An updated English translation for the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Another Story RPG has been released on romhacking.net. This game, a Japanese Role Playing Game from 1995, was only ever released in Japan on the Super Famicom. Since there was never an English language release on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the overseas equivalent of the Super Famicom, fans looking to play the game have been able to do so thanks to an English fan translation released nearly 20 years ago back in 1999 by Bishoujo Senshi Translation. So what does this new one have to offer that the original translation didn’t? The new team built on the work of BST but improved the translation with over 400 changes. If we look at some comparison screenshots we can see that basic elements such as fonts are based on the original patch and the script is similar but with a lot of small changes to the language. There were also some programming changes to bugs in the game. The text files included with the patch also have some new built in cheat codes for those looking to have a different game experience.
Original Translation – Glitched on some Emulators
New Translation – Fixed
So! How can fans play this game? Video game emulators require a rom (read only memory) file which is basically a dump of the video game’s data to play. The Sailor Moon: Another Story rom file itself is not included on the romhacking.net web site for copyright reasons. Only a patch file is hosted there which can be applied using a patching tool to the original Japanese rom file. Patching tools are easy enough to find. I use a pearl script because there are less tools available on Mac than on Windows PCs. If you’re looking for the rom file there are some disreputable sites on the Internet which host such files including Sailor Moon Another Story.
Have you played this game? Do you plan on checking out this new translation as a way to experience this game for the first time or yet again? I’ve restarted playing this game at least 3 times previously! The first time I played a Japanese rom before a translation was available and didn’t get too far. A few years later I emulated the English version on my Sega Dreamcast and gave up at some point in the North Pole when I found the random encounters time consuming. I later bought a copy of the Super Famicom game and played that in Japanese, giving up after a tough boss fight during Sailor Mercury’s side quest. This might be a good time to try the game out again! I enjoy doing game emulation on my Raspberry Pi and my hacked 3DS. What do you emulate games on?
Great news for Sailor Moon fans who also appreciate classic video games! The 1995 Sailor Moon S video game for the Sega Game Gear has been translated into English! This seems like a somewhat odd choice of a game to translate as it’s not an RPG or something with a bunch of text, but a fairly simple side scroller. Still the translation is a useful one as it adds English to the title screen, multiple menus and even subtitles to some spoken cut scenes. This is not an official translation of a 24 year old game but rather a fan translation.
Does this mean you’ll need to dust off your Sega Game Gear to play this? Not likely. The translation file supplied is in the form of a patch, an ips, which can be applied to a rom dump of the original game in order to make the English version. Fans would likely play this on some sort of video game emulator. Which you would want to use depends on what platform you like to play it on. Details and a download link are included on the Romhacking.net web site. This file alone will not allow you to play the game. You will need the original rom, the patch and software to patch it as well as an emulator. For legal purposes the original rom file, which is copyright, is not hosted on the site. The file name mentioned is “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S (Japan).gg”. I had an old file named “Sailor Moon S(jp).gg” and was able to patch it. I’ve also seen it called “Sailor Moon S (J).gg” on a site which hosted the rom. You’ll need software to patch the file. It’s not terribly complicated, but depending on your operating system it might require a bit of work. Since I use a Mac I needed to dig a little to find platform independent software to patch the game. I ultimately used a Pearl application ips.pl which can run in a Unix terminal but there are probably easier ways to do this on Windows.
I personally enjoy video game emulation on my Raspberry Pi equipped with RetroPie as well as a hacked 3DS I use for portable classic gaming. I tried out this game on my Raspberry Pi. It seemed to play well although I had trouble with the Rei’s Fortune Teller mini game. It just booted back to the menu instead of giving me my fortune. Speaking of that mini game! The game suffers from the Y2K bug as it is unable to take a date beyond 1999 for today’s date. This game is so old that it doesn’t even work right if played almost 20 years ago!
I originally played this game years ago as I bought the Game Gear game and a second hand Game Gear for the express purpose of playing it. The Game Gear has no restriction on playing international games. Since there’s very little Japanese text outside of the menus it was easy enough to play. As Sailor Moon games go this isn’t really the best. It’s a side scrolling sort of platformer sort of beat ‘em up game but there are much better Sailor Moon games of this type on the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo in North America). Most fans would probably tell you that the Sailor Moon Another Story RPG is the most worthwhile of the many Sailor Moon video games released on a number of systems throughout the 1990s. I certainly have enjoyed many hours with the game, though I find it has a very inconsistent difficulty curve. That game is also available in English along with the Sailor Moon R Super Famicom game. The Sailor Moon S and SuperS fighting games are also pretty fun and easy games to pick up.
Have you played any classic Sailor Moon games? Which is your favourite?
News has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon Site stating that at the end of September the Nogizaka x Sailor Moon musical will be airing on Japanese TV. The showings, on TBS channel 2 in Japan, will be held on two days to showcase both Team Star, September 29th, and Team Moon, September 30th. Each showing is at 5pm Japan Standard Time. What does this mean for us fans out here on the other side of the globe far from being basked in the radio waves of Tokyo Tower? In the past when a streaming version of the musical was made available this meant that some fan would record the broadcast and eventually create an English fan subbed version of the musical. I have been watching the releases from Miss Dream for the past many years but a takedown notice by King Records has lead to them removing their hosted files for the Petite Étrangère, Un Nouveau Voyage, Amour Eternal and Le Mouvement Final musicals. What does this mean for the new musical? I can’t say for sure.
Last week Miss Dream content manager Sailor Busters posted to her Twitter account stating her intention to record and upload the musical for the site.
So the Nogimyu will be aired on TBS channel 2 in Japan and I WILL have the ability to record both sessions (though it may not be at the EXACT time it airs/streams). Then I will packing it up and upload it for Miss Dream!
It seems like the fan subbing group intends to share the musical. They may of course decide not to rather than risk another takedown notice after all the hard work that goes into translating and subtitling a musical. If it does get subbed and King Records sends another takedown notice they would likely comply and remove the content. I can’t predict the future but it seems like a subbed version of the musical is a possibility.
I’m always hesitant to advocate flat out piracy on this site. In this case fan subs are thought to occupy a grey area where they aren’t legal but in cases such as this they seem to do little or nothing to negatively affect any legal product sales in Japan. Because of this most fan sub groups will be removed once there is a legal release of that content. I always encourage fans to support the official releases when possible. In this case the musicals have generally been released on video in Japan only. These releases are region coded with DVD region 2 which will not play in North America. These have not included any English audio or subtitles. Further the digital versions are usually restricted to users in Japan. That said things are getting more complicated as we have started to see performances and even theatrical showings of recent musicals here in North America.
Could the takedown notices by King Records be an indication of plans for a North American release of the musicals? I can only speculate as to what this means. It may simply be the case that they are trying to avoid having Japanese fans, who might otherwise pay for their legal releases, from downloading these English fan subbed releases and disabling the soft subtitles to watch them without any English text. The Internet, after all, has no borders. These sort of things didn’t happen back in the days of tape swapping and were less relevant with hard subbed videos which would be that much less appealing to a Japanese viewer. Similarly North American releases of Japanese anime on DVD and Blu-Ray could be imported by Japanese viewers often at a fraction of the cost of expensive Japanese releases. In the case of Sailor Moon this hasn’t been much of an issue with the massive difference in quality between Japanese and domestic releases.
What do you think? Have you been watching the Miss Dream subs of the musicals like many others in the fan community? Are you hoping to have a chance to watch the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical as well? What do you think about the morality of sharing fan subs of releases not legally available in a country?
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.
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.
What do you think of the clip? Can any First Nation Canadian readers understand the dialogue?
The second year of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club will be from July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018. Pre-orders for new memberships and renewals are now available for fans in Japan and around the world. New and returning fans will get a new membership card and an exclusive Moon Stick pendant. Fans who are renewing are also going to receive a stationary set. Overseas fans will also have access to the Fan Club App and site though it will remains mostly in Japanese. Elaborate instructions for signing up to the Japanese fan club site are included. Though it’s stated that you will get such an e-mail in the future, I was able to use the link mentioned in the document to sign up for the fan club with the e-mail address I used for my Tokyo Otaku Mode account. I tried to use a dummy account I made for my cat to do the same but I got an error stating that the e-mail address was not found, so a membership does appear to be necessary to get access to this site. Current English language versions of the newsletter were available once I logged on to the site. These are the same as the Japanese newsletters, which are also available, but they are posted months after the fact. A comparison of the most recent newsletter appears below. The full newsletter is just a large jpeg file.
Fan Club membership for the year is $58 US. I can’t say I was terribly excited by any of the Fan Club exclusives I had the option to get last year. My lip gloss is sitting in its original box. I’ve still pre-ordered my second year membership from the Tokyo Otaku Mode site. It’s a bit of a gamble on my part in the event that some of this year’s exclusives are of interest to me. The exclusives aren’t expected to ship until October so there will be quite a wait for that.
Do you plan on signing up for the Fan Club or renewing your existing membership?
The latest Sailor Moon musical, Amour Eternal, recently played in Japan. The final performance was available to download through a number of Japanese on demand services however this was little help to international fans who couldn’t speak the language or even access these services which were limited to a Japanese audience. As per usual the people at Miss Dream have subtitled this musical and have made it available on their web site.
For the first time the musical is available on HD. The previous musicals were likely shot on old cameras and released only in standard definition. The video in this release seems better. I hope this means we will be getting a Blu-Ray release of this musical instead of the sub standard interlaced DVDs we’ve seen for the last three.
I haven’t had the time to watch the musical yet but look forward to doing so and maybe doing a review which is something I always drag my feet on for the musicals. Thanks to Miss Dream for subtitling this musical and for Twitter user aeors00 for supplying them with the raw version of the musical.
This Friday there is yet another Moonlight Party planned. These events, hosted by Viz, are a sort of online pyjama party to celebrate all things Sailor Moon. In the past most of these have been accompanied by the release of some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu. This is done as advertisement for an upcoming home video release. Well now we are getting a Moonlight Party ahead of next week’s release of Sailor Moon S on home video and it doesn’t look like there is any plan to have any dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S released online at this time. Details for the Moonlight Party have been posted to the Facebook Page for the event and the YouTube video of the event itself. Nothing in either of these mentions that we should expect any episodes. In the past when episodes were released along with a Moonlight Party this was always announced ahead of time. There will be dub clips from the new episodes, supposedly something more than what we’ve already seen, as well as trivia questions, prizes and all the usual fun we get with these Moonlight Parties.
I don’t post this to discourage you from joining in! The event should still be a lot of fun. I had speculated when this event was first announced that it could come with some free to watch dubbed episodes and it seems like, all things considered, this is unlikely to be the case. You can watch the event using the embedded video below. It will be at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time.
Want to see some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S? Well then you really should order Sailor Moon S part 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray using the links below. The set comes out next Tuesday, November 15th and will contain the first half of Sailor Moon S.
MTV has posted a video to their Facebook page which has Iggy Azalea sharing a story about her love of Sailor Moon. She explains that as children her and her sister, Emerald Kelly, used to watch Sailor Moon. One day they dipped their hands in house paint to have long white gloves like Sailor Guardians. Choas ensued and it seems their father wasn’t terribly happy about the mess they made in the yard. The video, seen below, includes some animated footage of Iggy Azalea as a Sailor Guardian. While Iggy is shown as Sailor Moon her younger sister Emerald is presented as Chibiusa. Watch the full video below.
Keep reading for a few more screenshots from this video.
Last Friday, September 23rd, the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club very disastrously attempted to open registration to overseas fans around the world. The Tokyo Otaku Mode web site was incapable of handing the load of the overwhelming interest from Sailor Moon fans and immediately become unavailable. As promised a new registration date has now been set! The Tokyo Otaku Mode web site has announced that registration will be opened on October 5th, next Wednesday, at 6pm PDT, which is 9pm Eastern Time. Though there has been no indication of what exactly has been done, if anything, to alleviate the server issues suffered last week, Tokyo Otaku Mode has stated that “we are certain that fans will be able to safely purchase their memberships.”.
The Official Sailor Moon Fan Club will cost $58 and give membership until June 30th 2017. Members will get a membership card, transformation brooch designed lip gloss and the opportunity to spend even more money on Fan Club exclusive products. This will also give access to the somewhat terrible Sailor Moon Fan Club App for mobile devices.
Toronto Sailor Moon fans are in for a great show tonight as Nerdgasm… Sailor Moon Edition comes to the Wayla Bar and Lounge at 996 Queen Street East. This event is billed as a dance party but is also a drag show starring Princess Juice Boxx (Juice Boxx), Sailor Bel Bel (Baby Bel Bel) and Evil Queen Bobo (Scarlett BoBo). The party starts at 10pm Saturday September 24th. Tonight!