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Sailor Moon in North America

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LOGO SAILOR MOON

The logo for the series at the time that DiC and Cloverway had the license

Sailor Moon in North America covers every notable English version of the metaseries, including fan-subtitled versions.

First Anime

Dubs and Licenses

DiC

DiC was the first company to own the rights to the Sailor Moon anime in North America when they won the rights to the first two seasons in 1995 after striking a deal with Bandai. When they first got the series, they only aired sixty-five episodes in America and they had to cut episodes that were deemed inappropriate for children to be watching or, in the case of The Sailor Senshi Die! The Tragic Final Battle and Usagi's Everlasting Wish! A New Reincarnation, merge them together and cut out specific scenes. About two years later, however, Cartoon Network acquired the rights to air the last seventeen episodes of R on American television after the series got more popular on the Toonami block. This was long after the episodes aired on YTV in Canada.

Censorship, Changes, and Cuts
Comparison Dub Change

An example of one of DiC's edits. In the original scene (first image), Usagi is shown taking a bath with the water being transparent and little to no detail on her body. In the English dub (second image), the water is made opaque.

A number of changes were made in DiC's dub of the anime, with the notable ones being that character names were changed (i.e. Usagi was now called Serena) and that major plot points and elements were changed or abolished completely. In the first season, some scenes from Usagi's Awakening! A Message From the Distant Past were added onto the first episode as an introduction. However, this ended up majorly spoiling the plot, as one of the scenes showed Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, and the rest of the Sailor Team, making their identities apparent to the audience. The opening sequence also ended up doing something similar, as it showed the scene where Princess Serenity and the spirits of the Sailor Senshi are fighting against Super Beryl in the last episode of the first season.
Eng Dub 56 Screenshot

Another example of DiC's edits, this time from their dub of The Friendship of the Sailor Senshi! Goodbye Ami. Here, DiC edited a seatbelt onto Ami.

The opening also included a new theme song and it added in clips from other episodes as well.[1] Other changes in the first season included Zoisite's gender being changed, six episodes being cut or merged, scenes being edited or cut for time or because they were deemed inappropriate, and a large amount of slang that was seen as "hip" at the time

The dub of the second season went through the same treatment and the only episode that was cut was The Ocean! The Island! A Vacation! A Break for the Sailor Senshi.

Both seasons also included changes to transformation sequences where breast and other body lines were erased, editing and cutting to some scenes that showed violence, and the addition of the Sailor Says segment for educational and moral value.

Cloverway

Later on in 2000, Cloverway Inc., Toei's international branch, bought the rights to the first anime and dubbed Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS. Their dub of the two seasons were rushed thanks to Cartoon Network wanting Cloverway to get the dub done in several months and, as a result, both of the seasons began to air new episodes and finished airing its episodes in the same year their dubs aired (2000).

Censorship and Changes

Once Cloverway started dubbing the series, there were many improvements but also many downfalls. Because of the rush to complete the show in time for its summer run, there was not enough time to rescore the show, or make as many changes as DiC did with their dub. Their scripts were also much more faithful to their original ones and may also have been influenced by demand from the fans. The introduction of a TV ratings system for children also helped to lessen censorship, as the show was rated TV-Y7-FV due to the amount of violence and thanks to the rules for children's television relaxing as a result from the system, the Sailor Says segment was cut out.

However, Cloverway's episodes had many mistakes and inconsistencies, which was also because of the speedy production. For example, most attack names in this dub didn't retain their original DiC names. Some of these mistakes include characters forgetting their names from past seasons and attack and transformation names changing from episode to episode.

In addition to these inconsistencies, Cloverway made some major changes of their own, including the decision to change Zirconia, Tamasaburou, and Fish Eye's gender, with the two latter characters' gender being changed because of them cross dressing (and, in Fish Eye's case, homosexuality), while the former had no reasons behind the change. Another important decision was their decision to hide Haruka and Michiru's lesbian relationship by calling them cousins. The latter decision was met with a lot of backlash from fans, mostly because a lot of them didn't see homosexuality as taboo and because, in many fans' opinions, Cloverway did a poor job at hiding their lesbian relationship.

Viz Media

On May 16, 2014, after their panel at Anime Central, Viz Media, a North American anime and manga distributor, announced that they licensed the rights to dub, digitally stream, sub, and release the first anime on home video. Their release of the anime will keep the original Japanese names in tact and that they would release all of the seasons of the first anime, as well as the specials and movies. Their release will also have no edits.[2]

The first two episodes of the Viz Media dub were shown at the AnimeExpo on July 5th. The cast for the redub of the anime was also announced on the same day.[3][4] Finally, on September 5th, Viz released the first twenty-three episodes of the dub on Neon Alley and Hulu.

Official Subtitled Versions

A.D. Vision and Pioneer

The official subtitled version in the A.D. Vision and Pioneer releases is uncut and uses the original names, though fans have complained of minor dialogue changes.

Their subtitled version is considered to be much belated by many fans, as the first two seasons were released eight years after they had aired. By the time the official release had come out, many fans had already bought fan subtitled versions and were not willing to spend the money.

Viz Media

Viz had stated that they plan to release the series both subbed and dubbed on home video. They have also started to stream the subtitled version of the first anime on Neon Alley.

Viz later released the subtitled versions of the first 23 episodes onto both the U.S. and Canadian iTunes stores.[5][6]

Fansubs

Many fansubs for the first anime have appeared on both tapes and online. At the time of the release of the DiC and Cloverway dubs, fansubs were popular with people who preferred the original unedited anime over the edited dubs.

Manga

Official Translations

Tokyopop and Mixx

Mixx Publications, now known as TokyoPop, was the first company to release and translate the entire manga series in the United States. They originally published the manga in Mixxzine and it began to be serialized bimonthly starting in August 1997. The February 1998 issue of Mixxzine later announced that it would be compiled into a Pocket Mixx edition as well and that each book of which would correspond to the original graphic novels.

At the same time, however, Mixx revealed the launch of their new and controversial magazine, Smile. The original premise was for the magazine to be a generic girls' fashion periodical, featuring reader-sent photos of ordinary girls and their families. Later, it was announced that Sailor Moon had been slated to move to Smile, which was launched in October 1998, with the series being its major selling point..

Changes and errors

Sailor Moon was Mixx's first translation, and while little was deliberately changed, many things were Americanized and lost in translation. Examples include the retention of the DiC names for all characters (ableit Usagi usually being called "Bunny") until the translation of the Infinity arc, where Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Saturn retained their original names. However, they were mistakenly called Alex/Erica, Michelle and Jenny at some points. Another famous error is the retranslation of a Yeats poem, which was originally an English poem translated to Japanese, into English.

Several minor characters had their names grossly mistranslated (e.g. Ptilol as "Petite Roll") and some character's names didn't make sense because of the mistranslation or because of the use of the DiC names. An example of the latter was Chibi Chibi, whose name was supposed to be based on her constant repetition of the word "Chibi," which she said because she had heard Ikuko say Chibiusa's name. In the Mixx translation, however, Chibiusa is known as "Rini". To make this work, the name is mentioned as Chibiusa like it was in the original. This move, however, made readers confused, as they didn't know who Ikuko was referring to.

Controversy

In July 1998, Ron Scovil, the then editor-in-chief of Mixxzine, ended his tenure and left Mixx after doing so. Shortly, he created a webpage called Eye On Mixx, which was intended to show Mixx's "true intentions." Ron had many friends and allies from the Mixx Online Messageboard, which was shut down after the launch of Smile due to fan misbehaviour.

More controversy arose when "Smile" was first released. Fans who wanted to continue reading Sailor Moon and the other manga in Mixx Magazine had to get subscriptions to both periodicals, which proved to be unfortunate for those who were not teenage girls and were not interested in Smile. Because of this, fans complained about Smile magazine, and made allegations that Mixx had created false accounts on their boards to support their cause and deleted negative opinions.

In November of the same year, the latest issue of Mixx magazine was released and it had many differneces in comparison to it's previous issues. The magazine was thinner (ableit with the cost still the same), filled with articles on music and CDs, as well as the usual anime articles, whereas the manga itself had been flipped sideways and sized down to fit two to a page. Less than hours after the magazine came out, somebody calling themselves "PissedFan" hacked the Mixx website. The main page was replaced with a graphic of Usagi lifting her shirt and revealing her breasts, with a message below it that says "Why are you here? Stu Levy, president of Mixx Entertainment is A MONEY GRUBBING LIAR. His sole purpose is to remove you from your money." This message was followed by a couple of links and a signature. This message was soon replaced.

About three days after the incident, Stu Levy posted a seven-page "response" to the controversy that flew around Mixx and Ron Scovil on the Mixx website. Later on, sites like Anime News Network (ANN) constantly reported the controversy, with ANN being the most notable site do so. ANN later went on to publish a cover story that featured interviews with Stu Levy and Ron Scovil.[7]

Kodansha USA

On March 18th, 2011, Kodansha USA released a press release about publishing a new English translation of the Sailor Moon manga and a translation of Codename: Sailor V.[8] The first volume of the Kodansha USA English translation of the Sailor Moon manga was published on September 13th, 2011 while the last volume was released on July 2nd, 2013. The Short Stories volumes were eventually translated as well.

Fan Translations

Fan translations of the manga began to circulate around the internet either before or after Mixx finished translating the series. One of the most popular fan translations was Alex Glover's translation, which he later took down after Kondasha started to release the English translation.[9]

Second Anime

Licenses

Viz Media

Viz Media is streaming the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime on Neon Alley.

Further Reading

External Links

References

  1. Sailor Moon Uncensored: Episode 1 - Sailor Moon Uncensored
  2. Viz Licenses Original Sailor Moon Anime Franchise - Anime News Network
  3. VIZ Media Announces Anime Expo Activities Lineup - Anime News Network
  4. Viz Media Announces "Sailor Moon" Dub Cast And Boxset Details - Crunchyroll
  5. A page for the series on the U.S. iTunes store
  6. A page for the series on the Canadian iTunes store
  7. Inside the Mixx Controversy - Anime News Network
  8. Kodansha USA Announces the Return of Sailor Moon - Anime News Network
  9. A page for Sailor Moon at Alex Glover's website

Start a Discussion Discussions about Sailor Moon in North America

  • Any thoughts on the Viz dub?

    105 messages
    • Unpopular opinion: i prefer the old dub version of Nephrites death than the new one. Why? Molly's scream was just so painful, she truly soun...
    • Ahh, I've seen neither dub of that episode. Only the sub ;-;

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