Ok. Not the real Sailor Moon, but still a cool one anyway! Cosplayer Maria Watanabe is on a mission to bring joy to people visiting Japantown and to teach everyone she can (especially children) about Japanese culture. She cosplays at Sailor Moon on Saturday Afternoons in San Francisco’s Japantown, speaking only as Sailor Moon would in Japanese! Fans can check out a wonderful piece here from the SF Public Press which features an audio clip in which she goes into the legend that Sailor Moon is based on, and how happy she is cosplaying as Sailor Moon! The writer could have gotten the description of Sailor Moon down a little better (she definitely doesn’t have blue hair). She has also started a special group for cosplayers, and welcomes more company to join her at the mall. If any of our readers in San Francisco happen to see her, we’d love to hear of your experiences! While we may not have the real Sailor Moon back in North America, it is refreshing to learn of interesting and creative ways that people are still keeping the spirit of Sailor Moon alive. Domo Arigato Goza Imasu Maria!
This video we’re about to show you made the news in Japan! Michelle Phan is a Vietnamese-American student studying at the University of Florida, and her makeup and costuming videos ranging from Snow White to Lady Gaga have made her an internet sensation! She just posted one a few days ago of her Sailor Moon cosplay and the Japanese article noted that it was absolutely perfect. They also made mention of her call to Naoko Takeuchi. “Naoko Takeuchi If you are watching or reading this, thank you so much for creating a hero for all of us girls to look up to. I dream of meeting you one day. I would probably cry because you are one of my biggest inspiration. Arigato!” We’re not going to say much more, but for all you die-hard cosplayers, this video speaks for itself! If any of our readers are dressing up like characters Sailor Moon, please send us pictures – we’d love to feature them!
We’ll start with sports! We haven’t seen so many sports sightings in such a long time, proving that Sailor Moon has fans from almost every walk of life!
☽ High school volleyball player Nikki Glass is making waves and leading her team to victory. In her profile, she listed Sailor Moon as her favorite cartoon as a kid. Her team is currently sitting in first place in their division standings! Way to go, Nikki!
☽ Virginia Tech football player Ryan Williams shared his inspiring life story, from growing up in a bad neighborhood to living out his dreams in high school. He also shared the important lessons he learned from his mentally-disabled older brother, Dontaye. The two share a special bond, and Ryan was always there behind him, even when times got tough. When he was younger, the two would watch cartoons like Transformers and Sailor Moon, and they continue to watch cartoons together today.
Onto visual art!
☽ Roger Shimomura has an interesting art exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle. His paintings are all self portraits superimposed on pop-culture icons, and one of them includes Sailor Moon. Considering that this was painted in 2004, it’s hard to tell whether it was influenced more by the manga or PGSM, but he has painted Sailors Moon, Mercury, and Mars in their anime style, but with elements that were not used in the anime (Sailor Moon’s choker is noticeably different, and Roger crossed his glasses with a shape familiar to manga fans). Fans can check out more of his works on display here.
☽ Teens who are patients at Australia’s West Footscray Royal Children’s Hospital are taking a novel approach to treating their mental disorders – creating art! These paintings were created through art therapy programs. While therapists are reluctant to interpret the art that they are painting, the art serves as a way for patients to express themselves and to identify their emotions and issues, along with their causes. What really struck us was a seemingly hopeful painting that one girl painted of Sailor Moon. She hoped for more power in her personal life. Sailor Moon is a special character who went from being someone who had little confidence in herself, to a superhero that was capable of saving the world, and never giving up the fight. She means a lot to so many people – and this is one of the reasons why we wish the show could come back.
☽ The Daily Show‘s correspondent Samantha Bee, has sure come a long way from her odd jobs at alternative theaters in Toronto! The Toronto Star profiled her last weekend, and talked about her new Off-Broadway show. We enjoyed reading how she met her “Tuxedo Mask” while playing Sailor Moon at Toronto’s CNE several years ago! She considers it one of the low points in her career (but we sure don’t). We tried to find a picture of her as Sailor Moon but were unsuccessful.
☽ And it seems that horrid Kisten Dunst video has finally made its debut in London. Read a fan’s account of it here!
And as we end this article, we’ll leave you with this thought. Is Tuxedo Mask really a headache?
Emily Warren had dreams of being an illustrator. When she was young, she became intrigued by the manga artform after reading the Sailor Moon manga. To her, Usagi was the quintessential “regular girl”, terrible at school and unable to find a boyfriend. As we all know, Usagi had to learn to come out of her shy, shell when she became Sailor Moon. Like Usagi, Emily was an introvert in middle school, and is coming out of her shell when she appears at conventions with her artwork. Emily pursued her dream further, by taking commercial art classes at Jefferson City High School (which have since been discontinued) and graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago in 2007. She trained to be an animator, but she plans on being an illustrator. Emily’s friend Christina Scrain, noticed her talent and introduced her work to editors at Marvel. Soon after, she landed a job at Marvel, as a colorist for series like Big Hero Six, Secret Invasion, and the upcoming Cloak and Dagger! Emily, we salute you for all your hard work and one day we hope to see your work on the cover of a comic! Check out more of her artwork here!
Malaysian Mangaka Wins Prize From Kodansha!
Japanese manga giant Kodansha recently held it’s second annual Morning International Manga Competition, a manga competition for aspiring mangaka outside of Japan. The winners of the competition get their works published in their Morning and Morning Two magazines. One of the second place winners this year is Katheryn Chong, an 18 year old Malaysian Mangaka who has been drawing manga ever since she was 10 years old. One of the first characters she drew was Sailor Moon, and this inspired her to dream for a career in manga. Kathryn’s Puppet Eyes, a manga about puppets fashioned like real humans who think they might be real, won her $2000 USD. The MIMC judges were “impressed by the talent of a 17-year-old who creates this kind of story.” We read the manga online and were very impressed with it – she is still so young and has so much talent already! We have no doubt, she will have a future in the manga industry! When Kathryn learned of her win, she was so overwhelmed that her family suggested her reaction should have been videotaped and put up on YouTube. Kathryn began Puppet Eyes as soon as she had finished her SPM exams (needed before Pre-University) and it took her a month. She learned a lot about what it takes to make a good manga, such as character development and detail. To Kathryn , we salute you for achieving your dream and we wish you the best of luck for the future!
Is The Internet Changing How We Read?
Coming from the New York Times a few days ago, we read of a story that’s given us something to think about. Teenager Nadia Konyk is addicted to the internet – so much so that she doesn’t read books anymore. She’d rather be reading long stories on the internet. Like quite a few readers that we know, she spends her time catching up on social networking sites, YouTube, and Gaia online. When she was younger, her mother tried to read her the Harry Potter books, but she was more interested in anime like Sailor Moon. The article asks the question that with the advent of the internet, is it a good thing that it is inspiring kids to read and write, or a bad thing because kids aren’t interested in reading books anymore? We think that the internet is changing what people read about but at the same time we’re sad to see that books aren’t being read that often anymore. The internet has really opened up some doors in allowing us to bring you, the fans, content you probably wouldn’t find elsewhere very much. The debate this article gives is worth a read for anyone looking for more information.