Two Fall 2009 Sailor Sightings!

Gravure Idol Reveals Favorite Childhood Manga!

Another tiny little sighting, but any little bit helps to keep the recent re-release of Sailor Moon in the public eye! Japanese Gravure Idol Yuuri Morishita is currently starring as the heroine in the upcoming film Kyokara Hitman and was interviewed recently for Japan’s Cinema Magazine. She was asked a bunch of questions about her role, challenges she faced doing some of the stunts, and a question about what she found different with working on a movie compared to a gravure shoot. To that question, she pretty much answered she enjoyed playing a character and letting people know a little more about what she was like, compared to her gravure shoots… which, if any of our readers know anything about gravure idols, sounds like a bit of a blessing! She was also asked what her favorite manga was as a child, and the first title she listed was Sailor Moon! After came Evangelion, a manga called Empress (we couldn’t find much about this one), and of course, Kyokara Hitman. The Kyokara Hitman movie opens in Japan on September 26th!

New Cosplay Lounge Opens in Las Vegas!

This was tweeted earlier by AICNAnime. A new lounge has opened in the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas! The lounge is located in Dragon Noodle Co. (which we are assuming is an Asian noodlery or ramen bar of sorts) and the waitresses are cosplayers! This is aimed at entertaining a demographic which isn’t catered to much in Vegas – teens and tweens! And of course, it also appeals to geeks. This has only been going on for a month, and the majority of costumes are based on Sailor Moon. In fact, the Las Vegas Sun’s photo which accompanied this article featured lucky waitress Fatima “Phoebe” Barkoff as Sailor Jupiter(featured here)! How’s that for poetic justice? Makoto is well known in the anime for being an excellent chef. We wonder if she serves cakes with sparklers? I’d have thought something like this might have opened in the JPop Sushi Bar in Mandalay Bay, but it doesn’t appear to be open there anymore. If any of our readers are in Vegas and pay this lounge a visit, we’d love to see more pictures of their costumes!

Sailor Moon Musical Number to be Presented by Cosplayers in Seoul!

Since 2005, there has been a festival which happens at the same time in Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to celebrate friendly ties between the two countries. The Japan-Korea Exchange Omatsuri will begin on September 19th, and will take place simultaneously at the Roppongi Hall Arena in Tokyo , and the Seoul Plaza (which happens to be in front of Seoul City Hall) in Seoul. One very interesting event that we hope someone posts video of, will be Korean cosplay group Moonstone going a step further than their usual Sera Myu cosplay! On September 20th, they will be performing a musical number with the use of traditional Korean and Japanese instruments! We don’t know what song they will sing from Sera Myu, but this sounds like it could be a very interesting and fun show! For those of our readers in South Korea, this will take place at 7:30. We would love to see pictures and video of the event if you are going! From the pictures of their appearance in a cosplay parade last year (we have featured them below), they sure put in a lot of effort into their costumes and we think they are pretty close to the original! Also, if any of you know anything about Moonstone (we haven’t been able to find out a lot about them), please tell us, we’d love to tell the fans a little more about them! There will also be a lot of youth participating in performance groups there as well along with Moonstone. There will also be a Japanese cultural parade in Seoul, and in Tokyo there will be a Korean cultural parade, as well as a Kimchi festival, which will teach Japanese people about how to make it, and also a little bit about Korean culture. Perhaps Keiko Kitagawa and Jung Woo-Sung should attend that (we kid, we kid)!

MOONSTONE Appearance at Omatsuri 2008:

Kotono Mitsuishi’s Latest Anime Movie Role!

We just had to share this with you all! Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) has a new role in an upcoming anime movie, which looks like it might be a good one to watch. Buddha Saitan (The Rebirth of Buddha) is set to be released in theaters on October 17th. This tells the story of 17-year-old Tianhe Sayoko, a sophomore in high school who aspires to be a journalist. When a journalist that he looks up to commits suicide, he wonders about ghosts and life beyond the grave, and what life is worth in the present. Kotono plays Tianhe’s crush, 28-year-old actress Mari Kimura. We think you fans will be pleasantly surprised when you see this promotional video we found of the actors and crew! Fast forward to about 1:10 (look who’s infamous line makes an appearance!). The neat thing about this production is that it looks like the animation was a joint collaboration between Americans and Japanese – perhaps we might even see this movie here? Part 1 of the video can be seen here, and there’s a short intro to her character around 4:40-4:45. We look forward to watching this retelling of the story of Buddha and we hope to see it soon!

Phase 3 Survey Goal Finally Reached!

So last night, The Me and I were all comiserating about how we only got a couple new surveys in 24 hours, and we were only 2 away from our goal of 200. This morning, we got a nice surprise – by some miracle we got 5 more surveys which brings us to a total of 203! YAY! So, this means that we now have to set a deadline. Moonies, you now have until Midnight PST on Sunday, September 27th to get your surveys in for Phase 3. We can tell you that the results so far have been interesting. We can’t really drop any more hints than that. One comment we will add though is that many of you suggested merchandise that will obviously be too big for a DVD shelf! But we won’t delete them. We have decided to add another suggestions category for other merchandise for Toei (or whatever company gets the rights) to consider making available in North America (and to seek an appropriate manufacturer for this licensed merchandise). So for future survey takers, suggest whatever you want for that question and we will sort them out. And for those of you asking about the Waffle Iron, that was pretty much a gag suggested by Starcat, our resident Sanrio fan who enjoys hearing about obscure but awesome, Hello Kitty products. I do like the toast press idea another fan suggested! Unfortunately, we did not know that there wasn’t going to be a Blu-Ray release of the series in Japan, so it looks unlikely that it will be a possibility in North America. Rest assured, we will still forward the votes for that option to the companies – it can’t hurt!

The new target for sending these out will be the second week of October, and as soon as we get delivery confirmation, we will post the results online. We will be sending the results from both surveys together – and congratulations fans, we now have over 1000 surveys worth in results to show them! We are very proud and thankful to every fan who gave the surveys a chance despite rude and negative comments other websites have been posting. We all really have to try to go that extra mile to make sure things will be done right if the series comes back!

Oh yeah, and there will be no more surveys (aside from the occasional poll on our sidebar for opinions on site improvements)! Phase 4 will be a letter writing campaign in Japanese, and as soon as we are done with this report we’ll start planning this. Again, no knowledge of Japanese will be required, and where possible, we will provide you with free contact addresses through our forums (email) as well as snail mail for those who prefer that (but be prepared to pay a little extra to send it).

New Kotono Mitsuishi Interview And Toei Press Release!

It seems Sailor Moon’s voice is almost everywhere these days, when we still have yet to hear a peep out of Naoko Takeuchi. Kotono Mitsuishi did a shorter interview with Japanese site The Television Web, just two days ago. We were a little excited to hear about how Kotono cried when she watched the Sailor Moon R movie again after a long time – and it made me feel a little better. Nowadays, I too cry when I see Sailor Moon, but moreover because I get frustrated about all the turmoil the show has gone through. It’s gotten to the point now where the episode or movie gets put away within a few minutes. One day all the show’s woes will be over (we hope). The interview was also posted to MSN Entertainment. Here is our translation!

Interviewer: What do you think of when you look back on those times in 92′?

Kotono: There are so many memories! I had just debuted and I felt a lot of pressure, but it has passed now and it was useful! When we dubbed, I was standing in the dark and I couldn’t read the script well. I had many nightmares.

Interviewer: Some fans of the show are now mothers! Do you think that both mother and child can enjoy this too?

Kotono: Actually I promise my daughter that we will watch one episode a day, and I have watched Sailor Moon DVDs with her many times. The songs are easy to learn, and watching a strong, attractive character come out a lot makes children happy. Parents and children can sing together, and it’s also fun to talk about the characters.

Interviewer: What did it feel like to record the line “I will punish you”?

Kotono: I pulled it out from the style of the old historical dramas like Mito Komon! Like the statement “You did such a bad thing!” that a samurai would say like dishing out a dose of bad medicine. I thought that was the heart of the story and I wrestled to make that line full of that kind of spirit!

Interviewer: As for Usagi who has the strength to jump into a fight, she is pretty too, right?

Kotono: Yes, she is. Couldn’t cry or run away when she’s in the position of the heroine which is to fight, especially since the novels were also published at the same time as the show! (laughs) But I was able to relate to her because she always stood up for her friends. I don’t cry easily when I have a personal conflict, but when she was fighting, I sympathized with her naturally and cried!

Interviewer: Did you have fun playing those scenes?

Kotono: I was happy to play with the other actors and to make a fool of myself when I said “I will punish you!” I was conscious of this originality as an actor but it would be uncool and awkward to say these things like that outside!

Interviewer: What about the charm of the movies?

Kotono: “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R” was the first movie, and I have had a lot of time to reflect deeply about it. I saw it after a long time the other day, and cried through the whole story to the last scene at the end where all the Sailor Senshi sang the song. I suffered from nostalgia and the music. That production was enormous, even now if you think.

And Toei has also put out a press release announcing the DVD Boxset. It doesn’t say anything new, but it lists the release dates for all the boxsets (but they are probably subject to change a little since some of them are so far away).