A Second Look at English Dub Sailor Moon Voice Actors

This is a rundown of some Sailor Moon character dub voices that I didn’t touch upon in part 1. If you didn’t catch my first article, you can read it here. The idea behind these pieces is to inform on the different voices heard on the North American dubs and to prepare myself for what may be a too-long Youtube review video about this same subject.

Let me go over the different dubs again. I’m going to use the anglicized character and arc names provided in each dub for the purposes of this article.

  • Dic Dub: Seasons 1 and 2, which cover the “Negaverse, Doom Tree, and Negamoon” arcs as well as the three feature films released by Pioneer under the titles “The Promise of the Rose, Hearts In Ice, and Black Dream Hole.”
  • Cloverway Dub: Seasons 3 and 4, which cover the “Heart Snatchers, Amazon Trio, and Amazon Quartet” arcs.
  • Viz Dub: Planned for seasons 1-5, including the 3 feature films, TV specials, and Sailor Moon Crystal. Currently only seasons 1-3 and season 1 of SMC have been released so far.

 

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Trista/Setsuna Meioh/Sailor Pluto


Dic Dub: Sabrina Grdevich (& feature films)
Cloverway Dub: Susan Aceron
Viz Dub: Veronica Taylor

Sabrina Grdevich didn’t have much to work with at the end of season 2 of Sailor Moon or in the movies. Pluto barely appears, so it’s not fair to criticize anything done or not done with the character. Her voice was higher than usual for Pluto but it worked for me. The real voice of Pluto remembered from the original dub is that of Susan Aceron who sadly passed away earlier this month. She did a good job with the character, creating a compassionate atmosphere when in scenes with “Rini” and commanding in other scenes with the outers. It looks like her performance suffered from the rushed schedule imposed on the VAs by Cloverway; she proved versatile throughout the third season and it would have been great to hear her under better direction. She added a young edge to Pluto that I appreciated. Veronica Taylor has taken up the mantle of Pluto in the Viz dub and is by far the best Pluto in English. She’s mature and sounds like a combination of the two Japanese VAs (original and Crystal). I have high hopes for hearing her in future seasons.

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Artemis

Dic Dub: Ron Rubin
Cloverway Dub: Ron Rubin

Viz Dub: Johnny Yong Bosch

Oh, Artemis. Ron Rubin’s Artemis sounded like a cool jazzy Cali-dude. He was a perfect match for the Dic dub’s Venus and her Cali-girl vibe! For Luna however… he was way too cool for her. Later on in the original dub his voice evidently morphed into a grumpy dad-character. While cool-guy Artemis was goofy, I thought it was a unique take on the character and appreciated it for what it was. In the Viz dub, veteran VA Johnny Yong Bosch was given the role and he’s most comparable to the original Japanese version of Artemis. We’re not going to talk about weird Japanese deep-voiced Crystal Artemis. Johnny fortunately has a young voice that makes this Artemis seem more of a contemporary to Viz’s younger sounding Luna.

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Molly/Naru

Dic Dub: Mary Long 
Cloverway Dub: Mary Long 
Viz Dub: Danielle Judovits

Remember weirdly Brooklyn accented Molly? No- Mawwwwwley. She was a staple of the original dub. I don’t know what Mary Long was thinking, but she’s a genius. Now, this seems to have been an attempt to give the character any accent other than the General American accent used by most of the other characters to emulate the Osaka accent she has in the original show. This will forever be the voice imprinted in my mind when I think of the character. Controversial statement time: Danielle Judovits should have been Makoto in the Viz dub. This is mostly nostalgia taking hold of my brain but hear me out- she sounds close enough to Dic’s Lita to have been a perfect replacement for older fans AND sounds young enough to be acceptable considering the original Japanese voice. I just see Mako-chan’s face whenever she talks in the new dub! Oh well. We all know I’m not the biggest fan of Viz’s casting choices.

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Melvin/Umino

Dic Dub: Roland Parliament
Cloverway Dub: Roland Parliament
Viz Dub: Ben Diskin

Melvin (I cringe every time I use the anglicized names) was easily one of the best parts about the Dic dub. Roland Parliament really nailed the attitude of the character and talked just about as fast as the Japanese VA. Despite the redub existing, I’ll always think of Roland when I think of Melvin. Ben Diskin’s portrayal in the redub is similar in spirit, but he doesn’t sound as natural as Roland did in the role. He sounds more like Barney The Dinosaur than he really should.

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Jedite/Jadeite

Dic Dub: Tony Daniels 

Viz Dub: Todd Haberkorn

This one is hard for me. Tony Daniels and Todd Haberkorn almost give the same performance as the character in both dubs. But hey, now you know their names.

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Nephlite/Nephrite

Dic Dub: Kevin Lund 
Viz Dub: Liam O’Brien

I love all the Nephrites! Dic’s Kevin Lund was perfectly husky and raspy-voiced until his final farewell with Mawwwwley. Liam O’Brien brings back classiness to a character who was quite classy in the original Japanese version. Viz’s Nephrite you can have romantic fantasies about, while Dic’s Nephlite is one you might imagine making fun of disabled kids while sitting inside a garbage can on the street.

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Zoicite

Dic Dub: Kirsten Bishop 
Viz Dub: Lucien Dodge

This is like comparing apples to oranges. Female apples and male oranges. I will never stop mourning the loss of Kristen Bishop because she shone in every role she took (and trust me, she had many roles in Sailor Moon). She was perfectly evil. Yes, Zoicite is male, and while I should be more upset that the character’s gender was changed because Dic liked to hide it’s gays, I just can’t hate on Kristen’s portrayal. On the other hand, I think Lucien Dodge is the most perfect version of a male Zoicite that we’ll ever hear. He’s the perfect translation of the original Japanese VA for English-speaking audiences. While he’s also Motoki, I really wouldn’t complain if he came back as one of the Amazon Trio in season 4.

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Malachite/Kunzite

Dic Dub: Dennis Akayama
Viz Dub: Patrick Seitz

I feel super guilty every time I like something about the Dic dub, but hey- here’s another great one: Dennis Akayama. Like Kristen’s Zoicite, Dennis is perfectly evil as Malachite. Viz’s Patrick Seitz does really sound like a great replacement for the Japanese VA, but I don’t think a super-deep voice is a good replacement for sounding evil by the virtues of acting. Does it work? Sure. But Dennis was just too damned good. Curse you Dic!

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Queen Beryl

Dic Dub: Naz Edwards
Viz Dub: Cindy Robinson 

Another one of the best portrayals in the Dic dub. I will forever be quoting Naz Edwards’s Queen Beryl. Viz’s Cindy Robinson isn’t bad by any means, but Naz gave an energetic performance that overshadows any attempt to voice the character afterwards. Generally speaking, the Dic dub allowed the VAs to give personality to their characters that just isn’t present in the redub. It’s unfortunate that the scripts used in the Dic dub were way off from the Japanese, because the voices really had oomph behind them. I can’t say the same about the Cloverway dub. If Queen Beryl had survived long enough to make it to season 3 who can imagine what Cloverway would have done with the character.

 

A Comprehensive Look at English Dub Sailor Moon Voice Actors

A friend of mine suggested that I make a video explaining all about the English Dub voice actors in Sailor Moon. While that video will be on my Youtube Channel soon, I want to get the facts written out for moonies who attend cons and get confused when Linda Ballantyne pretends to be the only person who ever voiced Sailor Moon in North America (this includes you, Canada).

I’m going to wave the red flag of personal opinion now, this article will be rife it; I look forward to engaging in discussion with other moonies about your thoughts on the voices.

Before I dive into this, let me clarify the dub company names and on which episodes you would have heard them. I’m going to use the anglicized character and arc names provided in each dub for the purposes of this article.

  • Dic Dub: Seasons 1 and 2, which cover the “Negaverse, Doom Tree, and Negamoon” arcs as well as the three feature films released by Pioneer under the titles “The Promise of the Rose, Hearts In Ice, and Black Dream Hole.”
  • Cloverway Dub: Seasons 3 and 4, which cover the “Heart Snatchers, Amazon Trio, and Amazon Quartet” arcs.
  • Viz Dub: Planned for seasons 1-5, including the 3 feature films, TV specials, and Sailor Moon Crystal. Currently only seasons 1-3 and season 1 of SMC have been released so far.

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Serena/Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon:

Dic Dub: Tracey Moore (episodes 1-11, 15, and 21 only), Terri Hawkes
Cloverway Dub:
Linda Ballantyne
Viz Dub:
Stephanie Sheh

So the original Dic dub started off using Tracey Moore as a young and cheerful representation of Sailor Moon. Her voice felt appropriate to the age of the character and I’ll go as far a saying that she’s the youngest sounding of all the VAs we ended up with. I really enjoyed her portrayal and would have loved if she stuck with the show.

Beginning with episode 22, after filling in for Tracey in episodes 12-14 and 16-20, Terri Hawkes took the mantle of Sailor Moon. She was consistently involved with the show from then until the final movie was dubbed. She is by far the voice I remember hearing the most on TV and in my VHS tapes. While I enjoyed Tracey’s voice more, Terri’s portrayal is the one that really sticks with me as to how I remember Sailor Moon to be (before I got into the original Japanese).

During a weird moment where Cartoon Network suddenly got A CRAPLOAD OF EPISODES (seasons 3 and 4) an almost entirely new dub VA team popped up to voice our favorite characters. Cloverway took over dubbing the show from Dic and introduced us to Linda Ballantyne. Now, normally I wouldn’t be so negative, but I’m having PTSD flashbacks right now to the moment I caught the new voices on TV. I thought it was a joke. Teenage me really thought Cartoon Network was playing some sort of gag on Sailor Moon fans. “Looks like they think it would be funny if Sailor Moon had the voice of Barney the Dinosaur. That’s cute.” Cue my horrified face when the next day’s episode had the same voices. I plainly stopped watching and reverted to my fansubbed VHS tapes of the later seasons.

Now, there are worse things about the original dub than Linda Ballantyne, like the hiding of the gays and the gender swaps, but man- Linda Ballantyne sounded like a clown. What makes it worse is that her marketing team likes to make it sound like she is the only person who voiced Sailor Moon ever. “The original voice of Sailor Moon!” it’ll say in con pamphlets and ads. Her booth stands next to a big cardboard cutout of a season 1 Sailor Moon. I watch silently as fans take their season 1 and 2 merchandise for her to sign, even though she never worked on those seasons. This year I spotted a Moon Stick Proplica on eBay signed by her, I was flabbergasted. Sights like these are what inspired my friend Sara to suggest I do a video about this, to prevent other moonies from thinking that only Linda ever worked as Sailor Moon.

The new Viz dub includes a new portrayal by Stephanie Sheh. While she tries her best to sound like the Japanese voice, it just doesn’t seem to work. I really wish she would sound more natural, or genuinely have that high voice like Stephanie Beard (see the Chibiusa section) did. Casting can’t get everything right. No one can sound like Kotono Mitsuishi except the real thing, and I really wish Viz would have striven for soulful performances like the ones heard in the Dic dub. If they’d let Stephanie create her own take on the dub, I have a strong feeling the Viz version could be improved.

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Rei Hino/Sailor Mars:

Dic Dub: Katie Griffin, Emilie Barlow (episodes 66-82 only)
Cloverway Dub: 
Katie Griffin
Viz Dub: 
Cristina Vee

So Katie Griffin did the English voice of Sailor Mars for most of the original dub with the exception of the “lost” episodes at the end of season 2 that were rushed to close out the season. She’s fabulous. Emilie Barlow was a great replacement, and I originally never noticed the switch until she became the voice of Sailor Venus for the next seasons. Then things got really confusing for me. I don’t think I was ever able to pick apart the two characters ever again. Cristina Vee in the new dub is exhausting. Does she fit the character? I guess. She always sounds the same no matter what character she does. I already had enough with her in the Madoka Magica dub as Homura. I know she’s famous and a great singer but- man- I really wish they’d pick someone who didn’t sound like they were emulating the seriousness of Solid Snake with every line. This is a show about magical girls not bombing the Pentagon.

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Amy Anderson/Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury:

Dic Dub: Karen Bernstein
Cloverway Dub: 
Liza Balkan
Viz Dub: 
Kate Higgins

So for some reason Karen Bernstein’s Amy had a British accent in the Dic dub. Oh well. At least she was sweet and memorable. Liza Balkan seems to have vaguely tried to emulate a British accent but gave up somewhere along the way. I recall almost nothing about her portrayal in seasons 3 and 4. Now, I think Kate Higgins is great. She suits the character, sounds smart but not snobbish, and still manages to sound age-appropriate to the character.

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Lita/Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter:

Dic Dub: Susan Roman
Cloverway Dub: 
Susan Roman
Viz Dub: 
Amanda C. Miller

We only had one VA working on Sailor Jupiter in the original dub. Susan Roman gave our favorite feminine tough-girl a scratchy and unique voice. Amanda C. Miller tries, but really lacks that rough edge that makes the character. Maybe she’ll improve, there are still two more seasons left for her to voice.

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Mina/Minako Aino/Sailor Venus:

Dic Dub: Stephanie Morgenstern
Cloverway Dub: 
Emilie Barlow
Viz Dub: 
Cherami Leigh

I loved Stephanie Mogenstern as Sailor Venus in the original Dic version. For whatever reason, that Cali-girl vibe totally resonated with the character for me. Minako is a multifaceted character, suffering deep pain and sorrow before the start of the series, however continuing to be fun-loving and joyful with big dreams about being a pop-star. A good chunk of the community disagrees with me, but I think Stephanie’s Venus was so chill and cool. I wanted to be her friend. Later on when Emilie Barlow took over the character I was super confused. Emilie had previously voiced Sailor Mars when Katie Griffin couldn’t return for the rushed dub of the “lost” episodes 66-82 (the first few runs of Sailor Moon only went up to episode 65 where Rubeus meets his end). I always thought Sailor Mars was talking to herself when not shown on camera, but it was totally Venus. Cherami Leigh does a pretty good job on the new dub. You’ll notice a trend here where I have little to say about the Viz dub. Viz really went in a direction where no voice actor seems allowed to give their character life.

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Rini/Chibiusa Tsukino/Sailor Mini Moon/Sailor Chibi Moon:

Dic Dub: Tracey Hoyt
Cloverway Dub:
Stephanie Beard
Viz Dub:
 Sandy Fox

So we had the pleasure of hearing two versions of Rini in the original dub and an amazing version of Chibiusa in the Viz dub. I love every single VA who took on this role. Tracey Hoyt in the Dic dub really hit the bratty edge of the character. She was abrasive and a plain mean kid. It worked great for the character, given the events of the season she worked on. Stephanie Beard made the character real. She was the most memorable part of the Cloverway dub for me. The moment you heard her high-pitched voice you knew Sailor Moon was on the TV. And for those who haven’t had the pleasure of running into her in person, that’s totally her real voice. Sandy Fox is just as amazing as the first two because she hits the brattyness and the sweetness of the character equally. She was incredible as Black Lady. I can’t wait to see her work on season 4 where the character is in the forefront.

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Darien Shields/Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask:

Dic Dub: Rino Romano (episodes 1-11 only), Toby Proctor, Vincent Corazza (end of season 2 & feature films)
Cloverway Dub:
Vincent Corazza
Viz Dub:
Robbie Daymond

This can either be a really quick rundown or insanity, so I’ll hit the key points first. Rino Romano was our first Tuxedo Mask. He dipped after episode 11. Toby Proctor is usually the voice remembered by North American moonies. He was kind of goofy, but it worked since he was in Sailor Moon at the same time that Terri Hawkes was. She was hella goofy, but never went overboard. I thought they were a great team. Later on Vincent Corazza graduated from voicing Alan the alien and did a nice job closing out the second season and staying on board for the movies and with Cloverway. He portrayed probably the most level version of Darien seen in English. He sounded super chill at all times. Robbie Daymond is a shining beacon of perfection in the new Viz dub. HE. IS. PERFECT.

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Luna:

Dic Dub: Jill Frappier
Cloverway Dub: Jill Frappier
Viz Dub: Michelle Ruff

Luna’s another easy one. Only Jill Frappier voiced her in the original dub. Unfortunately she had a British accent and sounded way older than the Japanese VA. Considering that her human form looks so young, it was totally whack considering her dub voice during the transformation scene in Hearts In Ice. Michelle Ruff does an alright job in the Viz dub but sounds too similar to Cristina Vee. Sometimes if both characters are in the same scene I can’t tell who’s talking. What really grinds my gears is the way she pronounces Usagi’s name. OOO-SAWWWW-GEE.

Being A Sailor Moon Fan Sucks

I often think about the trouble I went through as a kid to get Sailor Moon merchandise and I think the scarcity of anime on American TV in the 90’s really influenced my collecting habits as an adult collector. This 20th anniversary boom has really messed with my mind in terms of what I was used to between 2003 and 2013.

Those years, the dark times, we literally had nothing new to buy, nothing to surprise us in stores, and no easy way to get the Japanese toys without paying a premium on grail-items. Remember the eBay price on a original Japanese Star Locket? The World edition of the Moon Stick? Times were tough for moonies. I think they’re tough again.

There are way too many things to choose from. ‘A constant bombardment of merchandise on Sailor Moon Official. Toothbrushes? You got it. Stationary? Mountains. Dolls? Paradise. Figures? Every size, shape, and character.

But what about before Toei Animation stripped everyone of their licenses to sell Sailor Moon merchandise and sent us into that black hole? The 90’s were an odd time to be a kid who was unfortunate enough to like cartoons from the Far East.

Anime? No! We had to wander into the Japanimation section of our Suncoast Video stores.

It was even weirder being a young girl looking for anything with as much girl power as Sailor Moon. Nestled between a practically naked Cutie Honey and the pornographic Ninja Scroll was perhaps your chance to discover the romantic Fushigi Yugi. Maybe you’d spot The Vision of Escaflowne somewhere in near the controversial Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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But hey, fortunately Blockbuster Video had a visible copy of Revolutionary Girl Utena with big yellow text on the cover that said “from the director of Sailor Moon,” right? Well, Utena is at most an inkling similar to Sailor Moon, and Kunihiko Ikuhara is a modern anime god, but it would be many years before I could fully appreciate the artistry of Utena. Heck, I actually love everything I just listed. Most importantly, I enjoyed them as an adult.

Sailor Moon was the show that I could feel at home with: it was safe, it spoke directly to me and my experiences, and it definitely spared me embarrassing conversations with my parents. When I spotted any dark-blue boxed North American version of a wand from the show I was immediately begging my mom to buy it for me. I needed it. Sailor Moon was the only fandom that felt truly mine. But now, who is Sailor Moon really for? Is it for collectors who need every piece of merchandise they throw out to us? Does it really stand out in a sea of tens of anime that are released and streamed online every season? How does Sailor Moon Crystal really stand up to the promise that was made back in its inception that it would be for adults? I would certainly say that I find the original series more violent. I have little reason to buy the Crystal merchandise considering that I only enjoyed 1-out-of-3 of its seasons so far.

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Right now it looks like only the Proplica line is on a “must buy” list for me and I feel sort of guilty for it. When the first SH Figuarts was released for the series I joyfully ordered two in one hit. I was ecstatic when it arrived. That’s a $45 5″ toy, mind you. It’s kind of nuts. If you follow my Youtube Channel you’ll know I ended up buying the entire line of those figures. Was it all worth it? I’m not sure.

I’m a collector whose collection evolves with me; I’ve already shed most of the Atsumete figures from my display, and possibly those SH Figuarts are next. I still can’t shake the feeling of guilt. The intense need for Sailor Moon collectibles I felt as a kid hangs over me like a ghost. It was hard being a moonie as a kid, and maybe it’s still just as hard now. We now suffer the original vs Viz dub comparisons; the comparisons between Moonlight Memories toys and stuff from the Miracle Romance cosmetic line; or even comparisons in art styles between seasons of the remake. It’s weird to have stuck around for so long, feeling like a relic from the old days when you had to scramble to find out which channel still shows the original anime after it’s been cancelled on Fox or later on USA Network.

So older moonies, are you still out there? Do you remember the struggle or are you still living it?

Sailor Moon Crystal 23 Review

So this episode in my opinion was pretty boring, the most exciting thing was seeing Usagi in a new outfit. Sorry guys, Toei doesn’t always get things right with SMC. In my new video I also talk a little bit about the Doom Tree Arc and how awesome it was. Crystal needs some good filler like that! Enjoy the video!

Magic Knight Rayearth Umi Figure

I can’t stress how gorgeous this figure is. She is way more detailed than the Sailor Moon merchandise. The pose is dynamic and she looks like a real warrior! I’m so excited for all of my favorite Shoujo anime reaching their 20th anniversaries. Enjoy the new unboxing and first impressions video and images below.

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My Entire Collection

In on video! Updated for May 2015, almost a year since my last collection update video. See the full thing in it’s glory and in super shiny HD.

Gashapon Liprods!

I’m super excited to unveil these for you! Let me know what you’d like me to unbox next!

Look Forward to HD videos!

Basic girl with a DSLR alert! Beep beep beep!

My latest videos will start filming on a brand new camera this week! After I dump the last ones on here from my iPhone, you’ll only see the best quality stuff on my channel. The first video to officially be filmed on this is my Sailor Moon Stick and Rod Gashapon Set 3 video which is uploading right now!

I hope you guys enjoy and continue to follow my new and improved channel.

Sailor Moon 2K Subs Giveaway Details

Hey guys, so in my latest video I mentioned that I will be doing a giveaway when I reach 2,000 subscribers. I’m going to need your help big time!

I’m launching this website to have one more way of connecting to my fans and as a bonus, I’m announcing here and only here on my official news page the special giveaway prize!

This time it’ll be a Bluray/DVD Combo pack of Sailor Moon Season 1 Part 2 from Viz Media! Yes, its the real thing! Details of how to enter the giveaway will be given later, but for now I’m going to need all the help I can get spreading the word that when I reach 2,000 youtube subscriptions I will happily give this away to one lucky moonie!

Tell all your moonie friends, online, in person, at the bus stop, at work, that you online moonie buddy Aije wants to give this thing away stat! The sooner we get to 2,000 the sooner one of you can win this very nice prize!

The Return of Crazy Arms

#BringBackCrazyArms was a success! My new version premiered this morning on my channel. Let me know what you guys think! For 3.0 I want to go all out and be in cosplay for it! The production took about five minutes and was a very worthwhile endeavor. I want to send out all my thanks to the filming and production crew.

 

Spoiler alert: the crew is me.