A new Sailor Moon Classic Concert will take place this summer

Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018

Following last year’s 25th Anniversary Classic Concert we are getting yet another Classic Concert with this summer’s Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018. An image, which will likely be used for posters and the album cover, has art in the style of the original Sailor Moon anime as opposed to least year’s concert which had Sailor Moon Crystal inspired designs. I have a nostalgic preference for the original anime myself though it would certainly have been nice to have seen these designs incorporate musical instruments or something of a musical theme as we saw last year.

The concert will be performed August 28th and 29th at the Tokyo Art Theatre and September 7th at the Osaka Festival Hall. A set list for the concert was posted to the official Sailor Moon site which gives us a good idea of what to expect. There are similarities to the last Classic Concert but there are also some new songs we haven’t heard in a while, such as a nice assortment of character songs from the original anime, mostly those from the Sailor Moon R era. I couldn’t find a translated list of the songs online anywhere but so made an attempt to provide one here.

Sailor Moon Classic Concert 2018 set list

I’ve done my best to translate the track listing below. I don’t speak or read Japanese so I usually just copy and paste this kind of thing into Google Translate which gives me a rough idea of a translation, usually enough to understand what song it’s a reference to. In this case the set list was only on an image so it was a bit trickier figuring out what these songs were. The list below is incomplete with a few sections including ??? when I just couldn’t make any guess at a translation. This includes kanji which I have no ability to translate. If anyone can shed light on some of those missing or incomplete titles please mention it in the comments and I’ll update it.

Update July 11th: Thanks to a comment by Mayuri I was able to complete the track listing!

M1: Background music
M2: Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Sailor Moon anime opening theme
M3: Background music
M4: Character songs (Since this is a single song it seems likely this will be samplings from five character songs into a single song)
M4-1: Onaji Namida wo Wakeatte (Sharing the same Tears) – Ami Mizuno’s character song
M4-2: Sei Hi Ai ~ Fire Soul Love ~ – Rei Hino’s character song
M4-3: Starlight ni Kiss Shite (Kissing in the Starlight) – Makoto Kino’s character song
M4-4: Route Venus – Minako Aino’s character song
M4-5: Tuxedo Mask’s Entrance Theme
M5: I am Sailor Moon – Sailor Moon’s character song and the ending theme to the Make Up! Sailor Senshi special
M6: Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Advice) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
M7: La Soldier (Piano) From many early Sailor Moon musicals and Sailor Moon R episode 88
M8: Birth of a Legend (Piano)
M9: Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Tuxedo Mirage – Piano – Seems like a mix of the Sailor Moon opening theme and the ending theme for Sailor Moon S
M10: New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Opening theme to Sailor Moon Crystal Season III
M11: Eye Catch Background music (Commercial break bumpers)
M12: Toccata and Fugue (Bach) (Violin & Piano) – A piece of classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach
M13: Uranus and Neptune Medley (Violin & Piano)
M14: eternal eternity (Violin & Piano) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season III first ending theme
M15: Sailor Starlights Make Their Appearance
M16: Three Lights: Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars) – Two songs from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
M17: Wandering Stars
M18: Shadow Galaxia (Part 1)
M19: Golden Queen Galaxia
M20: Shadow Galaxia (Part 2)
M21: Sailor Stars Song (The Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme)

Songs M17 to M20 aren’t specific songs that I’m aware of but likely cover background music or songs related to the Stars arc centering around the Sailor Starlights and Galaxia.

It seems likely that a CD of this concert will be announced and released afterwards. As with the last concert this will likely be a mix of various musical styles using classical and other instruments. Do any of you plan on attending any of these performances?

Denis Akiyama, the voice of Malachite from the English Sailor Moon dub, dies at age 66

Sailor Moon episode 29 - Kunzite and Zoisite

With great sadness I share the news that actor Denis Akiyama, known to Sailor Moon fans as the voice of Malachite in the original English dub of the Sailor Moon anime, passed away on Thursday at age 66. Malachite was the English name for Kunzite in the DiC dub of the series. In addition to his voice acting roles in Sailor Moon and other anime, cartoons and video games Denis Akiyama was also an accomplished live action actor with roles in films such as Johnny Mnemonic and the film Pixels in which he portrayed Pac Man creator Toru Iwatani who was attacked by a recreation of Pac Man.

Denis Akiyama as Shinji in Johnny Mnemonic

Just last month I was looking up Denis Akiyama and his career as I watched Johnny Mnemonic, a film which was partially shot in the actor’s home town of Toronto and was released around the same time as the Sailor Moon anime was originally playing on TV here in Canada. Denis Akiyama leaves behind a great legacy of performances in TV and film. He will be greatly missed.

Source: Anime News Network

Sailor Moon episode 29 - Kunzite and Zoisite

Here’s a first look at the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live musical

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Poster

The official Sailor Moon site has been updated with a full list of the cast of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live musical as well as a trailer and a poster but for whatever reason we can’t see any of the actor’s faces in them. Seems like an odd decision since the cast has been revealed but there’s a good reason for this! There is no single cast of this musical but rather three different teams! The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical had Team Moon and Team Star and we’re doing one more here with teams , and which are denoted simply by those coloured characters. I don’t know what the naming convention will be in Japanese but these are pink heart, yellow diamond and blue musical note. Sounds a bit like Lucky Charms marshmallows when it’s said like that. Check out the trailer embedded below.

As with other recent musicals we once again have an all female cast which includes the Sailor Team, which is split up into three groups, as well Queen Beryl, Kunzite and Tuxedo Mask which are the same actors throughout the different groups. This tells us the story, if there is some overarching story, will be that of the Dark Moon story arc once again. We also have a series of extras, some of which are in two groups, which are likely playing monsters or other types of background characters. I’ve done my best to translate the names and find a public social media profile for most of these actors but for some of them I wasn’t able to find anything and so I left the original untranslated Japanese names. If anyone has any more details for some of these please feel free to share them in the comments and I’ll update the post.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Moon

The (Pink Heart) Team includes:

Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino: 夢宮加菜枝 (Kanae Yumemiya?)
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno: Cocona
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino: Kitomi Hirai (2)
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino: Kie Obana
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino: Sena Hooper

Background dancers:

松林篤美
新橋 和
土定美月
Osawa Suzuka
Miyuu Ohashi (2)

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Mercury

The (Yellow Diamond) Team includes:

Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino: 古賀なつき (2)
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno: Umino Kawamura (2)
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino: Kyoko Ninomiya
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino: Kanna Matsuzaki
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino: Yu Nakanishi

Background Dancers:

松林篤美
Aiko Enomoto
Ayumi Higashikawa
小泉もえこ
Hinako Aikawa

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Mars

The (Blue Musical Note) Team Includes:

Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino: Kasai Tomomi (2)
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno: Momoko Kaechi
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino: Yui Hasegawa
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino: Shio Yamazaki (2)
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino: Saaya Goto (2)

Background Dancers:

小泉もえこ
新橋 和
土定美月
Osawa Suzuka
Miyuu Ohashi (2)

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Jupiter

All performances will include the same actors as Queen Beryl, Kunzite and Tuxedo Mask:

Queen Beryl: 京香
Kunzite: Sanada Reo
Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru Chiba: Riona Tatemichi

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Venus

We have a few returning actors in this musical. Riona Tatemichi, who will be portraying Tuxedo Mask with all casts, was previously cast as Taiki Kou, Sailor Star Maker, in the Le Mouvement Final musical. Yui Hasegawa, who will be Sailor Mars in the (Blue Musical Note) group was also Viluy of the Witches 5 in the Un Nouveau Voyage musical.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Sailor Team

This musical will be taking place quite soon with performances in Tokyo being held from August 31st to September 9th and performances at Japonismes, a cultural event in Paris, being held November 3rd and 4th. Are any fans who will be in Japan or France around this time planning to attend this musical?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Banner

Kazuko Tadano returns to Sailor Moon after nearly 25 years as the animation director of Sailor Moon Crystal

Kazuko Tadano from the Sailor Moon anime

Today, June 30th, is Usagi’s birthday! As is often the case this meant a special live event was held in Japan. Many fans were hopeful to get some small tidbit of information about the upcoming two Sailor Moon Crystal films and we sure did get the smallest tidbit. Kazuko Tadano, character designer and animation director from the first two seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime as well as the Sailor Moon R movie, will be returning to be the animation director for the 4th story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal! As we have previously learned the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal won’t be individual episodes as we had in the past but it will instead be two theatrically released movies. Not much else of interest seems to have been revealed today. This news was confirmed on the official Sailor Moon site.

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita from the Sailor Moon anime

Kazuko Tadano does fantastic work. The box art she did for the Sailor Moon laserdiscs is still used in releases in Japan to this day. Her designs from the first two seasons of the anime are the image of Sailor Moon that most people remember and certainly the one I have the most nostalgia for. The episodes she was animation director for are some of the best looking episodes of the series. I am looking forward to seeing what this new season will look like! I just wish we had a better idea of just when this would finally be released! Until then, we will just have to be patient. If nothing else this is some indication that things are progressing on the series. All indications seem to be that this is happening and fans should be used to waiting at this point. It has been over two years since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired. Let’s hope we don’t make it to three!

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Comparison between Laserdisc and Blu-Ray

Fans interesting in watching the live event for Usagi’s birthday can check out this stream from the official Sailor Moon Twitter account. It includes a number of song performances, information presented by Fumio Osano and a teaser for the upcoming Sailor Moon Super Live musical.

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita as students from the Sailor Moon anime

Kazuko Tadano and her husband Hiromi Matsushita were both animation directors during the early episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime. They both worked on episode 21, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime, in which a version of them appeared as the two primary characters in that episode, named Kazuko and Hiromi. I was lucky enough to meet them when they made an appearance at Otakon in 2008! I asked them a question about the episode but unfortunately due to technical issues with the video camera I used at the time, I lost the footage of that panel. When I asked the two to sign my Volume Infinity Art Book they were surprised I had such a thing. When I told Hiromi Matsushita what I’d paid for it he called me “rich man”. This is of course not true as a substantial portion of my income goes to Sailor Moon merchandise!

Check out the box art for the Japanese Sailor Moon S Blu-Rays

Sailor Moon S Blu-Ray Vol. 1

After a long delay the next Japanese Blu-Rays of the original Sailor Moon anime are being released. Following a fairly aggressive schedule for the first season and Sailor Moon R, which saw the second volume released in December 2017, the Sailor Moon S releases didn’t continue with the same schedule. We now have details of those releases, included box art, release dates and vendor exclusives. Volume 1, including episodes 90 to 111, will be released November 14th 2018 while volume 2, covering episodes 112 to 127, will be out on January 9th 2019. This is an odd way to separate the volumes with 21 episodes on four discs in the first set and only 16 over 3 discs in the second. The price reflects this unevenness as well with vol. 1 starting at 15,892 yen, about $144 US, and vol. 2 starting at only 11,880 yen, about $107 US. In both cases there is a more expensive versions which, as far as I can gather, only has to do with the vendor exclusive which may prove difficult to get outside of Japan. I paid the premium for the first Blu-Ray but with my Canadian shipping address I wasn’t able to take advantage of the Amazon exclusive so opted not to bother with later sets.

Sailor Moon S Blu-Ray Vol. 2

The first set has Sailor Moon on the cover with the inside cover including Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon, who first transforms into a Sailor Guardian in the first half of Sailor Moon S. The second set has Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on the cover and Sailor Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and Saturn on the inner cover. Hotaru, who eventually becomes Sailor Saturn, first appears in episode 112 making all of her appearances on the second set. All of these have repurposed laserdisc cover art. Since I’m in the middle of a move all of my laserdiscs are in boxes so I don’t have any photos on hand for comparison!

Sailor Moon S Blu-Ray vendor exclusive bonuses

Both volume 1 and volume 2 are currently available to pre-order from sites like Amazon Japan. We can see a number of the special incentives that come with ordering these from certain retailers. Ordering from the Japanese Sailor Moon Fan Club will include a sticker sheet while ordering both will include a laserdisc type of poster. Ordering volume 1 from Seven Net will include an acrylic plate and volume 2 will include a tapestry. Ordering both sets from Amazon Japan will include a box to store both sets. Animate orders will include an acrylic key holder for each set. Finally ordering from Neowing will include a cloth poster.

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of these Blu-Rays, the quality isn’t great. While the original Sailor Moon anime was animated on cels and then converted to film before being put on standard definition video these HD versions were not authored from that film source. Instead the standard definition (480i/p) video source used for television, VHS, laserdisc and DVD, is used as a source and converted to high definition using software filters to extrapolate those extra pixels. Think of taking a small image and stretching it out so that it’s a bit fuzzy. The image this produces is certainly decent compared to the Viz Blu-Ray releases we’ve gotten but certainly nothing close to the movie releases which are authored from film source.

Note that these are Japanese Blu-Ray sets with no English dialogue or subtitles. These might have little use to many English speaking fans. Those looking for a similar quality Blu-Ray set with English audio might be interested in checking out Madman’s release of season 1, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS part 1. These releases have comparable video quality to the Japanese releases which are quite a bit nicer looking than what Viz has released in North America. The problem is that these Blu-Ray discs are region B while North American and Japanese Blu-Rays are region A. This is good news for those in Australia as well as other regions covered by the Blu-Ray B region including Europe, Africa and the Middle East but bad news for those of us in region A such as North and South America and South East Asia. Not sure where you live? Check out this handy Blu-Ray region map. As with DVD players there are region free Blu-Ray players! Something I haven’t gotten around to getting yet.

Interested in getting these? Have you gotten any other sets?

Check out images of the Fan Club exclusives below.

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The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is now playing in Japan

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical - Usagi and Tuxedo Mask

The latest Sailor Moon musical, Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical, began performances in Japan on June 8th! Here’s a look at that musical with photos from the set and other promotional images. As we’ve mentioned previously this musical features band members of the Japanese all girl pop band Nogizaka46 split into two teams, Team Star and Team Moon, which are in two performances of the musical. The rest of the all female cast is mostly comprised of musical actresses.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical - Both Sailor Teams

This musical covers the Dark Kingdom arc of the manga which features Queen Beryl and the Shitennou. We can see from these photos that the story will include the masquerade ball from Act 4 of the manga, Masquerade Dance Party.

nogizaka46_x_sailor_moon_musical_tuxedo_mask_and_sailor_moon

The musical will continue playing in Tokyo at the Tennōzu Galaxy Theatre until June 24th. It will be performed at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater September 21st to the 30th. Will any of you be seeing this musical?

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical - Sailor Mercury, Mars and Moon

Image source: Modelpress, Modelpress, Kininarunaru Sokuhou, @pickmeShin, @mikakodayo

Keep reading for more promotional images of this musical.

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Pre-orders for the 3rd year of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are available until June 30th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Membership Card and Communicator Watch
Pre-orders for membership in the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are open to international users until June 30th, Usagi’s birthday. Fans can order their membership from the Tokyo Otaku Mode web site. As in past years this includes a membership card, special gift and, for those who were members previously, a renewing membership benefit. The special gift is a “Sailor Moon Communicator Watch” which is based off of Usagi’s communicator in the manga which we also saw in Sailor Moon Crystal. Usagi had a much different kind of communicator watch in the original Sailor Moon anime’s Sailor Moon R season though she had a calculator like PDA in the first season. In the live action series Usagi uses a magic cell phone to communicate with her friends.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Princess Notebook and Princess Briefcase

The renewing membership benefit is a “Sailor Moon Princess briefcase” and “Sailor Princess notebook”. Not sure what’s princessey about these. The briefcase isn’t really anything like what I think of when I hear briefcase. It’s more like a folder for holding paper or, in this case, a notebook! Both items feature manga art by Naoko Takeuchi. Neither feature images of Princess Serenity or any other characters in Princess form.

The art on the membership card is fairly underwhelming. This is art we’ve already seen on the special book and 25th Anniversary Tribute Album. This is fairly new art by Naoko Takeuchi so I suppose it decently encompasses the current feel of the franchise.

I’m a bit on the fence about renewing my membership. The idea of the Fan Club is sound, that you sign up and get a special gift and have the chance to get a bunch of exclusive merchandise. That said I haven’t found many of the fan club exclusive offerings terribly compelling. With such a massive amount of Sailor Moon merchandise being sold in Japan over the last few years I hardly feel like I need to buy more but rather pass up a lot of items. The only fan club exclusive I’ve gotten in the past 2 years is the stamp set, which I was quite happy with. A lot of the benefits for Japanese fan club members, like access to items only for sale in Asia or events in Japan, aren’t applicable to international members. Some fans choose to get a Japanese fan club membership though again for fans outside of Japan a lot of those benefits, such as for events held in Japan, aren’t something they can make much use of!

Are you a fan club member? Do you plan on renewing your membership? What advantages has membership in the fan club gotten you?

The Pretty Heroes convention featuring many Sailor Moon voice actors is coming to Toronto June 16th and 17th

Pretty Heroes banner

We’re only a couple of weeks away from a great convention featuring many Sailor Moon guests in Toronto. After two successful years as the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration this event is being rebranded as the Pretty Heroes convention which will take place the weekend of June 16th and 17th. While this new convention, broader in scope, will still include all things Sailor Moon it will also cover other things which fall under the umbrella of Pretty Heroes. Naturally many Sailor Moon fans will also be interested in many other things which are covered by this convention and so I would suggest you check out the convention’s web site for all of the details. As in the past this convention will be taking place at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The convention will feature a ton of Sailor Moon related voice actors which includes, from the original English dub of Sailor Moon, Stephanie Morgenstern, the voice of Sailor Venus, Vincent Corazza, the 3rd voice of Tuxedo Mask and the voice of Alan the alien, Sabrina Grdevich, the voice of Ann the alien as well as the original voice of Sailor Pluto, and Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune. Also from Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal is Lauren Landa, the voice of Sailor Neptune, and Amanda Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There may be more guests announced as the convention comes up so keep an eye out on the guest list for the latest.

Sailor Neptune

I had a great time at the first Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration a couple of years ago but unfortunately I could not attend last year and won’t be able to make the trip to Toronto again this year. Will any of you be attending?

Check out images of the full cast of this summer’s Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - The entire cast

The official Sailor Moon site has been updated with images which shows the entire cast of this summer’s Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical. We previously only got images of the two Sailor Teams, Team Moon and Team Star, which will be played by 10 of the 46 member pop band. The rest of the cast is composed of musical actresses including Mikako Ishii, who played Sailor Pluto in the last 4 musicals, who will be portraying Tuxedo Mask. Other characters revealed in this image are Naru, Umino, the Shitennou Jadeite, Nephrite, Zosite and Kunzite as well as Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity. Queen Serenity had not been announced in the previous message I posted about this musical. She will be played by Mai Shiraishi, yet another member of Nogizaka 46.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Mai Shiraishi as Queen Serenity

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will play in Tokyo this summer in June and September. It will cover the dark moon story arc and include the cast of Nogizaka46, a 46 member Japanese pop band, spread out over two teams. Some performances will include Team Star and the others will have Team Moon. The rest of the cast will be composed of other musical actors who are not members of the band. Based on the cast information it seems likely the format of the musical will be somewhat like others we’ve seen, covering the Dark Kingdom arc of the manga, which is the first season of the original anime.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Mai Shiraishi as Queen Serenity

Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie are coming to theatres in July and August

Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies

Great news! The 2nd and 3rd Sailor Moon films, Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie, are coming to theatres in North America this summer. Sailor Moon S The Movie will be shown with an encore presentation of Sailor Moon R The Movie Saturday July 28th and Monday the 30th while Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie will be shown with the Ami’s First Love special Saturday August 4th and Monday the 6th. The Saturday showings will have Viz’s new English dub of the film while the Monday showings will be in Japanese with English subtitles. This was announced earlier today at Viz’s Moon Panel at Anime Central in Rosemont, just outside of Chicago. A trailer has been uploaded to YouTube and can be seen below:

The movie posters for these two movies are similar in style to what we saw when Sailor Moon R The Movie was released in theatres.

Sailor Moon S The Movie Sailor Moon Supers The Movie

Fans will be able to get tickets and a complete list of participating theatres from the Fathom Events web site. Currently no theatres are listed but there will surely be more added as we get closer to the dates. It seems practical to refer to the SuperS film as Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie rather than it’s full official title Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. I hardly hold this against Viz as I’ve been known to do the same myself! This will be the first time Ami’s First Love is released here in North America. This short animated special, which was originally shown alongside the SuperS film in Japan, tells the story of Ami receiving a love letter which she suspects is from her intellectual rival Mercurius.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

Sailor Moon S The Movie is adapted from a manga story The Lover of Princess Kaguya which focuses on Luna and her infatuation with a human man. It is well known for featuring Human Luna.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Human Luna

The Sailor Moon SuperS film is an original story not based on any manga chapter. It has Chibiusa befriending Perle, a sort of fairy boy who’s rebelling against Badiane, a villain who is attempting to put the Earth’s children into an eternal sleep in the Black Dream Hole. The film’s story has some similarities to the film The Matrix, which was made a few years after it, though these may be a simple coincidence.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Perle, Chibiusa and Diana

Do you plan on checking out these films?

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