Sailor Moon Anime Seiyuu and Staff Update Spring 2010 – Part 5!

Akira Ishida Likes to Watch a Travel Show, and Starring in New Animes!

Akira Ishida (Fisheye) in a recent radio interview spent 20 minutes professing his love for Roque Roque Roque Roque Mitsu, a Travel show in Japan. Most specifically, he loves when they show different parts of Kansai. The show is hosted by cosplay idol Saki Inagaki, and has a very interesting concept behind it. Fans can check out the interview in Japanese here! Akira is in 2 different anime on the air as we speak in Japan. The first is an anime adaptation of Sengoku Basara (which we will tell you more about in a future PGSM article), and he will be playing the major role of Hanbee Takenaka. He will also be playing the leading role of upperclassman Komugi Musashi in the anime adaptation of Hen-Zemi, a manga about an abnormal physiology class.

Sakura Tange Continues RPG Streak!

We told you in the last big update that Sakura Tange (Miharu Akiyama) is a voice in two RPGs. Well, we can add a third to that list! KoiKen is a dating RPG played thorugh Mobage Town, one of Japan’s largest Mobile-only social networks. KoiKen 2 will be released this summer, and the new heroine will be a character named Hotaru Yamabuki, and she will be played by Sakura! Also joining her will be Akira Ishida (Fisheye), who will play Mr. Sekiguchi, a 26 year old physics teacher at Hotaru’s school who has a photography hobby. We couldn’t find too much else about this RPG, but we hope that Sakura will return to anime too. A few screenshots have also just been released for Love Plus, another RPG that Sakura is voicing a character in. She also joins Yuko Minaguchi (Sailor Saturn) as Nene Anegasaki. The game features new enhancements in the stay and evolution systems, and character design. For fans who want to hear what she sounds like in the upcoming Fate Extra RPG for PSP, the official site now has a trailer up where she narrates as her character, Saber! Sakura is also joining Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) in hosting NHK’s Anisong program on the radio. Megumi will host the first half, and Sakura will host the second half.


Megumi Hayashibara Narrating New Emotional Anime

Megumi Hayashibara (Himeko) is serving as the narrator in an anime that is hailed to be just as popular as Death Note is in Japan, in time. Rainbow – Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin (The Seven Boys of Dorm 2, Room 6) is set in the 1950s, and is centered around the recovery of 7 juvenile delinquents and their relationship with their mentor at a reform school. This series was a challenge for everyone to record, including Megumi who seems to have the simplest role of all. The series is based on the manga of the same name by George Abe and Masasumi Kakizaki which was a prize winner at the 51st Shogakukan Manga Awards. The show has been in development since 2006 and finally premiered on April 6th of this year.


In a Distant Time 3 Features Many Sailor Moon Seiyuu (But the New Anime Only Has One)!

The female-friendly RPG In a Distant Time 3 (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3) features four Seiyuu well-known to Sailor Moon fans. This RPG is about three friends who meet a strange boy who transports them to a different world. They learn, that they have special powers to seal off an evil force tearing this world apart, and return back to their own. Akira Ishida (Fisheye) plays Ridvan, a sword instructor for two of the kids, and the role of Hakuryu is split among Ryotaro Okiayu (Tiger’s Eye, Yuuji, Achiral, and George) and Ikue Otani (U-Chouten and Sailor Tin Nyanko/Nyanko Suzu) . Ikue plays the child form and Ryotaro plays the adult form. Hakuryu is a being that summoned the children from the other world, and grows into his own during the game. And finally, Maria Kawamura (Eudial) plays Masako Hojo, the wife of a clan member who has alterior motives. The games were released a long time ago, but a new anime adaptation only retains Maria in the new cast (pictured third from left in front row). The anime began in January, and Maria was very vocal about the cast changes, saying that she wished that everyone could be back together again. Back then, they all got along really well and would laugh a lot, and this recording cast doesn’t feel the same to her.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana Fans Get Interviews Included on New Drama CD!

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a PC RPG where two heroes have to save their hometown from evil. Bin Shimada (Yuichiro Kumada) plays the Bishop Nicholas Garland, the governor of Felghana. He reprised his role in the accompanying drama CD released alongside the latest release for the PSP, which also came with a bonus – cast interviews! Of the drama CD, he says that listening to the CD will make the player really feel like they are in the 3D world of Felghana, and can’t wait for the fans to play the game and hear the drama CD. The game was released for PSP on April 22nd.


Akira Kamiya May Be Out of Latest Detective Conan Film, but Wakana Yamazaki is in it for the Long Haul!

The latest (and 14th) Detective Conan movie, Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in the Sky premiered in Japan on April 7th. This movie marks the first in which Akira Kamiya will not be playing the character Kogoro Mouri (he left the role last Fall), however Wakana Yamazaki (Koan, Child Queen Nehellenia) continues to play the role of his daughter Ran. She jokingly said that she wondered if this was the last movie at the premiere, but there are more on the way as the 15th movie was previewed at the end! Once again, she thought that the movie had the perfect balance of action, suspense, and of course love! She also thanked the fans for braving the cold weather to come to the premiere. In this movie, Conan faces his rival Kid the Phantom Thief, aboard the Bell 3, the largest airship in the world. There’s a little problem though, before Kid can even get on the ship it is hijacked by terrorists, and Conan and his comrades are also on the ship! There were plenty of jokes made connecting this to 24, as the new voice of Kogoro Rikiya Koyama, is also the Japanese dubbing voice of 24‘s Jack Bauer! The movie has been met with resounding success in Japan, but as of this writing it is unknown if the movie will ever make it to the English market.


New Anime Adaptation of Manga Features Sailor Moon Animator!

Lily Hoshino’s manga Otame Yokai Zakuro (Demon Maiden Zakuro), is getting an anime adaptation. This manga is about a different universe where Japanese society includes both humans and demons. There is a special Ministry that deals with conflicts between the two, and it is comprised of human and demon representatives, and one very special representative. Zakuro, is a half-human, half-demon girl, who faces challenges every day when her demonic tendencies collide with her human sensibilities. She is a fox-maiden paired up with a human who has been traumatized by demons! Days ago, the staff for the anime adaptation was announced, and Shinya Hasegawa will be in charge of character design. Shinya was a key animator and an animation director through the R movie, S, SuperS, and the S movie.

Mamoru Hosoda Wins Award!

Mamoru Hosoda has sure come a long way since his days as a key animator on Sailor Stars and the SuperS movie! Summer Wars was a big hit last summer in Japan, and has won a few awards worldwide. One more can be added to that list – and that is a Best Director Award at the 19th Japanese Film Professional Awards! The movie was also #2 on the top ten list of best work. The awards will be handed out on May 15th at a special ceremony at Ikekuburo’s Shin-Bungeiza, and will also feature some screenings and appearances by the award winners. As of this writing, only an English-language license has been announced by Manga Entertainment UK.

Movie News!

Ghost in the Shell Joins the Rehash Trend!

Following in the footsteps of Rebuild of Evangelion, the legendary Ghost in the Shell film from 1995 is going to be re-released in theaters in Japan with some shiny changes on July 12th! New computer generated graphics and digital effects will be added, as well as a brand new 6.1 surround sound recording. The sound mixing is under the helm of Randy Thom, who worked on GiTS 2: Innocence, and used George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound as his home base for this project. The re-release makes a lot of use of 3-D CGI technology pioneered in the years since the original. Unfortunately, the first film did not do very well in its limited release in US theaters, but observed a much bigger following on DVD and Home Video. Mamoru Oshii stated that he really wanted to give this movie another chance in theaters, especially since technology has come a long way since 1995. He was most happy that the technology allowed for them to have better control over the color, which was very hard to keep consistent with the cels they used in 1995. They call the re-release Ghost in the Shell 2.0 , not because it is a continuation of where the film left off, but an evolution given upgrades to technology. The biggest change in this movie, lies in their choice of Seiyuu. Yoshiko Sakakibara (Queen Nehelenia) will be playing the voice of The Puppet Master, who was played by a man in 1995! We are unsure if Shigeru Chiba’s (Kurumiwario) or Ginzo Matsuo’s (Sailor Police Cop) voices have been used or replaced in the movie at this time. Ginzo had a small role as an old man, and Shigeru played a garbage collector. Oshii has said he would like this to come out on DVD, but at this point he is unsure if it will. The limited release of this movie (only 5 cities!) precedes the premiere of his latest film, The Sky Crawlers.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Finally Makes North American Debut!

A movie we have been keeping our eyes on for quite a while now is finally being released to North America. Sadly, it’s only a limited cinema release for now. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time will be playing in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York very soon – check the link for details! The website also features a short trailer of the English dub, but we are looking forward to seeing the award-winning subbed version. Bandai expects to announce more theatrical dates soon – now would be a great time to hound your independent cinemas to bring this film to your hometown! Tell your local indie cinema operators to give Bandai Entertainment or Kadokawa Pictures USA a shout for more information on getting this movie. For those of our fans a little rusty on this movie’s connection to Sailor Moon, this film was directed by Mamoru Hosada, who worked as a key animator on the Sailor Moon S Movie.

Late-Breaking News: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Licensed!

This one almost slipped under our radar. At the New York Anime Festival earlier this month, Bandai announced that they have the license for Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Finally, the wait is over for this award winner! We have been covering this one for a long time and we’re happy to hear the news. The movie will have a limited theatrical release before a DVD comes out in 2008. The first screenings will likely be announced soon, and will probably take place in Los Angeles or New York. There may be a dub of the movie but it’s unknown who the cast is or if this will be the version shown in theaters. We will keep our eyes on the situation and let you know as soon as we find out! In the meantime though, check out this trailer!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #8!

Megumi Ogata Shares Her Love of Macs With Japan!

Broadband Watch is a website in Japan that caters to the technological crowd kind of like what CNET is to us. They are currently running a special where they are featuring 100 desktops of celebrities in Japan, and #38 comes from Megumi Ogata, who we all know as Sailor Uranus. Broadband Watch conducted an interview with her and here are the highlights! Megumi has been a loyal Mac user for 20 years, since the days of the Classic II (our older readers may remember those computers!). At home she uses the 17-inch model and she doesn’t change her desktop frequently (pictured here, with a censored sticky). She does use the stickies on her Mac a lot though, from writing simple memos, to reminding her of passwords for sites she likes to use. Her husband 20 years ago was a programmer and that’s how she got started on first the black and white Mac Classic II, and then moved on to the color model. Her first game was called Makigame and she played it when she wasn’t doing housework, and remembers a screensaver with a flying toaster. Her private office uses a Windows Machine but she is happy that she can use Word and Excel on her Mac. She hates Internet Explorer and Netscape, but uses Safari on her Mac, and her only gripe with it is that it deletes her browsing history quickly. She uses Microsoft Entourage along with a memory stick for her email, and she is currently learning how to use Garage Band. We would have expected Toru Furuya to give this kind of interview as he is often seen at many tech events, and never expected to see Megumi Ogata for something like this! It’s an interesting read, and fnas should definitely go check it out. She also likes to blog, and fans can read her blog here.

Mitsuishi Kotono Narrates Commercial for Popular Tour

We found a tiny mention of Mitsuishi Kotono (Sailor Moon) with regards to a tour. Mitsuhiro Oikawa is a current heartthrob in Japan, having appeared in many dramas and live action movies. Starting in December, he is going to tour Japan singing on his very own tour, Ichaicha: Cherie, Tu Es Moi (Honey, You Have Me). Kotono Mitsuishi is doing the narration for the TV spots advertising the tour, and she is also impressed by Mitsuhiro. The article also mentions that many of his fans call him “Chest-Kun” because he is often shirtless.


Paprika Wins Another Award!

In 1996, the Animation Kobe awards were created for the promotion of anime and other Japanese visual media. This year marked the 12th anniversary of the awards, and critically acclaimed director Satoshi Kon has another reason to smile as Paprika won the Feature Film Award! The interesting thing is that last year’s winner(Mamoru Hosoda’s The Girl Who Lept Through Time), was released just a few months ahead of Paprika, but both of these exceptional films were able to win this award because of a technicality in the rules. The Girl Who Lept Through Time was released in July of 2006, and Paprika that November. August was the cutoff date for the 2006 awards. This is Satoshi Kon’s second win in this category, his film Millennium Actress won the same award in 2003. On November 12th, there will be an event showcasing the works of all the winners in Kobe, and other winners this year included one of Moon Chase’s favorite directors, Isao Takahata, and one of this years hottest OVAs, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society.

Paprika will be coming out on DVD November 27th, so only a month and a bit before all our readers can finally see this film! On a side note, we’d really like to thank Mongrel Media for the terrible job they have done with the distribution of this movie in Canada. The movie spent most of it’s summer run in a single theater in Toronto, and is now being shown for barely a few nights in theaters all over the country. Considering how popular this movie was among the critics and how it was hailed to be a hit, unfortunately the distributor thought it would be better to let the movie sit for a long time in one theater and skip across the country. Even Ghibli films don’t get this kind of treatment. We know of several fans all over who were waiting in anticipation to see this movie on the big screen and have heard too many stories of disappointment, and that the United States did not experience these kinds of problems in most states.

Glass Rabbit Is Up For Grabs!

During the beginning of November, the American Film Market(AFM) is set to take place in Santa Monica, California. We told you not too long ago about The Glass Rabbit, which is currently making it’s way through Canada through special features from the Japanese Consulate. The Glass Rabbit is now going to be included as part of the AFM, where companies showcase films in the hopes that they will be picked up for production and/or distribution. We’re really hoping that it gets picked up – this movie did remind me a lot of the epicGrave of the Fireflies and it does hold potential to be a hit of close to that magnitude. We have since learned that this heartbreaking film is actually based on the real story of the author Toshiko Takagi. All of the performances were very good in this movie – especially of the young girl who played Toshiko, Rina Mogami. Taeko Kawata (Momoko Momohara) played the innocent role of Mitsuko, one of the younger sisters of the main characters. It was an exceptional film and we recommend fans go see this one if they can!

This film is making it’s way across Eastern Canada, and we recommend fans keep checking these links below for information when these films will be playing near them. Side Note: They were all good, but Hotel Hibiscus was a little mediocre.

For Ottawa, click here.

For Toronto, click here or here.

For Montreal, click here.

Breaking News: The Girl who Leapt Through Time Wins Honorable Mention!

It was only a few days ago that we mentioned Mamoru Hosoda’s recent hit, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl who Leapt Through Time) that was quietly getting a lot of buzz all over the world. Mamoru sure has come a very long way from being a key animator on the SuperS Movie! The 2007 Annecy International Animated Film Festival was held from June 11-16 in Annecy, France. For 6 days, the world’s best picks in animated features, shorts, TV and internet features, and student films were shown in and out of competition. The film won Mention Spéciale (Special Distinction or Honorable Mention) in the Feature Films category, to our surprise beating Paprika! 30 animated works were selected from Asia, and out of all of those , Toki wo Kakeru Shojo was the only one to win a prize! This is a huge accomplishment and we congratulate Mamoru Hosoda as well as the cast and crew on their win!