Sailor Moon Episode 1 Sub Dub Comparison
Plot: Usagi is an ordinary junior high school student. She’s the type to goof off and get bad grades while she daydreams all day. Until, however, a talking cat named Luna informed her that she is really Sailor Moon and that she has to use her magical moon powers to help save the world. Usagi’s friend Naru gets attacked by an enemy as Usagi learns of this. Can she save her friend or will her inexperience prove to be her downfall?
The opening has been replaced. However, the song in the dub keeps the melody from the original song. It’s redone slightly, mostly the inclusion of electric guitar, but it still retains the original melody. That being said, the clips in the background are different, and the lyrics aren’t translations of the original lyrics. The new lyrics basically explain what the show is about. Sailor moon fights evil, she’s in love, she has friends who also fight evil, here are their names, you’re watching Sailor moon. Cliche type lyrics, but it’s certainly an ear worm. That can be credited to using the original melody, though. Also, the dub opening has the words “From a far away place and time, Earth’s greatest adventure is about to begin,” in Star Wars like type before the theme appears.
The dubbed opener has all of the Sailor Scouts (Well, at least the ones introduced in this series.) included whereas the original’s, for this season anyway, has only Usagi, Ami and Rei.
Name change: Usagi Tsukino is changed to Serena Tsukino in the dub. This is a bit disappointing because her name actually has meaning. Usagi Tsukino essentially translates to “Rabbit of the moon” This is poking at an ancient legend, Usagi’s hairstyle, nickname and role as Sailor Moon all at once. Serena is actually an ironic name for her to have. Serena essentially means peaceful, serene, calm and Usagi is anything BUT that. The only reason I can see for this is because oooOOOoohhhspoilersoooohhhhHHH, she’s actually Princess Serenity’s reincarnation. The problem is that Princess Serenity has a completely different personality from Usagi. I’m not denying that Usagi can’t shed her hyper crybaby dumplingheadedness when the time calls for it, but it’s not a very good representation of her actual personality the rest of the time.
In the sub, the episode starts out with showing Usagi sleeping for a bit as she tells us her name and characteristics in narration. She does this at the opening of every episode with the addition of her Sailor Moon identity explanation. Then she wakes up and goes downstairs. In the dub, we get the entire backstory to the series, skip Serena’s intro and just jump straight to her waking up and going downstairs. I especially love this little story because it spoils oh so very much. I mean, the opener spoils enough in terms of who the other scouts will be, but this story shows us Artemis, the rest of the sailor scouts including MAYBE Sailor Neptune? She’s in the picture with Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion, maybe, Queen Serenity, the identities of Princess Serenity and also Prince Endymion (Kinda makes the plot point of finding the moon princess moot when you know that it’s Serena. Of course it’s also obvious in the original, but not as much. Only way it could be MORE obvious is if DiC changed Endymion’s name to Darien. Ahahahahahahahaha……..But they’d never be that dumb, right?)
The opening narration is also skipped in all subsequent episodes.
DiC adds a glow effect to Luna’s crescent mark as Serena takes the bandage off.
They edit out where Usagi and Luna stare at each for a bit. They also edit out a front shot of Luna as she walks towards Usagi. They also add inner monologue coming from Luna. They also edit out the school bell. They also say I say ‘they also’ too much.
Entire show edit: They add in a lot of transitions where there aren’t any in the sub. The transitions are usually cutting away to Sailor Moon’s tiara or flip transitioning in Queen Beryl’s crystal ball.
They skip showing the sign of Usagi’s school as well as her complaining that she’s forced to stand in the hall because she was late. She looks around the hall for a bit before deciding to eat because she missed breakfast. In the dub, they cut straight to her about to eat. This is made even weirder because they add in dialogue like she’s talking to someone asking if they’ve seen the new Sailor V video game. She’s alone in the hallway, why couldn’t they have just made her say she was hungry?
Name change and voice notes: Naru, Usagi’s best friend, is changed to Molly. Also, they gave her one of the worst English dubbed voices in history. It sounds like Harley Quinn going through a blender.
Name change: Umino is changed to Melvin because that’s what all nerdy kids need to be named.
This next scene is a mess. In the original, Usagi doesn’t know anything about Sailor V. When Naru tells her that Sailor V appeared again and saved a jewelry store from being robbed, Usagi gushes, but then wonders who she’s talking about and Naru yells at her for getting excited if she doesn’t know who Sailor V is. Umino pops up and explains that Sailor V is a heroine who has been popping up lately stopping crime. Sailor V then pops up on screen three times as ‘Sailor V’ is said in the background. Then Usagi and Naru gush about gems. Umino also doesn’t realize that Usagi failed the test until Naru brings it up.
In the dub, Molly never yells at Serena, Sailor V is never brought up, Melvin already knows Serena failed her test and offers to be her tutor while Molly makes the incredibly stupid suggestion of going shopping until Serena’s mom forgets about the test even though the dub teacher says her mom needs to sign it and bring it back in. (And I’m sure Serena’s mom would be all “You got a 30 on your test!? Well, it’s okay as long as you went shopping”) Also, they add in way too much dialogue on Melvin in the final shot of that scene. He only says “Usagi-chan” in the original, but they make him say a whole sentence in the dub. He only makes one lip flap and yet they make him babble on.
Entire show edit: They add weird plasma ball effects to Beryls’ staff.
They add a picture of the city to Beryl’s staff after Jadeite shows up.
They edit out a picture of a building before they cut to the jewelry store.
They edit out a frontal shot of Jadeite and his hand absorbing the energy.
Molly: “Serena and I came to see the…”
Serena: “…Rhinestone jewelry!”
God forbid you just translate the words and try to make them fit the mouth flaps properly instead of making awkward dialogue like this.
In the original, after Usagi and Naru get mobbed at the jewelry store, Usagi says she really wants that ring since it’s 30,000 yen when it usually runs for 500,000 yen. They go back and forth about how her dad won’t pay it, especially since she failed her English test and she’s already used up her allowance. In the dub, they talk about how Molly’s mom is acting strange. This is actually funny because Molly says “I dunno, but I’m really worried” with a giant smile on her face. Molly also gasps and says “Where are you going?” when Serena makes no indication that she’s leaving. (Also, why would that make Molly gasp?) Serena says she’s going home to take a nap.
The prices, by the way, are horribly off. In the original, the ring is usually 500,000 yen, roughly 5700 US dollars, but she’ll lower it to 30,000 yen, roughly 350 US dollars. In the dub, she says she’ll sell the ring to her for 10 DOLLARS. That’s quite the jump, DiC.
Why did dub Serena throw that test away? Her teacher said she needed it back signed. You’ll get in even more trouble if you throw it away, moron.
Even though Mamoru is kinda rude to Usagi in the original, he just tells her to study harder after seeing her grade. He doesn’t call her stupid or lazy like Darien does. They also change Usagi’s nickname ‘Dumpling Head’ to ‘Meatball Head’ because America doesn’t have dumplings apparently.
They edit out a faraway shot of Mamoru as Usagi turns around. She also calls him a weirdo in the original, not cute. Also, nice song cue on Darien. It was no secret he was Tuxedo mask, but adding that song cue just makes it too obvious.
They edit out a repeat of Sailor V popping up on screen doing various poses.
Entire show edit: They edit out the commercial break eyecatch in the dub. Which is weird. They purposely add in lame transitions, but they can’t keep a cool eyecatch?
Usagi’s English test is changed to Algebra…..Ya know, we have English class in America too.
They edit out the shot of Usagi’s family name plate. They also add that Melvin and Serena stayed up all night studying.
They edit out the introduction of Usagi’s little brother. He kicks her in the butt, asks her if their mom locked her out again, then says he wishes he had a better sister before going in the house. Usagi then yells at him. This entire scene is cut out.
They don’t include some dialogue from the sub where Luna thanks Usagi for taking off that bandage. They also omit her saying that having her crescent mark being covered makes her unable to talk and lessens her abilities.
In the sub, the words that trigger Usagi’s transformation are Moon prism power, Make-up! In the dub it’s just Moon prism power.
Right before Luna and Sailor Moon go after Naru, Usagi points to herself and basically says “eh?” In the dub, they make her say okay, which makes it look awkward because her words aren’t matching her facial expression.
It’s at this point that you truly realize DiC sucks at lipsyncing. They just do.
In the original, one of the mind controlled women comes after Usagi with a broken (beer?) bottle. In the dub, this is edited out and replaced by Morga attacking her instead. Because of this, the scene where Morga attacks is repeated in another scene a minute later.
I guess I’ll take this opportunity to bring this up; it’s amazing how Usagi/Serena actually keeps her identity secret. At least Sailor V wears a mask for a while. Just because she changes clothes, no one recognizes her.
Sailor Says: The dub adds this cheesy “message of the day” segment to the end of each episode. Today was all about putting your mind to something to achieve it….which is weird, because she was just handed magical powers, cried half the time, needed to be saved before just saying a line to defeat the enemy. It’s not like she put much effort into it. Eventually they run out of ideas for this segment and just let it repeat.
Ending: The ending song is replaced by repeating the opening song. They also replace the ending animation and just add show clips in a picture in picture box.
They don’t include next episode previews in the dub.
Coming up next, a fortune-teller is taking the city by storm, but it’s really Jadeite’s demon taking people’s energy. This episode was never dubbed, but I’ll be talking about it for completion purposes.