It was brought home to me at TCAF that Sailor Moon was responsible for an entire generation of comic artists. Young women, particularly, were strongly influenced by the foundational magical girl series, first launched as a manga in 1992.
Thus, there was much rejoicing when Viz announced this weekend that they have licensed the Sailor Moon anime — all 200 episodes, tie-in specials, and three feature films — for streaming, digital, and home video. This includes the first North American release of the last TV series, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. They’re billing it all as “complete”, which means uncut and using the original Japanese names and stories. For example, the relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune will be restored to the original lovers, not cousins.
There will be subtitled versions first and a new dub with new voice cast coming later this year. DVD and Blu-ray versions will release this fall. Streaming begins on Hulu via Neon Alley tomorrow. Two more episodes will launch every Monday.
A new anime series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, will premiere worldwide on July 5. Kodansha Comics currently publishes reprints of the manga.
Viz released this announcement trailer.
As someone who wasn’t particularly interested in the show previously, this appears to me to play to the fans. Someone who finds the fetishized schoolgirl costumes on preteens a little weird won’t be won over by the multiple scenes of such. (And I don’t even want to know about the miniskirt-and-bikini-top outfits that show up later.) It sure is sparkly, too, but it’s cool to see young women saving the world. With the emphasis on “we’re finally doing it the right way”, they seem to be targeting the original viewers, now grown up and understanding more about authenticity.