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Sailor Moon

1.30 A Crystal Clear Identity

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sęrâ Műn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Aug 01, 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 30: A Crystal Clear Identity



    Sailor Venus wants to meet the others the next day. At the same time, Queen Beryl suddenly wants to catch Tuxedo Mask alive without saying why. She lure Mamoru to a competition for the crystals at the Starlight Tower, but accidentally Bunny gets into the whole thing as she meets him on the way. When they reach the tower, Kunzite steals the crystal and transforms the tower into a trap for Mamoru and Bunny. Disregarding her orders, she wants to kill Mamoru, but Bunny as Sailor Moon can save him even though he now knows her identity. He then reveals himself as well. However, the fight is not over yet and when Zoisite tries to assassinate Bunny, Mamoru catches the lethal bullet. The other four warriors, having fought their way upwards through the tower, can only witness Moon mourning the dying Mamoru. But suddenly the seven rainbow crystals flee Kunzite's grasp and connect with one of Moon's tears. The Silver Crystal reconstructs itself, Sailor Moon touches it... and now everybody knows that she had been the Moon Princess as along.

    Running time of the German episode: 18:25
    Running time of the US episode: 17:40


    Disregarding newly added scenes, 45 seconds are missing.

    [00:05]-[00:13]
    [-8 sec.]

    Cut
    The four Sailor Warriors ask Venus whether she was the Moon Princess they were looking for in a camera pan from left to right. This is missing in the US Version, removing any hint of this originally essential plot element.


    [00:54]-[01:23]
    Alteration
    The scene in the Kingdom of Darkness is very different.

    In the German Version, Kunzite and Zoisite ask why they had to retreat, but Beryl does not want to talk about it. She tells them that the order came straight from the big master. Tuxedo Mask is not to be killed but to be caught alive without any questions asked. The two reluctantly agree.
    In the US Version, however, the chat is about the rainbow crystals and how they could take them from Tuxedo Mask. Beryl wants to win Tuxedo Mask for their side, but Zoisite does not know where he is. Beryl says she knew it and explains her plan.

    Because of these changes, both the fact that Mamoru is the reincarnation of Endymion and the master are getting ignored.


    [01:44]-[01:52]
    Alteration
    When Mamoru rememberg the scene in the harbor, an ugly border was used for the flashback.
    German VersionUS Version


    [03:08]-[03:11]
    Alteration
    Usually, changes concerning the school sign are not being mentioned anymore. However, a new shot was replaced with the usual substitute here.
    German VersionUS Version


    [03:34]-[04:09]
    Alteration
    The chat between Mamoru and Buny was rewritten and the old meaning discarded.

    In the German Version, Mamoru recognizes Bunny and is surprised how carefree she always is. Bunny says it was not true, but Mamoru says she should stay like this and then leaves. Bunny sees some blood and wonders how he could have gotten hurt.

    In the US Version, Mamoru says that bee stings (?) were the last thing he was looking for. He then slightly insults her, making her angry. He apologizes and leaves, then Bunny notices the blood.

    [14:44]-[15:09]
    [-25 sec.]

    Cut
    A very long scene was cut here. Bunny remembers several of her meetings with Mamoru and Tuxedo Mask, compares them and knows that they are the same person. The scene is rather important and a real pity because not old footage but exclusively painted pictures were used.


    [16:02]-[16:04]
    [-2 sec.]

    Cut
    The crystal enters Tuxedo Mask deeper.


    [16:07]-[16:17]
    [-10 sec.]

    Cut
    The crystal has pierced Tuxedo Mask. He screams in agony and then falls down.


    [18:17]-[18:25]
    Alteration
    At the end, the US Version ruins the whole atmosphere. When everybody knows that she is the Moon Princess, the camera stops at her face at the end and nobody says something. In the US, the editors felt they had to let her say: "Me, Serena, a princess? Man this is way past weird."

    Was this really necessary? The whole scene was ruined and ridiculed by this.





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