Release Year: 2003
Specifications: ADV Films; 1060 Minutes; Region 1. Contains uncut Japanese version with English subtitles. NO English dub settings.
This Sailor Moon DVD set was actually a gift I received when I was about 18. I remember looking at another copy longingly in a comic shop display case, but at $150 CAD it was much more money than I had as a teen.
This set was released as the ultimate Sailor Moon Season 1 box set for the die hard anime fan in North America. It was released with the episodes uncut, with Japanese language only, and definitely less likely to appeal to fans who grew up with the DIC dub.
I don’t own any advertising for this set to my knowledge. I was only about 14 when it released, and I haven’t seen much more than some DVD advertisements in NewType magazine.
The packaging on this set is ICONIC. It features Japanese logos, high quality art, beautiful foil silhouettes of Sailor Moon and the Moon Wand, and matches the dark blue box merchandise also released in North America. Every single piece of the set is well thought out and clearly designed by a fan who understood the aesthetic. ADV put love into this packaging and it shows.
My favourite detail on the box set is the foil Crescent Moon Wand on the bottom of the box with the technical specifications. It’s a detail that didn’t need to be there, didn’t need to be foil, and yet they still went for it.
DVD Cases and DVDs
The DVD cases feature cute high quality art of Sailor Moon, Luna, and Artemis. The backs feature screen shots from each episode, and adorable character art of Usagi’s bed spread bunny, and the kitten that chews on Luna’s tail in the episode “Loved and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever.”
The inside of the case is standard for a DVD set with multiple disks. It has a location for each disk, 4 disks per set, and an episode guide for each holder.
I apologize to those of you who are irritated that the DVD’s are not adjusted in the pictures. I completely glossed over the pictures printed onto the disks and didn’t think to straighten them up. The good news is you can see them really well, and they look wonderful on the disks.
The episode guides feature vectored line art of the Senshi and descriptions of each episode.
Audio and Video
This set does NOT include the 90’s Dub.
I’m going to be really honest… that’s where the good ends. The audio and video on this set is comparable to old VHS. The only plus side to it is actually owning the entire first series unedited, uncut, and in Japanese with subtitles. I’ve included some unedited screenshots
The subtitles are honestly horrible. The translation I can’t speak for as it has been a while since I watched the full set, but the size and quality of the text is distracting and covers up a lot of the screen.
THAT SAID, this set released in the beginning of DVD’s being available at a reasonable price tag for home viewing. We weren’t seeing the kind of releases we are today just yet.
I haven’t compared this release to the others yet, but maybe that will be another article?
Bootlegs DO exist of this set, but at the time of writing this they appear without the box, with the complete season in one of the DVD cases above.
Bootleg sets will likely not be region 1 and may contain other languages other than Japanese and English. If it includes Chinese it is definitely a bootleg copy.
I recommend this set for the completionist, or the fan who just wants to own the complete series in Japanese. I do not recommend it for fans who are looking for high quality releases. While the box set IS beautiful and a great shelf piece, the quality of the actual content is less than ideal.
It depends on why you want the set. I love owning it, it looks amazing on my shelf, but I absolutely have not watched it in years.