I honestly think that you're making a really big deal out of this. Relax! You're acting like your life depends on the audio to your (I'm assuming) favorite TV show!
Well, the audio of a television show is a very vital portion of it. I mean, if no one cared about the audio of Sailor Moon, there'd be no need to actually dub it.
Seriously, I fell in love with Sailor Moon because of how it sounded and
how it looked. Sound has an amplified meaning in animation as it brings the meaning of the images to life as importantly as the images themselves.
This is important to me, because I have seen this happen to countless shows that I've loved less than Sailor Moon. A televised program is enjoyable in its own right. The producers retool the show to a new audience because of struggling ratings, and consequently the ratings and the quality of the program dwindle to nothing. At least in those cases, though, since the shows died, the door is closed. There's no choice but for everyone to move on.
However, the Sailor Moon fandom did not do this. Instead of letting the show stay dead, there's a fan campaign to resurrect it in the image they want it to be. It's like bringing a dear, departed relative as shambling, bloodthirsty walking corpse. It's desecrating the memory of your favorite show.
It bothers me that somehow, on a message board that is explicitly for the purpose of discussing the franchise of Sailor Moon, of which the dubbed anime is a part, that my defense of it seen as invalid. You know how some fans of the original version felt when they saw the dub for the first time; that is what will happen to me. Unlike that group, there's no hope for me to have a redub to bring it closer to my standards or to get the import of the version I want. The version of Sailor Moon I fell in love with is not merely dead but obliterated.
The Mexican version is still visually uncut, like pretty much every language version around the world. Yeah, they had edits, but nothing was done visually. The Canadian version has LOTS of visual edits! It didn't cover 41 episodes of the series! The French version is running into similar trouble: it also ended early, covering only seasons 1-4, just like the English version. I'm almost 99.9% sure they aren't doing much redubbing because it's easier and cheaper to just use the original track, especially since they didn't cut anything out. The English dub didn't cover the whole series, so I'm sure Toei is being forced to make a compromise.
If Toei licenses a dub, that is the official version of the anime for that market. Why should Toei have to compromise anything? Isn't the anime their product? Can't they demand it be localized however they want it to be, or let the dubbing company make that decision if they want to? If they don't want to release Stars, they shouldn't release it.
Since the manga is doing very well despite it using the Japanese names, I doubt most people are really getting very uptight about it!
The problem with this argument is that it supposes the manga audience is the same as the anime audience. Yeah, there are dub fans who have purchased and liked the manga, but let's not kid ourselves -- the manga is aimed at an older audience (you know, those old dub fans) and more importantly, you have to buy or seek out the manga. It's not as if it just comes on TV the way Sailor Moon did and people were suckered into it.
That being said, I don't mind the original names being used in the manga. I'd rather the original names be used for the manga, and the Westernized names for the anime -- the two are so completely different I can't see the characters even sharing the same "ordinary" names. By all means, please distinguish them.
I'm sure there's somebody else out there who doesn't like the idea of Japanese names being used in the English-language anime. They're more likely to stop watching rather than complain the way I do, though.
Besides, some names are mostly the same anyway! Mina is pretty much the same (it's her nickname in the Japanese version), and Raye is also the same despite a spelling change. Amy is probably the closest to it's original Japanese name without actually being the same. Luna and Artemis also got to keep their names, same with most of the villains. The only major characters with total name changes are Moon, Jupiter, and Tuxedo Mask!
The names of the leading characters change the feel of the show. Serena and Darien makes sense to my ear. It's portmanteau friendly ("Darena," "Serien") "Mamorusagi" doesn't have the same ring to it. The sounds of "Serena" and "Darien" complement each other in a way that "Usagi" and "Mamoru" simply don't.
Plus, it's easier for me to distinguish between similar Western names than even dissimilar Japanese names. It took me some time to get Minako/Makoto straight, and you even see English-speaking fans of the original anime accidentally switch the names at times in writing. Lita and Mina are still similar names, but the consonants at least differ completely.
This is also made worse by the fact, Minako was addressed as that regularly, and it's not pronounced like "Mina" with a "ko" at the end, but almost completely differently. "Amy" and "Ami" are pronounced differently as well. The only main character who retains her pronunciation is Raye, because its monosyllabic. Even in the cases where the sames would be Romanized similarly to English names, the actual sounds are so different that it is an entirely different name.
The uncut Cloverway/Optimum version of S and SuperS is 85% the same. The only differences are some minor cuts, scene transitions (which I liked better than the DiC ones; less cheesy), and the opening/closing! In the movies, the edited versions had it's music changed to random DiC cues, but it still wasn't very noticeable! The uncut versions are largely the same viewing experience. If the first two seasons were dubbed in similar fashion, even with the same voice actors, and heck, even the script and even a few name changes, I wouldn't have minded it as much!
I'm the opposite here. I prefer the DiC dub because of its edits. While I don't believe every change it made was a beneficial one, overall, I liked the flow and sound of those episodes a lot better than those of the original version.
By the way, was there even an edited opening for the TV-aired versions of the episodes? I could have sworn that when airing S and Super S on Cartoon Network, they cut out the opening theme and went straight into the episodes. However, it's been that long since I've seen Sailor Moon on TV.
My main problem with Sailor Moon's English dub is the editing, recasts, and the fact that it didn't even finish the series (nor did it have a real conclusion).
Recasts are a part of television, theater, and films. While I don't like some of them, they are an inevitable part of a production that lasted for years that was stalled at several points. Plus, even with the most faithful redub, the studio will never be able to replicate the essence of the original vocally, as those episodes will be dubbed in a far shorter period of time than they were originally. What was done over years will be compressed to a year or less. Even in long-running animated series such as the Simpsons there are acting changes on the part of the performers, and the same is true of anime, even when there is pressure to keep the performances the same. With a new dub of Sailor Moon, there won't be the same evolution in vocals as there was in the original version. Consequently, the dubbing company will be changing an inconstant performance with discrete, disjointed evolution for a continuous, but likely constant (non-variable) one.
The end of SuperS anime provides a nice conclusion, brining the whole series to a close. Instead of killing the evil queen as Sailor Moon did in the first season, she leaves her enemy resigned to her own fate of self-deluded solitude. You don't have to worry about extra-solar system warriors, star seeds, Phages, or any of that junk. While there is the nagging matter of when Rini would return home, it's not as if the original anime handled that plot element that well, anyway.