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Sailor Moon

1.23 Mercury's Mental Match

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sęrâ Műn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Jul 21, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Mr Miau - 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 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



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 wiped out as well. Further differences are renamed foot (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 to revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transitions (except Sailor Moon's) where curves 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. The removed episodes Nr. 2, 5, 6, 20, 42 and the episodes 44 and 45 were so heavily cut that it was one single episode in the end.
    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.)
  • 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" (good old times), 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 Tiara ActionMoon Tiara MagicMondstein, flieg und sieg
    Shabon SprayMercury Bubbles BlastSeifenblasen, fliegt
    Fire SoulMars Fire IgniteFeuerball, flieg
    Supreme ThunderSupreme Thunder CrashDonnerschlag, flieg
    Cresent BeamVenus Cresent Beam SmashHalbmondstrahl, flieg

  • Change of names affects all characters. Here's a list of characters with more than one appearance in season 1. 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
    Königin Perillia(Beryl)Queen Beryl
    Königin MetalliaNegaforce
    Jedite (Jadeite)Jadeite
    Neflite(Nephrite)Neflyte
    Zoisite(Zoicite)Zoycite
    KunziteMalachite
    Naru OsakaMolly Baker
    Motoki FuruhataAndrew
    Umino GurioMelvin
    Shingo TsukinoSammy Tsukino
    Ikkuko TsukinoMom
    Kenji TsukinoDad
    Mika KayamaMika Cassidy
    Haruna SakuradaPatricia Haruna
    ReikaRita
    Yuuichirou KumadaChad

    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.

    Only the comparison of the first episode 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 of them, sometimes both at the same time. The time index is based on the German Version.
  • Episode 23: Mercury's Mental Match



    Queen Beryl is discontent about Zoisite letting Tuxedo Mask getting a rainbow crystal, but she gives him another chance. On the next day, a new student, Ryo Urwa. enters school, who is even better than Ami. Bunny finds out that Ryo has a crush on Ami but is too shy to tell her. She decides to help them get together, but it all gets rather chaotical when Zoisite appears and identifies Ryo as a crystal bearer. Ryo can see the future and knows who Zoisite is, Mercury and Moon then can save him from her first attack. Later Ryo tells Mercury his story in the park, but Zoisite appears again and transforms him into the Youma Bunbo. Interestingly, Ryo fights back and the Youma attacks Zoisite at first, helping Mercury to get the crystal. Then it turns completely evil but the Sailor Warriors' united force can help defeat it. Tuxedo Mask has watched the fight but did not try to get the crystal, so the senshi now have one crystal. Ryo has to leave the city, but he promises Ami never to forget her and she gives him a photograph of herself.

    Running time of the German episode: 18:25
    Running time of the US episode: 17:36


    Disregarding newly added scenes, 55 seconds are missing.

    [01:30]-[01:33]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    The shot of the list showing the exam's results was shortened, probably because of the Kanjis and Hiraganas. However, it is bit strange that it is being shown at all.


    [01:34]-[01:40]
    Alteration
    The chat between Bunny and Makoto could not be more different.

    In the German Version, Bunny is afraid of her mother's reaction to her bad grad. Then Makoto imitates Bunny's mother in order to make fun of her. Bunny then tells Makoto that her grade is not that great either. In the US Version, on the other hand, Makoto only asks Bunny whether they should try something different, for example studying, but Bunny says this was too radical. Bunny and Makoto are being displayed a lot more stupid than they are here.

    [01:41]-[01:51]
    [-10 sec.]

    Cut
    Makoto sees her grade on the list and she and Bunny decide to be depressed together. Suddenly, a student discovers that Ryo Urwa was better than Ami, which produces a lot of disbelief at first.


    [02:31]-[02:34]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    The close-up of the newspaper clip about Ami, which Ryo is reading, is missing due to the Kanjis.


    [02:53]-[02:56]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    Ditto.


    [03:37]-[03:42]
    [-5 sec.]

    Cut
    A slow zooming in on Bunny and Ryo standing on top of the school is missing.


    [04:37]-[04:44]
    [-7 sec.]

    Cut
    Mamoru and Rei pass the café in which Bunny and Ryo are sitting. Then the camera tracks towars the silhouettes behind the glass before the scene changes.


    [06:27]-[06:32]
    [-5 sec.]

    Cut
    Before Ryo is walking down the street, the moon can be seen and the camera then pans down to the street.


    [10:30]-[10:36]
    [-6 sec.]

    Cut
    Ryo's nightmare about the things he would do to Sailor Mercury as Youma Bunbo continues. Mercury screams out in pain while she is lying in a puddle of her own blood, her clothes are totally ripped apart.


    [11:20]-[11:33]
    [-13 sec.]

    Cut
    The talk between Mercury and Ryo in the park is longer. Mercury giggles and Ryo asks whether she was making fun of his story. Mercury says no and that it was just hard to understand, she then mentions him being very polite (by calling her "Ami-san").


    [13:38]-[13:42]
    Alteration
    Here, the US Version's editor made an especially bad fauxpas.

    In the German Version, Zoisite orders Bunbo to get the rainbow crystal back, which is logical as Mercury just took it. In the US Version, she says [quote] "Now! Recover the Black Crystal from her!".This is a really stupid mistake as Zoisite is holding the black crystal very visibly in her own hand.


    [15:28]
    [+6 sec.]

    Additional Scene
    Without any reason, a new scene was added. The scene of Bunbo's weapons getting shot by Mars and Jupiter was simply repeated, without adding any meaning or anything.