To The Fans
First of all, special thanks to everyone who wrote to our Comments
Page. We read every single letter and considered everyone's opinion.
We believe that several of the involved companies read many of the
letters as well.
You may be surprised to learn that internally we've had the same
disagreements but with one, perhaps major, exception.
We know how easy it could be to get better quality for
series. What is "better quality"? Please read the Company section on
the right but you should also know the following!
When we added members to the campaign several years ago we tried to
enlist individuals with different points of view, with different
backgrounds and interests so that we could be a microcosm of all Sailor
Moon fans. When we couldn't come to an agreement on what to do about
"Sailor Moon S" we asked you, the fans, what you thought.
Like you, we appreciate all of the good things which companies have
done for "Sailormoon." We have not asked for any changes in the dubbed
televised version of the "Sailormoon S" series. We wanted a DVD release
of the unedited Japanese version with subtitles and have always believed
that it would sell well in spite of the inclusion of the anticipated
weaker (in sales) dubbed televised version. What we were considering is
how the sales of a stand alone Home Video English Language version would
perform. Our discussions did not concern any televised version nor
Japanese version. Please read our story.
We wondered if fans would buy Home Videos of the edited, dubbed
version even though the majority will have seen the series on the
Cartoon Network, on YTV and on other international broadcasters.
Although fans always claim they would make such
purchases--this sometimes proves not to be the case. We wondered if
there should be a different version aimed at those fans who would not
make such a purchase. These are the one and the same fans who have been
complaining to the Cartoon Network (and now, in lessor extent we
understand, to Nicole Thuault at Optimum Productions) about the problems
with the new dubbed episodes.
Such a version would have had the following:
1. As many of the original Voice Artists back as possible (with the
exception of Tracey Hoyt).
2. As many of the adaptation continuity mistakes fixed as possible.
3. Even less editing than the televised version.
4. Maybe some of the DiC music cues.
We did not expect to get Haruka & Michiru back to their normal,
correct relationship for this version.
But some of these same fans indicated to us on our Comments page and
through other means that they, indeed, would buy a Home Video version as
is, in spite of taping the series on the initial Cartoon Network run.
This answered our question. The fans seem united enough for us to
warrant a Home Video release of a Bilingual DVD (unedited, subtitled
Japanese & dubbed televised versions) as well as (are you reading this
Pioneer?) a VHS of the dubbed televised version.
Some fans have wondered why the Save Our Sailors campaign seems so
concerned if a product makes money or not? Because that has been the
way we have attracted corporate interest in "Sailor Moon" again. We
want to keep and to attract more companies to "Sailor Moon." We wish to
continue to guide companies to products that fans want and stop
companies from producing products that fans don't want. It is only
through this that we can get more episodes dubbed and subtitled versions
released. We don't want to hear companies complaining that they lost
money on anything having to do with "Sailor Moon."
Other fans may wonder why we (and maybe Pioneer) believe that the
televised series will result in weaker sales? Normally a dubbed version
of anything will easily outsell its subtitled version and it should in
However, it seems that fan interest is much stronger than usual for the
unedited, subtitled Japanese version. The changes in the edited, dubbed
of "Sailormoon S" have created a greater reaction to a larger percentage
fans than with, say for example, any series of "Pokemon," and maybe on
"Dragonball Z." Pioneer has already had a taste of this but might not
have been aware
of it's extent until we warned them of it.
Pioneer's experience with "Sailor Moon" has been, so far, only with
the dubbed features. The features had very few changes and so fans were
happy with the versions. But this is not true with the "Sailor Moon S"
television series. An unedited, subtitled Japanese version is not
available and an edited, dubbed version has been available through
broadcast. So, as far as a Home Video release of the "Sailor Moon S"
television series is concerned, the dubbed version will be of
interest--but not as much as with the features. Pioneer's greatest
success has been with "Pokemon" where none of these issues matter.
Helping out tremendously with the dubbed release is that it will
occur before Syndication. Normally, a premiere via Syndication makes
more money than a premiere via Home Video. However, the Cartoon Network
has an exclusive in the U.S. market which bars Syndication for now but
seems less restrictive on Home Video. Also, DiC's divorce from the
production contract still leaves The Program Exchange with the exclusive
(and valuable) U.S. Syndication rights until 2002. This means that any
episodes that are to go to U.S. Syndication must go to The Program
Exchange AND (it appears to us) profits given to DiC. So Cloverway
might have been faced with the following: Release new dubbed episodes
to The Program Exchange for Syndication and let DiC collect the profits
OR go direct to Home Video and (recoup any remaining production
expenses and) receive profits. The choice was simple.
It's important to note that a deal still could be worked out
concerning Syndication. Once again we mention that we want all
companies associated with the property to make money, especially, in
this case, The Program Exchange, whom we feel, has been given an empty
bag for Halloween.
Some fans came up with the idea of redubbing the first 2 seasons of
the series, "Sailormoon" & "Sailormoon R." Fans expressed interest in
having the original DiC Voice Artists dub the seasons with no cuts or
changes--an intriguing proposition but one which might prove to be
unprofitable. The problem is that such a version may not attract enough
sales. Too many dub fans like the DiC version as is and/or may be
unwilling to buy unedited releases of the episodes. A very good test
however would be a Home Video release of the unaired or combined
Because of DiC's divorce as the production company for these episodes
but its continuance as administrator for music and licenser of certain
toys, merchandising and certain videotapes it appears to us that
Cloverway may not want or be able to bring up such a matter right now.
Pioneer mentioned this situation at Otakon and may have unfairly
portrayed Buena Vista Home Video Entertainment as the problem. The
problem may lie in the divorce and we don't blame anyone (DiC nor
Cloverway) for not wanting to address these issues. It is indeed
best to, as one lawyer told us, to "wait the clock out." A Home Video
dubbed release of Episodes 2, 5, 6, 20, 42, 45, 46 & 67 should be
possible when DiC's original contract expires in 2002. If Pioneer's
subtitled releases are successful we would fully expect them to release
subtitled versions of all of the "Sailormoon" & "Sailormoon R"
television series in or after 2002.
Some fans have wanted to contact some of the old Voice Artists to
tell them how much they have been missed and are wanted back. Fans, for
a limited time, could contact any of the Voice Artists (old or new) via
snail mail in care of Optimum Productions. Casting, however, is handled
by Optimum. If you should want any of the old cast to return you should
email or snail mail Optimum. So as not to drive Optimum nuts with us,
we advise fans to stop any contact with them after the final episode of
"Sailor Moon Super S" has premiered on the Cartoon Network. If there
should be too much correspondance, we would hope that Roland Parliament
would set something up on the web to handle this sort of thing.
A few fans took issue with our stance concerning the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States in the related
matter of a letter from Louis Hurtubise of Optimum Productions. Mr.
Hurtubise mentioned that the FCC was one of the causes for the editing
of the series. This was simply not the case. We believe it was
specifically edited to the Cartoon Network's standards. (As an example,
please see the story about Episode 119 currently on our Index Page.)
The FCC has
never had jurisdiction in regulating the content of cable television.
Syndication is a different matter as broadcast stations are a limited
public resource which must meet FCC guidelines. But this should not be
used as an excuse to avoid producing an unedited version.
Many TV shows have more than 2 versions. There are "text, "
"textless," "Domestic," "European," "Syndication," "Broadcast," "3
Commercial Break," "4 Commercial Break," "Barter" versions and so on.
Fans may recall DiC's initial 65 episode Syndication package which
included "Sailor Says" and non "Sailor Says" versions.
Specifically in the Cartoon Network's situation, fans are already
well aware of the two versions of "Gundam Wing" available: Edited (for
the afternoon run of Toonami) and Unedited (for the Midnight Run of
Toonami). Fans have wondered why the same was not done for "Sailor
Moon." Making only one edited version available retards a whole
demographic for the series and repeatability. (But for better or for
worse, the days of censorship are dwindling as the public gains control
over distribution systems. The money is in unedited programming. The
people in children's television seem to be having a hard time accepting
So please, no "2 versions are too expensive" around here okay?
We here at the SOS were delighted in seeing so few changes to the
series and were not surprised at Haruka & Michiru being made sisters or
cousins. (Most of us were betting on sisters.) That so many continuity
errors arose from the adaptation was a little disconcerting but the
major shock for us was the casting & direction of most of the new Voice
To have worked so long and so hard and to think that we were finally
getting so much unedited and to get the original M&E tracks only to see
what had been the best part of the dub ruined was, for some of us,
extremely depressing or infuriating. We don't want to make any demands,
we want everyone to do their job, why would we have to say, "Oh and by
the way keep the Voice Artists good"? Must we do everything?!"
One of our members was so depressed over this, that they quit
watching the new tapes of the show after 4 episodes.
But the dubbing did improve, which leads us to what we need to inform
the companies of.