Ask a child of the 1990s, preferably a girl, about anime, and one of the most likely titles they will give out would be “Sailor Moon.” This manga-anime masterpiece by Naoko Takeuchi and Toei technically codified the “magical girl” genre of Japanese pop media, and was one of their first big exports to the West. North American audiences put up with the “forcibly hip” 90s English dub of the original series then thrilled to get a new Viz Media dub for said anime and the “Crystal” remake. Speaking of which, most “Sailor Moon” anime could be found in Hulu, save for the recent “Sailor Moon Eternal” films, which go elsewhere.
IGN has it that streaming giant Netflix somehow got the digital rights for the two-part anime movie “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal,” and will premiere it on their platform in the middle of this year. Netflix announced this coup on a new teaser trailer released online late this past Tuesday, April 27. While the films originally premiered in Japanese cinemas this past January (part 1) and February (part 2) after a COVID-related delay, it will be Netflix that will be handling its streaming distribution to the rest of the world.
“Sailor Moon Eternal” is a direct sequel to the three-season “Sailor Moon Crystal” anime series from Toei, which were a remake of their 1990s adaptation of Naoko Takeuchi’s manga (“Sailor Moon, R and S”). The two-part film adapts the Dream manga arc, itself made by Toei into the 1995-96 “Sailor Moon SuperS” season. Here, Usagi/Sailor Moon is looking forward to starting her high school years with her friends/fellow Guardians, plus her boyfriend/destined one and their future daughter Chibiusa. But a total eclipse brings forth the Dead Moon Circus, which hunts a magical creature named Pegasus, who has taken refuge in Chibiusa’s dreams and holds the key to even greater powers.
The fact that Netflix has gotten streaming rights for “Eternal” was big news, considering that the earlier “Crystal” series and the original 90s anime are carried by rival streaming platform Hulu, as well as the official website of English dubber Viz Media. Interestingly, the Viz Media “Sailor Moon” dubbing cast did do their parts for the films, joining dubs of other languages as teased in the trailer. “Sailor Moon Eternal” parts 1 and 2 will premiere on Netflix June 3.
Image courtesy of Vulture