Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sailor Moon Music

Numerous people wrote and composed music for the Sailor Moon metaseries, with frequent lyrical contributions by creator Naoko Takeuchi. Takanori Arisawa, who earned the "Golden Disk Grand Prize" from Columbia Records for his work on the first series soundtrack in 1993, composed and arranged all of the background musical scores, including the spinoffs, games, and movies. In 1998, 2000, and 2001 he won the JASRAC International Award for most international royalties, owing largely to the popularity of Sailor Moon music in other nations.
Most of the TV series used for an opening theme "Moonlight Densetsu" (ムーンライト伝説 Mūnraito Densetsu?, lit. "Moonlight Legend"), composed by Tetsuya Komoro with lyrics by Kanako Oda. It was one of the series' most popular songs. "Moonlight Densetsu" was performed by DALI as the opener for the first two anime series,and then by Moon Lips for the third and fourth.The final series, Sailor Stars, switched to using "Sailor Star Song" for its opening theme, written by Shōki Araki with lyrics by Naoko Takeuchi and performed by Kae Hanazawa."Moonlight Densetsu" made its final appearance as the closing song for the very last episode, #200. "Moonlight Densetsu" has been covered and remixed many times by artists such as the punk supergroup Osaka Popstar and Kitade Nana.
The English-language dub of the anime series used the melody of "Moonlight Densetsu", but with very different lyrics and instrumentation. At the time, it was unusual for anime theme songs to be translated, and this was one of the first such themes to be redone in English since Speed Racer. The English theme has been described as "insane but catchy". The Japanese theme is a love song based on the relationship between Usagi and Mamoru ("born on the same Earth"); its first verse, as it appears in the English subtitles, is as follows:

I'm sorry I'm not straightforward,
I can say it in my dreams
My thoughts are about to short circuit,
I want to see you right now

The English "Sailor Moon Theme" rather resembles a superhero anthem. Its first verse is written:

Fighting evil by moonlight,
Winning love by daylight,
Never running from a real fight,
She is the one named Sailor Moon

Both versions of the series also make use of insert themes, battle music, and image songs, with the original being much more prolific. Over 40 Japanese music albums were released for the anime alone, many of which were remixes of the previous albums in jazz style, music box, French, etc. In addition, 33 different CD singles were released, many of them centered around specific characters. The second most prolific country in terms of Sailor Moon music releases was Germany, which produced some fifteen albums and singles, including five by the pop band Super Moonies. In North America, only three albums were released. These numbers do not include the CDs from the Musicals, which were only released in Japan. At least one CD was released per musical, as well as various collections, such as Villain Collections or many songs sung by a single actor or actress. Various CDs were also released for the live action adaptation as well.
Moonlight Densetsu was released as a CD single in March 1992, and was an "explosive hit"."Moonlight Densetsu" won first place in the Song category in Animage's 15th and 16th Anime Grand Prix.It came seventh in the 17th Grand Prix, and "Moon Revenge", from Sailor Moon R: The Movie, came eighth. "Rashiku Ikimasho", the second closing song for Supers, placed eighteenth in 1996. In 1997, "Sailor Star Song", the new opening theme for Sailor Stars, came eleventh, and "Moonlight Densetsu" came sixteenth.

Sailor Moon - Songs From The Hit TV Series

Sailor Moon ThemeNicole & Brynne Price1 of 111:35
I Wanna Be A Star!Jennifer Cihi (Serena)2 of 113:24
My Only LoveJennifer Cihi (Serena)3 of 113:09
Call My Name (I'll Be There)Jennifer Cihi (Serena)4 of 112:57
Oh Starry NightSandy Howell (Raye)5 of 113:17
It's A New DayJennifer Cihi (Serena)6 of 112:50
Carry OnJennifer Cihi (Serena)7 of 112:11
Rainy Day ManPatricia Tollett (Lita)8 of 113:09
Only A Memory AwayShandi Sinnamon (Amy)9 of 113:12
She's Got The PowerStan Bush10 of 112:58
Sailor Moon Theme Reprise (Ending)Nicole & Brynne Price11 of 110:32

Sailor Moon (English adaptations)

The English adaptations of both the manga and anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States. The anime adaptation of Sailor Moon attempted to capitalize on the success of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. After a bidding-war between Toon Makers, who wanted to produce a half live-action and half American-style cartoon version, and DIC Entertainment, DiC — then owned by The Walt Disney Company — and Optimum Productions acquired the rights to the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, from which they cut six episodes and merged two. Editors cut each of the remaining episodes by several minutes to make room for more commercials, to censor plot points or visuals deemed inappropriate for children, and to allow the insertion of "educational" segments called "Sailor Says" at the end of each episode.
The English adaptations by Optimum Productions and Cloverway of Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S (the third and fourth series) stayed relatively close to the original Japanese versions, without skipping or merging any episodes. Some controversial changes were made, however, such as the depiction of Sailors Uranus and Neptune as cousins rather than lovers.
Toei has never licensed the fifth and final series, Sailor Stars, for adaptation into English. As of May 2004, the rest of the metaseries has officially gone off the air in all English-speaking countries due to lapsed and unrenewed licenses.
The manga publisher Mixx (subsequently renamed Tokyopop) translated the Sailor Moon manga into English in 1997. The manga initially appeared syndicated in MixxZine but was later pulled out of that magazine and made into a separate monthly comic to finish the first through third arcs. At the same time, the fourth and fifth arcs began printing in a secondary magazine called "SMILE". After its initial publication, the entire series was reprinted in the smaller volume format known in the beginning as "Pocket Mixx" before Mixx became Tokyopop. In total, the series was collected into 11 "Sailor Moon" volumes, 4 "Sailor Moon SuperS" volumes, and 3 "Sailor Moon Stars" volumes. The volumes included extra stories that were not run with the monthly comics. Sailor Moon collects the first three arcs (the Dark Kingdom [Mixxzine 1-1 to 2-1 + Comic issues 1-7], Black Moon [8-19], and Infinity arcs [20-35]). Sailor Moon Super S collects the Super S/Dream arc [Smile 1.1-2.6] and Sailor Moon Stars collects the Sailor Stars arc [Smile 2.7-3.10]. They feature all of the content from the original manga collections (though the names of characters introduced in the first two story arcs were changed to those used in the English anime), as well as the occasional new sketch and "thank you" commentary from the series' creator.
The Tokyopop English-language manga went out of print on May 2, 2005 after the license expired.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sailor Moon Video Games

The Sailor Moon video games, both console and arcade, were released in Japan during the height of the media franchise's popularity. By 1998, 20 games were released. The games released as of 1995 each had sales figures of about 200 000 to 300 000. They have never been released in any other country, with the single exception of the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon game developed by Angel, which was released in France in 1994.The games are hard to find in any other country unless downloaded from the internet as ROMs.
Bandai produced a small number of Sailor Moon games, but the majority were handled by a Japanese game company called Angel. Early games were side-scrolling fighters, whereas later games were unique puzzle games, and even later titles chose to go a versus fighting game style. Another Story was the only game to stand out, being a role-playing game. Panic in Nakayoshi World was also released, an overhead Adventures of Lolo-style puzzle game featuring characters from various Nakayoshi-printed manga. Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon are playable characters.
The games mainly saw release on the Super Famicom, with the first side-scroller being ported to the Mega Drive. A separate arcade side-scrolling fighter was also released. In addition, two side-scrolling adventure games were produced for the Game Boy (Sailormoon and Sailormoon R), and a side-scrolling game was also produced for the Game Gear (Sailormoon S).
The first versus fighting game from the series was released for the 3DO. However, as the 3DO did not sell well outside of Japan, this game has gone largely unnoticed. Produced by Bandai themselves as opposed to Angel for the other two, this game is considerably different. A final versus fighting game was released for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation.
The last Sailor Moon-related game to date was released in November 2001 - Happy Chibiusa World.
A game was released in the U.S. for the PC. It was a minigame compilation titled The 3D Adventures of Sailor Moon. Aside from the theme, the games did nothing to tie in to the series.
On July 15, 2010, Bandai Namco Games Europe announced development of a new Sailor Moon video game for Nintendo DS, which should be released by the end of 2010.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sailor Moon Live-action Series

The Tokyo Broadcasting System and Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting screened a tokusatsu (live-action) version of Sailor Moon from October 4, 2003 through September 25, 2004. The series, titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (often shortened to "PGSM"), used an entirely English-language title for the first time in the Sailor Moon franchise. It lasted a total of 49 episodes. Almost one thousand people applied for the parts of the five main characters.
The series' storyline more closely follows the original manga than the anime at first, but in later episodes it proceeds into a significantly different storyline from either, with original characters and new plot developments.
In addition to the main episodes, two direct-to-video releases appeared after the show ended its television broadcast. These were the "Special Act", which is set four years after the main storyline ends and which shows the wedding of the two main characters, and "Act Zero", a prequel which shows the origins of Sailor V and Tuxedo Mask.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sailor Moon Stage Musicals

The musical stage shows, usually referred to collectively as SeraMyu, were a series of live theatre productions that played over 800 performances in some 29 musicals between 1993 and 2005. The stories of the shows include anime-inspired plotlines as well as a large amount of original material. Music from the series has been released on about 20 "memorial" albums.The popularity of the musicals has been cited as a reason behind the production of the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon TV series.
Musicals ran twice a year, in the winter and in the summer. In the summer, the musicals showed only in the Sunshine Theatre in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo; however, in the winter they went on tour to the other large cities in Japan, including Osaka, Fukuoka,Nagoya, Shizuoka, Kanazawa, Sendai,Saga, Oita, Yamagata and Fukushima.
The final incarnation of the series, The New Legend of Kaguya Island (Revised Edition) (新・かぐや島伝説 <改訂版> Shin Kaguyashima Densetsu (Kaiteban)), went on stage in January 2005. After that show, the series went on a hiatus.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sailor Moon Anime

The Sailor Moon anime, co-produced by TV Asahi, Toei Agency and Toei Animation, started airing only a month after the first issue of the manga was published. With 200 episodes airing from March 1992 to February 1997 on TV Asahi, Sailor Moon is one of the longest magical girl anime series. The anime sparked a highly successful merchandising campaign of over 5,000 items, which contributed to demand all over the world and translation into numerous languages. Sailor Moon has since become one of the most famous anime properties in the world.Due to its resurgence of popularity in Japan, the series is slated to be back on the air as of September 1, 2009. Also, Italy is getting it rebroadcasted in northern-hemisphere autumn 2010, also getting permission from Naoko who will be releasing new artwork to promote.
Sailor Moon consists of five separate arcs. The titles of the series are Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. Each series roughly corresponds to one of the five major story arcs of the manga, following the same general storyline and including most of the same characters. There were also five special animated shorts, as well as three theatrically-released movies: Sailor Moon R: The Movie, Sailor Moon S: The Movie, and Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie.
The anime series uses traditional animation techniques throughout. It was directed by Jun'ichi Satō, then Kunihiko Ikuhara and later Takuya Igarashi in succession. Character design was headed by Kazuko Tadano, Ikuko Itoh and Katsumi Tamegai, all of whom were also animation directors. Other animation directors included Masahiro Andō, Hisashi Kagawa, and Hideyuki Motohashi.
The series sold as twenty "volumes" in Japan. By the end of 1995, each volume had sold approximately 300,000 copies.

Sailor Moon Manga

Before the Sailor Moon manga, Takeuchi published Codename: Sailor V, which centered around just Sailor Venus. She devised the idea when she wanted to create a cute series about girls in outer space, and her editor asked her to put them in sailor fuku. When Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime, the concept was modified so that Sailor V herself became only one member of a team. The resulting manga series became a fusion of the popular magical girl genre, the Super Sentai Series, of which Takeuchi was a fan. Recurring motifs include astronomy, astrology, Greek myth, Roman myth, geology, Japanese elemental themes, teen fashions,and schoolgirl antics.
Talks between Takeuchi and her publishers originally envisaged only one story-arc, and the storyline developed in meetings a year prior to publications, but having completed it, Takeuchi was asked by her editors to continue. She issued four more story-arcs, often published simultaneously with the five corresponding anime series. The anime series would only lag the manga by a month or two.
The complete original manga spans 52 chapters, known as Acts, as well as ten separate side-stories. Its main series appeared in serial form in Nakayoshi, Kodansha's shōjo manga magazine, from 1991 to 1995; the side-stories were serialized in Kodansha's Run Run. Kodansha has published all the chapters and side-stories in book form. The first edition came out as the series was being produced, from 1992 through 1997,and consisted of 18 volumes with all the chapters and side stories in the order in which they had been released.
The second edition, called the shinsōban or "renewal" edition, began in 2003 during the run of the live-action series. Kodansha redistributed the individual chapters so that there are more per book, and some corrections and updates were made to the dialogue and drawings. New art was featured as well, including completely new cover art and character sketches (including characters unique to the live-action series). In all, the new edition consists of 12 story volumes and two separate short-story volumes.
By the end of 1995, the thirteen Sailor Moon volumes then available had sold about one million copies each, and Japan had exported the manga to over 23 countries, including China, Mexico, Australia, most of Europe and North America.
Kodansha released special art books for each of the five story arcs, collectively called the Original Picture Collection. The books contain cover art, promotional material, and other work done by Takeuchi. Many of the drawings appear accompanied by comments on how she developed her ideas, how she created each picture, whether or not she likes it, and commentary on the anime interpretation of her story.
Another picture collection, Volume Infinity, appeared in a strictly limited edition after the end of the series in 1997. This self-published artbook includes drawings by Takeuchi as well as by her friends, her staff, and many of the voice-actors who worked on the anime. In 1999 Kodansha published the Materials Collection; this contained development sketches and notes for nearly every character in the manga, as well as for some characters who never appeared. Each drawing is surrounded with notes by Takeuchi about the specifics of various costume pieces, the mentality of the characters, and her particular feelings about them. It also includes timelines for the story arcs and for the real-life release of products and materials relating to the anime and manga. At the end, the Parallel Sailor Moon short story is featured, celebrating the year of the rabbit.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sailor Moon Plot

The protagonist of Sailor Moon, Usagi Tsukino, an ordinary ditsy middle-school girl - or so she herself thinks, at least - discovers a talking cat named Luna, who reveals Usagi's identity as "Sailor Moon," a special warrior with the destiny of saving the planet Earth, and later the entire galaxy. Usagi, who is the reincarnation of the Moon Princess, must now protect Earth from a series of villains, beginning with the Dark Kingdom that had appeared once before, long ago, and destroyed the kingdom of the moon.
The characters in Sailor Moon awaken members of the court of the kingdom of the moon, and the people dedicated to protecting it; when the dark nemesis attacked the kingdom, the Queen sent the Moon Princess, her guardians and advisors, and her true love into the future to be reborn. As Usagi and Luna battle evil and search for the Moon Princess, they meet the other Sailor Senshi, incarnations of the Moon Princess' protectors, and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask.
As the series progresses, Usagi and her friends learn more and more about the enemies they face and the evil force that directs them. The characters' pasts are mysterious and hidden even to them, and much of the early series is devoted to discovering their true identities and pasts. Luna, who teaches and guides the Sailor Senshi, doesn't know everything about their histories either, and the Senshi eventually learn that Usagi is the real Moon Princess. The Moon Princess' mother had her reborn as a Sailor Senshi to protect her. Gradually Usagi discovers the truth about her own past life, her destined true love, and the possibilities for the future of the Solar System.
The plot spans five major story arcs, each of them represented in both the manga and anime, usually under different names:
1.the Dark Kingdom arc (Sailor Moon)
2.the Black Moon arc (Sailor Moon R)
3.the Death Busters arc (Sailor Moon S)
4.the Dead Moon arc (Sailor Moon SuperS)
5.the Shadow Galactica arc (Sailor Moon Sailor Stars)
The anime added an additional minor arc at the start of the second series, and spent the first few episodes of Sailor Stars wrapping up the plot from the previous series. Taking place before the manga timeline, its sister series Codename: Sailor V tells the story of Sailor V, Minako Aino and her adventures during the year before Sailor Moon itself starts. Many characters from Codename: Sailor V return in Sailor Moon, including Sailor V herself (under the name "Sailor Venus").

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn, officially translated as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) is a Japanese media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. Fred Patten credits Takeuchi with popularizing the concept of a sentai ("team") of magical girls, and Paul Gravett credits the series with "revitalizing" the magical-girl genre itself. Sailor Moon redefined the magical-girl genre, as previous magical girls did not use their powers to fight evil, but this has become one of the standard archetypes of the genre.
The story of the various metaseries revolves around the reincarnated defenders of a kingdom that once spanned the solar system, and around the evil forces that they battle. The major characters—the Sailor Senshi (literally "Sailor Soldiers"; frequently called "Sailor Scouts" in many Western versions), teenage girls—can transform into heroines named for the moon and planets (Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, etc.). The use of "Sailor" comes from a style of girls' school uniform popular in Japan, the sērā fuku ("sailor outfit"), on which Takeuchi modeled the Senshi's uniforms. The elements of fantasy in the series are heavily symbolic and often based on mythology.
Before the Sailor Moon manga appeared Takeuchi had written Codename: Sailor V, which centered around just one Sailor Senshi. She devised the idea when she wanted to create a cute series about girls in outer space, and her editor asked her to put them in sailor fuku. When Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime, the concept was modified[by whom?] so that Sailor V herself became only one member of a team. The resulting manga series merged elements of the popular magical girl genre and the Super Sentai Series which Takeuchi admired, making Sailor Moon one of the first series ever to combine the two.
The manga resulted in spinoffs into other types of media, including a highly popular anime, as well as musical theatre productions, video games, and a tokusatsu series. Although most concepts in the many versions overlap, often notable differences occur, and thus continuity between the different formats remains limited.