Do we know what happened with DiC and their license?

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Sep 6, 2014
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#1
The Viz thread mentioning license usually last for 5-7 years got me thinking did we ever found out what happened with DiC’s rights to the franchise after R?

According to SMU there was some breach in contract with Toei but uhh that website has some blatant inaccuracies to put it mildly...

Did DiC simply not license anything after R? (It seems they were only interested in having 65 episodes for syndication purposes)

I believe there was an article on SOS that stated DiC lost the rights somehow but again questionable source of info.
 

MementoNepenthe

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#2
I can't imagine how they would have breached their contract, so that definitely rings as false to me. They probably just let their licensing agreement lapse.

I understand that DIC was taking something of a risk when they licensed Sailor Moon. Anime wasn't exactly mainstream popular back then, and being a female-driven action series, Sailor Moon wasn't exactly like any show that had been a proven success in North America. Obviously they looked at the series' toy sales figures for Japan and Europe and thought it was a risk they were willing to take, but I get why they'd initially only front the cost to dub the 65 episodes needed for syndication, and when the series was met with a lukewarm reaction in the States, even though it was really popular up in Canada, I also get why they didn't get around to dubbing the remainder of R until Irwin/Bandai finally coughed up the dough.

But I do wonder about why they chose to make Sibling Rivalry the last episode of the 65. It's such a weird place to leave things at. As I see it, they had three and a half options:

1a. Skip an additional two episodes so that (what became) "Rubeus Strikes Out" would serve as the 65th episode, wrapping up the Rubeus arc and serving as a much better stopping point.
1b. Skip one additional episode and condense the Rubeus conclusion two-parter into one episode a la "Day of Destiny"
2. Dub every episode, ending with the conclusion of the Doom Tree arc, and cobbling together six additional episodes out of the existing footage. (They could have done a sing-a-long episode consisting of montages set to the series' vocal tracks, with extended versions of the theme song and Carry On to pad out the run time; they could have done a "Best of Serena" episode, a "Best of Amy" episode, etc; done an episode where Malachite uses the powers of the Negaverse to send the Scouts into a time warp where they have to defeat previous monsters again to get back to their normal time; they could have even just edited some of the Black Moon arc episodes so that they took place during the Negaverse and Doom Tree arcs.)
3. They could have skipped every nonessential episode, combining episodes if necessary, so that they could cover Classic and R within the 65 episodes.

Those would have been more logical choices to me, but whatever. I do wonder though... Had the series been more successful, would they have dubbed the rest of R right away and gone after the rest of the seasons, or do you think no matter what DIC was only gonna dub those 65 episodes and that was it? (I know a lot of series back then had a set number of episodes they were going to make and that was it, no matter how successful the show might have been.) What exactly was their expectation for the series? What was their ultimate goal/vision (besides make money)?
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#3
.

But I do wonder about why they chose to make Sibling Rivalry the last episode of the 65. It's such a weird place to leave things at. As I see it, they had three and a half options:
I can understand why. Not only does it wrap up the conclusions of the 4 sisters redemption arc but it has the girls saving all of Tokyo in an all your powers combined maneuver. But it also has the cliffhanger factor that Rini now knows who the girls are and Rubues is now out for blood (plus the unresolved plot of the series in general)

You also have a coda at the end where you have Serena and Raye bickering which very much has that “here we go again/things never change” feel a lot of shows in the US seemed fond of.

It really is a good stopping point to feel like a “potential” finale just in case more episodes were never dubbed while also leaving some plot threads dangling just in case.

“If we have to end here” sorta thing


1a. Skip an additional two episodes so that (what became) "Rubeus Strikes Out" would serve as the 65th episode, wrapping up the Rubeus arc and serving as a much better stopping point.
2. Dub every episode, ending with the conclusion of the Doom Tree arc, and cobbling together six additional episodes out of the existing footage. (They could have done a sing-a-long episode consisting of montages set to the series' vocal tracks, with extended versions of the theme song and Carry On to pad out the run time; they could have done a "Best of Serena" episode, a "Best of Amy" episode, etc; done an episode where Malachite uses the powers of the Negaverse to send the Scouts into a time warp where they have to defeat previous monsters again to get back to their normal time; they could have even just edited some of the Black Moon arc episodes so that they took place during the Negaverse and Doom Tree arcs.)
Dub the first 59 episodes and split the first two movies into two separate three-parters*

* I realize this would raise questions of where Rini came from, how the Scouts got Star power where did the new Scouts come from, and Moon’s new transformation and attack in hearts in ice came from but oh well...


Those would have been more logical choices to me, but whatever
I thought the episode they ended on was sound.

Skipping/combining an additional 16 episodes to get to Final Battle as the 65th episode might have worked even better.

. I do wonder though... Had the series been more successful, would they have dubbed the rest of R right away and gone after the rest of the seasons, or do you think no matter what DIC was only gonna dub those 65 episodes and that was it? (I know a lot of series back then had a set number of episodes they were going to make and that was it, no matter how successful the show might have been.) What exactly was their expectation for the series? What was their ultimate goal/vision (besides make money)?
Between DiC’s infamous promo and some of Fred Ladd’s comments I think the expectation was standard 65 episode syndicated series to promote a toyline. The real money was in advertising and merchandising and I don’t think DiC necessarily wanted to do more work than necessary
 
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#4
DiC only licensed Classic and R in 1995. They skipped/combined episodes, but they only did what they felt they needed to make 65 episodes, and maybe they were open to dubbing/licensing additional episodes in the future if these were a hit. After the 65 episodes underperformed in syndication, they only dubbed the last 17 episodes they had when Irwin Toy in Canada helped to co-fund production because the show was a huge hit for YTV in Canada. After that, I'm sure DiC washed their hands of Sailor Moon, and Toei's then-western branch Cloverway stepped in to handle additional episodes when Cartoon Network and YTV wanted them (also Pioneer for the home video license). DiC did continue to exploit their license to the first two seasons of Sailor Moon through home video and their deal with ADV until their license expired in 2004.

Everyone assumed DiC did something to stop getting future episodes. I'm pretty sure they just weren't interested in more Sailor Moon, and passed.
 

MementoNepenthe

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#5
Between DiC’s infamous promo and some of Fred Ladd’s comments I think the expectation was standard 65 episode syndicated series to promote a toyline. The real money was in advertising and merchandising and I don’t think DiC necessarily wanted to do more work than necessary
Which is why I think covering all of Classic and R in those 65 episodes would have made more sense: they could have started selling Diamond, Emerald. Rubeus, "Prince" Darien (but really King of the Earth), and Wicked Lady dolls sooner. (Maybe Neo Queen Serenity, Sapphire, and Four Sisters dolls too.) "Sibling Rivalry" is a good stopping point if you really have plans to dub the rest of the season the next year, but if there wasn't a strong intention of doing that, or if that possibility is really going to be predicated on the series' success, then it's not a great place to stop IMO.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#6
DiC only licensed Classic and R in 1995. They skipped/combined episodes, but they only did what they felt they needed to make 65 episodes, and maybe they were open to dubbing/licensing additional episodes in the future if these were a hit. After the 65 episodes underperformed in syndication, they only dubbed the last 17 episodes they had when Irwin Toy in Canada helped to co-fund production because the show was a huge hit for YTV in Canada.
Makes sense. I got the impression DiC didn’t have much interest in the franchise outside of the 65-episode required syndication package needed to sell a toyline.

The final 17 episodes were pretty much rushed out the gate and only done because Irwin toys coughed up the money.
 
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Sep 6, 2014
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#7
Which is why I think covering all of Classic and R in those 65 episodes would have made more sense: they could have started selling Diamond, Emerald. Rubeus, "Prince" Darien (but really King of the Earth), and Wicked Lady dolls sooner. (Maybe Neo Queen Serenity, Sapphire, and Four Sisters dolls too.) "Sibling Rivalry" is a good stopping point if you really have plans to dub the rest of the season the next year, but if there wasn't a strong intention of doing that, or if that possibility is really going to be predicated on the series' success, then it's not a great place to stop IMO.
Not like kids show don’t sell toy exclusive things all the time. Irwin toys was selling Outer toys before their series debut.

Bandai was selling a bunch of spoiler-y DBZ toys back in the day and Funimation kept showing off crap like Super Saiyan Goku and Trunks existing in promotional stuff and merchandise well before they were even sure they’d get that far.

Agree to disagree. I watched just the 65 episodes a couple years back and it worked rather well for me. Albeit not as good as if ended on Day of Destiny or Treed where they had actual conclusions
 

MementoNepenthe

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#8
I'll forever be annoyed they never released a 6 inch Sailor Saturn doll. Queen Serenity, Mistress 9, and proper Prince Darien dolls would have been cool too.

And of course there was the Moon Cycle toy, which has nothing to do with the show. I wonder if there were any plans for other toys like that that were just completely made up. But that's getting a bit off-topic.
 
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#9
A little bit of a digression, but I just vaguely remember as a kid watching the DiC dub of Sailor Moon for the first time, being dumb/naive enough to think that episode 65 was the season finale for R. Would have been one unresolved ending, what with Rubeus and Wiseman still being alive and many questions unanswered... The funny thing is, I seem to remember I knew there were other seasons from having the Internet and going to Sailor Moon sites, I just somehow thought that was the conclusion of the R season.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#10
I'll forever be annoyed they never released a 6 inch Sailor Saturn doll. Queen Serenity, Mistress 9, and proper Prince Darien dolls would have been cool too.
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Saturn got screwed over in general in the US. No Sailor Stars so she only got 1 episode in the US. Shame she wasn’t in the SuperS movie.

Also shame Toei didn’t get a deal with Cloverway and/or Pioneer and Optimum to dub the first 6 episode
A little bit of a digression, but I just vaguely remember as a kid watching the DiC dub of Sailor Moon for the first time, being dumb/naive enough to think that episode 65 was the season finale for R. Would have been one unresolved ending, what with Rubeus and Wiseman still being alive and many questions unanswered... The funny thing is, I seem to remember I knew there were other seasons from having the Internet and going to Sailor Moon sites, I just somehow thought that was the conclusion of the R season.
Since I didn’t start the show until it was on the US Network until 1997 I didn’t notice the wait nearly as long as those who started in syndication in 1995. I simply accepted it was time to show new episodes in 1998 when Toonami promoted the lost episodes. A year is still rather long for new episodes but I can’t imagine having to wait 3 years.

But I remember the wait between the lost episodes and S feeling even longer. At least the movies came out in between to spoil...everything
 
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#13
DiC only licensed Classic and R in 1995. They skipped/combined episodes, but they only did what they felt they needed to make 65 episodes, and maybe they were open to dubbing/licensing additional episodes in the future if these were a hit. After the 65 episodes underperformed in syndication, they only dubbed the last 17 episodes they had when Irwin Toy in Canada helped to co-fund production because the show was a huge hit for YTV in Canada.
I remember as a kid watching the re-runs a few times when they aired on YTV hoping it would continue past 65 episodes (and show uranus/neptune as I'd seem them in promo material) but it would just go back to episode 1. The first time the show aired on YTV after the battle of Queen Beryl (whatever DiC named the episode) it went right to the episode where Chibi-usa showed up skipping the Alien arc all together. I remember with my friends wondering where the hell the star compact transformation and cutie moon rod came from (11 year old minds blooown) then at the last R episode it would go to the first R episode with the Alien arc. I dunno wtf YTV was doing. After it started again from episode 1 it went back to the correct airing sequence over and over until the "lost episodes" aired to finish R.
 

NJ_

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#14
^This happened here in the states as well during it's first full syndicated run post-Fox "Return of Sailor Moon" airing (first episode I watched back then). I was watching during it's second half on WB11 at 6:30 AM from "Day Of Destiny" onwards (when I FINALLY got an alarm clock after a few failed attempts to wake up earlier than my usual time to watch and record on VHS tape) and it was the exact same order which was odd at first until the properly-aired reruns started after Doom Tree was done.

Regarding Uranus & Neptune, the first time I saw them was through a two-page magazine spread on an issue of GameFan since it was covering the SuperS Playstation/Saturn fighting game that was about to come out in Japan and it also spoiled for me that Rini became a Sailor Scout (along with Pluto and Saturn existing) since this came out during the same TV run in the beginning of that arc.
 
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Mar 25, 2008
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#15
Regarding Uranus & Neptune, the first time I saw them was through a two-page magazine spread on an issue of GameFan since it was covering the SuperS Playstation/Saturn fighting game that was about to come out in Japan and it also spoiled for me that Rini became a Sailor Scout (along with Pluto and Saturn existing) since this came out during the same TV run in the beginning of that arc.
Mine was my mother taking a friend and myself to our Chinatown that had imported Japanese goods (mostly anime) and there were merchandise from S (which was airing in Japan at the time). We instantly started freaking out seeing new senshi (I didn't particularly care seeing Chibiusa in senshi form, I assumed she would eventually become one). I remember guessing Neptune correctly but assumed Haruka was Saturn. Few years later I had some friends who had the prism cards and I saw Sailor Star Healer who made me even more confused haha.
 

Nadia

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#16
My Sailor Moon experience was a little different.

I didn't get hooked onto Sailor Moon the first time I watched it, and it took three times of me looking at different episodes to actually commit to watching it. Thus, I didn't really watch the show until after its first 65- episode loop, so I can't comment on any the "out of order" weirdness. Instead, I watched the repeats (which were shown in the correct order) and became invested in the show through them.

I didn't even think there were "Outer" Scouts because I thought there were five Scouts and nothing more. If there were more, they'd have been part of the show or at least mentioned.

It was only when I decided to look up Sailor Moon on the Internet did I get spoiled as to the fact that there were Sailor Scouts for the entire Solar System, that Rini was a Sailor Scout, and that there was more than those 65 episodes. I really thought there was no more Sailor Moon and th

As far as the debate concerning whether the old dub ended its run, I have to think that the episode they chose to end on was the best pragmatic choice, although I heard (without verification) they only had right/ability to dub to the first 72 episodes anyway. Even if they were able to do an extremely faithful dub with no cut material, they could not end it at the end of Classic or the first half of R due to not having 65 episodes, and I'm not sure they even had the rights to the movies at that point. (I do like the idea of making up an episode from existing footage...especially the idea of melding together the separate R arcs.) If the defeat of Rubeus were added, while it would resolve that plot thread, it would also end up introducing new characters and be even more of a cliffhanger. Instead of people wondering, "What happened after the Sisters were healed" people would be asking, "Who is this green-haired lady who showed up at the last second and what happened to Wiseman?" and if DiC didn't have the sense to cut out the last scene people would ask, ""Who is this guy sitting on the throne?"

And dubbing 65 episodes out of the first 88 would have resulted in even more cuts....although it would be an engaging thought exercise.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#17
My Sailor Moon experience was a little different.

I didn't get hooked onto Sailor Moon the first time I watched it, and it took three times of me looking at different episodes to actually commit to watching it. Thus, I didn't really watch the show until after its first 65- episode loop, so I can't comment on any the "out of order" weirdness. Instead, I watched the repeats (which were shown in the correct order) and became invested in the show through them.
I thought it was some dumb rainbow brite type show before finally giving it a chance :)


It was only when I decided to look up Sailor Moon on the Internet did I get spoiled as to the fact that there were Sailor Scouts for the entire Solar System, that Rini was a Sailor Scout, and that there was more than those 65 episodes. I really thought there was no more Sailor Moon and th
Fortunately I didn't really start looking up Sailor Moon on the internet until after SuperS aired so the only thing I was spoiled by was Sailor Stars which never came to the US anyways (at the time). But that's where I found out some episodes were skipped and two episodes were combined into one and Zoicite was male and etc etc.

As far as the debate concerning whether the old dub ended its run, I have to think that the episode they chose to end on was the best pragmatic choice, although I heard (without verification) they only had right/ability to dub to the first 72 episodes anyway.
I'm not 100 percent sure how licensing for this stuff works but I think more than likely DiC licensed classic and R because they needed 65 episodes and they just skipped some expendable episodes and combined the problematic two part first series finale into one episode in order to get to a reasonable stopping point. They simply finished dubbing what they had left two years later when Irwin Toys provided the funds.

If the defeat of Rubeus were added, while it would resolve that plot thread, it would also end up introducing new characters and be even more of a cliffhanger. Instead of people wondering, "What happened after the Sisters were healed" people would be asking, "Who is this green-haired lady who showed up at the last second and what happened to Wiseman?" and if DiC didn't have the sense to cut out the last scene people would ask, ""Who is this guy sitting on the throne?"
Rubeus Strikes Back ended with Diamond looking at Neo-Queen Serenity and saying he always gets what he wants. A pretty yikes way to potentially end the series. Sibling Rivalry ends with Serena and Raye bickering. The latter just works better as a potential finale.


Of course there's no perfect way to stop in the middle of a story arc ..
 
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#18
I didn't see Sailor Moon until probably 1999 when it was on Toonami (I was only a year old when the show premiered in syndication in 1995). Don't remember the first episode I saw, but I remember being slightly shocked to see the Scouts naked (in silhouette) while transforming. I distinctively remember Jupiter's debut episode, the SuperS film, and some of S/SuperS (and being confused by Serena's strange voice). I was into dolls when I was very little (grew out of it around age 7) and sat on Santa's lap asking for Sailor Moon dolls. I had seen this commercial and really wanted all the dolls, even though I wasn't too familiar with the characters. Ended up getting Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask that year for Christmas. Then I mostly forgot about Sailor Moon until 2009 when I was seriously into anime and watched it online through less-than-legal means (when you could still easily find full episodes on YouTube, split into 2 or 3 parts).
 

NJ_

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#19
Regarding Uranus & Neptune, the first time I saw them was through a two-page magazine spread on an issue of GameFan since it was covering the SuperS Playstation/Saturn fighting game that was about to come out in Japan and it also spoiled for me that Rini became a Sailor Scout (along with Pluto and Saturn existing) since this came out during the same TV run in the beginning of that arc.
FOUND IT, it was the May 1996 issue which wasn't long after the PS1 version's release.
 
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