November 25, 2013

La Reconquista fan report.

Well hello lovely Moonies!

It's been quite a long, long time since I last blogged. So many things have happened in the Moonieverse during these past few months! Many of us have already received some of our pre-orders like the Figuarts for Moon and Mercury, the schedule books, swing keychains and phone cases. Some lucky Moonies have received their  anniversary jewelry shinnies, and others in Japan have been posting pics of their new Miracle Romance Shinning Moon Powder compact! Other countless merch items have appeared, like the Megahouse figurines, the HGIF gashapon and the Figuarts Zero. There have also been many news around the Kanzeban (full series) manga floating around, although we've yet to hear about the new anime. So much is going on that I haven't even had time to blog all that has happened!

Sailor Moon Obsession is a place where I want to gather all general Sailor Moon news about the manga/anime and collectibles, but the blog is -first and foremost- a personal blog of my adventures in the Sailor Moon fandom.

I'm way behind in posting the latest info on merch and anime news, and I MIGHT catch up eventually, but right now I want to focus on new Sailor Moon Musical “La Reconquista”.  Note: If you follow me on Twitter, then you most likely have already read all of my experiences as I shared them on a daily basis. 

As soon as a new musical was announced back in May, many Moonies decided to pack their bags and head to Japan in order to be a part of the 20th Anniversary celebration. This event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and for some of us, the timing was just right (jobs, disposable income, no kids, vacation time, etc). We were extremely lucky to make it there. I'm just going to talk very generally of how things happened, mixing it up with shopping trips, karaoke nights and even a few off topic comments about food, culture and friends. I don't want bore or lecture you or anything, I just want to give an idea of how it was to be there and as a fan, what I enjoyed or disliked the most.

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It could be said that my trip began weeks before even I started packing and making preparations, however I'm just going to jump forward to the day I arrived: The flight itself was long and uncomfortable of course, but I didn't mind it that much. Intercontinental planes are pretty big and sturdy, it's even kind of exciting to board them 'cause it usually means (to me) that big adventures are about to begin :D!

The plane arrived in Tokyo the next day in the afternoon and it was easy to take a bus home from the airport. Home for me is the house of a close friend of mine. In 2002, I spent an entire year in Japan studying the language and culture and my school contacted me with a host family. Later on, one of my teacher's at school invited me to stay at her place and ever since then we became really good friends. She's not a normal, refined, respectful, quiet Japanese woman. She's loud, straightforward, energetic and boastful, but truly an honest, kind, warm person. Needless to say, we love each other very much. I've visited her a few more times since then, and for this trip, she was kind enough to let me crash at her place again.

“My room” is a traditional tatami room with a futon that I have to fold and unfold every night. It's cool! Staying with a Japanese family forces me to reconnect with their small day-to-day routines such as saying “tadaima” when I arrive home, taking off my shoes at the entrance, “oseiwa ni narimasu” when you will be taken care of, baths at night (but as a Westerner, I just HAD to take showers in the morning too xD), etc etc. They let me stay at their place free of charge, they cook for me and sometimes even wash my clothes and stuff! OMG. But I try to balance it out and offer to wash the dishes, take out their trash, clean up my room, etc. It's important to make them feel like I'm not
intruding in their life.


Anyway, the first night is nothing special. We eat Thai food and me and my teacher have a good catch-up convo. The next day, I have it all to myself. The first thing to do is take care of Sailor Moon businees. THAT'S WHAT I'M HERE FOR! I board the train and head over to Shinjuku, which is like a 40 min. ride. There is a huge Isetan (a department store much like Macys or Dillard's) where I know there is a display of a Keisuke Kanda x Sailor Moon collaboration. The display is on the second floor and it's quite a bright surprise to see it in person. Upon closer inspection though, this collab it is the weirdest, most randomest thing ever. The main display consists of tall cardboard cutouts of the five Inner senshi, all wearing a paper apron with their respective color combinations. Who would need paper apron? Why would they create such an ugly piece of merchandise? I don't know. All I know is that I'm terribly excited to find something Moon related and I want to buy them all. I check the price and they're about US$15 so, you know, they're in front of me, might as well take a few, right?

Next thing I noticed in the display are the red knee-high long socks. They're not incredibly amazing in person but just the fact that the moon is sewn on with golden threads makes it a lil' cuter. I'm not super shocked by them so I just move on. Then there are the Keisuke Kanda purses. Or should I say diaper bags? They seem to me like moms' diaper bags to me, they're just so un-fashionable. I don't get it, isn't he supposed to be a super famous designer? Anyway, I look at them, they're quite expensive (¥22000-ish), I move on again.


At the other side of the display there's another glass case that is housing a few other Moonie goodies. We can see the Sailor Moon Figurarts and for the first time we see that Sailor Mercury also has a blue heart-shaped stand and we finally have confirmation that her small computer does have the Mercury symbol on it, which many were afraid wasn't included (from the pictures of the prototype).

Next they had a small display with the rings and necklaces coming up from Bandai. Yes they are absolutely gorgeous embedded with Swarovski crystals and gold or silver plated. Needless to repeat, they are quite tiny and pretty pricey. Although I would love to add some of these to my collection I simply do not wear jewelry enough to justify spending so much money. The new eyeliners are also on display, but at this point of time they are not out for sale yet. This was the first time they were shown to the public, and they are wonderfully adorned with flowers pearls and silk fabric! SOOO CUTE!

Finally, they have a showcase of the first wave of the Sailor Moon iPhone cases. I call them “ first wave” because these are the first ones we got, but at this point we've seen a few from the Myu and a second release of Bandai cases for iPhone/iPad mini (the ones with the outer senshi and the stained glass designs). Here are some pics and the video I took at Isetan, other Moonies said it was forbidden to record at the store, but it wasn't the case when I was there, I was even encouraged to go ahead and take lots of pictures! They even took pictures of me in front of the displays!! XD! (lucky me!)


On my way back I decide to get off at Nakano station where the Nakano Broadway shopping center is. I know there a bunch of Mandarakes and other anime stores, might as well take a look since it's on the way home. In the year 2007, I decided to open the Sailor Moon Obsession blog to record all the "incredible finds" I would have during my trip ito Japan. I was so sure Ithere was going to be tons Sailor Moon merch everywhere, but I was dead wrong. There was nothing at all!! Very hard-to-find, very scarce, and very limited items. Even here at Nakano Broadway had nothing back then. Somebody told me it was because Japan was over Sailor Moon. It was old, out of style, and unpopular so the market was kind of stale.

Jump to this trip 6 years later and it seems that the 20th Anniversary has exploded all over Tokyo, in a good way! There was Sailor Moon almost everywhere. One of the Mandarake shops that specializes in shoujo anime collectibles had a case half-full of shinnies! Like, what the what happened here!? All of a sudden it was like heaven had parted and a giant finger of awesomeness had pointed down to these shops and unexpectedly filled them up with so much stuff to buy! I was overwhelmed! From big-ticket items like compacts and wands, to smaller stuff like bento boxes, handkerchiefs, puzzles and stationery. Other stores they had amazing animation cells, at another they had Myu pamphlets and old VHS tapes. Some had amazing stuff like costumes and cds, others had newer stuff like the cell phone cases and stickers. I even heard that Anne (@Athenia45) found a volume V Sailor Moon Stars art book for a very reasonable price! Yes Moonies, no matter what you've heard before, Japan has recently re-discovered the fandom and has put everything they had in storage out for sale now. I think it's partially because fans are growing older and getting rid of their stuff, or because they realized that now there is a huge market for the shinnies! Whatever the case there is Sailor Moon available if you know where to look!

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The next day I have an early date with Brad from Moonkitty.net. For those not familiar, Brad and I record the Moonie Tunes Podcast since March 2011. We've known each other for much longer than that though. We met through our blogs, then through Twitter we strengthened our friendship and now it was the first time we were ever going to meet in person! Pretty exciting!! He lives in Tokyo and has been a hard-core Moonie for as long as I have been, which is roughly about 15 or 16 years. I was so happy I would finally get to meet him, but I knew it would be just as if we were recording one big podcast episode, we are really close.


We didn't have any specific plans for the afternoon. Our idea was to just meet up for coffee or something, however, we ended up finding our way to the AiiA Theater in Shibuya, where the Myu was scheduled take place that very night. We saw a window plastered with La Reconquista posters and a bunch of flower arrangements being delivered to the theater lobby. We start acting crazy, recording vids in front of the posters, discovering rehearsal videos playing on the screens of the lobby, and acting very weird in front of a girl we suspect might be part of Myu xD!! (upon closer inspection, she doesn't seem familiar).


Since we have plenty of time left before the musical actually starts, we decided to walk towards the main area of Shibuya. While were at it, maybe we can stop at Mandarake again, right? I mean, why not? We're already close! Again, this shop has a special glass case with magical girl items and Sailor Moon is one of the more prominent heroines in this display. Even Brad is shocked at how many things have appeared during the last few months! Pic and vid of the Mandarake in Shibuya!



Then we head up to the fifth floor to the Animate store. This is store, unlike Mandarake, features mostly brand new goods of more current animes. Sailor Moon goods aren't fully out yet, just the phone cases and stickers, but we did manage to find one of the schedule books that was released last August.

Even after we shop for a long time, we STILL have a few more hours before Myu, so what do we do with all that time? Go to the karaoke thing of course! Unlike most western countries, karaoke isn't something that is done in a bar on a stage where everyone has to listen to your bad singing. Here they offer private little rooms for your parties and friends and only your group has all the fun instead of having to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of strangers. As we all know, karaoke is pretty huge in Japan. It's like “thing”, like going to the movies is to Americans, it's what they do on weekends to have a good time with friends. There are so many karaoke places everywhere, and some of the most popular places eventually start opening chains, in this case, “Karaoke no Tetsujin” specializes mostly in anime and sentai music, they even have costumes to rent at their lobbies if you would like to dress up to sing your favorite anime themes.

We find the place and we are immediately greeted by a bunch of full-size posters and displays around the entrance. Once you have registered with the number of guests and hours, they then pull out the Myu drink menu for you to choose. The Sailor Moon drinks are non-alcoholic (yay for me!), they're basically just sweet treats to and refreshments! For this cross-promotion, they gave out the coasters with the main Myu actresses printed on them. They come into our room with the drinks in one hand and a pink box in the other. We were asked to blindly reach into the box and pull out a random coaster. We couldn't choose the ones we wanted ( I got Moon and Brad got Mars!). We stayed there for two hours just singing song after song of SM anime and Myu themes: Moon Revenge, Moonlight Densetsu, Sailor Stars song, Otome no Policy, Sailor Wars, La Soldier and many other memorable themes that I butchered with my horrendous singing voice! HAHAHahaha! But I had so much fun, I stopped caring about half an hour later and sung my lungs out! n.n





It's barely my second day in Tokyo and I'm already about to have my main course meal! My teacher got me a ticket for the very first stage of Sailor Moon La Reconquista! Holy crap! I've been waiting MONTHS for this, literally from the minute it was announced, I had decided that I HAD to be there. I bought my ticket to Japan within the first week of the announcement and saved up until this moment, just to be here and be part of this AMAZING celebration. And now... it was time!!

We had previously scheduled to meet up with @Yosenex and @Athenia45 outside of the Harajuku Station. It was my first time meeting Yosenex, but I was super happy to see my friend Anne again. We had met for the first time back in August at Otakon 2013. We spent around 6 hours lined up for events and had quite a long time to get to know each other. I think we clicked right away! She was just so nice, so smart, so amazingly sweet, I was competely fascinated by her. Seeing her again brought a wide smile to my lips! We hugged and kissed each other as if years had passed (but it had only been a month in a half). We afterwards remembered that the guys were still with us, HAHAHaha! But Yosenex and Brad had also met before so they were busy catching up as well. We walked towards the Aiia Theater (it's about a 10 minute walk from the station), and even though we got there early, there were already about 50 people lined up. Brad had just accompanied us to the place because he didn't have a ticket for that day, but a he managed to score a ticket from a re-seller, so now, all four of us were super hyped for this!


Once inside the theater lobby, there was a long, long line to the counter where they were selling all of the moon goodies. Most of these goods we already knew about because they had made an announcement on the official website. We knew about the gorgeous pamphlets, the light sticks, posters, exclusive cell phone cases, laptop cases, exclusive design shirts, etc. I knew that I needed to bring some of my closest friends some of this limited merch, But just as I stood in line, I saw a familiar face, a face so familiar that I think every fan in the Moon kindgom knows. I was totally expecting to see him here (just not while I was standing in line, lawl!) but just to confirm I cautiously approached him and asked if he was Osabu-san. When he accepted that he was and thanked me for coming to the Myu, I asked to take a picture OF him, but he actually stopped me in my tracks and said "Wouldn't it be better if I took the picture WITH you?”. Well, he did not have to ask me twice! I ran to his side and posed faster than anyone could say Moon Prism Power. He made a bit of small talk with me, asking me where I was from, if I was to come for other performances, and where my seats were located. Seriously, Osabu-san standing there casually to me is one of the most surreal experiences EVER. @_@



You'd think that since Osabu is such a prominent figure in the Sailor Moon fandom, he would be swamped by hordes of fans trying to get an autograph or picture of him, however, he was just there standing alone watching over the people in the lobby. I went back in line and bought all the stuff I needed to buy. I then returned to where Yosenex and Brad were standing, I was shaking with all the adrenaline and my system as if I have just met an IDOL of mine... of WAIT. I TOTALLY DID. I was trying to make sense of what had just happened, and I told them “HOLY CRAP, that was AMAZING!”, but they were completely oblivious to what had just happened. “I JUST TALKED TO OSABU, HE'S HERE!” and they immediately demanded me to take them to him, which I did.

Nobody knows this, but as Brad and Yosenex stood next to Osabu and asked me to take a picture of them, I kind of felt a vibe from Osabu, giving me this look, as if I had betrayed our secret, I had divulged to the public the fact that he was there! Awww!!! Sorry Osabu, I betrayed our secret but I had to share it with someone! Still shaking like Jell-o, somehow I did manage to find the proper button on Brad's cell phone.

We all had different seat numbers so we parted ways and settled in our own places. In the background of the theater you can hear a very faint Moonlight Densetsu Momoiro Clover Z version. They have it on repeat, so at this point it seems they are actually trying to tell us THIS is going to be in the new anime. So yeah, I really think were going to get Moonlight Densetsu as opening again. At least the studio recorded version doesn't sound as terrible as it does live.

If you follow me on Twitter you probably already read about 90% of the description and my feelings of what happened at La Reconquista. I don't think there is a point of going into details of what happens since the video is already available on YouTube or for download at Miss Dream's website. You should go watch it for yourself! As a Moonie it is your duty!! GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN'T YET. I will talk a little bit about what I absolutely loved and what I didn't like so much. You can disagree with me but it's all just my personal opinion as a seasoned fan.

WARNING: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE.

At the beginning, we have a very cute arcade center scene where the girls engaging in different kinds of games, each girl using their own strong points to win, but I'm not even paying so much attention to the games as I am entralled, completely lost contemplating their uniforms. THEIR UNIFORMS!! Seeing these iconic clothes move and jump around in the real world is absolutely mind blowing! I can't stop looking for imperfections but there are NONE. The actresses, the wigs,  their shoes, everything is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. They really do seem like they just leapt out of the comic book! n.n

Then let's get to the part where the Shittenou come on stage and begin performing as idols to promote their new video game, but as we later on learned, they were using the games to steal energy, just as a do in the anime! I think it is very NAOKO to have them twist the plots around like this. Video games, idols, girl power and lightheartedness are such powerful themes in Sailor Moon, I'm so glad they honor them in this musical. I cannot express how shocked I am about the girls playing the Shittenou. They obviously need to perfmorm as males, but they are absolutely convincing. Specially Root (the girl playing Jadeite) has me totally convinced she was a guy! WOW!

Now let's focus of it on Midori Hatsukaze, the incredibly talented actress that interpreted Queen Beryl. She is obviously will practice in theater and singing, her performance is very strong and convincing as the dark mean queen. Her tone is low and mysterious kind of what we've always expected. She nailed it perfectly, even her longing for prince Endymion sounds urgent and passionate. Geez woman! Get a hold of your girly parts! XD

So finally we see Yuga Yamato as Mamoru and Satomi as Usagi, just playing catch at the park. Now let me just mention this: Yuga Yamato is a BIG FREAKING deal. Apparently Naoko hand chose her for the Tuxedo Mask role on a whim. As we know, Naoko-hime is a huge fan of Takarazuka-cho and Yuga Is already quite famous in that arena. It's no exaggeration when I say that the public exploded in ovation every single scene she came out in. But as much as a huge deal as she is, I'm very terribly sorry to have to say that to me -personally- she wasn't the Mamoru in my mind. She reminded me much more of Seiya, and to be honest some of her mannerisms were quite feminine, not as boyish as the what some of Shittenou actresses accomplished. Sure, she's good-looking and way way cool, I just think her theatrical performance is way over-the-top. Don't get me wrong, I still like the fact that they're are all women playing men, Yuga was great, her singing voice is super cool, just not my personal favorite as I expected her to be.

Anyway, it's a pretty cute song where they're talking about what Usagi would do if he betrayed her, but what we also get to see Satomi-chan acting as careless Usagi! Adorable!! I can't say that I'm a Myu expert, in fact, I've only seen a bout 4 or 5 Myus in total. Each actress gives Usagi their own twist on the character; some of them are more serious, others are rough around the edges, some are just plain silly, and some are very sweet and soft. Anza and Marina are the most popular ones. However, maybe I'm a little bit biased, but I really really think Satomi-chan is as close as anime Usagi as we have ever seen!! I mean her clothes, her hairstyle, her features, her voice, and her acting are all spot on to what I imagine the cartoon version would say or act! Also, Satomi-chan is only 17 years old, which makes her one of the youngest Moons ever on stage (I think), so she still has that childish, innocent, energetic, sweet glow around her, on top of the fact that her obnoxious whining, loud voice, tone and pitch are dead on! Love her, love her, love her.

I don't want to go into detail about every part of the show, I just want to focus on the parts I really want to talk about. The girls getting courted by the Shittenou is pretty cute. We never truly see their relationships as kanon pairings blossom until now, and somehow, all the pieces fit perfectly! It's super funny how intrigued Zoi is with Amy.

One of my favorite things is when Usagi cannot transform into Sailor Moon because she is low on energy, so after Tuxedo Mask saves her, HE USES FREAKING EARTH ENERGY to cure her!! AAAJDOHiaofhewuhfpweuhfweb!!! I fangirl about this non-stop! I love when the relationship between Mamoru and Earth is portrayed. We never get to see him do Earth Prince-y stuff, so this drawing of energy is WAY COOL. FANGIRL FANGIRL FANGIRL ALL THE WAY TO THE MOON AND BACK. XDDD!!!

Even though most of the music is was amazing, “The Five Girls of the White Moon” is by far my favorite song! Every character introduces herself using the catchphrases they use in the manga and anime. I'm having the time of my Moonie life right now! OMG. This is also the first time we see Sailor Moon and the senshi in full-on battle mode and they're spectacular!! I'm sorry to say that videos do not do justice to just how sparkly their outfits really are. The dresses have glitter and all over, the sirts have this amazing shimmer and the jewel incrustation reflect light like mirrors! They are SO SHINNY!! Even the times where I had to sit far from the stage, I could clearly see jewels and stoned reflecting off of them in every move.


Then Tuxie comes out and we get a faboulous Tuxedo la Smoking Bomb! YAAAYYY!!!! :D Anyway, Bad guys and Beryl walk away with Tuxedo Mask and the girls are left trying to recuperate their energy. Then, the voice on Queen Serenity speaks to them. I think I speak for all of us when I say that Jaimie Natsuki's voice is the sweetest thing we've ever heard and her song "Stairway to the Moon" is absolutely dazzling. She seems a bit young to be a Queen and a mom, but then again, Moon citizens are quite longevous, right? Sure, we'll go with it. XD! And BTW, is anyone also a bit annoyed that VENUS didn't pull out the sword as she was supposed to? I'm kinda mad about Jupiter doing it. I'd like to think it wasn't a strength thing, it was a leadership thing, but OH WELL.

Prince Endymion comes to scene which is my favorite version of Mamoru, and DAAAAAAAAMMM GUUURRRL!! that armor is freaking amazing and it suits Yuga in the most bad-assest way possible!! The final encore “Sailor Battle, La Reconquista” where all the actresses and performers are on stage together is overwhelmingly poweful! So much going on, so many themes, so many plots and they all culminate in this strong climax of voices and characters. WHOA! One doesn't grasp the splendor of what we're watching until now. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.



During the break, I go to where my friends are seated and we start talking about what we think so far. And then someone mentions Naoko is actually in the theater, sitting in the middle of the audience. Just as the lights begin to dim and I'm walking back to my seat, I SEE HER. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! Naoko-hime is sitting next to Osabu right in the middle of the theater!! She looks exactly like she does in the few pictures of her that we have, her long closed-mouth smile, her eyes squinking a bit and all over a calm, shy aura. She's wearing a below-knee slim black dress, with a rhinestone embedded collar. She's very elegant and certainly dressed appropriately for the occasion. The show is about to start again, so I rush to my place and take note of where she is.

Back to La Reconquista. We see a flashback on the Silver Millennium during the fall of the Moon Kingdom. Again, this is only my personal opinion, but damn, those princess dresses the senshi were wearing are kind of disgusting. They were so raggedy and stained and dirty, I wasn't sure if they were in their underdress garments or if they were in the middle of cleaning the Moon palace or something. Even the maidens looked way cleaner, elegant and polished. What the actual fuck?! I'm so disappointed they didn't use the princess' manga designs. They were exquisite and timeless. I think Minako's dress was the only one that was okay-ish, but poor girls, they were probably scrubbing the floors or something.

Anyway, I'm super glad to see Princess Serenity's dress. I mean previous Myu's left me a bit scarred with the bulky hot messes they were, not to mention that terrible terrible dress we got in PGSM like WTF. NOOOO!... I was so scared this one would be a tragedy too, luckily, it is quite close to the anime and I sigh ALL THE SIGHS of relief. It's pretty. Yay!

Then the Earth people, Beryl and the 4 Generals attack the moon. Can we just sit back and appreciate how all the princesses are wielding swords like pros!  Even Queen Beryl is wearing an armor. Rock on girls!! Then, the moment we all knew was coming: Princess Serenity commits suicide after Endymion is killed in battle. Queen Serenity gives up her last bit of energy, seals Beryl and sends the Senshi and Endymion to a different time. OMG I CAN'T BREATHE! I'm sobbing like a mofo, my sleeves are wet with tears and mucus. I'm bawling my eyes out. It's not that I didn't know it was coming, it's just a very different experience to see it play out right in front of your eyes. Holy crap this is intense.

Jump forward to Endymion and Beryl getting married. Some people (side eye to SAKKY) really loved this scene because it was the comedic relief after the tragic scene, but I wasn't a fan of it. Beryl acting like a drunken teenager, fangirling over Endymion humanized her, but it did so in such a degree that she lost all seriousness to me. I wasn't afraid of her anymore. I get it, girl was finally getting a tiny piece of Endy after all these Milleniums, congrats? XD But still, no.

The Moon girls come on to stage and they sing “We are the Pretty Guardians” which we had heard at the live event a few weeks before. I listened to this song a few thousand times before coming to Japan, so as soon as it started, I recognized it right away and had trouble keeping my screams in! I was SO EXCITED!!! This song is pretty catchy but most of all it's very Moonish! I can't describe it. It feels like it has the energy and determination of “Moon Revenge” or “La Soldier”, y'know? It makes you want to go fight with them! :D

We finally get to see Mercury in her senshi outfit and the whole gang in action. We see their powers and their performances as guardians. The more I look at them, the more I feel this casting is PERFECT. They are all incredible in their own way! When we first saw pics of them, they certainly had a “type” that reminisced PGSM actresses, but the Live action altered their personalities to a point wherte they didn't really match their manga counterparts anymore. But these girls are the perfect balance between PGSM physiques and manga personalities! AAGGGHHHH!!!!! WHY ARE THEY ALL SO PERFECT DAMN IT!?!?! T.T

Dark Endymion comes out and struggles with Usagi, demanding the Silver Crystal. Yet another sob fest as she's begging him to remember who he really is. Then the Ginsuisho finally appears from one of her tears. Wow! This crystal is so bright (LEDs most likely) it really feels like that legendary jewel with limitless power. Sailor Moon pulls out the Holy Blade to defend herself from Dark Endy who is trying to take the crystal away from her. Just as he's about to strike her down, Usagi recalls their song when he tells her she must be brave, believe in herself and kill the enemy.

BAWLING BAWLING BAWLING MY HEART OUT!!! TTwwwwwwTT

She kills Endymion and confesses how much she loves him. And then, kills herself again.

WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME TO BRING TISSUES!?!? SOB SOB SOB and I'm trying to wipe my tears but I'm staining my face with the mucus I already had blown on my sleeves before. EW EW EW!! SOB SOB... AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!! ;_____;

The Shittenou recover their memories and they make up for their mistakes by killing Queen Beryl. When Queen Metallia appears she engulfs Sailor Moon and Endymion's bodies. The four remaining senshi sing “Resolution”, yet a very soul-crushing song where Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter sacrifice their lives in order to revive Sailor Moon. They are singing from their soul with all their might and WHY ARE THEY STILL TRYING TO MAKE ME DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS!?!! SHIT. Moon comes back to life just in time to hear them say goodbye.



Inside Metallia, Mamoru finally awakens and discovers the stone shape Zoicite had guarded him from Sailor Moon's strike, and the spell over his mind has been broken. He pushes Usagi to make it up to the girls and defeat Metallia. Then the Holy Blade lights up and OMG I NEED THIS PROP IN MY LIFE! I WANT A HOLY SWORD PROPLICA! (hint hint Bandai!). Then the flower shape Silver Crystal appears above them and THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET FUCKING REAL UP IN HERE! The spirits of the Senshi pray along with Sailor Moon to grant them power and then Sailor Moon floats up in the air (FUCKKKK YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!) and seals that motherfucking Metallia for good! Bitch had it coming!

Usagi falls exahausted and Mamoru runs to her side. My only complaint about this scene is that in the manga, Mamoru says "I've been wanting to hold you like this for a long time" while he is holding her very passionately, she is even a bit surprised. He almost just lost her and he hugs her with all his might. Here, Yuga is holding Usagi like a little child, like saying “there there”. WHERE IS THE FUCKING PASSION AND LOVE IN THIS SCENE!? WHAT? NO KISS? NO ROMANCE?! Mamoru was like, “So glad it's over, I was getting bored here”. Dx

Ahh well.. the senshi walk out, revived by the Silver Crystal and while they're hugging, Queen Serenity sing a gorgeous melody to remind them that yes, the Silver Crystal will always protect them, that they fight for love and justice but most importantly, that they are just normal girls who have a chance at being happy again.

My feelings for this musical are obviously very strong. There wasn't much production (stage props, backdrops, special effects), I'm sure that with 2013 technology they could've added a few other FX, but generally speaking, it was really good. The costumes were phenomenal! Way slimmer and classier than any of the preivous ones. The wigs were improved tenfold as well. The music still used synthesizers and electric piano noises, but these kind of sounds are so embedded into Sailor Moon music, it almost feels natural to have these old fashioned tones incorporated into Myu twenty years later.

After the “We are the Pretty Guardians” and “Moonlight Densetsu" encores, I saw Naoko and her crew moving from their seats. It was now or never. All I wanted was to see her up close. I wasn't going to be rude and take pictures of her or anything. She's too shy for that kind of thing. Asking for an autograph also seemed pretty impossible as she was trying to move quickly through the crowd. I came as close as I could (but at a respectful distance) and in my bad, broken Japanese I said: “Thank you So much Naoko-sensei! It was wonderful! Congratulations for the 20 years!”, She saw and heard me, calmly nodded her head in appreciation and walked past me toward the back end of the theater.

And then it hit me.

WHAT!?

WHHHAAATTT!?!?! DID I JUST TALK TO NAOKO TAKUECHI!? HOLY SHIT. I JUST.... I JUST.... I JUST TALKED TO A LIVING GODDESS WHO HAS RULED MY LIFE FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS. And then I had to take a seat for a moment and try to remember how to breathe.

WOW.

I still don't know what I did in my previous lives to deserve to be part of this monumental event and to meet all these extraordinary people, but I will absorb every second of it!!

When it was all over, all five of us (we actually met another english-speaking Moonie inside the theater) went out for dinner and talked for hours about the details of La Reconquista. What a day! I'm just a humble fan, but I felt over joyed and over-flowed with happiness and extremely grateful.

Going bed that night, I played the songs in my head, thought of the sparkles and details of the costumes and as I fell into deep sleep, hugged my cell phone that was now sporting brand-spanking-new Myu cellphone case.

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The next few days, I didn't do much. I slept in late, picked up my room, did some laundry, did some personal shopping at the Ghibli store in Tachikawa, met up with my old friend Hisae in Yokohama and spent a few days with her just eating and shopping again. She and her hubby treated me to home made Dominican food. We talked about old friends and fun past experiences we had together. It's always great to share memories with loved ones. When I came back to Tokyo, I was welcomed back home by my teacher who unfortunately has been having marital problems and she needed company. My poor friend. I didn't know how to help. Shit.

A couple of days later, Sakky contacted me on FB asking if I had plans for the week, and if not maybe we could hang out together and go shopping for Moonie goods. Sakky and I also met back in August at Otakon, and we got to hang out at the airport for a few hours so we're quite familiar with each other. Of course, I was super hyped to see her again so we took the train and headed to Akiharabara.

Akiba. Ohhhh maaaan! Akiba.

Once dubbed “the Electric City”, Akihabara used to be THE place to buy the latest cameras, the newest video recorders, the biggest TVs, the most modern sound equipment and other hi-tech gadgets, however, since cell phones pretty much took over the market, most of that part of Akihabara has died off and was taken over instead first by the video game industry, then, little by little the anime, toy, idol and cosplay industries as well. Going to Akiba is almost the equivalent to going to otaku Mecca. Hundreds of hobby shops are all stacked up in tall buildings, one after another. You could easily spend an entire day walking in and out of stores and not get to see even half of what these is to see! Fortunately, when you know exactly what you're looking for, the search goes way faster.

Sakky and I started to look in the first building while we waited for Yosenex to meet us and BAM! Right away we start seeing Sailor Moon goodies. Most of the stuff we find are pre-owned gashas or dolls, but we also spot the S.H. Figuarts starting to pop-up in various stores as well. At one point I wanted to peel promotional posters off the walls! AHHAHAHA xD!

When Yosenex arrived, we walked to the Akiba Mandarake which is an entire building dedicated to otaku goodness! Each floor has a theme, for example, and entire floor dedicated to Games and CDs, another one to only Shoujo and Yaoi, other to Shounen and Ecchi, another floor was for cosplay and props, and the last one was really vintage collectibles from the 50s and 60s. Yosenex was an amazing guide and very knowledgeable in rare Moon merch! He is so cool! I idolize him so much *.*!! We managed to find awesom things at this Mandarake: brooches, DVDs, wands, manga, anime/PGSM scripts, animation cels, and Sakky even got her hands on two of the rarest books in the Moonieverse: the Lunatic Soldier and Selenity's Act of Animation books that contain sketches and dougas of the Sailor Moon anime and movies. There are some greast scenes sketched out and interesting notes by the animators in these wonderful pages. These are the hardest art books to find and it was great that Sakky at least let me look through them! If you find one, GET IT. Lucky Sakky... *siiiiigh* We had dinner together and went home after a looooong day of shopping.



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The following day, Sakky and I meet up with Anne! Waaaah! So excited to be with these two ladies! I love them both so much I just wanted to be sandwiched between them with Moonie love! Unfortunately this was Anne's last day in Japan. We only had time to get some coffee and walk around the mall under the Skystree Tokyo. We visited the Ghibli shop there and had a wonderful time talking about La Reconquista, which all three of us had already seen at this point. When she left, we spent half of the day trying to find Sakky's glasses which we later found she had dropped at a Seven Eleven close to her house. LOOOL Sakky. It was still fun tho. Not a dull moment with her.


That evening we went to the Evangelion shop in Harajuku (I'm a huge Eva fangril!! had a great time there too!) and after that we meet up with Brad in Takadanobaba to go to another Karaoke no Tetsujin branch just the three of us to get more of the Myu coasters and sing our souls out to Sailor Moon songs! Never gets old! :D



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The days are starting to blend together, but I'm pretty sure you can start picking up the pattern here: We went shoppping for Sailor Moon goodies. We came back to Nakano because Sakky had mentioned she saw a Sailor Moon World Moon Crescent Moon wand at Madarake, but being the rare collectible that it is, it was no longer there when we arrived and I was alllllll the sad, but we still went around the shops looks for more stuff! I can't remember if I bought anything this day. The next evening I meet up with her again and with Laura, aka @AlexLLuz whom I had only spoken to a few times on Twitter. All three of us walked to the AiiA Theater and decided to buy a tickets on re-sale for Myu again. Opportunities to be in Japan and being able to watch Myu are few in a lifetime, so we'll take any chance we have.

At first Laura was a bit hesitant to join us because she had promised her hubby (who was also in Japan) they would go together, but we ended up convincing her to join us! OMG IT WAS SO EXCITING to hang out with them! I clicked with Laura as well! She is so cool and smart and pretty and amazing and... AAGGHHH!!! I might have a slight girl-crush on her! AhaHhahaa! Eventually, we also met up with Yosenex inside the theater along with another boy-Moonie (whose name escapes me at the moment) and went in all together after a lil' bit of shopping at the goods counter. We had another chance to meet Osabu again at the Myu. Apparently he was there for almost every performance, making sure it all went well! I stocked up on pamphlets for friends and other goodies, then we had dinner and parted ways again.


I'm sure you just want to hear about the Moon-related stuff, but during the weekend I went with my teacher on a tour to see Mt. Fuji and go grape picking which is a popular activity to do in Japan during this time of the year. I won't go into details. Twas fun n.n

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For the day of the final performance of Myu, a group of Moonies gathered in Takadanobaba for yet another amazing day of singing (and coasters! XD) This time, a good group or 7 or 8 fans gathered at the station, Brad and Laura (@AlexLLuz) were already there and it was my first time meeting a few of them: Amy (@Sailormucai), Ruthie (@eternalruth), Komomo (@tomorrowf0829) Ayako (@ho_shiraya) and two other Moonies whose names escape me because they're not on Twitter (if you read this mail me guys D:! ). We all had lunch together then walked to the karaoke place. We spent a loooong long time there. We took turns with the microphone for about two hours, but I was practically singing all of the songs xD microphone or not! Hahaha.


After karaoke, only Brad, Ruth, Laura, Amy and I had tickets for the final performance of Myu. We headed to Harajuku and arrived to the Theater just in time. I was so, so, so, nervous because once I entered the building I planned on using my punk Sailor Moon cosplay for the occasion. That's right! For weeks before my trip I had been working on my Super Sailor Moon costume. I ordered some pieces, put others together myself, sewed on some LED lights into the skirt and the bow, went to my local HotTopic to buy a few punk/metal accents and managed to get a wig just in time before my trip. I knew I was going to wear it but I was having doubts because nobody else was wearing cosplay. Laura however was wearing a super cute odango hairstyle that day and she looked super super cute! She pushed me to do it, so I decided that since I had come his far and I had carried the outfit with me all day, I might as well just put it on. I had to skip the wig because it was so hot, the tiara got lost somewhere in the bathroom, a few other details were missing as well, but still, I felt pretty cool in my Punk super Sailor moon outfit and now I don't regret wearing it!! yyyaaayyy!!!


The last performance is always super special. There is a brief chat amongst the actors and they offer their thoughts and feelings when they started the musical and they take time to thank their cast-mates, producers and the audience for making the show what it is. The girls have very tights bonds and friendships, so it's only normal they all broke into tears at the end of it all and hugged each other. I was again in tears. JUPITER STARTED! She was crying all through the last song T.T!

I will always love this version of Sailor Moon and this cast made me feel so many good and sad emotions. They did an incredible job and it's sad for us to watch them cry too. We all yelled when Mercury and Zoi hugged! They were together for rehearsals and spend most of the musical together as well, I guess it was obvious they would grow closer than the rest. Yuga seemed a bit distant from them, like she's not part of "the gurls", but the still hugged Satomi as the cool and supportive "sempai" she is XD!


After the last performance, everybody headed out the theater, but some fans begun a line to meet Osabu who was now widely recognized! Finally! HAHhaa I noticed he was giving out autographs too, (Laura had previously scored an autograph from him on her manga!) and I had nothing for him to sign, so I ran to the lobby where they were selling off the last few items they had left and I bought another pamphlet, and after waiting last in line, I finally got to him again. He recognizes me (he's seen me like 3 times already!) so he thanked me for going to see the Myu so many times and I thanked him for his hard work. He asked me who my favorite actress of Myu was, and I told him exactly who I loved. *SATOMI-CHAN!*. Yes. I loved loved loooooved Satomi as Moon! She was airheaded, loud and annoying as Usagi should be, and she was coragrous, serious and determined as Sailor Moon should be.

As mentioned at the very beginning of this post, I'm not a huge Myu expert, but I do believe each actress has their own personification of Usagi, but they eventually develop their own personality and give the character their own twist, but Satomi was so, so close to anime Usagi, I just felt like she had jumped out of the screen! I loved her so much! I know most of the fans were infatuated by Yuga Yamato because she is way amazing, others were in love with the Ami x Zoi relationship and actresses. I even heard somebody mention their favorite was Beryl because of her amazing singing voice, and yes I agree with all of these, and can add the Senshi were pretty kick ass too, but Satomi did it for me in every single way. Love her!

We waited outside of the theater for about an hour so we could see the actresses leave the theater. Yuga Yamato  came out first to say hi to her fan club (which was massive!) and to personally pick up love letters (although I doubt she ever reads then xD). Midori Hastukaze (Queen Beryl) also came out to give out autographs to a few of her fans who also waited outside. Then the rest of them all came out in a single group. I know it's hard to see, but this is who I can kind of recognize:

Satomi Okubo (Moon) in the white long dress.
Miyabi Matsura (Mercury) and in hand with... Shiori Sakata?? (Venus)
Kanon Nanaki (Mars) with the red scarf.
Root (Jedite) with short hair and black hat.
Ryo Saika (Zoicite) the tallest of them in white blouse.


Waaah! So great to be able to wave goodbye to the girls who had become so special to us in those 10 days! And just like that, the adventure was almost over! We had seen Myu and lived many once-in-a-lifetime experiences all in a single day! I cannot believe how lucky I am in life to be able to live through this!.

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The last day, I met up with Ruthie and Amy again to go shopping AGAIN in Nakano. I hardly had a chance to talk to them the previous day, so this was a great bonding opportunity! I was sure that since I had been to this shopping mall so many times already, surely there'd be nothing new. But boy was I wrong!! Merch comes in and goes out extremely fast here! The second-hand business is quite prolific in Japan, and pretty much happens everyday at any given time, which is why you have to regularly check if there are new arrivals. If you saw something one day, it most likely won't be there the next. Whether it was vintage Myu stuff, Magical Girl collectibles or Sailor Moon toys, all three of us found articles we were after! I actually found a Cosmic Compact (in rough shape tho) and a Sailor Moon Cutie Rod which are two of Moons items I needed for my collection. We also found my ultimate wishlist figure! A ¼ scale Kotobukiya Super Sailor Moon mid-Moon spiral heart attack pose! I've loved this figure since she first came out sometime in 2002, and I've wanted her since. When I opened the SMObss I blogged about my bad luck not being able to get her, and here she was again, right in front of me, but her price tag was extremely steep: ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, which I might have impulsively bought with my credit card, and paid it off for an entire year, but the store didn't take cards. DAMN! I guess it wasn't time for her yet.



Ahh well, I left Japan without her but I luckily returned home with so much more! Not only did I have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching a Myu ( the 20th anniversary one no less!) and to meet one of my idols and also my Goddess Naoko, but I also had the amazing opportunity to meet and chat with some of my fellow Moonies, And live through very uniquely Moonesque experiences, like shop like wild and sing from the top of my lungs the songs I have grown up with as a Sailor Moon fan. I do not mean rub this in anybody's face, I just wanted to write what this experience was like for me, dedicated to those who were wondering if Sailor Moon was still a “thing” on this side of the world, what you might find if/when you come here and if it is all worth it.

Yes, it is undeniably and throughly and absolutely worth it all. There is nothing more I wish for you, my Moonies, that you all come and live this dream. Tokyo is definitely Moonie Mecca, and it's a trip that every fan should make at least once in their lives! I know many won't be able to go anytime soon, but do not let your hope falter! There might be a time where we can all make it there. Maybe the 25th annversary? Hahaha! Be patient and really work for it guys, Sailor Moon is worth it always!

Here is how my room looked on the last day. I have no idea how I was able to pack all this stuff XD


And here are some of the goodies I brought home with me.



The End

November 25, 2013

La Reconquista fan report.

Well hello lovely Moonies!

It's been quite a long, long time since I last blogged. So many things have happened in the Moonieverse during these past few months! Many of us have already received some of our pre-orders like the Figuarts for Moon and Mercury, the schedule books, swing keychains and phone cases. Some lucky Moonies have received their  anniversary jewelry shinnies, and others in Japan have been posting pics of their new Miracle Romance Shinning Moon Powder compact! Other countless merch items have appeared, like the Megahouse figurines, the HGIF gashapon and the Figuarts Zero. There have also been many news around the Kanzeban (full series) manga floating around, although we've yet to hear about the new anime. So much is going on that I haven't even had time to blog all that has happened!

Sailor Moon Obsession is a place where I want to gather all general Sailor Moon news about the manga/anime and collectibles, but the blog is -first and foremost- a personal blog of my adventures in the Sailor Moon fandom.

I'm way behind in posting the latest info on merch and anime news, and I MIGHT catch up eventually, but right now I want to focus on new Sailor Moon Musical “La Reconquista”.  Note: If you follow me on Twitter, then you most likely have already read all of my experiences as I shared them on a daily basis. 

As soon as a new musical was announced back in May, many Moonies decided to pack their bags and head to Japan in order to be a part of the 20th Anniversary celebration. This event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and for some of us, the timing was just right (jobs, disposable income, no kids, vacation time, etc). We were extremely lucky to make it there. I'm just going to talk very generally of how things happened, mixing it up with shopping trips, karaoke nights and even a few off topic comments about food, culture and friends. I don't want bore or lecture you or anything, I just want to give an idea of how it was to be there and as a fan, what I enjoyed or disliked the most.

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It could be said that my trip began weeks before even I started packing and making preparations, however I'm just going to jump forward to the day I arrived: The flight itself was long and uncomfortable of course, but I didn't mind it that much. Intercontinental planes are pretty big and sturdy, it's even kind of exciting to board them 'cause it usually means (to me) that big adventures are about to begin :D!

The plane arrived in Tokyo the next day in the afternoon and it was easy to take a bus home from the airport. Home for me is the house of a close friend of mine. In 2002, I spent an entire year in Japan studying the language and culture and my school contacted me with a host family. Later on, one of my teacher's at school invited me to stay at her place and ever since then we became really good friends. She's not a normal, refined, respectful, quiet Japanese woman. She's loud, straightforward, energetic and boastful, but truly an honest, kind, warm person. Needless to say, we love each other very much. I've visited her a few more times since then, and for this trip, she was kind enough to let me crash at her place again.

“My room” is a traditional tatami room with a futon that I have to fold and unfold every night. It's cool! Staying with a Japanese family forces me to reconnect with their small day-to-day routines such as saying “tadaima” when I arrive home, taking off my shoes at the entrance, “oseiwa ni narimasu” when you will be taken care of, baths at night (but as a Westerner, I just HAD to take showers in the morning too xD), etc etc. They let me stay at their place free of charge, they cook for me and sometimes even wash my clothes and stuff! OMG. But I try to balance it out and offer to wash the dishes, take out their trash, clean up my room, etc. It's important to make them feel like I'm not
intruding in their life.


Anyway, the first night is nothing special. We eat Thai food and me and my teacher have a good catch-up convo. The next day, I have it all to myself. The first thing to do is take care of Sailor Moon businees. THAT'S WHAT I'M HERE FOR! I board the train and head over to Shinjuku, which is like a 40 min. ride. There is a huge Isetan (a department store much like Macys or Dillard's) where I know there is a display of a Keisuke Kanda x Sailor Moon collaboration. The display is on the second floor and it's quite a bright surprise to see it in person. Upon closer inspection though, this collab it is the weirdest, most randomest thing ever. The main display consists of tall cardboard cutouts of the five Inner senshi, all wearing a paper apron with their respective color combinations. Who would need paper apron? Why would they create such an ugly piece of merchandise? I don't know. All I know is that I'm terribly excited to find something Moon related and I want to buy them all. I check the price and they're about US$15 so, you know, they're in front of me, might as well take a few, right?

Next thing I noticed in the display are the red knee-high long socks. They're not incredibly amazing in person but just the fact that the moon is sewn on with golden threads makes it a lil' cuter. I'm not super shocked by them so I just move on. Then there are the Keisuke Kanda purses. Or should I say diaper bags? They seem to me like moms' diaper bags to me, they're just so un-fashionable. I don't get it, isn't he supposed to be a super famous designer? Anyway, I look at them, they're quite expensive (¥22000-ish), I move on again.


At the other side of the display there's another glass case that is housing a few other Moonie goodies. We can see the Sailor Moon Figurarts and for the first time we see that Sailor Mercury also has a blue heart-shaped stand and we finally have confirmation that her small computer does have the Mercury symbol on it, which many were afraid wasn't included (from the pictures of the prototype).

Next they had a small display with the rings and necklaces coming up from Bandai. Yes they are absolutely gorgeous embedded with Swarovski crystals and gold or silver plated. Needless to repeat, they are quite tiny and pretty pricey. Although I would love to add some of these to my collection I simply do not wear jewelry enough to justify spending so much money. The new eyeliners are also on display, but at this point of time they are not out for sale yet. This was the first time they were shown to the public, and they are wonderfully adorned with flowers pearls and silk fabric! SOOO CUTE!

Finally, they have a showcase of the first wave of the Sailor Moon iPhone cases. I call them “ first wave” because these are the first ones we got, but at this point we've seen a few from the Myu and a second release of Bandai cases for iPhone/iPad mini (the ones with the outer senshi and the stained glass designs). Here are some pics and the video I took at Isetan, other Moonies said it was forbidden to record at the store, but it wasn't the case when I was there, I was even encouraged to go ahead and take lots of pictures! They even took pictures of me in front of the displays!! XD! (lucky me!)


On my way back I decide to get off at Nakano station where the Nakano Broadway shopping center is. I know there a bunch of Mandarakes and other anime stores, might as well take a look since it's on the way home. In the year 2007, I decided to open the Sailor Moon Obsession blog to record all the "incredible finds" I would have during my trip ito Japan. I was so sure Ithere was going to be tons Sailor Moon merch everywhere, but I was dead wrong. There was nothing at all!! Very hard-to-find, very scarce, and very limited items. Even here at Nakano Broadway had nothing back then. Somebody told me it was because Japan was over Sailor Moon. It was old, out of style, and unpopular so the market was kind of stale.

Jump to this trip 6 years later and it seems that the 20th Anniversary has exploded all over Tokyo, in a good way! There was Sailor Moon almost everywhere. One of the Mandarake shops that specializes in shoujo anime collectibles had a case half-full of shinnies! Like, what the what happened here!? All of a sudden it was like heaven had parted and a giant finger of awesomeness had pointed down to these shops and unexpectedly filled them up with so much stuff to buy! I was overwhelmed! From big-ticket items like compacts and wands, to smaller stuff like bento boxes, handkerchiefs, puzzles and stationery. Other stores they had amazing animation cells, at another they had Myu pamphlets and old VHS tapes. Some had amazing stuff like costumes and cds, others had newer stuff like the cell phone cases and stickers. I even heard that Anne (@Athenia45) found a volume V Sailor Moon Stars art book for a very reasonable price! Yes Moonies, no matter what you've heard before, Japan has recently re-discovered the fandom and has put everything they had in storage out for sale now. I think it's partially because fans are growing older and getting rid of their stuff, or because they realized that now there is a huge market for the shinnies! Whatever the case there is Sailor Moon available if you know where to look!

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The next day I have an early date with Brad from Moonkitty.net. For those not familiar, Brad and I record the Moonie Tunes Podcast since March 2011. We've known each other for much longer than that though. We met through our blogs, then through Twitter we strengthened our friendship and now it was the first time we were ever going to meet in person! Pretty exciting!! He lives in Tokyo and has been a hard-core Moonie for as long as I have been, which is roughly about 15 or 16 years. I was so happy I would finally get to meet him, but I knew it would be just as if we were recording one big podcast episode, we are really close.


We didn't have any specific plans for the afternoon. Our idea was to just meet up for coffee or something, however, we ended up finding our way to the AiiA Theater in Shibuya, where the Myu was scheduled take place that very night. We saw a window plastered with La Reconquista posters and a bunch of flower arrangements being delivered to the theater lobby. We start acting crazy, recording vids in front of the posters, discovering rehearsal videos playing on the screens of the lobby, and acting very weird in front of a girl we suspect might be part of Myu xD!! (upon closer inspection, she doesn't seem familiar).


Since we have plenty of time left before the musical actually starts, we decided to walk towards the main area of Shibuya. While were at it, maybe we can stop at Mandarake again, right? I mean, why not? We're already close! Again, this shop has a special glass case with magical girl items and Sailor Moon is one of the more prominent heroines in this display. Even Brad is shocked at how many things have appeared during the last few months! Pic and vid of the Mandarake in Shibuya!



Then we head up to the fifth floor to the Animate store. This is store, unlike Mandarake, features mostly brand new goods of more current animes. Sailor Moon goods aren't fully out yet, just the phone cases and stickers, but we did manage to find one of the schedule books that was released last August.

Even after we shop for a long time, we STILL have a few more hours before Myu, so what do we do with all that time? Go to the karaoke thing of course! Unlike most western countries, karaoke isn't something that is done in a bar on a stage where everyone has to listen to your bad singing. Here they offer private little rooms for your parties and friends and only your group has all the fun instead of having to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of strangers. As we all know, karaoke is pretty huge in Japan. It's like “thing”, like going to the movies is to Americans, it's what they do on weekends to have a good time with friends. There are so many karaoke places everywhere, and some of the most popular places eventually start opening chains, in this case, “Karaoke no Tetsujin” specializes mostly in anime and sentai music, they even have costumes to rent at their lobbies if you would like to dress up to sing your favorite anime themes.

We find the place and we are immediately greeted by a bunch of full-size posters and displays around the entrance. Once you have registered with the number of guests and hours, they then pull out the Myu drink menu for you to choose. The Sailor Moon drinks are non-alcoholic (yay for me!), they're basically just sweet treats to and refreshments! For this cross-promotion, they gave out the coasters with the main Myu actresses printed on them. They come into our room with the drinks in one hand and a pink box in the other. We were asked to blindly reach into the box and pull out a random coaster. We couldn't choose the ones we wanted ( I got Moon and Brad got Mars!). We stayed there for two hours just singing song after song of SM anime and Myu themes: Moon Revenge, Moonlight Densetsu, Sailor Stars song, Otome no Policy, Sailor Wars, La Soldier and many other memorable themes that I butchered with my horrendous singing voice! HAHAHahaha! But I had so much fun, I stopped caring about half an hour later and sung my lungs out! n.n





It's barely my second day in Tokyo and I'm already about to have my main course meal! My teacher got me a ticket for the very first stage of Sailor Moon La Reconquista! Holy crap! I've been waiting MONTHS for this, literally from the minute it was announced, I had decided that I HAD to be there. I bought my ticket to Japan within the first week of the announcement and saved up until this moment, just to be here and be part of this AMAZING celebration. And now... it was time!!

We had previously scheduled to meet up with @Yosenex and @Athenia45 outside of the Harajuku Station. It was my first time meeting Yosenex, but I was super happy to see my friend Anne again. We had met for the first time back in August at Otakon 2013. We spent around 6 hours lined up for events and had quite a long time to get to know each other. I think we clicked right away! She was just so nice, so smart, so amazingly sweet, I was competely fascinated by her. Seeing her again brought a wide smile to my lips! We hugged and kissed each other as if years had passed (but it had only been a month in a half). We afterwards remembered that the guys were still with us, HAHAHaha! But Yosenex and Brad had also met before so they were busy catching up as well. We walked towards the Aiia Theater (it's about a 10 minute walk from the station), and even though we got there early, there were already about 50 people lined up. Brad had just accompanied us to the place because he didn't have a ticket for that day, but a he managed to score a ticket from a re-seller, so now, all four of us were super hyped for this!


Once inside the theater lobby, there was a long, long line to the counter where they were selling all of the moon goodies. Most of these goods we already knew about because they had made an announcement on the official website. We knew about the gorgeous pamphlets, the light sticks, posters, exclusive cell phone cases, laptop cases, exclusive design shirts, etc. I knew that I needed to bring some of my closest friends some of this limited merch, But just as I stood in line, I saw a familiar face, a face so familiar that I think every fan in the Moon kindgom knows. I was totally expecting to see him here (just not while I was standing in line, lawl!) but just to confirm I cautiously approached him and asked if he was Osabu-san. When he accepted that he was and thanked me for coming to the Myu, I asked to take a picture OF him, but he actually stopped me in my tracks and said "Wouldn't it be better if I took the picture WITH you?”. Well, he did not have to ask me twice! I ran to his side and posed faster than anyone could say Moon Prism Power. He made a bit of small talk with me, asking me where I was from, if I was to come for other performances, and where my seats were located. Seriously, Osabu-san standing there casually to me is one of the most surreal experiences EVER. @_@



You'd think that since Osabu is such a prominent figure in the Sailor Moon fandom, he would be swamped by hordes of fans trying to get an autograph or picture of him, however, he was just there standing alone watching over the people in the lobby. I went back in line and bought all the stuff I needed to buy. I then returned to where Yosenex and Brad were standing, I was shaking with all the adrenaline and my system as if I have just met an IDOL of mine... of WAIT. I TOTALLY DID. I was trying to make sense of what had just happened, and I told them “HOLY CRAP, that was AMAZING!”, but they were completely oblivious to what had just happened. “I JUST TALKED TO OSABU, HE'S HERE!” and they immediately demanded me to take them to him, which I did.

Nobody knows this, but as Brad and Yosenex stood next to Osabu and asked me to take a picture of them, I kind of felt a vibe from Osabu, giving me this look, as if I had betrayed our secret, I had divulged to the public the fact that he was there! Awww!!! Sorry Osabu, I betrayed our secret but I had to share it with someone! Still shaking like Jell-o, somehow I did manage to find the proper button on Brad's cell phone.

We all had different seat numbers so we parted ways and settled in our own places. In the background of the theater you can hear a very faint Moonlight Densetsu Momoiro Clover Z version. They have it on repeat, so at this point it seems they are actually trying to tell us THIS is going to be in the new anime. So yeah, I really think were going to get Moonlight Densetsu as opening again. At least the studio recorded version doesn't sound as terrible as it does live.

If you follow me on Twitter you probably already read about 90% of the description and my feelings of what happened at La Reconquista. I don't think there is a point of going into details of what happens since the video is already available on YouTube or for download at Miss Dream's website. You should go watch it for yourself! As a Moonie it is your duty!! GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN'T YET. I will talk a little bit about what I absolutely loved and what I didn't like so much. You can disagree with me but it's all just my personal opinion as a seasoned fan.

WARNING: SPOILERS EVERYWHERE.

At the beginning, we have a very cute arcade center scene where the girls engaging in different kinds of games, each girl using their own strong points to win, but I'm not even paying so much attention to the games as I am entralled, completely lost contemplating their uniforms. THEIR UNIFORMS!! Seeing these iconic clothes move and jump around in the real world is absolutely mind blowing! I can't stop looking for imperfections but there are NONE. The actresses, the wigs,  their shoes, everything is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. They really do seem like they just leapt out of the comic book! n.n

Then let's get to the part where the Shittenou come on stage and begin performing as idols to promote their new video game, but as we later on learned, they were using the games to steal energy, just as a do in the anime! I think it is very NAOKO to have them twist the plots around like this. Video games, idols, girl power and lightheartedness are such powerful themes in Sailor Moon, I'm so glad they honor them in this musical. I cannot express how shocked I am about the girls playing the Shittenou. They obviously need to perfmorm as males, but they are absolutely convincing. Specially Root (the girl playing Jadeite) has me totally convinced she was a guy! WOW!

Now let's focus of it on Midori Hatsukaze, the incredibly talented actress that interpreted Queen Beryl. She is obviously will practice in theater and singing, her performance is very strong and convincing as the dark mean queen. Her tone is low and mysterious kind of what we've always expected. She nailed it perfectly, even her longing for prince Endymion sounds urgent and passionate. Geez woman! Get a hold of your girly parts! XD

So finally we see Yuga Yamato as Mamoru and Satomi as Usagi, just playing catch at the park. Now let me just mention this: Yuga Yamato is a BIG FREAKING deal. Apparently Naoko hand chose her for the Tuxedo Mask role on a whim. As we know, Naoko-hime is a huge fan of Takarazuka-cho and Yuga Is already quite famous in that arena. It's no exaggeration when I say that the public exploded in ovation every single scene she came out in. But as much as a huge deal as she is, I'm very terribly sorry to have to say that to me -personally- she wasn't the Mamoru in my mind. She reminded me much more of Seiya, and to be honest some of her mannerisms were quite feminine, not as boyish as the what some of Shittenou actresses accomplished. Sure, she's good-looking and way way cool, I just think her theatrical performance is way over-the-top. Don't get me wrong, I still like the fact that they're are all women playing men, Yuga was great, her singing voice is super cool, just not my personal favorite as I expected her to be.

Anyway, it's a pretty cute song where they're talking about what Usagi would do if he betrayed her, but what we also get to see Satomi-chan acting as careless Usagi! Adorable!! I can't say that I'm a Myu expert, in fact, I've only seen a bout 4 or 5 Myus in total. Each actress gives Usagi their own twist on the character; some of them are more serious, others are rough around the edges, some are just plain silly, and some are very sweet and soft. Anza and Marina are the most popular ones. However, maybe I'm a little bit biased, but I really really think Satomi-chan is as close as anime Usagi as we have ever seen!! I mean her clothes, her hairstyle, her features, her voice, and her acting are all spot on to what I imagine the cartoon version would say or act! Also, Satomi-chan is only 17 years old, which makes her one of the youngest Moons ever on stage (I think), so she still has that childish, innocent, energetic, sweet glow around her, on top of the fact that her obnoxious whining, loud voice, tone and pitch are dead on! Love her, love her, love her.

I don't want to go into detail about every part of the show, I just want to focus on the parts I really want to talk about. The girls getting courted by the Shittenou is pretty cute. We never truly see their relationships as kanon pairings blossom until now, and somehow, all the pieces fit perfectly! It's super funny how intrigued Zoi is with Amy.

One of my favorite things is when Usagi cannot transform into Sailor Moon because she is low on energy, so after Tuxedo Mask saves her, HE USES FREAKING EARTH ENERGY to cure her!! AAAJDOHiaofhewuhfpweuhfweb!!! I fangirl about this non-stop! I love when the relationship between Mamoru and Earth is portrayed. We never get to see him do Earth Prince-y stuff, so this drawing of energy is WAY COOL. FANGIRL FANGIRL FANGIRL ALL THE WAY TO THE MOON AND BACK. XDDD!!!

Even though most of the music is was amazing, “The Five Girls of the White Moon” is by far my favorite song! Every character introduces herself using the catchphrases they use in the manga and anime. I'm having the time of my Moonie life right now! OMG. This is also the first time we see Sailor Moon and the senshi in full-on battle mode and they're spectacular!! I'm sorry to say that videos do not do justice to just how sparkly their outfits really are. The dresses have glitter and all over, the sirts have this amazing shimmer and the jewel incrustation reflect light like mirrors! They are SO SHINNY!! Even the times where I had to sit far from the stage, I could clearly see jewels and stoned reflecting off of them in every move.


Then Tuxie comes out and we get a faboulous Tuxedo la Smoking Bomb! YAAAYYY!!!! :D Anyway, Bad guys and Beryl walk away with Tuxedo Mask and the girls are left trying to recuperate their energy. Then, the voice on Queen Serenity speaks to them. I think I speak for all of us when I say that Jaimie Natsuki's voice is the sweetest thing we've ever heard and her song "Stairway to the Moon" is absolutely dazzling. She seems a bit young to be a Queen and a mom, but then again, Moon citizens are quite longevous, right? Sure, we'll go with it. XD! And BTW, is anyone also a bit annoyed that VENUS didn't pull out the sword as she was supposed to? I'm kinda mad about Jupiter doing it. I'd like to think it wasn't a strength thing, it was a leadership thing, but OH WELL.

Prince Endymion comes to scene which is my favorite version of Mamoru, and DAAAAAAAAMMM GUUURRRL!! that armor is freaking amazing and it suits Yuga in the most bad-assest way possible!! The final encore “Sailor Battle, La Reconquista” where all the actresses and performers are on stage together is overwhelmingly poweful! So much going on, so many themes, so many plots and they all culminate in this strong climax of voices and characters. WHOA! One doesn't grasp the splendor of what we're watching until now. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.



During the break, I go to where my friends are seated and we start talking about what we think so far. And then someone mentions Naoko is actually in the theater, sitting in the middle of the audience. Just as the lights begin to dim and I'm walking back to my seat, I SEE HER. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!! Naoko-hime is sitting next to Osabu right in the middle of the theater!! She looks exactly like she does in the few pictures of her that we have, her long closed-mouth smile, her eyes squinking a bit and all over a calm, shy aura. She's wearing a below-knee slim black dress, with a rhinestone embedded collar. She's very elegant and certainly dressed appropriately for the occasion. The show is about to start again, so I rush to my place and take note of where she is.

Back to La Reconquista. We see a flashback on the Silver Millennium during the fall of the Moon Kingdom. Again, this is only my personal opinion, but damn, those princess dresses the senshi were wearing are kind of disgusting. They were so raggedy and stained and dirty, I wasn't sure if they were in their underdress garments or if they were in the middle of cleaning the Moon palace or something. Even the maidens looked way cleaner, elegant and polished. What the actual fuck?! I'm so disappointed they didn't use the princess' manga designs. They were exquisite and timeless. I think Minako's dress was the only one that was okay-ish, but poor girls, they were probably scrubbing the floors or something.

Anyway, I'm super glad to see Princess Serenity's dress. I mean previous Myu's left me a bit scarred with the bulky hot messes they were, not to mention that terrible terrible dress we got in PGSM like WTF. NOOOO!... I was so scared this one would be a tragedy too, luckily, it is quite close to the anime and I sigh ALL THE SIGHS of relief. It's pretty. Yay!

Then the Earth people, Beryl and the 4 Generals attack the moon. Can we just sit back and appreciate how all the princesses are wielding swords like pros!  Even Queen Beryl is wearing an armor. Rock on girls!! Then, the moment we all knew was coming: Princess Serenity commits suicide after Endymion is killed in battle. Queen Serenity gives up her last bit of energy, seals Beryl and sends the Senshi and Endymion to a different time. OMG I CAN'T BREATHE! I'm sobbing like a mofo, my sleeves are wet with tears and mucus. I'm bawling my eyes out. It's not that I didn't know it was coming, it's just a very different experience to see it play out right in front of your eyes. Holy crap this is intense.

Jump forward to Endymion and Beryl getting married. Some people (side eye to SAKKY) really loved this scene because it was the comedic relief after the tragic scene, but I wasn't a fan of it. Beryl acting like a drunken teenager, fangirling over Endymion humanized her, but it did so in such a degree that she lost all seriousness to me. I wasn't afraid of her anymore. I get it, girl was finally getting a tiny piece of Endy after all these Milleniums, congrats? XD But still, no.

The Moon girls come on to stage and they sing “We are the Pretty Guardians” which we had heard at the live event a few weeks before. I listened to this song a few thousand times before coming to Japan, so as soon as it started, I recognized it right away and had trouble keeping my screams in! I was SO EXCITED!!! This song is pretty catchy but most of all it's very Moonish! I can't describe it. It feels like it has the energy and determination of “Moon Revenge” or “La Soldier”, y'know? It makes you want to go fight with them! :D

We finally get to see Mercury in her senshi outfit and the whole gang in action. We see their powers and their performances as guardians. The more I look at them, the more I feel this casting is PERFECT. They are all incredible in their own way! When we first saw pics of them, they certainly had a “type” that reminisced PGSM actresses, but the Live action altered their personalities to a point wherte they didn't really match their manga counterparts anymore. But these girls are the perfect balance between PGSM physiques and manga personalities! AAGGGHHHH!!!!! WHY ARE THEY ALL SO PERFECT DAMN IT!?!?! T.T

Dark Endymion comes out and struggles with Usagi, demanding the Silver Crystal. Yet another sob fest as she's begging him to remember who he really is. Then the Ginsuisho finally appears from one of her tears. Wow! This crystal is so bright (LEDs most likely) it really feels like that legendary jewel with limitless power. Sailor Moon pulls out the Holy Blade to defend herself from Dark Endy who is trying to take the crystal away from her. Just as he's about to strike her down, Usagi recalls their song when he tells her she must be brave, believe in herself and kill the enemy.

BAWLING BAWLING BAWLING MY HEART OUT!!! TTwwwwwwTT

She kills Endymion and confesses how much she loves him. And then, kills herself again.

WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME TO BRING TISSUES!?!? SOB SOB SOB and I'm trying to wipe my tears but I'm staining my face with the mucus I already had blown on my sleeves before. EW EW EW!! SOB SOB... AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!! ;_____;

The Shittenou recover their memories and they make up for their mistakes by killing Queen Beryl. When Queen Metallia appears she engulfs Sailor Moon and Endymion's bodies. The four remaining senshi sing “Resolution”, yet a very soul-crushing song where Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter sacrifice their lives in order to revive Sailor Moon. They are singing from their soul with all their might and WHY ARE THEY STILL TRYING TO MAKE ME DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS!?!! SHIT. Moon comes back to life just in time to hear them say goodbye.



Inside Metallia, Mamoru finally awakens and discovers the stone shape Zoicite had guarded him from Sailor Moon's strike, and the spell over his mind has been broken. He pushes Usagi to make it up to the girls and defeat Metallia. Then the Holy Blade lights up and OMG I NEED THIS PROP IN MY LIFE! I WANT A HOLY SWORD PROPLICA! (hint hint Bandai!). Then the flower shape Silver Crystal appears above them and THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET FUCKING REAL UP IN HERE! The spirits of the Senshi pray along with Sailor Moon to grant them power and then Sailor Moon floats up in the air (FUCKKKK YEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!) and seals that motherfucking Metallia for good! Bitch had it coming!

Usagi falls exahausted and Mamoru runs to her side. My only complaint about this scene is that in the manga, Mamoru says "I've been wanting to hold you like this for a long time" while he is holding her very passionately, she is even a bit surprised. He almost just lost her and he hugs her with all his might. Here, Yuga is holding Usagi like a little child, like saying “there there”. WHERE IS THE FUCKING PASSION AND LOVE IN THIS SCENE!? WHAT? NO KISS? NO ROMANCE?! Mamoru was like, “So glad it's over, I was getting bored here”. Dx

Ahh well.. the senshi walk out, revived by the Silver Crystal and while they're hugging, Queen Serenity sing a gorgeous melody to remind them that yes, the Silver Crystal will always protect them, that they fight for love and justice but most importantly, that they are just normal girls who have a chance at being happy again.

My feelings for this musical are obviously very strong. There wasn't much production (stage props, backdrops, special effects), I'm sure that with 2013 technology they could've added a few other FX, but generally speaking, it was really good. The costumes were phenomenal! Way slimmer and classier than any of the preivous ones. The wigs were improved tenfold as well. The music still used synthesizers and electric piano noises, but these kind of sounds are so embedded into Sailor Moon music, it almost feels natural to have these old fashioned tones incorporated into Myu twenty years later.

After the “We are the Pretty Guardians” and “Moonlight Densetsu" encores, I saw Naoko and her crew moving from their seats. It was now or never. All I wanted was to see her up close. I wasn't going to be rude and take pictures of her or anything. She's too shy for that kind of thing. Asking for an autograph also seemed pretty impossible as she was trying to move quickly through the crowd. I came as close as I could (but at a respectful distance) and in my bad, broken Japanese I said: “Thank you So much Naoko-sensei! It was wonderful! Congratulations for the 20 years!”, She saw and heard me, calmly nodded her head in appreciation and walked past me toward the back end of the theater.

And then it hit me.

WHAT!?

WHHHAAATTT!?!?! DID I JUST TALK TO NAOKO TAKUECHI!? HOLY SHIT. I JUST.... I JUST.... I JUST TALKED TO A LIVING GODDESS WHO HAS RULED MY LIFE FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS. And then I had to take a seat for a moment and try to remember how to breathe.

WOW.

I still don't know what I did in my previous lives to deserve to be part of this monumental event and to meet all these extraordinary people, but I will absorb every second of it!!

When it was all over, all five of us (we actually met another english-speaking Moonie inside the theater) went out for dinner and talked for hours about the details of La Reconquista. What a day! I'm just a humble fan, but I felt over joyed and over-flowed with happiness and extremely grateful.

Going bed that night, I played the songs in my head, thought of the sparkles and details of the costumes and as I fell into deep sleep, hugged my cell phone that was now sporting brand-spanking-new Myu cellphone case.

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The next few days, I didn't do much. I slept in late, picked up my room, did some laundry, did some personal shopping at the Ghibli store in Tachikawa, met up with my old friend Hisae in Yokohama and spent a few days with her just eating and shopping again. She and her hubby treated me to home made Dominican food. We talked about old friends and fun past experiences we had together. It's always great to share memories with loved ones. When I came back to Tokyo, I was welcomed back home by my teacher who unfortunately has been having marital problems and she needed company. My poor friend. I didn't know how to help. Shit.

A couple of days later, Sakky contacted me on FB asking if I had plans for the week, and if not maybe we could hang out together and go shopping for Moonie goods. Sakky and I also met back in August at Otakon, and we got to hang out at the airport for a few hours so we're quite familiar with each other. Of course, I was super hyped to see her again so we took the train and headed to Akiharabara.

Akiba. Ohhhh maaaan! Akiba.

Once dubbed “the Electric City”, Akihabara used to be THE place to buy the latest cameras, the newest video recorders, the biggest TVs, the most modern sound equipment and other hi-tech gadgets, however, since cell phones pretty much took over the market, most of that part of Akihabara has died off and was taken over instead first by the video game industry, then, little by little the anime, toy, idol and cosplay industries as well. Going to Akiba is almost the equivalent to going to otaku Mecca. Hundreds of hobby shops are all stacked up in tall buildings, one after another. You could easily spend an entire day walking in and out of stores and not get to see even half of what these is to see! Fortunately, when you know exactly what you're looking for, the search goes way faster.

Sakky and I started to look in the first building while we waited for Yosenex to meet us and BAM! Right away we start seeing Sailor Moon goodies. Most of the stuff we find are pre-owned gashas or dolls, but we also spot the S.H. Figuarts starting to pop-up in various stores as well. At one point I wanted to peel promotional posters off the walls! AHHAHAHA xD!

When Yosenex arrived, we walked to the Akiba Mandarake which is an entire building dedicated to otaku goodness! Each floor has a theme, for example, and entire floor dedicated to Games and CDs, another one to only Shoujo and Yaoi, other to Shounen and Ecchi, another floor was for cosplay and props, and the last one was really vintage collectibles from the 50s and 60s. Yosenex was an amazing guide and very knowledgeable in rare Moon merch! He is so cool! I idolize him so much *.*!! We managed to find awesom things at this Mandarake: brooches, DVDs, wands, manga, anime/PGSM scripts, animation cels, and Sakky even got her hands on two of the rarest books in the Moonieverse: the Lunatic Soldier and Selenity's Act of Animation books that contain sketches and dougas of the Sailor Moon anime and movies. There are some greast scenes sketched out and interesting notes by the animators in these wonderful pages. These are the hardest art books to find and it was great that Sakky at least let me look through them! If you find one, GET IT. Lucky Sakky... *siiiiigh* We had dinner together and went home after a looooong day of shopping.



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The following day, Sakky and I meet up with Anne! Waaaah! So excited to be with these two ladies! I love them both so much I just wanted to be sandwiched between them with Moonie love! Unfortunately this was Anne's last day in Japan. We only had time to get some coffee and walk around the mall under the Skystree Tokyo. We visited the Ghibli shop there and had a wonderful time talking about La Reconquista, which all three of us had already seen at this point. When she left, we spent half of the day trying to find Sakky's glasses which we later found she had dropped at a Seven Eleven close to her house. LOOOL Sakky. It was still fun tho. Not a dull moment with her.


That evening we went to the Evangelion shop in Harajuku (I'm a huge Eva fangril!! had a great time there too!) and after that we meet up with Brad in Takadanobaba to go to another Karaoke no Tetsujin branch just the three of us to get more of the Myu coasters and sing our souls out to Sailor Moon songs! Never gets old! :D



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The days are starting to blend together, but I'm pretty sure you can start picking up the pattern here: We went shoppping for Sailor Moon goodies. We came back to Nakano because Sakky had mentioned she saw a Sailor Moon World Moon Crescent Moon wand at Madarake, but being the rare collectible that it is, it was no longer there when we arrived and I was alllllll the sad, but we still went around the shops looks for more stuff! I can't remember if I bought anything this day. The next evening I meet up with her again and with Laura, aka @AlexLLuz whom I had only spoken to a few times on Twitter. All three of us walked to the AiiA Theater and decided to buy a tickets on re-sale for Myu again. Opportunities to be in Japan and being able to watch Myu are few in a lifetime, so we'll take any chance we have.

At first Laura was a bit hesitant to join us because she had promised her hubby (who was also in Japan) they would go together, but we ended up convincing her to join us! OMG IT WAS SO EXCITING to hang out with them! I clicked with Laura as well! She is so cool and smart and pretty and amazing and... AAGGHHH!!! I might have a slight girl-crush on her! AhaHhahaa! Eventually, we also met up with Yosenex inside the theater along with another boy-Moonie (whose name escapes me at the moment) and went in all together after a lil' bit of shopping at the goods counter. We had another chance to meet Osabu again at the Myu. Apparently he was there for almost every performance, making sure it all went well! I stocked up on pamphlets for friends and other goodies, then we had dinner and parted ways again.


I'm sure you just want to hear about the Moon-related stuff, but during the weekend I went with my teacher on a tour to see Mt. Fuji and go grape picking which is a popular activity to do in Japan during this time of the year. I won't go into details. Twas fun n.n

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For the day of the final performance of Myu, a group of Moonies gathered in Takadanobaba for yet another amazing day of singing (and coasters! XD) This time, a good group or 7 or 8 fans gathered at the station, Brad and Laura (@AlexLLuz) were already there and it was my first time meeting a few of them: Amy (@Sailormucai), Ruthie (@eternalruth), Komomo (@tomorrowf0829) Ayako (@ho_shiraya) and two other Moonies whose names escape me because they're not on Twitter (if you read this mail me guys D:! ). We all had lunch together then walked to the karaoke place. We spent a loooong long time there. We took turns with the microphone for about two hours, but I was practically singing all of the songs xD microphone or not! Hahaha.


After karaoke, only Brad, Ruth, Laura, Amy and I had tickets for the final performance of Myu. We headed to Harajuku and arrived to the Theater just in time. I was so, so, so, nervous because once I entered the building I planned on using my punk Sailor Moon cosplay for the occasion. That's right! For weeks before my trip I had been working on my Super Sailor Moon costume. I ordered some pieces, put others together myself, sewed on some LED lights into the skirt and the bow, went to my local HotTopic to buy a few punk/metal accents and managed to get a wig just in time before my trip. I knew I was going to wear it but I was having doubts because nobody else was wearing cosplay. Laura however was wearing a super cute odango hairstyle that day and she looked super super cute! She pushed me to do it, so I decided that since I had come his far and I had carried the outfit with me all day, I might as well just put it on. I had to skip the wig because it was so hot, the tiara got lost somewhere in the bathroom, a few other details were missing as well, but still, I felt pretty cool in my Punk super Sailor moon outfit and now I don't regret wearing it!! yyyaaayyy!!!


The last performance is always super special. There is a brief chat amongst the actors and they offer their thoughts and feelings when they started the musical and they take time to thank their cast-mates, producers and the audience for making the show what it is. The girls have very tights bonds and friendships, so it's only normal they all broke into tears at the end of it all and hugged each other. I was again in tears. JUPITER STARTED! She was crying all through the last song T.T!

I will always love this version of Sailor Moon and this cast made me feel so many good and sad emotions. They did an incredible job and it's sad for us to watch them cry too. We all yelled when Mercury and Zoi hugged! They were together for rehearsals and spend most of the musical together as well, I guess it was obvious they would grow closer than the rest. Yuga seemed a bit distant from them, like she's not part of "the gurls", but the still hugged Satomi as the cool and supportive "sempai" she is XD!


After the last performance, everybody headed out the theater, but some fans begun a line to meet Osabu who was now widely recognized! Finally! HAHhaa I noticed he was giving out autographs too, (Laura had previously scored an autograph from him on her manga!) and I had nothing for him to sign, so I ran to the lobby where they were selling off the last few items they had left and I bought another pamphlet, and after waiting last in line, I finally got to him again. He recognizes me (he's seen me like 3 times already!) so he thanked me for going to see the Myu so many times and I thanked him for his hard work. He asked me who my favorite actress of Myu was, and I told him exactly who I loved. *SATOMI-CHAN!*. Yes. I loved loved loooooved Satomi as Moon! She was airheaded, loud and annoying as Usagi should be, and she was coragrous, serious and determined as Sailor Moon should be.

As mentioned at the very beginning of this post, I'm not a huge Myu expert, but I do believe each actress has their own personification of Usagi, but they eventually develop their own personality and give the character their own twist, but Satomi was so, so close to anime Usagi, I just felt like she had jumped out of the screen! I loved her so much! I know most of the fans were infatuated by Yuga Yamato because she is way amazing, others were in love with the Ami x Zoi relationship and actresses. I even heard somebody mention their favorite was Beryl because of her amazing singing voice, and yes I agree with all of these, and can add the Senshi were pretty kick ass too, but Satomi did it for me in every single way. Love her!

We waited outside of the theater for about an hour so we could see the actresses leave the theater. Yuga Yamato  came out first to say hi to her fan club (which was massive!) and to personally pick up love letters (although I doubt she ever reads then xD). Midori Hastukaze (Queen Beryl) also came out to give out autographs to a few of her fans who also waited outside. Then the rest of them all came out in a single group. I know it's hard to see, but this is who I can kind of recognize:

Satomi Okubo (Moon) in the white long dress.
Miyabi Matsura (Mercury) and in hand with... Shiori Sakata?? (Venus)
Kanon Nanaki (Mars) with the red scarf.
Root (Jedite) with short hair and black hat.
Ryo Saika (Zoicite) the tallest of them in white blouse.


Waaah! So great to be able to wave goodbye to the girls who had become so special to us in those 10 days! And just like that, the adventure was almost over! We had seen Myu and lived many once-in-a-lifetime experiences all in a single day! I cannot believe how lucky I am in life to be able to live through this!.

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The last day, I met up with Ruthie and Amy again to go shopping AGAIN in Nakano. I hardly had a chance to talk to them the previous day, so this was a great bonding opportunity! I was sure that since I had been to this shopping mall so many times already, surely there'd be nothing new. But boy was I wrong!! Merch comes in and goes out extremely fast here! The second-hand business is quite prolific in Japan, and pretty much happens everyday at any given time, which is why you have to regularly check if there are new arrivals. If you saw something one day, it most likely won't be there the next. Whether it was vintage Myu stuff, Magical Girl collectibles or Sailor Moon toys, all three of us found articles we were after! I actually found a Cosmic Compact (in rough shape tho) and a Sailor Moon Cutie Rod which are two of Moons items I needed for my collection. We also found my ultimate wishlist figure! A ¼ scale Kotobukiya Super Sailor Moon mid-Moon spiral heart attack pose! I've loved this figure since she first came out sometime in 2002, and I've wanted her since. When I opened the SMObss I blogged about my bad luck not being able to get her, and here she was again, right in front of me, but her price tag was extremely steep: ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, which I might have impulsively bought with my credit card, and paid it off for an entire year, but the store didn't take cards. DAMN! I guess it wasn't time for her yet.



Ahh well, I left Japan without her but I luckily returned home with so much more! Not only did I have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching a Myu ( the 20th anniversary one no less!) and to meet one of my idols and also my Goddess Naoko, but I also had the amazing opportunity to meet and chat with some of my fellow Moonies, And live through very uniquely Moonesque experiences, like shop like wild and sing from the top of my lungs the songs I have grown up with as a Sailor Moon fan. I do not mean rub this in anybody's face, I just wanted to write what this experience was like for me, dedicated to those who were wondering if Sailor Moon was still a “thing” on this side of the world, what you might find if/when you come here and if it is all worth it.

Yes, it is undeniably and throughly and absolutely worth it all. There is nothing more I wish for you, my Moonies, that you all come and live this dream. Tokyo is definitely Moonie Mecca, and it's a trip that every fan should make at least once in their lives! I know many won't be able to go anytime soon, but do not let your hope falter! There might be a time where we can all make it there. Maybe the 25th annversary? Hahaha! Be patient and really work for it guys, Sailor Moon is worth it always!

Here is how my room looked on the last day. I have no idea how I was able to pack all this stuff XD


And here are some of the goodies I brought home with me.



The End