Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask Become Zombies in Toronto

Happy Hallowe'en, Moonchasers!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009 was the date of the seventh annual Toronto Zombie Walk. The walk began at Trinity Bellwoods park and progressed along various streets of Toronto until the end point on Bloor street near Bathurst station.

Before the walk began, zombies gathered in the pit bordered by Dundas street and Gore Vale avenue, where organizers made some announcements and one organizer (Adam Pearson) even proposed to another organizer (Thea Munster)!

The walk began with zombies being directed to Dundas street to exit the park, and it wasn't long before it was clear that even Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask had become zombies!

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask lurched along with the crowd, barely noticing curious onlookers taking photographs. Groups of zombies were soon throwing themselves at bus shelters to scare the odd victim, while other groups took greater interest in stopped traffic, moaning and grasping at streetcars, buses, and cars, trying to claw their way through the windows to scare people traveling in Toronto that afternoon. A local news vehicle was even stopped by zombies who smeared blood on the outside and piled on the hood of the vehicle. The driver, like many spectators in Toronto that afternoon, seemed to find the event enjoyable to watch.

Other costumes included a group cosplaying as characters from the Legend of Zelda, pirates, medical staff in scrubs, Mr. T, Billy Mays, conjoined twins, a 1950's housewife with anger issues, brides, and zombie movie extras (they had signs explaining their lack of costume!). Unfortunately for the odd zombie hunter, they were vastly outnumbered by the zombies.

The organizers wore Umbrella Corporation uniforms, a very fitting tie-in to Resident Evil, one of this year's sponsors. It also reminded me of the 2004 movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which was filmed in Toronto and the surrounding area.

Many of the zombies were very well behaved, groaning for brains and randomly moaning, but obedient when organizers controlled pedestrian traffic around busier intersections.

Following the walk, there was a showing of zombie films at the Bloor Cinema, which seemed to attract a massive lineup.

The zombies were everywhere in Toronto last Saturday. The zombie slayers were hopelessly outnumbered, and it was interesting to see even Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask become zombies. They weren't the first Sailor Moon zombie cosplayers, but it's definitely an unusual way to cosplay characters from the series.

Have you ever dressed as a zombie version of a Sailor Moon character? We'd love to see your costume and share it on the site!

Thanks to Derek Haecker for providing photos.

BREAKING NEWS: Guess Who Fails To Acknowledge 20th Anniversary Celebration; Italy Manga and Anime News

Sailor Moon Channel Fails, Yet Again

This morning marked the first of Sailor Moon Channel's two monthly updates. And, this update seems to be incredibly bare bones. Only the Luna Report this time! And the letters aren't even worth talking about in too much detail. Here's what they are about: one reader looks forward to reading the Luna Report when it is updated, and oversleeps like Sailor Moon, one fan says they rented Sailor Moon from the stores up until last year, and wants to know how Minako got her pen (answer: Artemis gave it to her a year before she met Sailor Moon), a fan wants to be like Sailor Moon because she is gentle, pure, and strong, a 14-year old boy wrote in asking how long it would take him to grow his hair as long as his favorite superhero (answer: long hair requires lots of maintenance, but please keep supporting the show), and a very short letter from an 8-year-old fan wishing Usagi good luck on her tests. Last month's questions were a lot less shallow. Seriously? These were the best ones? But, considering it is a weekend, maybe sometime next week we will see a new "Flashimated" manga chapter. This is very disappointing since it is only a matter of days that fans still have left to order their DVDs from Toei, and there is just no mention on the official site. Earlier this week, Naoko Takeuchi was not listed to attend the 20th anniversary celebration either. Maybe we'll hear about this event in late December or January with a small token picture and short entry... what an appalling show from the creator. What gives, Naoko?

Italy's DVD Release Sparks Bidding War, and Still No Word on Manga

Italian Correspondent Lights sent us this link yesterday to a forums post from a fan who managed to get some more information. The lockdown may have happened because of many companies in the world selling the rights to the DVDs without Naoko knowing (but, we cannot confirm this since she is so secretive). 3 companies are currently engaged in a bidding war over the DVD release in Italy - DYNIT, Yamato Video Publishing, and Giochi Preziosi Publishing. The other interesting thing is these 3 companies are also fighting for an uncensored re-dub. We also read earlier this morning that Claudia Bovini, a staff member for Star Comics in Italy, still has no new news on any negotiations for the manga. It is likely that in the Fall of 2010, the show will air in the afternoons on a new channel, Italy 2. Fans, this is great news to know that there is competition going on for the release rights, and now it is all up to Toei and Naoko to let loose their grip on the series.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sailor Moon Cosplay - Just in Time for Halloween!

This video we're about to show you made the news in Japan! Michelle Phan is a Vietnamese-American student studying at the University of Florida, and her makeup and costuming videos ranging from Snow White to Lady Gaga have made her an internet sensation! She just posted one a few days ago of her Sailor Moon cosplay and the Japanese article noted that it was absolutely perfect. They also made mention of her call to Naoko Takeuchi. "Naoko Takeuchi If you are watching or reading this, thank you so much for creating a hero for all of us girls to look up to. I dream of meeting you one day. I would probably cry because you are one of my biggest inspiration. Arigato!" We're not going to say much more, but for all you die-hard cosplayers, this video speaks for itself! If any of our readers are dressing up like characters Sailor Moon, please send us pictures - we'd love to feature them!

Kotono Mitsuishi Appears at Showcase Event for Kokekko-San!

Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) was all smiles when she appeared on October 26th for a showcase event for the new CG cartoon, Kokkeko-San! Before we get to that though, we were so pleased to see the last article we posted on this series get mentioned on an Italian TV Blog!

At the showcase, a few clips were shown, and some 3-d clay models used in the animation were also on display with the original books the show is based on. And after we saw those pictures, we have to say they did a great job in bringing the characters from the book to life! Kotono said that she liked to voice the role of the mother "egg", but sometimes it was hard to portray a voice that had the essence of parenting with this bright motherly character who had lots of energy! She was reminded of elementary school when she began work on this series, and also noted that "chicken" was her nickname in middle school! She feels that it was fate that she is playing this role now. She also draws from her own experience of being a mother when playing the role as well. At the conference, she also bought another "person" with her, and performed a few lines in another familiar character's voice: Misato Kutsanagi from Evangelion! This series will be playing in both South Korea and Japan within days of each other, and is looking to be a hit for families!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: 5 Senshi to Unite and Himeka to Perform for 20th Anniversary Event!

This broke about 6 hours ago in Japan! (Will add a picture later). After 12 years, Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon), Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury), Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars), Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter) and Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) will be appearing at a special event on December 6, 5 days ahead of the release and ahead of the 20th anniversary of the manga in 2011. The doors will open at 4:30PM, and the event will start from 5 and run until 9! They will be sharing their memories of working on Sailor Moon at the event with fans, and there will also be an episode screening. Admission is free but tickets will be limited! For those of you who want to try to get tickets, they will be available via a lottery at Toei's DVD shop. 20 people will be chosen from those who have pre-ordered the collection by then. ANIMAX will also have a contest.Rising star Himeka, who was partly inspired by Sailor Moon to pursue her anime singing career, will also be singing at this event! We have covered her in the past on Moon Chase. In the press release on, she says that Sailor Moon is what "jump started" her on anime! This will be taking place at UDX in Akihabara, at the same place Kazuko Tadano recently appeared at a session for JAM 2009.

As of this writing, it is unknown if Naoko Takeuchi herself will be attending this event. She is not listed to attend at all in the press release, and we really hope she does. The other strange thing is that the press release makes note that it is the 20th Anniversary of the manga in 2011, and that this is an early celebration. We think this might be happening now because the boxsets are set to go out of print at the end of 2011. She posted about the show re-airing on Sailor Moon Channel a month after it came back on the air, but has yet to mention the new boxsets. Kotono has also been doing much of the publicity for the show. This is great news Moonies! We are sure there are more details to come! Toei has even put up a new banner announcing the event at their official 20th Anniversary page! Special Thanks to Toy Soldier for pointing that out to us this morning!

For Japanese fans who want to get in on the lottery to attend this event, pre-order your DVDs from here, or here. They are a little more pricey than other places, but if we were in Japan, we'd pre-order from Toei just to get in on this draw!

EDIT: ANIMAX now has a page up, along with another with the rules and regulations of the lottery. They are dubbing the event "Sailor Moon Event Sailor Talk". We love the banner and the graphics on their site. ANIMAX has 50 tickets to the event that fans can win, and from what the site says there can only be 100 guests. 100 seems a little low for something like this, why not up it to 500? Those of you who are in Japan and want to read the regulations, click here!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sailor Sightings October 2009 - Part 2!

Before we get started, twitter follower @MikeinGB pointed us to a sighting of Sailor Moon on IGN. In a list of the 25 top anime characters (put together by writer Chris McKenzie), Sailor Moon scored #9! She was chosen for her impact on American anime fandom... and on a special group of fans.

Can't Say Something in German? Call it Sailor Moon!

I debated sharing this article with you since it's really small potatoes, but I thought some of you might find it as humorous as I did. Akiko Lorenzo Oya (pictured left) is an automotive journalist who was born in Japan, and edited for the magazine SUPER CAR GRAPHIC for 7 years. Now he lives in Siena, Tuscany (in Italy), and writes for Japanese car publications. He really loves working with European cars. He visited the city of Zell am See in Salzburg, Austria, to do some research about the Porsche. The city is the home of the Ferry Porsche Congress Center and the Porsche Design Studio.He decided to stay in a Bed and Breakfast that cost 35 Euros a night, in the district of Zellermoos. Unfortunately, he could not remember what the name of the district was due to his bad memory, and called the town "Sailor Moon". Moreover, the Inn Owner's name became "Uncle Sailor Moon" (pictured right). I had a good laugh when I read this! He was greeted at the inn by an excited dog and a child, but he decided to bare this dog and stay here when he saw Uncle Sailor Moon calm him down. Uncle Sailor Moon does have a name, Jan, and he is Slovakian! Akio wrote that he had a silly time doing this even though he spotted Jan muttering to himself. Jan wondered why Akio had such a preference for cars being built outside his own country, but Akio said that he thought that there was no difference in quality control, and later mentioned that he really likes fast cars. The rest of the article goes into some Porsche and Volkswagen history and facts, but that's way beyond the scope of his blog.

Uchinanchu in Washington, D.C. Reflects on Classmate Exchange and Anime Conventions

Uchinanchu is a very specific Japanese name for Okinawans that are living around the world. In a feature for Japan's Ryukyu Shimpo, one Uchinachu in Washington, D.C., wrote about a classmate who went on an exchange to Japan, and thoughts on anime conventions. The writer says that anime is still a popular hobby among high school students, and that it is the top motivator for them to learn Japanese. A classmate said that his favorite anime was Sailor Moon, and Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) was his favorite character! This student had recently gone on a Japanese exchange, and shortly after arriving there, spent ¥10,000 on Sailor Moon merchandise. This more than surprised his homestay. When he came back, he came with suitcases of merchandise, even ten copies of a volume of manga to share with friends or sell. He compared this to students wearing long overcoats filled with merchandise! The writer said that he was enchanted by conventions, especially how fans go the extra mile to act the air of the characters that they cosplay. The writer asked one of the con sponsors why anime is so popular, and the person answered by saying that the characters are more psychologically complex, and the stories and animation are much richer. Animation from the U.S. just doesn't compare! The writer makes note that anime is now one of Japan's biggest exports to the United States, and hundreds of thousands of fans attend anime conventions each year in America's biggest cities.

For All Of You Wishing You Had an Anime Themed Car...

Annually there is a special festival in Japan celebrating car painting, and in recent years many have taken to anime characters. The writer of the article called for more Slayers and Sailor Moon cars to help cars sell in other countries, but unfortunately if there were any cars themed around those animes, there are no pictures featured! We're not going to say much else except that fans should give these links a look!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kazuko Tadano Talks Anime and Draws Sailor Moon at JAM 2009!

We have a third person to add to the list of VIPs who drew Sailor Moon recently in Japan! The first was Naoko Takeuchi, the second was Kimiharu Obata, and now, Sailor Moon Character Designer Kazuko Tadano (2nd from left)! We mentioned not too long ago that Kazuko would be attending JAM 2009 and appearing as part of a special panel devoted to 40 years of anime. Four other animators from different "generations" of anime were going to speak about the form and how they got into it, and how it has changed. They also shared their secrets on creating characters who demonstrate the theme of the anime. Kazuko had a neat tidbit to say about her time on Sailor Moon! Did you know that her designs for the Senshi had to go through a special, secret, "audition"? She remembers she had to fax in her drawings from a convenience store because faxes were not widespread in those days! This one, single, audition turned her life around, she said. Kazuko also felt that because she was drawing Sailor Moon live, there was increased pressure on her to draw her perfectly, making sure that her lines did not stray away from where they should be!

We really wish that there was more from Kazuko Tadano, and if another news report comes our way we will definitely share the details with you! For now though, here is her drawing-in-progress of Sailor Moon! We also found a larger version of the completed picture, as well as animator Atsuko Watanabe holding it proudly (we think it was a gift from Kazuko)! Atsuko was said to have been very happy to have the chance to see Kazuko draw Sailor Moon! Kazuko is also teaching special classes through Tokyo Design Academy.

**WARNING** we used a second article as a source for this post, however we are rating this site R simply because there are too many scantily clad girls posted on the sidebars. Please visit at your own discretion.

New Sailor Moon Posters!

And they are shiny, glittery, and holographic too! Chibicrystal posted an image in the Sailor Moon Forums, and we did some poking around and found a few available on Yahoo Auctions Japan. Fans who want to bid on these posters can use Rinkya at their own discretion. We love the glittering Sailor Moon on these posters - maybe it is a hint of things to come on the DVD boxsets?

And for our Italian readers, we stumbled on this old photo a tourist took in Rome probably around 2000-2001. This poster was posted on a pillar in a Rome train station, and says "Happy New Year Girls!" It shows some nifty Sailor Moon schoolbags, and and also has the maker's name on the poster: Giochi Preziozi. This is the same company who held the license for Sailor Moon toys and will be making new toys in the new year!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Keiko Kitagawa : Finding Fame in Her Own Way!

Real Sports Web posted an interesting editorial about Keiko Kitagawa, and how her clean past is keeping her with her agency, Stardust Promotion. The agency recently dropped one of its "breadwinner" stars, Erika Sawajiri over allegations of drug abuse. Given the recent arrests of many stars in Japan for drug abuse, Stardust is axing any star with even the slightest hint of a drug problem. The article then talked about how Keiko is now playing many leading roles, such as the recent TV Drama Buzzer Beat, and in her very first Japanese period movie, Hana no Ato. We have a beautiful shot of her from this movie featured today (more can be found here)! Keiko will be featured next in the movie Elevator To The Gallows. She has been called a starlet who is "a step ahead of today's generation". Originally, she had been a local model, but later transitioned to drama. Playing Sailor Mars in PGSM was her first role, however in recent times her agency has tried to keep knowledge of that at bay. Keiko has never been one to show very much of her body, and the article makes special mention that she is the only star of PGSM who has not turned to the world of gravure idols (and makes specific mention of Miyuu Sawaii in this context). However, because there were a few shots of her bloomers, this has somewhat taken away from her wholesome image. However, now that Keiko has a more "developed figure" and that she is now a more respected model, this isn't a huge deal anymore (though some still think that PGSM is an obscure credit). The writer ends the article hoping that Keiko tries more, and that she also cosplays a bit in the future.

In Japanese society though, gravure idols aren't seen as being "dirty" like they are perceived in North American culture. For many girls in fact, the only way for them to really get their start in the industry most times is to get into gravure modeling. We have to admire Keiko Kitagawa for avoiding these things largely and becoming a respected star in Japan. Fans, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think Keiko necessarily made the wrong decision in not pursuing a gravure career after PGSM ended?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BREAKING NEWSFLASH: YTV Picks Up Second Half of Pretty Cure!

Well, the first 26 episodes of the first season of Pretty Cure must have been a hit, since YTV has just picked up the other 23 episodes! Both Worldscreen and Animation Magazine have reported this, but we are anxiously awaiting word from Corus and/or YTV for official confirmation! The releases don't say much else other than what the series is about. Nonetheless , we are all excited, and we wish the cast and crew of Pretty Cure the best of luck in the recording of these upcoming episodes! We also can't wait to see the new episodes and see how the saga ends in English. As of this writing, we have yet to hear if any networks south of the border will pick this up, but we have a feeling that once this season is finished, perhaps one network will be brave enough to invest in a girls' superhero show (see Toei, Sailor Moon can succeed on TV again if another show in the same genre can do it).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sailor Sightings October 2009!

We'll start with sports! We haven't seen so many sports sightings in such a long time, proving that Sailor Moon has fans from almost every walk of life!

☽ High school volleyball player Nikki Glass is making waves and leading her team to victory. In her profile, she listed Sailor Moon as her favorite cartoon as a kid. Her team is currently sitting in first place in their division standings! Way to go, Nikki!

☽ Virginia Tech football player Ryan Williams shared his inspiring life story, from growing up in a bad neighborhood to living out his dreams in high school. He also shared the important lessons he learned from his mentally-disabled older brother, Dontaye. The two share a special bond, and Ryan was always there behind him, even when times got tough. When he was younger, the two would watch cartoons like Transformers and Sailor Moon, and they continue to watch cartoons together today.

Onto visual art!

☽ Roger Shimomura has an interesting art exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle. His paintings are all self portraits superimposed on pop-culture icons, and one of them includes Sailor Moon. Considering that this was painted in 2004, it's hard to tell whether it was influenced more by the manga or PGSM, but he has painted Sailors Moon, Mercury, and Mars in their anime style, but with elements that were not used in the anime (Sailor Moon's choker is noticeably different, and Roger crossed his glasses with a shape familiar to manga fans). Fans can check out more of his works on display here.

☽ Teens who are patients at Australia's West Footscray Royal Children’s Hospital are taking a novel approach to treating their mental disorders - creating art! These paintings were created through art therapy programs. While therapists are reluctant to interpret the art that they are painting, the art serves as a way for patients to express themselves and to identify their emotions and issues, along with their causes. What really struck us was a seemingly hopeful painting that one girl painted of Sailor Moon. She hoped for more power in her personal life. Sailor Moon is a special character who went from being someone who had little confidence in herself, to a superhero that was capable of saving the world, and never giving up the fight. She means a lot to so many people - and this is one of the reasons why we wish the show could come back.

Celebrity Jabber!

The Daily Show's correspondent Samantha Bee, has sure come a long way from her odd jobs at alternative theaters in Toronto! The Toronto Star profiled her last weekend, and talked about her new Off-Broadway show. We enjoyed reading how she met her "Tuxedo Mask" while playing Sailor Moon at Toronto's CNE several years ago! She considers it one of the low points in her career (but we sure don't). We tried to find a picture of her as Sailor Moon but were unsuccessful.

☽ And it seems that horrid Kisten Dunst video has finally made its debut in London. Read a fan's account of it here!

And as we end this article, we'll leave you with this thought. Is Tuxedo Mask really a headache?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Intel in Akiba 2009 with Mitsuishi Kotono

Hey Moonies! This is a bit of an older sighting, but back in late July, Intel was showing off their new Core i7 processor at their Intel in Akiba event! And there to help present it was none other than Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailor Moon)!

She introduced and concluded the event in the voice of one of her other famous characters: Misato Katsuragi from Evangelion! Although she admitted not being very good with computers, with some help from some friends, she runs her own website.

Intel also announced a custom computer and laptop building service intent on making the process easier for customers. Mitsuishi Kotono noted that using one of these laptops at a cafe on the WIMAX internet services will make her look like "a real working lady".

As the resident Moonchase technophile, I have to admit that this offering from Intel has a little something special inside:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Minor Character Voice Strikes it Big!

And Doesn't Forget His Roots!

Once again, a minor character is striking it big in the anime industry! Daisuke Sakaguchi (picture courtesy played a few minor characters in Sailor Moon; his most well known one being that of Kyuusuke Sarashina, a friend of Chibi-Usa's. He is currently starring as Akira Nanase, a college student who is both the butt of many jokes and friend to Toya Fujii in a new anime called White Album. This anime is a slice-of-lifer about Toya trying to keep in touch with his drifting girlfriend Yuki, who is attempting to pursue an idol career. The first volume was just released in Japan on DVD and Blu-Ray, and had a special feature included, "White Album Concert". Show star Nana Mizuki and pop singer Suara sang their OP and ED songs at the event, and then the cast members took the stage for "Talk and Game". One of the first questions that they were asked was what their first anime voice role was, and Daisuke named his first two - V Gundam and Sailor Moon! And poking around at his credits, he has sure come a long way since his days on Sailor Moon, with many roles in anime, Japanese dubs of US cartoons, video games, and anime movies! As of this writing, Crunchyroll has a few of the episodes subtitled online, but there has been no announcement of a license for release in North America.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

All Surveys Are Now Closed!

Just a quick post to say THANK YOU MOONIES! We are hoping to have our report finished very soon and sent off to the companies involved. After that, we will post the results from both surveys. We received a grand total of 1331 survey responses (809 from Phase 1 and 522 from Phase 3)! We have some very exciting plans that we can't wait to refine for Phase 4, and we are hoping to get those details posted sometime in November. For now though, if you have not sent in a letter please do - especially to Toei's offices in California. We have posted the appropriate contacts and addresses exclusively in our forums. While we are sending everyone involved our survey results and relevant fan comments from our inbox, forums, and site, it is absolutely crucial that you fans tell them your side of the story in a letter. This is also a great chance for fans to get their friends involved as well, especially those who did not fill out either of our previous surveys.

At this time, we wish to thank every fan and site which has helped promote our surveys since they began in May - we would not have been able to achieve this without you! Your continued help and support means a lot to each and every one of us on staff. To all of our readers, thanks for listening and not giving up hope on Sailor Moon. Just like the Senshi, when we all pull together, we are capable of overcoming any challenge that comes our way! Thanks again Moonies - a major part of our campaign has been completed and you all deserve to celebrate!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NewType USA Feature on Sailor Moon, September 2003

Using timed posts to our advantage, while these next two weeks are proving to be very busy for our staff members, here comes another sighting from our vault that we thought fans might like to revisit! NewType USA featured an article about Sailor Moon in their September 2003 issue, entitled "A Pretty Soldier's Saga". It had a lot of reflections of the series from Kazuko Tadano (Character Designer and Animation Director), as well as a very good account of the history of the show since the beginning. This article coincided with ADV's release of the second season subtitled and "uncut", but makes no mention of the fact that episode #67 was left off from it! Nonetheless, wherever Gerry Poulos is now, we'd like to thank him for writing such a great article. We kinda miss this magazine too, and we wish it was still around in some form. Click the images below for larger scans - however, the magazine is larger than the scanner so some images may be cut off.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Something Old and Something New

We Finally Get Around to an Old Sighting A Fan Sent Us...

A very long time ago, a fan sent us a Sailor Moon sighting in Getbackers Volume 27, however it was in the French version of the manga and it had yet to be translated in English. Not being familiar with the series, it wasn't until a long time after that we found out that the volume was part of the Infinity Fortress series, and then things with the site got extremely busy to the point that this poor sighting got put on the back burner, several times over. For this, we sincerely apologize to Boyce for how long it took us to get to this sighting. But, we finally got it!

This issue had a couple Sailor Moon sightings in it. The first story in the issue features the Getbackers on an unusual assignment: to recover a lost dog named Lucky. This is part of the Birth 2: Operation: Retrieve the Genius Dog arc! Lucky was taken away by some TV network executives and featured on many shows, but unfortunately when his owner, 15-year-old Natsumi Mizuki wanted him back, they refused to give him back to her. Lucky is a dog that has a crescent moon on his head, and is very good at math. However, the dog has more than just skin and bones under his fur! He reminded us of the cats in the series!

The second one, is a particularly hillarious scene involving Maria, Ban's Grandmother! She greets Ban and Ginji in Voodoo Child - Part 4 Mandrake Voodoo Coffee, and performs a very fitting tribute to Sailor Moon. Part of the humor in this is that even though she is very old, she looks very young. And, she is a little crazy. Here is the sighting from Boyce in French, which translates to (from the top, right to left):

Maria : "If you call me old one more time..."
Maria : "In the name of the Moon, I'll punish you! <3"
Ban : "Stop it with your 15 year old tributes... Crazy century old woman!"

And here is the sighting in English!

This is included in Tokyopop's release of GetBackers: Infinity Fortress Volume #2. Tokyopop has lost the license to GetBackers as it was a Kodansha title, however some copies are still available for purchase in stores. The license was pulled mid-release, and this is a title we expect Kodansha USA to announce a release for soon!

Neko Jump - First Inspired by Anime, Now Sings Theme Song!

Neko Jump is a very popular J-Pop inspired duo from Thailand. The twins, Warattha and Charattha Imraphon, are currently singing the theme song for the anime Animal Detectives Kirumin (or better known as Kiruminzoo) which premiered on October 5th. The girls have been interested in Japan for almost their whole lives, since their dad used to buy them anime when they were younger. Sailor Moon was one of their favorites! One of their biggest hits, "Pooh" is being used as the theme song for the anime, and is one of the few anime that has a theme song sung entirely in Thai! It's a very cutesy sounding song and we think it was a perfect choice for the anime! Moonies can check out the opening here! Another one of their hits, "Chuai Mad No" also serves as the series' ending.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sailor Moon Cultural Mentions, Summer & Fall 2009!

The Modern Day Definition of Moe

This month's TVBros Magazine features articles on a few dating sims, and how they have affected gaming addictions, and an article on how the definition of Moe is changing. It's not just about basing them on anime girl prototypes! Today Moe is starting to be based a little more on idols! The article briefly talks about the origin of the word 'Moe' and makes mention that it may have stemmed from the names of anime heroines. One popular theory is that it came from a shortening of Hotaru Tomoe's (Sailor Saturn) name. This magazine preview even argues that Moe is dead. Japanese Idol Yuki Nae is also featured prominently in this article as an example of the "new Moe". For more information, check out TVBros. official site!

Anime Tourism Experiences Boom in Japan!

While the recession has hit Japan's tourism industry, anime tourism is seeing a boom. Intermixi of Los Angeles reports that many fans are still saving their money to go on tours of landmarks and other sites in Japan that are featured in anime. The article also featured a quote from's Jay Navok, who spoke of his own tour to coincide with the site's book about Japanese cultural references in Sailor Moon, Warriors of Legend. While this article only talks about the tours that Intermixi runs, there are other options for fans who want to experience "Otaku Tours" in Japan. One of them is Pop Japan, which also features tours that cater to different interests such as music and manga!

Norwegian Animated Show's Leading Role to be Played By Sailor Moon Fan!

Saki Fukuda is a Japanese idol who has appeared in many dramas, and has had a few voice roles. A CGI cartoon from Norway called Elias: The Little Rescue Boat is being dubbed in Japanese and Saki will be the voice of Elias! This show from the pictures looks a little similar to Theodore Tugboat. While she says that one day she would like to play an adult female role, she is just as excited about this role because Elias will be a character that young children will enjoy. When she was a young child, she was a huge fan of Sailor Moon and Anpanman, and she still has strong feelings about all of the shows she enjoyed back then! She hopes that this show will be one that all ages can enjoy! To read more about her thoughts on her new role in English, click here!

Other Short Sightings:

Recognize these girls? These are the Nakano Fujoshi sisters, a 7-girl idol unit that sometimes also performs as a boy band, Fudanjuku (which "broke up" last year). The group has been around since 2006 and has performed at many events in Japan. They aspire to perform at a con in the United States! They were featured in Otaku USA's August Issue, and their colored costumes reminded us a lot of the Sailor Senshi. We've scanned the article - click the image for more information! Who do you like better? Fudanjuko or the Fudanshi sisters?

☽ Otaku USA's August Issue also featured an interview with the current leader of Morning Musume, Ai Takahashi. She talked about their latest album, excitement surrounding their first time performing in America at Anime Expo, and also what it is like behind the scenes of the popular group. But one of the best parts of this article was when she revealed what her favorite anime was - Sailor Moon! Yes, this was a small mention, but the more that we report anyone's love for this show, it's sure to speak volumes to readers from all walks of life just how much the show was, is, and will continue, to be loved. Click the image on the leftt to enlarge!

NeoUK's June Issue highlighted TokyoToys' new shop in London's Trocadero, which not only specializes in anime merchandise, but also in cosplay! They were selling a dress that looks very similar to Aino Minako's school uniform for $62 USD, but this one has since sold out. The store does ship worldwide, and has a lot of neat stuff for order! The shop also hosts parties and game launches, so our London readers who are looking for a good time should definitely check them out!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Kazuko Tadano to appear at JAM2009!

The annual Japan Anime Collaboration (or Anikorabo) Market is set to take place on October 15th - 18th at the Akihabara UDX. This year's special guests include the animators Toyoo Ashida, Atsuko Watanabe, and Kazuko Tadano, a character designer and animation director on Sailor Moon! These three animators almost represent three very different generations of animation, and the theme this year is "40 years of Character Design". We imagine that they would have a lot to say, and we hope that Kazuko could say a few words about Sailor Moon's triumphant return! The market is aimed at recruiting both amateur and professional artists for careers in anime production. There will also be lots of seminars and workshops for attendees. The most interesting part of this market, is the "Challenge Audition" where professionals and amateurs sumbit proposals and ideas for new anime products or businesses. The winner will get their product manufactured. For a list of works that may be elaborated on for this challenge, check them out here!

BREAKING NEWS: Kotono Mitsuishi Plays Mother Hen!

On December 6th, a new family-oriented CGI amimated cartoon will begin on the Family Gekijyo channel in Japan. Kokekko-San is based on a popular children's picture book series of the same name by Karoku Koubou, which have sold over 200,000 copies! These picture books are not conventionally illustrated, but are rather photos of clay models! The stories are daily reflections of the egg-shaped title character, who is the mother to ten chicks! According to the press release, this is a very heart-warming story of family bonds between mother and child through many familiar "joys" of life, like putting kids to bed, housework, and play! One of the biggest charms of the series is the bright, happy scenery of the town with other residents like policemen and postmen. The producers hope that family, friendship, and themes of helping each other, will spread to the show's viewers, as well as a hope that this show will help raise Japan's declining birthrate. They want to show viewers that even though there is a lot of pain and hardship in bringing up a child, there is also pleasurea and happiness. This is a collaboration between Japan and South Korea. The CG animation production will be completed in South Korea, and the series music and stories will be written in Japan. The show will begin in Korea sometime in November. And playing Kokekko-san is none-other than Sailor Moon herself, Mitsuishi Kotono! We think she will have something special to give to this role since she spoke fondly of how she loves to spend time watching Sailor Moon with her daughter and how her perspective on the series has changed! And the show looks so darned cute too, and we can only hope that a show like this makes its way to North America for the preschooler set. We'd have enjoyed it too at that age!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rina Koike named ambassador to Oyama, Tochigi

Rina Koike (PGSM Sailor Luna) was recently appointed ambassador to the city of Oyama in Tochigi prefecture where she was raised. She received a letter from the mayor at city hall, and she was chosen as ambassador because of her love for the city and her happiness.

She says: "I am glad to be elected as the ambassador to this city I love, Oyama.  I will work hard for Oyama and will try to get to know as many people as I can!"

Rina is the 32nd ambassador to be named to the city and is, at present, the youngest. We wish her well in her task, both in Oyama, and at the Olympics!

Monday, October 05, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Kodansha Sets Up Shop in the U.S.A!

Looks like the buzz from last month is true! Kodansha is establishing an office in New York City, and will publish and sell manga directly in the U.S.A this month! They will be called Kodansha Comics, and will be published under Kodansha USA Publishing and distributed by Random House. Among the first titles to be published will be Katsuhiro Otomo's legendary story Akira, and Shirow Masamune's Ghost in the Shell. More titles will be announced later this year. The new office will not be the exclusive label for all Kodansha titles, but the company has high hopes for long-term growth. To read more, check out this article from Publisher's Weekly. We are anxiously waiting to hear future titles will include Sailor Moon, but fans should at the very least complete Phase 3 of Operation Moonrise and answer the manga question. We will send Kodansha a short package with the demographics and the results from that question!

In Memoriam: Yoshito Usui

Yoshito Usui, creator of Crayon Shin-Chan, passed away tragically on September 11th, 2009. That morning, he left his home for a hike in Gunma Prefecture, and told his family that he would be back by evening. When he did not return, and was not answering his cell phone, his wife called the police the next morning. On September 19th, after an extensive search, a male body was discovered at the bottom of the Tomiowa cliff at Mount Arafune, and was later identified as that of Usui’s. While his body was undergoing a 5-hour autopsy, his wife and one of his daughters were at the police station praying that this was all some horrible mistake and that this was not him. It is believed he accidentally fell off the cliff. His broken camera was discovered and the last shot recovered from the card inside was a shot that peered down to where his body was found. Investigators believe he fell at the moment he took that shot. This AMV which was posted shortly after his death features a cameo of Usui at the end.

His greatest and most well-known work was Crayon Shin-Chan , which first began as a comic in 1990, and was turned into an anime in 1992. Both have continued to run through today, and have also been an international success. The protagonist, Shinnosuke “Shin” Nohara, is a foul-mouthed and awkward thinking five-year-old that makes Bart Simpson look like Ned Flanders! Almost always controversial, but still funny to the sordid side in us all, Shin-chan is not like your conventional kindergartner. His foul language and inappropriate behaviour always pushed the envelope, no matter which country that the show was broadcast in. The show often parodied anything and everything, including Sailor Moon. In 1994, Sailor Moon featured a small Crayon Shin-Chan sighting in the form of a toy in episode #104, and throughout Crayon Shin-Chan’s existence, many of the stars of Sailor Moon appeared on the show, either as parodies of their characters or other characters entirely.

While Shin-Chan had gained notoriety for being on the ban list of many parent-teacher associations in Japan, he had recently been used as an icon in educational materials. Since he was a child full of happiness and energy, he had become a sort of mascot for Japan’s Respect for the Aged celebrations. This year, Usui’s death had dampened the celebrations. Two strips that Usui had submitted have yet to be printed, and new episodes of the show are set to begin on October 16th. The companies involved are still producing the next film, set to open in Japan in the spring of 2010. All companies involved with Shin-Chan have stated that they wish to work with his estate to decide the fate of the well-loved property.

Yoshito Usui is survived by his wife, and two daughters. He will be dearly missed. We send out our deepest condolences and sympathies to Usui’s family. As of this writing there is no word of any public memorial, however the family will be holding a private funeral.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Manga Returns to Best Seller List in Japan!

Torico Corporation of Akihabara has just announced their top 20 manga rankings for the period from September 1st-30th of an online store, Mangazenkan! Mangazenkan is a popular online store that sells complete sets of Manga (and from what we can tell, is one of the biggest in Japan). The complete set (except for the two side story volumes) can be purchased for close to $62 USD. And Sailor Moon was their 16th most popular manga in September! While this may only be one store's ranking, we are pretty sure that sales of the manga have gone up around the country (however there are only top ten lists posted, and of course Sailor Moon is not there). Now, the manga has been out of print by Kodansha since 2007. The article makes no mention of how many copies sold (and if we hear any estimates we will keep you posted). However, if the manga has not gone into another reprint (which we are assuming is the case for now since Naoko has locked down the manga rights in Italy), eventually the copies that are sitting in stores and warehouses are going to run out. We can't see Sailor Moon becoming less popular, especially since it is on TV again. And we imagine that if the fans were as vocal about the anime disappearing as ANIMAX made them out to be, they will definitely be more vocal about the manga being difficult to get. So, fingers crossed, the manga could go into another printing if there is enough pressure to loosen Naoko's rumored grip on the rights. But if the manga can get to #16 out of 20 on a large store's best seller list, after years of not being mentioned on the charts, we fully expect to see high rankings for the DVD boxsets when they start release in December!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Italy to Get New Toys!

Yesterday, we came across a posting on a LiveJournal Sailor Moon fan community that had an interesting piece of breaking news about Italy getting new toys. Emily asked for the post, and she then told us where the fan (mizu_no_ryuu) found it. We've read through it! A fan says that they contacted Backstage (an agency which has handled Sailor Moon merchandise) and they confirmed that there will be a return of Sailor Moon merchandise to the market just like in the past! The toys will once again be made by Giochi Preziozi! The deal will be finalized and made official in October, and they are waiting to see if there are other countries around the world that are going to get the rights to the show. If there are, then Giochi Preziozi could be a toy manufacturer for these countries as well (just the same as Bandai used to export some of their toys around the world). Now the interesting thing here is, while new DVDs have been announced in Japan, we haven't seen or heard any announcements for new toys or other merchandise. This is a little strange to us because one of the big selling points for the show in the initial press releases was that this was going to introduce Sailor Moon to a brand new generation. So wouldn't the new generation like to have some shiny new toys to play with? Nonetheless, congratulazioni Italia and even though you are not going to get a re-dub for now, at least you are getting the show back on TV and some new merchandise! For those of you who want to check out some of the brilliant toys Giochi Prezioso put out in the past,click here and here!