It hasn’t been a good last half of the decade for the Sailor Moon property in the English speaking world.  Naoko Takeuchi’s innovative magical girl team (sentai) manga debuted in 1991 and immediately spawned an anime adaptation from Toei.  The manga, which was published here by Tokyopop (then known as Mixx) starting in 1997, helped spur the turn-of-the-century manga boom, while the Sailor Moon anime series received a ton of TV exposure here in the 1990s.  All that exposure moved a lot of merchandise and inspired a wide and diverse audience.  But since 2004 the anime series has been off the air in all English-speaking territories, and Tokyopop’s license for the Sailor Moon manga lapsed in 2005. 


Word that Toei was planning a worldwide revival of the property based on the Sailor Moon anime (see “Worldwide Sailor Moon Revival”) has stirred interest in U.S. fan sites, which were also energized in 2009 when Funimation announced that it was considering a re-dubbing of the Sailor Moon series and put out survey questions to Sailor Moon fans.


The Moon Chase site publicized the Funimation survey and collected more than 1,300 responses.  After sending a 200-page report on the initial survey to both Funimation and Toei, the folks at Moon Chase have continued to survey Sailor Moon fandom in order to discover how fans would like to see the Sailor Moon anime and manga series revived here in the States.


Certainly it would be ideal if the Sailor Moon series could be brought back in a more pristine form.  DiC Entertainment, which adapted the first two seasons of the anime, bowdlerized the series.  Six episodes were eliminated entirely, while two others were merged.  Every episode suffered cuts to eliminate scenes that were deemed inappropriate for children and to create more time for commercials and the DiC-produced “Sailor Says” educational inserts.


Cloverway’s adaptations of the third and fourth season were far closer to the Japanese originals, though they weren’t without key changes—Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus were simply depicted as “kissin’ cousins” rather than the lovers that they were in the original version.


The fifth series Sailor Stars was never dubbed and released here in the U.S.  Naturally the fans surveyed by Moon Chase are most interested in getting the Sailor Stars series released here in the States.  As for bringing back the first four Sailor Moon series, the majority of the fans want either a new dub with the original cast or a re-release of the old dub.  It appears that the fans have fond memories of the original series since 70% of them want to retain the musical cues created for the English dub rather than reverting to the original Japanese musical cues.


As for the manga, in 2003 Kodansha began publishing the shinsoban (renewal) edition of the original 18-volume manga series.  Takeuchi reworked some of the drawings that she felt needed polishing and produced new sketches and new covers for the revamped series.  Kodansha increased the number of chapters in the individual volumes.  The revamped series includes 12 volumes of manga and two volumes of short stories.  Certainly fans would enjoy getting the saga in 12 volumes rather than 18, and the respondents to the Moon Chase survey also hope that a new American publisher would go back and clean up some of the translation errors from the earlier U.S. editions.