Otakon 2016 – Sailor Moon Viz panel

Prior to the start of the panel, they show the trailers for Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon Crystal. It is interesting to see the trailers back to back and being able to compare the new and old series. Though the voice actors are the same, the feel of the series is very different. Even looking at the trailers really hyped up the crowd who cheered for their favorite moments on the screen.

To get us hyped up even more, there was a sing along for Moonlight Densetsu with the cosplayers. Time to pull out the lyrics via phone!

A familiar face, the Senior Manager of animation marketing, Charlene Ingram was the usual host with her brand of sparkles and fun. Ingram highlighted some of the special helpers of the panel including the ACParadise cosplayers and hinted at some of the events over the weekend at the booth.

She plugged the original 200 episodes of Sailor Moon streaming now on Viz.com (including the never before official subtitles of Stars), the dubbed versions of episodes 1-89 as well as episodes 1-26 of Sailor Moon Crystal subbed and dubbed.

The special punch card event at the booth (which has become a fav event at cons,) features finding 4 of the guardians at any given time. The prize is a limited event only Moon Chalice water bottle that comes in pink and white. Two versions, with opportunities to get both if you play twice. Aside from the water bottle, there are posters, postcards and the Viz Anniversary prize wheel to spin for prizes. With any purchase at the booth, Viz came out with their specialty Sailor Moon bag which is a must for collectors. Another must is the return of the Sailor Moon t-shirts for the S series featuring the transformation pens of all the guardians. “So soft, it’s like wearing a hug.”

A video of the special events at Anime Expo was shown which always makes me smile. Got to give props for showcasing the fans from the different cons and sharing the feels from series.

Accompanied with their cosplay counterparts, Lauren Landa (Sailor Neptune,) Robbie Daymond (Tuxedo Mask) and Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon) came onstage. Lauren opened by presenting Stephanie with a Sailor Moon beanie which she wore for the panel.

Charlene opened by asking what they have been doing at the con thus far. Second year guest Robbie promptly stated that he has been catching up on sleeping before continuing on to attending promo stuff, adding that this was his first panel of the con. Third time guest, Stephanie echoed Robbie in that this was her first panel, she got to see cosplayers and shared her sentiments with seeing familiar faces at these events. Stephanie also shared her crab cake story. Otakon has crabcakes for the guests at the reception before the con and Stephanie continuously has missed eating them since she was late. She added that last time, she managed to arrive near the reception but was told that “Vic Mignonga ate them all”. *audience laughs* Stephanie happily annnounced that she got crabcakes this time. Lauren quipped that she hadn’t eaten crabcakes yet.

Robbie started chatting about Pokemon Go and announced that he was Team Mystic to the cheers of the audience. Charlene spoke about hunting for Magicarp and declaring herself Team Instinct.

The conversation turned back to Sailor Moon related topics with asking the cast to share about their characters.

    Q: Could you tell us a little about your part or character?

Lauren stated that Michiru is an Outer guardian and is described as “the perfect woman”. “She is intelligent, she is beautiful, she is incredibly graceful, an artist, a violinist with a gentle heart.”

Robbie brought on the laughs as he introduced Mamoru as “a useless pretty boy”. “Mamoru Chiba aka. Tuxedo Mask aka. Prince Endymion aka. a bunch of other stuff.” Robbie spoke about the fun of playing this teenage guy who teases a girl but then is also theatrical male “who spouts poetry every episode and than goes, ‘you handle everything.'” *audience laughs* He added that Mamoru is his first major anime debut role, the first he auditioned for and it’s close to his heart.

“Not the perfect woman.” was how Stephanie described Usagi. “Though she is the perfect woman for someone.” *audience laughs* Stephanie continues noting that Usagi has a healthy appetite, does not like to study and may even have difficulty studying if she tries. “Very klutzy but has a good heart. Doesn’t take no for an answer.” Stephanie noted that Sailor Moon tries very hard. Charlene added that “You don’t have to be perfect to save the universe.”

    Q: What do you like about the other characters?

Lauren shared that what she likes most about Usagi is that beyond the klutzy girl on the surface, she has a wonderful heart. “She really is the perfect person to save the world.” She adds that she also likes the Princess Serenity and Neo Queen Serenity personas. “Neo Queen Serenity is more sophisticated, mature version of Usagi.” Stephanie quips, “I don’t quite know how she gets there.” “Princess lessons.” When Lauren started to say “Tuxedo Mask”, Robbie sat up straighter to the laughter of the audience. Lauren had to pause. “He can pull off a tuxedo.” *audience laughs* She notes that she is a fan of Mamoru in Crystal with his character development. “He is also in some cases, a good boyfriend.”

Robbie opened with “I like that Sailor Neptune is a ficitional lead character in the the Sailor Moon media franchise….” only to reveal that he was reading from the wikipedia page. *fans laugh* He notes that he hasn’t interacted with Michiru that much on the show. However, what he really enjoyed was that during the Anime Expo event, he got to see the S episode backstory of Haruka and Michiru. He didn’t know that they were going to watch it and was reall ‘riveted’ to the 22 minute episode. “What a great, progressive love story to be coming out in the 90’s.” He spoke about how great the two characters are, watching each other’s back. “It’s almost as if you don’t need the backstory, but seeing it, made me really like the characters alot.” Turning to Stephanie, Robbie noted that Usagi was his “ideal girl.” *collective awww*

Stephanie shared that what she likes about Michiru is that she very cool, calm and collected. She compared that to the “inner guardians who spend alot of time freaking out, outers do not freak out.” They are able to handle everything which is something that she admires. For Tuxedo Mask, “Who doesn’t love a man of mystery?” Robbie started pantomiming. “The mask, the cape, don’t know where he comes from….” Stephanie continues quipping. “I don’t know how your guardian blooms year round….” Lauren alludes to the S movie, stating that she can’t wait to hear Tuxedo Mask saying “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” as Santa Claus.

Charlene plugged the Sailor Moon R BD and DVD set available at the Viz booth over the weekend before she moved on to trivia.

    Q: What is the name of Usagi’s compact in Sailor Moon S?
    A: Cosmic Heart Compact

    Q: What is the title of the main ending theme of Sailor Moon S?
    A: Tuxedo Mirage

    Q: Who is Minako’s guardian kitty?
    A: Artemis

Early release of Sailor Moon Crystal set is available at the booth along with the sun catcher. The trailer of the first season was shown.

A clip of the unboxing was also shown along with the subtitled trailer of Sailor Moon Crystal season 3.

Charlene also plugged the original manga by Takeuchi Naoko-sensei available at the Dealer’s Room (Kodansha booth) along with the promo postcard at the Viz booth.

More cast questions!

    Q: What was it like to record Sailor Moon Crystal?

Charlene noted that the voice actors record Crystal after voicing their 90’s counterparts. Stephanie noted that it was challenging since it was the same but different. “The artstyle was different. The voice that I had established didn’t seem like it would come out of that face.” Stephanie noted that although Usagi was still a ‘spazz’, she made her less of a spazz, toning it down and pulling it back. She spoke about recording both Crystal as well as the classic series in the same sessions which meant that she had to redo some lines several times to get the right feel.

Robbie agreed, adding that he really needed to depend on the director. He added that he also had to understand more of the scene of what is going on. Although the characters are who they are, “if you drop a character into a different style, you have the change the performance or it doesn’t work.” He noted that Crystal has alot less poetry for Tuxedo Mask and it’s “less silly.”

Charlene mentioned that both series have two different writers since the tone is completely different. She refers to Crystal as ‘calming’ and praised the voice actors for bringout the nuances appropriately.

    Q: What were your favorite scenes in Sailor Moon Crystal?

Stephanie shared that she likes the scene when she met Luna the first time. She added that she was amazed when they discovered the underground headquarters. “That’s why they’re always at the same arcade!” Robbie lamented not being a part of the group. “Why wasn’t I invited to the girls-only secret arcade?” Robbie shared that he really like the back story for Mamoru, “when he sits up sweaty in bed with no shirt on.” *audience laughs* “Who is this kid that seems to live by himself but he is only in highschool…where does he get all his dry cleaning money from for his tuxedo?” He refers to the backstory as Batman-esque and notes that Mamoru has the backstory in the original series, but it’s 50-60 episodes in and it’s glossed over. Robbie appreciated having the backstory so early in Crystal so he can understand more of his character. “It’s a sad back story and it kind of explains why he is such a jerk to Usagi sometimes.”

Charlene brings up Tuxedo Mask’s attack in Crystal. “I do get an attack in Crystal. It’s super lame and I love it.” *audience laughs*

    Q: Lauren, how does it feel to be a part of the cast of Sailor Moon?

Charlene noted that Lauren was one of the newest members in Sailor Moon, and she has not recorded Crystal yet though she did finish with S already. Laruen shared that it was the first anime that she ever watched and was a fan of the show. Neptune became her favorite character and playing the character is a dream role. Lauren shared her enjoyment of being part of the cast of talented people and being able to experience attending panels and cons with people she enjoy working with. Even a year in, Lauren noted that the concept of voicing Neptune has not really sank in.

Stephanie noted that being the lead character didn’t really hit her until later on when she was walking her dog. “I was just walking my dog when, ‘I’m the voice of Sailor Moon.’ Huh? I looked at my dog and he was like *makes doggie face* Ippudo doesn’t give a crap.” *audience laughs* Stephanie noted that she usually voices quirky supporting characters and not so much in the lead. Stephanie digressed into thinking she may be in another dimention and voicing another guardian before coming to terms with voicing the character.

Lauren noted that she hopes to reach that realization, “But I don’t have a dog.” Stephanie immediately jumps in. “You’re going to get a dog and everything will come together.” “Can I borrow Ippudo? He is adorable.” *audience laughs*

    Q: Lauren, what have been your favorite scenes to work on?

Lauren shared that she enjoyed working on the backstory episode in S. “When we were able to watch it at Anime Expo, it was just so beautifully done and I was so happy with how it came out.” Lauren described the story as beautiful and added that Neptune and Uranus were being badasses during the episode. She describes them as cool and collected and noted that when she was younger, “I wanted to be them when I grow up.” She adds that there are many emotional scenes and there is one in particular (which she won’t spoil) which is a favorite of hers since it goes into their relationship.

    Q: Lauren, who is your favorite character that’s not your own character?

Lauren laments over the question. “Tuxedo Moon. That’s a character right?” *audience laughs* Robbie quips, “I’m sure that’s out on Deviant Art somewhere.” Lauren reveals, “When I was younger, my favorite character was Jupiter.” *fans cheer*

    Q: What parts of Sailor Moon are you looking forward to recording?

Charlene reminds the panelist of Tuexedo in a Santa suit. Robbie laughs, “You already stole me answer! *in Santa voice* Merry Christmas!” Robbie asks if he gets to be King Endymion again, he would like those parts. He adds that he doesn’t know the story arc very well. Stephanie saids she is looking forward to Stars the most. Robbie asks, “Where the dudes transform into ladies? Me too! That’s awesome! Can I be one of them?” *audience laughs* Lauren adds on to the Stars season, “I’m looking forward to Michiru flirting and making Uranus jealous.”

Charlene brings on more trivia and prizes.

    Q: What does Usagi say to turn into Super Sailor Moon?
    A: Crisis Make Up!

    Q: What is Sailor Neptune’s main attack in Sailor Moon S?
    A: Deep Submerge

Some of the fans shouted out their answers as their characters. Robbie asks if the fan saids ‘Deep Submerge’ every time he steps into the bathtub. *audience laughs* Charlene turns the mic over the fans.

    Q: What is your favorite villain? Especially Robbie’s since you’re going to spend time them.
    Stephanie: Queen Beryl, she is like the lead boss.
    Lauren: That’s tough. I really like the four generals. Also, the Black Moon family. From the original, although they’re not technically villains, the Makai tree arc.
    Robbie: I like the monster that looks like a tennis shoe. *audience laughs* Yeah, Tennis Shoe monster. I like the Wise Man since he is a scary villain. He is a giant nemesis planet that wants to kill us all. That is a scary, scary villain. That is a scary arc and I like my villains to be legit. But I like the tennis shoe lady.
    Stephanie: I also like the professor.
    Lauren: Oh wow, the professor is an awesome villain. I can’t believe I forgot about him.
    Charlene: As for me, Nehelenia.

    Q: How do you prepare for voice acting when you are sick
    Robbie: I cancelled two days worth of sessions for the first time in seven years. It was the first time I ever called out. I definitely gone when I was sick. It’s tough when your nose is stuffed up, you’re pretty much done for. There is nothing that can be done when your nose is stuffed up and you lose all your resonance. Sore throat, there are things you can do. There is a ginsing honey herb that you add to your tea that’s really good for you. Good old fashion things like your mom said, lots of rest and plenty of fluids. Some voice actors get really bad who have huge parts, they’ll get steroid injections and take baths.
    Stephanie: The baths are really for throat problems.
    Robbie: Yeah, when you’re sick, you go in sick. You have to work sick.
    Stephanie: Typically when you feel the baddest, you actually sound okay. You know when you get sick and it’s the tail end of the cold, you start getting congestion but you feel fine, it lasts for two weeks for a few months (which happened to Kate [Higgins] one time), you pretty much sound the same. The main is to don’t get sick. Whenever we travel, I always take a bunch of vitamins, supplements because I’m always meeting people. If you feel like you’re coming down with something, it’ll be nicer if you don’t go in for a hug out of respect because it’s bad if we go back sick. Usually, I’ll call in and tell them I’m sick but I’m coming and they can decide if they will let me go for that day or not. For congestion, I’ll take a decongestion, I’ll do steam and hot baths. Congestion is your body creating mucus to fight off the germs. Even if you get it out of your system and you’re clear, it only lasts for 10 minutes and it starts building back up again.
    Robbie: There is something that pushes water in one side and sucks it out the other side. It’s awesome! You should just buy one for the experience!

The conversation divulged into water safety since Stephanie noted that those using the device should use pure water since there was a time an amoeba in the tap water was sucked into the brain. Robbie intoned “brain eating amoeba” for emphasis. “I change my answer, my favorite villain is the brain eating amoeba.” Lauren retorts, “There is no brain eating amoeba in Sailor Moon.” “Yes, there is!” *audience laughs*

    Q: If you could be any character in Sailor Moon in real life, who would you be and why?”
    Stephanie: I would be Usagi. She eats everything and is really skinny. Mostly because of her transformation powers. Saving the world is great too but getting to transform into anyone you want to look like, that is fun.
    Lauren: Honestly, I would love to be Neptune. She is so cool and I would love to play the violin. I have no talent whatsoever with instruments. I played the piano once but it didn’t work. I love the violin and I love the fact that she is this beautiful artist, painter and sculptor. She does it all. *little voice* I want to be her when I grow up.
    Robbie: I will just be Motoki because he just kinda hangs around the arcade and doesn’t have to worry about being killed by a monster.
    Stephanie: And all the girls love him.
    Robbie: Yeah!

Announcement time! The dubbed trailer for Sailor Moon S was shown. The box will be released in November with a preorder gift of a coin with the Cosmic Heart compact. For those who pre-order at the booth, the coin will be given immediately.

To the cheers of the fans, episode 106, ‘The Bond of Destiny: Uranus’ Distant Past’ dubbed was shown. The episode features Neptune and Uranus’ backstory and Robbie’s Tennis Shoe monster. All the feels the voice actors feel with the characters were highlighted on the screen. Definitely a favorite in the season.