Release: Aug 18, 2011 - Author: Mario - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparison between the American Version (represented by the German DVDs released by Anime House) and the Japanese Version included in the limited Seijushi Bismark DVD box-sets 1 and 2 released by Pioneer LDC.
Runtime of the American Version: 00:21:42:09
Runtime of the Japanese Version: 00:24:08:22
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs is a 52-episode American TV series with a Japanese origin. The series combines Mecha-Anime and western-elements.
The theme song (performed by Dale Schacker) has a cult status and alwaysw brings back childhood memories every time you hear it.
Naturally, the series was also licensed for other countries: England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland, Russia, China, and others just to name a few. The series was also very popular in southeast Asia. It was pracically marketed and released all over the planet so you can really say that it was a huge success.
The Story of Saber Rider
In a remote future humanity lives on the planet Yuma. Soon, they start to colonize other planets. The Galaxy soon is called "New Frontier". To maintain all the laws and regulations, humanity created the Cavalry Command to protect all the planets. The peace is disturbed when aliens known as Vapor Beings or Outriders attack the planet Alamo. Unfortunately, the Cavalry Command's intervention comes too late - the battle of Alamo ends in a tragedy. Both the Outriders and the Alamos lost heavily. The Outriders fall back and planet Alamo breaks contact with Yuma. 15 years later, the Outriders strike again. The humans are heavily ountnumbered and seem to have no chance. Their last hope is a secret project which is called Ramrod - a huge battleship which is capable to transform into a giant robot. The project is planned under the direction of Commander Eagle - leader of the Cavalry Commando's special unit "Star Sherrif". When a spy named Vanquo finds out everything about Ramrod they face a race against time. Star Sheriff agent Saber Rider is supposed to catch Vanquo before he makes Ramrod's secret location public. When his mission fails, Saber Rider forms an alliance with race driver Fireball and headhunter Colt. In company with Commanrer Eagle's daughter April they're able to save Ramrod and use to obtain and keep peace for the New Frontier.
The Origin of Saber Rider
The series is based on the anime series Sei jûshi Bismarck produced by the Japanese company "Studio Pierrot.CO LTD". In Japan, the series bombed, therefore it was sold to the American company "World Events Productions"(WEP) in 1986. WEP wanted to create a child-friendly series for afternoon television in the tradition of other Sci-Fi-western series such as Galaxy Rangers or Bravestarr. Therefore, they had to change a lot of things.
The Story of Seijûshi Bismark
It's the year 2069. Humans have left the earth to colonize other planets of the solar system. However, the peace they wanted to achieve recedes into the distance - the aliens "Deathcula" attack the planets of the solar system. The humans mobilize against the offenders and form a confederation to fight against the Deathculas. However, some sectors refuse to be a b part of this confederation and choose to fight on their own. One of these "mavericks" is planet Ganymed. While the confederation is already able to defend itself against the attacks, there's a decisive battle between the Deathculas and the army of planet Ganymed. The battle is lead by General Domes. Domes asked the earth for help but didn't get any. The battle seemed to become a shellacking when susdelny pilot Shinjiro Hikari steps in the battle. Thanks to the spacepilot's brave behavior they were able to beat the Deathculas. However, Shinjiro pays for his fame with his life. The following time of piece is characterized by the cold-hearted relationship between Ganymed and the earth since general Domes lost any trust in the humans living on planet earth. The Deathculas had to return to their home planet Meteus and then tried to rebuilt their army. 15 years later in the year 2084 the enemy strikes again and starts to attack all the peoples (who now live in peace with each other) of the solar system. The solar system cofederation can't protect all the humans on all the planets who are unable to defend themselves against the enemies. Scientist Dr. Charles Louvre develops a new battle group which is called "Bismark". It is a special unit which is capable to transform into a giant robot. With this weapon they now have the strength to fight back. The team consists of 4 high qualified and very different persons: 17-year-old Japanese Shinji Hikari, 16-year-old American Bill Willcox, 18-year-old Richard Lancelot from Scotland on his Majesty's service, and 15-year-old Marianne Louvre from France who is Bismark-designer Charles Louvre's daughter.
This information was taken from the German "Seijûshi Bismark" webpage.
Editing the Series
The central topic of the Japanese original is an unadorned war where innocent people die.
Thus, the Japanese version is rather violent and (despite the humor) has a very serious and aggressiv undertone.
To form this into a childrens TV series they had to change this undertone as well as reduce the violence.
They also changed a lot of other things (either for the different American notion or other reasons), resulting in a completely different series in terms of story as well as mood and style.
One of the major changes of the series are the characters. Especially the "leader issue" has far-reaching consequences for the whole series.
They had to change several things in order to make Saber Rider the leader of the troop.
Even though they really tried to cover up Fireball's position as the leader of the group, it still doesn't work every time.
Fireball still is a way too dominant character. He mostly assumes control and almost constantly gets the final word for important decisions. Additionally, he's always standing in the front while Saber Rider can rather be seen in the far right.
The dubbing is the key element of the changes as well as the censorship of the series. Due to the change of names and the plot as well as the censorship, most of the dialogues had to be re-written. Some dialogues were just rephrased, while several were mitigated / changed in order to make them funnier than in the Japanese version. Other dialogues were completely changed. The American version also offers dialogues where the Japanese version is just silent. Most of these additional dialogues are just for the sake of fun.
Censorship via Dubbing
With the help of the dubbing the characters sometimes say things that are included to censor the series. These dialogues are mostly very conspicuous and one of the series' trademarks.
In the American version there are 2 types of transitions:
A transition-effect that pays tribute to the titular character.
This type of transition moves fast from right to left / left to right. Depending of the direction of the movement, the transition is either green or brown. This type of transition originates from the Japanese version, however, there it occurs way less frequently.
Most of the transitions are just regular transition effects that you know from movies.
The Japanese original was released in 2 seperate DVD-boxes as a limited edition in Japan.
Unfortunately they don't include any subtitles and have so far only been released in Japan. By now, these DVD-boxes are very rare and unbelievably expensive. So far, there are no future plans to release the series in any other country.
Comparison of the Names
You now will see a list of the most important characters along with their names in both versions.
Comparison of the Images
The Japanese version has a better image quality than the American version.
For this comparison, the images come from the German and the Japanese DVD. Generally, the image of the German DVD is more blurred and paler. Additionally, the German DVD includes interlace flickers (resulting from a bad transition from NTSC to PAL) which are very apparent when you watch the DVDs.
It's not easy to say which of the versions is the better one. The Japanese version is more complex, more serious and more realistic than the American version. The American version tones down the violence and pretty much erased death from the series. There are a few plotholes which most of the time result from all the alterations from the American version. However, the great dubbing of Saber Rider as well as the music are a great advantage of the American version. Still, the Japanese version has quite a good soundtrack as well.
So, it pretty much is a matter of your own taste, so check out both versions and make up your own mind.
If you want to have more information on Saber Rider and Seijûshi Bismark, there are plenty of webpages to choose from.
We would like to thank the following webpages for supplying us with background information about both of the series, covers, and translations for this report:
Plot Differences in Episode 1
The original version of the first episode is included in the bonus material of the German Saber Rider-DVD (Volume 9, includes subtitles). The differences between the stories will be presented as detailed as necessary throughout this report - after all, the first episode is the basis of the whole series.
The intro is different for both versions. The Japanese intro only consists of exclusive scenes, while the American intro is a combination of different scenes from the series and the original intro. In the original intro you see Japanese characters which were not oncluded in the American version. The Japanese intro-song is called "Fushigi Call me" - it was written by Takeshi Ike and performed by MIO.
The American intro-song is the "Saber Rider Opening Theme" and was written and performed by American composer Dale Schacker. This song has a cult following and is the trademark of the series.
Runtime Japanese intro: approx. 1.43 min
Runtime American intro: approx. 1.29 min
At this point you see a scene that originally included at 00:49:21-00:53:00. It was postponed to the beginning of the intro to show the main character of the series right at the beginning. Additionally, the song begins with a long-drawn-out "Saber Rider".
No difference in time.
The beginning of the Japanese intro was cut out. There you see Fireball, since he's the main character of the original version. Afer a short black screen the scene fades in. Fireball's head moves from he right corner to the middle of the screen. Then, the scene zooms out and shows his whole body. He pulls out his gun and pulls his arms up over his head. The scene where he shoots 3 holes in the wall/the screen can also be seen in the American version.
4 sec and 4 frames
You now see a scene of Saber Rider which in the original intro is shown at 00:53:05-00:57:09.
No difference in time.
At this point, they cut a few scenes out that don't need any further description.
18 sec and 2 frames
Here you see a scene that in the original is shown at 00:40:21-00:40.24. Fireball shoots at the right side of the screen.
No difference in time.
A few scenes (that originate from different episodes) were added.
+14 sec 5 frames
You don't see how fireball jumps in the shot. Then he's standing there for a short moment, holding his gun.
1 sec and 12 frames
After Fireball shot at the middle of the screen (image 1) you don't see him doing a backflip and slightly turning to the side.
1 sec and 15 frames
After the backflip, Fireball shoots at the right side of the screen. This scene was postponed to 00:09:24.
No difference in time.
You don't see Fireball shooting at the left side of the screen.
1 missing frame.
Just before Colt shoots, a few frames were cut out when the camera zooms away from him.
Colt is shown a little longer. His hat flies away and it compleley leaves the screen.
A scene was added.
+1 sec and 19 frames
A short part of Saber Rider riding through the asteroirds was cut out.
1 sec and 18 frames
This scene was postponed to 00:00:00.
No difference in time.
A few missing frames.
This scene was postponed to 00:06:00.
No difference in time.
You don't see Saber Rider fyling in jet-propelled. Then, another scene (including the first few frames of the following scene) was cut out as well.
6 sec and 5 frames
At this point, a few scenes were added.
+12 sec and 5 frames
A short missing scene.
1 sec and 4 frames
Some more scenes were added.
+9 sec and 17 frames
Colt's ship is flying a little longer and you also see the Red Fury Racer.
The complete ending of the Japanese intro (along with the short black screen) were cut out.
24 sec and 17 frames
At this point they added a last scene that includes the Saber Rider logo. The scene fades out, followed by a short black screen. This is the end of the American intro.
+9 sec and 19 frames
Titles of the Episodes
In the Japenese version, the titles of the episodes are always shown during an additional scene after the intro. In the American intro, the title of the episode is shown during the frst scene of the episode. The Japanese version is 5 seconds and 24 frames longer.
5 sec and 24 frames
Both versions begin with completely different prologues.
The Japanese Prologue
Since both versions are very different from each other, the following sequence will include the Japanese names so that it's easier to understand. At the beginning of the Japanese episode, you see planet Jupiter for several seconds. The camera slowly pans down to Jupiter's moon Ganymed. You see a blue spaceship converging to the planet. During the landing process there's a cut to the inside of the spaceship. Then (the spaceship still lands) Deathcula/Outriders attack. Then follows a cut to the crew (they all seem to be panicked). The spaceship is destroyed in a matter of seconds and the attackers disappear as quickly as they appeared. Then, the camera pans trhough space. You see the earth and then the Confederation's headquarters. Inside the building you see general secretary Charles Louvre (Commander Eagle) who sits at a table with several commanders. They talk about the Deathcula's/Outriders' attack on the spaceship. Louvre tells them about the first battle against the Deathcula/Outriders 15 years ago. They talk about the fact that the Deathcula/Outriders now started an invasion on Ganymed and that the earth's armed forces are not strong enough to fight back. Louvre decides to use project Bismark/Ramrod to stop the Deathcula/Outriders.Shinji Hikari (Fireball) is supposed to be the pilot since he's the best pilot in the whole confederation. Unfortunately, he was accused of refusal to obey an order and fled from custody. Louvre receives a message via the intercom which is standing on the table. His daughter Marianne (April) wants to talk to him. Marianne tells her father that she knows where Shinji is located at the moment. He's on Ganymed to participate in the 24-hours-race on Mars.
Runtime of the Japanese prologue: 03 min 41 sec 15 frames
The American Prologue
Time index American version: 01:29:07-03:06:13
The American version begins with an own prologue which is a combination of several different scenes cut together. Saber Rider tells the series' story in a kind of monologue.
He says that not too long ago, their newest defensive weapon. They called it Ramrod and it's a mechanical guard that looks like a giant cowboy. It was built to protect the stettlers at the borders (which constantly expand). Ramrod's combat power was absolutely necessary since the Outriders' attacks became more frequent every day. Saber Rider tells us that the Outriders are devilish creatures that invaded their dimension and attacked their outposts. They basically came out of nowhere, using their Hyperjumpers. They ruined huge areas and then disappeared as quickly as they appeared. Ramrod seems to be the only possibility to fight back. However, they found out that not Ramrod saved them but the Star Sheriffs - real human beings. Saber Rider tells us that he's their leader. Then he begins to tell the origin story of the Star Sherrifs. He says that he was told to find Vanquo, an Outrider with scary eyes and a long, pale and skull-like face. Several headhunters were after Vanquo for a while and Saber Rider barely had the time to inform operation Ramrod's headquarters. They allocated a special agend named April to him. Her father was the commander of the fleets and armies that protect the United Star Systems.
Then follows the conversation betwen Commander Eagle and his daughter April which is also included in the Japanese prologue. April tells her father about the spy named Vanquo who was able to find out about Ramrod. April wants to fly to planet Yuma as quickly as possible.
In the American version this conversation is about 4 seconds longer:
In the American version, the scene is surrounded by a white frame during the beginning of the scene (to clarify that it's a flashback).
Now you see the scene from the beginning of the Japanese prologue. The camera pans down from Jupiter to Yuma/Ganymed and the blue spaceship converges to the planet. In the American version, this is the sapce ship that Sber Rider used to fly to the planet. At the beginning of this scene, the American version is 6 seconds shorter than the Japanese version. Saber Rider adds a short monologue where he tells us that April arrived at Yuma just about the same time as he did. None of them knew what exactly was happening on Yuma - the biggest motorsport event of the year: the Yuma Grand Prix. A young driver called Fireball was in the lead. When you hear the last sentence about Fireball, the American version cuts to the race.
Runtime of the American prologue: 1 min 37 sec 6 frames
Overall difference in time (Prologue): 2 min 3 sec 9 frames
You can only speculate to why they completely changed the prologue. Here are some of the most likely reasons:
Saber Rider and Fireball are definitively different in both versions due to the fact, that Saber Rider is the leader in the American version. In the Japanese version, Fireball is the leader.
In the Japanese prologue, Fireball is intended for being the main pilot of Ramrod/Bismark which makes him the leader. You also find out that he's one of the confederation's pilots. Additionally he rejected commands and fled from custody to participate in a race. These maverick attributes make him a very interesting character and a perfect leader. In the American version we only get to know that he's a race driver. This makes him a little nicer and also downplays his importance for the series. Over the course of the series, Fireball again and again is figured as being too young to be a real leader.
In the Japanese prologue you don't get to know Saber Rider. His first appearance happens rather late in this episode. Therefore, he narrates the whole story in the American version. He introduces himself as the leader of the Star Sheriffs and that he's supposed to capture Vanquo. Additionally, Saber Rider is shown at the beginning of the episode so you quickly develop a certain respect for this character. In the Japanese version, Saber Rider is a British agent who is supposed to join the Ramrod's/Bismark's crew.
The front view of Fireball's face is 5 seconds longer in Saber Rider since his dialogue is a little longer than in the Japanese version.
A scene which was just shown in both versions was deleted.
When Colt flies towards Fireball, Fireball's shocked facial expression is shown for 1 additional second in Saber Rider.
During the race, headhunter Colt flies towards Fireball with his spaceship and almost runs into him. Fireball can barely dodge him.
Just as Saber Rider, Colt is also looking for Vanquo and confused Fireball with Vanquo.
The confederation told Colt to capture Fireball. He stops Fireball to "annoy" him a little. He wants to get him after the race.
In this episode, Colt's role was slightly changed. In the Japanese version he's supposed to bring Fireball back so he can become Ramrod's/Bismark's chief pilot. In the American version, Colt is supposed to get Vanquo.
Before Colt enters the screen, the speedway is shown a little longer in the Japanese version.
The scene where Colt looks at the speedway from above is 2 seconds longer in Saber Rider. For this, a part of the scene was repeated. If you look closely, you see how one of the race cars mysteriously changes its position on the speedway.
The scene was postponed and also misses out on 1 second of footage.
After Fireball jumped over a hill with his car, you don't see him landing and having a neck-and-neck race with another driver.
Here they added the footage from 06:44.
Difference was already mentioned.
A missing front view of Fireball's Red Fury Racer just before arriving the finish line.
The tracking shot of the speedway (just before Fireball gets out of his vehicle) was cut.
The Taking of the Hostage
The taking of the hostage at the spaceport was slightly altered as well as shortened.
Overall, Saber Rider is 2.5 seconds shorter.
The gangsters and their hostage go backwards. The gangster who holds the gun says that the guards shouldn't move, otherwise he would kill the girl. Saber Rider continues when a guards hoots the gun out of the gangster's hand.
In both versions you see the gun of the first gangster flying away and landing on the floor. In the American version, they slightly slowed this scene down and the last frame when the gun hits the floor freezes for 16 frames. This makes the American version 1 second and 17 frames longer.
+1 sec 17 frames
When they shoot the second gangster's gun out of his hand, you don't see how he drops his bag, resulting in the its content - "white powder" - to drop out.
Saber Rider's Arrival
After you saw Saber Rider with his gun, there's a missing pan shot over the wondering crowd of people.
Saber Rider rides over a bridge.
Saber Rider's ride is 2 seconds shorter in the American version.
During his "flight", Saber Rider pushs himself off the wall of a building and then glides downwards.
At this point they included a dissolve. These dissolves are a reoccurring stylistic device in Saber Rider. Such a dissolve usually is 1 second and 20 frames long (including a few frames that are lost during the fade-in/out). The rest was cut. Overall there are 4 missing seconds of the pan shot (missing frames not included) of Saber Rider who is standing at the hotel's reception. Saber Rider is 1 second and 20 frames longer (due to the dissolve).
+1 sec 20 frames
Comparison of the Dialogues
In order to reduce these comparisons a little, a summary of both dialogues will be quoted in indirect speech.
Saber Rider wants to find a hotel room for his mission. Unfortunately, the hotel is full. Suddenly Fireball arrives. After he won teh race he wants to take a rest in one of the hotel rooms. Saber Rider absolutely wants a room and tries to steal Fireball's key. They come into conflict with each other.
Saber Rider wants to check into his hotel room which was already booked for his mission. Unfortunately, the winner of the race - Fireball - has special rights and therefore gets the room. Saber Rider refuses to accept this and wants his room back. He gets into conflict with Fireball about the key.
For whatever reason they totally switchend Saber Rider's and Fireball's dialogue. They probably did this in order to make Saber Rider look predominant - in the original, Fireball seems to have more "power".
Saber Rider and Fireball argue some more.
This scene misses out on 2 seconds of footage.
Comparison of the Dialogues
When Saber Rider and Fireball argue some more, Colt arrives and hits the key out of their hands.
Fireball immediately wants to have the key back. Colt reacts rather intimidating and says that he's dicing with death. Fireball realizes who he is - the guy who almost made him lose the race. Colt pulls out a gun and points it at him. He tells him that he didn't mean to disturb him and that he's looking for someone else. He says that he's looking for an Outrider with scary eyes and a long pale face.
Fireball asks him who he is. Colt responds that he seems to have the prize money with him. Again, Fireball seems to realize who he is; Colt points his gun at him and says that his name is Bill Wilcox. And actually, Fireball does know who Bill is - he's the chief pilot of Space Impulse. Colt is "flattered" that he knows him. In his head, Saber Rider is thinking that Bill Wilcox so far won all the pilot competitions and that he's said to be the best headhunter of them all.
In the American version this scene is rather odd. The dialogues don't really fit to what's happening - after all, Colt points his gun at Fireball for no particular reason. Additionally, they used this scene to mention Vanquo. In the original version, Colt wants to capture Fireball. Additionally, the Japanese version gives you some background information about Colt.
When Colt is standing in front of Fireball with his gun, Fireball remembers their first encounter. This flashback bizarrely was altered.
In the original version you see the scene from 06:07-06:08 where Colt moves closer to the screen in his spaceship. This scene (image 2+3) is shown 3 times in a row and then you see a close-up shot of Colt's face "fixed" by a blue frame.
In Saber Rider the first scene is only shown once, immediately followed by the blue frame. Then you see the rest of the scene (06:09-06:12) where Colt flies off. This scene actually is better than the original version's scene. Also, it's 2 seconds longer in Saber Rider.
The close-up shot of Saber Rider's face is 10 frames shorter.
The scene freezes and lasts 1 second longer since the guy on the opposite side says something.
When Colt looks at his ragged clothes, the last frame freezes - you hear an interior monologue of Colt which was not included in the Japanese version.
Due to the longer dialogue this shot is 1 second longer in Saber Rider.
Comparison of the Dialogues
Saber Rider suggests that him and Fireball could share the hotel room.
Fireball suggests that they could share the hotel room.
Just as during the argument over the room key, they switched the dialogues.
Comparison of the Dialogues
Saber Rider and Fireball go to the elevator.
Saber Rider says that if Fireball should come across the Outrider that the Cowboy just mentioned he should inform him. He's worried that if he doesn't find Vanquo, planet Yuma soon could be destroyed.
Fireball asks Saber Rider why he is on Ganymed. Saber Rider responds that the queen sent him there and that it is a part of a training to become a knight.
They again tried to make a connection to Saber Rider's mission to find Vanquo. In the Japanese version you get some background information about Saber Rider.
Fireball looks at Saber Rider in a strange way. Then, they cut out the fade-out along with a short (0.5 sec) black screen. 6 frames of this scene were re-included after the cut - however, they reversed these 6 frames. Fireball's eyes shortly twitch. Apart from that, you only hear Saber Rider saying 1 word in the background. So it's not obvious to why they added these 6 frames.
After these 6 frames they added a scene that was already shown before. In this scene, Saber Rider says another sentence. Subsequently, there's the typical Saber Rider transition to the next scene.
+1.5 sec dissolve
After the Saber Rider transition they addad a scene from a different episode. Colt changes clothes and you hear him having an interior monologe. He says/thinks that he fortunately wore the sombrero and a corresponding suit. As a headhunter he has to be able to dress himself up. Now he plans to go back to work to find Vanquo. Then follos a dissolve.
+1.5 sec Blende
The following eye-catching scenes are missing.
The Quest for Vanquo
Colt flies along the hotel wall and looks through all the windows. Finally, he spots Vanquo.
Colt looks for Vanquo and in the end also finds him.
Colt looks for Fireball to finally capture him. Accidentally he comes across an Outrider.
Colt flies up the building a little longer.
Colt's flight is 7 frames longer in the Japanese version.
The Bugging Operation
After Colt spotted the Outrider-spy, he overhears one of the spy's phone-calls. 3 of the scenes were extended since Colt has a little more dialogue in the American version. In Saber Rider, the phone conversation focuses on Ramrod. In the original version the Outriders have no clue about Ramrod and are also not looking for it. Additionally, Vanquo's dialogue is mor harsh than in the American version.
In Saber Rider, Vanquo wants to speak to Nemesis as quickly as possible since he found out where the humans are hiding Ramrod.
Vanquo says that the security takes part in the greeting of the cargo ship that comes from planet earth. He says that they're all drunk - therefore it's the perfect time for them to attack.
Colt says that Vanquo is not better off - after all, he doesn't know that Colt overhears his phone call (who knows what might happen to Vanquo...).
In the Japanese version, Colt talks for about 1 second and 5 frames. Then he just looks to Vanquo with his mouth opened. Overall runtime: 1 sec 24 frames.
In the American version, Colt talks for about 1 second and 3 frames. However, in the American version he talks the whole time without looking around with his mouth opened (which explains the 2 missing frames).
You see Colt continuing to listen to the phone conversation and in the background you hear Vanquo talking. In the American version, Vanquo's dialogue is 1 second and 11 frames longer.
Vanquo says that Ramrod is stationed at the northerly frontier post - they can't really miss it.
Vanquo tells the person on the phone to start the attack. No one should survive.
+1 sec 11 frames
After Vanquo's dialogue is over, Colt says something before he enters Vanquo's room. In the American version, Colt's short dialogue is 21 frames longer.
Colt says that Vanquo came from nowhere - and soon will be no more.
Colt finally seems to notice that Vanquo is one of the Deathcula's spies.
Colt shoots Vanquo who then vanishes into thin air. Just before he does so he in Saber Rider says that he will be back. Then he laughs and finally disappears. This is supposed to show you that Vanquo only "beams" to the his home dimension - he doesn't die.
Colt shoots Vanquo. In the original, his body is surrounded by red gas and then suddenly disappears. The only thing that remains is some green gas in the air and some mud on the floor. In Saber Rider, they added 7 frames from this sequence 3 times. These frames show the body disappearing. Vanquo's body "flickers" for a moment before it completely disappears. The images below show the course of the scenes (from left to right) and also clarify the difference between the American and the Japanese version.
Comparison of the Dialogues
After Colt shot Vanquo, there's a conversation.
Saber Rider says that Colt send Vanquo back to his home dimension. This means that Saber Rider now is unable to get the information he was supposed to get. When Fireball wants to know what he was supposed to find out, Saber Rider replies that Vanquo was a spy who found out about Ramrod. Colt then mentions that Vanquo already gave away Ramrod's exact location. When Saber Rider assumes that Colt is probably interested in finding out what Ramrod is, Colt replies that he's only interested in the reward for his job.
Saber Rider explains that according to a British database the Deathcula are able to transform into human beings. Fireball wants to know how anyone is supposed to know the difference. Saber Rider explains that the Deathcula have to drink a very huge amount of water. Colt says that the security base is in danger since Vanquo told Deathcula troops to attack the area. Saber Rider says that they should inform the security base.
The American Version focuses on Vanquo and Ramrod. Saber Rider's first sentence is a typical example of the series' censorship: He again explains that Vanquo didn't die but instead "jumped" back to his home dimension. The Japanese version on the other hand gives away some details about the Deathcula/Outriders.
In the original version, Saber RIder and Colt look at Vanquo's remains.
The scene freezes for 1.25 seconds since Colt talks a little longer.
After Saber Rider's dialogue, Colt waits a little longer until the knight turns around. Saber Rider is shown for 1 additional second.
After Colt left, Fireball waits a little longer before he turns to Saber Rider. In teh American version you hear Colt talking in the background.
You don't see Saber Rider closing the hotel room's door. Fireball's legs are shown a little longer in the Japanese version. Also, you don't see Fireball's occiput.
Travelling to the Outpost
Just before Saber Rider comes through the window the shot of the window was shorted.
Steed's ride is shorter.
Before Fireball drives out of the garage, 2 short scenes were added (originating from 06:15-06:17 and 06:22-06:24). Fireball engages a gear before he hits the road. He comments it by saying "Red Fury Turbo on." This is what he usually says when he takes off. They did a very similar thing with Colt. Apparently, the goal was to establish some quotes with recognition value.
Colt tries to phone the base. When he doesn't reach anyone, Colt hits the road. For this they added a little scene (which was already shown at 14:59-15:00). The man sitting at the reception takes the telephone handset. However, they reversed this scene so that it looks like the man hangs up the phone after Colt left. During this scene you hear the rest of a dialogue that doesn't exist in the Japanese version. Then follows a typical Saber Rider transition.
+1.5 sec. dissolve
4 seconds of Fireball driving towards the outpost were cut out.
Battle for the Outpost
At this point they added a fight scene from a different episode.
They altered the order of the scenes a little - 3 short scenes were reorganized. The images below show the course of the scenes for both versions. The American version is 14 frames longer since the 3 scenes were slightly extended. In the scene where you see Fireball's head, one of the frames freezes for 3 frames. The two other scenes were slightly slowed down. In the American version Fireball says that he's trapped.
Again, they added a scene. You see a crosshair on Colt's ventail. Then you shortly see an enemy inside the crosshair. Then follows a close-up shot of Colt firing off the aircraft cannon. Just before that scene you see 4 frames of another scene (-> image 1) which is completely shown after the added scene.
After Colt shot 2 opponents you don't see him shooting another 2 opponents during a power dive.
Again, they added a scene from a different episode. After you shortly see Fireball's vehicle, he turns around and drives towards a distant object, because apparently "That must be Ramrod."
Comparison of the Dialogues
Fireball meets April in front of Ramrod's hangar.
April: „Over here! Hurry! Did the Star Sheriffs send you?“
Fireball: „Star Sheriffs? Who are they?“
April: „Nevermind. If you can drive a race car, you can help with Ramrod. It's an experimental frontier fighter system. I'm afraid it's never been tested - but it's the only chance we've got."
Fireball: „Hop in.“
April and Fireball immediately recognize each other. April already expected him to show up. Fireball asks her why she's there and she replies that she brought along Bismark, her father's robot. She says that he's the only one who's able to steer Bismark. Via radio, Colt asks him what he's doing. Fireball replies that they all should come to help him.
There's not much to say about these scenes. In the Japanese version, April and Fireball already know each other. Additionally you get to know that Commander Eagle invented Ramrod and not April. Fireball's last few sentences underline his leadership abilities in the Japanese version.
After the conversation with April, Fireball enters the hangar. There are 8 missing frames of Saber Rider following him.
Now follows a short fight scene of Saber Rider that was added. After that, you see Saber Rider entering the hangar.
When Colt flies into the hangar, a shot of Colt's face was added from a different episode. Colt says "Hey, don't forget about me!“
You see a close-up shot of Ramrod that slowly zooms out to a long shot. Colt is amazed by the sight of it. April tells them that this is Bismark. Fireball adds that it was invented by the general secretary of the confederation. This scene is included in a different episode of Saber Rider.
Now you see Ramrod from above. The camera doesn't move while Fireball, April, Saber Rider, and Colt approach Ramrod. For the American version they cut 1 second of this sequence away. The last frame freezes for about 1.5 seconds. This should show that the characters stop in front of Ramrod to talk (which happens in the next scene).
3 scenes from a different episode were added. Fireball, Colt, and Saber Rider are standing next to each other.
Saber Rider: „I will take charge from here.“
Fireball: „The lady did invite me!“
Colt: „That's cause she didn't know I was here.“
Saber Rider's sentence is supposed to show right from the beginning of the series that he is the leader because he took this position. Subsequently, you see 1 second of the scene from 17:02. Then they enter Ramrod.
Ramrod's Control Room
Now you see a still of Ramrod's control room (the still lasts for 1 second). Then, the camera pans to the right to show the rest of the control room. In Saber Rider, the still was extended. Fireball says "It's cool".
+ 1 sec.
After the extended still they added a shot of Colt from a different episode. Colt says "Bet this baby packs a lot of horse power." Then follows the pan shot of the rest of the control room.
Just before the heroes run up the stairs the previous shot is slightly longer in the Japanese version.
Fireball looks around the corner and pulls his head back before he sits down.
The dialogue scene of Fireball was extended.
April is shown for 17 additional frames. There's no dialogue.
In the American version, the radar screen is shown for 7 additional frames. That's because April says something (as opposed to the Japanese version).
After April spotted the Renegade on the radar, she disbelievingly sits in front of the screen before she informs the others. The camera pans to April.
In the American version Fireball is shown for 9 additional frames.
The Renegade unit's claw/hand is shown a little longer in the original version. It charges and flashes before the attack. In Saber Rider you only see the first frame and the last 9 frames of this scene.
The Renegade shoots at Ramrod. In the original, this scene is shown at 18:55:16-18:56:18 (in Saber Rider, they show it twice).
In the Japanese version the zoom towards the control console is longer.
After the pan shot towards the control console they added a scene from a different episode. In the background you hear April say "Saber Rider, you give the signal.". Saber Rider says: "Okay. Get ready. Not yet... hold it..... This scene was added to underline Saber Rider's leadership qualities.
Before Fireball moves his hand towards the button there are 4 missing seconds of footage.
Before Fireball pushs the button, they again added the scene with Saber Rider.
He says: „NOW!“
After Fireball pushed the button you see a longer shot of the button. Then it cuts to the control room which is brightly illuminated. The camera pans bottom up Fireball's face.
The Transformation Sequence
Ramrod's transformation is the highlight of almost every episode. In Seijushi Bismark there are 2 different versions of this sequence. Let's call them Sequence A and Sequence B. Sequence A is the one which they use most frequently in the Japanese version. This Sequence A varies in all the episodes (the differences are pretty small). Sequence B is only used a couple of times. In the American version they combined all the variations of Sequence A to create one sequence that is used in almost every episode. The transformation sequence in both versions is accompanied by music. In the American version you hear a conversation between April and Ramrod (which gained cult status for this sequence).
April: "All right. Ramrod will now take over navigational control.“
Ramrod: "Acknowledged April. Navigational Control - mine. Ramrod challange phase - one.
Head 'em up, move 'em out.
Power stride and ready to ride!"
The beginning of the sequence was slightly shortened. In the Japanese version you see more light before the transformation begins.
1 sec. and 8 frames
Ramrod's hull opens. In the American version you always see blue lightning during that scene - except for this episode.
No difference in time.
In the original version, Ramrod's hull moves a little closer to the camera.
Ramrod's legs are lowered and Ramrod shortly "hovers". During this sequence the American version never shows blue lightning - same goes for this episode. The last images shows the scene WITH the lightning.
No difference in time.
At this point they added the transformation of the control room. In the American version you always see this. In the Japanese version, you only see this scene in a few episodes.
+14 sec. and 9 frames
Ramrod puts out its hand and then clenches his fist. The fist gleams blue. Then the camera pans to Ramrod's head which opens up. In the Japanese version, the hand and the fist are shown longer and in the American version the fist doesn't gleam. In return, the American version always includes lightning in this scene (see last image). The Japanese version is about 2 seconds longer.
The Ending of the Transformation Sequence
After Ramrod completely transformed the camera shows a close-up shot of its face. The camera then stays in place while all the main characters move around the screen in the foreground. Then the Japanese version cuts to a long shot of Ramrod.
Runtime: 14 sec. and 1 Frame
After Ramrod completely transformed you see a short close-up shot of Ramrod's control room, followed by a shot of Fireball at the wheel. Then the American version cuts to a long shot of Ramrod.
Runtime: 2 sec. and 17 frames
Overall, the Japanese version is 11 sec. and 9 frames longer.
The Battle Against the Renegade
A shot of Colt was added.
Colt: „Allright boys, let's laser-rope this Renegade dope."
A short dialogue scene of Saber Rider was added.
Saber Rider: „Nice move, Cowboy. Now shall we follow it up with a soccer kick?"
Colt: "Take it away!"
In the Japanese version, the camera zooms over Ramrod's leg 4 times before it finally hits the Renegade to finish it off. In the American version they only included one of these zooms.
2 sec. and 6 frames
An added dialogue scene.
Fireball: "Let's vaporize this viper."
You don't see Ramrod carting out the cannon.
Another added dialogue scene.
Saber Rider: "We may only have one shot so let's shoot all the fire power we have."
Colt: "All right Amigo. You want fire power - you got it!"
The last few words can be heard during the scene where Colt aims for the Renegade.
In the American verison, he aims for the Renegade a little longer.
Saber Rider: "Ready...."
+1 sec. 8 frames
Fireball issues the order to fire and Ramrod fires the cannon. In the American version, Saber Rider is the one who gives the command during the next added scene.
At this point they added a scene from a different episode. Ramrod aims with its handgun and shoots twice.
Saber Rider: "Ready....Blast 'em!"
They probably added this scene because Ramrod shortly before this scene pointed its handgun at the enemy and then shot the Renegade with its cannon. This is the reason why you don't see the cannon being carted out and fired.
+2 sec. and 23 frames
The Conversation in the Control Room
After their victory, the 4 heroes talk to each other. Since they heavily altered the story for the American version, they completely switched the order of this conversation around. They also extended some of the scenes and (of course) completely changed the content of their talk.
Comparison of the Dialogues
Fireball and Colt are spontaneously appointed Star Sheriffs and therefore team up with Saber Rider and April.
April tells Fireball that his lawsuit due to insubordination was repealed and that they appointed him Ramrod's pilot. Fireball is happy and accepts the job. Colt is also supposed to be a part of the crew. Surprisingly, Saber Rider tells them that the British secret service commissioned him to back the crew up. Now the crew is complete and they can start to fight back.
In the Japanese version Colt is standing around a little longer before he goes to Saber and Fireball.
1 sec. and 10 frames
When Colt turns his head, one frame (image) freezes since Saber Rider says something from off screen.
+1 sec. and 23 frames
After April's dialogue you don't see her holding up a silver card. Then follows a close-up shot of the card. After that there's a missing shot of the four of them. Colt and Fireball each say something.
7 sec. and 3 frames
April's dialogue is 7 frames longer.
Colt's dialogue scene was inserted again.
+4 sec. and 2 frames
Now they added the major part of the scene of April and the silver card and extended it a little.
Overall, the American version is 9 seconds and 8 frames longer than the Japanese version.
+9 sec. and 8 frames
A part of the conversation was postponed.
They talk some more and Colt feints hitting Fireball's chin - the two of them laugh while Saber Rider passes them.
The difference in time is mentioned below.
You don't see the 4 of them turning their heads in the same direction.
1 sec. and 7 frames
A missing zoom on Fireball's face before he talks.
2 sec. and 11 frames
Fireball's face is shown a little longer. After that scene the conversation ends in the Japanese version.
1 sec. and 4 frames
April's dialogue scene from 21:52:14-21:57:09 is repeated again.
+5 sec. and 13 frames
At this point they included the dialogue scene from 21:57:10-22:13:06. In the American version they altered it a little:
Overall, the American version is 4 seconds and 4 frames longer than the Japanese version.
The Final Scene
The camera slowly moves away from Ramrod, followed by the credits. In Saber Rider this scene is 2 seconds and 20 frames shorter and reversed. Therefore, the camera moves towards Ramrod. This scene is shown during the American version's credits.
Runtime: 16 sec. and 9 frames
The conversation of the American version ends, followed by a dissolve to Saber Rider. We hear a short interior monologue. During this monologue you see the ending of the Japanese transformation sequence.
"That's how it all began. A bounty hunter, a racecar driver and a beautiful girl from cavalry command. We made a commitment to the spirit of the frontier freedom fighters. Wherever danger leads us, wherever the people need us, that's where you find - the Star Sherriffs."
Then, the credits roll in Saber Rider.
Runtime: 19 sec. and 18 frames
Overall, the American version is 3 seconds and 9 frames longer.
Just as the opening credits, the end credits are completely different for both versions. The Japanese version always shows the same background and the credits either roll on the right or the left side of the screen. On the opposing side there are either pictures or short scenes. The American credits are just a best of of several scenes from the series. The credits roll in front of these scenes. The Japanese final song is called "Galaxy Dream" and is more or less a "love song". The American final song is the „Saber Rider End Theme“ and basically is the exact same song as the intro song.
Since both credits are entirely different, the following images will illustrate the differences way better than any description would.
Runtime Japanese credits: 00:01:19
Runtime American credits: 00:01:02