Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sailor Moon returns to print this Fall

As a long time fanboy of Sailor Moon, I must admit I never really read the manga. Nevertheless I am excited to hear of the return of Sailor Moon manga to print on American bookshelves this Fall, after a six year hiatus. My love affair with Sailor Moon started in the mid 90's. After almost a decade with little to no anime being broadcast in syndication, and the home VHS anime market costing something like $25-30 a cassette, Sailor Moon brought affordable anime viewing back to television. Though a little mixed up from the easy formula we saw in the late seventies early eighties, some of the classic themes ran through. With Sailor Moon you again had color coded uniformed heroes. You had a team of five heroes, although this time they were all girls, a singular male did replace the "princess" role of the older anime, as the smart alec Darien, or mysterious Tuxedo Mask. Luna the cat acted as the wise old mentor. Much like the evil forces and villain of the day we saw in Battle of the Planets, the Negaverse, Queen Beryl, her generals, and the villain of the day followed suit in season one of Sailor Moon.

So with a new twist on some very classic themes Sailor Moon thundered into the US marketplace..... well actually, that's not quite how it happened. Sailor Moon was a complete unknown for its time and so the syndication networks put little faith into it, relegating it to such horrible times slots as 5:30AM weekdays or worse. Within about a year the show was no longer being broadcast in the states, but a trickle of merchandise including dolls and VHS tapes were on shelves in the US. Thankfully, there was a much warmer reception to Sailor Moon in Canada on YTV. They kept the show going strong and I believe even had some more episodes translated., while keeping the dolls and such on the shelves. Sailor Moon fandom in the states struggled against all odds. The only new domestic merchandise was cardzillions trading cards available for a quarter each from vending machines at Toys R Us stores.

Then after what seemed like an eternity, Cartoon Network salvaged Sailor Moon for broadcast near the turn of the millennium. Tons of new merchandise was put out on the shelves in the early part of the 00's. The missing episodes were broadcast for the first time in the states. However, in the end of the day, not all Sailor Moon animation ever got translated. The movies, and several episodes for mature viewers were published on VHS. These were in no way grossly adult in nature, but stronger fair than television with a better translation (I think). It's weird sometimes how I collect, for example I don't own all the different tapes, but I owned multiples of the early doll releases. Sometimes I wish I had more devoted fandom practices, although then I would be out of even more money. Hopefully in conjunction with the new release of the comics we might see a definitive, complete Sailor Moon animation video release. If we're lucky, a new wave of merchandise will be gracing shelves for a new decade.

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