Compared are the heavily censored US TV Version and the German TV 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
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 87: Diamond in the Rough
In the streets of Tokyo, the Black Crystal is growing more and more and when Mamoru vanishes from recon work in the big crystal and Bunny has an eye-opening talk with Naru, the Senshi decide to inflitrate the crystal, which they manage to do in the end. However, just when inside, Sailor Moon gets kidnapped by Prince Diamond, who wants to alter her mind in order to finally make her his. He fails at this nad int turn Moon can finally open his eyes to the facts Saphire had tried to tell him: that Wiseman's plan is madness and would destroy the world. However, Wiseman appears at that moment and kills Diamond in battle, before angily demanding the Silver Crystal from Sailor Moon. When she refuses to do so, he tries to manipulate her, yet she is stronger than his manipulative abilities. When her friends finally arrive to help her, Wiseman retreats, gloating that it is far tto late and the gate to destruction is already open. And indeed, once arriving at the roof they are greeted by Black Lady, who tells them that the hour of destruction has come...
To be continued...
Length German TV-Version: 19:00
Length US-TV Version: 17:52
The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute and 22 Seconds of footage.
Finally here it is, the final of the second season. Compared to the total disaster which DiC caused with the final of the first season, this one is downright humane. Still, quite a lot of stuff got screwed up here, especially considering that these episodes got done after the time gap, where normally alterations were not as legion as before. Maybe DiC simply has a thing for ruining season finals.
Right at the start a shot of Rei's crows Phobos and Deimos flying to the shrine is missing.
Bunny's and Naru's talk was altered significantly.
In the German Version Naru confronts Bunny with the fact that she's noticed her strange behavior and that the huge crystal is clearly causing her concern. She concludes that Bunny knows what it is and asks her to tell how she can help. Bunny evades the question and Naru realizes that Bunny can't tell her secret. She tells Bunny that she understands and doesn't want to force her, adding they'll see each other next day at school. Once Bunny left after saying their goodbyes, Naru prays to God that Bunny and her friends get out of this alive.
In the US Version however, while the beginning of the conversation is the same, Bunny answers on Naru's offer for help that a meatball head like her couldn't possibly know anything about this. Naru tells her to forget it, tells her to meet her at school tomorrow and reminds her of a math test. After Bunny is gone, Naru says something strange is going on in the city.
This change is fatal, since in the original it's pretty clear that Naru knows Bunny is Sailor Moon, but doesn't want to force her to admit her secret. This all got replaced with irrelevant dialogue in the US Version. Especially shamless is the alteration of the final part of the scene, where Naru's prayer to God got removed from the dub, while she still holds her hands for a prayer.
Due to a digital scene transition, the original scene transition got lost, in which the picture fades from the Black Crystal to the HQ of the Black Moon.
Luna and Artemis are foolish enough to tr< entering the Black Crystal. Right away they get zapped by the force field before being thrown back. After caring for them, the Senshi tell them that they should better leave this job to them.
Luna and Artemis wish them luck and Bunny is determined to finally finish this for real.
How all the Senshi are completing their transformation phrase, while being seen in a splitscreen, is missing.
Perhaps in order to fill up all the gaps, the transformations were shown fully in the US Version. Due to this, the transformation sequence is 14 seconds longer.
Sailor Moon is thrown to the ground by an energy discharge.
Sailor Moon is hurt on her cheek by the energy field, but doesn't give up and calls to her friends to give her strength.
Prince Diamond holds Sailor Moon hard at the arm while using his domination spell on her.
When she's trying to resist the domination, Diamond shakes Sailor Moon roughly in his frustration.
After managing to dominate her again, Diamond forces Sailor Moon to kneel before him and wants her to kiss his hand. (Perhaps this got cut due to one shot, as seen here, looking like he wants her to do something very different.)
Diamond got mortally wonded by Wiseman. He's bleeding heavily and collapses. Sailor Moon knells beside him, feeling very halpless at this.
Wiseman's hand close around Sailor Moon's throat and he starts choking her. Angry he demands her to hand over the Silver Crystal. Sailor Moon refuses and Wiseman gloats, that he is immortal, before repeating his demand. When Moon mentions Tuxedo Mask, Wiseman suddenly lets go of her.
This episode is Naru's swan song. After this one, she only appears in three more episodes (one of them a short cameo of less than half a minute), which is very little considering she appeared in half of season one and eight episodes of season two.
The character of Naru is a good example of how potential was wasted in the series. It seems the writers only in this episode got the idea that Naru could already know Bunny's secret, but doesn't tell out of consideration. Everything in the series appears as if Bunny simply forgot her "boring" friend, exchanging her for exciting ones, which is quite shabby.
Sadly Naru is only the most prominent example how bad the series was at developing the side characters. Instead, the surroundings of the Senshi were more and more emptied, which is even more extreme in the manga. The series therefore is a typical product of the 90s, and today such character potential wouldn't be wasted as much.
Considering this, Naru actually got lucky to have this much attention in the first season, especially the story with Nephrite, to at least give her more of a presence than in the manga.