Sailor Sightings October 2009 – Part 2!

Before we get started, twitter follower @MikeinGB pointed us to a sighting of Sailor Moon on IGN. In a list of the 25 top anime characters (put together by writer Chris McKenzie), Sailor Moon scored #9! She was chosen for her impact on American anime fandom… and on a special group of fans.

Can’t Say Something in German? Call it Sailor Moon!

I debated sharing this article with you since it’s really small potatoes, but I thought some of you might find it as humorous as I did. Akiko Lorenzo Oya (pictured left) is an automotive journalist who was born in Japan, and edited for the magazine SUPER CAR GRAPHIC for 7 years. Now he lives in Siena, Tuscany (in Italy), and writes for Japanese car publications. He really loves working with European cars. He visited the city of Zell am See in Salzburg, Austria, to do some research about the Porsche. The city is the home of the Ferry Porsche Congress Center and the Porsche Design Studio.He decided to stay in a Bed and Breakfast that cost 35 Euros a night, in the district of Zellermoos. Unfortunately, he could not remember what the name of the district was due to his bad memory, and called the town “Sailor Moon”. Moreover, the Inn Owner’s name became “Uncle Sailor Moon” (pictured right). I had a good laugh when I read this! He was greeted at the inn by an excited dog and a child, but he decided to bare this dog and stay here when he saw Uncle Sailor Moon calm him down. Uncle Sailor Moon does have a name, Jan, and he is Slovakian! Akio wrote that he had a silly time doing this even though he spotted Jan muttering to himself. Jan wondered why Akio had such a preference for cars being built outside his own country, but Akio said that he thought that there was no difference in quality control, and later mentioned that he really likes fast cars. The rest of the article goes into some Porsche and Volkswagen history and facts, but that’s way beyond the scope of his blog.

Uchinanchu in Washington, D.C. Reflects on Classmate Exchange and Anime Conventions

Uchinanchu is a very specific Japanese name for Okinawans that are living around the world. In a feature for Japan’s Ryukyu Shimpo, one Uchinachu in Washington, D.C., wrote about a classmate who went on an exchange to Japan, and thoughts on anime conventions. The writer says that anime is still a popular hobby among high school students, and that it is the top motivator for them to learn Japanese. A classmate said that his favorite anime was Sailor Moon, and Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) was his favorite character! This student had recently gone on a Japanese exchange, and shortly after arriving there, spent ¥10,000 on Sailor Moon merchandise. This more than surprised his homestay. When he came back, he came with suitcases of merchandise, even ten copies of a volume of manga to share with friends or sell. He compared this to students wearing long overcoats filled with merchandise! The writer said that he was enchanted by conventions, especially how fans go the extra mile to act the air of the characters that they cosplay. The writer asked one of the con sponsors why anime is so popular, and the person answered by saying that the characters are more psychologically complex, and the stories and animation are much richer. Animation from the U.S. just doesn’t compare! The writer makes note that anime is now one of Japan’s biggest exports to the United States, and hundreds of thousands of fans attend anime conventions each year in America’s biggest cities.

For All Of You Wishing You Had an Anime Themed Car…

Annually there is a special festival in Japan celebrating car painting, and in recent years many have taken to anime characters. The writer of the article called for more Slayers and Sailor Moon cars to help cars sell in other countries, but unfortunately if there were any cars themed around those animes, there are no pictures featured! We’re not going to say much else except that fans should give these links a look!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Kazuko Tadano Talks Anime and Draws Sailor Moon at JAM 2009!

We have a third person to add to the list of VIPs who drew Sailor Moon recently in Japan! The first was Naoko Takeuchi, the second was Kimiharu Obata, and now, Sailor Moon Character Designer Kazuko Tadano (2nd from left)! We mentioned not too long ago that Kazuko would be attending JAM 2009 and appearing as part of a special panel devoted to 40 years of anime. Four other animators from different “generations” of anime were going to speak about the form and how they got into it, and how it has changed. They also shared their secrets on creating characters who demonstrate the theme of the anime. Kazuko had a neat tidbit to say about her time on Sailor Moon! Did you know that her designs for the Senshi had to go through a special, secret, “audition”? She remembers she had to fax in her drawings from a convenience store because faxes were not widespread in those days! This one, single, audition turned her life around, she said. Kazuko also felt that because she was drawing Sailor Moon live, there was increased pressure on her to draw her perfectly, making sure that her lines did not stray away from where they should be!

We really wish that there was more from Kazuko Tadano, and if another news report comes our way we will definitely share the details with you! For now though, here is her drawing-in-progress of Sailor Moon! We also found a larger version of the completed picture, as well as animator Atsuko Watanabe holding it proudly (we think it was a gift from Kazuko)! Atsuko was said to have been very happy to have the chance to see Kazuko draw Sailor Moon! Kazuko is also teaching special classes through Tokyo Design Academy.

**WARNING** we used a second article as a source for this post, however we are rating this site R simply because there are too many scantily clad girls posted on the sidebars. Please visit at your own discretion.

New Sailor Moon Posters!

And they are shiny, glittery, and holographic too! Chibicrystal posted an image in the Sailor Moon Forums, and we did some poking around and found a few available on Yahoo Auctions Japan. Fans who want to bid on these posters can use Rinkya at their own discretion. We love the glittering Sailor Moon on these posters – maybe it is a hint of things to come on the DVD boxsets?

And for our Italian readers, we stumbled on this old photo a tourist took in Rome probably around 2000-2001. This poster was posted on a pillar in a Rome train station, and says “Happy New Year Girls!” It shows some nifty Sailor Moon schoolbags, and and also has the maker’s name on the poster: Giochi Preziozi. This is the same company who held the license for Sailor Moon toys and will be making new toys in the new year!

Keiko Kitagawa : Finding Fame in Her Own Way!

Real Sports Web posted an interesting editorial about Keiko Kitagawa, and how her clean past is keeping her with her agency, Stardust Promotion. The agency recently dropped one of its “breadwinner” stars, Erika Sawajiri over allegations of drug abuse. Given the recent arrests of many stars in Japan for drug abuse, Stardust is axing any star with even the slightest hint of a drug problem. The article then talked about how Keiko is now playing many leading roles, such as the recent TV Drama Buzzer Beat, and in her very first Japanese period movie, Hana no Ato. We have a beautiful shot of her from this movie featured today (more can be found here)! Keiko will be featured next in the movie Elevator To The Gallows. She has been called a starlet who is “a step ahead of today’s generation”. Originally, she had been a local model, but later transitioned to drama. Playing Sailor Mars in PGSM was her first role, however in recent times her agency has tried to keep knowledge of that at bay. Keiko has never been one to show very much of her body, and the article makes special mention that she is the only star of PGSM who has not turned to the world of gravure idols (and makes specific mention of Miyuu Sawaii in this context). However, because there were a few shots of her bloomers, this has somewhat taken away from her wholesome image. However, now that Keiko has a more “developed figure” and that she is now a more respected model, this isn’t a huge deal anymore (though some still think that PGSM is an obscure credit). The writer ends the article hoping that Keiko tries more, and that she also cosplays a bit in the future.

In Japanese society though, gravure idols aren’t seen as being “dirty” like they are perceived in North American culture. For many girls in fact, the only way for them to really get their start in the industry most times is to get into gravure modeling. We have to admire Keiko Kitagawa for avoiding these things largely and becoming a respected star in Japan. Fans, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think Keiko necessarily made the wrong decision in not pursuing a gravure career after PGSM ended?

BREAKING NEWSFLASH: YTV Picks Up Second Half of Pretty Cure!

Well, the first 26 episodes of the first season of Pretty Cure must have been a hit, since YTV has just picked up the other 23 episodes! Both Worldscreen and Animation Magazine have reported this, but we are anxiously awaiting word from Corus and/or YTV for official confirmation! The releases don’t say much else other than what the series is about. Nonetheless , we are all excited, and we wish the cast and crew of Pretty Cure the best of luck in the recording of these upcoming episodes! We also can’t wait to see the new episodes and see how the saga ends in English. As of this writing, we have yet to hear if any networks south of the border will pick this up, but we have a feeling that once this season is finished, perhaps one network will be brave enough to invest in a girls’ superhero show (see Toei, Sailor Moon can succeed on TV again if another show in the same genre can do it).