We’ve made it, folks. We’re here. Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III has been released on Blu-ray and DVD, and it truly is something to behold.
Let’s just start right off with the fact that the Outers have arrived, expanding on the Sailor Moon mythos in a major way. We’ve got undercover infiltration! We’ve got non-linear reincarnation! We’ve got power-ups, cyborg arms, demonic possession, messianic and anti-messianic imagery, and best of all, we’re getting it all in an art style makeover that smooths the edges of the first two seasons and utilizes a bolder, brighter color palette that really brings the visuals to life.
And on top of all that, a fresh dub track for every episode, feautring the VIZ English cast that has won the hearts of the Moonies everywhere over the past three years.
The set itself is gorgeous, with a fresh new design that departs from the motif of the first two sets, but that inconsistency is not necessarily a bad thing. The chipboard box of the Season III Collector’s Edition is the deep blue of the night sky, decorated in astrological symbology. It has a certain vitality and dynamic quality missing from the boxes of the first two sets, which, while certainly beautiful and classy, look more like the wallpaper in some dowager’s sitting room than the box art for a series about a young superhero.
As with all the other Sailor Moon sets (Crystal and Classic alike), the discs themselves look great with some lovely artwork, the Blu-rays and DVDs easily distinguishable from one another. As for content, the art galleries are full of gorgeous images, though nothing that can’t be found in the companion book. There are interviews with all four actresses who voice the Outers, giving the fans a chance to get to know them and get a little insight into their processes as performers. There is also a convention video as well as the clean opening and closing sequences, which are nice to have, but I’d still love to get some subtitled commentaries from the Japanese Blu-rays one of these days.
As always, this set’s real value in the extras department comes in the collectible prints of the Japanese Blu-ray covers and the guide book. Tons of gorgeous artwork, interviews with every Sailor Guardian who’s appeared to date, an episode guide, and lyrics to all the songs. It does not skimp.
Like the first two sets, the Special Collector’s Edition is a sound investment thanks to the supplementary materials and packaging. Standard Blu-ray and DVD are certainly worth it to have a hard copy of a fantastic season of animation, but you’d better love the show for its own sake (which, for the record, I do), because an in-depth look behind the curtain is not something the discs themselves have to offer.