Scheming Criminals Like Sailor Moon, Too.

PhotobucketStraight from Japan, we found this news article about some scheming criminals who stole 20 billion Yen from the Japanese Government. How did they do this? By playing a few tricks with car repair billing. One pretended to be the son of a repairman of a phoney car repair business. One night with a friend went out for a few drinks with the “company car”. The car was totaled in the incident, but of course the suspect couldn’t pay for the damages. So, this scheme was born, and repeated over and over and over again. Even we are shocked at the amount of Yen that got away from the Government just from these faked car accidents! Police say around 10-12 people were involved, including a few students from Waseda University. The chief suspect is 29-year-old Toda Masaki, who is known as the “King” of this ring. This was carried out over three years, and when the police finally caught wind of them, they were able to find a book that the King had kept records of where the Yen had been spent. The Yen was used for multiple cell phone accounts, and was stored in just as many different bank accounts. For a criminal overlord, he was sure organized about this! The ring used the money to buy lavish luxuries such as a 13 million Yen watch, and many luxury cars. As always, nearly every story we post here has a connection to Sailor Moon, and we guess by this point you are wondering what it is. The suspects spent 10 million Yen on anime merchandice and figures, from such series as Kinnikuman and Sailor Moon. Though this story shows that scheming criminals have a soft spot for their favorite cartoon characters, we have to wonder just what figures and merchandise they bought. Perhaps they were the ones who outbid everyone by a longshot with outrageous bids on rare items?

More Definite Proof Sailor Moon is NOT on the Air!

Case Closed!

We were sorting through emails a few hours ago, and it turns out we missed a very important one which arrived on Friday morning! In fact, if we had read this, we probably would have been spared our efforts later that evening – apologies to the England Correspondent who had to wake up very early on a Saturday! On Monday of last week, we emailed ITV, Toonattik, and whoever we could with questions about Sailor Moon, linking them to the video and asking if the show was on the air, if there was a contest (as claimed by the user on YouTube) for fans to make a commercial, and probably the dumbest question of all, if they would air if without having the rights – we had reminded them that there is a lockdown on Sailor Moon all over the world except for Japan. A fan suggested that perhaps if it was on the air it could have been aired illegally. We feel this letter is the ‘Smoking Gun’ which proves that the rumor was in fact a hoax.

Dear Viewer:

We regret to inform you that Sailor Moon is not currently on the Toonattik schedule, nor has it been on our schedule for the last month. It has not been on our schedule for many years. ITV does not hold the rights to air Sailor Moon, and we would not air it illegally. Our website is extremely secure and we can confirm we are not having any contest of any kind where viewers could make a commercial for an upcoming TV show.

Sincerely,
ITV Viewer Relations

**********************************************************************
Please visit the official ITV website at www.itv.com
for the latest company news.

This email and any files transmitted are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are
addressed. If you have received this email in error, please notify
********** at itv.com

Thank you.
**********************************************************************

There you have it, folks. The claims behind that YouTube video are false. In fact, if the ITV website was really hacked, we’re guessing that user would have been caught pretty quickly by the cops (or even Scotland Yard). There is no contest for fan-made commercials, and the show is not on the air anywhere in the world.

EDIT: Due to some fans disproving the authenticity of this email that we received, we have now added the official ITV signature that was sitting at the end of the email. It is against Moon Chase’s site policy to post an email address directly on this site other than our own. We do this because we wish to protect others from getting spam from our readers. While we understand that this email was meant for our eyes only (RE: ITV disclaimer) we asked questions that all the fans were asking and since they were answered we posted the message – it was intended for everyone questioning the show’s return.

Update (April 24th, 2008): It seems that GMTV has finally gotten the video pulled from YouTube, and we have a feeling it was probably because the user was using their logo to advertise a show that was not on their schedule, or because the user claimed to have hacked their site. Playing hoaxes doesn’t pay, hoaxer. We hope that this now closes the door on this rumor.

Commercials Corner #24

Hey Moonies! This is the last time you’ll have to hear me say we’re almost back on track!! The next time I post commercials, they will be current! On to the features!

First up, everyone’s favorite Softbank Dog is back once again!

In fact, he’s back twice! Along with Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt!

A bit late to be new news, but the first of the new Evangelion movie series has hit Japan!

And, finally Qracian plumbing with claymation!

Best of the Rest:

Goo Auto Magazines!
A doubleheader for MAST, a real estate company!
Bausch & Lomb ReNu!
Gillette Fusion with Tiger Woods!
DoCoMo 2.0!
Kirin Zero light beer!
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption on Wii!
Vidal Sassoon!
e-ma cough drop candies!
Lemon Water!
Shiseido doubleheader!
Mitsubishi and Pretty Woman!
Wonda Premium Coffee!
Hitachi WOOO Phone!
Subaru Stella Revesta!
Aussie Beef Bowls!
Suntoru Gomamugicha sesame seed and barley tea!
Xylish gum!
7-11!
Cool Jazz Collection!
Pringles!
Uniqlo Jeans!
Goodyear Tires!
KFC wrap!
Nextzone Pachinko!
SoyJoy!
Disney Mobile!
Dunlop Tires!
McDonalds Premium Roast Coffee!
Yokohama Earth1 Tires!
Kanebo Freeplus!
Suica Cell Phones and Penguins!
Intel Core 2 Duo!
AU Phones!
Ninja Gaiden doubleheader!
Prettia foaming hair dye!
Vegete vegetable drink!
Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend!
Nikon D300!
Red Bull!
Flets!
Willcom Phones!

Definite Proof Sailor Moon is NOT on the Air!

We’d like to begin by thanking one of our friends (who asked not to be named) in England who took the time to give us a hand. This person over the phone told us what was airing and what wasn’t airing as it was happening. To recap: Sailor Moon was claimed to be airing at 7:05 on Sat.1 , a German channel. What we have learned since is that the show is not on the network at all (and there aren’t even any kids shows on that network). If the show was on Sat.1, we would expect to see the German version and not the English one. Some fans on the internet are still adamant that it’s on – and even on a completely different network. That network is ITV, and some claim that the show is on under it’s Toonattik block. Well, we checked that schedule, and didn’t find it there either. Without further ado…

The Results!

Our friend checked ITV first at 7:00 and found that Dora the Explorer was on the air – and swiftly ran through their guide to find the channel for Sat.1. Toonattik hadn’t even started yet, this was still ITV’s early childhood block Wakey Wakey. In fact, we even asked that they mute it because we didn’t want to suffer through any more of the theme song. Then our friend found Sat.1. and told us that what looked like a German version of Deal or No Deal, was coming to an end. After Deal or No Deal ended, our correspondent told is there was “Definitely not a cartoon on, and definitely not Sailor Moon“. What they did find airing on the channel was a show called Hallo Onkel Doc, which looked like it could have been some kind of family drama. The episode title that flashed on the bottom of the screen was Kindersegen. Since Toonattik starts in a bit, we are going to check that too. Stay tuned for updates!

Update: Toonattik began and Sailor Moon was not on. Iggy Arbuckle was on though! It is now 7:30 AM in Britain, but far too late in our timezone. Even Moon Chase needs sleep!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #15!

This one is for all you Sera Myu fans – the majority of the stories have to do with former stars of the musicals!

Japanese News Reports on Fansubs

We came across a very interesting article that looks at the popularity of anime in the United States. The first sentence reads something to the effect of: Japanese animation is popular abroad, and fans will gather together at “geek events”. We found it rather amusing they called conventions geek events! The article does draw a bigger distinctin between conventions in North America versus those in Japan. The North American ones have a stronger presence of cosplay, where the ones in Japan have a stronger presence of doujinshi. The Tokyo Anime Fair just ended, but one of the questions everyone there was asking was “How do we deal with P2P downloads and fansubs?” It goes on to say that while some titles like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh are popular, when they air during primetime slots, the shows are edited for violence and content that doesn’t quite fit with TV/cultural standards here. This leaves the anime feeling choppy and storylines incomplete. This isn’t entirely new – and something we Sailor Moon fans are all too used to. Some anime can only be aired after 10 PM, and they give the example of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, with shows like Blood, Death Note, and Crayon Shin-Chan. Given the advent and evolution of peer-to-peer applications and video streaming, within days of a cartoon airing in Japan, a show will be fansubbed. Scanlations of manga are also on the rise. Some industry execs comment that this is hurting DVD and Manga sales, though we think differently. Without fansubs, we think many anime series that would hit the stores would be relatively unknown and would probably sell less because fans wouldn’t know what they were getting. Thanks to the lockdown of Sailor Moon, all any of us have left is either spending hundreds of dollars on eBay or looking to fansubs. We’re not saying fansubs are wrong but sometimes there really is no other option. Many industry executives are angry about this situation and call U.S. otaku thieves. Many artists are attempting to broaden the market in the U.S. despite the expansion of fansubs and scanlations. Anime News Network covers this topic a lot more frequently and fans looking for opinions and facts should definitely check out their stories on the issue.

Sailor Moon is 8th Most Popular Anime in Japan!

Japan’s Masters of the Survey Oricon has done another survey to see which is the most popular anime among the Japanese. Sailor Moon scored 8th overall and 2nd with women! One fan recalled that it was only natural to play Sailor Moon in Kindergarten because she was a girl who always put up a good fight! The comments received by Oricon about Sailor Moon all showed that the girls knew a good story when they saw one! The entire ranking is:

Overall:
1. Dragonball
2. Detective Conan
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion
3. Mobile Suit Gundam
5. Slam Dunk
5. One Piece
7. Doraemon
8. Sailor Moon
9. Full Metal Alchemist
9. Lupin the 3rd

Women:
1. Dragonball
2. Detective Conan
2. Sailor Moon
4. Slam Dunk
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Men:
1. Dragonball
2. Mobile Suit Gundam
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion
3. Doraemon
5. One Piece

Ages 10-19:
1. Detective Conan
2. Full Metal Alchemist
3. Sailor Moon
3. Dragonball

Ages 20-29:
1. Dragonball
2. Slam Dunk
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Ages 30-39:
1. Dragonball
2. Full Metal Alchemist
3. Mobile Suit Gundam

Marina Kuroki on Stage!
Marina Kuroki (The 4th actress to play Sailor Moon in Sera Myu) has returned to the stage in Nelke Planning’s production of Nakano Blondys! Nakano Blondyz is a musical all about Cheerleading! It was a comedic delight to the critics, and they were fascinated by the routines the cast performed. Marina played a Yanki (or better known as tomboys in our culture) who is very brainy and likes to read comics. She meets some other girls at a popular comic shop, and they form a squad! They rarely are ever in step or in time with each other, but these girls are set to make it! Sadly it ended on March 20th, but we would have loved to have gone and seen it! To check out more pictures of the show, click here!

Akiko Kosaka Plans New Release!

We keep adding more and more new names to this website! Akiko Kosaka is a very accomplished artist in Japan , and she composed several songs for the Sera Myu Musicals and the Anime! She wrote such hits as Tuxedo Mirage, Moon Revenge, and Everlasting Moonlight. On June 4th, she will release a new album called Pianade , and it is full of instrumental piano pieces. She will also be touring in support of the album, and will mark her 35th anniversary in the industry with a celebration DVD! She had her first hit in 1973 at the age of 16, Anata, and reflects on her career over the years. She has always loved to make music since she was a child. In 2001, one of her albums, Pianish was released all over the world and is still a seller on iTunes. She remembers the Sailor Moon musicals from 13 years ago, and how 400 people worked just on the music over it’s run. The staff would often walk to the Warner Music studios to record the songs, and it was a 7 minute walk from the Nogizaka subway station. She found it a challenge to work on Sailor Moon because the year that began was the year her youngest son was born. She wanted to be a Mom! Her two sons have also taken up music like their mother, her 18-year old son plays the bass in a rock band, and her 15-year old plays the horns in a brass section of his junior high school band. She looks forward to performing and continued success in music!

This last sighting is for older readers only…


Manami Wakayama Has A New Idol DVD!

Manami Wakayama is a gravure idol who also as the last actress to play Sailor Mercury in Sera Myu (Sailor Moon Musicals) from Summer 2002 – Winter 2005. On March 26th, she released a Gravure Idol DVD entitled Mermaid Story. This DVD actually has a plot: Manami’s character was once told a legend of a mermaid by her Grandma in Okinawa. She is dragged into the sad and romantic tale in the life of this mermaid. We have a feeling she’s playing the mermaid in this one. Reviews of the DVD that we have read have been good, with some calling her presence as “Legendary Sexy”.