Sailor Moon returns. VIZ Media starts digital streaming of an uncut version of cult anime on May 19 free on NeonAlley and also on subscription-based Hulu Plus.
VIZ Media announced on Monday that it has acquired the North American rights of the SAILOR MOON anime franchise. SAILOR MOON is the production of Tokyo-based Toei Animation Co., Ltd. And Toei Animation is the global licensor for the SAILOR MOON.
VIZ Media has signed an agreement with Toei Animation that gives the license for all 200 episodes of the original SAILOR MOON anime series. And this license also includes the fifth and final season of Sailor Moon titles "Sailor Stars." This final season was not yet released in US.
"We're pleased to partner with VIZ Media to bring the beloved SAILOR MOON anime series back to North America," says Masayuki Endo, General Manager, Toei Animation, Inc. "This fresh uncut and uncensored release of SAILOR MOON featuring the most accurate adaptation available will be just as creator Naoko Takeuchi intended. We look forward to fans current and new discovering and falling in love with this classic series all over again!"
Under this acquisition deal, VIZ Media also get the rights for three feature films and additional specials for the cult classic anime series. VIZ Media's North American rights cover digital streaming, EST (Electronic Sell Through) and all home media products in the U.S. and Canada.
"SAILOR MOON is one of the extremely rare breed of anime series truly deserving of the title of 'Legendary'," says Charlene Ingram, VIZ Media Senior Manager, Animation Marketing. "Since its initial debut in the mid-1990's, SAILOR MOON has been unavailable to English-speaking fans for nearly a decade. It has also never seen a complete and proper unedited release in North America...until now!"
SAILOR MOON anime goes digital for the first time and its subtitled EST sets will be available starting Summer 2014 and dubbed editions later this year. While there are also plans to release DVD and deluxe limited edition Blu-ray/DVD combo packs this fall.
VIZ Media release the uncut and uncensored version of SAILOR MOON at its original uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio with all original Japanese names, story elements and relationships with an all-new English dub.
The first four episodes of SAILOR MOON were premiered last night on VIZ Media's free NeonAlley.com anime streaming destination and also on the subscription-based Hulu Plus in HD. Every Monday, two new episodes of the series will be premiered.
"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," says Brian Ige, VIZ Media Vice President of Animation. "We're thrilled to be able to release this empowering action title uncut and in its entirety. We invite fans to catch the official premieres on Neon Alley and to enjoy the series on DVD and Blu-ray later this year!"
VIZ Media will also celebrate the launch of SAILOR MOON at the 2014 Anime Expo (July 3-6) at the Los Angeles Convention Center in LA, CA. Anime Expo is the nation's largest anime convention that will be held for 23rd year consecutively. VIZ Media will host a variety of special activities and panels throughout "Sailor Moon Day," on Saturday July 5.