Back in 2018 Cecilia published an exhaustive feature about the doomed attempt to remake classic anime Sailor Moon for American audiences. It was a fantastic story, but its search for unseen footage of the never-aired show sadly ended in disappointment.
The project, known among fans as Saban Moon because of the involvement of kids’ TV producer Haim Saban, had since the 1990s been a subject of huge interest, not just for its bizarre overall premise (loads of anime like Macross had been heavily localised for Western audiences, and we all know about Power Rangers, but rarely had something been completely remade) but because the show had been made yet never shown. As Cecilia wrote back in 2018:
Sailor Moon fandom is unquantifiably enormous. Its most extreme end has obsessed over the American, live-action Sailor Moon show for decades the same way diehard Twilight fans might hate-read the entirety of Fifty Shades of Grey. On scattered Sailor Moon fan sites, true connoisseurs have collected the detritus of the never-aired show. It’s blasphemous. And it’s hard to look away from.
For decades all fans had to go on was a blurry trailer shown at the 1995 Anime Expo, released at the same time the original Japanese anime was making its debut in the US. Now, four years after Cecilia’s report, YouTuber Ray Mona has hit the jackpot.
As part of her documentary Finding Saban Moon: The Western World of Sailor Moon, Mona—with help from Cecilia, who appears in the video—manages to actually get hold of the series’ pilot episode (from the Library Of Congress, no less), and includes it in her film so we can all finally lay eyes upon it.
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It’s…look, it sure is something.
I think everyone would agree that it’s better for everyone, the world over, that this was never released. It’s much better that it exists like this, a buried relic we can marvel as a slice of alternate history, one we were lucky to have avoided.
The video above is just the pilot episode, but like Cecilia’s report, the whole story is worth catching up on (especially for a much higher quality version of the opening credits/promo), so you should start the story here with its first chapter.