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Sailor Moon

2.15 The Cometics Caper

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Oct 14, 2012 - 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.











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 61: The Cometics Caper



When Chibiusa is missing one morning, Bunny and Mamoru start looking for her together. They do find her, but the following confrontation with Bunny's dad, who doesn't approve with Mamoru being Bunny's boyfriend, forces Mamoru to retreat. Then Bunny witnesses Chibiusa renewing the spell on her family. Later on, Mamoru gets dreadful visions of something bad happening to Bunny if he kept staying with her. To be sure, even though he doesn't want to, he breaks up with her, which makes Bunny incredibly miserable. Too bad that the enemy comes up with a new plan right now. By contaminating magical places, the Crystal-Tokyo future could be avoided. Unfortunately, Bunny pays a visit to a makeup shop which is one of those places and destroys the droid (monster of the enemies) after a fight. But... Tuxedo Mask wouldn't change his break up decision and Bunny really doesn't understand, why.

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


The US TV Version lacks 1 minute and 5 seconds of footage.

[00:17]-[00:23]
[-6 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny holds on to Mamoru and says it is a weird coincidence that they meet.


[00:28]-[00:38]
[-10 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny and Mamoru are just about to kiss when Luna shows up all of a sudden. She spits at them to not do it because it is way too early in the morning for things like that and they have to do something more important anyway.


[00:57]-[01:03]
[-6 sec]

Shortened Scene
Extended shot of Chibiusa on the swing.


[02:30]-[02:34]
[-4 sec]

Shortened Scene
Extended shot of Bunny hanging her head on the way back.


[02:49]-[03:00]
[-11 sec]

Shortened Scene
Chibiusa is upset about Mamoru calling her by that name (her real name is Usagi, just like Bunny's) and Mamoru tries to make excuses by saying the nickname is really lovely. The ooze-charming works on Chibiusa but not on Bunny.


[03:38]-[03:40]
[-2 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny's dad Kenji is going nuts when he finds out about Mamoru being Bunny's boyfriend.


[04:13]-[04:21]
Altered Scene
The comment Ikuko, Bunny's mom, is different.

In the German TV Version, she congrats Bunny for quite a catch and hopes Bunny is bringing him home at some point when Kenji isn't there. In the US TV Version, she wants the entire family (including Kenji) to meet him at dinner.

[04:24]-[04:32]
[-8 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny's dad bursts into tears because he thinks Bunny is way too young for a boyfriend. Ikuko has to calm him down. She explains Bunny is growing up.


[06:33]-[06:35]
[-2 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bertherite comes out of the mirror and walks straight to the camera. Has probably been cut out because the camera focuses on the spot between her legs.


[07:17]-[07:20]
Altered Scene
The name of the makeup shop is different. Instead of "Otafukuya", the sign now shows "Beauty 4 You". This alteration is totally absurd for two reasons. First of all, a name written in Latin letters has been replaced by another one written in Latin letters. And although DiC hates Japanese Kana, the Kanji and Katanaka all over the building remain untouched.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[08:30]-[08:36]
Altered Scene
When Mamoru tells Bunny that he's splitting up, a gay CG frame has been added for some ineffable reason. By the way, there's sad piano music playing in the background of the German TV Version while there's no music at all in the US TV Version.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[11:15]-[11:27]
[-12 sec]

Shortened Scene
Bunny leaves Mamoru's apartment block all in tears. She just cannot believe that Mamoru was serious, which is why she's gloomily strolling across the streets of Tokyo.


[11:59]-[12:03]
[-4 sec]

Shortened Scene
The shot of the sun blind with Kanji on it has been removed. Due to all the remaining Kanji in the episode, it's way beyond inconsequent. The screams in the background were removed in the process.


[13:04]-[13:06]
Altered Scene
The name of the makeup shop has been replaced on Bertherite's flyer as well. All Kanji and Katanaka are still visible, however.
German TV VersionUS TV Version


[13:22]-[13:30]
Altered Scene
And again the changed name shop name, both on the sign and the sun blind.
German TV VersionUS TV Version





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