Tokyo Journal 2003: Day 8

April 9th, 2003

Today dawned ugly and grey. By the time we got out, it was snowing lightly. The weather report calls for cold, grey and rain. In the end, it was snow – a fair amount, too!

Originally, the plan was for Shinjuku and Harajuku, but it was just too yucky, so we
decided to stay local. I decided that it was a good day to go to Seeraa Myu (remember, the live-action Sailor Moon Musical? Geez, you’ve got a short memory) despite Pattie’s protests. LOL She did want to go shopping for more doujinshi, so we decided to do both.

We went immediately to the Seeraa Myu at the Sunshine 60 theater. It was a melee’ of parents and their brainwashed children – tons of 4- & 5-year old girls, many dressed up as Senshi. They were unbearably adorable. A few lone creepy salarymen, complete with trenchcoats and briefcases, and one or two obvious adult fanboys.

Now, let me be clear…the one experience I had previously had of Sera Myu was a video tape that was so awful in every conceivable way that I have vowed to never watch it again. It was a Sailor Moon Super-S type story and it sucked utterly. The music was lame, the dancing was rancid and the plot was a snooze. When the Amazoness Trio is the best part of the show, you just *know* it’s not good. Anyway, I’ve always assumed that all Sera Myu sucked. And since the Utena live-action musical was even *worse,*  I kind of just lumped them all in the “cold day in hell” category. So, I basically expected to be dying of hysterical laughter that had to be suppressed throughout.

To my utter shock, I actually enjoyed it. Quite thoroughly, in fact. The Myu actresses were pretty good, the story was a “S” story, so I had all my favorite things, including tons of Outers. The story had very credible Witches 5 – the job of making their costumes wearble by actual real human people was pretty amazing. The actors that played Kaolinite and the Professor wer really good – even the comic relief was actually *gasp!* funny. That never happens. The lighting effects were genuinely excellent, the music and dancing not horrific and Uranus and Neptune even had a “moment” or two. Sharing it all with 1000 munchkins and a handful of fanboys was the icing on the cake. The small, confused child next to me was appalled that I knew the words to La Soldier.

There is a perfect Yuriko clone on TV – but he’s a guy! If he kept his
mouth shut…he was with a woman with long, dark haired mermaid and I thought, wow, Yuriko and Midori are on TV!

American football in Nippon – the Rice Bowl was played today. The Rice Bowl, can you believe it?

Anyway, I spent the second half of the show, hysterical at the antics of the bored,
fidgety children (and Pattie) around me. I had no idea the show would be so long, so we didn’t have food or drinks like everyone around us. There was a dorky fanboy a few
rows ahead of us who took notes through the whole show. I said it had to be for his fan site/blog – you just knew it was. Like I should talk… lol

When we left, I actually bought a program and found that the actress who plays Uranus
is a whole lot hunkier without the wig. There’s a picture of her in rehearsal,
holding her space sword and she looks kind of hot. LOL I appreciated the fact that during their inevitable death scene, Uranus had to leap across the stage to die next to Neptune. I could actually see being a fan of this, if it was this decent most of the time. I guess my video was just an aberration.

There was a lot to be said for who the actresses who played the roles – they
clearly understood what people liked in each character, like the obsessive love all the Senshi have for their Princess, the fact that Uranus was overtly in love with Usagi and Neptune understood – Rei even had an argument with everyone where she declared that if it came down to Usagi or Chibi-Usa, she’d let the spore die.

All in all, it was fun. My bet is that all the adults there were fans and they were
busy indoctrinating their children.

We stopped back at the hotel for a potty break and then tried the sukiyaki place across the street – this was the only sucky meal we had the entire time. And there was a guy who was actively hostile, glaring at us and muttering every time we spoke. Since we were there first and we outnumbered the guy, we didn’t worry, but it added to the suckariffic-ness of the meal. The staring thing just cracked us up. Pattie was getting a teeny bit freaked by it, but I couldn’t care less. One couple at the train station practically got whiplash turning around to look at me when I spoke. We keep being puzzled though. We *know* Tokyo gets Western visitors and workers…where are all these people? We never see them, except as teeny dribbles, a single black man there, a lone Indian student there, two days later a European….

If we were in NYC and someone walked by speaking German or Nigerian, we’d hardly
blink. I might comment on Afrikaans or Navajo, because we don’t hear that often, but
they people themselves would hardly be whiplash material. (In fact, as an experiment, we counted how many distinct foreign languages we heard when we were in the city last
Saturday…five. Just walking from the train station to a book store and back. Not
counting the multiple times we heards several of those languages. It’s just not all that weird to hear French or german or Spanish in NYC…and if we had gone to a museum or landmark, I’m 100% positive, we’d have come across Japanese, as well.)

So, we walked back through the snow, which was now sticking and very picturesque, to Animate. This had *finally* opened up after the holiday. It was 8 packed floors of anime and mnaga related goods. I should clarify, it had lots of stuff, but it was *packed* with people. The place was mobbed. I bought tons of One Piece stuff, including the crew’s Jolly Roger which now hangs in the bedroom. I bought so much that I got eight free stickers! Next was Rashinban Books where the hentai fanboys cluster and we didn’t stay. I wandered off to get something to drink, and Pattie…here’s a stretch, bought some more doujinshi.

I’d like to say that, at this point, as surreal as most of this trip has been
(Comiket, dancing monkeys…) sitting in a theater with 5-year olds watching Seraa Myu has been the most surreal of all.

Next Time: Where The Girls Are

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