Pioneer MAY Release SMS & SuperS TV Series
But Don't Hit That Pause Button Yet!
Several, independent, informed sources have told us that Pioneer Entertainment is considering a home video release of episodes from the "Sailormoon S" & "Sailormoon SuperS" television series. The release would be in VHS & DVD. There may be only one VHS version (Dubbed & Edited) but the DVDs would be bilingual in the same way Pioneer's feature releases have been.
And this is where we might have a problem.
The Save Our Sailors campaign is all in favor of having the Japanese version released with English subtitles and we have always supported the English dubbed version (which has been the whole reason behind our campaign). However, we have let some of the companies and individuals involved know that we can not wholeheartedly support the release of the dub in its current state. Some of us have mixed feelings about some of the new Voice Artists, the loss of some of the DiC music cues and even some of the mixing! We are undecided as to whether "Sailor Stars" should be dubbed or not.
Pioneer's possible interest may provide a unique opportunity to address some of our concerns. As it stands now, we don't believe that a release of the current Optimum dub would be as successful as the features have been so far. But if the episodes were dubbed yet again, with some of the changes that most dub fans would like, then the Save Our Sailors campaign believes that sales would be red hot. In a way, the Cartoon Network broadcast would be rendered as a tease to get fans to buy the real thing.
A second dubbing has never happened on this large a scale before. It's never been done. But then again, there have been crazier events which have happened with this show.
In explaining our proposal to some of the companies and individuals involved we have heard many of the standard reasons why such a re-dubbing may not be possible. But none of these reasons holds up. We can see no reason why the series could not be dubbed a second time, at a slower pace that would allow any Voice Artist's participation. Further, a second dubbing would not involve all of the parts; there are only a few principal parts which would need to be addressed.
As with the Pioneer feature releases, the DiC music cues would only be used on an edited VHS version. The DVD would be unedited with the original Japanese music & effects tracks.
There is the question of how the Cartoon Network might react to such a situation. Cloverway must maintain good relations with, what has become, the major anime broadcaster outside of Japan. The network would not want to buy the series a second time and would be slighted by ending up with a 3 year exclusive on what could turn out to be an inferior version. Cloverway & Pioneer could only go forward on a second dubbing with a lowered expectation of what the television rights would bring. To keep a good relationship with the Cartoon Network, they would have to offer the television rights at a reduced rate.
We would expect that (because we haven't dared raised any of this with) the Cartoon Network would strenuously object to this whole proposal. But with time and the ability to "milk the cow" a second time, at a reduced rate, that the network would warm to the idea.
The one stumbling block is if a Home Video release of a second dubbing would be successful enough for Cloverway & Pioneer to expect less from the network OR so successful that a reduced rate may not even be necessary. We believe that this might be possible and know how it could be projected.
But our members are still debating amongst themselves on whether this should be done or not. Over the next few weeks there'll be some rather heated conversations in our treehouse ("Ballantyne sucks!" "Does not!" "Does too!") and we'll be definitely keeping an ear open on our Comments Page.