A Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album is coming December 6th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album cover

A CD collecting music from the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert is coming December 6th! This concert, where the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed songs from various Sailor Moon series, took place in Japan on August 2nd and 3rd at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. This album will be released in Japan but is available to order online from sites such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan. The price is 3500 yen which is about $33 US.

The album collects mostly opening and ending themes from all five seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, a couple of songs from the musicals, a few songs from Sailor Moon Crystal and a bit of instrumental background music. Some songs are instrumental while others include vocals. A track listing is available on the Official Sailor Moon site. I’ve translated it and included it, and a description of where the songs are from, below for your convenience.

Disc 1:

1. Background Music
2. Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Opening theme for the original Sailor Moon anime
3. Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love) – Song featured in Sailor Moon R episode 68 and Sailor Moon S episode 102
4. Heart Moving – Season 1 ending theme #1
5. Princess Moon – Season 1 ending theme #2
6. Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #1
7. Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
8. “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #2
9. Background Music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune
10. Eternal Eternity – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme #1
11. Commercial Break Bumper Background Music

Disc 2:

1. Moon Prism Power Make Up! Background Music (Although the title is similar to that of a song from the original Sailor Moon anime this is the background music which plays when Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon)
2. Moon Revenge – Sailor Moon R The Movie theme
3. Tuxedo Mirage – Sailor Moon S ending theme
4. La Soldier – Song from many early Sailor Moon Musicals
5. Three Lights Medley: 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
6. Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) – From the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical
7. Moon Pride – First Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme
8. Gekkou (Moonbow) – First Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme
9. New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme
Encore. Sailor Stars Song – Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme

In order to promote this release a four minute video of the concert has been released. You can watch it embedded below.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this album once it’s released.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album vendor exclusive items

Fans in Japan can get special exclusive incentives from various retailers. Amazon Japan and CD Japan are not included. One of the incentives is from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club however this item does not appear to be available from the international Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Watch the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical with English subtitles by Miss Dream

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final - Mamoru proposes to Usagi

The latest Sailor Moon musical, Le Mouvement Final, was presented in Japan from September 9th to October 1st. As with other recent musicals one performance was made available to stream to Japanese fans and Miss Dream, the fan subbing group, recorded the stream and has created an English subtitled version which they have made available for download. Fans can follow this link to download Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final - The Three Lights

This latest musical is the last of the current wave, following the Stars story arc of the manga, which had been adapted as the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars season of the original anime. This covers the story of the Sailor Starlights, posing by day as the pop group the Three Lights, as they join the other Sailor Guardians to fight Sailor Galaxia and the Animamates. I haven’t watched the musical yet but once I do I’ll likely post something with my thoughts on it. For those who have watched it, what did you think?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final - Haruka meets Seiya

Sadly this will be the last musical in this recent wave which started back in 2013 with La Reconquista and continued with five musicals starring all female casts. I would never assume this will be the last Sailor Moon musical ever as we’ve seen the musicals come back after an 8 year absence in the past, but the next one we will see will quite possibly be something quite different with a different cast and potentially be yet another retelling of the story.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final - Cosmos

The Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical, which is now playing in Japan, will be released on DVD March 14th

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

The latest Sailor Moon musical, Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final, began being performed in Japan yesterday, Friday September 8th! The DVD has now been announced and it will be released on March 14th 2018. This DVD will have an MSRP of 7,800 yen, about $72 US and is currently available for pre-order from online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

I haven’t generally had anything good to say about these DVD releases in the past. This is a Japanese only DVD with no English subtitles or audio. The video quality of the last 4 musicals has been an embarrassingly sub par 480i which seems especially disappointing given there are HD versions of the musical available online in Japan. This is the kind of stuff we would have expected in the 90s but in 2017 there’s no excuse! There will be no Blu-Ray version of this release. Instead the DVD will simply have a Blu-Ray equivalent price! Will they somehow make this DVD a bit better and at least have progressive scan video? Seems unlikely.

There are currently no specifics about what special features may be included but these usually include a number of bonus features including interviews and other behind the scenes featurettes. Check out my reviews for the La Reconquista, Petite Étrangère, Un Nouveau Voyage and Amour Eternal DVDs to see what kind of special features those included.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final DVD ad

Additionally, as has been done in the past, some special covers for the previous DVD releases will be available exclusively at the venues where the musical is being performed. These exclusive covers feature manga art corresponding to the story arc being covered by the particular musical.

Check out the Sailor Starlights and Princess Kakyuu from the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical

Princess Kakyuu, Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer from the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical

The official Sailor Moon site has been updated with an image of Princess Kakyuu and the Sailor Starlights, Sailor Star Maker, Fighter and Healer, from the upcoming Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical. The cast of this musical was previously announced with Asami Okamura as Princess Kakyuu, Riona Tatemichi as Sailor Star Maker, Meiku Harukawa as Sailor Star Fighter and Saki Matsuda. as Sailor Star Healer. What do you think of the new costumes?

satomi_okubo_as_sailor_cosmos_with_chibi_chibis

Last week we also got a look at the Sailor Cosmos and Sailor Chibi Chibi costumes as it was announced that Satomi Okubo, who previously played Sailor Moon in earlier musicals, will be returning as Sailor Cosmos.

Satomi Okubo, who previously played Sailor Moon, has been cast as Sailor Cosmos in the Le Mouvement Final musical

satomi_okubo_as_sailor_cosmos_with_chibi_chibis

Sailor Cosmos has been cast in the upcoming Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical and she will be played by none other than Satomi Okubo, the actress who played Sailor Moon before Hotaru Nomoto took over the role. Satomi Okubo was Sailor Moon in the La Reconquista, Petite Étrangère and Amour Eternal musicals. This is such an interesting casting choice when considering the actual identity of Sailor Cosmos. Spoilers below for those who may not have read the manga!

Sailor Cosmos

Sailor Cosmos is basically Sailor Moon from the very distant future. This is way beyond when she was Neo Queen Serenity. There is some disagreement amongst the fan community about what exactly this means. Is Sailor Cosmos just a really old but still alive version of the Sailor Moon we see in the series or is she a reincarnated version, much like Princess Serenity from Silver Millennium is the Sailor Moon we know? Alternatively some fans think of her more like a descendant of Chibiusa, which isn’t really an interpretation I can get behind. It seems like Sailor Cosmos once was Sailor Moon which is what makes this casting so brilliant. Here is a great way to have a slightly older version of Sailor Moon that looks totally familiar. With there being less than two years between the ages of the two actresses the difference isn’t all that drastic, but it’s a nice touch.

Spock and Spock - Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy

This reminds me of a few other instances in fiction where a similar interaction with a prior actor occur. The most similar comparison to me is the 2009 Star Trek movie which included a completely new cast but included interactions between the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, and older time traveling Spock played by the original actor Leonard Nimoy. In this case everything down to the time travel similarity is in place. The X-Men film franchise did something similar as the Days of Future Past film from 2014 included new cast members James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto acting alongside their original series future counterparts of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

Professor Xs - James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart

There are a few other not totally similar examples. John Wesley Shipp played the Flash in a 1990 TV series and returned to play the father of the Flash in the 2014 Flash TV series. His name changed but it was an interesting juxtaposition. Batman The Animated Series did similar things a few times. The Grey Ghost was a Batman like character from Bruce Wayne’s childhood who was played by Adam West who had played Batman in the 1966 series. In the 1999 series Batman Beyond Bruce Wayne was portrayed by Kevin Conroy who voiced him in the 1992 animated series. In this case the new Batman was Terry McGinnis, a completely new character, so it’s not really the same thing. Doctor Who is all about changing his face and time traveling so this has happened in the series more times than I would attempt to count.

All we need now is a movie in which Thomas Dekker and Edward Furlong meet! Can you think of any other examples in which an actor previously portraying the role met with a new actor?

Source: Sailor Moon Official Site

The Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical poster, story, cast and schedule have been released

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

A ton of information about the Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical has been released! The musical will start in September and run in three different cities in Japan, those being Tokyo, Aichi and Osaka. As expected this musical will cover the Stars arc of the manga, which has the Sailor Guardians joining forces with the Sailor Starlights to fight Sailor Galaxia.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

Check out the new cast members! Note that I don’t speak Japanese so for some of these I couldn’t get a good English version of the name so I just included the Japanese text. I’ll update those when I get some better into.

Harukawa Meiku - Sailor Star Fighter

Seiya Kou, Sailor Star Fighter, will be played by Meiku Harukawa.

Riona Tatemichi as Rubeus

Taiki Kou, Sailor Star Maker, will be played by Riona Tatemichi. Riona previously played Rubeus in the Petite Étrangère musical.

Saki Matsuda Sailor Star Healer

Yaten Kou, Sailor Star Healer, will be played by Saki Matsuda.

Princess Kakyuu

Princess Kakyuu will be played by 岡村麻未.

Coco Isuzu Sailor Galaxia

Sailor Galaxia will be played by Coco Isuzu (Twitter, Instagram).

Aoki Shion - Sailor Iron Mouse

Sailor Iron Mouse will be played by Aoki Shion.

Sailor Tin Nyanko

Sailor Tin Nyanko will be played by 橋垣美佑.

Sailor Aluminum Siren will be played by 小林由佳.

Juri Hirayu - Sailor Lead Crow

Sailor Lead Crow will be played by Juri Hirayu (Twitter, Instagram).

Hirani Yamaguchi as Chibi Chibi

There will be two actresses playing Chibi Chibi. Hinari Yamaguchi and 新津ちせ.

There will also be some dancers playing additional villains. These are 椎原夕加里, 肥田野好美, 匂坂あゆ美 and Ayano Nagasawa. A number of them played villains in past musicals.

Performances in Tokyo will be from September 8th to the 18th. Performances in Aichi will be September 23rd and 24th. Performances in Osaka will be held from September 29th to October 1st.

Will any of you be attending this round of musicals?

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal DVD impressions

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Cover

The latest Sailor Moon musical, Sailor Moon Amour Eternal, was released on DVD on March 15th. What’s that? Still not on Blu-Ray? No. This is a DVD only release despite the fact that there is an HD streaming version available in Japan. The set includes two discs, the main feature and some special features, as well as a special booklet which is a sort of program. Photos of all pages of that booklet will be included at the end of this post. This is a Japanese only release so don’t expect to be able to follow too well if you only speak English. Fans looking for a subtitled version of the musical should check out the fan subbed version by Miss Dream.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Usagi, Mamoru and Chibiusa

First off let’s talk about the main feature, coming in at a whopping 2 hours and 43 minutes, the 4th of the recent wave of Sailor Moon musicals, Sailor Moon Amour Eternal. This was a decent musical with the most notable change to me being the inclusion of the birth of Princess Serenity back in the days of Silver Millennium. We never got much about this time of her life in other series and it’s interesting to see the other Sailor Guardians fully grown at this time in this particular continuity. The main cast of the 5 actors playing Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus were replaced for this musical. They will all be returning for this Fall’s upcoming musical.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity

DVD

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical HD Version - Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity

HD download

The bad part about this release is sadly the terrible video quality. As with the three prior releases this DVD is 480i video. What this means specifically is that it’s interlaced video, something like the signal we’d get for a standard definition TV broadcast or VHS tape. Oddly the release is still 16:9 widescreen optimized for widescreen displays but somehow not optimized for a progressive scan display, which is what almost everyone would be watching this on. For prior releases I gave Evil Line Records the benefit of the doubt, assuming the release was of low quality due to older cameras used for the recording. Now that we’ve seen 1080p HD releases available to stream in Japan for not only this musical but the last three, it is obvious that this is not the case. This DVD is poorly authored and the company that released it is to blame. Just look at the comparison screenshot between the download version and the DVD version to see the drastic difference in quality. Even if a Blu-Ray release was not viable, a progressive scan release has been the standard for movies released on DVD for nearly 20 years. Many older TV shows are released interlaced simply because that was the limitation of TV at the time but even most early DVDs of movies are progressive scan. No excuses for this one.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Taking a bow

Also included with the main feature is a full length audio commentary! This includes the main cast of Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, and Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Special features - Interview with Hotaru Nomoto and Yuga Yamato

The second disc includes over an hour of special features which aren’t terribly appealing. We start out with a 30 minute interview between Hotaru Nomoto, who played Sailor Moon, and Yuga Yamato, who played Tuxedo Mask. As I don’t speak Japanese I can’t really elaborate on the actual content.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Special features - Special Performance

Next is a stage presentation for a Birthday Night special event, likely held on Usagi’s birthday of June 30th. This is only a few minutes long.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Special features - Audio commentary recording

We then have over half and hour of video showing the recording of the audio commentary. Here we get a picture in picture view of the musical with the five cast members giving their thoughts. Not terribly useful to those who would also watch the entire commentary.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Special features - Intermission

Finally we have an alternate take of the Amazon Trio talking with the audience during the intermission. This one is from the November 6th show. Since these involve audience interactions the intermission for each show would be unique.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Menu in Comic Sans

A note about the various menus on both discs! They use a hilariously cheesy Comic Sans font. Comic Sans is the kiddy or comic style font that you’ll see in a lot of older web sites or perhaps some that are just a little cheap. Over the years it’s gotten a reputation for bad design. In this DVD’s defense however let’s remember that in Japan Comic Sans wouldn’t have the same reputation. I would simply ask our native English speaking fans, what kind of font is any Japanese text written in? Would you be able to tell a fancy and trendy Japanese font vs. a cheap and dated one? Not likely.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Booklet - Cover

Also included is a 20 page booklet which is similar to what you might see in the program sold with the musical. This includes bios for the characters and the lyrics for all songs.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Booklet - Pages 13 and 14

That’s about it. Is this worth it? Costing the equivalent of over $50 US and having abysmal video quality and some fairly lack luster extras this release isn’t terribly appealing to fans who might not actually speak the language. It really would have been nice if this physical release was at least of equivalent or comparable in quality to the relatively cheap digital copies which are available for a fraction of the price in Japan. All said I can’t really recommend buying this, but hard core fans might want to anyway!

Keep reading for more images of the box art, menus and photos of all pages of the included special booklet.

Continue reading

Mirai is Sailor Saturn in the next Sailor Moon musical

Mirai as Chiriko in the Fushigi Yuugi stage play

The actress playing Sailor Saturn, Hotaru Tomoe, in the fall 2017 Sailor Moon Musical has been announced! The recent article on the Sailor Moon official site mentioned that Sailor Saturn would be played by the actress Mirai, a 14 year old actress who played Chiriko in the 2015 Fushigi Yuugi stage play.

Mirai with Volcanion and Pikachu

Sailor Moon/Pokémon Crossover CONFIRMED!!!

Although I reported on this same article a couple of days ago when I mentioned that Karin Takahashi would not be returning as Sailor Saturn in the next musical, I mistakenly did not understand that Mirai was being announced as the new actress because her name means “future” in Japanese. I don’t speak or read Japanese! When I plugged the article into Google Translate I was under the impression that the article was saying that Sailor Saturn’s actress would be revealed in the future. A bit of a “Who’s on first” sort of misunderstanding on my part. Apologies for my somewhat sloppy reporting! Hopefully the next cast members revealed aren’t single word names which mean “To be determined” and “Actress”.

Mirai as Chiriko in the Fushigi Yuugi stage play

Source: @stage_fushigi, @mirai0913_as, Mirai Official Blog, Mirai Profile

Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, will not be returning for the next Sailor Moon musical

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Sailor Saturn

An announcement has been made on the official Sailor Moon site stating that most of the cast of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be reprising their roles for the next musical which will be taking place in the fall. The exception to this is Karin Takahashi, who was also Sailor Saturn and Hotaru in the Un Nouveau Voyage musical, who will not be returning for the next musical. I thought she did a great job in the last couple of musicals and am sorry to see her go. (Update: The new actress who will be portraying Sailor Saturn is Mirai. I was originally confused by the statement thinking it meant she will be announced in the future, as Mirai is the Japanese word for “future”.)

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage Musical - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Returning cast members include Hotaru Nomoto as Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi as Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi as Sailor Mars, Kaede as Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa as Sailor Venus, Shuu Shiotsuki as Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka as Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii as Sailor Pluto, Airi Kanda as Sailor Chibi Moon, and Yuga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask. We don’t have any specifics about the musical at this time but it seems only logical that this 5th in the recent set of musicals would cover the Stars story arc of the Sailor Moon manga. With the musical taking later this year there is always the chance of other cast changes between now and then, but for the moment only one change in casting is anticipated.

The Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be performed at Anime Matsuri in Houston in April

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal poster for Anime Matsuri

The first ever North American performance of a Sailor Moon musical will be taking place in Houston Texas during the Anime Matsuri convention in April. The news of this special performance of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical was posted on the official Sailor Moon site and Anime Matsuri site last month. The specific date of the musical performance has not yet been announced but it will be during the convention weekend which takes place from April 7th to the 9th at the George R. Brown convention centre in downtown Houston, Texas. This may be a slightly modified version of the musical as the entire cast will not be present. At this time only the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, with the exclusion of Chibiusa, will be in attendance. Notice that the poster specifically made for this event features all regular cast members but Airi Kanda who plays Chibiusa.

Fumio Osano aka Osabu aka Osa-P

In addition to the musical there will be many Sailor Moon themed guests. This includes Fumio Osano, Osabu, who is best known as the editor of the Sailor Moon manga. Also appearing are voice actors from the English versions of Sailor Moon Crystal and Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime Cristina Vee, who plays Sailor Mars, and Christine Cabanos, who plays Sailor Saturn.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Sailor Team

Confirmed guests for the musical are Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus,
Syu Shiotsuki, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii, Sailor Pluto, Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, and Yuga Yamato, Tuxedo Mask. Also attending are dancers Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa and Ayumi Sagisaka.