Release: Jun 23, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Tony Montana - 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 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
Unfortunately there are some
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.)
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.
It might seem pretty odd for us but changing the class room while the students stay in one class room all the time is common for the teachers in Japan. This explains why the scene with Haruna's empty desk is so interesting because the teacher usually arrives before the class starts.
Episode 2 (original Japanese order) has never been translated by DiC, so it could never go on air in the US. That's why we continue with episode 3 (which makes it 2 in the USA).
Episode 2: Talk Radio
After his last two failures, Jadeite has a new plan to get life energy for the Lord of the Kingdom of the Dark. A couple of days later... The girls at school are dreaming about a romantic midnight radio show with Jack Dyte reading love letters. Suddenly, a weird narcolepsy (sleeping sickness) spreads. When Haruna and Naru, who also wrote a love letters and got a broach in return, become an easy prey, it becomes crystal clear that these broaches are sucking out life energy. Bunny finally stands Jadeite, who was invented as alias for Jack Dyte, in the broadcasting center and can destroy his Youma to end the entire thing with the broaches. But he also gets a taste of how powerful Jadeite is.
Running time German episode: 18:24
Running time US episode: 17:41
That means: minus the non-existent scenes in the Original Version, the US Version lacks 43 seconds.
The conversation between King Beryl and Jadeite is different.
In the Original Version, the Queen gets unpatient and wants to know when the promised energy was finally going to arrive because they needed much energy for the Lord. Jadeite is aware of that and vaguely implies she already had a new plan. Beryl says he was going to take full responsibility for anything in this op.
In the US Version instead, Jadeite tells most of the plan immediately (they intend to exploit energy of love) and Beryl only says he better didn't disappoint them. The Lord is never being mentioned.
Haruna's dance of joy and the fact that her love letter was being read and her getting the broach in return has been cut out.
Modified + shortened scene
The entire scene of the Tsukinos at breakfast has been modified and cut.
In the German Version, Kenji (Bunny's dad) is talking about rampant somnolence (later, it turns out that it was pread by Jadeite). He also wishes to catch somnolence to sleep in. Ikkuko replies they needed him for the nurturing of the family. She passes him a toast while saying that. They're both surprised when Bunny screams she came to late because they don't get why Bunny is still there. In the US Version instead, Ikkuko circled the date in the newspaper to remind Kenji of their wedding anniversairy which is also their subject of the conversation. When they hear Bunny, Kenji just mentions how typical that kind of behavior was for her.
This modification seems to be randomly at first. The reason turns out by considering the fact that episode 2 has never been aired. In this episode, Bunny's dad Kenji was being introduced. As a result of that, that scene needed to be modified to reveal Kenji's true identity. Moreover the scene contains the following cuts:
[02:13]-[02:17] [-4 sec] The shot of Kenji's newspaper is missing. Presumably because of the narcolepsy and all the Kanji ideographs in the newspaper.
[02:36] [-1 sec] When Ikkuko asks Kenji to say "Aaaah" when she offers him some toast, the shot him obeying the demand is missing.
[02:43]-[02:46] [-3 sec] Cut when Bunny is running down the stairs.
The shot of the empty teacher's desk - with that the first clue that sth. is wrong with Haruna - has been removed.
Umino's and Bunny's personalities in class have been distinctly modified. In the Original Version, Umino simply wonders what was going on. In the US Version, he became a real geek. In the Original Version, Bunny is just glad not to be punished for being late. In the US Version, she makes fun of Haruma.
Luna's joyful look when Motoki offers her some milk has been cut out.
The entire conversation between Bunny, Naru and Umino (while Haruna is being taken away by the ambulance) is totally different.
In the German Version, it doesn't take them long to reach the subject somnolence when they're speculating what might have happened. Bunny says endless sleepiong with neverending dreams was just awesome. Naru and Umino can't believe it. In the US Version, the somnolence is not being mentioned at all. Naru starts talking about romantic at midnight instead. Bunny replies Haruna had worked too much for that.
Missing close-up of the box with all the love letters send to the station. Assumingly because of all the shots of Kanji.
In the German Version, Naru and Bunny are passing by three either freaking cool or freaking shady characters. DiC must have thought these guys were shady because the camera zooms in to show as less of them as possible. Side effect is a very blurred image.
Bunny can't come up with anything for the love letter to Jack Dyte, so she gives up. She complains she was never going to become a real poet, which motivates Luna to make a sarcastic comment.
Missing shot of Bunny after she asked Tuxedo Mask in her dream if they could become friends.
Youma Kita's leap through the glass is shorter.
Sailor Moon's eyes form into hearts when she admires Tuxedo Mask one more time. The cut goes on after the change of scenary. The appartment tower of the Jubaan shopping area at dawn is also missing, probably because of Kanji on the front.
The last gag is totally ruined.
After Naru took Bunny's love letter for Tuxedo Mask, a wild chase breaks loose. At that exact moment, Haruna enters the class and hears that Naru took Bunny's love letter. Being curious as hell, she proofs how immature she still was and runs after both of them to read the letter as well. In the US Version, Bunny tries to convince Naru that the letter is just some homework, that Haruna insists on having a look at the homework and that this is the rason why Haruna runs after them.