SeraSymphony to Appear at Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

We are proud to announce SeraSymphony as the next guest of honour for the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration. This talented, fan-created live music tribute to the Japanese series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon will be showcased for the first time in Toronto with a special ticket concert. Conducted by Bobbie Lee Crow III, the orchestral concert features background music and image songs from the many adaptations of Naoko Takeuchi’s magical girl series.

Tickets for the concert will first go on sale for Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration attendees on February 14th! Limited tickets will be available to the public at a later date. Questions about tickets for the concert can be emailed to info@blc3music.com.

The SeraSymphony group will also be doing a panel at the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration that our attendees can see to ask questions and get a preview of what to expect at the concert.

Other guests of honour for this year’s event are:

Cosplay Guest of Honour – Lee Scion

Lee Scion is a master level cosplayer with over a decade of experience in the hobby. Working as a professional seamstress, Lee attended post secondary school for Stage Acting, Fashion and Design, as well as a graduate program for Historical Costuming.

Guest of Honour – Bear Sailor Moon

Bear Sailor Moon will be returning as masquerade director and will be giving a sneak peek of his upcoming musical show, Bear Sailor Moon Songbook debuting in July 2017.

Cosplay Guest of Honour – Jelly Cosplay

Jelly Cosplay is a master level cosplayer who found her passion of cosplay in 2001. She has crafted over 70 cosplays, including Sailor Mercury, Queen Beryl, and NoFlutter’s version of Sailor Venus. She brandishes several awards under her belt.

Cosplay Guest of Honour – Ammie Cosplay

Ammie Cosplay started sewing well over a decade ago and has been actively making Sailor Moon costumes for 10 years. As a masters level cosplayer she strives to teach other cosplayers, both novice and masters, tricks of the trade and believes through her own trial and error in the art of costume making, she would like to share the wealth of knowledge she has obtained in the hobby. She has been featured in magazines and books around the world regarding her costumes.

 

The full press release is available here. If you would like to be added to the press list for future press releases about this event, please send an email to info@sailormooncelebration.com

International Sailor Moon Day Toronto Featuring Roland Parliament

rparliament_goh

If you’re in the Toronto area, you might be interested in checking out one of the International Sailor Moon Day events on Saturday, August 15th.

I will be hosting the Sailor Moon Celebration at the Ontario Science Centre. I am currently reaching out to more possible Sailor Moon guests, but I am proud to announce that our first guest of honour is Roland Parliament!

Roland will be doing a Q&A session with the fans and will be available for autographs and photo ops. If you haven’t had a chance yet to buy his book (which I recommend for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the original dub), you can order a copy in advance from his website. Roland will be happy to sign and personalize your copy in person.

Roland would love to have copies available to sell to attendees, and if 50 books are ordered soon, he will bring them to the event and deliver to you in person!

Other events at the Sailor Moon Celebration at the Ontario Science Centre will include panels & presentations such as:

  • The latest Sailor Moon merchandise news
  • Sailor Moon Crystal versus Sailor Moon Classic – discussing the differences
  • Win, Lose, or Draw!
  • And more!

The event costs $10 to attend and will be running one day only on August 15th. Tentative times are 10am-4pm, but this may change.

If a more casual event is your style, there is also going to be a Sailor Moon picnic on Toronto island, from 12pm-5pm, hosted by Abby Green.

Sakura Con 2011: Sailor Moon – 15 Years and Counting (Panel Recap)

For those who couldn’t make it to the panel at Sakura Con, here’s how it went…

When I entered the room, it was almost packed! It remained pretty full until the open question and answer period, where the crowd tapered off during the last half hour. This room was larger than the one used for last year’s Sailor Moon panel, with almost double the capacity (it could hold about 95 people). The length of the panel was also increased compared to last year, to one and a half hours. Although I didn’t mention it at the time, this panel was a last-minute addition because another panel was cancelled. I can’t thank the panels coordinator at Sakura Con enough for giving me the opportunity to run a panel on behalf of Moon Chase.

I was still cosplaying Princess Jupiter (anime style), as I decided to cosplay all day Friday. Seeing so many Sailor Moon fans made me rather nervous about leading the panel by myself, so I started with some facts and introductions from my notes.

Two Versions of Jupiter #1
(That’s me on the left!)

The panel description from the program was:

Sailor Moon first hit North American TV in late 1995 and it’s clear that fans here still want more. Join the discussion of the franchise, the revival, and the latest news about Sailor Moon. Presented by Moon Chase.

I began the panel by introducing myself and providing a little information about Moon Chase, for those unfamiliar with it. Next I briefly discussed Operation Moonrise, and announced the next (and final) phase for that.

Following the introduction, I talked about Kotono Mitsuishi’s appearance on Animax’s Creators show (screen grab from the show above). I thought fans would find some of this information interesting and it might give them more ideas for questions at her Q&A panel the next day. She also had a second Q&A on Sunday, but the Saturday session was more popular.

Next up was a brief discussion of the details about the manga re-release, including the highest figures from Moon Chase’s manga survey results. In addition to what was reported in the press release, I shared some details that were more recently announced: all colour pages will be included, no stickers, Japanese names and cultural references will be left intact, and it will stay true to Takeuchi’s original storytelling vision (so there won’t be any “cousins”). I also mentioned that the manga has a release date announced for Germany. Later, a fan asked what the cover art would look like and I said that I suspect it will be the same as the covers from the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga, which were available in Japanese from various dealers at the convention.

Then I moved on to a discussion of the revival and a listing of many of the countries seeing Sailor Moon again or even for the first time. At points during this, I didn’t specify all of the countries (most specifically for Africa and the Plus Licens territories) to keep things simple. I did have a list of everything though, in case anyone wanted more specific details.

Here’s the info about the revival, from my notes:

  • In Albania, they only got seasons 1, R, and SuperS. Seasons 1 and R were heavily edited, and SuperS was uncensored. This time, they are still not getting the S season or Sailor Stars. It’s aired on a premium TV network, Bang Bang (a children’s channel).
  • Hong Kong saw Sailor Moon return in August 2010 on teen network TVB J2.
  • In Brazil, the anime has returned with broadcasts starting from the S season. Fans have understandably not been very happy about this, as it’s not the beginning of the series. Both Brazil and Mexico will be seeing the series available on DVD in the future (no release dates confirmed yet).
  • Malaysia saw Sailor Moon return in March 2011 on NTV, starting with season R. They seem to be using the old version, not remastered, with the opening song and dialogue based on Indonesian.
  • Portugal also saw Sailor Moon return in March 2011, to the children’s Pay TV channel Canal Panda. Their broadcast license is for all 200 episodes. Also, various Portuguese speaking countries in Africa will get to see Sailor Moon later this year (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Republic of Cape Verde).
  • Plus Licens will be distributing Sailor Moon in all of their Nordic, Central European, and Eastern European territories (includes: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Czech and Slovakian Republics, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and FYR Macedonia). They will be handling television, merchandise, and DVD rights for all 200 episodes.
  • France, Germany, and Scandinavia will see Sailor Moon again soon (if not already), as it was set to return during the winter/spring TV season in 2011.
  • There is a new Hebrew dub (there was no dub previously) in Israel, which started airing on Children’s Channel on January 23, 2011.

Last up before moving on to the more casual part of the panel, I briefly discussed what we recently learned about redubbing from SOS Brazil. Behind the scenes we are looking for more details and confirmation about this, but it was definitely something we thought should be mentioned at the panel so that more fans are aware of public statements such as what we found on SOS Brazil.

Next, I asked the audience if they would like to hear about the new video game, La Luna Splende, from Italy. After a resounding “yes!” I went through Sailordees’s very negative review of the game. Part way through, someone in the audience joked that they weren’t sure they wanted to hear any more about it! But I continued since most fans were interested in hearing the whole story, although the game sounded pretty laughable. There was also short discussion of the previous game, Another Story, that was very well-received by fans although never officially released in the US or Canada.

After asking the audience if they were interested in hearing about what some of the English dub voice actors are up to now, I went through the bulk of my recently posted updates about them (part 1 and to a lesser extent part 2). Some fans were surprised to hear that the English dub was recorded in Toronto, so I also mentioned that Stephanie Beard a.k.a. “Sugar” was previously a PJ (similar to VJ) on YTV’sThe Zone” (an after school programming block) and a DJ on a Toronto radio station (KISS 92.5). While she was a DJ, she even sang a song called the “The Real Suga Baybee” (it was a parody of Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady”). I recalled that when people asked her about singing, at the time she made the song, she said that she could carry a tune but didn’t really consider herself a singer.

Here’s a quick video of Stephanie talking about her Suga Baybee song:

A fair amount of the panel was dedicated to an open question and answer period, where I received questions such as “who is your favourite senshi?” (I said Sailor Moon and mentioned my “Brave Dame” essay that I shared recently on Moon Chase) and even “who is your favourite villain?” (I thought Queen Beryl was interesting, but she was technically a subordinate although she didn’t act like it most of the time. I chose Ann as my favourite, for the way she changes personalities with such ease).

There were some questions asked that I didn’t have reference for at the time (sorry about that! It can be hard to predict in advance what questions will be asked). I took notes at the panel to consult with Sailordees afterward and do more research if needed. A couple of questions will be added to our upcoming survey, so I won’t repeat those here.

Here are the other questions that were unanswered or only partially answered at the panel:

  • There was no Blu-ray release in Japan (one of the audience members recalled this). Moon Chase staff will continue checking to see if there is a Blu-ray release and will let the fans know if one becomes available (the region coding for Blu-ray is the same in Japan as the US and Canada).
  • Regarding Brazil and Italy receiving the Sailor Stars season, Sailordees has confirmed both did receive it. Someone in the audience at the panel was also able to confirm that it was Italy who presented the Starlights as “twins” (an interesting choice to get around the gender bending, I think) as well as noting that Italy did receive the Stars season.
  • “Sailor Moon World” was not actually a new series, but simply a rebranding effort a few years ago.

Regarding fan efforts to bring Sailor Moon back, congoers were interested to hear if there are more efforts creating added interest in the series or helping it to return. Aside from Operation Moonrise, we have noticed an increase in fansubs and fandubs, which can certainly create more buzz amongst fans.

One audience member mentioned Sailor Moon Abridged as being a very well done fandub. This fandub is actually a parody of the English language Sailor Moon dub, which surprisingly keeps a fair amount of the dub story intact while also hilariously mocking some of the cuts, changes, and character personalities (they even managed to further exaggerate some character traits!). There is some swearing in it and some controversial subject matter (e.g. discussion of eating disorders), so consider yourself warned.

Other things I shared at the panel included a small amount of survey results from Operation Moonrise phase 4 (which was about Sailor Stars) and phase 5 (which was about censorship, if fans liked the anime and manga being different, TV timeslots and what fans would be willing to pay for an anime channel, general actor preference, as well as if fans would like to purchase the old dub even if a redub was made). I mostly shared these during times when it was quiet and I was waiting for more questions.

There was also a brief discussion of the mythology behind Sailor Moon, but unfortunately I didn’t have my notes with me on that subject as it would have been too long to print this time. For those interested though, you can read more about mythology that influenced Sailor Moon in the mythology FAQ section on my Sailor Moon Snipits fansite. I have since condensed some of the reference material for this for printing, so next time I am a panelist on a Sailor Moon panel, I will be sure to bring that along! Also, the Encyclopedia Mythica is a fantastic resource about mythology in general.

It seemed that quite a few people enjoyed the panel and I handed out some business cards at the end. One attendee even took my picture since I was cosplaying. I also received a message recently on Flickr from a Sailor Mercury cosplayer who said that she and her friends found the panel very interesting and informative! There was a somewhat negative review on ANN as well, but even they seemed to like the details about the revival and especially enjoyed the review of La Luna Splende. So there was something for all kinds of fans to enjoy at the panel 🙂

Anything you’d like to see Moon Chase staff add to future panels, please let us know!

Photo credits: image of Kotono is a screen grab from Animax’s Creators show; Mythology FAQ screen grab from Sailor Moon Snipits; photo including me (Emily) taken at Sakura Con 2011

Sakura Con Schedule Now Available!

For our readers interested in attending Sakura Con 2011, the programming schedule is now available for download in PDF format.

The schedule also lists the Sailor Moon panel that I (Emily) will be hosting on behalf of Moon Chase! The panel is called Sailor Moon: 15 Years and Counting. If you’re interested in attending, the panel will be held in Panels 5 (rooms 611-612) on Friday evening (the 22nd) from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We’re very excited about this, since we’ve heard that the room is larger than last year’s Sailor Moon panel in addition to having a longer time slot than most panels. We’re very appreciative of the staff at Sakura Con who have made this panel possible. Thank you very much!

Moon Chase staff is currently working on our discussion topics for the panel and I’m assembling reference notes for fan questions. If you can make it to the panel, we’d love to see you there!

I hinted before that I’ll be wearing a costume for part of the convention. The costume is an uncommon one for Jupiter/Makoto: the white dress seen in the ending credits of the S season (with “Tuxedo Mirage” as the ending theme). I don’t tend to get recognized as Jupiter when I wear it, I guess because it’s a bit more of an obscure costume. I will definitely be looking out for other Sailor Moon cosplayers to photograph, I hope to see lots!

(image belongs to ANCEA/Sakura-Con)

Editorial: Sailor Moon as a Brave Dame

This essay was written for a college level course called “Women in Film.” Fans on our Facebook page indicated they would be interested in reading this type of post since news is kind of slow right now. We hope you enjoy it!

Terms used that you may be unfamiliar with are “brave dame” and “wimpette.” An explanation of these terms is included here for reference.

Brave Dame

“Women who are self-sufficient, active, dynamic, three-dimensional heroes who see past the picket fence.”

  1. She is passionate about something besides passion.
  2. Even in the worst of times, she does not give up; she is resilient.
  3. She is competent.
  4. She is willing to face moral and physical challenges.
  5. She has high ethical standards.
  6. She stands up to injustice.
  7. She is a true friend.
Wimpette

“A woman who is weak or ineffectual because she gives in, without a real fight, to the limits imposed on her by virtue of her gender.”

  1. All men are really little boys at heart.
  2. Your worth rises in direct proportion to your masochism.
  3. She always opts for indirection and subterfuge.
  4. Men are strong and women are weak.
  5. She has low ethical standards. She is a moral lightweight except, occasionally, in sexual matters (and even then her abstinence has to do with her perceived value to a man rather than her deeply held belief.)
  6. She betrays other women, including her friends.
  7. She does not take responsibility for her own actions and blames her lack of actions on others.
  8. She looks to a man to give her an identity.

From: Isaacs, Susan. Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen. New York: Random House, ©1999.

The following essay contains spoilers for Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie. Please read at your own discretion.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon is a popular “magical girls” animated Japanese television show that began airing in 1992 after the success of the comic book seriesPretty Soldier Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi. Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie was the first Sailor Moon movie to be released, based heavily on the story lines of the second season of the Sailor Moon television show. In late 1995, the Sailor Moon television show was first introduced to North American audiences. English subtitled versions of the movies, created by fans, were available by 1997. The series is about Usagi Tsukino, who, on the surface, is often construed as an average fourteen-year-old girl and a wimpette. She complains about school, loves to play video games, is a bit of a crybaby, and often quite clumsy. Not your typical super heroine, Usagi even goes so far as to complain about her duties as Sailor Moon, the sailor-suited pretty soldier of justice. In Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie it is proven time and again that Usagi is, in fact, a brave dame; as characterized by her resilience, her self-sufficiency, her willingness to face challenges, her ability to stand up to injustice, and by always being a true friend.

In the direst of situations, Usagi refuses to give up; never sacrificing what she believes in and what she values most. Usagi’s boyfriend, Mamoru, is mortally wounded trying to protect her and then taken away by Fiole, appearing to have died. Usagi cries and blames herself for Mamoru’s injuries, but she never quits the team. Although she may want to, she refuses to give up because she knows that they need her, as she is the most powerful. Also, she wants to end Fiole’s plan to turn the world into a “beautiful garden,” saving and protecting the people of earth. Later, when her friends, the Sailor Senshi (Sailor Soldiers), are captured and tortured by Fiole, Sailor Moon drops her “cutie moon rod” at his request. Despite appearances, she does not truly surrender as what she wants most is for her friends to be safe, regardless of whatever negative repercussions she, herself, may be forced to endure. She offers herself to Fiole as a victim, in exchange for the safety of her friends, never asking for mercy. Later, with all of the flower youma (monsters) destroyed, the Senshi realize that they don’t have enough power to Sailor Teleport in order to return to earth. With the asteroid set on a collision course with the earth, Usagi refuses to give up and let her friends die. She chooses to use the power of the Silver Crystal to save her friends; despite their incessant protests to the contrary and the knowledge that the use of the crystal will probably result in her own death. And when Fiole returns again, trying to defeat her; Usagi remains determined to heal him – despite his advances on her boyfriend and his many attempts to physically harm or even kill her.

Usagi is extremely self-sufficient, and highly capable of defeating evil on her own. It is she alone who defeats the Kisenian and manages to heal Fiole. On the surface, as a regular girl, Usagi seems like a flighty wimp. Yet, in Jupiter’s flashback, Usagi is shown as being unafraid of approaching the tough Mako alone – despite Makoto’s reputation for fighting and bullying fellow students; leaving Makoto genuinely touched by Usagi’s actions. Usagi is more concerned with helping others than asking for others to help her. Even as a very young child, Usagi comforts Mamoru and cheers him up when he cries about Fiole’s leaving. On the asteroid, she uses the Silver Crystal to save the Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen (Tuxedo Mask), determined to save them on her own. As strong as she is, Usagi is fully capable of defeating evil on her own. But when the people she cares about are in trouble, she becomes very emotional; and can be driven to take extreme risks in order to protect them.

As is characteristic of a brave dame, Usagi is more than willing to face both moral as well as physical challenges. She goes above and beyond the call of duty as Sailor Moon, willing to endure any punishment in order to protect the people she loves. Sailor Moon offers herself as a victim to Fiole, in exchange for her friends, as she cannot bear to see them being hurt; she endures tremendous pain, as is evident by her tortured screams, as Fiole drains her energy; but she never once asks for mercy, not even when he tries to kill her. After Fiole sets the asteroid on a collision course with the earth, the exhausted Sailor Moon rises to use the Silver Crystal in order to save the lives of her friends, despite the knowledge that it will most likely kill her to do so. During her transformation from Sailor Moon to Princess Serenity, Fiole grabs her brooch, digging his fingers into her breasts, trying to hurt her. Although she winces initially, Usagi is determined to help him; long past when the other Senshi gave up trying to defeat him as well as the Kisenian.

Above all, Usagi is a true friend. She offered herself as a victim to Fiole in exchange for the safety of her friends, the Sailor Senshi. She also uses the Silver Crystal to save her friends, risking her own life in the process. When Fiole taunts her before trying to kill her, the true nature of Usagi’s relationships with her friends is revealed. For instance, Sailor Moon has great respect for Mercury and her intellect. Through Mercury’s flashback, Usagi is shown persuading Ami that she doesn’t have to work all the time, she deserves to enjoy herself just like everyone else. Although it doesn’t always seem like it, Sailors Moon and Mars are very close friends. They bicker a lot, but they also trust each other completely. Usagi admires Rei, and seems to idolize her for being hard-working. As Sailor Mars, Rei is always the one to save Usagi at the last minute; such as when she throws Sailor Moon out of the path of the wave of flowers. Usagi is never afraid of or intimidated by Makoto and appears to view Makoto like a big sister. She admires Mako’s physical strength, and absolutely loves her cooking. When it comes to Venus, there’s no question that Sailor Moon idolizes her for being the great Sailor V, but she also likes Minako for who she is when she isn’t Sailor V. Despite what other people’s opinions may be about the girls – that Ami tries to show off her intelligence, that Rei is weird for her spiritual talents, that Makoto is a scary bully, or that Minako is a snob because modeling for the Sailor V animators has “gone to her head” – Usagi doesn’t believe any of it. She forms her own opinions about the girls and loves each of them for whom they really are. Most importantly, Usagi brings the entire group together. She brought new meaning to their lives, as they did to hers, and Usagi never forgets how much they mean to her.

Obviously, Usagi Tsukino, or Sailor Moon, is a brave dame. On the surface, she is often construed as an average teenaged girl and wimpette. She is also an atypical super heroine, who complains about her duties as Sailor Moon. However, when it really counts – she is resilient, self-sufficient, willing to face challenges, stands up to injustice, and is – above all – a true friend. It is no small wonder then, that the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon series created by Naoko Takeuchi is still fairly popular. The subtitled version of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie really allows one to get the full effect of the first released Sailor Moon movie. Unfortunately, the English language version of the movie, like the television show, is not completely true to the story or the characters. Sailor Moon’s great strength of character and qualities as a brave dame are presented with a greater poignancy in the original (subtitled) movie, and this film can truly dispel the myth that Sailor Moon is a wimpette. Because she really is much braver than some people think she is.