This was a generally unplanned discussion panel, and my fellow panelists were Shance and Mel-chan. Most of this panel revolved around questions asked by members of the audience.
Shance started off the panel by asking the audience who their favourite characters were in Sailor Moon. Sailors Jupiter and Saturn ranked highest among fans in the room.
There was a query about the gender of the starlights, which Shance initially answered in a way that could be easily misinterpreted. She said that in the anime, they were always women but posed as men when they came to earth. The more clear answer for the anime is actually that the characters were originally female, but when they came to earth they physically changed to men when not fighting, and physically changed back into women when fighting. The difference is that in the manga, they never physically changed genders, they only changed clothes. They were always female in the manga series, but wore men’s clothing and pretended to be men when they weren’t fighting. I hope that clears up the difference for fans unfamiliar with the starlights!
Other questions included:
Where can we find the new English language manga, and how much has been released?(in Canada)
At the time of the panel, volumes 1-5 were released. They are available in major book stores, comic shops, the Dealers’ room of many conventions, and online at retailers such as Amazon.ca. (while I’m aware of Rightstuf, this isn’t practical for Canadians unless they make a rather large purchase. Shipping fees to Canada start at $9 and you only get free shipping if you order over $150)
Where can the English DVDs, particularly with English subtitles, be purchased?
The English versions of the anime (sub and dub) are currently out of print, so finding legitimate copies is difficult and often expensive. I do not recommend bootlegs, but they are an option some people choose to consider. Do so at your own risk, with the understanding that you might receive a product that is potentially poor quality or even defective (I have heard stories of people buying bootlegs that did not work at all).
We here at Moon Chase always encourage fans to purchase legitimate releases when possible, to support the original creator(s) and staff of your favourite series.
Is it good to have more manga and merchandise available now, or would it be better if it were more rare?
I think the general consensus here was that it’s a good thing to see more of it. There are a lot of Sailor Moon fans who are very happy to be able to show that they are Sailor Moon fans again. The amount of Sailor Moon T-shirts I saw over the weekend was pretty awesome. I like seeing lots of Sailor Moon fans, myself!
What recent series is most like Sailor Moon?
Unsurprisingly, we mostly talked about Pretty Cure in response to this question. Considering the series has been effectively called the “new Sailor Moon” in Japan, there’s no question it would be on the list of series to talk about in response to this question.
Is there an official transformation sequence for Sailor Saturn?
No, there isn’t. She never transforms on screen in the anime. There are various fan-made transformation sequences you can find on Youtube to see what other fans have come up with as possibilities.
We also asked some trivia questions I and Moon Chase staff had prepared in advance for using at panels. Audience members who correctly answered trivia questions won small prizes (chibi Tuxedo Mask figurines) provided by Shance. This was fun, but it seemed as though some questions were too challenging. Sorry, fans! We hope you enjoyed it anyway and congrats to those who won a prize.
At the end of the panel, some fans came up to the front of the room to take a closer look at some of the merchandise I had brought with me — the raglan t-shirt I purchased at Hot Topic, the card case and belt by Buckle-Down, and volume 5 of the newly translated manga.
I even met a Moon Chase reader who said he loves the blog. Thanks for saying hi!
I talked with a few Sailor Moon fans after my presentation as well as after this panel, which was a fun part of the weekend for me! I’ll keep you all posted on where you can find me next if you want to chat about Sailor Moon!
Next up in my report: the closing ceremonies of Anime North 2012! We hope you’re enjoying the convention coverage. Last post coming soon!