For Those Of You Who Missed Animazement

This post has JPEG versions of all our slides and all our major announcements made at our presentation at Animazement! As much as I really wanted to be there, I couldn’t – mainly because my schedule didn’t permit it, and I would have had to fly there. And as you all know, I absolutely have to get a new laptop (my old faithful isn’t going to last much longer) so all my savings are going towards that. This was the first year one of our staffers was attending a con with a Sailor Moon Panel, and having learned a lot from the panel last year (we were the only ones without a powerpoint presentation and most of our points that we had submitted weren’t even read) we thought we’d actually make a presentation and have one of our valuable staffers present it. The plan was that I was going to text in the middle of our presentation with a greeting for the fans and a major announcement, but that didn’t happen as I ran late running errands and I had to leave to go lend my support to local TV. So, for all of you wondering what this late breaking announcement was:

A Campaign Will Begin At The End Of This Coming Week.

We are working very hard behind the scenes to put this together in phases. However, for those of you who are really wanting to get involved and have your voice heard on more than just polls and surveys, please join our forums. We will only be posting that campaign information there.

We also pledge to you we won’t do anything “infamous” like the Pop-Tarts procott (if provoked on the forums, I may share a story of a similar procott I had to do for another organization a long time ago). As much as we can, we staffers will keep you all up to date on what we are doing and how we are doing it.

BUT: we need every fan who has ever watched an English dub of Sailor Moon in their own countries to get involved. Mostly, we want North Americans , but we’ll have plenty of things for places like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and everywhere else the English dub aired. And for the rest of you international markets? We will have something for you to do too – don’t worry, we aren’t forgetting you!

So please, join our forums. Tell all your friends. Tell your friends to tell their friends. Post links in your sigs on any forums your on with a short sentence like “Hey, Remember Sailor Moon? I sure do and I’d love to have it back! Join me on the Moon Chase Forums!” and add a link. If you have a blog or a site, please link us. We need all the fans we can get to make this a success!

And now, our presentation which we have aptly titled: Moon Beams! Powerpoint chopped off the bottom of my slides when it converted them to JPEG.

Slide 1: Title and names of staff.


Slide 2: Naoko Takeuchi and Yoshihiro Togashi

Yoshihiro Togashi

☽ It’s been too long since we’ve heard from him, he came back twice last year in ten week increments to publish new chapters of Hunter X Hunter. Hunter X Hunter is also getting the Sailor Moon remix treatment as new volumes were released last year with improved drawings.

☽ On the bright side, Yu Yu Hakusho will released (by Bandai) in Japan on Blu-Ray this October and is predicted to be a hot seller! No word on Sailor Moon coming to Blu-Ray. We’re saving our pennies for the day though!

☽ He wrote about Naoko seeing a monkey in their garden last November. His short message read “My wife saw a monkey in the garden. He escaped to the junior high school in the neighborhood after that. The people in the junior high school have seen that monkey recently, even though we live in the same neighborhood and just noticed it now.” Yoshihiro also thanked his fans for their patience, and says that his drawing skills are getting strong again. He is also on some sort of diet that requires him to get 10,000 steps a day and he plays outside with his son a lot. He also said to his fans that it was inexcusable for them to have had to wait this long for the manga to return, but at the same time we’re wondering what’s going on since we haven’t heard anything this year.

Naoko Takeuchi
☽ In January, Sailor Moon Channel posted a picture of Naoko and a short message and drawing from her visit to the Bandai Toy Factory last October. Our favorite part of this post wasn’t the picture that was posted, but the heading “Sometimes Naoko Takeuchi as Princess Naoko shows her nerd side to the public in photos!”. She is looking well and we hope to hear more of her again!’

Slide 3:

Naoko Takeuchi

☽ Frequent Sailor Moon Cosplaying Idol Shoko Nakagawa has also ventured into manga, and revealed that she was partly inspired by Naoko’s work. One of her mangas, Noko no Koi is about a girl raised without love who is saved by a mysterious figure. The other one is Sukashikashipan-Man (sand dollar man) who looks like most tokusatsu heroes.

☽ Naoko was also cited as a major figure in the history of Girls Novels in Japan when they took a turn from being all about romance to being about the friendships between girls. Sailor Moon was a brilliant example of the power of friendship overcoming everything (when all the senshi fought together, they were unstoppable)! To all the girls who read these manga, every character is strong and brave for who they are in their personalities, and they inspire every girl to be true to themselves and to have a good heart.

Slide 4:

Toei Animation:

☽ Pretty Cure has been given a second chance in the North American market. When 4kids lost the license to the showin 2008 without doing anything with it, Toei took the show upon themselves. The English dub is produced by both Toei and the Ocean Group, and as of this writing can only be seen on Canada’s YTV. Fans outside of Canada can watch it if you know where to look (wink wink nudge nudge – we can’t tell you to be fair to the companies!) We really recommend it though – the dub really reminds us all of what Sailor Moon should have been like in it’s heyday.

☽ There is still no word about any future plans for Sailor Moon. However, Toei did launch their own on demand service in North America, initially on Direct2Drive, later adding crunchyroll and Vuze (formerly Azureus). They also entered a digital partnership with Funimation on distribution of their series. Though Sailor Moon scored the highest in a survey of potential series for this service in North America by a longshot, it remains to be seen if the series will be added. Toei hasn’t completely ignored Sailor Moon – the show is often mentioned in their short “About Our Company” blurbs.

☽ If fans want to see Toei expand their ondemand service, please support them – right now this is the best any Sailor Moon fan can do. Toei is just starting out on it’s own in North America and if their ondemand service gets more popular, who knows what series they may add next! Toei, if you bring Sailor Moon back, we’ll forgive the atrocity that was Dragonball Evolution!

Sailordees’ Note: Of Course, everything changed a few days before this was presented. Fans should still support their service though!

Slide 5:

Geneon:

☽This story completely missed our radar and we didn’t notice it until just a few weeks ago. Though, this did happen in February which is starting to look like the busiest month of the year outside of Moon Chase for us all. If you visit the site you’ll see that this and last February had barely any posts.

☽ As some of you may recall, Geneon folded and left the North American anime industry in late 2007. However, the company hasn’t necessarily been asleep. Many of their former titles were picked up by Funimation, and their titles through Bandai Visual Entertainment were picked up by Bandai Entertainment. We also learned that New Generation Pictures, which was involved with the dubbing, subtitling, and translation of quite a few Geneon series has managed to compensate for their losses by getting a ton of video game work! And we just found out that ADV will be re-releasing the first Appleseed Movie, which was once a Geneon property.

☽ In November of last year, Dentsu (Geneon’s parent company) announced that it was selling 80.1% of its ownership in the company to NBC Universal’s Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPI). UPI in turn, merged the company with its Universal Pictures Japan division to form a new company, and on February 1st of this year, Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan (GUEJ) was born! GUEJ has released some titles on Blu-Ray (in conjunction with RONDO ROBE, the new name for Pioneer Animation, a label under the Geneon umbrella specifically for animation and related entertainment) including ef – a tale of memories, Fate/stay night, and To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) and Card Captor Sakura (which just got a big Blu-Ray boxset)! We also spotted a few soundtracks and other music CDs.We were excited to read this and we really hope that someday this will mean that Geneon will come back to North America. Their reps were always the friendliest at cons and they really did a lot with their fans. A few independent anime store owners that we have spoken to preferred Geneon’s pricing strategies in the past, and they aren’t fans of Funimation’s pricing or release strategies. For example , Ouran High School Host Club was released in two volumes of 13 episodes each, priced at 60 dollars a volume. Many stores also find Funimation releases are more pricier than others.


Slide 6: NA Voicestars:

☽ Stephanie Morgenstern’s (Sailor Venus #1) TV Series Flashpoint is still the biggest story of the year . She created the show, writes, and produces the show along with her husband, Mark Ellis. The show is going to get picked up for a third season by CBS , and airs in many international markets such as the UK, New Zealand, Poland, and Latin America. The show has been nominated for a few TV awards in Canada.

☽ Two other VAs were featured on the show as well – Alice Poon (Catsy) in the episode “Attention Shoppers” and Robert Bockstael (Prince Diamond) in “Haunting the Barn”.

☽ The show is only on DVD in the UK and Australia, and is available on iTunes in Canada. As of this writing , the episodes are only available streaming through CBS.com in the United States.

☽ And here is our big announcement at the con this year – Moon Chase will be starting a blog devoted to Flashpoint, and the two blogs will be networked as part of the Moon Chase Blog Network. Sailordees has read fan input and will only post specific flashpoint stories which directly relate to Stephanie Morgenstern. Flashpoint is one of the top reasons why our readership has increased over the last year, however many fans feel that we are covering this more than other stories. The blog has a really great name, but we can’t tell you what that is right now. The only hint we can give you is that it comes from a line said a few times each episode by members of the cast. Keep your eyes on the site for more information!

Slide 7:

☽ Two years after moving to Hollywood, things are finally starting to look up for Stephanie Beard (Rini #2) and we are so glad – she has been through too much in the last two years! She appeared on King of the Hill a few weeks ago playing a trendy teenager who just wanted a normal, classy cotillion. Her name was Michael Savage (named after the infamous personality of the same name), and she was royally embarassed by Bobby and Peggy hill when they showed up in grungey gangster clothes. The show is streaming on Fox.com for fans who want to check it out.

☽ Stephanie Beard also wrote to us exclusively with the news that she is indeed in a scene in the upcoming Adam Sandler movie, Funny People. She is sitting next to him in a Thanksgiving Dinner scene, but she isn’t sure if they cut that scene out or not. So when the movie is out in July, please go see it and look for Stephanie!

Slide 8:

☽ Emilie-Claire Barlow (Sailor Venus #2) released her 7th jazz album Haven’t We Met. The album is really good and Sailordees is very close to posting a review of it. Emilie-Claire has roles in two popular Canadian cartoons, 6teen and Total Drama Island. The shows have become so popular internationally , and you guys can actually check these shows out on Cartoon Network! She also has a large fanbase of her music in Japan and travels there once a year to perform at Tokyo’s legendary Cotton Club. In fact, she just announced that she will be appearing there again in August! She was featured in a few news articles in Japan which praised her not only for her voice, but for her production and arrangement skills – something few female jazz vocalists do! Last year she won a National Jazz Award in Canada for Female Jazz Vocalist of the year. She was nominated for the same award this year, but didn’t win. She continues her cross-Canada tour in support of her latest album.

Slide 9:

☽ Roland Parliament (Melvin and ADR Director) is now teaching at Niagara College’s Acting for Film and Video program. Roland has always been teaching students everything from voice acting, to audition preparedness, to skills for radio and marketing. He loves to teach students and he is still hard at work on a textbook all about voice!

☽ Jill Frappier’s (Luna) Dragontrails Drama has helped many kids make it big in the entertainment industry! Dragontrails is a special drama school where kids learn all about acting, movement, and fighting skills in Toronto. Kids who have gone there have gone on to star in films and TV shows like Cinderella Man, A History of Violence, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Law and Order, and even Flashpoint. In fact, one of the girls who is making her name in Canadian entertainment is Hannah Endicott-Douglas, who last year starred as Anne in a brand new Anne of Green Gables movie on CTV, as well as starring in an episode of Flashpoint – “Planets Aligned”. Jill has a lot of really cool programs for kids at her school from those who want to act professionally to those who just want to do it for fun!

– Sarah Lafleur (Sailor Uranus) had a major role this season on Ugly Betty as Molly, the love interest of Daniel Meade, the editor of Mode. We’ve caught a couple episodes this season and we have come to love her character. She is sweet, humble, charming and seems like the perfect woman for Daniel!

Slide 10:

☽ Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko in S Movie) and Hikaru Midorikawa (Ail, Fiore) returned to their roles as Lina Inverse and Zelgadiss Graywords in Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R (to be released by Funimation sometime in 2010).

☽ Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars) came out of retirement at an anime festival in Nakano last fall. She appeared at a special talkshow event at Anime Bunkasai last September and answered questions from fans who wanted to know more about being a Seiyuu!

☽ Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) continues to make appearances at Intel, Gundam, and other anime-related events. He’s quite the geek, maintaining his own website, and even dressing up as Ray Amuro.

Slide 11:

☽ Anza Oyama (First Sera Myu Sailor Moon) joined Japanese rock band Vitamin Q and released an album with them late last year. Vitamin Q is a much softer rock band compared to her heavy metal band, Head Phones President!

☽ Yuu Shirota (Sixth Sera Myu Tuxedo Kamen) is currently appearing on J-Drama Tenchijin on NHK . The show started in January and will run until November. The story centers on Naoe Kanetsugu, a loyal and devoted samurai in Echigo Province in the 16th century. Kanetsugu was trained in his early childhood by Uesugi Kenshin and after his death, served Kenshin’s adopted son Kagekatsu and is known for his extreme loyalty to the Uesugi family. He also made every effort to protect the people of Echigo with a strong sense of justice and genuine sympathy toward commoners.

☽ Miyuki Kanbe (Third Sera Myu Sailor Moon) tragically passed away last June of sudden heart failure. She continues to be missed by Sailor Moon fans, her colleagues, fellow actors, friends, and family. Her death was one of the most popular news stories for some months afterwards and fans are still shocked and saddened by the news. Two weeks before she passed away, she had talked with her agent about acting again, as well as expanding into the fashion industry. She had so much ahead of her, and this was truly a tragedy. We still send our condolences and prayers to her family

Slide 12:

Sorry we don’t have more, there probably is more but we barely have time to cover everything that we’d like to. Sailordees also lost many of her important links to keep up with the actors during one of her several laptop meltdowns in the last few months. Now that we have a new writer we’re still trying to organize the site and hopefully divvy up who writes up what. We’re always looking for more writers and if you are interested in giving us a hand please send us an email – moonchasers@gmail.com.

Slide 13:

☽ Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars) and Mew Azama (Sailor Jupiter) are now college graduates. Keiko earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, and Mew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Academic Advising and Career Counseling.

☽ Rika Izumi (Sailor Mercury) returned to the idol industry last year. She was in a movie called Clearness, appears occasionally in Ray magazine, and was featured asa beautiful woman in a ramen commercial for Nissin!

☽ Kappei Yamaguchi (Artemis) returned to his role of Goku, for the Japanese dub of Dragonball Evolution. The movie was not well received there either. In fact, probably the only good thing about it was the Japanese theme song “Rule” by J-pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki.

Slide 14:

A short profile of Keiko Han (We provided this because they were not able to attend, and we had dug up some interesting information on them that we thought we’d share with fans!)

☽ Keiko Han: Born April 5, 1953 in Tokyo, Japan.
☽ Not only a seiyuu, but a fortune teller too! She has written five books about astrology, including a Hello Kitty themed book in 2000 about the Chinese Zodiac. We kid you not! We’ve added the only picture of it that we could find.
☽ She is a veteran seiyuu having starred in over 30 different anime alone!
☽ Played Luna and Queen Beryl in the anime, and played Luna in PGSM.
☽ Is also famous for her role in Mobile Suit Gundam as Lalah Sune.
☽ Like the English voice of Luna, she is also an acting instructor ! She teaches voice to college students at Tokyo Media Academy
☽ Currently appearing as a narrator in Tytania. This series is a space opera about people who try to liberate the galaxy from the rule of the Tytania-clan and seek refuge with a rebel force.

Slide 15:

☽ Yasuo Yamaguchi: Born sometime in 1935 on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture.
☽ Began working for Toei Animation in 1958, was an assistant director by 1963 and later transferred to production. He has been with Toei for almost their entire existence, Toei began in 1956.
☽ Worked on many series including Maple Town, Getter Robo, King Kong, and Candy Candy. Maybe some of you remember watching Maple Town in the 80s on Nickelodeon?
☽ Candy Candy was his first foray into anime aimed at girls – the story goes that he was the only producer left that Toei could ask to work on it. He really didn’t want to work on a girly anime!

Slide 16:

☽ As Chief of the production section, he produced Sailor Moon.
☽ After he retired in the 90s, he became an adjunct professor at Tokai university, and researched digital anime making processes for the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry.
☽ He now serves as the chairman of a Canada- Japan content forum, and is the interim executive director of the Japan Video Association.
☽ The “Canada-Japan Content Forum” was established and officially started its activities on January 1, 2008 with the aim of expanding exchanges between Canada and Japan in the field of digital content. The CJCF conducts activities to promote exchanges between Canada and Japan in the sector of digital and traditional content including video games, animation, mobile content, Internet content, music, film, drama, TV programs, photography, etc. The animation scene in Canada is just starting to boom with many programs making it big around the world, and perhaps there is something for Canada to learn from Japan since they have been animating for much longer!
☽ He is a founder of the Toei Animation Research Center.
☽ On May 4th, called for major changes to improve the Japanese and the North American Anime Industry , saying that the anime industry bubble has burst. Citing the worldwide economic troubles and Japan’s own specific problems, Yamaguchi says that the number of anime programs in 2000 was 124, and had more than doubled in 2006– 306 –but that it has been dropping, down to 288 in 2008. He also notes that anime companies tend to keep chugging out the same moe and mech materials, something many of us have complained about at some point or another. Fansubs and poor management of overseas distribution are also cited. That last point about overseas distribution has been something we here at Moon Chase have been vocal about for a while.

Slide 17:

Keiko and Yasuo stuff: See them next year, we hope.

Slide 18:

BREAKING NEWS:

☽ Please visit our site as soon as possible. Funimation has posted a survey asking for fan input on a re-dub of Sailor Moon. As of this writing we do not know if Funimation has any rights to Sailor Moon, however they are holding the majority of Toei’s North American licenses. We also don’t know if any of this includes the lost episodes, specials, or Sailor Stars.

☽ We have posted information about the poll and facts that fans should consider when making their comments to Funimation. Please read our article before you answer the survey so you know about the issues surrounding this.

☽ This is exciting news and all of us on staff are currently planning a campaign to further get our voices heardfrom both Funimation and Toei beyond this poll.

☽ We will only be posting campaign information on our forums, so if you are interested please join us! moonchase.freeforums.org

☽ Campaign Information Will Not Be Posted on the Site. This is because it is a lot easier to manage the action through the forums, and we don’t want to have our posts turn into one long discussion thread that may really veer off topic .Campaign Information will only be visible to members who have joined our forums.

☽ Our forums are dying for people to post! We’re really trying to make the site more interactive than our front page comments. The site gets between 100-200 hits a day from all over the world and it just seems that the same few people are always commenting, and we are sure that most of our readers probably want to interact with other readers. We’ve already got a pretty cool 3 word RPG thread and we’d like it if more people participated!

☽ We have a lot of really big things planned this summer, so stay tuned!

Slide 19:

Any Questions?

– Thanks for your time and for visiting Moon Chase!

Canadians, Please Support Local TV!


This article is just for our Canadian readers. By now you’ve probably seen one of the several commercials CTV is running about saving local TV stations, and tomorrow is a national day of action. We here at Moon Chase encourage you to get involved! Still a little confused about what’s going on? We’re going to break it down for you.

For at least a decade, local TV stations such as CTV, Global, A-Channel, NTV, and CBC have been in trouble. Cable and Satellite TV providers in Canada transmit local TV signals, however none of the sometimes astronomical fees you pay each month on your bill go back to your local station. These stations have largely had to rely on revenues from advertisers on the air and on the internet, however it is just not enough and every local TV station is facing a crisis as we speak. Twice in the last few months these stations have all appealed to the CRTC asking for Cable and Satellite TV providers to pay them a fee-for-carriage (essentially the companies have to pay the stations for retransmitting their signals and programming), but unfortunately the CRTC has denied their requests. Currently in the United States, there is a fee-for-carriage system and cable providers have the right to drop a TV station if they cannot come to an agreement. CTV is also calling for a review of how cable and satellite companies bundle and bill customers for channels in an effort to protect consumers. CTV has stated that they do not want the customers to pay, the want the companies to pay.

On a side note , think about your cable bill. You pay a rental fee each month for a digital box just to access regular cable, and it’s likely that you have a few theme packages added to your extended cable so you can enjoy many of the current TV and movie hits (Movie Central, The Movie Network, Super Channel, and The CW all come to mind). And most providers in Canada charge you extra per month if you want a box that has a personal video recorder included. Some cable companies in Canada don’t have the technology in place where one box can power all the TVs in your house. So if you have two televisions, you need two boxes, etc. You would think that the cable company just gets revenue from your box rentals, and the rest goes to the channels you pay for. However, that is not the case with local TV stations. Only specialty channels get anything back from your cable bill.

Tomorrow, CTV and A-Channel stations across the country will be having an open house. There will be teams of tour guides showing the public how local TV is made, and they will also show you all the departments in the station. The stations will also have old clips, milestones, and memorabilia from the past on display. There will also likely be petitions to sign, and contacts handed out for your local MP and other noteworthy people in Parliament to contact. Furthermore, CTV Newsnet will be airing a 2 hour live special starting at 1PM Eastern with footage from the day’s events at all 16 CTV and A-Channel stations having open houses. For more information, visit CTV’s campaign site, and choose your local station from the map.

As of this writing, CTV is the only station which is rallying up public interest of this issue. I’m sure at one time or another we have all needed CTV’s help in our communities to get the word out about certain events – I know last year that was it not for a TV appearance for a biology expo that I was involved with, we would not have had such a successful turnout. Over the years they have been around helping out for local charity events as well – and their news personalities have always been great to deal with, always going above and beyond to make sure they have every detail.

Readers, if you can attend their open houses tomorrow, please do. If not, please write Prime Minister Stephen Harper , the CRTC, and the Minister of Heritage, James Moore. Local stations are such an important part of Canadian television and they need to be saved!

BREAKING NEWS: Funimation Asks About Possible Redub of Sailor Moon

Special thanks to our seasonal writer Starcat and her buddy Furu for bringing this to my attention just a few minutes ago!

Funimation’s Blog The Funimation Update posted a survey yesterday asking for fan inputs about new series in Japan. One of these options is a possible redub of Sailor Moon. Fans, please VOTE SAILOR MOON. However, we would encourage you leave your opinion on the facts we are about to present to you at the bottom of the page in question 5. We have provided you an image of where Sailor Moon is located in the survey (Questions 3 & 4)

– Funimation would likely use their own dub artists for the show. We here at Moon Chase really don’t want to see this. The VAs of the original dub in Toronto all worked really, really hard to make the characters who they were and they really put Canada on the map for anime dubs. The show was also one of the big spark plugs that started the whole anime boom in the late nineties. To lose the majority of this cast would be devastating. These are voices that we all grew to know and a few of them have even expressed interest in returning to their roles if there was a redub or lost episodes dubbed. Now, let’s look at Pretty Cure. Toei is collaborating on the dub with Ocean Studios, and this partnership has produced wonderful results. Every episode that we have watched brings a happy tear to our eyes because this really is a dub to be proud of , hardly any cuts have been made. And it brings a sad tear to our eye because Sailor Moon never had this chance.

So please, if you want to see your old familiar voices have another chance at your favorite character in Sailor Moon, let Funimation know at the bottom who you enjoyed and that you would want to see a redub featuring the old stars.

On a side note, we’d also like to have Roland Parliament also have at the very least some input in the production. He worked extremely hard given the pressures he had from Optimum Productions to make certain edits to the series, to direct what we think were the best episodes of the series. He went above and beyond his role as a director to make sure that he put out a high quality product, sometimes having the dub actors stay past their call times (by a long shot) just to get the right take on a line. He would come home tired after a long day of dubbing, and then watch the next day’s episode in Japanese, and make notes. And then, this would all repeat again the next day. Sailor Moon was under a lot of pressure to put out 5 episodes a week!

– Funimation seems to have the vast majority of Toei’s cards in their hands. Viz only has two Toei anime licenses – Boys Over Flowers and One Piece (which is actually in a partnership with Funimation). Bandai as far as we can tell has no Toei Licenses, and ADV has only one Toei license, Saint Seiya. ADV previously had the rights to Sailor Moon, and to make a long story short, they only got the rights to the subtitled version (and they received masters of poor quality) near the end of Sailor Moon’s licenses for North America. And it’s looking like I’m going to have to work on this Geneon article pretty soon, but they have been resurrected in Japan. If you are going to Animazement this is a major part of Moon Chase’s presentation at the Sailor Moon Universe Panel! Funimation is in a special position as well because they are now streaming a lot of Toei’s series for their on-demand service on their site as well (all subtitled). These include Air Master, Captain Harlock, Digimon Adventure 02, Fist of the North Star, Galaxy Express, Pretty Cure and Slam Dunk. So right now, it is looking like Funimation is the only option for a distributor for Toei at this moment.

We here at Moon Chase happen to have spoken to a lot of independent anime/comic book store owners who praise Funimation’s vast selection, but they are not fans of their pricing strategies at all. Even some fans agree, with our own The Me finding the $60 price tag per volume of Ourah High School Host Club a little too expensive. In Canada especially, Funimation needs to really improve their distribution of anime across the country, not sending the bigger selections to only the bigger cities. This was the major issue with the release of the first two seasons – many Canadians simply did not have the chance to see ADV’s release of Sailor Moon in stores until very close to the license expiry. It was a sad day that Canadians could not purchase a show which had its dub produced in their own country.

We encourage our readers in Canada and the US to also comment to Funimation about their pricing strategies and distribution, what they would like to see in their own cities.

– Last , but certainly not least, is the issue of the final season, Sailor Stars. We are all dying to see it, however it doesn’t seem in these times that an unedited dub on television would air without any controversy. Sure, gender bending has done well late at night with the example of Cybersix, and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block has been able to keep any objections to a dull roar, but Sailor Moon is a girls’ superhero show, and many young girls back in the day did watch and love the show. It would be difficult to adapt some elements of the storyline towards the under 10 set. At this point, we would wholly support a straight to DVD release of Stars since that’s the only way that we think it could be in North America and work. Ideally, we’d also support a dub which aired late at night on adult-centered animation blocks in Canada and the US, however we don’t think that a dub aimed for young girls of that season could work.

Nonetheless, we have all waited too long for Sailor Stars, so please leave your opinion on the series with Funimation.

– Oh yeah, and there’s a couple other series we love on this survey too. Hayate the Combat Butler 2nd Season continues one of our staff favorite comedies and misadventures of a teenage butler, and K-On! is a teenage high school slice-of-life comedy about some girls who join a club, start a band, and have to deal with a guitarist who is a complete space case. If you enjoyed Ouran as a slice of life comedy, then you’ll love K-ON! too. Vote for these too if you can!

– And most importantly, be nice and informative when you write your comments. They are more likely to listen to well written comments rather than “OMG I LOVE SAILOR MOON PLZ BRING IT BACK ^_^”. A higher up at Funimation could read that and say “Ok, we know you love Sailor Moon, but why do you want it back? How can we bring it back? What would you like to see?”

Once again, that survey is located here.

Fans, please join and watch our forums. In the next few days we will be planning a letter writing campaign, but we will not be posting any details on our blog posts. And we’ve got a few other things related to this that we have up our sleeves, so stay tuned. If any of you fans write any comments towards Funimation and would like to share them on the site, please send us an email!

And finally, we have a few words for someone else…

拝啓 武内直子:

いかがお過ごしでいらっしゃいますか。
セーラームーン全員女性。
北アメリカで別の機会をセーラームーンに与えてください。

月の名にかけて,
スタッフノMoon Chase.

ANIME! High Art – Pop Culture Around the World!

Since our last post about Sailor Moon‘s appearance at ANIME! High Art – Pop Culture in Beverly Hills, we’ve since learned a lot more about it! The exhibit has even gotten some buzz in Japan, with Ellen Harrington, the Director of the Academy saying that this exhibition is in their museum because “”Japanese animation is very popular in America. It has the most profound impact on various media in America”. Special thanks to Frostrubin, who told us a little bit more about it and his involvement. The exhibit started in Germany, then traveled to Denmark, and now it is in Beverly Hills. And we have learned from ANN that it is headed to Belgium next! Frostrubin also tells us that he gave a lot of cels (not just from Sailor Moon) to the exhibition, but he is unsure which ones are being used.

Here, in his words, is the story of how his cels got in the exhibition!



“The exhibition organizers viewed my homepage and asked me, if I am interested to give cels for an exhibition. First I thought this is a fake
(someone wants to get cels for free 😉 but than I got more information ^^ The organizers visited me and had a look for the cels and choose
pieces that would be good for the exhibition. I am always happy to see cels from other collectors, so why not show my cels to others 🙂
I think they asked me because there are not so many collectors around as in USA or Japan and I was nearby”

He also sent us exclusively a few pictures of the exhibition to share with you all in Frankfurt, Germany – and we have to say that they did a much better job of presenting the cels here than they did in the pictures posted from the US exhibition on ANN. You would have thought that since this is a celebration of anime’s pop culture, that there would have been a little more effort in the decor of the gallery. We loved the futuristic pillars, the gallery backlights, section descriptions and the stars painted on the walls in the German exhibit! But the best news of all is that Sailor Moon is featured a LOT in this exhibition. Naoko Takeuchi, we hope that you know about this exhibition – Sailor Moon is still loved around the world, please bring it back!

Sailor Moon Projected on Floor
in Beverly Hills. (Courtesy ANN)
Astroboy and Totoro Hanging
Out in Frankfurt!
Large Section of Wall Devoted
to Sailor Moon in Frankfurt!
Sailor Moon Hanging Out With
The Girls In Frankfurt!

Something New is Something Old…

New (Old) Work of Yoshihiro Togashi Being Published!

It has been a little over 5 months since we last heard anything from Yoshihiro Togashi or his people regarding another return for Hunter x Hunter – we wish we had better news for you all! We can tell you that Viz has released one of the new volumes which was published last year in March (Vol. 25), and Volume 26 is due out in January of 2010. So, provided that Yoshihiro doesn’t release anything between now and then (which at this point would not surprise any of us), the North American release of HxH has more or less caught up to their Japanese counterparts.

Yesterday, Shueisha announced that one of Yoshihiro Togashi’s older works,Level E is going to be released as part of their Shonen Jump Remix comics at bargain prices and distributed at convenience stores. This series has not been licensed in English as of this writing. Level E was published in three volumes from 1995-1997, right between the end of Yu Yu Hakusho and the beginning of Hunter x Hunter. It’s a sci-fi story about extra-terrestrials drawing a human into their strange intrigues. Earthlings are the last to know that there have been aliens populating their planet. One such alien, Ouji, crash lands on Earth on his way from the planet Dogra, and he loses his memory. He soon moves in with Tsutsui Yukitata, a first year High School student who is also living on his own. Tsutsui’s life is turned upside down when he becomes the object of Ouji’s torment. We couldn’t find much else about this (save for some scanlations which we’ll hint do exist!). However, it is the opinion of one fan that his art style was more realistic than his other works, and that it was a little grim. So far, we only have two release dates. #1 was released on May 18th, and #2 will be out on June 1st.

And another good piece of Yoshihiro Togashi news? Yu Yu Hakusho is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan , with the first of three volumes set to be released in October. Many news outlets are predicting it will be a hot seller!

Now, if only we could hear something good about Hunter x Hunter