April News Updates!

Hi Moonies!  I planned this a long time ago and didn’t get time to post it until now! It is still April for one more day!

Pop Culture Pieces All the Way From Japan…

There were a few interesting op/ed articles posted in Japan on MyNavi at the end of March. The first one was posted by a blogger who talked about the foreign adaptations of Sailor Moon and how some of the names that were given around the world seemed a little off.  The writer (a blogger named “sunplant”) made note of one of the big cultural nuances of the series.  Usagi means bunny, and in Japanese culture, this is an image of a character that is both strong and delicate.  But, some of this meaning is lost when Usagi is named “Bunny” in other parts of the world.  Bunny does not mean the same thing in other cultures! Ami Mizuno was most likely to be called “Amy” in other countries, and Rei Hino was called “Ria” in some places (for example, Rea in Italy).  But, she didn’t quite understand how Makoto Kino became “Morea” and Minako Aino became “Marta”.  These names were nowhere close to the original ones! Chibi-Usa, or some variant of it, was kept in most countries. In Italy she is called Kibi-Usa.  In Germany, most of the names were unchanged.  In China, some of the characters used in the names changed the meanings of them slightly.  And, Sunplant also made mention of Sailor Moon’s North American “meatball head” joke! She struggled to understand that one and thought of the head of Usagi covered in ketchup.  But, she really liked the name Serena!  The next few were all about polls that were conducted (all with multiple answers allowed, so the numbers don’t add up to 100%).  Out of 394 males who were surveyed about who the strongest female character was to them, 24.4% voted for Sailor Moon, 8.1% voted for Sailor Mercury,  and 7.1% voted for Sailor Mars (where is Sailor Jupiter?).  Comments about them included that Sailor Moon was the best, she could really pull off being an amazing “pretty soldier in a sailor suit”, and that she was strong and cute; Sailor Mercury was the most realistic and to some the strongest; and Sailor Mars had the best attack power and could get the job done! To contrast, 547 women were surveyed asking the same question, and the most famous 5 Sailor Moon characters dominated the poll. Sailor moon was #1 with 59.0% of the vote, Sailor Venus came next with 19.7%, Sailor Mars with 19.6%, Sailor Mercury with 19.4% and Sailor Jupiter with 18.6% of the vote. They admired Sailor Moon for her independence and her strength; one thought Sailor Venus was stronger than Sailor Moon; Sailor Mars has beautiful black hair and could manipulate fire (and one even liked Keiko Kitagawa’s performance); Sailor Mercury is smart and doesn’t rely on her looks; and Sailor Jupiter is the strongest among the characters and so,e miss seeing uniforms with longer skirts. To end, this article celebrated Sailor Moon’s victory among both groups surveyed!

Licensing News and New Hirings at Toei Animation

And a little bit of industry news that may seem boring, but it is important for those following Toei Animation to take note of. First of all, let’s look at a hiring that will affect Toei Animation Inc. (TAI), the Los Angeles subsidiary of Toei Animation (this is the office responsible for handling all the licensing for North America for all Toei Animation properties). Long-time Toei Animation executive Hiroyuki Kinoshita has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer (COO) of TAI. He is also the COO for Toei Animation Europe S.A.S (their subsidiary in France that handles Europe), and the CEO of Toei Animation Enterprises in Hong Kong (which is the marketing base for Asia). This adds another staff member to the Los Angeles Office. Second, is one that hits close for our fandom. Toei Animation in Japan has hired Iriya Azuma as the director of its global licensing business department. Iriya worked as a producer and planner on the Sailor Moon R and S series and movies, as well as Make Up! Sailor Senshi. We’ve noticed that Sailor Moon is having a bit of a shaky time in other countries right now, so we have our fingers crossed that Iriya will be able to make the current Sailor Moon revival bigger and better in the months and years to come. Iriya is especially responsible for directing the international licensing programs for the studio’s top brands (which right now include titles like Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Toriko, and Pretty Cure). Discotek has also licensed two Toei Animation oldies that are goodies for otaku – Lovely Complex and Captain Harlock. Contrary to what some fans had speculated on our Facebook page earlier this month, we would like to remind everyone that NO ONE has a license for the Sailor Moon anime yet. Licenses for merchandise pertaining to the anime in North America belong to Hybrid Apparel (T-shirts), Buckle Down (Belts), Leg Avenue (Costumes), and Great Eastern (general merchandise). So no more insisting on the truth of a rumor you might have read.

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