A Bird? A Plane? Sailor Moon!

Here’s a bit of a different kind of Sailor Moon appearance – this time in the air! We’re going to give you some background first, from the press release we found on Skyscanner’s website. Please keep in mind that this was an April Fool’s day joke by Skyscanner, the airline in question doesn’t really exist. (you can skip to the end to read about Sailor Moon’s appearance, if you like)

Skyscanner, an Italian comparison website for flights recently reported that 59% of travelers would prefer a family only in-flight section and some airlines had seriously considered this option, as well as the ability to offer flights with no children.

Urchin Airways, a fictitious new airline based in the United Kingdom, has decided to capitalize on the demand for separate flights with a different perspective. With over 1 million children flying unaccompanied every year, they decided to provide a specialized service geared to the needs of children traveling without adults. The first available is a flight to New York that took off from London the morning of April first. Soon there will also be flights to Italy, probably to Rome or Milan.

Aside from staff, the “no adults” flights will not allow any passengers over 16 years of age. In addition to a full crew on board, there will also be qualified nannies, ensuring safety and comfort for the duration of the flight.

While the majority of unaccompanied minors fly alone because their parents can not travel with them, a spokesman for Urchin Airways has indicated that there is growing demand from parents to have the opportunity to travel separately, even on occasions where the whole family is traveling to the same destination. Urchin Airways will launch a service for adults only flying parallel to meet the demands of these parents, as well as other adults who want to fly without children on board. The two services will take off and land within minutes of each other, ensuring that parents and children are reunited without issue.

Urchin Airways cabin crew will be dressed as clowns and will oversee a library of video games with a gaming zone. Activities such as racing eggs on spoons will take place in the aisle and the upholstery will be stronger, to accommodate more children kicking the seats. Whereas on regular flights children are accused of making too much noise, here they will be encouraged by the challenge “Who can shout louder?”

The menu will be tailored to the palates of children and include items such as chewing gum, gingerbread men, and string cheese. Food will be served by Oompa-Loompas, who will sing to the children while they work. Rather than offering hot towels, Teletubbies will be used for cleaning and drying the faces of children after eating. And, on flights during the night, Sailor Moon will tuck in their blankets.

Note: Urchin translates in English to ‘”little mischievous baby.”

Although we learned that this was a joke initiated by Skyscanner, we found this was a fun and unusual place for a mention of Sailor Moon and thought you might enjoy reading about it. Too bad we won’t really be seeing Sailor Moon on an airline!

Sailor Mercury’s Shabon Spray Now Clear!

And Out From the Fog, We See The Right Karen Bernstein!

Karen Bernstein was the first actress to play Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon, and carried the role up until the end of the 3 movies. Since then, fans have been wondering where she had gone and if they would ever hear her voice again. Around the end of 2006, I had heard from various sources that she was no longer a voice actress and had moved into production. What sort of production field it was, remained a mystery to me. And then after much digging I came across a Karen Bernstein in 2007 that was a documentary producer. The shoe fit (so I thought), and this was confirmed by an old friend. Nearly 20 articles on Moon Chase went by without question. We went with it because 2008 was a very big year for Sailor Moon Voice Actor achievements (such as Stephanie “Sailor Venus” Morgenstern’s Flashpoint). This Karen had produced a documentary called Body of War that year that was directed by Phil Donahue (yes, that Phil from that old talk show), and Ellen Spiro. It had received numerous awards and accolades, and had even gotten on the short list for a potential Oscar Nomination.

And then a few weeks ago I read something about this Karen that sounded a little strange and unsettling while doing a little research for a future actor update. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if this was still the same Sailor Mercury. After the many scandals we have had to endure this year, I went back to square one to recheck my research. Once again, I went through what little I knew about Karen, before I had begun writing about this documentary producer so many years ago. On a whim, I sent an email to someone I thought could steer me in the right direction, explaining what I thought was a mistake that needed to be cleared up.

This person replied to me, knows Karen directly and was able to confirm the mistake. They informed me that other sites had also made this error in the past, but have since cleared them up. Other information about Karen that I was told, is that she isn’t voice acting because she has made the transition from voice acting to production. Karen is a radio and audio producer, and not a documentarian (at the very least, the previous information I had been given was partially correct). And for all you Hello Kitty fans, she has not been the voice of the beloved Sanrio character for several years now. It is also true that she suggested Liza Balkan audition for the role of Sailor Mercury after she was unable to play the role during the S and SuperS seasons due to her busy schedule. Liza is actually an actor colleague of hers. Karen’s last voice acting role was that of Maggie in the cartoon based on those popular Fisher-Price toys, Little People, Big Discoveries. My source also said that Karen does not consider the voice acting door to be completely closed, so there is a chance that she may return to it in the future.

In light of this corrected information so we stay on topic on a blog which already has an extensive range of topics, we have removed all posts and mentions of the incorrect Karen Bernstein on our blog. However, if our readers are looking to watch any good, thought-provoking documentaries on a variety on meaningful issues, please continue to support the other Karen Bernstein. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we will continue to strive to bring you everything we can in the Sailor Moon world. And of course, a heartfelt apology to both Karen Bernsteins for the mixup – this will never happen again, and we’re very sorry it did. It was a very surprising coincidence to learn that the both of you are producers, and that one tiny fact was the reason for this mistake.

Fans can check out some of Karen’s old voice work on the internet below. These also featured other actors that would later act in Sailor Moon!

“Beverly Hills Teens” – a very old cartoon from the 80s about wealthy teenagers living in Beverly Hills. Kinda like The Hills without the annoyance factor! Karen played Jett and Tara Belle in this series.

“Birdz!” An animated cartoon about feathered friends just trying to make it in this world. Karen played Olivia Owl in this series!

“Maggie’s Friends Pitch In” – an episode of Little People, Big Discoveries (Karen’s very last voice role, fast forward to 5:15)

Sailor Moon Producer Moves to The Web With New "Celeb-Toons"

When possible, we here at Moon Chase try to keep fans updated with where the staff behind Sailor Moon is today. This update focuses on Andy Heyward, the former CEO and founder of DiC Entertainment, which was the production company responsible for the first two seasons. Back in the 80s and 90s, DiC was the name in hit cartoons for children, with big shows like Inspector Gadget, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, The Real Ghostbusters, the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers Super Show, and countless others. So, with such a legend in children’s broadcasting, to studios back during the time that Sailor Moon first came along it looked like if DiC had a show, it would be a hit. Of course though, poor Sailor Moon did not have such a smooth run the first time – and fans can check out our first survey results which show how much the fans appreciated the work Andy did for the series. He only got 15% of the fans’ votes! In 2008, the company was folded into Canada’s Cookie Jar Entertainment, and Andy Heyward was left with (supposedly) nothing to do (as the article suggests).

Last year, a press release we came across during the early stages of our campaign told us that Andy was back in action with a brand new company creating webtoons cetnered around celebrities for kids. A few of our staff members questioned some of the ideas that were being tossed around (Gisele Bundchen will never come close to Captain Planet, and we would have gone crazy watching perfect Martha Stewart and her perfect crafts in cartoon form). In this weekend’s USA Today, he is featured once again now that some of his cartoons have come to life. The article has the bit of an air of a “puff piece” to it, and we find it interesting that it drops the name Sailor Moon twice, without really mentioning how and why DiC didn’t produce the movies or the 3rd & 4th seasons of the show. The video has a tiny glimpse of Sailor Moon as well – can you spot it in our shot above? We’re pretty sure that while it was one of DiC’s biggest successes, it was also one of it’s biggest failures due to mismanagement. In the video on the USA Today site, he talks about how there is an opportunity for a strong girl’s property in the wake of the imminent “death” of Barbie and Bratz. How many Moonies are with me that Sailor Moon could kick Gisele’s butt any day? Who would you rather watch?

His new cartoons are cross-platform making apperances on the web, TV (on The Hub) as well as comics. While we admire Andy for choosing to start fresh, it’s our opinion that the shows he’s workin’ on today don’t have the same kind of appeal as the shows he worked on for DiC. Yes, we are in a recession but do kids really need to be learning lessons from Warren Buffet at an early age, or should we let their imaginations run through a world of fantasy for a few years while they still can?

(So the article sort of sanitized something with regards to the sale of DiC: there are many rumors swirling around Hollywood that his divorce to Evelyn Heyward as a result of an extramarital affair had something to do with it. One doesn’t have to look too far on the web to learn about it. We also don’t buy the comment about him never having worked so hard in his life – the cartoons he is working on now are only a fraction of what he did 20 years ago. We’ve known about this for a few years now but kept it in our Moon Chase files for pondering…Oh Sailor Moon, so many scandals behind your scenes…)

New Thoughts from Kotono Mitsuishi and HIMEKA!

Yesterday, The Asahi Shimbun featured a short article with new thoughts and musings about Sailor Moon from Kotono Mitsuishi and Canadian-Turned-Japanese Songstress Himeka. This piece was written by Atsushi Nohara, and she is someone who is very lucky because she got to learn a lot that we never got to know before! The article’s title loosely translates to “In the name of the Moon, gives me courage”, and you will see why below. The story begins with “There are not many anime that have been televised in over 50 countries. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon made the girls of the world crazy.”

Kotono Mitsuishi:

Kotono Mitsuishi played our hero Sailor Moon. But, there was a time when she had to put that away for five episodes. In January of 1993, she was experiencing severe pains in her abdomen, and it was time for her to finally go in to get it treated. Turns out Kotono was suffering from an ovarian cyst (and not appendicitis as has been reported in the past) and needed to go in to the emergency room. Kae Araki played her role for the first five episodes while she recovered. Kotono was sad to step down from such an amazing role, and she cried to everyone around her because she had a little Usagi in her. Kotono said that she was a blundering crybaby, like most middle school girls are everywhere. But Usagi can transform into a Sailor Suit and fight evil. She screams “In the name of the Moon, I will punish you.” Even if a colleague were to point out that she did something wrong, Usagi was always strong enough to make it better. She is a good and honest child. Kotono landed her first anime leading role when she was just 24. Sailor Moon featured both a magical girl and a girl who could fight evil, and was one of the first anime to really put the two together. This was a big hit for Toei Animation and it ran for 5 years. Girls would always cheer for Sailor Moon when she had to fight, and the show was a symbol of girl’s independence back in its heyday.

Kotono returned after those 5 episodes were recorded to her beloved role, and when she recorded the first sound drama cassettes, she remembered the fighting spirit Sailor Moon had in the last episodes of the first season. It was that spirit, that carried her voice throughout. She actually cried when she recorded those episodes, because she felt for not only her character but the others. She remembers so many tears and having a runny nose while trying to play Usagi during those times. Producer Junichi Sato commented that Kotono’s voice was very versatile and could flip expressions very quickly. She impressed the animators and the crew! Kotono learned the importance of hard work when she got the role of Sailor Moon, and even though it was difficult, her hard work paid off. Sailor Moon is one of her most cherished roles!

At her house, the DVDs play over and over because her daughter is a big fan of Sailor Moon. Just like the show steps generations, it also stepped from country to country…


The 29-year-old singer from Canada (real name: Catherine St-Onge) sang the Sailor Moon theme song at the DVD launch and reunion event last year. At the end of the event, she sang the theme song again, full of tears and clinging on to Kotono. Himeka says that was the day her life had changed.

Himeka was 15 years old when she saw her first episode of Sailor Moon. Unlike the Disney Princesses, Sailor Moon was not just a pretty face that had to be protected. She saw similarities in her own life to that of Sailor Moon’s. Himeka says that she was a hardworking crybaby that had the power to change her life. She instantly became fascinated with Japanese culture and began to learn more about anime and manga as well. She wanted to learn so much more about these different kinds of superheroes, and also started to study Japanese on her own. She knew she wanted to be an anime singer, and worked in factories and fast-food service joints throughout her 20s. She would sing songs from many anime in her room at night, never losing sight of her dream. In the spring of 2008, she moved to Japan and started to get involved in the Anison competitions. In the Fall of 2008, she became the first non-Japanese person to win ANIMAX’s Anison Grand Prix, and in the spring of 2009 released her first single. Just like she was inspired by Sailor Moon, she hopes to inspire girls all over the world. She is happy to be where she is right now, and she hopes to one day share her strength to inspire someone else, like she had been inspired before.

The article ends saying that Japanese Animation is the most popular and sought after animation in the world. With fierce competition from both large and small anime companies, Toei Animation has embodied the bulk of the history of anime, inspiring other people to follow their own dreams and imaginations to bring them to life.

This was a nice article to read about how two very different people found strength and courage in dark times from Sailor Moon.

3 Days of Sera Myu – Day 1: Sera Myu Producer’s New Musical Debuts!

After what seems like ages, we’re going to finally keep up with the cast of Sera Myu (and hopefully be a little more consistent about it). This month, we have 6 sightings from actors, and 1 sighting from a producer of the well-loved Sailor Moon Musicals. We’re spreading them out over three articles over three days – enjoy!

Former Sera-Myu Producer Appears at Major Event for Minky Momo Musical!

Time sure passes quickly! It was only last July when we told you that Sera Myu producer Toshiyuki Takezawa was going to produce a special musical to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the first magical girl animes, Magical Princess Minky Momo. Later that summer, these commercials ran to advertise for auditions. Just a few weeks ago, at the Sunshine City Complex in Ikebukuro, Japan, some of the major cast and chorus members came to perform a preview of the musical. Tickets went on sale to the general public on February 12th, and the musical will run for a limited engagement from April 29th to May 5th at Sunshine Theater Ikebukuro. Playing major roles in this play are idol Asami Katsura in the role of Adult Minky Momo, and Sayaka Akimoto in the role of a new villain created just for this musical named Nightmare. Readers may recognize Sayaka from the popular singing group AKB48. Making their musical debut as child Minky Momo are Anna Ichioka and Miku Katsunuma. These two beat out over 700 girls who auditioned! They are both nervous since it is their first musical, but they are looking forward to being on stage! The plot of this musical will feature Minky Momo trying to help adults remember their dreams, but Nightmare will make this task difficult!

Toshiyuki spoke after the performance with the show’s director and screenplay writer and lyricist. He wore a (shall we say interesting) peach jacket and brought out a life-size standup cutout of Asami in a nurse costume from the musical. He told the screenwriter a year and a half ago to start work on this musical, and they continue to work hard to please the fans. They are almost done writing the lyrics! He said that he was happy to be producing a musical performance again at Sunshine Ikebukuro after producing on the Sailor Moon musicals. Nightmare was created as a symbol of people losing their dream, since they needed something obvious to show in these 2 hours! It was Toshiyuki who offered the role to Sayaka, having been very impressed with watching her perform with AKB48 last November. He has also worked with Asami before when he produced a musical based on Boys Be… when she was only 14-15 years old. Now he feels she is perfect for the role as she has matured into a young lady, much like Minky Momo.
Toshiyuki also announced other members of the cast and crew who were not there that day, Chisa Yokoyama will play Minky Momo’s mother, the Queen of Mirror World. Miyako Kiura will be designing the costumes and Tomonori Nakamura is composing the score. He said he wanted to make this show for children, their parents, and all Minky Momo fans.

Then came a question and answer period (which you can read more here). One member of the press asked this question “Minky Momo can turn into an adult doing any job. What did you want to be when you were a child? And for the two young actresses, what do you want to be in the future?” Some of the answers were cute, one was surprising, but Toshiyuki didn’t answer. He did say something special though! When he was asked if there were other events planned for the 30th anniversary, he said that there will be some new manga and a re-broadcast, and he is looking forward to a third season of the anime. He also said that the Sakura Wars musicals and the Sailor Moon musicals he produced ran for 13 years each, and he hopes to run Minky Momo for 14. He might be very old by then, but he would like to try for it!

Gigazine posted some videos of the event:

1st Theme song performance
2nd Theme song performance
Photo Shoot

Next up? You won’t believe who’s appearing in dramas on Japanese Television as we speak!