Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, narrates the Japanese Wonder Woman trailer

Japanese Wonder Woman poster

Do you like female super heroes? The Japanese Wonder Woman trailer is out and it is narrated by none other than Kotono Mitsuishi, the Japanese voice of Sailor Moon in the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal! Watch the trailer below!

For years I’ve tried to argue that Sailor Moon is the most iconic female comic super hero! This was certainly true in the 90s when Sailor Moon was a worldwide phenomenon. Wonder Woman is the other obvious answer people give when asked who the most popular female comic book character is. I have no interest in detracting from her importance as a character but having been featured in one TV series 40 years ago and only in 2017 having her first theatrical film she has some catching up to do! Still when most people in the English speaking world hear “comic book super hero” they think of Superman, Batman, capes and tights, which brings Wonder Woman to mind.

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

The Wonder Woman film will be released on June 2nd in North America and August 25th in Japan. It stars Gal Gadot who will be reprising her role from the Batman v Superman movie from last year. I think she did a great job in the last film and am looking forward to seeing this film. It’s always great to see a film like this promoting women as being strong, independent and kicking ass.

Sailor Moon/Wonder Woman crossover by Andriu

If you’re a fan of Sailor Moon and Wonder Woman crossovers check out TeePublic to get a cool looking shirt for $14. It will also be on sale at Ript Apparel on Sunday March 26th for just $13. Don’t miss it!

Japanese Wonder Woman book

Sailor Moon R The Movie screening impressions

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Envelope and contents

This past Wednesday, March 1st 2017, I was lucky enough to see Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres. I consider myself lucky for many reasons! For one I was lucky enough to live in a city in which the film was playing but more importantly to me because this was something I’d wanted to do for decades. I always hoped I would be able to see this, one of my all time favourite movies, on the big screen but as a Sailor Moon fan in the 90s this never seemed realistic. Because of this I am thankful that Viz Media and Eleven Arts brought this movie to select theatres for these special screenings. A lot of additional showtimes have been added for many Canadian cities. Fans should check out the Cineplex site for more information if they’re looking to watch it or watch it again.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Envelope

I saw the film at South Keys movie theatre in Ottawa. This was the theatre I spent the most time at as a teenager, in the years when I first watched Sailor Moon, as I would see one or two movies a week here for a number of years. There was no end to my nostalgia last night! As I entered the theatre I was given a gift of an envelope with a postcard sized card inside. Mine featured Sailor Moon, though there were also some featuring Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. This was a nice touch as fans could be heard chatting about who they’d gotten, who they wanted and looking for people to trade. My girlfriend and myself both got Sailor Moon, as did many people around us, which makes me suspect that perhaps these weren’t shuffled or randomized terribly well. The envelope also contained a few ads. The ad for the manga featured an image of volume 12 of the recent manga release. The ad for the Sailor Moon R The Movie home video release also had an ad for the TV series Blu-Ray and DVD releases on the back.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Sailor Moon Card

The event itself was billed at being 90 minutes long, which didn’t ad up for an hour long movie and short special, but a bonus featurette filled out the time. Before the film the audience was presented with an interview with three of the actors from the film. Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask, and Ben Diskin, the voice of Fiore, answered questions about the film. One oddity about the interview was that the voice actors called Fiore “Fiole” despite it clearly being pronounced Fiore throughout this English dubbed version of the film. Sure the R and L sound are interchangeable in Japanese but Fiore is the Italian word for flower which seems to be its meaning. Though I’ve seen this film some 50 times the occasional spoilers from this interview didn’t bother me, but I wondered if everyone else in the theatre felt the same. Audience reactions from some twists in the film made me think some of them may not have seen it before. Sailor Moon played on TV a lot back in the 90s here in Canada but the films were released a few years after the theatrical run. Though I’ve seen them play on TV they would have been more readily available to viewers on home video, so it seems likely that more casual fans or those that didn’t follow the show much after it was on TV may not have gone out of their way to see this film before last night. Overall the interview was nice and had some decent insight, but I’m not sure playing it before the feature was the best idea.

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Chibiusa and Usagi at the Dam Dam Hamburger and Coffee Restaurant

Next was the “Make Up! Sailor Guardians” special which originally played with Sailor Moon R The Movie in Japan. This had not previously been released domestically so it is likely that many fans hadn’t seen it before. I’d seen it on the Japanese DVD release and fan subs so I was familiar with the dialogue and it seemed to be mostly accurate to the dub. This special is a series of clips from the series featuring the various Sailor Guardians inter spliced with footage of two girls at a cafe who are chatting near Chibiusa and Usagi. It’s funny because Chibiusa is on a poster behind them and they don’t really seem to notice. The quality of this film was great, despite using visuals from the TV series which were never intended to be seen on the big screen.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie - Mamoru and Fiore

Finally there was the main feature, Sailor Moon R The Movie. The film itself is fantastic, a story of Mamoru’s childhood friend who’s being manipulated by a magical and evil flower into doing all sorts of terrible thing. It’s full of action and drama and to me represents the Sailor Moon anime at its finest, keying in on elements which make the show what it is. It showcases Usagi’s strength, which is her ability to be a true friend and to save those around her from loneliness. I wasn’t sure what to expect as video quality goes. The video releases of the original Sailor Moon series have pretty marginal quality, but this film is nothing like that. The presentation was likely using some sort of HD video projector, likely with a 1080p Blu-Ray equivalent source. I’ve seen this movie a number of times on the Japanese DVD release, which had previously been the best quality transfer of this film, and the level of detail I could see on the screen was far beyond anything I’d seen before of Sailor Moon. The quality of the lines and small bits of animation showed me detail that was drastically better than the DVD version. It seems like this was an HD transfer of the original film source that had likely gone through some remastering work as opposed to a software upscale of a standard definition source like we’ve seen for the TV series. This is promising for the Blu-Ray release which is currently planned for April 18th.

Tuxedo Mask Kisses a dead Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon R Movie

All in all seeing a Sailor Moon movie in theatres was a wonderful experience for a Sailor Moon fan and aside from the volume being a bit loud I though the whole event was handled quite well. I sincerely hope that there was enough fan interest that Viz and Eleven Arts are planning to do something similar with the Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies. Considering the turn out and extra showings which were added I am optimistic that we will be seeing Human Luna and Perle (Peruru?) on the big screen over the next couple of years.

What was your experience like watching the film?

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Chris Wiggins, Sailor Moon’s narrator and the voice of Mr. Baxter, has died at age 87

Chris Wiggins

I am sad to report that Chris Wiggins, a voice actor from the original English dub of the Sailor Moon anime, has died at age 87. He passed away on February 19th after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The provided the voice of Mr. Baxter from the episode “An Unnatural Phenomenon”. Mr. Baxter was a mild mannered gardener turned ecoterrorist thanks to Nephlite’s influence. He also voiced the narration included at the beginning of the first episode and episode 41. This first narration, added for the dubbed English version, provided excessive spoilers for the upcoming season including the identity of the Moon Princess and Prince Darien as well as the specific fate of the Moon Kingdom.

Sailor Moon episode 15 - Ami and Mr. Baxter

Aside from his brief work on Sailor Moon Chris Wiggins also had a lengthy resume. As a fellow Canadian the roles I knew him best for were Chief Quimby from Inspector Gadget and No Heart from Care Bears. His obituary can be found in The Toronto Star. He will be missed by fans around the world.

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.

Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon Crystal, gave birth to a baby boy at some point in 2016

Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon Crystal

Rina Sato, who provided the Japanese voice of Sailor Mars in Sailor Moon Crystal, has announced that she had a baby boy at some point this year. According to a number of Japanese news sites this was mentioned in a blog post on December 31st, the first she’d made since August. She also mentioned getting married. When exactly this occurred isn’t clear.

Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, in December 2016

I’m a bit surprised to learn this news! While Rina Sato has not been active on her blog she has still been consistently posting to Twitter throughout the year. Her posts talk about attending various events, many of which are accompanied by very much not pregnant photos of herself. That said there is a lengthy gap in which there are no photos of her during the first half of 2016. Her blog post mentions that this is a private affair, so it would make sense that she not share details about it on her professional Twitter account. All considered I would say it’s likely she had her baby boy earlier in the year rather than later.

Congratulations to Rina Sato! I wish her all the best in this new chapter of life.

Source: Rina Sato’s blog via IT Media, Livedoor News, Yahoo! News and @thesailorbook on Twitter

The cast of Sailor Moon star in yet another Ford Fusion commercial from their Overdubs series

Sailor Moon in front of a Ford Fusion

Ford has release the latest in their Overdubs series of commercials and this one features the entire cast of Sailor Moon. We previously reported on the first commercial, starring Stephanie Sheh and Michelle Ruff as Sailor Moon and Luna. This one has Stephanie Sheh as Sailor Moon, Kate Higgins as Sailor Mercury, Cristina Vee as Sailor Mars, Amanda C. Miller as Sailor Jupiter and Cherami Leigh as Sailor Venus. Watch the clip below.

The original episode this footage comes from is Sailor Moon R episode 72, Rubeus the Heartless: The Tragic Sisters. We can tell this by the fact that they are fighting on a bridge against Petz and Calaveras. Following this altercation they are healed with Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal. It makes me wonder how they got that Ford Fusion up to the upper part of that bridge…

Sailor Moon Ford Fusion commercial, Petz and Calaveras

Meet Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and more at Fan Expo Vancouver November 11th to the 13th

Usagi trying to kiss Makoto

This weekend, Novemeber 11th to the 13th, Sailor Moon fans will be able to meet voice actors from the original and new dubs of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center. In attendance from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime will be Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. Fans will also be able to meet Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal.

Cherami Leigh - The voice of Sailor Venus

Though not one of the main cast fans will also be able to meet Ryo Horikawa from the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon. He is best known as the voice of Vegeta from Dragonball Z but he also provided the voice of some guest characters in the original Sailor Moon anime. In Sailor Moon S episode 119 he voiced Thomas Harris, a DJ who was targeted by Mimete of the Witches 5 . In Sailor Moon SuperS episode 140 he played Yoshiki Usui, a fashion designer who was targeted by Fish Eye.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 140 - Yoshiki Usui and his partner

The main panel to catch is “Sailor Moon Celebration Panel with Stars Linda Ballantyne & Susan Roman” on Saturday at 12pm. You’ll be able to see Cherami Leigh at the “Q&A Session with the Stars of Fairy Tail: Cherami Leigh, Chris Sabat, Jamie Marchi & Eric Vale” Sunday at 11:30am. Ryo Horikawa has three panels. Friday at 5pm is “E-manga Promotion with Ryo Horikawa”, Saturday at 4:30pm is “Dragon Ball Z with Ryo Horikawa & Chris Sabat & Eric Vale” and finally Sunday at 12:30pm is “Anime Q&A with Dragon Ball Super’s Ryo Horikawa”.

Will any you be at this convention? Who are you most looking forward to meeting?

Tracey Moore, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, will be at Forest City Comicon this weekend, November 5th and 6th, in London, Ontario

Tracey Moore the voice of Sailor Moon

Great news for London, Ontario Sailor Moon fans! This weekend Tracey Moore, the original voice of Sailor Moon, and Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, will be at Forest City Comicon at the London Convention Centre. Tracey Moore voiced Sailor Moon for 13 episodes of the original English dub of the series before being replaced by Terri Hawkes who did most of the first two seasons. Tracey Moore was also voice director for the episodes she starred in as well as two others. Ron Rubin voiced Artemis but never appeared in the same episode as Tracey Moore due to the fact that he only showed up a bit later in the series.

Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis

Both voice actors will be on a panel “The Voices of Sailor Moon: Ron Rubin & Tracey Moore” at noon on Saturday November 5th. Individually Ron Rubin will have a panel Saturday afternoon at 6pm and then Tracey Moore will have a panel on Sunday November 6th at 1pm.

Meet Linda Ballantyne, Sailor Moon, and Katie Griffin, Sailor Mars, at MegaCon Tampa Bay October 28th to the 30th

Katie Griffin and Linda Ballantyne

Great news for Tampa Bay area Sailor Moon fans. This weekend is MegaCon Tampa Bay at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa Florida. In attendance will be Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Katie Griffin, the voice of Sailor Mars, both from the original English dub of the first Sailor Moon anime series. Also in attendance will be Cassandra Lee Morris, the voice of Calaveras of the Ayakashi Sisters from the new English dub of Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon Crystal.

Katie Griffin and Linda Ballantyne at Windsor ComiCon

The main panel with Linda Ballantyne and Katie Griffin to catch is at 3pm in Saturday with “Moon Prism Power! Sailor Moon Memories with Star Voice Actors”. Later Saturday at 6pm fans can see “Anime Bloopers with Cassandra Lee Morris”. Sunday at 2pm is the Q&A with Cassandra Lee Morris. All panels are held in room 18. Will any of you be at this convention?

Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto, has died of cancer at age 44

Susan Aceron, the voice of Sailor Pluto

I am sad to report that Susan Aceron Gray, who voiced Sailor Pluto during the Cloverway dub of the Sailor Moon anime, passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer. She was 44. She played many other characters through the series including the Kisenian Flower from the Sailor Moon R movie, Byruit (Viluy), Cyprine and Petirol of the Witches 5, Mistress 9 and Elizabeth (Unazuki).

I was lucky enough to meet Susan Aceron over 10 years ago at Anime North in Toronto. She was very kind and quite happy to meet her fans. Her work was cherished by Sailor Moon fans around the world. She will be missed.

Source: Moon Chase!, Obituary