Second Wind: Shows That Deserve Another Life (Part 4) (Really)
Well, Toonami has gone and done it. Recently at MomoCon, Toonami has announced that they’ve acquired DBZ Kai – the very show I railed against back in my first editorial. I’m not mad, though, just a bit disappointed. Bleach has roughly 20 episodes left, and since Kai is coming (in their words) in the fall, it seems like the most obvious replacement. Good for DBZ fans, but Toonami really could have used that slot for something that hasn’t been played hundreds of times already. How about a new show, or perhaps another classic series that hasn’t been played nearly as much… Something that we haven’t seen in seemingly forever…?
#4: Sailor Moon (For real, this time)
No, this isn’t another late April Fools joke. Back in my introductory editorial, one of the rules I’ve stated is that I wouldn’t include unlicensed shows in this series, Sailor Moon being one of them. Well, times have changed, and I can now proudly include the franchise in this list.
Sailor Moon has had a rocky history in North America. The series was introduced in U.S. syndication through a hack dub by DiC. DiC changed character names, tacked-on a PSA at the end of each episode – even if the messages had nothing to do with the content of the episodes themselves – and hacked the show to pieces via missing and merged episodes. After languishing in obscurity for a while, Sailor Moon finally found a new home on Toonami in 1998. The Toonami run even featured several unaired episodes from the DiC run.
The series was later transferred to Cloverway, whose dub wasn’t much better. It was slightly less edited than DiC’s version and the stupid PSAs were gone, but Cloverway retained the name changes and altered the relationship between two of the Sailor Scouts – an act of censorship that unintentionally made a certain controversial subtext even creepier. Geneon and ADV obtained sub-licenses, the latter using theirs to release some of the series uncut on home video. But the releases were incomplete. The rights to the series became a mess, until 2005 when Toei and Kodansha ended all rights and distribution of the anime and manga in North America. It seemed like the marquee magical girl franchise had run its course.
Or did it…?
At Anime Central this year, Viz Media made the announcement that they’ve acquired all of Sailor Moon. The series will be uncut and redubbed, and that’s just the icing on top of the cake. Aside from the original four seasons, they’ve also acquired the three movies, the Sailor Stars season (which has never been released Stateside), and the new series Sailor Moon Crystal, which will debut on July 4. This is the definitive year to be a Sailor Moon fan. During MomoCon, the Toonami crew stated that they’re looking at Sailor Moon as a potential pickup, so the interest is certainly there. (If you don’t want to watch the whole panel, here’s an image with a quick recap.)
With regards to DBZ, it’s great that Toonami will be bringing back the killer app that made their block a mega-hit and kicked off its Golden Age. However, it’s a complete story that we’ve seen multiple times already. I feel it would be a better decision to show off one of the block’s original stepping stones – and show it in its entirety, the way it should have been all those years ago.
Welcome back to 1998.
Tune in next time for my next pick!
[Image credit: cow41087]