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The Pope’s Exorcist

The Burning

The War of the Worlds


Sailor Moon

1.17 An Animated Mess

original title: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon


  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Jul 14, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Gladion - 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

  • 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.
    German Version:US Version:

  • Images were censored, especially when it came to revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transitions (except Sailor Moon's) where curves were removed like there were no tomorrow.
    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.
    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.

    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.
  • 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
    Königin Perillia(Beryl)Queen Beryl
    Königin MetalliaNegaforce
    Jedite (Jadeite)Jadeite
    Naru OsakaMolly Baker
    Motoki FuruhataAndrew
    Umino GurioMelvin
    Shingo TsukinoSammy Tsukino
    Ikkuko TsukinoMom
    Kenji TsukinoDad
    Mika KayamaMika Cassidy
    Haruna SakuradaPatricia Haruna
    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.
  • Since episode 20 has never been translated by DiC and aired in the US, we continue directly with episode 21 (17 in the US).

    Episode 17: An Animated Mess

    A Sailor V-Anime is in production, but the two illustrators Kasuko and Hiromi are very stressed out. This is why they lose a sketchbook, which Ami finds. In the meantime, Nephrite has found his latest victim: Hiromi. He looks for her and sees how Hiromi is being haunted by guilt as she broke a promise and used up almost all of the special pencils. Nephrite curses the last pencil. Ami as Mercury confronts him, but he escapes, and Ami realizes that something was wrong. Accompanied by Bunny and Rei, they visit the studio the next day. Hiromi has become egocentric and heartless by now, and as her energy maximum has been reached, the Double-youma Castor and Pollux appear. The Sailor-warriors have no chance until the two start to argue and are destroyed in their distraction. Zoisite is amused and Nephrite most angry with the failure as everything returns to normal in the cartoon-studio.

    Lenght of the German episode: 18:25
    Length of the American episode: 17:32

    Meaning after subtracting scenes that are not contained in the original version, the US-version misses 53 seconds.

    Change of scene
    The original Katakana and Kanji have been replaced by extremely cheap computer text, put onto white noise (!) during the Sailor V TV-spot. The result looks accordingly terrifying.
    German VersionAmerican Version

    [-10 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The two illustrators ask the director about his criticism, if that meant they had to draw Sailor V nastier. He immediately gets into orderly retreat, emphasizes he is a family father and they should not allege something like that to him.

    Change of scene
    As Ami takes a look at the folder, the view doesn't go all the way down to the folder in the American version, but stops at the middle. This way, you don't see the studio's Katakana, which are at the bottom. The censoring is completely pointless, because you see the Hiragana on the upper half of the folder instead.
    German VersionAmerican Version

    [-8 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The scene switches to a supermarket. Kasuko is just doing some shopping and remembers to bring noodles for Hiromi, becaushe she likes them so much.

    [-5 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    When Nephrite is passing by in his car, there is a shot of Ami recognizing him missing.

    [-4 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    Hiromi is visibly impressed as she takes a look at Kasuko's concepts.

    [-2 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    Nephrite entering the room is missing.

    Change of scene
    In the German version, Nephrite acts as if he was a fan of Hiromi and asks her if he were allowed to watch her work, which Hiromi declines quickly. The rest of the scene is silent, as the pencil is being cursed. In the American version, though, he acts as if he didn't know her, and ciritcizes her working material instead. Nephrite laughs inside as he curses the pencil.

    [-1 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The shot of Nephrite knocking over Sailor Mercury with a karate chop is missing. (What is shown, though, is how she drops off the car)

    Change of scene
    It was completely changed what Nephrite says here. In the German version, he mocks that he sends the two strongest stars into battle against them and recommends them to prepare very well. In the American version, though, he only makes a bunch of extremely snarky remarks about Sailor Mercury and Sailor Moon, sees them as stupid and ridiculous. The change makes Nephrite look much less cool compared to the original.

    Change of scene
    The conversation between Bunny, Ami and Luna has been rewritten completely.

    In the German version, Luna criticizes Ami for her confrontation with Nephrite. Bunny agrees and says she would have helped immediately, which Luna doubts a lot. Bunny then realizes what studio it is and hopes that, even if she doesn't get a show, then hopefully a guest appearance, which Luna remarks as cunning. Ami proposes visiting the studio to find out what was on Nephrite's mind. Bunny agrees since she hopes to get a role if she helps the illustrators.

    In the American version, Luna criticizes Ami, too. But then Bunny starts to get enraged about Nephrite having called her a weakling. Luna says that he had a point, but Bunny is getting angrier and angrier and starts describing graphically, what she is going to do to him. Luny sarcastically remarks that those were harsh words from a cry baby as herself. Ami tells he what studio it was, at which point Bunny hopes that Sailor V was there and she could get an autograph.

    Extension of scene
    The conversation differs completely in the two versions.

    Rei asks where they (Bunny and Ami) were, to which Luna answers that Bunny had been in detention. Ami asks why she was here as she had told them before she wasn't interested. Rei pretends she couldn't let her alone because of Nephrite and Luna already suspects the real reason. Suddenly, there are autograph cards dropping out of Rei's bag. Luna asks what this was and Rei punts that those were for her classmates. Bunny realizes the lie and says they were for herself. Ami cannot believe that Rei was so childish, but Rei doesn't want to hear anything and think this was none of Ami's business.

    In the American version, Rei asks why they didn't respond to the communicator, and Luna says that Mrs. Haruna had shouted too loudly (at Bunny). Ami asks if Rei had skipped to change clothes, which Rei answers defensively, her uniform was in her bag and she brought the clothes with her. Luna has her doubts as the autograph cards fall to the gorund. Rei tries to pass them off as not hers, but Bunny says that she was just trying to get a Sailor V-autograph like Bunny. Ami says that there was no time for that. Rei is disappointed, but thinks that she wants to sell the autograph for a lot of cash as soon as she's got it.

    There were also two shots retouched in this scene. In the first one the Kanji on the sign of the school on the wall were removed. In the second one the Kanji are missing, too, as well as additionally the Kanji-relief above the main entrance.
    German versionAmerican Version

    Change of scene
    In the German version, Zoisite states that Nephrite is pretty confident. He is not pleased with her attendance, but says, that everything was going according to plan as he has a drink. Zoisite says that she better keeps an eye on this. In the US-version, though, Zoisite makes a sarcastic remark and Nephrite asks if she was studying human sarcasm again. Zoisite affirms, and says she was sent to observe.

    Two big problems:
    1.) Nephrite is having some alcohol (you even see the bottle), but in the American version it's lemonade.
    2.) The joke is completely off as Nephrite and Zoisite ARE human (they come from earth) and thus, should already be familiar with sarcasm.

    [-3 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    A sign that says any talking should be kept to a minimum, is missing. It was probably removed because of the many Japanese writing (all three systems).

    [-3 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    Possessed Hiromi is taking a look around and the railing of a roof is coming into the foreground.

    [-2 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The formation of the Double-youma was slightly shortened.

    [-3 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The Double-youma approach the fallen Sailor-warriors.

    [-12 sec.]

    Cutting of scene
    The entire ending scene is missing.

    The view moves from the cartoon-studio up into the night sky. You can see Hiromi and Kasuko cross their little fingers and the two give each other the big word of honor. (The cut is based on the fact that it indicates a sexual relationship between the two, and this end scene seems to be crossing DiC's line by far, as something is implied here...)