Kayarath’s Adventures In Sailor Moon

Posted on Sep 25 2014

Kayarath's Adventures In Sailor Moon

One of the biggest premieres of Otakon was the rebirth of Sailor Moon. The magical girl show that captured the hearts of a generation, Sailor Moon is revered but largely unavailable through legal channels. With the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal on the airwaves, a return of the original series would be a natural next step. After what I can only assume was a brutal campaign, Viz Media emerged with the rights to the original show. Their victory lap ended at their Otakon Sailor Moon panel.

Those who attended received a very nice Sailor Moon poster. Full color, double sided, and very thick to boot. It’s a high quality poster and a fine collectible to have. Viz went all out on this. Looking at that poster reminds me how enjoyable the character designs are. Despite the fact that they’re all in sailor suits, each scout has their own distinct character design. Meanwhile, I still scorn the characters designs of The Irregular at Magic High School. Everyone there looks alike, and those school uniforms are so boring!

The mood of the audience was one of excitement. No, scratch that. I think a more accurate description would be that of a long standing desire finally being fulfilled. If it’s not obvious at this point, Salior Moon is an iconic anime franchise. After so many years of quiet, the show of so many childhoods is returning in its full glory! People wanted Sailor Moon so badly, they were cheering for the freakin’ trailer!

My mood was slightly dampened by a bit of obnoxious marketing. During some industry panels, the hosting company will suggest a hashtag for people to use when tweeting about the event. Viz Media made use of #Moonpanel, and the screen put that phrase up several times. For one, I found the frequency of it annoying. There’s a fine difference between suggestion and spamming, and that line was crossed that day. Second, what if NASA wants to hold some type of panel on moon exploration or settlement? People on Twitter looking for lunar information could instead end up reading anime tweets instead, and I’m not comfortable with that scenario. Ironically, I myself did tweet on the event, but I didn’t use the #Moonpanel hashtag!

I right wrongs and triumph over evil, and that means you!

I right wrongs and triumph over evil, and that means you!

Soon enough, we were greeted by Charlene Ingram (whom we did interview), a senior manager of Viz Media, who laid down the docket. The first order of business was showing episodes one and two because they’re the first episodes. Then episodes eight and ten were shown because they were the debut episodes of Sailor Mercury and Mars respectively. These two episodes were also first-time premieres. After that, there would be a question and answer session with the voice actors.

Like with the characters every other season, this would be a new reincarnation of the original show. It is a complete, uncut redubbing of the original series. Viz Media took great care to ensure that their redub would as close as possible to the original Japanese show. Instead of the English Sailor Moon theme, they used the original opening Moonlight Legend (which you can request on our radio stream). Oddly enough, I actually really like the English opening. There’s no altering the plot, and all the characters keep their Japanese names. The voice actors were approved by the Japanese creators, and they even previewed the Japanese take before every line and scene!

Why, it’s practically a whole new show! Especially since I haven’t seen the show since I was a child. I didn’t know that Sailor Moon has magical disguise powers! I didn’t know that Usagi had an annoying younger brother! I didn’t know Usasgi started out as such a brat! I knew Usagi was sort of a crybaby, but she really has a lot of growing to do before she can live up to being Sailor Moon. There are several seasons for her to develop her character, though.

There are good things and bad things about the show. I get the feeling that a lot of the episodes boil down to a formula of a monster trying to drain human energy, the Sailor Scouts come in, Tuxedo Max comes in for a timely save/assist, and then Sailor Moon kills the monster with her tiara. It can’t be helped, I guess. However, the plot does throw in a few things to keep people on their toes. I found the Dragon Ball Z reference quite surprising; but Jedite (one of the bad guys) giving his critique of the Japanese education system really throws you for a loop. The epic moments are coming, though. I remember that they were there, and they will come sooner or later.

Coming to a store near you!  Or a website to be accurate...

Coming to a store near you! Or a website to be accurate…

One thing that really gets me is this one scene from episode ten. Basically, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars hopped into a pocket dimension to save some people from a monster. After the battle, Tuxedo Mask suddenly appears out of nowhere to haul the people out of the pocket dimension. How did he get there? I have no idea how Tuxedo Mask got there! No one else can figure it out either. When asked about that during the Q & A, all they said, “How does Tuxedo Mask do anything? He’s Tuxedo Mask!”

The casting for the redub is generally okay. Then again, most people are a lot pickier than me, voice-acting wise. The only thing that grated on me was the pitch of Saior Moon’s voice. Stephanie Sheh, that is too high! I’m personally a bit disappointed that Cristina Vee didn’t get the role of Sailor Moon. However, I think she’s a great fit for Sailor Mars. I also really enjoyed Cindy Robinson’s performance as Queen Beryl. It’s deep and menacing, and that’s exactly what you want for a villain like Queen Beryl. While some people would prefer the original voice actors from the DIC dub be recruited, I’m fine with the choices VIZ made.

After the episodes played, Charlene Ingram, Stephanie Sheh, and Robbie Daymond fielded questions from the audience. Stephanie Sheh (whom we’ve interview before) voices Sailor Moon, and is looking forward to voicing all those later epic conflicts. For now, her expertise at voicing laughter and crying has served her well in voicing Sailor Moon. She’s also ready for all the possible hate coming from people who don’t like her performance. Robbie Daymond voices Tuxedo Mask for his debut anime voice performance. Coming from a theatrical background, he is ready to embrace the mask. His only weakness is pronouncing the Japanese names correctly. That’s one thing a theater background doesn’t help you with, but I’m sure he’ll get the hang of it.

Charlene Ingram also answered questions. Since she’s a PR person and not a voice in the show, she mainly answered production questions. When asked about the Sailor Moon movies, she stated that they wanted to focus on the series at the moment. I get the feeling that the movies will be dubbed, but not until they get through a good portion of the series proper. When asked about the Sailor Moon musicals, Charlene simply said that there are no plans. I get the feeling those aren’t on Viz’s to do list (but you can request the songs on our radio stream!).

If you’re a real Sailor Moon fan, I bet you’ve already pre-ordered the Sailor Moon box set coming out this November. Alternatively, you could go to Neon Alley and watch the show yourself online. They have both subs and dubs! If you’re not a Sailor Moon fan, you really should be. It’s a true classic, and now’s the perfect time to start. A beautiful transformation awaits you. In the name of the Moon, I will punish you!

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  • moonhawk81 September 26, 2014 at 3:09 AM

    Wish I could have been there! I’ve been excited about this since first learning that they planned to re-dub the original anime. . .I usually avoid dubs, but since that’s how my kids and I originally saw the show, it’s a natural fit.

  • Zero Gravity September 29, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Think this is a sign that magical girl shoujo shows will try and re-blossom?

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