Moonlight Legend: Idols Discuss How They’re Similar to Anime Characters
It was a cold and rainy night in Tokyo on January 21st but, the discussion was red-hot at the book release event for choreographer Natsumi Takenaka‘s new book “Idol = Heroine” at Tokyo Culture Culture!
Takenaka was joined by a panel of Naomi Anzai (PASSPO☆), Hitomi Sakai (Idoling!!!), Nanami Nishi (Niji no Conquistador), Rena (Vanilla Beans), and members of NadeKS JAPAN (a parody name combining “Nadeshiko JAPAN”, the national women’s soccer team and “KS” from “KSDD”, an initialization of the term “kuso daredemo daisuki”, a derogative term meaning someone who likes just about every idol there is) members: Nayumi Ninomiya, Momoko Oguchi, Reina Hikasa, and Rachael Watashiga.
Through her years of experience working with idols and her love of Sailor Moon, Takenaka began to see similarities between the two, which she believes contributes to their popularity. According to Takenaka:
Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino – sort of like the center that didn’t really want to be an idol at first and can be a bit of a crybaby.
Luna – there to make sure that Sailor Moon does what she has to do.
Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno – seen as the spiritual ancestor of Evangelion’s Rei Ayanami, is characterized by her short hair, intelligence, gentleness, and quiet personality. She is the one that is the most popular with male fans.
Sailor Mars/Rei Hino – the strong and disciplined one that is always saving and covering for Sailor Moon.
Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino – characterized by lightning, tall and strong yet feminine, popular with female fans, and will unexpectedly do cute things (“gap moe”).
Sailor Venus/Minako Aino – active as “Sailor V” early in the series, represents the member who was always trying to become an idol, really cute.
Chibiusa (Sailor Moon’s daughter) – generally the youngest and most childish member of the group and spoiled by the others.
Based on these criteria, Takenaka showed how she, Reina Hikasa, and Seiko Omori compared the members of UPUPGIRLS (KARI) to Sailor Moon characters in the book. According to Takenaka:
Minami Sengoku – Sailor Moon – shortest, is made fun of often, brings stability to the group
Saki Mori – Sailor Mercury – kind older sister aura
Ayano Sato – Sailor Mars – always saving and supporting Sengoku
Akari Saho – Sailor Jupiter – tall, karate skills, dances like a lightning storm.
Azusa Sekine – Sailor Venus – dancing and singing skills, most idol-like member
Manami Arai – Chibiusa – youngest
Konatsu Furukawa – Luna – oldest member of the group, makes sure Sengoku stays focused
*Referenece : UPUPGIRLS(KARI) profile page http://www.upupgirlskakkokari.com/contents/profile/
Takenaka added that Saho and Mori switch places if they are not in Sailor Senshi/Scout mode. Hikasa’s casting was almost the same as Takenaka’s except that she placed Furukawa as Sailor Mars and Sato as Luna. Omori made Akari Saho all of the Sailor Senshi/Scouts!
Hitomi Sakai (Idoling!!!) was up next and she practically delivered a classroom lecture where she cast the members of her group as characters from Sailor Moon, Love Live, Crayon Shinchan, and Chibi Maruko-chan! Despite Sakai’s extensive analysis of the other members, it seemed that when it came to herself, she just picked which ever character she liked the best. If you are an Idoling!!! fan, do you agree with Sakai’s selections? If you don’t really know much about Idoling!!!, have you become more interested in them?
Idoling!!! profile page https://idoling.fujitv.co.jp/members/?/members
Love Live! character’s profile page http://www.lovelive-anime.jp/member/
Yui Kawamura – Sailor Mercury – smart, kind, not that cute, popular with males, respected by females
Rurika Yokoyama – Sailor Venus – has looks and personality, aura of a center, looks like Venus, cosplayed as her before, tall
Mikaela Wako Sato – Sailor Jupiter – reliable, powerful, took karate
>Mayu Furuhashi – Sailor Mars – straightforward (sunao), Sakai wanted it to be her since Mars is her favorite
Serina Nagano – Chibiusa – child-like in behavior and appearance, negative, makes others want to protect her
Nao Asahi – Sailor Uranus – boyish
Erika Tonooka – Sailor Neptune – elegant yet childish, similar to the image of Neptune
Mayu Sekiya – Artemis – tries her best but often fails spectacularly
Hitomi Sakai – Sailor Saturn – Sakai chose Saturn simply because she likes Saturn and wanted to be her.
Nao Asahi – Honoka Kosaka
Rurika Yokoyama – Eri Ayase
Kaede Hashimoto – Kotori Minami
Erika Tonooka – Umi Sonoda
Mayu Furuhashi – Rin Hoshizora
Karen Ishida – Maki Nishikino
Hitomi Sakai – Nozomi Tojo
Yurika Tachibana – Hanayo Koizumi
Serina Nagano – Niko Yazawa
After a short break, Rena (Vanilla Beans) talked about which Sailor Moon characters were most like members of TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE.
*Reference: TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE profile page http://tokyogirlsstyle.jp/profile/
Ayano Konishi – Sailor Mars – looks powerful, good at singing yet laid-back
Hitomi Arai – Sailor Moon – youngest, center, expressive, child-like, seems like she would say something like “I will love Hello Kitty forever!”
Miyu Yamabe – Sailor Mercury – jewel-like, has long arms and legs
Yuri Nakae – Sailor Jupiter – extremely mature for her age, often hangs out with Rena
Mei Shoji – Sailor Venus
Despite initially not having any interest in idols, Nanami Nishi admitted to wanting to become one when she saw PASSPO☆ performing and Anna Tamai asked the audience “would anyone else like to stand on stage and see this amazing view (of all the fans)?” A first-timer to such a talk event, Nishi was impressive in comparing the members of her group to characters from Pretty Cure. As Niji no Conquistador is such a new group, having only started performing last summer, perhaps those of you familiar with Pretty Cure will find yourselves a member worth supporting?
Niji no Conquistador profile page http://pixiv-pro.com/2zicon/profile
Pretty Cure character’s curation article http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2136037466217080701
(Regard to Pretty Cure, no comprehensive information with official one isn’t available as it has so many series)
Minari Nagata – Nozomi Yumehara (Cure Dream)
Yuka Shigematsu – Rikka Hishikawa (Cure Diamond)
Nonoka Okumura – Erika Kurumi (Cure Marine)
Nana Yoshimura – Yayoi Kise (Cure Peace)
Nanami Nishi – Nagisa Misumi (Cure Black)
Naomi Anzai might not be that knowledgeable about Sailor Moon but, did her best to compare the members of PASSPO☆ to characters from the anime Ojamajo Doremi, disappointing Hitomi Sakai who apparently saw them as being closer to characters from Dragon Ball. It’s kind of sad that Yukimi Fujimoto didn’t even get compared to a character with a name though!
PASSPO☆ profile page http://passpo.jp/page/pageProfile/
Ojamajo Doremi character’s profile page http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/tv/doremi/caracter.html
Natsumi Iwamura – Doremi
Shiori Mori – Aiko
Sako Makita – Hazuki
Ai Negishi – Onpu
Naomi Anzai – Momoka
Mio Masui – Poppu
Anna Tamai – Witch Queen
Yukimi Fujimoto – “Doremi’s classmate”
Although things ran long while Naomi Anzai, Hitomi Sakai, Nanami Nishi, and Rena were comparing idols to anime characters and there was very little time for the members of NadeKS to talk as scheduled, it was a fun and educational event. As we mentioned in the article announcing the sale of Natsumi Takenaka’s book, if you are studying Japanese and like idols and/or anime, Idol=Heroine should definitely be a more interesting alternative to Tale of Genji or some other old piece of literature if you want to improve your skills.
*Due to the difficulty involved in getting clearance to show pictures of the various idols and anime characters mentioned, we have provided links.
Photo by Yasuhiro Okada
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