Sailor Moon in Britain
|An MVM Sailor Moon DVD cover|
Sailor Moon in Britain refers to the airing of the Sailor Moon anime in the United Kingdom. It first aired on Fox Kids UK (later known as Jetix, now Disney XD) in 1999, paired off with the then recently dubbed Digimon, and used DiC's English dub. The dub has also been shown in Ireland on RTÉ 2.
Fox Kids repeated Sailor Moon "Classic" and the Makaiju arc of Sailor Moon R until finally airing the rest of R around the end of 2000. Fans with the internet inevitably found out about Sailor Moon S and the later seasons, and signed petitions to put Sailor Moon S on Fox Kids. Fox Kids stated repeatedly that they were going to, and in 2002 they even showed a preview clip with scenes from the S season that declared "New episodes of Sailor Moon coming soon!". Despite these promises, Fox Kids never aired the S season (or beyond). Much the same thing happened with the fourth season of Digimon at around the same time.
Around this time, UK channel 3, or ITV, started showing Sailor Moon in a kid's segment of GMTV on Saturday mornings, called "Up on the Roof" (now known as "Toonattik"). This, despite time edits which compounded the already problematic DiC cuts, proved popular, but since Fox Kids, who held the UK rights for Sailor Moon, would not give them up apart from the first 13 episodes, Sailor Moon was cancelled on that network, and shortly thereafter cancelled on Fox Kids as well.
Although ITV put the episodes that DIC dubbed on VHS and DVD, they did not sell very well. MVM, a UK anime company, released the dub versions of all the Classic and R episodes on DVD, but they did not sell well either, a fact MVM attributes to the dub-only status of the DVDs, as MVM were unable to secure uncut episodes, and major retailers' refusal to support the show, meaning the release neither appealed to children nor older anime fans. This release nearly led the company to bankruptcy, and MVM's fortunes have been mixed ever since. No attempt was ever made to release the uncut version of the show or the later seasons. Sailor Moon Crystal has been made available to UK viewers on the Crunchyroll and Niconico websites with English subtitles from its global premiere onwards; it has not been otherwise licensed in the UK.
Vivid Imaginations, a UK distributor, also released some of the Irwin Sailor Moon toys, such as the Crescent Moon Wand; these items, as well as the dolls, sold fairly well despite a low-key advertising campaign.
- Cox, Gemma (Spring 2005). "Anime Archive: Sailor Moon - The Most Popular Unsuccessful Series Ever?" NEO (18); 98.