Sailor Moon musicals
Flyer from the 2004 Musical
The Sailor Moon musicals (セーラームーン・ミュージカル Sērāmūn Myūjikaru?), commonly referred to as SeraMyu (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 producers generally follow and expand upon plot concepts presented in the anime and manga, however there are also several original plot lines.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Musicals
- 3 New characters
- 4 Musical albums
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The series was staged by a division of the Japanese entertainment company Bandai and generally ran three times a year to match with the holidays of Japanese schools. It became the practise that in the winter the only venue for would be the Sunshine Theatre in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo; however in the summer it would also tour the larger cities in Japan.
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" with the final performance, and the series then entered into, what BMO (the official fan club) called, a "short hiatus",
In June 2013, Takeuchi's editor Fumio Osano, revealed that a new Sailor Moon musical would open in September 2013. It is said that Takeuchi personally auditioned actresses for the cast. The musical 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. This is the first time that all characters are played by women.
The musical, named La Reconquista is a new story, recounting the battles between the Sailor Guardians and the Dark Kingdom over the search for the Silver Crystal.
Takuya Hiramitsu (SeraMyu Director from 1995 to 1998) produced, wrote, and directed the new musical with music by Toshihiko Sahashi, and Dwango and Nelke Planning co-producing the musical's run from September 13 to 23 at Shibuya's AiiA Theater Tokyo. Tickets were ¥6800 ($54.81) each.
In April 2014 a new musical,Petite Étrangère, was reported based on Sailor Moon R, it ran again at AiiA Theater Tokyo from August 21 to August 31, 2014, before moving to Osaka for performances from September 5 to September 7.
In August 2014, it was announced that a version of Petite Étrangère would be staged in Shanghai, China, in the January of 2015. Opening on 16 January at the Shanghai Theatre Academy Theatre for a run of five performances, it marked the first time that an official Japanese production of Sailor Moon musical opened outside of Japan.
The musicals have a few elements in common: a theme song, usually used in battle when the Sailor Soldiers defeat the antagonist; sight gags (characters in drag, puns, etc.); and songs generally tailored for the same characters or groupings of characters: romance songs between Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba, outer Sailor Soldier attack songs, Sailor Soldier civilian songs, and villain songs.
"Revised Versions" are another major aspect of Sailor Moon musicals. Generally new musicals are staged in the summer and then are revised for the winter. Major plot elements stay the same but tend to be more fleshed out in revised versions. Parts of the show are generally rearranged; villains who were only partially defeated in the original version of the show are fully defeated or healed, and actresses who are "graduating" (leaving the show) are often given more solo parts or speaking lines.
In the musicals, the producers generally follow and expand upon plot concepts presented in the anime and manga. For example, a collective romance between the four Sailor Soldiers and the Shitennō from former lives was taken from a manga image picturing the two groups paired off in romantic couples. In addition to borrowing from the anime and manga versions of Sailor Moon, the musical series also has two mostly original plot lines: The Legend of Kaguya Island (Kaguya Shima Densetsu?) and the Last Dracul series.
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. Only Usagi transforms on stage. This is done with the help of a body double and the "black out" of part of the stage or set pieces moving in front of her while the actors switch places. 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.
Most shows end with an extended curtain call, especially if an actress was "graduating", during which a number of songs are performed as fan service. These songs, such as "Moonlight Densetsu" and "La Soldier", are fan favourites which would not otherwise make sense appearing in the show. The fankan deriving from "fan thankyou" were special shows, composed mostly of fan service numbers, they were used as season finales, to introduce new shows and to introduce new actresses to the audience.
"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.
Featuring Anza Ohyama as Sailor Moon:
- 1993 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen (外伝 ダーク・キングダム復活篇?)
- 1994 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen (Kaiteiban) (外伝 ダーク・キングダム復活篇（改訂版）?)
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Super Spring Festival
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Super Spring Festival (スーパースプリングフェスティバル 美少女戦士セーラームーン ?)
- 1994 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S
- Usagi - Ai no Senshi e no Michi (うさぎ・愛の戦士への道?)
- 1995 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S
- Henshin - Super Senshi e no Michi (変身・スーパー戦士への道?)
- 1995 Spring Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S
- Henshin - Super Senshi e no Michi (Kaiteiban) (変身・スーパー戦士への道（改訂版）?)
- 1995 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS
- Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... (夢戦士・愛・永遠に...?)
- 1996 Spring Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS (Kaiteiban)
- Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen! (夢戦士・愛・永遠に...サターン復活篇!?)
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS Special Musical Show
- 1996 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
- 1997 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (Kaiteiban)
- 1997 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Eien Densetsu (永遠伝説?)
- 1998 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Eien Densetsu (Kaiteiban) (永遠伝説［改訂版］?) The Final First Stage!!
Featuring Fumina Hara as Sailor Moon:
- 1998 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Shin - Densetsu Kourin (新・伝説光臨?)
- 1999 Spring Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Kaguya Shima Densetsu (かぐや島伝説?)
- 1999 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Kaguya Shima Densetsu (Kaiteiban) Natsuyasumi! Houseki Tankentai (かぐや島伝説＜改訂版＞夏休み!宝石探検隊?)
Featuring Miyuki Kanbe as Sailor Moon:
- 2000 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- 2000 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- 2001 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- 2001 Spring Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
Featuring Marina Kuroki as Sailor Moon:
- 2001 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady (～誕生！暗黒のプリンセス ブラック・レディ～?)
- 2002 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady [Kaiteiban] -Wakusei Nemesis no Nazo- (誕生！暗黒のプリンセス ブラック・レディ［改訂版］～惑星ネメシスの謎～?)
- 2002 Spring Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon "10th Anniversary Festival"
- 2002 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Mugen Gakuen -Mistress Labyrinth- (無限学園～ミストレス・ラビリンス～?)
- 2003 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Mugen Gakuen -Mistress Labyrinth- Kaiteiban (無限学園～ミストレス・ラビリンス～改訂版?)
- 2003 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Starlights - Ryuusei Densetsu (スターライツ・流星伝説?)
- 2004 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin (火球王妃降臨?) THE SECOND STAGE FINAL
Continuing to feature Marina Kuroki as Sailor Moon:
- 2004 Summer Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- ~Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu~ (～新かぐや島伝説～?) NEW LEGEND OF KAGUYA ISLAND
- 2005 Winter Special Musical Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu (Kaiteiban) (新かぐや島伝説（改訂版?) MARINAMOON FINAL
20th Anniversary Stage
Featuring Satomi Ōkubo as Sailor Moon:
- 2013 20th Anniversary Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon:
- La Reconquista
- 2014 Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon:
- Petite Étrangère
- 2015 Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (Shanghai):
- Petite Étrangère
- 2015 Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon:
- Un Nouveau Voyage
The musicals introduce new characters to the series. Some of them are new members of groups of villains, such as Spotted Tilmun, Aron and Mana in the Black Moon Clan, or Sailors Pewter Fox, Titanium Kerokko, Theta and Buttress in Shadow Galactica. There are, however, original characters that have never appeared neither in the manga nor in the anime, and the never belonged to any existing group. Below is an incomplete list of these characters.
Sailor Astarte appears in only one musical and its revision as her true self, Transylvania no Mori. She first appears in the musical as a shy transfer student from Transylvania. Her civilian name is Sheba (commonly subtitled as "Shiva") Shingetsu Astarte. A nod at the Queen of Sheba, fitting in with the name origins of her partner Lilith of Darkness. Her mother is part Phoenician, and used to live somewhere in the Mediterranean sea, explaining the origin of her name. Her name is immediately complimented by Usagi and is invited to study for the English test at Hikawa Shrine. When Sheba leaves, Hotaru commented that "this person's shadow sometimes disappears."
During a fight between the Sailor Soldiers and Baron Gilles de Rais, Sailor Astarte appears to rescue the fallen Sailor Soldiers as well as injuring Baron Gilles de Rais and breaking the Samael Sword in the process. She regards the Sailor Soldiers as "pitiful." Sometime later during a Sabbat Feast, while the Sailor Soldiers were trapped by Lilith, Sheba used one of Lilith's chants to call upon the power of Samael and free them, immediately after however, Sheba loses control and Dark Cain emerges, warning Lilith to be careful of the "other Vulcan."
Sheba has three personalities residing in her, knowing there was a matter of time before Cain took over.
- Astarte the Phoenician goddess Astarte who is a wild card during the musical. Her great powers would either help Lilith of Darkness or aid the Sailor Soldiers. She is convinced by Lilith however, that together they will create a new world of equality and will no longer be subservient to men. Astarte is from where Cain wants to obtain power and obtain Astarte's body. This was seemingly achieved during a Sabbat Feast in Transylvania.
- Dark Cain is the brother of Count Dracul, and is the first murderer of Earth. Once Astarte's powers begin to wane, he eventually takes over the conscious and becomes the Sailor Soldiers' enemy. His only known attack is "Cain the Dark." He later manages to procure a body of his own and leaves Astarte. Dark Cain possessed Lilith of Darkness to aid her into destroying Sheba's conscious and replace it with the goddess Astarte's to use her powers. He succeeded at this though he was ejected from the body by Sailor Moon.
- Sailor Astarte calls herself "the tenth Sailor Soldier, from the other side of the sun." She seems like a determined and strong character in this form; not scared at all and very bold. Sailor Astarte's attacks are "Solomon Jihad" and "Solomon Versus". On her first appearance she appeared while she was under her goddess personality and was merely attacking the Samael Sword rather than aiding the Sailor Soldiers. However, the second time she was under Sheba's control where she was making a conscious attempt to save Sailor Moon from Lilith.
Sailor Astarte was apparently killed despite the efforts of Vulcan after her purification by Sailor Moon.
Sheba has been portrayed in the musicals by Aya Hosoda.
Vulcan is the entity who tries to help the Sailor Soldiers. Her motive is revealed in the musical, Last Dracul Saishuu Shou. There it is revealed she is the good side of the planet Vulcan, which was torn in two.
Bloody Dracul Vampir
Bloody Dracul Vampir (ブラッディ・ドラクル・ヴァンピール Bloody Dracul Vampir?) (commonly subtitled as Vampiru) is a character from the Sailor Moon musicals. She appears in Transylvania no Mori, its revision and Chou Wakusei Death Vulcan no Fuuin. She is mentioned in passing in the prior musical but does not appear and her name here is stated to be Bloody Vampir Dracul once, though later she is referred to as normal. She is the daughter of Dracul, a vampire, and Le Fay, a human woman. Because of this she is a vampire yet unable to drink human blood and also the only one able to truly destroy a vampire; both of these are minor plot points. She is also able to turn a vampire back into human, as she does with Sailors Uranus, Mars, and Jupiter.
When Vampir first appears in Transylvania no Mori, she is an antagonist, allying herself with Lillith of Darkness, and is out for revenge on the Sailor Soldiers for killing her father. She also seeks the Silver Crystal in order to revive her mother. Despite this she dislikes her father, because she believes he allowed her mother to kill herself. When the true cause of her mother's death (Le Fey's own father killing her for falling in love with a vampire), and that Dracul is still alive are both revealed, she switches sides and aids the Sailor Soldiers in the fight with Dark Cain and Death Vulcan, even fighting alongside them in battle.
In Transylvania no Mori her she is dressed in a black robe or dress and a black cloak, the latter which has a multicolored border. In her appearance in Chou Wakusei Death Vulcan no Fuuin she's wearing more modern clothing, namely a pair of jeans T-shirt, T-shirt (possibly long sleeved) and a jacket. In either outfit only her head and hands are actual viable. Her physical traits remain the same however, being pale with long red hair that reaches the middle of her back.
Despite living in Transylvania she speaks perfect Japanese the entire musical.
Vampir is only played by Hikari Ono.
Count Bloody Dracul
Count Bloody Dracul is first introduced as an antagonist. Undead Berserk and Death Lamia ask for his help to defeat the Sailor Soldiers but he secretly works to undermine them and steal the Samael Flasks and the resulting homunculi for his own so his daughter can drink their blood. He does so by freeing Chibiusa and Hotaru, and by secretly turning one of the Death Nightmares, Mamoru and Miciru into vampires and using them against the Sailor Soldiers and other villains. He lives in a castle located in Shizen Park and apparently works as a magician.
He states he is the basis for the story of Dracula, and it is later revealed he is the Biblical Abel who became a vampire after being struck down by Cain after God chose Abel's sword over his. Despite being the basis for vampire myths, traditional methods of killing a vampire—a cross, stake though the heart, garlic, and being exposed to sunlight—don't work. Humorously, the Sailor Soldiers also try milk and a mirror, which also don't work.
In the first musical he is struck by Berserk's "Samael Jihad" attack when he jumps in front of Sailor Moon; it is assumed he died but in the next musical it is revealed he was merely banished to the underworld and returns at the end of the first half of the musical. He then spends much of the musical recovering in his coffin.
He is played by Yuuta Mochizuki, who previously played Mamoru.
Death Lamia makes her first and only appearance in Last Dracul as an antagonist (and seems to have replaced the role of Kaolinite from the original First Stage Musical, though their personalities and aspirations wildly differ), a female who was unable to decide between her own lust for blood and her memories of her pre-vampire life. Through the musical, she allies with Undead Berserk, though she makes it perfectly clear that she detests him and convinces Count Dracul into creating a new race of humans called "Homunculi," as the blood and spirit of the current humans had become polluted in recent years. After her final confrontation with Sailor Moon, Lamia on her own accord decided what she had been doing was the work of the Devil and abandoned the vampire cause, fleeing after telling the Sailor Soldiers that she was unable to help them stop Undead Berserk; she was not seen or heard from again but a passing reference in the next musical by Elizabeth Bathory implied she had abandoned Death Vulcan altogether, Elizabeth stated that "traitors like Lamia deserve to be burnt to death," implying that Lamia was still alive somewhere.
- “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S” Musical Theme Songs: La Soldier / Sailor War!
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: An Alternate Legend: The Dark Kingdom Revival Story
- Memorial Album of the Musical 2 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S”: Usagi — The Path to Become the Soldier of Love
- Memorial Album of the Musical 3 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS”: Dream Warriors — Love — Into Eternity…
- Memorial Album of the Musical 4 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailor Stars”
- Memorial Album of the Musical 5 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” Eternal Legend
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: ~ Best Sound Track ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Best Songs Collection — Best Songs Chosen by Fans —
- Memorial Album of the Musical 9 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” Decisive Battle / Transylvania's Forest ~ New Appearance! The Warriors Who Protect Chibi-Moon ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: ~ Best Sound Track Vol. 2 ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Eternal Edition — Senshi Theme Songs + Karaoke Collection
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Love Ballad Edition
- Memorial Album of the Musical 10 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” ~ Birth! The Princess of Darkness Black Lady ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Dark Side Edition: Best Songs
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Eternal Edition 2 — Birth! Princess of Darkness Black Lady [Revision] ~ The Secret of the Planet Nemesis ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical 11 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” Infinity Academy ~ Mistress Labyrinth ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Eternal Edition 3 — “10th Anniversary” Sailor Moon to Issho ni Pretty Child — Infinity Academy ~ Mistress Labyrinth ~ Revision
- Memorial Album of the Musical 12 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” ~ Starlights — Legend of the Shooting Stars ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: ~ Best Sound Track Vol. 3 ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical 13 “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” ~ New Legend of Kaguya Island ~
- Memorial Album of the Musical “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon”: Eternal Edition 4 — MARINAMOON Special Edition — New Legend of Kaguya Island (Revision) MARINAMOON FINAL
|This section requires expansion. (July 2008)|
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. 25,208 people attended its revised edition, which had 35 separate performances.
- Sailor Moon Musical, 500kai Kouen Kinen Video
- 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 "its 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 Musicals dates matching to the school holidays)
- "Sailor Moon Musical Returns After 8 Years With New Cast - Interest - Anime News Network". 2013-06-03. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "Sailor Moon Musical Gets 1st Overseas Run in Shanghai". Anime News Network. August 21, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
- Green, Scott (19 January 2015). ""Sailor Moon" Musical Stages Off First Overseas Engagement in Shanghai". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- 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..."
- Sailor Moon musical, 2000 Last Dracul Jokyoku, after Chou Bi! Uranus to Neptune
- Sailor Moon musical, 2001 Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady, after Minna no Ai Kaesanai
- Sailor Moon musical, 2001 Transylvania no Mori kaiteiban, during FIRE
- Sailor Moon musical, 1996 Sailor Moon SuperS - Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!, after Tuxedo Royal
- "The Compleat Sailor Moon CD List". Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
- 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
- Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews by Fred Patten. page 84
- Official Site
- Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Stage Official Site
- Labyrinthine plot complicates fun musical.