Finally available, Pioneer Entertainment has released the 3 animated "Sailormoon" features on VHS in Japanese with English subtitles. They were translated by Rika Takahashi, whom you can visit via her "Musical Sorcery Productions" web site.
Buy the tapes and see how "Sailormoon" was meant to be seen! Revel in the music cues, sound effects, unsaid relationships and the original Voice Artists. Hear Usagi really squeal, how young Luna actually is and what Haruka & Michiru are supposed to sound like!
Although most fans like "Sailormoon-R" the best, some of us here enjoy "Sailormoon-S" for Naoko Takeuchi's unleashed, unbridled obsession for all things moon & female orientated. Watch as Naoko lashes out against science in favor of mythology and in the process reduce men to either sickness or to the sexual threat level of a Santa Claus.
Otaku (and those who'd like Pioneer to release more videos) must buy "Sailormoon-SS"--which has it's charms as well.
Look for these tapes at a Video Store near you. If you shouldn't see them, order them! (And make sure that they don't order the dubbed Buena Vista releases by mistake!)
Where's Casey Kasem When You Need Him?
Our Coverage Of
We're not privy to the internal reports of distributors like Pioneer Entertainment or retailers like Suncoast but like the rest of you we can track titles on Amazon.com's Bestseller List! True, it does skew radically from the "real" world but it is an indicator nevertheless.
During pre-orders (before the videos were available to the public), "Sailormoon-R" got all the way up to #21 by the second week of August (1999). The other 2 features always trailed behind. When new Fall general releases of more popular titles became available, the Sailormoon videos slid in position.
When the Sailormoon videos went on sale at stores they quickly sold-out with shortages everywhere. We checked several key locations and found that there were almost no copies of any of the videos available. Most stores sold out on the first day.
We even sent an operative to one of the best known retailers to Sailormoon fans, the Suncoast store at Horton Plaza in San Diego. (Why is it the best known? Because many of us made the trek there for Naoko Takeuchi's appearance at the 1998 San Diego Comic-Con!) The manager revealed that they too had sold out the first day.
This shortage created a huge demand Online and propelled the features to all-time highs. "Sailormoon-R" actually broke into the Top 10 with "Sailormoon-S" at #25 and "Sailormoon-SS" at #40! We (and apparently Pioneer) did not expect the subtitled versions to do this well. The sales were most impressive for a subtitled Japanese language release.
When more tapes were rushed out, several fans reported a rash of silent copies of "Sailormoon-R" at different Suncoast stores. We don't know how many faulty units were involved but they must have been quickly isolated, pulled and replaced as the problem disappeared within a week.
As the weeks wore on the titles slipped in position but we noticed how "Sailormoon-S" & "Sailormoon-SS" dropped less in comparison to "Sailormoon-R." These, less popular movies, were getting more attention from the still-starved Sailormoon fans. (One tape was not enough.)
"Sailormoon-R" finally dropped off Amazon's Top 100 list in January of 2000. An amazing run.