Saturday, July 31, 2010

Otakon 2010: Cosplay Panels

I've been to New York Anime Fest before, but this is my first Otakon. One immediate difference between the two conventions is the sheer amount of cosplay going on: At NYAF, the crowd is peppered with enthusiastic cosplayers. At Otakon, the crowd *is* enthusiastic cosplayers, peppered with a few people in video game t-shirts, who may or may not look vaguely out of place depending on where you are.

Appropriately, there's plenty of cosplay panels and events to be had. Two panels, "Cosplay Solutions" and "The Origins and Lifestyle of Cosplay Subculture," had tips and advice that will probably be useful to Sailor Moon cosplayers, and aspiring cosplayers- a group in which I include myself.

At "Cosplay Solutions", run by cosplayers Arras Wiedorn and Meghan Powers, the topic was ostensibly how to cosplay on a budget, but it turned into more of a "Cosplay 101" for newbies like myself. Wiedorn recommended starting with simpler designs for your first cosplay, such as a sailor uniform, making the Senshi school uniforms a good choice.

As far as the Senshi's battle fuku are concerned, she warned to be cautious of those notoriously short skirts: "Those skirts are really, really impossibly short- it is not possible to wear a skirt that short without flashing someone," Wiedorn said. She recommends wearing a small pair of shorts under the skirt as "modesty shorts," or going to a dance store and getting a pair of what they call "booty shorts." She also suggested just wearing really nice underwear for flashing purposes, but I think I'll go with the modesty shorts, thanks.

Other useful tidbits included the fact that Aquanet hairspray makes the best cosplay hairspray (the ones that make your hair feel soft to the touch just don't hold that well, apparently), resin is a good material for making jewels on costumes, and paint foam is a good material for making props and weapons.)

The second panel, run by Anne Marie Chua Lee (known as "Red Pikachu" in cosplay circles), co-owner of, went more into depth about both the origins of cosplay and the public perception of it. Did you know that the first cosplay on record was done by a man named Forrest J. Ackerman at the First World Sci Fi Convention in 1939? I had no idea; I thought it was a creation of '80s anime fandom. Lee also noted that the first use of the word "cosplay" in Japanese was in My Anime magazine in 1983. Depressing thought of the day; I am slightly older than the word cosplay.

During the Q&A session, one audience member asked if you should cosplay a character even if you don't have the right body type. Lee says yes: "Even if you don't fit the body type, you know what, it's okay-cosplay it anyway." She went on to say that if you truly love the character, that love will show in the costume and will make it worthwhile, something she learned when she cosplayed as Chun-Li from Street Fighter. I agree; life is too short to say "But I'm not tall enough to be Sailor Jupiter!" Besides, if only people who have bodies like anime characters were allowed to cosplay, there would be like...three cosplayers. You need more than that for a Sailor Team.

Lee recommends hitting cheap stores like Payless and Target for shoes, which are often a very expensive element in any given costume. She also recommends wearing decent underwear in case of "costume malfunctions." I'm noticing a theme of underwear as an important concern in the cosplay world.

You know, attending these panels and observing passing cosplayers has led me to observe something; Sailor Mars is pretty much the perfect cosplay. You can get a pair of red high heels at Payless, plenty of brunettes (like yours truly) can easily get away without wearing a wig, there are few accessories to worry about, and uh...well, okay, that's about it as far as advantages are concerned, but still! You get to be Sailor Mars for the day, how much more motivation do you need?

For your cosplaying pleasure, here are some cosplay sites that were recommended by one or more of the panelists:

Carrot Anime
Amphigory (wigs)
399animeshop (accessories)
Electrique Boutique (underwear and shoes)
Folkwear (period costumes)

All panelists also recommended utilizing the dealer's room at conventions for assembling costume pieces; just from the amount of wig and contact lens booths present in the dealer's room at Otakon this year, I would have to agree.

Above image shows Anne Marie Chua Lee (RedPikachu) dressed as Momohime from Demon Blade Muramasa; Photo by Fristle. This seasoned cosplayer doesn't have ONE Sailor Moon cosplay in her gallery at Red Star Costumes, but I think we can forgive her...for now. Stay tuned for a sampling of some of the many dedicated Sailor Moon cosplayers to be found at Otakon 2010.

A BIG Thank You!

Hey Moonies! We'd like to thank every single person who took the Operation Moonrise Phase 5 survey on the first day and of course, everyone who has taken it since and will take it in the month to come!

Our very first survey had just 15 responses on the first day, and our second only 30. Phase 4 (survey #3) did much better at 72, but this survey just takes the cake! 221 surveys in just 24 hours! We're already past 300 at the moment!

We're confident we can reach our goal of 500 by the end of the weekend, but don't worry, the survey will still be available until Monday August 29th at Midnight, so keep those surveys pouring in! All together, we'll not only show our opinions, but just how many Moonies there are who still care and still want the series back!


Otakon 2010: The World of Sailor Moon

At “The World of Sailor Moon” panel, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon, the two hot topics were the possibility of Sailor Moon being licensed by FUNimation, and the mystery of just what “Star Gentle Uterus” really refers to. I think we can all agree that there will never be a satisfactory answer to the latter, so let’s spend a moment looking at the former.

Ironically, the two panels overlapped, so some time at the Sailor Moon panel was spent wondering what was going on in the other room. “Actually, the FUNimation panel is going on right now as we speak, and we hope that FUNimation secures the rights to Sailor Moon, and finally gives us legit copies of Sailor Stars,” said panel leader Yosenex, editor of Genvid, a.k.a. The Sailormoon Soapbox. However, Yosenex was clear that his hopes were based upon speculation, and FUNimation did not in fact announce the licensing of Sailor Moon at their panel this year. They did, however, announce that they had licensed Shukufuku no Campanella, which has nothing really to do with Sailor Moon but does have pretty colors. If you're curious, Japanator has the scoop on all of the decidedly non-Sailor Moon titles that FUNimation just announced.

Yosenex went on to share some of the more recent news concerning the international revival of the property in honor of the 20-year anniversary, including the Japanese boxset releases, and the numerous re-airings and re-licenses going on, particularly in Italy. He also shared an interesting rumor; the prospect of an Italian Nintendo DS Game forthcoming. “If that happens, I will go to PlayAsia or whatever [and order it], and I will learn Italian,” said Yosenex.

I have no idea as to the source of this rumor, so I can’t speculate as to how true it is, however it boggles the mind- an original Italian Sailor Moon video game? Am I going to have to change my plans from perpetually failing to learn Japanese to perpetually failing to learn Italian? I’m sure many of us are in the same boat here.

The Moonies in the audience chimed in with their opinions on many topics, including reasons for the superior quality of the manga’s storyline (“Because Tuxedo Mask has real powers,” and “Because the Inner Senshi were still useful after S,” proving to be popular reasons for manga superiority with the attendees), and the general unpopularity of SuperS compared to the other seasons. The panelists agreed that SuperS is more enjoyable on the second watch, but I disagree; I think it depends on how old you are. I liked it on my first watch, but I think that’s because I saw the later seasons relatively recently, and was already old enough to understand some of what I felt Ikuhara was trying to do with that season, but I digress.

In addition to a brief presentation about the history of Sailor Moon (which was all the basics that anyone reading this already knows, but was certainly appropriate for the occasion), the panel featured many clips, including fan trailers for Sailor Stars and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Japanese commercials for various Sailor Moon products, a montage of the early openings from different countries, and the very beginning of the humorous Sailor Moon Abridged redubbing project. Yosenex recommended Sailor Moon Abridged for anyone tired of waiting for news of more Sailor Moon in some form.

The panel also featured several contests, like the Attack Pose contest, where attendees had to do their very best version of Sailor Star Fighter’s" Star Serious Laser" and Super Sailor Moon’s "Moon Gorgeous Meditation"; a Sailor Uranus cosplayer threw in a "World Shaking" for good measure. The final contest required contestants to come up to the front and shout out Sailor Moon’s introduction speech, which only a few contestants could pull off from start to finish. I don’t know guys, could you do that? Because I’d like to make a snide comment about fans messing up Usagi’s speech, only after 200 episodes, 3 movies and multiple re-watches, I can’t do that speech off the top of my head. Maybe I just get too distracted by all the pretty colors?

The other dedicated Sailor Moon panel at Otakon this year is devoted to, err, hentai. I don't watch hentai and don't feel entirely comfortable with the whole concept, but I feel like I must go for the sake of journalism. Wish me luck, guys!

Meet the Staff: Karen Leslie

Name: Karen Leslie
Position: Contributor
I Have Been a Sailor Moon Fan Since: 1998

Favorite Episode or Movie: Episode 34 of the original, 30 in the dub- I like both versions, but the visual of the crystal appearing from Usagi's teardrop with My Only Love playing in the background is particularly memorable for me. I also think 166, the finale of SuperS, is seriously underrated; am I the only one who thinks it's cool that the big bad of the season turns out to be gravity?

Favorite Sailor Moon Character: Sailor Venus. She's crazy in such a special, lovely way.

Other Anime or Manga I like:
Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Fate/Stay Night, Claymore, Durarara!!, Card Captor Sakura, Ginban Kaleidoscope, Ghost in the Shell, Eyeshield 21, Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh, and uh, there's lots more- depends how I'm feeling when you ask me.

Other tidbits: I also write for, and am attending this year's Otakon in a decidedly Moon-Chasey capacity. I want a snazzy boxset of all 200 SM episodes pretty badly- well, actually I wanted that pretty badly ten years ago. Now I'm past wanting it "pretty badly" and have moved on to uncharted territory.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Operation Moonrise Phase 5: Last Survey Ever!

Hey Moonies! Welcome to the last survey ever for Operation Moonrise. We know we said that Phase 4 was going to be our last one ever, but we have a very good reason for this one (we can hear some of you groaning “Another Survey?” already). A few months ago, we sent our first report to a very interested network executive who was impressed! But the exec then suggested that if we were going to have an even bigger impact with the powers that be with this report, that we should ask a few more questions to enhance it. We took this executive's advice to heart, and put this survey together. There are only 14 questions this time around, and we are not including any space for comments (because we think we’ve gathered enough comments about anything and everything that fans have an opinion on for Sailor Moon). These questions are pretty short and there aren’t a lot of answer options for most questions, so we think this should take the average Moonie about 5-10 minutes to complete (maybe even less). These questions are specifically geared towards respondents who have watched and/or will be watching the series in English, but (as always) will welcome any responses from around the world. We will be splitting these results into two groups, one for those from English-speaking countries, and one for those from other countries.

For those of you wondering about PGSM and the Musicals, the companies are well aware of the level of fan interest for these so it is probably likely we will not have to run a campaign for these two other Sailor Moon related productions. The best we can tell you is that if you are interested in either of these productions, please write a letter to Toei Animation or Bandai Entertainment. These are posted in our forums for members to read. We have done everything we possibly could with the manga so now it is just a waiting game (unless we are asked again).

There are two very important questions in this new survey regarding content in Sailor Moon, and we need you respondents to seriously pretend that you are in these age groups again (6-8 and 9-14) and give us your honest opinion on which content you would find offensive as a kid or tween. This is crucially important should there be any sorts of edits made to the existing dub. The worldwide revival is both capturing the attention of the older fans who have loved the series since the beginning, as well as a new generation of younger “moonies”, and to better understand how to make this work, the powers that be will have a better idea of how to gear a future release with this information. Sailor Moon also will not be able to be as big of a success without the younger audience as they will be the ones who a lot of the toys and other merchandise will be geared towards (also remember that the majority of us who have grown up and are reading this site were kids once too when we discovered the series). If you think you are having a hard time answering these questions, it might be a good idea to see what is popular with kids and tweens around your neighborhood. Ask what sorts of shows they watch and do a little internet research into the contents of these shows, and this should help you figure out a good answer for those questions.

Also, a hotly contested issue among the fans is a possible redub as well as access to the existing version of the dub. We ask two questions about this near the end, and we ask that our fans answer these honestly. One of the questions involves the actors specifically, and we have gotten indications from many companies involved that either the old actors or new actors from FUNImation’s roster are pretty much the only choices that fans will have. We will also tell you that the vast majority of the actors on FUNImation’s rosters are also actors that appear on dubs from Bandai Entertainment as well as Section23 Films. Each company uses nearly the same pool of actors for their dubs and there is a lot of overlap. As of this writing, we are not going to bring in a pool of actors from Ocean Studios and ask for fans’ opinions on them, else we would have to re-run and re-do the first survey and we know that not many fans would be interested in that. The other questions we ask pertain to fans' first encounters with Sailor Moon, opinion on the episodes' divergence from the manga, and preferred timeslots on different kinds of networks. For clarification, we have provided some names of networks to make it easier for you to tell the difference between the types of channels. Please pay attention to what the question is asking before you answer them.

Other than answering these questions honestly and seriously, we have no other warnings or caveats to post about this survey! Click the link below when you’re ready! This campaign will be run until Monday August 30th September 13th at Midnight and we have a goal of 500 surveys. Thanks again to all of our readers for their support of our campaigns, and we are hoping that we can call an end to the major parts of our campaigns by October. Our letter writing campaign will continue to be active. And a special thank you to all of the companies for allowing us to be environmentally friendly with these reports and “going green” by accepting them electronically.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Moon Chase Presents: An Interview With Jeff Lumby!

Hey Moonies! We're sorry for the lack of updates recently, real life has been intruding on our Moon time. D: But as part of our effort to get back into the swing of things, we have another stop on our celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the English Version of Sailor Moon, the voice actor behind Prof. Souichi Tomoe and others, Jeff Lumby! He has had a very widespread career from radio to television, and he has a lot of great stories to tell that you probably never knew before!

MC: How did you get started in acting?

JL: My first love was radio and it seemed a natural extension of that. Ironically though, I wasn't that attracted to drama in highschool. It all came together afterwards.

MC: Out of the three characters you played on Sailor Moon (the figure skater Mischa, Dr/Professor Tomoe, and Kakeru in the S movie) who was your favorite and why?

JL: Dr. Tomoe was my favorite because he was more nuanced than the others.

Josh2Darien: What was your favorite thing about Dr. Tomoe?

JL: What attracted me most to the character was finding a voice that accomplished both the Doctor and the villain in Tomoe. He had to sound intelligent and evil.

MC: How did you come up with the right voice for each of these three characters?

JL: It's always a benefit to see the character's illustrations when coming up with voices. In some animated series the voices are chosen before the animators have a chance to draw them, which is a lot more difficult.

MC: Your sister, Lisa Lumby Richards was a writer for Sailor Moon – did you ever get to collaborate with her on the roles that you played?

JL: No, but I definitely acted out her words on several occasions.

MC: Dr. Tomoe was a unique villain because he was the only one related to a Sailor Scout/Senshi (he was Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe's Dad). At the end of the season he was given a second chance to be a Dad again and make a new start free from his past mistakes. Most villains in cartoon shows stay villains and they are almost never redeemed. Was it challenging to play this kind of transition?

JL: Yes, it was challenging and fun, since I didn't know about the plot twist when I first took on the role, I then had to create a new softened take of Tomoe. Although the voice is clearly me, the tone and attitude are quite different during the "dad" stage.

MC: Did you ever watch the original Japanese episodes with subtitles before you recorded them?

JL: Yes, that's an interesting question. We would watch every scene first in Japanese just to get the intent of the scene. The Dr. Tomoe character was quite different in Japanese so sometimes this could be more of a hindrance than a help. I seem to remember the Japanese Tomoe as quite gruff, a choice I stayed away from with my version because I felt he needed to sound like an educated villain.

MC: Could you please describe what it was like to record an episode?

JL: I'm sure it sounds as though we spent hours in the studio but it really doesn't work that way. Each actor is called in separately, unless there's a very important piece of dialogue to record together, so once your line is recorded, the engineer will fast forward to your next a result each episode is recorded quite quickly. There will always be at least 2 takes of each line recorded for safety and choice. Sometime we'll lay down one line with a couple of intents.....punching one word on the first take and another on the second.

MC: How many episodes a week did you record?

JL: This varies. Sometimes we'll be called in for a few episodes over the course of the week, then we won't hear from the project for quite some time while they package the stuff we've already recorded. The Producers typically use the same studio for recording and mixing and sometimes they need to ship finished product for several episodes at a time, so they'll record a few then mix them, then get back to the recording.

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

JL: Absolutely.

MC: What do you think is Sailor Moon's legacy 15 years later?

JL: Obviously for me, the fan base is the legacy. Without your interest, we wouldn't be talking.

MC: Which memories of the show do you treasure?

JL: My fondest memories are from the recording. We always had a lot of fun doing it. Some of my favorite people (actors) today are folks I met on Sailor Moon.

ChibiGinger: Has Sailor Moon been the only anime (Japanese cartoon) you have dubbed?

JL: If I've done others they didn't have the impact of the "Moon".

MC: When you shot that first episode of Red Green, did you ever imagine it would have become the huge phenomenon that it did (let alone give a new life to duct tape)?

JL: Not a chance. I met Steve Smith (Red Green) at a promotional event the two of us were asked to participate in. (At the time I was Morning Man at a Hamilton radio station) We hit it off and he later asked me to be in the show. ("I'm looking for a Sewage and Septic guy and your name floated to the top.") After my first night in front of the camera I thought to myself, "well that was fun", thinking it was the last time I'd be on. 12 years later...

esahC: I see you're credited as the contributing writer for one episode for The Red Green Show. Tell us, how does that work?

JL: In the case of Red Green there were usually 2 or 3 main writers. Steve (Red) was always the head writer and the man through which all material ran. It was his vision and he had the best perspective on the overall idea. There were also a few contributing writers. We were expected to pitch ideas on segments and individual scripts. There would be weekly writing meetings where ideas were thrown around the table. If Steve liked your idea, he'd ask you to flesh it out. Even then it might get rejected, and if he liked it, it certainly would be improved upon. Steve Smith is the funniest person I've ever met, and my Red Green experience in this business was second to none.

MC: Do you have a new found admiration for those in septic and sewage maintenance or for duct tape?

JL: After you've sat behind that steamy truck for a few hours on a hot day in July, well let's just say "admiration" is one word that's new and found. There are others though.

MC: Winston Rothschild had quite a higher pitched voice than your regular voice, but one of the major themes behind the show was showing men being "manly". Did the voice and his somewhat quirky personality pose any challenges for you?

JL: Once Steve described what he wanted in the character it became very easy to portray. All he said was, "Winston loves his work. When you're performing remember one thing, Winston can't figure out why everyone isn't in the septic business." That was all I needed. As a result, there were very few scripts where Winston wasn't completely positive about any situation. Very fun.

MC: Which was your favorite episode of Red Green?

JL: I'm not much on "favorite" anything...but for Winston the episode where he was going to get married was memorable for me. "I've got the church booked, I've got the all I need is a bride." (or words to that effect) See, always optimistic. Winston also had the cool promotional catch phrases and the one that stuck out for me was this gem: 'Don't gamble with your septics. Remember, a flush always beats a full house.' Classic.

MC: What was the biggest lesson you learned from working on Red Green?

JL: To always have fun, even if you screw up. I used to get a bit down on myself when I'd flub a line cause I hate having everything come to a screeching halt for one of my mistakes. Particularly when I had such few lines compared to Harold (Pat McKenna) or Steve. Then I saw what happened when Pat blew a scene. He'd stay in character and play.....sometimes those "outtakes" would go on for minutes at a time. That's when I realized that I could either have fun with the mistake or suck the energy out of the room by getting down on myself. Pat is such a pro and was always so helpful and generous to me.

MC: Stephanie Beard was also a voice in Sailor Moon (Sailor Mini-Moon/Rini) and was the first woman to be on The Red Green Show. Did the show's dynamic change much when women were brought in to guest star on the show occasionally?

JL: No, it was quite refreshing actually. We had to clean up the lodge a bit when women guested, but other than that, I was for it.

MC: Do you know what prompted this change to have women visit Possum Lodge?

JL: Just a new dynamic for the show. Remember, the show's theme was to bring to life men's shortcomings, who better to do that than women?

MC: What are your favorite kinds of cartoon roles to play, ones for the younger audience or ones for the older audience (like Uncle Joe's Playhouse)?

JL: They both present challenges, but it's always fun doing cutting edge, meaty adult comedy.

MC: Which method do you prefer for voice dubbing – the Rhythmoband (which has almost gone the way of the dinosaurs) or the beep method?

JL: I liked Rythmo and got pretty proficient at it. The new digital technology is awesome though. Much easier to make corrections to etc.

MC: In March, I had the opportunity to see Fred Penner live in concert (he was doing a tour of campus bars). He commented that children's TV now isn't the same as it used to be and shows are more computer animated rather than using puppets and songs (the "variety" show aspect is almost gone). Having worked on Size Small – a legendary children's show in its own right with your own family behind it, what are your thoughts on shows for preschoolers and young kids these days? Do you think that these shows need to go back to a time when the technology was "simpler"?

JL: Yes, I agree with Fred. When my Mom (Miss Helen) created Size Small years ago, the goal was simple. Don't talk down to the toddlers. She never patronized, and sometimes I think that gets lost in technology. She (and Fred) have a very personal approach and I think some new producers of young children's programming thing they're only interested in flashy, fast edited shows. It's my opinion that they're missing the boat and contributing to short attention spans. Think about it, kids will watch slow paced shows like Size Small over and over again, now ponder what the retention rate is on overly produced, fast paced programming.

MC: You've had a radio career all over Canada for over 20 years – are you still on the radio now?

JL: Yes, I still dabble in my first love, radio. And I'm always recording radio commercials, so one way or the other, I'm on the radio.

MC: What were some of your most memorable radio moments and how did you get started in it?

JL: Let's start with when I got into the radio business. It was the same year I got out of high school and I had no interest in University or College at that point. My folks had worked with a man (Roy Curry) at the TV station in Saskatoon. Roy was opening a radio station at the time and I began taking voice classes from him. Eventually he hired me for the overnight show (Midnight-6 a.m.) The rest, as they say, is hysterical...ah history. I have one memorable moment I'll share with you....when I first started my Morning Show in Montreal in the late 80's, I was trying to endear myself to the audience by talking about the cultural experiences I was enjoying. So one night I went out to try a French Canadian staple called Poutine. It's French Fries topped with Cheese-curd and gravy. (ya, I know!!) The next morning I was all excited to report my findings and said, "last night I had my first Putin!" I guess the pronunciation was a little off, because immediately after I said it, my producer disappeared on the other side of the glass. Apparently he'd fallen off his chair laughing. I said, "what did I say?" He struggled back into the chair and pressed the mic button, "Jeff, you just said that last night, you had your first prostitute!!!" Good times.

MC: Size Small was shot in Saskatoon for many years – how did you survive those "balmy" Saskatchewan winters?

JL: Well, I'm originally from Saskatoon, so it's all we knew. We survived, "stubble-jumpers" are hearty stock.

MC: Are you in any upcoming productions right now? Where can Moonies find you next?

JL: I've been in several animated productions in one-off roles including the upcoming, Cat in the Hat starring Martin Short. A few years ago I played the Dad in Ricky Sprocket, but sadly the show only lasted a season. Right now though I'm very excited to be playing the regular, Charles LaPuck in Skatoony, which premiers on Teletoon in the fall.

MC: And with that, this interview is finally finished! Thanks again very much for doing the interview! We wish you the best of luck in the future!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PGSM Update - July 2010

Sawaii Miyu, who portrayed Usagi/Sailor Moon in the live action series in 2003-2004, has recently been starring in a musical adaption of the classic fairy tale Snow White. The musical production of Snow White began its eight day run on July 16th. Miyu has also been spotted in a Box Corporation program to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary.

Fans of Aya Sugimoto (PGSM Queen Beryl) will definitely want to check out the new feature length Kamen Rider movie "Double Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate", where she will be appearing as a guest character named Maria S Cranberry. The movie was recorded with 3D technology in mind, making it the first feature length movie of the 3D Kamen Rider series. The movie will hit theaters on August 7, 2010. (

Ayaka Komatsu (Minako Aino/Sailor Venus) has been busy lately promoting a new movie called “Neck”. The movie, which was assembled by Shirakawa Professional, is a hybrid of both horror and comedy as it details the twists and turns of a group of junior college students.(

Rina Koike (Sailor Luna) has also landed a new role as the main heroine in the detective drama production "Akechi Three Generations". Right now in Japan, Koike can be spotted making some public appearances to support her new acting role, alongside her current co-star Tanabe Seiiti.

Finally, no PGSM news update would be complete without some Keiko Kitagawa sightings. The live action Sailor Mars actress was recently a presenter at the 12th annual Taipei Film Festival, where she was greeted with huge support from her Taiwanese fan base. Keiko admitted to being nervous about the presentation on her blog, and she was relieved to have finished it successfully. Keiko can also be caught starring in a new Fuji TV drama called “Lovers Of The Moon”. Apparently the recording schedule for the show was gruelling – Keiko stated on her blog that she was getting as little as 2 hours of sleep at night.

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Inspirational Story About the Power of Yoshihiro Togashi's Manga!

Making news in some of the smaller news outlets was this tiny story of a blogger who posted a heartfelt "Thank You" to Yoshihiro Togashi on his blog. This blogger is 22 with a younger brother who is 14. A year ago, the younger brother was being pushed around and bullied in school to the point where he attempted suicide. His attempt failed, and he chose to remain at home and not go to school any more. Their mother had to quit her job so she could be at home to watch him all the time. The blogger lent his brother some manga to read, all titles by Togashi - Wicked Cupid, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Hunter X Hunter. He thought that it would not be a good idea for him to read Level E. The night before this entry, he spoke to his brother to see if he was okay and he told him that he didn't want to die without reading the end of Hunter X Hunter. The blogger then ended the entry thanking Togashi for saving his brother, and told him to have a good rest from his manga.

What should have remained a heartfelt sentiment then became a victim of 2ch. A popular trend on the message board is "Kopipe" ("Copy Paste"), where one of the site's users copies and pastes the entry, and then mocks it. This entry has created a lot of negative buzz on the board lately - and one blogger on Internet Watch sympathizes with the original blogger and is surprised at how this entry is being used for something other than it was intended to.

In other Togashi news, Oricon ran a poll asking readers who they thought changed the history of manga. Of course, legendary mangaka like Osamu Tezuka, Akira Toriyama, and even Hayao Miyazaki made the list, but it was the opinion of this blogger that Togashi was one that would have made his personal list.

BREAKING NEWS: Italian Manga Rights On The Way, But Who Has Them?

Not Star Comics, that's for sure. Fansite MetalRobot of Italy conducted an interview with representatives of Italy's Star Comics, and a question was asked about Sailor Moon. Here it is, translated into English:

MR: Italy was the country picked for the foreign relaunch of the series, Sailor Moon, when this happened the rights to the anime were unblocked and it has come back on the air. Also in the news these days are the future release of the rights for the manga series. Is Star Comics going to publish this?

SC: The news of the release of the rights of Sailor Moon is true, but it isn't Star Comics that will have the rights in Italy. We have no problem admitting that someone else has bought the rights, if it has not been released openly it is because nobody has asked J (NOTE: more on J later). We are certainly not happy with the situation, especially the circumstances that led to the decision to entrust the series to another publisher, even though Star Comics invested a lot in the series in the past. Star Comics was never supported by any 'parent', we got where we are thanks to our efforts... but sometimes that is not enough.

Now, we have some shocking news to share with you. We can't name the companies involved (please don't ask us, we have to respect everyone involved), but in late June we learned that the international manga rights were in limbo. We got an email on a Monday along with a request for the manga report, we reworked the report and sent it off late Thursday night, and on Friday afternoon we learned that the rights had in fact just been resolved (after months of issues) as of that morning. This more than explained why there was nothing happening with the manga release in Italy to coincide with the broadcast on Hiro, and we all expect to hear some good news from there any time now. Up until that day, no company has had any rights for the international release of the Sailor Moon manga. Nanoda of Italy has also published that the rights were just recently resolved.

We certainly weren't given any indication about the rights being in limbo in February when we sent off the manga report. From the tone of the representative's voice over the phone, we all assumed that everything was in place. Fans, do not worry about your efforts going down in vain! All of your comments were forwarded in this updated report with a note to excuse the references and to continue read the comments sent in by fans (all of the other companies we have sent copies of the report to have enjoyed reading what you all have to say). We feel for Star Comics though since they put in a lot of effort into the manga (which by all accounts that we have read was a very successful release), and they will not be allowed to continue their legacy for a future release. In the future though, we may post a short section that we included in this updated manga report that showed a few examples where the Tokyopop translations got sluggish.

As far as "J" goes? No one knows who they are referring to, not even us. has a few theories, but we wonder if the J actually means "Japan" and is meant to be something vague. We can tell you that it is most definitely not the case of anyone not asking to license the manga. We deal mostly with the English side of things although we try to cater to as much international news as we possibly can, and during that week in June there was every indication that there were a lot of companies interested in a license for the updated manga. We don't know of any companies in Italy that start with the letter "J" that have anything to do with manga or comic releases, but we would not be surprised if Giochi Preziosi were to acquire the license, since they have been at each licensing meeting etc. since the beginning. This would have given them an advantage in bidding for the manga since they have already been working with Toei Animation and PNP/Naoko Takeuchi on the Sailor Moon revival.

Also: We know that the series is returning to Eastern Europe, but we have been asked by a representative of Plus Licens to wait for a different release. The ones that are being posted around the internet were meant for corporate readers only. What we can tell you is that Plus Licens has the rights to manage the series licenses for broadcast, merchandise, etc. to different companies, but they will not be releasing the series themselves. Think of it as Toei Animation and PNP/Naoko Takeuchi as being the "Grandparents", Plus Licens as being the "Parents" and the children that are going to "play" with Sailor Moon are the ones that will be getting licenses for actual releases. Make sense? Again, we understand that these are exciting times to be a Sailor Moon fan, but with this excitement comes some waiting!

*** And a personal note from me, Sailordees: I apologize for the lack of updates in the last little while - believe me, I wish for nothing more than to have time to work on these blogs, but on June 28th, I got some great news in my personal life that has forced me to prepare for some big changes. I can't share much more, except for the fact that these big changes are requiring a lot of my time. I will probably not be able to return full time to either Moon Chase or We Got the Solution until September, but rest assured our staff members will do their very best to keep you guys updated as much as they possibly can. Thanks to all for your continued support and patience!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In response to the latest rumors

Hey Moonies, we've been hearing a lot of talk (as we always do) about the latest round of Sailor Moon licensing rumors.

The fact of the matter is, NO COMPANY HAS THE RIGHTS TO SAILOR MOON IN NORTH AMERICA AT THIS TIME. We want the show to come back as much as anyone else does, but starting rumors is not helping anyone. We have been told over and over again by reps from several different companies that rumors like this make it more difficult for everyone involved. The future of the series in North America is in the very early planning stages and while this is a potentially exciting time, fans need to be patient and wait for an official press release.

Just because one person says that they got a DMCA notice from FUNImation because of a couple of Sailor Moon related videos does NOT mean that FUNImation has the rights to the series. Do a quick search for Sailor Moon on youtube and you will find hundreds of thousands of videos. If those videos were disappearing en masse, then that would be something to talk about. A handful of videos out of dozens made by a single person is not news, it's not a sign, it's not even a rumor.

When there is news to report, there will be an official press release, and we (along with other members of the press) will be there to pass the official word onto the fans!

If you're reading this and you run a Sailor Moon fansite, please do your part for the fandom and do not post unsubstantiated rumors. Doing so only hurts Sailor Moon. :(

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

North American Voice Actors: Summer Update

Sabrina Grdevich (Anne Granger, Sailor Pluto #1) appeared in When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story, as Julia. The biography is based on the true story of the enduring but troubled love between Lois (played by Winona Ryder) and her alcoholic husband Bill (played by Barry Pepper), co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. The movie was premiered on US television April 25th and on Canadian television on May 5th.

David Huband (Serena's Dad) now has two upcoming films for 2010 and another for 2011. We previously reported that he will be appearing in Running Mates, as Father McDonough, set to premiere later this year and in Dream House, as officer Nelson, set to premiere in 2011. Later this year he will also be appearing in a short film called Animal Control, as a vet. The film is about Larry, an eccentric amateur taxidermist whose only companions are the animals he's stuffed. All three films are currently in post-production. We will be sure to let you know when we have information about release dates.

Rino Romano (Tuxedo Mask #1) can be heard in the upcoming Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions video game as the 3rd Spider-Man. The game will be released on September 7, 2010. He can also be heard in the film Get Him to the Greek, which is currently in theatres. The film is about a record company intern who is hired to accompany an out-of-control British rock star to a concert at L.A.'s Greek Theater (description from IMDb).

We previously reported that Harvey Atkin (Bumboo/Pox) will be appearing in Barney's Version. A trailer for the film is now available for viewing on Youtube, but the language is a bit mature/suggestive so our younger readers may want to avoid this one. No release date yet, the trailer only says "coming soon." Rating not yet available either.

Norma Dell'Agnese (Prisma) appeared in the premiere episode of the Canadian comedy Dan for Mayor. The show is about a slacker in his early 30s who ends up unintentionally running for mayor of his town. Fans may recognize Fred Ewanuick, who plays the protagonist, as he was previously a recurring character on another Canadian comedy show, Corner Gas.

Robert Tinkler (Rubeus) can be heard in Beyblade: Metal Fusion as the hero of the series, Gingka. Gingka and his friends take on a group known as the Dark Nebula who want to conquer the world (an extended description is available on ANN via the link above).

Toby Proctor (Tuxedo Mask #2) joined in on the Canada Day festivities in the township of Scugog, Ontario. The celebrations were hosted throughout Palmer Park and Water Street. Fish TV held a sports celebrity weigh-in in the afternoon. Toby was joined by comedian Russel Peters, actor Aaron Douglas, and Brian Skinner of the LA Clippers.

Tracey Hoyt (Rini #1) appeared in an episode of Living in Your Car as Nurse Cohen. the episode, entitled "chapter four" first aired on May 28th. Fans can catch the series on HBO Canada. Description from IMDb: The story follows Steve Unger, who was caught cooking the books and now finds himself legally forbidden from working in any position that involves "other people's money". Clinging desperately to the last vestige of his former self - his luxury sedan - Steve hopes to begin anew. Shunned by family and friends, under court order to teach an ethics class to other "fallen angels," Steve now makes his home inside his luxury car. Propelled ahead by his needs and whims, trying to simultaneously help and exploit everyone he meets, Steve attempts to survive in the land of the have-nots and at the same time somehow resurrect the charmed life he once had.

Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) will headline the 21st year of Hillebrand Jazz at the Winery alongside Denzal Sinclaire; the Richard Underhill Quintet and the Jake Wilkinson Quintet featuring Michelle Willis. Fans can see her perform on Saturday, July 10th in Niagara. Gates open at 2 pm and the concert takes place from 4 pm to 8 pm. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased online at or by calling 1.800.582.8412 ext. 2. The annual Hillebrand Jazz at the Winery began in 1989 with the intent of bringing premier Canadian jazz talent to Niagara Wine Country and serving it up with premium wines and Wine Country cuisine. (source: CNW)