August 19, 2022

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How Sailor Moon's Dedicated Fanbase Saved the Juggernaut Franchise in North America

Usagi posing peace sign in Sailor Moon


Making her manga debut on the age of 19, Naoko Takeuchi entered the trade at a time when the medium was nowhere close to as profitable as it’s right this moment. Though worthy of recognition, Takeuchi’s breakout is a mere footnote in her in depth listing of feats.

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By 1995, Takeuchi had not solely a profitable manga studio however two smash hits underneath her belt. With the anime adaptation of Sailor Moon having grown right into a nationwide icon, it was time to take the franchise abroad. At the moment, most American audiences’ publicity to Japanese animation got here from late-night cable tv blocks or poorly translated bootlegs and had but to develop past a distinct segment following. Nevertheless, a lot of Takeuchi’s success in North America wouldn’t be owed to intelligent advertising or a stable English dub, however quite to a devoted fan base and, oddly sufficient, Pop-Tarts.

Fortunately, Sailor Moon‘s cancelation wouldn’t be the nail within the coffin for Western viewers, because the present was supported by the group DiC left behind. North of the US, Sailor Moon‘s reputation was considerably extra pronounced, leaving Canadian followers confused at DiC’s determination. In response, a gaggle referred to as ‘Save our Sailors’ (or SOS for brief) was fashioned to revive the English dub from the ashes. On December 14, 1996, SOS launched into a ‘procott’ (the alternative of a boycott) of Strawberry Frosted Pop-Tarts to court docket sponsors for the English model of the anime, though the effectiveness of this marketing campaign is debatable.

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