Alisa Durbrow Models Wedding Dresses, and Lands A Role In Musica!l

She’s finally back after a long time with a new agent! Alisa Durbrow (Mio Kuroki in PGSM) has landed a leading role in a musical production called “Shinsaku GO!JET!GO!GO!ZERO”, which is a 90-minute show scheduled to run from December 18-December 26, 2010. Right now she is working very hard attending rehearsal lessons to nail down the song and dance routines, as she has had only two weeks of preparation time before her debut performance. There are three different groups performing this musical, and Alisa is part of the “B” Group. On the official page, anywhere that you see a , this means that after the shows there will be a fan event where fans can meet all of the stars that performed that day! For more details check out the top of her blog. She posted an entry few days ago, writing that she had some trouble dancing since she hadn’t danced for a long time and that practicing at home was a little hard (but we know she can do it!). Alisa’s fans will definitely not want to miss her acting in this musical! We managed to find an old trailer on YouTube from an earlier production of the musical that fans can watch here. Alisa is grateful for the support her fans have given her as they have helped her gain this role! She also sends her regards to all of her fans overseas! We here at Moon Chase send our biggest congratulations to Alisa and “Ganbatte” for this musical and beyond! Special thanks to the Durbrow family for telling us about this musical!

Alisa has also been modeling wedding dresses for Hula Creative Japan, a business that specializes in wedding and special occasion photos. She models a short dress and a beautiful pink orchid bouquet and headband all over the site, and some photos even feature her with a “pretend husband”. Alisa is the most stylish of all the model brides with her bouquet and cowboy boots! Hula Creative Japan offers lots of different packages for wedding dresses and kimonos (both of which are part of Japanese weddings). She is also modeling dresses for the December issue of Japan’s biggest wedding magazine, Zexy (Shikoku Edition only).

Sera Myu Update – June 2010 (3 of 3)

Kenji Urai Appears During Former Takarazuka Star’s Concerts!

Kei Aran had an almost 20 year career with Japan’s Takarazuka Revue before she retired last year to pursue other interests. She went on to star in Aida, and also performed her own concerts too. Running through the month of June was a new series of personal concerts by Kei, called Kei Aran Live 2010. The show featured her singing songs, dancing, and performing short dramatic pieces in grand costumes, accompanied by actors Shinji Takeda on the Saxophone and Kenji Urai (Tuxedo Kamen from 2001-2002) who sang duets with her. Kenji and Kei wore very classy black outfits and sang a variety of old jazz songs. The last concert was on June 19th.

Mikako Tabe’s New Films A Hit!

Mikako Tabe has two new movies in Japan right now. The first one is Kenta to Jun to Kayo-chan no Kuni (A Crowd of Three). It is a movie about two men named Kenta & Jun, who lived at a children’s facility and grew up as almost brothers. Now they work as part of a demolition crew but they are not happy with their jobs. They then decide to take a road trip to visit Kenta’s brother who is currently in prison. Mikako plays the supporting role of Yumika in this one. This movie had its world premiere at TOKYO FILMeX last November, and was released to theaters in Japan on June 12th. In February, the movie was also shown at the Berlin International Film Festival, to warm reviews. Mikako is also in the upcoming live action adaptation of the popular manga Kimi ni Todoke, starring as the lead character Sawako. The movie’s trailers were just released, and the last day of filming was on June 8th. On that day, the stars gave interviews to the press, and Mikako revealed that she was a little nervous about her ability to portray the different emotions of her character. The images that we have seen so far really look like they have bought the manga and the anime to life, and we hope that this one will be as good as it looks!

Sera Myu Update – June 2010 (2 of 3)

Fumina Hara Supports Japan at World Cup!

J-Cast has a short article about how some female idols are showing their support for Team Japan at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Among those mentioned is Fumina Hara (Sailor Moon from 1998-1999). Fumina has quite a few entries on her blog in support of the Japanese team! Fans may not know this, but on March 20th of 2007, Fumina married Japanese Sports Journalist (and former Soccer Player) Tetsuo Nakanishi. On June 11th, she wrote that she was happy to see the World Cup begin and told her readers to cheer for Team Japan. On the 14th, she wore her husband’s old jersey for good luck as Japan faced Cameroon. Japan won this game 1-0. She also told everyone to follow her husband on Twitter. On the 19th, she went to the Saitama Super Arena to watch Japan face The Netherlands. Japan lost this game 0-1, but on the 20th Fumina still held some hope that Japan would win against Denmark. Japan is currently tied for second in Group E.

Yuu Shirota Also Cheers For Japan and Appears in Musical

Yuu Shirota (Tuxedo Kamen from 2003-2004) was also mentioned briefly on Sankei Sports! Some sentiments of his were shared with respect to Japan’s loss to the Netherlands on June 19th. He referred to the Japanese team as samurai who fought with dignity on the field. In the game against Denmark, he wants the team to win without fail. Yuu is also starring as Der Tod (Death) in Toho’s upcoming production of the Elisabeth musical in Tokyo. At the press conference, he was unsure if he would be able to sing well for the role, but he promised to try his best. He is excited about this role having seen the play 3 times when he was in high school. This production has been running since 2000, and in 2003, he auditioned for the role of the son, Rudolph. The director didn’t think he was quite ready then, but said in a few years he might be right for an adult role. And here he is, 7 years later! The play is slated to run from this August to October. Speaking of Yuu’s high school, CyzoWoman featured an article about it. Horikoshi Gakuen is a special high school just for celebrities that features sassy uniforms, flexible coursework and hours, and high security. The education there is first class, and the only electronic device students are allowed to have with them are their cell phones (no iPods allowed).

Yuri Kuroda Directs Drama Students!

Continuing the tradition of many Sailor Moon cast and crew to teach their craft to other students, Yuri Kuroda (Blue Sapphire) is now teaching drama students. The graduating class of Nanao Shinonome High School presented a work based on the Ganba no Boken franchise. 27 members under the direction of Kuroda worked for 8 months to put this production together. There was lots of intense acting, dancing, and action which impressed everyone that watched it! Her students were full of praise for her direction, even though they acknowledged it was a lot of work to put this together. Congratulations Yuri on both a successful production and school year!

Daikangei Ochi Ojousan


Yes, a very warm welcome to a new star seed, Chieko Ochi’s daughter! Chieko Ochi (nee Kawabe) was both the fifth Sailor Mercury in the musicals and Osaka Naru in PGSM!

Her name hasn’t been shared quite yet, but we do know that she was born at 10:02AM on May 21st and she weighed 2842 grams (6lb 4oz). This is the first baby for both of the happy couple.

According to her husband Masato, the labor was very short and he was full of praise for the doctor for ensuring a safe delivery! He says that his wife is always quick witted and was so even during birth. They were full of love and warmth when she finally arrived. Chieko says that she had no words, only tears of joy for her new daughter’s arrival. Both mother and daughter are doing quite well.

About a month ago, Chieko found an afghan with a chihuahua motif, an animal she has a fondness for, and was looking forward to putting it to good use (as she notes you can see in the picture). Her goal is to create a happy home environment and we wish her the best of luck!

We managed to find the particular afghan for sale here, and the company also makes several other similar items. (Just search for ‘チワワ’ here.)

We’ve been so busy behind the scenes, but out wonderful fan Kari tipped us off! Thanks Kari!

Sera Myu Sightings – Late March and April

More Connections to Sera Myu in Minky Momo Musical!

Two actors involved with Sera Myu have just been confirmed to be a part of the 30th anniversary Minky Momo musical! Yoshiya Yukimura (many characters from 2000-2004) and Takayo Ooyama (Sailor Neptune 2004-2005) will be starring as Mocha the Monkey (middle) and Pipil the Bird (right) in the musical. The two of them starred in only one musical together, and we wonder if they spent any time reminiscing about Sera Myu in rehearsals. Along with Sindbook the dog, the three of these animals serve as Minky Momo’s companions. And to remind you, the show is produced by Toshiyuki Takezawa, who produced the Sera Myu musicals and also worked as a producer on PGSM. Yoshiya and Takayo were revealed at a special performance and talk show that took place at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 28th. They were not there, but images were shown. The other big piece of news about this series at the TAF? There’s a new anime series in the works! Perhaps this is something we can look forward to from Sailor Moon in another ten years?

A New Movie for Mikako Tabe!

Way back in January, it was announced that popular manga title Kimi ni Todoke was going to get a live action movie adaptation. KnT is a shojo romance about a girl named Sawako who unfortunately earns the nickname Sadako because of her resemblance to the character of the same name from the popular movie, The Ring. Everyone at school thinks that Sawako can also speak to the dead and see ghosts. Sawako feels so alone, until she meets the very popular Kazehaya, and the two of them fall in love. Mikako Tabe (Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer) will be playing the role of Sawako, alongside the very popular Haruma Miura as Kazehaya. The film is set to open on September 25th in Japan.

Fumina Hara Appears with Salaryman!

On April 8th, NHK began to rebroadcast season 5 of the popular Japanese sketch comedy show, Salaryman Neo. Fumina Hara (Sailor Moon from 1998-1999) appears on the show, and also appeared at a promotional event at the NHK Broadcast Center on March 30th. Here she is posing with the rest of the cast – don’t you hear her saying “I am the business-suited pretty soldier of love and justice, formerly known as Sailor Moon!” At the event, NHK revealed that there is going to be an addition to this rebroadcast – each episode will have a new short story. It makes mention of a skit where Aki Nakada dresses up like a member of the Takarazuka Revue, and played her role very convincingly.

Tae Kimura Gets Fashionable and Controls Men in New Movie (and has a new book too)!

Tae Kimura (Fisheye) has a leading role in the upcoming movie Tokyo-Jima (Toyko Island). She plays Kiyoko, a 43-year-old housewife that suddenly finds herself in an icky situation when she is the only woman of 24 people stranded on an uninhabited island. Her character is tough, and she uses her charms as well as her body to control the men of the island. Even with all of the accolades that Tae has received in the last few years, this must be a challenging role for her to play! In the movie, she cooks for everyone and even caught a sea snake. She told everyone at a recent promotional event that she didn’t worry, because she likes snakes! Tae thinks that the women in the audience will sympathize but isn’t sure what the men in the audience will think. She hopes that everyone will wonder just what they are at the end of the movie. This movie also has a nice bit of a Haute Couture edge to it – French Luxury brand Hermes is the brand of choice for many of the cast members, and is featured prominently. Kiyoko wraps herself in a Hermes scarf during the movie. Japanese women who want the same scarf can purchase it in Hermes stores in Japan for the “affordable” price of ¥48300 (just shy of $520 USD). Fans can check out the R-rated Trailer at the official site (don’t watch it if you are under 18).

Tae also just released a new book of essays about her life as an actress, a daughter, a wife, a mother, and other personas. Entitled Kakato (Translation: Heel), these essays highlight many of her ups and downs in life from her career to her family. She isn’t much of a computer user, but really used it a lot to put this book together, staying up all night in hotel rooms just to get her thoughts written out. But, that isn’t to say that she didn’t write anything in longhand – in fact just to get the right meanings for the words, for some of her essays she wrote them out first. Despite her hardships, she knows that acting is her dream job and she is happy to be an actress, even though she is known as a very emotional and dramatic actress in Japan. As far as the title goes, there’s a very interesting reason why she chose it. It is a symbol of a part of the body that is often neglected to people, so she thinks. We kind of understand it since she feels that she has to show a lot of herself to the public and is always on her feet, never really having the time to lie down and reflect on life. This book is available from Kodansha and costs ¥1350 (or $14 USD).

Yuu Shirota to Dub Voice of Popular Dorama!

IRIS aired from last October to December in South Korea (information in English here), and was a huge hit. So much so, that TBS decided to purchase the dorama for broadcast. IRIS is about best friends Hyun Joon Kim and Seung Hee Choi, who are brought in to work for the NSS, an intelligence organization. The two of them fall in love, but things take a wicked turn when Hyun is sent to Hungary for a solo mission, and he learns that Vick, an assassin from a top secret spy organization known as IRIS, is looking for him. As this mysterious and unpredictable series progresses, Hyun Joon learns what IRIS is. This show has shot episodes all over the world, including the United States, China, Japan, and Russia! Yuu Shirota (Tuxedo Kamen from 2003-2004), will be dubbing the voice of Hyun Joon Kim in Japanese. IRIS will start on TBS on April 21st, and run for approximately 6 months. This show has been renewed for a second season in South Korea, however the actor that plays Hyun Joon Kim (Lee Byung Hun) is unable to return to his role.

Yuu was also featured in another article about singer Jin Akanishi, who just announced that he will be playing two concerts in LA this June. Everyone knows that Jin and Yuu are best friends, but did you know that Yuu considers Jin to be like an older brother to him? The rest of the article goes into other friends of Jin and how they have been caught partying by the tabloids.

Kousei Amano Starts Nightclub Tour!

Hot on the heels of the success of Tough Times at Club Indigo, Kousei Amano (Tuxedo Mask in 1999) is joining some cast members in a special night club tour of 22 Japanese cities to promote the show. They are going to also serve as the club hosts! The first of these party dates happened on March 31st at the Shinjuku Kabukicho Host Club called Club Acqua. By the way, if you are trying to spot him in the photo, he is second from the right in the gray suit. The boys of the Indigo Club sure looked sharp that night, as they partied with clubgoers and poured champagne. Kousei was quoted, saying that he only hopes that he can work hard to please everyone at these 22 cities, and that he understands how hard these hosts have to work to please everyone at the club. Here’s one last picture for all you fangirls to see these “dream hosts”.

Maki Aizawa Represents the Typical Resident of Niigata Prefecture in Japanese Variety Show!

Himitsu no Kenmin Show (Translation: Secrets of the Character of Prefectural Residents
). This show aims to find out what makes the residents of each prefecture in Japan different from one another by looking at these local customs and attitudes in depth. On April 22nd, Maki Aizawa (Loof Merrow in 2004), appeared on the show representing Niigata prefecture. We couldn’t find any more about Maki’s involvement in the show, but did learn a little bit about the episode’s features. There is a new way to enjoy Soba in Toshigi, every February 1st, the people of Aomori look forward to a day of bargain sales, and in Sapporo, the 1972 Olympics inspired a large part of their population to take up the Bobsled! To learn even more about the show and the products seen, visit the other official site of the show here.

And for our Anza Ooyama (Sailor Moon from 1993-1998) fans, she is currently touring in Brazil with her band Head Phones President. Head to SOSMP BR for more, including a video of her band performing a moving, acoustic version of their hit song “Chain”!