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Do you know what June 30 is? Well, it may be the day where you say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, half the year is over! How could it have gone by so quickly?” but you just might find yourself being punished in the name of the moon if you don’t remember one other important event that takes place on that day. Yes, June 30 is Sailor Moon’s birthday, or Usagi Tsukino’s birthday if you prefer to call her by her “human” name.

With the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime series soon to be released, this year’s birthday was bound to be a special one for our Usagi-chan. And special it was! A huge birthday event in honor of our beloved warrior princess, including a preview screening of the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, was held in collaboration with fashion magazine ViVi on June 30 in the Tokyo Odaiba area. And since it was supposed to be kind of a girls’ night out, the event was apparently only open to women, or men accompanied by women.

We definitely couldn’t miss out on this party, and we promptly sent one of our reporters from our Japanese sister site — we couldn’t wait to see what the huge do would be like!

▼This is the Zepp Diver City, where the event, officially called “Usagi Tsukino’s Birthday Party: Special ViVi Night“, was held.


▼The lobby area was filled with cute decorations to commemorate Usagi’s birthday.

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▼There’s our birthday girl, illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of the original manga series.

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▼Inside the hall, a large screen had  been set up, and the eager crowd cheered with excitement when an image of Sailor Moon appeared. The image is actually from the front cover of the very first issue of Nakayoshi magazine in which the manga appeared when the series started in February of 1992.

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As part of the celebrations, the crowd was greeted by several delightful guests. First, the lovely models of ViVi magazine made their appearance in stylishly cute outfits designed in the image of the Sailor Guardians.

▼The beautiful ViVi models: (from left to right) Maggy,  Tina Tamashiro, Reina Triendl, Mayuko Kawakita and Arisa Yagi.

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▼Here’s a closer look at each of their outfits. Which one is your favorite?

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▼The cast of the Sailor Moon stage musical also appeared and thrilled the crowd with their performance of some of the songs from the musical.

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▼The beautiful set on the stage was designed after the Silver Millennium kingdom.

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▼Yes, you know what happens if you’ve been bad … get ready to be punished!

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▼Fumio Osano, known as “Osabu” among fans, who was the editor in charge of  the Sailor Moon series during the time it was serialized in Nakayoshi, also joined in the festivities …

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▼… as did Kenji Nojima, who will be playing the voice of Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru Chiba in the new anime, all to the delight of the crowd.

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The participants in the birthday event were also lucky enough to be treated to a performance by the hugely popular idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who is singing the theme songs for the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime. Although they didn’t perform the songs from the new anime, the crowd was absolutely thrilled to hear the group’s rendition of Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) and  Tuxedo Mirage, the opening and ending themes from the first anime series. (Now that really must have been a blast, because well … all right, how many of you can still sing Moonlight Densetsu from memory? I know I can … just the first verse, though.)

And finally, the moment the fans had been waiting for arrived — the world premier screening of the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime — and the lucky crowd got to see the entire first episode! The opening sequence, which Momoiro Clover Z themselves had described as “totally awesome” and “goosebump-worthy”, certainly gave us a look at a new and cool Sailor Moon.

▼Here’s the trailer of the Sailor Moon Crystal that was released just last month, in which you can hear a segment of Momoiro Clover Z’s dynamic opening theme, “Moon Pride”.

As can be expected from the images that were released earlier this year, the artwork in Sailor Moon Crystal, especially the appearance of the characters, is much closer to that of the original manga than the first anime series.

And the Usagi we saw in the first episode of the new series didn’t disappoint! The ephemeral, translucent quality of Takeuchi’s manga art seems to have been beautifully recreated, as well as the familiar scenes and lines. Our reporter, who as an avid fan has read the comic more times than she can count, admits she was quite moved, as the new anime seemed to bring illustrations of the original manga to life.

That said, Sailor Moon Crystal also retains the slightly exaggerated and sometimes comical action that is characteristic of anime. And to our delight, Sailor Moon’s trademark transformation scene as well as her lines and pose in battle are very much a part of the new series, perhaps even with more power and energy than before. In fact, many in the crowd seemed to sigh in content to see the spirit of the first anime well and alive in Sailor Moon Crystal.

So, we know that at least the first episode is quite faithful to the original comic, but it seems there are still many details our reporter is dying to find out … like how old will they make Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask), who was a high school student in the manga but a university student in the first anime, and will they keep the story line about Sailor Venus having spent time abroad … and oh, what about the new tiara which they didn’t have in the first anime? Yes, there are many questions to be answered, but we’ll just have to wait for the broadcast, won’t we?

Well, it won’t be too long a wait now. Sailor Moon Crystal starts July 5 on video-sharing site Niconico Douga at 7pm and will air every first and third Saturday of the month, so don’t forget to tune in!

▼Yes, we’re all excited to see the new series!

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Original article by: Meg Sawai
Photos: RocketNews24