Otakon 2015 – Sailor Moon Q&A Panel

Same as Katsucon and many of their events, The Fandom Post has a live stream of the panel and people can send comments and questions which can be answered during the panel. Questions can also be submitted via Twitter with the hashtag, #Moonpanel. Viz definitely don’t do anything by halves! I settled myself in the front row, left of the room, getting a good view of the stage and the projector on the right side. Senior Manager of animation marketing, Charlene Ingram introduced herself and online mediums where we can find all the good Sailor Moon news including Facebook, Twitter, the Viz site and more. Viz definitely have alot of promo marketing for this series including Moonlight parties where they live stream and chat with fans and each other.

They show a video of the past year of Sailor Moon events from the other conventions including Katuscon 2014, Otakon and Anime Expo. They included interviews with fans, cosplayers as well as thoughts of meeting the VAs, the directors and just having fun with everyone. There was special cheers for the stamp rally from 2014.

To the cheers of the crowd and magical music, Lauren Landa, the voice actor for Kaioh Michiru was introduced as well as the legendary Sandy Fox, the voice for Chibiusa. With them onstage, they did cheer of ‘We Love Sailor Moon!’ They started with cast questions.

    What kinds of fun things have you been enjoying at this year’s Otakon?
    Lauren: I have been walking around Baltimore. You have a beautiful city. *audience cheers* You have very delicious seafood. What about you, Sandy?
    Sandy: I went around the harbor last night, did a bit of parascoping. I had a great autograph panel yesterday. Some people bought the Sailor Moon coins and Chibiusa posters. Thank you all for coming.
    Lauren: I signed my first Sailor Moon official poster yesterday!
    Sandy: How did that feel?
    Lauren: I squeed! When a person walked in with a scroll, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, Sailor Moon! She was like ‘I know!’

    Q: What are some of your favorite things abotu the characters you play?
    Lauren: I was a huge fan to start with and not lyig to you guys, Neptune was my favorite. *audience cheers* So I was unbelievably stoked. She is such a fantastic rolemodel and she is so perfect! There is nothing bad about her. She is beautiful, she plays the violin, she is a painter, so artistic and I’m just so excited to play her. I’m also excited to see how Erica [Mendez] sound next to each other. I haven’t heard how we sound next to each other yet so I’m very excited. She is my favorite character.
    Sandy: I’m so excited. I never grew up with Sailor Moon since I’m older then the Sailor Moon franchise. What is amazing is the very first session I was recording Chibiusa, I just had chills. Because I’ve been working in anime for over 20 years, I played alot of amazing cute characters like Sumomo in Chobits *audience cheers* yes, alot of cute characters, but this is something like a dream come true, to play a role like Chibiusa. She is not just a cute character, she has great depth and so much to her story. It is really exciting to play her. It is like Sailor Moon is the ‘Star Wars’ of anime. There are so many primal archetypal characters, they seem to touch millions of people since there is truth in each individual guardian. There is a bit personal truth which touches all of us. It is such an honor to play her and I’m just so excited for the evolution of Chibiusa. I just recorded one episode of Sailor Moon Crystal so I’m looking forward to her evolution, coming to her power.

The MC noted the teary eyed moments of the last episode of Crystal and moved on to special announcements. Some had already been announced at Anime Expo. New cast members for Sailor Moon S:

    Professor Tomoe: Keith Silverstein (also voices Kenji Tsukino)
    Haruka Tenoh: Erica Mendez
    Michiru Kaioh: Lauren Landa
    Hotaru Tomoe: Christine Marie Cabanos
    Setsuna Meioh: Veronica Taylor

The MC noted that Keith just had another baby two days before the con to the cheers of the crowd. They show pics and info about the DVD/Bluray releases. Part 1 was just released on 7/14/15 with a 96 page artbook, dvd, bluray discs with over an hour extra features. Purchases at the Viz Booth would come with the Crystal star coin (not actual size featured on the screen. lol) They also showed the trailer for R which is definitely magical. And they show the clip of Rei singing at the school! Some of the extra features were also shown including cast talks which is always fun.

Part 2 boxart was shown with part 1 with Usagi on her own while part 2 features her friends since the series ‘Is all about friendship.’ Part 2 released in October. New announcement is the gift with purchase artcards set. The front features the heroines while the back features the villans, the Black Moon clan. Limited quantity at Rightstuf and certain retailers.

They noted that there was a print error and noted that some of the reverse covers didn’t have the Black Moon Clan. Those who purchase the set and notices the issue can contact the phone number for a replacement. Those at the con can ask at the Viz booth for the replacement cover.

Plugging events at the booth! There is a ‘Quest for the Time Key’ event where we can save Chibiusa. At the booth, we get a paper tiara and then we can get pins of Luna, Artemis and the time key. Similar to last year, we get a post card to use for the scavenger hunt for the Sailors, only this time, we only need to find 3 of the guardians. For the panel fans, they are giving out the Crystal Star pin at the panel only. Those who ask questions would get the Silver Crystal pin. They had a meta fan moment with talking about too many silver crystals in one place….

Survey winners get tons of awesome merch including the Sailor Moon Pullip, the Crescent moon wand, the Cutie Moon rod, Crystal broach along with the Part 1 of Sailor Moon dvd/bluray set. For this awesome prize pack, there will be one winner online as well as one from the con. Also exclusive at the con is the Sailor Moon t-shirt. Cheesy comment time: “These shirts are so soft, they’re like wearing a hug.” *audience awwws*

Trivia time with the artcard set along with the Silver Cystal pin prizes!

    Q: What is the name of the ending theme of Sailor Moon S?
    A: Tuxedo Mirage.

    Q: What is Uranus’ attack in Sailor Moon S?
    A: *with the movements and sound effects* World Shaking!
    MC: Lauren, did you approve?
    Lauren: I approve! And that is important!

With that, there are more cast questions.

    Q: Who is your favorite character aside from yourself? Why?
    Lauren: I think my favorite is probably…there is two and its a horrible tie. I know it’s going to sound like a cop out, but it’s Sailor Uranus. *audience awwws* I’ll tell you why! Because she is awesome. She is super cool and I feel like if I knew her in real life, I would feel super safe around her. Right?
    Sandy: That’s a hard one. I would have to say with my character Chibiusa, I had an affinity with Pluto. She always felt drawn to her in the series, she always felt passionate towards her. I really liked her. I loved Black Lady, I loved playing Black Lady. *audience cheers* She is overcome with that darkness and doubt and those negative energies. It happens to all of us in life but we get to see her transformation to her character.
    Lauren: Honestly, Sailor Pluto is also a favorite. She is the most mature out of all the girls. She has the most difficult job out of all the girls and it’s very sad and lonely that she had to do. She is left alone at the gate of time for song and she is so good at what she does, protecting Time and she is also incredibly beautiful. It’s just so sad and she is an awesome character. I love Pluto as well.

Charlene plugged the streaming of Sailor Moon R, noting that Sandy’s Chibiusa/Black Lady voice is featured. Sandy noted that she saw it with Amanda and others at the last Moonlight Party. Charlene explained that it is a youtube event where VAs call in and they watch the episode together. ‘It’s a large slumber party, we eat pizza and watch a whole bunch of Sailor Moon.’ Q&A are also available as well as prizes.

    Q: What do you feel is the most inspiring thing about the series?
    Lauren: When I used to watch the show and even now with a heavy female cast, every single person in the show is a great person, is a great role model for everybody. You see all of the things all the things the characters are going through. There is always something you can relate to each character. I think that is so incredibly special that when you can’t relate to Rei, you can relate to Usagi. Or you can relate to Ami. That is what is so amazing about this show is that you can relate to someone in some way. I think they are such perfect characters.
    Sandy: They’re human. I think the human aspect represents some part of us. We connect with that, some part of our lives. The beauty of the show is promoting unity, working together. That our power is strong together and we can overcome great obstacles together. It is very inspiring and a great message of hope. I think that coming together and doing things together in that sacred friendship is really powerful. Because when you think about it in life, the most important thing on your death bed is who your relationships were, your friends and family. That is greatest things that matter since we can’t take our possessions with us or who we are in the world. It’s who we connect with. The greatest is our friendships.

    Q: What is your favorite thing about the >Sailor Moon fan events?
    Lauren: I was a huge fan of the show, I can relate to everyone in the audience. When Char played the outer theme music, I rock out to that music everytime I hear it, it’s awesome. I just love nerding out on the show. It’s Sailor Moon right? We love Sailor Moon. It’s awesome meeting you all and it’s great being a part of this. So happy to be a part of it.
    Sandy: I have to say the same thing. I think there is a great energy around this community of Sailor Moon. I think it’s an aspect that brings everyone together. It’s a beautiful, loving, heart energy. It’s such an honor to be a part of it and breathe life to Chibiusa for this series and the new series, Crystal and the reboot, and see how it touches everyone. I’m so happy to be here and be a part of the Sailor Moon community.
    Lauren: I can’t imagine anyone else’s Chibiusa.
    Sandy: Thank you!

The conversation turned towards Sailor Moon Crystal which just wrapped on at 26 episodes. It can be viewed on Neon Alley and Hulu in Japanese with English subtitles. They spoke about crying during the last episode, especially during the Moonlight Party. Sandy suggested wearing ‘moon mascara which doesn’t run.’ No details no the physical releases, but they assured the fans that the blurays will be from the Japanese bluray masters. (No, color debacle from the first set releases.) The trailer for the Crystal series was shown.

They show the dub clip for episode 1 of Crystal. The clip features Usagi meeting Luna up to Usagi introducing her classmates. (Umino’s voice…is very forced. Otherwise, the other voices are more natural and realistic.) Charlene plugged the manga from Kodansha since the Crystal releases are closer in storyline and style to the original manga releases.

Trivia x2!

    Q: Name the talisman of Sailor Uranus!
    A: Space Sword

    Q: What is Sailor Moon first attack with the Spiral Heart Moon Rod?
    A: Moon Spiral Heart Attack

    Q: *Nightmare mode question* What is the name of the theme song for the 90’s Sailor Moon musical?
    A: La Soldier

The song is also sung by Tommy Heavenly6, played in Sailor Moon R episode 88 is also available on the Sailor Moon memorial soundtrack on itunes. Convention swag! While supplies last, there is a heavy duty canvus bag with Sailor Moon purchases.

For those who want to share their moonlight memories as special features, send them to moonlightmemories at Viz.com. the attention turned to a few fan questions.

    Q: Growing up in 90’s, the saddest thing is not having Sailor Moon be dubbed. Will it be dubbed this time?
    A: Yes, we’re doing all the 200 episodes, movies and specials. Since we only just started recording Crystal and S, there will be a little before we get to Stars.

    Q: I know that the Dic dub is hated by fans, but will it still be released?
    A: Previous releases will not be available, only the true uncut, unedited version will be out. We all have feels for the 90’s but it is just not available.

    Q: Since many people are dubbing both Crystal and the original dub, are there anyone who isn’t dubbing both?
    A: Yes, everyone is returning for Sailor Moon Crystal. If you notice, even the monster of the day is the same. It just has a different writing team so it has a different writing style.
    Sandy: I only did one episode of Crystal but alot of the others already did multiple episodes. Many others have said that the tone is different. Like she said, it is more elegant with a different approach.

    Q: Have you seen Sailor Moon fanart?
    Sandy:I have seen most incredible fanart in the artist alley. I love fanart.
    Lauren: I have only seen fanart and it’s beautiful.

    Q: *cosplaying Mistress 9* 90’s Chibiusa was very annoying, but I really enjoyed your Tachikoma. Who is the most annoying character?
    Lauren: For me, it was at times, it was Rei because she was so mean to Usagi. ‘I love you, but why do you have to be so mean?’ What about you, Sandy?
    Sandy: Some of the villans… I had to voice Beporo the clown villan and all she could say was ‘beporo, beporo, beporo’ so that was pretty annoying.

    Q: What is your favorite attack of the character you are not playing?
    Lauren: I kinda fibbed on my favorite character because it is not just one. I really like all of Jupiter’s attacks because she is also a fav. ‘Sparkling Wide Pressure’ I think it is. I love her elements because it is thunder and lightning, I think that is awesome.
    Sandy: I love ‘Bubbles Spray’ that is my favorite.

A fan shared that she met Lauren at Zenkaikon and heard Lauren comment about her longing to be Neptune and was so happy that she got the part.

    Lauren: At that time I didn’t know! It was a long time, March so I’m so happy.

    Q: If you ever attend a con on your own, would you ever consider cosplaying as the characters you’re voicing?
    Lauren: Oh yeah!
    Sandy: I don’t think I’ll ever cosplay as Chibiusa, but I’ll definitely cosplay as Black Lady. *audience cheers* *lowers voice* You need to hear my lower when I say that.
    Lauren: Any chance to change my hair color without dying it? I’ll totally do it. A friend of mine had these long green extensions. I’m not wearing them today but I’ll wear them tomorrow as a tribute to Neptune.

    Q: Of all the merchandise that was released for Sailor Moon, which is your favorite?
    Lauren: Actually, I’m wearing it right now, it’s Neptune’s lip rod and it’s a necklace from Kumacraft. It’s a fanpiece and it’s beautiful and I love support artists that create jewelry or costumes. There are some chibi Neptune figures and I love them.
    Sandy: I got the Chibi Black Lady which is very cute. I love the moon stick which is cute and lights up.

    Q: I didn’t grow up with the series, but I have a 5 year old daughter who I’m watching Crystal with. This medium is such a great role model and inspiration for her. This is great to give it to her and it wouldn’t be possible without your work on the series. Do you have any advice for parents who grow up with this current generation?
    Lauren: Encourage your child to be happy with who they are. Let them know it’s okay to be true to yourself.
    Sandy: And acceptance of others, those different from you. We’re different, but we’re all part of the same. Keep watching it with your daughter, it’s amazing so that if she has any questions, she can ask you.
    Fan: we have Sailor Moon sundays.

    Q: What is your least favorite character and why?
    Lauren: Um…I don’t know, Sandy?
    Sandy: Wiseman, I don’t like him.
    Lauren: Queen Beryl! She is too evil.

At the end of the panel, I found okaifern sitting at the front row on the side while kero and 801megane emerged from the back. They were giving out Sailor Moon R posters made from hard cardstock at the panel, really good material which is perfect for framing.