Sailor Moon has been a long time running anime series not only here in the United states, but in Japan where it originated in 1992 based on the manga series of the same name. Of course, it didn’t air in the United States until 1995, when it was dubbed and adapted for a younger generation. However, many tweaks and noticeable changes, at least to veteran viewers, were made to the dub to account for what was thought to be inappropriate for children during that time. These included changing characters who were meant to be men to be women because of their physical characteristics, and using language such as “cousins” to hide an lgbt relationship. Though based off of the manga, neither version followed it quite like Sailor Moon Crystal, a remake of the beloved series released in July of 2014. Sailor Moon Crystal not only had a unique animation style, it didn’t divert from the manga and its visuals and concept have been up for debate amongst fans since it’s release.
Photography by @Clouds Photography on Instagram and Facebook
Group of cosplayers portraying the characters of the popular anime show.
As an anime first released in the early 1990’s, most watchers were in their mid to late twenties by the time Sailor Moon Crystal came into existence and it was harshly judged against its predecessors. Even though manga artist Naoko Takeuchi had a say in each series adaptation, she was not the writer or producer. The argument today is still which version is better.
If you’re like me, you first heard of Sailor Moon in 1995, when it came to America and became used and still hold the english dub in your heart, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. Like I stated above, it changed to suit a younger audience. It also never aired the arc of the show known as Sailor Stars. When exposed to more anime, I found the American dub was never the original and watched all two hundred episodes of the Japanese animation. For anyone like me, this was a game changer and a break into the dub versus sub anime debate, but we’ll save that for another time. I was introduced to a whole new set of characters even though they were exactly the same.
After years of searching and being in multiple fan groups, I have found diverse views about the show. Sailor Moon Crystal, while a big hit in 2014, still took a big hit in terms of controversy. Fans have debated if it is the best adaptation or worst because it is most true to the manga and has manga-like animation, but like I have stated before. The fanbase is divided so we will never really know. For me, I love Sailor Moon Crystal and I believe it to be an amazing adaptation of the original manga, but I will always love the original Japanese sub for its completeness back in the 90’s and the American dub for its pure nostalgia. So for me, I would have to agree with the fans who say the original Japanese anime is the best one. Only because it allowed for representation of lgbtq+, transgender, and kept the integrity of the characters.