Hey Moonies! Why not celebrate the return of Sailor Moon by supporting one of the most well-loved voices of the Engish version today? Judd Apatow's Funny People is in theaters today and Stephanie Beard (Rini #2) is featured in a Thanksgiving dinner scene. From what we have heard, she can be seen and heard laughing louder than Adam Sandler! This small appearance is huge news for us Sailor Moon fans since this has been a big year for Sugar. After what seemed like an eternity without seeing her anywhere, she voiced a special character on an entire episode of King of the Hill, and now we get to see a glimpse of her on the silver screen. Congrats, Sug! And we totally know you will rock your next audition!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Popular Japanese streaming service GyaO announced earlier this month that subscribers would now have access to Yoshihiro Togashi's epic anime, Yu Yu Hakusho. Every Friday, 5 new episodes will be posted for subscribers, and the first week's episodes are free. Delivery of episodes began on July 17th. Fees for the series are as follows. ¥105 will give you access to those 5 episodes for 3 days, ¥1,470 will give you access to episodes 6-25 for 30 days, and there are also ¥420 packages which will give you access to the week's episodes for 7 days. No word yet on if the show will return to television as of this writing. The episodes will be presented in high quality Windows Media Video format, at 768 kbps.
Moonies, the media outlets in Japan didn't bother to report a press release from ANIMAX that was released almost a week earlier, even though it was posted on ANIMAX's site and on animeanime.jp. We're surprised our handy radar points didn't catch on it either! So for this, we're apologizing in advance before we tell you what we learned! No wonder we couldn't find it on the day of the press conference! On July 23rd at approximately 7PM Japan Time, ANIMAX posted a news release announcing the return of the series. This was later posted to animeanime.jp. The releases don't tell us anything new that we didn't share with you when we first found out. The release also acknowledges that the show was a phenomenal hit around the world. However, this is the first Sailor Moon related press release any of us have read that acknowledges the fans. These are the last two paragraphs.
However, it was not broadcast on television for a long time inside and outside the country in recent years. Because of many hopeful voices for a television broadcast from loving fans which were loud, the broadcast beginning on ANIMAX becomes the one to answer the expectation of such fans.
Sailor Moon was very popular before, and will be popular among children of a new generation who will become fans, and they will be touched by the show.
See fans? If we all work together there is nothing that we can't do to make our voices heard. We really have to give credit to the fans in Japan - be it the celebrities over the last several years who have shown their love for the show in their own little ways, or the fans who have kept the fandom alive through their own sites and communities. You have helped to bring the show back, and we hope that one day we will all be able to celebrate with you!
This picture comes from Emily's site - Sailor Moon Snipits! The picture being used in press releases looked a little faded to us.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Last night, as we were searching for more information on this not-confirmed rumor that the show is going to return, we did some digging. The interview will either be posted on AnimeFun, or the forum founder's website, AnimenoCensura. It also looks like the forum is letting fans get in on the interview, so post here if you have any questions for him! It seems one fan has already asked a question about where the rights are to Sailor Moon.
Also, in Italy, the June issue of Cartoni magazine had an eight page feature about Sailor Moon. The article talks about the series, the movies, the characters, the plight it faced in Italy, and also features an interview with Elizabetta Spinelli, the Italian voice of Sailor Moon. It also has a feature quiz asking which Sailor Senshi you would be! To see pictures of the spread, click here to visit Sailor Moon Fantasy!
We also found out that a fan-written book was published in Italy just weeks ago by Iacobelli SRL , a private publisher. I ♡ Anime: Sailor Moon La Bella Ragazza Guerriera was written by an otaku, Elena Romanello, and is part of their Collana I ♡ Anime series. The title translates to: The Beautiful Girl Warrior. The book is about her cultural impact around the world (especially on gender roles), during her run and beyond when she vanished into thin air. There is a special section about complaints (of which there were a lot in Italy) as well as cosplay! From what we have read it is quite a hot seller! The book is available at many online retailers.
And if that wasn't enough, we found a product named after Sailor Moon. Trucco Minerale has an apricot blush shade called "Sailormoon". It is described as having a delicate pale apricot color that illuminates the cheekbones. It should be paired with an illuminating eyeshadow. One blogger noted that if used sparingly, the color is delicate, and the name is attractive. Seeing something like this makes us wonder what else have we yet to find that has been named after Sailor Moon?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mitsuishi Kotono Makes Announcement!
Not too long ago, we told you about a marathon ANIMAX was holding to revive people's spirits towards anime in Japan. Breaking not too long ago, was a very important programming announcement out of Japan: Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) made a special appearance yesterday in Tokyo at a press conference to announce that ANIMAX will be airing the series from Monday to Friday at 4 O'Clock , starting in September! The Toei Channel will also re-air the series. The article hailed Sailor Moon as an icon of the 90s, being a hit not only with girls but with adults too!
Kotono also said how grateful she was to have played Sailor Moon, as it was her first serious starring role! She also says that her daughter is a fan of the show, just like she is, and smiled! She also shared a story: She had a nightmare the night before her audition for the role, thinking that her mic would be taken away before she got the chance to finish. She was overjoyed to have gotten this role.
This happy news brings us tears of joy. We don't know what prompted this, but we are so glad that whatever it is, did! Sailor Moon's long overdue comeback has begun!
ありがとう, 武内直子 ^_^
EDIT: Despite my best efforts, I am very surprised to see that Toei and Animax do not have any stories about this on their sites! Eiga was one of the first sites to report it yesterday, and there is an image of our beloved superheroine included in the release. Moreover, Naoko and PNP are credited!
There are rumors of a return of Sailor Moon in Italy. These rumors are entirely unconfirmed and we have little reason to believe they are 100% true. Still, some facts are promising when comparing these to previous rumors, including listing a higher-up at the supposed network as a source. On the italian forum AnimeFun, we found the original post, however to find the quote sites everywhere are posting we had to look elsewhere. We have confirmed that Fabrizio Margaria, the source that is being quoted, does in fact, work for Mediaset Italy.
Dopo lungo lavoro di convincimento, hanno sbloccato i diritti quindi confermo che dal 2010 l’intera serie sarà di nuovo in onda.
Translation: After a lot of work convincing, they have unblocked the rights. Therefore I confirm in 2010, there will be a new wave of the entire series.
We're not sure what this "New Wave" means. If the series returns, will it be a re-dub? Or everything that aired in the past will air again in a new showing? This is a very exciting time to be a Sailor Moon fan... in Italy at least. Last we heard FUNImation was still having issues with the creator (at Otakon). At least one site is reporting this news with anticipation!
We are keeping our eyes on this situation. Our readers in Italy - please send us an email at moonchasersNOSPAMPLZKTHXAPPLEPIE@gmail.com if you hear anything new!
Hey Moonies, The Me here with some more fan creations that we've come across.
This first one was sent into us by an anonymous fan:
It's a very cute homemade Chibi-Moon doll and we thank the fan who sent it in for making it and sharing it with us! EDIT: The fan who created this is Sailor Mini Moon on our forums!
Now, onto lunch! Here are a couple of Sailor Moon related bento we found!
This Luna-P bento is a large colored rice ball, surrounded by pico de gallo with some provolone, nori, tomato and jalapeño to make up the face.
The creator of this Sailor Moon bento doesn't mention what it's made out of, but it looks very pretty and delicious!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
In my efforts to bring you stories featuring Sailor Moon from Asian Media, I thought this was a good one to share for the weekend! Readers will have to forgive us because one of our staffers is just beginning to learn Korean and the majority of this comes from web translation (but we did compare it back to what the original news article said). Yuko Hashimoto wrote an interesting editorial for Searchina News highlighting an essay that she found on a Korean Blogger's site. The blogger's name is Annie, but she goes by the username Dochiani. She wrote a very long essay about how there has always been tension between South Korea and Japan and she tries to make her voice heard saying that each side should do more to learn about the other. She doesn't like how South Korea in the past limited imports of media from Japan leaving many to learn from whatever illegal bootlegs they could acquire. Annie shared her stories of discovering the "floozy" Sailor Moon in High School, Japanese fashion in the Green Zone, and of watching Evangelion and Studio Ghibli Films. They were just as enjoyable as Korean media, if not more. It was then, ten years ago, that she decided to read some books about Japan. And it was difficult to find any books that didn't paint a harsh picture of the country there. Later, she learned that Japan didn't have very much about South Korean history in their libraries. Tensions between the countries have only been resolved very recently. But it was through her discovery of anime that she was inspired to learn more about Japan and it's culture through means other than certain political restrictions would allow. The blog entry is here, but most translators (if you want to read it all) won't work on the site. Your best bet is to select the text downwards from the heading and pasting it in.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Moon Chase has just learned a few more details regarding a public memorial for Yoshinori Kanada. It will take place on August 30th at Suginami Kaikan Hall. Suginami Kaikan Hall is in part home to an "Animation Museum" since many animation studios have their headquarters in Suginami Ward. It has become known as the "Heartland of Anime". We think this is a wonderful place to honor such a legendary animator! It is expected that many famous animators will attend, and New Akiba Online reports Hayao Miyazaki will be there as well. Anido has also posted a guest list which includes not only Hayao, but another legendary director at Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata. Hiroshi Takahashi, president of Toei Animation, anime producer Masao Maruyama, Tezuka Productions President Takayuki Matsutani, and Square Enix President Yochi Wada are also listed to attend. Legendary directors Rintaro and Hideaki Anno will also be there, as well many other animators which worked on Sailor Moon. These are Kazuhiro Ochi (a key animator on Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies), Hideyuki Motohashi (Animation Director of Sailor Moon R and S TV seasons), Keisuke Watanabe* (Key Animator Sailor Moon R TV), and Mamoru Kurosawa (Key Animator on the Sailor Moon R movie, and an Animation Director on Sailor Moon S TV). Some animators which also worked on Yu Yu Hakusho will be attending. As of this writing we cannot say for sure whether Naoko Takeuchi and/or Yoshihiro Togashi will attend. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the service will run from 7 until 9. Fans are allowed to attend (and admission is free), however each fan which is lucky enough to get a ticket will only be given a maximum of two, as the venue capacity is only 1200. A website will be posted here with details. Children under 5 are not allowed. Events will include memorial addresses from a few of the special guests, and a presentation of flowers. There will be no collection of any kind for fans to send their condolences.
We have learned in the last few days, Kanada was a much bigger influence on anime than we ever knew. Yoshinori, we are glad to have had you work on Sailor Moon, even if it was only for one season, and your contributions to the anime and video game industry will last forever. We send our deepest condolences and sympathies to your family, friends, and colleagues across the anime and video game industry. You will truly be missed.
*Keisuke is a Key Animator on current hit Gurren Lagann, and recently spoke of how Kanada has influenced his animation, calling himself a heir of the "Kanada System".
Friday, July 24, 2009
Yesterday at the San Diego Comic-Con, Microsoft announced plans to create a series of short anime films based on it's hugely popular Halo franchise. Halo Legends will feature the direction of legendary anime directors Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed). Much like Batman: Gotham Knight, many animation studios are collaborating on this production. They are: Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4 Degrees C, and Toei. Previews will be released on XBox Live in the Fall, with the series being released on disc and digital in 2010. Fans can check out the trailer here! Interesting to note here is how Toei in this press release once again drops Sailor Moon's name in a list of anime which were hits globally. Three out of four of those series are currently available in the North American market. Who knows why Toei continues to name a series we can't even see in their press releases?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
One of the first mahou shojo (magical girl) anime from the 1980s is getting a revival next year during Japan's Golden Week - in the form of a musical! Magical Princess Minky Momo has her 30th anniversary in 2012, and in anticipation of that, the anime is currently being rebroadcast, and a bunch of new merchandise is also available. There is also a 30th anniversary anime in the works for 2012, too! The title character, Princess Minky Momo is sent from the Land of Dreams in the Sky to help people on Earth remember their dreams when she transforms into various different people with occupations for special situations. When she makes a person happy, a jewel appears in her crown. Once she has earned 12 jewels, her kingdom will return to Earth and all happiness will be restored! Yesterday, it was announced that this revival will include a musical, which will make it's debut during Golden Week in Spring of next year. The crew announced so far includes screen and songwriter Hiroi Oji (best known for authoring Sakura Taisen), and producers Tomio Kanda (of theater giant Argo-Musical in Japan) and Toshiyuki Takezawa, best known for producing several Sera Myu musicals, and working as a producer on PGSM. They also plan to update the story for the 21st century! Auditions are currently being planned for girls of junior-school age in Japan, as well as a girl in the 2nd or 3rd grade to play Princess Minky Momo. The deadline for applications for auditions is September 15th, with application details being released on August 1st. Details will also be released through Puchigumi Magazine and Shogakukan.
Who knows what kind of treatment Sailor Moon might get on her 20th anniversary in 2012? Naoko, wouldn't it be nice if you could let the world remember her and let the show come back so something really big could be celebrated?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Moon Chase has just learned an animator on the SuperS TV series has passed away. Yoshinori Kanada suffered a sudden heart attack and died yesterday in Japan at the age of 57. Yoshinori was a legend in the anime industry, having worked on many prominent Studio Ghibli films, anime series, and was even a layout artist on the innovative US CGI masterpiece, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. He was known to many as a "Superanimator" having been an animator since the 1970s. Yoshinori began studying animation at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College, but later dropped out and began working for Toei Animation. His debut was a magical girl series called Mahou no Mako-chan. He also worked on the epic series Galaxy Express 999. He later left Toei and worked for a few years as part of an independent animator group under the leadership of Shingo Araki, before moving to Sunrise where he worked on mecha anime such as Getter Robo. Later in his career, he would return to Toei to work on a few series, including Sailor Moon SuperS. In the mid 80s he worked with Studio Ghibli on their biggest films, including Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso, and Princess Mononoke. In 1998 , he worked as a layout artist on Square Pictures' Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and it was during this time that he was given the opportunity to be in charge of video game production for Square Enix. He worked as an animation director on Final Fantasy XI, worked storyboards for Final Fantasy IV on the Nintendo DS, and directed two Egg Monster Hero games. He continued to work in anime as well, including the 2001 movie Metropolis and Great Sky Demon Dragon Gaiking in 2005. He was also an esteemed member of the animators collective ANIDO, and the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCa). Anime News Network has also posted an article, here.
He was most influential since his debut, always finding new ways to use animation to thrill viewers, despite the limits of technology at the time. He developed his own personal style, and this later inspired many other animators to do the same. His funeral has yet to be announced, but sources say it will be relatives only. A public memorial will be held at a later date - ANIDO writes that it may be on August 30th, with time and location TBA. Our entire staff sends out our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. May he rest in peace.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
We came across this article from a couple weeks ago posted on Manga News. A major manga publisher in France, Glénat, takes the time each month to answer questions from fans on their forums. This month's question set featured an interesting one about Sailor Moon and Ranma 1/2 from one of their fans. We are posting a translation, mais pour les fans qui comprennent le francais, vous peuvent lire l'article ici.
Q: I would love to know if the end of the marketing of Sailor Moon is also in Japan. Is it possible to know the reasons that motivated such a decision from Naoko Takeuchi? I also see that Sailor V is in still in your catalog as well (Note: it is listed as being out of print). Is this normal? Besides that, will the licence for Ranma 1/2 expire in France?
A: We do not know the particular terms of the contract between the author and her Japanese editor. The author alone decided to manage the rights of her work abroad, she has been controlling them since the contracts arrived to the end of their renewal. We don't know the reasons that motivated her choice, we can only suppose that the most logical reason was an economic one, this is the first consequence of this act. The license of Ranma 1/2 is not foreseen to expire, which concerns another author, that did not decide to recover her rights.
We have also more or less learned that FUNImation is in the same boat with the rights to the anime. We are halting our Japanese letter writing phase plans as now we are hoping to find better contacts in Japan in light of all of this news. Fans are not advised at this time to contact Nakayoshi or Kodansha, as the manga has been out of print for two years now, and neither has published any new work from her since. Pretty much the only marketing of Sailor Moon that we have seen since is on Sailor Moon Channel.
To answer the fan's question about Naoko's appearance at Otakon in 2010 - we can't say for sure right now. However, given that she only rarely comes out of hiding (her appearance at Bandai Hobby Center being her first in years), as of now it isn't looking terribly likely. We also don't know what is up with her husband, Yoshihiro Togashi as he disappears in and out of the manga industry for indeterminate periods of time. Perhaps if he returns to a more regular schedule this could hint for a possible return for Naoko to manga but for now it's looking that 99% she will not be there.
We are filing this under Operation Moonrise so that fans can see what other companies are saying about the rights!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Hi Moonies! We've got another North American VA exclusive for you all at the end (we always save the best things for last)!
The Death of Alice Blue to Finally Have Canadian Premiere!
A movie we have been following for a very long time is finally going to premiere in its home country! The Death of Alice Blue (part I - The Bloodsucking Vampires of Advertising) has been invited for its Canadian premiere to the Montreal World Film Festival. This one runs from August 27th to September 7th, and we'd tell you more except that as of this writing none of the films showing this year have been announced on the site. We wonder if any of the VAs in this one (Barbara Radecki, Katie Griffin and her husband Michael Kulas) are going to attend? Congratulations to Park Bench and Alex Appel for finally getting this movie a premiere in Canada and here's hoping it gets a distributor so the rest of us can see it soon!
A Sapphire Shines Again!
Lyon Smith (Prince Sapphire) shared some news and stories with us! He has his own official site now which we encourage fans to go visit - he posts a lot of really cool links to his works too! While his time on Sailor Moon wasn't as pleasant as many fans may think it might have been, he is also excited about a possible redub and if he was given the chance he would do it again! Hey FUNImation, are you reading this? Consider Canada for a re-dub! This is our second official VA that has confirmed to be interested in reprising their role for a re-dub of Sailor Moon (this is great news for Operation Moonrise)! Some fans may not know this behind-the-scenes story, but when Lyon was first cast he was called in to replace Tuxedo Mask. It was his first series that he had landed as a regular! At the time though, production was too intense (and we've heard similar stories from other actors from those first years). But the show did launch his voice career, and since then he has voiced memorable roles in other anime, cartoons and video games! He played Pythias in Mythic Warriors: Guardians of Legend, the Mysterious Guy in Biohazard 0, Kevin and Michael in Beyblade, Ed in Get Ed, Magma in Spider Riders, and he is currently appearing in Bakugan Battle Brawlers which has been a huge hit with the kids all over North America! In the first season he played Masquerade, and in the second season (which is recording right now) he plays Prince Hydron. And this prince's voice is based on none other, but the Japanese voice of Prince Diamond! We really admire Lyon Smith for watching episodes of Sailor Moon in Japanese - we're not sure how many others have (we know Roland Parliament did for sure). He will be reprising his role as Masquerade for the upcoming Bakugan video game. And there's even more Lyon to be heard in CBC's Magi-Nation - he plays the hero, Tony Jones! In another awesome coincidence, Lyon was also a student of Roland's!
Lyon Smith is also a budding musician - he writes his own music and also helps out with sound design for plays in Toronto. He currently composed music and worked sound design for the play A Singularity of Being, which is loosely based on the life of Steven Hawking. Lyon's music is really worth checking out if you're into alternative rock! He covered the song You Believe in Rock and Roll for a David Bowie tribute album (2.CONTAMINATE) which is on iTunes. He has his own site for fans to check out his music - and altrock fans will take a liking! There's even a bit of experimental and mashing in there too. And best of all, all the music is free! He is also on MySpace as well. We once again encourage all our readers to check out his music.
Special thanks to Lyon and best of luck on your upcoming works!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Our new Flaspoint blog, We Got the Solution is officially launched today! Please head over there and subscribe if you're interested in following all our Flashpoint coverage.
And, for anyone heading to Polaris this weekend in Richmond Hill, Ontario; I'll be attending the Flashpoint panel. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
It has been a long time since we've posted any summaries of letters we have read on Sailormoon Channel, but one from just a few days ago has piqued our interest. A 16-year-old girl named Amelie from Tokyo wrote in to say that all girls around the world know and love Sailor Moon and it is a great place to start conversation - especially in foreign languages! Amelie later wrote that she was happy to have the chance that this lets her have a conversation in English and it has helped her improve her English language skills. We'll let you read into why you think this letter was posted on your own. "Luna" replied saying that she is happy that the topic is so internationally known, and how it has helped advance conversational skills in English. Luna began her reply with a simple "Sugoi! Amelie is good at English!" Our other favorite letter was near the end when 14-year old wrote in saying that knowing all the names of the Senshi helped her learn the names of all the planets in English! Luna remarked that it was necessary to learn the planets in English for Science class.
And completely off topic, this marks my first entry on my new laptop :) the old one was destroyed by yet another virus prompting me to finally open my new one.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Hey Moonies! This once again is another completely off topic post, but The Me and I decided to post it because we have a lot of things in common with this fan community.
MTV used to air cartoons. Good ones too. Who here remembers a show called Daria? The show ran for 5 seasons, and has a special place in the heart of all of Moon Chase's staff members. This was a cartoon that really had teenage life down to a T. Sadly, this gem of a cartoon barely had any DVD or VHS releases, leaving many fans to turn to P2P to get their episodes. And back then, the technology just wasn't there. The Me and I have quite the collection of grainy, uncut, episodes in wonderful .rm format. Yes, there are better ones floating around, but unfortunately those were captured from reruns on Nickelodeon, where the show was edited. If you thought Sailor Moon's edits were terrible, some of the things that were cut out of Daria were just as ridiculous, if not more (I mean really, Nickelodeon? What was the reason for cutting out Sick, Sad, World?). One site continued to remain active to keep up with the fandom - Outpost Daria. We really love this site as it is the ultimate resource for anyone who is a fan of this cartoon!
Since 2002, there have been a few efforts by fans to get the show released in entirety on DVD. In fact, the show was so heavily requested that for quite a while now, the show was #3 on TVshowsonDVD's list of "Most Requested Unreleased Shows" . The Me and I have even on occasion lent our support wherever we could over the years. I remember 2-3 years ago there were some Daria shirts kicking around at a Hot Topic and I found one in a really obscure town. Needless to say, every time I wore the shirt everyone was asking where I got it and we'd reminisce about the show. We did our part wherever we could! Hours ago, we just received the best news from TVshowsonDVD - a blogger was lucky enough to get an advance copy of another release of an old MTV show, The State.And sure enough, there was a commercial about Daria being released in 2010. We were so excited to hear this news that we just had to share this with you - Daria fans have been waiting 7 years for a release like this, and we hope that this inspires all of you Sailor Moon fans to keep going even though sometimes it may seem like a lost cause! Now there are a couple things we haven't read a lot of details into - the first is, as of this writing we cannot confirm all of the original music cues will be included. Since Daria was on MTV, and MTV pretty much lived to play music videos, they had the rights to all the music that was played on the show anyway. However, times are different, and we had heard that this was the #1 reason why the show wasn't released for years. The second thing is, we're reading on forums that the show probably won't make it out till 3rd or 4th quarter 2010. We'd love for it to be sooner, but what's another year or so? At least the fans are getting a release!
All in all, all of us on staff are really happy and excited for this release! We hope this inspires fans who haven't had a lot of faith in Sailor Moon lately to join our campaign!
And we'd like to take this time to congratulate the staff of DVDaria for all their years of hard work - we're just starting to scratch the surface with the big names involved with Sailor Moon and your persistence in getting a release was really formidable. We hope that this release is everything that you hoped for!
In celebration, we've decided to share a few links to our favorite episodes.
Ep. 1x02: The Invitation
Ep 1x08: Pinch Sitter
Ep. 3x01: Daria!
Ep. 3x03: Depth Takes a Holiday
Ep. 3x06: It Happened One Nut
Ep. 5x13: Boxing Daria
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
And Morning Musume Member Reveals Secret Cosplay Fantasy?
It wasn't too long ago that Yasuo Yamaguchi (legendary anime producer), spoke out on turmoils in the anime industry. Japanese network ANIMAX, will be broadcasting a 24-hour anime marathon beginning on August 22nd at 7 PM. The special, entitled "We Like Anime" is meant to energize Japan about anime again. And, it has quite a bit of star power to help out for this special! Yesterday, a promotional event was held to announce the project, and some of Japan's most loved idols were there to talk about their involvement in the special, and which anime they liked! These idols were (from left to right) Natsuki Kato (she was in Battle Royale II), Chiaki Kuriyama (who many of you must know from Battle Royale and Kill Bill), Mari Yaguchi (former leader of Morning Musume), and Toshiki Kashu (Kamen Rider Agito). They all shared their stories of how they began to watch anime from kindergarten and of all of the series that had a special place in their hearts (such as Dragon Ball, Evangelion, Rozen Maiden, Detective Conan, and Fist of the North Star). But the really interesting part was when Mari talked about who she wanted to cosplay as! When she was little, she loved Sailor Moon and used to watch anime all day. She still dreams of cosplaying as Usagi Tuskino/Sailor Moon with her long blonde hair! OF course, the news outlets made her seem a little silly for this, but if Shoko Nakagawa can do it, why can't Mari? We look forward to hearing more about this special and maybe we'll even see Mari cosplay as our favorite superhero! We think a marathon like this is a step in the right direction to get Japanese people excited about anime again. While as of this moment we are unsure if Sailor Moon will be included, if this is the case, then this will be the first time the show has been on the air ANYWHERE in the world since the end of PGSM. ANIMAX, if you are reading this, please bring back Sailor Moon! It's long overdue for a return, and if Japan could for a moment, remember this show, many people would be excited to watch anime again as it was one of the biggest hits in the early nineties!!
Many news sites are talking about this event - let's hope that this marathon helps the anime industry!
The Banff World Television Festival was held from June 7-10th of this year! And among the many special guest speakers at the event were none other than the co-creators of Flashpoint, Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and Mark Ellis. At the festival, they held a one our session talking about their craft, and answering such burning questions like:
How do you make a Canadian series airing worldwide not look like it was made in Canada?
How much influence does CTV and CBS have on creative decisions, such as direction and casting?
¤Before it all started, the New York Times talked with Mark and Stephanie, along with Anne Marie La Traverse (Producer), Bill Mustos (Producer), and Nina Tassler (President of CBS). They spoke of how the show came to be, how it doesn't look Canadian, and how the American entertainment industry has shifted to allow more international fare to be broadcast. Flashpoint was a pioneer in letting Canadian TV get on US airwaves!
¤Days after the festival, cartt.ca posted an article talking about how the show was shaped at the writing table - instead of having a show runner, all of the writers and freelancers collaborate as a team. However, we disagree with their comment about their lack of experience. Stephanie Morgenstern has acted on various TV shows and wrote for two critically acclaimed short films, Remembrance and Curtains. The former even has a movie in the works. Mark Ellis was also a writer on Remembrance. While this may not seem like a lot, the fact that these two productions won many awards speaks volumes that they had some pretty good skills to start with! Plus, the show spent four years in development (watch the W5 special for more). That's more than many shows on the air today can say!
¤Sometime after the festival , the Calgary Sun posted an article wherein Mark and Stephanie talked about some of the challenges to stay true to Canada within the episodes, despite limitations put on by CBS.