Sailor Moon Hair Still Tops With Models!

This sighting comes to us from Ian Manley! He pointed us to this link on a message board that featured scans from Japanese Fashion Mag, Ageha. Ageha is a magazine aimed at women who desire gyaru couture and all things fashionable from hairstyles to cosmetics, and features all the hottest fashion trends in Japan. For those of you who don’t know what the word “Gyaru” means, Jonathan Ross did a good explanation of it in his Japanorama mini-series a few years ago, else we’ll tell you that gyaru is a word used by women who are pushing the boundaries of their identities, particularly wanting to wear clothing that requires a tan (one of those strange things about Japanese culture we don’t quite understand here in the Western world). In this month’s issue, the models were photographed with hairstyles inspired by the Sailor Senshi – and their method for doing odangoes looks a lot less painful than the old one from Renee Scofield (I know this from personal experience T_T). The costumes are wrong, but nonetheless, we think that the many cosplayers who read this site can from the pictures discern how to do the hairstyles and better complement their Sailor Senshi costumes! Thanks to Ian for pointing us to this sighting! Click the links below to check out pictures of the special!

Sailor Moon
Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars
Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus
Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Pluto
Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune

And for those of you who still want a little more, click here to take a look at behind the scenes of the Chibi-Usa shoot at model Sakurina’s blog!

Shoko Nakagawa Covers Sailor Moon In North America!

Anime Expo ran at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 3-6 this year. One of the guests this year is one of Moon Chase’s favorite idols, Shoko “Shokotan” Nakagawa! Shoko is known as the Queen of Blogging in Japan for she blogs about a hundred times a day. For her visit to the United States, she has a limited edition blog in English, and fans can definitely check it out here for a taste of what her Official Japanese Blog is like! If we could have a writer that could stay up to the minute with Sailor Moon news, we’d definitely appreciate someone like her! She even posted an entry with a picture of Sailor Moon cosplayer wondering what her transformation/henshin phrase was in English, and another one with a picture of a Rini/Chibi-Usa cosplayer. We were happy to hear that she was welcomed very warmly in the United States (despite the Bomb Scare) and also got to enjoy the convention as a con-goer. There are so many idols in Japan that are probably hugely popular but they may be relatively unknown here. Shoko is best known to the otaku as the singer from Gurren Lagann.

She also performed a concert of beloved anime songs plus some of her own , including Sorairo Days and Tsuzuku Sekai both from the popular Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann (the former from the series and the latter from the upcoming movie). She even shot a video for Tsuzuku Sekai when she was in Los Angeles! We were able to find some video of her singing Moonlight Densetsu, better known as the theme song for the first four seasons of Sailor Moon in Japan, as well as the movies! She didn’t cosplay as a character from Sailor Moon, but was was dressed up like Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Here they come!

News From The Other Side Of The Pond #15!

This one is for all you Sera Myu fans – the majority of the stories have to do with former stars of the musicals!

Japanese News Reports on Fansubs

We came across a very interesting article that looks at the popularity of anime in the United States. The first sentence reads something to the effect of: Japanese animation is popular abroad, and fans will gather together at “geek events”. We found it rather amusing they called conventions geek events! The article does draw a bigger distinctin between conventions in North America versus those in Japan. The North American ones have a stronger presence of cosplay, where the ones in Japan have a stronger presence of doujinshi. The Tokyo Anime Fair just ended, but one of the questions everyone there was asking was “How do we deal with P2P downloads and fansubs?” It goes on to say that while some titles like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh are popular, when they air during primetime slots, the shows are edited for violence and content that doesn’t quite fit with TV/cultural standards here. This leaves the anime feeling choppy and storylines incomplete. This isn’t entirely new – and something we Sailor Moon fans are all too used to. Some anime can only be aired after 10 PM, and they give the example of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, with shows like Blood, Death Note, and Crayon Shin-Chan. Given the advent and evolution of peer-to-peer applications and video streaming, within days of a cartoon airing in Japan, a show will be fansubbed. Scanlations of manga are also on the rise. Some industry execs comment that this is hurting DVD and Manga sales, though we think differently. Without fansubs, we think many anime series that would hit the stores would be relatively unknown and would probably sell less because fans wouldn’t know what they were getting. Thanks to the lockdown of Sailor Moon, all any of us have left is either spending hundreds of dollars on eBay or looking to fansubs. We’re not saying fansubs are wrong but sometimes there really is no other option. Many industry executives are angry about this situation and call U.S. otaku thieves. Many artists are attempting to broaden the market in the U.S. despite the expansion of fansubs and scanlations. Anime News Network covers this topic a lot more frequently and fans looking for opinions and facts should definitely check out their stories on the issue.

Sailor Moon is 8th Most Popular Anime in Japan!

Japan’s Masters of the Survey Oricon has done another survey to see which is the most popular anime among the Japanese. Sailor Moon scored 8th overall and 2nd with women! One fan recalled that it was only natural to play Sailor Moon in Kindergarten because she was a girl who always put up a good fight! The comments received by Oricon about Sailor Moon all showed that the girls knew a good story when they saw one! The entire ranking is:

1. Dragonball
2. Detective Conan
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion
3. Mobile Suit Gundam
5. Slam Dunk
5. One Piece
7. Doraemon
8. Sailor Moon
9. Full Metal Alchemist
9. Lupin the 3rd

1. Dragonball
2. Detective Conan
2. Sailor Moon
4. Slam Dunk
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

1. Dragonball
2. Mobile Suit Gundam
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion
3. Doraemon
5. One Piece

Ages 10-19:
1. Detective Conan
2. Full Metal Alchemist
3. Sailor Moon
3. Dragonball

Ages 20-29:
1. Dragonball
2. Slam Dunk
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Ages 30-39:
1. Dragonball
2. Full Metal Alchemist
3. Mobile Suit Gundam

Marina Kuroki on Stage!
Marina Kuroki (The 4th actress to play Sailor Moon in Sera Myu) has returned to the stage in Nelke Planning’s production of Nakano Blondys! Nakano Blondyz is a musical all about Cheerleading! It was a comedic delight to the critics, and they were fascinated by the routines the cast performed. Marina played a Yanki (or better known as tomboys in our culture) who is very brainy and likes to read comics. She meets some other girls at a popular comic shop, and they form a squad! They rarely are ever in step or in time with each other, but these girls are set to make it! Sadly it ended on March 20th, but we would have loved to have gone and seen it! To check out more pictures of the show, click here!

Akiko Kosaka Plans New Release!

We keep adding more and more new names to this website! Akiko Kosaka is a very accomplished artist in Japan , and she composed several songs for the Sera Myu Musicals and the Anime! She wrote such hits as Tuxedo Mirage, Moon Revenge, and Everlasting Moonlight. On June 4th, she will release a new album called Pianade , and it is full of instrumental piano pieces. She will also be touring in support of the album, and will mark her 35th anniversary in the industry with a celebration DVD! She had her first hit in 1973 at the age of 16, Anata, and reflects on her career over the years. She has always loved to make music since she was a child. In 2001, one of her albums, Pianish was released all over the world and is still a seller on iTunes. She remembers the Sailor Moon musicals from 13 years ago, and how 400 people worked just on the music over it’s run. The staff would often walk to the Warner Music studios to record the songs, and it was a 7 minute walk from the Nogizaka subway station. She found it a challenge to work on Sailor Moon because the year that began was the year her youngest son was born. She wanted to be a Mom! Her two sons have also taken up music like their mother, her 18-year old son plays the bass in a rock band, and her 15-year old plays the horns in a brass section of his junior high school band. She looks forward to performing and continued success in music!

This last sighting is for older readers only…

Manami Wakayama Has A New Idol DVD!

Manami Wakayama is a gravure idol who also as the last actress to play Sailor Mercury in Sera Myu (Sailor Moon Musicals) from Summer 2002 – Winter 2005. On March 26th, she released a Gravure Idol DVD entitled Mermaid Story. This DVD actually has a plot: Manami’s character was once told a legend of a mermaid by her Grandma in Okinawa. She is dragged into the sad and romantic tale in the life of this mermaid. We have a feeling she’s playing the mermaid in this one. Reviews of the DVD that we have read have been good, with some calling her presence as “Legendary Sexy”.

Upcoming Cultural Events

Hi Moonies – something cool came in my inbox a few days ago though and I thought I would share it with you all! The Japanese Consulate in Alberta is going to have a couple of events to celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Canada. We here at Moon Chase think it’s important for fans to explore Japanese culture beyond anime because it is so much more than what we see in the Cartoons! One of them is the Shiko Kataoka Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, a display of Japanese Calligraphy from master calligrapher Shiko Kataoka. For more information , click here for Edmonton (April 2nd-5th) and here for Calgary (11th-25th). Admission to both events are free! The second email I got actually has a nice poster and it’s for a Japanese Music Concert. Featuring dance and song, this concert is not to be missed for those of you who can attend it on April 29th.

There are more consulates all over Canada (and the rest of the world). To find an event near you, click here for the Consulate nearest you for more information!

Yoshihiro Togashi News Blowout!

No, this is not another excuse to use this wonderful picture we found of him :). Yoshihiro has been in the news a LOT lately, and we’re going to tell you why!

Yoshihiro Togashi Helps to Make Shinjo Famous!

We stumbled upon this lesser known tidbit about Yoshihiro’s famous ghost-hunting tale, Yu Yu Hakusho. This article is about how popular the town of Shinjo, Yamagata has become with tourists simply because of the famous Japanese people that come from there. The famous manga was inspired by this city , and many tourists associate Yusuke Urameshi with Shinjo – so much so that it has almost become a signature character of the city! Yoshihiro was also born and schooled in Shinjo. Another reason people visit Shinjo: famous director Akira Kurosawa worked as an assistant director on a few films in Shinjo. Many die-hard fans of his do not miss this city in order to get a sense of just where he has been. Also, the famous female detective writer Kirino Natsuo also comes from Shinjo!

Yoshihiro Approves of Doujinshi of His Own Works!

For those of you who are unaware, Doujinshi is kind of like a mix of fanart and fanfiction. Amateur mangaka (manga artists) produce manga that is their own take on a popular title and then publish it themselves. The artists come up with their own plots, some are taken as an alternate universe take on a plot, or a continuation of a storyline, or anything else that they can imagine! Some professionals also do this on the side (under a pseudonym if they wish) and publish outside the industry – many even do these for charity. Doujinshi artists almost never work solo, but in groups or circles, as they are known to be in Japan. These artists name their own price when selling their work. Doujinshi is a fairly big industry in Japan, and it even has its own convention known as Comiket! Many artists sell their work over 20 acres of con space!

Back to the content of the article – mobile doujinshi is gaining huge popularity in Japan, and the website Dorimaga has won an award from a research institute. The institute noted that this is a whole new level of freedom of expression, and takes e-books to a new level! Dorimaga has made contracts with 20 circles, and the only two publishers who have acknowledged the work of this service are CLAMP (best known for Card Captor Sakura), and Yoshihiro Togashi. Most times, creators and publishers are not aware of everyone who makes a doujinshi and many go ahead and do it without permission – in most cases that isn’t a huge issue. But we think it is really cool that Yoshihiro supports amateur artists like this! It also makes us feel a little better that perhaps he was out and about doing things, and not in hiding when he was on his many hiatuses.

On the subject of manga, there was this other huge recent event regarding Yoshihiro…

The (Temporary) Return of Hunter x Hunter

As we reported a while ago, Hunter x Hunter made it’s return to Jump Magazine earlier this month. One article made mention that while it is selling very well in Japan, because of its old age and past history, it is not likely to gain newer fans. It is currently in 9th place of the 10 hottest selling titles. Volume 25 will be on the shelves sometime in April. Unfortunately, this return will not last long as we finally have confirmation it is only going to last for 10 weeks, and this writer speculates Gon isn’t going to find his father anytime soon. Yes, something is better than nothing, but ten-week spurts isn’t fair. We’re starting to believe that theory we read that the only reason Jump is printing Hunter x Hunter in spurts is to build up popularity and hype. For the sake of your readers, stop seeking attention Kodansha! Sooner or later, a lot of them are going to catch on and they may even turn on the series. We would if we were fans! We only wish we had better news for you, Hunter x Hunter fans.