Toei Animation, Backstage Revive "Sailormoon"

Classic anime "Sailormoon" will be re-launched by Toei Animation and Backstage, beginning in the Italian market. Backstage will handle the property's rights in TV, publishing, merchandising and theatrical release.

Mediaset has already purchased the TV rights with plans to air the new series this fall. Naoko Takeuchi, the author of "Sailormoon" is expected to collaborate on the revival. The original series launched in Japan and quickly saw success worldwide in the '90s. It aired for five seasons with a total of 200, 26-minute episodes and also had six feature films.

"We are certain that strategically Italy is the ideal country to initiate a global re-launch of the classic Japanese animated series such as 'Sailormoon,'" says Kanji Kazahaya, director general of Toei Animation Europe. "The Italian public has traditionally been passionate about anime."

Backstage already manages other Toei Animation properties, including Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya and One Piece.

In other Toei Animation news, broadcast sales have been secured by Megavision TV in Chile for "Dragon Ball" and Rede TV in Brazil for "Digimon Frontier." Meanwhile, the company has also licensed DVD rights for "Digimon Adventures" to Five Stars in Brazil.

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