PGSM Stars Reunite!

Ayaka Komatsu (PGSM Sailor Venus) turned 22 on July 23rd, but didn’t have her birthday party until last Thursday! Joining her were her other four costars from PGSM, Miyuu Sawai (Sailor Moon), Rika Izumi (Sailor Mercury), Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars) and Mew Azama (Sailor Jupiter). Three of them blogged about it and all featured this picture that they took at a restaurant with Ayaka’s amazing birthday pastries (we hope they tasted as good as they looked). Our birthday girl remarked on her blog that it had been a long time since she had seen her costars, and that they are so strong when they are together. She couldn’t believe that they have known each other for five years already! Keiko had invited them for a preview and press conference for her upcoming movie, Handsome Suits and Ayaka (while looking forward to Keiko’s movie) also put in a quick plug about her own movie, Pandemic which will be out in theaters shortly in Japan. Ayaka was also lucky enough to be given a bottle of champagne that was personalized! Mew says that she is a little scared of turning 22, and she will be there in a few months. She wrote that the time really flew from her PGSM days until now, but she was glad to see everyone and that the party could not have been great unless all five of them were there! Keiko blogged that at the press conference, she wore a very trendy Donna Karan pink spangled dress. Her character in the movie wore clothes that weren’t very fashionable and with light makeup so she wanted to show up at this conference with a bang! She had invited all her PGSM costars to come, but Miyuu Sawai couldn’t make it because she had to work. At Ayaka’s birthday party the day after, she wrote that they were told a lot by the crew that when the 5 girls would get together that they would fight a lot. But it still isn’t true, the 5 of them are still the best of friends years later. They talk a lot about their auditions and the 14 months they spent together on PGSM. They will all be friends for life, she says! She also thinks her acting in PGSM was so horrible for her own debut that she doesn’t want to watch it anymore, but she is so glad she met the other actresses! She hopes that they can get together again for her birthday party, and ended her entry with some old PGSM pictures for old times’ sake!

In other PGSM news, Mew Azama is now part of an elite group of models whose blogs on Ameblo have been fused with idol magazine CanCam. This new portal will also allow users of Ameblo to access some pretty cool features, including the same skins that the models use on their blogs. Mew sure seems to be doing a lot these days with the cyber world, in our last update we learned that she is now a special celebrity answerer with MSN’s Questionbox. Rika Izumi is now a model with Sun Music Brain, and has posed for photos with Ray Magazine. Ayaka Komatsu’s movie Pandemic has something to do with the world being hit with some kind of superbug and will be out in January. Keiko Kitagawa’s Handsome Suits is a comedy about a man who is a horrible Italian Chef, but who one day has a change of heart in his career and opts to work at a men’s fine clothing store! This one will be released sometime in November. Aya Sugimoto (Queen Beryl) achieved tabloid notoriety again when Jason Lewis (who played Smith Jerrod in the Sex and the City Movie) appeared for a promotional event ahead of the movie’s release in Japan. Aya appeared on the stage and he swept her off her feet with a typical Hollywood kiss (and that’s what we’ve got pictured). As of this writing, we’re not entirely sure if she had a dubbing role with the movie in Japanese or if she was just at the premiere because of her celebrity status.

Commercials Corner #27: Keiko Kitagawa Edition!

We finally came across Keiko Kitagawa’s (Sailor Mars in PGSM) commercials for Kanebo’s Winter 2007-2008 and Summer 2008 Coffret D’or Cosmetics campaigns and we’ve got ’em posted just for you! Keiko stars alongside four other idols; Kou Shibasaki, Tokiwa Takako, Miki Nakatani, and Erika Sawajiri.

Winter 07-08

Group Commercial (60 sec):

Keiko is the second model to appear in this commercial.

Group Commercial (30 sec):

Keiko is the second model to appear in this commercial.

Keiko’s Solo Commercial:

Summer 2008:

Group Commercial (30 sec):

Keiko is the second model to appear in this commercial.

Keiko’s Solo Commercial:

>

Keiko blogged about this campaign saying she really liked the eye shadow she wore in this commercial, the rose variation of their fluffy shine eyes eyeshadows (first one on the page). It took the models two days to shoot all of these spots, and she was surprised that so much work was needed to make a commercial that seemed so short. We think Keiko looks stunning in these commercials , and that the cosmetics have some cool innovations.

News From The Other Side Of the Pond #16 (Part 1)

PGSM Edition!

Keiko Kitagawa in New TV Drama

Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars in PGSM) has been cast in the new Fuji TV drama, Homeroom on the Beachside (literal translation: Classroom of the Sun and Ocean). She is going to play a rookie teacher at a preppy high school as a fresh graduate of the University of Tokyo. The show begins July 21st at 9PM. Keiko has said on her blog that she is anxious to play this role, because she does not have much drama experience – she’s only 21! Mew Azama (Sailor Jupiter in PGSM) is one of her closest friends, and they have known each other since before PGSM when they were modelling. Mew told her that although a lot is expected from her at that timeslot and for that role, that there are a lot of people who are supporting her and she should be confident and enjoy herself! Those words of wisdom from her fellow senshi have helped to clear her anxiety. On the official site of the show, if you click on Cast&Staff, you will see a blue box to the right of Keiko Kitagawa’s name. Click that to see an interview about the show with her!

In other Keiko news, there are rumors that she is in a relationship with one of her costars from the movie Heat Island. His name is Ryo Kimura and he is 19 years old. It is rumored they spent the night in a hotel together after karaoke in May. We find it humorous that one of our news links pointed us to this. Keiko is also featured on a new, glamorous Coffret D’Or commercial, which can be seen here (for the one with Keiko, pick the one on the right side under Jul ’08). Keiko is also in the June commercials, she is wearing a blue dress that looks like it has a matching scarf. She spent two days working with Coffret D’Or on this campaign, one day just to shoot the 15 second and 30 second commercials, and the second day just to shoot the promotional stills. She was surprised at how long it took and how much effort was needed to do something so simple!

Miyuu Sawai Has New Photobook, DVD and Movie!

Miyuu Sawai (Sailor Moon in PGSM) released a new photobook at the end of May called Present and she has definitely taken a dip in the Gravure Idol pool. There are a lot of poses of her in bikinis. She made a few appearances at bookstores for signings at the end of May. On June 20th, she released an idol DVD called Riyuu Sawai and we assume the title is a pun on the word “Real Sawai”. This one is supposed to show how she has grown up as a very charming woman, in traditional Japanese dress, to a swingy white skirt, and a blazing red dress. We probably won’t get the chance to look at any of these, but any of her diehard fans who want to send us in a review of the photobook and/or the DVD, we’d be happy to feature you in an upcoming article! Miyuu also has a role in the Japanese spinoff of Shaolin Soccer, called Shaolin Girl. This one is about a Kung Fu coach who works to rebuild her grandfather’s Dojo and joins her University Lacrosse Team. It looks really funny, and we managed to find a trailer subtitled in English for you all to watch!

Chisaki Hama/Rika Izumi Returns to the Modelling Industry!

Chisaki Hama (Sailor Mercury in PGSM) was really born Rika Izumi. However, her agency changed her name when she first started out because there was another idol by that name, and Chisaki Hama translates roughly to “Thousands of Flowers Blooming By The Shore”. She had disappeared not too long after PGSM ended and no one knew where she went. Occasionally other PGSM stars would write about hanging out with her on their blog, but they would not post pictures of her. There were rumors going around that she didn’t want to be in the entertainment industry anymore. Last week we learned that she has returned to modelling and is in the running for Pinky Princess (Princess of the Pinky magazine, we assume). She has definitely changed since the last time we saw her, and we are loving her new hair! We really hope to see her in more things soon! According to her entry, Rika is an avid Saxaphone and Euphonium player (there’s an instrument you didn’t expect to hear about!) and she has recently taken up aromatherapy and candle making as a hobby. She likes to watch movies, have homemade meals, and manicures. She is a big fan of Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn, and loves to wear Jill Stuart. She is eager to learn anything she can to become a better model!

Mew Azama Endorses MSN QuestionBox!

Mew Azama (Sailor Jupiter in PGSM) was part of a trio endorsing MSN Japan’s QuestionBox. QuestionBox is a lot like Yahoo Answers, where users post questions and other users answer with information or opinions. The other idols part of the consulting party to promote the site were Shizuka Kondo and Moe Oshikiri. Mew is on the left side in the pink top in the picture. Mew commented on her blog that they were given Honey Milk Latte at this event and that it was delicious. She looks forward to reading other people’s opinions on QuestionBox.

Ayaka Komatsu Appeared in New Drama!

Ayaka Komatsu (Sailor Venus in PGSM) just finished playing a waitress on the NTV Drama Bambino. This show was about a college student who travels to Tokyo’s upper class district of Roppongi from his home in Fukuoka to work in an Italian restaurant. He aspires to be the best Italian chef, and endures many hardships in this new place. Ayaka played Minakawa Kozue, a waitress whose smile could warm even the saddest of souls. The show just ended a few weeks ago, however it was very popular with viewers, scoring at least 2.5 million plays! The show has been renewed for a second season, and Ayaka will be returning in her role. We saw the show’s first episode and really like it, so along with the Mop Girl recaps, we hope to bring you recaps of this show.

Aya Sugimoto Tries Her Hand At Flamenco!

Aya Sugimoto (Queen Beryl in PGSM) is best known for being a writer of novels for the older crowd. We just learned she has in fact, returned to the TV screen, as a Flamenco Dancer! She appears in the video Hoshi no Flamenco by the Japanese-Spanish Flamenco sensation Rayito. We found the video here, and we really liked it. The premise of the video was very simple but her dance added a nice touch to it. We especially liked the use of the kaleidoscope view of her dancing. The song is a sad one about a man who misses his girlfriend. It was a pleasant surprise to hear of this sighting and we think Rayito does a very good job of merging Spanish Flamenco with Japanese lyrics.

Masaya Kikawada in New Movie About Physics!

This made me squeal with academic delight when I read this. Masaya Kikawada (Motoki in PGSM) plays the genius Airi in Kamisama no Puzzle. This movie is about some students of physics who want to work out the mysteries of the “God Particle” (the particle that began our universe). Airi is a genius, but argues the other side saying that it cannot be found. The film was well written so anyone could watch it, even if they didn’t understand physics (they would learn what they needed to know in this movie). Unfortunately, Kadokawa Pictures is not doing very much promotion for it, and we’re a little dismayed. Masaya has had quite a few notable roles over the last few years (especially with his work in Kamen Rider) and there should have been a little more. Besides, we like it when Masaya plays someone smart!

For Those Of You Looking For A Very Stunning Keiko Kitagawa…

A while ago we told you that Keiko Kitagawa (PGSM Sailor Mars) had been chosen to be one of the models in the new Kanebo Cosmetics Coffret D’Or commercial. We have finally come across it, and sadly though we can’t put a rip up on our commercials channel, we can at least share a link where you can watch them on their official site. Click any one of the copper buttons to watch a variant of the commercial. Keiko is the second girl to come up and talk in a silky white, ruffled dress. There’s an interview here, but unfortunately our translator is on vacation so we can’t translate it for the timebeing.

We know you fans are wondering where our Mop Girl synopses have gone. We haven’t had the time to watch any episodes since the fourth one, and unfortunately the series has ended after 10 episodes. Which is both good and bad news, because we only have 6 episodes left to catch up on! But sadly, we enjoyed the series and are sad to see it go.

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.