SMC

September 5, 2014

Satomi Moon greets us!

AGGGHHH!!!! Almost that time of the year! Sailor Musical -Petite Étrangère- is only a few days away! Here is Satomi Okubo (aka our Usagi/Sailor Moon in reign) asking for our support of the musical and if not "she'll punish us in the name of the Moon!" :DD!

July 19, 2014

Moon Pride video!

Can you guys believe we're actually at episode two now!?  We waited and waited for two whole years for this anime, so a two week break between episodes shouldn't feel as bad, but IT DOES! It was only 15 days but it took foreeeeeeeeeever! Expectation certainly slows down those clock hands. Normal animes have weekly episodes, BUT SAILOR MOON isn't a normal anime, is it!?! it's Sailor freakin' Moon! :D HAHAHAHA!! We'll take it any way they'll give it to us!

Along with episode two, we also got an extra special goodie today: The complete Moon Pride video by Momoiro Clover Z!! It is absolutely GLORIOUS and SPECTACULAR! Go ahead and watch it if you're okay with spoilers. Yes, definitely DEFINITELY SPOILERS (not that we don't know what happens at this point, but some like to have the surprise). 


Don't forget to support Sailor Moon by buying the official CDs and/or DVDs! Here's where to find them:

Moon Pride (MomoClo Ver.)
Momoiro Clover Z 
Maxi CD
¥11.43 yen
$11.29 usd (aprox)
JAN/ISBN4988003454401
Number of Discs:1
Label/Distributor: King Records
Available to purchase HERE.




Moon Pride (Sailor Moon Ver.)
Momoiro Clover Z
CD+Blu-ray
¥1714yen
$16.92 usd (aprox)
JAN/ISBN4988003454456
Number of Discs: 2
Label/Distributor: King Records
Available to purchase HERE.

July 14, 2014

Sailor Moon Day at AX!

SAILOR MOON DAY! HOLY CRAP you guys. I don't even know where to begin with the EPIC amazingness that was Sailor Moon Day. I'm just overwhelmed at the amount of events, sightings, happenings and love I've given/received this weekend.

I'll try to somewhat go in some kind of chronological order but many of these event were dispersed, taking place through a span of three days and there's tons of empty time chunks that were basically spent waiting in lines or moving from one part of the convention to another (it was HUGE). Anyway, here are my most memorable experiences and adventures during Sailor Moon Day July 5th, 2014!


SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL                                                                                              

OMG YOU GUYS SAILOR MOON FREAKING CRYSTAL!!

It's been around two or three months since they gave us an exact date for the international streaming of Sailor Moon Crystal and since that very day we've been speculating, imagining and engorging every little scrap of a preview they've thrown at us. We weren't entirely sure if the anime would live up to our terribly high expectations, after all, some of us weren't super excited after the first trailer (I made a whole rant about it too).

Come Saturday July 5th. Some Moonies woke up nice and early at home warm in their own beds and some of us were at a dingy hotel in LA because of AnimeExpo but are regardless extremely excited to begin this adventure. I'm not going to sit here and offer yet another review of this episodethere are plenty out there already (including amazing Moonie Evan McIssac's review :D) You guys don't need it anyway. Most of us have already read the manga and watched the episode itself, it would be pointless and redundant to start describing everything that happens it it, however I do want to point out certain things that made me smile or took my breath away in this new animation. Should I say "spoilers!"? Well yeah, there are light spoilers in there, just in case. ;)

Lets start right at the beginning with Momoiro Clover Z's Moon Pride and the opening sequence. I guess the song is catchy, upbeat and MomoClovery in it's own way, but generally speaking, I don't think it stands out on its own as a "legendary" anime theme; it's pretty generic actually. The animated opening sequence though had me squealing and fangirling like a 10 year old! Nothing specific, just the perfectly manga-reminicent shape of their sailor fuku, the full-scaled bad assery of their senshi powers and of course, the swooning over any second of Tuxedo Mask hawtness! I'm on full-on hardcore Moonie mode at the end of it, absolutely on-board for anything at this point.

Then, we have a look at those GAWD GORGEOUS title cards. They're so delicate and classy, and –judging from the long time logo of this blog– strikes a stylistic chord on my visual preference. So strikingly beautiful!! It definitely is kind of reminiscent of Kunihiko Ikuhara's work on both Classic Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena, but very welcome regardless. I'm very happy with these upgrades so far, Sailor Moon Crystal will be up with the times.

Source and HQ Dowload

The first half of the episode is pretty standard, except for the look! THAT LOOK! Listen, it's almost mid-2010's and anime visuals have come a long way since sparkly sketchy shoujo pupils and Clamp's dark butterfly contour eyes. The current style definitely has become a bit softer, rounded, subtler and overall leaning more towards moe. Concurrently though, we're living through a 90s era anime revival wave, where previously famous anime series like Dragon Ball, Evangelion, Saint Seiya, etc have either picked up where they left off, branched out to new sagas or received complete re-makes, all based on their previous 90s era character designs. However Sailor Moon Crystal has completely deviated from it's previous look and drew inspiration from further back to where it all started: The manga.

As Sailor Moon fans, I don't think it's necessary to go into details about how the classic anime differs from Naoko's manga but we're all aware of how little control she had over her own creation and how tight deadlines were for her to complete chapters just before the animators could in to animate the next episode. Sob story short, even though we all absolutely LOVE the classic anime (that's why we're all here right?), it resembled Naoko's original work very vaguely.

I'm not going to say that Crystal is an exact replica of Naoko's style, but you can definitely see the heavy inspiration frame after frame! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me! Sailor Moon Crystal is ABSOLUTELY doing its own thing here, not relying on current animation trends or even nodding the 90's style. Sailor Moon Crystal is Sailor Moon Crystal PERIOD. It stands on it's own and has nothing to do with other contemporary shows (specially not with Pretty Cure). The look is striking and unique. The way Usagi's hair flows is as close as we'll get to the flowy unfinished pen strokes in the manga, and those huge round shoujo eyes will be as close as we get to the retro contours as well. Agh! I cannot believe how different it all looks from that initially awkward preview we saw. Seeing it in context and in actual movement makes way more sense that just those tiny shots. This is so freaking perfect I can't even! CONSIDER ME A REPENTANT AND REDEEMED SOUL! I'm on this ship till it sinks!

Also, look at those watercolor backgrounds! Again, they're delicate, colorful, very shoujo and perfect for the dreamy feel Sailor Moon has always inspired. I'm perfectly happy with them not being as crisp as other series. At this point I don't even remember what other animes look like. What is anime? Only Sailor Moon Crystal exists to me now *0*!


During the second half we see some of the scenes we're most excited about: Transformation sequence and Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask in action. So the big elephant in the room is the 3d animation, right? PERSONALLY I do not mind it ONE-LITTLE-BIT. I mean, sure, it looks a bit different from the rest of the animation, and yeah, it might look a bit plasticky and stiff, but for some reason this doesn't really bother me. I'm just in complete AWE and the gorgeousness of the ribbons and the magical swish and swoosh going on. I'm sorry, I just really do not care at all! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Same with her introduction and attack scenes. Both the speech and the Moon Tiara Boomerang had its ritual posing (oh yeah, now I remember those did indeed reference the previous anime) had some angle distortion that stretched out Usagi's limbs to an unnatural length, but all the same, I did not mind these one bit. I'm way into this new style and absolutely adoring the fluidity of some of her movements.

And what can I say about Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask other than, yeah pretty much:

Source on Twitter/ Original source?

SWOOOON! ALL THE DISTANT AND FORGOTTEN LONGING SIGHS OF THE 14 y/o ME HAVE COME BACK AGAIN, and I absolutely love it! Another great thing is that there was surprisingly more humor in the episode than I thought there'd be! From typical Usagi falling down the stairs to her weird Godzilla vs. Sailor V dream, I'm very glad they still managed to get some LOLs in there without having to rely too heavily on super deformed jokes and other overused anime gimmicks. Music was also very different from the classic anime, although I don't want to go too deep into it now because we need a bit more time for the themes and sounds to settle in our minds a bit more. Finally the voice overs: While we only had a very limited taste at very few characters, I think it was overall alright, except for Kotono Mitsuishi. OH MY GOD KOTONO WAS WAY BEYOND FREAKING PERFECT! She has always been a great voice actress and after all these years working on various projects she's become a pro in all genres, but the way she delivers Usagi is hilariously familiar! Her timing on the humor is flawless and her reactions seem absolutely natural. Kotono is hands down the best Usagi there is! I'm so glad Naoko enjoyed her performance 20 years ago and still chose her to reprise the role. I'm not sure I would've like some unknown actress to just come in with a sweet innocent voice to try to fill Kotono's shoes.

Kotono Mitsuishi at the Shibuya 109 Bargain Days event
this past July 5th. Image from her personal blog.

There aren't really many words that describe my newfound love for Crystal, I'm so pleasantly surprised and VERY relieved that Toei Animation proved me wrong in my predictions. I'm sooooo looking forward to each and every episode coming up for the next year when we'll be closing up the first set of 26 episodes (hopefully with more to come after that n.n!!) 

As I mentioned before, I watched SMC at a hotel in LA with my close friends Brooke, Brooke's hubby Curtis and Tara. We recorded our raw emotions during episode one. Everything in the video is our genuine reactions to what we saw, and it was all squeals, giggles and wows! Such an amazing experice sharing this first viewing with my loved ones :D!


A few other good friends recorded their reactions as well! Thought they were truly heartfelt, spontaneous, genuine and needed to share them on the here with you guys as well!

Source: Aurora Peachy




ANIME EXPO 2014                                                               

Let's go to the second thing that happened before/on Moon Day (on this side of the planet): Anime Expo! The day before the official panel, some of us had the chance to go around the sales floor and visit all the booths involved with Sailor Moon. As they had previously announced, Viz had a few events and giveaways going on besides their main panel. First off was the handout of the Limited Edition coin we had seen pics of a few days before. This was a huge wish item for many of us collectors and even for casual fans. It was a token, undeniable proof that we attended AX at the time Sailor Moon was at its peak! In order to obtain this coin, Viz sent us on a scavenger hunt of sorts to visit the various booths around the con. On paper it seemed a bit of a hassle, but it was actually a lot of fun!

Step 1) Go to the Viz Booth and receive a postcard.


Step 2) You visit the various booths of companies who either animated, published, air or sell Sailor Moon, AKA, The Toei booth, the Bluefin booth, the HULU booth, the Kodansha booth and then back to the Viz Media booth and you collect some seals in the back of the card. In my case, along the way we stopped at the Jlist booth, the Japan 2.5 Dimensional Musical Association booth who were there to promote anime relate theater (they were showing previews of the " La Reconquista" DVD and handing out fliers for "Petite Étangère".


 


Step 3) Once you have visited all the booths and gotten all of your seals, you return to the Viz booth and they give you the coin. For those who weren't able to attend the Expo, it might be a bit harder to get a hold of one of these because to prevent people from grabbing more than necessary, our Expo badges were also marked off, therefore it was only one per person (and I assume most Moonies would like to keep theirs). They also had photo ops with the cosplayers that had been approved by Naoko to promote the series as well as other exclusive goodies they handed out if you made purchases at their booth.


Later that day, we went to see the AX opening Ceremonies. The line was looong and the waiting was painful, but it was worth it to see introductions of all their Guests of Honor which included the main 90s English dub cast as well as Jennifer Cihi, performer of most of the themes on the North American Sailor Moon Soundtrack. Jennifer only sang one song for the ceremony, but she did have a concert the next day (which I unfortunately missed). Anyway here's a small snippet of the Opening Ceremonies!


The original dub cast also had their own panel but I missed out on it. If you would like to see it in its entirety, you can do so HERE.

There were a ton of things happening on Moon Day, so I missed a few, but I'll try to provide links and videos for all events. In the morning, the official cosplay group appeared in the local LA news to promote Anime Expo and the Sailor Moon panel as well. It was AWESOME to see these fantastic fans representing us on TV!

 


That morning, many of us also slipped into our complicated costumes and headed out to the Convention Center around 7 a.m. Most of us were tired and sleepy because Sailor Moon Crystal had just debuted a few hours before, so we woke up extra early to watch it. Didn't matter to us tho! We were ready to get this NEW party started!! Since we stood in line for about three hours, we had a chance to meet up with lots of friends/internet pals and get some pics of AWESOME cosplayers who were also waiting for the panel. I think the line to enter AX was one of the most memorable moments because we were all just excited to see each other and meet in person and geek out over Sailor Moon with fellow Moonies! I loved hanging out with some of the greatest people I've ever met! 

I spent most of my time with my closest friends Tara and Ochibawolf (and her hubby, Curtis too!). We've had previous con experiences together and it was so much fun bunking with them again. They're so absolutely adorable and fun! I love them deeply, they're like my soul mates... only Moonier! haha! Another one of my close friends is Anne from Shojo Power! I met her last year at Otakon and once again in Tokyo (after La Reconquista). I truly admire her and everything she writes. I'm so fascinated by Anne and I'm very thankful that we could live even more fun times together! Also, for the first time I got to meet Tiffany (from SMCollectibles)! I've always been kind of intimidated by her mad blogging skillz but she turned out to be just the sweetest low-key yet hardcorest Moonie yet! So adorbs! Lisa (from ThreeLights.net) was also a fun web mistress I haven't had a chance to talk much to, but awesome to hang out with! Ruthie was there (although we hardly talked! BOOoo), Christina, Kelsey, some lovely Moonies from SMA, Eric, Kris, Chris, Caitlin, Lester, Dustin, Ramses, Rachael, and even my fave cosplayer Katherine whom I've been just DYING to meet! And so many more! Agh!! FEELS. SENTIMENTS.CAN'Ts.EMOTIONS.



After 3 hours under the hot California sun, most of us had become hot melting cosplay messes, but when the time for the panel finally came, we were moved quickly into the large meeting room (WITH AC!!!! yay XD!) which had capacity for over 2000 screaming excited fans! I heard some had to be denied entry because it was at full-capacity! We were welcomed into the room by the official cosplayers who handed pretty posters and fliers to us with wide smiles and perky attitudes. It's all so exciting and we haven't even started yet!

After Charlene Ingram (Animation marking at Viz) introduces herself, she quicky presents the original dub cast. We all have this incredible moment to thank them for their work on classic SM in the 90s and it's like graduation and a passing of the torch ritual for the new cast. While I personally did not grow up watching the DIC dub, I'm well aware that these cast members are the loved and cherished by those who knew Sailor Moon through them. It was a great moment! A few watery eyes and tear drops here and there rolled down as they said goodbye.

Almost immediately, we move along to meet the new cast of Sailor Moon. Unveiled one by one, the actors come out alongside their respective cosplayers and it's AWESOME! We don't really know much about these people but we're excited because these are the new forces who will breathe life into our beloved characters. We are about to embark on a new adventure with them and it's all starting right now! Here's the complete list! (source: ANN)

  Stephanie Sheh as Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon 
Kate Higgins as Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury 
Cristina Vee as Rei Hino/Sailor Mars 
Amanda C. Miller as Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter 
Cherami Leigh as Minako Aino/Sailor Venus 
Robbie Daymond as Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask 
Michelle Ruff as Luna 
Johnny Yong Bosch as Artemis 
Danielle Judovits  as Naru Osaka 
Ben Diskin as Gurio Umino 
Tara Platt as Ikuko Tsukino 
Keith Silverstein as Kenji Tsukino 
Nicolas Roye as Shingo Tsukino 
Cindy Robinson as Queen Beryl 
Todd Haberkorn as Jadeite 
Liam O'Brien as Nephrite 
Lucien Dodge as Zoicite 
Patrick Seitz as Kunzite


The new voice overs: We didn't get to hear much of the scouts in the episodes that were shown to us, they even told us some have not gotten into the studio yet! In fact we only really heard Stephanie Sheh (Usagi), Michelle Ruff (Luna), little bits of Robbie (Mamoru), Todd (Jadeite), and Danielle (Naru). The one who actually took the cake this time was Ben (Umino) because his character plays a huge part on episode 2 and he was pretty hilarious in it! The dub itself sounded alright. Kotono Mitsuishi has a peculiarly high pitch and hilarious delivery, so even if I try to compare her to Stephanie, I really can't do so because the tones and delivery are completely different. I'm sure Stephanie will grow into the role and give Usagi her own flavor, let's just say that the "Moon Prism Power" snippet made me a little giddy. Teehee! On the other hand, Luna I'm not too sure about; Keiko Han had this "meowy" quality to her voice, whereas Michelle sounded kind of.... errr... dare I say pedestrian? There was no particular feel or unique characteristic to Luna's voice, I really felt it was just a random girl talking normally to another person and not the sweet-yet-slightly-authoritative kitty voice of reason that is Luna (just my own personal opinion).

Robbie was in the episodes as well but I can't say much about his acting yet because Mamoru only has a few lines.  I'll just point out that he does indeed resemble Toby Proctor's style and tone, but hopefully he'll eventually develop his own signature or trademark for Tuxie because during the panel the actor was super funny, open and great with the fans. I have high hopes for him! Haha! Other characters like Ikuko Mama, Naru or Haruna-sensei were ok, but again, nothing memorable, mostly because the characters themselves aren't particularly important. Nevertheless, I'm sure they will all do a great job and I look forward to listening more of this new production. Characters go through all sorts of ups and downs and lots of growth, so the actors will have a full range of emotions to explore in the upcoming seasons. For those who would like to watch the complete panel, here's a video:


Also, during the panel, we were given first hand info on DVDs/BluRays and a small preview of the actual box and extra gift coin it will include. They assured us the design will look even better in person because it will have a super shinny rainbow sparkle finish and it was all directly approved by "Japan" and "Sensei" (so funny how they never mention any specific names! Haha!).

The pre-order for the new North American dub of Sailor Moon Classic DVDs/Blurays is available now on RightStuf.com and I do recommend ordering yours ASAP because the gift collectible coin will be limited edition . Remember: this release will include ALL 200 episodes, ALL 5 seasons up to Stars, all 3 Movies/special episodes, and most importantly ZERO censorship. If you were ever hoping to get a comprehensive DVD set that is consistent throughout, this is your chance! This is as close as it will get to perfection guys!

Each box set will contain 23 episodes or half a season, with a total of 10 sets for the anime itself same as the South American Talk-Boxes and the Italian DVDs (this might be the way Toei is demands it be partitioned). The first Box contains episodes 1-23 plus an 88-page, full-color premium booklet! The extra material includes behind-the-scenes dub footage, art galleries an convention featurettes (including the initial announcements and THIS convention).





  • Publisher - VIZ
  • Genre - Adventure
  • Media - Blu-ray Disc
  • Format - Hybrid
  • Age Rating - 13+
  • 510 Minute
  • Spoken Languages - English, Japanese
  • Subtitles - English
  • Year Created - 1992
  • Date Available - November 11, 2014
  • Pre-Order HERE!
After the premiere of episodes 1 and 2 of the dub, the panel attendees were treated to the very first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! Probably many had already seen it earlier that morning, but for others it was the very first time! Exciting times Moonies, exciting times! Once the panel had ended, some fans had the amazing opportunity to have their posters signed by the new cast! Again, I missed on this opportunity because so many events were happening at the same time and lines, OH THE DARN ENDLESS LINES EVERYWHERE!

My friend Tara and I instead opted to get in line to see Jennifer Cihi who was also holding her own autograph session! Even if the old Sailor Moon soundtrack doesn't appeal to everyone, it has it's own magic for those who loved it from the original dub and for those who casually picked it up at a store just because it happened to have Sailor Moon on the jacket (like me! Haha!). We all have different ways of attaching to music! Jennifer was super sweet and engaged with her fans. She signed CDs for more than her allotted time-slot and even presented gifts to some who have been very vocal about loving the songs. So much fun!



Again, we hardly had time to run to the other side of the convention where Tara and I met up with Ochibawolf and Anne to go into the cosplay reunion! The reunion was a bit different than expected ( I thought we'd all be gathering and posing outside) but I'm glad we were able to sit down and enjoy our time with other cosplayers.

Lines and lines of senshi after senshi, I was really surprised to see so many fans dressed up! Some were very cool looking, others were amazing original creations and others looked like they jumped out of the TV! It was an amazing spectacle! Apparently they had planned to bring in a Guinness World Records jugde to establish a "most cosplays of a single anime" category record, but I don't know for sure if it was established or not. Anyway, it was fun times again! We started singing Moonlight Densetsu in English on our own, then Charlene asked us to sing it in Japanese. There were so many of us, we were asked to stand according to our senshi: first Moons, then Planets, villains, then others like cats and OCs. We all yelled transformation phrases or attacks and for once I got to feel like a kid again surrounded by others of my kind! I loved being a part of it so much!

The media was called in for this event, it was covered by Things to do in LA (article here) and LA Weekly! It is also noteworthy that the footage of this event will appear on the official US release DVDs mentioned above and will most likely be seen by executives and other high-ranking elites of Toei and Sailor Moon media, probably even Naoko too!



MOON CRISIS ART SHOW                                                    


Our schedule was tight for sure! We rapidly left the cosplay reunion because yet another Sailor Moon related event has about to take place not at AX, but at a small art gallery in Anaheim, CA (about a 30-minute drive away from downtown LA). Our friend Dustin and Lester were kind enough to give Tara and I a ride to the Moon Crisis Art Show held at the Rothick Art Haus. Nice Moonie convos during a drive with friends are always super awesome! We arrived about ten minutes before the show started, and stayed in yet another line for about 35 minutes. AGH! LINES! :(

Once we made it inside, we had a long look at all the gorgeous works on display! These pieces were more than just the average fan art though, many of these were considered fine art because of materials and techniques used. All pieces were up for sale ranging from $50 to $3500 UDS. Also, many were more interpretations of the senshi more than exact copies. It was so much fun to see and admire some of these paintings from artists I have followed for some time! Miss Kika, an artist I've followed for a number of years was there, I had a poster personally signed! Many other fawkamaze artists like Ann Marcellino (famous for her "Sailor Avengers Asemble" piece), Eric Pietrangolare (of SMA fame!), Babs Tarr (creator of the Bosozoku Sailor Scouts illustration) and of course my new favorite whom I've been totally bonded over Twitter with, the super sweet Channel Square whom I got to meet in person! Agh! She was so sweet and awesome, totally fangirling inside x3! I wish I could've met a lot more in person, but not all illustrators were at the gallery that day. The Moon Crisis Art show also had a small artist alley where you could buy prints or have pieces customized by the artists themselves and at the end of the night they held a tiny cosplay contest (which I maybe kinda sorta won 1st place in xD! YAY Punk Sailor Moon XD!)

Again, this event was covered by local news outlets. There is a small article on LA Weekly! Fun fun fun!

That's about it for coverage of Moon Day! Certainly there were tons of events going on and I admittedly skipped some as well, but with limited time you must pick and choose those you consider to be most important. I try to attend or at least blog about important events in the Moonie fandom, so keep checking back! With the revival of Sailor Moon in full swing, there will be many more news coming out from Japan, the US and Latin America (which I cover as often as I can as well).

Happy Sailor Moon day guys! Keep on Mooning!! (not the dirty kind of mooning tho xDDD!)

September 5, 2014

Satomi Moon greets us!

AGGGHHH!!!! Almost that time of the year! Sailor Musical -Petite Étrangère- is only a few days away! Here is Satomi Okubo (aka our Usagi/Sailor Moon in reign) asking for our support of the musical and if not "she'll punish us in the name of the Moon!" :DD!

July 19, 2014

Moon Pride video!

Can you guys believe we're actually at episode two now!?  We waited and waited for two whole years for this anime, so a two week break between episodes shouldn't feel as bad, but IT DOES! It was only 15 days but it took foreeeeeeeeeever! Expectation certainly slows down those clock hands. Normal animes have weekly episodes, BUT SAILOR MOON isn't a normal anime, is it!?! it's Sailor freakin' Moon! :D HAHAHAHA!! We'll take it any way they'll give it to us!

Along with episode two, we also got an extra special goodie today: The complete Moon Pride video by Momoiro Clover Z!! It is absolutely GLORIOUS and SPECTACULAR! Go ahead and watch it if you're okay with spoilers. Yes, definitely DEFINITELY SPOILERS (not that we don't know what happens at this point, but some like to have the surprise). 


Don't forget to support Sailor Moon by buying the official CDs and/or DVDs! Here's where to find them:

Moon Pride (MomoClo Ver.)
Momoiro Clover Z 
Maxi CD
¥11.43 yen
$11.29 usd (aprox)
JAN/ISBN4988003454401
Number of Discs:1
Label/Distributor: King Records
Available to purchase HERE.




Moon Pride (Sailor Moon Ver.)
Momoiro Clover Z
CD+Blu-ray
¥1714yen
$16.92 usd (aprox)
JAN/ISBN4988003454456
Number of Discs: 2
Label/Distributor: King Records
Available to purchase HERE.

July 14, 2014

Sailor Moon Day at AX!

SAILOR MOON DAY! HOLY CRAP you guys. I don't even know where to begin with the EPIC amazingness that was Sailor Moon Day. I'm just overwhelmed at the amount of events, sightings, happenings and love I've given/received this weekend.

I'll try to somewhat go in some kind of chronological order but many of these event were dispersed, taking place through a span of three days and there's tons of empty time chunks that were basically spent waiting in lines or moving from one part of the convention to another (it was HUGE). Anyway, here are my most memorable experiences and adventures during Sailor Moon Day July 5th, 2014!


SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL                                                                                              

OMG YOU GUYS SAILOR MOON FREAKING CRYSTAL!!

It's been around two or three months since they gave us an exact date for the international streaming of Sailor Moon Crystal and since that very day we've been speculating, imagining and engorging every little scrap of a preview they've thrown at us. We weren't entirely sure if the anime would live up to our terribly high expectations, after all, some of us weren't super excited after the first trailer (I made a whole rant about it too).

Come Saturday July 5th. Some Moonies woke up nice and early at home warm in their own beds and some of us were at a dingy hotel in LA because of AnimeExpo but are regardless extremely excited to begin this adventure. I'm not going to sit here and offer yet another review of this episodethere are plenty out there already (including amazing Moonie Evan McIssac's review :D) You guys don't need it anyway. Most of us have already read the manga and watched the episode itself, it would be pointless and redundant to start describing everything that happens it it, however I do want to point out certain things that made me smile or took my breath away in this new animation. Should I say "spoilers!"? Well yeah, there are light spoilers in there, just in case. ;)

Lets start right at the beginning with Momoiro Clover Z's Moon Pride and the opening sequence. I guess the song is catchy, upbeat and MomoClovery in it's own way, but generally speaking, I don't think it stands out on its own as a "legendary" anime theme; it's pretty generic actually. The animated opening sequence though had me squealing and fangirling like a 10 year old! Nothing specific, just the perfectly manga-reminicent shape of their sailor fuku, the full-scaled bad assery of their senshi powers and of course, the swooning over any second of Tuxedo Mask hawtness! I'm on full-on hardcore Moonie mode at the end of it, absolutely on-board for anything at this point.

Then, we have a look at those GAWD GORGEOUS title cards. They're so delicate and classy, and –judging from the long time logo of this blog– strikes a stylistic chord on my visual preference. So strikingly beautiful!! It definitely is kind of reminiscent of Kunihiko Ikuhara's work on both Classic Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena, but very welcome regardless. I'm very happy with these upgrades so far, Sailor Moon Crystal will be up with the times.

Source and HQ Dowload

The first half of the episode is pretty standard, except for the look! THAT LOOK! Listen, it's almost mid-2010's and anime visuals have come a long way since sparkly sketchy shoujo pupils and Clamp's dark butterfly contour eyes. The current style definitely has become a bit softer, rounded, subtler and overall leaning more towards moe. Concurrently though, we're living through a 90s era anime revival wave, where previously famous anime series like Dragon Ball, Evangelion, Saint Seiya, etc have either picked up where they left off, branched out to new sagas or received complete re-makes, all based on their previous 90s era character designs. However Sailor Moon Crystal has completely deviated from it's previous look and drew inspiration from further back to where it all started: The manga.

As Sailor Moon fans, I don't think it's necessary to go into details about how the classic anime differs from Naoko's manga but we're all aware of how little control she had over her own creation and how tight deadlines were for her to complete chapters just before the animators could in to animate the next episode. Sob story short, even though we all absolutely LOVE the classic anime (that's why we're all here right?), it resembled Naoko's original work very vaguely.

I'm not going to say that Crystal is an exact replica of Naoko's style, but you can definitely see the heavy inspiration frame after frame! I cannot tell you how happy this makes me! Sailor Moon Crystal is ABSOLUTELY doing its own thing here, not relying on current animation trends or even nodding the 90's style. Sailor Moon Crystal is Sailor Moon Crystal PERIOD. It stands on it's own and has nothing to do with other contemporary shows (specially not with Pretty Cure). The look is striking and unique. The way Usagi's hair flows is as close as we'll get to the flowy unfinished pen strokes in the manga, and those huge round shoujo eyes will be as close as we get to the retro contours as well. Agh! I cannot believe how different it all looks from that initially awkward preview we saw. Seeing it in context and in actual movement makes way more sense that just those tiny shots. This is so freaking perfect I can't even! CONSIDER ME A REPENTANT AND REDEEMED SOUL! I'm on this ship till it sinks!

Also, look at those watercolor backgrounds! Again, they're delicate, colorful, very shoujo and perfect for the dreamy feel Sailor Moon has always inspired. I'm perfectly happy with them not being as crisp as other series. At this point I don't even remember what other animes look like. What is anime? Only Sailor Moon Crystal exists to me now *0*!


During the second half we see some of the scenes we're most excited about: Transformation sequence and Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask in action. So the big elephant in the room is the 3d animation, right? PERSONALLY I do not mind it ONE-LITTLE-BIT. I mean, sure, it looks a bit different from the rest of the animation, and yeah, it might look a bit plasticky and stiff, but for some reason this doesn't really bother me. I'm just in complete AWE and the gorgeousness of the ribbons and the magical swish and swoosh going on. I'm sorry, I just really do not care at all! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Same with her introduction and attack scenes. Both the speech and the Moon Tiara Boomerang had its ritual posing (oh yeah, now I remember those did indeed reference the previous anime) had some angle distortion that stretched out Usagi's limbs to an unnatural length, but all the same, I did not mind these one bit. I'm way into this new style and absolutely adoring the fluidity of some of her movements.

And what can I say about Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask other than, yeah pretty much:

Source on Twitter/ Original source?

SWOOOON! ALL THE DISTANT AND FORGOTTEN LONGING SIGHS OF THE 14 y/o ME HAVE COME BACK AGAIN, and I absolutely love it! Another great thing is that there was surprisingly more humor in the episode than I thought there'd be! From typical Usagi falling down the stairs to her weird Godzilla vs. Sailor V dream, I'm very glad they still managed to get some LOLs in there without having to rely too heavily on super deformed jokes and other overused anime gimmicks. Music was also very different from the classic anime, although I don't want to go too deep into it now because we need a bit more time for the themes and sounds to settle in our minds a bit more. Finally the voice overs: While we only had a very limited taste at very few characters, I think it was overall alright, except for Kotono Mitsuishi. OH MY GOD KOTONO WAS WAY BEYOND FREAKING PERFECT! She has always been a great voice actress and after all these years working on various projects she's become a pro in all genres, but the way she delivers Usagi is hilariously familiar! Her timing on the humor is flawless and her reactions seem absolutely natural. Kotono is hands down the best Usagi there is! I'm so glad Naoko enjoyed her performance 20 years ago and still chose her to reprise the role. I'm not sure I would've like some unknown actress to just come in with a sweet innocent voice to try to fill Kotono's shoes.

Kotono Mitsuishi at the Shibuya 109 Bargain Days event
this past July 5th. Image from her personal blog.

There aren't really many words that describe my newfound love for Crystal, I'm so pleasantly surprised and VERY relieved that Toei Animation proved me wrong in my predictions. I'm sooooo looking forward to each and every episode coming up for the next year when we'll be closing up the first set of 26 episodes (hopefully with more to come after that n.n!!) 

As I mentioned before, I watched SMC at a hotel in LA with my close friends Brooke, Brooke's hubby Curtis and Tara. We recorded our raw emotions during episode one. Everything in the video is our genuine reactions to what we saw, and it was all squeals, giggles and wows! Such an amazing experice sharing this first viewing with my loved ones :D!


A few other good friends recorded their reactions as well! Thought they were truly heartfelt, spontaneous, genuine and needed to share them on the here with you guys as well!

Source: Aurora Peachy




ANIME EXPO 2014                                                               

Let's go to the second thing that happened before/on Moon Day (on this side of the planet): Anime Expo! The day before the official panel, some of us had the chance to go around the sales floor and visit all the booths involved with Sailor Moon. As they had previously announced, Viz had a few events and giveaways going on besides their main panel. First off was the handout of the Limited Edition coin we had seen pics of a few days before. This was a huge wish item for many of us collectors and even for casual fans. It was a token, undeniable proof that we attended AX at the time Sailor Moon was at its peak! In order to obtain this coin, Viz sent us on a scavenger hunt of sorts to visit the various booths around the con. On paper it seemed a bit of a hassle, but it was actually a lot of fun!

Step 1) Go to the Viz Booth and receive a postcard.


Step 2) You visit the various booths of companies who either animated, published, air or sell Sailor Moon, AKA, The Toei booth, the Bluefin booth, the HULU booth, the Kodansha booth and then back to the Viz Media booth and you collect some seals in the back of the card. In my case, along the way we stopped at the Jlist booth, the Japan 2.5 Dimensional Musical Association booth who were there to promote anime relate theater (they were showing previews of the " La Reconquista" DVD and handing out fliers for "Petite Étangère".


 


Step 3) Once you have visited all the booths and gotten all of your seals, you return to the Viz booth and they give you the coin. For those who weren't able to attend the Expo, it might be a bit harder to get a hold of one of these because to prevent people from grabbing more than necessary, our Expo badges were also marked off, therefore it was only one per person (and I assume most Moonies would like to keep theirs). They also had photo ops with the cosplayers that had been approved by Naoko to promote the series as well as other exclusive goodies they handed out if you made purchases at their booth.


Later that day, we went to see the AX opening Ceremonies. The line was looong and the waiting was painful, but it was worth it to see introductions of all their Guests of Honor which included the main 90s English dub cast as well as Jennifer Cihi, performer of most of the themes on the North American Sailor Moon Soundtrack. Jennifer only sang one song for the ceremony, but she did have a concert the next day (which I unfortunately missed). Anyway here's a small snippet of the Opening Ceremonies!


The original dub cast also had their own panel but I missed out on it. If you would like to see it in its entirety, you can do so HERE.

There were a ton of things happening on Moon Day, so I missed a few, but I'll try to provide links and videos for all events. In the morning, the official cosplay group appeared in the local LA news to promote Anime Expo and the Sailor Moon panel as well. It was AWESOME to see these fantastic fans representing us on TV!

 


That morning, many of us also slipped into our complicated costumes and headed out to the Convention Center around 7 a.m. Most of us were tired and sleepy because Sailor Moon Crystal had just debuted a few hours before, so we woke up extra early to watch it. Didn't matter to us tho! We were ready to get this NEW party started!! Since we stood in line for about three hours, we had a chance to meet up with lots of friends/internet pals and get some pics of AWESOME cosplayers who were also waiting for the panel. I think the line to enter AX was one of the most memorable moments because we were all just excited to see each other and meet in person and geek out over Sailor Moon with fellow Moonies! I loved hanging out with some of the greatest people I've ever met! 

I spent most of my time with my closest friends Tara and Ochibawolf (and her hubby, Curtis too!). We've had previous con experiences together and it was so much fun bunking with them again. They're so absolutely adorable and fun! I love them deeply, they're like my soul mates... only Moonier! haha! Another one of my close friends is Anne from Shojo Power! I met her last year at Otakon and once again in Tokyo (after La Reconquista). I truly admire her and everything she writes. I'm so fascinated by Anne and I'm very thankful that we could live even more fun times together! Also, for the first time I got to meet Tiffany (from SMCollectibles)! I've always been kind of intimidated by her mad blogging skillz but she turned out to be just the sweetest low-key yet hardcorest Moonie yet! So adorbs! Lisa (from ThreeLights.net) was also a fun web mistress I haven't had a chance to talk much to, but awesome to hang out with! Ruthie was there (although we hardly talked! BOOoo), Christina, Kelsey, some lovely Moonies from SMA, Eric, Kris, Chris, Caitlin, Lester, Dustin, Ramses, Rachael, and even my fave cosplayer Katherine whom I've been just DYING to meet! And so many more! Agh!! FEELS. SENTIMENTS.CAN'Ts.EMOTIONS.



After 3 hours under the hot California sun, most of us had become hot melting cosplay messes, but when the time for the panel finally came, we were moved quickly into the large meeting room (WITH AC!!!! yay XD!) which had capacity for over 2000 screaming excited fans! I heard some had to be denied entry because it was at full-capacity! We were welcomed into the room by the official cosplayers who handed pretty posters and fliers to us with wide smiles and perky attitudes. It's all so exciting and we haven't even started yet!

After Charlene Ingram (Animation marking at Viz) introduces herself, she quicky presents the original dub cast. We all have this incredible moment to thank them for their work on classic SM in the 90s and it's like graduation and a passing of the torch ritual for the new cast. While I personally did not grow up watching the DIC dub, I'm well aware that these cast members are the loved and cherished by those who knew Sailor Moon through them. It was a great moment! A few watery eyes and tear drops here and there rolled down as they said goodbye.

Almost immediately, we move along to meet the new cast of Sailor Moon. Unveiled one by one, the actors come out alongside their respective cosplayers and it's AWESOME! We don't really know much about these people but we're excited because these are the new forces who will breathe life into our beloved characters. We are about to embark on a new adventure with them and it's all starting right now! Here's the complete list! (source: ANN)

  Stephanie Sheh as Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon 
Kate Higgins as Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury 
Cristina Vee as Rei Hino/Sailor Mars 
Amanda C. Miller as Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter 
Cherami Leigh as Minako Aino/Sailor Venus 
Robbie Daymond as Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask 
Michelle Ruff as Luna 
Johnny Yong Bosch as Artemis 
Danielle Judovits  as Naru Osaka 
Ben Diskin as Gurio Umino 
Tara Platt as Ikuko Tsukino 
Keith Silverstein as Kenji Tsukino 
Nicolas Roye as Shingo Tsukino 
Cindy Robinson as Queen Beryl 
Todd Haberkorn as Jadeite 
Liam O'Brien as Nephrite 
Lucien Dodge as Zoicite 
Patrick Seitz as Kunzite


The new voice overs: We didn't get to hear much of the scouts in the episodes that were shown to us, they even told us some have not gotten into the studio yet! In fact we only really heard Stephanie Sheh (Usagi), Michelle Ruff (Luna), little bits of Robbie (Mamoru), Todd (Jadeite), and Danielle (Naru). The one who actually took the cake this time was Ben (Umino) because his character plays a huge part on episode 2 and he was pretty hilarious in it! The dub itself sounded alright. Kotono Mitsuishi has a peculiarly high pitch and hilarious delivery, so even if I try to compare her to Stephanie, I really can't do so because the tones and delivery are completely different. I'm sure Stephanie will grow into the role and give Usagi her own flavor, let's just say that the "Moon Prism Power" snippet made me a little giddy. Teehee! On the other hand, Luna I'm not too sure about; Keiko Han had this "meowy" quality to her voice, whereas Michelle sounded kind of.... errr... dare I say pedestrian? There was no particular feel or unique characteristic to Luna's voice, I really felt it was just a random girl talking normally to another person and not the sweet-yet-slightly-authoritative kitty voice of reason that is Luna (just my own personal opinion).

Robbie was in the episodes as well but I can't say much about his acting yet because Mamoru only has a few lines.  I'll just point out that he does indeed resemble Toby Proctor's style and tone, but hopefully he'll eventually develop his own signature or trademark for Tuxie because during the panel the actor was super funny, open and great with the fans. I have high hopes for him! Haha! Other characters like Ikuko Mama, Naru or Haruna-sensei were ok, but again, nothing memorable, mostly because the characters themselves aren't particularly important. Nevertheless, I'm sure they will all do a great job and I look forward to listening more of this new production. Characters go through all sorts of ups and downs and lots of growth, so the actors will have a full range of emotions to explore in the upcoming seasons. For those who would like to watch the complete panel, here's a video:


Also, during the panel, we were given first hand info on DVDs/BluRays and a small preview of the actual box and extra gift coin it will include. They assured us the design will look even better in person because it will have a super shinny rainbow sparkle finish and it was all directly approved by "Japan" and "Sensei" (so funny how they never mention any specific names! Haha!).

The pre-order for the new North American dub of Sailor Moon Classic DVDs/Blurays is available now on RightStuf.com and I do recommend ordering yours ASAP because the gift collectible coin will be limited edition . Remember: this release will include ALL 200 episodes, ALL 5 seasons up to Stars, all 3 Movies/special episodes, and most importantly ZERO censorship. If you were ever hoping to get a comprehensive DVD set that is consistent throughout, this is your chance! This is as close as it will get to perfection guys!

Each box set will contain 23 episodes or half a season, with a total of 10 sets for the anime itself same as the South American Talk-Boxes and the Italian DVDs (this might be the way Toei is demands it be partitioned). The first Box contains episodes 1-23 plus an 88-page, full-color premium booklet! The extra material includes behind-the-scenes dub footage, art galleries an convention featurettes (including the initial announcements and THIS convention).





  • Publisher - VIZ
  • Genre - Adventure
  • Media - Blu-ray Disc
  • Format - Hybrid
  • Age Rating - 13+
  • 510 Minute
  • Spoken Languages - English, Japanese
  • Subtitles - English
  • Year Created - 1992
  • Date Available - November 11, 2014
  • Pre-Order HERE!
After the premiere of episodes 1 and 2 of the dub, the panel attendees were treated to the very first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! Probably many had already seen it earlier that morning, but for others it was the very first time! Exciting times Moonies, exciting times! Once the panel had ended, some fans had the amazing opportunity to have their posters signed by the new cast! Again, I missed on this opportunity because so many events were happening at the same time and lines, OH THE DARN ENDLESS LINES EVERYWHERE!

My friend Tara and I instead opted to get in line to see Jennifer Cihi who was also holding her own autograph session! Even if the old Sailor Moon soundtrack doesn't appeal to everyone, it has it's own magic for those who loved it from the original dub and for those who casually picked it up at a store just because it happened to have Sailor Moon on the jacket (like me! Haha!). We all have different ways of attaching to music! Jennifer was super sweet and engaged with her fans. She signed CDs for more than her allotted time-slot and even presented gifts to some who have been very vocal about loving the songs. So much fun!



Again, we hardly had time to run to the other side of the convention where Tara and I met up with Ochibawolf and Anne to go into the cosplay reunion! The reunion was a bit different than expected ( I thought we'd all be gathering and posing outside) but I'm glad we were able to sit down and enjoy our time with other cosplayers.

Lines and lines of senshi after senshi, I was really surprised to see so many fans dressed up! Some were very cool looking, others were amazing original creations and others looked like they jumped out of the TV! It was an amazing spectacle! Apparently they had planned to bring in a Guinness World Records jugde to establish a "most cosplays of a single anime" category record, but I don't know for sure if it was established or not. Anyway, it was fun times again! We started singing Moonlight Densetsu in English on our own, then Charlene asked us to sing it in Japanese. There were so many of us, we were asked to stand according to our senshi: first Moons, then Planets, villains, then others like cats and OCs. We all yelled transformation phrases or attacks and for once I got to feel like a kid again surrounded by others of my kind! I loved being a part of it so much!

The media was called in for this event, it was covered by Things to do in LA (article here) and LA Weekly! It is also noteworthy that the footage of this event will appear on the official US release DVDs mentioned above and will most likely be seen by executives and other high-ranking elites of Toei and Sailor Moon media, probably even Naoko too!



MOON CRISIS ART SHOW                                                    


Our schedule was tight for sure! We rapidly left the cosplay reunion because yet another Sailor Moon related event has about to take place not at AX, but at a small art gallery in Anaheim, CA (about a 30-minute drive away from downtown LA). Our friend Dustin and Lester were kind enough to give Tara and I a ride to the Moon Crisis Art Show held at the Rothick Art Haus. Nice Moonie convos during a drive with friends are always super awesome! We arrived about ten minutes before the show started, and stayed in yet another line for about 35 minutes. AGH! LINES! :(

Once we made it inside, we had a long look at all the gorgeous works on display! These pieces were more than just the average fan art though, many of these were considered fine art because of materials and techniques used. All pieces were up for sale ranging from $50 to $3500 UDS. Also, many were more interpretations of the senshi more than exact copies. It was so much fun to see and admire some of these paintings from artists I have followed for some time! Miss Kika, an artist I've followed for a number of years was there, I had a poster personally signed! Many other fawkamaze artists like Ann Marcellino (famous for her "Sailor Avengers Asemble" piece), Eric Pietrangolare (of SMA fame!), Babs Tarr (creator of the Bosozoku Sailor Scouts illustration) and of course my new favorite whom I've been totally bonded over Twitter with, the super sweet Channel Square whom I got to meet in person! Agh! She was so sweet and awesome, totally fangirling inside x3! I wish I could've met a lot more in person, but not all illustrators were at the gallery that day. The Moon Crisis Art show also had a small artist alley where you could buy prints or have pieces customized by the artists themselves and at the end of the night they held a tiny cosplay contest (which I maybe kinda sorta won 1st place in xD! YAY Punk Sailor Moon XD!)

Again, this event was covered by local news outlets. There is a small article on LA Weekly! Fun fun fun!

That's about it for coverage of Moon Day! Certainly there were tons of events going on and I admittedly skipped some as well, but with limited time you must pick and choose those you consider to be most important. I try to attend or at least blog about important events in the Moonie fandom, so keep checking back! With the revival of Sailor Moon in full swing, there will be many more news coming out from Japan, the US and Latin America (which I cover as often as I can as well).

Happy Sailor Moon day guys! Keep on Mooning!! (not the dirty kind of mooning tho xDDD!)