I discovered Sailor Moon in middle school when the infamous ’90s dub version aired on Cartoon Network. I quickly became obsessed, and literally everything I loved to do became about Sailor Moon for years afterward. I drew it, wrote, watched it, pretend played it, taught myself HTML to design fansites for it, frequented fan message boards, and researched as much as possible about the original Japanese source material, both anime and manga – which led to my broader special interest in Japanese culture as a whole. I have a special place in my heart for that ’90s dub, but I enjoy every iteration of the series. There are still active web sites out there that house downloads for Japanese language materials with English subtitles and for music and artwork from the various series that aren’t readily available to English-speaking fans or are no longer published for sale, and some of the series are available for streaming online through mainstream services. I thought I would share some of those resources here for those who may be interested, whether you’re a newcomer to the fandom or feeling nostalgic for those Cartoon Network-filled afterschool hours of your own childhood.
There have been a few different translations of the manga into English since the ’90s, and I have owned a few from both. The first, of course, adheres closely to the original ’90s dub with names and linguistic stylistics, while the second tries to be more of a straightforward translation, which in my opinion sounds odd and unnatural in English. I long ago lost my original set to deterioration and opted not to continue buying the second after I tried to read the first volumes and didn’t care for the style. Now, I have my eye on a newer translation in a large artbook format (with extra illustrations from the author) that I have heard is a better version overall of the English equivalent to the Japenese material that reads more natural for native English speakers.
You can watch the original series in either Japanese with subtitles or in a newer English re-dub through Hulu. The DVD’s and Blu-Ray versions are also available for purchase at many retail locations, as well as online through storefronts like Amazon and streaming through Amazon Prime. The Cartoon Network dub is a thing of the past, and I’m grateful to have bought a full DVD set that included the three films when I did a few years ago so I can relive the series exactly as it was in my childhood in nostalgic bliss. (I’m pretty sure now it is so bootlegged – Hahaha! But I really didn’t know that at the time when I ordered it.) You can still find music recorded by the original dub cast at sailormusic.net, for which I am eternally grateful, as well as the ’90s Japanese tracks.
Sailor Moon Crystal
The newest version of the series has been completely reanimated, and many feel it is less nuanced than the ’90s version but adheres more to the style and storylines of the original manga. I enjoy it on its own merits, as I enjoy each version of the story. Like the ’90s redub, you can watch this series in either Japanese with subtitles or in a newer English dub through Hulu. The DVD’s and Blu-Ray versions are also available for purchase on Amazon, as well as streaming through Amazon Prime. Music from the series is available to purchase through several online storefronts; you can find out more at sailormusic.net.
Japan released a live-action, one season version of Sailor Moon in the early 2000s, and I watched it subtitled by other fans as soon as I could get my hands on each new episode. I absolutely loved it, and it only further encouraged my Japan obsession in high school. You can find downloads of the series with English subtitles on seaofserenity.net. You can also find music from the series, which I totally still jam out to, over on sailormusic.net.
I haven’t watched any of the musicals, but I have listened to some of the soundtracks in the past. You can actually watch English subtitled versions of many of the shows on seaofserenity.net; they work hard to produce subtitles for English fans and release news on ongoing musical productions of Sailor Moon. There are some audio downloads available at sailormusic.net, but I’m sure you might be able to find some of those soundtracks available to purchase online somewhere. I, honestly, haven’t looked into it much at this point, as it’s the version of the series I have devoted the least amount of attention to over the years.
The online community for the Sailor Moon fandom has dwindled a lot in the age of social media. Fansites and forums were once a dime a dozen, and I spent many, many hours visiting them and befriending fellow fans. I’ve recently begun to seek out the sites that remain, and thus far I have stumbled upon an invaluable wealth of content and downloads at these locations:
Sea of Serenity.net: mainly information and downloads for musicals and the live-action series
Sailor Music.net: primarily a source for information concerning music from various versions of the show and downloads or links to purchasing options; also houses a manga artbook gallery