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The uncensored Sailor Moon dub is coming to Cartoon Network for the first time via Toonami Rewind

The original dub is a racist and homophobic page in anime history

Sailor Moon screenshot
Image credit: Toei Animation

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Fans of classic anime are in for a treat at the end of May 2024 as Adult Swim debuts a new Friday block of programming. Dubbed Toonami Rewind, the two-hour block of shows will feature two Shonen classics in Dragon Ball Z Kai and Naruto, but the most exciting part of the block is the triumphant return of Sailor Moon to the network. Not only is it one of the most influential anime ever, but, for the first time, Cartoon Network will be showing the uncensored Viz dub of Sailor Moon on Toonami Rewind starting May 31, 2024.

For those who aren’t hot on their anime history, the original English dub of Sailor Moon has become a punchline in the anime community due to the heavy-handed and questionable censorship the dub inflicted upon Sailor Moon. Not only were character names altered and any reference to Japanese culture scrubbed from the dialogue, but whole episodes were cut or shortened, which greatly changed the pacing of the show. The worst bit, though, was how the Sailor Moon dub handled the anime’s LGBTQ+ characters.

In the original Japanese anime, Sailor Neptune and Uranus are heavily implied to be lovers, but the dub that first appeared on American TVs changed them to cousins. This wasn’t the only effort that was made to remove any hint of LGBTQ+ material from the show. Zoisite’s gender was changed from male to female to avoid any possibility of two men being in a loving, consensual relationship because the mid-90s were a dark time. As we said, the dub of Sailor Moon that originally appeared on American TV wasn’t great or even good. Fortunately, that’s not the version coming to Cartoon Network.

For Toonami Rewind, the network is bringing us the Viz dub of Sailor Moon, which features an entirely new cast and, more importantly, no edits or censorship. It began streaming on Hulu in 2014. This is the first time that these episodes have aired on network TV in the US – previous versions that were shown as part of Toonami were the DIC/Cloverway dub. For the first time in anime history, fans will get to experience the show that spawned a million magical girl transformations the way it was meant to be seen. That alone is enough to make us cheer for the creation of Toonami Rewind on Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

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