Pretty Guardian

Sailor Moon

DVD 12

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More Death, Revelations, Closure and Rebirth as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Dramatically Concludes.

Cover: A very pretty of Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity grace the cover this time, surrounded by most of the main cast in shots from the episodes on the disk.
The back cover features shots of the five episodes as well as a happy Usagi in the top right corner. More of the same, but very nice and looks good with the other 11 DVDs.

The Menus: You guessed it! The same past life couple from the cover are the stars of the main menu as well! The brown/ orange is a bit... well bland but fits with the seriousness of the episodes on the disk. Something brighter would have been nice though. Chapter select menus continue to offer great production photos.

The Special Features: By far the most interesting of the round house conversations, this fourth edition shows the girls reflecting on the series as a whole by discussing their favourite filming and story moments.

Miyu Sawai (Sailor Moon) explains that the strongest memory of filming she has was the first day of filming Act 1. She recalls how it was so hot and she had to do a lot of running. Her favourite storyline was Act 36 due to the emotional storyline and the fact that everyone gathered together.

Chisaki Hama (Sailor Mercury) immediately says that her favourite storyline was the Darkury arc as while she found acting the part rather easy, creating a "scary aura" was incredibly hard and she also found the whole idea rather interesting.

Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars) talks about how the 30's of the series was interesting for her storywise especially Act 33 and Act 34 which involved her father. She seemed so impressed by the professionalism of the actory who played him she found it bith exciting and intimidating.

Miyu Azama (Sailor Jupiter) can't really think of any particular story that impressed her as nothing as interesting as turning evil like Sailor Mercury happened to Sailor Jupiter. The director, Suzumura Nobuhiro suggests Act 6 when her character was properly introduced as he found those scenes with her rather powerful. They all mention Act 30, the episode where Sailor Jupiter awakened as being rather cool as well. Miyu then recalls how because of all the lights used for her awakening scene a million moths had been attracted to the area and got in the way of filming.

Ayaka Komatsu (Sailor Venus) says that Act 17 was her favourite as it was the first time all the girls had filmed a scene together in the series.

We then get some very insightful questions answered by one of the lead writers on the show, Kobayashi Yasuko who talks about how she had wanted to keep the same feeling as the manga in the series but make it more realistic. She also explains how the series finale's story had been decided since the beginning of filming but ended up being different due to Miyu's portrayal of Usagi which was completely different to what she wanted but blew everyone away and made the final episode more powerful than originally intended.

She also discusses killing off Sailor Venus in Act 37 and says that there was never the intention to kill off the character but as the story progressed and the characters evolved it became the obvious direction for the storyline to go in.
When asked how working on Sailor Moon had changed her, she laughs and says that she now doesn't mind the colour pink so much. Before getting the job she hated the colour but forced herself to wear it and surround herself in it to help herself get in the head of "girly" characters.

As usual there are some interesting deleted scenes, such as two from episode guide">Act 45 & Act 46 involving Rei calling an ambulance for the two children's parents (I always wondered what happened to them) and Ami visiting Naru in the hospital and coming to the realisation that they may have to use the Imperium Silver Crystal to heal everyone.

There are also two great scenes from The Final Act showing Nephrite finally becoming happy with his job at Crown Karaoke and Naru and friends cleaning up the classroom and being teased by Miss Haruna.

The Episodes: Pretty much every episode on this disk is must see and not only because it's the series' final five episodes! Act 45 and Act 46 offer great character development all around with special emphasis on Sailor Venus, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mars as the three begin to really come to terms with their mission and just what they want in their present life.

The next three final episodes take not just the live action series, but Sailor Moon in general to a whole new level as one of the characters is killed off before the finale and in a surprising yet also obvious and satisfying way. If you cry at all while watching sad tv shows or movies, Act 47 will have you in tears by the end and also in awe at Keiko Kitagawa's amazing portrayal of Rei Hina, Sailor Mars in the most dramatic and heart wrenching scenes of the entire show.

Act 48 and the Final Act continue the shocks and action as every sub-plot built on throughout the series draws to a conclusion. These two episodes rank among my favourite of the series and not just because they're the finale. These two episodes shift into a different directorial style, swapping superhero heroics for personal drama and emotional resonance. The writing is spot on and surprising on several levels, taking into a whole other league than the episodes on even the previous dvd!

The acting also surprises with genuine and emotional turns by everyone though special mention must be said for the work of Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars) who does her usual spot on work though mourns in such a subtle way for the loss of another character that it's completely genuine and realistic. Jyoji Shibue also surprises with the best moment of acting in the entire series as he talks with the Kunzite, Jadeite, Zoicite and Nephrite one final time. The whole scene could have been done so by the book but he adds so much emotion to the part he takes what could have been a typical finale and makes it emotionally involving.

Aya Sugimoto also deserves special mention for her Queen Beryl who through one line of dialogue as Princess Sailor Moon attacks her adds more history and depth to both characters than the writers managed in the previous 48 episodes.

These episodes aren't just the good Sailor Moon episodes, they're great tv in general.

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