Bernard Minet to Perform Special Concert in France!

Bernard Minet is a children’s singer in France who is known for singing many theme songs for several cartoons, including Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. His career spans over 40 years! Tonight, at La Boudegon in Dax, France, he will be performing a special concert filled with his tunes he sung for cartoons in the 80s and 90s. He is featured in a special interview with He thinks that his songs aren’t necessarily “kitsch” but they are appreciated by the public. When the public hears his songs, no matter what age they are, they become happy and have fond memories of what they would do on Wednesday afternoons. For many years, he sang his tunes on another children’s music show: Club Dorothée. Performing in night clubs, he says, for him is not a way to make ends meet, but instead a way to live. He has another show coming up Saturday in Toulouse! He is asked among all of the characters in some of his most famous songs used for anime, who Juliette (of Maison Ikkoku) would be the most happy with. Of course, he answers Hugo from the same series, because he believes that she is faithful to him no matter what. But then he also says that women are charmed by superheroes! This sounds like it should be a fun show – est-ce que nos lecteurs <> en France vont voir ce concert?

Gashapon (Capsule Toys) Turn 40!

Gashapon may be small figures, but they are very detailed. They have been around in Japan for over 40 years, and are still loved by many today! Yoshikazu Komiyama, a Vice President with Bandai (pictured), sat down with Yomiuri Shimbun to discuss the past, present, and future, of the popular collectible. He noted that their gashapons of Kinnikuman continue to be popular, especially with those that are over the age of 30. When they were first released in the 80s and 90s, these adults were still in grade school! It was also one of the first lines that Bandai used a metal mold for, and sold nearly 4.5 million figures! It seems these days that the only people still buying gashapon are those who want to experience nostalgia. They are just not popular with the younger set as they used to be.

In 1965, Japan began to sell the figures, and Bandai entered the market in 1977. Ultraman was one of the most popular lines back then, becoming a hot seller among young boys. In the first half of the 1990s, they experienced another huge boom when Sailor Moon had come out, because everybody wanted all of the characters in unison. And it wasn’t just figures. It was also stuffed toys/plush, keychains, dolls, and magnets! This led to an all around toy boom in Japan. In the latter half of the 1990s, it was the same case with Dragon Ball Z. Since then, all ages have taken interest in gashapon, and now they are created with four fanbases in mind: small children, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults.

Now, there are only three companies which make figures in Japan: Bandai, Takara-Tomy, and Kaiyodo. Gashapon figures can be found in convenience stores, malls, and subway/train stations all over. But, sales are sluggish! In 2005, the sales peak decreased from 33.5 billion to 28.5 billion last year. Mutsumi Ichikawa of Takara-Tomy says that their animal figures are not as popular as they used to be, and in addition to competition from the other two companies to put out a quality product, children just don’t care as much about these figures as they used to.

Despite the circumstances, Bandai is not about to lose hope on the over 250 kinds of figures they create each year. They are looking into adding new technologies, such as small devices that play sound. Komiyama makes mention that Taito released a similar product earlier and it was successful. He promises that Bandai will not give up on producing gashapon!

And now, we’ve got a surprise for you… after the jump!

In July of 2005, what was probably the very last piece of Official Sailor Moon merchandise was produced. This 11.5cm figure was created especially for Figure Maniacs, and was based on the manga version of Sailor Moon – even Naoko Takeuchi was impressed when she saw how well this figure had turned out! I own this one and I recommend anyone who can still find this to get it, you will not be disappointed. It also comes with a guide featuring not only the sets of Sailor Moon, but of other series as well (Sakura Taisen, Cowboy Bebop, Street Fighter, and Cutey Honey to name a few). We’ve scanned the covers and the pages with all the collections on them for you! There’s even a page on how to detail the figure (though this is something I have no intention to try).

NewType USA Feature on Sailor Moon, September 2003

Using timed posts to our advantage, while these next two weeks are proving to be very busy for our staff members, here comes another sighting from our vault that we thought fans might like to revisit! NewType USA featured an article about Sailor Moon in their September 2003 issue, entitled “A Pretty Soldier’s Saga”. It had a lot of reflections of the series from Kazuko Tadano (Character Designer and Animation Director), as well as a very good account of the history of the show since the beginning. This article coincided with ADV’s release of the second season subtitled and “uncut”, but makes no mention of the fact that episode #67 was left off from it! Nonetheless, wherever Gerry Poulos is now, we’d like to thank him for writing such a great article. We kinda miss this magazine too, and we wish it was still around in some form. Click the images below for larger scans – however, the magazine is larger than the scanner so some images may be cut off.

Commercials Corner: Sailor Moon Edition!

A very long time ago, we dug up some old commercials for Sailor Moon on YouTube, however they all got pulled off for copyright issues (seriously?! are any of these products still available in stores?) ! Yesterday, we found almost all of them in commercial packs on a Japanese streaming video website, so we thought we’d rip them and give our readers who are unable to watch Sailor Moon in Japan, something to watch for half an hour! We’re sure you will enjoy all of these commercials – there’s a lot of them! Movie trailers, toys, video games, gadgets, food, cosplay, you name it, it’s here! We aren’t going to embed all of the videos themselves here or else we will likely crash your browser. We have one question for those of you who are familiar with the Sera Myu Musicals – there’s a couple toy commercials where some teenagers are in costumes, and we think this might be the musical cast but we aren’t sure. Please let us know if you can recognize them! Here’s a couple though:

Sailor Moon Movies DVD Boxset:

Link: Sailor Moon Movies DVD Boxset

Sailor Moon Commercial Breaks:
☽ Note – some of these commercials have nothing to do with Sailor Moon but it’s cool to see what kinds of commercials would air during the show!

Link: Sailor Moon Commercial Breaks

The Others:

Sailor Moon Commercials!
Sailor Moon S Commercials!
Sailor Moon SuperS Commercials!
Sailor Moon Commercials Including Sailor Stars!
Sailor Moon Merchandise Commercials 1!
Sailor Moon Merchandise Commercials 2!
Sera Myu Commercials!

Tabitha’s Mystery!

Hey Moonies! Tabitha is a friend of mine (who actually knows me away from the internets!) who sent me scans of a really old Sailor Moon flyer. She is wondering what the wands are that Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus are holding (and she doesn’t recognize them from the Sailor V manga). Us members on staff can’t quite remember what they are either though these pictures do seem a little familiar. If any of our readers know what these are, please post in the comments – we’d love to know! In any case, enjoy these scans of a Japanese Sailor Moon flyer!