|Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 2 - by Dan Bednarski (January 6th, 2004)|
A couple months have gone by since the release of the second season, and looking at certain situations, it seems that it is safe to finish what I started in part one. If you haven't read part one of this editorial, I would highly recommend doing so before reading any farther here. Part one has my near complete analysis of ADV's boxes as well as my initial reactions to their sloppiness and lack of action. Part two will continue where part one left off and deal with mostly ADV's actions in fixing some issues discussed before.
To quickly recap part one, I ask the question if the wait for the uncut versions of the first two Sailor Moon seasons was worth the wait. Being a sub-par release at best, poor audio and video quality, out of order pre-episode clips, mixing sub and dub terms in various places, and mistranslating English words in the mixing of sub and dub, I stated that this release was far from the over ten year wait for the series, especially with one of those years dedicated towards production. And let's not forget the glitches of the boxes that are present in the first episode of disc five in both sets, which was a video frame rate is messed up in the first box, and some dub audio was bled onto the second box.
As discussed in the previous editorial, ADV has been really quiet on any issue with these boxes. The only thing that was really told to us by ADV is they used what they got, that a cut and paste job is too time consuming, and that negotiations for episode 67 fell through, and that nothing more will ever be said on episode 67 from them unless it magically appears on someone's desk. The way I see this, they're saying they're willing to accept crap since it's not one of their bigger titles, they're really incompetent because a cut and paste job was too time consuming on a year-long project which doesn't show any signs of nearly that much production time, and that they must not have tried too hard for 67 or better masters or anything because they're flat out saying to not expect any answers from them. That's just the way I see it at least, hell if I know if that's true or not. I will give them some credit though, they did change the art of Chibi-Moon on the second box to an image of Black Lady. I should note though, that it took THREE time for fans to tell them to not use Chibi-Moon on any of their products, as they're releasing nothing with Chibi-Moon in their products. Once in the VHS dub releases, again in the dub DVD releases, and then the magical third time with the uncut DVD releases.
ADV has been trying to point fingers to other places for their releases, but there are a few things that they couldn't. The out of order pre-episode sequences in which we briefly learn that the masters came without the OP on each episode and that ADV found it too hard to place the OP in the right place, the video glitch in episode 25 (first episode on the fifth disc) where the frame rate had issues for a while making the video jumpy and stuff with fast motion sequences being a pain to the eye, and the audio glitch in episode 68 (once again, the first episode of the fifth disc) where a dream sequence switched over to dub music and vocals for a few seconds before reverting back. ADV is too lazy to worry about the order of the pre-episode sequences, so no hope of those ever getting fixed, however there's a ray of light of getting those other two things fixed.
People were pretty annoyed by the glitch in episode 25 and kept bugging ADV about it. Eventually, they discovered what had caused it and had fixed it for all future printings, but this leaves one problem, and that's the printings that are already either in stores or customers homes. Most other companies after making such a discovery with their product would set up a sort of exchange program where the customer would give their mailing info to the company, and then the company would send them an already addressed envelope to place a disc into to send the bad disc back to the company who would then send a fixed disc back. Sure it's a bit annoying, but such a system means the consumer doesn't have to spend any additional money and ensures that the ones who want their discs fixed get them.
ADV, however, is not one of these companies, at least not with this glitch. A product they released a month prior to the first SM box, Voices of a Distant Star, had problems of its own upon release, and ADV had done the right thing and set up a replacement program. With the first SM box, they decided against doing a program, much less acknowledging that an error was made for this glitch. All that they're doing for customers is having them fill out a general product replacement form, and then requiring them to send back the entire box at the consumer's expense. Basically, they're treating it as a bad batch somewhere down the line, even though near all first run discs have this error, and just swapping the old box for a new one. Not to mention, there is nowhere that anyone will see if a release is the fixed one or not, so there's still a possibility there's bad discs in stores now.
This process is really inconvenient for the consumer. The consumer has to pay more money for a product they've already spent good money for, the entire box has to be sent so the consumer can't watch any of the other discs, and the issue of time. A normal replacements program might take a couple weeks to fully finish. ADV has seemingly taken much longer with these. I've been reading of people who've waited over a month for their box to finally come back, and one person who had sent theirs back on Halloween, finally got their package from ADV like a week or two before Christmas, and the disc STILL had the glitch. The chances of me trying to replace my disc are slim to none at this point. I'm already disappointed enough of the release in general, and to go through this much trouble and spend more money to only fix one of the many things just isn't worth it to me. I almost feel I shouldn't have even gotten this release at all.
At least the episode 68 glitch was treated more closely to the way it should be. A few weeks after the release of the second box and news of this glitch was really widespread at this point, ADV set up a replacement program for the disc. However, this didn't keep them from taking their sweet ass time in sending out the good discs. With a program that started in early October, consumers didn't see any sign of their fixed discs until early December.
I know I'm not the only one who thinks something is wrong here, these time issues for replacements are utterly ridiculous. Seriously, how can it take so damn long to take bad product from consumer's package of mail, throw it out, insert new product, and ship out the next day? The only thing I can see that can possibly explain it is producing the new discs to do this, but that should really only apply to the episode 68 glitch. With the way the first box is being handled, as a general product replacement, where all ADV is doing is swapping old product for new product, you would think those would get out quicker since supposedly the first box's glitch was only a bad batch that's been halted and fixed. Not only is that not the case, but ADV themselves still have bad versions on hand.
In closing, once again answering the question, was uncut Sailor Moon worth the wait, I still say no. Leaving most of the content from part one out of here, ADV has shown me in part two that nothing will be done to change my answer to yes. They've commented on and are doing something about a couple of the bad parts of these releases, which is good. However the trouble and time in getting only a couple of these things fixed, where many of the issues are still present after replacements. To me, I think it's not even worth trying to get a fixed version of the first box, and I'm even more glad that I'm not going to bother getting the second. I'm not trying to deter everyone from ADV in general, they've done an amazing job with many series, but they just really dropped the ball here and shouldn't be let off so easily because of their track record the past few years. They've done an excellent job with other titles, as well as putting together a network completely dedicated to anime, but these releases seem uncharacteristic of them and as I said before, I'd be embarrassed to have my logo on there if I worked for ADV. Their "lower title" releases should get worked on with just as much effort as their "bigger title" releases. Early in the first box's release, like within the first few days just when fan outcry started, David Williams of ADV mentioned in a post that the first box was selling very well so far. Keep in mind that was said when people like me picked it up upon sight, before we knew the condition of the product we were buying. Of course, when fan outcry increased, he kept quiet, and he didn't make the same mention anywhere about the second box sales. Just think how well it would've done if it had received the good treatment it deserved. With such a good start, it had the potential to be a great cash crop for ADV. Too bad that didn't come to be, and instead of hearing about the great success uncut Sailor Moon was over here, we're hearing quite the opposites and things such as these editorials focusing on all the negative instead of positive. It's sad really, that instead of enjoying these seasons, things are the way they are now.
Why Fan Translations Are Still Necessary - by Dan Bednarski (May 16th, 2011)
Sailor Moon Re-launch in North America: What I'd Like to See - by Dan Bednarski (January 22nd, 2011)
Can we start to put an end to the stupidity? - by Dan Bednarski (September 19th, 2010)
Goodbyes Are Always the Hardest - by Robert Wheeler (May 4th, 2005)
Goodbye SOS. Good Riddance or Fond Farewell? - by Robert Wheeler (December 16th, 2004)
The Trouble With Whiners - by Robert Wheeler (October 10th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 2 - by Dan Bednarski (January 6th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 1 - by Dan Bednarski (September 23rd, 2003)
Disliking Vs. Hating - by Robert Wheeler (April 3rd, 2002)
The Twelve Dubs of Christmas - by Tiffany Wood (December 23rd, 2001)
Optimum Productions? Flagrant False Advertising... - by Robert Wheeler (September 3rd, 2001)
The Anime Translation and American Society Problem - by Dan Bednarski (August 6th, 2001)
Pioneer's First SMS Release: Heart Collection I - by Dan Bednarski (March 5th, 2001)
Annoyance: A Letter to the People - by Tiffany Wood (February 9th, 2001)
Cartoon Network - The Hypocrite - by Robert Wheeler (January 14th, 2001)
Moonian Rhapsody - by Tiffany Wood (December 25th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? (Repost) - by Tiffany Wood (October 28th, 2000)
The North American Sailor Moon World - by Dan Bednarski (September 26th, 2000)
The Trouble With Dubbies - by Robert Wheeler (September 13th, 2000)
Sailor Moon Fansubs - by Dan Bednarski (August 13th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? - by Tiffany Wood (August 6th, 2000)