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Sailor Moon

2.42 Final Battle

original title: Bishôjo senshi Sêrâ Mûn

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • German TV version
Release: May 04, 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 88: Final Battle



Black Lady gloats that the end of the world is now imminent and the first attempts to reach Chibiusa are a failure, causing Black Lady to become even more angry. Despite all the attacks, Bunny and Mamoru find the strength to stand their ground and together they do manage with the power of the Silver Crystal to remove the false memories, causing Chibiusa to return to her true self. However, Wiseman - better known as the Death Phantom - is not concerned, because nothing can now stop the end of the world. Desperate, Bunny usues the Silver Crystal, even though it will kill her. Wiseman however gloats that one Silver Crytsal is no threat to him. Then it is revealed that when Chibiusa touched the future Silver Crystal, she absorbed it into herself. The crystal reappears and Wiseman is horrified, since two Silver Crystals are too much for him and he is destroyed together with the Black Crystal. Bunny and Chibiusa survive due to protecting each other with their respective crystal. Little later Chibiusa returns to the future where Crystal Tokyo is already rebuilding and parents and friends greet her...

End of second Season...

Length German TV-Version: 19:00
Length US-TV Version: 17:47


The US TV Version lacks 1 Minute and 25 Seconds of footage.

Preface


Finally here it is, the second part of 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]-[00:19]
[-19 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Right at the start something is missing. First we do see the Black Crystal surrounded by massive energies. Then we see the naked Chibiusa. The second shot probably is why this got cut, most likely because DiC found child nudity too risky, despite nothing actually being visible.


[00:29]-[01:10]
[-41 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
A whole scene is missing.

The energies from the Black Crystal are about to discharge. From a rooftop Luna and Artemis watch this in great concern. Luna wonders if the Senshi managed to reach Chibiusa, while Artemis ads pessimistically, that if Nemesis' energies are unleashed, Earth will be history. Luna prays that nothing happens to the girls while they have to helpless watch everything from afar.


[02:19]-[02:24]
[-5 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Black Lady attacks with an energy blast, throwing everyone off their feet. Sailor Moon then tries to get up.


[02:25]-[02:54]
Altered Scene
Here the dialogue was twisted into the opposite.

In the Original and German Version, Black Lady wants to kill Sailor Moon, since due to the false memories she hates her the most (long story...). She wants to strike her down, but Mamoru jumps before Moon and takes the attack. Black lady is confused about this act, wondering why Mamoru is willing to sacrifice himself for someone.

In the US Version however, she wants to attack Mamoru right from the start, including hurling some insults, without much of a reason, and also hits her mark. She then wonders why Sailor Moon would want to endanger herself for someone like him.

Apart from the fact that the altered dialogue is painful to listen to and robs the sene of its meaning, the sene now also no longer makes any sense. After all, Sailor Moon did nothing at all - the animation still shows Mamoru protecting Sailor Moon.

[10:49]-[10:55]
[-6 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Wiseman is unhappy about the interference and attacks with powerful energy bolts.


[11:12]-[11:16]
[-4 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The same scene, only in reverse.


[15:00]
[+12 Sec.]

Added Scene
In the US Version there is a ad-break, thus an added fade to black and then a repeat of the destruction of the Black Crystal.


[15:02]-[15:30]
Altered Scene
Several important story facts got destroyed here.

Normally, using the Silver Crystal at full power means the death of the user (as happened to Bunny at the end of season one). Bunny and Chibiusa know this and wonder if they are dead now, but conclude if yes, then it was worth it. However, they then hear Neo-Queen Serenity who tells them du to using two Silver Crystals, they protected each other and thus are alive. She then sends them back.

In the US Version meanwhile they only congratulate each other with stupid words. Serenity only says that two crystals were enough to destroy Wiseman, before sending them back. No actual explanation is given at all.


[17:56]-[17:59]
[-3 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
Due to a digital scene transition, the original fade from Mamoru and Bunny to Crystal Tokyo is missing.


[18:53]-[19:00]
[-7 Sec.]

Shortened Scene
The final part of the episode is missing as well: there is a zoom-out and Crystal Tokyo is seen in its full glory. Bad decision, since this background was especially bautifully drawn.



END OF THE SECOND SEASON

The Final Verdict

After both seasons from DiC, it has to be said that Cloverway's next to seasons won't be looked at, since they were released uncut - unlike the first two seasons - and thus can't be compared. Thus the reports end with this episode.

In retrospect, it was a total disaster what iC did with Sailor Moon, only the 4Kids-treatment of One Piece can keep up in terms of censorship. DiC clearly didn't care about the series at all, otherwise this purgatory of censorship, meaningless additions and horrible dub can't be explained. The series practically got ruined in the US.

It can be observed that the censorship became less over time. The first half of season one was censored horribly. Censorship then became less, though the finale of the first season became the worst disaster of this dub. The second season was less butchered, but the results are still bad enough.

Curiously, the DiC-version will become unavailable shortly, due to Viz Media re-dubbing the entire series, this time without any kind of censorship. While they did screw up their blu-ray versions, it will still replace the old dub very quickly. Considering all the censorship in the old dub, that's a good thing.


Also, the new series "Sailor Moon Crystal" is fully uncensored. However, the series is suffering from the curious problam that it imitates the manga too strongly. All the weaknesses of the manga (and there are lots of them) thus get spotlighted. Also, it is far too hectical and the characters have no time to develop personalities. Many thus still prefer the classic series.