Friday, February 26, 2010

Operation Moonrise Phase 4: Sailor Starfights!


To Skip This Background Post and Go Directly To The Survey Click Here! This survey will run until midnight of May 9th!



Change of plans – we’re scrapping a Japanese writing campaign because it probably won’t be very effective, given recent developments in Europe. Fans are better off sending their comments to Toei in English in Los Angeles, they are the ones that need the most convincing! This campaign has only been in the works for a little over two weeks, and below you'll see why.

Here are the recent, known developments that are causing us to change our course for the campaign. Everything that is airing in Albania is exactly the same way that it was before. At this point, it also doesn’t look like Albania is going to get their missing seasons, and this is only one reason why we are worried. Everything in Italy that will come to air will be exactly the same as it was before, with respect to the audio track. There will be some video censorship removed and possibly new openings with the new logo. This makes it highly unlikely that the English-language market will get a re-dub. This is both good and bad news. The good news is, that the vast majority of our readers who voted for the old cast in the first survey will be pleased! The bad news is, this is not looking like a good situation for a release of Sailor Stars.

Here's what we think is going to happen. But, given the very shaky nature of Sailor Moon's releases and distributions in the past, we could be wrong. By the very end of the year, or perhaps early 2011, a company will make an announcement that they have the license for the show, and that they are going to re-release everything that has already been released. At the earliest, we see this happening between March and October. The situation will likely be the same, no matter which company gets the rights. At this moment it looks like it might be one company over all of the current ones, but it is too early to say if it will be distributed among many companies (like it was with Geneon and ADV in the past). Given the nature of the video edits that were made in the English language dub, some may be re-edited and uncensored, but others may not be - remember, episodes were skipped and two were merged together. We really want Sailor Stars to be a part of this release, and we bet you do too. This is why we are starting a special campaign JUST for Sailor Stars.

We really need more numbers to really show Toei that Sailor Moon is a property worth pursuing in North America. We need to show them that it is NOT too late to release something that the English language market hasn’t seen, and that this franchise is still just as relatively (if not massively) popular as it was when it first debuted. Which is why we have created another survey. We’re going to run this for 2-3 months. Since these have proven to be more successful in getting fans to voice their opinions to Toei about Sailor Moon than our letter campaigns, this was the best option. We know you all want the show back, and that you have plenty of fighting spirit in you!

There are 16 questions, but they should go by pretty quickly if you read carefully. The main focuses of this survey are Sailor Stars, and some different questions about TV preferences. Please read each question, directions, and answers carefully. 90% of this survey will take 3-4 min to complete. The other 10% consists of space for you all to leave comments and questions about specialty anime channels. Please check to see if your provider (especially in the USA) carries any of these two channels - The FUNImation Channel, and/or The Anime Network.

We have to ask questions about these specialty anime channels specifically in this survey given the cases of Albania and Italy. The show is airing on premium specialty channels in both countries, though the case with Albania is a little different. There are only two cable providers in that country, and Digitalb (the one that offers the Bang Bang channel) is the bigger of the two, but only has around 100,000 subscribers. For a country of 3 million, we think that number is a little low so we’re still going to consider this a specialty channel for our purposes. In Italy, the show will air on Italia 1 in the Fall, and we're not sure if Hiro was picked to maximize profits, or to act as a guinea pig to test a smaller subset of the Italian public, or both. Both of these services (Digitalb and Mediaset Premium) are available throughout their countries consistently, and so are these channels.

This is not the case with the English language market. The United Kingdom no longer has a specialty anime channel, and neither does Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. The United States has two, The FUNImation Channel and The Anime Network. But, there’s a catch. These channels are not necessarily available in every area of the country (unlike Italy and Albania). We’re trying to be a step ahead and show the companies involved what their viewers’ preferences are. Do you guys want this on a premium specialty channel or would you prefer to watch Sailor Moon on a channel included on almost all cable providers’ programming lists like Cartoon Network, SyFy, YTV, or Teletoon? We want the fans to answer these kinds of questions so we can present your preferences to Toei. Unfortunately, these are the only two channels we can specifically ask for in this situation.

Please answer this survey if you are genuinely interested in an English-Language version of Sailor Moon. Specifically, we want people from Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to answer this survey - but if you are from any other country and just want to see an official release of Sailor Stars in English, don't hesitate to fill this out too!

As far as your comments go, fans will only be allowed a maximum of 200 words for each survey. If it is a few more words that is fine (up to 210). If you have a lot more than that to say, please submit a letter to Toei. The survey will go by a lot faster once this is done, so we recommend that fans work on their comments ahead of time in a word processor. Then all you have to do is paste in your answer when that portion of the survey comes up. This question is the only one that is not required to complete the survey and is completely optional.

A few guidelines: please understand that now that the companies are taking the fans seriously, so you should use understandable grammar and spelling, and no netspeak. No cursing or flaming please. If you have something to complain about, do it constructively. Remember, executives WILL be reading this and if you want them to take your concerns seriously, please write seriously. Keep this as short as possible – the letter campaign is still ongoing. Talk about how badly you want to see Sailor Stars, and in your opinion if you think that it is not too late for an English release of Sailor Stars, or if your interest in the season has not changed a bit since you first saw it. Please, no mention of anything cast-related. This was ALREADY done in the first survey and the majority of fans voted for the old cast members to return over actors on FUNImation’s current roster. We don’t want to have a redundancy in the surveys and ask fans for opinions that we already collected and sent off.

Our tentative goal for this is 700 surveys. We need to set this high to have a real impact! Anything any fan can do to help get the word out about this one (since so many fans wrote in after the last ones ended saying they didn’t know about this) would be a big help. Please tell your friends and other Sailor Moon fans and get the chain started! We did have one incident with one website last summer who did not appreciate getting several e-mails a week from fans about the campaign. So please, do not pester any site over and over if they write back to you saying they are not interested. Out of deep respect for this site, we're not going to mention the name or link to it.

EDIT: Please wait until you see the thank you screen before you close the window (we added one yesterday) - Unfortunately your answers will not save until you see this screen!


25 comments:

Amber said...

I wish there has been different options given in the survey as to why I would not be watching it on TV. I don't know if there is a cable service or provider with those channels, I really don't care. I don't have even basic cable hooked up on my television set. I use an apple TV and I buy DVDs.

Mercurius said...

I don't think that'll happen, cause when I emailed FUNimation about Sailor Moon, they have close relations to Toei and can negotiate them to make a redub. If they do, there is a possibility of bringing the DiC/Cloverway VAs and do their roles, just like the idea with Slayers's VAs for Slayers Revolution. So, I wouldn't jump to conclusions on this, until Toei's decision.

sailordees said...

Hi Amber and Mercurius:

Amber - we wanted to kind of keep this about the cable channels. Many of the fans wrote in saying that we didn't have any "no" choices and so we put them in this time. But the premium channels is kind of the hot issue right now. It's toei's decision if they want to put it up somewhere for digital downloads (like Itunes).

Mercurius - FUNImation told me the same thing, however these are the unfortunate facts.

The VAs are all Canadian, and only a small few have Screen Actors Guild (SAG) membership (US actors union). They would need to be a part of this union to act in the United States, and this requires a certain amount of parts in US-based productions, which not all of them have (and not many American productions in Canada would be able to count for SAG credits). FUNImation has not really produced many dubs using Canadian studios, and this has left the VAs in a conundrum. It wasn't an issue with Slayers because the actors were all American. If you look at the DBZ redub, you'll notice a lot of Canadian actors were missing - most notably Scott McNeill. FUNImation may have a close relationship to Toei, but what's not there to say about other companies in other countries? Why wasn't there a redub in Italy, for example? We're not jumping to absolute conclusions on this, but it is unfortunately just the way things are looking right now. That's not to say that tomorrow FUNImation couldn't surprise the fans and say "hey, we've arranged to make Sailor Moon's re-dub a service production, so that the Canadian actors can reprise their roles".

It's complicated, and if it still doesn't make any sense to you, please send us an email!

Mercurius said...

Sailordeees - The only reason Toei wanted Italy to reair the episodes is because they are "testing the waters" in that country. At this point, we wouldn't really know what Toei will do afterwards.

Fighter4luv said...

I filled out the survey. I live in Australia, and we haven't had free-to-air Sailor Moon for a very long time, and they never even showed S and SuperS (only on foxtell). I know for a fact that a Sailor Stars fandub (edited or unedited) can be done, as there are a lot of Fandubs online that have been able to do so (myself being one of those people).

I hope Toei find it in their heart to give it another chance, and a company that knows what they're doing, take on the job of completing the series in English. This will hopefully bring up some subtitled dvd releases of Stars, too ^_^

esahC said...

True to my word, my survey is done and sailordees should have it.

I seriously hope you know what you're doing sailordees, because deep inside, I'm still worried that this won't do anything for us Sailor Moon fans. Again, love to be wrong, but that devil on my right shoulder is having a field day with this.

sailordees said...

Trust me - I've been in communication with all parties involved and the reports have definitely opened their eyes to the fans' wants. Sailor Stars on the other hand, we really need to work hard for and show them how much it is wanted here!

ShinraiTenchi said...

My university's network has that survey site blocked! :( I'm going to try to email the technical department to get them to unblock it because I really want to fill out a survey. I personally think it's a very appropriate time to let Toei know just how badly fans want to see Sailor Stars in english-speaking countries.

sailordees said...

Shinrai - if this is not possible please send us an email, we'll send you a copy of the questions and then one of us staffers will add you to the surveys. I hope this helps!

anime fan from the purple binder comment said...

ummm...
i don't know if my survey worked...
is the page at the end ("3rd" page, technically) supposed to say: "free surveys! unlimited forums!" or do i need a file???
i took snapshots of the answers anyway.
GAH!
i was on the first page for the snapshots (hit program's back arrow) and when i was done, i messed up and pushed the SURVEY'S next button, instead of the program's. its kinda confusing unless you're here...
i don't want to take the test again (cuz i feel like cheating) and i don't want to mess up your results!
i guess i'll redo the second page...
after all, it's a better chance to get stars back! and see if this survey has a different last page (thanks for voting, etc.)
happy i took part, upset that some things got messed up.

purple binder fan again :P said...

and my survey comment...? number... something~

" i'm watching sailor moon right now, but i haven't reached stars yet. i would love to see it anyway.
i don't know if any anime channels are available through directv (except for anime network, but i just found them out today) but cartoon network is on my sattelite, and i'm able to reach anime network's site and funimation's site. so questions 10 and 11 were hard to answer.
back to stars, i know the cast was voted already, but while i was taking the survey an error happened that sent me to the homepage and it said the survey ended. so, what if the starlights had 2 va's? one for not transformed male, one for transformed female. i think some older foreign dubs did that. "

...
ps: the word i have to type in is: ni-se-i! thats a type of japanese xD
(dashed out incase of security stuff o_o)

Anonymous said...

i only have regular cable. i'm not sure what kind. all i know is that i get Cartoon Network and Syfy.

on Halloween in 2009, i saw a 9 year old wearing a Sailor Jupiter costume. so you see, there's still little kids out there who can become fans of it.

and in the survey, i wasn't sure what to put when it was asking about censoring Sailor Stars and one of the choices said "keep all elements, and people who have a problem with it shouldn't watch it."
or something like that. i didn't know what to put. i went with the first option saying something like "it may have to be censored for a wider audience." but i don't really like either choice.

Xahlianne said...

I hope that the Albanian broadcast is not closely related to Italy. If I try to think rationally it doesn't make sense to me at all: why would Albanian dub mean that Italy has the same version as before? Does Albania even have rights to broadcast it? And if really there is no new version, why was the Italian broadcast delayed until March? I still hope these are all just speculations provoked by a minor Albanian version that popped just out of nowhere with the only purpose of creating turmoil... We will know for sure on Monday, I just can't wait until then! I share the opinion that TOEI might be testing waters in Europe though and I'm pretty convinced Germany will not hesitate to air it again since Sailor Moon was a massive hit there. Just one more day to go!!!

sailordees said...

Lots to respond to!

Purple Binder Fan - if you get back to the Kwik Survey homepage, then the survey has been completed. You can take the survey again if you didn't complete it because at the end of each day we delete all the incomplete ones (because we just have no easy way of accounting for the errors). You are welcome to make suggestions like that for how they could get around the genderbending, but nothing about the specific VAs, since we already asked everyone who they wanted anyway a long time ago.

Anonymous - see if your cable box has a sticker on it saying who they get cable from, else ask people around your house :).

Who's next... Xahlianne, please check the other posts we have posted, this should hopefully fill you in. Albania does have the rights to broadcast it (or else it would not be on the air).

Xahlianne said...

Survey completed! *sun*

Amber said...

? So then keep it about the cable channels. It's completely facetious to say that the reason people wouldn't be watching on television is because of the lack of a cable provider in the area. If you're keeping it about the cable channels, then there should be some sort of option to indicate that those questions were not applicable to that particular person's survey responses.

The Me said...

Amber, I can't understand what your issue with the survey is. The questions in which 'no' answers indicate a lack of cable service in the area are about specific channels. The other questions do not insinuate this and will not be presented so.

paperplanes said...

Finished the survey! So the people of Toei will see the results of people wanting Sailor Stars on tv, right?

Amber said...

11. If Sailor Moon and/or Sailor Stars were to be broadcast on a specialty channel (like FUNImation Channel, The Anime Network, Gong, Dusk, Movie Central, Super Channel, Anime Central)...
• I already subscribe to one or more of these channels
• One or more of these channels is available through my cable provider and I would subscribe
 •One or more of these channels is available in my area through a different cable provider and I would consider switching to get the(se) channel(s)
• I would not be happy because none of these channels are available in my area and I have no way of subscribing to them
• I would not be happy because one or more of these channels are available in my area but they are just too expensive


I don't know if there is a cable service or provider with those channels, I really don't care. It's completely facetious to say that the reason people wouldn't be watching on television is because of the lack of a cable provider in the area or the cost.

You don't understand the problem with this? Honestly? If you're presenting your findings in the context of this question by including it, then I feel misrepresented.

Moon Chase said...

Amber:

This is the last time we’re going to break this down for you.

In Italy, Japan, and Albania, the show is airing on premium cable channels. Given this pattern in these countries, it may also premiere on these premium cable channels in North America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.


The FUNImation Channel is only available as a premium channel in some places in the United States.
The Anime Network is only available in the United States and Canada as a VOD service through some cable providers.
Gong is available as a VOD service in some places in the United Kingdom, and the United States, but this is a premium service
Dusk is a specialty premium channel in Canada devoted to Horror, but it must be purchased separately from extended cable.
Movie Central and Super Channels are the equivalent of Starz! and Cinemax in Canada, and both of these premium movie channels have shown anime.

The most important fact is that all of these channels are not available in every corner of their respective countries. We want to show Toei what percentage of the fanbase actually has access to these specialty channels or not, and/or if they would consider subscribing to these channels if Sailor Moon were to air on them. This is why we asked in question 8 what kind of a channel fans would prefer to see Sailor Moon on, and then got very specific about the FUNImation Channel and The Anime Network, since those are the biggest channels in North America that are potential contenders as premium channels for the show to air on.

There is nothing “facetious” (or not serious) about these questions. Before this survey was posted, we sent it to a special group of our site’s advisors, and a few special fans for their opinions and we didn’t get any complaints that they felt that they were being misrepresented. Any of these people would have been the first to say so, and they did for previous surveys, and they only went up after everyone was satisfied. We are here to show the companies that the fans are serious about a re-release and to let them know what they want, so that this can all be worked out into a successful future re-release. We don’t want to see any of the mistakes that were made in the previous releases this time.

...

Moon Chase said...

... continued

We told fans ahead of time in the post to check with their current cable provider if they got any of these channels. There are plenty of cable providers that do carry these channels but they do not carry them all over the country. For example, Funimation Channel has a whole list posted here: http://www.funimationchannel.com/operators.php, and the Anime Network has a whole list posted here: http://www.theanimenetwork.com/Video-On-Demand-Schedule/ . You may not care if your provider carries these channels at all, but the many other fans who do want to watch it on television do, and if they don’t have access to these channels, then Toei could potentially be missing out on a large portion of the fanbase in North America. If you’re not going to watch Sailor Moon on TV for some other reason that you don’t have cable, send a letter to Toei. We already asked questions a long time ago about what format fans would prefer to buy Sailor Moon (in general) on. If you’re not going to watch Sailor Moon, and you’re not going to buy Sailor Moon, then it is up to you to tell Toei how you plan to enjoy the series. None of these countries are getting a DVD-exclusive release either, so it is safe to assume that to really bring the series back and to maximize awareness and revenues from the series, that it will come back to television. We asked earlier if fans were going to watch the show at all on TV, and so far only a very small percentage (in the single digits) are not interested in watching the show. Like we have said before, if you have more to say to Toei, send them a letter. None of the companies have written back to us and said anything negative about the reports we sent (and we have asked them a few times if everything was okay before we progressed on to something new), and some of the people we have spoken to have commended us for our organization and how we were able to identify key aspects of a future re-release.

Lan Nguyen said...

Filled out this survey with major excitement and hope. Crossing my fingers that our love and devotion to the series really comes through to the companies and that we'll FINALLY be able to see Stars.

ShinraiTenchi said...

Go SailorDees! :D

Moon Chase said...

Thank you Lan and ShinraiTenchi!

Alexandria said...

If worse comes to worse, we could always band together, and raise money to purchase the license for it. No one can turn down money. lol. we'd just have to find someone to air it then, but that wouldn't be to much of a problem, I'm sure.