Sunday, June 27, 2010

Moon Chase Presents: An Interview with Tracey Hoyt!

Hey Moonies! Once again as part of our celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the English Version of Sailor Moon, we present to you an interview! This time, with Tracey Hoyt, the first actress to play Rini! Tracey has had a very interesting and varied acting career from comedy to drama to cartoons, and we're excited to bring this to you all today!

MC: Thanks again for this opportunity! How are you today?

TH: You are most welcome! I'm well, thanks. It's been a busy one, which seems to be the norm these days.

MC: How did you get started in acting?

TH: I was doing plays from the time I was in nursery school. My mother says that at age 3, I was impersonating family members, actors in TV commercials and celebrities, so I guess I've always been a bit of a mimic. Once I got my first laugh, my fate was sealed.

MC: How did you get started in comedy and with the Second City in Toronto?

TH: I moved to Toronto in my second-last year of high school. I was a huge fan of the SCTV series and decided to sign up for Improvisation classes at the Second City Old Fire Hall. This was not only an excellent way to learn the basics of acting, but to feel more comfortable in a big city after many years of small town and suburban living.

I took 36 weeks of classes. Then I was asked to audition for the National Touring Company, which was a huge surprise. I was the youngest one there and truly worried about having to quit school when I got hired. Naturally, I didn't!!!

I went on to earn my theatre degree at York University, then did a shorter-term, advanced Improv program at Second City, which ended in a show that we wrote and performed. Then I auditioned again and joined the company.

I was lucky to tour Canada for 9 blissful months while understudying the talented Lindsay Leese on the main stage in Toronto whenever she got a film or TV gig. This was the best training of my life and I couldn't believe my luck.

MC: Have you ever done any standup comedy? If not, would this be something you'd be interested in?

TH: I did it once – at a wonderful show directed by a Second City colleague, Jerry Schaeffer. We all got a suggestion from the audience and had a very limited time (30 minutes?) to write our act or "bit." I thought it would be terrifying, but since I was allowed to read it - as opposed to memorizing it – the experience was a total blast.

Once was enough. Stand-up was something I had always wanted to try! I have enormous respect for the craft and have many dear friends who are brave enough to do this job night after night.

MC: Are you still teaching any improv and/or involved with improv nowadays?

TH: I taught Improv at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto for 8 years, and loved the experience. I taught all of the basic levels and specialized in Character. I also taught a Monologue class with my dear friend Melody Johnson – who just directed the most recent Second City Toronto Review.

I use Improv at every audition, every booking and in my day-to-day life. It's the best training I could have ever asked for – as an actor and a human being. (The entire premise of Improv is simply saying: "Yes!")

Recently, I've been taking an Improv class with a fantastic group of women in the business. Being a student again has been completely liberating!

MC: Supertown Challenge was a wonderful show that was hosted by Colin Mochrie! I enjoyed watching your character Sue Vandetelli work her feisty character through the mock game show – what was it like working with Colin Mochrie? What did you take away from your work on this interesting concept for a show? Had you even heard of many of the small towns used in the show?

TH: Thanks for the compliment! Sue was a really fun character to play because she had absolutely no sense of humour!

Colin is lovely. In fact, Supertown was actually our second time working together. In 1994, we were both in a stage production of The Brady Bunch Live in Toronto. Colin played Mr. Mike Brady and I played Marcia! Colin is humble, focused and absolutely hilarious.

We recorded 2 live-to-tape shows once a week with a studio audience. Actually, it was a lot like doing theatre, which I loved. This show imposed a lot of discipline: read the scripts, learn the scripts and shoot the scripts!

The best thing I took away from Supertown was bonding with co-star Katherine Ashby, who is now one of my dearest friends in the world.

I had definitely heard of some of the small towns and still think of the show when I hear the names!

MC: Aurora Farqueson was a riot in The Tournament! Was it hard to find the humor in this character since she works at the family funeral home? Since this show was a lot like a reality show, was there any room for improv? How much of the show was improvised?

TH: What's hilarious to me is that Sue Vanditelli (from Supertown) was sort of the kernel for the character of Aurora! (There are some distinct similarities, vocally and physically!)

It wasn't hard to find the humour in Aurora at all because she was really intense! The toughest part about playing Aurora was that it was very hard for me not to laugh when I worked with Richard Jutras, the brilliant Montreal actor who played my (estranged) husband Hal. That show was a serious lesson in focus for me!

This show was brilliantly written and the producers and directors were generous in leaving the camera rolling after our one-on-one monologues. Some of the best gems in the series came from those moments.

This was definitely the most enjoyable series I've ever worked on. Being in such a brilliant ensemble cast was a dream come true and I still miss playing Aurora 5 years later! It was the only series I've worked on where I put make-up on after work.

MC: Did The Tournament change your perspective on hockey?

TH: Okay, I'll confess that I have never been a hockey fan. When I was a little girl and my Dad used to watch NHL games, I'd pretend to be a model selling the TV and its features during the commercial breaks!

The Tournament made me realize that certain Hockey parents are just as frightening as certain Stage parents!

Oh, and I learned that cheering for your team can really hurt your voice! (Especially when the game is being filmed at 5:00 a.m.)

MC: Me Bear was a pretty egotistical bear in the Care Bears Big Wish Movie! Was this a fun or challenging role to play?

TH: Me Bear was so much fun to voice and, as usual, work felt like play. She was an even bigger brat than Rini ever was!

Chibi Ginger: Was it strange in the Care Bears movie to also work with the other Rini (Stephanie Beard)?

TH: I actually didn't record with Stephanie. My sessions were always with Steven Ouimette and Ron Rubin, the other "Bad" bears!

MC (NOTE): Ron played Artemis!

MC and fan Salvatore: How did you find out about auditions for Sailor Moon and get the role of Rini?

TH: I got the very first Sailor Moon audition through my wonderful voice agent. I remember auditioning for lots of roles, as range is a plus in dubbing and animation work. I played lots of incidental characters besides Rini.

sailormoonisthebest5: How old were you when you voiced Rini?

TH: Very, very young. (Nice try, sailormoonisthebest5!)

Chibi Ginger: Did you know about the change in names from the Japanese dub (ex: Chibiusa changed to Rini, and Sailor Chibi Moon changed to Sailor Mini Moon)

TH: Not initially, but one of the directors explained it to me later in the series.

MC: Your voice for Rini is a lot more higher pitched than your natural voice – was it difficult to maintain the voice for long recording sessions? How did you come up with the right voice for this "sweet little character"?

TH: Great questions! Much like Linda Ballantyne mentioned in her interview. I could only record for up to 4 hours in one day. The amount of energy alone to play Rini was very demanding and yes, her voice could really take its toll!

Rini's voice was inspired by a dear friend of mine. She had an absolutely endearing voice. I exaggerated it considerably, but Rini's sweetness all came from her.

joanholland2: what was it like to play sailor moon's little girl, and did you know Rini was Serena's daughter when you were hired by Dic?

TH: It was a lot of fun to play someone so small and often bratty!

I had been told that Rini was Sailor Moon's daughter. It took me awhile to wrap my head around that, but since I was an Improviser, I just thought, "Okay, great! Now let's get to it!"

MC: Did you like playing Rini before or after she became a Sailor Scout/Senshi?

TH: Well, I recall the battle cries got even more fun after!

esahC: How did you view Rini's character?

TH: I liked that Rini wasn't all one note. Sometimes she was very poignant. Other times she was up to no good. And often, she was very strong. I liked that there were lots of emotions to take her through.

MusicallyObsessedBoi: What do you think is cuter? A) a baby or B) Pink Sugar Heart Attack*

TH: Ooh. That's tough. I'm partial to both, M.O.B.!

*I had to do a Google search to find out what that meant:

joanholland2: What's your favorite thing about Rini?

TH: When she had to run and pant! Always the most hilarious parts of the recording session!

Oh, and the time she got to sing to Tuxedo Mask!

MusicallyObsessedBoi: Where you ever told what the official spelling of Rini was? (Rini, Reenee, Riney, Riny, etc.)

TH: The only spelling I ever saw was "Rini."

MC: Did you ever watch the original Japanese episodes with subtitles before you recorded them? Have you ever watched them otherwise? If yes, what did you think of them in comparison to the English version?

TH: I had to watch them before every recording – one scene at a time. Then I'd "match" the action and emotion of each scene in English.

I hadn't seen the Japanese versions before that.

(Naturally, I loved our Canadian English versions, but it was so much fun to hear the original Japanese voice actors' interpretations.)

MC: Could you please describe what it was like to record an episode? How many episodes a week did you record?

TH: It was pretty fast & furious, as I recall. We'd record quite a few episodes at a 4-hour session, but I can't recall the exact number. I think I once recorded an entire movie (or maybe 2!) in one 4-hour session.

MC: What was your favorite episode to record and why? Did you like working on the movies more than you did the episodes?

TH: I think it was the one where I got to sing. Please don't ask me what that episode was called! I love to sing - especially in character.

The movies were really fun because, of course, there was a lot more going on in the story.

MC: A very long time ago when the third and fourth season were going to be recorded, you had suggested to the production and casting crew that Stephanie "Sugar" Beard be considered for the role (which later launched her acting career). How did you discover Sugar and what do you think made her the right choice for the role?

TH: This is actually not accurate. In fact, I never met Stephanie until I was working on The Care Bears Big Wish Movie, many years after I worked on Sailor Moon.

Josh2Darien and esahC: Why didn't you return to your role of Rini for the last two seasons after recording the movies? Did the change of companies from DIC to Cloverway have any impact on your decision not to come back to the role of Rini?

TH: It had nothing to do with the DIC/Cloverway change, actually.

After the privilege of working on the Sailor Moon series and movies – which taught me how to do animated voice work - I moved onto original voice cartoons. (Meaning, I was the creator of the first interpretation of a character on a series.)

sailormoonisthebest5: Did you ever meet the other cast members? Because someone told me that voice actors don't meet the other cast members?

TH: Sometimes we did group recording sessions, to play supporting characters for to create background "walla," as it's called. These sessions were a lot of fun, since recording alone can be quite surreal!

Typically, though, during a Rini session, I recorded solo.

MC and Josh2Darien: Would you reprise your role in a re-dub of the series?

TH: I would certainly consider it.

MC: What do you think is Sailor Moon's legacy 15 years later? Which memories of the show do you treasure?

TH: What I find really inspiring is that so many of us were just staring out in voice, and some of those actors are now the most successful voice talent around. That's something I am very proud to have been part of.

I look at Sailor Moon as my apprenticeship in animated voice work and I am grateful for all the things I learned during my time on the show.

One of my favourite memories was a comic convention here in Toronto. People like Stephanie Morgenstern, Roland Parliament and Rob Tinkler were on the panel with me, and we had never met our fans face-to-face before.

It was amazing to see that our work was making an impact and that it was appreciated.

My favourite memory of that day was when 2 young men asked me if I had played a Russian ice skater in the series. (They know the episode and character name, which I think was "Janelle.") We played so many incidental characters on the series that I truly couldn't remember. Then Roland said something like:

"Oh, yeah, remember, Tracey? I taught you a quick Russian dialect for that one."

Then it all came back to me, and I said, "Oh, yeah, I guess that was me!"

One of the young men said to his buddy:

"I TOLD you, man!" I TOLD you!"

(I think he may have won a bet.)

I lust loved that and it allowed me to witness first-hand how much the show – and the performances - meant to people!

MC (NOTE): The character's name was Janelyn from the episode: Paired With a Youma? Ice Queen Mako!
Ladies and gentleman, another Moonie mystery cast member solved! Thanks Tracey!

MC: Samantha Bee (of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) recently published her very comedic autobiography I Know I Am But What Are You. In it, she pokes a lot of fun at Sailor Moon, she played her at a CNE show, but the irony of the situation is, she fell in love with the man playing Tuxedo Mask and they married, despite this time being one of the most humiliating for her! Do you think you would ever work any hilarious anecdotes or stories from Sailor Moon into a future comedy act or memoir if you could?

TH: Well, I've told the anime convention story above more than a few times!

If a reputable publisher wanted to publish my memoir, that story would be probably be in there!

A little trivia: I directed Sam years ago in a very funny sketch troupe called The Atomic Fireballs.

MC: Your character in Pure Pwnage disconnected Internet service to force her son, Jeremy, to grow up and finally get a job instead of only playing video games all day. How would you cope with not having an Internet connection?

TH: I could cope for a few days. Then it might get ugly. I need the Internet to research characters, to learn dialects, and for my teaching work. It's hard to imagine life without it, really...

MC: There's an urban legend many Moonies have been wondering about! Was it true that you once auditioned for the role of the infamous Bart Simpson? If yes, how did your take on the role sound?

TH: Oh, Wikipedia.

That's a great story...and it's absolutely false.

I can do a mean Bart Simpson. Maybe that's how that urban legend began!

MC: Kevin Hill was a critically acclaimed show (that I discovered too late) that never took off with the viewers. In the episode Only Sixteen, you played the mom of a very lost teenager – what was it like working on this show, as well as a production that was seen all over the world? (Note: I've seen it dubbed in Italian at the very least).

TH: In Italian…? Someone got work dubbing me? Hilarious.

I loved working on that show. I don't get to play dramatic roles that often, so it was a nice change. It's too bad that series didn't take off. It was chock-full of gifted Canadian actors.

MC: In Scandalous Me, The Jacqueline Susann Story, you appeared for a few moments playing the literary icon Harper Lee! Even though it was only for a short time, what was it like to play her, in this very quirky scene? At the time there weren't a lot of public photos of her around, how did they know how to make you look like her? Did you ever hear from the elusive author at all?

TH: Great questions!

That role was the first time I played a real person, which felt like a huge responsibility.

I did a lot of research (for such a tiny role), and though I look nothing like Ms. Lee, the hair, make-up and wardrobe teams hinted at the era, rather than have a look-alike play the role.

It was short and sweet, but the best part of that experience was being directed by the amazing Bruce MacDonald - who later directed me in many episodes of The Tournament.

I never did hear from Ms. Lee.

MC: We've noticed that a few of the actresses in Sailor Moon have made appearances in TV and in movies playing nurses! You have played both a nice nurse (in Godsend) and a feisty one with no patience for anyone who is faking their illness (in Living in Your Car more recently). Which kind of nurse is more fun to play and why?

TH: Wow, you've really done your research here!

Naturally, the feisty one was more fun to play, since comedy is my first love.

However, in Godsend, I got to work with Robert De Niro, who was absolutely charming and hilarious.

Please don't make me choose!

MC: What was it like to work with Julianne Moore in the very heartwarming movie The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio? Did you read "Tuff" Ryan's book at all?

TH: Oh, she was lovely. There was no acting required in that project. We were all so thrilled to meet and work with Julianne Moore.

I did read Tuff's beautiful memoir, which the film was based on. In fact, the director Jane Anderson arranged for all of the "Affidaisies" or contest ladies to meet up and have a potluck dinner with Tuff, a few of her siblings, nephews & nieces before we started filming. This was a very special experience that I'll always treasure.

Sadly, Tuff died right before the film was released. I'm so glad that she was able to share the wonderful story of her incredible mother – whom Ms. Moore played so beautifully - with the world.

MC: Like other voice actors in Sailor Moon, you also teach voiceover at pirate voice! What inspired you to start teaching?

TH: What inspired me was that I could combine my years of improvising and teaching it with the skill that's been the bead and butter of my acting career – voice work.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a performer come to life in the studio and lift the words off the page.

Teaching is as much fun as performing is for me and I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.

MC: What are your classes like?

TH: Informative. Honest. Silly. Moving. Challenging. Inspiring.

pirate voice is for talent who are serious about learning the art of commercial voice work.

Learn more at:

MC: What is the most inspiring experience you've had from the classroom?

TH: Giving people permission to be authentically themselves and to use their own unique palette of characters/experiences/emotions to make the magic happen.

MC: Do any of your students recognize you from Sailor Moon or other cartoons? If yes, are they ever starstruck?

TH: Only a few Sailor Moon fans have shared their love of the series at the class. (I was touched, of course!)

Star struck? Hmm. I'm not sure about that.

MC: Many of our readers aspire to be voice actors – any advice on where they should start to prepare for a career in voice acting?

TH: Start by learning the basics of acting.

Take a class. Do an acting degree at college or university.

Improvisation is truly the best skill I can recommend for beginners.

Research the instructors well, get references and trust your gut.

Listen to voice reels to find out the skills required to do this for a living. The best place to do that is here:

MC: Where can Moonies catch you next? Any upcoming productions?

TH: I've been working on a beautiful new animation series for PBS Kids called The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That.

I play Nick's Mom, Sally's Mom and a lot of guest animals!

SCTV's Martin Short stars as the Cat.

And Rob Tinkler plays the Fish, Thing One, Thing Two and lots more animals!

Learn more at:

MC (Note): Tracey works with a lot of other actors in Sailor Moon! Robert Tinkler played Rubeus and Pupuran!

MC: Thanks again very much for doing the interview! We wish you the best of luck in the future with your acting career and with Pirate Voice!

TH: You are so welcome.

Thanks for the great questions and for all your support!

For more information on Tracey's classes check out Pirate Voice in Toronto! And don't forget to watch The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That with your favorite chibi-moonies on PBS! A very special thanks to Tracey Hoyt again for this interview and we wish her the best of luck in the future!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Will There Really Be More Sailor Moon?

Don't Believe
Everything You Hear!

NOTE AGAIN: Due to the potential for the extremely heated debate this article may cause, we have disabled comments for this post. We also forbid the copying and pasting of this article in whole or in part in any forum or other site. Fans are more than welcome to post a link.

One website had representatives which attended this year's Animazement, and at least a dozen fans have questioned and asked us why we have not reported this tiny little tidbit: at a special panel at the convention featuring Keiko Han (Luna) and Chika Sakamoto (Sailor Star Healer), Keiko said that she had lunch with Naoko Takeuchi and Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) in January, and that Ms. Takeuchi was interested in doing more Sailor Moon. Now, our source at has told us that there was a mistranslation and a misinterpretation at the panel. The question from the fan was not translated properly in Japanese, and Keiko said something completely out of context that was mistranslated and misheard by a fan (or fans). From what we have seen on the videos, Keiko had very long answers and the interpreter had a lot to keep up with, and even we noticed a few little things being missed here and there.

What we can confirm from the short clip a fan sent us, is that Keiko says the following:

“Takeuchi-Sensei said she would love to work on Sailor Moon again so maybe there may be (or may be not) a new Sailor Moon series in the future.”

A native Japanese speaker helped to translate this for us, and also told us that this is an ambiguous answer, that is part of the Japanese way of speech. Nothing is being confirmed here at all. There are always going to be rumors about a new Sailor Moon anime going around the internet – and it’s not just in the English-speaking world either. There’s a lot of discussion even on 2ch about a new anime or even a new live action series, but nothing is confirmed officially. Once again, we will remind fans that unless there is a press release from Toei Animation or something posted by Naoko Takeuchi on Sailor Moon Channel hinting at anything new, that you shouldn’t take any hint such as this as anything serious.

We will also remind fans at this time that only what exists already is available for license all over the world. At the many licensing expos in Europe and North America, there have been quite a few other series that are still very early in production showcased, and we can confirm that there were no new Sailor Moon productions at these expos. But look at what we have seen so far. There was a DVD launch event, as well as a Charaben class – we think that there might be more of these celebratory events and we’ve all seen the photos of Naoko Takeuchi at them. She looks really happy at these events! In fact, not too long ago we read a story about the garage kit subculture where the writer asked about more Pretty Cure and Sailor Moon figures. Who knows what event will happen next? We can only wait and see. If there will be any official release of new materials, there will definitely be a press release. Please do not assume that there will be new materials unless verifiable evidence such as a press release are publicly available.

NOTE AGAIN: Due to the potential for the extremely heated debate this article may cause, we have disabled comments for this post. We also forbid the copying and pasting of this article in whole or in part in any forum or other site. Fans are more than welcome to post a link.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sera Myu Update - June 2010 (3 of 3)

Kenji Urai Appears During Former Takarazuka Star's Concerts!

Kei Aran had an almost 20 year career with Japan's Takarazuka Revue before she retired last year to pursue other interests. She went on to star in Aida, and also performed her own concerts too. Running through the month of June was a new series of personal concerts by Kei, called Kei Aran Live 2010. The show featured her singing songs, dancing, and performing short dramatic pieces in grand costumes, accompanied by actors Shinji Takeda on the Saxophone and Kenji Urai (Tuxedo Kamen from 2001-2002) who sang duets with her. Kenji and Kei wore very classy black outfits and sang a variety of old jazz songs. The last concert was on June 19th.

Mikako Tabe's New Films A Hit!

Mikako Tabe has two new movies in Japan right now. The first one is Kenta to Jun to Kayo-chan no Kuni (A Crowd of Three). It is a movie about two men named Kenta & Jun, who lived at a children's facility and grew up as almost brothers. Now they work as part of a demolition crew but they are not happy with their jobs. They then decide to take a road trip to visit Kenta's brother who is currently in prison. Mikako plays the supporting role of Yumika in this one. This movie had its world premiere at TOKYO FILMeX last November, and was released to theaters in Japan on June 12th. In February, the movie was also shown at the Berlin International Film Festival, to warm reviews. Mikako is also in the upcoming live action adaptation of the popular manga Kimi ni Todoke, starring as the lead character Sawako. The movie's trailers were just released, and the last day of filming was on June 8th. On that day, the stars gave interviews to the press, and Mikako revealed that she was a little nervous about her ability to portray the different emotions of her character. The images that we have seen so far really look like they have bought the manga and the anime to life, and we hope that this one will be as good as it looks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sera Myu Update - June 2010 (2 of 3)

Fumina Hara Supports Japan at World Cup!

J-Cast has a short article about how some female idols are showing their support for Team Japan at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Among those mentioned is Fumina Hara (Sailor Moon from 1998-1999). Fumina has quite a few entries on her blog in support of the Japanese team! Fans may not know this, but on March 20th of 2007, Fumina married Japanese Sports Journalist (and former Soccer Player) Tetsuo Nakanishi. On June 11th, she wrote that she was happy to see the World Cup begin and told her readers to cheer for Team Japan. On the 14th, she wore her husband's old jersey for good luck as Japan faced Cameroon. Japan won this game 1-0. She also told everyone to follow her husband on Twitter. On the 19th, she went to the Saitama Super Arena to watch Japan face The Netherlands. Japan lost this game 0-1, but on the 20th Fumina still held some hope that Japan would win against Denmark. Japan is currently tied for second in Group E.

Yuu Shirota Also Cheers For Japan and Appears in Musical

Yuu Shirota (Tuxedo Kamen from 2003-2004) was also mentioned briefly on Sankei Sports! Some sentiments of his were shared with respect to Japan's loss to the Netherlands on June 19th. He referred to the Japanese team as samurai who fought with dignity on the field. In the game against Denmark, he wants the team to win without fail. Yuu is also starring as Der Tod (Death) in Toho's upcoming production of the Elisabeth musical in Tokyo. At the press conference, he was unsure if he would be able to sing well for the role, but he promised to try his best. He is excited about this role having seen the play 3 times when he was in high school. This production has been running since 2000, and in 2003, he auditioned for the role of the son, Rudolph. The director didn't think he was quite ready then, but said in a few years he might be right for an adult role. And here he is, 7 years later! The play is slated to run from this August to October. Speaking of Yuu's high school, CyzoWoman featured an article about it. Horikoshi Gakuen is a special high school just for celebrities that features sassy uniforms, flexible coursework and hours, and high security. The education there is first class, and the only electronic device students are allowed to have with them are their cell phones (no iPods allowed).

Yuri Kuroda Directs Drama Students!

Continuing the tradition of many Sailor Moon cast and crew to teach their craft to other students, Yuri Kuroda (Blue Sapphire) is now teaching drama students. The graduating class of Nanao Shinonome High School presented a work based on the Ganba no Boken franchise. 27 members under the direction of Kuroda worked for 8 months to put this production together. There was lots of intense acting, dancing, and action which impressed everyone that watched it! Her students were full of praise for her direction, even though they acknowledged it was a lot of work to put this together. Congratulations Yuri on both a successful production and school year!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sera Myu Update - June 2010 (1 of 3)

Anri Onuki in Special Live Variety Extravaganza!

On July 19th, a special variety show will take place at the Aoyama Round Theatre, Tokyo. The show is called Pandora’s Ark Music X Paint Concert and will feature a harmony of live music, live painting, and story telling. There are a variety of different musicians appearing including guitarists, percussionists, a pianist and a signer, as well as an Erhu player! Among these, is Anri Ohnuki (Sailor Aluminum Siren in 2004) who will be performing a reading at this event. The release introduces her as appearing in Tokyo-Jima. She plays Mary Magdalene in the movie which also stars Tae Kimura (Fisheye from 1995-96) in the leading role! The show sounds like it should be a fun and interesting one to go to, so our readers who will be in Tokyo at the time should check this out!

Tae Kimura Shares Her Favorite Books and in New Commercials!

Speaking of Fisheye, she is sure up to a lot these days! In a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, she was asked about what she likes on her bookshelf. She reveals that she likes to watch people in love, and by the way she talks she sounds like a real romantic! She watched a couple in a car lately, but she likes to watch lovers and surmise about their bond. She uses her observations and ideas when she has to act! Aside from romance novels, she also likes to read fantasy novels, especially those with heroes and heroines. When she reads these she likes dto dream of what the cast would be like! And thirdly, when it comes to classic fantasies, she has two favourites: Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. These are old childhood favorites of her, and she likes to feel like a kid again when she reads these. She especially loved these characters' ability to float and fly in the air. She especially loves how Mary Poppins could clean a room in a snap!

Softbank is best-known for their dog mascot Oto-san! This white dog is brave, smart, friendly, and the cutest mascot we've ever seen. In fact he is so popular that in Japan you can get cell phone themes and other goodies like charms and toys in the dog's likeness! In a recent series of commercials, Softbank has used the recent election as their inspiration for advertising some new plans. There are some mock debates and other situations featured in these commercials, and Tae Kimura can be seen in them. Look for the long-haired girl here in the commercials posted on June 3rd and 18th! This campaign will continue throughout the summer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Moon Tunes!

Hey Moonies! We thought you could use a little pick-me-up for the start of the week, and we happened to find these gems on nico video for you over the weekend!

First up, we have Ai no Senshi, played on an interesting little high tech gadget!

Link: Ai no Senshi Played on an EWI USB

Next, we have a medley of several anime tunes at a high school concert! In addition to the first Pretty Cure theme right after it, at 3:05 they play the quintessential Moonlight Densetsu!

Link: Anime Medley Played at High School Concert

And finally, we have a much longer and larger high school band performing at the Shizuoka Hobby Expo 2010 about a month ago and playing a lot more anime tunes! Their rendition of Moonlight Densetsu is a whopping 15:50 in, but the whole video is definitely worth watching!

Link: High School Band plays Anime Tunes

Friday, June 18, 2010

Upcoming Interviews - End of June 2010

Hey Moonies! We won't stop celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Sailor Moon in North America, and what better way to do this than to share stories of the series from the people involved with it themselves? We've got 3 more to share with you today! At this time we wish to thank their agent for this opportunity!

Katie Griffin played Sailor Mars throughout the series and movies (except for the last 17 episodes of Sailor Moon R due to illness). Katie has also played many different beloved cartoon characters in shows such as Undergrads, Totally Spies, Team Galaxy, the computer animated Care Bears movies, and Beyblade! She is also a singer - I had the opportunity to see her in concert in 2006 and she is very talented!

Susan Roman
played Sailor Jupiter since the beginning and many children have grown up hearing her voices in cartoons from the old Strawberry Shortcake, to the Canadian staple The Raccoons, and was even the voice of the dog Snowy in TinTin. She has been a voice actress for a very long time and continues to be heard today!

And finally, we have one third of your favorite felines! Ron Rubin is best known for playing Artemis since the series began! Ron has also played many roles over the years in cartoons such as Erky Perky (which earned him an ACTRA Award Nomination in 2007), Kratt's Creatures, and X-Men. Ron has also worked as a writer for TV shows over the years.

Fans have until midnight of June 25th to get their questions in. Also, each fan will be allowed to ask a maximum of two questions per actor (so please come up with relevant ones). Please do not ask questions that aren't relevant or can be easily answered with a quick online search. One of the hot topics of the last round of interviews were the cast changes in the last two seasons, and we'll point you to this official statement that Optimum Productions sent Save Our Sailors several years ago. And as always, don't feel that you are absolutely limited to ask only about their work on Sailor Moon! As always you can submit your questions to us via e-mail at, our forums, and by commenting on this post. Please sign some sort of username we can credit your question to when you submit them.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sailor Moon in Japan (and Asia) Digest - Mid June 2010

Most of these articles are coming out of China! In the only newsbit out of Japan this update, a hi-res SuperS Boxart image has been revealed to the press. The cover features all of the main characters and Diana against a golden-colored background! While this isn't set to come out until September, already this release is starting to pop up in articles in relation to that other series that the media always seems to place in a war with it - Pretty Cure.

Ikuni Lectures in Beijing!

We told you at the end of May about a special lecture series that Kunihiko Ikuhara (Series Director) was going to kick off. People's Daily of China posted an article detailing what happened at his lecture! He began by talking about the general process of animation, and said that successful anime has high ratings, which in turn leads to high sponsorship, and the money earned by the anime funds more production. According to Ikuni, there are many Japanese anime studios that experience a lot of headaches because of high prodution costs. And then, he began to speak of Usagi Tsukino, as a real example of the successful career woman. This struck us as odd, but as we read on he said that this was true because many women want to be everything but it is hard for them to be it all during their life. Usagi, was an example of how she was happy herself with everything she was.Back when the anime was first broadcast, it was controversial for females to be depicted in miniskirts. Ikuni said that they wanted to show the girls as being uniquely female, and said that this was more about females exposing their femininity without the need for anything from males. This alone is a pretty strong sentiment about Sailor Moon and her feminist themes! He also talked about the differences between Japanese anime and animation from the USA and how they had portrayed girls. In the 90s, many women were still at home in Japan and not in the workforce, but in the USA it was so much different - women were almost equal in number to men in the working world! There was more of a diversity among women's professions in America than there were in Japan, so Sailor Moon was seen a lot differently from an American girl's perspective than a Japanese girl's perspective that focused more on the kind of "magic" she could use. We're actually a little curious about this and we'd like to know how he knows all of this!

He then shifted gears and spoke of the state of the Japanese animation industry. He said that anime is produced mainly for two extremes in programming blocks in Japan - the weekend morning blocks for children, and the late night block. Advertisers and sponsors also have their preferences for which anime they want to support. Toy manufacturers and food/grocery companies choose the weekend morning blocks, and film companies choose the late night blocks to advertise upcoming cinema and DVD releases since a much larger consumer base watches in this timeslot. He notes that while the anime that airs in these two time blocks are no different and don't really appeal to different age groups, that it is the sponsors who think that there is a difference. He also calls for change in the anime industry, that a new business model needs to be adopted in the face of copyright issues and international popularity. He hopes that the latter will help to inspire different kinds of anime productions.

At the end of the article, special mention is made that Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Takeuchi, and was a huge it in Japan, the USA, and Europe. This show changed the face of cartoon transformations forever around the world, and charmed girls all over. The introduction of the Sailor Moon anime in China was also highly popular.

We have also come across some more images of the lecture as well! Up to now we had thought that the cosplayers were just there to present him the roses at the end and to just come up on stage. But these photos tell a different story: these cosplayers were actually students at the lecture! We especially love the shot of Sailor Mercury in deep thought at her desk! Unfortunately, the source of these images had only the tiny thumbnails for free (larger, hi-res images are only given to paying members of the Chinese press). You can see these images below!

Sailor Moon Cosplayers Rock Shanghai World Expo!

We hope Hebe Tien was there to see this! On June 13th at the Shanghai World Expo, a special event was held during the Expo's Japan Week to celebrate anime and cosplay. The Contents Festival (or CoFesta for short) featured one very special act! 10 cosplayers from Shanghai donned their best Sailor Moon costumes and performed to a medley of songs from Sailor Moon! There was also a portable shrine just like the one seen in the popular anime Lucky☆Star! More than 3000 people attended CoFesta, and the crowds stretched right up to the roadside. When the Sailor Moon cosplayers came to perform, many of the youngsters in the audience got up and sang along! A senior student at the Expo commented that anime and manga make anyone feel like being cute. Sailor Moon is all about peace, friendship, and unity, and this is a good message to convey to people coming to the Expo. There is so much more in store for Japan Week!

This celebration actually began on the Saturday night before, and featured singer 22-year-old singer Ichiro Mizuki (not the same Ichiro Mizuki as this one) singing a Yoko Ishida song, and the renowned actress Kuroyanagi Tetsuko appearing in an angel costume that the audience thought was cute! And speaking of cosplay, at Nanjing University there was a Cosplay Elite Championship held on June 14th. Ten of the best cosplay teams competed at this event and one of them was devoted to Sailor Moon!

And boy do we have a treat for you! One of our readers in Shanghai, Chen Lien-hua, was kind enough to send us a lot of fan videos of the event which we have uploaded to our Sevenload page. We have to say, that these cosplayers did a very good job performing their Sailor Moon medley for the world to see! The videos are posted below.

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video C

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video D

Link: (Untitled)Co Festa Shanghai Video E

And finally, a writer has decided to share their favorite toys from after the 80s in honor of the 61st International Children's Day! Some of the merchandise in her collection is obviously not official, but we're sure you'll find something you've never seen before!