Some thoughts on the Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History concert which took place November 9th and 10th

Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History

We had previously reported on the then upcoming Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History Supported By Pretty Guardians concert. At the time there was still quite a bit that was unknown about the concert which took place on November 9th and the 10th, a Saturday and Sunday. One lucky reader was able to attend the November 10th performance and passed on his thoughts about the concert which I’m happy to share. I’ll be paraphrasing some of the highlights of his experience.

Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History

The concert took place at Quest Hall, which is located in Harajuku, a district in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo, which is next to Minato, where Azabu Juban and most locations in the Sailor Moon manga take place. The venue housed a couple hundred people which is quite small compared to what would be used for something like a Sailor Moon musical. The audience was mostly composed of women who would have been old enough to be watching Sailor Moon in the 90s, though there were some younger fans as well.

The goal of this event was to celebrate Akiko Kosaka’s career. She has contributed a lot of music to the Sailor Moon musicals as well as the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. This event seems to have been mostly focused on the musicals, though there were a few songs from the anime as well. Akiko Kosaka performed at the piano for the entirety of the concert, with her music being complemented by a keyboard, guitar, bass and drums. A full set list for both days was posted to the official Sailor Moon Twitter account. You can see those set lists below.

Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History - November 9th set list

Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History - November 10th set list

The performers were not in costume though they did wear Music History t-shirts for the second half of the performance. They moved about the stage acting out some of the songs with a small amount of dancing, using the space provided.

The highlights of the show mentioned were the performance of Triple Dreams, a song first performed as part of the 1995 SuperS musical Dream Warriors – Love – Into Eternity… It was also mentioned that Anza, the first actress to play Sailor Moon, and Hikari Ono, who performed a number of roles throughout many musicals, stole the show. The audience seems to have enjoyed the show immensely.

Sailor Moon x Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music History - Merch

There weren’t a ton of products available at the show. A post on the Sailor Moon official site highlighted some of these, which includes pamphlets, magnets, shirts and water bottles. Artists were also selling some of their own merchandise which were in fairly limited stock. Those in the premium seats got extra merchandise which included a booklet of piano sheet music for three songs and a CD including piano versions of some Sailor Moon songs. In the past such items have been sold on Japanese auctions sites such as Mercari for very high prices.

It does not appear that the show was filmed, making a DVD or Blu-Ray release of this concert unlikely. Though it was not mentioned it is always possible that an audio recording was made for a potential future CD release.

Were any of you lucky enough to attend this concert? What are your thoughts on it?

A two day concert, Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians, is coming to Tokyo November 9th and 10th

Anza and Akiko Kosaka from the Sailor Moon Crystal visual book

A two day concert named “Akiko Kosaka’s 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians” will be taking place in Tokyo on November 9th and 10th. This two days concert will actually include two different performances with completely different artists on each day. November 9th will be a relaxed piano concert with some conversations and the 10th will have a band performance. So what exactly is this? Akiko Kosaka is well known for having written many songs for the original Sailor Moon anime as well as Sailor Moon Crystal but in this case it is likely her involvement writing many songs for the Sailor Moon musicals which is the basis for this concert. We can tell from the other artists appearing at this event that this will almost certainly involve performances of a number of Sailor Moon musical songs as this will involve performers from the musicals. Across the two days actresses who portrayed almost all of the Sailor Guardians in the musicals, that being everyone but Sailor Pluto, as well as others will be performing. Sailor Pluto is likely only absent because Yuuko Hosaka, who originally played Sailor Pluto in some musicals, was originally scheduled to be involved with the event but had to cancel.

With this year’s Sailor Moon musical being delayed until 2020 this concert may serve as a nice alternative for some fans. I can only speculate as to the specific format but with there being performers to represent each characters with no duplicates it seems likely that some effort to have someone take the part of the Sailor Guardian they previously portrayed is likely. Will they wear some sort of costume or just sing some classic songs? Who knows! Here’s a breakdown of who’s going to be involved and when.

Anza as Usagi from the first Sailor Moon musical

Not everyone is going to be involved with both days, but here’s a list of the actors which are going to be there for both November 9th and 10th. Akiko Kosaka, who’s career is being celebrated with this concert, will evidently be there for both days. Anza, the first actress to play Sailor Moon in a musical from 1993 to 1998, will likely be performing as Sailor Moon. Hisano Akamine, the third actress to play Sailor Mercury from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Mercury. Misako Kotani, the second actress to play Sailor Mars from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Mars. Emi Kuriyama, the seventh actress to play Sailor Jupiter from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Jupiter. Akiko Miyazawa, the fourth actress to play Sailor Venus also played Queen Beryl and musical exclusive characters Bilhah Emerald and Elizabeth Bathory, a vampire. She will likely be performing as Sailor Venus. Sanae Kimura, the first actress to play Sailor Uranus from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Uranus.

Yuuta Mochizuki, the second actor to play Tuxedo Mask, also played Kunzite in the very first musical and later the musical exclusive character Count Dracul. He is also well known for playing the Red Power Ranger in Zyuurangers, the series which was adapted in North America as the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. He will likely be performing as Tuxedo Mask. Hikari Ono has played Hawk’s Eye, Sailor Star Maker, Loof Merrow, a musical exclusive pirate, Bloody Dracul Vampir, a musical exclusive vampire who is Dracula’s daughter, and Prince Demande. It isn’t clear who she would be portraying in this concert as there doesn’t seem to be an actress to represent each of the Sailor Starlights.

The only person who will only be at the first day performance is Sakoto Yoshioka who played Princess Kakyuu in a musical in 1997. While it’s possible that she could be reprising her role as Princess Kakyuu, there is currently only one Sailor Starlight scheduled to be present on the first day so it doesn’t really add up.

There are a more performers who will only be there on the second day. This is when the full cast was originally planned to be together all at once. Yuuka Asami, the sixth actress to play Sailor Neptune from 1999 to 2002, later returned to play Jadeite in 2003. She will likely be performing as Sailor Neptune. Mao Mita, the fourth actress to play Sailor Saturn from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Saturn. Tamaki Dia Shirai, the third actress to play Chibiusa from 1995 to 1996, will likely be performing as Sailor Chibi Moon. Ryuuji Kasahara played a number of characters including Kunzite, Death Ra, a musical exclusive member of the Death Busters, Tiger’s Eye, MC Fly, a musical exclusive minion of Galaxia, Chaos, Professor Tomoe, Baron Gilles de Rais, a musical exclusive vampire, and Dark Nibiru, a musical exclusive character. It’s not clear who he will be portraying. Momoko Okuyama, the first actress to play Sailor Star Healer in musicals from 1996 to 1998, may be reprising her role but once again as there is no Sailor Star Fighter actress involved we can’t be sure what role she will be playing.

Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music history

With this event only taking place on a single day it may prove more difficult to get tickets than other musicals. Do any of you hope to be able to make it to this concert? I’m certainly hoping a CD or video release will be made available for fans who aren’t likely to attend.

Source: Sailor Moon official site Original Story with an Update.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Art Book review

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Cover

An art book released to celebrate the nearly 5 year old 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon was released yesterday, October 20th, in Japan. I received my copy yesterday and was very pleased with the contents. From the initial description of the product it wasn’t terribly clear what would be involved. Some were claiming it would just be a review of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Exhibit at Roppongi Hills and others that it would just a product catalogue. It is both those things but so much more. It is packed full of information and images from products offered throughout the years as well as details and interviews from the original anime and musicals. This 160 page art book is packed densely full of 25 years of Sailor Moon goodness that fans will all surely get a kick out of. You can buy the book online from sources like Amazon Japan and CD Japan for 2480 yen, about $24 US plus shipping.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Jacket

Overall the book is of a great quality. I was concerned when the official site referred to it as a Mook, short for Magazine Book, that it might be cheap. It is soft cover but the jacket and pages are of good quality. The book if 160 pages of full colour with a good layout. I’ll break up the contents by section to give an idea of what’s involved. I can’t easily include photos of every page, but I’ll include a lot of samples within the post and at the end to give a good idea.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Table of Contents & Return of The Sailor Moon

The first section, encompassing about 30 pages, is named “Return of the Sailor Moon”. Getting past this ridiculous Donald Trumpesque superfluous usage of “The”, this is an overview of the Roppongi Hills Sailor Moon Exhibit which was held in Tokyo from April 16th to June 19th of this year. This includes an in depth look at the exposition which includes in itself a general overview of Sailor Moon since 1991. This spans the manga, anime, merchandise and musicals. Included in this event was a special shop with tons of Sailor Moon goods. A catalogue of all of that merchandise is included as well. A Sailor Moon Cafe was also set up the event. Details on the menu and photos of some of these beautiful food options are included.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Roppongi Hills Exhibit

Next is the “Sailor Moon Goods CompleteWorks” which is about 40 pages full of merchandise which has been released since Sailor Moon’s 20th Anniversary revival. This doesn’t cover older merchandise, which is included in some of the exhibit photos and later in the book, but is a thorough catalogue of everything that has been out since Sailor Moon Crystal was announced. This includes toys, clothes, food, media like Blu-Rays and CDs, and jewellery released since 2013. A lot of this stuff is still available to purchase in Japan.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Goods

The next 46 pages are about the original Sailor Moon anime. This is referred to as the Sailor Moon 1992-1997 Animation Characters Encyclopedia which sums it up pretty well. We start out with biographies on all of our favourite characters. Sailor Moon gets four pages, Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Chibi Moon get two a piece, Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto and Tuxedo Mask get a page each and then the Sailor Starlights and other characters get less than a page. These are all accompanied by a number of screenshots and character art from the series. We then get an overview of the films and a season by season breakdown of all episodes. Also included at the end of this section is a full page interview with Shoko Nakagawa, the voice of Diana from Sailor Moon Crystal who sang a song on the 20th Anniversary Tribute Album. Since she doesn’t have anything to do with the original Sailor Moon anime this interview is separate from that chapter.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Sailor Mars

The next section, which is the rest of the book, is dubbed the “Sailor Moon Movement Graffiti”. I won’t pretend this name makes sense. I can’t even try to understand what this is meant to mean and it is itself divided into a few sections which I will treat as being separate. The section begins with a timelines of events occurring since the 20th Anniversary. This is mostly Sailor Moon Crystal and Sailor Moon Musical related events though there are merchandise details included as well.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Shoko Nakagawa Interview

The next 10 pages or so are all about Sailor Moon Crystal. We have general information about the series, some character art and interviews with all of the main cast. This includes the voices of Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Chibi Moon and Pluto.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Sailor Moon Crystal Interviews

Then we have information about the musicals, both new and old, packed full of photos and interviews. This includes interviews with all of the cast of the first three Sailor Moon Musicals. There is a lengthy interview with Anza, who played Sailor Moon in 13 of the older musicals, as well as some other lady who I don’t recognize. (Update: The other woman is Akiko Kosaka, a composer who wrote many songs from the original anime, the musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal)

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Anza

The next few pages are a mixed bag. We have a world map showing products from around the world. What does North America have? The Sailor Moon RPG book and a children’s Play-a-Sound book that has little buttons that you push so that it makes noise. Both points of the map are in Canada. The RPG book is somewhere in the sparsely populated North West Territories or Nunavut and the Play-a-Sound book is somewhere in Manitoba.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - World Map

Am I that Canadian for owning both of these?

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Canada

There’s a map of Tokyo which shows many Sailor Moon locations with photos of where they are now! There is then a timeline which covers the manga and anime years and some of the products released over that time. As a very small footnote in the corner of the last page covering this time is a blurb about the live action Sailor Moon series which was released in 2003 and 2004. I was hoping to have better coverage of that series in this book but unfortunately that was not the case.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Live Action Sailor Moon series

The final 6 pages are all of older merchandise from back in the 1990s. Most of the toys shown are now incredibly rare and very expensive if you’re lucky enough to find them. Let’s be glad we have all of this new merchandise which is only somewhat unaffordable!

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - 90s goods

Overall I thought this was a great book. It has an overview of so many different facets of the series! While there isn’t a ton on the manga or live action series the book makes up for it by going into great details on merchandise, the anime and the musicals. I recommend that any fans who were on the fence about buying this book get it! You won’t be disappointed.

Keep reading for more photos of the book. To see the rest, buy it for yourself!

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 190 and 191 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 191 - Usagi is Shinji

This week on Hulu and Neon Alley‘s new episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars things get really emo! Seiya got hurt last week and we spend two episodes fixating on that and being all Shinji about it. Also a ton of video game references and inspiration from the Sailor V comic.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 190 - Seiya sings for Usagi

Episode 190, Truth Revealed: The Star Lights’ Past, is all about how to scam a free concert. No actually it’s mostly about silly drama. Seiya got hurt helping Usagi and now the Three Lights don’t like the Sailor Guardians and then Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto get into the mix. They confront Sailor Star Healer and Maker, and everyone seems to agree that it’s best for everyone to be hostile for no terribly good reason. Forced drama! So where the hell is Hotaru? I mean she still hasn’t had a transformation sequence and we never get to see her when her friends show up. She’s probably in bed at home alone without a babysitter. She should have stayed with her father. This anime doesn’t seem to like Sailor Saturn at all. Anyway it’s all about trying to cheer up Usagi while still keeping her away from Seiya which is ultimately what is making her miserable. Drama, drama, drama. Finally Seiya breaks his silience and asks Usagi to come to a live performance he’s doing, with two other guys who are intent on keeping her away. Too bad it’s sold out! But this doesn’t stop Usagi who for once can’t just use her contacts to see a free concert. She goes to the top of a Ferris Wheel to watch the concert from there! This reminds me of the Sailor V comic which has Amano, the Sailor V version of Umino, uses some sort of radio receiver to scam free music from a concert. For a comic and show that frequently features musical artists, they sure do like to teach us how to scam music! Seiya is able to see Usagi in that far off ferris wheel, and so it’s like he’s singing for her. This gives us cool backstory for the Sailor Starlights. We see their planet getting destroyed and them following their Princess to Earth. Seiya passes out from his injuries. The target this week is the amusement park manager who turns into Sailor Amusement. The bad guys are so bad at their job! Guess who shows up to fight?! Not Sailor Saturn!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 190 - The Sailor Starlights planet is destroyed

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 191 - Cosplay Codename: Sailor V Volume 2 - Minako as a game character

Episode 191, Butterflies of Light: A New Chapter On the Horizon, continues with last episode’s Usagi/Seiya drama. Chibi Chibi is chasing a red butterfly which coalesces with others to form an incense burner. Full confession. At this point in the series, upon my first viewing in the 90s, I was convinced that Chibi Chibi was Princess Kakyuu. The Three Lights know that these butterflies indicate that their Princess is around. Back to the drama Usagi is crying on her bed while listening to her walkman. Total Shinji moment. Terrible. Chibi Chibi has a slipper that says Chibi^2. Witty! There’s a video game event and Taiki is going to be present! The gang go out in costume. Ami is dressed in a toga that somewhat resembles Palutena from the Kid Icarus games. Why is this relevant? In Kid Icarus Uprising for the 3DS and the Super Smash Bros. games the voice of Palutena is provided by Aya Hisakawa, the voice of Sailor Mercury. Of course she was cast in this role some 15 years after this episode aired, so the resemblance can’t be more than a coincidence. A lot of little video game references follow. A trophy thing that looks like Mario, fighting games that looks like Street Fighther and Virtual Fighter. Even a t-shirt referencing Sailor Moon musical actress Anza Ohyama. Cosplayers dressed as all kinds of characters like Chun-Li and Felicia. I have no idea what Rei, Makoto and Minako are supposed to be dressed as but they seem to be somewhat generic video game characters. Maybe from fighting games. Minako’s costume somewhat resembles that of a game character she dressed as in Volume 2 of the Sailor V comic, Minako in Game Center Crown. Similarly Ami’s rival in the final round, Yukihide Ohbayashi, looks just like Taku from that same issue. It should have been Minako to fight him if this parallel was to continue but for whatever reason Ami episodes are as common as Taiki episodes this season. The target this week is idol Reiko Kanagawa who turns into Sailor Gamer. How many of our readers would turn into Sailor Gamer? Probably a few!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 191 - Yukihide Ohbayashi who looks like Taku Codename: Sailor V Volume 2 - Taku
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 191 - Ami dressed as Palutena Palutena from Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 190 - Princess Kakyuu

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