Anime North 2012: Con Report Part 4 – Sailor Moon Discussion Panel

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.

Cosplay Battle Chess - The Good Guys

Familiar Faces from Sailor Moon and Others Who Sided with the Good Guys to Defend Sailor Moon (Taken at Cosplay Battle Chess)

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.

Cosplay Battle Chess - Mercury Versus the Negaverse

Mercury Versus the Negaverse! And Some Familiar Faces Who Joined the Dark Side. (Taken at Cosplay Battle Chess)

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!

Anime North 2012: Con Report Part 3 – General Interest Panels

This post will be a bit longer, because there are a few panels I’ll be mentioning. I thought there was a good variety this year, with different kinds of panels running to interest all kinds of convention attendees.

Feel free to skip ahead to the parts that interest you the most:

Mock Combat for Cosplay Workshops

There was a beginner version on Saturday afternoon, lead by Chris Ayres and Carli Mosier Faigen. This workshop includes instruction and demonstration of different combat type interactions that look dangerous, but are actually safe to perform. Partner based. An advanced workshop was also offered on Sunday, but you must take the beginner’s version first.

These workshops are a great way for cosplayers who want to do skits and short choreographed fights in cosplay, as there are lots of tips on how to make things look realistic but also be completely safe. Definitely a good way to add interest to a cosplay presentation!

You can read more about Mock combat for Cosplay workshops on Chris Ayres’s website.

Chris Ayres also has some pictures of his time at Anime North on his website.

Dead Senshi

You don't want to end up like this after a cosplay battle!

Numerology and Anime

This was one of the more unique panels at Anime North this year, but it seemed like the presenter had to change from what she had originally planned as her original presentation included the numerology analysis for characters that none of the audience were familiar with.

The presenter indicated that numerology is traditionally based on birth name and birth date. In the case of fictional characters, the date of appearance is used instead of birth date. The factors of a numerological analysis she was using included: life lesson, soul urge (inner personality/desires), outside personality, expression/path of destiny, and she also looked at the first challenge factor which covers up to age 28.

The presenter ended up doing a live numerology interpretation for Sailor Moon, using her original name and original manga appearance year. My comments in brackets.

Sailors Moon and Mercury - Musical Style #2

Musical style cosplayers - Sailors Moon and Mercury at Anime North 2012

Life Lesson: 3
This indicates that Usagi is best in intellectual (I can hear you fans snickering), creative, or artistic pursuits.

  • She likes beauty, fruitfulness, and luxury.
  • She is conscious of the law and a position of authority.
  • She should specialize in her career path, not generalize.
  • She will be successful in invented pursuits.
  • She also has a freedom-loving nature.

Soul Urge: 4 (this number is based on the vowels in her name)
Her inner personality/desires are to be loyal, balanced, and dependable (okay, we all know this wasn’t true at first!). She is also able to make her dreams come true.

Outer Personality: 9 (based on consonants in her name)
Usagi has a great breadth of understanding, is selfless, compassionate, forgives easily, is emotional, and is romantic.

Path of Destiny: 4 (this is based on the full name and indicates her aim in life)
Usagi is a builder of the world. She is organized, handles money well, is honest, is confident, and will engage in self-denial to fulfill her duties.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I noticed quite a few characteristics that ring true for Sailor Moon in there, although it doesn’t seem to be completely accurate in her case.

I think if this panel returns in future, it would be a good idea to prepare numerological analysis for popular anime characters in advance. Old or obscure characters won’t connect with the audience, and this type of panel appears to work much better when the audience is familiar with the characters being analyzed. Kudos to the presenter for doing some live analyses of characters suggested by the audience.

Dubs That Time Forgot

This was a surprisingly popular event, with every seat full in two adjoining rooms and plenty of congoers standing as well to watch the video clips and hear commentary.

The part I managed to catch was mostly focused on a show called Manx Mouse, which is about a character called Harrison Manx Mouse who, although he is a mouse, looks an awful lot like a rabbit. This series appeared to be intended for children yet included a disturbing subplot about Manx Mouse having to get eaten by a Manx cat! Somehow this didn’t seem to bother any of the characters in the show, including Manx Mouse.

Here’s a clip from Manx Mouse:

And for those interested, there are more “Dubs That Time Forgot” videos available on Anime News Network and Youtube.

Japanese Fashion History

This was a presentation and discussion led by Helen McCarthy on Japanese clothing throughout history, geared towards cosplayers who would like to use historically accurate kimono for costumes. The presentation included information about the differences in clothing for commoners as well as wealthy people for traditional clothing.

Helen also said that kimono are only fully cleaned about once every five years. The process is complex, involving a full deconstruction of the kimono (undoing the seams and all), washing, drying on a board, then reassembly in order to keep the fabric and embroidery intact.

Kimono were dominant among commoners until the end of World War II, but more well-off people, particularly businessmen, started wearing more western influenced clothing at this time.

In the 1950’s, there was a transition to kimonos as primarily formal wear, and they were no longer a part of modern life in Japan. This means that now, we could be seeing the end of kimonos.

I found this an interesting presentation, although the audience was small. Helen showed lots of pictures of different styles of kimono and provided an overview of hundreds of years in less than an hour. Wearing a kimono herself, she was engaging, good-spirited, and made lots of topical jokes to keep the audience interested. Definitely recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about accurately cosplaying characters who wear kimono.

Manga Style Characters

Manga style Sailor Moon cosplayers at Anime North 2012

Next up: The Sailor Moon discussion panel. Stay tuned for more Anime North 2012 convention coverage!

Fall Moonie News

So, this article is going to sum up what’s been going on in the last little while. This will be the last article until the next time any of us has the time to work on the site. Rest assured though, we always have our eyes on Sailor Moon (just that there aren’t enough hours in a day to work, travel, watch, and write about Sailor Moon). This update was written by 3 members of our staff. Teamwork FTW!

Kodansha USA’s Manga Rises!

(The Me) We will get to our review as time permits. Everyone on staff has copies of the manga now, just that time is a problem again. We like what we see so far though! The books are about 10% bigger in width and height than the original Japanese books. Both Sailor Moon and Codename Sailor V have also been dominating sales lists (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3), which is not without consequences. Despite fears that the books have been pulled from shelves, the real problem is that people are snatching them up and stocks are running low at the moment. Amazon as well as some independent distributors are experiencing a stock shortage (we learned from our contact at Kodansha USA yesterday), but for the time being Barnes and Noble seems to have a decent stock left. A big thank you goes to all the fans who’ve helped put Sailor Moon at the top of the charts! Not only has it beat such titles as Negima, Pokemon, Full Metal Alchemist, xxxHolic, and One Piece, but it’s knocked chart topper Naruto’s 52nd volume down to #3 and it has even beat new titles from Marvel Comics and DC Comics! Thanks to everyone who has showed their support for our beloved Odango Atama, the companies are getting a clear message that Sailor Moon is just as, if not even more popular than it was the first time around! We are still waiting for the list of retailers. And fans, please do your part and support the official releases. Supporting official releases sends a strong message to everyone of fans’ desires for legitimate releases of Sailor Moon.

Terri Hawkes Appearing in Florida!

(Moonie1995) There is good news for English Sailor Moon fans who became fans of the show with the original DIC dub back in the 1990’s. Terri Hawkes, who voiced Sailor Moon for most of the original DIC run, as well as the 3 Sailor Moon movies, will be the Guest of Honor at Florida Anime Experience 2012 in Orlando (dated May 27-29, 2012). This appearance marks Terri Hawkes first convention in 11 years as well as her first U.S. convention. For fans of the original English dub, the voice of Terri Hawkes is synonymous to the Sailor Moon experience, and it will definitely be a treat for anime fans in Orlando to learn about her experiences voicing one of anime’s most popular characters. Our image we have here is from her last live-action movie appearance – 2004’s math and psychological thriller Cube Zero.

Sailor Moon Rocks Hot Topic!
(Sailordees) I have been fortunate enough to get every shirt Hot Topic has released, as well as the costume! So here come my one sentence reviews on everything. White Sailor Moon Logo Girls T-Shirt – Love it, nice to see something based on the R-series, wish it wasn’t so see-through. Black Sailor Moon Sailor Senshi Girls T-Shirt – Love it, I’ve worn this one a few times out and about, I wish Sailor Mercury’s hair wasn’t so green and that it wasn’t so see through. Black Sailor Moon Purrrfect Girls T-Shirt – this shirt looks a lot less cheezy in real life compared to what you see on the screen, nice to see something with the cats, wish (again) it wasn’t so see through. Grey Sailor Moon Hero Girls T-Shirt – of all the shirts, this is my least favourite; Sailor Moon was also always known to save the day and Tuxedo Mask was more of a helper, and he never really seemed like much of a hero to me; once again this design looks a lot nicer in real life than it does on the screen, and wish that this too, was not so see through. Black and White Sailor Moon Group Girls Raglan – a week and a half ago, I made a day trip to a mall with one of the biggest Hot Topic stores in the nation and to my surprise this was there; I love the retro look of this design, but once again I wish it wasn’t so see through and I wish that the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt had cuffs and hems sewn; I won’t be wearing this until I have access to a sewing machine so that the material doesn’t fray. Also at said mall was the Sailor Moon Costume by Leg Avenue – I was surprised at how well made this costume was and I think any cosplayer will be satisfied with this costume; the headpieces don’t look as cheap as they do on the video, and this is actually roomier than all of the tshirts; I was pleasantly surprised but I still think it isn’t worth the steep price tag (maybe about 20 bucks less). And finally, the White Sailor Moon Costume Tee (yes, this is what it is officially called) that isn’t online yet – this is actually a little more wider cut than the other shirts so those who found the other tshirts a little too snug may actually be able to get into this one; again, wish it wasn’t so see through, but neat idea for those of us who want to dress more casually on Halloween. For those who are having a tough time finding this tshirt, some have it on display but not out on the shelves. The people at my local HT were nice enough to go pull one out from the back for me last weekend (thank you, you two know who you are and I’ll probably see you again soon). The SKU for the tshirt is 19537004 for those of you who are wanting to know when your local store will stock it. I have heard it was supposed to be online but I don’t see it up yet (EDIT: Here it is!). On the bright side, many stores are getting rid of their tank tops and camis from the summer, so fans have lots of options to make sure that only the characters on the shirts are being seen and nothing else.

Oh, and I have some big news for you all from Emily (who contacted our contact at Hybrid Apparel last weekend)! The mens tshirt was finally shipped from Hybrid Apparel to Hot Topic and should be in stores in a week or so! The mens sizes at Hot Topic are a lot more forgiving than the womens, so hopefully everyone can fit into this one!

And Finally…

As if that announcement wasn’t enough, we have a new interview on the way! John Stocker has been a director of cartoons from all over the spectrum, but he will be best known to fans as the director of the 3 Sailor Moon movies, as well as the S and SuperS seasons. We are delighted to have this opportunity! Fans are limited to two questions each, but please don’t ask any questions that everyone is probably going to ask (what was your favorite episode and/or character, will you return for Sailor Stars etc.) because those are already on our master list. Remember, don’t feel like you are limited to just asking about Sailor Moon since he has worked on so many other shows as well. We will set the deadline for getting your questions in to 12 AM on November 1st. Leave your questions and a name we can credit you with as a comment here, on our forums, or send us an email at moonchasers@NOSPAMPLZKTHXgmail.com with “John Stocker” in the subject line. Do not leave your questions on our Facebook page as they will get lost easily. We will not be going through those posts and looking for fan questions.

Oh yeah, and we are keeping our fingers crossed. A week ago we got an official sign that things are moving in a very positive direction for something. Stay patient, Moonies.

Cosplay Interview: Rina Love

We’re bringing a different kind of feature to you today, readers. Below is an interview I conducted with Rina Love, a Sailor Moon cosplayer I met at Sakura Con 2011. She was also the organizer of the Sailor Moon picnic photoshoot! Images used with Rina Love’s permission.

And now, on to the interview…

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you decided to become a Sailor Moon cosplayer.
Ever since I was little (5 years old), I’ve loved Sailor Moon. I didn’t learn what cosplay was until I was 16 and decided to dress up with my best friend as Sailor Mini/Chibi Moon. So my love of Sailor Moon kind of just made me fall into cosplaying from the series.

What first got you interested in cosplaying anime characters?
My friends who told me about these conventions and googling cosplay! It all started With Sailor Moon though.

What was the first anime character that you cosplayed?
Sailor Chibi/Mini Moon was my first, but if you count my other two costumes I made for the same convention then it would also be Plusle (Pokemon gijinka) and Nijihara Ink from Moetan.

What other kinds of costumes have you created (anime or otherwise)? What are some of the more notable ones previously created?

Well, I’ve only been cosplaying for 2, almost 3 years so my list isn’t spectacular, but other types are anime based, sci-fi movies based (Pris from Blade Runner), video game related, and tv/book related.

My most notable and favorites are: Sailor Moon from the Manga-first arc. My dad made me the staff and I spent over 30 hours creating everything, a lot of that was hand sewing as well, and I made everything aside from my leotard (because it was cheaper to purchase) and my boots “base”. I did hand sew on the white pvc leather and gold crescent moon to the boots though.

My other favorites are: School Uniform Chibiusa-from the artbook illustrations of her short t-shirt of the Dream arc.

And Cardcaptor Sakura-Sakura Kinomoto. I made this in two days time basically, and based it off the anime and manga drawings, so it’s sort of combined.

How many costumes have you made (wholly or partially)?
Discluding ‘casuals and closets’: 8
With closet: 10

How long does it take to create a senshi costume?
30 hours or more. Time is usually spread out over a period of weeks though.

What’s was the most challenging costume you’ve ever had to make?
Sailor Moon thus far. It was for a performance group, so on top of making everything it needed to with stand the stage and not fall off.

What are some of your planned upcoming costumes? Will you be doing different costumes each time, or do you re-wear costumes at events?

My planned costumes for next year and to cap off 2011 are: Tinkerbell, Gwen Stacy (my “Halloween” costume), and Neptune-christmas edition.

For 2012, I hope to complete a lot more! These are my plans: Neptune (Hyperdimension Neptunia-Sakuracon 2012), Tinkerbell (updated-Tinkerbell movie’s version), and Small Lady.

I will rewear some of my costumes, but I also wear different costumes each time:) It all depends on the costume and how much I wore it the first time and how many photos I have of that costume.

If you have performed skits or dances in cosplay, what advice do you have for cosplayers who plan to perform skits or dances in costume?

I have performed in a dance in cosplay and my advice is to be prepared, always expect the worst to happen and don’t dilly-dally on wigs! Order them months in advance because if they’re not they’re in time, and if you don’t have a backup plan (like, your hair won’t work), then you’re kind of out of luck.

My wig didn’t show up in time for the performance when it was supposed to get there a couple days earlier. So my friend and partner got extensions which luckily matched my hair, and luckily my hair was long enough to be worn in buns and styled as Usagi’s. (My hair was also a platinum-golden blonde).

Another thing: be timely, and get ready hours beforehand! Rushing at the last minute makes nobody happy.

What advice do you have for people who have never cosplayed before and are just starting to get interested in it?

Cosplayers can be mean, but they’re human. Avoid those sites that belittle people, because in effect, it can make you feel bad about yourself. People are going to judge you no matter what, but look for allies and friends in the cosplay community who Don’t bring you down.

Also, it’s perfectly alright to buy your costume! Just research the person you’re purchasing from, and learn your measurements! Also, make sure the costume fits properly and isn’t too big or too small. Nothing looks worse than a slopped together and ill fitted costume.

Oh and you don’t need to enter a contest to have fun or make new friends or get your photo taken! But keep in mind, the more popular and well made and put together a character, the more photos! Don’t get discouraged if you get no photos in a costume you love, it may just not be known.

Anything else you’d like to add for the readers of Moon Chase?

Sailor Moon is a fantastic series and fun to cosplay from, but I’ll admit, there seems to be an underlying competition sometimes between cosplayers for no reason. I’ve also made some great friends who love this series as well! Sailor Moon is what got me interested in cosplay, and I doubt I’ll stop cosplaying any time soon. 🙂

If you would like to follow or watch me, you can go to my cosplay.com and deviantART accounts:
Tarinalove on Cosplay.com
Tarinalove on deviantART

That’s all for today’s interview! We hope you enjoyed reading this insight into making Sailor Moon costumes. If you are a Sailor Moon cosplayer and would like to be featured on Moon Chase, please send us an e-mail!

New Sailor Moon Costume on the way this Halloween!

The older generation of Sailor Moon fans will have something to be excited for this Halloween – a new Sailor Moon costume!  Anime News Network shared the news that Californian costume and lingerie maker Leg Avenue will be releasing a Sailor Moon costume this Halloween.  Leg Avenue via their website announced earlier that they were awarded the exclusive Hot Topic license for Sailor Moon.  Hot Topic posted a behind-the-scenes video of their Halloween photo shoot last Friday on their Facebook page.  Fans can catch the first glimpse of the costume at 1:57, and a better one at 2:30 (pictured).   We had been notified earlier by one of our contacts that costumes were going to be on the way (and more) around the fourth quarter of this year, so to this early was a pleasant surprise.  What do you think of the costume? How many of our readers are going to get this the moment it hits the stores?