sailormoon

Fighter4Luv Fandub – Sailor Stars Episode 9 (#175) – Check out the ending! :)

For more information, refer to my previous post about the fandub!

Fighter4Luv Fandub – Sailor Stars Episode 9 (#175) – Check out the opening!

The fandubbing group Fighter4Luv finaly decided to use my [new and improved] recording of the English version of the Sailor Stars Theme for their latest release!

You may like it or not, it is a very tough song to cover – and there is no karaoke available without the Japanese backvocals so whatever you do in terms of mixing/editing, it will always sound weird. Plus my French accent, but that, can’t do much about it :) Still, I worked pretty hard on the song so… enjoy!

I highly recommend you “liked” the Facebook page of Fighter4Luv to see the videos.

 

Sailor Moon ~ La Reconquista Day 2 (of 2)

Recalling our adventures in Part 1, the reason I attended the Sailor Moon musical on Wednesday was because we genuinely believed that our original Friday tickets had been lost in the mail, after being sent out almost a month prior to our trip.

Well… The next day, after learning that our tickets had been held up by Japanese customs, they were finally delivered Thursday night – barely twenty-four hours before the show! It was a close call, way too close…

And so, knowing that we would be going back to see the show a second time (yay!), I sent out a quick message to Coro (Nephlite) to tell her we would be back to again and waiting in the parking lot afterwards – and if it was ok with her, we’d like to meet with her and thank her again. She quickly replied that it would be fine, and confirmed she would be there to meet us. Awesome!

We spent most of the day on Friday with Mark’s cousin Lana and her mom Lise, Mark’s aunt. Lana had been working in Japan for over a year as a teacher, student and part-time model, and Lise was in town for a visit. Along with Mark, Kara and myself, Lana was also coming to the show – she’s a big Sailor Moon fan too and was happy to join us. In fact, she’d bought her own ticket, and during our adventures with the tickets she’d sold hers to another fan who was already coming to see it on Monday – more on that later.

Right before heading out to the Aiia Theater, we stopped by a gourmet burger joint in Shibuya, and while there Kara went into the washroom to change into her little Sailor Moon outfit, which had won her a prize at the Animethon convention in Canada the previous month. She was ready to spread some Moon Power back to the country where it all began!

Just like we did on Wednesday, we headed to the Aiia Theater at about 6:00 pm. It was a nice surprise to see our friend Eric again, who was hoping to get a ticket for himself to see the show one last time.

People were already lined up – perhaps a bigger crowd than Wednesday. This time around, there were more adult males, foreigners, and obviously some couples on a date. No cosplay, but some people were definitively wearing Sailor Moon t-shirts and bringing their own merchandise, such as dolls and Moon wands. The merchandise booth was very popular this time as well, and Lana picked up a cell phone case for herself. Kara was doing her own thing, posing for photos and she started being excited again to see the show. We even saw the helpful staffer from Wednesday night, who spotted Kara from inside and dropped what she was doing to come out and take a picture of Sailor Kara!

Finally, while we had sold Lana’s ticket to a girl who had come to see the show from Scotland, unfortunately she couldn’t find the theater in time – so we left her ticket at the ticket table and went in. She still had a ticket for the final show on Monday though, and ultimately did see the musical.

This time around, we were seated right at the front, in the second row – seats 14 to 17. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Once again, our staff lady provided us with a cushion for Kara so she could see better. But we were so close anyway, we couldn’t miss anything – we were in “upskirt view” territory and saw all sorts of details we couldn’t see from the back, right down to the transparent strappies the actors were wearing on their shoes so they wouldn’t fly off as they ran around the stage.

The show was exactly the same, but it was really great to see it again. The only difference was that we had the “Green Momoclo” member for the Love Cupid App on Mercury’s phone instead of the Red member from Wednesday’s show. Still, it was great to see it for a second time to catch the experience all over again. It was Mark’s first time seeing a Seramyu in person, and despite not understanding the language (or being a Sailor Moon fan), he still enjoyed it a lot. At the final curtain call, we were all waving our goodbyes at the cast and Jupiter and Venus were right in front of us! They spotted Kara and waved at her until the curtain was completely down.

We rejoined Eric at the exit (who also reported that the show was not sold out as there were several empty seats in the back) and on the way out we were met with another surprise – my ticket had been drawn to receive a door prize! We were handed a prize bag which included some “limited edition” Sailor Moon cups, and profusely thanked the staff in many languages as we left.

By 10:00pm, we were patiently waiting outside as people were leaving the premises, except Yuga Yamato’s fanclub who also stayed till she left in her chauffered car. Then suddenly (and much sooner than on Wednesday), almost the entire cast came out looking for us! Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Nephlite, Zoicite and Queen Serenity all came out to say thank you for coming from Canada to see the show, and had also seen or heard about Kara and her Sailor Moon costume. Everyone was so excited and laughing that Kara was a little bit overwhelmed, in case you were  wondering why she no longer smiling for the group photo!

 

I gave Serenity (Jamie Natsuki) the Canadian maple syrup candies I had brought with us as gifts, for her to share with the whole cast. We then proceeded to take a few group photos – everyone wanted to high-five Kara again, and she was more than happy to oblige!

The cast left quickly after this all-too-brief meet, but with good reason: they were performing a matinee the following day at 1:00pm and needed to rest! We noticed that Satomi (Moon) left with a woman who appeared to be her mother (probably heading home – and after all, she was only sixteen years old) while the rest of the cast regrouped and headed to the nearest train station. Even our favorite staffer came outside to give us a final thank you and goodbye, and take a picture with Kara.

After arranging plans for the following day (Eric would be joining us on our excursion to Yokohama), we left. It didn’t take long for Kara, completely exhausted, to fall asleep in her stroller. Poor baby :) All the same, she’ll have amazing photos for her scrapbook!

 

After we got home from Japan, we learned that the audience had not been allowed to approach the cast after the final performance on Monday – there was a fence and bouncers between the crowd and departing cast, meaning we were among the very few (if not the only ones) to get up close with the actors like this. Once again, I couldn’t believe our luck to have been able to meet the cast, twice! It will definintely be an experience to remember forever…

Sailor Moon La Reconquista – Day 1 (of 2)

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 ;)

(I also bought 2 posters and a light stick)

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…

My daughter Kara at Animethon 20 – Little cosplay Princess :)

Two weeks ago, I tagged along The 404s Improv Comedy group to Edmonton’s premiere anime convention Animethon!

I hadn’t been to Animethon in over 3 years! This week-end was the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the event – and also the return of my husband Mark Nguyen as MC for the big events such as the Opening/Closing Ceremonies and the Cosplay Contest.

Speaking of Cosplay Contest, I had planned for weeks to enter my daughter Kara in the new Junior Category and have her debut in the awesome world of Cosplay. After modifying her original Sailor Moon costume to fit her 3 year old body (she first wear the costume when she was 6 months old), I also made a full size “Moon Wand” using clay, paint and jewels from Michaels. We practiced her little “skit” for about a week to make sure she would be ready for the big stage.

Kara started to go to conventions and expos when she was 5 months old and never really stopped. She’s used to big crowds, long days, the noise, the costumes… and she’s hard to keep off the stage, especially when her mom or her dad are on it :)

Participating in the Cosplay Contest was just another milestone in her fantastic journey.

Being as photogenic as she is, it wasn’t long before she was swarmed by Animethon’s top photographers.

When she was called on stage as Entry #17, she immediately won the audience with her cute smile and strong “Moon Healing Activation”.  She did so well, and she knew it. We knew she would win something – and not just the “junior” prize. I was extremely proud, to say the least. Kara’s reputation was made. She was now a little cosplay star.

 

The Cosplay Awards were given at the Closing Ceremonies. Kara won FAN FAVORITE and once again was able to do her little skit in front of a thousand people. It was magic and the audience responded accordingly. Once again, I was overwhelmed by pride to see my tiny little girl owned the stage like she did. She’s definitively gonna be a performer later in life :)

 

SeraMyu is back… and I am going :)

We all heard about the new Sailor Moon anime… and then, we were all sadden when we learned that it would be delayed.

I was even more sadden because I had planned a trip to Japan between September and November 2013 and was hoping to be IN Japan while the airing of the new anime – and be able to buy all the cool new stuff.

But Sailor Moon fans were not prepared for the following announcement that the Sailor Moon Musicals (aka SeraMyu) would be returning as well! A story about the Dark Kingdom and an all new cast at an all new venue (Aiia Theater in Shibuya).

THIS COMING SEPTEMBER!!! And furthermore, the first wave of tickets would be on sale the next day!!!

My theory is that this new musical had been planned for quite some time and was supposed to match the release of the new anime. However, because of the booking of the venue and all the staff and performers under contract, delaying the musical was impossible.

Way before I was a Jpop singer, I was a die-hard fan of the Sailor Moon Musicals. I had a very well known Sailor Moon website in French (chorale-sailor.org) including a significant SeraMyu section. Only old fans remember that I went to Japan in the summer of 2001 and 2002 and attended the musicals. I was 24 and 25 years old at the time and these trips were extraordinary experiences.

 

There was NO WAY I could let this new musical pass by and not being part of the fun. Within a few hours of the announcement, I contacted one of my friend in Japan and kindly asked him to reserve a few tickets for the whole family – which he successfully did. I will be attending the new musical Friday September 20th at 7:00 pm with my daughter, my husband, one of his cousin who’s currently teaching English in Japan – and my friend. I will be spending 2 weeks in Japan and this will definitively be the highlight of my vacation there. I.can’t.wait.

If you’d like to know about all the latest details about this new musical (and Sailor Moon in general), you can follow a few people on twitter such as: @moonkittynet @OsabuP_english @missdreamsubs @moonchaseblog @SMObss
(PS: Not all these people are working together but they all are very active in the fandom and are a very good source of information)

* * *

I need to add this because I am pretty sure I will get requests to purchase SeraMyu marchandises from fans who unfortunately can’t attend the musical. I aquired lots of SeraMyu marchandises in the past because some people were kind enough to spend the time to go to the SeraMyu theater and buy the marchandises there for me. That’s also how I got a few posters (you had to preorder the VHS at the theater in order to qualify to get a poster). Therefore, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to grab a few things for fellow fans. However, I am not gonna do it on my own cost and own trouble (afterall, I have to carry my own stuff and take care of a toddler while in Japan).

Anyone who would like me to grab SeraMyu marchandises will have to:

1. Send me an advance of $150 US through paypal before my departure to Japan.
$100 will serve as cash to purchase stuff (program book, CD, flyer, cards – at my discretion) and $50 for my time and trouble in carrying everything back with me to Canada. There will be no extra profit added to your marchandises. You pay what it costed me at the theater to purchase the things)

2. Accept to pay the balance for shipping/handling once I get back to Canada (if all the items + shipping exceed $100) within the next 30 days of my return. I will also have to declare the value of the marchandises to be twice the actual amount so we can be both insured in case the package is lost* – therefore, you may (or not) have to pay a little bit extra in custom taxes if parcel is ship outside of Canada.

3. If you are unable to pay the possible balance for shipping/handling before 30 days, the marchandises will be considered “unwanted” and only partially paid for and I will sell or dispose of it as I see fit.

I may or may not buy a few extra items to sell later (eBay or else). It will depends on how much money I will carry on me, and the marchandises available for sale and its value for resell.

Email me at irulanne @ hotmail.com if you have any questions!

Thank you :)

* Let’s say I bought a program book for $50. I will insure its value to be $100, so if the package is lost, you get your $50 back and I get $50. In 2002, US Post services lost a fankan VHS I had shipped to a lady in Florida. I was reumbursed for $40 which I sent back to the fan in Florida, however I was not reumbursed for the lost of the tape which I had bought in Japan. This is my way to get around the flaws in the postal system.

 

 

 

 

Fighter4Luve Fandub – Ending credit theme “My Best Friends” (Kaze mo Sora mo Kitto…)

After the Sailor Stars opening theme, I worked on the English translation of the Sailor Stars ending theme “Kaze mo Sora mo Kitto…” renamed “My Best Friends”. I have recorded a “credit version” and a “final episode version”. Corey Tsukino, the manager of the fandub, released a teaser a few days ago on the Facebook page of the fandub. Once again, the response has been phenomenal, beyond my expectations. Enjoy the video!