Sailor Moon musicals

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Sailor Moon
Sailormoonmusical seramyu flyer.jpg
Flyer from the 2004 Musical
Music Akiko Kosaka
Lyrics Kayoko Fuyumori
Junya Saiki
Basis Naoko Takeuchi
Sailor Moon

The Sailor Moon musicals (セーラームーン・ミュージカル, Sērāmūn Myūjikaru), commonly referred to as Sera Myu (セラミュー, Sērāmyū), are a series of live theatre productions based on the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi. The series consists of 31 musicals which have had more than 800 performances since the show opened in the summer of 1993. The first set of musicals, which ran from 1993 to 2005, were produced by Bandai with over 500 performances. The current musicals have been produced by Nelke Planning (a subsidiary of Dwango) since 2013.

Contents

History

Each musical typically runs for three engagements per year, [1] timed to align with school holidays in the winter, spring, and summer. [2] Musicals were historically staged at the Sunshine Theatre in Ikebukuro, Tokyo in the winter and spring, and tour Japan in the summer.

After The New Legend of Kaguya Island (Revised Edition) (新・かぐや島伝説 <改訂版>, Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu (Kaiteiban)) was staged in January 2005, the actresses for Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter "graduated" (left the show), and the series went on hiatus.

In June 2013, Takeuchi's editor Fumio Osano announced that a new Sailor Moon musical, La Reconquista, would open in September 2013, with Takeuchi personally auditioning actresses for the cast. The cast featured Satomi Ōkubo as Sailor Moon, Miyabi Matsuura as Sailor Mercury, Kanon Nanaki as Sailor Mars, Yū Takahashi as Sailor Jupiter, Shiori Sakata as Sailor Venus, and Yūga Yamato as Tuxedo Mask, making La Reconquista the first Sailor Moon musical where all roles were played by women. The musical recounts the battles between the Sailor Soldiers and the Dark Kingdom over the search for the Silver Crystal. The musical was produced, directed and written by Takuya Hiramitsu, who directed SeraMyu from 1995 to 1998, with music by Toshihiko Sahashi. The musical ran from September 13 to 23 at the AiiA Theater Tokyo in Shibuya, Tokyo. [3]

Petite Étrangère, a musical based on Sailor Moon R , ran at AiiA Theater Tokyo from August 21 to August 31, 2014, and at Osaka from September 5 to September 7. A version of Petite Étrangère was staged in Shanghai, China, in January 2015 [4] at the Shanghai Theatre Academy Theatre for a run of five performances, making Petite Étrangère the first official Japanese production of a Sailor Moon musical to open outside Japan. [5]

The series made its North America debut in 2019 with Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon - The Super Live, which was staged as a limited engagement on March 29 and 30 at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. The musical also played at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on March 24. [6]

Recurring elements

The musicals typically feature a theme song, usually performed after the Sailor Soldiers defeat the antagonist; sight gags (such as cross-dressing and puns); and songs tailored for characters or groupings of characters, such as romantic songs between Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba, attack songs for the Sailor Soldiers, songs the Sailor Soldiers perform as civilians, and villain songs.

"Revised Versions" (known as Kaiteiban) are another major aspect of Sailor Moon musicals. Generally, new musicals are staged in the summer are revised for the winter. The overarching plot remains the same, but certain plot elements are rearranged: villains who were only partially defeated in the original version of the show are fully defeated or healed, and actresses who are "graduating" are given more solo parts or speaking lines.

The manga picture showing the Four Kings of Heaven and the Sailor Soldiers' relationships. SenshiShitennou.gif
The manga picture showing the Four Kings of Heaven and the Sailor Soldiers' relationships.

Often, the musicals expand upon plot concepts presented in the anime and manga. Most notably, a romance between the four Sailor Soldiers and the Four Kings of Heaven in their former lives was adapted from a manga image picturing the two groups paired off as romantic couples. [7] In addition to adapting material from anime and manga versions of Sailor Moon, the musical series also has two original plot lines: The Legend of Kaguya Island (Kaguya Shima Densetsu) and the Last Dracul series.

Most shows end with an extended curtain call and encore, during which a number of songs are performed. Popular songs from the anime series such as "Moonlight Densetsu" and "La Soldier", which would not make narrative sense in the plot of the musical, are frequently performed as fan service. Special fan appreciation shows referred to as FanKan (deriving from "fan thank you") are used as season finales, where multiple fan service numbers are performed and new actresses are introduced.

The musicals have introduced new characters to the series, often as new members of existing groups of villains, such as Spotted Tilmun, Aaron and Manna from the Black Moon Clan, the Death Mannetjes and the Death Nightmares from the Death Busters, and Sailors Pewter Fox, Titanium Kerokko, Theta, and Buttress from Shadow Galactica. The musicals have also created original characters that have never appeared in any other version of the series, such as Sailor Astarte, Vulcan, Count Dracul, Bloody Dracul Vampir, Undead Berserk, and Death Lamia, among others.

Production

The sets and backdrops range from simple (only some set pieces, no backdrop or backdrop with uncomplicated paintings) to mid elaborate (a greater number of small set pieces, and some bigger ones, for example, a painted wall over the whole width of the stage with a few attached stairs and a big door), more detailed set pieces, with heavy use of different stage levels, trapdoors and hidden doors. The Sailor Soldiers' attacks are represented by colored lights hitting their targets, and sometimes minor explosions and other small pyrotechnics (for example "flame paper", special paper stripes which the actors ignite in their hands and then throw to create the illusion of a "fireball") are used. The Sailor Soldiers mostly transform off-stage (or just appear already transformed), while their transformation phrases can be heard. [8] Only Usagi transforms on stage. This is done with the help of a body double and the "black out" of part of the stage [9] or set pieces moving in front of her while the actors switch places. [10] The only real "transformation sequence" that ever occurs is a pre-filmed video sequence projected onto a scrim showing the actors "morph" (with some pink ribbons) into their transformed versions. [11]

List of musicals

"Stage" is a term used widely to refer to groupings of the musicals.

The producers of the show have broken the musical series down into three stages. The first stage consisted of those in which Sailor Moon was portrayed by Anza Ohyama, the first and longest running Sailor Moon actress. This stage ran parallel to the manga and anime, as reflected by the plot, and had a nearly full graduation with all of the main actresses being replaced. The second stage included three different Sailor Moon actresses, the only fully original musical (The Legend of Kaguya Island) and the semi-original Last Dracul series, ending with a remake of the original "Final First Stage" musical, Eien Densetsu (titled Kakyuu Ouhi Kourin.) The third stage retained Marina Kuroki as lead actress, but ran for only two musicals (both remakes of The Legend of Kaguya Island), and ended in January 2005.

The series ended its hiatus with a 20th Anniversary Stage in 2013, with Satomi Ōkubo cast as the new Sailor Moon.

Conversely, most Western fans break the stages down by the actresses who played Sailor Moon: Anza Ohyama, Fumina Hara, Miyuki Kanbe, and Marina Kuroki. The list below is divided up according to the official stages used by Sera Myu producers.

First stage

Featuring Anza Ohyama as Sailor Moon:

Second stage

Featuring Fumina Hara as Sailor Moon:

Featuring Miyuki Kanbe as Sailor Moon:

Featuring Marina Kuroki as Sailor Moon:

Third stage

Continuing to feature Marina Kuroki as Sailor Moon:

20th Anniversary Stage

Featuring Satomi Ōkubo as Sailor Moon:

Featuring Hotaru Nomoto as Sailor Moon:

Featuring Mizuki Yamashita , Sayuri Inoue, Shiori Kubo, Kanae Yumemiya, Natsuki Koga and Tomomi Kasai as Sailor Moon:

Featuring Riko Tanaka as Sailor Moon:

List of albums

Songs from the series have been compiled in some 20 music albums, [19] and many of the musicals have been released on DVD.

1st stage

2nd stage

3rd stage

Reception

In total, 32,055 people attended Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen (外伝 ダーク・キングダム復活篇), which had 29 separate performances. [21] 25,208 people attended its revised edition, which had 35 separate performances. [22]

Related Research Articles

<i>Sailor Moon</i> Manga series by Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997; the 60 individual chapters were published in 18 tankōbon volumes. The series follows the adventures of a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino as she transforms into Sailor Moon to search for a magical artifact, the "Legendary Silver Crystal". She leads a group of comrades, the Sailor Soldiers as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the Solar System.

Sailor Saturn Character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Saturn is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is the alternate identity of Hotaru Tomoe, a young Japanese schoolgirl and a member of the Sailor Guardians, supernatural female fighters who protect the Solar System from evil. Sailor Saturn is the tenth and last of the Sailor Guardians to be discovered, possessing powers associated with silence and ruin, nothingness, destruction, death, and rebirth that made her a potential threat as she can wipe out a planet and even an entire galaxy or reset its evolution.

Tuxedo Mask Character in Sailor Moon

Tuxedo Mask, also known as Mamoru Chiba, is a fictional character and one of the primary protagonists of the Sailor Moon media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. He disguises himself in order to support the series' central heroines, the Sailor Guardians. Wearing a mask to conceal his identity, he interferes with enemy operations, offers the Sailor Guardians advice, and sometimes physically aids them in battle.

Sailor Uranus Fictional character in Sailor Moon

Sailor Uranus is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon media franchise. Sailor Uranus' alternate identity is Haruka Tenou, a teenage Japanese student. Haruka is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

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Anza (singer) Japanese singer and actress

Anza Ohyama, also known as simply Anza, is a Japanese singer and theater actress best known as vocalist of the heavy metal band Head Phones President and for playing Sailor Moon in thirteen separate musical productions.

<i>Sailor Moon Sailor Stars</i> Fifth and last season of the Sailor Moon anime series

The fifth and final season of the Sailor Moon anime series, titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, was directed by Takuya Igarashi and produced by Toei Animation. Like the rest of the Sailor Moon series, it follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino and her fellow Sailor Guardians. The series is divided into two story arcs. The first 6 episodes consist of a self-contained arc in which the Sailor Guardians encounter Queen Nehelenia again. The remaining 28 episodes adapt material from the "Stars" act of the Sailor Moon manga series by Naoko Takeuchi, in which the Sailor Guardians meet up with the Sailor Starlights, led by Princess Kakyuu. They discover that Sailor Galaxia, the leader of the "Shadow Galactica" organization and a corrupted Sailor Guardian, plans to increase her powers and rule the Milky Way.

<i>Sailor Moon R</i> Second season of the Sailor Moon anime series

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<i>Sailor Moon S: The Movie</i> 1994 Japanese animated film directed by Hiroki Shibata

Sailor Moon S: The Movie is a 1994 Japanese animated superhero fantasy film directed by Hiroki Shibata and written by Sukehiro Tomita. It is the second film in the series, following Sailor Moon R: The Movie (1993), and is adapted from a side story of the original Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi, The Lover of Princess Kaguya. It takes its name from the third arc of the Sailor Moon anime series, Sailor Moon S, as Toei Company distributed it around the same time. The film was released in Japan on December 4, 1994, as part of the Winter '94 Toei Anime Fair.

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Ado Endo is a Japanese actress best known from her work on SeraMyu. She is the longest performing actress in the Sailor Moon musicals, portraying many background characters, such as Sailor Theta and Sailor Lead Crow

Miyuki Kanbe was a Japanese actress, model and singer. Throughout her career, she starred as Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon musicals, as well as portraying Hinaka Tachibana in Kamen Rider Hibiki and Kyouko Kakehi in Battle Royale II. In addition to acting, Kanbe also pursued a singing career, where her songs were used as the theme songs to the anime series Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.

<i>Sailor Moon S</i> Third season of the Sailor Moon anime series

The third season of the Sailor Moon anime series, titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S, was produced by Toei Animation and directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. It began broadcasting on TV Asahi on March 19, 1994, and ended on February 25, 1995. It adapts the "Infinity" arc of the Sailor Moon manga series by Naoko Takeuchi, and follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino and her fellow Sailor Guardians. In this season, they must fight against the Death Busters, who are planning to take over Earth. In 2000, Cloverway Inc. licensed the season for an English-language broadcast in North America. Optimum Productions dubbed the season, continuing over from the first two seasons that were licensed by DIC Entertainment. The series aired on YTV in Canada, who adjusted the episode numbers to match those of the original Japanese version, from June 12, 2000 to August 1, 2000. The season later aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block in the United States. Edited and unedited VHS tapes and uncut bilingual DVDs of their adaptation were released by Pioneer Entertainment. In contrast to DIC's handling of the first two seasons, Cloverway retained the background music and sound effects from the original Japanese version. Eventually, the season was re-licensed by Viz Media in 2014 for an updated English-language release, produced by Studiopolis. The first 18 episodes of the season were released as Part 1 on November 15, 2016, and the remaining 18 episodes were released as Part 2 on June 20, 2017. While Sailor Moon S began very similarly to the first two seasons, it eventually took a darker, more emotional turn.

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Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon R is a side-scrolling beat 'em up video game developed by Angel and published by Bandai in Japan on December 29, 1993. It is the third game to be created by Angel based upon Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon shōjo manga and anime series, as well as the second title in the franchine for Super Famicom, serving as the sequel to Sailor Moon. Following the second season of the anime series, which adapted the second arc of the manga, the players control one of the six Sailor Guardians and fight against enemies across several locations in order to protect Earth from both the Hell Tree aliens led by Ail and Ann as well as the Black Moon Clan led by Prince Demand, who are attempting to steal life energy from humans and the Star Points of future Crystal Tokyo. Like its predecessor, the game was met with mixed reception from critics since its release.

<i>Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS: Shin Shuyaku Sōdatsusen</i>

Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS: Shin Shuyaku Sōdatsusen is a 1996 fighting video game developed and published by Angel for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It is based upon Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon shōjo manga and anime series. Loosely following the fourth season of the anime series, which adapted the fourth arc of the manga, the players control either one of the five original Inner Senshi or one of the four Outer Senshi as they enter a tournament to fight against each other and become the winning victor. The game was created by most of the same team who worked on previously released fighting titles in the Sailor Moon franchise for the Super Famicom at Angel.

References

  1. Sailor Moon Musical, 500kai Kouen Kinen Video
  2. Ninja Yell, a fan tribute musical by Ono Hikari (who is a major cast in the Sailor Moon musicals) contains many jokes referring to Hikari's past musicals. In one of the scenes, where a ninja commented that "it's nice that you (referring to Nao Takagi, the second Sailor Uranus and Ninja Orange) get to see people every spring, summer and winter in the musicals (referring to the Sailor Moon Musical dates matching to the school holidays)
  3. "Sailor Moon Musical Returns After 8 Years With New Cast - Interest - Anime News Network". 2013-06-03. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. "Sailor Moon Musical Gets 1st Overseas Run in Shanghai". Anime News Network . August 21, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  5. Green, Scott (19 January 2015). ""Sailor Moon" Musical Stages Off First Overseas Engagement in Shanghai". Crunchyroll . Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  6. Dar, Taimur (7 December 2018). "SAILOR MOON Musical Fights for Love and Justice on Broadway this March". Comics Beat. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  7. Takeuchi, Naoko (August 1994). Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Volume I Original Picture Collection. Kodansha. ISBN   4-06-324507-1., Naoko Takeuchi quote about it from the artbook: "This is the title page for the conclusion of the first series of Sailor Moon. It had a great deal of impact on the first series. Probably because the four couplings on the right side were very unexpected. I was thinking of love stories of the previous lives of these couples. I'd like to be able to draw that someday..."
  8. Sailor Moon musical, 2000 Last Dracul Jokyoku, after Chou Bi! Uranus to Neptune
  9. Sailor Moon musical, 2001 Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady, after Minna no Ai Kaesanai
  10. Sailor Moon musical, 2001 Transylvania no Mori kaiteiban, during FIRE
  11. Sailor Moon musical, 1996 Sailor Moon SuperS - Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!, after Tuxedo Royal
  12. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-05-25/new-sailor-moon-musical-cast-will-appear-at-usagi-and-chibi-usa-birthday-celebration/.102478
  13. http://sailormoon-official.com/musical/news/amoureternal.php
  14. "Official Cast Revealed for Upcoming 'Sailor Moon' Musical". Ani.me. May 25, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  15. animenewsnetwork. April 10, 2018 [Nogizaka46 Idols' Sailor Moon Musical Reveals Cast, Split Into 2 'Teams' Nogizaka46 Idols' Sailor Moon Musical Reveals Cast, Split Into 2 'Teams'] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved June 20, 2018.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. "Sailor Moon The Super Live Stage Show's AD, Visual Unveiled". animenewsnetwork. June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  17. "Former AKB48 Member Tomomi Kasai To Star In Sailor Moon The Live Show". June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  18. http://sailormoon-official.com/stage/news/musical_0601.php
  19. "The Compleat Sailor Moon CD List". Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  20. Memorial Album of the Musical 6 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” Beginning of the New Legend* Memorial Album of the Musical 7 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” Legend of Kaguya Island* Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Theme Songs 1993~1999* Memorial Album of the Musical 8 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” New / Transformation — The Path to Become the Super Soldier — Overture of Last Dracul
  21. セーラームーン・ミュージカル・ニュース
  22. セーラームーン・ミュージカル・ニュース