Wanna See Some New VA Ventures?

Tune into Teletoon June 29th!

Canadian Moonies should tune into Teletoon beginning at 4PM ET/PT to catch sneak peeks of two new cartoon shows (maybe more?) featuring Sailor Moon VAs! The internet has been mum about the other shows on the previews that day – so we will be watching (and will keep you posted if we see any other actors)! Tell your friends to watch too!

Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2, Sailor Mars #2) will be playing Courtney on Total Drama Island. This Flash-animated cartoon is like the popular reality show Survivor but there’s a twist: it’s played with 22 teenagers at a camp in Northern Ontario! This show will have it’s official double-episode premiere on July 8th at 8PM, and then will play at its regular time slot Sundays and Thursdays at 8:30 PM. Total Drama Island is the brainchild of 6teen creators Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch – fans may recall Emilie-Claire played Chrissy, the manager of the Khaki barn in that show! The show’s official production blog has put up a lot of animation masters and other goodies for fans to check out before the show hits the airwaves.

Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island will finally have it’s long-awaited Canadian network premiere on July 2nd! This one is about a coconut named Fred who can materialize anything he thinks about. Fred’s imagination knows no bounds, and he takes his friends (who are also different fruits) on the strange adventures he conjures! And it looks like video gamers could get something out of this as they are dressed up as some well-known characters in an episode. Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) plays the scaredycat Bingo Cherry! This show will air Monday through Friday at 10AM ET/PT, and then on Saturdays at 7AM ET/PT. The other thing about this show is that it is not a newer cartoon – it was once part of Kids WB’s schedule from 2005-2006.

A Winner of a Gracie Award is…

One other production involving a VA also won a Gracie! Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy won the Gracie for Outstanding Drama-Special. This made-for-TV movie starred Harvey Atkin (various Monsters of the Day) in the supporting role as Harvey. Congratulations to Lifetime Television on this win!

Hey Viz, Where’s Mirmo?

Mirumo de Pon! (or rather its English Title, Mirmo!) was a 172 episode behemoth of an anime that aired in Japan from 2002-2006. The anime, based on the popular manga of the same name, is about Kaede Minami, a typical, teenaged girl who is shy around boys and finds it difficult to date them. One day while coming home from school, she picks up a blue mug from a mysterious store. When she gets back home, engraved in the bottom of the cup is a message that reads “if you read this message aloud while pouring hot cocoa into the mug, a love fairy (“muglox”) will appear and grant your every wish.” She doesn’t believe this message, but tries it anyway. Lo and behold, a fairy named Mirmo appears, and he grants Katie’s wishes! Later we find out that there are hundreds of Muglox, some good, and some downright evil! The English cast for this show is huge featuring a few VA’s. Terri Hawkes (Sailor Moon #2) plays Anna, Mirmo’s classmate and the smartest fairy of the fairy school, Stephanie Beard (Rini #2) plays Momo Umezono (Kaede’s rival) , and Loretta Jafelice (Diana and Eudial) plays Rirumu, Mirmo’s fiancee. There’s lots of other famous voice talent in this show, including Veronica Taylor, Monica Rial, Wendee Lee, Brian Drummond, Tiffany Grant, and Nancy Cartwright (better known as Bart Simpson)! With all this talent, we have to wonder why Viz hasn’t released this popular series on DVD yet – or why the show isn’t on Kids WB anymore. The WB turned into the CW in fall of 2006, and considering that the anime ended in Japan in 2006, we doubt the series was shown in entirety on Kids WB since many things changed with the network. We encourage fans who want to see this show in more markets or on DVD to contact Viz!

A Technical Note

Hey Moonies! As you can see we have implemented yet another script! This one allows us to make expandable posts on this blog (and this was one of the easier mods to make). However the script is showing up on each and every post. For every article except for the one posted below this entry, clicking “Click Here To Read If You’re Ready!” will not take you to a longer post. We are trying to fix this problem so that it only shows up on posts that specifically need it- please bear with us!

EDIT: due to even more technical difficulties beyond our control , there will probably not be a commercials or an ebay post this week. apologies to all our faithful readers – I will try to post something smaller later this week .

Breaking News: Japanese Cartoon Society Holds Meeting!

The Short of It? News Media Isn’t Reporting the Whole Story!
This Article for Mature Readers Only.

While many of you were either asleep or awake in the late hours of the day Monday, we were busy Moon Chasing ™! (Because, it’s what we do!) And we came across a very interesting article from the Mainichi Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper! Now, while our stats tell us wonderful things about where our visitors are coming from, they don’t tell us the age demographic. So, a bit of a warning: this article is aimed for an older teenage audience and up. Click the link to jump to the article.

Manga and Anime has been rising in popularity all over the world, and so has a passion to discuss and study it academically. These art forms are becoming a big part of culture! In Japan, a society called the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoon and Comics was formed in 2001. It is a collective of academics from a range of fields who try to answer the questions: what has manga meant to us in the past, what is it to us now, what will it become in the future? They held their International Manga Symposium in Kyoto this past weekend, and the theme was “Circumstances of Japanese Manga All Around the World”. They looked at the differences of manga and anime in other countries compared to Japan, including series such as Dragonball, Naruto, and Sailor Moon. There were sessions from looking at the differences in portrayals of death, to a survey done in France that looked at popular cartoons with youth in France.

One specific session looked at the circumstances in Europe and the United States, and some reps from Tokyopop and Viz attended. We aren’t sure who led this session but we are hoping that something turns up in a few days on the Society’s Official Site. The session talked about the rise of manga in other countries , and different publication reps from all over the world shared their stories and experiences in acceptance of the genre to the current state of it. But the audience went wild when someone said, and this is a rough translation: “Sailor Moon is reported as turning people homosexual”. The article then goes on to talk about the special case of Italy, where the translators’ salaries were very low and there was not an accurate translation of the series. The news story ends here abruptly, and we wish that there could have been some mention by the writer who said what, or just what else was said. Or even the whole context of that statement!

When we read that , we were offended. Of all the crazy reasons for the censors and cuts made all over the world, this has to be the most ridiculous. I’m sure many readers and fans alike know plenty of men of any age who watched Sailor Moon and haven’t changed their orientation! In fact, several major Sailor Moon news sites past and present for the most part are run by men! Still though, why and where was Sailor Moon reported to turn viewers gay, and who said this? This was mentioned absolutely nowhere in the article, so we set out to investigate. First though, we navigated our way through the society’s site to find out who presented this session. The Chairman was Tagayayo Ono, a famous movie critic and comic researcher. Speaking on behalf of Europe were: Takashi Uno, Chairman of the French Company Tonkam (anime/manga/merchandise distributor), Emilio Gallego Zambrano a translator from Spain, and current lecturer at Rikkyo University , and Federico Colpi, a supervisor, translator, and producer from Italy.

From what we have read, the Italians were as sensitive as the North Americans when they were making their cuts to the idea of homosexuality. Haruka(Heles) and Michiru (Milenia) were portrayed in the series as being “just friends”. Again, contrary to the original where they were lovers, but maybe the lesser of evils compared to other markets where they were sisters or cousins. We were not completely surprised when we heard of this change. However, this still didn’t explain the reason behind the comment the article mentioned.

But, we eventually found the answer to why this comment was made. In 1997, a psychologist named Vera Slepoy made her opinion public. She thought the transformation of the Three Lights to the Star Lights had the potential to turn young boys gay, and this resulted in the transformation phrase being altered to something to the effect of “Sailor Star (Healer/Fighter/Maker), Come to Me”! It then appeared as if the Starlights would magically appear when this phrase was called. Vera also thought that the fact that the females were the dominant superheroes confused a lot of people (she refers to them as dominatrici or oppressors). It seems some people still think that cartoons should be patriarchal! We also learned that that Vera Slepoy is the Jack Thompson of Italy. It seems that a lot of people spoke out against this series too – and perhaps we will dig into this for a future article. We couldn’t find any sign of the manga on the web. We would really love to hear from fans who have seen or read Sailor Moon in Italian to know how she was portrayed – please contact us! Despite all of this calamity, Italy must have done something right, as they were able to get the entire series with only one episode being cut (#89), the specials, and the movies. That’s more than so many other markets in the world!

We are really disappointed that a major Japanese Newspaper failed to describe the entire context of that statement, and indirectly blamed the translators for it. They made no mention of who mentioned it at the session, nor any other highlights or discussion surrounding it. Clearly , it was not the translators’ fault, but rather the fault of the producers for taking the sides of these bogus commentators and diverging the story from its original intention. There was no mention of what was said at the American session – which was presented by reps from Viz and Tokyopop, as well as Matt Thorn, a cultural anthropologist who researches and teaches about comics. Cartoons and censorship are always a hot topic of debate – and while we understand why fans can be dismayed with some cuts that are made, the other side of the coin– cultural differences and intended audiences– often create viable reasons to alter or censor content. We’ll be keeping our eye out on the Society’s site for the next little while, in the hopes that a report from this session will be posted.

Moon Chase New Music Review: The Very Thought of You!

The New Album From Emilie-Claire Barlow!

So….funny story! I was wandering my local mall searching for a Father’s Day gift last Friday and decided on the spur of the moment to pay HMV a visit. Veered to their anime section and was still mighty disappointed that anime still costed an arm and leg – though it’s nice to see some Manga Entertainment re-releases going 2 for $25. Then a little voice in my head reminded me, “Hey! Emilie-Claire Barlow’s album is out next week ! You should go reserve a copy !” I proceeded to the checkout to ask if they would have it on Tuesday, and to my surprise they told me it had been out since last Tuesday and there it was, sitting in a stack of unfiled CDs at the back! I was a little disappointed and thought I had posted the wrong release date as I purchased the CD. As I got home though, turns out June 19th was the release date, and I got very, very lucky! And then I thought wouldn’t it be cool to have our review go up the night before the release? Well, it is now the night before the release and here comes Moon Chase’s review of the muchly anticipated The Very Thought of You!

Emilie-Claire Barlow not only sings on this album , but she has arranged and produced every song on this album! Also, she wrote the string arrangements for four of the songs – which is no easy task in jazz music! She also accompanies her wonderful ensemble with the occasional triangle and shaker. Emilie-Claire’s liner notes feature short notes about what the songs mean to her, or the stories behind them. Not many artists do that these days, and it was cool to read them!

Chibi Sailor V and
Sailor Venus
couldn’t wait for
this album!

She sings beautifully in three different languages, English, French, and Spanish – once again giving listeners a musical treat from around the world! The album features softer jazz moments in its emotional ballads, such as The Very Thought of You, My Time of Day, and the French song, Les Yeux Ouverts. All feature piano and bass with very little percussion (if any), and My Time of Day has a dreamy sort of float to it with the backing violins. Emilie-Claire’s alluring voice really shines out in these pieces! We enjoyed the scat singing in Almost Like Being in Love as it was synchronized to the piano. Even we couldn’t tell by the brightness of De Conversa Em Conversa that it was a breakup song!

There’s so many great things about this album but we’d have you here all day telling you about them, so we’ll just tell you which ones are our favorite tracks on the album! We like the upbeat What a Little Moonlight Can Do (and Emilie-Claire’s signature vocalese), O Pato (The Duck), which is a fun tune about a duck, a goose, and a swan doing the samba, and Pennies from Heaven! We’d love to see a video of O Pato performed live! We think everyone can find something to enjoy on this album whether they are familiar with jazz music or not! The album is in stores tomorrow (or today if you are reading this on Tuesday) across Canada, and tracks can be purchased on iTunes or on Snocap via Emilie-Claire’s official MySpace!

Breaking News: The Girl who Leapt Through Time Wins Honorable Mention!

It was only a few days ago that we mentioned Mamoru Hosoda’s recent hit, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl who Leapt Through Time) that was quietly getting a lot of buzz all over the world. Mamoru sure has come a very long way from being a key animator on the SuperS Movie! The 2007 Annecy International Animated Film Festival was held from June 11-16 in Annecy, France. For 6 days, the world’s best picks in animated features, shorts, TV and internet features, and student films were shown in and out of competition. The film won Mention Spéciale (Special Distinction or Honorable Mention) in the Feature Films category, to our surprise beating Paprika! 30 animated works were selected from Asia, and out of all of those , Toki wo Kakeru Shojo was the only one to win a prize! This is a huge accomplishment and we congratulate Mamoru Hosoda as well as the cast and crew on their win!