Rumour: Is Netflix dubbing the Sailor Moon Eternal films?

Astro Girl (Aka: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie)

A listing of an actor’s union web site suggests that Netflix may be dubbing the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal films, which will be hitting theatres in Japan January 8th and February 11th. If this information really means that Netflix will be dubbing these films, it seems likely that they will be streamed on Netflix rather than released in theatres. So what’s all this about?

An entry for “Astro Girl: (Aka: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie)” can be found on the SAG-AFTRA web site. The entry further details that this is a “Netflix Dubbing Agreement”. What is SAG-AFTRA? This is the web site for the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. This is the primary labour union for actors, including voice actors, in the United States. As such this project is being listed because there are union actors who are working on the project.

I will not claim to be an expert on what’s listed in this particular database. I do not know if all information listed on this site is definitive and final confirmation of the parties affiliated with those works. There’s little doubt that “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie” is a reference to the films Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 and Part 2. It’s worth noting that this entry only lists one film and is dated 2019, back when we didn’t actually know that the film would be broken up into two parts. If this information is outdated, does it still represent the current state of the project?

The production company on this listing is “The Best Entertainment, LLC”. A search for other shows by this company on the SAG-AFTRA site turns up an extensive list of foreign language animated and live action series many of which are currently streaming on Netflix.

Uran aka Astro Girl

The name “Astro Girl” is certainly odd. Is this a code name for the project? If so, why use Sailor Moon Eternal as the AKA? It’s possible that for reasons of secrecy the project was referred to as Astro Girl while recording so that no everyone knew what it was. I’m reminded of the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series which was referred to internally as Project “Y”. The name Astro Girl does vaguely fit the idea of Sailor Moon, who is a girl who is from space. It happens to also be the English name of Astro Boy’s sister.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon voice-over session script title

What are the implications of this? If Netflix is dubbing the films, rather than Viz Media who had dubbed the Sailor Moon Crystal series to date, would we be seeing the same voice cast returning? Earlier today Stephanie Sheh, who plays Usagi in the Viz dub of Sailor Moon Crystal, shared a photo of herself in a Sailor Moon shirt while recording “pickups” for an unspecified series. This could simply be a coincidence!

If Netflix is in fact dubbing these films, does that means that it will absolutely play on Netflix? A series made or dubbed by Netflix is generally something which will likely be released on Netflix. Such films are usually not released in theatres in any significant capacity, though a home video release is not unheard of. Many Netflix series and Netflix dubbed anime series and films have been released on DVD and Blu-Ray after being released to the streaming service.

I present this information to you with all of the relevant context I’m aware of. I would welcome any additional information or insight anyone may have. Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. At this point I would take this information with a grain of salt. SAG-AFTRA is a legitimate organization which has many similar Netflix projects listed, though we have not received official confirmation of this information. I am not an industry expert and don’t know if projects are only listed on the SAG-AFTRA site if they are confirmed. I am also unsure of whether or not Viz Media or what other voice acting companies do or don’t use union actors. There was speculation that when Barbara Goodson used the alias Janis Carol in Sailor Moon SuperS that this may have been related to non union work, but I never did learn of the specific reason for this credit.

What do you think? In light of the ongoing pandemic are you pleased at the prospect of the Sailor Moon Eternal films being released directly to a streaming service or would you rather see them in theatres? Would you still pick up a physical copy of these films if they are released to stream first?

Source: JRPictures on Twitter

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14 thoughts on “Rumour: Is Netflix dubbing the Sailor Moon Eternal films?

  1. It seems unlikely to me that Netflix would be handling this project. I feel like Hulu or Crunchyroll would be more likely given their history with streaming the various Sailor Moon series.
    Let’s wait and see what happens. It could be that we’ll get further information in the next week or two.

    • i wish crunchyroll will have the same as hulu but but also have the S and SuperS Movies like having the original anime episodes crystal was gone in hulu so you to mention funimation because it also has the R Movie

    • While it makes more sense for Hulu/Viz to pick it up since they already stream the shows, projects like these are “bid” on. Netflix has grown its list of anime significantly over the years, and I’m sure they are more than well aware of the popularity of Sailor Moon. They also have the money to pay for it. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at all if Netflix out bid them on this one.

  2. I do not know, sometimes Netflix seems to be okay, but other times not so much. I know people are not all fans of the Viz Dub or voices, I know I am not a fan of some of the Viz Dub choices in their scripts for certain episodes, but for the most part I actually like the voice actors they have chosen. Now it will be sad if they change the voice actors because then it will be all new voices and there will be no consistency.

    • Yeah, I think the new cast does a good job in Viz’s version of Crystal, even if some characters’ voices seemed off in the original anime as dubbed by Viz.

      Either way, not bringing back the same voices would be a bad idea at this point.

      And here I was, getting ready to drop Netflix since they haven’t had anything interesting for me all year.

    • Well, it could mean getting it early.
      If it’s left solely to Viz (and I hope the VAs are retained) then it could be a year or two before we see a dub or even get news of it.
      My worries are Netflix in order to snatch up properties will rush it and use amateurs.

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