Release: Aug 09, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: DaxRider123 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparson between 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.
Episode 36: Last Resort
Bunny and her family spend their vacations in a country hotel at a lake. What they don't know is that this lake also arouse the Dark Kingdom's interest - King Beryl sends Endymion there to investigate the strange measurements. Kunzite thinks that Endymion acts strange, therefore she sends Beryl there, too to spy on him. At the lake Bunny runs into Endymion - he doesn't remember her. Endymion provokes agitation by invoking the ghost of the lake who is blind with rage. Unable to contro the ghost Endymion flees and leaves Bunny and her family in great danger. Only the arrival of the other Sailor Soldiers (who were mad that they weren't invited to come along) allows Bunny to transform. She them remembers the old legend of a woman who - because of her morbid jealousy - was transformed into a monster and forced to live in the lake. She's able to heal the ghost and to give it its peace. Meanwhile, Endymion is able to escape. Kunzite becomes suspicious: she thinks that something's wrong with Endymion.
Runtime of the German episode: 19:00
Runtime of the American episode: 17:41
Minus the scenes that were not included in the original version, the US version overall misses out on 1 minute and 19 seconds.
In this episode the editors constantly tried to edit out/explain away the hot springs. This was done due to the fact that hot springs are not too well known in the USA (not so in Japan and Europe). Therefore they tried their best to avoid the hot springs totally.
The first scene is entirely missing.
The scene takes place in the morning and inside the Tsukino-house. Luna wakes up and knows that the following 2 days (they are holidays) are an ideal moment to prepare Bunny for her function as princess. However, Luna can't find Bunny - the house is empty. In the end she in the kitchen comes across a filled feeding bowl and a letter written by Bunny. Bunny used a bad Hiragana and Katakana to tell Luna that she and her family went to a country hotel over the holidays. Luna is outraged that Bunny didn't take her along.
During the car ride, Shingo plays some games on his Gameboy and makes fun of Bunny for sneaking out of her bedroom because she didn't want to wake Luna up. Bunny says that he hasn't got the faintest idea. Then she looks at the screen and criticizes him for being bad at it - Shingo is not amused.
At this point there's an unnecessary alteration in the US-version that completely ruins the joke which follows after Kenji saw the medallion.
In the German version Bunny in panic denies meeting up with a boy behind her father's back. Ikuko tells the father to watch the road (after all he's driving); he does that but you can tell that he still is suspicious.
In the American version Ikuko says that Bunny got the medallion from Umino - this immediately soothes Kenji.
This is not only a questionable alteration - it's also a dumb one.
In the German version Shingo has a hard time getting into the hot springs since it is a unisex boiling spring. His parents don't understand his problem and calm him down by saying that there are no other visitors.
In the American version Shingo complains about the stange smell of the water. His parents tell him that the smell originates from the sulfur (!) in the water. They add that it isn't all that bad, after all it only smells like bad eggs (!).
Needless to say, every single information of this alteration is wrong. They really did their "best" to forcefully delete an unpleasent part of the plot.
When Bunny spots Endymion at the lakeshore, there are a few interesting LSD-effects. The editors decided to cut almost every frame of these effects out - only very few frames made it into the US version.
While the dubbing of the conversation between Bunny and Endymion is still tolerable, you now really see the problem of lazy dubbing. Due to the fact that the editors were especially lazy when it coems to naming the characters, this scene really is confusing. While Mamoru was named "Darien" in the US version, the editors decided to name Endymion "Pricne Darien" because Endymion is Mamoru's pre-existence.
This makes for a pretty absurd situation. In the german version Endymion tells Bunny that he's never heard of Mamoru.
In the American version, "Prince Darien" (!) says that he's never heard of someone called "Darien" (!) - incredibly ridiculous.
In the German version the lovers' story goes off as follwos: a man falls in love with a goddess who comes down to earth to be with him. A human girl also falls in love with him and becomes incredibly jealous. Therefore, she transforms into an evil ghost who attacks the villagers. The Goddess and the man force the ghost to live in the lake before they're able to go to heaven togehter.
In the American version the story is different: The man falls in love with a nymph of the lake. The human girl loves him, too and due to her jealousy she transforms into a monster. The nymph and the man use their love to defeat the monster and then go to heaven. The jealous "nymph" remains in the lake.
The American editors mixed a lot of things together and it is especially noticeable that the 2 female characters switch their identities a few times - to the disfavor of the viewers who might get confused. It's also unclear to why they changed the goddess into a nymph. At the end, you're not really sure who is who.
At the end of teh episode the camera slowly zooms away from the girls who are plunging Bunny in the lake. In the end you see the whole resort and the lake. In the backgroudn you hear a rocking tune. Due to teh fact taht the American version does not have any music, the last 2 thirds of this scene were simply cut away.