Famitsu and MyCom Reports on the Sailor Moon Reunion Event!

The first news outlet to break any news of the reunion was AnimeAnime.jp, and the second and third were Famitsu and MyCom. We’re going to fuse this with a blog entry of a fan that we found! This fan was so excited the night before that she didn’t know what to wear and thought about going early to buy as much Sailor Moon merchandise as she could from other stores around UDX! We probably would have done the same thing too! The fan noted that the first few rows were reserved for the media, and that to enter you had to have proof of either an e-mail saying that you had won the lottery, or a special postcard. Chiaki Kyan began the event pretending to be Sailor Moon, and acted out her infamous “Moon Healing Escalation!” attack! She seemed very excited to be performing as Sailor Moon – though looking at the closeup pictures posted on Famitsu, we have to wonder why she didn’t have a better wig or at the very least, red boots! Chiaki also revealed that during the commercials she would turn around just like Sailor Moon! The fan loved her cosplay, to say the least! Then HIMEKA came to perform two songs – Moonlight Densetsu, and announced her new single Hatenaki Michi from the anime Tegami Bachi. After HIMEKA finished performing, she told the audience that she learned Japanese after watching Sailor Moon, and it was a favorite among her and her friends back in Canada. She remembered learning her katakana cards with Sailor Moon!

Then, the Seiyuu came out one by one as each of them said their transformations – Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus Crystal Power – Make Up! The quotes being reported are much the same as before – but there’s a few more that I can add! Michie Tomizawa said that 1800 people applied for this event’s lottery and that she looked forward to seeing the fans after a very long time. Hold on a moment – 1800 applicants? This event should have been opened up to at least 500! Emi Shinohara was a little nervous she was going to walk into the wrong dressing room and also to meet everyone again, but as soon as she walked in it was like she went back in time and by the time she was on stage, she was too worn out already from laughing with the other stars! Rika Fukami added that while they were all excited to see each other, they were just as excited to see the fans. They began to speak about their favorite episodes. Kotono had two favorites – the episode where Neflite died (episode 24), and another episode where Sailor Moon wanted to save Hotaru but could not transform (episode 125 – thank you fans!). The former changed her perspective on her character, and the latter actually made her cry when she recorded the episode! Rika Fukami joked that she felt like she had graduated when she finally played Sailor Venus, since before that she played a youma! Emi Shinohara joined in saying that she played two villains before Rika did (Cyrene and Jumeau)! These sites are reporting that it was Rika Fukami who noted she felt like her castmates were classmates. Michie Tomizawa shared more about her confusion about what was starting, and that she was worried that this party might have been happening at someone’s house, joking that Aya Hisakawa wouldn’t have been able to clean it, and that no one should serve the caviar until she had arrived!

Rika remembered how their musical group Peach Hips had to sign 3000 posters and it was Aya who kept pointing out to her where she should sign because she kept signing her posters in different places! They also spoke of how Sailor Moon had aired all over the world, even in countries that have hosted the Olympic Games. Rika told a story of how Naoko Takeuchi used to joke of world domination, however she seemingly achieved it with this one cartoon. We still believe she should have been a part of this event. It was wonderful to read of what happened, but unfortunately we can’t help but feel like there is a hole that could only have been filled by Naoko.

Tomorrow, we’ll post the end of what happened at this event along with the top 5 episodes voted by fans that were screened at the show!

EDIT: Continued from last night, and two more articles have popped up, one from AV Life, and another from TV Life. It doesn’t appear that fans were allowed to take photos inside this event. The first few rows were occupied by media (and judging by how much media was there, we’re surprised that there’s only a few articles). Back to what happened at the event…

Michie Tomizawa revealed that the actors would often get together at her house for private Christmas parties not to discuss work at all and to chill out! Sometimes they did speak about Sailor Moon though, despite their best efforts. It was after this, that the results of a poll from ANIMAX were revealed to the audience. The 5 favorite episodes, chosen by the fans were:

5. Episode 25 (“Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love”)
4. Episode 1 (“Crybaby Usagi’s Magnificent Transformation”)
3. Episodes 34 & 35 (“The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears” and “Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru’s Past”)
2. Episode 24 (“Naru’s Cry! Nephrite Dies for Love”)
1. Episodes 45 & 46 (The very end of the first season, “The Sailor Warriors Die! The Tragic Final Battle” and “Usagi’s Everlasting Wish! A New Reincarnation”)

Then the five actresses shared their sentiments on the series and answered some questions from the fans. Kotono Mitsuishi said that the show was a treasure in her life. Aya Hisakawa said that this was the first children’s anime that she had ever done and she was so happy that these characters were so well-loved. Michie Tomizawa said that she was proud of this show and listed it first on her resume because it had such a leading presence! Emi Shinohara also agreed with Kotono’s sentiments that this was a treasure, and noted that everyone behind the scenes worked very hard to make this work the best that it could be. She was happy to have worked on such a show, and she loved being able to fight and destroy enemies in so many different places! Rika Fukami said that it was this show that helped her to learn the true meaning of friendship. Kotono ended the talk saying that she does not feel old watching the show, and it is a show that both adults and children can enjoy. Sailor Moon, she said, will be loved forever and ever. And with that, the event ended. We could not agree with you more Kotono. Tomorrow, I will look at the other two articles and see if they say anything different.

And, as predicted, Naoko Takeuchi was absent. We have seen so many images of the actresses together, looking very happy to be speaking of their time on Sailor Moon, and this is more or less the same sentiment felt by the North American VAs as well. We wonder, if one day, Naoko will ever be happy about Sailor Moon again, just like the seiyuu.

BREAKING NEWS! FIRST IMAGES AND NEWS OF REUNION!

Hi guys! Busy morning ahead of me so there will be a full post later (and hopefully over the next few days when more news outlets pick this up). Animeanime.jp has posted a press release covering the reunion! And, the 5 actresses and HIMEKA were not the only guests there – the master of ceremonies was gravure idol Chiaki Kyan who cosplayed as Sailor Moon for the event (really? Shoko Nakagawa wasn’t available?). HIMEKA sang the theme song, Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) and opened the show. Then the 5 actresses appeared! HIMEKA was the only person not dressed in colors that were matched to the characters! Kotono looked at the other actresses as her classmates from that time so long ago, and when they got together, it was like nothing had changed. You could not even tell that they were once some of the world’s most beloved superheroes! HIMEKA was in awe of their presence and admired them. Fans may recall that she first fell in love with Sailor Moon at the age of 15, growing up in Canada! Kotono said that she was happy to be Sailor Moon again after a long time, and Emi and Rika both felt they had gone back in time for a moment. Aya couldn’t believe that they were all on the stage together after more than 10 years! The actresses spoke about how this reunion was a complete surprise to them, that they didn’t know anything about it until very close to this event. Michie Tomizawa had nothing booked, and she suddenly had a “Christmas Party” to go to and she didn’t know what to expect months ago! They each introduced favorite and memorable episodes, and spoke about their roles. At the end, Kotono finished with a beautiful quote that I really hope someone uploads some video of soon – “Usagi-chan is a girl who wants to run away from everything even if she is a klutz and becomes a crybaby during her fights. However, she fights for the people she loves and for the friend until the very end.” Well said, Kotono.

There’s a whole other blog entry I have to translate, but I will hit that later today! For now though, here are your much awaited pictures, courtesy of AnimeAnime.jp!


EDIT: This release was first posted at ANIMAX!

Inners, Cats, and Tuxedo Mask Update!

Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon) has been getting a lot of press lately with the recent resurgence of Sailor Moon in Japan. Her latest movie Rebirth of Buddha, is proving to be a huge hit as it debuted at the #2 spot! But this begs the question: What are the others up to now? We’re going to briefly answer that question!

☽ Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) played the character of Shizuku in the first four episodes of Aoi Bungaku. This horror series retells 6 famous stories of Japanese literature, and the story that she played this character was based on Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human. These four episodes were just released on DVD, and are also going to be reworked into a longer movie set to open in Japanese theaters on December 12th! Set to open in Japanese theaters on January 23rd, is Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st, the first movie based on the hugely popular Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise. Aya will reprise her role as Lindy Harlaown, the commander and motherly figure, in the movie. She is pictured here at a recent promotional event second from the right in the back row! Upon learning of rumors that the series might be made into a movie, she said “When I heard a rumor that it was going to be made into a film, I did not know if I was going to be chosen! When I got the script I was surprised to read it!” Aya also felt that she has to play many kinds of women all rolled into one with her character.

☽ Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars) is still in retirement but occasionally comes to speak at events and perform one-off roles in anime.

☽ Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter) has not been in too much recently, but continues to play the role of Katsura and Yukiji Hinagiku’s stepmother in Hayate the Combat Butler (one of our staff favourites).

☽ Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) has been involved in voiceovers for many variety shows and TV networks, and most recently dubbed the voice of Jennifer Aniston in Japanese in the movie Marley and Me. She has also reprised her role as Myung Fang Lone in the new Macross Plus Ultimate Frontier video game for the PSP.

☽ Keiko Han (Luna) was deeply missed by fans during this year’s Animazement! It is unfortunate that Swine Flu continues to affect us months later, but hopefully she will return next year (and we will get the chance to interview her). She has a voice role as a narrator on the space opera anime Tytania which began late last year and finished at the end of March. The show has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan. She continues to be a special guest instructor of drama at Tokyo Media Academy, as well as keeping up with her astrology hobbies!

☽ Yasuhiro Takato (Artemis) has had a variety of roles in the last few years playing Gluttony in Full Metal Alchemist, Bamboo in NANA, and is now playing Geld in Dragon Ball Kai and numerous characters in One Piece.

☽ Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask) is still our beloved ToFu-san and is just as active as ever! He just appeared at one of the last celebrations for Gundam’s 30th anniversary! “Soul-G”, or otherwise known as “Gundam 30th Anniversary Commemoration Music Live”, was a music festival dedicated to the warriors from the anime. He read some excerpts from Gundam light novels.The event also featured readings from other stars, and performances of many of the Gundam theme songs. However, it doesn’t look like Two-Mix was there to sing Just Communication. There was a special “unit” there to sing the song: singers Akira Asakura, Kawazoe Tomohisa, and Hitoshi Aya Ushima. He also continues to show his geek side, and appeared at an event launching Windows 7. He is still maintaining his own homepage – but we think he needs to get with the times and make use of some new web technologies. His page looks like it’s from the nineties!

☽ Kae Araki (Chibi-Usa) hasn’t been up to anything this year, unfortunately. Even her fans are wondering where she is – and her birthday is coming up pretty quick!

We have to wonder why Keiko, Yasuhiro, Toru, and Kae are not being included in the 20th anniversary celebrations. Sailor Moon is not Sailor Moon without the cats, Chibi-Usa or Tuxedo Mask! Next Week, we will take a quick look at the Outer Senshi and Starlights!

BREAKING NEWS: 5 Senshi to Unite and Himeka to Perform for 20th Anniversary Event!

This broke about 6 hours ago in Japan! (Will add a picture later). After 12 years, Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon), Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury), Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars), Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter) and Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) will be appearing at a special event on December 6, 5 days ahead of the release and ahead of the 20th anniversary of the manga in 2011. The doors will open at 4:30PM, and the event will start from 5 and run until 9! They will be sharing their memories of working on Sailor Moon at the event with fans, and there will also be an episode screening. Admission is free but tickets will be limited! For those of you who want to try to get tickets, they will be available via a lottery at Toei’s DVD shop. 20 people will be chosen from those who have pre-ordered the collection by then. ANIMAX will also have a contest.Rising star Himeka, who was partly inspired by Sailor Moon to pursue her anime singing career, will also be singing at this event! We have covered her in the past on Moon Chase. In the press release on animeanime.jp, she says that Sailor Moon is what “jump started” her on anime! This will be taking place at UDX in Akihabara, at the same place Kazuko Tadano recently appeared at a session for JAM 2009.

As of this writing, it is unknown if Naoko Takeuchi herself will be attending this event. She is not listed to attend at all in the press release, and we really hope she does. The other strange thing is that the press release makes note that it is the 20th Anniversary of the manga in 2011, and that this is an early celebration. We think this might be happening now because the boxsets are set to go out of print at the end of 2011. She posted about the show re-airing on Sailor Moon Channel a month after it came back on the air, but has yet to mention the new boxsets. Kotono has also been doing much of the publicity for the show. This is great news Moonies! We are sure there are more details to come! Toei has even put up a new banner announcing the event at their official 20th Anniversary page! Special Thanks to Toy Soldier for pointing that out to us this morning!

For Japanese fans who want to get in on the lottery to attend this event, pre-order your DVDs from here, or here. They are a little more pricey than other places, but if we were in Japan, we’d pre-order from Toei just to get in on this draw!

EDIT: ANIMAX now has a page up, along with another with the rules and regulations of the lottery. They are dubbing the event “Sailor Moon Event Sailor Talk”. We love the banner and the graphics on their site. ANIMAX has 50 tickets to the event that fans can win, and from what the site says there can only be 100 guests. 100 seems a little low for something like this, why not up it to 500? Those of you who are in Japan and want to read the regulations, click here!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #11!

Beware of Fake Rika Izumi aka Chisaki Hama Blog!

Ahh,Rika Izumi, or better known by a stage name of years passed, Chisaki Hama (Sailor Mercury in PGSM). Her whereabouts since last year have only been documented in blogs from the other actresses of PGSM when they have hung out. This year saw something different though, a resurrection! But wait, it’s probably not her. It all started last October when someone posted some pretty grainy cell phone videos of Rika Izumi – or so they say. It could be her, but we really doubt the authenticity of this channel. Besides, the only “stars” we know that would post private videos are usually aiming for a different audience. And some of these “private videos” show Rika in situations that look scripted. We don’t think that this is Rika and that this channel is probably fake. Late last month, we learned of this website, which features a blog translated by her roommate “Michiko”. We thought it was a little shady since it appeared to be a community of all the PGSM actresses, and featured very little of their work outside of the show. We also learned that the English parts of the blog are some poorly translated entries, that are supposedly posted by the stars themselves. Some of the stars though, notably Ayaka Komatsu, have their own blogs elsewhere, and to be able to post comments, you have to pay a fee to be a member of their fan club. Then you can post all the comments you like! We highly doubt they would also run a free site on the side. We’re sure if her management knew about how her entries were being copied and frauded around like this something would be done. We have reason to believe that this site is also fake as Jay Navok of Genvid has pointed out that the Japanese probably isn’t correct either. We have tried our hardest to contact as many of the talent agents of the other stars, to warn them that content is being stolen, however as of this writing it appears none of them have done anything about it.

Mop Girl Only The Latest In A Growing Trend

Keiko Kitagawa‘s (Sailor Mars in PGSM) new late-night drama Mop Girl is only the latest in a recent trend in Japanese Television. 10 years ago, “midnight dramas” were not really in existence, and Japanese people were not likely to watch television late at night. This time slot attracts the youth especially and is almost becoming the new primetime for that demographic. Mop Girl is especially popular with viewers aged 20-24.

Phone Girls is out on DVD!

Rina Koike (Sailor Luna in PGSM) continues her ascent in the idol world, and her new series called Phone Girls / Keitai Shoujo was released on DVD November 26th in Japan. It’s about schoolgirls who love to talk and use their cell phones! The show has an animated RPG component, as well as a live action drama about a phone girl falling in love on a class trip. Last week all the idols of the show did a live show which will be released on DVD in February. They all played instruments and this was the first time Rina performed the drums for an audience! We were smitten with cute when we saw this picture, Rina is such a darling!!

Megumi Ogata Holds Concert Celebrating 15 Years in Anime!

Yesterday, Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) held a concert in Shibuya O-EAST celebrating her 15 years in the Anime industry. She sang a whopping 38 songs , and opening the show was Moonlight Densetsu, better known as the opening theme of the first four seasons of Sailor Moon! And there cheering her on was none other than frequent co-stars Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) and Kikuko Inoue (Sailor Aluminum Siren)! She sang hits from all her work, including Cruel Angel’s Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Congratulations Emi and here’s to more years of hearing your voice in anime! Fans may be interested to know that Jamiroquai Frontman Jay Kay is a producer of one of the floors at Shibuya O-EAST where fans can enjoy a fine meal while they are at a concert.

In Other Concert News…

Yoko Ishida will also be performing a concert December 24th, to thank her fans. Coincidentally, she is also celebrating 15 years in the industry! Her first hit was Otome no Policy from Sailor Moon R in 1993. The concert begins at 5:30 PM and tickets are ¥4000. For those of our fans who are in Japan and can attend Thankful X’mas, they can find out more information from the venue, Eggman.

Toru Furuya Appears at Yet Another Intel Event!

Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) is such a technophile! He has made yet another appearance at an Intel event November 25th to promote Intel’s processors. This time he appeared at the Special Stage of Intel in Osaka 2007. He joked that the new Core 2 Quad processor has 5x as much power as a Gundam! He did voices of his most famous characters at the event to get the audience’s attention, including Tuxedo Kamen! He said something to the effect of not standing for men who break an elegant girl’s heart. We wonder why Intel hasn’t bothered to hire Vince Corazza to make Sailor Mon fans everywhere swoon enough to buy Intel Processors! Nonetheless, we absolutely love this shot of Toru holding the processor box in his hands!

Mika Kanai And Her Husband Get Divorced 🙁

Last week, several Japanese news outlets covered the sad news that Mika Kanai (Mimete) and her husband, Kouichi Yamadera have been divorced for over a year. They divorced after around 12 years of marriage in spring of 2006, but this has only come to light now. The two are long-time veterans of voice, with Kouichi being the Japanese dub voice of such hollywood heavyweights like Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey. He proposed to her in 1994 after they had gotten to know each other from co-starring together in a radio drama. His proposal was infamous as he had popped the question to her while standing on a mailbox! Though the cause of the split is unknown, many are speculating that their busy schedules over the last few years was likely the cause. They probably barely had time to spend with each other after their careers.

The two had worked together on many series, such as the children’s favorite Anpanman, Ranma ½, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, and Pokemon. They even worked together on the dub of Tiny Toons Adventures , playing Shirley McLoon and Plucky Duck. While this may come to a shock to us now, friends of the couple say that they had been discussing divorce for several years repeatedly. Mika is now living in the three-story house they once shared, and Kouichi is living in an apartment in Tokyo. The two still remain friends, and neither wishes to speak about the divorce saying that this is a private matter and they will not comment. Mika can be seen next in a sold-out concert December 16th. She and other seiyuu from the popular OVA Suchie Pai will be performing a Christmas special at Live Inn Magic in Tokyo.