Sailor Moon is one of the most well-known anime series around the world. Originally a manga series by Naoko Takeuchi, the series expanded into five seasons and has now been re-released as Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon has had a cultural impact in both Japan and America. Sailor Moon's history in America has had less than stellar roots. When it was first dubbed into English by DIC, the amount of censored content made it almost unwatchable by older audiences familiar with the original series. DIC attempted to make Sailor Moon more child-friendly and tried to strip away its original Japanese roots. From completely gender swapping to removing any references to LGBT characters, the English dub is heavily criticized. Censors wanted to appeal to their target demographic: children. Fans began to learn exactly how much censors cut from Sailor Moon to make it more friendly to Western children when the original versions of anime become more accessible. Entire episodes were cut, and everyone had an American name. Over time, dubs decreased in popularity with anime fans, for fear that they were missing out on content in the original series. We've listed some of the major changes censors made to the American version of Sailor Moon. There are several spoilers throughout our list. For the sake of those who only know Sailor Moon from the Western English dub, we've used the character's American names and refer to the Sailor Senshi as the Sailor Scouts. After refusing to live with her father, Raye moved into the Hino Temple to live with her grandfather, a Shinto Priest.
In the American series, Raye's Grandfather is a happy man who loves to joke around. He likes Raye's friends but tries to stay out of their way. In the Japanese version, Raye's grandfather often flirts with the young girls who visit the shrine. He would harass any female that came near Hino Temple, including Raye's friends. He is known for being perverted around teenage girls. He went so far as to propose to Amy. In Sailor Moon R, his harassment became so severe that no women stopped visiting the Hino Shrine. The local newspaper published an article about his perverted behavior. To meet women, he decided to abandon being a Shinto priest and find a job where he could interact with young women again. Serena is a fun-loving teenager who often acts more immature than her friends. In "Worth a Princess' Ransom," she's thrilled to dress up and attend a fancy ball. Though her mission is to find out of the visiting princess is also the missing Princess of the Moon, Serena makes time to indulge herself. The American version has Serena get sick after drinking too much juice. The juice also makes her face red and her actions more clumsy. In the original version, Serena drinks too much alcohol and gets drunk. She also receives her first kiss from Tuxedo Mask. The kiss sequence was changed to a dream in the American localization.
With Darien as the Prince, the girls compete for who will be cast as Snow White.
The censors would change alcohol for juice again in "Everything's Coming Up Rosey." To decrease her anxiety around English-speaking Americans, or French in the American edit, Serena drinks too much juice. Again, she becomes "sick" instead of drunk. Besides from Mina, Lita was one of the most independent, mature members of the Sailor Scouts. After her parents died in a plane crash, Lita rented an apartment and learned how to cook, even though she was only 14 years old. Lita also has a few characteristics that make her stand out more than her friends. In "Steal a Kiss from Darien! An's Project Snow White", the girls try to help Darien with his play of Snow White. With Darien as the Prince, the girls compete for who will be cast as Snow White. The girls argue why they should be cast. In the Japanese version, Lita claims she should be Snow White because she has the largest chest size. In the American dub, this was changed to Lita claiming she had the "biggest talent." Though the script was changed, Lita still prominently displays her chest to Raye on screen.
Japanese culture displays more nudity on screen compared to America. Many older anime series with a young female demographic had scenes featuring nudity. During the transformation scenes, the Japanese children were not shocked or horrified to see a nude girl. The nudity was shown to display how a transformation worked: the girl's clothes disappeared so that her more powerful battle clothing could be applied. Any nudity shown is not to make the young women appear attractive, but to display their innocence. In American media, nudity is blurred out, especially on shows for kids. DIC promoted Sailor Moon for children and censored several scenes that implied nudity. During bath scenes, the water is changed to be darker to hide the girls' bodies. If the water didn't cover up enough of the girls, the waterline was higher. Any scene that showed lines on the body to display breasts or public areas, such as the transformation scenes, were also removed. In the original Sailor Moon series, Dead Moon Circus's Fish Eye was a male character.
Instead of killing Darien, Fish Eye kisses him instead.
He was more feminine in personality and personality than his other teammates. He only targeted other males, often by making them fall in love with him. Fish Eye's gender was swapped from male to female in the American version of Sailor Moon due to his LGBT character. Fish Eye's sexuality is explored further in the episode "A True Reflection." Censors completely changed the script to remove all LGBT references. Fish Eye succeeds in looking into Darien's dreams. Fish Eye made his LGBT preference known when falling for Darien. Instead of killing Darien, Fish Eye kisses him instead. Censors also changed this so that it would appear a female Fish Eye kissed Darien. If you were a faithful viewer of the English dubbed Sailor Moon show, you might have had all of the Sailor Scouts' transformation poses and attack names memorized. As the seasons progressed, you may have found yourself getting confused at the names. You may have wondered why one attack had multiple names, like "Venus Love Chain Encircle" and "Super Venus Love Chain." The attack names also added the planet names to the phrase, perhaps so that children will know which attack belongs to which Sailor Scout. It was always an exciting moment when these ordinary teenage girls transformed into their powerful Sailor Scout forms. Their original transformation phrases were all in English.
Death is never explicitly stated in the American localized version.
The phrases also all ended with "Make Up." For some reason "Make Up" was dropped from the phrase. Many assume that Sailor Moon is just a lighthearted show for girls. Though there are comical moments, the show has several serious life-or-death moments. In the American show, most of the violence was reduced or completely removed. When Nephrite is stabbed, instead of his wound having red blood, it's changed into green to make him appear like a monster. During a battle when Zoisite attacks Tuxedo Mask, her attack is only implied. But the censors don't always get it right. In the following episode, his injury is shown surrounded by blood. Death is never explicitly stated in the American localized version. When someone died, the other characters only stated they were destroyed or eliminated. This vague language opens up the possibility that the character survived instead of dying. When Naoko Takeuchi first created the Sailor Moon series, she developed Japanese names that fit the character and their purpose.
Usagi Tsukino translates into "rabbit of the moon", yet her American name Serena has no direct meaning to her character. The names were changed to make them more accessible for American children. Children in America would be more familiar with Lita than they would Makoto Kino. Most of the localized names have no last names, which was less information for children to memorize. They could spend more time watching the show than trying to learn their names. Making the names more American also meant that children would see Sailor Moon more as an original American show. DIC hoped that children would not notice the original Japanese roots of the show. DIC made several changes to Sailor Moon to make child-friendly friendly. Though most fans were older, that didn't stop them from assuming most viewers were young. DIC wanted children to look up to the characters of Sailor Moon as role models, which many already did, but they wanted to emphasize their heroism. In "Sailor Mercury Moving On?", Darien drives Amy to the airport.
Not only is this scene flipped so that he is driving on the right side of the road, a seatbelt has been edited onto Amy. DIC also removed several scenes where Serena sticks her tongue out. They believed this was immature and didn't want to encourage younger viewers to replicate it. The most memorable addition was DIC's "Sailor Says" segment at the end of every episode. These were added for educational purposes, and to encourage young viewers to make good moral choices. If you were a Sailor Moon fan when it originally aired, you probably wanted more episodes instead of reruns. DIC, who made the dub of the first season, had access to all 89 episodes, but only released 82. They believed that the cut episodes were too controversial and inappropriate for children. Cut content includes Melvin accidentally offending their teacher, Miss Haruna, by flipping up her skirt and exposing her underwear.