August 28th 1995, 20 years ago today, the Sailor Moon anime first aired on YTV in English in Canada. This marked the beginning of the popularisation of the series in North America, where it acheived a great amount of success, as it had been and continued to do throughout the world. As a Canadian I experienced this first hand as the show played repeatedly on YTV and Global many times a day in popular time slots. Sailor Moon was an instantly recogniseable icon amongst Canadian adults and children alike when the show was in its prime. The series first aired in US on syndication starting September 11th 1995 though many American stations relegated it to less desireable times than Canadian stations had done. I recall getting up to watch the show in the early hours of the morning weekdays on UPN 38 and WPIX as many other fans surely did. Though everyone’s personal experience with Sailor Moon may differ wide spread exposure to the series in the US was less common until Toonami began airing the show on June 1st 1998.
Some of you may be wondering how we can be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show in North America when we are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show in Japan. It took over 3 years for the show to be dubbed and released domestically, with the first episode being aired in Japan on March 7th 1992. The so called 20th annivesary celebration that has been going on in Japan has therefore been going on for over 3 years. The 20th Anniversary brand still appears all over the Japanese Official site which is titled the Sailor Moon 20th Annivesary Project Official Site and the Official Twitter account @sailormoon_20th. At this point we are actually closer to the arbitrary 25th annivesary of the show in Japan than the 20th.
Whatever the case Sailor Moon, as most of us have known it, has been around for 20 years. Here’s to 20 more!