Sailor Moon Questions and Answers

Region 1 Sailor Moon DVDs versus Region 2 Sailor Moon DVDs. What's the difference?

The North American Region 1 Uncut Sailor Moon season one and two box sets that were released several years ago had two main issues that didn't sit well with fans when they were released.

Region 1 Sailor Moon DVDs versus Region 2 Sailor Moon DVDs. What's the difference?

1) Simply put the masters used were not good. They were the old prints that for some reason Bandai felt was all North American audiences deserved. I do remember some interviews from around the time the box sets were released and a representative for Pioneer did say that Bandai was simply asking for way too much money for the good masters. Whatever the case the Region 1 DVDs use an inferior master.

2) Despite being called "uncut", the Sailor Moon R box set was actually missing an entire episode! Episode 67 has never seen a release on Region 1 DVD and apparently Bandai doesn't want it to either despite Pioneer asking for it.

The Japanese Region 2 DVDs on the other hand include all the episodes and have been digitally re-mastered both visually and audibly. Nothing was added or removed during this re-mastering. This isn't like the Special Edition Star Wars movies. The video was simply cleaned up. The colours were sharpened and artefacts were removed and it looks stunning. I remember when I saw one of the first season DVDs playing on a tv screen. I was in awe, the difference was that noticable. It's like comparing and old "taped off tv" VHS copy of The Little Mermaid and then watching the new edition on DVD. Big difference in quality and it makes for a much better viewing experience.

Check out the image below to compare the image quality of each Sailor Moon DVD release. The first column is from the DiC English Dub DVDs, the middle is from the US Region 1 Japanese box set and the right column is from the re-mastered Japanese releases. Note the individual and box set Japanese Region 2 releases have the same image quality. (Click for a larger version)

sailor moon dvd image quality comparison

The deciding factor for many fans will be the inclusion of English subtitles which the Region 1 has and the Region 2 lacks. (Note both only have the Japanese audio.) Personally I think if you're after the Japanese version and have already seen the series enough times to know the basic plot and if you're learning Japanese, the series uses very basic Japanese and shouldn't be too challenging at all for beginners.

Honestly I think investing in the superior Region 2 DVDs is well worth it and these new boxes actually make it a lot cheaper than buying all the DVDs individually.

Video Answer: I also answered this question in a Moonie Mailbag YouTube video! Check it out on YouTube.

Thanks to Jon for asking this question via email.

Updated on the 27th of January 2010 to include DVD image quality comparisons.

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