[Lunar Logs] Yuko Minaguchi On the Challenge of Voicing Hotaru

Hotaru does not approve

Hotaru does not approve

Lunar Logs is a weekly series featuring full translations of interviews with Ms. Takeuchi and others — such as the directors, writers, voice cast, and more — responsible for making Sailor Moon into the massively popular franchise we know it as today. Though not every interview will directly address or even mention Sailor Moon, I find it an interesting look into the minds of these influential figures.

Today we’ll be focusing on two interviews conducted with Yuko Minaguchi, voice of Hotaru Tomoe in the 90s anime. The first one, titled “It was a bit of a challenge, performing four roles in one,” covers the challenge she faced joining the Sailor Moon cast — then an anime she’d only heard of in passing — and in playing the many different aspects of Hotaru’s character.1

The second one? Well, in this “Behind the Voice” interview, she shares information about her home life and her darling rabbits. A rather fitting pet, don’t you think? August 1996 issue of Animage.2

Read on and learn a little something about how Usagi rabbits can help turn a house into a home!

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[Lunar Logs] Director Ikuhara Bares All About His First Time

Ikuhara chilling on a park bench, as he is wont to do

Ikuhara chilling on a park bench, as he is wont to do

Lunar Logs is a weekly series featuring full translations of interviews with Ms. Takeuchi and others — such as the directors, writers, voice cast, and more — responsible for making Sailor Moon into the massively popular franchise we know it as today. Though not every interview will directly address or even mention Sailor Moon, I find it an interesting look into the minds of these influential figures.

Today’s essay, titled “My First Time,” was penned by

Sailor Moon director Kunihiko Ikuhara and first appeared in the August 1996 issue of Animage.1

Read on and I hope you enjoy his curious tale of the circumstances that led to his proverbial cherry being popped… and it absolutely isn’t what you’re thinking!

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Why Was There No Fan Reaction to the Deaths of Uranus and Neptune?

There's absolutely no way anything is about to happen

There’s absolutely no way anything is about to happen

There is perhaps no greater proof out there about just how much of an impact Sailor Uranus and Neptune had on young fans than the fact that the Sailor Moon S episode showcasing their death still ranks within the top 5 Sailor Moon memories even 25 years later.1

And yet, in stark contrast to the swift response flooded in from concerned fans and parents after the traumatizing penultimate episode in Sailor Moon‘s first season, fans were surprisingly quiet in the first few days and weeks following the deaths of our favorite Sailor cousins partners. What happened, and what can this tell us about how the Sailor Moon fandom grew as the series progressed?

Fortunately for us, Megumi Ogata (voice of Haruka Tenoh) and Masako Katsuki (voice of Michiru Kaioh) joined Animedia’s reporter2 for a behind-the-glass conversation about what goes on in the recording booth, how episode 110 (“The Death of Uranus and Neptune: The Talismans Appear”) came to be and their reactions to it, and more!

If you’ve always wanted to know more about this famous episode, now’s your chance!

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Who Was Naoko Takeuchi Before Sailor Moon’s Debut?

Sailor Moon & her Sidekick: Super (Deformed) Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon & her Sidekick: Super (Deformed) Sailor Moon

Though it may sound a bit counter-intuitive, one of the things I love reading about most in interviews with Ms. Takeuchi is when she opens up about subjects other than Sailor Moon.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love the Sailor-suite guardian of love and justice as much as the next strawberry Pop-Tart-obsessed Moonie. It’s just that it’s pretty rare to get some insight into not only the origins of Sailor Moon, but the person behind its creation.

Luckily for us, Ms. Takeuchi granted Puff, a magazine dedicated to the manga industry, just such an interview back in May 1994. Strap in for a trip down memory lane as we take a look into Ms. Takeuchi’s past, tastes in men, and other manga ideas she toyed around with!

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Is Sailor Moon No Longer Meant for Kids?

What do you mean "not for kids"?

What do you mean “not for kids”?

Walk into any toy store or shopping center in Japan and you’ll find yourself faced with many of the “evergreen” titans of the anime industry: Ultraman, Dragon Ball, Pokémon, and more.

Yet, despite it’s massive resurgence in recent years, Sailor Moon is suspiciously missing from the toy aisles. Instead, you’re more likely to find this 90s kids’ entertainment colossus relegated to the stationary section, hobbyist stores, or even lingerie shops!

Today we’re going to look at a 2013 interview with chief manga editor Fumio ‘Osabu’ Osano and Sailor Moon’s voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi1  as they discuss how this transition happened along with some of their favorite memories from years gone by!

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How Did Miyuu Sawai Feel About Playing PGSM’s Sailor Moon?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon cast at the July 31, 2003 announcement

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon cast at the July 31, 2003 show announcement

Ah… Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, the oft-overlooked cult classic of the Sailor Moon franchise– a status that’s certainly not helped by the fact that Toei does its best to never talk about the series.

While I’ve already spoken at length about where the talented actresses behind PGSM have gone after the series ended, that’s only half the story. What I’d love to know — and what we’re going to talk about today — is how these young starlets found themselves in these roles in the first place, and how it felt to be able to play their own favorite childhood heroes on the small screen week after week.

Today we’re going to begin our look back with an interview with Miyuu Sawai, PGSM‘s titular Sailor Moon and beloved crybaby, Usagi Tsukino. If you ever wanted to know more about how she felt about playing her role, what filming was like, and how she got along with the rest of the cast, then this article’s for you!

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Why Was the Sailor Moon SuperS Anime So Different From the Manga?

Sailor Moon SuperS: What Went Wrong?

Sailor Moon SuperS: What Went Wrong?

In all my years of writing about Sailor Moon, I’ve found that Sailor Moon SuperS seems to be the odd duck of the series. Some fans swear by it as peak Sailor Moon while others recommend skipping it entirely.1 And yet I hear none of these complaints levied against the manga. In fact, it’s generally well-loved among fans — which I suppose bodes well for the upcoming movies!

The reason for all this, of course, is due to the peculiar decision to take an extreme departure from Ms. Takeuchi’s storyline and try new things with the anime.

But that’s not good enough for me. I want… nay, need answers! Why did the anime production staff decide to deviate from the manga story? Why did they cut so many characters? And why did the story take such a comical turn?

Today we’re going to take a look into what the anime staff were thinking and the reasoning behind their changes. Sit back, grab a coffee, and read on — things are about to get Super!

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