Sailor Moon Crystal
|Sailor Moon Crystal|
Sailor Moon Crystal logo
(Bishōjo Senshi Sērāmūn Kurisutaru)
|Anime television series|
|Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal|
|Directed by||Munehisa Sakai
|Produced by||Junichirō Tsuchiya
|Written by||Yuji Kobayashi|
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Network||Niconico, Tokyo MX|
|Original run||July 5, 2014 – July 18, 2015
April 6, 2015 – September 28, 2015
(Tokyo MX broadcast)
|Anime television series|
|Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal - Season III|
|Directed by||Chiaki Kon|
|Produced by||Junichirō Tsuchiya
|Written by||Yuji Kobayashi|
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Original run||April 4, 2016 – present|
Sailor Moon Crystal, known in Japan as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (美少女戦士セーラームーンCrystal Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Kurisutaru?), is a 2014 original net animation adaptation of the shōjo manga series Sailor Moon written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi and produced in commemoration of the original series' 20th anniversary. Produced by Toei Animation and directed by Munehisa Sakai and Chiaki Kon, the series was streamed worldwide on Niconico from July 5, 2014 to July 18, 2015. New episodes were released twice a month. Instead of remaking the 1992–97 anime series preceding it, Toei produced Crystal as a reboot of Sailor Moon and as a more faithful adaptation of the manga by omitting much of the original material from the first series. The story focuses on Usagi Tsukino, who is a young girl that obtains the power to become the titular character. Other fellow Sailor Guardians join her in search of Princess Serenity and the Legendary Silver Crystal.
The first episode had an advanced screening on June 30, 2014 to celebrate Usagi's birthday. In May 2014, Viz Media licensed Crystal for an English-language release in North America. Viz is simulcasting the series on Neon Alley and Hulu to coincide with the worldwide streaming. Crunchyroll is also simulcasting the series in a separate contract with Toei Animation. Viz also premiered the first episode as part of their "Sailor Moon Day" celebration at the Anime Expo Convention in Los Angeles. Season 3 is subtitled Death Busters. It is based on the Infinity arc of the manga series. It debuted on April 4, 2016.
Usagi Tsukino, a 14-year-old middle school student, meets Luna, a talking black cat that tells her that she is Sailor Moon, a guardian destined to fight a group of villains called Dark Kingdom. Luna also instructs Sailor Moon to find her fellow Sailor Guardians, the princess of an ancestral kingdom in the Moon, and a legendary artifact known as "Silver Crystal". On her journey, Sailor Moon meets Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus, and a mysterious masked man called Tuxedo Mask, to whom Usagi is attracted. Later, Usagi and the Guardians discover that in their previous lives they were members of the ancient moon kingdom called Silver Millennium. The Dark Kingdom waged war against them, resulting in the destruction of the Moon Kingdom. It turns out that Sailor Moon herself is Princess Serenity, the princess of Silver Millennium, and that she alone has the power to make the Silver Crystal appear and to use its incredible power. Meanwhile, Tuxedo Mask is revealed to be Prince Endymion, the first crown prince of the Earth and Serenity's lover in their previous lives. After defeating the Four Kings of Heaven (who turn out to be Endymion's loyal knights in the past) and killing their leader Queen Beryl, the Sailor Guardians confront a brainwashed Endymion and the ruler of the Dark Kingdom—Queen Metaria. To prevent Metaria from spreading darkness all over the Earth, the Guardians sacrifice their lives. Using the power of the Silver Crystal, Sailor Moon destroys Metaria and resurrects her friends.
After Sailor Moon restores the Earth to normal and prepares to live a normal life again with Mamoru and her friends, a little girl falls from the sky. This girl introduces herself as "Usagi Tsukino" (but is nicknamed as "Chibiusa"). A new group of villains called Black Moon Clan, led by Prince Demand, initiate a series of operations while looking for Chibiusa and the Silver Crystal. Chibiusa is revealed to be Sailor Moon's and Tuxedo Mask's daughter from a distant future that has been decimated by the Clan, and is in search of Sailor Moon and the Silver Crystal to defeat them and to save her mother. Sailor Moon and her friends accompany Chibiusa to the future, and they meet the Guardian of Time and Chibiusa's friend, Sailor Pluto. Chibiusa is manipulated by Demande's advisor and the true mastermind of the Clan, Death Phantom, and transforms into Black Lady. Demande manages to obtain the Silver Crystals of the present and the future and is about to bring them together but Sailor Pluto stops time to prevent the universe being destroyed by this act, leading to her own death. Black Lady is shocked to see her friend died, and reverts to her true self, transforming into Sailor Chibi Moon. While Demande dies protecting Sailor Moon from Death Phantom, the latter is destroyed by the combined powers of Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon.
Production and broadcasting
On July 6, 2012, Kodansha and Toei Animation announced that it would commence production of a new anime adaptation for a simultaneous worldwide release in 2013 as part of the series' 20th anniversary celebrations. The idol group Momoiro Clover Z would perform the opening and closing theme songs, "Moon Pride" and "Gekkō" respectively. In April 2013, it was announced the new anime had been delayed. On August 4, 2013, it was confirmed the new anime will be streamed late in the year.
On January 9, 2014, it was announced the anime will premiere in July. On March 13, 2014, the new anime's official website was updated to show a countdown beginning on March 14 for an announcement due to occur on March 21. That day, Toei's website showed an image displaying the key visual art, synopsis, and staff for the new anime. It also revealed the anime would be called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (美少女戦士セーラームーンCrystal Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Kurisutaru). The series is animated by Toei Animation and directed by Munehisa Sakai.
The cast and premiere date were announced at the 20th Anniversary Project Special Stage on April 27, 2014. The anime would premiere on July 5, 2014. Episodes would premiere on the first and third Saturdays of each month. The cast of Crystal featured Kotono Mitsuishi reprising her role as Usagi Tsukino, Hisako Kanemoto as Ami Mizuno, Rina Satō as Rei Hino, Ami Koshimizu as Makoto Kino, Shizuka Itō as Minako Aino, Ai Maeda as Sailor Pluto, Misato Fukuen as Chibiusa, Kenji Nojima as Mamoru Chiba, Ryō Hirohashi as Luna, and Yōhei Ōbayashi as Artemis. On April 30, 2014, Toei confirmed the first season would run for 26 episodes and streamed worldwide on the video sharing Niconico website with subtitles in 12 languages on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
On September 28, 2015, the day in which the final episode of the Black Moon arc was aired on Japanese television, it was announced that production for the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal was given the green light. The third season of Sailor Moon Crystal is known as the Death Busters arc, which is based on the Infinity arc of the manga. Munehisa Sakai was replaced by Chiaki Kon as the series director. The newly appointed staff and cast for the third season, including the voice actresses for the new Sailor Guardians—Junko Minagawa as Haruka Tenou, Sayaka Ohara as Michiru Kaiou, and Yukiyo Fujii as Hotaru Tomoe—were announced in a live webcast on January 27, 2016. The first episode of the Death Busters Arc was previewed at a special event held at Animate Ikebukuro store in Tokyo on March 6, 2016. The third season began its regular airing on April 4, 2016. On May 17, 2016, Ikuko Tsukino's voice actress, Yuko Mizutani, died due to breast cancer.
International production and broadcast
In May 2014, Viz Media licensed the anime for an English-language release in North America as Sailor Moon Crystal. The series began streaming on Hulu and Neon Alley simultaneously on July 5, 2014. Crunchyroll also began streaming the series on its website during the simulcast. At the 2014 Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles, Viz marketing director, Charlene Ingram, announced that the cast used for the Sailor Moon re-dub would also reprise their roles in Crystal. This was confirmed at the 2015 Anime Boston. On November 28, 2014, Madman Entertainment announced that they have the rights for Sailor Moon Crystal for Australia and New Zealand. On November 20, 2015, Viz Media started streaming the Sailor Moon Crystal English dub on Neon Alley and Hulu. On April 3, 2016, Hong Kong's new channel broadcaster, ViuTV, began broadcasting the first season in Cantonese with a Cantonese cover of the opening.
The first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal were released in Japan in thirteen Blu-ray box sets. Each volume contained two episodes. A limited edition Blu-ray was released first. A regular DVD and Blu-ray were released a month later on the exact date of the next limited edition Blu-ray. The first limited edition Blu-ray was released on October 15, 2014.
| Moon Pride
(Opening Theme Music)
The music for Sailor Moon Crystal is composed by Yasuharu Takanashi. The series uses two pieces of theme music for the first two seasons. The opening theme song is titled "Moon Pride". The ending theme song is titled "Gekkō" (月虹?, lit. "Moonbow"). Both themes are performed by Momoiro Clover Z. For the third season, four pieces of theme music are used: one opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme song, "New Moon ni Koishite" (ニュームーンに恋して Nyū Mūn ni Koishite?, lit. "In Love With The New Moon") has three different versions. The first version is performed by Etsuko Yakushimaru, the second version by Mitsuko Horie, and the third by Momoiro Clover Z. The first ending theme song is "Eternal Eternity" performed by Junko Minagawa and Sayaka Ohara. They are the voice actresses of Sailors Uranus and Sailor Neptune. The second ending theme song is "Otome no Susume" (乙女のススメ?, lit. "Maiden's Advice") performed by Misato Fukuen. She is Chibiusa's voice actress. The third and final ending theme song is "Eien Dake ga Futari wo Kakeru" (永遠だけが二人をかける?, lit. "Eternity Brings Two Together") performed by Mamoru Chiba's voice actor Kenji Nojima.
The Moon Pride single has two editions. The "Sailor Moon Edition" included a CD and a Blu-ray with just four tracks. The "Momoclo Edition" consists only of a CD with six tracks. The Original Soundtrack composed by Takanashi consists of two CDs with a total of 54 songs.
The first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal earned a viewership of over one million on Niconico during the first two days of streaming it.
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