If you're a casual fan of Sailor Moon, then you probably already know about the live-action series that aired in Japan from 2003 to 2004. What you may not be aware of, however, is that before the anime made it to America, there were plans for another live-action series, produced in America as a... let's just be charitable and call it a "loose" adaptation.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your love of pop culture trainwrecks), the American live-action series was deemed to be prohibitively expensive compared to just dubbing the anime, so it never happened. But that didn't stop Toon Makers from producing a two-minute video showing Live-Action Sailor Moon and her American Animated Counterpart. And even though the copy that ended up on YouTube is actually a video of a TV screen playing a VHS tape, it's still something you need to see.
The idea behind the show seems to be that Serena and her Burger King Kids Club-Approved gang of school-chums would be filmed in live action as they got up to highly coordinated line-dances and Mayim Bialik cosplay, but when they actually transformed into their super-heroic alter-egos, the show would switch it up into animated action. As much as that sort of defeats the purpose of doing a live-action show, it is a pretty interesting take on things -- especially considering what the plan was for the action.
The single best part of this entire video is unquestionably the scenes where the Sailor Scouts are windsurfing through space, presumably so that there could be something in this show that had a sail to justify the title. This may actually be the only improvement that Toon Makers made over the original, because -- as CA's Caleb Goellner put it -- "those girls could be a Kirby creation and fly alongside Black Racer and Silver Surfer in space." The only bad thing about that is that now I want to see Jack Kirby's Sailor Moon.
It's also worth noting that the theme song -- or at least, what you can make out of it over the snickering of the crowd -- is also pretty great, for certain values of "great." It's certainly no worse than the song they ended up with for the American release of the anime, especially since it sums up Sailor Moon's entire deal pretty handily:
At times she's a fun-loving sixteen year-old girl
Sailor! Sailor Moon!
But at times she's a super-hero for the world
Sailor! Sailor Moon!
She can get dressed up and look so sweet
In the [Moon something something?] that can't be beat!
In addition the music video, there was also apparently a 17-minute proof-of-concept pilot produced, and if you've got a copy of it, please let us know. This is something we have got to see.
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