Release: Oct 20, 2012 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: -Der-Tribun - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the heavily censored US TV Version and the German TV 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
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.
DiC never dubbed Episode 67, therefore it continues right away with episode 68. The reason might be the very absurd plot of the episode that has NO relation whatsoever to the main plot of the season. Even Toei themselves found the episode embarrassing and removed it from all DVD editions.
Episode 68: Naughty 'N' Nice
There's again tension between Bunny and Chibiusa, this time because Chibiusa has wet into Bunny's bed. Chibiusa runs away the next day and starts to really miss her home and her mother and wants to use her travel magic to return to it. Too bad that Wiseman had actually forseen this bahivior, orders Rubeus to set all four sisters onto her and himself blocks Chibiusa's way back to prevent escape. Chibiusa manages after a longer chase to flee to a construction site, where Bunny finds her and finally understands her motivations after listening in. Right then however, the sisters and the Sailor Warriors arrive and they start to duke it out. Then however Rubeus arirves as well and almost kills Sailor Moon. Only a counter-attack by Tuxedo Mask saves her and in the following battle, Rubeus gets wounded, forcing the enemy to retreat. In the future however, Wiseman is in good spritits anyway, since he is sure, that Crystal Tkyo and Chibiusa's mother will soon be gone forever...
Length German TV Version: 19:00
Length US TV Version: 17:48
The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute und 12 Sekunden of footage.
DiC had slowed down the framerate to better mask the time diffence. This made the comparison more difficult.
Right at the star, a long cut.
After Bunny screamed, Luna clains what's the ruckus before seeing the wet spot in Bunny's bed. Bunny is mortified and Luna makes several sarcastic remarks about a 14-year old wetting the bed, which she finds funny.
We see the true culprit. Chibiusa has snuck into Bunny's bed and wet into it. Bunnyis not amused.
While Bunny is using the carpet beater on the bed cover, the view on the spot got removed. Useless, since you see it in a later scene anyway.
The cutting of the scenes above made a scene alteration necassary.
In the original and German Version, Shingo makes fun of Bunny by claiming she wet the bed. Bunny is already angry enough and hisses, that it was Chibiusa. Shingo gloats it's easy to blame the kid.
In the US Version, he only gloats that since Chibiusa arrived, Bunny got to do all the extra chores and he doesn't have to. Bunny is angry and states, why he won't give her his room, even offers 5 Dollars.
Bunny is seen confronting Chibiusa with the carpet beater in hand (which explains why she runs away).
Altered + Shortened Scene
Around Chibiusa's memory of wetting the bed during a time in the crystal palace and being found by her mother, an ungly CG border was put around for no clear reason.
Additionally, the context of the whole scene was changed and is now about lonliness in the US Version, instead of wetting the bed and the compassion of her mother.
[05:12]-[05:32] [-20 sec] Additionally, a big part of the memory was cut to remove all reference to wetting the bed. This also removes our first impression of Neo-Queen Serenity.
ANOTHER CG-border! (even a different model) This time around the flashback to episode 66.
Thanks to the CG scene transition, the original transition, where the next scene faded in, got lost.
When Chibiusa contacts Sailor Pluto, they screwed up again (see Ep. 64). While they finally use Pluto's voice, but Chibiusa still acts as if she's directly talking to the ball, and not a person on the other end.
Much worse are the alterations in meaning.
In the German Version, Pluto tries to encourage Chibiusa and promises to her, that she does have strong defenders. Chibiusa doesn't believe her and Pluto reminds her, that how often the Sailor Warriors have already helped her. Chibiusa complains, that the enemy is too strong and what they've done to her mother. Pluto reminds her, that the Warriors always protected her, while Bunny (who had listened in) now finally knows Chibiusa's motivation (the bad guys did soemthing to her mother).
In the US Version, all of that got lost, since Chibiusa all of a sudden is also looking for her mother (in the Original she's just look for the Silver Crystal). Chibiusa complains as well, that Bunny is hating her and wants to return without the crystal. Also, Bunny comes to the strange conclusion that Chibiusa is a princess (strange, since she lacks cruicial information).
A short view on Sailor Moon and Chibiusa is missing.
Another scene transition got lost thaks to CGI. Due to sloppy work, the very beginning of the original transition can still be seen.
The end of the episode was changed in strange ways.
While the original just faded to black, the US Version added a colorful CGI-background and animated lightning. The reasons why this was done are not known.