The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is returning with a new cast in October

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon 2019 musical

Last year’s Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will be returning to Tokyo later this year! In October the musical will be returning with a new main cast, still composed of members of the Nogizaka46 group, but different from the Team Star and Team Moon casts which performed the musical last year. This is likely as a result of this year’s Sailor Moon musical being delayed until 2020. We’ve learned that the musical we were originally going to get this year will be an adaptation of the Princess Kaguya’s Lover manga story.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Naru and Umino

Aside from the cast change it seems like this musical will likely have the same story as what we’ve already seen. This time around the cast will include Shiori Kubo as Sailor Moon, Hazuki Mukai as Sailor Mercury, Seira Hayakawa as Sailor Mars, Junna Ito as Sailor Jupiter and Mayu Tamura as Sailor Venus. The rest of the cast, which was originally not composed of members of the Nogizaka46 group, will remain the same.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Zoisite, Kunzite and Jadeite

Do any of you plan on being in Japan in time to see this musical? Having already seen this musical on the Blu-Ray set, which includes two versions, one for Team Moon and one for Team Star, I wonder if they will bother releasing another version of the DVD or Blu-Ray with this new cast. If they do it would be tough to justify such a purchase.

Source: Sailor Moon official site and Anime News Network

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray review

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Cover

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan on March 20th and I’ve been working on this post since around then. The musical was originally performed in Japan last summer but I’d never gotten around to seeing any version of it until now. As such this will be a review of the Blu-Ray itself as well as my thoughts on the musical. If you’re looking to pick it up there are three version up on Amazon Japan. The limited edition Amazon Blu-Ray, now sold out, includes two folders. The regular Blu-Ray seems to be the same without the folders. Finally the DVD is a bit less expensive but of much worse quality. Keep in mind that as is often the case with Japanese Sailor Moon releases this set includes no English audio or subtitle options.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Back

Right off I have to say that I’m very happy to see that this release is on Blu-Ray and not just on DVD. I have not hidden my contempt for the sub par DVD releases we’ve gotten for the recent musicals, always featuring horrible looking 480i standard definition video. This release finally gives us a Sailor Moon in high definition! Looking at the fine print on the back of the box we see that it’s technically 1080i and not 1080p as you might see for most Blu-Ray releases. I guess they just love that interlaced video! What’s the difference? It’s nothing major! 1080i mean it’s interlaced instead of the 1080p progressive scan. Interlaced video works with scan lines where odd and then even lines are updated one at a time instead of the entire image being loaded one complete frame at a time. If you pause an old VHS tape you have probably noticed how there are often two images overlaid on the screen at a time which is the side effect of this. It can also affect the quality of screenshots. At such a high resolution it’s harder to notice and in motion it’s even less obvious. Most television is broadcast at 1080i and still of very high quality, so it’s really not a big problem as far as I’m concerned. Screenshots included in this post have not been modified to eliminate the scan lines and they still look decent.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Luna and Usagi

Overall the image quality is quite good! This musical looks great in high definition and after seeing so many standard definition releases, this really is a pleasure. The musical features a lot of fun special effects which are projected onto the stage and these are all captured beautifully in high definition. The sets, actors and costumes all appear clearly like only those who attend these shows in person have been able to see in the past! The camera work on the musical is good, following the important action when needed and letting us see the full musical. All special features included are also in high definition and those look great as well.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Zoisite, Kunzite and Jadeite

The musical itself is quite enjoyable. This is the Nogizaka46 musical meaning it features members of the band Nogizaka46 as the main cast. They make up two teams, Team Moon and Team Star, and this three disc set includes the full musical in both Team Moon and Team Star versions! From what I could tell both of these musicals were essentially the same, with the main cast of Sailor Guardians differing between teams. All other characters were played by the same actors in both versions. As this covers the Dark Kingdom story arc the extended cast includes Tuxedo Mask, Queen Beryl, the Shitennou, Queen Serenity as well as Umino and Naru. It’s great to see Usagi’s friends included in this musical.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Naru and Umino

The story of the musical follows that of the manga quite closely, which also follows quite well with the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. This is more faithful than most other musicals. Although there is no English dub or subtitles on this set fans familiar with the series should still be able to follow easily enough. We start out with the first story, introducing us to Usagi, Umino, Naru and even Haruna as well as Luna and Morga. We then move on to the second with the introduction of Mercury and then Mars, all somewhat following their introductions from the manga. Next we start to combine stories by having Sailor Jupiter introduced during the Masquerade Dance Party and things start to deviate.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - The Shitennou with the Sailor Guardians in the past

The main difference in this version, which we start to see at the party, are the pairings between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. This was originally hinted at in some art in the Sailor Moon manga though those relationships, aside from a bit of Minako and Kunzite’s, were not really fleshed out. These were brought back in Sailor Moon Crystal which was a nice addition, though the series was so closely based on the manga that there wasn’t room for much deviation. They were kept alive to dwell on the pairing only to be killed off later before it really went anywhere.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Tuxedo Mask attacks Usagi

The rest of the musical goes through the story of the manga which has been touched upon in previous musicals. The gang go to the Moon and talk to a hologram of Queen Serenity. We get a series of deaths and suicides and evil Mamoru trying to kill Usagi and ultimately the world is saved.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Chibiusa arrives

Finally the musical ends with an interesting scene! The gang are hanging around and Usagi sees something falling from the sky. Is this meant to be Chibiusa? If so, why are we including this scene? The first story arc of the manga does indeed end with the arrival of Chibiusa to set up the Black Moon story arc but in that case there was the intention to have it continue! The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is, as far as I understand it, only meant to be a one time thing. Could this really be setting up a Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical 2? Not sure about that!

Nogizaka 46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Puppet Luna

Technically the musical looks great. The puppet work on Luna was particularly impressive. There was an actor who can very clearly be seen controlling Luna, which can be a bit distracting, but the actual cat’s movements were something which would not have been possible by other means. Beyond Luna there were also Phobos and Deimos puppets. These two crows were also controlled by human puppeteers which can be seen on the stage. Luna even gets a chance to ride on one of the crows!

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star - Q and A

The musical is followed by the now expected seemingly never ending series of encores which includes an enjoyable rendition of La Soldier, a classic from the first Sailor Moon musicals, and a version of Moonlight Densetsu sung by the entire cast. We then have each cast member sharing a few words and crying, which has become another staple of the final performances of the musicals.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star - Happy Birthday

Aside from the Team Moon and Team Star discs there is a third disc which includes bonus features. Each feature has both a Team Moon and Team star version. The first feature is a “cast cam” which is a bunch of behind the scenes footage of rehearsal and the performance of the musical. One moment includes the cast of Team Star singing happy birthday to Ranze Terada who plays Sailor Mars in Team Star. This was funny to me as it was, in September 2018, her 20th birthday which reminds us that she, and many others in this musical, are so young that they were no only born after Sailor Moon started airing but even after the original Sailor Moon manga and anime were done.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star Game

Next there is a game! I should remind everyone at this point that I do not speak Japanese so it was a bit hard to tell exactly what was going on. In each case they pitted the Sailor Guardians, who were a different group between the Team Moon and Team Star games, against the Dark Kingdom, who are the same actors in both versions and therefore both games. As far as I can tell Team Moon did a game of charades and Team Star did a Pictionary or Win Lose or Draw style game where one sketches something and the others have to guess it. Both seem entertaining but it’s hard to get much from these features when you don’t speak the language.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Sailor Mars

Finally we have a series of clips to highlight the various characters. These are all clips from the musical but often the camera angle is changed to focus on that particular character. This sort of features seems mostly useless to me.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star Disc and Extras

The packaging is good. This is a nice looking set with photos of both casts on the front. The art of the discs themselves is quite nice. There’s an insert with a few pages again showing both casts.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive folders

Since I ordered the Amazon Japan limited edition version my copy also came with two mini folders. One features Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask and the other features the Sailor Guardians.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Minako and Rei

All in all I would say this set is quite worth it. Yes it is expensive compared to buying a movie in North America but it’s not much more than the other musical releases and it really is a much higher quality release. After so many sub part standard definition DVDs it’s a real treat to get this Blu-Ray. The image quality is fantastic. The set includes two full versions of the musical and numerous extras. The lack of English audio or subtitles is of course a problem for English speaking fans. This set was made for a Japanese audience but other fans should enjoy it.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Q and A

Ultimately fans may find that this istheir best chance at seeing this musical. Like many others I enjoyed watching the fan subbed versions of the musicals supplied by Miss Dream. After they received a takedown notice for four recent musicals, it seems that they will not be subtitling any of the newer musicals. (June 8th update: Miss Dream’s Dan Bednarksi has clarified in a comment on this post that the issue had to do with the trouble getting a translator for this musical. The two teams added complication to this issue as it would potentially double some of the work needed.) As a result importing the musicals on video may be the only way some fans will be able to see them! I certainly hope that some time soon we will be seeing international releases of these musicals with subtitles for fans to enjoy. Perhaps this will happen around the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal!

Keep reading for a lot more photos of the set and screenshots from the musical.

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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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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

Check out cast information and images of this summer’s Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Team Moon and Team Star

A few weeks ago we got our first look at the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical. This new musical will be playing in Tokyo this summer first at the Tennōzu Galaxy Theatre June 8th to the 24th and then at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater September 21st to the 30th. What, you may ask, is this musical all about? Nogizaka46 is an all female pop band in Japan and this is a Sailor Moon musical featuring members of that band. As we can see from the promo image and the posts on the Sailor Moon official site and musical’s official site, 10 of the band members have formed two Sailor Teams. One is Team Moon and the other is Team Star.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Team Moon

The two teams seem to be identical in costume and appearance, though we can clearly see that the members in those costumes differ from one image to the other. With multiple shows being put on over a fairly short time the two teams are scheduled to perform on different nights. At first I imagined this was to give the other team a break on the off days but since a lot of the other cast of the musicals is only listed once it seems like not everyone is on that schedule. Perhaps this setup is simply meant to vary the performances to feature more of their talent. It remains to be seen if the performances themselves will vary depending on the team performing. Perhaps each team will have an exclusive song to encourage people to see multiple performances! At this point this is only speculation.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Team Star

Here’s a translated cast listing. I’m not good with Japanese names (since Google Translate messes them up) so I had a little help from this Anime News Network article for this list. I attempted to find a relevant link when possible. All members of Nogizaka46 have profiles from the official site and for others I tried to find a profile or social media link.

Team Moon:
Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino: Mizuki Yamashita (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno: Riria Itō (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino: Kazumi Takayama (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino: Ami Noujo (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino: Hina Higuchi (Nogizaka46)

Team Star:
Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino: Sayuri Inoue (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno: Miria Watanabe (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino: Ranze Terada (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino: Minami Umezawa (Nogizaka46)
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino: Kana Nakada (Nogizaka46)

Naru Osaka: Yuka Yamauchi
Umino Gurio: Marina Tanoue

Kunzite: Chihiro Andō
Zoisite: Sari Kojima
Nephrite: Shin
Jadeite: Rina Takeda

Ensemble (I assume this means background dancers, various monsters and such):
Mayuko Kawamoto, Mayu Kaburagi, Kumiko Saitō, Ayuka Kurachi, Minami Watanabe, Mami Mitsuoka

Queen Beryl: Nami Tamaki

Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru Chiba: Mikako Ishii

Director: Worry Kinoshita

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Sailor Pluto

Only the main cast of the Sailor Team will be composed of Nogizaka46 members. The rest of cast of characters are played by various musical stars and dancers, as was the case with other musicals. To me the most interesting casting decision here is that Mikako Ishii, who played Sailor Pluto in the last few musicals, will be playing Tuxedo Mask! It’s well established that Sailor Pluto has an unrequited love for King Endymion in the future! What better way to gain someone’s affection than to literally become them? Also returning is Chihiro Ando as Kunzite. She previously played Tiger’s Eye in the Amour Eternal musical. As we see from this an other casting we once again have an all female cast even including the male characters.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Amazon Trio

It seems clear that the story will cover the Dark Kingdom story arc though beyond that it’s hard to get a sense of what the content or structure of the musical will be like. Given the cast and that we have two returning cast members I’m inclined to think that it will be a similar presentation to musicals we have seen in the past.

So … which Team are you rooting for? Is that how we’re supposed to be reacting to this? Go Team Star! No way Team Moon is the best! … and so forth.

Three new Sailor Moon concerts are coming in 2018 and 2019

Nogizaka46

According to information posted to the official Sailor Moon site we have three new Sailor Moon musicals coming in 2018 and 2019! This follows the conclusion of the current series of musicals with the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical this past summer. We’re getting something a bit different with each of these musicals this time around. With each being its own thing it doesn’t seem like they will necessarily follow a continuity as musicals have in the past. What’s more it doesn’t look like these will be traditional musicals but rather Sailor Moon themed concerts. Because of this I’m not sure I would label such as thing as “Seramyu” as the other musicals generally are, but it remains to be seen exactly how things develop to say for sure.

Logo - 3rd Sailor Moon Musical

The first of the concerts will feature Nogizaka46 which is an all female pop band similar to AKB48. The band of 46 members will somehow perform this Sailor Moon themed concert though we don’t really have details on what this would entail.

Logo Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical

The next is dubbed The Super Live. What does this mean? The title reminded me of Kirari Super Live which was the name of the concert put on by the cast of the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. The site describes it as a mix of singing, dancing and video gimmicks. We are told that TAKAHIRO will be putting this show together though I can’t say I understand who that is. This particular concert will be performed at the Japonismes event. This is a sort of Japanese cultural expo that takes place in Paris, France.

Logo Super Live x Sailor Moon musical

Finally the 3rd musical is… something we don’t really know anything about. It’s just referred to as the new musical. We’ll have to wait until we learn more about that.

Will all three of these really be done by the end of 2019? With the endless delays to Sailor Moon Crystal one shouldn’t put too much faith in the timeline until we get some specifics. I wouldn’t book those plane tickets just yet!