An Editorial on Anime Distribution.
In my spare time, I do a lot of activism relating to Anime, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I stop at no end to make my voice heard. For example, two years ago when reckless actions from an independent retailer nearly caused anime to be banned from sale in my province, I fought back by writing to the Government and the Film and Video Classification Board. I wrote and visited stores and got the word out to other otaku to do the same to fight this. And it was successful!
Make no mistake... if you think about it there are a lot of issues with anime that need resolving, especially in Canada. And I think many of these issues are under reported. Sure we have all heard the recent news stories about channels in Canada adding anime to their schedules. Blocks such as YTV’s Bionix, Razer’s Kamikaze, and G4/TechTV Canada’s Anime Current have improved the anime programming landscape. The addition of The Anime Network to nearly most of Canada and Gong Anime to Canadian Joost beta testers is also adding to this revolution! But while everyone has an opinion about what they can and can’t see on TV, not many really talk about another big issue.
Which brings me to the bigger issue of anime distribution in Canada. Unless you live in a bigger city, the chances of you finding your favorite title is slim. If your city has an HMV , you may be in luck with new releases. If your city has a London Drugs, you may be able to find some rare gems. If you’re a bigger city with lots of independent comic book stores and big box stores like Best Buy and Future Shop, you probably won’t have a problem finding your favorite title. However if you live in a small town, your local Best Buy and Future Shop probably don’t have large anime sections, and aside from special ordering or ordering online, you may be out of luck. Or, if your local comic book store has a large selection, you may have to pay a lot more than the MSRP due to comic book stores needing to pay more to carry a product. It’s really a sad day when a person who wants to buy an action, drama or a comedy flick can go to their entertainment store of their choice no matter where they live, but anime fans almost always have to go to great lengths in many cases, just to get what they want.
Anime Retail in Small Town Canada versus Small Town America:
The following is a comparison between two cities. We’ll call my current city of residence Town A. Town A is in Canada, and lies in a province with barely a million people, and Town A’s population is approximately 175,000 people. Town A has had a Future Shop for at least 10 years, and a Best Buy for nearly three. For those who are unfamiliar, it is worth noting that Best Buy owns Future Shop in Canada and the prices of anything at each store are the same. It also has 3 HMV locations, and three independent stores (of which two are sister branches), for purchasing anime. HMV is a Canadian chain which sells music, movies, and now, some video games. The lone independent store is quite large, and not just devoted to anime, catering to gaming, sci-fi, and comic crowds. The other two have smaller locations and cater to the same crowds as well. If worse comes to worse, an otaku in Town A has the choice of traveling to another town or city, or ordering online from Amazon.com (not .ca since they barely carry anything) or their online store of choice. Not bad, you would think.
Town B is approximately 6 hours driving distance from Town A. Town B is in the United States, in a state with a population of 635,000. Town B has a population of below 60,000 people. Town B has a Best Buy, a small F.Y.E. boutique, and one independent comic book and card store, that does not sell anime. Otaku in Town B also have the option of ordering from their online store of choice, or travelling to another town or city.
Just over a week before my excursion to Town B, I went on a shopping trip looking for some anime. More specifically, I was looking for two volumes of a series that had been released in the last three months, and I figured I was able to find them here. I went to my local Best Buy and Future Shop, and did not find them. What dismayed me even more was that Best Buy had less than 20 DVDs in stock (mostly carrying things like InuYasha and a few volumes of Ghost in the Shell and Eureka 7), and Future Shop had slightly more in stock but it was more odds and ends of other animes that were older (such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akira) and barely anything else. I found this to be very odd. My next venture was to London Drugs which probably had about 20-30 titles in their stock, but mostly odds and ends again from ADV, Funimation and Bandai. I then went to two independent stores. The lone store did not have it, but had a selection that was twice as large as London Drugs and with a bit more variety. The other store had a vast and large selection, but there was a problem. They had one of the volumes I was looking for but the price after taxes was nearly $36 Canadian. This shocked me. I shouldn’t have to pay nearly $40 for a DVD containing only four episodes. This price seemed a bit ridiculous to me. My final shopping destinations consisted of 2 HMV locations, which were selling older volumes of the series for that same high price. I had to wonder why this was happening. And it wasn’t just this series. “Mainstream” releases such as the Miyazaki releases from Disney cost anywhere from $30-35 in Canada at nearly every retailer. I was more than shocked when I saw these price tags and wondered of this was a general trend or if this was just in Canada. May long weekend was approaching, and I decided to pay Town B a visit.
The first store I ventured to was F.Y.E. - which before I had known as a Sam Goody. Sam Goody usually carried everything under the sun. If I was looking for anything, I knew I would find it here. I would have thought the turnover of Sam Goody and Suncoast to F.Y.E. would have been smooth, but I was in for yet another disappointment. The store had moved to a much smaller “boutique” in the mall, and had approximately a selection that was on par with London Drugs. This is a specialty retailer with about as much variety as the electronics section in a drugstore. Something is drastically wrong here! The prices though seemed anywhere from $8-10 cheaper after conversion to Canadian Dollars. I still left the store dismayed after not finding anything I was looking for and decided not to renew my membership to their loyalty program. My expectations were very low for my visit to Best Buy. And when I got to that blue and yellow behemoth, boy was I surprised!
Town A’s Best Buy had one shelving unit with four shelves devoted to anime. At best, this unit was stocked ½ to ¾ full. Town B’s Best Buy had an astonishing (and fully packed) three shelving units full. Moreover, the prices were a lot cheaper compared to prices seen in Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada. Lo and behold, I had found several copies of the two volumes I was looking for! The price? Each one was 23 US dollars, which converts to 25 Canadian dollars. This was ten dollars cheaper, and a much more reasonable price to pay. There was no way I could afford two volumes in Canada with only $50.
So What is Going On?
Still, this doesn’t make sense. This has left me with many more questions. Town A is 3 times the size of Town B. Therefore it only makes sense that Town A has more otaku. Why are stores in Canada just not stocking as much anime as their US counterparts? Why is anime so much more pricier in Canada compared to the United States? Why are many titles harder to find in Canada than they are in the United States? If Best Buy and Future Shop are owned by the same company which owns Best Buy in the United States, why is there such a drastic difference in the stores’ stocks and prices?
Nearly three years ago I had the opportunity to meet Roland Parliament (Melvin and ADR director) and Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus) at the CN Anime Expo in Toronto. Both had stressed that Sailor Moon had really put Canadian talent on the global map, in a world where it is much harder for Canadian stars to be seen compared to stars from other countries. A lot of anime is also dubbed here in Canada, in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. The studios that dub these series and movies use talent from all over the country. And it’s probably worth mentioning that two series that really started the anime boom in the mid-90's; Dragonball and Sailor Moon were dubbed in Canada! On another note, many of the Sailor Moon DVD releases never made it to small town Canada. I remember I saw the odd ADV or Pioneer/Geneon videos in a store. Only after Best Buy opened did I see the Geneon DVDs, and luckily I was able to purchase all of the Geneon releases of the series. I never got to own the ADV releases of the series in entirety, I got very lucky when I found two volumes of the dub at a con. It’s a sad day when stores in Canada don’t support their own talent as much as their American counterparts.
I don’t have any answers to these questions. I have heard stories and rumors that it is a lot harder for companies to get their anime up here, but at the same time I do know that some of the companies have Canadian distributors. But Canadian Anime distribution is shady at best. Some stores will order direct from the distributor in the US, others will go through distributors in Canada. We’ve all heard the stories of Bandai changing their distributors a few times over the years in Canada but things aren’t improving as much as they should. Buena Vista Home Entertainment is responsible for shipping out Ghibli titles but a lot of the other , non-Miyazaki releases like Pom Poko and My Neighbors The Yamadas were never found in a store here. Sometimes you can’t even find bigger hits like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle in a department store! Things like Porco Rosso, The Cat Returns, Nausicaa, and Whisper of the Heart were found on release nearly everywhere , but now are scarce and over priced if they are found. More popular Funimation releases and ADV releases can be found in small quantities at HMV and London Drugs. No matter what company is putting out the anime the prices are a lot higher than they should be. And it’s not fair that Canadians have to pay the price.
I can’t answer for the stores themselves - sometimes “small town otaku” can get lucky close to the day of the release of a DVD if they go to an HMV. I know the ones in Town A at best get 2-3 copies of an anime DVD on a release date, and once they are sold it takes a long time to restock. And as for prices, I could understand a couple of bucks here and there. But 8-10 dollars is too much.
So What Do We Do?
It’s difficult to know where to start in trying to get some changes made. Writing to a store may yield a response that would say to contact the distribution company saying the company may not be sending them enough copies. The company may yield a response to contact the store saying that the stores are ultimately responsible for what they carry. And it’s anyone’s guess as to who sets the prices for anime in Canada. Maybe the companies need to get their distribution sorted out hopefully for once and for all in Canada? Yes, there’s always online ordering but then this goes back to a question I posed earlier: if someone who wants to purchase an action, comedy, or drama can go to a store in their town or city, why can’t an otaku have nearly the same amount of access to anime that a non-otaku can have to their films of choice? Anime used to have a fanbase in North America from the 80's to the early 90's that was small and secluded, but since then the size has skyrocketed enough to be a good chunk of the entertainment market in North America.
Something is very, very wrong with this picture. And it seems that every year it is getting worse. Readers, feel free to post your comments and thoughts about this issue below! If anything, I hope I have given readers something to think about the next time they go shopping for anime, no matter what side of the border they are on.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
An Editorial on Anime Distribution.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Hey Moonies! Two quick bits of news information!
☼ Anime Expo 2007 will be held June 29-July 2 at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. TOEI Animation will be exhibiting there for the first time, and will feature two directors there! One is Konosuke Uda, who is Toei's Special Industry Guest. He worked on a several episodes of Sailor Moon, and also was assistant director for the SuperS movie. His other credits include the current hit Lovely Complex, Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy, and the very popular One Piece! The second guest that TOEI will be hosting is Eisaku Inoue, who is the Convention's Guest of Honor. Eisuke also worked on One Piece and Digimon. Some alarm bells are ringing in our heads when we see mention of Digimon and we wonder if TOEI may be presenting some of their Digimon toys at this convention? Sadly none of us can make it to this con, but if one of you will be attending we would love to feature you as a guest writer!
☼ We haven't heard a whole lot from Stephanie Sugar Lyn Beard since she moved to Los Angeles. She has been posting the odd video here and there on youtube of such things as her Toronto Loft and her last day at YTV. A few weeks ago she posted this video of her and her magician friend Danny ZZZZ. Danny has performed in the US and Canada and he will be having a new show in 2008 and Stephanie will be in it . She may be his assistant , there hasn't been a whole lot said about this show since this video has come out.
In the meantime, we also noticed from our initial story that the user had removed the clip of Stephanie's groundbreaking appearance on the Red Green Show! Luckily, we were able to track down the episode and have provided that clip for you all to watch! Now there's another thing to watch to help ease the wait of her return!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Meet Panchanne Mini!
When we watched last week’s episode of Bishoujo Celeb Panchanne, we were reminded of a certain Sailor Senshi! Yumiko Shinjo’s alter ego is Panchanne, however Panchanne always seems to be around whenever her daughter Risa is in trouble! Well, the six year old finally put two and two together and revealed to her mother that she knew of her secret identity! So, Kami-sama made her a superhero too, and henceforth, let it be known to man that Japan’s newest superhero now has a sidekick: Panchanne Mini!
But does Panchanne Mini’s Shiroganeze Attack Mini remind you of Pink Sugar Heart Attack? You be the judge!
Here's Panchanne Mini fighting an angry cell phone:
Online Videos by Veoh.com
And here's Sailor Chibi Moon fighting a Taiko Drum Daimon:
Online Videos by Veoh.com
We have also learned that Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine's younger sister also gained powers from their Kami-Sama and became her sidekick named Poitrine-Petit!
Since our last update on this series, it seems the episodes have been pulled from Ameba Vision - however we will update everyone with links on YouTube so they can watch this show!
EDIT: Sadly YouTube has taken down all of the episodes.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Per always, our VA's are always up to something new! So here come a few new sightings, and we have big news concerning Naz Edwards so we will be finishing the article with a larger bit on her than the last update!
Notes from the Underbelly Renewed for a Second Season!
ABC's recent sitcom hit Notes from the Underbelly has been renewed for a second season, and the new episodes will probably air next spring by some estimates. Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) plays Ben, the slave/assistant to the show's demanding, workaholic lawyer, Cooper (played by Rachel Harris). This screenshot we have provided is from the last episode of this season. He is on his third date when Cooper calls him asking to pick up a present for a man whose birthday party she is currently attending! Ben is frustrated but complies when Cooper threatens to fire him. He appeared in a few episodes this season in person and in voice (yelling from outside of Cooper's office), and is probably likely to return when the new episodes roll around. Congratulations Robert, and all of us at Moon Chase really hope Cooper leaves your character at peace for an evening!
Maria Vacratsis Plays Scary Mother in Law!
Little Mosque on the Prairie is a Saskatchewan Production that has received International Attention! The show is about the challenges of Muslim life in the small, fictional, prairie town of Mercy, Saskatchewan. It features an interesting perspective of how Muslims and Non-Muslims interact! At the center of it all is Yasir Hamoudi (played by Carlo Rota), a Lebanese Canadian who runs a construction business , and is married to a caucasian woman named Sarah (played by Sheila McCarthy). Sarah converted to Islam when they married, and they have a daughter named Rayyan who is the most devout to the faith in the family - following prayers regularly and wearing a Hijab. In the seventh episode of the first season "Mother-in-Law", Yassir's Mother comes to visit, and Mother Hamoudi is played by none other than Maria Vacratsis (Queen Metallia)!
Mother Hamoudi comes to visit the family bearing grim news: Yassir's cousin Samira has recently become widowed and is very lonely. As the Mother with all the power, she proposes Yassir take a second wife and mary Samira! This comes to the dismay of Sarah and the rest of the episode tells the story of a culture clash between western society (where polygamy is illegal) and middle-eastern society (where in some countries it is acceptable to have more than one wife). This daring episode can be watched by clicking these links for part 1, part 2, and part 3.
Sailor Moon Connection to Barbados's First Big Hit!
Alison Sealy-Smith (various Monsters of the Day, pictured second from right) stars in Barbados's first film to ever be distributed nationally, Hit for Six ! Alex Nelson (played by Andrew Pilgrim) is the son of a West Indies cricket star and has a lot to live up to. He has to fight for his spot back on the cricket team after a layoff. This is especially tumultuous as he has to overcome a nasty scandal, and also mend relations with his estranged father who has been living in England for the last 30 years. Alison plays Ianthe (Alex's mother), in this indie hit which has been a huge hit in Barbados and is headed for international release later this year!
Liza Balkan is Onstage!
Liza Balkan (Sailor Mercury #2) has been appearing across Canada on stage in some very diverse productions! Last March she appeared at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in Manitoba performing in Soap and Laughter. The show featured Liza in her own 20 min comedic sketch. In late 2006 at WJT she also starred as Golda Meir in Golda's Balcony, a play based on the Jewish icon and former Israeli Prime Minister. In April, she was featured in a roundtable discussion on the nature of indie productions and career paths for the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. And in December of this year, she will be directing the Waterloo Entertainment Centre's production of Bunnicula! This play is a huge children's hit all over the country and is based on the popular book series.
Naz Edwards to play... a terrible singer?
This is breaking news moonies! Naz Edwards (Queen Beryl) has just been chosen to play a socialite who can't sing for her life in the play Souvenir at the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The play is based on the real life story of Florence Foster Jenkins, who was the William Hung of the thirties and forties, so to speak! This should be funny to see and we can't wait for the date for this play to be announced!
Friday, May 25, 2007
Apologies for the late arrival of this - I have had a couple other articles in the works but unfortunately dealing with a very serious computer problem has hindered my ability to get these going. It is therefore for this reason that this will be shorter than usual. Fear not though, because some items really jived and there is a special section devoted to them! For those who missed it , Amazon has finally removed the Sailor Moon Boxset - Scroll down to the **** around Edit #2. Thanks again to every fan who made their voices heard!
Without further ado...
Most Expensive Items:
☼Uranus and Neptune Transformation Wands Under $700!
☼Eternal Sailor Moon Wand!
☼Chibi-Usa's Stallion Reve!
☼Sailor Moon SuperS Doll!
☼A very good, fan-made Sailor Venus Henshin Wand!
☼A Sailor Venus Puzzle!
☼A really interesting fan-made recreation of the Moon Kingdom Ruins!
☼Official Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus resin kits!
Other Neat Finds:
☼Sailor Moon Sweatshirt complete with Chibi-Usa Iron!
☼A rare printing plate from DART Flipcards!
☼This is not a T-Shirt?!
☼Sailor Moon shorts!
☼Sailor Moon Markers from Canada!
☼Neo-Queen Serenity Necklace!
☼Chibi-Moon Figure Mug!
☼Princess Chibi-Usa Lunch Bag!
☼A Sailor Moon Eraser from the 40th Anniversary of Nakayoshi Magazine!
☼Sailor Moon Cases also from the 40th Anniversary of Nakayoshi Magazine!
☼ A Postcard Book from Europe!
☼ A Rare Sailor Moon Pattern Book that shows you how to knit your own costumes!
☼ A Rare SuperS Board Game with 7 games in one!
Special Section: Have your very own Sailor Moon Themed... Kitchen?
☼Cutting Board and Knife!
☼Oven Glove and Towel!
☼A Bento Box!
☼And another Bento Box!
☼Oshibori Cloth for Bento!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It sure has been a busy newsweek for Sailor Moon!
Anime News Network reports the existence of a bootleg boxset of Sailor Moon Stars on Amazon.com . Fans should know while their marketplace sellers are notorious for selling bootlegged anime, this is not coming from a marketplace seller but from their own main site (and potentially their warehouse as well). It's like walking into a Best Buy or a FYE store and seeing a pirated copy of your favorite anime with a gold sticker on it that says "Official" when you really know it isn't. We suggest fans read this article, they have done a very good job of explaining why this boxset is fake. We're going to go a step further and show you what the real DVDs look like. We here at Moon Chase! do not support this product and as a Sailor Moon Fan, you probably shouldn't either. The quality of these DVDs are likely to be very poor and make no mistake, NO ENGLISH DUB EXISTS.
This product needs to be pulled, but having read others' unsuccessful accounts at trying to contact Amazon, fans do have other options.
1.) Post comments on Amazon's page for the product. Let potential buyers know that this product they are interested in purchasing is fake. And, perhaps seeing less star ratings at the top will also deter them.
2.) Contact Amazon, and voice your concerns by either filling out this form , or over the phone (they will contact you). Let them know that no company in North America has licensed this series for release and that this is a bootleg. Fans may even want to encourage them to speak to Geneon, TOEI and ADV about this series for "official proof".
3.) Contact Toei. Through their English site we found an email for their Sales office in Los Angeles (isn't this great? You don't have to type in Japanese!)! Let them know about the product by sending them a link either to the ANN story or to Amazon and let them know how disappointed you are in the largest online store in the world selling pirated Sailor Moon goods. Fans should note that now is not the time to ask TOEI to bring Sailor Moon back to North America. Their email address is sales@NOSPAMtoei-anim.net . Fans that are interested in contacting them in other ways can go here (et nous encourageons les fans qui parlent Francais devraient entrer en contact avec le bureau en Paris).
I will be contacting TOEI and Amazon about this shortly and we will keep you up to date with anything that happens. We would love to hear what fans have written or conversed to any of these parties above and may use letters in a future story. We will not display your email address but for credit we will display a username. If you get any responses those would also be great to hear! As always you can contact us at moonchasers@NOSPAMPLZKTHXgmail.com. We would like to thank Anime News Network for bringing this issue to light and also trying to get this resolved!
EDIT: ANN has since updated the story - and we'd like to note we have not heard a word from Amazon other than the letter that I had sent was being forwarded to the appropriate department. Amazon has not pulled the item but has now labeled it for what it is - a bootleg! We have to wonder just what it is going to take for them to pull this product and others like it. While we are glad Amazon has identified this product for what it is, we are very disappointed that they are still selling it.
****EDIT #2 (Monday, May 22nd): It appears that at least as of last night, the product has been removed from Amazon's site. The pictures are still there when you search for Sailor Moon Stars but the products have no names and are listed as not available.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every fan who wrote to the powers that be to get this boxset removed in a matter of a few days after the first notice from ANN! Acts like this support legitimate and legal releases of anime - and probably in some ways lets the companies know that fans are still eager to purchase a real release of the product.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Hot from yesterday's newsbreaker, two whispers were lurking in the news today!
Geneon Reaffirms Interest in Sailor Moon Franchise!
On the heels of our update on TOEI yesteday, Anime on DVD has posted their recap of events from a Geneon Industry Panel from this year's Anime Central in Rosemont, IL. Geneon stated this at the panel: "Toei currently has a lockdown on all Sailor Moon licenses, but Geneon may be interested if the situation changes". We are unsure whether this was a statement made from Geneon on their own or whether a fan asked the question. If it was a fan that asked a question about Sailor Moon, we would like to thank them - questions like this let the companies all know that there is still a lot of interest in the property!
Sailor Moon Helps Inspire Gates Millennium Scholar!
One of the Gates Millennium Scholar winners this year is Montrice Merritt. Montrice is currently a senior and one of the top students in the graduating class of 2007 at Virginia's Radford High School. She one day dreams of being the U.S. International Ambassador to Japan, planning to attend school in Vermont to study International Relations. As a child she was very interested in Japan, and loved to watch Sailor Moon - and as she grew, so did her interest! She later studied the culture and country through books and enrolled in a Foreign Language program with a Governor's School in Virginia! We wish Montrice the best of luck in college, and we're happy to hear of this story! Cosmic Moon Power to you, Montrice!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Just for North America!
Animation World Network reports that TOEI Animation Inc. of North America has created its own consumer products licencing division. It will be under the supervision of Coy Edmunds, formerly a Director and Agent with Focus Sports Management Inc. , a sports management company. The company plans to make it’s official debut at the New York International Licensing Show in June . The first products that are planned for launch are from Digimon. It sounds like the company is back on it’s feet after their first attempt in the North American Market did not meet expectations. This was largely because of disappointing quality in their releases of Slam Dunk, Air Master, and Interlude - the latter of which was probably the best of all the releases.
In any case, the big question on everyone’s mind is: What does this mean for Sailor Moon? Many companies have speculated for years that if the series were ever to be picked up again, it would be likely that TOEI would release it themselves . If the series is ever licenced again in North America by Toei, they will probably be responsible for the licensing of all the toys and other products. Which may mean that they have more control of what kinds of products are put out. However the press release did state that they are "a fully integrated kids-based entertainment studio that develops, produces, distributes and controls the licensing and merchandising for our brands." We wish we could be there to see what they are planning for the Digimon line. It would be nice if there was some hope for merchandise geared towards an older crowd (such as popular gashapon or resin kits). These were things that North America only saw by way of import stores when Sailor Moon was popular in the late 90's - early 2000's. Or perhaps, if the toys were closely correlated to their Japanese counterparts (because, sometimes Japanese toys ARE cooler) but given the range of products from other companies in the past...
All we can really say for now (a phrase Sailor Moon fans are all too familiar hearing), is that we’ll have to wait and see.
Monday, May 14, 2007
2005 marked the debut of a legendary cartoon. Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken uses stop motion animation to create some of the most hilarious shorts on everything pop-culture you can imagine ! Sadly each episode is only 15 minutes long (but they are jam packed). In the episode "Joint Point" , our favorite superhero, along with a certain red-headed evildoer made their debuts on this show! And umm, they put an evil henchman in a very awkward situation. I was very surprised at the accuracy of the background sequences used in the Sailor Moon henshin scene - they were very close to the original!
Cartoon Network (or perhaps Adult Swim?) has placed streaming versions of every sketch featured on the show on their official website and we encourage fans who haven't seen this show to watch a few sketches! Without further ado, for fans who haven't seen or wish to see the sketches, here they are!
WARNING THESE VIDEOS MAY BE A LITTLE NOT SAFE FOR WORK (NSFW).
Fans can purchase the entire first season (which this episode comes from) on DVD and season two should be out sometime this fall. Season three is slated to begin in the fall of this year but keep your eyes peeled for a Star Wars Special June 17th! Canadians can catch the show on Teletoon every night from Monday to Friday (but there is no word on whether the special will hit our airwaves soon).
EDIT: And I thought it was just me. Some (or all) may not work in your browser of choice. We can't alter the code Adult Swim has given on their site, but we can give you some links. To make matters worse, even we have noticed that sometimes the videos themselves don't load on Adult Swim -_-.
Part 1: Sailor Moon is Hot
Part 2: Queen Beryl is Hot
Part 3: Queen Beryl's Evil Plan
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Happy Mother’s Day Moonies! In honor of this special day, we have decided to pay tribute to motherly figures from the anime from their loving children!
Thanks for saving my life with the power of the Ginzuishou! I fight for love and justice with beauty, honor and grace! I promise to continue to save the world just like you Mom! I ♥ you!
P.S. I have never tripped in battle... that was...uhh... a Sailor Moon Imposter!
Stop smacking Daddy, Mommy! He’s not always dumb! How am I supposed to learn to be a good guardian? And why is Usagi still lazy? I like future mom better so I’m going to give this card to her . Still, have a Happy Mother’s Day ^_^.
Happy Mother’s Day Mama! I’m learning how to be a good Senshi and Moon Princess from your past self, but I miss the future :(. This Usagi is too dumb!
P.S. How is Luna-P?
Okasan, I wanted to buy you diamonds, but you probably get first pick from every shipment. So I got you flowers instead! Happy Mother’s Day! One day I will sell jewelry just as good as you!
P.S. Umino is not a nerd :[!
Mother, you are an inspiration to me to continue my studies to be the best doctor I can! I like it when we spend time together! Let’s bake cookies again sometime!
P.S. Next time face the nice man with the camera!
Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna
Biologically I have three mamas but Haruka is my poppa. I’ll just wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day! I wrote a violin concerto just for Michiru-mama, painted a model race car for Haruka-papa and used up all my savings to buy Setsuna a Rolex! Thank you for adopting me and helping Tomoe-papa out while he gets better!
Friday, May 11, 2007
We've got quite a few sightings for everyone to look forward to in these summer months!
Live Action Theatrical Movies:
Already in theatres is The Lookout , a psycho-crime movie about an aspiring high school hockey player named Chris (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who during a night of drinking and reckless driving with his friends, crashes into a combine. He is left with a brain injury so severe he can't remember much for long periods of time, and writes things down in a small notebook so he can remember. He works as a night caretaker at a bank, where he attracts the attention of a gang of bank robbers. Chris befriends their ringleader, who in turn introduces him to a young woman, and he falls into the plan. Later, he realizes he is being used and tries to stop them. Critics generally liked this movie and has the distinction of being one of Rotten Tomatoes' highest rated movies of 2007. David Huband (Serena's Dad) can be spotted in this movie playing Mr. Tuttle, the bank's manager.
And the Sylvester Stallone sequels keep on coming! Last Christmas , Rocky Balboa was the movie to see. A year from now look for John Rambo , featuring the Vietnam veteran helping some Christian Missionaries get into Burma to assist the oppressed Karen people. When he gets them there, they are ambushed by the Burmese army, and some missionaries are murdered. The ones that are survived are taken captive and it is up to Rambo to save them! Now a while ago , Kevin Lund (Nephlite) was nowhere to be found. However, our persistence has paid off and we found him! But fans won't be seeing him in this movie, but his name will be in the credits as a writer for the film! So that's where he's been hiding all these years!
Kevin is also writing the script for Vivaldi, a film based on the romance of the famed composer and his muse. What's even more exciting is that the producer of this film is the legendary Brian Grazer, famous for such productions such as the hit TV shows 24 and Arrested Development, movies like The Da Vinci Code and Cinderella Man, and a whole bunch of other things! . The movie will be directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who recently directed The Nativity Story.
To be released this August is Charlie Bartlett. Anton Yelchin plays the namesake character, who is a wealthy teenager who appoints himself to be the school psychiatrist (heh, who needs med school these days). Eventually he takes his own advice to get him through his angst-filled teenage years. This dark comedy received rave reviews upon it's debut at the Tribeca Film Festival just over a week ago! David Fraser (Grandpa Hino) appears in this movie playing Dr. Jacob Kaufmann. Fans can view a trailer here and can spot David in the trailer near the end saying "All I ever hear these days is Charlie Bartlett told my son this", pacing about in an office.
TV Movies and Shows:
Absolution aired late last year on the Lifetime network and is going to be re-aired May 14th in the afternoon - check your local listings! Samantha Mathis (who once played Princess Daisy in the Live Action Mario Brothers Movie) stars as Bettina Lloyd. Bettina is a New York journalist who returns to her hometown to investigate a comatose man who can heal people. She figures it's a con until she has an experience that may change her mind and her life! Norma Dell'Agnese (Prisma) can be spotted in this flick as a receptionist.
Sarah LaFleur (Sailor Uranus) played Emily, a naturalist trying to keep rowdy teenagers safe in Lake Placid 2. This made-for-TV movie was a sequel to the Croc-shocker hit Lake Placid (1999). Instead of one crocodile, now there are three in the lake seven years later. This movie was probably a huge hit with teenagers when it aired on the Sci-Fi Network on April 28th, but did not bode well with critics. No word on when (if there will be) the DVD will be released.
Sarah is also currently working on a pilot for a new series from popular British Comedy writer/director/producer Victoria Pile. This show (working title: Untitled Victoria Pile Project) will be a comedy set in an American Police Precinct. Sarah plays Detective Maria Fantozzi and stars alongside Seinfeld's Jason Alexander and comedian Orlando Jones. We're not sure if ABC will air a sneak peek of the pilot as they did with the other pilot she shot last year, Our Thirties.
As we reported earlier, Emilie-Claire Barlow will be releasing a new CD of Jazz Tunes on June 19th! . Via her blog, she announced the tracklisting of The Very Thought of You, and has also posted a few preview tracks on her official MySpace! We encourage fans to hear the multi-talented Emilie-Claire sing in English, French, and Spanish! Fans should be able to purchase the album on iTunes close to the release date, or they can pre-order the album here. Special Thanks to Emilie-Claire for permission to use the image!
EDIT: And for fans wanting to see what Naz Edwards' (Queen Beryl) two cents are on a recent, fallen, American Idol, Click Here!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Hey Moonies - a new feature was added to the Moon Prism Box this week! In Usagi's room, there is a jewelery box of sorts under the television and when you click it, it takes you to the second page (not the first O.o.) of Sailor Moon's arsenal. There is (obviously) a first page, and another page featuring items used by the Inner Senshi. When you mouse over the items, a fact sheet shows up on the left about it and when they were used. Sadly, only one of Sailor Moon's items are animated in the same style as the "mangamations" they feature. We have to wonder why there isn't much love for the other items on the site! We'd love to see Sailor Mars's Ofuda in action! It's a bit hard to navigate for fans not fluent in Japanese, so we are providing a few screenshots to help (as always click the image for the larger version)!
Step One: Click here and open this link in a new tab or window.
Step Two: After the animation is over, click on Sailor Moon, or alternatively skip Step One and Click Here. Your cursor appears as the Crescent Moon Wand (sans Ginzuishou).
Step Three: Either Click where we have shown or go here !
Step Four: You will end up here, follow where we have marked!
Here we come bringing you our most interesting finds on Ebay since the last update!
The Best (and Most Expensive) Items:
☼ Super Hueg Kawaii Plushie Lot!
☼ Sailor Moon Sceptre from Super S Series!
☼ Sailor Moon Lockets!
☼ Sailor Moon Handheld Video Game!
☼ Luna-P Ball!
☼ A resin set of all the Inners in Chibi Form!
☼ Sailor Moon Oshibori Cloth for Bento!
☼ A Sailor Moon figure from Italy!
☼ A sticker album from Spain!
☼ A Sailor Moon Backpack!
☼ BESM lot featuring Sailor Moon
☼ Some cards that probably came in a Morinaga food product with Sailor Moon emblazoned all over it!
Things that made us go O.o.:
☼ If you can't tell the difference between Sailor Moon and Bratz, then we really don't know what to say!
☼ Though it might have been cool to have a playset based on Episode 67, this might have been more believable if the fukus had Bows!
☼ These flip flops are just tacky , licensed or not!
☼ There's just something odd about this watch!
☼ This young Usagi model is cute but we don't know if it's real or not!
☼ Which Sailor Senshi had a fish brooch?
Best of the Rest:
☼ Set of two Sailor Moon bowls!
☼ A rare Sailor Star Healer Keychain!
☼ A Rare Sailor Moon Lunch Playset!
☼ Used North American Sailor Moon CDs (including Full Moon Collection!
☼ The cutest Sailor Senshi Magnet set we've ever seen!
☼ A Sailor Moon Light-up Vanity Case from Irwin!
☼ A Sailor Moon Bendable Figure!
☼ A lot of 5 Mini Plushies!
☼ A lot of Luna-P and Luna plush!
☼ A lot of 8 Sailor Moon Mini Plushies!
☼ A lot featuring some rare Sailor Moon glasses!
☼ A rare Sailor Moon R plush - Princess Serenity!
☼ An unopened package of Sailor Moon Trading Seals from Japan!
☼ Some rare laser-cut metal cards from Japan!
Monday, May 07, 2007
Great news Canada! Over the past 2-3 years there has been a surge among Canadian cable TV providers. Before it only used to be YTV (and to a smaller extent Teletoon) that would keep anime as a part of their regular programming schedule. Later with the addition of G4 TechTV Canada and Razer to Canada's channel lineups as well as the expansion of programming blocks on YTV, Bandai, Funimation, and Geneon programming can now be seen in Canada. However one important Anime distributor was missing from the Great White North's TV Landscape: ADV. Today, they announced on The Anime Network that their they have signed a carriage agreement for their subscription video-on-demand service with the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA) . The CCSA represents more than 85 cable companies across Canada, and nearly a million subscribers! Fans interested in knowing if their provider is a member should check out this list.
This is a huge gain for Canada because there are quite a few places that do not receive services from the bigger cable providers Rogers, Cogeco, or Shaw (which already carry the VOD service). I can't begin to tell you how many anime fans I personally have met over the years that have voiced concerns about how it seems like Ontario and British Columbia seem to get all the anime and the rest of Canada is sometimes forgotten. Now smaller cities in other provinces can have more access to anime on their TV sets, and don't have to necessarily put "watch anime on tv" on their travel plans when they travel to bigger cities! Now, nearly everyone in Canada can look forward to watching Slayers, Noir, Robotech, Full Metal Panic, Saiyuki, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Wedding Peach and a whole whack of other shows on demand! It is unknown when the service will actually start in Canada (or how much it will cost), but we predict the end of this year at the earliest for launch.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
As fans have probably noticed through our Ebay posts , wherever Sailor Moon has been in the world, strange and interesting products unique to those countries have followed! Japan is no exception to that; nearly everything under the sun there probably had a Sailor Moon flavored version! Many of the food products had bonuses that you could get (like clocks or housewares) when you sent in a few proofs of purchase!
First off, Sailor Moon endorses Pokka Potato Soup with... music best suited for a hoedown?
A Sailor Moon VHS game with a phone to talk to the Senshi!
Sailor Moon eye drops! Because Sailor Moon fans are too cool to use Visine?!
Two Commercials for Sailor Moon Cameo Pendants!
Sailor Moon Sneakers!
Sailor Moon S Puzzle Game for the Super Famicom (Nintendo)!
Sailor Moon Beef Curry and Furikake (Rice Seasoning)!
Sailor Moon Sausages!
And the special satchel you can get when you send in proofs of purchases from said sausages!
Sailor Moon Calculator and Electronic Organizer - way before the days of Blackberries!
Sailor Moon Block Puzzle Game!
Sailor Moon dolls and play restaurant!
And finally, from the PGSM era, a commercial for Japanese Kids Magazines Otomodati and Tanoshi Yochien. This is narrated by Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) and at the end there's a purse you lace together and decorate with PGSM stickers!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
We stumbled upon this rare gem today on YouTube! This appears to be a promotional spot for the Sailor Moon R series, and features Kotono Mitsuisihi (Sailor Moon), Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury), Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars) , Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter), and Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus). They are seen signing autographs and appearing at an event singing and voicing their characters! Most importantly, this video provides a glimpse at ~30s into what anime dubbing in Japan is like. The seiyuu stand in a very large, dreary-looking room with microphones in front of a screen with the cartoon. This is a huge contrast compared to pictures we've seen of how Optimum productions dubbed the episodes ! We learned from Roland Parliament years ago that usually sessions only had one or two VA's in there, sometimes more if they were needed.
Friday, May 04, 2007
We came across this one this morning perusing one of our new favorite Japanese streaming media sites, Ameba Vision .
In Japan, variety shows are pretty much a staple of TV (compared to North America). One of these shows is Goro's Bar , which is hosted by Goro Inagaki of popular boyband, SMAP! Goro plays a bartender who auditions different women to entertain his bar. Every week features different idols and celebrities in the audition roles and skits! In the episode which aired on February 8th of this year, popular J-pop idol Shoko Nakagawa appeared imitating Sailor Moon! WARNING: the video may or may not play despite our best efforts to embed this clip. If it does not work properly, CLICK HERE!
Fans may be surprised to know Shoko is a multitalented idol! Not only does she sing, but she is an actress and a voice actress/Seiyu, as well as a mangaka! She is most famous for being very interested in all kinds of cosplay (sometimes very mature "gravure" cosplay pictorials, we add) and purchases costumes on auctions... particularly ones from Sailor Moon! She also has a male black cat named Luna (after Luna from Sailor Moon) who she usually brings along to accompany her when she cosplays!
For fans wanting to know who that other idol is torturing herself on the stairclimber, that is Asami Abe , another multitalented idol. We're not quite sure what she's doing with this machine (is she trying to tone her arms?). In any case, something crazy like this nearly almost always happens in a Japanese variety show, and we encourage fans that have the chance to watch one over the internet to see this zany aspect of Japanese pop culture!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Hey Moonies! This time we’ve got 10 commercials courtesy of TV-CM.net . Without further ado...
First we begin with a sighting! Keiko Kitagawa (PGSM Sailor Mars) takes time out of her University studies (she’s a commerce major!) to film this commercial for Suntory Let’s Diet Water . We don’t know what’s in it but we’ve read the dumbell shape is to help encourage exercise and Keiko leads a few of them on the website!
Boa’s Sweet Impact?! This commercial reminds us of a now crazed popstar who shall remain nameless!
A Japanese-Indian Mastercard crossover. Is there anything they won’t think of for their Priceless campaign?
Coca-Cola in Japan has a new brand of Mineral Water and Carbonated Mineral Waters available under the Minaqua brand name, and this is a classy commercial!
Ajinomoto/Knorr of Japan has some sort of instant noodle soup/ramen product that got these ladies singing!
Nissin of Japan also has an instant spaghetti product SpaO which appears to be the only reason this woman got out of bed! The song in the background reminds us of Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend.
This is a very heartwarming commercial for Tokyo’s Metropolitan Subway System!
A Pocky Dance! We won’t be surprised if moves from this show up during a cosplay contest at an anime con!
Wonda’s Morning Shot is a canned coffee drink that is apparently so powerful it distracted these two enough to make them miss their morning bus!
And last but not least, Moon Chase! favourite Ayumi Hamasaki has a commercial for Weider multivitamin In-Jelly! Ayu doesn’t like her vegetables and isn’t getting her required vitamins in her diet! But never fear, she can’t split them apart when they are in jelly form!