It’s far and few that an anime that I watch where I would feel so different and passionate between the English dub and the English sub. Maybe because I watch them both within a short period of time. But I think it was about three years between the sub and dub of Naruto, but even then I never felt this way.
So after obtaining all of Sailor Moon, I decided that it was time that I watch it. As of the writing of this article I have one con about the show itself…
The fact that I didn’t watch this sooner.
I was told that the subtitled version would be drastically different and that levels of emotions would not be the same. I always knew that subtitled anime would be much different from its dubbed counterpart, whether it’s edited for TV or unedited directly to video.
For the record, this article may contain spoilers. But it’s been six years since the anime has aired and if you haven’t watched it yet, well…
Sailor Moon – Ten minutes into the first episode felt very refreshing. It really did seem different. I could relate more to it. Probably because it’s been years since I saw the dub of it. It’s also a breath of fresh air on Naru’s voice (Molly’s dub was a bit too Bensonhurst for me). Usagi felt more like a real teenager than Serena. When I think about it now after watching the first season, the dub of Sailor Moon felt like an animated version of Clueless. I’m not hating on it, but I can relate and understand where they were going with the dub, plus given as to what was popular around that time as well. Tell you this though; I really felt my emotions between Nephrite/Naru, Usagi/Mamoru a lot more. And that epic final battle… I almost expected to hear Princess Serenity say, “Beryl… I’m going to fuck your shit up.”
Sailor Moon R – As I sat down to watch this, the thoughts of the dub slowly went away. Not a bad thing, but in a way to keep me more connected to the subtitled version to keep me going. I do admit that I do miss some of the American background music. I think both would fit, but that may just be YMMV type situation. As I’m watching this, the interaction between Ail, Ann, Usagi, and Mamoru is very reminiscent of Tatewaki Kuno, Kodachi Kuno, Akane Tendo, and Ranma Saotome respectively. As we get into the second half of R, my heart strings are pulled even more. It’s the emotions of Usagi Tsukino. The way she is portrayed by Kotono Mitsuishi is just phenomenal. Contrary to everyone else, I like Chibiusa. And for the record, for the longest time I thought her dubbed named was spelled Renie, not Rini. Go fig. But as we countdown the battle between the Senshi and Wiseman, it reminded me of the battle between Tenchi and Kain from the first Tenchi Muyo Movie, Tenchi Muyo in Love. During this season, I never felt so many emotions and attachments to the characters, including Makoto. She’s becoming my #2 favorite senshi.
Sailor Moon S – As I watched these episodes, I truthfully do not remember watching all of the dub episodes. For some of you, you’re going to say that’s a good thing. So be it. Not even five episodes in, I love the villains. There’s something about Souichi Tomoe that you can respect. He’s up there with Severus Snape, Louis Litt, and Gordon Ramsay in my book. Already loving the Witches 5. What can I say, I love science and technology. By the end of this season Makoto has become my #2 Inner Senshi. In the grand scheme, #2 would be Haruka Tenoh. I love her attitude, she don’t play around, goes straight for the kill, and at the end of the day, she’ll do shots with you. I don’t mean to split hairs, but as I watched this season, Haruka and Michiru just seem like really close friends, maybe deep bonded sisters. You may think I’m crazy for thinking this and that I still have the dub on the brain, but I don’t. It’s how I perceive it, so I apologize. I don’t blame Tomoe-san for what he did. Hell, if it was my child, I’d do the same thing. I actually enjoyed the return of Chibiusa too. She’s not annoying to me at all. At times she seems to be the sensible senshi. But her Pink Sugar Heart Attack is funny. I said that every time she did this attack, to roll a d20. If the d20 falls on a multiple of 5, the PSHA does 2 damage and to roll a d6 for how many times the attack hits. This season just feels refreshing. Things got a bit more serious and shit is going to hit the fan. And one more thing… Setsunna Meioh (Pluto) is absolutely gorgeous. And one more thing before I go… The friendship between Chibiusa and Hotaru is something special.
Sailor Moon SuperS – You could call this The Chibiusa Show… Or another retelling of Sailor Moon but with Chibiusa. People warned me that I would probably hate this season because it’s very Chibiusa centric. Having lived in a household where I had to take care my younger cousins on a regular basis, I didn’t think it would be that much of a problem. And honestly, it wasn’t. I kinda felt as if this season was more mature, like it was a side story to the whole Sailor Moon storyline. I did like that the arc ended in Sailor Stars. It blew my mind when Super Sailor Moon jumped off the side to save Chibimoon. I think with this season you have to go in with a different mindset, and then you’ll have better appreciation for it.
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars – Sailor Stars… The one season that was never aired. I will tell you this now… If the series was to be aired now, you can easily get away with Sailor Stars on Toonami. Back then, not so much. First off, this season was way too short. It could have gone an extra five episodes, especially towards the end of the season. The last few episodes went too quickly. If you haven’t read the manga, you will get lost during this. And as I watched this, I was like, “WTF, the Sailor Senshi are the freaking Green Lantern Corps?” As I watched the final battles, Usagi really pissed me off with her “Relena Peacecraft” attitude. Yes, I know love and peace will get the job done, but Galaxia just wrecked your life… Fight back! I understand that some people were upset with Uranus and Neptune for what they did. But I don’t blame them at all for it. Totally legit strategy in my book. One more thing… Star Gentle Uterus? The fuck?
Overall, quite pleased with the series. Don’t hate me, but I really appreciated it and understood it more in the Japanese language with subtitles. I did start PGSM again, which I really enjoy. Not because of the campiness of the series, but how pretty close the show was to the manga.
Now that we have a new series in the works, I’m not asking for much when it comes to the dub. I want the original names, locations, and attacks. And also a better voice for Usagi… I mean if you were to use the original cast for the new dub, I think it would work, except for Usagi- All three voices sound too much like a valley girl. If I wanted to watch Clueless, I would.
The ride was fun, maybe if I can before the new series, I’ll make an attempt to rewatching. If you haven’t watched all 200, go do it.