Ever since the first season of the Sailor Moon anime was officially dubbed and subbed into English, fans have been wondering when and if the fifth and final season, Sailor Stars would be adapted.
In 2000 Cloverway and Pioneer, realising that the licence to release Sailor Moon in North America was going to expire later that year they went about releasing as much as they could. It was now or never. This resulted in the release of the third and fourth seasons, Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS.
Many wondered why, if they were doing S and SuperS they didn’t release Sailor Stars. The reason is that officially Sailor Stars is not considered the fifth season of the Sailor Moon anime in Japan, but a spinoff series which possibly falls under a separate contract for distribution similar in style to Dragonball and Dragonball Z.
There is a rumour that Naoko Takechi (the creator of Sailor Moon) herself refused to let any company adapt the Sailor Stars anime as she was unhappy with the English adaption of the first two seasons. This is unfounded speculation by anime purists. There is no evidence at all to support this.
Another popular rumour is that it wasn’t officially dubbed or subbed because of the Sailor Starlights (new characters introduced in that season) sex changing. This is complete rubbish as anyone who has seen the series can tell you. The Sailor Starlights don’t change sex. They simply use a disguise power similar to Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus’s (Sailor Venus even disguises herself as a boy in Act 08, Volume 26 of the Sailor Moon manga!).
Basically, the adaption of Sailor Stars would require Cloverway, Pioneer, whoever to pay for the rights to two separate series. It’s more expensive.
Also, those involved had been sitting on their purchase of S and SuperS for years. By the time they dubbed and subbed those series, the rights were about to revert back to Toei who was going to freeze all use of Sailor Moon outside Japan. Even if Cloverway wanted to buy Sailor Stars in 2000, Toei probably wasn’t looking to sell the series anymore at that point.
Will we see an English dubbed or official English subtitled release of Sailor Stars in the near future? Toei does seem to still be sitting on all the rights with some people theorising that they’re looking to release English language versions of their animes directly.
Recently though Funimation has been polling people to see if we’d like an English redub of the entire Sailor Moon anime. While many assumed this includes Sailor Stars, as stated above, this may not be the case.
If the rights for Sailor Stars are for sale though, Funimation would be a fool not to grab it as there’s definitely a demand for it.
Presently though there has been no official confirmation of an official English dub or sub of Sailor Stars.