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fans last spring with the announcement that they would publish a new edition of Sailor Moon as well as the previously unpublished (in the U.S.) prequel Codename: Sailor V. There’s no word on the anime yet, but here’s an interesting sign: Anime News Network reports that Great Eastern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.
Legal | Anime producer and distributor Funimation Entertainment issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to the webhost of AnimesFree demanding that the fansub site remove more than 1,000 infringing episodes of more than 40 series. The site’s administrator complied, and then complained about the company enforcing its copyrights: “AnimesFree.com will continue just as STRONGLY as it has been these past three months. Meeting everyone new on the website was great and I don’t intend for it to stop anytime soon. So we’re not going to quit just because of a few dozen series. There’s two things that you can do when a bully pushes you down. You either stay down and cower, or you stand back up and fight until you can’t walk anymore. There are just some things that the ‘Anime’ corporate giants will never understand about how people rely on online Anime communities.” The commenters on the post aren’t particularly sympathetic to the administrator’s plight. [AnimesFree, via Deb Aoki]
Retailing | Heidi MacDonald reports that Rich Hafstead, partner in the Jim Hanley’s Universe chain in New York City, passed away Oct. 9. He had been semi-retired since suffering a heart attack in 2006. [The Beat]
Retailing | A 10-year-old girl is in a coma after she was trapped Tuesday under shelves that collapsed in a bookstore in Sapporo, Japan. The girl’s 14-year-old sister also was injured. The store, Daily Books, sells secondhand manga and video games. [The Japan Times, The Mainichi Daily News]
Legal | In light of recent legal moves by the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Jack Kirby, Christopher Murray and Paul Iannicelli consider the termination provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. [ Mondaq]