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Sailor Moon

2.29 The Secret Of The Luna Sphere

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Jun 27, 2015 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: -Der-Tribun - more from this series
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 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


  • 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 erased as well. Further differences are renamed food (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.

Examples:
German Version:US Version:


  • Images were censored, especially when it became too revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transformations (except Sailor Moon's) where body lines were removed like there were no tomorrow.

Examples:
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.

Examples:
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.

Examples:


  • Unfortunately there are some removed episodes, too. From 46 Original episodes of season 1, only 40 were left over. In the second season, episode 67 was being removed. (Note: The German Version 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", 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 Princess HalationMoon Sceptre EliminationMacht des Mondes, verwandle ihn/sie zurück
Shine Aqua IllusionMercury Ice Storm SplashWasserstrahl, flieg
Burning MandalaMars Celestial Fire SurroundFeuerringe, fliegt
Sparkling Wide PressureJupiter Thundercrash ZapDonnerschlag, flieg
Venus Love Me ChainVenus Love Chain EncircleFeuerhertzenkette, flieg

  • Change of names affects all characters. Here's a list of characters with more than one appearance in season 2. Find the original name in brackets if the German name is different.


German Version:US Version:
Bunny(Usagi) TsukinoSerena Tsukino
Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo MaskDarien Shields/Tuxedo Mask
Ami MizunoAmy Anderson
Rei HinoReye Hino
Makoto KinoLita Kino
Minako AinoMina Aino
LunaLuna
ArtemisArtemis
ChibiusaRini
Der ErleuchteteWiseman
Prinz Diamond(Demand)Prince Diamond
SaphirSapphire
EsmeraudeEmerald
RubeusRubeus
Kermesite(Kōan)Catzi
Bertherite(Berthier)Bertie
Kavalerite(Calaveras)Avery
Petzite(Petz)Prizma
Ail(Eiru)Ali
Anne(An)En
Naru OsakaMolly Baker
Motoki FuruhataAndrew
Umino GurioMelvin
Shingo TsukinoSammy Tsukino
Ikuko TsukinoMom
Kenji TsukinoDad
Haruna SakuradaPatricia Haruna
Yuuichirou KumadaChad
Königin SerenityQueen Serena
König EndymionKing of Earth

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 75: The Secret Of The Luna Sphere



On planet Nemesis in the future, Prince Diamond, the leader of the Black Moon, is by now annoyed at the constant hold-ups on their way to world domination. He ignores the doubts his brother Sapphire got about the whole invasion thing and decides on a new tactic to get rid of Chibiusa. A little later Chibiusa is sick and the Senshi have no idea how to help her, since her sickness doesn't seem to have a logical reason. Finally, Sailor Pluto contacts them via the Luna-P ball and explains, that the Black Moon infected Chibiusa's mind with dark energy and that they could only help her defeat the infection from within. However, in her dream meanwhile she has become paranoid in the ruins of Crystal Tokyo and trusts no one any longer. To make things worse, the dark infection manifests in form of a huge reaper who seems unstoppable. Only after Chibiusa finally started trust them are they able to defeat the weakened reaper and heal Chibiusa's magical sickness.

Length German TV-Version: 19:00
Length US-TV Version: 17:56


The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute and 4 Seconds of footage.

Note

Due to the many dialogue changes throughout the episode, I won't list them all. I'll concentrate just on one important scene, where the dialogue was changed.

[00:01]-[00:05]
[-4 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Chibiusa running at the start of her nightmare is a longer shot. Two quick glimpses of the threatening crystal were cut as well.


[00:49]-[00:51]
[-2 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The following darkness and the following fade-in asre missing.


[01:08]-[01:17]
[-9 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
A view to the headquarters of the Black Moon on planet Nemesis is missing. Additionally, the following fadde to the throne room and the pan through it are missing as well. The american version only sets in at the end of the pan.


[01:23]-[02:42]
Altered Scene
The briefing in the headquarters of the Black Moon was altered significantly.

In the original and the German Version, Diamond muses that the Black Crystal is radiating especially much energy and he wonders if this means that victory is imminent. Esmeraude thinks that each of his words is like music. Diamond then asks Sapphire of his opinion. Sapphire is not impressed about the manhunt in the 20th century. Esmeraude makes it clear she won't repeat Rubeus' errors after having taken over. Diamond is annoyed by her boasting and Esmeraude apologizes. Sapphire doubts the Silver Crystal is that important and wants an answer from Wiseman. However, Wiseman insists the Silver Crystal must be destroyed, since it is a huge threat to the Black Crystal.

In the US Version, Diamond is impatient and talks about the plot of the episode right away - namely attacking Chibiusa's dreams. Esmeraude can't think about anything else but Diamond and wants to impress him at all cost. Sapphire asks directly why they even need Chibiusa and Esmeraude says, she'd like to take over and talks badly about Rubeus. Diamond scolds her for it. Sapphire boasts about the power of the Black Crystal and how superior it is to the Silver Crystal. Wiseman arrives at that moment and reminds Sapphire that the destruction of the Silver Crystal has the highest priority.

[02:46]-[02:48]
[-2 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Due to the digital scene transition, the original fade to black got lost.


[05:03]-[05:17]
[-14 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
After Sailor Pluto activated the dream path, a white flash blinds the Senshi, which also doubles as a scene transition (a digital scene transition tries to mask this in the US Version). When the light vanishes, Bunny wakes up in a destroyed city. The others are still out of it while she looks around the ruins, disturbed by the scale of destruction.


[05:54]-[05:57]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The beginning of the pan down the concrete column is missing (it only starts in the middle).


[06:41]-[06:45]
[-4 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Chibiusa runs through the destroyed city.


[07:13]-[07:18]
[-5 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
A diagonal pan from the reaper to Chibiusa with Bunny standing in the foreground was cut.


[07:45]-[07:47]
[-2 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The transformation sequence originally started with the group shouting their phrase in a split-screen.


[09:36]-[09:39]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
After Chibiusa and Sailor Moon have run away, the reaper is clearly annoyed and stares at the remaining Senshi in anger.


[09:43]-[09:46]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
There is a pan down a crystal highway, before Chibiusa is seen.


[12:09]-[12:13]
[-4 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The reaper appears from behind a smoke cloud and laughes at the attempts to stop him.


[13:34]-[13:37]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Sailor Moon attacks the reaper with her scepter. He however defends himself and in return throws her to the ground. Why she is falling to the ground is unclear in the US Version due to this cut.


[15:25]-[15:31]
[-6 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Sailor Moon blocks the scythe of the reaper with her scepter. He tries to overpower her and the blade comes dangerously close to her face. Then however she gathers her strength and throws him off with an energy blast.





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