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Sailor Moon

2.16 Sailor Mercury Moving On?

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Oct 15, 2012 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - 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 62: Sailor Mercury Moving On?



Chibiusa tries a different approach to get her hands on the Silver Crystal. She now assumes it to be at reliabe Ami's. She doesn't achieve anything of course, because Ami doesn't have the crystal. At the same time, the Sailor Warriors are gloomy. Just when they get new equipment, it turns out that Ami is going to go to study in Germany. Although Ami hasn't made up her mind yet, this is a unique chance for her. Too bad that the enemy has tracked down a new place of origin in an ice cream parlor and contaminates it right now. Just as Ami is on the way to the airport, the other warriors have to fight another battle without her. They fail because of the droid Nippus. Fortunately for them, Ami becomes aware of what's really important and that epiphany doesn't only make her stay but it also finally grants her offensive magic powers and with the newly-gained powers she destroys the droid and save the others. All of her friends are relieved that Ami hasn't left and that she's going to pursue her dreams at home.

Length German TV Version: 19:00
Length US TV Version: 17:43


The US TV Version lacks 1 minute and 17 seconds of footage.

[00:13]-[00:17]
[-4 sec]

Shortened Scene
Chibiusa watches the ice cream parlor she discovered earlier.


[01:01]-[02:28]
Altered + Shortened Scene
Here, the conversation among the warriors has been entirely perforated; both regarding the content and the cuts.

In the German TV Version, they're speaking about Ami's surprising offer to study in Germany. Minako says it isn't a surprise at all with her amazing marks. Makoto thinks it all happens out of the blue. Rei responds to Artemis' questions, that Ami hasn't made up her mind yet and Makoto adds Ami wants to become a doctor, just like her mother, and studying in Germany would help Ami approach that goal. Bunny protests they would be left stranded without Ami but Rei gives her a slap on the wrist because that sounds kind of selfish. She tells that Ami was learning during the night to make up for the missing time when she pursues her duties during the day. Finally, they all agree to give Ami that chance.

In the US TV Version on the other hand, Rei says Ami was already accepted and Minako cauterizes that her "little genius" did it of course. Makoto adds she has free choice of school. Regarding Artemis' question when Ami is going to leave, Artemis gets the response that she's going to go in a few weeks. Makoto believes that being so far away from home is going to be difficult for Ami. Buny protests but she gets a slap on her wrist for being selfish.

The main problem here is, that Ami has already made up her mind in the US TV Version while the German TV Version focuses on Ami's struggle. Ami's motivation to leave is not being mentioned, either.

[01:24]-[01:27] Additionally, a gay CG frame has been added when the episode cuts to Ami and Chibiusa. Thanks to zooming in and the mentioned frame, the Luna-P ball isn't visible anymore.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[01:28]-[01:30] [-2 sec] The second shot of Ami and Chibiusa has been cut out entirely.


[01:48]-[02:10] [-22 sec] Moreover, most scenes of the second half are missing. Bunny asks if they wouldn't mind Bunny leaving. Rei explains Ami's studying during the evenings and appeals to Bunny's conscience. Makoto agrees that Ami deserves that chance.


[02:20]-[02:22] [-2 sec] The last cut in this sequence. Rei is relieved that Bunny is understanding.


[02:42]-[02:56]
Altered Scene
In the German TV Version, Luna simply mentions that the new communicators and transformation sticks might come in handy when the new equipment is being introduced. In the US TV Version, she claims the new ones are ten times as effective as the previous ones. That certainly can't be right, because they're not fighting ten times as good all of a sudden.

[03:19]-[03:38]
[-19 sec]

Shortened Scene
The scene with Rubeus giving orders is much shorter.

Rubeus shows the ice cream parlor with a new place of origin to Bertherite (in the US TV Version that part of the scene for a second pops up right AFTER the digital transition before the cut to Chibiusa; very sloppy work). Bertherite already has a hunch that they have to take over the place and contaminate it. Rebeus warns her not to screw it up again, before she leaves.

The beginning of the following scene is also missing, because it contains the sign of Ami's school with Kanji and Katanaka on it (Dic is miffed about).


[04:18]-[04:41]
[-23 sec]

Shortened Scene
Ami tells Chibiusa it is just after 10 p.m. and she could learn an entire hour before going to bed. Chibiusa answers her teacher had said 10 p.m. is bed time. Ami says her teacher is right when it came to watching TV, but studying is a ifferent matter. Chibiusa is obviously astounded.


[04:50]-[05:08]
Altered Scene
In the German TV Version, Ami suspects Chibiusa is lying about her true identity and she also asks her about it. When Chibiusa doesn't respond, Ami says she wouldn't force her into an answer. In the US TV Version, Ami is talking about studying and her chance overseas.


[07:10]-[07:13]
[-3 sec]

Shortened Scene
Extended shot of Ami talking to Bunny.


[09:30]-[09:32]
[-2 sec]

Shortened Scene
Flash-frozen Artemis hits the ground.


[11:09]-[11:38]
Altered Scene
Another altered dialog!

When Nippus closes the shop, Bertherite expects a report in the German TV Version. Nippus claims everything is going well. But Bertherite is upset because Nippus didn't kill the frozen staff. Nippus asks for forgiveness and says she is going to do it right away. Bertherite is satisfied but she also warns Nippus, that she is going to be eleminated if she makes more mistakes.

In the US TV Version on the other hand, Bertherite congrats Nippus to the smooth course of action. She also talks about what they are going to do when Crystal Tokyo is destroyed. In the end, Nippus offers to show the captives but Bertherite has a pedicure appointment.

This dialog was obviously altered to hide or to lower Bertherite's blood lust.

[15:49]-[15:52] und [16:12]-[16:16]
Altered Scene
DiC thought it is necessary that Ami has a safety belt in these two scenes. Thanks to CGI, adding it was no problem at all.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[16:44]-[16:58]
Altered Scene
Ami got a new transformation. Similar to her first transition to Sailor Mercury, the body lines have been completely removed. This concerns any transformation from now on, which is why it's not going to be specifically mentioned in the comparisons of the following episodes.
German TV VersionUS TV Version

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