Sailor Moon Commercials From ANIMAX!

Good Morning Moonies and Happy Weekend! We are now 3 days away from the Return of Sailor Moon in Japan! We stumbled upon a gem this morning and we had to share it with you! Some kind user on a Japanese streaming video site posted a few commercials from ANIMAX and Toei Channel about Sailor Moon’s return, and since many of you can’t access this site, we decided to post a copy of it on Sevenload. Enjoy – there are really no other words to describe this, except it appears that Kotono Mitsuishi probably recorded a new voice over on these commercials! We are all smiles this morning!

Link: Sailor Moon ANIMAX Commercials

We have also posted this up on YouTube.

Kirsten Dunst Resembles Sailor Moon for New Music Video

Kirsten Dunst was spotted in Tokyo yesterday wearing an outfit that would only blend in with the trends in Akihabara! Terminator: Salvation director McG was shooting some sort of music video (to be screened at an exhibition later in London) in Japan. Her costume has been dubbed a “whopping cosplay”. According to timewarp.jp, the knee socks under her colorful uniform reminded people of Sailor Moon, but then the writer wondered if she knew how badly every piece of her outfit clashed, and if she knew that Akihabara fashion had a bit more refined taste than what she was wearing. And we have to wonder that too! She reminds us of a whacked-out version of Bulma from Dragon Ball. Kirsten was one of the first celebrities to admit that she was a fan of Sailor Moon, going way back to 1997, when lucky fan Priscilla “Usagi” Silguero sent in a sighting to SOS , where she spotted some Sailor Moon decor in her bedroom. Turn to page 100 in the PDF of the issue of People! In 2002, she made mention of her love for Sailor Moon, as well as her wish to make a live action version of it too! Kirsten, if you are this big a fan, and you were really trying to emulate a version of Sailor Moon like several outlets are reporting, was there really no way for you to tell McG or the wardrobe people that what you were wearing was just plain tacky? Nonetheless, it’s nice to see Kirsten having a little fun with this atrocious combination of clothing. Fans can check out some more pictures here, and we have another blog link from Moon Chase fan, Misa! If you want to attempt this costume, click here for some hints.

And speaking of fans, one of them has even started a fanclub for us – which was completely unexpected! If you are interested in joining a Fan Club for Moon Chase, click here! Its still under construction, but will hopefully soon look a lot nicer!

HEY – Thanks for visiting Moon Chase! Did you know that we’re trying to bring Sailor Moon back to North America? Click here for our latest campaign!

BREAKING NEWS: Stephanie Morgenstern, Lyon Smith, and Maria Vacratsis Nominated for Gemini Awards!

Nominations for the 24th Annual Gemini Awards in Canada (equivalent of the USA Emmy Awards) were announced this morning in Toronto. Flashpoint is nominated for a record 19 awards in 12 categories! Congratulations to Mark Ellis, Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1), and all of the writers, actors, and crew who were nominated. Lyon Smith (Prince Sapphire) and Maria Vacratsis (Negaforce) were also nominated for awards. We have posted their awards below, but to see the entire list of awards that Flashpoint was nominated for, head over to our sister blog, We Got The Solution!

The list of awards is posted below by category, with Sailor Moon actor nominees in bold.

Best Writing in a Dramatic Series:

Mark Ellis, Stephanie Morgenstern
Flashpoint
Haunting the Barn

Lori Spring
Murdoch Mysteries
I, Murdoch

Floyd Kane
Soul
Fathers and Daughters

Brad Wright
Stargate Atlantis
The Shrine

Michael Hirst
The Tudors
Episode 205

Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series:

Tajja Isen, Colin Fox, Dwayne Hill, Bruce Hunter, Rick Miller, Adrian Truss
Atomic Betty (3)
Elementary, My Dear Minimus/Great Eggspectations

Paul O’Sullivan, Melissa Altro, Juan Chioran, Michael Cohen, Sean Cullen, Lili Francks, M. Christian Heywood, Krystal Meadows, Lyon Smith
Grossology
Pinkeye’s Revenge P2

Dwayne Hill
Grossology
Fangs A Lot

Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series

Fabrizio Filippo, Jennifer Baxter, Mike Beaver, Robin Brûlé, Jayne Eastwood, Brandon Firla, Ron Gabriel, Peter Keleghan, Arnold Pinnock, Aron Tager
Billable Hours
A Manson for All Seasons

Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Trey Anthony, Daniel J Gordon, Eli Goree, Ngozi Paul
Da Kink in My Hair – Season 2
Black Cake, White Cake

Christopher Bolton, Oliver Becker, Michael Bodnar, Sarain Boylan, Inga Cadranel, Louis Di Bianco, Carlos Diaz, Mark Cameron Fraser, Matt Gordon, Gabriel Hogan, Mayko Nguyen, Pascal Petardi, Joe Pingue, Jeff Pustil, Simon Reynolds, Philip Riccio, Maria Vacratsis, Jeremy Wright
Rent-A-Goalie
Ham in a Pram

Shaun Majumder, Gavin Crawford, Mark Critch, Geri Hall, Cathy Jones
This Hour Has 22 Minutes Series XVI
Episode 1

Steve Cochrane, Kevin Ellis, George Komorowski, Adriana Maggs, Jordan McCloskey, Steven Morana, Paul Snepsts, Joel Stewart
Three Chords from the Truth
Tommy’s Label Showcase

We’ll be watching out for these awards come October 19th and 20th, and November 14th, to keep you all updated on who wins! Congratulations again to Stephanie, Lyon, and Maria and we all wish you the best of luck!

Sailor Moon Animator Muses on Japan Expo in France

In a piece simply titled The French Like the Pop Culture of Japan, animator Kimiharu Obata muses on how Anime has grown in Japan, along with his own observations at the Japan Expo held in early July, in Paris. The expo is dedicated to all aspects of Japanese pop culture, including anime, manga, videogames, cosplay, fashion, and martial arts. It took us a little while to find out exactly who Obata was, but we later learned that he was once a top animator for a few years at Toei, and worked on the Sailor Moon R series. Currently, he is retired from animation, but he teaches at Vantan Design Institute’s College of Film, Anime, and Manga. He seems like a very interesting person, and we recommend you visit Obata-Sensei’s webpage! He even drew Sailor Moon recently for a Vantan flier!

Over the 4 days of the expo, 140,000 people attended, and their interest in Japanese culture was pretty strong. The majority of people knew Japanese culture as more than just anime and manga, but there were also quite a few cosplayers. Through his work with the Vantan Design Institute, he presented some of their animation in the hopes they could sell some of it to some French companies to release on DVD, and he also wanted to interview some of the Expo goers to learn of different perspectives on anime. It was a bit of a challenge too, given the current economic situation, to pitch anime in France to people who have a different understanding of anime than a person would in Japan. They were under a lot of pressure!

Then he began to write about the history of anime in France. We’ll summarize this part for you briefly. In 1978, Go Nagai’s UFO Robot Grendizer made its debut in France, to the delight of many children! Many children played outside pretending to be characters in the show. However, the show’s success was met with some controversy over ethics and violence. During the 90s, Kinnikuman was forbidden to air in France since one of the heroes (Brocken Jr.) derives from a Nazi upbringing. Anime was banned soon after in France, however many fans resorted to fansubs and bootlegs of anime. In 1991, the Dragon Ball manga was published in France, and became hugely popular. In 1999, the ban on anime was lifted, and Pokemon was one of the first anime to air in France in a long time. France later became one of Europe’s most popular countries for anime. Companies later saved money by subcontracting dub contracts to local companies, while still maintaining a high quality. Moreover, France is now a talent hub for other cartoons which air all over the world. You’d be surprised to find out how many North American cartoons in the last 10-15 years have come from France!

Kimiharu also remarks that Japanese dramas are being enjoyed in France through underground sites, simply because they are as original as anime that air. In fact, those dramas which are based on anime are very popular there. He also found it a little strange that a couture powerhouse like France was interested in Japanese fashion, and even drew inspiration from fashion in anime and manga. He was astonished! But, to really make an impact these days, a cartoon must also have a manga, video games, and movies. He also noticed that girls are becoming a lot more interested in anime and manga than they were before, thanks to the shojo genre and titles like NANA.

It is still very hard for Japanese movies that do well in Japan to do just as well in France. He cites a few Studio Ghibli titles as examples such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. Though the concept of a girl superhero was still a little foreign to some people in France, Sailor Moon was a huge hit!

He also spoke with a representative from Glenat Manga, who he names as a premier company for manga sales in France. The representative said he has been visiting Japan several times over the last 20 years to search for good work. He not only licenses manga which he knows that French people will like, but also other manga which may not be big sellers, but just to bring good work to France. He gives an example of how he bought Jiro Tamaguchi’s work to France. He is a veteran cartoonist in Japan, but many young people do not know who he is. However, his work is an “impressive masterpiece of individual conscience”, and slowly he is becoming recognized in France, even winning the Alph’Art of the Best Scenario Award in France in 2003. The rep also said that he was also impressed that during the anime ban, that anime and manga did not lose credibility among the people in France. He feels that the element of surprise is what appeals to people the most of Japanese manga, and that it is also educational entertainment. The French are a very inquisitive people and they are not afraid to be shaken by anime!

Kimiharu ended the article saying that he was fascinated by this fusion of two cultures. The link for the article is here for those of you who want to read it in Japanese, and it’s a very interesting perspective that we don’t hear from often! There are also some great pictures at the Japan Expo’s official site!

EDIT: The article has since been removed, but Obata-sensei has posted this on his website. Read his journal entry here, and a copy of the article here.

Phase 1 Survey Deadline Approaching!

Thank you to all of the fans who have so far completed the survey in Phase 1 of Operation Moonrise! I can now announce that we have 504 completed surveys (with 532 surveys in total). This means that this survey will now be running until Friday, August 28th at Midnight. We will need a couple weeks to put the results together and arrange for some way to display them easily (and get them sent off). As soon as this is done, we will post the results on the web for our readers.

So, for all of you who have been procrastinating to start the survey, you don’t have a lot of time left. There are several questions with no clear answer, we can’t hint to you which ones those are, except to encourage you to vote for what and who you believe in! This is our last, and one of our final pushes for the survey. If you have finished already, please get your friends to do the survey. We don’t want fans to come to us at the end and be angry with us for not being able to do this. This will have been up for 3 months!

To read the post with the survey questions and refresh yourselves on what the voices sound like, click here.

To go right to the survey (please complete all pages!), click below.

Take the Survey!!!