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Sailor Moon Season 1 Set 2 Review
Classic anime series like Sailor Moon were victims of ludicrous censorship back in the early 90s. Understandably, to some extent, animation studios in other parts of the world were new to anime and didn’t quite know how to handle it in the appropriate way. Many fall into the trap of butchering said series in an attempt to make it just another garbage Saturday morning cartoon show that only serves to fill air time and insult the viewer’s intelligence. So when Viz Media decided to pick up and restore Sailor Moon to its original form for American audiences, this was a welcome change and hopefully other companies (looking at you 4K) will finally follow Viz Media’s example and learn to pay the same respect to the stories and products that they get the license for.
Sailor Moon Season 1 Set 2, as its name implies, brings the first season to a close. The second half of the season primarily focuses on the Sailor Scouts trying to obtain the rainbow crystals before the Dark Kingdom can. This gradually leads to the infamous ending to the first season that was so heavily butchered by DiC in the original release. Spoilers shall be discussed from this point onward so, read at your own discretion.
Aside from slaps, blood, and Zoisite’s gender being changed (yeah, he is actually a guy in the original animation), the biggest change made in the original American release was the last episode of the season. Originally this was two episodes, but it got chopped up into spam courtesy of DiC and they made it painfully obvious. Apparently they thought having the Sailor Scouts get killed was “too much for a younger audience” so instead they edited it very poorly to make it seem like they had been captured instead.
Viz Media understood how annoyed people were by these unnecessary changes (especially later with certain Sailor Scouts being “cousins” that, for some strange reason, have a lot of romantic tension between them) and saw an opportunity to give audiences an official release that paid respect to the original Japanese version. In fact, this is even a major selling point in the trailer that Viz Media released because they knew people had been waiting for something like this.
All praise for Viz Media’s promise to keep the series true and uncut, there are a few issues that continue to plague this remaster. Some of the choice in Voice Actors is a little odd, and the picture quality continues to be the biggest nemesis for this series. While I can understand the appeal in pulling a Dragon Ball Z Kai and releasing a remastered series with a few cells of new animation here and there, Sailor Moon Remastered does not reach that level of quality and often the picture’s ‘enhancement’ only makes it look worse. But these issues are, for the most part, overshadowed by the simple fact that one of the classic 90s anime series is getting the respect that it deserves.
Although it will be some time before the most interesting parts of this remaster will be available with the dub. Currently the next release will be part two of Sailor Moon R in October, and after that Sailor Moon S will be the next official release. It’ll be some time before the highly anticipated Sailor Moon Sailor Stars finally has a dub in America, but there is plenty for Sailor Moon fans to be excited about in the mean time between the dub and Sailor Moon Crystal.