Today, June 30th, is Usagi’s birthday! To celebrate a special video has been released on the official Sailor Moon site which includes a bunch of junk no one cares about and a clip from the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal movie! The clip shows Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon’s transformation sequence. You can watch the clip by viewing the embedded YouTube video below. I’ve cued it up to 2 minutes and 44 seconds when the footage starts.
What can I saw about this footage? It is obviously nearly identical to the transformation from Sailor Moon SuperS. Surely the Sailor Moon Eternal film, like Sailor Moon SuperS, is based on the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga so we should expect there to be some similarities but this is next level. Every turn and pose is replicated in this footage. The designs are updated but these are the movements we have already seen. Not convinced? Check out this side by side comparison!
The rest of the footage is just a slideshow of products which I suppose fans may find mildly interesting!
Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 will be out in theatres in Japan starting January 8th. The second part will be out the next month on February 11th. We don’t yet have any details about an international release of the film.
Can you ever have enough copies of the Sailor Moon manga? Of course not! The latest iteration is a fully colourized version which will be available only as a digital download. After being spotted in a magazine it has now been officially announced on the official Sailor Moon web site. The good news is that the first two volumes will be released in a couple of days, on June 29th! The bad news is there is no current plan for a physical release of this version of the manga. It remains to be seen if we will be getting a printed version eventually.
The price of this version if fairly low at only 990 yen per volume. This works out to about $9.25 US. It isn’t clear if or when it might be released internationally. The big advantage of the digital versions which were released last year was that they were released in a number of languages and stores worldwide. While I certainly hope that’s eventually the case with this version, I’m not seeing them for sale in any particular stores outside of Japan at this time.
So what’s going on with this version? Sailor Moon was originally a black and white manga and this version has colour added. The original release of the Sailor Moon manga in the magazine Nakayoshi had a few colour pages at the start of each chapter. These were not included in all manga releases though all colour pages were in the latest release, the Eternal Edition of the manga. Oddly these colour pages are actually recoloured differently for this new version of the manga and while it isn’t clear why this is I suspect the aim was to have a consistent look throughout the new version which may not have worked seamlessly if the original colour pages were used.
It’s also worth noting that this colour version is not the same as the ones seen in the 20th Anniversary art exhibit a few years back. Check out this comparison on Twitter which shows slight differences.
Will you be checking out this release? Will you buy the Japanese version or hold out for an English release or perhaps a physical printed edition?
An announcement posted on the Sailor Moon Official Site has mentioned that the release of the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal film has been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 was originally scheduled to be released in theatres in Japan starting on September 11th 2020 but this release date has now been pushed back to January 8th 2021. In addition to this we also now have a release date for Part 2 of the film, which will be released on February 11th 2021.
We currently have no indication of how or when the film will be released outside of Japan. September 11th was less than three months away when this delay was announced, but we had gotten no news about a simultaneous international release. Were this something which had been planned, I suspect we may have gotten some news about it by now.
Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 will cover the first half of the Dream Arc of the Sailor Moon manga. Part 2 will cover the second half. We hadn’t gotten much in the way of details about the second film but with the movie’s release coming up so quickly after the first film, it seems likely that we might get some details about it soon.
I hope none of you had any plans to be in Japan by September of this year! It seems a bit early to be travelling due to the ongoing pandemic. Hopefully the situation will have improved enough by January that some of you are able to travel to see the film and that fans in Japan are able to make it to theatres in safety. While theatres have started to gradually start opening up in Japan and around the world recently, this still presents a risk and movie goers are taking many precautions while attending screenings.
Back in the 1990s Sailor Moon was dubbed into English by DiC and later seasons were dubbed by Cloverway. Recently the series was dubbed into English again by Viz Media. As it turns out there was actually a total other English dub made by Speedy Video! Though information about this has been around in the fan community for a while, I had never heard about it until just a few days ago when I saw @CCTakato posting about it on Twitter. The dub was done by a company named Speedy Video which is based in Malaysia. It does not appear that any of the actors are actually native English speakers but rather that they speak English as second language. This means that the quality of the dub is, in a word, terrible. Speedy Video is well known in the Dragonball Z fan community for the terrible dub of that show which they made..
Though it’s hard to tell exactly what was dubbed by Speedy Video all of the episodes and clips I found were from Sailor Moon R which suggests this might be all they did. Some episodes which fans have tracked down were on VCDs. The VCD format was not as popular in North America as it was in parts of Asia. It is basically a video format somewhat like DVD only with a lower quality to accommodate smaller files which would fit on a CD rather than a DVD. Due to the data capacity of a VCD this means only two or three episodes will fit on a standard CD at a low resolution of 352×240 pixels using MPEG-1 video compression. DVDs by contrast are 720×480 using MPEG-2. A way to think of the standard is that VCD is to DVD as DVD is to Blu-Ray. Why do I know so much about VCDs? Many years before starting Sailor Moon News I did a few fan subbed episodes of Sailor Moon in VCD format. Though the format is popular with pirated movies there were a lot of legitimate VCDs releases over the years. I have one Cantonese Sailor Moon VCD and the entire Dragonflyz series which was never released on DVD.
Aside from a few clips which are available on YouTube episodes 47 and 48 of Sailor Moon R, the first two episodes featuring Ail and An, Yvan and Yvonne, can be found in their entirety. From these episodes we can get a decent idea of how faithful the dub is. Due to the poor sound quality and accents it was hard for me to make out everything so apologies if I’ve misheard anything. Some names are kept while others are changed. Most of the Sailor Guardians have their original names yet Minako is now named Ari Meriko which is very Japanese sounding for something that isn’t her original Japanese name. Ail and An, as mentioned, are Yvan and Yvonne Galaxy. They do not change those names from their civilian to alien identities so it’s a bit surprising that no one catches on that the new transfer students are the bad guys. Naru is called Suzie. Mamoru is think is called Mamoun Chiba but it’s hard to make out what’s being said. Luna and Artemis keep their names.
The Cardians are called Card Devils and monsters are generally referred to as Devils. Some of the common lines are a bit odd like “I will represent the Moon to punish you”. Moon Tiara Action is called Moon Crown Attack. On the episodes I saw episode 47 had no lyrics for the opening and ending theme but then episode 48 had the original Japanese songs for both. These were modified a bit though. The TV length versions were not used but instead the full length versions of the songs were used and awkwardly edited to fit in the short opening animation.
Check out this clip from Sailor Moon R episode 59, True Love Awakens: The Makai Tree’s Secret.
If you’re looking to check out the full episode 47 and 48 dubs I won’t link to them directly though you may be interested to check out the Lost Media Wiki’s page on the subject and if you do some good things may be found on that page. You can check out a number of clips from those episodes embedded below.
Worth mentioning is that one of the title screens on the VCD show that it was released by TVBI in 1997. Is that simply the date of the VCD release or the actual dub of the show? Since Sailor Moon R was released starting in 1993 in Japan and only a couple of years later in North America, this would be pretty late for a dub of the show to be made. For reference Sailor Moon Sailor Stars ended in February of 1997!
I suppose at the end of the day we should be thankful for the DiC dub we got with its various edits, skipped episodes, gender bends and course the terrible erasure of a number of LGBT characters because the alternative it seems could have been, in many ways, worse. The Speedy Video dub of Sailor Moon was not a North American product and not likely intended to be seen here. I can’t imagine a world where this would have been seen on TV in the US or Canada, and that’s probably for the best. If a more faithful dub is what you’re looking for, then the Viz dub is for you. I’ll always have nostalgia for that DiC dub which first introduced me to the series. My condolences for anyone who’s first exposure to the series was the Speedy Video dub. Would such a person ever be able to develop a lasting love of the show?
Above we see Usagi who was happy to have her memory erased but is upset to have it restored because those memories include having seen the Speedy Video dub of Sailor Moon!