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!

BREAKING NEWS: Miyuki Kanbe Mourned

Miyuki Kanbe’s funeral was held on June 21st in Kawasaki. Many of the office staff of her agency Rouge attended, as well as family and friends. One of those friends was popular idol, Shoko Nakagawa. There was a large portrait of her dressed in her Sera Myu costume (complete with odangoes) among the sea of flowers at the altar, along with around 20 other photos of her life. When everyone at her funeral saw her smiling pictures, they all began to cry. Shoko Nakagawa also fought tears many times at the service. She was very sad that she had lost one of her best friends so suddenly. Her tearful father spoke at the funeral, just before the casket was moved out. He said that Miyuki was very lucky to have so many people at this funeral whose lives she had touched. She was cremated afterwards.

Shoko wrote two heartbreaking entries mourning Miyuki. In the first one, Shoko says that when you close your eyes it is dark, much like what it is like to die. But the light that Miyuki gave will stay shining in everyone for eternity. She is comforted in knowing that wherever Miyuki is now, she is smiling down on everyone. Even though she is hurt, she will still have the many happy memories of her dear friend. In the second one, Shoko wishes she could meet Miyuki at Disneyland again or go out to eat, and wishes that they could have hung out a bit more in the last few years. She ends with a note asking Miyuki to rest in peace until they can meet again, so she can see her smile.

In another news story we read today, the entire cast of Miss Saigon was both saddened and shocked to hear of her death. One of the stars of the show, Seiko Niizuma, was quoted as saying “I thought her death was a bad joke”. Miyuki was scheduled to be a part of Miss Saigon as well, but unfortunately she never got that chance.

On behalf of all Sailor Moon fans, we are very sorry to hear of what happened to Miyuki last week, and we send our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family, friends, and Rouge.

Shoko Nakagawa’s New Album, a New Performance, And Of Course, Sailor Moon Cosplay!

Shoko Nakagawa finally released her second CD of anime song covers on September 19th. Shokotan☆Cover x2 ~Anisong ni ai o Kome te!!~ doesn’t have any covers of Sailor Moon songs,but does feature another one of our favorites Catch You Catch Me from Card Captor Sakura! She also sings Rinbu Revolution from Revolutionary Girl Utena, TELEPORTATION -koi no mikakunin- from Esper Mami, and ETERNAL WIND ~hohoemi wa hikaru kaze no naka~ from Mobile Suit Gundam F91. The first song on the album is a favorite of Moon Chase’s Translator White Tiger King, 1/2 from Rurouni Kenshin! Fans can watch the music video for it here, and we have uploaded her performance from a week ago on Music Japan!


Online Videos by Veoh.com

Fans can also watch a performance from the audience of the World Cosplay Summit here. She is singing Sorairo Days, the theme song of the new hit anime, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

And no article about Shoko would be complete without a few Sailor Moon Cosplay sightings! Here she is cosplaying as Sailor Mars (and here, here, and here too), and Sailor Chibi-Moon here and here! She has also been doing a lot of art inspired by Sailor Moon’s Luna , featuring her own male cat, also named Luna.

World Cosplay Summit Winners!

The fifth World Cosplay Summit took place this weekend in Tokyo, Japan and featured cosplay representatives from 12 different countries all over the world. We told you not too long ago that Shoko Nakagawa and Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) had been named guest commentators for this event. They showed up and cosplayed, but neither dressed up as characters from Sailor Moon. Toru Furuya dressed up as Ray Amuro, and Shoko Nakagawa wore a kimono (we’re not sure if she was dressed as any character in particular, at least on her blog she didn’t mention who she dressed as).

The winners were a surprise to Shoko, Team France won First Place! Cosplayers Isabelle Jeudy and Damian Ratte cosplayed as Myoubi and Tsugiri from the supernatural manga Alichino. Second place went to Death Note Cosplayers Naoki Shigure and Kikwan from Tokyo – they cosplayed as Light and Misa. The “Brother Prize” went to a team from Mexico, Alejandra and Linaloe who dressed as characters from Sailor Stars (*sheds a tear*) Eternal Sailor Moon, and Dark Sailor Galaxia. This was Mexico’s first year in the WCS and a major achievement! We think that it’s neat for Japan to hold such an event and that they should include cosplayers from the US and Canada next year – there are lots of anime cons here and talented cosplayers!

Three Quick News Items

The first one is an interesting editorial that begins talking about women’s hairstyles, and then merges into the idea of “Beauty Nationalism” which is sweeping Japan right now. Because of the influence of anime on the rest of the world, the world thinks Japan is cool and Japan must do everything to keep itself beautiful and “cool”- and it cites the success of Pokemon and Sailor Moon to blame. The writer of this editorial goes into potential downfalls of this new harmonization – we are unable at this time to post a full translation, but fans can read the article here and ask a friend or throw it into their favorite online translator to get the gist of it.

Shoko Nakagawa just announced that she is going to be releasing a second album of favorite anime song covers. She released her first one, Shokotan Cover Anime ni Koishite last May, and one of the songs on it was Otome no Policy from Sailor Moon! For this second one, she wants her fans to decide which songs she should sing and has set up a place on the web for fans to vote until August 14th. Fans who want to make suggestions should go here to vote!

And finally, Yoko Ishida has been chosen as the Japanese Guest of Honor for Anime Vegas. Yoko is best known to Sailor Moon fans for singing the end to the R-season, Otome no Policy (which Shoko just covered)! And on a historical note, Otome no Policy marked her debut in the music scene. She has come quite a long way from those days, singing songs for Ai Yori Aoshi, Texhnolyze, and more recently, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. She will be doing a concert to promote a singles collection being released this September in Japan. If any of our readers are planning to attend this con we would love to hear how it went and to see some pictures!