Monday Moon Tunes!

Hey Moonies! We thought you could use a little pick-me-up for the start of the week, and we happened to find these gems on nico video for you over the weekend!

First up, we have Ai no Senshi, played on an interesting little high tech gadget!

Link: Ai no Senshi Played on an EWI USB

Next, we have a medley of several anime tunes at a high school concert! In addition to the first Pretty Cure theme right after it, at 3:05 they play the quintessential Moonlight Densetsu!

Link: Anime Medley Played at High School Concert

And finally, we have a much longer and larger high school band performing at the Shizuoka Hobby Expo 2010 about a month ago and playing a lot more anime tunes! Their rendition of Moonlight Densetsu is a whopping 15:50 in, but the whole video is definitely worth watching!

Link: High School Band plays Anime Tunes

Upcoming Interviews – End of June 2010

Hey Moonies! We won’t stop celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Sailor Moon in North America, and what better way to do this than to share stories of the series from the people involved with it themselves? We’ve got 3 more to share with you today! At this time we wish to thank their agent for this opportunity!

Katie Griffin played Sailor Mars throughout the series and movies (except for the last 17 episodes of Sailor Moon R due to illness). Katie has also played many different beloved cartoon characters in shows such as Undergrads, Totally Spies, Team Galaxy, the computer animated Care Bears movies, and Beyblade! She is also a singer – I had the opportunity to see her in concert in 2006 and she is very talented!

Susan Roman
played Sailor Jupiter since the beginning and many children have grown up hearing her voices in cartoons from the old Strawberry Shortcake, to the Canadian staple The Raccoons, and was even the voice of the dog Snowy in TinTin. She has been a voice actress for a very long time and continues to be heard today!

And finally, we have one third of your favorite felines! Ron Rubin is best known for playing Artemis since the series began! Ron has also played many roles over the years in cartoons such as Erky Perky (which earned him an ACTRA Award Nomination in 2007), Kratt’s Creatures, and X-Men. Ron has also worked as a writer for TV shows over the years.

Fans have until midnight of June 25th to get their questions in. Also, each fan will be allowed to ask a maximum of two questions per actor (so please come up with relevant ones). Please do not ask questions that aren’t relevant or can be easily answered with a quick online search. One of the hot topics of the last round of interviews were the cast changes in the last two seasons, and we’ll point you to this official statement that Optimum Productions sent Save Our Sailors several years ago. And as always, don’t feel that you are absolutely limited to ask only about their work on Sailor Moon! As always you can submit your questions to us via e-mail at, our forums, and by commenting on this post. Please sign some sort of username we can credit your question to when you submit them.

Sailor Moon in Japan (and Asia) Digest – Mid June 2010

Most of these articles are coming out of China! In the only newsbit out of Japan this update, a hi-res SuperS Boxart image has been revealed to the press. The cover features all of the main characters and Diana against a golden-colored background! While this isn’t set to come out until September, already this release is starting to pop up in articles in relation to that other series that the media always seems to place in a war with it – Pretty Cure.

Ikuni Lectures in Beijing!

We told you at the end of May about a special lecture series that Kunihiko Ikuhara (Series Director) was going to kick off. People’s Daily of China posted an article detailing what happened at his lecture! He began by talking about the general process of animation, and said that successful anime has high ratings, which in turn leads to high sponsorship, and the money earned by the anime funds more production. According to Ikuni, there are many Japanese anime studios that experience a lot of headaches because of high prodution costs. And then, he began to speak of Usagi Tsukino, as a real example of the successful career woman. This struck us as odd, but as we read on he said that this was true because many women want to be everything but it is hard for them to be it all during their life. Usagi, was an example of how she was happy herself with everything she was.Back when the anime was first broadcast, it was controversial for females to be depicted in miniskirts. Ikuni said that they wanted to show the girls as being uniquely female, and said that this was more about females exposing their femininity without the need for anything from males. This alone is a pretty strong sentiment about Sailor Moon and her feminist themes! He also talked about the differences between Japanese anime and animation from the USA and how they had portrayed girls. In the 90s, many women were still at home in Japan and not in the workforce, but in the USA it was so much different – women were almost equal in number to men in the working world! There was more of a diversity among women’s professions in America than there were in Japan, so Sailor Moon was seen a lot differently from an American girl’s perspective than a Japanese girl’s perspective that focused more on the kind of “magic” she could use. We’re actually a little curious about this and we’d like to know how he knows all of this!

He then shifted gears and spoke of the state of the Japanese animation industry. He said that anime is produced mainly for two extremes in programming blocks in Japan – the weekend morning blocks for children, and the late night block. Advertisers and sponsors also have their preferences for which anime they want to support. Toy manufacturers and food/grocery companies choose the weekend morning blocks, and film companies choose the late night blocks to advertise upcoming cinema and DVD releases since a much larger consumer base watches in this timeslot. He notes that while the anime that airs in these two time blocks are no different and don’t really appeal to different age groups, that it is the sponsors who think that there is a difference. He also calls for change in the anime industry, that a new business model needs to be adopted in the face of copyright issues and international popularity. He hopes that the latter will help to inspire different kinds of anime productions.

At the end of the article, special mention is made that Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Takeuchi, and was a huge it in Japan, the USA, and Europe. This show changed the face of cartoon transformations forever around the world, and charmed girls all over. The introduction of the Sailor Moon anime in China was also highly popular.

We have also come across some more images of the lecture as well! Up to now we had thought that the cosplayers were just there to present him the roses at the end and to just come up on stage. But these photos tell a different story: these cosplayers were actually students at the lecture! We especially love the shot of Sailor Mercury in deep thought at her desk! Unfortunately, the source of these images had only the tiny thumbnails for free (larger, hi-res images are only given to paying members of the Chinese press). You can see these images below!

Sailor Moon Cosplayers Rock Shanghai World Expo!

We hope Hebe Tien was there to see this! On June 13th at the Shanghai World Expo, a special event was held during the Expo’s Japan Week to celebrate anime and cosplay. The Contents Festival (or CoFesta for short) featured one very special act! 10 cosplayers from Shanghai donned their best Sailor Moon costumes and performed to a medley of songs from Sailor Moon! There was also a portable shrine just like the one seen in the popular anime Lucky☆Star! More than 3000 people attended CoFesta, and the crowds stretched right up to the roadside. When the Sailor Moon cosplayers came to perform, many of the youngsters in the audience got up and sang along! A senior student at the Expo commented that anime and manga make anyone feel like being cute. Sailor Moon is all about peace, friendship, and unity, and this is a good message to convey to people coming to the Expo. There is so much more in store for Japan Week!

This celebration actually began on the Saturday night before, and featured singer 22-year-old singer Ichiro Mizuki (not the same Ichiro Mizuki as this one) singing a Yoko Ishida song, and the renowned actress Kuroyanagi Tetsuko appearing in an angel costume that the audience thought was cute! And speaking of cosplay, at Nanjing University there was a Cosplay Elite Championship held on June 14th. Ten of the best cosplay teams competed at this event and one of them was devoted to Sailor Moon!

And boy do we have a treat for you! One of our readers in Shanghai, Chen Lien-hua, was kind enough to send us a lot of fan videos of the event which we have uploaded to our Sevenload page. We have to say, that these cosplayers did a very good job performing their Sailor Moon medley for the world to see! The videos are posted below.

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video C

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video D

Link: (Untitled)Co Festa Shanghai Video E

And finally, a writer has decided to share their favorite toys from after the 80s in honor of the 61st International Children’s Day! Some of the merchandise in her collection is obviously not official, but we’re sure you’ll find something you’ve never seen before!

Anime North 2010 – Closing Ceremonies

Due to some delays, the improv comedy group the 404s did some more improv skits to entertain the audience while waiting for the closing ceremonies to begin. Among the prompts for the actors was “the worst place for Chuck Norris to show up.” The first response was an actor (pretending to be Chuck Norris) saying “what’s yaoi north?” which encouraged lots of laughs from the audience.

The closing ceremonies were led by Irwin Tan, the con chair for Anime North. He started off by saying that the estimated warm body count at Anime North this year was 18, 500 people! That includes an estimated 16, 000 attendees, plus all the staff, volunteers, dealers, guests, and others. Mr. Tan also reported that the charity auction was a success and that all pieces were sold.

He happily noted that next year will be Anime North‘s 15th anniversary. We wonder what exciting additions there will be for the anniversary next year?

Next we heard from some of the guests over the weekend.

Chris Ayres said that he had always wanted to come to Canada and that the fans exceeded his expectations. The audience was very proud to hear that!

Brittney Karbowski said the fans here are so awesome.

Greg Ayres took off his jacket to show off a Canadian hockey jersey, which he was really pleased to have. He said he had a phenomenal time and has met some of the nicest fans ever. He also thanked the fans for showing his brother how awesome Canada is. He ended with a simple “God bless the fans and Tim Hortons!”

Ricky Dick said thanks to everyone who helped behind the scenes to make everything go smoothly. He said he was also very appreciative of being a guest.

Nobuyuki Hiyama, via his translator, said that he enjoyed the convention and now really understands how passionate the fans are here. He will be sure to tell his colleagues about it. He promises to make something more awesome with his co-workers for all the fans to enjoy. Hiyama thanked the attendees for helping Anime North reach 15 years. He hopes to be able to return again next year and will be sure to keep that weekend open. He said that he will even try to learn some English because he wants to be invited again next year.

Next we heard from Derwin Mak, who was the masquerade director for the first two years of Anime North. He said that he is amazed at how the masquerade and costuming has grown. He also said that the attendees at Anime North are the otaku he loves the most!

After all the farewells from the guests able to participate in the closing ceremonies, another short video was shown with clips from various anime set to Belinda Carlisle’s “Leave a Light On.” The closing ceremony ended with a “sing-along” that the audience participated in.

It looks like Toronto fans can’t wait until next year, after a fantastic event this time. That’s all for our convention coverage for this year’s Anime North. Here’s to hoping for wonderful weather next May too!

Anime North 2010 – Chris Ayres Press Conference

Trinity Blood was one of two shows (the other being Speed Grapher) that made Chris want to work for FUNimation. He enjoys playing villains, and this works will with his ability to lower the pitch of his voice while keeping a broad vocal range.

When it comes to voice acting, he says that generally it’s not a good thing to get into too much of a pattern when portraying a character. However, a singsong type of pattern worked well for the arrogance of the Isaak Fernando von Kämpfer character in Trinity Blood.

When Chris and his brother, Greg, both have roles in the same show, Chris tends to play villains to the character his brother is playing more than allies. However, the reverse has also been true, where Greg has played a villain to a character Chris is playing. Chris said that he just gets excited whenever he gets to work with his brother, so it doesn’t matter if they’re playing characters who are not allies.

Chris noted that the voice patterns for himself and Greg are actually extremely similar, just that Greg’s voice is higher and Chris’s voice lower. They have yet to play brothers in any show, but they have played cousins before.

When asked about Ouran High School Host Club, Chris said that he doesn’t think he could have played the role of Hikaru Hitachiin (his brother played Kaoru, who was a twin) because the role required a higher register. Higher voices are more difficult for Chris to play because he needs to concentrate more to maintain them and thus has a smaller vocal range to work with. However, he can easily lower his voice and maintain a large vocal range.

Mock Combat for Cosplay, a workshop series that Chris leads was started after some indirect encouragement from a colleague. Chris said that, because of his theatre background, he finds it odd when fans spend lots of time on preparing their costumes for cosplay and then rush the presentation. He thinks that the time spent on costuming and presentation should be more equal. Mock Combat for Cosplay is intended to help cosplayers work on combat skits to present their costumes and “anyone else that is interested in putting together fight work that is not only great looking but very safe for all parties involved.”

In his spare time, Chris likes to read and has over 4000 DVDs. He describes himself as a horror junkie, but he also really likes comedy and improv. He says that lots of voice actors enjoy anime too.

Chris advises that if you want to get to know a voice actor better, if you can find something that they really like you can see another side of them if you can geek out together about a common interest. Chris’s guilty pleasure is Neopets. His brother had initially suggested it to him and Chris thought it was just a silly site for kids, but Greg encouraged him to take a look at the Flash games, which Chris really enjoys. Chris says that he has over 7 million neopoints in the bank and is trying to get 10 million neopoints because that gets the best interest in the National Neopian bank.

On a side note, Moon Chase readers may be interested to know that I co-run a Sailor Moon themed guild on Neopets with another Moon Chase staff member. You can check out the Guardians of the Moonlight Guild if you are a member of Neopets. I’m Lanisatu over there, the other Moon Chase staff member is Firebal4. It’s quiet now, but don’t be afraid to start chatting in the forum 🙂

Chris also says that he likes the game Plants versus Zombies. He mostly enjoys combat games and RPGs. He said he can’t really play motion simulator games because they give him motion sickness.

As an ADR Director, Chris says that his primary job is the stewardship of honouring someone else’s creation, what they were trying to say, and their goals. That way, you can serve the story, fans, creators, licensers, et cetera. As a director, Chris only worries about being true to the spirit of a show. His advice, if you would like to become a director, is that communication is the most important thing. He also said that he learned the most from working with great directors (for good examples) and horrible directors (for examples of what not to do).

Interested in reading more about Christopher Ayres? Check out his website, his fan club Sippy Cups O’ Doom, and the SippyCupO’Doom Yahoo group.

Stay tuned for the last of our Anime North convention coverage tomorrow!