Sailor Moon in Sweden

"Where are we? Luna, WHERE ARE WE??"
     Ms. Tsukino (episode 10)

Note: This is an archived site. It will not be updated further.

Welcome to my English "Sailor Moon in Sweden" page! This is a brief overview made specifically for fans from other countries. It's directed towards relatively seasoned moonies, so I'll just assume visitors are familiar with all the basic premises of the Bishoujo Senshi universe.
     My page made for fans in Sweden is much more detailed than this one; click here to visit it. If you can't read Swedish you'll just find it full of gibberish, but c’est la vie.  ^_^

The TV Show

One rather embarrassing fact about the Swedish dub of the Sailor Moon anime is that it took us 5½ years - longer than its entire run in Japan - to reach the end of the second season. The show premiered here back in early 1996 and was dubbed up to Sailor Moon R back then, but most of it didn't get aired for several years.
     The reason for this is called TV4, a national public channel who bought exclusive broadcast rights to the show from the Swedish copyright holders - thereby preventing other stations from touching it. Their treatment of the show is a long sad story of blatant mishandling, odd and changing time slots, sudden cancellations, long hiatuses and constant fan fighting. When they finally aired the end of SMR in 2001, just a couple of weeks before their Sailor Moon license expired, they stated that they would "absolutely not" renew it. Well, good riddance to you too...
     Waiting for a new buyer, the show laid in a limbo for a little over a year (that's not so bad; we saw worse limbos when TV4 had it) before the license was picked up in November 2002 by Kanal 5, a cable channel with good circulation. It then ran there on weekdays at an early morning timeslot - 7.05 AM - for six full runs before their license expired. Ep. 88 was aired in Sweden for the last time on July 8th, 2004.

When Sailor Moon first appeared here in February '96 it was as a segment of the TV4 children's program Junior where it was aired along with cartoons like Jonny Quest and Spider-man. The handling of this run was, in one word, godawful. The show got aired weekly, on Sunday mornings, but was replaced with a feature film once every third week, so the fans had to make do with only three (3) episodes a month.  In spite of its extremely sluggish schedule, Sailor Moon slowly built up a fan base from the viewers who happened to discover it. A comic book soon hit the shelves (more on that below), and the BanDai dolls and toys began to appear in stores...
     ...and then Junior ended in December, taking Sailor Moon with it. The program that replaced it aired a whole different set of cartoons (it was going to include the show, but some producer decided it was too violent for her liking). The last episode aired was ep. 23, so after nearly a full year we still hadn't seen Nephrite's death nor the appearance of Sailor Jupiter.
     This ill-timed hiatus lasted for two full years. TV4 got bombarded with mail from disgruntled fans throughout this time, and RSM, Sweden's own SOS, was born. It was a struggle against producers who'd already decided to not air the show anymore and let it collect dust until their license expired - they even stated as much for a period - but perservance won out in the end.
     TV4 finally decided to start airing Sailor Moon again in January '99. This time, the show was not part of another program but got its own weekly timeslot at Sunday mornings. They started all over, so it wasnt' until after summer that they reached the never-aired episodes. A change in the timeslot (from 9.30 to 8.30) somewhat reduced its ratings, but the fans rejoiced at the barrage of "new" episodes, a barrage that lasted for a glorious year and a half... before they pulled the show again in December 2000, for no apparent reason and with only 12 episodes left of SMR.
     OK, before that, there was another rainfall on the parade of episodes. Eps. 49, 54, and 68 weren't aired, and have never been aired in Sweden. It wasn't a case of censorship, rather a combination of technical problems and strange priorities. Long story.
The wait only lasted for six months this time. In June 2001 they began airing a rerun of the show, starting with ep. 21(!), on weekdays - except for occasional Mondays - at 10.30 AM. In this way they reached the Final Twelve (as they had come to be known) by the end of the summer... in late August, after the end of the summer holidays. It remains a mystery how anyone can consider it a good idea to air the episodes all are waiting for at a time when their audience is away at school. To make things worse, the timeslot was changed without notice several times during the last few weeks - the show kept getting pulled back and forth by five minutes, so many who had set their VCRs to record it didn't get complete episodes. SMR ended in this horribly mishandled way and TV4 dropped the show for good.
     Sailor Moon was then on the shelf for about a year, and the Swedish fans had to go back to what they are best at; writing mails and waiting.  It was eventually picked up by the Kanal 5 channel, which may not have been the optimal place for it to end up (not everyone gets Kanal 5, unlike TV4) but at least they kept the show running.  Kanal 5 never aired the missing episodes 49, 54, 68 either (they said they hadn't even received them and were a bit upset when they found out) but by that time it didn't surprise anyone. Their six back-to-back runs of the two seasons only had one major screwup - the first two runs ended with episode 88 being skipped for no apparent reason, but it was included later. Compared to TV4's track record, that's still pretty good.

The sad part about the show ending when it did was, recordable DVDs were just beginning to appear on the market. Most people were still using VHS; six or so months later and there would have been hoards of quality DVD recordings of the Swedish dub in circulation...


Some of the very earliest episodes have also appeared on video - twice. Three tapes featuring two episodes each (up to ep. 7, so not even Mercury appears in those, regardless of what's on the sleeves) were released from Scanbox Sweden around Christmas '96. Unfortunately, they didn't get any promotion whatsoever and were notoriously hard to find in stores, so many didn't even know the tapes existed until they had already been dropped from the market.

  A whole new set of six tapes was then released from TV4 Vision in 2000 - three at the start of the Fall season, three more before Christmas. Covering eps. 1-18, these contain three episodes each and include ep. 4 which was missing in the Scanbox videos.
     The promotion for this set was much better, including distribution to shopping malls and other "mainstream" retailers, and one could occasionally find them in stores for a couple of years afterwards.
     I really think they should have released two more tapes, to take them up to the conclusion of the Nephrite arc, but oh well...

In 2002, the Swedish dub also began airing in Finland (with Finnish subtitles). The Finnish cable channel SubTV showed two episodes a week, at 10 A.M. on Saturdays and Sundays, with a rerun the next morning. The show never had it that good on this side of the border...

The Comic Book

The anime color manga (not the Takeuchi original) has been published in Swedish as a regular comic book, and in two separate editions. The first, from Semic Press, appeared during the show's first run, premiering in July '96. When the show got shelved and it lost its TV support, its sales dropped steadily during '97 until it ended in December that year after a total of twelve issues.
     It was relaunched in early 2000 by Egmont Publishing. They started over from the beginning, reprinting a few key issues from the old edition, but published new stories from the seventh issue onwards. The main drawback with this edition is that they skipped a lot of stories in order to keep up with the TV show - most notably, there was one massive leap from ep. 28 to ep. 47 which made us miss the entire second half of the first year... Sales were pretty good, but Egmont didn't trust its ability to carry its own; as soon as TV4 stopped airing the show in 2001 they cancelled the comic book, after twenty issues.

You can find a complete gallery of the Swedish comic book covers in the Q&A section.

In Further Detail...

Here's my overview of the Swedish translation(s) and changes.

This is my Q&A about the Swedish version.

The Swedish theme songs; sound files and lyrics.

A couple of sound clips from the Swedish dub.

And here there be fanart...

This Ring of Eternal Sailormoon
site is owned by Rosen.

Click for the [ Next Page | Skip It | Previous | Next Five ]

[ Random Page ]

Wish to join the ring? Click here for more info.

Comments or questions? Send a mail to Åke Rosenius - all feedback is appreciated.

To see when these pages were last updated, go here.
Sailor Moon © Naoko Takeuchi, Kodansha Ltd, Toei Animation Co. Ltd.
Nordic countries copyright © Plus Licens AB.
Comic book: Swedish copyright © Egmont Serieförlaget AB.