1.16 Who Is That Masked Man? (IMDB) OT:
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
US TV Version
German TV Version
Compared are the heavily censored US TV Version
and the German TV Version
|German Version:||US Version:|
The anime series Sailor Moon
should ring a bell. The 200 episodes-series about a group of girls, who can perform magic tricks, fighting Evil is a classic which left a mark in the awareness of Japanese Productions (in both directions). No doubt about that. The series was a major success worldwide. But the German Version is quitr a surprise. In comparison to Saber Rider
for instance, the German Version are based on the original Japanese master and the effort to keep it as close as possible to the Original was being made. Besides a few modification (please see below), the German Version is equal to the uncensored original Japanese Version.
Unlike the US North American Version.
The company DiC was calling the shots for the adaption of the first two seasons and Cloverway for the following two seasons. The final season 5 has never been released in the US, probably because of the controversial "Sailor Starlights", which also change the gender during their transformations. The realization is legen.... wait for it.... [sorry, wrong franchise -:)] The realization is legendary but it's also a perfect example for heavy censorship in animes these days. Especially season 1, produced by DiC, has a very dreadful rep and is the one with the most censorships being made. "Highlights" are the last two episodes of the first season. The remains of these episodes were put together to one single episode. Really preposterous.
The modifications / censorship
The removal of scenes is the most common censorship. The length of the removed scenes is purely and simply impressive. Looks like the episodes were censored randomly. Besides the violence cuts, which could be expected, plot scenes, some gags and anything that could cause trouble with the FCC, was precautionally removed.
The meaning of scenes was changed very often, too. In most cases, the lines in the dub are softer but modifications of the footage were also being made. As a result of that, a scene might have an entirely different meaning than the exact same scene in the Original.
Americanization describes the pathetic attempt to make the series less Japanese. Not only the character names are different (please see below for details) but the Japanese ideographs (Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana) are wiped out as well. Further differences are renamed foot (but it still looks the same which is quite hilarious). But the best thing is: anything takes place in the US, Tokyo isn't being mentioned for once. These modifications aren't going to be mentioned anymore because it happens too often. Exeptions are extraordinary examples for that.
|German Version:||US Version:|
Images were censored, especially when it became to revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transitions (except Sailor Moon's) where curves were removed like there were no tomorrow.
|German Version:||US Version:|
CGI was added to a lot of scenes which doesn't contain any CGI in the Original Version. Listing all the CGI of any episode would break the mold but I can assure you: if there's a conspicuous CG shot, it wasn't in the Original Version.
|German Version:||US Version:|
Transitions were added digitally as well. Recognizing them is a piece of cake because they're obviously a break of style and they're supposed to cover up the cuts. And here also counts: listing any transition would break the mold, so I'm not going to do that.
Unfortunately there are some removed episodes, too. From 46 Original episodes of season 1, only 40 were left over. The removed episodes Nr. 2, 5, 6, 20, 42 and the episodes 44 and 45 were so heavily cut that it was one single episode in the end.
In the second season, episode 67 was being removed. (Note: The German Vesion lacks episode 89 but it only consists of stock footage and is hated by the fanbase, so it's not a big loss at all.)
Gender change is a popular method to hide homosexuality. In this case, two characters are being affected: Zoicite (in Germany Zoisite) in season 1 is actually a man. But to avoid his homosexual relationship with Kunzite, he's a woman now. The second character is Fish Eye in season 4. Though he acts very feminine, he's actually a male (and he's also gay). A further victim of a gender change is Zirconia in season 4 for instance. And if such a censorship wasn't possible, the status of their relationship was being changed. The lovers Uranus and Neptun e.g. are cousins now.
The modification of the audio track is no censorship in the proper sense but a lot of atmosphere gets lost. The reason for that is pretty simple: the US Version takes a pass on the original music and noises - a new audio track was being made. It works for the noises but it doesn't for the music. The original music is way better.
"Sailor Says" is a segment which exists exclusively in the US Version. If you know Filmation's "Masters Of The Universe" (good old times), the last scene should be look very familiar because it also with a scene where the kids were supposed to learn a lesson. This could be realized with stock footage.
Different names for the attacks and transformations were used, despite the fact that the names in the Original Version are English as well. But I must say that someof the German names were just made up, too. Here some examples of attacks, an entire list would be too long.
|Original Version:||US Version:||German Version:|
|Moon Tiara Action||Moon Tiara Magic||Mondstein, flieg und sieg|
|Shabon Spray||Mercury Bubbles Blast||Seifenblasen, fliegt|
|Fire Soul||Mars Fire Ignite||Feuerball, flieg|
|Supreme Thunder||Supreme Thunder Crash||Donnerschlag, flieg|
|Cresent Beam||Venus Cresent Beam Smash||Halbmondstrahl, flieg|
Change of names affects all characters. Here's a list of characters with more than one appearance in season 1. Find the original name in brackets if the German name is different.
|German Version:||US Version:|
|Bunny(Usagi) Tsukino||Serena Tsukino|
|Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask||Darien Shields/Tuxedo Mask|
|Ami Mizuno||Amy Anderson|
|Rei Hino||Reye Hino|
|Makoto Kino||Lita Kino|
|Minako Aino||Mina Aino|
|Königin Perillia(Beryl)||Queen Beryl|
|Naru Osaka||Molly Baker|
|Shingo Tsukino||Sammy Tsukino|
|Mika Kayama||Mika Cassidy|
|Haruna Sakurada||Patricia Haruna|
It's also worth being mentioned that the German was being modified here and there, too. Zoisite e.g. is a woman as well (I guess the channel changed that) and attempts to avoid words like "kill", "die" etc. were being made, which causes an odd result in some scenes. But still: these modifications are pretty harmless in comparison to the DiC Version. Comparisons of the dialogs with subtitled Japanese episodes proof how close to the Original the German dialogs are.
Only the comparison of the first episode mentions the differences of the opening and final credits, the title of the episodes, the preview of the next episode and the "Sailor Says". All these elements are being ignored in the calculation of the different lengths. Basically, cuts and modifications are the two issues that might have happened. Sometimes it's only of them, sometimes both at the same time. The time index is based on the German Version.
Episode 16: Who Is That Masked Man?
Queen Beryl is dissatisfied with Nephrite which plays into Zoisite's hands. But he already has a new plan because he figured out Sailor Moon's weskaness: Tuxedo Mask. The next day, Bunny gets mail. Tuxedo Mask wants to meet her at the mall the next day. But Bunny's glee vanishes into thin air when she realizes that all girls got that letter. Naru is extremely psyched because she believes Masato Sanjouin (Nephrite's cover) was the initiated that entire letter thing and she actually meets him that day, what attracts Nephrite's attention. Naru shows up in the evening and Nephrite, dressed up as Tuxedo Mask, confronts her. He's disappointed it's not Sailor Moon but her love to Sanjouin allows him to suck out lots of her energy because she's reached the top level. Bunny sees it and transforms. Elsewhere, Mamoru suddenly tumbles and transform into Tuxedo Mask. Having arrived recently, Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon don't stand a chance against Nephrite and his Youma. After all he wants them to fall down in an elevator but they can escape in the last second with the help of Mercury and Mars, who could also free Naru in the meantime. Zoisite wants to wrap up Nephrite|s failure bit Queen Beryl is really impressed by all the energy she has and reprieves him. Instead she spits at Zoisite to move her ass and find the sliver crystal. Zoisite's intrigue has failed for now and Nephrite wonders that Naru has so much feelings for him.
Running time German episode: 18:24
Running time US episode: 17:21
That means: minus the non-existent scenes in the Original Version, the US Version lacks 1 minute and 3 seconds.
Almost the entire flashback of battles with Tuxedo Mask sabotaging Nephrite has been removed (this needs to be considered in the context of Nephrite's search for Sailor Moon's weakness).
The remaining part of the flashback has a heavily altered look. Moreover it has been put in an oval figure with Nephrite in the foreground and his star map behind it. Another aspect is the slightly transparent image in the US Version, quite a redundant alteration.
|German Version||US Version|
The following scene is distinctly different in the US Version.
In the German Version, Nephrite swears he was going to destroy Sailor Moon. Queen Beryl replies sarcasticly she was going to wait how everything ends up. Nephrite says he already had a good plan.
In the US Version, Nephrite explains his plan (dressing up as Tuxedo Mask) to the Queen immediately. Queen Beryl mentions Tuxedo Mask was very attractive. Nephrite laughs and claims Sailor Moon's dumb love made her blind for danger. With this alteration, the suspense of the episode is gone plus Queen Beryl looks like lovesick girl.
Apart from the altered school sign, the US Version lacks the wobbling painting. Furthermore Bunny doesn't scream with horror (what caused the wobbling painting in the first place) about the fact that any girl got mail from Tuxedo Mask.
Mrs. Haruna's character is totally different in the US Version.
She mentions these letters in the Original and German Version. Or to be ore specific: she warns the students not to go in the mall to meet Tuxedo Mask. But when she turns around to the board, she indignantly thinks about why she did NOT get a letter.
In the US Version, she tells the entire class the school chose her for keeping an eye on the girls while meeting Tuxedo Mask. She turns around and thinks she wasn't very keen on watching some lovesick girls on friday evening.
On the one hand, Mrs. Haruna's still existing immaturity is being hidden here. On the other hand, this modification causes a plothole because neither her nor the girls are there later on.
Mamoru and Motoki wonder why Bunny looks so blue. Mamoru suspects that anyone got a letter from Tuxedo Mask except Bunny and says it out loud. That really grinds Bunny's gears and she yells at him it wasn't true and explains she had also gotten a letter.
The shot of Naru's love letter is shorter. The US Version dissolves immediately while the German Version goes on with emphasizing time and place. If that had been cut due to the Japanese ideographs, it wouldn't make any sense at all because the close-up of the letter has already been used several times in this episode.
The dissolve to Bunny's letter and the shot of the actual letter are missing, presumably due to the many visible ideographs.
Naru is standing in front of the closed door at the mall. She determines to wait and leans at the door. Suddenly the door starts opening.
Extended shot of Naru's terrified face. Furthermore the shot of the outdoor mall with an NY CITY store after the change of scenary is missing.
In the German Version, Nephrite asks Sailor Moon how she knew she hadn't looked at him with her eyes but her heart. In the US Version, they're just insulting each other instead.
When Nephrite jumps to lay off his disguise, the camera tracks up his body several times. That's what's missing here.
Sloppy work in the US Version.
In the German Version, Sailor Moon only thanks Mercury and Mars for saving her.
In the US Version, Sailor Moon makes fun of Sailor Mars' mask instead (she has a cold and it's common to wear one of those mask to avoid an infection of other people in Japan). The thing is: she calls him by his real name, Rei, while Tuxedo Mask is present!
The meaning of the last scene is twisted in the US Version.
In the German Version, Nephrite thinks about Naru's love to his cover and how it could set free so much energy but he considers it stupid sentimentalism in the end.
In the US Version, he wants the Negaforce to erase the memory of his existence as dark warrior. This is completely preposterous because Naru never knew he belongs to the dark side.