Crunchyroll Morning: Skip Beat!, Sailor Moon Crystal, and Arslan

I’ve kind of been in a funk the last few days, and  I’m not sure why.  I’m having a hard time finding a book that holds my interest for more than a few chapters, so I set my Kindle down this morning and spent some time playing with Crunchyroll.  If you haven’t heard of the site before, Crunchyroll bills itself as “the leading global video service for Japanese Anime and Asian media.”  They offer free streaming of anime and manga, as well as paid memberships for access to a larger library of titles with no advertising.  Everything I’m going to talk about today I viewed under their free offerings.


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[PR] Viz Media Acquires North American Rights for Sailor Moon!

{This is fantastic news!  I can hardly wait to start watching this again!}


North America’s Leading Anime Distributor Gains Digital, Streaming And Home Media Rights For Legendary Anime

Free Streaming Episodes Debut Today Exclusively

On Neon Alley And Hulu!

San Francisco, CA, May 19, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, is proud to announce the acquisition of the SAILOR MOON anime franchise. VIZ Media’s North American rights cover digital streaming, EST (Electronic Sell Through) and all home media products in the U.S. and Canada. Tokyo-based Toei Animation Co., Ltd. is the producer and global licensor for the SAILOR MOON anime property.

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[PR] Viz Media Launches Phantom Thief Jeanne!



From Famed Manga Creator Arina Tanemura, A Young Girl With Magical Powers Becomes An Art Thief To Steal Paintings Possessed by Demons

San Francisco, CA, March 5, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, steals the hearts of manga (graphic novel) fans with the launch of the series – PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE. The new magical-girl fantasy by beloved creator Arina Tanemura, is now available from the Shojo Beat imprint with an age raging of ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

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Review: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol 1 by Naoko Takeuchi


Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol 1

Author: Naoko Takeuchi

Publisher: Kodansha

ISBN: 978-1935429746


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!

This new edition of Sailor Moon will feature:
– An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
– Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
– New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
– The original Japanese character names!
– Detailed translation notes!

This version of Sailor Moon will be completely true to original. Join us as Sailor Moon returns to the U.S. for the first time in years!


I was excited when Kodansha announced that they would be releasing Sailor Moon, with new translations, unflipped.  This is one of the series that got me interested in anime and manga in the first place (Ranma 1/2 is the other).  When Tokyopop’s version of Sailor Moon was released, I was more than a little disappointed with the final product.  The books weren’t constructed to last for more than a reading or two, and all of the names had been changed to match those of the hacked up TV version that was being shown on the Cartoon Network.  Ugh.

After reading this introduction to the series, I am looking forward to reading more.  The translation flows effortlessly, and Usagi’s adventures are fun to follow.  She will never be Ms. Motivated, and that’s why I love her character.  She is a normal 14 year old, more interested in playing video games and goofing around than in doing her homework. Napping is a hobby for her, as is stuffing her face.  She is clearly a girl after my own heart.  I can instantly relate to Usagi, and her lack of ambition had me totally engaged in the plot.  How is this slacker going to save the world from evil?

With Luna, the talking cat there to offer guidance, Usagi slowly accepts the mantel of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.  One of my favorite shoujo tropes is the magical girl story, and Sailor Moon is one of the best.  I don’t know what I find so engaging about girls yelling ridiculous phrases like “Moon Prism Power! Makeup!!” and “Jupiter Thunderbolt!” while having magic wardrobe changes, but I do.  While Usagi’s transformations have nothing on Sakura’s (or Kero’s for that matter), her costume swaps are still entertaining.  I want a magical tiara and Moon scepter, too!  Perhaps Santa will bring me one for Christmas.  I have tried to be especially good this year.

It’s hard to write a review about a franchise as well known as this one.  It’s like writing up my thoughts about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Everyone has seen it, and everyone has their own opinion of it.  It’s hard to offer new insight about it.  So I’m just going to tell you why I love these books, as each volume is released.    I am very familiar with the beginning half of the series, but the ending is kind of foggy for me, so I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with Usagi, Mamoru, and the Sailor Scouts.  I knew that Kodansha would do a good job with SM, given the author’s dissatisfaction with the previous version that was released here.   Also, the translator, William Flanagan, rarely veers off-course.  He doesn’t here. 

If you haven’t read Sailor Moon, now is the time to pick up this series.  This release is fresh and fun.  Plus, it’s a classic! 

Grade: A-

Review copy purchased from Amazon