Sailor Moon fans are now being given the opportunity to watch every single episode of the hit series after North American anime distributor Viz Media announced that it has acquired the licensing rights.
According to a report from Anime News Network, this includes all 200 episodes of Sailor Moon from the five television series, as well as three movies and additional specials. One of those is the final series, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, which has never before been licensed for North America.
This deal offers the entire Sailor Moon franchise in its original, uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio with original Japanese names, story elements, and relationships. A new voice cast is reported to be part of an upcoming, uncut English dub as well.
The Sailor Moon franchise is scheduled for a digital release with subtitles this summer, while the English dub will release later in 2014. There are also plans for half-season sets to be released on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo packs this fall.
Sailor Moon fans can stream the first four episodes of the series right now at NeonAlley.com or on Hulu Plus. And then every Monday, Viz will release two more episodes.
Viz will celebrate “Sailor Moon Day” on Saturday, July 5, at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. This is also the same day the new anime, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, will make its worldwide premiere.
The announcement trailer features a preview of the new voice actress for Sailor Moon. Naoko Takeuchi, the original creator of the manga, will approve of all the voice actors for the new English dub.
In a press release, via The Wall Street Journal, Toei Animation’s general manager, Masayuki Endo, said the company is “pleased to partner with Viz” on this deal.
“This fresh, uncut, and uncensored release of ‘Sailor Moon,’ featuring the most accurate adaptation available, will be just as creator Naoko Takeuchi intended,” Endo said. “We look forward to fans current and new discovering and falling in love with this classic series all over again.”
Brian Ige, Viz Media’s vice president of animation, said they are “thrilled” to be releasing Sailor Moon “uncut and in its entirety.”
“‘Sailor Moon’ was groundbreaking in the way its storyline and main characters resonated with both a male and female audience, and these aspects continue to attract a new generation of fans eager to see this iconic series,” Ige said.
In a related report from The Inquisitr, Megan Fox said that if a studio decided to make a live action Sailor Moon film, she would be interested in doing it.
“That could feasibly be made into a live action movie,” Fox said.
But she also mentioned that she wasn’t sure “how many Americans were into” the series.
“I was into that, but I don’t know how huge it was [in America],” Fox said.
[Image via Lady Geek Girl]