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 #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!

News From the Other Side of the Pond #6

Rika Fukami Narrates Audiological Journey!

Rica Fukami (Sailor Venus) can be heard on iTunes Japan narrating part of a new series aimed at bringing the world to Japan without listeners needing to leave home! The audiobook series that is being brought to iTunes Japan is called Walking of the Earth and is an audio travel book for overseas destinations. Background sounds to really simulate the destination include airport sounds, and sounds of the town. Rika can be heard narrating about Vienna and famous composers such as Schubert, Haydn and Mozart, and also talking about Western Heroines such as Sharon Stone and Jodie Foster. If you wish to purchase this and have access to iTunes Japan, here is the link. On another note, it seems she held a workshop on movement and dance in February and for anyone who wants to read a fan’s account of it should click here!

Toru Furuya Promotes New Intel Processors!

Intel has recently come out with some new processors, the E2000 series in Japan. These are dual core processors that run at 800 MHz and come in either 1.6 or 1.8 GHz speeds. On June 30th, Intel held an event in Akiba Square, in Tokyo’s famous Akihabara district. Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask) is well known to be a bit of a technophile, as he has programmed some election simulators on his site, and is big on playing video games. Fans can catch him playing an upcoming Gundam game for the Wii here and here. Toru (in the middle) appeared at this event to promote these new processors, and was well received by the audience. These processors are the cheapest dual cores around, and are aimed for consumers with a lower budget.

Masako Katsuki in New Anime Series!

Zero no Tsukaima is a new anime whose second season started to air last week. It’s a comedic fantasy about Louise, who fails at all magic, except for one, Void. And it just so happens that Void is a rare and powerful element, and it’s terribly ironic she fails at magic involving other, more common, elements. Masako Katsuki (Sailor Neptune) plays Sheffield, a mysterious (and villainous) black-haired woman whose face is always hidden with food. Masako in an interview stated that she likes this element of mystery with her character and loves to laugh as this character.