By: Alan (John Alan Riggs)
In the fall of 1999, Pioneer released the uncut, subtitled
Sailormoon movies in North America. As of this writing--
February 2000--the company has released an dubbed
of the R movie. In the months to come, the company plans
to create similar versions of the S and SS movies, as well
dual-language DVDs of all three.
That's the news. Now... what is the Sailormoon (from this
point on, SM) community to make of this? As an anime fan,
I must admit my fellow fans have had a variety of
Several of their viewpoints are worth exploring, so that
other fans might know how to look at the issues.
Reaction 1 - Acceptance
It's great to have the SM movies commerically available
in North America. For one part of fandom, the subtitled
will be useful. Those who know the Japanese SM can collect
movies, in the hopes that more accurately-subtitled
will follow. Those who have wondered about the original
can now see it, and not have to endure poor picture
comic store prices, or disappearing fansubbers. On the
side of the equation, the casual SM fan may appreciate the
dubs. For those who can see films on DVD, the inclusion of
three versions (original/dub/cut) will appeal to fans of
Reaction 2 - Neutrality
The subtitled movies might be worthwhile, but their
appeal is limited. After all, those interested in the
probably have fansubs--if not import laserdiscs. To add to
the issue, it's unlikely that the subtitled versions will
reprinted. As for the dubs, they will be average at best.
will amount to little more than time-fillers for young
Even if Pioneer (or another company) releases the TV
SM still won't gain in popularity. Whether dubbed,
or all at once, the best years of SM have passed.
Reaction 3 - Opposition
The subtitled releases, though labelled with a "13 and
up" sticker, might still draw ire from the mainstream. The
dubbed tapes won't garner any new fans, and the actors'
performances won't improve. Consider the situation--is this
version being created for any reason beyond profit-making?
is a cult hit at best, for it turns off some individuals
than the Pokemon scandals.
In conclusion, I believe the movies will succeed. My
optimism is limited about SM's future, for the television
series is an expensive property. If a company were to
the undubbed seasons, or the series as a whole, that
future would depend on whether they released uncut
editions or not. Pioneer might do well to option the
seasons, and hold off on the first two until the quality of
dubs and the subtitled versions have been established.
Comments on this article can be sent to: Alan (John Alan Riggs).