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: Sailor Stars to be Offered for Free in Japan On Demand!

Many news outlets are buzzing this morning about two new services being offered by Japanese cable giant, NTT. NTT is launching two new services, AnimeJan (for boys) and another service under HikariTV for girls. Both of these services will feature anime from Toei’s AniBB service. Beginning September 1st, both services will have a free preview of entire seasons of series, and included among them is Sailor Stars. We’re not quite sure why they chose the last season over the first one, but nonetheless, we are excited about this news! We can’t tell how long this preview is going to last but we think it will be around a month long. As part of HikariTV, series such as Ojomajo Doremi, Gegege no Kitaro, and Digimon will be included. As part of AnimeJan, their preview will include Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Saint Seiya, and Kinnikuman.

Sankei MSN posted a nice article about Sailor Moon‘s resurrection on Japanese TV. They made special mention of how the show helped to launch Kotono Mitsuishi’s seiyuu career, and they also published a new quote we hadn’t seen before. She had nightmares about how she would perform, especially since she would have to dub a scene in that very dark room without the other actors around, like Keiko Han (Luna, Queen Beryl) and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen). It was hard for her to know how to act without having them (or their performances) around, and she was afraid she would embarrass herself!

And ToFu-Sama is also in the news! Toru Furuya has just released an autobiography called A Hero’s Voice in Japan, and it features his reflections on his voice acting career. He has played many heroes, such as Tuxedo Kamen, Ray Amuro, Pegasus Seiya, and Yamcha. Reviews of the book are generally good, and for those of you who can read Japanese, this is a must have! One comment we read says it is a must read for anyone looking to become a seiyuu, and another one said that he liked to read the over 10 pages devoted to Ray Amuro. Probably the easiest place for readers to order it will be through Amazon.

Sailor Moon Music Sightings!

We have a couple Sailor Moon sightings in music to present to you all!

The first one comes to us all the way from South Korea. Drunken Tiger is the most popular hip-hop group in the country, and has built up their own crew of many different artists. I first caught wind of this band while listening to Pop Goes Asia many years ago. Their music combines so many different styles, including R&B, and Reggae, and in my opinion I think the majority of their songs put a lot of current rap hits in North America to shame. The song Mission Impossible, was a collaborative effort between a few members of their hip hop crew, The Movement (think like Eminem and D12) and was featured on a collaborative rap album, 1999’s DaeHanMinGook. This album is very difficult to find nowadays. The members featured on this track are Tiger JK (the frontman of Drunken Tiger), DJ Shine (then co-frontman of Drunken Tiger), Thanos (formerly of rival group Uptown), Tasha (Korea’s leading lady of Hip Hop and Tiger’s Wife), Carlos Galvan and Steve Kim (of rival group Uptown), and rapper HeeSung. Thanos referred to Sailor Moon in his part of the song, and we have uploaded a short clip of his verse for you. Keep your ears open and listen for “leavin’ ya whole paltoon lookin’ cartoon like sailor moon you need to sail on we wail on wack emcees that trail on”. For those of you who do find this song, there’s a bit of language in it that’s been left out of the lyrics, so don’t listen to it if you’re not old enough ^_^. Rest assured, the clip we have posted is clean. Drunken Tiger and the Movement are still around, their 7th album Sky is the Limit was released last year, and Tasha released her third album Yoon Mi Rae after a long hiatus also last year. Tiger and Tasha were also married in secret last year and had their first son, Jordan earlier this year. I recommend readers give this band a listen if they want to hear something different, and they do rap a lot in English so it’s okay if you don’t understand Korean. To listen to the clip we have uploaded, click here.
Short Verse from The Movements Mission Impossible – The Movement

We also decided that after the Matsuricongoers got to have a listen to Toru “ToFu” Furuya’s (Tuxedo Kamen) song, that we’d stop leaving the rest of you all in suspense. We uploaded the first verse up until the end of the chorus for you all to listen to from his song about Tuxedo Kamen’s eternal love for Sailor Moon, Everlasting My Love. Click here to check it out!

First Verse of Everlasting My Love – Toru Furuya

World Cosplay Summit 2008: Sightings and Winners

Last weekend was the sixth annual World Cosplay Summit, held in Nagoya this year. Reprising his role from previous years, Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Mask) was one of three guest commentators from the world of anime and manga this year. 14 groups, representing 13 countries, took part in the competition and Sailor Moon characters made a showing in nearly half of the participating countries.

Two countries took Sailor Moon cosplayers to the final round of the competition. Germany brought both Sailors Moon and Chibi Moon (and Chibi Moon was the taller of the two ;D), while Singapore went the royal route with Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion!

Before the final competition took place, other participants gathered for the parade in Osu and the moonies were not going to be left out. Sailors Saturn and Uranus in their Super form from Sailor Stars were represented from the Denmark delegation and from the US, Chibiusa and Elios made an appearance!

Others made their appearances in the preliminary rounds in each country. Japan’s Osaka venue entertained Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, while Korea was a small convention in itself with one full set of nine Senshi, another group as the initial trio from the anime (Moon, Mercury and Mars) yet another lone Sailor Moon and even the Amazon Trio as a foil for the fully assembled team. And, while Mexico didn’t have (or didn’t supply pictures of) and Sailor Moon cosplayers, they did have an impressive display of figurines and toys, and front and center in this display was Odango herself!

The championship was held in front of 12,000 fans at Oasis 21 in Nagoya and here are the results:
Brazil took the top spot for the second time, having also won in 2006! Cosplayers Jessica Moreira Rocha Campos and Gabriel Niemietz Braz played Joe and Jango from “Angel’s Adolescence”.
Second place went to China and Zhao Chin and Zhang Li as Nouhime and Kasuga from “Sengoku Basara”.
The “brother” prize went to Japan’s Osaka venue competitors Yui and Mino as Lelouch Lamperouge and Kururugi Suzaku from “Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion”.
Even though neither of the Sailor Moon groups won, we’re sure they tried their best and we wish them luck in the future!

The photo galleries for all the participating countries can be found here.

News From The Other Side Of the Pond 16 (Part 2)

Hey Moonies: in our best efforts to keep up with everyone, there’s been too many sightings as of late. So we are going to only mention a few this time around with the actors of Sera Myu and the anime. There’s close to 50 sightings and we can’t possibly report on them all right now. Once Fall rolls around we think it will get a little easier to keep up with everyone.
Ooyama Takayo Has New DVD!

Ooyama Takayo (Sailor Neptune in Sera Myu) has become an idol of both stage and film in Japan. On June 17th, she released a cosplay idol DVD entitled Profile ‘08. She dresses up in various different roles, including a housemaid, teacher, policewoman, and even in chinese traditional dress. She also appears as a cheerleader who is full of energy! On July 24th, she will make an appearance in the play Osaero. Her hobbies include music and dance, and many fans may be surprised to learn that Ooyama is an accomplished Taiko drummer!

Kasumi Suzuki in New Movie!

Kasumi Suzuki (Manna in Sera Myu) has a leading role in a Japanese movie just released in Japan called Compassion Ren based on the light novel of the same name. This one is a drama about a mysterious girl who appears in a classroom after a boy gets out of the hospital. He is intrigued by this girl, who is very dark and emotional. The boy shows her compassion and love, and the story goes from there. She plays Tomoka Uehara, another student in the class and a friend of the main character.

Kaori Moriwaka to Reunite With Old Band!

Kaori Moriwaka (Ikuko Tsukino in PGSM, pictured in the middle) used to be a rocker. She was the lead singer with a band called the Go Bang’s from 1986-1994. They had a punk-influenced bubblegum pop sound, and though they faded, many bands today cite the Go Bang’s as a major influence. After 14 years of being apart, the band announced a reunion on popular variety show SMAP x SMAP! Two weeks ago, The Go Bang’s Best Collection 1988-1991 was released featuring great hits like Invincible Venus and Come To See Me, I Need You! along with some remixes. On October 4th, the band will reunite on stage at Kaolyrics 08′ Electric Style, held at the Omotesanbo FAB club in Tokyo.

Kappei Yamaguchi Appears at Rumiko Takahashi Exhibit!

Rumiko Takahashi just opened an exhibit of her work in the Matsuya Ginza department store branch in Ginza. It’s a Rumic World is being put on to celebrate the end (finally!) of the Inu-Yasha manga. Kappei Yamaguchi (Artemis in PGSM, 2nd from left) appeared at the official ribbon cutting and he said he didn’t expect to see so many people come out! Kappei will be appearing at next month’s Otakon, for all our readers planning on attending!

Toru Furuya is Everywhere!

Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) is the one seiyuu who keeps us on our feet. We find so many news stories about everything and anything that he is up to that often we get sad when we see all the things we have to write about. In the last three months alone, Toru scored a role in World Masterpiece Theater: Porphy’s Long Journey as Jack Barubattsa, voiced Toppi Topuran in World Destruction for the Nintendo DS, and appeared at a Toy Fair for a new Gundam Beam Sword toy. But wait, there’s so much more. So much more, that in fact we have decided to give this energetic Seiyuu a nickname. When you take the first two letters of his first and last name, what do you get? ToFu! Pudgy, cute, full of energy, and found almost everywhere! Oh wait, our ToFu needs a picture. There we go, Tuxedo ToFu!

ToFu is currently promoting Intel’s new line of 45nm processors in Japan at the Intel in Akiba 2008 Summer conference. He will be speaking there on August 2nd. A few days ago, he demonstrated the PND MAPLUS E-100MP GPS Navagation System for cars. ToFu has done a lot of promotional engagements for gadgets, and we’ve always wondered why he has taken a special interest in computers. He just gave an interview with PC Online about how he can’t live without his PC. And, it all goes back to an injury. In 1984, he was helping pack up the drums at Yomiuri Hall after finishing a concert with Slapstick. Unfortunately, he broke a rib when a drum fell off a stand 3 meters high, and had to rest for a whole month while it healed. While he was resting, he read about the Yamaha CX5 music computer. Toru got one, and played with it while he was recuperating. He became so interested in it that very quickly he learned basic programming skills. He taught himself BASIC on his gigantic computer in those days, and wrote programs such as easy games and tax calculators. He took pride in his work, and still uses a synthesizer to create music and create neat effects with his voice to this day. He doesn’t program very much these days as it is a lot harder now with windows for him, but likes to use free, open-source software when he can. Hey, maybe his technophilia isn’t such a bad thing! He maintains and updates his own webpage almost every day, and uses his computer for word processing, email, and digital photography (he edits them too). He likes HTML because it is very easy and there is a lot he can do with it. At the end of this year he wants to build his own PC, with the new Intel Quad Core processor, a Blu-Ray drive, and attachments so he can digitize music from his guitar. He wants to make music for his homepage!

But wait, we have even MORE ToFu news. And we have a really big exclusive for you all after the jump!

Toru Furuya Releases Album!

Last March (but unbeknownst to many until early last month) ToFu released an album called Heroes ~ to my Treasure ~. He sings songs in the perspectives of some of his most famous characters, including Ray Amuro from Gundam, Pegasus Seiya from Saint Seiya, Kyosuke from Kimagure Orange Road, and Tuxedo Kamen from Sailor Moon. He wrote a song called Lalah’s Nocturne, about a character in Gundam. Japanese Rocker Gackt also worked with him on that track. Unfortunately, the booklet had errors, and here are the corrections for those of you fans with the wrong copies. We heard the album and it’s a little cheezy. Courtesy of Evolusean, we have a translation of the song he wrote for Sailor Moon called Everlasting My Love. He wrote this song as a tribute to the love eternal between Mamoru and Usagi. We’ve posted the translation below. Fans wanting to read an English interview he did in April, click here!

Everlasting My Love
Lyrics: Toru Furuya
Translation: Evolusean

On a blue-moon night, my heart is restless for no reason.
Walking alone, my shadow sways in the moonlight.

Our meeting was by chance–a destiny that pierced
Straight through to the core of my body.

Even though I don’t know why a single tear streamed
Down your wounded cheek as I held you without thinking,

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being
I feel, throughout my body, your past–even your future.
I love you. More than anyone. With my life
I will protect you. Everlasting my love.

On a red-starred night, unable to sleep, I think of you.
My song is a siren that painfully echoes through the city.

Our meeting was in a past life–a passionate emotion
That nestled close from beyond time and space.

Without hesitation, I placed mine on your dainty lips.
The moonlight illuminated your closed eyelids.

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being.
So much that my throbbing body wilts–a rose.
I love you. More than anyone. By my life
I vow to God. Everlasting my love.

Your slender shoulders shake as you laugh.
I will eagerly unlock the door to your heart.

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being.
I feel, throughout my body, your past–even your future.
I love you. More than anyone. With all of my life.
I will protect you. Everlasting my love.
Together forever. Everlasting my love.