Sakky's Sailor Moon Blog

Sakky talks about Sailor Moon things. :D

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Volume Infinity - A Guide to a Rare Sailor Moon Artbook

UPDATE: This blog post has been updated in Nov 2023 to alert collectors of the new bootlegs of this book that are now on the market. 


Volume Infinity is the self-published volume of Sailor Moon arts and notes that Naoko released in 1997. It includes messages from members of the anime and manga staff as well as some lovely artwork by Naoko. We don't know how many copies of this rare artbook were made or sold, but it is a highly sought after collectable that fetches very high prices when it does show up for sale.

Unfortunately, it seems there are now bootlegs of this artbook. A version of it surfaced on Reddit in 2023 that has small but significant printing differences that do not align with older, official copies. If you want to collect one of these rare gems it's good to know what they look like now that fakes are apparently circulating. 

Here's some notes about Infinity:
- the book is a white hardcover with a slip jacket
- the binding on the book is not very good so many of these books have loose pages from being opened too often; I take care not to open mine more than a few inches so there's less stress on the binding
- the insides of the covers are lined with a gold paint that shows finger prints when you touch it (the new bootlegs have gold interior but its not sensitive to touch)
- because the book was self published, the ISBN inside the back cover is mostly 0's with USAGI in there, too
- there is a semi transparent rice page inside the front cover that allows the first image to be seen through; it has a solid white texture pattern that criss-crosses all over it with the title and infinity volume marking. When you look at the page over the inside art it reads the right way while it's covering the art.
- the art of Chibimoon on the back has weird colors and this can throw people off into thinking it's a fake. It seems to be possible it was a digital work?
- unlike the other artbooks, the writing on the front it NOT metallic; it is flat gold
- printing on the potentially fake books appears slightly darker than originals
- there are subtle ways things line up on the cover to indicate it is an original print. Please check the image at the bottom of this post for examples. 

Photos of legit book:

front of dust jacket

back of dust jacket

back of hardcover

front of hardcover

binding of hardcover

gold interior

semi transparent rice page with textured white markings and title

first page

back inside print information with fake ISBN "USAGI"

gold paint shows fingerprints

Here's some photos comparing a legit book (left) and the bootleg (right). Other than the rice paper being reversed, the printing mistakes are minor and very hard to notice at first glance. I have so far confirmed two older artbooks to match (both differing in the same way from this "new" version). I will continue to seek additional images of older books to try and document the consistencies. 

Images on the left in this guide are the real books and the images on the right are the newer, bootleg books. The reversed rice paper is the most obvious. Big thanks to reddit users Upper-Rip-7876 for the photos of the potential bootleg and PandoraChyan for this nice comparison edit. I have confirmed my original copy of this book purchased from another collector in person in 2010 matchest PandoraChyan's book. I am looking for additional references to confirm all the older books match. 

Please also see this twitter thread for many additional comparison photos.

Messages from people who've bought the new bootlegs indicate they 'smell new' which is also unlikely from a book supposedly printed in 1997. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thoughts on "Usagi's Carillion" AKA Star Locket Necklace from GEA

It's finally here. We've been waiting for MONTHS but it's finally available!

When GEAnimation announced Usagi's Carillion necklace (calling it a 'Star Locket' would've been misleading, for it does not open), Sailormoon fans went batty!  I'm not sure what it is about this item, but there's something in it that really strikes at the heart of what it means to be a Sailormoon fan.  It's not even the most expensive collectible, but it's still one of the most desired.  It seems to embody everything we love about the series by being a symbol of the core of the story - that believing in yourself and the ones you love can get you through even the darkest days.

It's not a transformation compact, it's not a wand. It's not even specifically magical in its own right (though I can see how you could debate that). It's just a really pretty, really awesome little symbol. AND WE LOVE IT.

I ordered mine through and had a great experience with them.  I'd actually never heard of the site before some of my Moonie friends recommended it to me, but I'm glad they did! I plan to order more merch from them!

It arrived in about two business days. I was immediately enamored.  You would swear it opens looking at it. My friends who check it out have tried to open it before I mention that it doesn't. It's not so bad though. They probably saved a lot of money by not having to make the latch work thus making the necklace more affordable.  It's also sort of nice to not have to worry about the small hinge breaking if it's something you plan to wear every day.

It is pretty small, only about 1.75" tall - but it's perfect as a necklace. It's got a great metallic gold color. I've heard some people say theirs have a few scuffs and things on them which is to be expected with something that has this kind of finish. It's nearly impossible to keep perfect (so if you want a really minty one, don't take it out of the plastic).  Mine's going to get all scuffed up!

I took a photo with my Bandai Asia Starry Sky Orgel to give a sense of scale.

The back says "Sailor Moon" in the new logo style with Naoko's copyright.

I unpacked it and put it on and I've worn it every day (that's three days) since!  The chain that it comes with is long, about 30". But the clasp is adjustable and if you want a shorter chain it wouldn't be too hard to take some of the loops out with a pair of pliers. I've been enjoying wearing it long! It's metal so it's quite heavy. I don't have to worry about it flying up in my face, but it does have a nice swing to it while I'm running around the office all day.

I have a nickle sensitivity so I was worried the chain would become itchy. So far so good, but I'm still expecting it will bother me after a week or so. I will likely have to buy another chain for it, but I am a little optimistic that I won't have to. I sent GEA a tweet asking them if they think the chain will turn my neck green.  They said it shouldn't.  Since I bathe regularly and take it off at night I suspect it will not. ;D

This is absolutely my favorite thing that they have released so far. It's iconic, it's cute, it's well made. I remain hopeful that the new anime next year will result in some new toys, real toys that light up and play songs.  But in the meantime, I plan to wear this necklace like a beacon of hope sparkling out to all Sailormoon fans all over the world!

Thanks GE! You hit it out of the park with this one. Worth the long wait! ♥

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hang In There, Sailormoon Bag!

This is a quick post to share some feedback on one of the Sailormoon products made and released by GEAnimation (AKA Great Eastern Entertainment) for the revival of the license in the US.

Item Number:     81000

(Rarity pin is an after market addition ^_~)

I bought this bag from Hot Topic almost as soon as it was available.  I needed a new bag to carry all my day-to-day crap (sketchbook, Prismacolor pencils, journal, wallet, keys, phone).  What better way to promo my absolute favorite series of all time better than toting it around on my back all day every day?  I get lots of compliments on the bag and I get to meet a lot of other fans who see it and strike up a conversation. (Shortly thereafter the more normal ones will see my Sailormoon lanyard, Sailormoon t-shirt, Sailormoon earrings, necklace and CHEST TATTOO then slowly back away...)


I was a little disappointed that the print on the bag was kind of plasticy. While the colors were bright and fun, I figured this type of material was going to crack and peel with use. It has.

It would be good if these sorts of bags were designed with the art printed into the fabric (silkscreen?) instead of adhered on top of it. At the very least, the way they did the Luna Bag is a bit better because the areas that get the most friction from use are fabric instead of the print so it would probably hold up better (at least visually). Hopefully the fabric on that one is also sturdy enough to take a bit of a beating.

The other trouble I'm having with this bag is that the sides near the top are tearing. I'm slick with a needle and thread so I can patch this up before it becomes a pile of pencils on the pavement, but some less seamstressy fan might be disheartened by this.

That is the side where I grab the strings and sling it over my shoulder 5 or 6 times a day. The other side is holding together a little bit better. You can see where they've tried to reinforce it. A little more reinforcement might be needed!  Even though I don't sling this side, I think it's starting to come apart, too.
That being said, the most important part of the bag for not losing all your stuff (the bottom) has held up really well (even though I STUFF THIS THING FULL OF ART SUPPLIES AND TOYS AND FOOD AND EVERYTHING ELSE I NEED).   So, I'm grateful for that!

Even with the few complaints I have about the design, this bag is pretty kick ass.  I use it every single day and if they came out with more bags in this style I'd probably be pretty tempted to get a few more.  (To be honest, the black back side really SUCKS when I'm trying to find something in the bag - it's just so DARK in there. Something lighter would get dirtier but at least I'd be less likely to take an X-ACTO blade to the thumb! ><)

I hope GE keeps up the good work with being awesome about listening to what fans want and doing their best to make stuff we like. Be sure to check them out on Facebook or Twitter. They're definitely doing the so-mo thing right. In the name of the Moon, thanks GE!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Questions for Naoko

TO CLARIFY: I am not going to be asking Naoko these questions, this is just a hypothetical exercise. ^__^

I posted a tweet asking people if they could ask Naoko Takeuchi, the creator, one question about Sailor Moon, what would it be? Here's the responses I got:

"...what the hell happened to the cape and mask?" @El_Ramses

"Who is Princess Serenity's father? :BBB" @SMObss

"Who the hell fathered Princess Serenity?" @SoapboxingGeek

"i would ask if the 4 generals would be revived from those mamoru stones and if they will live in crystal tokyo" @TheLastSugababe

" Who is Cosmos, really? xD"  ‏@sassypants678

"Who is Sailor Cosmos exactly?" @Sailor_Samara

"i would ask if she is proud to have mothered an anime/manga series that has played a big part in lots of people's lives!" @Meiruechan

"Where did you get the idea for the story and who is Chibi Chibi really?!" @KieliHeart

"THIS! If you were to continue #SailorMoon, would you implement elements from the live action/musicals into the 6th season?" @fredjfrancis

"its probably already been asked/talked about but I would probably ask if she expected sailor moon to last forever and be a huge part of people's lives. Or maybe I would ask how she feels about sailor moon after all these years. Does the popularity of it bother her? Is she sick of it and just want to let it go? It's kind of the reason she could never get into another manga after sailor moon aside from toki meka. I wonder if that annoyed her because she couldn't make anything that would be as good as or better than sailor moon. And now I'm rambling and didn't answer your question at all XD" @pandamakesart

"did she wants create a new Sailor of small planets like Makemake, Eris and the others?" @mitellezr

"If you could expand on any character's story that you liked from the Sailor Moon anime, which would it be?"@LeffieLeFan

"Was Queen Serenity Sailormoon? Are the Princess's senshi mothers her senshi?" and "Where did Naru and Umino disappear to in I believe S? Was Naru finally captured forever by youmas?" @MoonieAddict

"where did queen Serenity come from? Is she a Goddess? Lol xD or do we already know this, & I missed it somewhere?" @Brat_zilla

"OK, I got a question. What were you planning for Chibi Moon? She had the asteroid senshi, surely it was something important." @twotigermoon

"Why didn't a lot of the characters and story lines from StarS manga make it into the anime?" @pewterfoxpysi

"Is there anything you feel you didn't get enough time to expand upon? What would you change about that?"  @LonelyDistance

I will update this if more roll in.   ^__^

And my question for The Princess about her creation? "What do you think about made up Sailor Senshi?" I would love to give her a drawing of my characters with Sailormoon, surrounded by hearts. xD

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's Almost Friday! Are you ready Sailormoon fans?

For those of you who might not already know about this, there's something awesome happening on Friday!  Nico Nico is streaming a live event with Japanese Sailormoon VAs, "nostalgic memories", behind the scenes info, an UNVEILING OF 20th ANNIVERSARY MERCHANDISE (collective gasp and clutching of wallet), and...

..."an exciting new announcement!"

Check out this CrunchyRoll post for all the details.  Momoiro Clover Z, a popular idol group, is joining the event live from Japan Expo 2012 in Paris. Could their attendance have something to do with the special announcement? What will this exciting new announcement be?!

New merch alone is super exciting for me, but oh man, we have just no idea what else they have in store for us!  But that hasn't stopped fans from speculating and guessing all week!

Here's some of my favorite ideas on what it could be, silly and serious:
  • A new animated series of Sailormoon for TV (either a reboot of the original with less filler, or a new season/arc)
  • An OVA series or a new movie 
  • A 20th Anniversary Sailormoon musical (Sera Myu has been on hiatus for a while)
  • Naoko is writing a new manga series based on the Sailormoon universe, telling some untold part of the story (Crystal Tokyo, Moon Kingdom, Galaxia's story, etc.)
  • A new Sailormoon Theme park (haha this one is kind of silly, but come on, who wouldn't want to go?!)
  • A 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon Artbook with all new art from Naoko
  • A Sailormoon Retrospective Museum opening in Tokyo (I'll go! I'll go!)
Those are just some fun ideas of what it could be, but we really have no idea. I just can't wait to find out!  It really feels like it something big since they are sending out international press releases and making such a fuss over it.

Some fans have expressed hope that this means the series is going to be licensed and possibly re-dubbed for the English market.  While many fans are very hopeful for that eventuality, it seems unlikely that such an announcement would be made for a Japanese audience.

Don't get me wrong though! I'm all about a fresh take on Sailormoon with a more accurate translation of the script and without all the random stuff cut out!  It would be nice if some of the original voices would return (I have a soft spot for Stephanie Morgenstern as Venus, tehe) but most likely it would be a new cast.
That's kind of sad for nostalgic reasons, but an updated dub would bring new life to the series and new, younger fans!

The 90s dub will always have a special place in my heart, but it wouldn't speak to kids today the same way.  If we want the Sailormoon fandom to thrive and live on, we have to be open to change and exciting new things!  I think no matter who does the voices, as long as the story is true to heart then people will love it once more! 


Friday, April 13, 2012

How to check the edition of your Japanese books

Made this quick and simple guide on how to check the edition (print) of your Japanese books.

Hope it's helpful! ^__^

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Display Alternatives

I the cell phone camera snapshot I took of my collection last night, you can see I've got a random assortment of shelves on which I display my collection.  They were all free.  I kind of like the haphazard look of it, but I know that eventually I am going to need to set up a more protective display for my items as I intend on reproducing. Rather than section of a room of my house that will forever be inaccessible to my offspring, I am considering saving up to buy and install cases with glass doors that close so the collection can still be viewed but will remain protected from prying hands, with the added benefit of also being kept a little less dusty.  Right now, the collection is in kind of it's own room. It will eventually need to more to a more central location in the house as that room will inevitably become "the baby's room." It would be nice to both protect my collection and have it look a bit more presentable. 

I'm looking mainly at Ikea for ideas because the DIY assembly part makes them a bit more affordable. Some of the options I am considering would make a significant dent in my collection additions for a while as I expect husband-unit would require they be paid with Sailormoon money.

(For those who aren't intimately familiar with my finances, "Sailormoon money" is what I call my disposable income from commissions and art alleys - this is the only money I use to fund the collection which allows my other - "real money" - from my paycheck to go towards normal household living expenses.)

On the least expensive end we have the DETOLF Glass-door cabinet at $64.99.  A few of my friends have this cabinet.  It's handy because you can see in on all sides.  The draw backs (as far as I can tell) are the limited width (only 16 3/4" so this beast isn't fitting in there), and the fact that the shelves are not adjustable for height. That alone is enough for me to think this one is not going to work.

The KLINGSBO Glass-door cabinet is next at $129. It's an inch wider than the DETOLF and it has the added benefit of having a lock. I like the way it's raised up a bit off the floor, but because of the flared feet I wouldn't be able to set them directly side-by-side.  Also, that DX doll set STILL wouldn't fit. >_>

Leaving price aside for a while, another option I checked out is the BJURSTA Glass-door cabinet at $349. It has a sleek look and I kind of like the little drawer because it would be a neat place to store flat items.  The ultimate drawback for this shelf is the lack of knobs.  It opens and closes with a light pressing motion.  I am sure I could rig a way to lock it, but it wouldn't be as easy as ties on knobs would be.  It also doesn't come in white which is kind of the color I'm leaning towards.

That leaves me with the HEMNES Glass-door cabinet for $325 and the LIATORP Glass-door cabinet for $369.  Other than the fact that the HEMNES is about $40 cheaper, it also has 4 adjustable shelves instead of the 3 the LIATORP has. In the LIATORP's favor we have space with an additional 7" in height and an extra 2" for both depth and width.  Not a huge difference, but sometimes those extra inches in height can really help with some of the taller wands.

In general, I think I'm leaning towards the HEMNES. I kind of prefer the solid shelves to the glass ones and it's more modern design would allow me to place multiples side-by-side. The downside is that I estimate I would need at least 4 of these to hold the collection at it's current size.  That's a whopping $1300.  T__T  Though I could probably not get them all at once and slowly convert the collection into the new cabinets as I can afford to do so.

The question now is: how many toys do I want to give up in order to get my collection behind glass?