Toei (東映; Eastern Movie) was the anime/tokusatsu studio which produced Sailor Moon's anime and live-action series. The animation was produced by Toei Animation (東映アニメーション), the anime production studio owned by Toei at the time the anime was released. They are also responsible for many shounen anime/tokusatsu series, such as Dragonball Z and various sentai series.
Formerly known as Toei Doga ("Doga" being the Japanese word for "moving pictures"), Toei Animation produced the first-ever magical girl anime series, Mahou Tsukai Sally, in 1966. Other Toei magical girl series include Himitsu no Akko-chan, Mahou no Mako-chan, Cutie Honey, Majokko Megu-chan, and Hana no Ko Lunlun, among others. Majokko Megu-chan and Hana no Ko Lunlun provided early episode directorial jobs for future Sailor Moon episode director Yuji Endo.
As of 2004, Toei has control over the license to distribute Sailor Moon outside of Japan. Rumors of re-licensing surfaced during the summer of 2007, and then in 2010 the anime began to air in Italy and Hong Kong once more, raising fans' hopes for a series revival. In 2014, Toei Animation licensed the Sailor Moon anime in North America to Viz Media through Toei Animation Inc., the US branch of the company.
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