100 Years of Yuri Tour: Sailor Moon Restaurant, Shining Moon Tokyo

September 22nd, 2019

One of the several exciting events associated with our 100 Years of Yuri Tour was a visit to the Sailor Moon Restaurant, Shining Moon Tokyo. We included this, in part because Sailor Moon is foundational to a whole generation of not only Yuri fans, but also Yuri creators. (I recall a story in one of Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei’s early doujinshi on how she met her partner/assistant Makise Ren at a video rental store, as they both reached for a Sailor Moon S tape.) Also in part because I thought it sounded awesome and wanted to include it.

Shining Moon Tokyo was awesome, and I’m really glad we went. ^_^

To begin with, we were met at the door by a person who confirmed our reservation and took our dinner orders before we had set foot in the place. We then proceeded down stairs into a basement wonderland. Well…a relatively low-budget wonderland, anyway.

 

 

 

 

The tables and chairs were white resin, very 1960s. The stage was small, with stair up each side to a catwalk across the top and the smallest proscenium I had ever seen, not even a meter square. There was a screen across the stage, welcoming us to Shining Moon Tokyo.

 

 

 

The ceiling was hung with the planets…two of which became part of the show, in a rhythmic gymnastics kind of way.

 

 

Costumes in one section of the restaurant were the only decorative items. In most other ways the space felt like a cave or a basement theater…or a kind of modern Mithraeum, where a ritual enactment was about to take place. ^_^

 

 

 

The screen kept telling us that the show would start shortly, but first, we were served dinner. The choices were limited, so between us, we had all three options. I had the sushi platter, with little planetoid sushi.

 

 

There was the moon somen plater.

 

 

And the moon bunny curry.

 

 

Drinks were Senshi-themed. We split between the Sailor Moon (peach), the Venus (mango and green jello)  and the Mars (shiso and some kind of berry.)

 

 

For dessert I think we all got the Silver Millennium cake.

 

 

The food was pretty good as far as it went, which is as far as microwaved platters can go. ^_^ They were served on planet symbol-themed wax paper over special Shining Moon Tokyo plates, which were a gift – after the dinner, we were handed boxes to take them home with us. We joked that if we can back a few times , we’d have enough for a service.

Just as the screen told us the show would begin shortly, I noted that the screen has English subtitles. Huh, how about that.

Then the show began. Not surprisingly, no pictures were allowed of the show, but we were encouraged to take pictures of the revue portion.

The show was the entire first season boiled down into a half-hour, with key points including the death of the Senshi kept intact. The individual fight scenes were pretty amazingly well-done. The screen functioned as some of the special effects, so Ami’s and Makoto’s attacks were shown on screen. Rei’s fight was exceptionally well done, using a large puppet for a nine-tailed kitsune and she twirled some kind of effect bar that showed up as flames – we all really liked that effect.

Even Tuxedo Mask had a decent fight scene that included lasers and smoke. “He” was still brainwashed for a bit there, but visually, the whole scene was cool.

Which brings me to Minako. We saw Abe Nanami as Minako/Sailor Venus, and we all commented that she leaned into her role hard. She was fantastic. Her fight was the most abstract, with nice use of light and shadow – and she made good use of the scenario. She also managed to dominate any scene she was in, in a good way. Additionally, as the performance wrapped up, I swore I saw a little byplay between her and Taguchi Mika, who played Mars. It was just a moment of interaction in which I was positive Rei was acting jealous. ^_^

 

 

 

I also want to shout out to the deathlings, played by the other set of actresses that switch off with the team we saw. My god, they were athletic. Even beyond flips and dance-fighting kicks and stuff, they did rhythmic, acrobatic, and aerial gymnastics.  These 12 young woman work really hard for this show and I want to thank them all.

 

 

And then the actresses came out to greet those of us in the audience and my suspicions about Minako were totally confirmed. ^_^ I wasn’t filming, but I did capture photos of Venus throwing a kiss at my wife, and Mars reacting with jealousy, then Venus holding on to Mars for the rest of the greet. ^_^

Here’s the photos in a time lapse video.

 

 

Of course by then, we were all ready to spend money at the shop. Belatedly, I noticed we had nothing Mercury themed. Had I realized, I would have ordered a blue drink. Poor Ami.

 

 

It was a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the heck out of it.I recommend it highly if you’re already a fan of the series or are looking for a themed cafe and show.

After watching Minako in this little scenario, I’m more than ever convinced that it’s way past time for a 21st century update of Sailor Moon, in which the full range of gender and sexuality in the characters is openly acknowledged. Haruka as genderfluid, Minako as pansexual, the Starlights as trans…I think it would be swell. ^_^

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – September 21, 2019

September 21st, 2019

Yuri Manga

Seven Seas announced a passel of Yuri titles this week! There’s a nice variety for Yuri fans.

Starting with the manga for upcoming Yuri anime, Fragtime manga is slated for an April 2020 release in omnibus format.

Hitoma Iruma’s Yuri light novel series Adachi and Shimamura will be released in single volumes starting in summer 2020. I reviewed the first volume in 2013. There’s been 8 volumes of the series since then and an anime is heading our way in 2020, as well.

Ajiichi’s Failed Princesses is a high-school romance between two students who are not friends at all. I reviewed Volume 1 of Dekisokonai Hime-tachi (できそこないの姫君たち) last spring and have Volume 2 on the to-read pile.

Ichijinsha’s Syrup anthology is on the way in English in summer 2020. I can’t find a review, so either I haven’t read it, or I did and didn’t review it. Not sure which. ^_^

Last, but not least, Seven Seas has licensed the historical drama Goodbye, My Rose Garden. Once again, I have reviewed Volume 1 of Sayonara, Rose Garden (さよならローズガーデン) and have Volume 2 to read.

 

Okazu News

I want to thank everyone who joined the 100 Years of Yuri Tour last week. We had an amazing time! Reviews to come this week.

Current Okazu Patrons will be receiving early access to a new chapter of the Big Book O’Yuri, a history of Yuri Events! Become a Patron and receive perqs like sneak peaks at the book, early access to research and exclusive goods.

 

 

Yuri Anime

Via YNN Correspondent Adrian O., we have the news that Sentai Filmworks is releasing a Premium boxset for the Bloom Into You anime. This will include the entire anime series, Special Book, Storyboard Book, Original Script Booklet, Art Cards (x6), Rei’s Recipe Card. This last contains Yuu’s older sister’s cheesecake recipe. ^_^

Viz Media has begun their replacement campaign for the booklets included with Sailor Moon Stars, so that Haruka and Michiru are once again partners. Check out ANN for details on how to get your replacement.

ANN reports on the cast and main visuals of the Tamayomi anime, which will debut in spring 2020.

Once more via ANN, Fragtime anime OVA announces more cast and a theme song.

Via Comic Natalie, Yuri Yuri is getting a 4-episode anime miniseries on Youtube starting this week, culminating in the release of a new OVA in November.

 

Light Novel News

Ojamajo Doremi is a popular magical girl children’s anime franchise in Japan that is celebrating a 20th anniversary this year. To celebrate, ANN reports a new novel for the series will be released next month that catches up with the girls 20 years later. ^_^ Ojamajo Doremi 20s (おジャ魔女どれみ20’s) will see an October release. I’m including this because in the original series, there was some indication that Ai was queer, but whether that will exist in this novel, I don’t know. I doubt it.

 

Kickstarter Watch

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, artist for the award-winning Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (which I reviewed in Spring 2019) has a new book coming out, via successful Kickstarter, Don’t Go Without Me. Queer horror, scifi and drama, and it looks fabulous.

 

Live Action News

Via a number of YNN Correspondents, cooking manga that centers on two sisters by marriage who find common ground through food, Shinmai Shimai no Futari Gohan  is getting a live-action drama. ANN has the details.

 

Other News

The Library of Congress is hosting an exhibit called Comic Art : 120 Years of Panels and Pages, and I want to offer my congratulations to my friend, extremely talented comic artist Marguerite Dabaie, for having a page of her work Hookah Girl included! The exhibit is largely available online, so I encourage you to check out the link.

There’s a new Sailor Moon game available via the official Sailor Moon site. Check out Crystal Puzzle, available on iOS and Android. According to the fan club newsletter, 2020 will see a Sailor Moon on Ice event.  I don’t see a website announcement for it yet, so details TBA. And that seems like the perfect place to wrap up this week’s report. ^_^

 

Become a YNN Correspondent by reporting any Yuri-related news with your name and an email I can reply to – thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network! Special thanks to all of our Okazu Patrons, who make this report possible!

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October Yuri Events Schedule

September 20th, 2019

Just back home from the 100 Years of Yuri Tour and we’re already working on the next set of events! Here is my October appearance schedule:

October 3-6, New York Comic Con, Javits Center, New York, NY

I will be on at least one panel on Sunday and will be taking a look at this year’s AnimeFest at Hudson Mercantile.

 

 

Oct 15-16 Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Tuesday, October 15, 5PM, B122 Wells Hall, MSU Campus

I will be talking about about Rose of Versailles and Sailor Moon to a class on translation. They each pose a significant set of challenges to translators and adapters. This is free and open to the public (check with the school for registration.)

Wednesday, October 16, 5PM, Rom 301 International Center, MSU Campus
We’ll be talking about 100 Years of Yuri!

Oct. 25 Diversity Con, Fashion Institute of Technology NYC, NY

This is a brand-new event that is specifically focusing on marginalized communities within comics. There’s a lot of potential and I have hope that it will be grand.

I’m hoping that I’ll be at AnimeNYC, in November as well. Fingers crossed. ^_^ Let ’em know you want me there!

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100 Years of Yuri, Part 5

September 17th, 2019

Well….wow. I mean, really. The final full day of the tour was a veritable feast of Yuri. 

We started the day with breakfast at a famous fruit parlor for breakfast, because ice cream and fruit is definitely breakfast of champions.

From there, we all made our way out to the Girls Love Festival, where predictably, I bought more doujinshi than I planned on buying. ^_^ We all picked up Doropanda Tours’ ShizNat 14 years later doujinshi, because hell yes we did. Two of our party had Morishima Akiko sign some English language goods, which made everyone happy.

 

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GLFest had something I had never seen before… Comic Zin had brought a bunch of Yuri doujinshi and books, so there was a little Yuri bookstore to buy from.

On the way out, my wife realizing we were on the back end of the Sensoji, and she wanted to take everyone down the Nakamisedori.

Because we didn’t have enough Yuri, we then trekked to Akihabara. First up was Shosen Book Tower, which has a brilliant Yuri section.

Then a quit hit at Melon Books, where I had a mission to find Hayashiya Shizuru’s newest original doujinshi…which I did! It was pretty much exactly where I hoped to find it…a small miracle in and of itself. Victory! Last stop was Comic Zin where, amazingly, I found more Yuri to buy. ^_^

Part of the tour had already headed back to the hotel. Two headed off for a dinner of monjayaki. When we all got back together, it was time for something extra special…the Sailor Moon Shining Moon Tokyo restaurant! 

 

 

I will do a full review when I get home, but let me just say…it was fantastic. Really, genuinely a load of fun for all. 

 

 

We all shipped Minako and Rei hard. The actress playing Venus really leaned into her role. ^_^

 

My review of Shining Moon Tokyo is now posted!

With that, the 100 Years of Yuri Tour officially came to a close. I want to thank everyone who joined us on our adventure. It was a blast!

My wife and I are here a couple of extra days, so expect a few more days of stuff. We’re heading out to Pokewalk a bit right now, but tune in next time for more fun!

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100 Years of Yuri, Part 4

September 15th, 2019

Saturday was one of the most physically demanding days of my entire life. And I didn’t *do* anything! 

We started the day at the Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku, where I waxed poetic about Hana no Askua-gumi and the girl-gang aesthetic of the 1980s-1990s. 


We then headed out to Nakano, where we got together with Kat Callahan, who is always ready to talk anime. ^_^

I don’t know what it is about Nakano, but a few hours there and I am flattened. So a couple of us headed over to the cafe which was decorated with Go Nagai images and selling goods. ^_ There is a Go Nagai exihibit in town, as well. (Thanks, Richmond, for letting me know!) that I’ll try to catch this week. 

 

 

From Nakano we dumped our purchases and headed back out to Hikawa shrine for the festival that hadn’t been there the night before. Folks who arrived early said they saw a Hino Rei cosplayer in her school uniform. I can not confirm, but that would be cool. ^_^

 

 

This was accompanied by, of course, eating food, and watching dancing. By the time we crawled home late that night, we were flattened. It was a terrific day.

Sunday was our “free” day. We started it by heading in different directions. Half of us went off to explore Ikebukuro quickly, with visits to Book-Off, Tokyu Hands, and a quick walk-through of Animate. I stopped and had a “Pink” – baked apple flavored Starbuck shake. I found this at Animate and scooped it up.

 

 

We continued the theme of junk food for the mind and body with lunch- pizza-  at Mister Donut, complete with plastic-flavored Halloween donut.

 

 

Alice had headed out to a national park from some hiking, my wife went shopping and the rest of us went to Takarazuka Theater for God of Stars, which was amazing. Think Son Goku as an Iron Chef in Singapore, who falls for a tomboy who can’t cook. It was brilliant. The revue portion, Eclair Brilliant was equally as wonderful in its revue-y way. 

We hung out, waiting for the stars to do the walk-by. Both of the lead otokoyaku Kurenai Yuzu and Makoto Rei, the two leads, were so kind to their fans, that we liked them even more. 

Dinner was a sumptuous feast at a local duck and soba place that is now on my always-go list. (Thanks Chris for introducing us to Takadaya.)

One last crazy day for us on the tour to go!

 

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