Hopefully you like Sailor Moon because it's special; but have you ever stopped to consider that being special could also be a detriment? Look no further than the theatrical shorts and special episodes which are almost completely ignored when the anime is dubbed into other languages. But don't be quick to blame foreign companies as it often seems to be the Japanese (Toei, Bandai & Kodansha) who have failed to promote these orphan productions (let alone even list them)!
Released with the feature, "Sailormoon R"
This short introduced each Sailor Senshi (a Sailor Scout/Soldier), how they transform and what their powers are. It was produced so that moviegoers, who might not have been familiar with the television show, could catch up on what the Sailormoon universe was all about. "Make Up" refers to what the characters yell in English so that they can transform into Sailor Soldiers.
Besides the expected recycling of old animation from the television series, new scenes were produced.
Animated shorts are still produced in Japan as a way to cross promote properties and to be able to charge feature prices when an anime movie is only 60 minutes long. Shorts add precious minutes to the total running time of the program. The shorts are always advertised and are often a must-see for otaku. This is because shorts are usually an anime (or even a manga) which has never been produced for the screen before--adding to its must-see value. A short can become more important than the feature just like the premiere of a "Star Wars" trailer can be in the West.
We know of only one anime theatrical short recently having been dubbed and presented on a movie screen (as originally intended) in the West and that was, "Pikachu's Summer Vacation" released by Warner Bros. with one of the Pokemon movies.
We would never expect "Make Up! Sailor Senshi" to be dubbed into English on its own; however, if combined with the other Sailor Moon theatrical short produced (see the bottom of this page) the two of them could create a terrific, separate, Home Video release.
Premiered during the "Sailormoon SuperS" Season
3 episodes were produced and aired during the SuperS season with stories which were independent of that season. These episodes are known as "Special Version" or "SuperS Specials" or just plain, "Specials." What's most unique about these special episodes is that Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune appear in them even though they are not in the SuperS season. And although Zirconia and the Amazon Trio make a brief appearance in the last Special, their contribution plays no part in the SuperS season story arc.
The Specials were aired on a single night, starting in the show's usual timeslot and ending an hour later. They premiered inbetween Episodes 131 and 132 (the fourth and fifth episodes of SuperS). To not cause confusion with the SuperS season story, the Specials were never numbered and therefore were omitted from most of Toei's lists. (As we have worked on this story off & on over the years, none of the companies we contacted initially knew that these episodes existed. Some of them are finding out right now. To longtime fans this should come as no surprise.)
(And before we begin, it should be noted that commercials with the characters were also produced.)
The SuperS Specials are:
An Elegant Transformation? Crybaby
Usagi's Growth Record
Return of Haruka and Michiru! The
Ghostly Puppet Show
Chibiusa's Adventure, The Dreaded
Released with the feature, "Sailormoon SuperS"
This short was titled, "Ami-chan no hatsukoi" and concerns Ami's daily life and how it gets interrupted when she receives a love letter in her school locker.
Toei was concerned of how the third feature would perform at the box office. Typically, sequels make less money than their predecessors. Further, it didn't help that the feature was straying so far away from the manga (which was still very popular) or series (which had declining ratings).
To help insure that fans would buy tickets, Toei produced a short starring the series' most popular character (Ami) with a new transformation sequence ("Mercury Crystal Power Make Up!"), a special power not seen before ("Mercury Aqua Mirage") and introduced a new song, "Rashiku ikimasho" ("Let's Go As We Are").
With feature-like quality and only 15 minutes in length, this production looks like the very best Sailor Moon episode ever produced. The "drawing director" was Miho Shimogasa.
Based on a chapter in the collectors' manga, volume 13 (in the middle of the SuperS story arc) the villain has nothing to do with the Dead Moon Circus. The original manga chapter and this anime are not part of the SuperS story.
This fun short is a real fan favorite, even among those who like the other senshi more than Ami. It's available on the laserdisc of the SuperS feature and can be downloaded via several sites on the Internet (which we dare not link--otherwise you could count the seconds until they were shut down). Type in either title (Japanese or English) in a good search engine to find these sites.