Release: Jun 14, 2014 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: -Der-Tribun - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the heavily censored US TV Version and the German TV Version.
The anime series Sailor Moon should ring a bell. The 200 episode series about a group of girls, who can perform magic and fight 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 quite a surprise. In comparison to Saber Rider for instance, the German Version is 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 modifications (please see below), the German Version is equal to the uncensored original Japanese Version.
The US North American Version however is a different matter.
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 - "Sailor Stars" - 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 legendary, but for all thw wrong reasons. It's a perfect example for heavy censorship in animes these days. After the horrors of the first season, everyone expected the worst... and it happened. DiC also created an absurd broadcast schedule. They first released 2/3 of the season (with the first 13 episodes for some reason put at the end of the broadcast) and then waited for almost three years before they bothered to do the remaining episodes (that's because they'd had the insane idea to just do 65 episodes for sydication, regardless if the story is done or not).
The modifications / censorship
It's also worth being mentioned that the German Version 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 dialog with subtitled Japanese episodes prove how close to the Original the German dialog is.
Only the comparison of the first episode of the second season (episode 47) 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 one of them, sometimes both at the same time. The time index is based on the German Version.
Episode 74: Rubeus Strikes Out
Rubeus is now sure about winning and shows off the crucified Sailor Senshi to Esmeraude while waiting for Sailor Moon. Bunny is willing to come, in order to free her friends, but Chibiusa sneaks aboard as well. Too bad the space ship then takes off to orbit, trapping them. Rubeus is not impressed: the hostages are held behind a force field, his ship is makig him a hundre times more powerful and he threatens to crush Sailor Moon with the artificial gravity. It's ignoring Chibiusa that's his downfall, as she damages the energy matrix of the ship, causig it to lose power, allowing Sailor Moon to defeat him and free her friends. However, the damage starts to cause the ship to blow up. The Sailor Senshi escape by teleport, but Rubeus is sentenced to death by Emseraude for his failure. This is Rubeus' death, but the Black Moon lives on...
Length German TV-Version: 19:00
Length US-TV Version: 17:50
The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute and 10 Seconds of footage.
This episode must have been a nightmare for DiC. No only does it contain plenty of violence, the Senshi get crucified by Rubeus. Americans generally react very sensitive to religious symbols, meaning that this episode got hacked to pieces.
They removed how Rubeus proudly shows off the crucified Senshi to Esmeraude. The scene first is from afar, before it gets closer.
Sailor Moon and Chibiusa see, much to to their horror, the crucified and lifeless bodies of their friends. Rubeus mocks them as well.
Sailor Moon gives Chibiusa some slaps onto the head.
Due to the digital scene transition, the original one got lost, this time causing a continuity error. Sailor Moon is thrown to the ground during the transition, and due to the cut, she suddenly is on the ground while she'd been standing before.
Chibiusa runs to the cucified Senshi, which are each shown individually again.
Chibiusa is trying to remove the crystal, but gets electric shocks for her try.
The crystal flies out of the holding, while Chibiusa falls to the floor.
Rubeus is blasted past the crucified Senshi.
It was removed how Chibiusa crawls to the Senshi. The reason most likely is the fact that you can see her underwear.
Rubeus' explanation was gravely altered.
In the Original and German Version, Rubeus makes it clear that they've irreparably damaged the energy matrix and this will cause the space ship to explode. Horrified they wonder if he isn't to die, too, but Rubeus thinks, that since he can't return to the future, he at least can take them to the grave with him, thinking this will make him haile a hero.
In the US Version, Rubeus instead says he activated the self destruction and the Senshi accuse him of being a coward. Rubeus says, he'll restore his honor this way and his following scream seems to be his self destruction command.
Due to these changes, the meaning of the rest of the episode was altered completely
Esmeraude cooly slaps Rubeus' hand away with her fan, making it clear that she has sentenced him to death. It creates a cotinuity error, as suddenly Rubeus is holding his wrist in pain.
It looks strange to viewers in Europe, but in Japan, a commercial break in something like an Anima episode is normal. Interesting are the "eyecatchers", which are specially animated by the studio for the beginning and end of the ad break and are a specialty of the Anime industry. Of course, they often get removed whenthe series is experoted to other countries.
Sailor Moon has eyecatchers as well, one for every season, and season 2 even got two, one for the start of the commercials, and one for the end.