Sailor Moon Remastered Season 1 Set 1 Review

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With the release of Sailor Moon Crystal, I imagine someone involved with the franchise thought it would be a good idea to bring back the original Sailor Moon anime with a remastered coat of paint. In the case of the American version, this meant that for the first time viewers would have easier access to the original and non-butchered version of Sailor Moon. No more 90’s style transitions, no more bizarre voice overs or accents, no more censorship that insults the intelligence of the viewer, and no more modifying characters to conform to a country that had/has views about sexual preference that are archaic at best (AKA Zoisite is back to being a guy, and Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are not ‘cousins’).

So in short, was this is a good idea? If you ask me, I say absolutely. The original Sailor Moon was a victim of what I like to call Saturday morning cartoonifying of anime that was fairly common back in the 90s. It is nice to see that this classic is being given the respect it deserves. Fortunately companies are learning to respect the artistic vision of the anime that they license, so these kinds of problems happen significantly less than they used to.

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While the subtitled version of the remastered Sailor Moon has been available on Viz Media’s streaming site for sometime now, the new dub was just recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray. This particular release contains the first twenty three episodes, which in the storyline is shortly before Sailor Jupiter joins the team. It is likely that the second release will contain the rest of the first story arc, and then later next year the second story arc will be dubbed as well.

So for those who may not be aware, Sailor Moon is about a girl named Usagi whom meets a talking cat named Luna. Luna informs Usagi that she is the guardian of the Moon, known as Sailor Moon, and that it is her duty to find the princess and something called the imperial silver crystal before the forces of the Dark Kingdom do. Along the way, Usagi meets other girls whom are guardians of various planets in the solar system (Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, etc). Each girl has an item that allows them to ‘transform’ and use magical powers to fight and defeat agents of the Dark Kingdom. Essentially, Sailor Moon is a classic example of the magical girl anime genre.

As far as the remaster goes, this isn’t exactly on the same level of quality as Dragon Ball Z Kai but it is pretty good. The visuals really benefit from the clean up and the colors are much more vibrant in this latest edition. Two of the biggest changes in this version is the new voice acting and the use of the original soundtrack. It took some getting used to, but the new dub for Sailor Moon is not too bad. As far as dubs go, it could have been much worse. The voice overs for the villains are especially good and stand out the most for me. While the original music isn’t too bad, I sort of miss the old soundtrack that was done for the American version of Sailor Moon as it was one of the few good things about that release. That transformation music was really catchy and could easily get stuck in your head.

It would seem that remastering older anime is something that is here to stay, and so far it has provided some great results. It did wonders for Dragon Ball Z, and even Ranma ½ seemed to benefit from a facelift. I wonder if there will be other classic anime that gets updated as well in the future. Either way, it is great that people new to Sailor Moon will get to experience this classic the way it was intended.