What is “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live”?
Back in the Summer of 2018, after the five main arcs of the Sailor Moon manga had been adapted into 5 new musicals, there was an outcry by fans outside of Japan who weren’t able to travel to watch them, or don’t speak Japanese that wanted a way to experience a live show in some capacity to be heard by the official parties.
They were heard and thus the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live was created! It’s a traveling musical performance created specifically for overseas fans, focused on capturing the feel of Sailor Moon instead of a word-for-word retelling of the story. The Super Live only offers a watered down version Dark Kingdom arc and got rid of the language barrier by making the play with minimal dialogs, yet it still has all the familiar bells and whistles that Moonies hope for, like Usagi running late for school, Tuxedo Mask (played by Myu veteran Riona Tatemichi) helping Sailor Moon, iconic Guardian introductions and fight scenes, Dark Kingdom shenanigans, and so on, all set to an amazing soundtrack composed by HYADAIN highlighted by fabulous lighting structures, colorful digital projections and other wonderful stage effects.
However, unlike previous musicals, the nature of this one calls for multiple ensembles in order to meet the international travel requirements and work demands of this type of show. Three different casts were assembled, each with an assigned symbol name: ♡ Cast, ♢ Cast and♪Cast (original actress listings can be seen HERE). All three casts debuted in Tokyo in 2018, with the first international show opening later that same year in Paris. Since the initial debut, all casts have become mixed and they’re renamed based on the place they’re performing in. The next time we had a Super Live presentation was in Washington DC and New York City in early 2019. After that, the entire project was put in hiatus with no reason provided and no new dates were announced afterwards.
The Super Live Cast in New York!
Two months ago, in a very uncharacteristic move, the official Sailor Moon website announced with very little heads-up time that the Super Live cast would be performing at the Japan Parade in New York City on May 14th, 2022. These kinds of big international events are normally announced many months ahead of time so that fans (and the Japanese entourage) can prepare for the trip. it was never specified if it was only going to be an appearance in the parade or if they would also eventually announce a complete Super Live performance at a local theater. Unfortunately for us fans, this was only the beginning of a long series of non-communicative issues we had with this event.
Only a week before the Japan Day took place they shared where the parade route began and ended, however it had been teased before there would be a performance (the actresses had been practicing for it, according to the Official Sailor Moon Twitter) but no explanation of where said performance was to take place or what songs were going to be performed.
As the parade date drew closer and many of us fans flew into the city for the event, the actresses’ social media also became active with the girls posting pictures of them at famous New York locations. However, a particular post took everyone by surprise when the Japan Consulate Twitter account and the Official Sailor Moon Twitter account both posted a tweet of Consul General of Japan in New York Mikio Mori next to Natsuki Koga (Super Live actress for Sailor Moon) during the Japanese Heritage Night at the CitiField Mets game in full Sailor Moon attire. This event was not publicly announced nor were there any details given out. Sailor Moon only made a physical appearance and thanked the media for reporting the event.
Japan Parade in New York City
The day of the parade, there was still a lot of confusion as to where the starting point was, the exact order the floats would appear in and where the actual performance was going to be. This event seemed like it was planned very quickly so there was no real timeline or location to stick to. All we had was a general map of where the parade would walk down.
There was also a rough list of the parade order that had been shared on the Japan Day NYC site, however, asking around and following the clues, we came to the conclusion that the order in which the floats were aligned in the streets was different from the list. We decided to station ourselves on what we thought the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon float was and waited to see them arrive.
Of course the Sailor Moon Fan Network team took this opportunity to take a few pics for the site!
The opening ceremony was held on the street in front of the VIP section of the festival, where just a small amount of Japanese dignitaries, big corporation directors, special guests and press were allowed in. There was a short introduction before she welcomed this year’s Grand Marshal, the actor and activist George Takei. The parade began about half an hour later than scheduled, but all marching parties which included martial arts schools, traditional arts clubs, dance and performance students, drumming groups, etc seemed very excited to be part of a large event like this that celebrated their culture and heritage.
Even though the entire festival was obviously planned and put together with lots of love and passion, we were a little disappointed to see that the Super Live float was not only unbranded but also a bit underwhelming. As fans we expected a huge celebration of the 30th Anniversary expressed on a large themed, sparkly float. Sadly, it was only a basic open flatbed trailer with a Japan Parade motif bedskirt. It could’ve been anyone’s really. We knew we were on the right spot when two flag bearers stood in front of the truck holding a banner with the official Sailor Moon Super Live logo on it.
One by one, every party had their turn to walk out on the street, but the cast did not show up right up until their float was nearing the beginning of the parade. It was then that two golf carts carrying the prettiest, most colorful group of smiley girls drove in with a delivery of cuteness!
New York Cast
The girls climbed onto the flatbed and immediately were in character, waving at everyone around them and pointing out people as if they knew them personally. They took their time going down Central Park West Street at a slow pace with “Moonlight Densetsu” on a loop blaring through the massive speakers during the entire trip. Every time the song reached it final notes, the girls came together and made their iconic poses to finish the song with a bang!
We walked alongside them down parade route (about 12 blocks) thus allowing us ample time to enjoy and capture some very cute moments between the characters. They weren’t singing or dancing, for the most part they were just having fun, which is also fun as a spectator. Here is a photo dump of our favorite moments the girls shared with us.
It took about an hour to reach the the VIP area and got off the trailer. Sadly, we were robbed of the opportunity to watch them perform, as only high level dignitaries and those who stationed themselves in front of the bleachers were able to watch the short presentation. From what we have gathered, the only reenacted their character introductions, and sang “Moonlight Densetsu” and “Watashitachi Sailor Guardians” from the Super Live soundtrack. The SMFN team was unable to get any footage, but luckily reporters and fans shared some videos on their social media for all of us to enjoy.
As soon as they were done, they walked the final stretch to the next street and headed towards a vehicle that was parked at the corner. There were no barriers in this area, so the girls were rapidly swarmed by a few fans. The actresses had been shadowed during the entire parade by big bodyguards, yet all protocols seemed to fall out of place once the parade was finished, because they had no idea how to handle the fans. Luckily, Moonies were respectful and never touched or harassed the girls, so we hope they weren’t too frightened. We kept our distance but as fans ourselves, we were also hypnotized by the colorful wigs and shiny costumes. We couldn’t help ourselves! They were so gorgeous.♡
Once they climbed onto the van and drove off, it was over, and just in the nick of time too because it started to sprinkle lightly. There were no more appearances or sightings afterwards.
We were so invested in the parade that we completely lost the opportunity to visit the Japanese food trucks and stalls that were parked a couple of blocks away as part of the festival, and with rain now pouring down, we had to find shelter under some scaffolding right in front of Central Park.
We had planned to get food from the food trucks and have a picnic in the park, but instead we had to wait it out. This gave us the opportunity to talk about the event and meet other fans that had also come to see the Super Live girls. Besides the parade itself, this is one of our most treasured moments! We are always so excited to meet Moonies and followers who support us.
Thank you to everyone who approached us and gifted us with presents, cupcakes, stickers and most importantly your kind words, warm hugs and wide smiles.
Hope you find our coverage of this event useful!
Review by: Cyn