I have been a die-hard fan of Sailor Moon since the very beginning. I was fortunate enough to attend the musicals “SeraMyu” back in 2001 and 2002 – but three years later, the musical production was put on indefinite hiatus. I had always promised myself that I would go back to Japan in an instant if they would revive the Sailor Moon musicals. And in early 2013 they finally did, so I returned to the land of the Rising Sun last month with my whole family. Actually, we were *supposed* to travel to Japan sometime in 2013 anyway, as we had won a two-way flight to Japan from Calgary with an Air Canada contest! We just hadn’t picked out dates yet when the new musical was announced. The dates worked out perfectly, and we were able to schedule our two-week long trip to Japan at the same time as the ten-day run of the Sailor Moon musical.
Everything was going according to plan… Until the friend of mine who had purchased our original set of pre-order tickets had a family emergency, and had to leave Japan in a hurry. The tickets were then sent in the mail so we could pick them up later on from one of our family members who was already working in Japan. Days, then weeks went by and the tickets were nowhere to be found. As we arrived and were enjoying our first week in Japan (Osaka, Kyoto…), I grew more and more nervous that our tickets may have been lost in the mail for good. And then back in Tokyo (after the typhoon!), I made the decision that if our tickets were really lost, I had to find a way to attend the show somehow, someway, before we were scheduled to return to Canada. This is why in the early afternoon of Wednesday September 18th, we dropped everything and headed to the Aiia Theater in Shibuya to talk to people there to 1) try to attend a show, hoping it wouldn’t be sold out; and 2) to see if there was anything we could do about our lost tickets.
We arrived at the Aiia Theater and it was obviously closed. But then a few minutes later, a young woman came by and was also waiting around in the parking lot. As it looked like she may perhaps be on staff or crew (!!!) we approached her and asked if she could help… She replied that she was in the cast, and would try to help us out. We asked who she was and she replied that she was… The actor for NEPHLITE! What a shock! Her English was very good, and after inquiring with the staff she explained that tonight`s show was *not* sold out, and that if we would come back one hour before the show, we would easily get tickets. She then introduced us to the actor playing ZOICITE, and they offered to sign our flyer and take a picture with me and my daughter Kara.
Reassured, we then left the theater to spend the rest of the afternoon in Shibuya, which became increasingly busy by late afternoon. We then returned around 5:30 pm to line up at the ticket desk as people gathered for the performance. We were then surprised to discover that Eric, a French Sailor Moon fan that I knew from the early 2000s, was also there at the same time as us! He had already seen the show few days before (and like me, saw previous SeraMyu back in the early 2000s) and was looking to see if he could get more merchandise, as some stuff had sold out the previous nights. We spent the next hour talking about the good old times of Sailor Moon fandom.
When the doors opened, we were first in line and I was able to buy two tickets (one for me, one for my daughter Kara – at 6800 Yen each, OUCH) and made my way inside to buy a few program books, posters and a light stick for Kara.
Eric and Mark left as they had other things to do, and Mark promised to come pick me up after the show. We made our way into the theater – which seemed a bit smaller than the Ikebukuro theater back in the day. We were in Row 19, almost in the back but situated in a way that Kara had no one in front of her, so we had a full view of the stage – and as it happened, a staffer noticed her and was able to get some cushions that would allow her to see even better. As previously told, the show was not sold out. Around us, there was at least 15 empty seats… Kara was the only child in the audience – mostly consisting of older women coming to the show after a day at the office, and a very few non-Japanese. No cosplay or anything like that, although some of the other foreigners were wearing Sailor Moon t-shirts or other memorabilia.
Several reviews of La Reconquista have been posted online already – plus the whole show with subtitles has been shared on torrent and posted on youtube. I would insist that actually *being there* is not the same as looking at it on a computer screen – it is a better experience overall.
So I won’t review or summarize the story of the show but my personal comments would be that I really liked the songs and musics, the costumes and the story. Like most people, it took me a moment to get used to a female Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen/Endymion but after a while, I didn’t even notice it anymore. There were times where Satomi-Moon’s singing made me cringe a bit but she played a very good Usagi so it was easy to forgive. The acting was never “over-the-top” (as it was in some of the previous SeraMyu) and I really appreciated that. Kara also really enjoyed the show as well, although she was a bit scared when Queen Beryl would act and sing all evil
After three hours, the show ended and we all came out. Members of Yuga Yamato (Mamoru)’s fanclub were there and they patiently waited for her to come out and say their thank-yous and goodbyes – Yamato-san is a member of the Takarakuza all-female theatre troupe and has her own legion of fans beyond this musical. After this, I stood outside with Kara for almost an hour (as Mark was late coming back from the improv workshop he had gone to attend), when suddenly most of the cast came out through the back door. Coro (Nephlite) saw me and Kara, and came to ask if I liked the show and was (obviously) able to get tickets – it was then that the rest of the cast also joined in to say “hi” to Kara and give her a few “high fives”. I was speechless and utterly shocked that they were all there (minus Moon), introducing themselves to me and Kara. Unfortunately (for now), I didn’t have the camera nor a phone so I couldn’t take any photos. I told them that we were from Canada, we really liked the show and we were hoping to be back on Friday, providing we were able to get our original tickets on time. Nephlite asked to add me on Facebook, and then they left as a group. Mark arrived shortly afterwards and we finally headed back to our rental suite, tired but content. I had seen the show once… I could sleep in peace now!
To be Continued…