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REVIEW: Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Part 1




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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1799
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:25 am Reply with quote
As a long time fan who grew up watching the ye olde fansubs of Sailor Stars, I have mixed feelings about the season but I enjoy it as a whole. The Nehelenia arc makes the case that not all anime original content is bad and it's a really strong story arc despite not being in the manga that resolves some of the loose ends in SuperS and gives the Outers much needed spotlight. Nehelenia's redemption arc still always makes me cry every time.

The Stars arc has more issues, but I think it has some of the funniest filler in episodes of the show, like the episode where everyone is chasing after Chibi Chibi and Usagi and Seiya's date episode. While I still prefer Usagi x Mamoru, I enjoy Usagi's friendship with Seiya and the scenes where Seiya gives Usagi emotional support. Yaten is definitely my favorite of the Starlights though and I love his whole sassiness. Taiki is still probably my least favorite character in the series because I never liked how he's always arguing with the Inners on everything even if it's not that important. I do like the Starlights as a whole though and I can't wait to hear their songs dubbed in the second half. I think the biggest problems I have with Sailor Stars are some plot holes in the writing in the second half, particularly in the finale, but it's not as much of a deal breaker for me as it is for some of the more critical fans of the season. Sailor Stars has some of my favorite villains. I especially love Galaxia and Lead Crow and Aluminum Siren. I think the dub sounds pretty good though it probably won't change anyone's minds if they're not already fans of the Viz dub.

I think the Starlights' voices sound good and I think they actually do a decent job of sounding boyish in their disguise forms. Naoko has stated the Starlights are girls crossdressing as boys and not using magic to turn into boys in the manga which is something she was displeased about with the anime. With Crystal still in the works, Viz likely cast female VAs for the Starlights with this in mind. The weakest VA unfortunately is Galaxia. She's fine if you've never seen the sub but she lacks the demanding and sadistic tone the legendary Mitsuko Horie brought to the role. All the other villains' voices sound fantastic to me though, especially Iron Mouse and Lead Crow. I can't wait to hear Tin Nyanko. It's a shame since Carrie Keranen was good as Xenian in the R movie so I don't know what happened here. I do have to give credit to Nehelenia's dub VA in the finale of her arc. She did an amazing job giving her character a powerful performance and she's one of my favorite of the Viz dub VAs.

Having only the fansubs for years, it's still hard to believe I finally own Sailor Stars on DVD after all this time and it's still so surreal to be watching it dubbed. I hope we'll get a release date for part 2 soon. Also in regards to he booklet errors, Viz has stated they're going to do an exchange for the booklet and they will fix the Uranus/Neptune error. I think they're supposed to start offering the exchange sometime in August.
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
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Location: Texas
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Odd, I don't remember Rei being any bitchier than usual this season. And Minako's always been idol obsessed. This is just the first time the show's had a non-character-of-the-day idol for her to rave over, haha.

Stars is one of my favorite seasons, and finally owning a legal copy of it on DVD and Blu-Ray is a dream come true. And I'm loving Viz's dub. The Nehelenia arc dub was perfect, and the Shadow Galactica arc is off to a good start. All the Animamates and Starlights sound great, with my only complaint being Galaxia's voice. It worked fine for me in the Nehelenia arc, but it's surprisingly monotone in the Shadow Galactica arc so far. I'm hoping she comes alive again for the last few episodes.
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CandisWhite
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Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 281
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:51 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
Naoko has stated the Starlights are girls crossdressing as boys and not using magic to turn into boys in the manga which is something she was displeased about with the anime.
It's straight up said in the story; One of the villains, in "disguise", looks pointedly at them and says that she doesn't like girls who pretend to be something else.

The 5th season is definitely the bottom for me but the stuff that is good is REALLY good. The music, the humour, individual episodes. I got the set just for the Japanese (Never got on the Viz dub train) but it's worth it. And unfettered praise for the packaging and menus; I'm glad that they managed to stick the landing for all 5 sets on that front, though I would wave my magic wand for full versions of songs playing with the menus.
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gumbaloom



Joined: 11 Sep 2017
Posts: 64
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:10 pm Reply with quote
Some fansubbers would take issue with the phrase "questionable" quality. Stars is one of those shows that has been waiting for a legit release for so long that it's been fansubbed to death and there were at least in some quarters some exceptionally well done Stars fansubs.

Of course a good quality fansub never't make up for the fact it's not a licensed / sanctioned release.

Also some people take issue with some of Viz's translation choices too but that's another story Smile
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1416
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:32 am Reply with quote
1dbad wrote:
Odd, I don't remember Rei being any bitchier than usual this season.


Same, which is why I did a double take when I read that comment in the article. If anything, Rei has become Usagi's closest friend. Rei knows that something is wrong with Usagi, and Rei is the one that steps in and asks Usagi what happened. The expression that Rei makes when Usagi mumbles that she "hasn't heard from Mamoru since the beginning" is anything but bitchy. That's the face of someone who is about to watch their friend, who until that point has kept silent on the matter when it was tearing her apart, break. It definitely is my favorite Rei moment in the series because it is the culmination of her growth as a character.

Anyways, Stars is my favorite season. I love the final battle, particularly episodes 199 and 200. I've watched it sooo many times that it's become feel-good fodder. It really is Sailor Moon at her strongest. Usagi has reached an enlightened state and no longer needs to rely on seasonal weapons to save the day.

Animation-wise, this isn't the strongest season, but that's largely because Ikuko Ito is out of the picture. Still some dynamite work from Miho Shimogasa though - I love her comical expressions. Episode 199 and 200 though had some really top notch stuff, although I might be a bit biased as the majority of my SM cel collection is from the final battle.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1799
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:10 am Reply with quote
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It definitely is my favorite Rei moment in the series because it is the culmination of her growth as a character.
As Sailor Mars is my favorite character, I would also agree Sailor Stars has some of my favorite Rei moments. I also love the scene where Rei is taking on a fortune teller job and she uses it to encourage Usagi. I feel like Rei has always been a misunderstood character. Rei and Usagi argue a lot with each other because they are such close friends that they feel comfortable speaking their minds to each other but they're there for each other when it really counts and I like their complex relationship.

Quote:
Animation-wise, this isn't the strongest season, but that's largely because Ikuko Ito is out of the picture. Still some dynamite work from Miho Shimogasa though - I love her comical expressions. Episode 199 and 200 though had some really top notch stuff, although I might be a bit biased as the majority of my SM cel collection is from the final battle.
Most of the animation staff for Sailor Stars would also go on to work on Cutie Honey Flash which would replace Sailor Star's timeslot. You can really tell they mature a lot in their talents by the time they started working on Cutie Honey Flash. Which I still hope somebody would license one day. We also have to talk about how amazing Sailor Stars Song is which is one of my favorite Sailor Moon songs and I know it may be blasphemous to say, but I actually like it better than Moonlight Densetsu.
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Sailor Sedna



Joined: 08 Jan 2015
Posts: 761
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:20 am Reply with quote
I enjoy this season, though I still feel the Nehellenia beginning was a bit stronger than the rest and it isn't the best. I do unfortunately, like with the other commenters have to disagree about the girls' characters, you can see Rei has grown closer to Usagi and you don't usually see her get all frustrated/annoyed with her as much, Minako always has been liking idols, and what about Ami and Makoto? Makoto seemed the same to me, Usagi felt more of a backtrack in SuperS considering how childish she acted there, and Ami's definitely grown a lot, being all confident, standing up for her friends and spoiler[in episode 191 showed how she wasn't determined to give up no matter how hard she got beaten, kinda like what you'd see in Saint Seiya or something]. None of them felt out of character to me...Shocked Confused

It's also one thing I felt the Stars anime improved on its manga counterpart: while the manga had better lore/world building, it just killed off the cast way too quickly, at least here in the anime we got to see the characters shine a few more times.

One character issue with development I'd have is with Yaten/Sailor Star Healer, he (I saw the anime Starlights more as males, go figure, and I'm surprised you didn't touch upon the whole gender changing thing they do Confused) felt to me like the least developed of the Starlights, and both episodes of his felt like they were barely about him, instead about Luna (did we need another "Luna falling in love with a human making her look hypocritical in SuperS"?) and Minako/Venus. I do wish Pluto and Saturn got used more here also, they were the most underutilized of the Sailors in the original anime.

Animation definitely wasn't perfect either, I still thought it was good for the most part and improved greatly over say, the first season, but there were still bad looking episodes from time to time. Episode 170 comes to mind, as Masahiro Ando's art was at its worst (probably got rushed considering SuperS had lost a ton of Sailor Moon viewers and the series was still suffering a loss of ratings), but at least the story of that episode was still good and the characters still moved fluidly, and it's still better than what I saw in most of the first two seasons of Crystal. And like what someone else said, Miho Shimogasa was one of the best animators.
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geepee



Joined: 26 Aug 2017
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:43 am Reply with quote
CandisWhite wrote:
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
Naoko has stated the Starlights are girls crossdressing as boys and not using magic to turn into boys in the manga which is something she was displeased about with the anime.
It's straight up said in the story; One of the villains, in "disguise", looks pointedly at them and says that she doesn't like girls who pretend to be something else.

The 5th season is definitely the bottom for me but the stuff that is good is REALLY good. The music, the humour, individual episodes. I got the set just for the Japanese (Never got on the Viz dub train) but it's worth it. And unfettered praise for the packaging and menus; I'm glad that they managed to stick the landing for all 5 sets on that front, though I would wave my magic wand for full versions of songs playing with the menus.


the latin dub(which was broadcasted with no censorship back in the day.) got separate male and female voice-actors for the Starlights(and some European dubs did the same,but under the pretense they aren't transforming,but calling for their twin sisters.No,really...)
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:08 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

the latin dub(which was broadcasted with no censorship back in the day.) got separate male and female voice-actors for the Starlights(and some European dubs did the same,but under the pretense they aren't transforming,but calling for their twin sisters.No,really...)
The Korean dub interestingly made them girls the entire time and gave them female VAs in both roles, though the Korean dub was one of the more heavily censored versions as a whole. They digitally covered up the Starlights' mid rifs.
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
Posts: 220
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:41 pm Reply with quote
I think this is my second-favorite season after 3, but I've only seen the show once (started 2016), I need to rewatch it. I didn't expect going into a 200-episode show to come out of it wanting another 600, but that's what happened. There are no bad parts IMO, it's about as far from disappointment as anything I've ever seen.

I read a claim somewhere a few years ago that there was backlash from Japanese parents about the Haruka/Michiru pairing, and that the decision to give the Starlights male forms was made to avoid further female/female romantic situations. Ah, found it, it's a wiki article with no clear citation given for this part:

https://sailormoondub.fandom.com/wiki/Censorship_in_Sailor_Moon
Quote:
Despite popular belief, there was criticism in Japan for featuring a lesbian couple in a children's show. This is presumably the reason the Starlights were changed to men in Sailor Moon Stars.


Love Sailor Star Song! I never skipped Moonlight Densetsu (a decision which actually adds over four hours to the total Sailor Moon runtime), it's iconic and its bridge is wonderful, I never thought I'd be happy to get a different OP, but I was. While I was watching this season for the first time last year:
Quote:
I had been dreading the OP switch ever since finding out about it, but oh, wait, this song is amazing. If the whole season is the climax of the 200-episode show, then this should be the climax of Sailor Moon songs, and that's exactly how it sounds to me. The chorus beelines straight up to the high register and sets up camp there, making only limited forays to lower places. I wouldn't have expected it to work so well.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1799
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:08 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I read a claim somewhere a few years ago that there was backlash from Japanese parents about the Haruka/Michiru pairing, and that the decision to give the Starlights male forms was made to avoid further female/female romantic situations. Ah, found it, it's a wiki article with no clear citation given for this part:
I doubt this reason myself given that Haruka and Michiru still returned in Sailor Stars and if anything Sailor Stars made their relationship even more explicit than it already was in S. Openly LGBTQ+ characters also appeared in other 90s shojo anime without much issue like Fushigi Yuugi in 1995, just one year before Sailor Stars, and Cardcaptor Sakura in 1998. I think they probably changed the Sailor Starlights for the anime because characters using magic to switch gender was a common trope in a lot of old anime, most notably for the 90s in Ranma 1/2 and Escaflowne, so it's not surprising to me Sailor Stars would use it too as a new twist for the last season with a trope that was common in anime at the time. While there may have been some criticism, this blog piece from Tuxedo Unmasked seems to indicate Haruka and Michiru's relationship was treated as rather matter of fact in Japan in the 90s. https://www.tuxedounmasked.com/were-haruka-and-michiru-viewed-as-lesbians-in-1990s-japan/
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
Posts: 220
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Makes sense. I guess that's a relatively better reason for the change.
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