News From The Other Side Of The Pond #11!

Beware of Fake Rika Izumi aka Chisaki Hama Blog!

Ahh,Rika Izumi, or better known by a stage name of years passed, Chisaki Hama (Sailor Mercury in PGSM). Her whereabouts since last year have only been documented in blogs from the other actresses of PGSM when they have hung out. This year saw something different though, a resurrection! But wait, it’s probably not her. It all started last October when someone posted some pretty grainy cell phone videos of Rika Izumi – or so they say. It could be her, but we really doubt the authenticity of this channel. Besides, the only “stars” we know that would post private videos are usually aiming for a different audience. And some of these “private videos” show Rika in situations that look scripted. We don’t think that this is Rika and that this channel is probably fake. Late last month, we learned of this website, which features a blog translated by her roommate “Michiko”. We thought it was a little shady since it appeared to be a community of all the PGSM actresses, and featured very little of their work outside of the show. We also learned that the English parts of the blog are some poorly translated entries, that are supposedly posted by the stars themselves. Some of the stars though, notably Ayaka Komatsu, have their own blogs elsewhere, and to be able to post comments, you have to pay a fee to be a member of their fan club. Then you can post all the comments you like! We highly doubt they would also run a free site on the side. We’re sure if her management knew about how her entries were being copied and frauded around like this something would be done. We have reason to believe that this site is also fake as Jay Navok of Genvid has pointed out that the Japanese probably isn’t correct either. We have tried our hardest to contact as many of the talent agents of the other stars, to warn them that content is being stolen, however as of this writing it appears none of them have done anything about it.

Mop Girl Only The Latest In A Growing Trend

Keiko Kitagawa‘s (Sailor Mars in PGSM) new late-night drama Mop Girl is only the latest in a recent trend in Japanese Television. 10 years ago, “midnight dramas” were not really in existence, and Japanese people were not likely to watch television late at night. This time slot attracts the youth especially and is almost becoming the new primetime for that demographic. Mop Girl is especially popular with viewers aged 20-24.

Phone Girls is out on DVD!

Rina Koike (Sailor Luna in PGSM) continues her ascent in the idol world, and her new series called Phone Girls / Keitai Shoujo was released on DVD November 26th in Japan. It’s about schoolgirls who love to talk and use their cell phones! The show has an animated RPG component, as well as a live action drama about a phone girl falling in love on a class trip. Last week all the idols of the show did a live show which will be released on DVD in February. They all played instruments and this was the first time Rina performed the drums for an audience! We were smitten with cute when we saw this picture, Rina is such a darling!!

Megumi Ogata Holds Concert Celebrating 15 Years in Anime!

Yesterday, Megumi Ogata (Sailor Uranus) held a concert in Shibuya O-EAST celebrating her 15 years in the Anime industry. She sang a whopping 38 songs , and opening the show was Moonlight Densetsu, better known as the opening theme of the first four seasons of Sailor Moon! And there cheering her on was none other than frequent co-stars Aya Hisakawa (Sailor Mercury) and Kikuko Inoue (Sailor Aluminum Siren)! She sang hits from all her work, including Cruel Angel’s Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Congratulations Emi and here’s to more years of hearing your voice in anime! Fans may be interested to know that Jamiroquai Frontman Jay Kay is a producer of one of the floors at Shibuya O-EAST where fans can enjoy a fine meal while they are at a concert.

In Other Concert News…

Yoko Ishida will also be performing a concert December 24th, to thank her fans. Coincidentally, she is also celebrating 15 years in the industry! Her first hit was Otome no Policy from Sailor Moon R in 1993. The concert begins at 5:30 PM and tickets are ¥4000. For those of our fans who are in Japan and can attend Thankful X’mas, they can find out more information from the venue, Eggman.

Toru Furuya Appears at Yet Another Intel Event!

Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) is such a technophile! He has made yet another appearance at an Intel event November 25th to promote Intel’s processors. This time he appeared at the Special Stage of Intel in Osaka 2007. He joked that the new Core 2 Quad processor has 5x as much power as a Gundam! He did voices of his most famous characters at the event to get the audience’s attention, including Tuxedo Kamen! He said something to the effect of not standing for men who break an elegant girl’s heart. We wonder why Intel hasn’t bothered to hire Vince Corazza to make Sailor Mon fans everywhere swoon enough to buy Intel Processors! Nonetheless, we absolutely love this shot of Toru holding the processor box in his hands!

Mika Kanai And Her Husband Get Divorced 🙁

Last week, several Japanese news outlets covered the sad news that Mika Kanai (Mimete) and her husband, Kouichi Yamadera have been divorced for over a year. They divorced after around 12 years of marriage in spring of 2006, but this has only come to light now. The two are long-time veterans of voice, with Kouichi being the Japanese dub voice of such hollywood heavyweights like Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey. He proposed to her in 1994 after they had gotten to know each other from co-starring together in a radio drama. His proposal was infamous as he had popped the question to her while standing on a mailbox! Though the cause of the split is unknown, many are speculating that their busy schedules over the last few years was likely the cause. They probably barely had time to spend with each other after their careers.

The two had worked together on many series, such as the children’s favorite Anpanman, Ranma ½, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, and Pokemon. They even worked together on the dub of Tiny Toons Adventures , playing Shirley McLoon and Plucky Duck. While this may come to a shock to us now, friends of the couple say that they had been discussing divorce for several years repeatedly. Mika is now living in the three-story house they once shared, and Kouichi is living in an apartment in Tokyo. The two still remain friends, and neither wishes to speak about the divorce saying that this is a private matter and they will not comment. Mika can be seen next in a sold-out concert December 16th. She and other seiyuu from the popular OVA Suchie Pai will be performing a Christmas special at Live Inn Magic in Tokyo.

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!

News From the Other Side of the Pond #5!


Moonies aged 16 years and older in Springfield, Virginia are in for a treat come August 11th! AkibaFest is sort of a mini anime con that for one night will feature a dealers room, contests, and a dance… oh and a CONCERT! This year’s guest is Yoko Ishida , who sang the popular Sailor Moon R ending theme Otome no Policy (A Maiden’s Policy). Yoko has also had some of her music released by Geneon in North America. Also hosting the event will be Akihabara visual performance duo , FICE! This should be a really neat event to attend and if any of our readers are attending, we would love to hear how it went!

Motoki Continues as Masked Rider!

Motoki Furuhata (played by Masaya Kikawada) was always a riot in PGSM , from his obsession with turtles to his relationship with Makoto. After PGSM ended, he was seen in a few movies, including the popular Battle Royale II, and more recently, Dear Friends with PGSM’s Sailor Mars, Keiko Kitagawa. He hasn’t left the superhero genre! Instead of playing second fiddle to the senshi, he is known to legions of Kamen Rider fans around the world as Takeshi Hongo, Kamen Rider 1! He first appeared as this superhero in the hit, Kamen Rider: The First (which is available on DVD in North America). The movie is going to have a sequel, called Kamen Rider: The Next, and it will be hitting theaters in Japan this Fall! Masaya will return in his starring role, to fight against the evil terrorist group Shocker. This movie will probably be dark, and is set to be a hit among Kamen Rider fans! Special thanks to Moon Chase! reader UltraMatt for alerting us to this sighting – he also mentioned to us that Kamen Rider’s body attack from the old V3 series is very similar to Sailor Moon’s Sailor Body Attack!

Emi Shinohara Has a Cameo in Hayate no Gotoku!

Hayate no Gotoku (Combat Butler Hayate) is a series we recommend all our readers check out – it’s a great, comedic anime about the humble butler Hayate Ayasaki, who serves the whimsical heiress, Nagi Sanzenin. Unfortunately, life has never been easy for Hayate, who is often dealt many bad cards! We’re not going to spoil this series much more , but regular viewers of the series might have heard a familiar voice in episode 14! Emi Shinohara (Sailor Jupiter) appeared as the mother of sisters Hinagiku and Yuukiji Katsura. Unfortunately, the elder Yuukiji was not happy to see her as she was having a crisis, and pushed her away to go bring her some milk tea instead of telling her how she was doing. Sadly, we never saw her again in the episode. Though the role was small, it was nice to hear Emi in this wonderful series (which has already parodied Sailor Moon)! We hope to hear from her again in later episodes!