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.

Yuga Yamato will reprise her role as Tuxedo Mask in the next Sailor Moon musical

Yuga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask

It has been confirmed that Yuga Yamato will be playing Mamoru Chiba, Tuxedo Mask, in the upcoming Sailor Moon musical. The five main Sailor Guardians retired from the Sailor Moon musicals following last year’s musical Un Nouveau Voyage. It was unclear at the time who else might be leaving or returning. The new cast was announced a couple of week ago, but we got no details about who would be playing Tuxedo Mask. We now have confirmation via the official Sailor Moon site that Yuga Yamato will indeed be returning as Tuxedo Mask in October.

June 30th live events details

This likely means that the upcoming, still unnamed musical, will feature an all female cast. We will learn more about this new musical during a June 30th event, scheduled on Usagi and Chibiusa’s birthday. This event will feature the five actresses playing the main cast of the new musical as well as Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon. The event will be streamed on Niconico, though it will likely be region restricted to viewers in Japan.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical DVD review

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Packaging - Front

The Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage musical was released on DVD in Japan on February 24th. This is the third in the current set of musicals covering the Infinity arc of the manga which introduces us to Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn as well as the Death Busters. This is a Japanese only DVD which is region 2, so if you are looking to drop 6450 yen, about $57 US, on this to import it, realise you won’t be able to understand what anyone is saying unless you speak Japanese. This is a two disc set which includes the full musical on the first disc and some special features on disc 2. I bought my copy from Amazon Japan, though you can also get it from other retailers such as CD Japan.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Booklet - Cover

The packaging is quite nice, with the cover featuring the musical’s poster. A special booklet is included which includes character descriptions and lyrics to all of the musical’s songs.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Packaging - Inside

The first disc, as I mentioned, is the musical itself. The run time is 2 hours and 36 minutes. It’s quite a long musical but this also includes some extra performances after the curtain goes down and some words of thanks from the cast, due to this being a recording of the final performance of the musical. Lots of crying!

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - The Sailor Guardians

I realise I never actually did a full proper review of this musical when first played in Japan and became available to watch via fansub. I started writing one but put it off and at this point it’s so overdue it would be silly to release it. So much to say the musical is fantastic. It is faithful to the manga but still does its own thing enough to make it interesting. The new characters are great, as Haruka and Michiru have a great romance and Hotaru struggles with her illness in a very emotionally impactful way.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Usagi and Haruka

The musical is great. The quality of this DVD is not so awesome. As with La Reconquista and Petite Étrangère, the DVDs are standard definition with interlacing, 480i resolution. This is typical of older TV shows shot on video but for a musical which took place in 2015 it’s a bit disappointing. There is no Blu-Ray because there is no HD version that has been recorded. It seems like the best resolution possible is what is on this DVD.

The second disk has a lot of special features on it, of varying interest. As I’ve mentioned many times I don’t speak Japanese so a lot of these features don’t do me much good.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Special Features - The two Chibiusas Kokoro Kuge and Airi Kanda

The first featurette focuses on the two actresses who are playing Chibiusa, Kokoro Kuge and Airi Kanda. They show up out of costume for a quick introduction and then we watch half an hour of parts of the musical they are in. We seem to go through all of their scenes from the musical. I’m not really sure what the point of this is but here we are. This whole thing is about 32 minutes.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Special Features - The 5 Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask

Next is an interview with the main group of actresses, that being the girls playing Sailor Moon, Satomi Ookubo, Sailor Mercury, Momo Koyama, Sailor Mars, Kanon Nanaki, Sailor Jupiter, Yu Takahashi, Sailor Venus, Shiori Sakata, and Tuxedo Mask, Yūga Yamato. They chat for about 45 minutes about various things. I really couldn’t give you any insight into the content of their conversations but they are extensive! Boy some of these girls have really short hair when not wearing those wigs.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Special Features - Outer guardians

Following this is a similar interview with the Sailor Guardians from the outer solar system, that being Sailor Uranus, Shuu Shiotsuki, Sailor Neptune, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Pluto, Mikako Ishii, and Sailor Saturn, Karin Takahashi. Again I don’t know what they’re saying, but one thing that caught my attention was how much Shuu Shiotsuki looks like Haruka. In the musicals all of the actresses wear wigs but her short blonde hair was quite like she looks as Haruka. This interview is about 18 minutes.

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Special Features - Shuu Shiotsuki looks like Haruka

To wrap things up we go back to the stage. A sort of tribute clip is shown to the departing actresses who are playing Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. This makes them cry. Someone comes out to give them a piece of paper and more crying. They do a final number while crying. This is the crying feature. I may not speak Japanese but all people of this earth share a common language of crying!

Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage DVD - Special Features - So much crying

Included with this disk is a 26 page booklet which includes characters bios and lyrics for all songs from this musical. I’ve included photos of all pages from this booklet at the end of this post.

You are surely wondering if this DVD is worth it! If you’re looking to watch this musical with English subtitles, you’d be better off getting the fan subbed version from Miss Dream. Of course this is technically piracy and does not support the musicals. Short of going to Japan to watch a musical yourself, something many fans have done, your best legal option to support this musical would be to buy this home video release. Keep in mind this is region 2, so you will need a region free DVD player to watch this if you don’t live in Japan. It is NTSC which will present other difficulties for those living in regions with PAL video standards. Despite the quality issues musical fans will probably appreciate having this. There are some nice features on here which fans may find interesting which have not been subtitled by anyone so this is the only way to get those. Naturally if you’re not fluent in Japanese you won’t get quite as much out of this.

Keep reading to see more images of the menus, packaging and photos of every page of the booklet.

Continue reading

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Cover

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical was released on DVD on January 28th in Japan. This is a region 2 DVD so if you’re thinking of getting it, make sure you have a DVD player that you can watch it on. The DVD can be imported from sites like Amazon Japan or CD Japan. It will cost a bit over $50 US plus shipping fees. If you don’t speak Japanese, I’m sure you can find a subtitled version of this musical somewhere.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD -Disk 1 - Main Menu

The main feature, the musical itself, runs in at 2 hours and 36 minutes. This is the second of the latest round of musicals focusing on the story of Chibiusa, Sailor Pluto, the Black Moon Clan and Crystal Tokyo. Like with the first musical, La reconquista, it features an all female cast, even for the male characters. This DVD only has Japanese audio included and no subtitles so it may not be worth much to English speaking fans. The video quality isn’t great. There is no Blu-Ray and the video is interlaced. I can’t say I feel it’s much different than the feed I watched on Niconico when it was first playing. Judge for yourself with the screenshots below.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Usagi Band

Niconico Version

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Usagi Band

DVD Version

The performance is followed by footage of the cast members speaking to the audience.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Post show speaking to the audience

The second disk includes the special features. Its total duration is 84 minutes and spans many different parts, each of which I will briefly explain. All features are in Japanese only and as I do not speak the language, I can’t say I have a full grasp of the content.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - Chibiusa highlight

The first bit of footage shows various clips of Chibiusa throughout the musical, first starting with her running around among the audience and going through the entire story. This lasts roughly 15 minutes.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - Performance in a mall

Next is footage from a July 21st live performance which appears to be taking place at some sort of mall in Japan. The first song performed is Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) followed by Moonlight Densetsu, the theme song to the original Sailor Moon anime. As this only covers two songs it runs for about 6 minutes.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - Interview with Fumio Osano

This is followed by an interview between Fumio Osano, Sailor Moon’s editor also known as Osabu, Satomi Ookubo, the actress who plays Sailor Moon, and Yuga Yamato, the actress who plays Tuxedo Mask. This is a 10 minute interview.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - Drinking juice for 40 minutes

Next is footage of the 6 actresses who play the Sailor Guardians, Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Pluto, sitting around, drinking juice and chatting for 40 minutes. This is pretty long to watch if you don’t speak any Japanese but I imagine if you know what they’re saying it is much more interesting.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - The Chibiusas interview people

We then have the two actresses who played Chibiusa, Kokoro Kuge and Airi Kanda, going around and interviewing various other actresses for about 10 minutes. It may not be obvious from the musical itself but yes there are two actresses to play Chibiusa and Sailor Chibi Moon. This is standard for earlier musicals as well.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Special Features - Autograph cards

Finally the last clip is something that I couldn’t quite figure out. It has all actresses from the musical one by one talking while holding what appears to be an autograph card signed by them. I don’t fully understand the purpose of this. Perhaps the cards were part of a giveaway of some kind. This lasts for about 8 minutes as we work our way through all of the actresses.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Booklet - Cover

The packaging is pretty standard for a DVD. It comes with a 26 page booklet which includes character bios and the words to songs from the musical.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère DVD - Booklet - Page 3 and 4

It’s difficult for me to recommend this DVD to most of my readers. It’s region 2, not playable in most DVD players outside of Japan. It’s in Japanese only and the quality isn’t good enough to be something worth watching raw instead of the decent quality subbed versions available. If you’re a hard core collector of all things Sailor Moon, you’ll probably just buy it anyway as I did.

Keep reading for more images from the menus and photos of the packaging and all pages of the included booklet.

Continue reading

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical first impressions

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Tuxedo Mask kissing Black Lady

On Sunday, September 7th, the new Sailor Moon musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère (French for Small Stranger) was broadcast streaming on Niconico. Though the sign up pages are confusing a ticket to watch the live stream can be purchased even from North America. The stream which was previously broadcast live can still be viewed on the Niconico site. Consider viewing it this way to support the musical if you intend on downloading a copy later. For those waiting for a version with English subtitles the gang over at Miss Dream are currently translating it. I watched the stream of the musical on Sunday and although I don’t really understand Japanese I found it easy enough to follow as the story of the Black Moon Clan, Chibiusa, Sailor Pluto and Crystal Tokyo has been told before a few times. My review may include spoilers for events that are mostly known to Sailor Moon fans. It may include mistakes since I may have misinterpreted some events.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Sailor Pluto and Chibiusa

The musical begins with Chibiusa already in the present though the opening scene, which is itself a flashback, shows us the future events in Crystal Tokyo as the Black Moon Clan attack. Neo Queen Serenity, seen in this future, is played by Satomi Okubo, the actress who plays Usagi. At the end of the musical she appears to be played by another actress, likely because the short notice wardrobe change would be tough. Usagi and Chibiusa’s relationship is pretty hostile, as is expected, and Mamoru is trying hard to get along with both, much to Usagi’s frustration.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Chibiusa and Usagi

The Sailor Team is in a rock band of sort named Usagi Band, though Usagi is not present during their performance. There is a new actress, Momoyo Koyama, who plays Sailor Mercury. The rest of the cast is returning. Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter aren’t in the musical a ton as they stay behind while Sailor Moon, Venus and Chibiusa go to the future.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Usagi Band

The Black Moon Clan are not all represented. The four Ayakashi sisters are not in this musical, who’s cast is entirely comprised of women, though Rubeus, Saphire and Prince Demande, all men, do appear along with Esmeraude, the only woman in the Black Moon Clan. My Japanese is not great though it seemed to be insinuated that some, perhaps all, of the Black Moon Clan are actually Droids. If this is the case this is a considerable departure from the Manga.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Black Lady

As expected Wise Man gets his hands on Chibiusa and transforms her into Black Lady. We get a nice inappropriate father/daughter kiss between Tuxedo Mask and Black Lady. Sailor Pluto dies sacrificing herself and this shock causes Black Lady to become young again and transform into Sailor Chibi Moon. In the manga this is what happens though in the anime Chibiusa leaves at the end of Sailor Moon R without having transformed, returning only partway through Sailor Moon S.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Sailor Chibi Moon mourns Sailor Pluto

Back in the present time Chibiusa has a tearful farewell with her friends after which the curtain lowers and the musical is done. Once the performers have all bowed to the audience another small bit follows as Chibiusa, still dressed as Sailor Chibi Moon, gives a letter to Usagi, still dressed as Sailor Moon, explaining that Chibiusa will be returning to complete her training. This letter comes from Usagi’s future self, Neo Queen Serenity. We will likely see Chibiusa continue to be involved in future musicals.

Sailor Moon Petite Étrangère musical - Sailor Moon reads a letter from her future self

Overall I found the musical quite enjoyable. The performances and singing were good. My favourite performance, as with the first musical, was Yuga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask and King Endymion. Check it out if you have a chance, though I would certainly suggest watching last year’s musical, La Reconquista, first.

Keep reading for more screenshots from the musical.

Continue reading

Sailor Moon La Reconquista DVD Review

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD

The Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical was released on DVD July 9th. What’s that? DVD and not Blu-Ray? Indeed, this is a DVD only release for a musical which was recorded in 2013. The quality of the release is not great. It’s 480i interlaced video though it is in a 16×9 wide screen aspect ratio. It appear to either have been shot on low quality video cameras or simply converted to low quality standard definition video. If a higher quality source existed, there does not seem to be any reason to downgrade it to interlaced video. Whatever the reason for this may be, this seems like something that was released in the 90s and is not fit for release in 2014.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Sailor Moon and Endymion

The first disc is just the main feature, the Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical which played in Tokyo last fall. A number of screenshots are included at the end of the post to get an idea of the video quality. This is a Japanese only release so don’t expect to be seeing any subtitles. As it’s a region 2 release it will not play in a North American DVD player so be sure you have the proper equipment to play it if you are thinking of purchasing it.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Special features - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

The second disk includes all of the special features. We begin with an interview with Satomi Ookubo, the actress who plays Sailor Moon, and Yuga Yamato, the actress who plays Tuxedo Mask. This is followed by some behind the scenes footage of rehearsals. There are some Q&As including a press event and some questions following one of the performances of the musical. Footage of the girls at Karaoke gives us a look at them singing Moonlight Densetsu, the theme song from the original Sailor Moon anime. We see footage from a live promotional performance. A few clips featuring Momoiro Clover Z are included. They are first seen performing Moonlight Densetsu following one of the musical performances and then there’s this weird skit where they are characters in a cell phone game which is just all around bizarre.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Special features - Karaoke

The packaging is fairly standard and also includes a program which I’ve included photos of below. This has a number of images of the cast of the musical, bios and other information.

Sailor Moon La Reconquista Musical DVD - Booklet - Cover

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend picking up this release since the quality is fairly low, but it is the best legal way you may have to support this musical and watch it legally. I am happy to have paid money for this after having resorted to watching a free fansubbed version of the musical when it was first released. You can order the DVD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan. Keep reading for screenshots of the main feature, behind the scenes featurettes, DVD menus and photos of the packaging, insert and program.

Continue reading

A new Sailor Moon musical will be playing this September

New Sailor Moon Musical flyer translated by Miss Dream

A new Sailor Moon stage musical will be playing in Japan this September. Miss Dream bring us many details of this event with their translations of Fumio Osano’s Tweets and various flyers. Japanese readers can see the announcement on the official Sailor Moon site. We’ve got dates, preorder details and cast information.

This Sailor Moon Musical, which is referred to as SeraMyu by some fans, will be playing over a 10 day period, running from September 13th to the 23rd. Tickets will be on sale starting in July by phone but can already be purchased online through this link.

New Sailor Moon Musical Nakayoshi flyer translated by Miss Dream

From the description in the flyer in Nakayoshi we learn that this musical will be a retelling of the story of the fight against the Dark Kingdom, which covers the first manga story and first season of the anime. We already have the main cast with Satomi Ookubo as Sailor Moon, Miyabi Matsuura as Sailor Mercury, Kanon Nanaki as Sailor Mars, Yu Takahashi as Sailor Jupiter, Shiori Sakata as Sailor Venus and Yūga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask. Indeed, Tuxedo Mask will be played by a woman in this musical. Check out a picture of all of the cast members below. What do you think of their likeness?

Continue reading