of the television set, religiously watching Sailor Moon the series on schedule on the now-defunct TV channel, Metro Vision (now known as Didik TV).

It was dubbed in Cantonese for the Malaysian audience (except for the opening and ending credits which retained the original Japanese songs) but it was by all means a decent dub and minimal compromise in overall quality. The humour, gags and jokes were intact and just as enjoyable.

The main plot revolves around Usagi Tsukino whose alter ego is Sailor Moon and her Sailor Scout friends who work together to protect and defend Earth from being attacked by various outlandish enemies that pop up in every episode. 

Fast-forward to 2014, a new reboot version of the anime was created to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the original 90s series. Known as the Sailor Moon Crystal series, it follows the story arcs from the manga much more closely. The upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal film continues from Season 3 into the fourth arc of the series.

The Characters

Usage Tsukino / Sailor Moon

Usagi Tsukino as Sailor Moon and her regular self on a date.
Source: Toei Animation (1991 - 1997)

Our plucky heroine is none other than the ordinary and very average junior high school girl named Usagi Tsukino. She is also known as Serena in the North American dub. Her name is roughly translated as Rabbit on the Moon based on the Japanese folklore of a rabbit living on the moon pounding rice cakes. With the help of Luna, a talking cat, she discovered that she is the warrior Sailor Moon whose mission is to find a crystal and protect the princess of the moon. 

One would describe Usagi as a glaringly flawed hero. As a normal school student, she hates math, is inept in sports, clumsy, lazy and perpetually late for school. Her friends even expressed disbelief that she was able to pass the entrance examination into high school. In spite of her flaws, she is fun-loving and an active member of the school's manga club. She is pure-hearted and puts friendship and love above anything else. Her dream is to be a bride. But of course, doesn't every young girl? Flaws aside, Usagi does eventually grow more mature in the series.

Picture above (L-R) Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mars, Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mercury
Below (L-R) Ami Mizuno, Rei Hino, Makoto Kino and Minako Aino
Source: Toei Animation (1991 - 1997)

The Sailor Scouts

The Sailor Scouts are Usagi's closest friends who fought alongside her as well as protect her. They comprised of the four inner plants Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. They all played the role of guardians in protecting Sailor Moon who is later revealed as the reincarnation of Princess Serenity and the future Neo Queen Serenity of Crystal Tokyo in the 30th century.  Each has their own unique power and an element that corresponds to their planet. Water for Mercury, Fire for Mars, lightning for Jupiter and er... love for Venus. Like normal school girls, they hang out, shop and talk about boys with the exception of Ami Mizuno (obviously the brains of the team) who constantly nags her friends to study. Later in the series, the outer planets that comprise of Sailor Pluto,  Sailor Uranus and Sailor Saturn will join the group. 

Chibi Usagi as Sailor Chibi Moon.
She shares the same birthday as Usagi.
Source: Toei Animation

Chibiusa / Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Chibi Moon is Sailor Moon's daughter with Mamoru Chiba from the future who first appeared in the second story arc of the manga. She is a spoilt and precocious brat girl who gradually gained more confidence in herself and her Sailor abilities.  She gets along well with the rest of the Sailor Scouts but constantly bicker with Usagi especially over their jealous rivalry for Mamoru. She lives with Usagi and shares a dysfunctional sisterly relationship with her. Her goal is to be a beautiful lady and deeply admires Usagi for her beauty. 

Mamoru Chiba as Tuxedo Mask
Source: Toei Animation (1991 - 1997)

Mamoru Chiba / Tuxedo Mask

Mamoru Chiba is Usagi's boyfriend and future husband although he enjoys teasing her during their early encounters. His alter ego is Tuxedo Mask and later revealed to be the reincarnation of Prince Endymion and the future King Endymion of Crystal Tokyo of the 30th Century. He is the most mature in the group and the object of affection for both Usagi and Chibiusa.  Although at first glance, he appears to be the token male character of an all-female cast, his roles in the story are just as prominent since he gets captured and brainwashed a lot throughout the series.

Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight.

Miss Universe Japan Yuumi Kato chose Sailor Moon as her national costume for the 2018 pageant.
Source: Japan Today
What made Sailor Moon a mass universal appeal in both Japan and the West is that it featured ordinary girls with stereotypical "girly" interests like fashion, boys, and shopping. Yes, you can be a bad guys butt-kicking superhero and still shamelessly obsess over which lipstick shade matches your shoes to help catch your crush's eye. In the Sailor Moon manga and anime of the 90s, there are mini-stories that dive into the daily teenage lives the girls lead. 

One of the sub plots from the manga titled Rei and Minako's School Battle featuring the girls studying for their high school entrance examination.
Source: Naoko Takeuchi, Nakayoshi

The girls, by all means, are not perfect and have common fears, worries, and anxieties that any regular teenager undergoes i.e. exam anxiety, fear of the dentist, or yearning to be popular in school. 

At the core of it, Sailor Moon herself is a relatable character to ordinary people like us who want to make a difference in a big way but hampered by our flaws. Rather than letting her flaws stop her,  Sailor Moon is not ashamed of them.

Winning love by daylight is part of the mission.
Source: Toei Animation 

Final Say

I do not think it is necessary to binge all 3 seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal in order to appreciate the movie. It makes perfect sense why the producers chose this particular arc to be in film format instead of a 13 episode series. Since it is a brand new arc with new villains and characters, it can be enjoyed as a standalone movie without the need to reference the previous seasons' episodes. Other than perhaps background on Chibi Usagi coming from the future or origins of the outer Sailor Scouts but really IMHO it doesn't matter.

The Dream arc is also by far, one of my favorite story arcs in the manga with new characters and a good balance of lighthearted and dark moments. So if you are new to the franchise this may as well be THE gateway to explore the richer worlds of Sailor Moon and the characters.  Underneath all the glitter, sparkles and ribbons is a deep story that explores themes of romance, tragedy, reincarnation, space, and time travel. 

I highly recommend you to spend the rest of your days at home reading the manga or if the stylized illustrations are not your cup of tea, then you can always opt for the Sailor Moon Crystal series which is as faithful as it gets to the original plot.

Bonus trivia!

The story setting of Sailor Moon is at Azabu Jyuban which is a real place in Tokyo. If you watch the Sailor Moon Crystal series closely, many locations in the anime are based on real places here.
Image Source: Real Estate Japan

Above: The anime 
Below: The real site
Source: Unborderedlife

Kaleidoscope Mukashikan, a shop specializing in kaleidoscopes may be one of the many inspirations for the Dream arc in Sailor Moon although it is not officially stated.
Source: Hayashiforest


Official figurines of Sailor Moon and friends from Eternal movie are now available in Malaysia. Produced by Bandai Banpresto, there are pretty figures of Sailor Moon herself as well as cutesy chibi versions of the Sailor Scouts under the  Q Posket line. Order them now from Big Boys Cave for the best prices and Free Shippping.

Glitter & Glamours Super Sailor Moon figurine from Banpresto.

Collect Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts today!