Viz Media announced today that they have the rights to the Sailor Moon anime. That's the entire Sailor Moon anime, including both the forthcoming new series and the entire original run, comprising 200 episodes, three movies and various movie shorts and TV specials.
For fans like me who've long assumed the show to be unlicensable (due to a mess of rights ownership and general reluctance by Toei), this is a huge, huge, deal.
Viz will be remastering the old episodes for a DVD and Blu-Ray release, and are recording an all-new dub. The previous dub, while it had its charm, did a lot of things common to mid-nineties TV anime dubs, including changing the names of most of the characters, altering the setting to make it seem more American, and cutting anything that was too violent or suggestive. The most notable victims were the show's many LGBT characters, who ended up gender-flipped or otherwise de-gayed (Sailors Uranus and Neptune were stated to be cousins rather than lovers, though the production company didn't otherwise alter many of their scenes together, leaving viewers with the impression that these cousins were... kind of into each other). Viz have promised that the new translations will be completely faithful to the originals.
While the new dubs are just now being recorded, Viz plan on releasing the remastered subbed versions of the episodes on Hulu... starting on Monday. The first four episodes will be up on Monday, with two per week after that. The new anime will run parallel to the old starting in July, and the first DVDs are due out this fall.
Any old anime fans here who are as excited as I am? BECAUSE I AM PRETTY EXCITED, JUST SAYING.