If we talk about iconic 90s anime, Sailor Moon is one of the first that comes to mind. In addition to its immense popularity, anime also has a very defined aesthetic that, even today, continues to inspire many creators – such as those of Pixar's recent, Red Alert…
With these magnificent watercolor backgrounds, these pastel colors and this pink filter, the aesthetic ofis iconic… although it turns out the pink filter was actually a mistake that ended up getting too deep into our brains!
Recently, a debate broke out on X (Twitter) about how some anime ended up with a different color than their creators originally intended. Andis the perfect example because the pink tint we remember is nothing more than a consequence of the wear of the original acetates.
Poor preservation of films
As explained on the social network @nappasan (a Japanese-English translation professional), this color change is due to poor conservation of the video masters, an error that Toei Animation did not correct when launching the physical editions. While it's understandable that fans nostalgically appreciate this faded color, like a sepia photo, this is not the style the creators intended. “This is revisionism, and it cannot be tolerated,” said the Internet user.
Thus, in the Latin American version ofyou can see how the anime has cooler tones, not rosy ones, since this is the video master before the original material started to deteriorate.
“This is the video master of the Latin American version, which was made before the tape became a disaster. It's not rosy, and that's how children watched the series at the time. The pink hue shouldn't represent something nostalgic, it's a Mandela effect.”
Many users then shared other “evidence of the crime,” such as screenshots comparing the Japanese DVDs from the 2000s and the laserdisc version of the anime from the 90s, showing that the different versions change color .
“Sailor Moon comparison on LD (Laserdisc) and DVD. The top row is the DVD. Compared to the bottom LD, it's red and dark. You can see that Jupiter's hair, details on the walls etc… are crushed. The skin tone of the characters looks more 'anime' and has more natural colors on the DVD.”
But perhaps the definitive proof is the original films themselves. Although few are preserved, it is possible to find original acetate film from the legendary anime, and indeed the pink tint is nowhere to be found.
Ultimately, the debate came down to each fan's personal preferences. Because many argue that the original finish desired by the creators should be retained, while others prefer to rememberwith this pink tone, an aesthetic that has become popular and which reminds them of their childhood.
Le cas Dragon Ball
The debate, however, shed light on an important subject: the poor conservation of the original material. Some fans also remember that this “aesthetic” pink tone became a green or orange tone in recent seasons.
And this is not the first time that Toei Animation has had a problem with the preservation of its films, as this is also the case with Dragon Ball where wear and tear could be noticed in the green skies that should be blue.
“Green sky in Dragon Ball? […] When the scan was done on film for the Dragon Box releases, the colors in the film had faded. Toei shipped it as is and never fixed it. Many Toei series digitized from films like Goldfish Warning also had this problem”, explained a user on X (Twitter) who compared the versions.
For now, it does not appear that Toei has any plans to correct these poor colors in its productions. So green and pink seem to be here to stay.
Dragon Ball can be found on Prime Video via ADN, or on ADN directly.