Another Idol Names Sailor Moon as her Favorite!

Once again, an idol that was a part of Morning Musume has stated in an interview that her favorite anime is Sailor Moon! Eri Kamei, who was part of the group in 2003, is currently starring in a Sanrio anime, Jewelpet. She plays Rinko Kogyoku, a red-headed student who happens to come upon a special jewel egg, and awakens Ruby, a white rabbit with red eyes. Together, they must find and save all the jewelpets and bring them back to Jewel Land! Of course, being a Sanrio property, it’s too full of cute! Jewelpet also has a Sailor Moon connection – Mitsuko Horie (Sailor Galaxia) sings the show’s ending theme, “Egao no Loop” (literally: Smiling Loop). She sat down for an interview with Sankei MSN to talk about her six months so far on the show. She admits that she was very nervous when she started, and had a hard time getting her voice just right, but has since settled into her role and has a lot of support from her other castmates. It was a challenging transition for her as well, since she was so used to working on a performance in a group, and now she was working on a performance all by herself! She then gave a few episode spoilers and talked about what she wants in her ideal “Prince Charming” (he has to be smart). She was then asked about what her favorite anime was and which star she respected the most. She said that her favorite anime is Sailor Moon, because all girls grew up with that show when she was young! She said that she really wanted to be a magical girl with powers, and that she was happy to be playing a magical girl in Jewelpet. She said that she has the most respect for all of her costars in Jewelpet, because they are so remarkable in their voice and performance. She is very impressed and holds them in her highest respect! She hopes that children everywhere who dream of being magical will enjoy this show just as much as she does, and thanked her fans. Such a heartwarming interview, and we hope to read of fond stories from idols again!

Neko Jump Visits Japan and Records A New Song There Too!

Neko Jump, a duo we told you about not too long ago, is sure taking Japan by storm! This Thai Pop Duo (stage names Noie and Jaem) are becoming very known through the country for their music, moe (charm), and their cutesy idol clothing! They have even been named special ambassadors of Japanese Pop Culture in Thailand! On November 10th, they visited Japan for the fifth time to record a new song for Kiruminzoo, and met with some members of the press after performing at a fashion event. They had always had a dream to make J-pop, and are huge fans of Ayumi Hamasaki and Yuna Ito. And of course, they have been in love with anime since they first saw Sailor Moon when they were very young! On a side note, we’ve also learned that their father works for TIGA Co. which held a lot of anime copyrights – probably where they got their love of anime from! They also said they like Japan more than their native Thailand because the weather is a lot nicer (it’s always too hot at home)! They want to visit in the spring and see the sakura (cherry) blossoms, and also see what real snow is like too!

Their song “Pu” which is used as the show’s opening is a cute song about dreaming of crabs and then not meeting their soul mate. If they dream of a snake they will meet a man! It is based on a very old Thai myth. The ending theme “Chuai Mad Noi” did not translate well into Japanese. The song is a love song, but some how that ends up being “Don’t touch” in Japanese. It was retitled to something happier – “Ohayo Goza-Imaszu”(Formal way of saying Hello). They found this a little strange! When asked what the secret of their happiness was, they said to eat lots of fresh fruits like strawberries! These girls will turn 20 on December 10th. We find these idols incredibly cute and good-natured, and are once again happy to read a story of where people’s love of Sailor Moon has taken them in their lives!

Keiko Kitagawa : Finding Fame in Her Own Way!

Real Sports Web posted an interesting editorial about Keiko Kitagawa, and how her clean past is keeping her with her agency, Stardust Promotion. The agency recently dropped one of its “breadwinner” stars, Erika Sawajiri over allegations of drug abuse. Given the recent arrests of many stars in Japan for drug abuse, Stardust is axing any star with even the slightest hint of a drug problem. The article then talked about how Keiko is now playing many leading roles, such as the recent TV Drama Buzzer Beat, and in her very first Japanese period movie, Hana no Ato. We have a beautiful shot of her from this movie featured today (more can be found here)! Keiko will be featured next in the movie Elevator To The Gallows. She has been called a starlet who is “a step ahead of today’s generation”. Originally, she had been a local model, but later transitioned to drama. Playing Sailor Mars in PGSM was her first role, however in recent times her agency has tried to keep knowledge of that at bay. Keiko has never been one to show very much of her body, and the article makes special mention that she is the only star of PGSM who has not turned to the world of gravure idols (and makes specific mention of Miyuu Sawaii in this context). However, because there were a few shots of her bloomers, this has somewhat taken away from her wholesome image. However, now that Keiko has a more “developed figure” and that she is now a more respected model, this isn’t a huge deal anymore (though some still think that PGSM is an obscure credit). The writer ends the article hoping that Keiko tries more, and that she also cosplays a bit in the future.

In Japanese society though, gravure idols aren’t seen as being “dirty” like they are perceived in North American culture. For many girls in fact, the only way for them to really get their start in the industry most times is to get into gravure modeling. We have to admire Keiko Kitagawa for avoiding these things largely and becoming a respected star in Japan. Fans, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think Keiko necessarily made the wrong decision in not pursuing a gravure career after PGSM ended?

Sailor Moon Cultural Mentions, Summer & Fall 2009!

The Modern Day Definition of Moe

This month’s TVBros Magazine features articles on a few dating sims, and how they have affected gaming addictions, and an article on how the definition of Moe is changing. It’s not just about basing them on anime girl prototypes! Today Moe is starting to be based a little more on idols! The article briefly talks about the origin of the word ‘Moe’ and makes mention that it may have stemmed from the names of anime heroines. One popular theory is that it came from a shortening of Hotaru Tomoe’s (Sailor Saturn) name. This magazine preview even argues that Moe is dead. Japanese Idol Yuki Nae is also featured prominently in this article as an example of the “new Moe”. For more information, check out TVBros. official site!

Anime Tourism Experiences Boom in Japan!

While the recession has hit Japan’s tourism industry, anime tourism is seeing a boom. Intermixi of Los Angeles reports that many fans are still saving their money to go on tours of landmarks and other sites in Japan that are featured in anime. The article also featured a quote from Genvid.com‘s Jay Navok, who spoke of his own tour to coincide with the site’s book about Japanese cultural references in Sailor Moon, Warriors of Legend. While this article only talks about the tours that Intermixi runs, there are other options for fans who want to experience “Otaku Tours” in Japan. One of them is Pop Japan, which also features tours that cater to different interests such as music and manga!


Norwegian Animated Show’s Leading Role to be Played By Sailor Moon Fan!

Saki Fukuda is a Japanese idol who has appeared in many dramas, and has had a few voice roles. A CGI cartoon from Norway called Elias: The Little Rescue Boat is being dubbed in Japanese and Saki will be the voice of Elias! This show from the pictures looks a little similar to Theodore Tugboat. While she says that one day she would like to play an adult female role, she is just as excited about this role because Elias will be a character that young children will enjoy. When she was a young child, she was a huge fan of Sailor Moon and Anpanman, and she still has strong feelings about all of the shows she enjoyed back then! She hopes that this show will be one that all ages can enjoy! To read more about her thoughts on her new role in English, click here!

Other Short Sightings:

Recognize these girls? These are the Nakano Fujoshi sisters, a 7-girl idol unit that sometimes also performs as a boy band, Fudanjuku (which “broke up” last year). The group has been around since 2006 and has performed at many events in Japan. They aspire to perform at a con in the United States! They were featured in Otaku USA‘s August Issue, and their colored costumes reminded us a lot of the Sailor Senshi. We’ve scanned the article – click the image for more information! Who do you like better? Fudanjuko or the Fudanshi sisters?

☽ Otaku USA’s August Issue also featured an interview with the current leader of Morning Musume, Ai Takahashi. She talked about their latest album, excitement surrounding their first time performing in America at Anime Expo, and also what it is like behind the scenes of the popular group. But one of the best parts of this article was when she revealed what her favorite anime was – Sailor Moon! Yes, this was a small mention, but the more that we report anyone’s love for this show, it’s sure to speak volumes to readers from all walks of life just how much the show was, is, and will continue, to be loved. Click the image on the leftt to enlarge!

NeoUK‘s June Issue highlighted TokyoToys‘ new shop in London’s Trocadero, which not only specializes in anime merchandise, but also in cosplay! They were selling a dress that looks very similar to Aino Minako’s school uniform for $62 USD, but this one has since sold out. The store does ship worldwide, and has a lot of neat stuff for order! The shop also hosts parties and game launches, so our London readers who are looking for a good time should definitely check them out!

Two Fall 2009 Sailor Sightings!

Gravure Idol Reveals Favorite Childhood Manga!

Another tiny little sighting, but any little bit helps to keep the recent re-release of Sailor Moon in the public eye! Japanese Gravure Idol Yuuri Morishita is currently starring as the heroine in the upcoming film Kyokara Hitman and was interviewed recently for Japan’s Cinema Magazine. She was asked a bunch of questions about her role, challenges she faced doing some of the stunts, and a question about what she found different with working on a movie compared to a gravure shoot. To that question, she pretty much answered she enjoyed playing a character and letting people know a little more about what she was like, compared to her gravure shoots… which, if any of our readers know anything about gravure idols, sounds like a bit of a blessing! She was also asked what her favorite manga was as a child, and the first title she listed was Sailor Moon! After came Evangelion, a manga called Empress (we couldn’t find much about this one), and of course, Kyokara Hitman. The Kyokara Hitman movie opens in Japan on September 26th!

New Cosplay Lounge Opens in Las Vegas!

This was tweeted earlier by AICNAnime. A new lounge has opened in the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas! The lounge is located in Dragon Noodle Co. (which we are assuming is an Asian noodlery or ramen bar of sorts) and the waitresses are cosplayers! This is aimed at entertaining a demographic which isn’t catered to much in Vegas – teens and tweens! And of course, it also appeals to geeks. This has only been going on for a month, and the majority of costumes are based on Sailor Moon. In fact, the Las Vegas Sun’s photo which accompanied this article featured lucky waitress Fatima “Phoebe” Barkoff as Sailor Jupiter(featured here)! How’s that for poetic justice? Makoto is well known in the anime for being an excellent chef. We wonder if she serves cakes with sparklers? I’d have thought something like this might have opened in the JPop Sushi Bar in Mandalay Bay, but it doesn’t appear to be open there anymore. If any of our readers are in Vegas and pay this lounge a visit, we’d love to see more pictures of their costumes!