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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.