Dicembre Saluti Dall Italiano Sailor Moon

Forgive me Italian Moonies, if my grammar is incorrect! Given that it is December, fans shouldn’t really expect there to be any Earth-shattering Sailor Moon news by way of licenses yet. And there isn’t much going on in Japan either, save for a mention of a Tuxedo Mask cosplayer at Japan Pop Culture Festival 2010. Italy is still swarming with news of Sailor Moon – a new commercial was uploaded yesterday from DYNIT advertising the upcoming release of the first boxset in January. Since many of you can’t see it (and we managed to find a way to), we’re going to describe the commercial for you. Images of the anime play against the Japanese theme song. It begins with images of Sailor Moon‘s nails becoming polished flashing between screens that say “Le Guerriere” (The Warrior) “Che Vestono Alla Marinaretta” (Dressed Like a Sailor) “Sono Tornate” (Has Returned)! And then we hear Cristina D’Avena’s voice as Sailor Moon begins to transform. And then comes a screen advertising the uncensored release of Umino lifting up Haruna-Sensei’s skirt. As other images of the opening play, more words say that the video is remastered, and for the first time that the episode prologues and previews will be included with Italian subtitles. These will be on a separate DVD (we’re assuming, that the editors had some difficulties in lacing in the video for these previews and prologues since they were not dubbed with the regular episodes). Finally, Italian Moonies are going to get almost everything they missed out on the first time around (any of our readers in Italy heard anything new about the missing episode from R yet?). The important part to note, is that Naoko Takeuchi’s name/ Princess Naoko Planning is featured twice in this commercial (and we are happy, that finally people are being consistent with their crediting to her). It first appears (we have shown you above) near the end of the commercial with the logos of DYNIT and Toei Animation, and then at the very end alongside the Sailor Moon logo. Below, we have a screenshot of what the collector’s box is going to look like. We’re not sure if that package just on top of the discs is what the 3-disc holder looks like, or if it is a booklet. The one on the right is the bonus DVD with all the prologues and previews. For those of you who are in Italy and have not watched the commercial yet, click here!

Oh yeah, and Sailor Moon is still doing well in the ratings in Italy, holding the #5 spot. It is holding a market share even higher than The Simpsons!

Sailor Moon in Japan (and Asia) Digest – Mid June 2010

Most of these articles are coming out of China! In the only newsbit out of Japan this update, a hi-res SuperS Boxart image has been revealed to the press. The cover features all of the main characters and Diana against a golden-colored background! While this isn’t set to come out until September, already this release is starting to pop up in articles in relation to that other series that the media always seems to place in a war with it – Pretty Cure.

Ikuni Lectures in Beijing!

We told you at the end of May about a special lecture series that Kunihiko Ikuhara (Series Director) was going to kick off. People’s Daily of China posted an article detailing what happened at his lecture! He began by talking about the general process of animation, and said that successful anime has high ratings, which in turn leads to high sponsorship, and the money earned by the anime funds more production. According to Ikuni, there are many Japanese anime studios that experience a lot of headaches because of high prodution costs. And then, he began to speak of Usagi Tsukino, as a real example of the successful career woman. This struck us as odd, but as we read on he said that this was true because many women want to be everything but it is hard for them to be it all during their life. Usagi, was an example of how she was happy herself with everything she was.Back when the anime was first broadcast, it was controversial for females to be depicted in miniskirts. Ikuni said that they wanted to show the girls as being uniquely female, and said that this was more about females exposing their femininity without the need for anything from males. This alone is a pretty strong sentiment about Sailor Moon and her feminist themes! He also talked about the differences between Japanese anime and animation from the USA and how they had portrayed girls. In the 90s, many women were still at home in Japan and not in the workforce, but in the USA it was so much different – women were almost equal in number to men in the working world! There was more of a diversity among women’s professions in America than there were in Japan, so Sailor Moon was seen a lot differently from an American girl’s perspective than a Japanese girl’s perspective that focused more on the kind of “magic” she could use. We’re actually a little curious about this and we’d like to know how he knows all of this!

He then shifted gears and spoke of the state of the Japanese animation industry. He said that anime is produced mainly for two extremes in programming blocks in Japan – the weekend morning blocks for children, and the late night block. Advertisers and sponsors also have their preferences for which anime they want to support. Toy manufacturers and food/grocery companies choose the weekend morning blocks, and film companies choose the late night blocks to advertise upcoming cinema and DVD releases since a much larger consumer base watches in this timeslot. He notes that while the anime that airs in these two time blocks are no different and don’t really appeal to different age groups, that it is the sponsors who think that there is a difference. He also calls for change in the anime industry, that a new business model needs to be adopted in the face of copyright issues and international popularity. He hopes that the latter will help to inspire different kinds of anime productions.

At the end of the article, special mention is made that Sailor Moon was created by Naoko Takeuchi, and was a huge it in Japan, the USA, and Europe. This show changed the face of cartoon transformations forever around the world, and charmed girls all over. The introduction of the Sailor Moon anime in China was also highly popular.

We have also come across some more images of the lecture as well! Up to now we had thought that the cosplayers were just there to present him the roses at the end and to just come up on stage. But these photos tell a different story: these cosplayers were actually students at the lecture! We especially love the shot of Sailor Mercury in deep thought at her desk! Unfortunately, the source of these images had only the tiny thumbnails for free (larger, hi-res images are only given to paying members of the Chinese press). You can see these images below!

Sailor Moon Cosplayers Rock Shanghai World Expo!

We hope Hebe Tien was there to see this! On June 13th at the Shanghai World Expo, a special event was held during the Expo’s Japan Week to celebrate anime and cosplay. The Contents Festival (or CoFesta for short) featured one very special act! 10 cosplayers from Shanghai donned their best Sailor Moon costumes and performed to a medley of songs from Sailor Moon! There was also a portable shrine just like the one seen in the popular anime Lucky☆Star! More than 3000 people attended CoFesta, and the crowds stretched right up to the roadside. When the Sailor Moon cosplayers came to perform, many of the youngsters in the audience got up and sang along! A senior student at the Expo commented that anime and manga make anyone feel like being cute. Sailor Moon is all about peace, friendship, and unity, and this is a good message to convey to people coming to the Expo. There is so much more in store for Japan Week!

This celebration actually began on the Saturday night before, and featured singer 22-year-old singer Ichiro Mizuki (not the same Ichiro Mizuki as this one) singing a Yoko Ishida song, and the renowned actress Kuroyanagi Tetsuko appearing in an angel costume that the audience thought was cute! And speaking of cosplay, at Nanjing University there was a Cosplay Elite Championship held on June 14th. Ten of the best cosplay teams competed at this event and one of them was devoted to Sailor Moon!

And boy do we have a treat for you! One of our readers in Shanghai, Chen Lien-hua, was kind enough to send us a lot of fan videos of the event which we have uploaded to our Sevenload page. We have to say, that these cosplayers did a very good job performing their Sailor Moon medley for the world to see! The videos are posted below.

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video A Part 2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-1

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video B-2

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video C

Link: Co Festa Shanghai Video D

Link: (Untitled)Co Festa Shanghai Video E

And finally, a writer has decided to share their favorite toys from after the 80s in honor of the 61st International Children’s Day! Some of the merchandise in her collection is obviously not official, but we’re sure you’ll find something you’ve never seen before!

Voice actor news – Tytania earns DVD release


Followers of the Sailor Moon voice actors will definitely want to take interest in a new release by Section 23 films called Tytania. Tytania is a space adventure/science fiction story that has been adapted into anime from a series of novels written by Yoshiki Tanaka. The story centers around a dominant empire in space called Valdana, which experiences a decline in power and defections within its ranks after a failed battle with a rebel force. For more information on the licensing of this series, please check: http://www.mania.com/tytania-shigofumi-sola-anime-licensed_article_122733.html

There are a couple of noteworthy appearances in Tytania by former Sailor Moon cast members. Keiko Han, who was involved with the voicing of Luna in both the Sailor Moon anime series and PGSM, is the main narrator in Tytania. There are also a couple of other minor voice roles in Sailor Moon that show up in Tytania. Hideyoki Umezu, who voiced the priest that turns into the boxer youma in episode 26, has a role in the series as Salaam Amzekahl. Tetsu Inada, who has a very minor role in episode 106, also has a role in Tytania as Doorman.

Sera Myu Sightings Late March 2010 – Part 1

We’re a little behind on our posts – so this week will be mostly Sera Myu and PGSM will carry on until next week. Thank you Moonies! As of this writing we have 505 surveys for Phase 4! Only 195 to go till we hit our goal of 700! Today’s actor updates are all dealing with doramas and DVDs!

Yuu Shirota’s New Samurai Drama to Get Boxset Release!

Yuu Shirota (Tuxedo Kamen from 2003-2004) keeps popping up in lots of different places! Last fall, he played Tsuyoshi Nakamura in the Japanese dorama Samurai High School. Tsuyoshi befriends the main character named Kotaro Mochizuki, who is a very special person. He experiences flashbacks of his past life as a samurai, and even awakens his ancestors within him to save the day. The show’s premise seems a little silly but it was a lot more popular than you’d expect, and it ran for 9 episodes on NTV! The show is set to get a DVD Boxset release on March 26th. It will be packed with extras including cast interviews, event footage, making ofs, and special stickers. Last fall on his blog, Yuu said that this was the first time he had ever played a good-for-nothing student, and said that this is the funniest dorama he has ever been in! He also wanted to assure his fans that his character’s pants were not rolled up because they were too tall for him, that it was just the way his character was supposed to dress.

Fumina Hara in Drama Special!

Fuji TV aired a 4-night special drama event in the beginning of March, and Fumina Hara (Sailor Moon from 1998-1999) was featured in the very last episode. Sotsu Uta was a slice-of-life/coming of age dorama featuring four women’s stories of graduation, that are based on popular graduation songs in Japan. Her episode aired on March 4th, and was titled Sotsugyou Shashin and was based on the song by Yumi Matsutoya. J-pop Queen Ayumi Hamasaki sang a version of this song on her A Ballads album, and fans can hear a version of it here. The story was about a radio personality named Hitomi Tachibana (played by Masami Nagasawa) who moved back to her hometown after working in the brutal Tokyo working world for a long time. She makes a brand new start in her old hometown with the help and support of a classmate from high school days. Fumina played Manami Kiguchi in the episode, and appeared for only a few moments. She played another employee at the same office as Hitomi, who was “sleeping her way to the top”.

Fumina also appeared on NHK’s office sketch comedy series Salaryman Neo last year. That show is also on its way to DVD on April 10th.

Reiko Kataoka Comes a Long Way From Being an Ensemble Member

Reiko Kataoka is probably one of those Sera Myu stars who is barely remembered. She only appeared in one musical – Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen as an ensemble member. She has since gone on to appear in many doramas and films, and one of those doramas is Gaiji Keisatsu. This show is about a special police unit that deals with threats like international terrorism and espionage. She played the leading role of Sargent Ayane Igarashi, a gutsy Sargent who is ruthless and given many tough assignments. She tires of her job and wants to retire. The show was just released on DVD on February 23rd. It’s surprising how far some actors from Sera Myu have come, even if they were only featured in a very minor role in the musicals!

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).