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Sailor Moon

2.41 Diamond in the Rough

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: May 03, 2016 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: -Der-Tribun - 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 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.

Preface


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.

[00:00]-[00:03]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Right at the start a shot of Rei's crows Phobos and Deimos flying to the shrine is missing.


[00:38]-[01:42]
Altered Scene
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.


[01:53]-[01:56]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
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.


[04:17]-[04:29]
[-12 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
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.


[05:31]-[05:36]
[-5 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Luna and Artemis wish them luck and Bunny is determined to finally finish this for real.


[06:07]-[06:10]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
How all the Senshi are completing their transformation phrase, while being seen in a splitscreen, is missing.


[06:10]-[07:11]
[+14 Sec.]

Additional Scene
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.


[07:19]-[07:21]
[-2 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Sailor Moon is thrown to the ground by an energy discharge.


[07:49]-[08:00]
[-11 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
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.


[09:58]-[10:03]
[-5 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Prince Diamond holds Sailor Moon hard at the arm while using his domination spell on her.


[10:11]-[10:15]
[-4 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
When she's trying to resist the domination, Diamond shakes Sailor Moon roughly in his frustration.


[10:49]-[10:57]
[-8 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
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.)


[14:02]-[14:08]
[-6 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Diamond got mortally wonded by Wiseman. He's bleeding heavily and collapses. Sailor Moon knells beside him, feeling very halpless at this.


[15:32]-[15:52]
[-20 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
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.



Trivia

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.