By: Breana Ceballos
It’s no big secret that I love Sailor Moon. I mean I LOVE Sailor Moon. To the point where it’s weird. So, when I found out recently that there was a new fandub coming out of Amy’s First Love, one of the elusive straight-to-video Sailor Moon specials that fell into laserdisc/fan subbed obscurity, I was beyond stoked.
That’s when I realized that it was by StarsFanDub, an organization I used to keep obsessive tabs on. Unfortunately, life happened and I forgot to keep up with their work. But suddenly, when the group’s creator Corey emerged in one of the fan-groups I was in. The conversation went like this:
Me: These actors sound so similar to the DIC dub! I had no idea they were still doing these…
Corey: Of course, I’m still doing these… As the HD versions come out, I’ll be able to enhance Sailor Stars too!
Okay Stop. WHAT?
StarsFanDub has been around since 2007, continuing the Sailor Stars Dub the way that DIC would have. I have to say that back in 2007 I was searching, searching Hard for anything Sailor Moon. This was during the great Apostasy when the Sailor Moon gods had taken away our yellow haired warrior because we were no longer worthy. Just kidding It was more likely that DIC still had the copyright on it here in America and just weren’t doing anything with it. So, when I stumbled upon my first Fandub it was theirs, and I fell in love. The first episode they put out was Episode 1 of Sailor Stars in 2008 and I was hooked.
And when I realized Corey, the person responding to me, was the creator of this fan-run dubbing project, I chased him, fan-girl shrieks my only weapon, until he agreed to an interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you? Where are you from? What
do you do for a living?
Sure thing. Well, g’day, my name is Corey. Online I either go by “Corey Tsukino” or “Fighter4Luv”. Most recently, since getting back into my drawing, I have been using the tag “Corza”, with sometimes the additional surname “Moon”. “Corza” was a nickname given to me by my siblings and work colleagues, and I decided it was actually kinda cute. I’m just your average geeky nerd from Australia, enjoying film/tv, anime, music, and (occasionally) playing video games. For my main paying job, I work in retail (customer service and photo processing), but also some art on commission.
I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007, and not long after, I began using the skills I learned at University to help my friends with their short films, and then producing a non-profit, professional-looking, English fandub of Sailor Moon (as Fighter4Luv Fandubs), with the help of many amazing people across the world.
What was it that made you want to create a Fandub for the series? Had you done
anything like that before?
When I was 11, I would dub over episodes of the old Sailor Moon series. I’d set up my mum’s video camera in front of the TV, muting the TV sound, and do the voices, sound effects, and sometimes small pieces of music with my own voice. I would have to say that was my very first experience with low budget analogue dubbing.
Digitally however, I had never done anything like it before. The idea initially sprang from another fandub I found online for Sailor Stars by “Negavision” from the early 2000s. They somehow got their hands on official pieces of the DiC music, and I remember wishing I could make something like this in my own style.
A lot of our music however, was pieced together from the DiC dub episodes. Grabbing snippets (sometimes only a fraction of a second) and then put them together. Later on, a few other fans started helping me out. Some sounding worse than others, especially when pieces had a lot of vocals/reverb and sound effects over them, so some tracks sound washed out…
DIC is well-known for their somewhat “valley girl” style voice acting and unfaithful translation among fans. But it was the first version we got in English and for many of us, it stuck. What made you want to continue dubbing Sailor Moon in the DIC style?
The DiC style of Sailor Moon is what I grew up with, and until ADV released the uncut version with subtitles, I had never really watched the whole Japanese version. I wanted to continue the final season of Sailor Moon in the style I grew up. Not to mention, I felt Cloverway did a pretty bad job at dubbing S and SuperS, to the point that those two seasons became my least favourite. When we first began planning the dub, we created a website and forum to discuss our ideas. We even had polls where we asked if the fans wanted to see a full DiC style adaptation with edits, etc. or an uncut direct translation. The DiC style won, and so, that’s what we began with.
After a few episodes, we would cut less and less, and to the point where we stopped cutting things out altogether. I decided that we could still make an awesome adaptation, keeping all the awesome stuff about DiC, without altering the actual animation. I also think our combo of DiC and original music works well.
Why Sailor Stars? Had you seen it before?
I had only watched horrible quality bootleg versions of Sailor Stars on DVD with terrible English subtitles, and by 2007, there was still no signs of an English dub on the way, so I believed we deserved to have a finale in the style we all mostly grew up with. Later on Viz Media announced they were going to re-dub the whole series, including Sailor Stars, with a (somewhat) accurate translation; I was glad that we went down the path of the DiC style instead.
A lot of fans I know still hadn’t seen any of Sailor Stars, until watching our fandub. I’m proud to be part of their love for Sailor Moon. I just wish it was a faster process for us. I had wanted to have dubbed the whole season before Viz released their episodes, but I guess when you have money and equipment – things get done faster. For now, we’ll do what we can.
Did you get any pushback from fans by continuing it in the DIC style?
Yes, we had plenty of haters in the beginning when we cut certain scenes and removed the body lines from the transformation sequences. It was a long process, and that’s partly the reason we decided to stop with the animation edits, and with each new better quality we managed to get, we would’ve had to re-edit the footage all over again. It was easier just to leave the animation in its original form. After we went back and changed what we had edited, I believe more of the sceptic fans began watching and
were (for the most part) happy with the results.
We even started keeping most of the script the same as the Japanese version. Sometimes changing the script is necessary. That’s what an adaptation is. Any joke where Usagi didn’t know an English word had to be changed to something so that it would make sense to the audience. It would be hard to explain why Serena didn’t know what a “musical” was, etc. She’s not that stupid. So, jokes about culture and
language don’t really translate across well… but we do our best to still make even the
How do you find your voice actors?
My very amazing Casting Director: Kaydeen Rowe. She helped me a lot over the first few years of dubbing when it came to finding voices. She promoted it everywhere! A lot of our auditions came from the Voice Acting Alliance (which I heard shut down last year). We also scouted YouTube and other websites for anyone who had a demo Reel.
How do you do it? Is it a hard process?
First the script is written and edited. The subtitle video clip for each voice actor is rendered and uploaded to a server for them to download. While we wait for the lines, I choose all the music to go with the episode. Sometimes I have pieces in mind straight away, or sometimes I have to watch the scene in Japanese a few times before I decide. While other times, if I get stuck, I’ll get a second opinion.
After the music is all set, then I pick out or mix sound effects from different sources. These sound effects always include walking, running, ambient, and magical sounds, which all help the project come to life. Then once the voices are in, I adjust the music and sound effects so they never drown out the vocals.
I will watch the episode (or even one clip) over and over to make sure I haven’t missed a sound effect, and that the voices match the mouth movement timing (for the most part). I then let a second pair of eyes and ears check it out, and sometimes they catch things I’ve missed.
Finally, I can upload it for the fans to enjoy. It’s great to read all the comments from fans that have been brought back to their childhood. Especially when that’s the intention after all. Of course, constructive criticism is always helpful, too.
Do you have any other creative outlets? Anything you are interested in pursuing?
Apart from the fan dub, I also dabble in a bit of drawing. Before all this technology, I would just sit and draw for hours at a time on paper. Pausing my old VHS of Sailor Moon, I would sit there in front of the TV and draw. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t have all the free-time in the world to do that anymore, but I still try to create some art from time to time; whether it fan art or original.
I joined a lot of POD (print-on- demand) websites to showcase my works and hopefully make a few extra bucks on the side to help with rent and bills. Digital art is probably the main medium I work in lately. I was never much of a painter, but now I can at least cel-shade my works in Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint and it looks a whole lot better than my traditional colouring skills.
Right now, I’m working on the next episode of Sailor Stars in English as well as the plan to dub some of the classic episodes that got cut from DiC’s initial run, which will include a re-dub of “Day of Destiny”: the finale against Queen Beryl. The episodes will be uncut, but we’re keeping as much of the original DiC script as we can. I’m still waiting on Toei to release their HD upscale of Stars on Blu-ray, so I look forward
to having those clips to replace the SD footage we currently have. Other than that, and some random art pieces, there are no additional plans. With this and my artwork, I need to leave myself some time to relax and be a little social, I guess.
How can we see what you have made?
episodes are available. Fans of our production have also uploaded selected episodes to YouTube, but I don’t currently have a listing for those channels, so you might have to search them.
A large majority of my artwork can be found by clicking the following links:
Instagram, Facebook Teepubic, Redbubble, and Society6. I don’t post a lot of video stuff on YouTube anymore because of their strict copyright… and especially after we had over 60,000 views on our first episode of the Sailor Stars Fandub, and they took it down… but if you’re interested, there are a few random videos on there still, including some stuff recorded by the cast.
Breana is on Twitter, where she’s practicing her English Sailor Moon scream on the regular.
Statement: PopLurker is not owned by a corporation. We are a small collective of writers trying to create content that will make the internet a happier place. When you show our Patreon some love or even just Buy us a Coffee on Ko-Fi, you’re helping out the little guy whose sole mission is to help your day be just a little brighter. Please contribute so we can keep creating hilarious content!