Friday, June 08, 2007

News From the Other Side of the Pond #3!

Hey Moonies! Before we begin we’d like to extend a huge thanks to TV in Japan for linking us yesterday and helping to increase awareness of our corner of the internets! We really appreciate it and we have linked the site on our links sidebar!

There hasn’t been much news on what the stars are up to lately; though if you are interested in seeing Paprika (which stars two former Sailor Moon Seiyuu) we suggest you click here to see where the premieres are. Indie cinemagoers, now is a great time to start begging the management with this article in hand (for the distributors are listed!) to bring this movie to your own hometown!

Panchanne Destined to Have a Connection to Sailor Moon?

We were lurking around several Japanese pages when we learned of something very interesting! As we all know already, current Tokusatsu Comedy hit Bishoujo Celeb Panchanne is based on an earlier Toku series from the 90's called Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine. Poitrine was a superhero much like Panchanne except that she had a flying car, as well as a much older and scarier Kami-Sama who would turn her into a frog. The creator of Sailor Moon, “Princess” Naoko Takeuchi has stated a few times that Potrine served as her inspiration for Sailor Moon. And oh, the irony! The director of PGSM, Masataka Takamaru, is directing Panchanne! Yuuko Hanashima, who played Poitrine, starred in this week’s Panchanne! She played a woman who has the hots for Kensuke Shinjo, aka Panchanne’s alter ego’s husband. What a circle we have here! We have to wonder if Naoko will pen an episode or perhaps appear on the show considering all these connections to Sailor Moon!
EDIT: We also just learned of a news story where Haruna Yabuki admits that playing Panchanne is like a dream come true for her, because little girls look up to her! Much in the same way she looked up to none other than Sailor Moon when she was growing up!

Maybe This is the Reason for that Sailor Sighting in War of the Worlds?

The summer 2005 hit War of the Worlds to some Otaku is more than seeing Steven Spielberg direct megastars like Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. This movie features a small Sailor Sighting. Dakota Fanning’s character watches our favorite superhero trash a youma using Moon Gorgeous Meditation. What was even more surprising was the credit that appeared at the end of the film which left everyone guessing why the sighting was there and how they were able to get permission from TOEI. Steven was recently interviewed about the Transformers Movie in Japan, and confessed the missing piece of the puzzle! Turns out his 11 year old daughter loves Sailor Moon, though we are unsure whether he is speaking of Mikaela or Destry (the article makes no mention). Later he also mentions that his daughters wishes sometimes have priority over his own. We wonder if this is the reason for that Sailor Sighting in War of the Worlds? He also talks about his admiration for Japanese animation, having taken his first plunge with Spirited Away.

Shoko Nakagawa Strikes Again!

Japan’s MTV held their Video Music Awards this past May 25th. Popular idol and Sailor Moon fan Shoko Nakagawa appeared on the red carpet, striking this very familiar pose! Many asked her about her obsession with Sailor Moon and she said it was just a hobby- while they remarked it was something much deeper. And it probably is considering that Sailor Moon characters are among her favourites to cosplay and model, as well as naming her cat after Luna.

NEC to Offer Sailor Moon Episodes For Free!

Those of our Japanese readers who have access to NEC’s BIGLOBE service are in for a bit of a surprise! From June 7th - July 5th, the service will be offering streaming anime for free! Sailor Moon is part of this promotion, as are other TOEI titles such as Galaxy Express 999 , Gun Frontier, and Fist of the North Star. We would love to hear from fans who try out this service!

Survey Shows Sailor Moon Initiated Many Otaku!

We also learned of a very interesting study which was conducted recently in Japan to learn more about Otaku - we’re going to summarize the results as best we can. This was a questionnaire to determine the basis of the interests of Otaku - were they video games? Comics? Anime? Of 601 people surveyed, 68% were male and 32% were female. 10.1% were teenagers, 30% were between the ages of 20-25, 22.8% were between the ages of 26-29, 21.1 % were between the ages of 30-35, 12.3% were between the ages of 36-40 and 3% were over 40. They were later asked at what age they started their fandom, and 1/3 people got interested in it during junior high. Then these were asked what anime sparked their interest, and 3.7% attributed to Gundam, 2.7% said Neon Genesis Evangelion, 1.0% said Final Fantasy, 0.9% said Sailor Moon, 0.9% said Tokimeki Memorial, 0.9% said Space Battleship Yamato, and 0.9% said Yu Yu Hakusho. While we always knew in North America, for some people Sailor Moon was the start, we didn’t think it would be one of the top answers in a survey in Japan! If we get a copy of the full report, we will definitely post more of it here!

An Addenda to TOEI Creates In-house Licencing Division!

We also managed to find this very interesting analysts’s perspective on the recent announcement from TOEI. This article discusses how TOEI is in a bit of a pinch considering that one of their three largest properties in North America , DragonBall Z, is lying mostly in the hands of Funimation. The article goes on to suggest that they should make use of their bigger properties aside from Digimon, such as One Piece... and Sailor Moon! We agree with their perspective that if TOEI really wants to make it big, they should also work with their other properties. Digimon isn’t as big as Pokemon in North America and while the dub of One Piece may not be very popular, the original Japanese version is very popular with North American Otaku. And more importantly, there is a huge amount of demand for Sailor Moon in North America. Fans want good quality DVDs with decent video transfers (if not like the remastered ones in Japan) and clear audio - things that currently only exist in a fan’s dream. Fans want more merchandise from translated versions of the manga re-release to goodies only found in Japanese stores. And of course, everyone wants Stars!

And with that, we bring this News from Across the Pond update to a close.

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