While perusing Japanese news aggregators for anything interesting I could find for our readers, I came across this tidbit. Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars in PGSM) blogged a few days ago about meeting PGSM producer Shinichiro Shirakura and PGSM director Ryuta Tasaki, and they mentioned to her that it had been 10 years since she had acted in PGSM. Keiko could not believe that much time had passed! She then shared the story of her audition for the show. When she was just 17 year old, Keiko didn’t think she was very attractive, nor could she sing, dance, or do any sort of rhythmic gymnastics. She considered herself to have no talent, and was just your average, boring, high school student. The night before the audition, she still didn’t know what to do, so she cut a sweet potato in half and wrapped it in plastic, and put a chisel in her bag. She slipped past the more attractive girls in the audition that had their skilled performances ready, and silently carved a potato stamp in front of the judges. She passed! And the rest is history. She has not forgotten the generosity of Shirakura and Tasaki for accepting her act. And with this potato, Keiko is living history that one of the biggest lessons we have all learned from Sailor Moon still holds true: be yourself no matter what!
In yesterday’s post (and apologies for the late-night typos, they have been fixed), it turns out that Fumio Osano (better known as Osabu), had written a message to the fans in the June 2013 issue of Dengeki Hobby Magazine. It is located in the orange box at the top of the second page. Here, is our translation (Thanks Emi!):
The orange part reads:
A message from Naoko sensei’s editor, Osabu. He’s been Naoko sensei’s editor back then and even now. Well known among fans with his nickname Osabu, Mr. Fumio Osano of Kodansha gave us, S.H. Figuarts, comments.
The white part reads:
While Bandai Collectors worked very hard to keep the original feel of Usagi’s action pose and face, at the same time, they tried to update the looks to the current style. Even the ad is also very particular so please check it out. When you see the ad you would go “gotta buy this!” LOL Hope you guys can bring all the senshi out. If Usagi sells, all the senshi should become available I think. I personally like to see Sailor Saturn! Let’s do it!
And, I asked some questions that many of you had to Xavier Lim at Bluefin Tamashii Nations!
MC: Will the new figure have packaging/instructions in English? How much assembly will be required?
Bluefin/TN: As of this moment, the packaging and instructions will be still be in Japanese. There may be an additional licensing sticker on the box that may vary by region, but that is there only to mark it as an officially licensed product.
MC: Is Sailor Mercury a prototype being tested or is it next in line? Are there figures of other characters also being planned or is it too early to say?
Bluefin/TN: Tamashii Nations will often tease figures of future releases or items they would like to test consumer reception on before continuing forward. Prototype figures without release dates or pricing information do no indicate an item is going to be released next. There have been many cases in the other product lines where a prototype figure has been shown before, but has not been released, only to have other characters come out beforehand.
MC: When will the figure actually hit the shelves, August, September or October? Many sites are reporting different dates from August-October for when they will actually ship the figures to customers.
Bluefin/TN: The official Japanese release date is August 2013. For the U.S. and Canada, it is Sept 2013. Some stores that have very large fulfillment centers may believe they will not be able to ship out in time before the end of September and have indicated an early October release date.
MC: How much input did Naoko Takeuchi have in the design of the figure? What was the collaboration like? How were the facial expressions chosen? How long did this Sailor Moon figure take to develop?
Bluefin/TN: Yes she is involved. This figure has actually been delayed until now by her request. Otherwise this figure would have been revealed a few years ago.
MC: How long will the two bonus faces be available, and will all launch figures have them? Approximately how many figures will be in this first production?
Bluefin/TN: 1st release bonuses will be packaged inside and will be available on all figures in this 1st production cycle. I cannot reveal production numbers at this time, nor can I indicate if/when a second production will occur.
MC: What is the timeline for the production run of the figure (first press and subsequent presses)? What window will there be for fans to purchase the figure before it gets removed from circulation?
Bluefin/TN: In N. America at least, the 1st release of the figure will be still readily available for retailers to re-order at least until December.
MC: At Tamashii Nations 2012, a figure of Sailor Moon and Luna in Chibi/Super-Deformed design was announced. Are they going to be released and if so when?
Bluefin/TN: Hopefully soon!
Only a few more months until release! Are you Moonies excited yet?
Hi Moonies! We managed to obtain some scans of the Sailor Moon pages in Dengeki Hobby Magazine’s June 2013 issue, which went on sale in Japan just a few weeks ago. This is a Japanese magazine devoted to plastic models, and even provides tips about their assembly, modification, and painting. This issue featured a full page advertisement, along with a two-page article promoting the figure. While we don’t know if any of the English magazines are going to feature anything on this upcoming figure (such as Neo Magazine UK or Otaku USA), we thought fans might like to have a look at some of the early press that this figure is receiving in Japan. Check out the pages below!
Here’s a listing of the Sailor Moon related events that may be of most interest to those of you attending. Most of these are at the Doubletree International Hotel, unless otherwise indicated. Autographs are at the Toronto Congress Centre and the photoshoots are outside, in front of the Congress Centre.
- 4pm – 5pm » Opening Ceremonies (Plaza ballroom)
- 6pm – 7pm » Behind the Mic with J. Micheal Tatum, Chris Cason, J. Swasey, and J. Stocker (Toronto panels)
- 6pm – 7pm » Autographs: Lynda, Katie, Susan (Autographs Hall F, TCC)
- 7:30pm – 8:30pm » Autographs: John Stocker (Autographs Hall F, TCC)
- 8pm – 9:30pm » Ask an Anime Character with Lynda, Katie, Trina, Susan (Toronto panels)
- 12pm – 1pm » Sailor Moon Photoshoot (TCC 2, outside of TCC)
- 1pm – 2pm » So Many Voices with John Swasey, Chris Cason, John Stocker (Plaza C)
- 1pm – 2pm » Memories of the 80′s (Lynda, Katie, Susan) Toronto panels
- 1pm – 2pm » Autographs: John Stocker (Autographs Hall F, TCC)
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm » Autographs: Sailor Moon voice actors (Autographs Hall F, TCC)
- 5pm – 6pm » Sailor Moon Voice Actors Q&A (Toronto panels)
- 6pm – 7pm » Sailor Moon Industry Panel: presented by Moon Chase (Halton panels)
- 6pm – 7pm » Sailor Moon R movie (Paris room)
- 7pm – 8pm » Sailor Moon S movie (Paris room)
- 9pm – 10pm » Sailor Moon Series Discussion (Windsor panels)
- 12pm – 1pm » Canadian Voice Acting Industry (Toronto panels)
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm » Autographs: Lynda, Katie, Susan, John (Autographs Hall F, TCC)
- 3pm – 4pm » Sailor Moon Photoshoot (TCC 2, outside of TCC)
- 6pm – 7pm » Closing Ceremonies (Plaza AB)
There will also be some industry panels that you may want to check out to ask industry reps your questions directly. The Crunchyroll panel will be on Saturday from 1pm – 2pm in International C. Funimation will have two panels (in previous years these are the same aside from fan questions). Funimation will have their first panel on Saturday from 2pm – 3pm in International C, and their second panel will be be on Sunday from 12pm – 1pm in International C.
There are lots of events at this year’s Anime North and we’re looking forward to reporting on the convention. You can find myself (Emily) and our new photographer/writer SixthCrow (Blake) at many of the events listed above as well as others.
If you’re able to make it to Anime North this year, feel free to approach us and ask questions or have your photo taken for Moon Chase. See you there!
A few days ago, a blogger named Seaside Tears was wandering around Sofmap (a Japanese electronics store), and noticed that there was a small exhibition devoted to the upcoming Tamashii Nations S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure featuring flyers, figures, and a large display playing the commercial over and over again. And surprisingly, there was also an unpainted Sailor Mercury prototype on display. The post got picked up by Tomopop, and later Crunchyroll, and then the news got to me via staff member BlueSwim. While the figure has not been officially announced, it is unknown if it ever will be either. This may be a test from Bandai to gauge public reception towards the figure. Many of our older fans may remember that Irwin did this once a very long time ago with the Amazoness Quartet. But unfortunately, they never got made due to Irwin dropping the line (and later facing bankruptcy). If fans are interested in seeing a Sailor Mercury figure produced, feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook page, as well as on Bluefin Tamashii Nations’ Facebook Page, or on Tamashii Nations Japan’s Facebook Page if you can write in Japanese. For those of you looking to pre-order the Sailor Moon figure, please check our previous post for a comprehensive list of places you can pre-order the figure from. The exhibition is traveling around to different Sofmap stores around Japan until the end of the month (check here for a schedule). For now though, here are some images (credit to Seaside Tears) of the exhibition!