Special thanks to our seasonal writer Starcat and her buddy Furu for bringing this to my attention just a few minutes ago!
Funimation’s Blog The Funimation Update posted a survey yesterday asking for fan inputs about new series in Japan. One of these options is a possible redub of Sailor Moon. Fans, please VOTE SAILOR MOON. However, we would encourage you leave your opinion on the facts we are about to present to you at the bottom of the page in question 5. We have provided you an image of where Sailor Moon is located in the survey (Questions 3 & 4)
– Funimation would likely use their own dub artists for the show. We here at Moon Chase really don’t want to see this. The VAs of the original dub in Toronto all worked really, really hard to make the characters who they were and they really put Canada on the map for anime dubs. The show was also one of the big spark plugs that started the whole anime boom in the late nineties. To lose the majority of this cast would be devastating. These are voices that we all grew to know and a few of them have even expressed interest in returning to their roles if there was a redub or lost episodes dubbed. Now, let’s look at Pretty Cure. Toei is collaborating on the dub with Ocean Studios, and this partnership has produced wonderful results. Every episode that we have watched brings a happy tear to our eyes because this really is a dub to be proud of , hardly any cuts have been made. And it brings a sad tear to our eye because Sailor Moon never had this chance.
So please, if you want to see your old familiar voices have another chance at your favorite character in Sailor Moon, let Funimation know at the bottom who you enjoyed and that you would want to see a redub featuring the old stars.
On a side note, we’d also like to have Roland Parliament also have at the very least some input in the production. He worked extremely hard given the pressures he had from Optimum Productions to make certain edits to the series, to direct what we think were the best episodes of the series. He went above and beyond his role as a director to make sure that he put out a high quality product, sometimes having the dub actors stay past their call times (by a long shot) just to get the right take on a line. He would come home tired after a long day of dubbing, and then watch the next day’s episode in Japanese, and make notes. And then, this would all repeat again the next day. Sailor Moon was under a lot of pressure to put out 5 episodes a week!
– Funimation seems to have the vast majority of Toei’s cards in their hands. Viz only has two Toei anime licenses – Boys Over Flowers and One Piece (which is actually in a partnership with Funimation). Bandai as far as we can tell has no Toei Licenses, and ADV has only one Toei license, Saint Seiya. ADV previously had the rights to Sailor Moon, and to make a long story short, they only got the rights to the subtitled version (and they received masters of poor quality) near the end of Sailor Moon’s licenses for North America. And it’s looking like I’m going to have to work on this Geneon article pretty soon, but they have been resurrected in Japan. If you are going to Animazement this is a major part of Moon Chase’s presentation at the Sailor Moon Universe Panel! Funimation is in a special position as well because they are now streaming a lot of Toei’s series for their on-demand service on their site as well (all subtitled). These include Air Master, Captain Harlock, Digimon Adventure 02, Fist of the North Star, Galaxy Express, Pretty Cure and Slam Dunk. So right now, it is looking like Funimation is the only option for a distributor for Toei at this moment.
We here at Moon Chase happen to have spoken to a lot of independent anime/comic book store owners who praise Funimation’s vast selection, but they are not fans of their pricing strategies at all. Even some fans agree, with our own The Me finding the $60 price tag per volume of Ourah High School Host Club a little too expensive. In Canada especially, Funimation needs to really improve their distribution of anime across the country, not sending the bigger selections to only the bigger cities. This was the major issue with the release of the first two seasons – many Canadians simply did not have the chance to see ADV’s release of Sailor Moon in stores until very close to the license expiry. It was a sad day that Canadians could not purchase a show which had its dub produced in their own country.
We encourage our readers in Canada and the US to also comment to Funimation about their pricing strategies and distribution, what they would like to see in their own cities.
– Last , but certainly not least, is the issue of the final season, Sailor Stars. We are all dying to see it, however it doesn’t seem in these times that an unedited dub on television would air without any controversy. Sure, gender bending has done well late at night with the example of Cybersix, and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block has been able to keep any objections to a dull roar, but Sailor Moon is a girls’ superhero show, and many young girls back in the day did watch and love the show. It would be difficult to adapt some elements of the storyline towards the under 10 set. At this point, we would wholly support a straight to DVD release of Stars since that’s the only way that we think it could be in North America and work. Ideally, we’d also support a dub which aired late at night on adult-centered animation blocks in Canada and the US, however we don’t think that a dub aimed for young girls of that season could work.
Nonetheless, we have all waited too long for Sailor Stars, so please leave your opinion on the series with Funimation.
– Oh yeah, and there’s a couple other series we love on this survey too. Hayate the Combat Butler 2nd Season continues one of our staff favorite comedies and misadventures of a teenage butler, and K-On! is a teenage high school slice-of-life comedy about some girls who join a club, start a band, and have to deal with a guitarist who is a complete space case. If you enjoyed Ouran as a slice of life comedy, then you’ll love K-ON! too. Vote for these too if you can!
– And most importantly, be nice and informative when you write your comments. They are more likely to listen to well written comments rather than “OMG I LOVE SAILOR MOON PLZ BRING IT BACK ^_^”. A higher up at Funimation could read that and say “Ok, we know you love Sailor Moon, but why do you want it back? How can we bring it back? What would you like to see?”
Once again, that survey is located here.
Fans, please join and watch our forums. In the next few days we will be planning a letter writing campaign, but we will not be posting any details on our blog posts. And we’ve got a few other things related to this that we have up our sleeves, so stay tuned. If any of you fans write any comments towards Funimation and would like to share them on the site, please send us an email!
And finally, we have a few words for someone else…