We’ve got another special treat for you! The Sailor Moon manga began in Kodansha’s shojo magazine Nakayoshi, back in 1991. One of the hallmarks of this magazine was the furoku (small gifts or prizes) that the magazine would come with. Many of these prizes had to do with Sailor Moon, and often consisted of jewelery, little cases and bags, and small toys. Earlier this month on Japan’s Nico Nico Douga, a user posted a compilation of many (if not all) of the Nakayoshi commercials with Sailor Moon prizes! Here they are for you!
Toei Licenses Older Properties to Independent Studio
In a move that the rest of us staff are still trying to digest, Toei has licensed some of it’s most oldest and beloved titles to William Winckler Productions in California. What’s kind of making us grimace is that this company specializes in those really obscure sci-fi films. It worries us, a little. Especially since they are in charge of a bunch of huge titles for Toei that are extremely popular with the hardcore anime fans. Shows like Fist of the North Star, GeGeGe no Kitaro, Gaiking, Captain Harlock, and Starzinger, among others. Some of these titles were shopped around at MIPCOM (but it doesn’t look like they were picked up until now). These are all looking to be straight to DVD releases, and they won’t even be the entire series. They plan to make movies using footage from the series in a co-production between William Winckler Productions, Toei, and Rioloco. Fans can find out more information about the dub casts here, and it looks like Fred Ladd, who worked as a creative consultant for the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, will be involved in the dubs. We can’t say for sure how this is going to turn out, but we urge fans of these shows and the others licensed keep an eye out on things and to get involved in whatever way they can if the shows do not measure up to their expectations. We really hope Toei will pick a company that fans are more secure (and actually know about) if they finally decide to bring Sailor Moon back to North America.
Nakayoshi in Sales Slump Since the End of Sailor Moon?
We came across an article in Chinese yesterday which didn’t tell us anything new about the DVD boxsets. This was one of the few articles which provided tidbits about Naoko’s life (how she is married to Yoshihiro Togashi), and is also the first that we have read which took a jab at the seemingly high price of the sets (the caption under the first picture says “In the name of the Moon, I will punish you (wallet)”! What was really interesting about this article were some words about Nakayoshi, the original magazine which featured Sailor Moon way back in 1992. At the height of Sailor Moon’s popularity, there was a surge in subscriptions to the magazine swhich really took off in 1994, and there were a total of 2 million subscribers in 1995. Since Sailor Moon ended, Nakayoshi didn’t have the same kind of popularity, and in 2006 experienced a significant decline in subscribers. The magazine only had 420,000 subscribers. We are still very frustrated by the fact Naoko has not made any mention of Sailor Moon’s return on the official Sailor Moon Channel website, nor has there been any news on a manga re-release in Japan (we told you earlier about how Italy is having a hard time trying to get the rights in time for a rebroadcast). We have our own theories on why this might be, but we are still waiting to see how things play out for North America. We think that Sailor Moon could save Nakayoshi, even if only highlights from the series were published in the magazine. But, who knows what Naoko really wants to do with the manga. Sure, seeing a new chapter animated in flash twice a month is nice, but it’s a lot easier to read it on paper (where you can take your time to read the frames). Speaking of Nakayoshi, we have uncovered another very old commercial featuring Luna.
The Real Identity of Sailor Moon: Miyuki Hatoyama!
Last month, the Democratic Party of Japan defeated the long-running ruling party, the Liberal Party of Japan. Yukio Hatoyama was declared Prime Minister, and his wife Miyuki has been declared by some members of the public, a lunatic. And, we kind of have to agree after reading some of her statements. She recently published a book called Very Strange Things I’ve Encountered wherein she claims that she was abducted by an alien and taken on a UFO to Venus. She said that it was a very beautiful place, and very green. But even stranger, was something else that she wrote! She claims that she is the true identity of Sailor Moon, and she had found all of the Triforces and Dragon Balls. Yes, because Goku and Link really do exist and they need the help of Sailor Moon to achieve these tasks?! We have to wonder what Naoko Takeuchi, Akira Toriyama, and Shigeru Miyamoto must have all thought when they read these comments. She also claims she has been to Uranus, and has called Mulder and Scully before. Ummm… okay Miyuki. You may think you’re Sailor Moon but you’re no Odango-atama. Something Awful has a few more translations here, but these are not for the faint of heart (or our younger readers).
Japan’s Pop Culture Influence Grows in China
Searchina reports that Japan’s growing pop culture influence on China is growing to epidemic proportions among those born from the 1970s on. These Chinese look forward to skateboarding, listening to Japanese Hip- Hop, and wathing anime like Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan, Slam Dunk, and Sailor Moon. We don’t see a problem, but the tone of the article makes it seem like it is *shrugs*. The article goes on to say that J-dramas like Love Letter and Tokyo Love Story are very popular. They also like wearing platform shoes, short skirts, and curly hair. Celebrities like Noriko Sekai, Namie Amuro, Utada Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki and SMAP star Takuya Kimura are more popular than Chinese celebrities. Ayumi Hamasaki’s statue is especially popular in Hong Kong’s Madame Tussaud’s Museum, and many stop to take pictures with it (We’ve pictured it here for you). We’ll also add that Ayumi Hamasaki in 2007 performed for the first time in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shanghai. She’ll be performing in those places again in the fall. In 2006 , her song Secret was used as the theme song for a Hong Kong film, Confession of Pain. We thought this hit sounded a lot more oriental than what we are used to hearing from her (except for her song Will which we think is highly underrated). Last summer’s smash singles Glitter and Fated had videos that were shot in the form of a mini-movie called Kyo Ai – Distance Love. Those were shot in Hong Kong, and featured Cantonese film actor Shawn Yue as her love interest. It’s always nice to see celebrities cross countries , seeing past country rivalries because in the end it’s all about what a fan likes to see.
Nakayoshi’s Big Event to Have Restrictions on Attendance This Year
Nakayoshi, is a manga magazine that is aimed for little girls in Japan, featuring a special toy in each issue. Sailor Moon made it’s debut in the magazine in February of 1992. Each summer, Nakayoshi holds a special convention known as the Big Event, in Tokyo. There are activities for the girls like screenings, dance lessons, mini-drama (we assume they are talking about kigurumi), and autograph sessions where the manga artists and actors come together. Anime such as Pretty Cure, and Sailor Moon have been featured in the past. Lately, there has been a disheartening trend, according to Techinsight. More and more adult men are coming to the Big Event, taking all of the swag before the little girls can. The article goes on to say that there is a famous picture somewhere on the internet of a little girl being shoved from the front of the stage by much bigger, adult men who wanted to watch a Shugo Chara show. It was her backside that they should have been seeing, not the other way around. Sponsors of the event this year expect Nakayoshi to place restrictions so that the girls can enjoy it without being intimidated.