June 29, 2012

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Event Information.


Hello Moonies! Boy, do we have some news for you today!

Aired in more than 40 countries, translated in about 30 languages and still quite fresh in retail venues such as Hot TopicAmazon and other anime stores, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon has proved to be a timeless classic adventure for kids of all ages that still lives on!

1992. Ahh, Memories. This is when it all started. Or at least it did for those to be lucky enough to live in Japan at the time. It was the year that one of the most famous animes to date started airing on TV Asahi (7 p.m. every Saturday!) and snowballed from being just another cartoon into a Worldwide pop culture phenomenon! At the time, there had been a few other "magical girl" animations that had aired before, but none ever reached so much audience or had such quantity of merchandise produced to leave a memorable impression as the sailor-suited one did.

For this pigtailed heroine, every kind of product you can think of was created. She became the "Hello Kitty" of animation, so to speak. Starting from the basic merchandise you'd expect to see, like dolls, figurines, role-playing wands, collectible cards, clothing and plushies, we see a progression to the weirdest items you can imagine! A cash register, soap bubbles, ice shavers, a spinning roulette, swimming caps and so on! We also saw the creation of many music CDs (with an incredible variety of singles and compilations), tons of hand held and video games for Sega/PlayStation, and of course, lots of UFO catcher prizes! The popularity of the franchise inspired the creation of an all-human cast Musical Theater production called Sailor Moon Musical (SeraMyu for short) that went on to become one plays with longest run in Japan. The anime became a smashing hit all over the planet and was undoubtedly one of the decade's biggest animation legacies.


Jump to 2002. The series Tenth Anniversary. At this point, the Sailor Moon anime is still airing on it's first run in many countries, the manga is still printing it's first edition in the US and the many seasons of SeraMyu had been performing continuously on stage for almost 9 years. The first wave of toys, art books, animation cels and posters had already made their way to becoming one of the most sought out items for collectors. So many legendary series were created between the 80's and 90's that it is referred to as the "Golden Age" and a newfound appreciation of these old school cartoons begun to show itself as small revivals here and there, but none as large and meaningful as this franchise had.

For its anniversary year, we didn't see much appearing other than a few anniversary pins and plushies appear to commemorate the occasion. It wasn't until 2003 (one year later) that things started to pick up. The biggest revival  any animation had seen at the time hit Japan. Beginning with the creation of a Live Action drama, Sailor Moon once again stepped in the spotlight with one of the first tokusatsu style series that featured a group of girls as the main heroes who used their sparkling magic powers against weird monsters in costumes. The series was moderately successful, but managed to push out 49 episodes, 2 specials and a live event. Not only that. The entire manga series was re-published with brand-spanking new covers and updated artwork by Naoko Takeuchi. For the first time ever, we see the launch of the HD-DVDs also featuring new artwork on the jackets, not to forget the most incredible creative explosion ever: Sailor Moon World. This line of toys focused on creating commemorative collectibles with brand new art, new designs and the re-issue of some of the role-playing toys which had become highly desirable. Again we get a slew of wands, brooches, dolls,  figurines, statuettes, play sets and so on. The Sailor Moon World items are easily spotted by its logo, the lighter use of color in the drawings and the prominent amount of pink on its products. The list of articles created is overwhelming, but it was greatly successful line and to date they remain as collector favorites too.


Now let's time-travel to 2011. The Sailor Moon craze is still going strong, but not as much as us fans would like it to be. Italy leads the second revival with the re-airing of the series and production of NEW Sailor Moon dolls. Along with this line of product, an update of the artwork created by Italian artist Marco Albiero is used in the packaging for the new toys and clothing. The anime is also re-aired in Japan (mostly under the radar), Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Chile and many other countries. Also, new DVD launches in Mexico and Brazil start appearing, all featuring the new art.

In the US, after a long, long drought of Moonie goodies, we finally get a re-launch of the new version of the manga (on going) which has been topping sales for almost every edition!  There was also the unexpected but very welcome release of Hot Topic/ FYE/GoHastings shirts. With no notice at all, these shirts popped up and fans went crazy over them. Then, another huge company joined the revival: GE Animation. They already carry a bunch of franchises, but spontaneously begun producing many, MANY articles featuring Marco's illustrations and their articles have appeared in many anime shops, conventions and online stores all over the web.





As amazing as all of these updates and revivals have been, we the Moonies are a crazy breed that will never-ever feel like we've had enough. Sadly the international revival of the 20th anniversary has been hitting a few dead ends. Italy's line of toys and clothing was not as successful as anticipated and was soon dropped. (They did carry through with the manga and anime comic though). In Latin America, DVD sales have been extremely slow and difficult and they're in great danger of never completing the launch of the entire series because of low sales. News for other countries has been poorly publicized too. The manga has made appearances in France, Germany and Spain, but they are also fighting to get the anime back with no visible no progress in the horizon. The US fans have been begging for the return of the series as well, but negotiations with Toei have become stale and we've got nothing but sadness, deception, and vague insinuations from companies wanting to acquire the license. *COUGHFunimationCOUGH*.

2012: Japan has been the biggest disappointment of all. Other than a very unsatisfactory re-design of the Official Sailor Moon Website with terrible updates that offer little-to-no useful information and a tiny cameo of Tuxedo Mask in a random dating video game, there hasn't been a single shred of news about the 20th anniversary. Seeing that the 10th one was huge, we were expecting Japan to really CELEBRATE it. Those of us who follow anime in general have seen how other series that are just as legendary have gotten some form of re-release or entirely new animes, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dragon Ball Kai or FMA:Brotherhood. Many of us expected to see a new anime, possibly one that has better quality than the first and that adheres more to the manga's story line. Thanks to the progress in computer animation, anime has become cheaper and faster to produce, so it's not like we're asking for the impossible. The musical and Live Action were also huge part of the franchise. Maybe a gathering of actors and singers to play one last on-stage performance would have been nice too. Commemorative collectibles are something we had come to expect. Coins, dolls, pins, plushies or toys are always well received, but instead, we're left with no other option than to fight aggressive bidding wars against each other in order to acquire the highly desirable articles on eBay. Is what we get for years and years of passion? A denied revival of the series, an nothing more but bits and pieces of its former glory? Depressing.

"So, what's the big news and why is it a big deal?"

Considering how little interest Japan and the author seem to have in another revival for the 20th anniversary, the fans have gradually come to expect absolutely nothing. All of our hearts crushed, our hopes vanished, our dreams destroyed. With no news from animators, actors, producers, artists or companies coming out, we were mostly assuming nothing was going to happen at all.

UNTIL NOW.

This morning, a few news outlets in Japan and the Official Website announced something huge! The Japanese voice actress for Sailor Moon (Kotono Mitsuishi), the actor for Tuxedo Mask (Toru Furuya), and the Sailor Moon manga editor Fumio Osano (OSA-P!!! :D) will appear in a special event that commemorates the 20th Anniversary and it will be in only a few days time: July 6th!! (which seems somewhat appropriate because of the closeness with Usagi's Birthday.) 

Here's the breakdown:

The event is hosted by the famous streaming video site Nico Nico Douga and at the Nicofarre building in Roppongi. Their guests will be there for about a half hour and the discussion will be exclusively about Sailor Moon! There are also rumors that there might be a surprise announcement! It will also be live streamed for the rest of the world to watch. When the time comes, you'll need an account on their site, but it will be available HERE for freezies! 

At the same time, the Japan Expo will be held in France and both events are said to be connected somehow. It might mean that the event will be live streamed for those at the event in Paris to watch in real time, but no further details were released. As part of the 20th Anniversary celebration,  there will also be a Japanese girls idol group called Momoiro Clover Z  that will perform Sailor Moon related music. So exciting!! For those who will be at the event in France, be sure to stop by Pika Edition’s booth. If you're in Sailor Moon cosplay, you will receive a scratch card and can win prizes like posters, postcards, and if you're super lucky, an entire set of the manga. Awesome!

You can see more promotional flyers that Miss Dream translated HERE

So, why is it a big deal? Well, mostly because it's been quite a slow year, we were caught off guard and surprises are always nice. The fact that we get a full 30 minutes with the original voice actors is freaking amazing, so that's a huge deal on its own!

Is this all we're going to get for the 20th? Mmhhh...probably. Nobody knows for sure.

Do we lose all hope and forget about it? No! Of course not! This is a small step, but by no means is it the last one! Just as the 10th Anniversary that was celebrated a year late, we might have to wait a little longer too. Maybe they're aiming for the 25th Anniversary. Maybe the 30th? Who knows. From what we've seen, once Japan decides to go big, THEY GO FREAKING HUGE. 

UPDATE: Crunchy Roll has posted an entry about this event and they also included an extra. They said some of the announcements include NEW MERCH for the 20th Anniversary! Is it true? Is it not? We'll find out soon enough.

To quote the person in charge of the Latin American DVDs release: "Naoko strives to ensure the series is delivered exactly the way she envisions it. It's not that she doesn't want us to have the series. It's beacuse she loves her series, that she wants it done right.

So hang in there Moonies, I'm positive that when the time is right, we will not be disappointed. ^^!!

June 29, 2012

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Event Information.


Hello Moonies! Boy, do we have some news for you today!

Aired in more than 40 countries, translated in about 30 languages and still quite fresh in retail venues such as Hot TopicAmazon and other anime stores, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon has proved to be a timeless classic adventure for kids of all ages that still lives on!

1992. Ahh, Memories. This is when it all started. Or at least it did for those to be lucky enough to live in Japan at the time. It was the year that one of the most famous animes to date started airing on TV Asahi (7 p.m. every Saturday!) and snowballed from being just another cartoon into a Worldwide pop culture phenomenon! At the time, there had been a few other "magical girl" animations that had aired before, but none ever reached so much audience or had such quantity of merchandise produced to leave a memorable impression as the sailor-suited one did.

For this pigtailed heroine, every kind of product you can think of was created. She became the "Hello Kitty" of animation, so to speak. Starting from the basic merchandise you'd expect to see, like dolls, figurines, role-playing wands, collectible cards, clothing and plushies, we see a progression to the weirdest items you can imagine! A cash register, soap bubbles, ice shavers, a spinning roulette, swimming caps and so on! We also saw the creation of many music CDs (with an incredible variety of singles and compilations), tons of hand held and video games for Sega/PlayStation, and of course, lots of UFO catcher prizes! The popularity of the franchise inspired the creation of an all-human cast Musical Theater production called Sailor Moon Musical (SeraMyu for short) that went on to become one plays with longest run in Japan. The anime became a smashing hit all over the planet and was undoubtedly one of the decade's biggest animation legacies.


Jump to 2002. The series Tenth Anniversary. At this point, the Sailor Moon anime is still airing on it's first run in many countries, the manga is still printing it's first edition in the US and the many seasons of SeraMyu had been performing continuously on stage for almost 9 years. The first wave of toys, art books, animation cels and posters had already made their way to becoming one of the most sought out items for collectors. So many legendary series were created between the 80's and 90's that it is referred to as the "Golden Age" and a newfound appreciation of these old school cartoons begun to show itself as small revivals here and there, but none as large and meaningful as this franchise had.

For its anniversary year, we didn't see much appearing other than a few anniversary pins and plushies appear to commemorate the occasion. It wasn't until 2003 (one year later) that things started to pick up. The biggest revival  any animation had seen at the time hit Japan. Beginning with the creation of a Live Action drama, Sailor Moon once again stepped in the spotlight with one of the first tokusatsu style series that featured a group of girls as the main heroes who used their sparkling magic powers against weird monsters in costumes. The series was moderately successful, but managed to push out 49 episodes, 2 specials and a live event. Not only that. The entire manga series was re-published with brand-spanking new covers and updated artwork by Naoko Takeuchi. For the first time ever, we see the launch of the HD-DVDs also featuring new artwork on the jackets, not to forget the most incredible creative explosion ever: Sailor Moon World. This line of toys focused on creating commemorative collectibles with brand new art, new designs and the re-issue of some of the role-playing toys which had become highly desirable. Again we get a slew of wands, brooches, dolls,  figurines, statuettes, play sets and so on. The Sailor Moon World items are easily spotted by its logo, the lighter use of color in the drawings and the prominent amount of pink on its products. The list of articles created is overwhelming, but it was greatly successful line and to date they remain as collector favorites too.


Now let's time-travel to 2011. The Sailor Moon craze is still going strong, but not as much as us fans would like it to be. Italy leads the second revival with the re-airing of the series and production of NEW Sailor Moon dolls. Along with this line of product, an update of the artwork created by Italian artist Marco Albiero is used in the packaging for the new toys and clothing. The anime is also re-aired in Japan (mostly under the radar), Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Chile and many other countries. Also, new DVD launches in Mexico and Brazil start appearing, all featuring the new art.

In the US, after a long, long drought of Moonie goodies, we finally get a re-launch of the new version of the manga (on going) which has been topping sales for almost every edition!  There was also the unexpected but very welcome release of Hot Topic/ FYE/GoHastings shirts. With no notice at all, these shirts popped up and fans went crazy over them. Then, another huge company joined the revival: GE Animation. They already carry a bunch of franchises, but spontaneously begun producing many, MANY articles featuring Marco's illustrations and their articles have appeared in many anime shops, conventions and online stores all over the web.





As amazing as all of these updates and revivals have been, we the Moonies are a crazy breed that will never-ever feel like we've had enough. Sadly the international revival of the 20th anniversary has been hitting a few dead ends. Italy's line of toys and clothing was not as successful as anticipated and was soon dropped. (They did carry through with the manga and anime comic though). In Latin America, DVD sales have been extremely slow and difficult and they're in great danger of never completing the launch of the entire series because of low sales. News for other countries has been poorly publicized too. The manga has made appearances in France, Germany and Spain, but they are also fighting to get the anime back with no visible no progress in the horizon. The US fans have been begging for the return of the series as well, but negotiations with Toei have become stale and we've got nothing but sadness, deception, and vague insinuations from companies wanting to acquire the license. *COUGHFunimationCOUGH*.

2012: Japan has been the biggest disappointment of all. Other than a very unsatisfactory re-design of the Official Sailor Moon Website with terrible updates that offer little-to-no useful information and a tiny cameo of Tuxedo Mask in a random dating video game, there hasn't been a single shred of news about the 20th anniversary. Seeing that the 10th one was huge, we were expecting Japan to really CELEBRATE it. Those of us who follow anime in general have seen how other series that are just as legendary have gotten some form of re-release or entirely new animes, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dragon Ball Kai or FMA:Brotherhood. Many of us expected to see a new anime, possibly one that has better quality than the first and that adheres more to the manga's story line. Thanks to the progress in computer animation, anime has become cheaper and faster to produce, so it's not like we're asking for the impossible. The musical and Live Action were also huge part of the franchise. Maybe a gathering of actors and singers to play one last on-stage performance would have been nice too. Commemorative collectibles are something we had come to expect. Coins, dolls, pins, plushies or toys are always well received, but instead, we're left with no other option than to fight aggressive bidding wars against each other in order to acquire the highly desirable articles on eBay. Is what we get for years and years of passion? A denied revival of the series, an nothing more but bits and pieces of its former glory? Depressing.

"So, what's the big news and why is it a big deal?"

Considering how little interest Japan and the author seem to have in another revival for the 20th anniversary, the fans have gradually come to expect absolutely nothing. All of our hearts crushed, our hopes vanished, our dreams destroyed. With no news from animators, actors, producers, artists or companies coming out, we were mostly assuming nothing was going to happen at all.

UNTIL NOW.

This morning, a few news outlets in Japan and the Official Website announced something huge! The Japanese voice actress for Sailor Moon (Kotono Mitsuishi), the actor for Tuxedo Mask (Toru Furuya), and the Sailor Moon manga editor Fumio Osano (OSA-P!!! :D) will appear in a special event that commemorates the 20th Anniversary and it will be in only a few days time: July 6th!! (which seems somewhat appropriate because of the closeness with Usagi's Birthday.) 

Here's the breakdown:

The event is hosted by the famous streaming video site Nico Nico Douga and at the Nicofarre building in Roppongi. Their guests will be there for about a half hour and the discussion will be exclusively about Sailor Moon! There are also rumors that there might be a surprise announcement! It will also be live streamed for the rest of the world to watch. When the time comes, you'll need an account on their site, but it will be available HERE for freezies! 

At the same time, the Japan Expo will be held in France and both events are said to be connected somehow. It might mean that the event will be live streamed for those at the event in Paris to watch in real time, but no further details were released. As part of the 20th Anniversary celebration,  there will also be a Japanese girls idol group called Momoiro Clover Z  that will perform Sailor Moon related music. So exciting!! For those who will be at the event in France, be sure to stop by Pika Edition’s booth. If you're in Sailor Moon cosplay, you will receive a scratch card and can win prizes like posters, postcards, and if you're super lucky, an entire set of the manga. Awesome!

You can see more promotional flyers that Miss Dream translated HERE

So, why is it a big deal? Well, mostly because it's been quite a slow year, we were caught off guard and surprises are always nice. The fact that we get a full 30 minutes with the original voice actors is freaking amazing, so that's a huge deal on its own!

Is this all we're going to get for the 20th? Mmhhh...probably. Nobody knows for sure.

Do we lose all hope and forget about it? No! Of course not! This is a small step, but by no means is it the last one! Just as the 10th Anniversary that was celebrated a year late, we might have to wait a little longer too. Maybe they're aiming for the 25th Anniversary. Maybe the 30th? Who knows. From what we've seen, once Japan decides to go big, THEY GO FREAKING HUGE. 

UPDATE: Crunchy Roll has posted an entry about this event and they also included an extra. They said some of the announcements include NEW MERCH for the 20th Anniversary! Is it true? Is it not? We'll find out soon enough.

To quote the person in charge of the Latin American DVDs release: "Naoko strives to ensure the series is delivered exactly the way she envisions it. It's not that she doesn't want us to have the series. It's beacuse she loves her series, that she wants it done right.

So hang in there Moonies, I'm positive that when the time is right, we will not be disappointed. ^^!!