Last night, idol group Momoiro Clover Z revealed that the new Sailor Moon anime will begin streaming this winter. The series will run worldwide on Niconico, and Momoiro Clover Z will provide both the opening an ending theme songs to the series. Previously, the title was teased on a sell sheet for Sailor Moon keychains for a December 2013 to January 2014 debut.
With just a few months to go until the premiere, I can’t help but find the entire experience surreal. Just a few years ago, the idea of a return to the franchise seemed ludicrous, to say the least. The anime ended over a decade prior, and the live-action TV show was over and buried. The series was absent on western shores for years, and most people were speculating over whether Sailor Moon in any form would appear in the west once again.
Slowly but surely, though, we began to see Usagi and company make their return to the west. Kodansha began re-releasing the manga in the west in 2011, starting with Codename: Sailor V, which led to volume after volume topping sales charts and delighting fans both young and old. The fervor began to build, as people calls for the Sailor Moon anime series grew louder. With the comics selling and people getting excited, there had to be something coming… right?
I’ll never forget the day the announcement was made. It hit like a bombshell, as idol group Momoiro Clover Z and Naoko Takeuchi announced the series during a live anniversary event. The response was swift and immediate. Everyone, from old-timers to new fans was talking and speculating. Would it be a reboot? A sequel? Would the characters be the same? Would the original cast be returning? Questions begot questions, and the speculation was on.
As the months went on, the fervor died down a bit. While the conversations still arose, many began to focus on the coming anime seasons. The appeal of shiny, new, and available battered its way into the public eye. Speculation gave way to discussions of the current popular fare, and Sailor Moon seemed to disappear outside of the occasional tease and hint. The “Summer 2013” date grew nearer, and the flow of information slowed to a halt.
The new announcement will, if nothing else, reignite discussions on the new series, and Sailor Moon as a whole. Each new scrap of information seems to both rile the base and interest a number of onlookers. We’ve seen nothing of the series, aside from a piece of promotional artwork, but it’s been more than enough to fuel speculation and rumors, and to excite both the young and young at heart. It will be truly fascinating to see reactions as more comes to light, be it staff announcements, character designs, or promotional videos. As the idea of the phantom series is dispelled, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see excitement, disappointment, or some combination of the two.