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.
Once upon a time Queen Beryl was just an ordinary girl in love. The story “Heart of Stone” by SailorAstera explores that time in her life and what led to the birth of the dark queen we know her as today.
In this story Beryl is given the name Morgana which seems familiar to me. I checked her WikiMoon page to see if she was ever given this name and I just couldn’t remember where but it doesn’t mention it so I guess the author assigned her the name out of her own creativity. Perhaps it’s just familiar to me because of that one youma.
The beginning finds Morgana as a young girl of negligible status with a crush on Prince Endymion. With how well the story of Sailor Moon is known I feel like I’d be giving too much away if I describe the middle and end parts of the story so I’ll just leave it at that. We all know she becomes evil and we all know more or less why, but the story offers a few unexpected turns which keep it a worthwhile read and SailorAstera draws the world of the Earth Kingdom during the Silver Millennium very well. The tension and distrust of the Moon people is spot-on.
I’ve been re-watching the old DiC-dubbed episodes of “Sailor Moon” as well as reading the re-release of the manga and both are at the Crystal Tokyo part of the story, which has gotten me thinking about the concept of 30th century earth as Naoko Takeuchi envisioned.
If you don’t know Sailor Moonshame on you Crystal Tokyo is the future Kingdom ruled by Neo Queen Serenity (Sailor Moon’s future self) and King Endymion (Tuxedo Mask’s future self). The Kingdom rules not only Japan but the entire earth.
Back when I first watched the show something rubbed me wrong about the whole idea of Crystal Tokyo. Even as a kid (I was in fifth grade so I’m guessing I was around eleven years old) something seemed wrong to me; it seemed like going backwards to go from individual democratic societies to a monarchy, living in a crystal palace of all bizarre things, ruling not only an individual country but the entire world. When I got the subtitled DVDs and was watching them during my senior year of college last year, my roommate in particular had very strong opinions opposing Crystal Tokyo and Neo Queen Serenity declaring sovereign reign for herself over all the earth.
The fact that she’s a kind and generous ruler who brings peace (and also magic!) doesn’t really make up for her unilateral ascension to the throne.
But as I listened to DiC’s King of the Earth describe the situation in which she rose to power I think I finally understood and accepted the idea of Crystal Tokyo and Neo Queen Serenity.