Viz Media Leads Moonies on Glittery Journey at Otakon 2017

Right after another successful fan organized Sailor Moon photoshoot at Otakon, Moonies rushed over to the official Sailor Moon panel hosted by the wonderful Charlene Ingram of Viz Media. This Moon Panel was special because it was the first public appearance for the voice of Pegasus, Chris Niosi. Joining him was Sandy Fox (Chibi Usa), Michelle Ruff (Luna), and Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon). Charlene kicked off the dialog with a simple question “are you having a fanciful time at Otakon?” Had this been any other year, this would be a bland question, but since Otakon moved to DC it deserved a moment of thought.

Sandy Fox said it was her first time in Washington DC. Chris Niosi stated that he has attended Otakon since 2005 in Baltimore. He missed Baltimore but found DC very lovely with a beautiful convention center. Additionally, this was his first Otakon as a guest. Stephanie Sheh admitted that she’s gotten lost a few times in the new venue, but that she likes it more because there’s a bit less shoulder shoving. Despite this, she said there’s still a lot of people, which is a good thing.

Focusing on Chris, he was asked what it was like to be part of Sailor Moon. He’s the newest member of the cast with only one or two recording sessions under his belt. He revealed he was at the first ever “#MoonPanel” at AX 2014 when he was hearing rumors of a new dub. Coincidentally, SuperS was the season he knew best. He was happy he could even audition for the show. He’s still in the disbelief stage of acceptance as he settles into his role. Charlene then asked him to share his favorite part of the show. He responded, “any of the goofy adventures between the main five girls are always hilarious. The reason in particular that I love SuperS like, as one of my favorite seasons is it’s kinda the underdog season… I love [that] every episode at least in the beginning is just the Amazon Trio hanging out in the bar like, ‘Oh, who are we gonna mess with today? Oh he’s cute! No, she’s a little more of my type. They’re awful…” He was also excited for Fish Eye, for the same reasons fans looked forward to the new Zoicite dub. “Obvious reasons,” he cited.

Sandy was then asked what it was like for her character “to finally have a prince of her own?” She said it was very exciting. At this point in her recording she’s really feeling that Chibi Usa is getting in touch with her emotions. Sandy has a lot to look forward to because of the developing relationship with Pegasus.

The most fun question Charlene asked the cast was to think back to when they were the same age as the characters they voice. Stephanie Sheh revealed that she was very awkward. She wore strange Taiwanese clothing from her grandparents that included Engrishy phrases on t shirt like “go back you’re home.” She said she wore teddy bear sweatpants in high school and was “not that cool.”

Michelle had a more difficult time answering because Luna is ageless. She’s also a big sister character. Michelle grew up as the youngest… but she was always bossy and thinks that blends well with Luna.

Sandy Fox opted to talk about when she was a child since she’s not 900. As a kid she was very shy and her brother was the big performer. Similarly to Chibi Usa she stepped into the role of making sure everyone was okay and went on a mission to look out for her mom. She resonated with Chibi Usa’s desires.

Chris had the toughest time with this question but turned it into a joke, “when I was a 900 year old horse…” then discussed that Helios is meant to be younger than Mamoru so he’d peg him as a preteen. At that age, Chris wore lots of sweat pants and he wasn’t much of a dream boat. He was a dreamer though, because he did way too many things. Many fans of Chris would know this since he is on YouTube and works on other projects. He still wants to do everything and hopes some day he can… and that maybe he will have a girlfriend too (awwww). He thinks should aspire to be as elegant as Pegasus.

Like at AX, Charlene had Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon do an “attack switch.” Both of them would shout the attacks from StarS as a sample.  Stephanie volunteered to go first as Moon. She kindly explained that this requires a lot of air so you need to fill your belly as much as possible. She took a deep breath and shouted, “Rainbow Moon Heart Ache!” She took 12 seconds, with great emphasis on “heart.” Michelle then used this as an opportunity to show off her lung capacity, taking a whole 18 seconds to shout the attack. They then switched and Michelle went first, screaming Chibi’s attack. Her advice was do it with determination and a smile in your heart. Just like Chibi Usa would, she shouted, “Pink Sugar Heart Attack!” Having a lot to live up to, Stephanie shouted the attack, making sure to say”attack” cuter than Michelle did.

Charlene switched gears and gave fans a preview of an early recording of the senshi’s transformation sequences for the next season of Crystal.

After the cast had a long break, Charlene asked them to share a piece of advice with their characters. Chris went first, saying that he would tell Pegasus/Helios to be more open to people who want to help him or love him. He wants him to accept the love being given to him even if he has something to hide. Sandy Fox would tell Chibi Usa not to worry so often because everything will turn out ok. Michele proceeded to meow her advice for Luna. Last but not least, Stephanie volunteered her advice to Usagi. “Don’t worry about studying because it really doesn’t matter… and two, chill out about Mamoru. He’s not going anywhere, man.” 

Finally, to wrap up the questions, the cast was asked, “what is your beautiful dream?” Sandy Fox wants everyone to accept and love each other. She dreams that people “drop the walls of separation… we are just one.” Stephanie  agreed. Chris added to it, saying that the show is filled with lots of themes of openness, acceptance, love and equality. Michele volunteered that she got married in Italy and that people thanked her because it was an opportunity to get out and explore beyond their own home.

In addition to these exciting questions, Charlene made several announcements at the Moon Panel:

  • Fans at Otakon had the opportunity to get a StarS art card signed by the 4 cast members after the panel.
  • For the Sailor Moon 25th anniversary, Kondansha confirmed releasing “Eternal” editions of the manga with a bigger trim size and sparkly covers.  The inside will contain some color pages as originally shown in Japan. The first volume publishes in January.
  • One person will win a Sailor Moon bag, dvds, and a pre-order for Crystal.
  • The prize for the scavenger hunt was a Sailor Moon Crystal scarf.
  • This year’s t shirt design was available for only $15 at the booth.
  • Pre-orders for the next Crystal would come with a foil encrusted card.
  • The Amazon Trio has been finalized. Tiger’s Eye is voiced by John Eric, Hawk’s Eye is voiced by Michael Yurchack, and Fish Eye is voiced by Erik Scott Kimerer.

Fans were treated to the premiere of the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal season 3.