Updated as of September 22nd, 2013.
Sailor Moon has been presented in various forms of media. While the anime is the most well known, Sailor Moon began as a manga series and has also inspired a live action drama, video games and musicals. The last Sailor Moon Musical, Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu, was held at the Ikebukuro Sunshine Theater. It was a pretty enjoyable performance, especially when Tuxedo Kamen dropped his cane, but managed to still smoothly battle his enemies. After that the Sailor Moon musicals, or Sailor Myu, went on hiatus.
This past June, it was announced that a new Sailor Moon musical known as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon La Reconquista, will be held in September at the Aiia Theater. This revival of Sailor Myu is part of the 20th Anniversary of the series and a new Sailor Moon anime is also on the horizon.
I had the honor of attending the opening night of La Reconquista and was immediately impressed by the turnout. The event appeared to be sold out, consisting mostly of adults and a few high school students, my group didn’t notice any children present. There were quite a few gaijin present as well, I counted about 8 including the 5 members of my group. Brad of moonkitty.net was part of my group along with Anne, Jay and Cycyn of Sailor Moon Obsession. Prior to the beginning of the musical, there was some goods for sale, including a programs for 2,200 yen, some post cards, posters and shirts. Osabu, the manager of Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi was present and very approachable and friendly. Takeuchi was present at the first performance, but would disappear during the intermissions.
We had seats in the front row and noticed that the stage had some game controllers and giant displays of buttons you would find on a Playstation controller. We thought there may have been a video game event of some sort at the venue. The play began shortly after 7pm. I also attend the musical a second time on Thursday, September 19th.
Spoiler Warning, from here on I will go into details about the plot, if you do not wish to be spoiled please do not read beyond this point. The music began with these strange group of individuals presenting a gameshow, singing and dancing while describing a video game event. Moments later, Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako are present and play various video games related to them. Rei plays a fake fighting game similar to Guilty Gear and easily wins, Makoto plays a punching game on a Wii-like system, defeating her opponent, and Ami plays a version of Tetris making lines at super-human speeds. The games were pretty recorded, but still impressive and added a layer of realism. There was even a fortune telling game, with pre-recorded messages from the leader of Momoiro Clover Z. Eventually, Usagi and company were presented with a game that is a sort of dating simulation with handsome men.
Of course if you know Sailor Moon, these handsome men were none other than Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite, the members Shitennou. They intoduce themselves as Jedah, Nephra, Kunza and Zoi. After Usagi and her gang exit the stage to play the new game, Barbar, the leader of a group of Lemures(Lemres) presents Queen Beryl with her plan to gather energy from the Sailor Soldiers using the dating simulation game. Queen Beryl then emphasizes the need to obtain the Silver Crystal to gain an unlimited source of energy.
The next scene treats us to something rarely seen in previous versions of Sailor Moon, a date between Mamoru and Usgai. Yuga Yamato’s portrayal of Tuxedo Kamen/Chiba, Mamoru, was excellent, and received a ton of cheers throughout the play. Usagi and Mamoru, play catch together and Mamoru broke into a song pointing out Usagi’s strengths and flaws. He also foreshadows events by singing about what would Usagi do if he becomes an enemy, which Usagi just cutely ignores. I laughed so hard when Usagi revealed that playing catch is boring and pointless, instead she wanted Mamoru to try out her new dating sim game. After describing the game, and reveal that she had been playing it all night, Usagi was scolded by Mamoru and the rest of her gang came along to support Mamoru, causing Usagi to run off upset.
The members of the Shittenou appeared and sing their way into the hearts of the Rei, Makoto and Minako, while Ami shied away at Zoicite’s advances. Fans of the manga, will be happy to know that each senshi was paired with her respective Shitennou member as depicted in manga art. Usagi was comforted by the Game Show host after some funny dialogue about romance in which Barbar describes Queen Beryl’s features. It’s worth noting that in the first performance I saw, Barbar describe’s Beryl’s breasts as being misshapen, while in the second performance, she describe Beryl’s Boomerang-like Tiara. Unfortunately for Usagi, the comfort was short lived when the host revealed herself to be Barbar, a servant of Queen Beryl who summons minions to attack Usagi. Usagi shouts, “Moon Prism Power Make Up!” but is unable to transform due to her energy being drained from playing the video game. Usagi was cornered and suddenly, in his best intro in Sailor Moon history, Tuxedo Kamen appeared and stylishly defeated the Lemures minions and even used his famous rose attack. After the battle, in a scene reminiscent of the manga, Tuxedo Kamen calls upon the power of the Earth and provides Usagi with energy.
Meanwhile, Mars, Jupiter and Venus appeared off stage in the center of the seating of the Aiia theater ready to battle Jadeite, Kunzite and Zoisite. Some attacks were exchanged including Venus Love-Me Chain, Supreme Thunder and Akuryo Taisan against the Shitennou’s Dark Power and the Sailor Senshi manage to overpower the villains and win the battle for now. Mars, Venus and Jupiter discuss the fact that Ami was the only one who wasn’t fooled by the men, and state that if Ami were to be fooled there would be a storm. Zoisite and Ami are cutely playing a game shiritori, in which of Ami’s words are scientific and end with the sound ki, forcing Zoi to great new words beginning with ki each time. At that same moment it began to rain and Zoisite sought an umbrella to protect Ami, revealing that his initially false feelings for her had become genuine. This also leads to Ami being captured by the other members Shitennou.
With the energy provided by Tuxedo Kamen Usagi transforms when the Shittenou. Sailor Moon, along with Mars, Jupiter and Venus try to fend off and the enemy, while attempting to rescue Ami, but they are powerless. Sailor Moon uses an attack known as Moon Tiara Flash, which is reminiscent of the manga version of Moon Twilight Flash, but the attack proves futile since she did not fully recover from her gaming the night before. Tuxedo Kamen enters and uses his Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber attack. Jadeite, Nephrite and Kunzite introduce themselves causing Tuxedo Kamen enough pain to fall to his knees as old memories are returning to him. Tuxedo Kamen the calls out Jadeite, Nephrite, Kunzite and even Zoisite, despite Zoisite being at a different location. Seeing that there is no hope of victory, Mamoru offers himself to Queen Beryl in exchange for the lives of Sailor Moon and her allies.Beryl is satisfied with Mamoru’s offer to go with her, and respects his wish to have everyone spared after comically using her staff to attack everyone, including her allies.
After losing all hope, the remaining Sailor Senshi hear a voice from Queen Serenity, who reveals that they are reincarnated from a past life on the Moon. The remaining Sailor Senshi decide use Sailor Teleport to go to the Moon and meet with Queen Serenity for answers. After landing on the Moon, the Sailors discover a sword set in stone. They each try to pull the sword and eventually Jupiter does it with ease. Queen Serenity appears and gives them more details on their past lives, while Beryl tells her version of the story to an unconscious Endymion. This scene is beautifully done, with the Moon being presented on the left side of the stage and the Earth on the right. Queen Serenity reveals that the Silver Crystal is a part of Sailor Moon, and that she will need that to avoid repeating the past. Queen Serenity shows the Sailors the Silver Crystal of the past, but informs them that the past Silver Crystal will not be able to be used in the present. Tuxedo Kamen awakens as the Endymion, the strongest solider of the Dark Kingdom. The first half of the musical ends and the audience is given a 15 minute break.
After the break is over, many familiar characters appear in white dresses. It turns out, that this scene is on the Moon during Silver Millennium and everyone is preparing for a dance party with the Prince of Earth Endymion, who is the past incarnation of Tuxedo Kamen/Mamoru. Venus, Mars and Mercury in their princess attire, tease Princess Serenity, Sailor Moon’s past incarnation, about her love for the prince of Earth. Additionally, Mercury is teased about her crush on Zoisite, one of Endymion’s generals. After some light-hearted dialogue, it is revealed that the dance party is actually a trap by Beryl of the Earth Kingdom. Zoisite reveals this to Mercury, but it was already too late and Zoisite is killed by his allies for betraying them. Beryl appears in armor, sword in hand ready to kill the Princess of the Moon Kingdom in order to steal the love of Prince Endymion. A pretty cool sword fight begins, with the guardians of the Princess wielding swords. Just a Beryl is prepared to kill Princess Serenity, Endymion get in the way and is instead killed by Beryl. Without a word, a hopeless Princess Serenity picks up Beryl’s sword and commits suicide. After witnessing a great deal of horror on the Moon, Queen Serenity uses the power of the Silver Crystal and wishes for everyone to be reborn in the future and for her daughter to find happiness, and also wishes for the evil force known as Metaria to be sealed away.
Back in present day, Rei, Minako and Makoto prepare to enter Beryl’s headquarters without informing Sailor Moon, to carry out their mission as guardians. Beryl prepares to marry a now brainwashed Mamoru, who claims to be Endymion now. During an awkward dance between Beryl and Endymion, Zoisite helps Ami escape, and is killed for his treachery. Zoisite turns into a crystal and Kunzite presents the crystal to Beryl to highlight Zoisite’s treachery. Beryl gives the Zoisite stone as a gift to Endymion and Barbar proclaims that Beryl and Endymion should now kiss. Right when Beryl is ready to kiss Endymion to confirm their marriage. Mars, Venus and Jupiter appear and battle Beryl’s forces. Shortly after, Sailor Moon appears revealing that she was going to enter Beryl’s lair on her own to rescue Ami and Mamoru. Overjoyed, the Senshi fight together. Mars uses Burning Mandala which actually involved some cool pyrotechnics, wowing the audience. Jupiter attacks with Juipiter Thunder Bolt and Venus unleashes a Rolling Heart Vibration Sailor Moon brings out the Moon Stick and shouts “Moon Princess Flash” while pointing the attack to Beryl, the Lemures Leader is caught in the crossfire and is killed by the attack. Mercury transforms and joins the battle as well, and unleashes Mercury Aqua Mirage upon finding out that Zoisite was killed.
Though the battle was going pretty for the Sailor Senshi for a while, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus are knocked out and Sailor Moon is forced to fight Mamoru/Endymion on her own. Endymion attempts to choke the life out of Usagi, causing her the cry. From her teardrop, the coveted Maboroshi no Ginzuishou, or Silver Crystal is revealed. Wielding both the Silver Crystal and the Holy Sword from the Moon, Sailor Moon tries to fight Mamoru, but hesitates to harm him. Her friends cry out that he is no longer the same person she knows and must be stopped. Sailor Moon recalls the song Mamoru had sung earlier, and slashes at him, killing him immediately. Sailor Moon then takes the Holy Sword and kills herself, echoing back to the distant past. A desperate Beryl attempts to take the Silver Crystal, but is interrupted by Jadeite, Kunzite and Nephrite, who are now freed from her mind control.
Beryl is subsequently killed, and the entity known as Metaria (Metallia) is revealed to be the true villain. Metaria swallows Endymion and Sailor Moon so that the Silver Crystal can be one with her. The remaining Sailor Soldiers use a Sailor Planet Attack on Metaria, but it has no effect. Venus suggests that they each sacrifice their lives in order to revive Sailor Moon. The Guardians, channel their energy and die as Sailor Moon reawakens inside of Metaria. It is then revealed that Mamoru was not killed by Sailor Moon, instead he was simply knocked out while the Zoicite stone protected him from the Holy Moon Stone. Sailor Moon summons the Silver Crystal which is now suspended in the air, and has evolved to it’s lotus blossom form. Sailor Moon’s power is not enough, but Mamoru and provides support. In a very cute and powerful moment, Usagi shouts out that she must become stronger over and over, providing her with more energy. Using wires, Sailor Moon is lifted into the air and sends energy through the Holy Sword, destroying Metaria from within. Sailor Moon and Endymion are victorious, but the Usagi is sad after having lost her friends. The remaining Senshi appear behind her, and Venus informs Sailor Moon that they were revived due to the power of the Silver Crystal. The world is saved and the audience is treated to some additional songs and an opportunity to see each cast member one more time.
It’s worth noting that no songs from previous musicals were used. After the main performance, the Sailor Soldiers did perform Moonlight Densetsu, the original theme from the anime, which leads me to believe that it may the opening theme for the upcoming new Sailor Moon anime as well. Another point worth noting is that them band member of Momoiro Clover Z presented on the smartphone app through the musical, varies from performance to performance. During the first performance I viewed, it was the leader of MomoKuro, while in the second performance, I saw the member dressed in purple. The playing catch scene also varies slightly each time, based on where the ball lands. During the second performance I attended, the ball fell of the stage and was retrieved by an audience, Yuga Yamato, remained in character and thanked her for retrieving the ball. This musical was really fun, an impressed the audience. I hope that we can see more musicals in the future. If they eventually introduce the Outer Senshi, Jadeite’s actor, Root, should be considered for Sailor Uranus, they would only have to worry about making her appear a little taller. If you are unable to attend, the performances are already being recorded for DVD purposes. There were so many amazing details, right down to Makoto wearing her rose-shaped earnings, to the details on the Holy Sword. The outfits were great, and the combat was pretty well done. The songs were memorable, and truly in the spirit of Sailor Moon. If you don’t give this musical a chance… 月にかわっておしおきよ！