Megumi Ogata plays with a Sailor Uranus keychain on her “date’s” bag
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 article isn’t so much an interview per se, but rather coverage of a rather… unique contest Animage magazine held in 1995 titled “A Date with Ogata.” As the name implies, it was a chance for readers to submit their best date plans to the magazine and, upon careful consideration, three lucky winners would have their chance to go on a date with the superstar voice actress Megumi Ogata.
If that doesn’t sound bizarre enough to you, well… okay, so you probably have just been exposed to Ikuhara’s madcap antics a bit too often.
Today we’ll be going into the story of Megumi Ogata’s doki doki de-to with one of her intrepid fans, a second year junior high schooler named Natsuko. Read on for the date coverage!
The five Inner Senshi the week before their last recording session (flowers from Ms. Takeuchi)
As a wise person once said, “all good things must come to an end.” Sailor Moon was no exception to this rule, and aired (what would then be) its final episode on February 8, 1997. Even though the series would live on in the form of musicals, a live action TV series, and even a second anime series, that final airing marked the end of a five year journey for the talented actresses and actors that brought our beloved characters to life.
Today, I’d like to take a look at how the Sailor Moon cast felt about the series they gave five years of their life to, their respective characters, and their favorite scenes — all courtesy of a “Sailor Moon Graduation” commemorative interview conducted by Animage magazine.
Grab a box of tissues, because there are going to be a lot of tears shed before we’re done!
The Sailor Team
One question I often (not unreasonably) get asked is: why do I so rarely talk about Sailor Moon Crystal on this blog?
Truth be told, it’s not that I don’t want to talk about it. It’s rather that bringing the Sailor Moon Crystal series into the equation introduces several key issues into what we discuss here, including:
- the series takes place decades after the original manga/anime ran, and the world has since changed;
- the story tracks closely with the manga and doesn’t add too much new information; and
- Sailor Moon Crystal is still a work in progress, so any theories unique to the series could still change.
Fortunately for us, with the recent announcement that Kazuko Tadano — character designer for the first two seasons of the 1990s Sailor Moon anime — will be reprising her role as character designer for the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal movie, this gives us a chance to take a look back into the past to hopefully answer some questions about the series’ future.
Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look into what Ms. Tadano thought of the characters in Sailor Moon, and her philosophy in how she draws women. Stick around, because things are about to get interesting!
Is this the end for Sailor Moon?
Over a quarter of a century has passed since Sailor Moon first hit the airwaves, and yet the series manages to continue to excite new and old fans alike with a constant stream of new products, musicals, cafes, and even the occasional anime season. It’s easy to forget, though, that the series had actually been relatively dormant in Japan for much of this time.
While hindsight may be 20/20, and we may now know that there was no true “successor” to Sailor Moon in the most direct sense of the word — at least not until the Pretty Cure franchise came around — I think it’s interesting to take a look back in time and see what series fans back in the 90s thought would be the next big anime in the shojo-sphere.
Join me for a trip down memory lane as we take a look at some of the interesting predictions reporters on Japanese anime were making back in the mid-90s. I hope you’re ready for some serious nostalgia!
This was definitely not recommended by fans
Now that we’ve gotten the serious attack suggestions out of the way, it’s time for us to delve a little deeper into Animage’s mail bag and look at some of the… less likely ideas for attacks recommended by Sailor Moon fans, way back in the summer of 1992.
Thought I can’t really imagine any of these attacks ever really appearing in the anime or the manga, it’s nevertheless a fun look back at the fandom in the early days of the series.
Let’s get started!
The long lost Sailor Archery attack
Remember that time when Sailor Moon pulled back on the string of her crescent-moon-shaped bow, let loose, and tore the attacking youma asunder? No? That’s strange, because I’ve got this picture right here in front of me.
Oh, that’s right! The attack never actually existed. But it was briefly considered, and a single animation cel was even made of the attack.
Today, we’re talking about attacks suggested by fans to the anime staff!
Usagi has to keep these scripts secret!
I was surprised to find out recently that way back when the Sailor Moon anime first aired, Animage – one of Japan’s premier anime magazines – held a contest in conjunction with the anime production staff to for fans to send in ideas for what they’d like to see in the series. This was known as the “Sailor Awards” (セーラー大賞; seeraa taishou).
The suggestions were reviewed and comments on several of the better choices were provided by either Junichi Sato (series director) or Iriya Azuma (producer). The best ideas were even ultimately used in the series!
Today we’re going to look at some of the plot suggestions that these early-adopting Sailor Moon fans sent in.