Industry Bits and Convention Appearance!

This is update night, and since there’s a lot to get to we’re going to keep things short! So a while ago, Toei’s Animated Cartoon * Comic service won an award at MIPCOM , an audiovisual media content market in Cannes. This service is unique, though a mobile subscription service, subscribers get sent a comic from one of Toei’s famous titles with comic bubbles over the characters head to tell the story of those episodic moments! For fans who were wondering, yes Sailor Moon is included!

Toei has just begun a promotion for the brand new Pretty Cure movie, as well as season 5 of the show. They are giving away 50 free parent-and-child movie passes, and they have also just added the last season, Splash Star, to their Ani BB service. Splash Star has a lot of connections to Sailor Moon, and even some Sailor Sightings have appeared in the past! They are: Kappei Yamaguchi (PGSM Artemis) as Floppy , Isshin Chiba (Kitakata – SS 137) as Currihan, Keiichi Nanba (Alan, Umino) as Moreunba, Mika Doi (Queen Serenity) as Saori Hyuga, Taeko Kawata (Momoko Momohara) as Princess Filia, Toshiyuki Morikawa (Yuu Kazama – S 115) , Yoko Soumi (PGSM Book Narrator – Ep. 5) as Asuka Suzuki, and Yuriko Fuchizaki (Cyprine) as Michiru Kiryu.

And today Anime News Network reported that Japan issued a formal statement of requests to the United States on regulatory reform and market competition a few days ago. They ask the government in “response to the network digitalization, the popularization of the Internet, advances in digital technology caused by the problem of copyright infringement,”to help them stop the illegal reproduction and distribution of anime online through peer-to-peer networks and video sharing sites. The Japanese Government finds the paths to litigation of these things too cumbersome and expensive, and they can’t keep up with all of them. In recent months we have noticed that most of the major studios now have anonymous forms that users can submit links to potentially infringing websites in an effort to make it easier for the studios.

And, this leaves Sailor Moon in a kind of odd situation. The series is popular, but we don’t think that everyone that would have liked to have owned a piece of it does. Secondly, it’s no longer easily available on DVD and we know of a lot of fans’ projects to upload the episodes onto video sharing sites or by other means to keep this series alive. It’s not licensed anywhere outside of Japan either, so it’s a gray area really. Aside from that though, we believe that fansubs are a good measure of what is popular with anime these days – and is probably a good indicator for distributors around the world to use when they are licensing series. Without it, you might think twice about picking up a DVD you might see at a store without having much exposure to it. We really admire sites like AnimeSuki which keep track of what’s been licensed and what hasn’t and that they step up to the plate to remove the links once a series has been picked up. A more realistic policy might be to stop (a little harder) the distribution of licensed series, which would mean that both Japan and the United States would have to be on the ball about these things. Popular video streaming sites that are Japan-exclusive, such as Nico Nico Douga, have a large amount of anime episodes that are streamed. We’ve even seen a few episodes of various dubs of Sailor Moon pop up on there. We do understand their concerns, because people in Japan have lots of different ways to obtain their anime and they really shouldn’t be streaming. We have a feeling that this is the real reason why they are asking for cooperation to control anime online.

And on a happier note, Anza Oyama(Sailor Moon in many Sera Myu Musicals) will be performing a concert with her Japanese Nu-Metal band Head Phones President at the 4th Annual Pacific Media Expo! The event is being held at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport and is America’s first major trade show dedicated to Asian-Pacific popular culture and entertainment media. If any fans are planning to attend this we would love to hear from you! The festival takes place from November 9th-11th.

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