Plot: A girl named Ami is blowing everyone away with her fantastic grades and tests scores. As Usagi tries to create a friendship with her to get help with her exams, Luna believes that she might be an enemy with an evil plot. When it’s revealed that the cram school that she is attending is just a front for evil purposes, it seems like Ami is the culprit, but is that truly what she is, or is she on the side of good?
Title Change: The Girl Genius is a Monster – The Brainwashing Cram School of Horror is changed to Computer School Blues.
A front shot of the house is edited in for the dub to ensure that we knew that they cut to Serena’s house. Also, they cut out a close up shot of the magazine/manga that she’s reading.
They edit out a shot where Usagi’s face goes blank and is covered by a gigantic anime sweatdrop.
In the original, Usagi’s mom asks her how she did on her mock exam. Usagi says not to worry because the results won’t even be back until tomorrow. Then her mom basically says that she doesn’t ask for miracles in terms of her grades, she just asks her to please not fail. Then Usagi starts bawling and says that if someone’s getting the top grades someone must inevitably be at the bottom and that it’s not fair to yell at her just because she gets bad grades. Her mom then tells her that she may not study but she always has time to come up with excuses and that she’s the one who should be crying.
In the dub, Serena’s mom asks her why she’s not studying because she has a test tomorrow. Then Serena says not to worry because it’s tomorrow afternoon. Then her mom stops her and tells her that she and Serena’s father are worried that she might flunk out of school and asks her where they went wrong with her. Serena then starts bawling and says that things are different from when she was a kid and school is a lot harder and there’s more pressure so she desperately needs a break. Then her mom says that that excuse won’t work because she used to use the exact same excuse on her parents.
In the original, Luna walks by and praises Usagi for finally studying. Then Usagi says that’s easy for her to say and that she wishes that she were a cat because they don’t have to do anything. Luna rebuts by saying that she’s doing everything that she can to find the Moon Princess and fight evil.
She jumps on the desk and discovers that Usagi is reading manga. She scolds Usagi and tells her that finding the princess and fighting evil is her responsibility too. Usagi asks who the evil force is, and Luna replies that even she doesn’t really know.
In the dub we get a long lecture about doing homework from Luna. Serena asks why she even needs to do homework if she’s destined to be a Sailor Scout (Because that comes with a dental plan, right?) and Luna tells her that even Sailor Scouts need to study to learn about the world and yada lecture yada. No mention of the Moon Princess or anything. Also, during this scene in the original, Luna blows out one of those cartoonish puffs of air. In the dub, this is edited out.
At the end of the scene, Usagi makes a displeased face, but this is removed from the dub by repeating and reversing a previous shot of her looking at Luna.
They edit out the title screen of the Sailor V video game when Luna turns it on.
In the original, Luna’s password is “The rabbit on the moon makes rice cakes,” to which the person on the other line responds “The moon rice cakes are sticky.” Luna replies “When I grilled them they puffed up.” In the dub, Luna’s password is one phrase, and it’s something like “I like tuna fish and field mice pudding.” …..Uh….who the hell is making Luna field mice pudding? Ughghghg.
Luna is the one that provides the mystery person on the computer the information about sensing weird energy and showing a picture of Ami. In the dub, the mystery person gives Luna this information.
In the original, there’s a shot of the giant board that has everyone’s mock exam scores on it, and everyone’s clamoring over Ami Mizuno getting the best grades. Out in the hallway, Usagi and her friends talk about Ami and state that she’s not only the smartest person in school but in the entire country as well. Umino then pops up and says that she’s incredibly smart and her IQ is over 300.
In the dub, the shot of the grade board is edited out partially because they removed the mention of the mock exam and partly because Japanese. In the hall, they claim that Amy goes to someplace called Brighton Academy which is apparently a place for huge brainiacs. When Melvin pops up he basically shows interest in doing a study on her.
In the original, immediately after that scene, Umino says that she goes to a place called Crystal Cram School. We learn that Ami’s mother is a doctor, they’re likely rich and that she got into Crystal Cram School on a full scholarship. Then the girls speculate that she’s actually a snob who thinks that she’s better than everyone else because of her intelligence.
In the dub, Melvin says that he’d like to meet her (Well, she’s right down the hall….) And Serena says that he’d blow out his brain cells just by talking to her. We don’t get the same rich/mother doctor/scholarship explanations as the original. Instead, we get early speculations that she’s a snob and then we get speculations that she’s actually stupid and got kicked out of Brighton Academy. Wow, between this and the “Where did we go wrong with you?” comment from before, it sounds like DiC felt like being a jerk to everyone during production.
Name change-ish?: Ami (Ah-mee) Mizuno is changed to Amy (Ey-mee) Mizuno. This is slightly disappointing because Ami’s name has meaning. Her name literally translates to “Friend of Water” Amy apparently means “Much loved.”
After they discover that Ami was listening to them, Usagi laughs nervously and everyone else follows suit and then we get sweatdrops on everyone’s heads. In the dub, the sweatdrops are edited out.
In the original, Usagi wonders how nice it would be to be so smart like Ami. Then she dreads her mother yelling at her about her grades. We see a stillframe daydream where her mother is dragging her off to cram school on a leash. In the dub, Serena’s excited to get home for a snack, but then dreads her mother asking how she did on the test. The daydream is edited out, as is another puff of air, and she then says that she should slow down to avoid going home and facing her.
The scene where Luna jumps on Ami is greatly sped up in the dub. It’s almost comical. I dunno if they did this to save time or to make it seem less….’scary’ I dunno.
Okay, what is up with Amy’s dub voice? I conceded to the fact that sometimes dubbers make people who are very polite in the original version English/British because screw Americans sounding polite and intelligent (*belch*) but geez, she sounds almost like a parody. I really don’t remember her sounding so ridiculous. Maybe she gets better over time.
In the original, Ami says that since Luna jumped down from the sky that she thought that she was an angel. Usagi then thinks to herself that Ami’s a lot sweeter than she thought and then smiles at her. In the dub, Amy says that she heard Melvin say that she thought she was a snob and a brainiac school reject. Serena then says that it was a joke and smiles.
In the original, Usagi introduces herself and Luna. Ami asks if Luna means ‘Moon’, and Usagi gushes and says that she’s correct. She says that, of course, the genius would be able to catch something like that right away, making Ami blush. In the dub, Serena explains all the sights around town like the arcade and the candy stores, and Amy asks where the library is. Serena asks why she would want to know that, and Amy responds that she spends her weekends there (I should stop here and say that Ami isn’t a transfer student in the original. She’s just in a different class.) Then Serena basically asks if she’s from outer space because only nerds like Melvin go to the library for fun…..
Two things; One – In the original, Ami is constantly being suspected as a youma/demon on the side of the enemy. Though they don’t call her a demon in the dub and choose to instead say that she’s probably simply working for the Negaverse, they seem to be making something out of her being an alien. They call her an alien at the beginning preview and now this outer space thing. Two – STOP TREATING AMY LIKE CRAP.
In the original, Usagi has a little thought bubble by her head of her as a little demon as she thinks that she can befriend Ami to help her study and get better grades. (IE mooch off of her work). In the dub, instead of painting over that bubble, that cut right before the bubble appears and repeat the ½ second footage of her walking over and over to fill that scene up. It’s horribly edited. You can see the repeat footage so clearly that Hanna-Barbera would be laughing at DiC right now.
In the original, Usagi offers to show Ami how to play a game at the arcade believing that she can ask for help on the exam in exchange. In the dub, Amy just reacts to Serena saying that sometimes Luna likes to believe she can talk by nibbling on her ear. Amy says she wishes animals could really talk.
The ending animation and Game Over screen are edited in the dub, but I see no reason why.
I was going to say maybe the gun was the problem, but they keep it in….Poorly edited, I might add.
The video game screen is consistently edited for this entire scene by having a red filter on different CGI footage and I have no clue why.
Also, I’m pretty sure that they cut out a lot of shots of her score going up.
They edit in the same shot of the Game Over screen, this time with a score overlay for Ami’s Game Over. I bring this up because someone in the crowd says that she has over 100,000 points, but the screen says she had 6850 points. However, in the further shots, you can clearly see that her score is indeed over 100,000. This is because the further shots are unaltered. This is pointless because the original had no cutaway to the Game Over screen. It’s a given that walking away from the game means that you’re dead. Pointless editing leads to pointless continuity flub. Wahmp wahmp wahhhhh.
In the original, Ami says that she has cram school every day. Usagi asks why, and she says that studying is her only talent. In the dub, Amy says that she takes a special computer course twice a week for three hours each.
An outside shot of the cram school is cut out because it has a big sign that says Crystal Seminar.
In order to avoid showing a closeup of a sign that’s covered in Japanese (Dun dun dunnnnn) we see a repeat of a closeup shot of Amy’s floppy disk. I don’t get it. Japanese is okay as long as we’re not seeing it too closely?
Because the reaction shot to hearing Mamoru is in the room contained the closeup of the sign, DiC uses a reaction shot that’s supposed to happen later in the scene. The scene containing Mamoru is also shortened due to this.
In the original, Mamoru asks if Usagi’s finally going to do some studying since she’s at the cram school. He then asks if Luna was talking. That’s what causes Usagi and Luna to get really awkward and suddenly run away.
In the dub, Darien asks if she’s talking to herself again, which causes Serena to get really awkward, not really give a response and then run away. This scene is made incredibly awkward, again, due to edits.
In the original, Usagi suddenly turns around after running away a little to see if Mamoru’s still there. A giant thought bubble with a sweatdrop appears and they run away again. In the dub, as Serena’s running away (with her back turned to Darien, mind you) dialogue is inserted where she says “WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME!?” and the sweatdrop thought bubble is edited away. Almost like someone with Serena’s voice was behind her talking to Darien, she heard it, stopped and then turned around. Why would she know that he was staring otherwise?
Later they remove another thought bubble sweatdrop after she realizes that she ran away before returning Amy’s disk.
Well, here’s a surprise. The disk shows a blue screen covered in Japanese text that we actually get a pretty good closeup of. However, DiC doesn’t edit over this at all. I won’t give them full credit, though, because Serena asks “What’s all that stuff?” Congrats, Japan! Your beautiful language has been reduced to ‘stuff’.
In the original, Usagi transforms into a university school nurse as a disguise. In the dub, Serena turns into a school superintendent. She doesn’t change outfits for this or anything, it’s just a dialogue change for no reason. I’m pretty sure it’s easier to pretend to be a school nurse than it is to pretend to be in a position such as school superintendent.
Also, Usagi picks a school nurse presumably so that she can have an excuse for suddenly barging into a class, claiming that she got a call about a sick child. In the dub, she barges into the class yelling “Who’s running this bogus class?!”
First of all, saying ‘bogus’ is an instant red flag that you are not an adult, period, let alone a superintendent.
Second of all, who does that? Why even bother disguising yourself if you were just gonna barge in and act stupid?
In the original, the real enemy reveals itself to be the youma of knowledge and wisdom, Garoben, which proves that Ami wasn’t the youma in question like Luna thought. In the dub, the demon doesn’t reveal her name or title. It’s just assumed that Amy didn’t have a role in the plan since she’s being held hostage.
Before the Sailor Moon speech, Usagi says that geniuses are vital to the world because they help make it peaceful. In the dub, Serena delivers jilted dialogue about “Knowing….what you’re up to!” Seriously, guys, if there’s no mouths flaps to match, there’s no excuse for dialogue like that.
Garoben’s quiz question was based on Newton’s law. Why did the apple fall from the tree? Usagi refuses to guess until Garoben’s attack and then guessed that it was a typhoon. Luna calls her an idiot and says it’s because of gravity. Usagi gives the answer, and the attack ends because she got it right. In the dub, the monster asks her what 355×268 or something is and no one answers. The reason behind the attack suddenly halting is never given.
The follow-up question is, “What is gravity? Explain in less than 50 words.” Usagi claims it’s impossible. In the dub, the monster tells her that she has two choices, surrender now or surrender later. She says she’ll never surrender.
In the original, one of the reasons that the Crystal disk isn’t taking Ami’s brain energy (Yeah, that sounds stupid now that I’ve written it down) is because she didn’t use the disk often due to the fact that she believes in traditional studying over computer work. In the dub, this entire scene is quiet and the only explanation we can surmise for why her energy isn’t being taken is because she’s really Sailor Mercury.
I’m just now realizing how drastically short the Sailor Scouts’ transformation sequences are compared to Sailor Moon’s. Hers is like 20 seconds long. Mercury’s lasts for like 4 seconds.
Attack Name Change: Bubble Spray is changed to Mercury Bubbles Blast!
In the original, Usagi thinks to herself yet again with a big smirk on her face that Ami will help her with her exams now. But Ami just says that she’s glad to be by her side in the fight against evil. The big smirk and that initial thought are edited out. Serena does, however, ask Amy if she’ll help her do her homework. So that’s something.
All I can say is thank God Ami’s finally in the picture. Ami makes this series far more pleasant to watch. I can’t really enjoy it much with just Usagi. I dunno when we’ll meet the others, but yay Ami!
Next up, clocks….
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