BREAKING NEWS: Sailor Moon is NOT Currently Confirmed for Latin America in 2011

Last night, we got wind of a couple blog articles that were quoting Toei Animation Inc.’s Latin American Licensing Representative Eduardo Lucio, as saying that Sailor Moon will return in 2011.

First, we’ll feature a translation of the last paragraph posted in this post by ANMTVLA.

The news is very encouraging regarding Latin America. Exclusive to us, Eduardo Lucio, Toei Animation’s representative in Latin America has confirmed that Sailor Moon will return to our region next year, possibly with the original dub and uncensored . This adds to the confirmation by Capital 8 that they will be selling the entire series, but this is still not ruling out the chance of a redub for a new remastered version like Evangelion. Therefore, one of the fans’ biggest requests is becoming a reality with the launch of the new decade.


JBOX.com.BR also posted an article
that only said that a release was going to come to Brazil in 2011, but did not quote anyone from Toei Animation.

We were unsure if this was a rumor or not considering that there was no press release linked, quoted, or mentioned in this article, and sought to confirm this as soon as we could. We have since learned that Toei Animation does not have any official Sailor Moon licensing news for Latin America to share with the press at this moment.

Fans, we know that this is a VERY exciting time with the series’ resurrection in Europe and Japan but please don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We have to always wait for a press release, or legitimate word from an actual person involved with these companies. Toei Animation Europe and Backstage Licensing have done a very good job at keeping fans up to date with whatever they can through their press releases, and we know that Toei Animation Inc. in Los Angeles will follow much of the same procedures when the time is right to make their announcements. Right now, it is a waiting game to see what will happen with the series. Thanks for your understanding, cooperation, and your patience! We know you are all excited but we need to be careful, ok?

And to the bloggers at ANMTVLA and JBOX.com.BR, please fix your posts. You aren’t doing the fandom or Sailor Moon any good by posting exclusives like this without verifying your facts.

Sera Myu Sightings Late March 2010 – Part 2

Not too much to report now, but we thought we’d still report these since these actors were all featured in huge roles during Sera Myu!

Kenji Urai is a Prince!

Fresh off his win at the 44th Kinokuniya Theater Awards, Kenji Urai (Tuxedo Mask from 2001-2002) will be making an appearance in a stage musical, and he wil get to play a prince! Bara to Samurai: Goemon Rock Overdrive (Rose to Samurai: Goemon Rock Overdrive) began on March 18th in Tokyo, and will travel through to Osaka in April and May. The play takes place in the 17th century, about two pirates named Goemon and Ann. Lured by a reward, another pirate tries to kidnap Goemon, but captures Ann instead. Everyone finds out later that Annu is the long-lost daughter of the recently deceased King, and is set to rule over his kingdom. At her first party, Annu meets a prince named Charles from another country who falls in love with her, but Goemon isn’t ready to give her up easily. Kenji is playing Prince Charles, and has received some rave reviews from fans already over his performance! At a promotional event held earlier this month, the two leading cast members playing Ann and Goemon (Yuki Amami and Arata Furata) were excited for the chance to cosplay as pirates on stage!

Tae Kimura Presents at 33rd Japanese Academy Awards After Winning Year!

2009 was a great year for Tae Kimura (Fisheye in Sailor Moon SuperS musicals). She won two awards for her role in the critically acclaimed film All Around Us (including a Japanese Academy Award), and became well known around Japan. A few weeks ago, she appeared to present an award at the Japanese Academy Awards, and was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the Japanese film Zero Focus. This movie was about a mysterious disappearance of a woman’s husband. We have a photo of her at the awards featured here (in the brown dress). Unfortunately, she didn’t win, but we are still proud of everything she has achieved! Zero Focus will be released to DVD and BD this June. Fans can check out more information about the film in English here.

Maki Aizawa Goes Shopping and Has a Beauty Blog

Maki Aizawa (Loof Merrow in 2004) went for a little shopping trip with her friend, Yuko Ogura (another idol) before they had to go to work. This for some strange reason was covered by the tabloids (*sigh*). They went to one of the most trendiest stores in Tokyo called ISBIT DAIKANYAMA which is very popular among idols for the eclectic selection of clothing it carries. They tried on a few items and took some photos of themselves without makeup and went on their merry way (which included posts on both Yuko and Maki’s blogs). Maki is the girl on the right side of the photo we have posted here. Maki also started a beauty blog a few months ago which is slowly gaining some steam with her fans. She reviews beauty products that she uses.

Tabe Mikako in New Lipstick Commercial!

Tabe Mikako (Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer) is currently being featured in a new lipstick commercial in Japan for Orbis Rouge Crystal. This lipstick has special shine enhancers in it to make your lips sparkle. Orbis has two commercials for this product, the first one features Tabe putting the lipstick on and talking about how it makes her lips sparkle. The second one, features Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott playing a Chopin waltz off of her brand new album. Both aim to show that this lipstick will make you sparkle and shine at just the right moment! Fans can check out videos of both commercials here!

Anza Oyama a Matter of Weeks Away From South America!

Anza Oyama (Sailor Moon from 1993-1998) is the lead singer of Japanese metal band Head Phones President, and they are heading out for the first time to South America a month from now! They will be playing four shows in Brazil, and 3 of them are at anime conventions: the concert on April 24th will happen at Anime Hero!, then they will head off to Anime Osasco the next day, and then to Porto Allegre’s J-Party Ballads on the 30th. On May 2nd, they will finish their tour playing in Rio de Janeiro. We know our friends at SOS Brazil are very excited about this and we can’t wait to hear what they have to report! The band sings in English, and their style of music is definitely a departure from the cutesy songs fans know Anza best for singing in Sera Myu. Fans who want to give their music a listen can check out their MySpace! We wish Head Phones President the best of luck on their tour and we hope to see them perform in other places as well.

BREAKING NEWS: Mexico and Latin America are NOT Getting a DVD Release

Yesterday one of our twitter followers Ultimo_Spalpeen tweeted this to us, and we were a little hesitant to post it to the site until we actually knew it was true. Roughly, this is what the Sailor Moon section of this article translates to:

Sailor Moon:

One of the most anticipated series in recent years, returns to Mexico and Latin America after many years, by DVD-release, or in this case, the DVD could not be censored but still contain the original dubbed track from Intertrack Mexico. In 2010, this is confirmed with a total DVD release.

We noticed that Capital 8 does have an image of Sailor Moon on their website, however it was missing the various copyrights or trademarks on it (on any of the Italian websites, there is always some mention of any combination of Toei, Naoko Takeuchi, and PNP). It is very difficult to find any official image like this on an official site without any sort of trademark/copyright information. And, there was no release anywhere on their site announcing that they had the rights to Sailor Moon. Moments ago, we just got the e-mail we were waiting for from our contact at Toei, and simply got the response back:

This is false information.

At this time, we wish to thank this representative for getting back to us so quickly today.

We understand that you are probably heartbroken with this bombshell, but please, do not give up hope Moonies in Mexico and Latin America! Perhaps Toei is waiting to see what kind of response the show will get in Europe before bringing it across the ocean.

EDIT: Toei has given another site some different information. The Latin America Sales Manager of Toei Animation Inc. Eduardo Lucio (who we can only guess works just feet away from our contact), has told SOS Brazil that Toei is waiting to see how the show does in Italy first, and then they hope to bring it back to Brazil in 2011. This is something that we had thought all along, and at least we know now that we are on the right track (although we thought we might have heard something by the Fall of 2010 considering how things have been progressing in Europe).

Toei Update, Early 2010

This post is just to keep fans up to date on Toei‘s milestones. It is too early in the year to know if there’s a window of possibility of Sailor Moon in North America.

From January 25th-27th in Las Vegas, the National Association of Television Program Executives held their annual Market and Conference. Toei didn’t make any announcements with respect to the North American market, but did make a few towards the Latin American market (which is also handled through their Los Angeles office). Dragon Ball is headed to Chile, and will be broadcast on Megavision TV, and Digimon Frontier is headed to Brazil on Rede TV. The DVD rights for Digimon Frontier have been licensed to Brazilian distributor Five Stars. Toei had a booth at the market, but doesn’t appear to have made any major presentations other than these announcements.

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements comes from FUNImation – and this was posted a little over two weeks ago. FUNImation announced that it did in fact get a license from Toei for Dragon Ball Z Kai, a retelling of the DBZ saga. In Japan, the series is known simply as Dragon Ball Kai, featuring remasterd Hi-Def picture, sound, and special effects, along with a brand new voice track recorded by the original cast. Since many of the frames from the original were destroyed after production was completed, the frames were redrawn over still frames from existing footage and filled in with softer colors to reduce the visual damage – and all kinds of tricks were played, some frames were cropped, others became more detailed. But the most important difference is the faster pace of this story, which remains true to the manga and doesn’t drag on like the last series did at points. There will be around 100 episodes once this is complete in Japan. FUNImation announced the cast for the English version, however the comments show that many fans are unhappy with some of the changes (in fact some fans are still angry over the lost of many of the Ocean Group’s dub VAs).

The second big story from Toei is all of the buzz surrounding Halo Legends, which was released last tuesday. Toei was one of a few Japanese studios commissioned to produce one of 7 different shorts based on the popular gaming franchise. Toei’s, was special though. While the other six shorts were considered to be canon with the “Halo-verse”, Toei’s was a complete parody of it! It involves a character named 1337 who falls off a ship and lands on some strange planet. He meets a couple of kids riding a dinosaur, gets into a DBZ-esque fight with a Brute… and it only gets goofier. So far, reception of Halo Legends has been positive. So, if you’re looking to watch Toei take a ridiculous and hilarious take on the “Halo-verse” definitely give this one a rent! Fans can get more information on the release here.

And a bit of news on Sailor Moon’s “rival” in Japan that is currently trying to take the world by storm, Pretty Cure. The 7th series, Heartcatch PreCure debuted last week on Japanese TV, and features two Seiyuu that were from Sailor Moon: Chika Sakamoto (Sailor Star Healer/Yaten Kou) and Taeko Kawata (Momoko Momohara). They play Kaoruko Hanasaki (Tsubomi’s/Cure Blossom’s Grandmother and Confidante) and Shypre respectively. On March 20th in Japan, a new Pretty Cure movie (Precure All Stars DX2: Light of Hope— Protect the Rainbow Angel!) will be released in theaters featuring all PreCure heroes from past and present! YTV has also put Pretty Cure back on the schedule on Saturday Afternoons (this is probably the second or third run of the series). And, while we were researching all of the exciting news coming out of Italy we stumbled upon some dubbed trailers for other seasons of Pretty Cure on Toei Animation Europe’s site here and here. It’s likely that these trailers were probably dubbed in Canada (the voices do sound very similar to the ones used in the dub of the first season). We’re not sure what Toei has in store for Pretty Cure, but we encourage all fans who want to see more seasons of this in English as well as a DVD release, to support the show as best they can in Canada and write a letter to Toei about Pretty Cure.

Last week, the Mobile World Congress was held in Barcelona, Spain. This is a special conference held once each year, where thousands of mobile leaders from around the world “gather, collaborate, conduct business and experience vision in action.” This year’s conference featured keynotes and panel discussions, an exhibition with over 1,300 booths,and an awards ceremony and seminars that highlighted the most innovative mobile solutions. Among these 1,300 exhibitors, tucked away in the very last exhibition hall, was a booth from Toei Animation Co. Ltd. featuring two executives from their Los Angeles Office. Pictured left-to-right: Kenji Ebato (Executive Vice President of Toei Animation Inc. of Los Angeles) and Sae Song (Manager of Digital Media and Mobile Content). Those of you who have written letters to Toei, will have addressed the guy on the left, so now you can see who you are sending them to! What this image (from here) doesn’t show you, is that there was in fact a Sailor Moon poster on display. Yes, this is a pretty drab looking booth compared to photos of some of the others we have seen, but Sae had a lot of interesting things to say to Andrew Lim of Recombu.com. Sae first blames the decline of the anime industry on two things: Japan’s declining population of children, and bittorrent from overseas markets. The fans, according to him, are consuming anime differently, and it is difficult for Toei to keep up. They are facing the same challenges as many other companies are in trying to effectively monetize their content. They can put Fist of the North Star online, but it isn’t easy to make any money off it (we have a few qualms with this statement, but we’ll save this for later). He thinks that anime is at a tipping point now, and all of the studios need to get together and make a common hub for fans to watch anime online. But, this isn’t as easy as it sounds to get everyone on board, so Toei Animation Inc. wants to follow after Toei Animation Co. Ltd. in Japan, and get their content out on mobile phones and tablets. At this conference, they had hoped to speak to application developers and networks to come up with something “amazing”. But, the majority of companies that should be interested in this kind of thing, just aren’t. Toei hasn’t gotten a lot of requests for information from anyone about this. Lim ends by saying that they had a lot of great ideas, but they should have been put in a better part of the exhibition rather than in the very last hall.

As far as older series like Fist of the North Star goes, we think Toei might have been better off selling high quality episodes as digital copies, or releasing DVD boxsets. There are some hardcore anime fans that still enjoy these series, even though these audiences may not be as big compared to other series. Many fans are still a little irked with the new “movies” being produced of these older series (EDIT: Thanks to reader NJ_, it looks like there is at least some hope for Fist of the North Star). And, North America does not compare to the strength of Japan when it comes to mobile devices. There are maybe only a handful of mobile phones across the market which compare to most Japanese mobile phones, which are more powerful and capable of a lot more. For Toei to really be successful they would have to think outside the iPhone and Blackberry box with their fans to deliver mobile content that could work across most mobile phones. To Toei’s credit in Japan, they have many successful ANIMO sites for many different series (including DragonBall, Sailor Moon, Pretty Cure, and Saint Seiya), delivering anime content to mobile devices.

Fans can now see the T-shirts that Toei collaborated alongside Uniqlo with on their site. However, here’s the really strange part. The shirts are available on the English site for the European and American markets, but are nowhere to be found on the Japanese website. This brand is very popular in Japan, and we find it a little strange that this appears to be a deal reached through Toei Animation Europe, and not through Japan where the apparel could have been more successful since the brand is just making itself known in Europe and North America. Nonetheless, we like the t-shirts, and we have them pictured here for you. These shirts are only part of their men’s collection, and sorry, no Sailor Moon. They are affordable, priced at $15.50 USD.

And finally, Toei Animation Inc. has named Firefly Brand Management the North American licensing agent for Digimon. Firefly will have the rights to the merchandise licensing sales for the first five seasons. The article goes on to mention that it “briefly flowered in the U.S. during the early 2000s”. Reading something like this worries us a little, because shouldn’t a show still be flowering for a merchandise strategy to really be effective? Digimon was never as popular as Pokemon in North America, and we haven’t heard too much buzz about that franchise lately. Nonetheless Kanji Kazhaya (President and COO of Toei Animation Europe and possibly Toei Animation Inc. in Los Angeles) had some optimistic remarks, saying “As one of the industry’s most reputable and experienced licensing agents, we look forward to benefitting from the expertise of Firefly’s founder, Cynthia Modders, and her brilliant colleagues.” We hope that Firefly Brand Management redoes their site a little – there isn’t much there in terms of clients they have worked with, so we can’t say for sure what sorts of merchandise will come out of this deal. This sort of affects Sailor Moon because if Firefly does a good job with this series, we may see them handle some merchandise rights for Sailor Moon in the future. Speaking of which, watch this site. More action, coming soon!

More Flashpoint Around The World!

Flashpoint started two weeks ago in Brazil on that country’s equivalent of the WB – and we are in love with the official site that they have created for the show! We think it’s even better than the ones CTV and CBS created! The show airs on Thursdays at 10 PM, in ER’s old timeslot. Some Brazilians have commented that they are angry with the channel’s decision to move ER to Fridays and they will not watch this show?! Please give this show a chance, you will not be disappointed! From the trailer on the site, it looks like it will be airing in English with Spanish subtitles. We encourage our readers from around the world to send us an email if the show is airing in their country – we would love to hear about it !

New Zealand to Get “Lost Episodes”!

And this here is breaking news! We have learned that the 10th episode of Flashpoint, Eagle Two, is going to air tomorrow on TVNZ. Out of respect for the Canadian and American broadcasters, we will not post a summary of this episode until it airs in North America. By all means though, if any of our New Zealand fans happen to catch the episode and would like to post in our comments how the episode was , we are sure our fans would love to hear about it! For those of you who want to check out the trailer for Eagle Two, click here!