Out this month are three releases of stories from the Land of the Rising Sun:
First we have Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 (you can see our coverage of Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 here), which follows the continuing adventures of Usagi as she now must face new foes in the form of the Spectre Sisters and a mysterious girl with pink hair as they threaten to take the Silver Crystal. This set contains episodes 15-26 of the rebooted series (the Black Moon Arc) and is available in standard DVD, standard Blu-ray combo, and Limited Edition Blu-ray combo packs. Both Blu-ray options also have some bonus features, including a digital art gallery, clean opening and ending songs, and an interview with Momoiro Clover Z, the Japanese girls’ group that sings the theme songs for the series. The Limited Edition set also boasts some additional extras, including an exclusive chipboard box, a 96-page art booklet with episode summaries, and six full-color art cards. Fans should also be aware that RightStufAnime.com (yes, only one f in the URL) also offered an exclusive Sailor Moon sun catcher with purchase but they were so popular that they’ve already sold out, so if you want that option, keep your eyes peeled on eBay and the like. On Amazon you can snag the DVD set there for $27.99, the Blu-ray Combo set for $53.98, and the Limited Edition Blu-ray set for $62.19.
Next we have Martin Scorsese’s passion project Silence. Based on the 1966 historical novel (of the same name) by Shusaku Endo, the film follows the journey of two Portuguese 17th-century Christian missionaries (portrayed by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) as they seek to find their former teacher (Liam Neeson), a fellow priest who is rumored to have renounced his faith under torture in Japan. Due to scheduling and legal problems, Scorsese has been trying to make this film for 28 years, and its successful completion again brings the director’s penchant for faith-based themes to the forefront of a career spanning more than five decades. In addition to religious undertones in multiple pieces of his work, Silence rounds out a trilogy of religion-specific films, following The Last Temptation of Christ in 1988 (which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best director, polarized reviews from critics, and such an uproar from religious protest groups that it turned into a media sensation) and Kundun in 1997 (the Dalai Lama biopic whose distribution pitted the two world powers of China and Disney against each other). Silence will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Combo pack on March 28 (and is currently available on digital HD for you early birds). The Blu-ray option includes the singular bonus feature of Martin Scorsese’s Journey into Silence, a special which walks viewers through the director’s long journey of bringing the film to life, including interviews and production footage. Amazon and iTunes both have the digital version on offer for $14.99 and you can pre-order the other formats on Amazon now (for shipping March 28)— the DVD goes for $17.99 and the Blu-ray Combo Pack for $19.99.