No Deal On "Sailormoon-S"
Television Series

Never before has it been made so abundantly clear to us that fans of "Sailor Moon" must actually take action in order to get more English dubbed episodes.

Irwin Procott

Our Procott with Irwin Toys was unsuccessful. Simply put, not enough fans made enough purchases nor sent in enough UPCs to encourage the company to continue sponsoring new episodes.

Even though their (800) phone sales went up over 5 times their normal level and that each sale was above their normal level--not enough fans took part. This was confirmed by our own receipt of just 53 UPCs from Canada (a disappointing response).

This was not a good turnout by our own standards and certainly not enough to forecast the mass sales necessary to turn a profit in the toy industry.

We cannot blame Irwin for not going ahead with the show. If anything, they've been a terrific sponsor and a huge supporter of "Sailor Moon."

Procott Comparison

This contrasts greatly against our other calls for action & Procotts which have been very successful. Some of our members believe that we failed because:

  • 1. We did not give enough notice to the fans.
  • 2. Fans already owned most of the toys.
  • 3. No new toys or collectors items were available.
  • 4. Some fans took for granted that new episodes would be dubbed.
  • But we once again extend a giant thank you to all of those who did participate. Each visit to Irwin's site, every purchase, every UPC had much more importance than usual.

    The Cartoon Network

    Ironically, the ratings for "Sailor Moon" have been excellent.

    As we have previously reported with each passing week the series has gained more and more viewers--settling into a comfortable position. It is the #1 rated show in the Toonami block even though it has the worst time slot. (There are more potential viewers later in the afternoon but we have agreed with the network's choices.)

    The program has easily surpassed The Cartoon Network's projections--which has delighted advertisers since they are enjoying higher ratings without having to pay extra for their commercials.

    Would The Cartoon Network Pay For Sailormoon-S"?

    As we have reported earlier, no.

    Here, corporate politics enter the picture. It is The Cartoon Network's unwritten policy to invest only in those shows which it or one of its parent companies (Turner Networks, Time/Warner) will ultimately control. "Sailor Moon" is considered (correctly or incorrectly) to be controlled by Disney, a rival company.

    (In truth, "Sailor Moon" is not controlled by Disney but that makes no difference here. It's Disney who could profit most by new episodes. No Time/Warner/Turner employee wants to be responsible for that.)

    The Cartoon Network programs plenty of series made by rival companies but it does not finance new episodes to be produced which those companies will end up controlling.

    Such politics are not at all unusual in the low level production world of Cable Television. These rules disappear in the big leagues of Broadcast Television (but this is expected to change in the future).

    The Cartoon Network will not pay for more episodes to be dubbed. They would however be very happy to broadcast any new episodes which someone else has paid for.

    But If The Ratings Are Good... Then why wouldn't Irwin pay for new episodes?

    Good ratings (in Cable Television) are a double-edged sword. They mean that a show is suddenly worth more than expected. DiC may have asked for more money than Irwin could have afforded. This would not be the first time that DiC has sacrificed its future for short-term money.

    Further, Scott Irwin may not have been overjoyed at the sight of seeing so many others benefit from his investment and not getting enough in return. Irwin still does not own the Mass Market Rights to "Sailor Moon" in the United States. Why should Irwin continue to invest more money that DiC (or even Bandai) could end up profiting from?

    The more money Irwin spends on new episodes for the Canadian Market, the more other companies in the United States have to gain.

    United States Mass Market Rights

    "No Action! No Satisfaction!"

    Pure Speculation: Bandai Holds Sailormoon Hostage

    We are not privy to the negotiations--nor how the chief executives at the different companies "think" but a possible explanation of why Bandai has not relinquished the U.S. Mass Market Rights is because they want to see if Disney is going ahead with the Live Action Feature. Bandai could make a lot more money by selling toys when a Feature comes out even if they shouldn't have Player Likeness Rights than selling their Rights to Irwin now.

    (This is one of those rare instances where a proposed Live Action Feature could be detrimental to a pre-existing Animated Series.)

    The problem is that Bandai agreed to fully exploit the property in the United States--which is something they haven't done and something that they would be in violation of if they were to hold-up a deal with Irwin. In other words, Bandai could stall but only for so long.

    But Bandai may not see it that way--because none of the companies involved (DiC, Toei & Kodansha) seem willing to openly confront Bandai on this issue. Bandai's relationship with Toei & Kodansha goes far beyond this one property--which is why we aren't likely to see any open confrontation. We would hope that Toei & Kodansha speak to Bandai on this issue and come to an agreement. (We realize that DiC may not be able to.)

    We wouldn't be surprised if Disney's Motion Picture division didn't care at all about this situation. As long as they receive the Toy Rights to the Motion Picture all these other Rights may seem like peanuts to them (no matter what they might tell DiC).

    Fans of "Sailor Moon" should not contact Bandai under any circumstances. Any complaints or requests would only lead Bandai to believe that there still is interest in this show and would encourage the company to sit on the Rights longer or demand more money for those Rights (thus delaying future dubbing). (Though, it is possible, that one day we might call for action concerning Bandai.)

    We had confirmed from several sources that Irwin was interested in these Rights. It made perfect sense to us--they would sponsor more shows and then sell the toys throughout the United States and Canada.

    But we also knew how difficult these negotiations would be. One of the reasons for our Procott was to help encourage Irwin to make a deal (to remind them of the potential of the U.S. Market) and also show them that such Rights may not be a necessity. (In other words, why have Rights to any territories when you could sell plenty of toys through the Internet? Territories could be an issue of the past.) More participation from fans could have made a difference.

    Irwin is no longer negotiating for these Rights. Its latest bid is now in limbo--though this could change if DiC and Bandai could come to agreement with one another OR on the bid itself; from past experience we don't see how. It would be the first time, in a long time, that these companies agreed on anything.

    (We would be amiss not to mention the possibility of Bandai returning as an active sponsor. The chances of this are extremely low but not impossible--crazier events have happened.)

    Irwin is expected to continue to exercise its current licenses which now include Internet & Specialty Rights in the United States for all of the "Sailormoon, R & S" television series.


    Recently, at a convention in Canada, some of the Voice Artists for the English Version of the series supposedly told fans to petition Disney to continue the show. We hope that this is not true as it might prove to be a mis-directed use of fan support.

    In a posting, in the near future, we will explain why a petition to the Walt Disney Company would not be in the best interest of the series. Disney is notoriously anti-petition for some very good reasons.

    We are however investigating Disney as a viable alternative and, if so, come to an agreement on the best action to approach them with. This would probably take the form of a letter writing campaign and definitely not in the form of a petition.


    We believe that DiC may not have been fully informed on the situation concerning the "Sailormoon-S" series but with this story believe that they might now have a better reference. We look forward to some progress on the series and features.

    The Save Our Sailors Campaign

    We hope to report better news in the near future.

    We believe that our next call for action--whatever it may be, will be a critical one for the series. We hope that we will present a plan that all fans will agree to and take part in.

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