Anime Matsuri, an annual anime convention set in Houston, Texas, was the place to be for diehard Sailor Moon fans this past weekend. The community has been in a tizzy since it was announced that the members of the current musical production, Un Nouveau Voyage, would make their North American debut at the event. If Twitter was any indication, not only was the production warmly received, but fans were overjoyed at the ability to partake of what has otherwise been a Japan-only experience.
But it was the announcement made during a panel featuring famed editor Fumio Osano (he was Takeuchi Naoko’s editor for the Sailor Moon manga) announced that the Sailor Moon musicals (or SeraMyu for short) may make their US debut next year, fans were set on fire – and understandably so.
Musicals based on anime are nothing new to Japan – if you’ve followed news websites such as Anime News Network and Crunchyroll, then you are privy to various productions being announced, including a Naruto theatrical play and a One Piece Kabuki show. However, the Sailor Moon musicals have been around for ages -the first Sailor Moon musical was performed in 1993. They were performed regularly until 2005, and re-emerged in 2013 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.
That being said, despite having a healthy fan following in and outside of Japan (Miss Dream is the go-to site all things manga, anime, and musical related), the musicals themselves have ever been performed outside of Japan. If an overseas fan wanted to view the play, they would either have to travel to Japan to watch a performance, or if they were truly savvy, purchase a DVD. Of course, there are many more options now with Youtube around among other options, but fans who wanted to experience a musical live had only one option.
That is until now.
Sailor Moon has experienced consistent global popularity since its initial serialization in Nakayoshi in 1991. While western fans are treated to an array of branded merchandise as well as translated tankouban, there are still some things out of reach, including the musicals. However, while there are no confirmed dates or locations yet, this is still big news, especially for North American fans who have always wanted to experience the musicals for themselves. Osano mentioned that fan support would be required for such an endeavour, and while he is rather vague on what he means by “support”, it appears that fans are willing to give him whatever support he needs.
Osano also announced that the Sailor Moon Perfect (Kanzenban) editions (that is, the editions with full colour title photos that replicate its initial run in Nakayoshi) is slated for an international release.
Of course, this website will keep fans up-to-date with the latest news as it happens.