Did you know that Sailor Moon could have become a drastically different series in its North American run? In 1994, American animation studio Toon Makers partnered with Bandai and Renaissance Atlantic to produce a pilot for a distinctly American version of Takeuchi’s popular series.
The proposed show would have been a mix of live action and animated sequences, much like how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would use American footage to frame Japan-filmed Super Sentai fight scenes.
Also, Sailor Mercury was in a wheelchair, for some reason. We don’t know why, she just was.
Thankfully, this version of Sailor Moon never came to pass. Toon Maker lost the bidding for the property, and the series was abandoned on their part. In roughly 2006, western audiences got their first and only taste of the doomed titles when a two-minute promo video was shown during an Otaku Hell panel at an anime convention.
The promo, which has since been dubbed “Saban Moon”, has since leaked to video sharing sites across the internet. Everywhere, from YouTube to DailyMotion hosts it in some form for everybody to see.
It’s cheesy, it’s cringe-worthy, and it looks like a crazy mish-mash of Power Rangers, Jem, and Blossom. It has everything you’d expect in a promo for a ’90s kids’ show: random dancing, shots where the entire cast just smiles at each other, low-budget animation, an “extreme!” wipe in for the logo, and awkward CGI transformation sequences.
In short: It’s like a train wreck. It’s horrific, there’s probably going to be some form of carnage, but you just can’t look away.
For those that want to know more, the Sailor Moon News blog managed to acquire a copy of the pilot’s full script, which they’ve posted online for our enjoyment.
Before you ask, though: no. It really doesn’t get better.