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.
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!