Finally, I discuss one of the most hotly contested cases of DiC’s editing: the final episode(s) of Classic Sailor Moon*.
Classic dealt with the Sailor Soldiers awakening as warriors, fighting the Dark Kingdom, and eventually facing the Dark Kingdom’s leader, Queen Beryl, head-on. In general, DiC’s story arc was the same. Yes, there were plenty of adjustments along the way, but the trajectory was roughly the same. In the finale of the season, however, DiC made some of their biggest edits which affect both plot and character development. First off, they erase significant character deaths. Later, an extensive battle is cut out. Additionally, the last stand-off with Queen Beryl is quite altered. Finally, the end of the series changes from a reincarnation story to one of memory loss.
So, I talk about Sailor Moon a lot. I’ve been a fan of the show for years and, like most English-speaking Moonies, I was introduced to it by the English dub produced by DiC Entertainment. As such, I have a lot of affection for the dub and will defend many aspects of it. I don’t believe that one country’s adaptation of another country’s entertainment needs to be a carbon copy of the original. I’ll take into account cultural differences and marketability concerns because they are huge factors to consider when making a product for mass consumption, and, in the past, I have mostly sided with DiC in their decisions. There are times, however, when I have to state that DiC made the wrong choice, and I believe that is the case with how they handled the character of Rei.
While the DiC dub of Sailor Moon remains a sore spot and source of endless debate among fans of the anime, one thing most of us fans agree on is that DiC created some excellent music for the series. DiC went through the effort of creating tons of new music for the show when they dubbed it, and didn’t limit themselves only to replacing the songs. The company went so far as to re-do the instrumental themes giving their version of the series a completely new and unique atmosphere. Some fans may go so far as to say it was better than the original music, but that’s opening up a whole other argument that we don’t need to have right now.
What I feel is worth focusing on here is that, free of favorable or disparaging comparisons, the DiC score was, by its own merits, a very good score. As such, many fans have long wanted it to be released for purchase in its entirety and with the current worldwide revival of Sailor Moon in all her incarnations, but especially the anime, now is the time to make our voices heard. In order to do so, a petition has been started asking La La Land Records to release the full soundtrack.
The group’s Facebook page can be found here and includes some of the great music we can hope to purchase if the soundtrack is ever released. Since the tracks weren’t released, these previews were pieced together from various episodes and are incomplete. Hearing these themes carefully re-constructed by fans gives a hint of what can come and it’s wonderful to hear the music. The actual petition (which will be presented once it reaches 500 signatures) can be found here. A similar online petition is responsible for the recent release of a soundtrack for Batman: The Animated Series so there is a precedent for this request.
Please sign the petition and pass on the word! Hopefully we can get this made and enjoy DiC’s lovely soundtrack in its entirety.
When DiC created the English dub of Toei’s anime Sailor Moon, many things were changed. Some of the changes were done to make the show more appealing to English-speaking audiences, but many were made to censor out elements which were deemed inappropriate for the show. One of the more glaring examples of censorship in the English dub of Sailor Moon is the handling of the character Zoisite (spelled “Zoycite” in DiC’s version). Zoisite was one of the Shitennou, or “Four Heavenly Kings”, and, in the anime, was romantically linked with the Shitennou’s leader, Kunzite. Zoisite and Kunzite were also both men, and therein lay the problem for DiC when they were creating the English dub of the series.
Since there was virtually no mainstream market for anime in the English-speaking world at the time Sailor Moon was being produced, DiC needed to make the show fit in with standard programming at the time. One of the standards of programming was that animation was for kids, so DiC marketed Sailor Moon to that young demographic. In doing so, there were many things that had to be changed about the show to make it more acceptable to parents, councils, and the like, so anything bloody was removed, words like “death” or “kill” were never used, and most examples of non-Western spirituality were toned down or cut out. With this approach to adapting the series, it’s pretty easy to see that the homosexual romance was never going to make it into the English version, so how was it handled? By making the man Zoisite into the woman Zoycite.
Most fans will point this out as one of the most insulting acts on DiC’s part, whether they’re dub supporters or dub haters, but to be honest, I’m not too angry about this decision.