Release: Oct 13, 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.
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 60: Serena Times Two
It seems to be a regular day in Tokyo... but all of a sudden there's an UFO floating over the town. Inside are the leader Rubeus and the sisters Kermesite, Bertherite, Kavalerite and Petzite. Looks like their assignment is to track down and kill a child to steal the Silver Crystal. Meanwhile, Bunny's and Mamoru's date is interrupted by a child named Chibiusa, who is looking for the silver crystal as well. After a first attempt that failed, she settles down at Bunny's and casts a spell on her family. As a result, she's suddenly their favorite. Chibiusa's really grinding Bunny's gears and when she puts sleeping pills in the warriors' tea, Bunny has it and spanks Chibiusa. Too bad that the strangers have already gotten the kill order for Chibiusa by their commander, Wiseman. Kermesite tracks her down and tries to eleminate her, but she fails because of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Kermesite swears to make them pay for their interference.
Length German TV Version: 19:00
Length US TV Version: 17:52
The US TV Version lacks 1 minute and 38 seconds of footage.
Now the audio track has been put "into a grinding machine".
In the German TV Version, Kermesite mentions that the Silver Crystal needs to be destroyed as soon as possible. Rebeus tells her to calm down. Bertherite objects that Chibiusa needs to eliminated first, just to be sure. Rubeus agrees that the child has to be taken out first.
In the US TV Version on the other hand, Kermesite thinks about nothing else but shopping and believes she could find new lipstick in town. Rubeus sarcastically says she already possesses 30 different kinds. Bertherite adds, a woman could never have enough makeup. Rebeus moans he is working with shopping sharks.
Not only becomes this scene ridiculous because of that alteration but also that important information gets lost.
The rowboat scene with Bunny and Mamoru is shorter. Bunny also says it is the best moment in her life. Mamoru says with a smile that she is exaggerating.
Here, the US TV Version of DiC contains additional comments of Bunny and Mamoru before and after they kiss, while there's no comment in the German TV Version. The dialog is anything but kind because Mamoru calls Bunny clumsy. And when they kiss, he claims Bunny has had to much bubble gum. This destroys the entire scene.
After Mamoru got the Luna-P ball on his head, his astonishment about what just happened has been removed.
Bunny is lying on the pier, beaten.
Due to Chibiusa's question about the Silver Crystal, Bunny wonders how she knew about it in the first place.
[-1 min 1 sec]
Now, the ENTIRE confrontation at the pier has been removed (but as one can see below, something different has been made up). Apparently, DiC was bothered about Chibiusa carrying a gun (in the US!) although it's just a toy.
Suddenly, Chibiusa draws the weapon and threatens Bunny by pressing the barrel against her forehead. Chibiusa wants the Silver Crystal and threatens Mamoru that she is going to kill Bunny if she wouldn't cooperate. Bunny denies to know anything about the Silver Crystal and Chibiusa asks if she is prepared to die for it and pulls the trigger. A bang is audible. Mamoru runs over but it was just a toy indeed. Bunny got so scared that she loses consciousness and Chibiusa is in the wind when Mamoru turns around.
Instead of the previous cut, something different has been made up with the shots where the weapon isn't actually visible. She's questioning Bunny but she doesn't get any results. Then, Chibiusa claims she has got other ways to get results. Then the scene of her arrvial is being played backwards to explain why she's gone.
Bunny is in the tub. She talks to Luna for an extended peroid.
Now we have altered footage. Looks like the shot of Bunny in the tub was too sleazy for DiC, even though the very same footage was uncensored in a previous shot of the same scene. Anyway, the water is less transparent now. As a result, the water kind of looks like blood now!
Rei is longer upset about her grandpa's behavior.
Bunny realizes that her eating orgy was a little excessive.
Certainly, the best part of the episode is missing.
Bunny is really POed that Chibiusa put sleeping pills in the tea. She's really sick of her and while questioning Chibiusa, she starts spanking her; as an educutaional measure so to speak. Chibiusa complains about it Bunny doesn't have mercy. Not after what she did.
It's obvious by now that the screenshots of this episode are much better than the ones used previously. While the original German TV master is still used for the comparisons, the picture quality had detoriated so much, that it became painful to look at. Thankfully, a new German master was found, with excellent quality and no station logo.
This master will be used for all future reports. Additionally, all previous reports have their screenshots updated to this standard for the German and American version.
You can see below how bad the quality otherwise would have been in this episode.