Finally, after many months of waiting, Toei Animation Europe finally posts an official press release announcing the return of Sailor Moon! As we reported not too long ago, Italy's Backstage Licensing and Toei have signed an exclusive deal to resurrect Sailor Moon on the Italian market. Backstage, will be managing the TV, publishing, merchandising, and theatrical release rights of the franchise (Sacre Bleu, does this mean the manga as well?). The press release also says "The feasibility of this project also relies on a close collaboration with the original author of SAILORMOON, Mrs Naoko Takeuchi." This is echoing what the licensing reporters were speaking of before with the Style Guide. But the best part of this press release is a quote from Mr. Kanji Kazahaya, the General Director of Toei Animation Europe:
"We are very happy, to have Backstage as the licensing partner of SAILORMOON. It is one of the most important factor of success. We are certain that strategically Italy is the ideal country to initiate a global re-launch of the classic Japanese animated series, such as SAILORMOON. The Italian public has traditionally been passionate about ‘anime'."
Perhaps, this strategy chose Italy first to "test the waters" since it is not necessarily one of the bigger markets that Sailor Moon has been successful with (a Spanish dub for example, would be shown in various markets in Europe, South, and Latin America, and the English dub would go to Australia and the UK, aside from North America). Best to see what happens in a smaller market in case it doesn't go well (but we can't imagine Sailor Moon not doing well)!
Unfortunately, the press release also announces that the series is delayed to air again, this time listing it as Autumn 2010. Another website, MangaForever, has posted a new image and this may be from the style guide considering the copyrights posted below. We have to say, we love this new logo (if it will be a new logo) - it is a LOT better than the old titles which just appeared to look like drab colored text during the show openings. We have featured this new image above - what do you all think?
We recommend all of our Italian readers, send Toei, Mediaset, and Backstage licensing their most heartfelt "Grazie Tanto!" This was a long time coming, Italia!