I don’t know about you, but I think that my favorite underdog of the Sailor Moon series would have to be live action sentai-inspired tv show from the early 2000s. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s my favorite retelling of the story — that’s really a toss-up between the anime and the manga, depending on my current mood — but I still love how the characters were portrayed. It’s just fun!
One of the things that fascinates me about the series is that, unlike the anime, even when the series ends, the actors and actresses who brought these characters to life on the small screen continue on, living out their own careers. Seeing the Sailor Moon cast appear seemingly at random from time to time online is like seeing an old friend.
So with that in mind, we’re going to follow up on my previous article, Where Is the Cast of the Live Action Sailor Moon Today?, with a look at some members of the supporting cast!
Grab a cup of coffee — it’s gonna get interesting!
The most frequent comment I got from from my previous article was: “You forgot Sailor Luna!!!”
While I didn’t actually forget about her, it was more a matter of having to choose where to draw the line. If you include Sailor Luna, I’d feel remiss to leave out the adorable Naru. If I included Naru, then why not Mamoru?
If you give a mouse a cookie…1 well, I’m sure you get the picture.
So that’s why I left it off at the five main Sailor Soldiers last time, and why I’m writing another article on the topic now! Let’s take a look at where the supporting cast ended up.
Naru Osaka – Chieko Ochi (née Kawabe)
Possibly the most fascinating thing about Chieko’s story is that the live action Sailor Moon was not her first time being involved in the franchise.2 She first joined the sailor-suited family back in 2000 as the fifth person to take on the role of Sailor Mercury in the Sailor Moon Musical (SeraMyu) at the age of 12.
I’ve always wondered why they made her give up the mantle of Ami and play Naru in the live action series. She’s a good actress, but maybe they wanted to fill out the cast with new people? In any case, it’s odd.
Since the tv show went off the air, she’s gotten a lot done! Her achievements include:
- singing, including one album and five singles
- writing books (primarily in the cookbook genre, but also books on motherhood and her life)
- appearing on tv (with a recurring role on Eigo de Shabera Night from 2005-2006)
- raising a daughter (born May 2010)
Though we haven’t really seen a lot of Chieko since around the time she got married in 2008, it’s nice to see she’s been active writing books and frequently updates her blog and other social media.
Mamoru Chiba – Jouji Shibue
They say that those that work on super sentai or other tokusatsu shows rarely go on to have a successful career, but I’d say that our leading man of the live action Sailor Moon has done pretty well for himself, with nearly consistent tv credits to his name from 2003 to today.3
He’s definitely been keeping himself busy, with work including:
- movies (9 in total, so far)
- tv shows (35 different shows, sometimes with different roles on the same show! Notable roles include Kamaitachi in the Ranma 1/2 live action movie and Ibuki in Kamen Rider Hibiki)
- writing (he writes a serialized column on an 18+ news site, where he chats with adult actors/actresses)
- stage shows (between 2006 and 2014, he appeared in 8 stage shows)
I won’t lie, probably one of the most shocking discoveries while writing this article was that Jouji, the man I viewed as Usagi’s sweetheart, is a self-described “porn sommelier” in his online column.4 Well, we all define success differently…
Sailor Luna – Rina Koike
Sometimes referred to as “the Scrappy Doo of Sailor Moon,” Rina Koike gets a bad rap due to her playing the kid role on the show.5 Though I’m admittedly not much of a fan of the Sailor Luna character, I also realize that I wasn’t the target audience of the show, so I’m sure that little girls watching the show at the time loved the idea of them also being able to be a Sailor Soldier.
Ever since the show ended, Rina’s had quite the career, with work including:
- tv shows (including Shizuka in Kamen Rider Kiva)
- movies (her most recent being an appearance in the 2015 Shiromajo Gakuen: Owari to Hajimari)
- commercials (ranging from Disney Sea, to Lotte, to Bandai Namco)
- photo books (lots, and lots of photo books, many of the… suggestive variety)
I don’t usually fancy myself a prudish person, but there’s just something really awkward about seeing the girl I know as the goofy Sailor Luna posing in nothing but underwear and a sweatshirt as an adult. Of course, I’m glad that she found a career for herself and that it’s all working out, though!
Motoki Furuhata – Masaya Kikawada
Making his TV acting debut in 1999 at the age of 19, Masaya has had a pretty varied acting career both on the big and small screen before, during, and after Sailor Moon.6 Maybe I’m just guilty of judging a book by its cover, but I absolutely never would have imagined that the man who spent much of his time on screen talking to a turtle would later go on to have a number of leading credits to his name.
After Sailor Moon, Turtle Boy’s been busy:
- acting in movies (including the 2007 Dear Friends where he had a chance to work again with Keiko Kitagawa)
- acting in tv shows (he’s had too many roles to count, but he’s been active the whole time!)
- performing on stage (including taking the leading role in two of them)
- serving as tourism ambassador (for the city of Niiza, Saitama, which is the city he grew up in)
Glad to see that he’s still pretty active in his acting, and that he’s even moved on to leading roles!
Ikuko Tsukino – Kaori Moriwaka
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything that you didn’t already know, but Kaori Moriwaka’s portrayal of Ikuko Tsukino was pretty far out there, to say the least.7 Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely took a completely different look at Usagi’s usually all-too-serious mother.
Before coming to Sailor Moon, Kaori already had quite a successful career as a singer-songwriter, actress, and vocalist. Not only did she perform vocals in the band Go-Bang’s for 11 years from 1983 to 1994,8 but’s she’s also written quite a lot of songs for other popular artists throughout her career.
Post-Sailor Moon, she’s had quite a lot going on, including:
- acting on tv (including the 2005 tv drama, Girl Meets Girl)
- writing songs (including the 2015 “Eternal Zombina” for the popular idol group, Dempagumi.inc)
- hosting radio shows
- acting in movies (including the role of Matsutake in the 2015 The Next Generation: Patlabor)
Knowing more about Kaori’s previous work, and what I see from her blog and Twitter, really helps make some sense out of how Ikuko appeared on screen. It’s also great to see that she’s had a long career both before and after the show!
I have to say, I’m quite amazed at just how good the casting director for this show was. I guess you could make an argument that the show had propelled a lot of them to fame — and this certainly wouldn’t be untrue for most of the five Sailor Soldiers, who were scouted out as models mere months to a year before being cast — but honestly it looks to me like they were just good at spotting talent. Nearly every member of the cast has gone on to see further success.
Then of course there’s also the… interesting turns that the careers of Rina Koike (Sailor Luna) and Jouji Shibue (Mamoru Chiba) took, but hey, more power to them. It’ll just be hard for me to watch Mamoru with a straight face and not think about how he’s a porn aficionado as he talks up his love for Usagi.
Now that I’ve already done the original musical cast and much of the live action Sailor Moon cast, are there any other people related to the franchise that you think would be worth following up on? I’ve considered the voice cast many, many times, but I feel like many fans already know what’s going on there. Let me know what you think!