Daikangei Ochi Ojousan

Yes, a very warm welcome to a new star seed, Chieko Ochi’s daughter! Chieko Ochi (nee Kawabe) was both the fifth Sailor Mercury in the musicals and Osaka Naru in PGSM!

Her name hasn’t been shared quite yet, but we do know that she was born at 10:02AM on May 21st and she weighed 2842 grams (6lb 4oz). This is the first baby for both of the happy couple.

According to her husband Masato, the labor was very short and he was full of praise for the doctor for ensuring a safe delivery! He says that his wife is always quick witted and was so even during birth. They were full of love and warmth when she finally arrived. Chieko says that she had no words, only tears of joy for her new daughter’s arrival. Both mother and daughter are doing quite well.

About a month ago, Chieko found an afghan with a chihuahua motif, an animal she has a fondness for, and was looking forward to putting it to good use (as she notes you can see in the picture). Her goal is to create a happy home environment and we wish her the best of luck!

We managed to find the particular afghan for sale here, and the company also makes several other similar items. (Just search for ‘チワワ’ here.)

We’ve been so busy behind the scenes, but out wonderful fan Kari tipped us off! Thanks Kari!

Kunihiko Ikuhara and Other Japanese Pop Culture Scholars to Lecture in China!

Breaking yesterday on AnimeAnime.jp was a press release from Meiji University. Beginning on May 31st at China’s Peking University, a new course called “Advanced Course in Japanese Manga Culture” will be offered. This course will teach students about many aspects of Japanese pop culture, and will feature lectures from people involved in the study of Japanese pop culture. To kick things off will be a lecture about the history of anime, presented by none other than Kunihiko “Ikuni” Ikuhara (Series Director). Throughout the years, Ikuni has participated in panels and lectures on the subject. Other lecturers who will be teaching the course will include two Professors from Meiji University, Kaichirou Morikawa (Associate Professor specializing in Otaku Culture) and Yukari Fujimoto (Associate Professor specializing in Manga Culture). Both of these professors have published many scholarly articles about anime and manga cultures! Don’t we all wish we could go to this classroom? If any of our Chinese readers are planning to attend this course, we’d love to hear about this course!

Consumer Alert: Fake Sailor Moon Soundtrack Album, Book, And Hats

Counterfeit Sailor Moon products are everywhere. In the past, Moon Chase has told you about a fake plushie in the shape of Sailor Moon. Not only is it time to add hats and books to the “fakes list”, but we have to add… an MP3 album being sold through Amazon’s MP3 Store? I guess whoever handles the “checking to make sure the company that wants to sell their music on our store actually owns it” process at Amazon’s MP3 division took a day off? No matter the reason, one thing is clear–the following products SHOULD NOT be purchased. 

Sailor Moon The Complete Series One Soundtrack Amazon MP3 Store Album: WOW! Just… WOW! I don’t even know where to begin with this. The terrible album art? The incorrect song title and artist info? Maybe the horrible, ripped-from-the-TV audio quality? Everything about this album is screams “unlicensed”. That makes perfect sense since this album is faker than Lisa Rinna’s lips. Save your $8 and avoid at all costs.

Luna and Artemis Costume Hats: Cute faces? Check. Nice design? That’s a go. Official license? Yeah, not so much. As neat as they look, they’re, unfortunately, not real Sailor Moon products. As such, they aren’t worth your time or money. Do not buy.

Unofficial Sailor Moon Episode Guide Book: At least this product is honest about the whole “unofficial” thing. This episode guide is “made by fans for fans”. Problem is that the product description for this book shows how knowledgeable the “fans” who made this really are. “This guide has over 100 pages of Sailor Moon information and includes episode summaries for all 193 english episodes (there are no summaries for the 7 episodes that were cut from season one and two.) spanning five wonderful seasons.” If you’re one of the 1,500+ who took part in the latest phase of Operation Moonrise, you already know what’s wrong with that quote.

I know that it’s hard not to buy everything Sailor Moon-branded that comes down the road(speaking from personal experience here), but save your money and do not buy any of these knock-offs.

Sailor Moon Panel at Anime North

I will be one of the panelists on this year’s Sailor Moon panel at Anime North. I encourage fans in the Toronto area to come out if they can make it.

I will be sharing a couple survey results during the discussion that haven’t been released on the blog yet. We have a few topics we’ll probably discuss that will be led by the panel moderator, but after that it will open up to audience questions. Don’t be afraid to ask any Sailor Moon questions you have. There are quite a few panelists and we can probably give you an answer 🙂

For fans attending Anime North 2010, the Sailor Moon panel will be on Friday evening at 10:00 pm. It’s set to occur in room Toronto B, but please check your schedule to make sure!

See you there!

Voice actor news – Tytania earns DVD release

Followers of the Sailor Moon voice actors will definitely want to take interest in a new release by Section 23 films called Tytania. Tytania is a space adventure/science fiction story that has been adapted into anime from a series of novels written by Yoshiki Tanaka. The story centers around a dominant empire in space called Valdana, which experiences a decline in power and defections within its ranks after a failed battle with a rebel force. For more information on the licensing of this series, please check: http://www.mania.com/tytania-shigofumi-sola-anime-licensed_article_122733.html

There are a couple of noteworthy appearances in Tytania by former Sailor Moon cast members. Keiko Han, who was involved with the voicing of Luna in both the Sailor Moon anime series and PGSM, is the main narrator in Tytania. There are also a couple of other minor voice roles in Sailor Moon that show up in Tytania. Hideyoki Umezu, who voiced the priest that turns into the boxer youma in episode 26, has a role in the series as Salaam Amzekahl. Tetsu Inada, who has a very minor role in episode 106, also has a role in Tytania as Doorman.