As you may or may not have noticed, I kinda disappeared for a little over a week while I was on vacation in the US, but I’m back now! And ready to hit the ground running. I have a few article drafts in the works and am currently doing some more background research on them.
But for now, it’s time for our weekly review of Sailor Moon news!
Spoiler: We finally get a look at what we can expect at the Universal Studios Sailor Moon attraction, and the Youma looks suspiciously familiar…
First off, a look back on some of the important events that happened over the past week in Sailor Moon history:1
- February 18
- 1995: Sailor Moon S episode 37 (“A New Life: Parting of the Stars of Destiny”) airs
- 2013: Chieko Honda (voice actress for Tellu in the 90s anime) passes away
- February 19
- 1994: Sailor Moon R episode 40 (“Saphir Dies: Wiseman’s Trap”) airs
- February 20
- 1993: Sailor Moon episode 45 (“Death of the Sailor Guardians: The Tragic Final Battle”) airs
- February 21
- 2004: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (live-action) episode 20 (“Hina Was Mamoru’s Fiancée…”) airs
- 2015: Sailor Moon Crystal episode 16 (“Abduction -Sailor Mercury-“) airs
- February 22
- 1935: Hisako Kyoda (voice actress for Zirconia in the 90s anime) is born
- February 24
- 1987: Chieko Kawabe (actress for Naru Osaka in PGSM) is born
- 1996: Sailor Moon SuperS episode 38 (“When the Crystal Shines: The Beautiful Power of Dreams”) airs
There were quite a few noteworthy Sailor Moon anniversaries that took place this week, though unfortunately not all were happy.
— Chieko Honda (Voice of Tellu)
February 18 marked the 5th anniversary since the passing of Chieko Honda,2 the talented voice actress who brought Tellu to life on the small screen in the 1990s anime. Just 49 at the time, her life was cut short after a short battle with colon cancer. Dedicated to her profession, Chieko kept her illness a secret except for her closest friends and continued to lend her voice to anime characters until 2012.
In addition to her role as Tellu, Chieko also gave a voice to Kozue Kaoru in Revolutionary Girl Utena, Mikoto in Flame of Recca, and Gardenia in Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl.
Bonus fact: Famed manga artist Kosuke Fujishima3 was such a fan of Chieko’s voice-acting work that he put a character of the same name in his manga. Chieko lent her voice for the character on a cd compilation in a character song titled 勝手に名前を使わないでね (Don’t just use my name without asking!).
— Hisako Kyoda (Voice of Zirconia)
On the opposite end of the spectrum of life and death, February 22 marked the 83rd birthday of Hisako Kyoda, who gave her voice to Zirconia in the Sailor Moon SuperS anime.4 A long-term veteran of the entertainment industry, Hisako started her career as a TV and movie actress in the 1940s and later moved into voice over work in the 1950s. In fact, she is still active in the voice over industry even today, with her lending vocals to characters in three different anime as recent as 2017.
Though known to you and me as the voice of Zirconia, Hisako has also given her voice to many other famous series, including Genkai in Yu Yu Hakusho, Akina Hinata in Sgt. Frog, and the narrator in Yokai Watch.
— Chieko Kawabe (Fifth SeraMyu Sailor Mercury; Naru Osaka in PGSM)
Is there anything that Chieko Kawabe can’t do?5 This newly-minted 30 year old began her acting career in 1998 at the age of 10 and racked up several TV appearances before taking the stage as the fifth Sailor Mercury in the Sailor Moon Musical stage show in 2000 at the age of 12.
Three years later, at the age of 15, she once again lent her talent to the world of Sailor Moon when she joined the cast of the live-action PGSM tokusatsu tv show as Naru Osaka in 2003.
Since then, Chieko’s had a pretty busy life as a singer, mother (her daughter was born in May 2010), and cookbook author (she has six books to her name).
And that finishes up our look back at Sailor Moon, so let’s take a look at the here and now! It was a pretty light news week, with just one real announcement to comment on.
Universal Studio Japan Announces “Sailor Moon: The Miracle” Commercial
Earlier this week, Universal Studios Japan unveiled their TV spot advertising the upcoming Sailor Moon attraction, which gives us our first look at what we can expect to see in the all new original story.6
Though it’s unclear just how much of the cg animation we see here is specifically for the commercial and how much will actually appear in the show itself, it does give us a glimpse into what we can expect to see when the attraction opens up in just a few short weeks in mid-March.
While I generally like what I see, is it just me, or does the Youma here look suspiciously like Morga? I get that they’re trying to be generic, but judging by designs, it seems like we’re going to get a cheap storyline about Morgo, Morga’s evil twin sister who hates theme parks.
Then again, I’m just a tad hyper-critical, so maybe it’s better to not listen to me.
And that, my friends, brings this week’s coverage of the latest Sailor Moon news to a close.
The news cycle in Japan tends to be kind of slow in the first quarter of the year, with things typically picking up around April (when the new school and work year begins), so I’m holding out hope that we’ll finally hear something about this missing-in-action Sailor Moon Crystal: Dead Moon Circus movies around that time. Or maybe I’m just overly optimistic.
In other news (which I missed during my week off), it seems like the most recent Sailor Moon musical is coming to the US. If you had asked my just a few months ago, I would have said there’s no way a SeraMyu would come to the US, but I’m definitely glad to be proven wrong here! Do any of you plan on going to see it in theaters??
- See Sailor Moon History ↩
- See Chieko Honda (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Kosuke Fujishima (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Hisako Kyoda (Wikipedia) ↩
- Though she now works under her married name, Chieko Ochi, I’m using her birth name here for consistency with her Sailor Moon credits; see Chieko Ochi (Wikipedia) ↩
- See 『美少女戦士セーラームーン・ザ・ミラクル 4-D』テレビCM先行公開中！ ↩