Sera Myu Fall 2010 Update (Part 1): Heroes and Enemies!

Only 7 actors from the beloved musicals are moving and shaking in Japan, so here comes your first of two updates!

First, we’ll start with the heroes!

Anza Ooyama Continues to Rock!

Anza Ooyama (Sailor Moon from 1993-1998) continued to rock all through Japan with her band HEAD PHONES PRESIDENT this summer. On their recent “Fuse the Soul” tour across the country, one of their featured openers came from this side of the pond! That band was Canada’s Domenica, another metal band fronted by a female singer (Bekki). The band commended HPP on their facebook page, telling their fans to check out the band and that “they are definitely a live show to be reckoned with.” On the last day of this tour (September 12th), Anza wore a gold bustier with a brown skirt that was a little hard to see in the dark, and she addressed the audience a lot.The writer of this article also noted that Anza has definitely improved on her emotional expression skills and provokes the audience to feel a whole range of different emotions during her concerts. At the end of the show, she wanted a photo of her band with the audience, and even invited Domenica to join them on stage as well! On September 19th, they also played at another event called “Abstinence’s Door”, which was organized by another Japanese metal band called D’erlanger. The band released a statement to the press saying that they were deeply and greatly moved to be joining such a renowned rock band on stage, and that they had hoped to connect with other bands that are pulling the rock scene in Japan with all of their sounds to have a great time! HPP also just released their latest album Pobl Lliw on September 3rd, and fans can listen to tracks from the album via the band’s official MySpace.

Manna in New Horror Film!

Many fans probably remember Kasumi Suzuki as the cute Manna from Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady. Well, she has grown up! She is now starring in a horror movie called Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror From Tokyo. The movie’s world premiere was in Los Angeles last July, and has since been going around the indie circuit. The horror movie is the last of 3 movies based on the TV show of the same name, all telling different horror stories. This movie in particular has two stories in it, “Possessed” and “Nozomi”, both starring Japanese idol Erina Mano (but our Kasumi stars right alongside her). “Possessed” is a story about a hiccuping epidemic among college students turning them into enraged, murderous, monsters. “Nozomi” is about a young girl that is haunted by a ghost that may hold the key to a dark family secret. All of the press surrounding this movie is surrounding Erina’s debut, but we’re pretty sure that this is Kasumi’s first time starring in a Japanese movie that is making it big across the globe. While we couldn’t find any comments from her in the press, we were able to find a photo of her from the Japanese premiere in Shibuya on September 4th! She is in the front row on the left… see how Manna has grown?

Kimi no Todoke Premiere Makes Waves in Japan (and Moves Sailor Star Healer to Tears)!

The highly anticipated Kimi no Todoke (From Me to You) live-action movie finally premiered in Japan last week. Mikako Tabe (Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer from 2003-2004) plays the leading role of Sawako in this film alongside Haruma Miura who plays Shota (the guy she falls in love with). The press has been featuring stories about this movie for the last few weeks, and both have said that they were really proud of their work and this film, and hoped that the public would also be able to enjoy it. Mikako was also worried that she wouldn’t be able to play the role, since after she saw the anime she wondered if any human could actually play these roles. At a test screening last week, both of them were asked what types of people they would like to fall in love with, and Mikako said she prefers guys that who have an abundance of knowledge, where Haruma said that he likes girls who are just like Sawako – black hair, with the motto to do one good deed every day. This screening was done for teenagers, and set in a classroom much like the one used in the movie, and everyone loved it! At the end of the screening, Mikako was moved to tears by the movie feeling touched by the music, and by the support so many had for her character. Mikako and Haruma were moved to tears again at the movie’s premiere on September 25th at the TOHO Cinemas in Roppongi Hills! Mikako’s eyes were red and swollen as she told the audience “I appreciate it all” in gratitude for the audience’s support. We wish this movie continued success in Japan (and abroad too, since these movies are sometimes licensed for distribution here)! The movie’s theme song “Reaching You” is performed by Japanese rockband Flumpool, and the single was just released a few days ago in Japan.

Tae Kimura Helps Out Some Very Special Causes (While Still Finding Time to Play a Rock Star)!

Tae Kimura (Fisheye) is still receiving a lot of buzz surrounding her movie from last summer, Tokyo Island (we covered this earlier here). And, she is also appearing at some events for some very special causes. On October 1st the famous manicure hotspot Nail Art Collection in Omotesando Hills, opened up a special auction as part of its pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer. Tae’s nails are one of many celebrity nail works by the manicurist with all proceeds going towards breast cancer research. From November 26th-December 3rd, there will be a special Disability Film Festival which will feature her as a guest. Many Ghibli movies will be a part of this festival including Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. Audience members will also be encouraged to express sound effects that are displayed in the subtitles!

Tae is also starring in a new drama special on WOWOW in Japan called Nazekimi. The first part aired on September 25th. Tae also has an upcoming movie next year where she plays an oddball divorcee who forms a rockband with 3 other moms at her kids’ school! The movie is called Utahime☆ and the band will play “Smoke on the Water” at a school festival. Everyone had a lot of fun learning how to rock for this movie – and it looks like it will be a hit next summer!

Part Two features all men who have played the same role! It will be posted later this week. Who do you think is the character and which actors are we going to tell you about? Make your guesses below!

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!

Sera Myu Update – June 2010 (1 of 3)

Anri Onuki in Special Live Variety Extravaganza!

On July 19th, a special variety show will take place at the Aoyama Round Theatre, Tokyo. The show is called Pandora’s Ark Music X Paint Concert and will feature a harmony of live music, live painting, and story telling. There are a variety of different musicians appearing including guitarists, percussionists, a pianist and a signer, as well as an Erhu player! Among these, is Anri Ohnuki (Sailor Aluminum Siren in 2004) who will be performing a reading at this event. The release introduces her as appearing in Tokyo-Jima. She plays Mary Magdalene in the movie which also stars Tae Kimura (Fisheye from 1995-96) in the leading role! The show sounds like it should be a fun and interesting one to go to, so our readers who will be in Tokyo at the time should check this out!

Tae Kimura Shares Her Favorite Books and in New Commercials!

Speaking of Fisheye, she is sure up to a lot these days! In a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, she was asked about what she likes on her bookshelf. She reveals that she likes to watch people in love, and by the way she talks she sounds like a real romantic! She watched a couple in a car lately, but she likes to watch lovers and surmise about their bond. She uses her observations and ideas when she has to act! Aside from romance novels, she also likes to read fantasy novels, especially those with heroes and heroines. When she reads these she likes dto dream of what the cast would be like! And thirdly, when it comes to classic fantasies, she has two favourites: Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. These are old childhood favorites of her, and she likes to feel like a kid again when she reads these. She especially loved these characters’ ability to float and fly in the air. She especially loves how Mary Poppins could clean a room in a snap!

Softbank is best-known for their dog mascot Oto-san! This white dog is brave, smart, friendly, and the cutest mascot we’ve ever seen. In fact he is so popular that in Japan you can get cell phone themes and other goodies like charms and toys in the dog’s likeness! In a recent series of commercials, Softbank has used the recent election as their inspiration for advertising some new plans. There are some mock debates and other situations featured in these commercials, and Tae Kimura can be seen in them. Look for the long-haired girl here in the commercials posted on June 3rd and 18th! This campaign will continue throughout the summer.

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!