An Ojibway fan is creating a Sailor Moon fan dub in Anishinaabemowin

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Usagi and Luna

Westin Sutherland, an 18 year old Ojibway Sailor Moon fan from Winnipeg, has been working on creating a fan dubbed version of Sailor Moon in Anishinaabemowin, one of the many Indigenous languages which is spoken in Canada. A news story on the CBC web site covering this has been getting a lot of attention this week. Westin shared a clip of the first episode on Facebook a few weeks ago. This includes Luna telling Usagi that she is Sailor Moon and her first transformation sequence. You can watch it embedded below.

Westin Sutherland, who is from the Peguis First Nation, decided to dub Sailor Moon and other cartoons because he loved the sound of Anishinaabemowin and felt that his people didn’t have a lot of programming and books in their language. He’s also working on dubbing The Proud Family and other shows. There doesn’t seem to be any particular web site where these episodes are to be shared. The clips in question have only been posted on Westin Sutherland’s private Facebook account. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if a full episodes shows up somewhere.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi removing a bandage from Luna's head

You might notice that the sample clip is a mirror image of what was seen in the original episode. This was likely an attempt to avoid having the video flagged for copyright violation.

Luna waking Usagi

What do you think of the clip? Can any First Nation Canadian readers understand the dialogue?

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15 thoughts on “An Ojibway fan is creating a Sailor Moon fan dub in Anishinaabemowin

  1. I don’t want to be rude or something, but why does this need to be covered? People do fandubs every day, some actually put effort to it and assemble an actual cast and nobody talk about them

    • Westin Sutherland wants his native ancestral language to keep on being spoken by the youngsters of his community: that’s a good enough reason to cover it on Sailor Moon News, I think. So many minor ancestral languages, dialects, accents, patois…, disappear nowadays, that doing one’s best to save them is a noble task and cause. Because when these languages disappear, the whole ancestral cultures to which they are bound disappear as well, as if they had never existed. Well, I know that civilizations come and go, that is the natural course of the world, because here below, nothing lasts permanently, but this is not a reason not to try to save what can, maybe, be saved, thanks to the dedication and hard work of a few passionate people who don’t want their ancestral roots and customs to disappear. This is a matter of legacy, and a crucial one.

      Because of this, I’d say that dubbing cartoons in Objiway is not the same than dubbing cartoons in English, French, Italian, Mandarin, Arabian, or in another widely known and spoken language around the world, if you see what I mean. I’m not saying that any dub (wether it be a fan dub, or a professionnal one) made in one of these well-known languages is not worth being covered, but I think that this young man’s collective work (the CBC article mentioned by Adam says that “Since [Sutherland] is still learning the language himself, [he] gets help from teachers, Elders and other speakers in the community to help him with the dubbing to make sure the words flow and make sense. He records them voicing the characters, offering direction when a character should be conveying a certain emotion”) must be put on the top due to the important cultural issues it covers.

    • It seemed newsworthy as the article mentioning it was getting a lot of attention here in Canada. I don’t mean to ignore other fan dubs. I’ve been aware of fighter4luv’s fan dubbing work for some time but as that effort started before this site was around there was never really a “hey check out this new fan dub” sort of moment. That said now that you mention this it seemed like a good link to add to the “Other Sailor Moon Site” widget which I’m not sure anyone really pays much attention to. If there are any other fan dubs worth mentioning let me know. I don’t follow these things all that closely.

      Other than that there’s just the idea that this was something which was culturally important to this fan. This isn’t a terribly function or high production value project to be sure and I wouldn’t be surprised if we never actually got a full episode from this initiative but it seemed like an interesting story.

    • Completely agree. It’s being covered all over the net.

      I know what you mean. The quality of the project is ignored in favor of “diversity “. Imho, there are better dubs out there.

      I hope he continues his project, but it IS strange that THIS specific sub is being highlighted by the media.

      • CBC writers aren’t exactly hardcore anime fans interested in the quality of the fan dub. This is a slice of life story focusing on a social issue which is of concern to the readers, that being the loss of young First Nations people’s cultural identity. While I certainly see that it’s less compelling to some fans I also see why it’s the kind of thing which generally fills the pages of papers and magazines.

      • I like diversity, but I don’t like the facile rotary-club conception of it being pushed by the media these days. It’s the very sort of stealth-assimilationism that Canadians used to look down their noses at Americans for subscribing to.

        (Not that
        I have anything against this fandub, just the tenor of the coverage.)

  2. As a language enthusiast, I think that Westin Sutherland’s work is pretty interesting! That’s a really noble cause, and I hope it will meet success :) .

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