Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Naoko Takeuchi Finally Acknowledges Sailor Moon is Back on ANIMAX!

Just the Barest Minimum?

This morning, Sailor Moon Channel updated again predictably, as it does at the beginning of the month. We on staff were fully expecting her not to acknowledge that the series was back on the air, and feature either a new game or addition to a feature on the site, and some new fan letters to Luna. Well, both of those were there. The 8th Luna Report was posted, and this one featured more snippets from the manga to put together a typical day for the Senshi. Right at the top of the fan letters posting was a letter from a 25 year old fan named Risa from Kanagawa Prefecture. Our plans for Phase 4 had included a template for fan letters to SMC, and one of those were planned to include something about being happy the show was back on the air on ANIMAX and how it's a joy to see something we all enjoyed when we were younger again. However, we've been unbelievably busy with the other phases of the campaign and keeping a Hawk's Eye on what's going on in Japan, so this part was shelved to go with the upcoming phase. This letter must have been one of several she received from Japanese fans, and this may have prompted her to finally take some acknowledgment of the rebroadcast. The picture we have featured above is a screenshot of the index page (the frames are just not aligning properly, this is why the Moon and the spark on the right have gaps), but in a box, we have highlighted the announcement, which simply says that Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon is broadcast from Mondays to Fridays on ANIMAX. It doesn't link anywhere.

Here's the translation of the letter from Risa!

The rebroadcast of the animated cartoon 'Sailor Moon' started 9/1 on ANIMAX, and when I was in grade school I looked forward to watching it happily every day! I loved Sailor Moon!

I am turning 25 years old and the cartoon is still a big favorite of mine (*laughter*). I am happy! Please continue with the forever lasting eternal Sailor hero that I wanted to be when I was younger!

Hey Risa, there's no reason to be embarrassed being a fan of it at such an age! We know of many fans who are much older! And here is "Luna's" very un-fun response:

Sailor Moon finally began rebroadcasting! Please continue your support and everything else you are doing and watch it everyday! Broadcast details are on the right of the home page above the News.

We thought we'd see something a little more fun from "Luna". This response just appears very bare bones and boring compared to the energy she has for responding to the other letters.

This does, however give us a few more pieces to the puzzle. This announcement comes nearly a month after the rebroadcast, and nearly two months after Kotono's first interview promoting the return of the series. Moreover, there was never an announcement about the movies rebroadcasting on Toei Channel. Perhaps, there is still a lot of animosity between Naoko and Toei , and she felt that she would have to publicize the movies on Toei Channel if she announced the series' return on ANIMAX (they were being packaged together as Sailor Moon Matsuri [Sailor Moon Festival] ) and perhaps this is the reason why she avoided posting anything on the site about it.

Still though, something doesn't seem right. A proper site with something like this would have at the very least linked to ANIMAX's Sailor Moon subsite. This is why this is just a bare minimum mention. "Luna" could have said something like "I am watching it to" or "I am glad to have my adventures with Sailor Moon again", but it looks like it was never meant to be.

Nonetheless, ありがとうございます 武内直子. 私たちは愛美少女戦士セーラームーン. として、それと思ったほど悪くないではなかった! あなた美少女戦士セーラームーン英語で、別の機会を与えていただけますか?

EDIT: The announcement now links to ANIMAX!

North American VA Update Fall 2009 – Part 1!

Hey everyone: with Operation Moonrise in full swing, it is really important that you continue to support your favorite Sailor Moon voices – especially since so many of them were favored over stars from FUNImation! Here comes part 1 of a multi-part post!

Stephanie Morgenstern’s Flashpoint Smashes Through TV Screens Again!

Stephanie Morgenstern’s (Sailor Venus #1) Flashpoint has returned in the Great White North this fall (but we’re still eagerly anticipating a return on America’s CBS). Canadians can catch new episodes on CTV Friday nights – check your local listings. Our sister blog We Got The Solution has many more details about the show but we look forward to seeing possible appearances by her this season! Last week’s episode explored something that changes the flow of the SRU for the rest of the season. If you haven’t seen it yet, the episode is on iTunes! Flashpoint: Season 1 also hits DVD in the US on October 13th, and DVD and Blu Ray in Canada on the same day! We’ve been following this before it even came to the airwaves and we’re still astounded that the show is in it’s third season! And it dominated on Friday night :).

And we’ve learned something new about Ice Planet. And IcePlanet.TV had posted a strange cryptic message about the future of Ice Planet, which seems to be taking forever to get off the ground. The post is gone now (site was just relaunched today), however it told a strange story of a company that had some strange financial woes and was then hit by the ultimate blow, the recession. IPTV still claims the show will be in production this year, but then again, we wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t. No word officially if Stephanie is still slated to play Cathy Trager in the show or not.

Naz Edwards and Liza Balkan On Stage!

Naz Edwards (Queen Beryl) will be appearing very soon on the Jewish Ensemble Theater stage in West Bloomfield, Michigan! She will be playing the best friend to Amy Kaplan (played by Sarab Kamoo) in the JET’s production of Kitty Dubin’s The Blank Page. This performance runs through mid-October to the beginning of November and is also the world premiere! The JET released the plot synopsis : "With the deadline for her second novel looming, a creative writing professor is mired in self-doubt while work, family and a gifted new student threaten to drag her under. As she struggles to finish the novel, conflicts erupt with her husband, her best friend and her oh-so-talented student." For our Michigan readers who want more information, click here! Naz also performed in the Performance Network’s Decade of Dreams Cabaret!

And not too far from Detroit, in Kingston, Ontario, Liza Balkan (Sailor Mercury #2) is also on stage! She is appearing from now until October 10th in Theater Kingston’s season opener, Forms of Devotion. This play is based on the Governor General’s Award-winning book of the same name, by Diane Schoemperlen. Even though the stories are set in the present day, they are based on wood carvings from the 18th and 19th century. This adaptation features many shorts on emotions and relationships alternated with short episodes about daily life. Liza plays the leading female, Mary.

Jill Frappier Appears On Camera Again After A Long Time!

It has been 9 years since we’ve seen Luna on camera! Jill Frappier had a few lines’ worth of appearance on Canada’s Comedy Network’s The Jon Dore Show – but it was worth it to see her on camera again! As soon as we heard her voice, we instantly recognized her! She played a grief stricken woman who told an inconsiderate Jon Dore that for years she told an old man to go see a doctor about his health problems. And ironically enough, Jon Dore spent nearly the entire episode avoiding the same thing! We know that Jill is busy teaching at her very successful drama school for kids, Dragontrails Drama, but once in a while it’s nice to see her on TV (we will see more soon, right?)

Spot Vince in Entourage!

Vince Corazza (Tuxedo Mask #3) had an appearance a few episodes in this season of HBO’s Entourage, but we couldn’t spot him. We watched the episode twice, and we think he might be spotted somewhere in the boardroom during the first meeting of the episode, but we’re not entirely sure. He is credited though! He appeared in the episode No More Drama , which was about a thief who broke into Vincent’s house and stole of all things, his underwear. This caused all sorts of paranoia between Vincent and Johnny. The episode is probably available on HBO and HBO Canada On Demand, or will probably be re-run again in the future!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Finally, the Whereabouts of CM-1975 Slc. Gemstone 'Sailor Moon' Are Known!

This article brings a little more bad news, but there is a small ray of sunshine in this article to light some of the darkness of bad news earlier this week!

Back in August, we posted an article that featured a second orchid named for Sailor Moon with whatever we could find. One of our readers Lunchboxfox, did some investigating and found that Dogashima was not the name of a horticulturist – but of a famous Japanese Orchid Resort and Academy! Orchid Resort Dogashima is located In beautiful Shizukoka and is a huge park devoted to orchids. They have plant displays both inside and out and the park is built around a large suspension bridge! There are over 10,000 species on display, and many events are held here. They also have tours, a naturally-made playground, orchid planting and corsage-making workshops, organic and healing food restaurants, a forest, and an orchid zone. And of course, there is a store for orchids and related merchandise. It also looks like they have an academy there for orchid propagation and research. This place definitely looks like a lot of fun and if any of our readers are lucky enough to visit this region, please put this on your sightseeing list! For everyone reading this blog, before we hit the interesting (and the bad news about this orchid), here’s your ray of sunshine –please wander the Orchid Resort’s site and marvel at the pictures☺.

She emailed the resort to find out some more information about the orchid in question and learned from a Mr. Sato that this orchid was hybridized by this resort and registered to the Japanese Branch of the Royal Horticultural Society back in 1993. He also told us a little bit about the name – however his English isn’t perfect so we are trying our best to tell you what he said! He said that the meaning of gemstone was “Gem” that is shining and beautiful, and not shaped like a stone. They had hoped that in the future that this orchid would grow to be a lot more beautiful and that this variety could be used to create more hybrids. He also said that Sailor Moon was the most popular animation in Japan at the time back in 1993. She was a very cute character and they thought that this orchid’s image was just the same! Unfortunately, the orchid couldn’t make good hybrids, and the orchid is no longer being propagated or sold (we still think it must exist in some form in a private collection by the resort).

Thanks again to Lunchboxfox for all her hard work! So now I think Moon Chase has 99% of everything that is known about all of the flowers named after Sailor Moon! Check out our first post here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Phase 3 and Phase 4 Changes

Hey Moonies. It has been suggested to us by a few of our advisors that we raise our survey goal for Phase 3 up to 500. We are currently at 306, which isn’t necessarily a bad number, but considering that it is less than half of the surveys we got on the previous one (807 now), it doesn’t look good to the places we plan to send these to. At the same time, we also understand that fans are tired of taking the site surveys so we’re going to leave it open for sure until Midnight, October 4th. We’ll see what the numbers are like then and we’ll decide a plan of action. This still doesn’t mean readers can assume it will be open again after that. If we are close to 500, then we will stop it for good. For the last one, we heard from a few of you afterwards that didn’t get a chance to do it (even though it had been running for nearly 4 months). So we relented, and allowed those of you to do it. But for Phase 3, we will not allow anyone to complete it after it is over. We are already weeks behind on sending these results out (but of course, Phase 1 didn’t finish any time near the end of July as we had hoped). So please, if you haven’t yet, finish the release and merchandise survey!

Now, onto the upcoming Phase 4. We all thought Peter’s comment yesterday about Naoko Takeuchi was depressing enough, but then this morning one of our auxiliary members from Japan got back to us with their findings... and they were not good. We can’t elaborate on what they were, but once again we’re going to have to change our strategy. Fight harder in certain places that we still can, and forego a few other things that would have been a lot more effective. Those avenues are strictly one way, and even though there is plenty of room, the landlords will not consent to a two way street. We’ll leave you to decide what that image means, but we can’t say what the matter is. Due to these developments, Phase 4 is going to be delayed even further than what we had targeted until we figure out the best way to effectively use what avenues we do have left. But do not worry - the work you have all helped to put in for the other phases is still very useful to the companies in North America!

Now, there may be one or more sites saying some pretty mean things about our campaign. We’re not going to name who they are, but they are all saying that our campaign will be futile, and that the only way to support Sailor Moon is to buy official merchandise and releases from Japan. We’re sorry to say this, but here’s the thing. Fans aren’t ordering these straight from the manufacturer. Each online site (YesAsia, Amazon, CD Japan, HMV etc.) has their own warehouse, wherein they will receive an order of a certain stock amount of product from Toei. Then they ship it out to you. Toei isn’t going to necessarily see or know where these products are going. What they will see is how many sold, and this will determine if they need to produce more units or not. At best, high volumes of orders may prompt Toei to extend the run past two years, but it is highly unlikely that sales in Japan will have any impact on the North American market. Now, we’re not saying don’t order these - it’s really up to the fan and if they are able to really enjoy and understand Sailor Moon without subtitles. We also understand that these releases, though a little pricey, are at least giving fans Sailor Moon in some way. But just be aware that you are supporting Sailor Moon in Japan and it may not do a whole lot of good for North America or the rest of the English-language market in the long run.

In the meantime, we really encourage you to participate in Phase 2 of the campaign, more than ever, especially in the letters to Toei. We have provided specific contact information in our forums for this. Phase 4 will happen, but Phase 2 needs to be a lot stronger than it is right now. Considering we only have 39 members on our forums, we don’t think that many letters have been sent to FUNImation or Toei. And for those of you who are complaining that we aren’t posting the addresses on the blog, there is a reason for that. This is somewhat sensitive information and we are at least doing our part on our end to prevent spam. And it also adds a small element of surprise to the receiver.

There is no Moon too high in the sky, and no island too far. We are not going down without a fight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Toei Shifts Slightly, New Article Suggests Something Is Off With Nakayoshi, and Usagi Isn't Sailor Moon?!

Toei Licenses Older Properties to Independent Studio

In a move that the rest of us staff are still trying to digest, Toei has licensed some of it's most oldest and beloved titles to William Winckler Productions in California. What's kind of making us grimace is that this company specializes in those really obscure sci-fi films. It worries us, a little. Especially since they are in charge of a bunch of huge titles for Toei that are extremely popular with the hardcore anime fans. Shows like Fist of the North Star, GeGeGe no Kitaro, Gaiking, Captain Harlock, and Starzinger, among others. Some of these titles were shopped around at MIPCOM (but it doesn't look like they were picked up until now). These are all looking to be straight to DVD releases, and they won't even be the entire series. They plan to make movies using footage from the series in a co-production between William Winckler Productions, Toei, and Rioloco. Fans can find out more information about the dub casts here, and it looks like Fred Ladd, who worked as a creative consultant for the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, will be involved in the dubs. We can't say for sure how this is going to turn out, but we urge fans of these shows and the others licensed keep an eye out on things and to get involved in whatever way they can if the shows do not measure up to their expectations. We really hope Toei will pick a company that fans are more secure (and actually know about) if they finally decide to bring Sailor Moon back to North America.

Nakayoshi in Sales Slump Since the End of Sailor Moon?

We came across an article in Chinese yesterday which didn't tell us anything new about the DVD boxsets. This was one of the few articles which provided tidbits about Naoko's life (how she is married to Yoshihiro Togashi), and is also the first that we have read which took a jab at the seemingly high price of the sets (the caption under the first picture says "In the name of the Moon, I will punish you (wallet)"! What was really interesting about this article were some words about Nakayoshi, the original magazine which featured Sailor Moon way back in 1992. At the height of Sailor Moon's popularity, there was a surge in subscriptions to the magazine swhich really took off in 1994, and there were a total of 2 million subscribers in 1995. Since Sailor Moon ended, Nakayoshi didn't have the same kind of popularity, and in 2006 experienced a significant decline in subscribers. The magazine only had 420,000 subscribers. We are still very frustrated by the fact Naoko has not made any mention of Sailor Moon's return on the official Sailor Moon Channel website, nor has there been any news on a manga re-release in Japan (we told you earlier about how Italy is having a hard time trying to get the rights in time for a rebroadcast). We have our own theories on why this might be, but we are still waiting to see how things play out for North America. We think that Sailor Moon could save Nakayoshi, even if only highlights from the series were published in the magazine. But, who knows what Naoko really wants to do with the manga. Sure, seeing a new chapter animated in flash twice a month is nice, but it's a lot easier to read it on paper (where you can take your time to read the frames). Speaking of Nakayoshi, we have uncovered another very old commercial featuring Luna.

Link: Luna Introduces Nakayoshi

The Real Identity of Sailor Moon: Miyuki Hatoyama!

Last month, the Democratic Party of Japan defeated the long-running ruling party, the Liberal Party of Japan. Yukio Hatoyama was declared Prime Minister, and his wife Miyuki has been declared by some members of the public, a lunatic. And, we kind of have to agree after reading some of her statements. She recently published a book called Very Strange Things I've Encountered wherein she claims that she was abducted by an alien and taken on a UFO to Venus. She said that it was a very beautiful place, and very green. But even stranger, was something else that she wrote! She claims that she is the true identity of Sailor Moon, and she had found all of the Triforces and Dragon Balls. Yes, because Goku and Link really do exist and they need the help of Sailor Moon to achieve these tasks?! We have to wonder what Naoko Takeuchi, Akira Toriyama, and Shigeru Miyamoto must have all thought when they read these comments. She also claims she has been to Uranus, and has called Mulder and Scully before. Ummm... okay Miyuki. You may think you're Sailor Moon but you're no Odango-atama. Something Awful has a few more translations here, but these are not for the faint of heart (or our younger readers).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Fall 2009 Sailor Sightings!

Gravure Idol Reveals Favorite Childhood Manga!

Another tiny little sighting, but any little bit helps to keep the recent re-release of Sailor Moon in the public eye! Japanese Gravure Idol Yuuri Morishita is currently starring as the heroine in the upcoming film Kyokara Hitman and was interviewed recently for Japan's Cinema Magazine. She was asked a bunch of questions about her role, challenges she faced doing some of the stunts, and a question about what she found different with working on a movie compared to a gravure shoot. To that question, she pretty much answered she enjoyed playing a character and letting people know a little more about what she was like, compared to her gravure shoots... which, if any of our readers know anything about gravure idols, sounds like a bit of a blessing! She was also asked what her favorite manga was as a child, and the first title she listed was Sailor Moon! After came Evangelion, a manga called Empress (we couldn't find much about this one), and of course, Kyokara Hitman. The Kyokara Hitman movie opens in Japan on September 26th!

New Cosplay Lounge Opens in Las Vegas!

This was tweeted earlier by AICNAnime. A new lounge has opened in the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas! The lounge is located in Dragon Noodle Co. (which we are assuming is an Asian noodlery or ramen bar of sorts) and the waitresses are cosplayers! This is aimed at entertaining a demographic which isn't catered to much in Vegas - teens and tweens! And of course, it also appeals to geeks. This has only been going on for a month, and the majority of costumes are based on Sailor Moon. In fact, the Las Vegas Sun's photo which accompanied this article featured lucky waitress Fatima "Phoebe" Barkoff as Sailor Jupiter(featured here)! How's that for poetic justice? Makoto is well known in the anime for being an excellent chef. We wonder if she serves cakes with sparklers? I'd have thought something like this might have opened in the JPop Sushi Bar in Mandalay Bay, but it doesn't appear to be open there anymore. If any of our readers are in Vegas and pay this lounge a visit, we'd love to see more pictures of their costumes!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sailor Moon Musical Number to be Presented by Cosplayers in Seoul!

Since 2005, there has been a festival which happens at the same time in Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to celebrate friendly ties between the two countries. The Japan-Korea Exchange Omatsuri will begin on September 19th, and will take place simultaneously at the Roppongi Hall Arena in Tokyo , and the Seoul Plaza (which happens to be in front of Seoul City Hall) in Seoul. One very interesting event that we hope someone posts video of, will be Korean cosplay group Moonstone going a step further than their usual Sera Myu cosplay! On September 20th, they will be performing a musical number with the use of traditional Korean and Japanese instruments! We don't know what song they will sing from Sera Myu, but this sounds like it could be a very interesting and fun show! For those of our readers in South Korea, this will take place at 7:30. We would love to see pictures and video of the event if you are going! From the pictures of their appearance in a cosplay parade last year (we have featured them below), they sure put in a lot of effort into their costumes and we think they are pretty close to the original! Also, if any of you know anything about Moonstone (we haven't been able to find out a lot about them), please tell us, we'd love to tell the fans a little more about them! There will also be a lot of youth participating in performance groups there as well along with Moonstone. There will also be a Japanese cultural parade in Seoul, and in Tokyo there will be a Korean cultural parade, as well as a Kimchi festival, which will teach Japanese people about how to make it, and also a little bit about Korean culture. Perhaps Keiko Kitagawa and Jung Woo-Sung should attend that (we kid, we kid)!

MOONSTONE Appearance at Omatsuri 2008:

Kotono Mitsuishi's Latest Anime Movie Role!

We just had to share this with you all! Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) has a new role in an upcoming anime movie, which looks like it might be a good one to watch. Buddha Saitan (The Rebirth of Buddha) is set to be released in theaters on October 17th. This tells the story of 17-year-old Tianhe Sayoko, a sophomore in high school who aspires to be a journalist. When a journalist that he looks up to commits suicide, he wonders about ghosts and life beyond the grave, and what life is worth in the present. Kotono plays Tianhe's crush, 28-year-old actress Mari Kimura. We think you fans will be pleasantly surprised when you see this promotional video we found of the actors and crew! Fast forward to about 1:10 (look who's infamous line makes an appearance!). The neat thing about this production is that it looks like the animation was a joint collaboration between Americans and Japanese - perhaps we might even see this movie here? Part 1 of the video can be seen here, and there's a short intro to her character around 4:40-4:45. We look forward to watching this retelling of the story of Buddha and we hope to see it soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Phase 3 Survey Goal Finally Reached!

So last night, The Me and I were all comiserating about how we only got a couple new surveys in 24 hours, and we were only 2 away from our goal of 200. This morning, we got a nice surprise - by some miracle we got 5 more surveys which brings us to a total of 203! YAY! So, this means that we now have to set a deadline. Moonies, you now have until Midnight PST on Sunday, September 27th to get your surveys in for Phase 3. We can tell you that the results so far have been interesting. We can't really drop any more hints than that. One comment we will add though is that many of you suggested merchandise that will obviously be too big for a DVD shelf! But we won't delete them. We have decided to add another suggestions category for other merchandise for Toei (or whatever company gets the rights) to consider making available in North America (and to seek an appropriate manufacturer for this licensed merchandise). So for future survey takers, suggest whatever you want for that question and we will sort them out. And for those of you asking about the Waffle Iron, that was pretty much a gag suggested by Starcat, our resident Sanrio fan who enjoys hearing about obscure but awesome, Hello Kitty products. I do like the toast press idea another fan suggested! Unfortunately, we did not know that there wasn't going to be a Blu-Ray release of the series in Japan, so it looks unlikely that it will be a possibility in North America. Rest assured, we will still forward the votes for that option to the companies - it can't hurt!

The new target for sending these out will be the second week of October, and as soon as we get delivery confirmation, we will post the results online. We will be sending the results from both surveys together - and congratulations fans, we now have over 1000 surveys worth in results to show them! We are very proud and thankful to every fan who gave the surveys a chance despite rude and negative comments other websites have been posting. We all really have to try to go that extra mile to make sure things will be done right if the series comes back!

Oh yeah, and there will be no more surveys (aside from the occasional poll on our sidebar for opinions on site improvements)! Phase 4 will be a letter writing campaign in Japanese, and as soon as we are done with this report we'll start planning this. Again, no knowledge of Japanese will be required, and where possible, we will provide you with free contact addresses through our forums (email) as well as snail mail for those who prefer that (but be prepared to pay a little extra to send it).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Kotono Mitsuishi Interview And Toei Press Release!

It seems Sailor Moon's voice is almost everywhere these days, when we still have yet to hear a peep out of Naoko Takeuchi. Kotono Mitsuishi did a shorter interview with Japanese site The Television Web, just two days ago. We were a little excited to hear about how Kotono cried when she watched the Sailor Moon R movie again after a long time - and it made me feel a little better. Nowadays, I too cry when I see Sailor Moon, but moreover because I get frustrated about all the turmoil the show has gone through. It's gotten to the point now where the episode or movie gets put away within a few minutes. One day all the show's woes will be over (we hope). The interview was also posted to MSN Entertainment. Here is our translation!

Interviewer: What do you think of when you look back on those times in 92'?

Kotono: There are so many memories! I had just debuted and I felt a lot of pressure, but it has passed now and it was useful! When we dubbed, I was standing in the dark and I couldn't read the script well. I had many nightmares.

Interviewer: Some fans of the show are now mothers! Do you think that both mother and child can enjoy this too?

Kotono: Actually I promise my daughter that we will watch one episode a day, and I have watched Sailor Moon DVDs with her many times. The songs are easy to learn, and watching a strong, attractive character come out a lot makes children happy. Parents and children can sing together, and it's also fun to talk about the characters.

Interviewer: What did it feel like to record the line "I will punish you"?

Kotono: I pulled it out from the style of the old historical dramas like Mito Komon! Like the statement "You did such a bad thing!" that a samurai would say like dishing out a dose of bad medicine. I thought that was the heart of the story and I wrestled to make that line full of that kind of spirit!

Interviewer: As for Usagi who has the strength to jump into a fight, she is pretty too, right?

Kotono: Yes, she is. Couldn't cry or run away when she's in the position of the heroine which is to fight, especially since the novels were also published at the same time as the show! (laughs) But I was able to relate to her because she always stood up for her friends. I don't cry easily when I have a personal conflict, but when she was fighting, I sympathized with her naturally and cried!

Interviewer: Did you have fun playing those scenes?

Kotono: I was happy to play with the other actors and to make a fool of myself when I said "I will punish you!" I was conscious of this originality as an actor but it would be uncool and awkward to say these things like that outside!

Interviewer: What about the charm of the movies?

Kotono: "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R" was the first movie, and I have had a lot of time to reflect deeply about it. I saw it after a long time the other day, and cried through the whole story to the last scene at the end where all the Sailor Senshi sang the song. I suffered from nostalgia and the music. That production was enormous, even now if you think.

And Toei has also put out a press release announcing the DVD Boxset. It doesn't say anything new, but it lists the release dates for all the boxsets (but they are probably subject to change a little since some of them are so far away).

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

ANIMAX Finally Posts DVD Collection Press Release!

ANIMAX has finally issued a press release announcing the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon DVD Collection release. It doesn't say anything new except that it does confirm that they are being printed on dual-layer DVDS, the sound is monaural and there will be textless openings included as extras, and series notes of some sort (for now). The 20th anniversary page lists that features are subject to change, so we may get more extra features (and if fans are going to spend a small fortune on the boxsets, we hope there will be more). Below is our translation of what they wrote in the release (sans the cast, crew, DVD, and plot details). We'll warn you ahead of time that the sentences are long in the original and we tried our best to adapt them to English grammar.


Sailor Moon DVD-COLLECTION announced! Vol.1 on sale Dec.11!

The landmark girl's cartoon of the 1990's Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon.

It became a booming social phenomenon that far exceeded the realm of a mere TV animation and girls' comics and animated cartoon in 1992, the TV series lasted for 5 seasons of production, three movies, and spawned several character goods such as dolls and wands that helped to make it become an explosive hit, now finally appears in a DVD-BOX.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon DVD-COLLECTION VOL.1
is put on the market on December 11, 2009, and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon DVD-COLLECTION VOL.2 is put on the market on January 21, 2010.

Collect from 1 story to 24 stories in Vol.1 to 25 stories to 46 stories in Vol.2.

A collection of notes and textless OP / ED are included as special features.

The inner jacket glitters and shines like the stars!

This volume has revived the anime beautifully because of the new print mastering, too.

See the sailor warriors fighting, in a new BOX.


We also updated our DVD post with links to CDJapan and Amazon Japan! If any of our readers find other sites in English that will ship internationally, please let us know so we can add it to the list!

Monday, September 07, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Kotono Mitsuishi to Appear on TV!

Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) will be making several TV appearances over the rest of the month! First off, the Sailor Moon movies (as part of Sailor Moon Matsuri!) will be aired throughout the month. However, during these broadcasts, brief five-minute interviews with Kotono Mitsuishi will be shown. Now we don't know if these are new interviews, or if these will be video clips of the ANIMAX interview she did earlier promoting the return of the series. These are the dates she will be appearing along with what will be airing. We're not going to list all the broadcast days for the movies - instead we will point you to Toei Channel's website. Look for セーラームーン (third sidebar down in the left column) and below you'll see the links in blue for the movies and the specials. If you click on them you'll be able to see them!

9/13 14:45-14:50: Before the last ten minutes of the Sailor Moon SuperS movie (all three movies are airing this day).
9/15 15:55-16:00: Nothing Sailor Moon related is airing today on Toei Channel (but this is strategically placed 5 minutes before Sailor Moon airs on ANIMAX).
9/20 17:55-18:00: Nothing Sailor Moon related is airing today on Toei Channel.
9/21 14:45-14:50: Before the last ten minutes of the Sailor Moon R Movie.
9/22 13:25-13:30: Before the Sailor Moon S movie begins.
9/23 14:45-14:50: Before the last ten minutes of the Sailor Moon SuperS movie.

Kotono is also going to do a talk show! Nippon Broadcasting's Anime and Game Zone has a radio show called Seiyu Do, and she will be the guest on September 17th (but the show will be recorded on the 12th)! The show's site says that she will tell stories about characters she has played, as well as her time being an elevator girl! Fans also have the opportunity to ask her a question, and you can find the e-mail at the bottom of this page. However, please write your questions in Japanese because they are unlikely to be read in English. We are hoping that this will be streamed on the 17th and we will attempt to find some way to get this to you!

Where to Buy Sailor Moon DVD Collection

This post will be updated and linked in our top sidebar so that you readers will always know where you can find the new half season boxsets! Please make sure that you have a DVD player that is able to play Region 2 DVDs. We will try our hardest to show retailers that will ship to North America and other international countries, but as always, please check to make sure that your country can be shipped to by the site before you order!

HMV Japan:
*Will ship to North America, but shipping rates are much cheaper than Amazon Japan from what we have heard and are based on item weight. Price is a little cheaper than MSRP!*

*This is a popular choice among our staffers, and shipping is very reasonable. Also, when you buy two qualifying items you are eligible for a neat gashapon!*




Amazon Japan

*Probably easier to order from but shipping can be expensive to North America! Price is a little cheaper than MSRP!*


Sunday, September 06, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Major Sailor Moon Channel Update Coming? And New DVDs!

Visitors heading towards Sailor Moon Channel will be greeted with the following message:



9月7日(月) 19時頃を目処にサービス再開予定ですので






This site is undergoing maintenance at the moment.

We expect to resume service at 19:00 September 7th.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience.

We appreciate your patience!

(C)NBGI (Namco-Bandai Games Inc.)

This is roughly in about 4 hours from now, so we'll keep you updated first thing in the morning. We wonder if the layout will change? Maybe Naoko Takeuchi will have a new posting? Perhaps there will be some belated acknowledgment of the series' resurrection? Or maybe there could be no change at all?

EDIT: As of Monday, Sept. 7th, 2009, there was no change at all. Sorry for the false alarm!

We've also learned of some new DVDs, thanks to an email we just received from avid reader Ami-Chan! Toei announced these on September 1st via their online store, and the first half-boxset (episodes 1-24) will be released on December 11th. We'll be watching online stores over the next few days and we will provide you with links on where fans can order these. We will caution you though that these will probably not have any subtitles so be sure you have something handy to help you understand the episodes when you order these. And, the MSRP is ¥12,600 which works out to about $135 US. Which is... kind of a lot. We're hoping that if a dvd release is announced for North America it will not cost that much! These DVDs are only going to be produced until December of 2011, so if you are planning to get these, you only have two years! Maybe it's a little reassuring to know when Sailor Moon will disappear again? Nonetheless 2 years isn't a whole lot of time. These are likely going to be copies of the remastered DVDs which were released a few years ago (and these remastered episodes are currently airing on ANIMAX). Toei has also posted an image of what the inner jacket will look like, but sadly it looks like the audio will still be monaural and the video aspect ratio is only 4:3. But, anything is better than nothing, right? Toei has released the second cover and inner jacket pictures as well. This boxset will contain episodes 25-46 and will be released January 20th, 2010. We have them pictured for you below (sorry we couldn't find a bigger picture of the inner jackets). As of this writing, there is no word on the movies and specials, but it's probably safe to assume that they will be announced soon as well.

EDIT: The inner jackets will have some glittery foil on them :). And we found larger pictures of the inner jackets!

EDIT: We have high-res images of the first two volumes now thanks to ANIMAX!

Volume 1:

Volume 2:

EDIT: It appears that Toei has set up a 20th anniversary page for Sailor Moon!
Maybe there is something bigger coming up ahead? All the covers and inner jackets are listed too!

Akihabara Cosplayers Turning More Conservative?! And Sailor Moon Featured on Massive Anime Song Compilation!

Sorry Moonies, news has been a little slow for the last few days. Today’s updates are small potatoes, but nonetheless we’ll give them to you so we have at least something new for you all to read!

Akihabara Girls Don’t Cosplay Quite Like They Used To!

Earlier this week we came across an interesting article out of Japan about current cosplay trends. The first sentence of this article read “Summer, which is commonly assumed to be the season of love, started to ring the death knell.” Women continued to fall in love, but not as much as usually expected because of bad weather this year. However, what about Akihabara girls? In Japan, Akihabara girls have a certain reputation to be these happy, lighthearted, people who are always experimenting with new fashion trends as well as cosplay. Usually they have no boundaries, and many angle their cosplay to find a boyfriend, but this summer, everything changed. We’ve posted a picture from th

The writer saw a 20-year-old college girl from Saitama cosplaying and posing for pictures, however she was not cosplaying to find a boyfriend, and was pretty conservative in her choice of costume. She participated in more indoor photo sessions over outdoor ones because she was too hot outside. While many people continue to cosplay in Sailor Suits, they aren’t as great as they used to be, leaving many wanting more. This can be seen as a positive thing because at least the girls aren’t being “eaten up like meat” anymore. However, there are some women who still parade dangerously – one woman who was alone at 11:00 at night was hit during a photoshoot. The writer joked that the women were more scared of droning cicadas than men! The trend more or less continued at the Otaku Summer Festival and Comiket. The writer also remarked that many young otaku boys like to watch the cosplayers because they think they are the 2-D characters that they have fallen in love with! Among the toned-down cosplays the writer observed was a 19 year old who dressed up like Sailor Moon. He finished the article by saying felt shy, and awkward, and wondered if the men weren’t being aggressive enough to bring out better cosplayers. Next year, he plans to dress up like Goku. This article was kind of silly, we’re pretty sure that toned-down cosplay is not a trend throughout Japan.

Sailor Moon Theme to be Featured on New Upcoming Mega-Compilation!

It seems that anime is destined to save Japan from recession, and that many companies in Japan are bringing back everything old in a new way so that the economy can recover. One of our good site friends who happens to be an industry watcher, told us in January that Sailor Moon would return – however, we didn’t believe him then… boy were we wrong! While the state of the Sailor Moon manga for the time being appears to be dormant, we’ve learned of yet another anime song compilation! Beginning on October 15th, and once a month afterwards, 10 albums will be released with 10 remixes of popular songs from anime series. Take7 Japan is releasing these albums under the series name Mega Denpa, and the songs will be arranged to brighter music and house mixes. Some Japanese vocalists will be spearheading these remixes, including Monalina, P☆B-Rw, and Maririn. @n-Guilla Sounds will be doing all the arranging! Included on the first album is a remix of the first Sailor Moon theme song, Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend). The name of this remix is the oddest one we’ve ever heard for a remix, ever - "Moonlight Densetsu" Heavy Metal⇔Lingerie Mix. Errrm… okay… we’ll wait to hear that one before considering buying the album. Also included on this first release is a remix of the first opening from Yoshihiro Togashi’s Yu Yu Hakusho - "Smile Bomb" the House ☆ ☆ Punch Mix, and a remix of one of our favorite songs from Slayers Next - "Give a reason" Meeting of High-Speed Confessions Mix. Fans can click here and scroll to the bottom for a preview of 4 of the songs.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kirsten Dunst Video Posted!

Warning: only push the play button below if you are absolutely okay with the atrocious costume Kirsten Dunst is wearing. I think I want to name the costume "Nuclear Waste Sailor Venus". posted a video on Youtube today with some highlights of the shoot of this video in Akihabara. It's been busy behind the scenes lately but hopefully this weekend we can get you some updates! For now though...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Memories of Yoshinori Kanada

Yoshinori Kanada's (an animator involved with Sailor Moon SuperS) official memorial took place last Sunday at Suginami Kaikan Hall. ANIDO has posted photos of the event, along with links to boards for fans to post their condolences to his family, as well as bank account information for fans who want to donate to help pay for memorial expenses.

Earlier in statements to the press, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki referred to him as the Head Boss, even though he himself was Kanada's boss. They worked together on 6 films, from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984, to Princess Mononoke in 1997. He continued to say that usually 2 or more animators take charge of a scene that becomes animated, and that it was typical that tempers would flare up over how many scenes of movement were required, poses, picture issues etc. However, at an early age Kanada had such talent that whenever he was in charge of something, no one ever argued with him! He bought so many new and fresh ideas to anime, especially in series like Space Battleship Yamamoto or Galaxy Railroad 999. Kanada also never treated his work as easy, and he never changed his style, but thankfully, his style was good and always had a grasp on the audience. He had a knack for lightening up the office, and everyone would be laughing for a long time before they were even aware they were working late! After Kanada stopped working for Studio Ghibli, the two exchanged occasional messages, but Miyazaki never knew his private life. He was very confused when he learned of Kanada's death. He later said that Kanada was legendary, and one of his favorite people.

A whopping 1100 important figures in anime, as well as fans, attended his memorial service. Images, video, and storyboards of his past work were shown. Takashi Namaki, one of Kanada's oldest friends and Chair of ANIDO, greeted everyone at the beginning of the service. They had known each other for 37 years, and he was saddened that they would not be growing old together, with sorrow in his manner. Anime critic Ryusuke Hikawa called Kanada his friend, and an expert in animation and animation techniques. He continued and said that he was the star of all the animators, and that he had a collection of talent in this industry. Hideaki Anno, creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the director of Nausicaa, also spoke at the service and said it was too early for Kanada. He wanted to see more newer animation from Kanada, and how he very much adored his work as he looked at his portrait. During the service, many funny stories were shared, and the audience would burst into laughter amongst all the sorrow. Legendary director Rintaro also spoke, and said that he was bitterly disappointed he could not help Kanada-kun more and he should have done more work with him. His wife Makiko, shared a very private video of Kanada singing a song, that had the whole audience laughing and shaking! Makiko finished by saying that he liked to make people laugh, and that she appreciated to hear everyone laughing to ease her grief. She wanted to treat this service as more of a reunion than a send off. The writer of this article ended with a fitting comment: "the hall was wrapped in such a warm atmosphere." A happy ending to a sad and terrible occasion. We only hope that wherever Kanada-kun is now, that he could feel the warmth of his fans around the world.

New Commercials... With Subtitles!

We came across two new commercials today on Japanese streaming sites, and once again, we worked very hard along with one of our Moon Chase friends Aaron Maupin, to put them together! Sadly, the video quality of the original that we got this from wasn't that great and we re-encoded everything at the highest quality we could so we didn't lose too much more. Both of these begin with a "countdown" - 6 days before the Sailor Moon got back on the air, teasers would air with Kotono Mitsuishi recording a new voice over with a countdown by the day! The user who uploaded this cut just that part out of the teasers and made a countdown. The first one ends with a commercial we saw in the last batch, but the second one ends with a commercial we have never seen before. We hope you enjoy - and thanks again to Aaron Maupin for his help in translating! Go visit Game Socks!

Link: Second Sailor Moon ANIMAX CM with Subtitles!

Link: Third Sailor Moon ANIMAX CM with Subtitles!

Both commercials are uploaded to YouTube as well (first one and second one).

BREAKING NEWS: Tokyopop and Kodansha End Partnership!

In a move that came to a surprise to all of us this morning, we learned that Japanese manga publisher Kodansha has ended their partnership with North American manga publisher Tokyopop. There are a lot of titles that are being affected (many even mid-run). Earlier this year, Kodansha also ended their partnership with Tokyopop's German branch. We are all a bit heartbroken this morning because Tokyopop was one of the first companies to publish manga in North America, and Sailor Moon was one of their first titles too. Over the years at conventions they have gotten a lot of questions from Sailor Moon fans about whether they are still trying to get the rights to the manga, and the answer was always yes (and they also said the series was close to their hearts too). If there is any happier news to report from this, it seems some older properties that were once published by Tokyopop are now being published either by Del Rey or Dark Horse. Del Rey appears to have gotten the majority of newer titles too. As of this writing, we don't know what caused this move. However, Tokyopop has been fighting through their own share of financial troubles and company restructuring, along with never ending complaints by fans for their editing choices. Once again, buzz has resurfaced that Kodansha may be doing this in preparation for their own entrance into the English manga market.

The big question becomes, what does this mean for Sailor Moon? Novelizations that were once published by Tokyopop as companions to the series now may never get published again (or new ones added). We suspected the rights to the manga were in limbo in any case after what we learned from Italy, however if there is a slight chance for the manga to return , it is too early to say who it would go to. While everyone is saying to keep their eyes out on Del Rey and Dark Horse Manga for title licenses, we're going to watch Kodansha to see if they enter the market on their own or not.

Now, for those of you who are reading any of those series that are in limbo and ending in mid-run (check this list for more detail), you can write to Kodansha! Go here and send sales an e-mail. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO TALK ABOUT SAILOR MOON. We promise, that will come a little later. Inquire about those series that are in mid-run right now that you are a big fan of, and how much you would like to hear of a license for it pretty soon - and if you were happy with Tokyopop's translation, vouch for them!

For now though, we will send pertinent results to Tokyopop just to be on the safe side, and a copy will go to Kodansha. As of this writing we don't know what stance Del Rey or Dark Horse has towards Sailor Moon.