This year marks the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon. Since the series’ start as a manga comic serial in Kodanhsa’s Nakayoshi anthology, its team of planetary-themed, pleated skirt-wearing protectors of humanity have appeared in five seasons of televised anime, three theatrical features, a live action TV drama, and numerous video game adaptations.
Sailor Moon also inspired a live-action stage musical, with 27 variations and over 800 performances during its 12-year run that ended in 2005. As part of the franchise’s 20th anniversary festivities, a new version of the musical is set to open this fall, and producers have just announced the starring cast.
Series creator Naoko Takeuchi herself took part in judging the auditions for the new production, which will be performed at the AiiA theatre in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.
Satomi Okubo, who guest-starred this year on the TV drama Galileo, won the coveted title role as Sailor Moon and her secret identity Usagi Tsukino.
The studious Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno will be portrayed by Miyabi Matsuura.
Cast as team firebrand Sailor Mars/Rei Hino is Kanon Nanaki, who also appeared in the 2010 theatrical thriller Kokuhaku.
Fashion model and NHK English-study program veteran Yuu Takahashi will play Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino.
And model Shiori Sakata will do the honors for Sailor Venus/Minako Aino.
Rounding out the main cast is Yuga Yamato, a veteran of the all-female Takarazuka stage troupe. Yamato spent her years with Takarazuka playing male characters, experience she’ll be able to put to good use as Sailor Moon’s masculine love-interest Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru Chiba.
Tickets go on sale to the general public in mid-July at a flat price of 6,800 yen (US$68) for all seats, but advance sales have already begun for readers of Nakayoshi. Opening night is scheduled for September 13, and the curtain falls for the final time ten nights later on the 23rd.
Now, any chance of a cross-over with the live-action Kiki’s Delivery service that’s also in production?