Sailor Moon Anime Seiyuu and Staff Update Spring 2010 – Part 4!

Tales of Festival Adds More Seiyuu!

More seiyuu have been announced to appear at the upcoming Tales of Festival! In February we told you that two seiyuu that were involved with Sailor Moon were going to appear, and we can now add a third to that list! Joining Masaya Onosaka (Jadeite) and Hikaru Midorikawa (Fiore, Ail/Alan, pictured right) is Nobuyuki Hiyama who had two small roles as Yosaku Eda and Tsunawataro. Nobuyuki Hiyama plays Veigue Lungberg in two Tales of titles, Rebirth and Graces. This is the third year in a row that the festival is being held. Since February, fans have had the option to help decide what will be performed at this 5-day festival and are currently voting on their favorite skits. Tickets are selling fast, so fans that are in Japan (or will be) had better hurry up and get them quickly as there are only 12,000 available!

And there are even more connections between Sailor Moon and the Tales of Franchise – the brand new PSP game Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X, features Mika Kanai (Mimete) as Arche Klaine, a playful half-elf. She feels doomed that because she is a half-elf she lives forever, and loses many of those who are close to her in her life. No release date has been announced yet, but the game has been teased around the Japanese media since March.

Daisuke Sakaguchi On New Daisuke CD and in New Gin Tama movie!

In Japan, a bunch of seiyuu with the first name “Daisuke” all got together and recorded a drama about the lives of 5 different young men, united by their first name: Daisuke. Among the real Daisukes is Daisuke Sakaguchi, better known to Sailor Moon fans for his very small roles in the show including a Cat, a Boy, a Young Man, and Kyuusuke Sarashina. In Daisuke, he plays the cute, younger Daisuke of the bunch, Daisuke Toma. His character is very close to that of Mitsukuni “Honey” Haninozuka from Ouran! A new drama cd was released on April 24th, and revolves around the birthday of Daisuke Toma. Buzz among fans is pretty good for this comedy! Daisuke also reprised his role as Shimura Shinpachi in the new Gin Tama movie Gintama: A New Retelling Benizakura Arc and attended the premiere. The theaters have been packed since the movie’s release, and over 2000 fans attended a special event weeks before the premiere. He is pictured here in the green-striped shirt! Kazuya Nakai (Oranja and Ittou Asanuma) and Akira Ishida (Fisheye) also appeared at the premiere, and reprised their roles as Hijikata Toushirou and Kotaro Katsura for the movie.

Kazuya Nakai sings with Nobuo Tobita and is So Not A Hero!

Just released in Japan is a brand new character single devoted to the villains Shade and Torch of Kiddy Girl-and, the sequel to the popular anime Kiddy Grade. Kazuya Nakai (Oranja and Ittou Asanuma) plays Torch (left) and Nobuo Tobita (Pupuran, Jinta Araki,Honjou and Yamagishi) plays Shade (right). The two are partners in crime ’till the end, and the songs of Kiddy Girl-and Vol. 6 Phantom of Rainbow are supposed to reflect that.As of this writing we were unable to find any samples of the songs online. And for those of you who are big fans of the Wii Game No More Heroes, did you know that the role of the Video Game Otaku Travis Touchdown is played by none other than Kazuya? He is set to reprise his role in the upcoming port of No More Heroes to the PS3 and XBOX No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise, and will probably play Travis again in the Japanese sequel No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle when a Japanese release is announced.

Machiko Toyoshima Can Finally Play an RPG That She Is In!

For ten years now, Machiko Toyoshima (PallaPalla) has been the voice of Misha (the love interest of the main character Carmaine) in the Growlanser RPG franchise for Playstation. A year ago, an adaptation of the RPG was finally released to PSP, and Machiko was excited at the chance to finally play this RPG since she couldn’t before. In honor of the franchise’s tenth anniversary, a special series of drama CDs are being released and Machiko reprised her character in them. She was happy that ten years later this franchise is still going strong. The CD will be released on May 26th.

JunJun Invades Space!

Kumiko Watanabe (JunJun) is the voice of the lead character in Keroro Gunso (Sgt. Frog), Sergeant Keroro. The fourth movie Keroro Gunso the Super Movie: Creation! Ultimate Keroro, Wonder Space-Time Island just premiered in Japan, and Kumiko attended the premiere event held at Ikebukuro Sunshine Cinema. On stage, she was joking around with her other castmates and told the critics to give the movie a good review so that the fans can be as excited to see the movie as they were making it!She also made special mention that it took a lot of teamwork to make this movie special and acknowledged her fellow castmates. This movie also has a second connection to Sailor Moon, in that it was directed by the same animation director, Junichi Sato! As of this writing we do not know if any of these movies will be released by FUNImation, as officially we understand that they have only dubbed the first 51 episodes (first season).

A Few Sailor Moon Stars Reunite for Crayon Shin-Chan, Bento Lessons, and Fan Spots Many More Changes in HxH #27!

Happy New Year Moonies! Here’s to a successful return of Sailor Moon for the rest of the world in 2010! News is a little slow, so instead of splitting these stories, I’m going to put them all together. Yes, we know that there is a lot going on in Italy right now but we are getting back into the swing of things after a much needed Holiday vacation. We promise a full post later this week!

Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Jadeite Appear in Last Crayon Shin-Chan of the 2009!

Crayon Shin-Chan continues to play on in the wake of creator Yoshito Usui’s death. New episodes will continue to be produced and broadcast for this season at the very least. On December 4th, the last episode of the year aired, and featured Kotono Mitsuishi (Sailor Moon), Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury), Michie Tomizawa (Sailor Mars) and Masaya Onosaka (Jadeite). In the first episode, Shin-Chan and Nanako through a series of unfortunate events are stuck together on the train, trying to follow Matsumi Ageo (played by Kotono), who is going out with a different man (played by Masaya)! They end up following them to a farm, where the man tries to teach Matsumi about farming, and how to plow a field. Nanako, being protective and angry with Matsumi, steps in, and shows them both how to plow. The man is so taken by her, he falls for her instead of Matsumi, and this is the last thing Nanako wants! But, it turns out that they are not on a date after all and he just admires her plowing skills – he is married and has a child! Michie also appeared in this episode playing Ume Matsuzaka.In the second episode, Shin-Chan’s school was having a carnival, and his mother Misae, had to knit something to sell. Unfortunately, she could not knit very well and her scarf had many snags and loose loops in it. We think Aya Hisakawa played a parent in this episode, but it was difficult to discern which one she played! No one bought Misae’s scarf, but towards the end of the episode she left the stall for a moment. A dark figure came up to buy the scarf, and Misae was the happiest person knowing that her scarf sold! The next morning, Shin-Chan’s father Hiroshi left for work, and outside the house took out Misae’s scarf from his briefcase, and wore it. Aww, what a sweet ending!

Kotono also blogged sentiments about Shin-Chan last November. During a meeting of cast and crew of the show, they shared the first few laughs they have had for a very long time. She finds her role as Matsumi Ageo to be a challenge, but it is also a secret weapon for her because it inspires her to set a new high for her performances! She regrets never actually meeting Usui, but hopes to continue to play the role as best she can for as long as she possibly can.

More Sailor Moon Themed Cooking on the Way in Japan!

ANIMAX along with IMAGICA TV’s Food and Travel Network Foodies TV to bring fans a little something special. Starting in February, the two channels are going to present specials to show viewers the art of making Bento (Japanese Lunch Boxes) for two months. If any of our readers aren’t familiar with what Bento is, here’s the short of it: they are home cooked lunches that are sometimes comparmentalized with a few small Japanese dishes. Some people get especially creative with their Bento boxes, fashioning them around an anime theme. YTV also attempted something similar years ago on their website. Sailor Moon will be featured as part of this special series, but we don’t agree with how the press release has labeled the show’s popularity. They state that it is popular with mothers and daughters in their 20s and 30s. Most recently, we’ve noticed a surge in blogs of newer teenage fans (and boys as well) talking about Sailor Moon. We are pretty sure that the show is a lot more popular with other demographics than this release suggests. The press release notes that it is not a common occurrence for two completely different companies to collaborate together, and handle all of their PR jointly (ANIMAX is owned by ANIMAX Broadcast Japan and Foodies TV is owned by IMAGICA TV). It is thought that the two companies working together on something like this will do a lot to boost their image in the public eye. If we find any clips of these specials, we will try our hardest to post them for you all!

Togashi Adds More Detail to Hunter X Hunter Volume 27 and Returns to Jump Magazine!

The Togashi World Blog has posted some images of manga frames from the latest volume published of Yoshihiro Togashi’s Hunter X Hunter and has compared them to frames published in Jump Magazines. When fans see these, they will see that there is a lot more detail added to the frame than there was in the magazine before. Not only have fans noticed that the quality of the comics in Jump Magazine aren’t what they used to be seeing from Togashi, but the press as well. We could understand why some minor details might be added to a frame, but somehow this makes us wonder if Shueisha is pressuring him to churn out stories, and then after the issues are published he takes his own time to put more effort into the manga. We may never know what exactly goes on between Shueisha and Togashim but nonetheless, it is nice to see some new work from him on this popular series – who knows when it will go on the back burner again? Fans can check out the images here. In other Togashi News, in this week’s issue of Jump, Hunter X Hunter made its return, and Togashi’s message to the fans in this issue was “Happy New Year. Sorry to keep you fans waiting. My goal for this year is to draw as much as possible”. Fans can only hope to see Togashi’s work for more than ten weeks this year! We expect to see volume #27 published by Viz sometime later this year as #26 has just been released this week!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #13!

Toru Furuya Reprises Role in A Ramen Commercial?

Some say it was bound to happen. The Nissin Freedom Project reminded us a lot of other anime series, mainly Gundam, Evangelion and Eureka 7. Now we have learned of a new crossover between Nissin and the Gundam series, wherein Gundam characters revel at the sight of a bowl of noodles after being starved from fighting their battles. The noodles are inserted into memorable scenes from the first-ever Mobile Suit Gundam series. Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) reprises his role as Ray Amuro, who can be seen here (left side) joyously relieved after seeing a floating bowl of noodles in space, before his delusion causes him to fall out of his spaceship. Banjou Ginga also reprises his role as Gihren Zabi in the commercials (on the same page as above, but on the right). We find it funny the lengths some Japanese companies will go through to have their products appeal to the masses – we couldn’t help but laugh at the randomness of the noodles that floated in space.

Ai Nonaka Inspired by Megumi Ogata

Ai Nonaka is 26 years old, but has dreamed of being an actress since she was very young. In high school, she was the head of the drama club and dreamed of playing the male roles in the famous Takarazuka Revue. However she was not tall enough for an audition there, and turned to radio acting school. Today she is both a singer and a Seiyuu, and sat down with Famitsu for an interview. She revealed that she was inspired by the performances of Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) who typically plays roles of women who are tomboyish, sometimes playing even boys and men. She even got to meet Megumi Ogata when she was a guest star on one of the radio shows that she was acting in, and stayed behind so that she could meet her idol. Ai says that while she is happy to have achieved her dream, she has very little time to herself. She has just added aromatherapy to her daily regiment to help relieve all the stress from being an actress and singing! Ai Nonaka is famous for such roles as Shima Katase in Stellvia of the Universe, Konoka Konoe in Mahou Sensei Negima, and most recently, Fuko Ibuki in Clannad.

New Gackt Album Inspired by Gundam!

Japanese Rocker Gackt released a new album of covers from 0079-0088 Gundam Series on December 21st. Entitled 0079-0088 , the limited edition features narration from none other than Toru Furuya and Shuichi Ikeda. There was a party held that day in Kinokuniya to commemorate the album’s release, and Keiko Han (Luna and Queen Beryl) was in attendance. She once played the role of Lalah Sune on the series. A video message was also shown from Toru Furuya, who was in China for a cultural exchange on that day. Fans looking to purchase either narrated version (Toru’s or Shuichi’s) or the normal version can click the links to find them on YesAsia.com.

Jadeite and Artemis in Upcoming Anime!

Masaya Onosaka (Jadeite) is set to voice the character Jade “J.D.” in an anime to debut this April, Neo Angelique Abyss. There will also be a video game out for Sony’s PlayStation 2 at around the same time. This one is a romantic, magical girl anime which continues from the previous series, Angelique. Angelique is now a Queen and must defend her kingdom from Thanatos, which has consumed many other societies around her in darkness. The show also stars Kappei Yamaguchi (PGSM Artemis) in the role of René. Jade is on Angelique’s side and wants to help so he can see lots of people smiling, however René is a very gloomy and devilish person. The series was created by Koei and is expected to be a big hit.

Aya Sugimoto Takes On New Role…

As a producer! Aya, who is famous to us for playing Queen Beryl in PGSM , and to others for her “modelling”, produced a Kabuki show in Japan on the 23rd of December. She attended one of the classes to learn Kabuki, and found that it took a lot of energy ! She found the restrictive movements difficult, and admired the 12 women for their grace and persistence in the art. For those of our readers who are unaware what Kabuki is, it is a style of dance drama that is usually performed by females, though in recent history some men perform it as well. They are usually short comedic plays based on stories along the walk of life. The performers always wear fancy kimonos and a lot of makeup when they perform these on stage.

Mika Kanai Soldiers on!

Mika Kanai (Mimete) put on quite the show at the Suchi Pie Christmas Special December 16th! Despite recent news of her divorce, she sang alongside several maids and put on a very successful concert along with the rest of the cast of Suchi Pie. When she came to perform, not many people knew that it was her, since she rarely appears in public, let alone even to sing. She sang You And Me , the second ending to the most recent video game of the series, Idol Sparrow Suchi Pie IV. Mika also serves as the voice of a character in this game, Misaki Kyoko. Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) plays the role of Nanjou Rie, but she was not at this event. Mika was supported by a chorus of girls dressed up as café maids, which serve as the premise of this game. She came dressed in a cute black elf costume and sang with lots of enthusiasm! This game is unique because it was formatted for the home market, and is based on the popular Asian matching game of Mahjong. Fans can check out some more information about the series here. As of this writing, we have not heard if this game will be released here.

Masaya Kikawada to Appear in Chronic Complainer!

Chronic Complainers is a short TV Movie that is set to air January the 6th on Fuji’s Tokai TV. It is about life in a department store, specifically the complaints that are received at the returns counter. The department store is 140 years old, and has an aging management that has to deal with a variety of occurrences at the store, such as a drunk person who passes out while shopping, and not wanting to have to reimburse a customer for a faulty piece of kitchenware – that should be the manufacturer’s job! It looks like it will be a heartwarming comedy about the skills needed to cope with such a job, as well as the relationships among the workers. Masaya Kikawada (PGSM Motoki) plays Eren Tatsuya, a clerk at the store.

And thus ends our last article of the year! Thanks for a great 2007!

Commercials Corner #15

Fifteen Entries already? It seems like only yesterday this feature began. This is probably our last week of “catch up entries” when it comes to commercials, we have 56 for your enjoyment! Of course since this blog is Sailor Moon related, we have to have this as our top pick of the week – a trailer for the new Aquarion movie in Japan! And it practically serves as a mini-reunion for the Sailor Moon Seiyuu as there are a lot of former ones in this movie! Leading this horde is Masaya Onosaka (Jadeite) as Pierre Vieira, and the others include Daisuke Sakaguchi (various minor roles) as Jun Lee, Mako Hyoudou (Amanju) as Otoha, Nobuo Tobita (Pupuran) as Jean-Jerome Jorge, Sakiko Tamagawa (Princess Kakyuu) as Sophia Belin, Toshiyuki Morikawa (Yuu Azama) as Touma, and Unshou Ishizuka (Sailor Chef) as Gen Fudou.

Online Videos by Veoh.com

And then there was also this notable from Fuji-Q Amusement Park!

Online Videos by Veoh.com

We have lots more , especially for you J-pop fans so here come the rest!
Nerdy Teenagers in an Acne Commercial!
☼ Japanese Aflac Commercials 1 and 2!
Canon Eos Camera!
Ardepro Property Management!
CEATEC Exhibition!
Cell Phone Gaming!
Coca-Cola is for sharing!
Docomo 2.0 Commercial – we mean no offense to Toku Fans!
Docomo 2.0 Office Commercial!
Drewell Sleeping Pill!
Dusters from Japan!
e-ma Fruit Mints!
Essential Damage Care with Honey!
Suzuki Every Wagon!
Fed-Ex in China!
Jessica Alba says hello to fans and wants them to go see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer!
Realistic Toy Ferraris!
Fujitsu’s Gong Show!
A Green Juice Commercial that practically reads like an infomercial!
Men’s Hair Massager!
Haagen-Dazs!
DJ Halfby!
House Design Collection!
Honda Stylish Package!
Japan ETC!
Jomo Energy!
Let’s Dance Compilation!
Lotte Acuo!
WARNING MAY BE A LITTLE NSFW! Meganest!
Men’s TBC Soccer!
Minaqua!
NEC with Intel’s Core 2 Duo!
Nissan Note!
Nissan Compact Cars!
Nissay Life Insurance!
Ora2 Stainclear!
Panasonic Viera!
Poscam Gum!
Strange Recruitment Commercial!
Puffy wants you to Fly Panda with ANA!
Samurai Pachinko!
Seazoo!
Nissan X Chemical Brothers!
Windows Mobile Smartphone!
Soken Bicha!
WARNING MAY BE A LITTLE NSFW! DJ OZMA’s Spiderman!
Success! Medicated Shampoo for Men!
Suntory Boss Rainbow with Tommy Lee Jones!
Ayumi Hamasaki’s Latest Power Single, Talkin’ 2 Myself!
UFO Ramen!
Shiseido UFO Fiber!
Princess Kaguya endorses Vitamin C Pill!
Wonda Morning Shot!

News From the Other Side of the Pond #2!

Junichi Sato to Supervise Animation of New Series!

Junichi Sato (Director of the first season and the Doom Tree/Makaiju Saga) is set to supervise the animation of Rental Magica based on a shounen light novel (made for boys) of the same name. From what we have read, it’s a story about a student of the secondary school Italy Garden who becomes the president of the second generation of a well known agency of magicians. These magicians lend all sorts of magic to each other like divination, Celt magic, dark magic, and astrology. The author of this 9-part series is Makoto Sanda, who has also written a light novel series called Scar/Edge, which supplemented a tabletop RPG called Double Cross. Makoto will be editing the scripts along with Fruits Basket writer Mamiko Ikeda.

Aya Hisakawa in New Anime!

Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) can be heard in El Cazador de la Bruja (The Witch Hunter) which is on the air in Japan as we speak! She plays Jody Hayward aka Blue Eyes, a woman who works in accounting at the CIA. She wears a special Philosopher Stone around her neck which may be important later. This series tells the story of Ellis, a girl who is suspected of murdering a prominent physicist. She is on the run when she is discovered by the bounty hunter Nadi, who instead of turning her in, takes her on a journey to find clues to her past! The Bee Train show is the third and last member of director Koichi Mashimo’s “Girls with Guns Trilogy” (the others are Noir and Madlax) and is turning out to be a hit!

Blockbuster Paprika to hit North American Cinemas soon!

Satoshi Kon’s Paprika is the latest anime to be garnering a lot of buzz from critics in Hollywood! The feature is about 29 year-old Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a psychiatrist who uses her 18 year-old alter ego Paprika to enter the dreams of her patients to discover the roots of their anxieties or neuroses. At her lab, a new technology device has been developed to allow a person to enter the dreams of another – however if misused, an entire personality can be wiped out and changed while they are asleep! One of these four devices has been stolen and it is up to Paprika to find it before people are destroyed! Once again there is a blend between reality and the dream world, much like what we had seen in Kon’s earlier masterpiece, Perfect Blue. This movie is based on the groundbreaking novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui. Sailor Moon fans are treated to not one but two seiyuu in this film! Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko Nayotake) plays the starring role of Atsuko Chiba/Paprika, and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask) plays Dr. Tokita Kohsaku, a colleague who is a nerdy, overweight genius!

So far the release is limited and has popped up at a few film festivals in the USA, but as with all limited release anime, we suggest fans wanting to see this go pester their local indie cinemas to bring this film to their city. In our experience, we’ve found most times management is really receptive if the movie is popular!

Jedite Heard in Fighting Game!

A popular title for the PS2 in Japan is Musou Orochi , a crossover between Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. This was released March 21st of this year. The evil demon Orochi has disrupted time and space, and the heroes of these two games unite to defeat the demon and restore the universe! The game has four stages set in the Three Kingdoms Period of China , each stage based on a force (Shu, Wei, Wu, Sengoku). Masaya Onosaka (Jedite) plays Chouun and Shokatsuryou in this game. Koei is set to release this for the PS2 and XBOX 360 sometime in Fall of 2007, and the game may be titled Orochi Warriors.

Sailor Venus is Everyone’s Favorite Viera Warrior!

Okay, this sighting is a little old but we thought we’d mention it anyway since there are probably a lot of Final Fantasy XII geeks who read this site! The next time you’re at a gaming party and you feel like making connections between games you play and Sailor Moon, mention this: Rika Fukami (Sailor Venus) plays the scantily-clad, Viera (Bunny) Warrior, Fran in the Japanese version. Two of us have played the game and we’ve really enjoyed it, and recommend it to any gamers who haven’t tried it already! The graphics are to die for and the gameplay (though a bit different compared to other Final Fantasy games) is amazing! We were able to find a few clips of the Japanese version for fans wanting to hear a very different , lower, Rika Fukami here and here

In Cross-Cultural News:

And to close, A book called Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World has just been released outlining the influence of Japanese toys (such as those popular gashapon figures) on toys around the world! The book goes into the history of the influence, from dolls and figures to toys given out with meals at fast food restaurants. Editors of the book say: “Plastic Culture explores the world of toys: why we love them, what they represent, and why there is a growing market for “designer” and “art” toys aimed at adults”.