What is Sera Myu?
And other frequently asked questions.
Many of you are on this page because you are new to the world of Sera Myu or you have been around for a while and are curious to see what we have to say. Well, this page is here for newbies and oldies a like! Below you’ll find a break down of the terms involved when talking about Sera Myu from Stages and Kaiteibans to everything else!
“Sera Myu” is a term derived from Sailor Moon and Musical, based on the Japanese pronunciations of the words. It also pretty much officially has become the term used to talk about the Sailor Moon Musicals produced by Toei Animation and sponsored by Bandai. Officially the musicals are called “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Musical Special [Insert Musical Name Here]”. That is because the musicals are considered specials. They were seasonal and associated with the original 1992-1996 run of the Sailor Moon anime. Even after the anime had finished its run, the musicals still used the same logo and images from the anime.
Yes it does! Each musical can be considered its own “entity” of sorts and follows its own canon. The musicals don’t have a continuity between them–with the exception of the Dracul musicals, but we’ll get to that later. The musicals often derive their canon from the anime and manga, then add its own twists and add-ins to spice it up. While it helps to have seen the anime to know the stories, you can pretty much consider each musical its own thing. An example of a Myu canon is the way Usagi’s Sailor Moon transformation power ups work. In musicals that are at the point in the Sailor Moon storyline where she can transform into Eternal Sailor Moon, she doesn’t transform directly into that form. Often, she will transform into her first form then Super then Eternal (or start off at Super then go Eternal). The eternal form is often used for the final battle as her strongest power up. The power ups work kind of like the levels of Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z, if you are familiar. This is something that is strictly done in the musicals.
In Sera Myu there are different “Stages” that separates different time periods of the various musical performances. In theater, however, the word refers “to the precise movement and positioning of actors on a stage” (Quoted from Wikipedia.) Basically, blocking out where the actors need to be during specific scenes. And while we’re at it, “Staging is the process of selecting, designing, adapting to, or modifying the performance space for a play or film. This includes the use or absence of stagecraft elements as well as the structure of the stage and its components.” (Quoted from Wikipedia again). So even though it is a term used in theater, the term in reference to the time periods of Sera Myu is used a bit differently. Essentially the reason there are different stages in SeraMyu is that it marks the end of an era. The Stages DO NOT refer to which actress is playing Sailor Moon.
The First Stage (which covers musicals from 1993 – 1998, and essentially the period of Anza Ohyama as Sailor Moon) ended because it marked the end of several things. A lot of the crew and cast had left and were graduating. It marked the end of the general story line (basically the Stars arc being the end of the overall Sailor Moon metaseries story line).
The Second Stage ends in 2004 with “The Advent of Princess Kakyuu”. Much like the first stage, it had run for five years, it was at the end of the general storyline (a Stars based musical) and as another major point, the lyricist, Kayoko Fuyumori, had passed away in 2003. The “Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin” (“The Advent of Princess Kakyuu”) musical reused many old songs in tribute to her. However, the main reason for end of the Second Stage is the retirement of the choreographer Akiko Yanag. Ms. Akiko had been there from the very beginning, and it was a massive change for the musicals. Long time actress, Ado Endou, took up the role as choreographer after that.
The Third Stage, which is the last one, began with “The New Legend of Kaguya Island” and ended with “The New Legend of Kaguya Island Revision”. It was a short lived stage due to the musicals being put on an indefinite “hiatus” after the end of the 2005 Revision musical. Technically it never officially ended as the final musical is considered the end of a Generation, which is why the 2005 “The New Legend of Kaguya Island” is called “Marinamoon Final”.
While many will disagree with us, “La Reconquista”, and all musicals following it, should really be regarded as an independent stand-alone project and not a continuation of 2005’s Kaguya Final. While the old musicals are “Musical Specials” and are produced by Toei Animation, “La Reconquista” is produced independently by Dwango and Nelke Planning. It is completely distinct and there is absolutely no relation aside from them fact they are both Sailor Moon Musicals. Therefore it is not a continuation, it is a fresh start of someone else’s idea. To further back this up, “La Reconquista” does not seem to be a seasonal show, it was never marked as a “2013 Autumn Musical Special”. Not only that, the style is completely different, it is a purer musical (more like Western Musicals) unlike the old series which were more like plays with songs used to reflect characters feelings and development rather than singing to explain the action/plot.
“La Reconquista” should not be regarded as a “stage” of anything until it is assigned something. It is currently stand-alone. You might regard Satomi as a Fifth Generation Sailor Moon (which I will explain generations after this). However, this is misleading as it sounds like she’s continuing on from Marina, when she really is not. She is starting anew as “La Reconquista” is a revival by a separate group of people. She may be the fifth female to play Sailor Moon in an official production, but she is not the fifth in a line of them.
So basically, no, “La Reconquista” is not the 4th stage.
Note: Even though there has been a continuation in these new musicals, it seems there has been no official naming to these musicals other than stand alone projects for the 20th Anniversary Project. So it is safe to say at this point to not consider these musicals a 4th stage and continuation of the previous musicals.
Many western fans of the musicals often times confuse Generations with Stages. Since there are four actresses who played Sailor Moon, they will refer to the musicals that actress appeared in as “First Stage” or “Second Stage”. Basically, Anza Ohyama is considered “First Stage”, Fumina Hara is considered “Second Stage”, Miyuki Kanbe is third and Marina Kuroki, fourth. This is not correct in the terms of “Stage”. The correct term for them is generations. Generations are to do with the actors. These are named, usually for Moon, e.g. the Second Generation (of Sailor Moons) is known as Fuminamoon. Hence “Shin Kaguya Densetsu Kaiteiban” is not the end of a stage, but the end of a generation — the Marinamoon Final.
Anzamoon – 初代目 – Shodaime (First Generation)
Fuminamoon – 二代目 – Nidaime (Second Generation)
Miyukimoon – 三代目 – Sandaime (Third Generation)
Marinamoon – 四代目 – Yondaime (Fourth Generation)
This can work for other actors and actresses, e.g. Hisanomercury, but it is less common. In Japan, things like “generations” when it comes to popular culture things, like idols, usually has some sort of process involved in the transition, a symbolic gesture or something. In SeraMyu, this was cutely made into a “passing of the tiara” ceremony. Anza passed it to Fumina, Fumina to Miyuki and Miyuki to Marina. In reference to the above about “La Reconquista”, without Marina passing anything onto Satomi, she cannot be considered a 5th moon in a generation line of actresses. However, she can be considered an actress who has played Sailor Moon.
The Dracul series of musicals are the only set of musicals which has a continuity between them. So essentially, you should watch them in order to truly understand the story. We highly recommend to not skip ahead in these musicals or watch them out of order if it is your first time. Plot points and some characters may be confusing as their story was explained in the previous show or they reference to an event that might not make sense without having seen it. Even with “Transylvania no Mori Katieban” being a revised version of its original, it is still also considered a sequel of sorts. Sea of Serenity has all four musicals translated so if you would like to watch them, download them from our Musical Specials page!