Release: Aug 31, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparson between the heavily censored US TV Version and the German TV 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
Unfortunately there are some
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.)
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.
Just as in the first season, the second season also offers a different opening, different credits, different episode titles, as well as the "Sailor Says". These things will only be mentioned in the report of the first episode of the second season. Any of these differences will be ignored for the overall difference in time for each episode, which means that only the "real" content of the episode matters for these statistics. Therefore, the reports will basically concentrate on cuts as well as alterations (some of the scenes actually offer both things at the same time). The time designations always refer to the German version.
Episode 59: Treed
The Sailor warriors reach the inside of the building, despite all warnings from the tree of the dark force. Meanwhile in the inside, both Ail and Anne are in cold fury when they realize Bunny and Mamoru don't reciprocate their courtesy and only care about each other. Conducted by hatred, they have so much energy that all Sailor warriors can be defeated easily and Mamoru gets heavily wounded in the attempt to protect Sailor Moon. The knight of the moonlight that came along gets wounded as well. Suddenly the tree goes totally berserk and attacks Ail and Anne. Anne receives a lethal injury and now, with Anne dying in his arms, they do understand what true love is. That stops the tree and he finally tells them he never wanted to get their energy but just being loved by his kids. Ail and Anne never understood - until now. At his own request, the tree gets freed from all the energy and heals Anne. The knight of the moonlight reveals his true identity now. He's a part of Mamoru's spirit that was supposed to protect Bunny. He unites with him to give Mamoru his memories back while Ail and Anne are leaving earth with the recovered tree. Everything's fine again.
Running time German episode: 19:00
Running time US episode: 18:20
That means: minus the non-existent scenes in the Original Version, the US Version lacks 40 seconds.
This is the second part of the two-part-comparison which ends the plot about Ail and Anne. Unfortunately the two-part-episode needed to suffer a lot and lost a lot of its original strength (even though the differences in part 1 are worse).
Sailor Venus wants to destroy the blockade with her halfmoon ray but Mars can stop her by saying she felt sth. weird was going on.
In the Original Version, Ail spits at Mamoru to leave Bunny alone because she was HIS. That upsets Anne because she doesn't like Ail's advances for Bunny. She accidentally spills the beans and admits to being in love with Mamoru. Ail blames her and spits back they were sitting in the same boat. Jealousy bubbles up inside her.
In the US Version, he grunts at Mamoru he was out of Bunny's league. Anne protests not to talk about him like that which makes Ail conclude that Anne has the hots for Mamoru as well. Anne counters that, with regard to his drooling when he sees Bunny, she was right.
The beginning of Mars' attack has been removed, presumably because og the Kanji.
Missing shot of the fireball combining with the sheet.
Extended shot of Sailor Moon attacking Ail and Anne verbally.
The warriors realize they better attack as long as Ail and Anne are still busy with the tree.
Anne gets penetrated by the tree root. Ail witnesses it with horror.
The story of the tree of the dark force has been substantially altered.
In the Original Version, the tree explains his kids gave in to the temptation of greed and self-seeking, so they started fighting for his energy. He hoped they came to their senses but it got worse and the fights got more violent until a nuclear war finally caused the detonation of the entire planet.
In the US Version, his kids got influenced by a dark force from the inside and their love became hatred. The tree says they wouldn't listen to him any more because the dark force was stronger and told them what to do. Actually the dark side was so strong that it finally caused the destruction of the entire world.
Due to this modification, the significance of the message (the planet gets destroyed by unknown forces now) is being reduced.
For some reason, an animated golden crescent moon has been added here.
Due to the CG transition, the original one got lost in the process of editing.
Reading this might be a surprise but it's incredibly weird that a big series like this hasn't been released on DVD so far, except for Japan of course. In Japan are all seasons available on DVD.
In the US, the seasons 1 and 2 are available but only in the thanks to DiC destryoed versions. The seasons 3 and 4 only contain the English audioi track as well but at least the modifications have been changed back. Sailor Stars has never been released. Toei refused to release the Original Version with subs for a long time. When they finally did it, they didn't give permission for the remastered tapes but only for the cheap ones.
In other countries, e.g. Germany, Toei refuses to release the series as well. The reasons for that decision are unknown so that one can only make assumptions about the motive.
The difference of the image quality has been mentioned before. Here some examples how much better the images look on DVD. It's pretty conspicuous that the images of season 2 look "overcolored". This has been corrected for season 3 at least.