Robot 6

Is Sailor Moon poised for a comeback?

Sailor Moon was the first shoujo manga to catch on in the United States, and the anime succeeded in part because of organized fan campaigns to keep it on the air. The rights for both the manga and the anime had both lapsed by 1995, 2005, however, so both have been officially unavailable here since then.

Kodansha Comics galvanized fans last spring with the announcement that they would publish a new edition of Sailor Moon as well as the previously unpublished (in the U.S.) prequel Codename: Sailor V. There’s no word on the anime yet, but here’s an interesting sign: Anime News Network reports that Great Eastern Entertainment has listed four Sailor Moon items for future sale (no prices or details were listed), all bearing a Toei Animation logo. (The page has mysteriously disappeared since ANN posted it, and it doesn’t look like Great Eastern responded to their request for comment.) As an alert commenter at ANN points out, Toei, the owner of the Sailor Moon anime, was shopping around “refurbished” episodes at the MIPTV market in Cannes last year. Perhaps someone bit, either there or elsewhere. The fansite Moon Chase reports (from an anonymous source) that there is another deal that has to be finalized at a higher level before the anime can be licensed in the U.S., and they are skeptical about this latest development, but some enthusiastic folks are speculating that an announcement could come as early as Funimation’s panel at SDCC.

Judging from the reaction I got when I wrote about Sailor Moon at MTV Geek, there’s a huge fandom out there that is anxious to get their manga and anime back. While Kodansha’s deluxe-edition manga seem to be aimed at older readers reliving their youth, the anime has a lot of teen appeal, and if it is re-released in the U.S., we could see history repeat itself.



A slight correction: the licenses didn’t lapse in 1995, that’s when the anime started airing in the US. Mixx/Tokyopop’s English adaptation of the manga didn’t even start until 1997. According to Wikipedia, the license lapsed in 2005, though the verification links go to the Tokyopop site, which is, of course, now dead. That sounds right to me…I remember Right Stuf carrying the uncut subtitled anime box sets when I started ordering from their site, which was around ’04-’05.

That said, yes, I think there’s a huge audience for an authentic English translation of Sailor Moon, and I, for one, can’t wait to read it. I bought MixxZine as it came out, but that colored paper was horrific (I wasn’t a big fan of calling Usagi/Serena “Bunny,” either), and by the time they started issuing the tankobon-sized paperbacks, I was in college and too broke to buy them. So put me down as a definite yes in helping out this comeback.

I could see it happen. Odds are, a nostalgia wave for the ’90s is right around the corner. So, that could definitely do the job.

Brigid Alverson

July 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

@Jason Green

You’re right! I had some sort of a brain freeze there—my kids were watching it in the 1990s. Duh!

I’m subbed to get Sailor Moon once it starts coming out again, so, I’ll be part of the comeback if it happens.

The timing is certainly right – most kids who grew up watching Sailor Moon are now old enough to have the money for a box set, and nostalgic enough to want one. I’m pretty sure the only series my generation is more anxious to get a DVD set for is the original Pokemon run. Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary also hits in 2012, so announcing a comeback sometime this year or early next couldn’t be more perfect timing.

My only hope is that, if the comeback does happen, that they bring the original dub along with it. The Japanese version is great and a faithful re-dub would be fantastic, but despite its sometimes corny dialog and weird edit choices the DiC/Cloverway version was plenty enjoyable.

Maybe Disney might buy the rights to the anime

@Kyle Don’t even joke like that, Sailor Moon deserves to be translated by somebody like Funimation or Viz, not a company that will likely censor and butcher it for a kid friendly audience ( disney channel )

I really liked the english dubs voices so watching a re – dub for me would be weirdfor me , I’d be happy if the orginal english voice actors re dubbed the whole thing but without the crappy edits and keeping Michiru and Haruka as lovers and not making them cousins.


August 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

@UsagiMoon: Disney has done a fantastic job with Studio Ghibli translations. I have no reason to believe they wouldn’t to a fantastic job with Sailor Moon, PROVIDED that it came out on DVD instead of on television.

Disney seems to be handling Naruto airing just fine.
The thing is, Disney would hire or license a studio to do the dubbing. It would then be up to that studio to make the decisions on what would be acceptable for US television based on rating, and also feedback by Disney. Overall, Disney would not be in direct control over editing. Even then, there would be a DVD release under Toei’s say.

You should also take notice that Sailor Moon was first dubbed by a Canadian studio, with Canadian voice actors. They did the edits and script. When Sailor Moon was given to Cloverway (a Toei branch) there were hardly any edits, and the dialog was closer to the original (with noticeable mistakes or slang) and even the music was kept, however, getting the original Canadian cast was difficult.

The way Toei handles Sailor Moon when it comes to their international market, is very harsh.

I search for a animecomic and toys about saylor moon

I would love to see Sailor Moon make a comeback. So much nostalgia!

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