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Sailor Moon

2.19 A Charmed Life

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Oct 18, 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.











German Version:US 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


  • 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 erased as well. Further differences are renamed food (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 too revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transformations (except Sailor Moon's) where body lines 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. In the second season, episode 67 was being removed. (Note: The German Version 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", 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 Princess HalationMoon Sceptre EliminationMacht des Mondes, verwandle ihn/sie zurück
Shine Aqua IllusionMercury Ice Storm SplashWasserstrahl, flieg
Burning MandalaMars Celestial Fire SurroundFeuerringe, fliegt
Sparkling Wide PressureJupiter Thundercrash ZapDonnerschlag, flieg
Venus Love Me ChainVenus Love Chain EncircleFeuerhertzenkette, flieg

  • Change of names affects all characters. Here's a list of characters with more than one appearance in season 2. 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
ChibiusaRini
Der ErleuchteteWiseman
Prinz Diamond(Demand)Prince Diamond
SaphirSapphire
EsmeraudeEmerald
RubeusRubeus
Kermesite(Kōan)Catzi
Bertherite(Berthier)Bertie
Kavalerite(Calaveras)Avery
Petzite(Petz)Prizma
Ail(Eiru)Ali
Anne(An)En
Naru OsakaMolly Baker
Motoki FuruhataAndrew
Umino GurioMelvin
Shingo TsukinoSammy Tsukino
Ikuko TsukinoMom
Kenji TsukinoDad
Haruna SakuradaPatricia Haruna
Yuuichirou KumadaChad
Königin SerenityQueen Serena
König EndymionKing of Earth

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.

Episode 65: A Charmed Life



Mokoto and Minako are arguing because they both have a less-than-stellar love life (Minako had never had a boyfriend and Makoto is still comparing everyone to her Sempai). This completely ruins their mood for the day with Bunny, where they'd planned to go shopping. However, the Black Moon Clan has already located their next target - a shop for lucky stones - as a new point of origin for Crystal Tokyo. Kavalerite first disses the job but then takes it out of jealously when Petzite takes it on her own accord and they both have to work together. As it was bound to happen, the girls stumble upon the shop and the continuing argument between Minako and Makoto and Bunny yelling at Chibiusa annoys the sisters to no end until they have enough and attack. Petzite's hatred at men and Kavalerite acting as if men are a status symbol finally make Minako and Makoto realise that their argument is stupid. Making peace, they together can chase them away, while getting new powers.

Length German TV Version: 19:00
Length US TV Version: 17:55


The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute und 9 Seconds of footage.

Generally

The whole story in this episode wasturned upside-down. Originally, Minako and Makoto argue because of their lack of ability to get a boyfriend. Also, they later want a luck stone to raise their chances. It's the behavior of the sisters (one hates men and one sees them as status symbols) that finally gets them to see reason.

in the US Version, nothing of it is left. Both are arguing of completely unrelated reasons. They also later want a "sorry-stone" and the story only concerns itself with how they want to forgive each other.

These changes are especially fatal to Petzites reactions, since she hates men (apart from a certain one). The whole story of the episode essentially gets destroyed.

[00:18]-[00:24]
[-6 sec]

Shortened Scene
Minako looks around the park and complains, that the other people don't seem to be bothered by the heat.


[00:46]-[00:49]
[-3 sec]

Shortened Scene
Makoto adds, that what she'd just said was supposed to be a joke.


[00:50]-[01:10]
Altered + Shortened Scene
In the German Version, Minako and Makoto talk about where the others are. Ami is at summer school and Rei has shrine duty. Makoto is disappointed and asks about Bunny. Minako quips, you can't expect her to be punctual. They have a short laugh, before sighing.

In the US Version, nothing is laft. They just talk about shopping and if they should by new wrist watches. They use the chance to make fun of Bunny again.

[00:54]-[01:03] [-9 Sek.] Additionally, the part of the scene is missing, where Minako talks about Rei's activities and then Makoto asks about Bunny.


[01:11]-[01:20]
[-9 sec]

Shortened Scene
Minako and Makoto comment after waiting for a longer time, that Bunny is really late and speculate, that this must be genetically.


[01:41]-[01:44]
[-3 sec]

Shortened Scene
Chibiusa has no idea how to react.


[02:22]-[02:28]
[-6 sec]

Shortened Scene
Makoto denies, that she's explicitly is looking for someone "exactly like my old boyfriend" and in turn rubs under Minako's nose that never has had any luck with getting a boyfriend in the frst place.


[03:18]
[+4 sec]

Added Scene
Thanks to the alterations listed below, the scene with the mirrors is shown a second time at this point.


[03:18]-[04:01]
Altered + Shortened Scene
For unknown reasons, the first part of the Black Moon scene was put at the beginning of the episode. That from the first view onto the mirrors until Rubeus asking, why the sisters are bickering this time. As a side effect, the part that stayed in place gets a repeated mirror-sequence (see above).

[03:45]-[03:49] [-4 Sek.] Additionally, it's missing how Kavalerite provokes Petzite with the question how many hearts she's broken (after all, she hates men).


[04:07]-[04:30]
Altered + Shortened Scene
For unknown reasons, an ugly CG frame was put over the scene when Rubeus shows the next target, despite a pink frame being already there in the original.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[04:10]-[04:12] [-2 sec] Additionally, part of the outside view of the building is missing. The reason is unknown, as Kana can't be the reason (these are clearly seen).


[06:56]-[06:02]
Altered Scene
Things get even more bizarre. Now the sign that Bunny reads (its scrolling down) is replaced by a view of the shop (now without a frame). It's a mysery why DiC now has somethingagainst Kana, but nothing against showing them in Rubeus' briefing.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[06:22]-[06:40]
[-18 sec]

Shortened Scene
It's shown what happened to the employees. They were paralyzed and then, for unknown reasons, stripped naked and hung into a sort of spider web. Kavalerite's monologue following this scene is missing as well.

It's clear why that was cut by DiC, as the women are very obvioulsy butt-naked.


[08:10]-[08:12]
[-2 sec]

Shortened Scene
Thanks to the CG scene transition, the original transition got lost.


[12:46]-[13:28]
Altered Scene
As with Sailor Mars, the transformations of Sailor Venus and Jupiter were not altered by DiC in their cheapness and unwillingness to spare money to again erase the body lines. Again, parts of their old transformations are used. Makoto's transformation is even missing the new ending and her butt is still censored. Strangely enough, Venus' ending actually IS there.

Of course, this chep way is very noticable.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[14:17]-[14:19]
[-2 sec]

Shortened Scene
When Sailor Venus does a jump kick, a panty shot got removed.


[18:30]-[18:35]
[-5 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny is angry enough at Rei, that she spits her juice into her face. Rei of course is steamed about that.



Trivia


It's little known by American viewers that each season of Sailor Moon had its own episode-title sequence (they were all replaced in the dubs). Therefore here two shots from the sequences of all five seasons fromthe Japanese DVD.





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