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Sailor Moon

1.39 The Past Returns

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sęrâ Műn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV Version
Release: Aug 13, 2011 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Sebbe - 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 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



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 wiped out as well. Further differences are renamed foot (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:American Version:


  • Images were censored, especially when it became to revealing. This also and particularly concerns the transitions (except Sailor Moon's) where curves 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. The removed episodes Nr. 2, 5, 6, 20, 42 and the episodes 44 and 45 were so heavily cut that it was one single episode in the end.
    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.)
  • 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" (good old times), 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 Tiara ActionMoon Tiara MagicMondstein, flieg und sieg
    Shabon SprayMercury Bubbles BlastSeifenblasen, fliegt
    Fire SoulMars Fire IgniteFeuerball, flieg
    Supreme ThunderSupreme Thunder CrashDonnerschlag, flieg
    Cresent BeamVenus Cresent Beam SmashHalbmondstrahl, flieg

  • Change of names affects all characters. Here's a list of characters with more than one appearance in season 1. 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
    Königin Perillia(Beryl)Queen Beryl
    Königin MetalliaNegaforce
    Jedite (Jadeite)Jadeite
    Neflite(Nephrite)Neflyte
    Zoisite(Zoicite)Zoycite
    KunziteMalachite
    Naru OsakaMolly Baker
    Motoki FuruhataAndrew
    Umino GurioMelvin
    Shingo TsukinoSammy Tsukino
    Ikkuko TsukinoMom
    Kenji TsukinoDad
    Mika KayamaMika Cassidy
    Haruna SakuradaPatricia Haruna
    ReikaRita
    Yuuichirou KumadaChad

    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 39: The Past Returns



    Apparently the Sailor Warriors have found the entrance to the Dark Kingdom. But it turns out to be a trap of Konzite, who expected them already. As they are helpless against his attacks, the Silver Crystal starts to react and sends them to the moon right into the ruins of the Moon Palace. Suddenly there appears a hologram of Queen Serenity, who died 10,000 years ago, and she tells them everything finally. Meanwhile, Luna and Artemis went through the teleporting tunnel and they noticed with discontentment that the Dark Kingdom is located at the North Pole. But this knowledge isn't of great importance for Konzite turns up suddenly, chases them back to the tunnel and mangles them badly. The Warriors return right in time to save them from certain death, but Konzite just keeps on defeating them. To finish him Sailor Moon uses the Silver Crystal to reflect Kunzite's projectile back to him. Deadly wounded he just wishes to be with Zoisite again, then he dies and with his death the tunnel shuts down so the way back is impassable again.


    Running Time of the German episode: 19:00
    Running Time of the American episode: 17:55


    Missing in the American version: 1 minute and 8 seconds(Minus the scenes which are not included in the original)


    Annotation
    This is the last regular episode previous to the season finale, so it's the last time to take a deep breath before it really gets down to business. The season finale may be the worst censoring in anime history, detailed explanation in the next report...

    [00:00]-[00:26]
    [-26 sec.]

    Cut
    The whole beginning of the episode is missing (the part previous to the on-screen title display).

    Luna runs as fast as possible to the Tsukino House. In the meantime, Bunny is sleeping and once again she dreams of Tuxedo Mask, so the first attempts of Luna to wake her up, fail. She wakes up as Luna starts screaming that Sailor Venus and Artemis have found a possible entrance to the Dark Kingdom.


    [01:00]-[01:06]
    [-6 sec.]

    Cut
    The camera tracks in on the tunnel and we can see the Warriors running.


    [01:20]-[01:23]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    Kunzite adds that he wants to show them something very interesting.


    [02:10]-[02:12]
    [-2 sec.]

    Cut
    We can see Kunzite how he is raising his hands, prepared to conjure and his face comes out of the darkness (how he's already in position is showed again).


    [02:34]-[02:38]
    [-4 sec.]

    Cut
    Some parts of the "turning-back-time"-effect were cut out. E.g. you can see the earth again once more.


    [03:05]-[03:08]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    One view on the ruins of the Moon Palace is missing, where the camera is backing out.


    [03:14]-[03:18]
    [-4 sec.]

    Cut
    Sailor Moon keeps looking at the ruins.


    [03:24]-[03:26]
    [-2 sec.]

    Cut
    The first time we see a close-up of Queen Serenity's hologram was deleted.


    starting at [04:00]
    Alteration
    This has to be said:

    Different from other episodes I won't name all dialogue and storyline alterations. Easy explanation: everything was changed. The whole background story of the Silver Millenium, which the Warriors get to hear from the hologram of Queen Serenity, was changed so extensively that there's not much left of the original. It's also quite impossible to give a summary because it would get lost in details very quickly.

    Generally, the background story in the American version has been totally fragmented and destroyed and you are more confused than before. Therefore we will concentrate on the cuts from now on.

    [04:12]-[04:15]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    The earth is shown a little bit longer.


    [04:18]-[04:22]
    [-4 sec.]

    Cut
    The Moon Palace is reflected in the sea water before the camera backs up and we can see the palast (the rest is included again).


    [04:25]-[04:31]
    [-6 sec.]

    Cut
    The camera panning over the huge ballroom during the Moon Ball is missing. It ends with a cross-fade which is missing too.


    [05:09]-[05:11]
    [-2 sec.]

    Cut
    There's missing a shot of the exploding fireworks (by the way, it looks suspiciously like the shape of Micky Mouse).


    [05:56]-[06:00]
    Alteration
    The once again repeated camera panning over the ballroom was replaced by a shot of the cloud-covered full moon from the last episode. A quite questionable alteration for the scene takes place on the moon. A view of the earth from the moon (which was shown many times in this episode) would have been better.
    German versionAmerican version


    [06:40]-[06:43]
    [-3 sec.]

    Cut
    A part of the dancing scene of Princess Serenity and Endymion was cut.


    [14:32]-[14:38]
    Alteration
    The reason for this alteration was obviously religious sensitivity. While you can see the dying Princess Serenity in the German version, this has been replaced by the repeatedly shown shots of the earth and Serenity's face in the American version.

    The reason may be that the pillars she's lying on, look like a cross, so it purports that she was crucified.
    German versionAmerican version


    [17:39]
    [+3 sec.]

    Addition
    The scene where Sailor Moon is using the Moon Scepter is repeated again in the American version.