Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sailor Moon (English adaptations)

The English adaptations of both the manga and anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States. The anime adaptation of Sailor Moon attempted to capitalize on the success of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. After a bidding-war between Toon Makers, who wanted to produce a half live-action and half American-style cartoon version, and DIC Entertainment, DiC — then owned by The Walt Disney Company — and Optimum Productions acquired the rights to the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, from which they cut six episodes and merged two. Editors cut each of the remaining episodes by several minutes to make room for more commercials, to censor plot points or visuals deemed inappropriate for children, and to allow the insertion of "educational" segments called "Sailor Says" at the end of each episode.
The English adaptations by Optimum Productions and Cloverway of Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S (the third and fourth series) stayed relatively close to the original Japanese versions, without skipping or merging any episodes. Some controversial changes were made, however, such as the depiction of Sailors Uranus and Neptune as cousins rather than lovers.
Toei has never licensed the fifth and final series, Sailor Stars, for adaptation into English. As of May 2004, the rest of the metaseries has officially gone off the air in all English-speaking countries due to lapsed and unrenewed licenses.
The manga publisher Mixx (subsequently renamed Tokyopop) translated the Sailor Moon manga into English in 1997. The manga initially appeared syndicated in MixxZine but was later pulled out of that magazine and made into a separate monthly comic to finish the first through third arcs. At the same time, the fourth and fifth arcs began printing in a secondary magazine called "SMILE". After its initial publication, the entire series was reprinted in the smaller volume format known in the beginning as "Pocket Mixx" before Mixx became Tokyopop. In total, the series was collected into 11 "Sailor Moon" volumes, 4 "Sailor Moon SuperS" volumes, and 3 "Sailor Moon Stars" volumes. The volumes included extra stories that were not run with the monthly comics. Sailor Moon collects the first three arcs (the Dark Kingdom [Mixxzine 1-1 to 2-1 + Comic issues 1-7], Black Moon [8-19], and Infinity arcs [20-35]). Sailor Moon Super S collects the Super S/Dream arc [Smile 1.1-2.6] and Sailor Moon Stars collects the Sailor Stars arc [Smile 2.7-3.10]. They feature all of the content from the original manga collections (though the names of characters introduced in the first two story arcs were changed to those used in the English anime), as well as the occasional new sketch and "thank you" commentary from the series' creator.
The Tokyopop English-language manga went out of print on May 2, 2005 after the license expired.

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