Sailor Moon Musicals Are Back!

Okay you guys, my computer was broken for about a week and a half at the beginning of June so I’ve been catching myself up on what I’ve missed out on in that time. Of course I ended up missing out on some of the most exciting news of the year:

Translation by Miss Dream

Translation by Miss Dream

I mean, do you understand? Do you understand? The Sailor Moon Musical will once again be a thing that exists, not just on YouTube and in crazily expensive memorabilia shipped in from overseas, but as actual live theatre! I just can’t even compose myself right now.

If you’re not familiar with the Sailor Moon Musicals, they ran in Japan from 1993 to 2005 putting on 2–3 shows each year which would correspond with school vacations and run for a few weeks a piece. Usually there would be one musical each year, a revised version of that same story to play soon thereafter (known as a Kaiteiban, which could have changes as minor as adjusting the season in which the show took place, or as major as whole characters and plots being changed), and sometimes a bonus like a music festival or showcase.

Also, you may have noticed in that flyer that Tuxedo mask is going to be played by a woman. While this is the first time that particular role has gone to a woman, female actresses very often played male roles in the musicals and there were a couple female characters played by a male actor.

Sera Myu was meant to run only as long as the anime, which ended in 1997, but because of the musicals’ success more continued to be produced and they ended up outlasting the anime, manga, and live-action TV series. Despite this success, however, the shows have never been made available outside of Japan and have therefore had much less impact than the anime and manga, as they are really only accessible to foreigners thanks to fan translations. Hopefully with the musicals returning in this time when the world is so much more connected thanks to the internet, they can get more attention and maybe even some overseas exports!

I’ll probably have more to talk about as more information is released/I can calm down enough to actually have coherent thoughts. In the meantime, please enjoy a few videos from the Myu of the past to whet your appetite for what is to come:

The original Myu cast performs “La Soldier” as an introduction to the first musical. This song, which would go on to become the general theme for the musicals performed at every show, is the only song to have been performed in both the anime and musicals, being played in the climax of the second season.

Unfortunately no subtitles on this one, but it’s too epic not to include. “Sailor War Supreme” was the Act I Finale of 1997’s Sailor Stars Kaiteiban and is one of the most enthralling numbers the shows ever had to that point or after. The basic narrative is that the Sailor Starlights (the trio in blue) are meeting our Solar System Sailors and everyone is explaining their mission. The Starlights are searching for their lost Princess; the Inner Senshi are protecting their Princess and planet; Saturn governs destruction and rebirth; Pluto guards the flow of time; etc. and in the end they come together in recognition of their oath as soldiers to fight evil and protect the innocent. So epic.

Showing that the musicals also had some more heartfelt songs, here’s my personal favorite Usagi actress, Kanbe Miyuki, performing “Tabidachi”. I’ve literally sung crying babies to sleep with this one: it’s that lovely.

“Broken Mobius” is probably my favorite song for the Outer Senshi. It starts off kind of mysterious and lovely and then ramps up and doesn’t slow down for a minute until it’s done, which suits the Outers pretty well. Those four are relentless fighters with unmatched specialties.

And finally, one of the most beautiful songs in the Myu’s history: “Toraware no Arutuka”. It’s not only a beautiful song in its own right, it also stands out very strongly from most of what we get in the musicals which typically have synth-heavy pop/dance numbers. This tribal instrumentation and plaintive tone is very unique.

If you’re at all interested in the musicals, check out seramyuantics.net for tons of information, including complete cast and performance information for each musical. If you think you’d like to see a full musical, I recommend the following:

Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen

  • The very first musical. A relatively simple story and pretty short so it makes for a fair introduction to the shows. Being the first musical, however, it is still in its experimenting stages so there are some things that work out fantastically and others not so much and it does have some of the worst wigs and costumes, so consider yourself warned.

Yume Senshi—Ai—Eien ni… (Kaiteiban)

  • Musical based on the fourth season of the anime featuring the Dead Moon Circus. The original Yume Senshi was, in my opinion, the first time the writers really decided to make a story-driven musical, rather than an extravaganza of songs and characters and the Kaiteiban only improved on it. This show is entertaining, features a great cast, and marks the first appearance of Sailor Saturn and Eternal Sailor Moon.

Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady (Kaiteiban)

  • This musical follows the Black Moon arc of the anime/manga which is my favorite so I love it. Though I liked the cast of the original Black Lady it omitted some of the Black Moon Clan in favor of a really annoying original character. The Kaiteiban restores Rubeus and Berthier to their roles so this is the one I recommend. It’s a familiar story and easy to follow despite the craziness that comes with the Myu.

Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu

  • This is a remake of an earlier musical and is a Myu-original so it doesn’t really require much knowledge of the anime or manga. I honestly really disliked the original musical this is based on, despite its excellent cast and stage effects, but found this one incredibly enjoyable with a much clearer plot and fewer silly characters.