The discount will be 20% on printed and e-book versions through January 14th. On the 15th, the discount reduces to 10%. Just log in to the bookstore and pay using Paypal in order to use the discount code.
Sawaii Miyu, who portrayed Usagi/Sailor Moon in the live action series in 2003-2004, has recently been starring in a musical adaption of the classic fairy tale Snow White. The musical production of Snow White began its eight day run on July 16th. Miyu has also been spotted in a Box Corporation program to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. http://www.sanspo.com/geino/news/100717/gnj1007170501003-n1.htm
Fans of Aya Sugimoto (PGSM Queen Beryl) will definitely want to check out the new feature length Kamen Rider movie “Double Forever: A to Z/The Gaia Memories of Fate”, where she will be appearing as a guest character named Maria S Cranberry. The movie was recorded with 3D technology in mind, making it the first feature length movie of the 3D Kamen Rider series. The movie will hit theaters on August 7, 2010. (http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/aya-sugimoto-to-appear-in-3-d-kamen-rider-movie)
Ayaka Komatsu (Minako Aino/Sailor Venus) has been busy lately promoting a new movie called “Neck”. The movie, which was assembled by Shirakawa Professional, is a hybrid of both horror and comedy as it details the twists and turns of a group of junior college students.(http://www.moviecollection.jp/news/detail.html?p=1379)
Rina Koike (Sailor Luna) has also landed a new role as the main heroine in the detective drama production “Akechi Three Generations”. Right now in Japan, Koike can be spotted making some public appearances to support her new acting role, alongside her current co-star Tanabe Seiiti. http://journal.mycom.co.jp/news/2010/06/27/008/?rt=na
Finally, no PGSM news update would be complete without some Keiko Kitagawa sightings. The live action Sailor Mars actress was recently a presenter at the 12th annual Taipei Film Festival, where she was greeted with huge support from her Taiwanese fan base. Keiko admitted to being nervous about the presentation on her blog, and she was relieved to have finished it successfully. Keiko can also be caught starring in a new Fuji TV drama called “Lovers Of The Moon”. http://www.cinematoday.jp/page/N0025561 Apparently the recording schedule for the show was gruelling – Keiko stated on her blog that she was getting as little as 2 hours of sleep at night.
Rika Izumi (PGSM Sailor Mercury) recently made an appearance on the TV Asahi program Easy Sports. The purpose of Easy Sports is to make athletics and a healthy lifestyle accessible to women of all body types and ages. Viewers who were watching the program during the week of January 18 to January 22 would have been treated to some footage of Izumi performing various yoga lessons. Izumi, who lists Pilates as one of her favourite sports on her profile, showed viewers five different poses for the week long stretch that she was featured. We’re also linking you to videos that we have been able to find! Monday’s lesson was for a triangle pose, which enhances thigh flexibility and strength of physique. Tuesday’s lesson was an Extended Side Angle pose, which helps the back and improves blood circulation. Wednesday’s exercise was the Bound Angle Pose which strengthens the back and abdomen. Thursday’s exercise was the Upward Dog Pose, which strengthens the back of the legs and improves posture. Finally, Friday’s lesson was the Bridge Pose, which strengthens the abdominal and back legs. For pictures and descriptions of Izumi’s lesson, visit here.
In other Rika Izumi news, the former PGSM actress will be appearing in a supporting role on “BeeTV”, a station geared towards mobile devices and the internet. She will be making some cameo appearances on the omnibus love dorama, “Onna-tachi wa Nido Asobu”. Aibu Saki, Koyuki, Hazegawa Kyoko, Yuuka and Misukawa Asami will be the full time cast members that Izumi will be acting with. A typical episode of this show will feature five different mini-episodes within its 24 minute run time. Also Buzzing Around on BeeTV is A Turtleman!
Suntory, a company which specializes in various drinks, has put together a special campaign for Jug-Nana, a popular line of beer. Suntory has gathered six young idols for its latest promotion, one representing each day of the week. Sharing Thursday for this promotion is none other than Mew Azama (PGSM Sailor Jupiter) . Some of the idols representing the other days of the week are Yuriko Yoshitaka (Monday), Sayo Aizawa (Tuesday), Airi Taira (Wednesday), and Inamori Izumi (Friday). All six idols will represent Saturday and Sunday.
PGSM Stars Reunite (Well, Almost…)
Special thanks to reader RB for sending in this sighting! Mew Azama and Ayaka Komatsu (Sailor Venus) hosted a combined birthday party for Mew and a New Years’ Party a little over 2 weeks ago. The only one who couldn’t make it this time was Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars). Miyuu Sawaii (Sailor Moon), Rika, and Ayaka all posted images and a few thoughts on their blogs! Rika remarked that it was fun to get together with everyone again after a long time, and that they are so close that they can talk for hours. Ayaka also said that she was happy to see everyone, and that they were so restless when they caught up with each other! Miyuu just wrote that they had a great time and they talked a lot. Here come the photos:
From Rika’s Blog:
From Ayaka’s Blog:
From Miyuu’s blog:
Keiko Kitagawa is Valentine’s Queen, Journalist Offender, and a Hair-Raiser!
Keiko is too busy doing promotions for her new productions and filming others, but she still continues to make some quirky appearances in Japanese news. On February 3rd, she was voted a Valentine’s Day Queen in the categories of Drama Heroine and Most Fascinating Female Celebrity. This was a survey done by 300 Japanese High Schoolers sponsored by both Oricon and Pocky. Valentine’s Day is a little different in Japan – women give men chocolate, and then men return the favor giving women chocolate exactly a month later. So, Keiko was voted the woman that these High Schoolers would most like to receive chocolate from! Standing alongside her is Japanese idol Masuwaka Tsubasa (who is best known for her Gyaru modeling). Keiko was quoted during the event: “I attended a girls’ school for junior high and high school. Making homemade chocolates was not one of my strong points. Instead, I often received really cute chocolates made by other girls.” Mishapen or lumpy Keiko, it’s the thought that counts! Fans can watch some highlights from the event here. Keiko also wrote something that offended journalists a few days later on her blog (English translation here), ranting about how she finds it difficult to keep her answers consistent during interviews ahead of the March 10th premiere of her upcoming movie After the Flowers, and that she thought she put all the intense stress on her brain away after she graduated. We hope that this doesn’t hurt the press because the movie looks really good (and could hopefully be picked up for international distribution). On the bright side, some critics have already lauded her performance in this movie “Hair-Raising”,”Trembling” and “impressive” at a preview screening held on January 26th.
Natsumi Kiyoura Releasing First Album!
Natsumi Kiyoura (Sailor M) is releasing her debut album, and boy has she come a long way since her days on PGSM. She is a singer, and has even sung the theme song for Spice and Wolf “Tabi no Tochu”. The song is featured on her upcoming album “19 Colors”, which is produced by many big names in the industry. It even has a song (“Anone Demone”) produced by Yoko Kanno, who is legendary among anime fans for her work on anime movie and TV show soundtracks. This long awaited release will come out on February 24th, and fans should order it now from overseas retailers as it is predicted to be a hit!
It seems Keiko Kitagawa (Sailor Mars in PGSM) has been the subject of many tabloids’ fodder lately. The first one came a little over a week ago, where she was compared to Aya Ueto. Aya Ueto is an idol who has a nickname in the Japanese press, she is known as the “low-ratings idol” since she mostly appears in magazine, commercials, and low-rated dramas. According to this article, Aya has some competition with her “low-ratings” crown in the form of Keiko Kitagawa, who over the last nine months has been seen in the same sorts of things that Aya used to conquer! The article goes on to say that Aya has had a 10-year career, while Keiko has only been on the scene for 6 years. But it makes light of dramas which they starred in and their dwindling ratings. There’s an error in this article, as he calls Keiko only an actress and Aya an actress and a singer. Keiko has sung songs for PGSM which we’re pretty sure were well loved (at least it wasn’t Miyuu Sawaii’s singing). The writer of this article, at the end shows a shred of humanity saying that he doesn’t want fans to be angry with his decision about who the new low-ratings idol is. He ends saying Keiko is winning against Aya right now, but has more faith in Keiko having a better career in the future. He also notes that it is hard for many idols to achieve a lot of popularity. Aya is pictured here ->.
Yes, we know this article was garbage, but we really don’t think that this was fair to even put her in that category! Sure her latest dramas haven’t had wide appeal (Homeroom on the Beachsidelost ratings steadily), however she is one of the few stars of PGSM who is steadily working hard towards stardom (even though she is not as successful as others)! Plus, she is featured frequently on commercials for cosmetics giant Kanebo (as is Aya). We remember reading in an interview a long time ago that she didn’t feel like she was worthy enough to be with all the other, more beautiful, idols that were in the commercials. To us, Keiko seems willing to try different things to put herself out there, and we know that she will never be a low-ratings queen to us!
We also came across this scan of Keiko’s various romantic interests and other men she has starred in movies and dramas with. We can’t name any of them unfortunately – if any of you know who they are, please tell us! Miyuu Sawai and Ayaka Komatsu are only in there to connect to her debut work, PGSM.
And thirdly, it seems that Keiko was involved in yet another scandalous mishap! Last week, she appeared on Tunnels: Food Prejudice King, a variety show in Japan. Tunnels features a campy quiz show for the first 20 minutes, and then the other 40 are devoted to celebrity food tasting, and then everyone has to guess the food that the other one hated. Alongside Keiko was a South Korean actor named Jung Woo-sung. Unfortunately, at the end of the show, he spelled Kimchi wrong (writing Kimuchi instead of Kimchi), and many South Koreans got offended. This led him to issue a huge apology out to his fans. We have a couple clips from the show for you all!
First: The Introductions, and Wine Tasting! Keiko doesn’t like the wine and seems a little shy…
For those of you who want to know about Korean romanization and why “Kimuchi” causes a bit of an uproar, hit the jump for a very special explanation from our seasonal writer, Starcat!
Here’s Starcat’s explanation!
(please note that for this article I don’t use a standard romanization system — I simply write out how I think things are best phonetically pronounced to American English speakers, with hyphens to indicate between syllables. If you are from another country or have another accent you might not sound “Korean” when you pronounce things this way, but I think it works the best to my eyes and ears! I’m also calling it the “English” alphabet rather than Latin because romanization tends to follow the English way of pronouncing each letter.)
The Korean language, 한국어 (han-guk-oh), and Korean alphabet, 한글 (han-guhl), don’t really match the typical sounds given to English letters, so there can be a lot of variation for one word. It can get somewhat closer to most English words than Japanese due to the use of final consonants other than n (as in kim-bap, kal-bi, ta-sot, and an-nyohng–yes, the ng is one letter in Korean!) Some words are really easy to romanize into English — kimchi is written very much as it is in Hangul: ㄱㅣ ㅁ (김) ㅊ ㅣ (치), 김치. it can be spelt gimchi as well (and some people/places write kimchee or other variations on the same pronunciation) because the first consonant, ㄱ, falls slightly between these two English letters. (There are two more variations on this letter that produce a more distinct k-sound or a short gg/kk sound, as well, further complicating romanization into English, but since we’re only concerned with a simple word, kimchi, it’s not our problem.) The -chi part is slightly less complicated, because the ch, ㅊ, is already what’s called an “aspirated” consonant, which means it’s pronounced almost exactly like “ch” is in English. The letter it’s based on, ㅈ, is more of a j/ch combination–again, causing romanization problems in a different way.
Japanese, though, does not have these ending consonants. To write “kimchi” in Japanese, you must write ki-mu-chi, or キムチ. The u sound is usually dropped or only briefly pronounced so it ends up sounding very close to kimchi in Korean. It’s not a problem, right?
Well, to the Korean people, it is. The Japanese occupied Korea for a long time, and there is still a bit of jealousy and tension between the two countries. Japan has tried to get Korea’s national dish standardized in English as “kimuchi”. While I am not a Korean national or even Korean by heritage, my guess is that this misspelling was so offensive because of two reasons: for one, it’s the Japanese way, not the Korean way; for two, an unknowing English speaker would pronounce kimuchi different than kimchi. In short, the romanization directly from Korean is the best way and to do it otherwise is weird and insulting, particularly for such a high-profile dish! Even though this K-Pop star was in Japan, he should have been representing Korea and spelling it the Korean way.
I’m still a learning Korean student–if anyone knows if “kimuchi” is a real word in Korean (the basic hangul spellings I tried in Google Translate produced nothing) please write in and let us know!
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 trendyDonna 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.
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!
Moon Chase! is an independent, non-profit collective. We're your source for just about everything happening in the Sailor Moon world from the actors of the anime (in English and Japanese), PGSM and Sera Myu, sightings in pop culture, and anything else we find that could be of interest to Sailor Moon fans.