The American dub version of Sailor Moon
is notoriously toned-down for content, mostly violence, death, and anything concerning Japanese culture
. Sex and nudity are cut/toned down too, but it's blink-and-you'll-miss-it (unless you count the "Let's turn two unrelated lesbians into ambiguously incestuous same-sex cousins" editing job they did for Amara and Michelle on Sailor Moon S
or you know so much about the original version that you can tell what the dubbed version changed).
Fortunately, the censors didn't catch everything...
- The DiC English dub of Sailor Moon accidentally created innuendo out of a toned-down line on the season two episode "Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall". The girls are arguing about who should be cast as Snow White in a play. Each girl gives various reasons why she should be the lead. In the original Japanese, Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) says that she should be Snow White because she has the biggest breasts. In the English version, she says she should get the part because she has "the most acting experience and talent." The English line ends at the same point the original Japanese line ends, with a sting at the visual, suggesting to the audience that when Lita means "talent," it doesn't refer to her acting. Naturally, as one might expect, the fandom gave this the expected Memetic Mutation.
- In the German dub, she says, that she should be Snow White, because she's the oldest and therefore a real woman. Close enough.
- The hidden lesbians (Haruka/Amara and Michiru/Michelle) that were rewritten as cousins — that apparently have an incestuous, homosexual attraction to each other. Though, that was an accident (or not) as the localization crew only managed to get rid of the obvious signs that Amara and Michelle are lesbian lovers (i.e., dialogue that makes it clear that they're more than just friends). All others were left to open interpretation by the more eagle-eyed and perverted fans of the show.
- There's the obligatory transformation scenes: although Barbie Doll Anatomy is very much in play (at least in the DiC dub where the outlines of breasts and crotch had to be airbrushed out), the girls are still naked.
- There's a scene during the Sailor Moon S series where Mimete is moaning in very suggestive way right off screen while lifting one of her legs. It turns out that she's playing Twister, but before it's revealed that it was very easy to mistake for very gymnastic sex. This is one of the scenes considered to be even saucier via Dub Text - the sultry moans were cranked up for the U.S. version.
- In one episode of the Sailor Moon S arc (the arc with Sailors Neptune and Uranus), Lita (Makoto) is being stalked by a Monster of the Week who wears a long cloak wrapped around her body and when she runs, no hint of a skirt or shorts can be seen, implying that the cloak is the only thing that's covering her. When the monster confronts Lita (who's out with Amara and Michelle), the monster throws open her cloak and Lita reacts as if she's been flashed. Turns out the Monster of the Week was just wearing a dress with a really short skirt.
- During the manga version of the Black Moon arc, Usagi visits Mamoru's apartment, wearing a cute dress with a blouse underneath. The couple have a romantic scene, he lowers her to the floor, kisses her, end of scene. The next scene takes place the day after... with Usagi in the same dress but no blouse.
- Later in the arc, Sailor Moon is fighting and she summons mental images of her loved ones to strengthen herself. When she thinks of Mamoru, he's shirtless, and it's strongly implied that she's recalling the moment mentioned above.
- The second time Usagi got drunk in the anime (in the S season) happened when she picked up what she thought was a glass of juice while nervously studying English to be able to speak with foreign students at a fancy party. She ended up giggling and chatting hyperactively with Mamoru's old colleagues about the "pudding of relativity", nearly punched Mamoru's lights out in excitement and took up Haruka's offer for a dance, mistaking her for an actual man. All the dub did was change the Japanese-English language conflict to English-French, the alcoholic drink to actual juice and Haruka's request for a dance to Amara offering to give Serena a lesson before Serena dances with Darien, but the dialogue was otherwise as intact. Linda Ballantyne's voicework even made Serena sound more drunk than Usagi sounded in the original.
- Also, in Japan, Haruka is often mistaken for a boy and uses male pronouns when not suited up; the idea with the Even the Girls Want Her bit is that she just makes such a cute one. Removing this for the dub means there's no chance of "ah, forgot for a minute that the cute boy is actually a girl" when moments like this - dialogue changed but all blushing and such intact, similar to the way lesbians became lesbian Kissing Cousins - appear in the dub. So, while on the surface, we remove booze and gay-ness, we actually change the situation from "Usagi, when drunk, forgot the that girl who is so boyish some can't tell the difference wasn't actually a boy for a moment" to "Strong but feminine Amara offers Serena the Hands-On Approach of dance practice. Serena really seems to approve."
- Usagi's English test◊ in the first episode of Sailor Moon S. Very appropriate to give to 15-year-olds... (for those of you who don't know, "new-half" is a euphemism for a MTF transsexual).
- But what's funnier is that the name of the man on the test is one of the creative staff, and when you translate "nanpa" and pair it with the reputation Roppongi has... it's basically describing one of the directors going to Tokyo's Red Light District to pick up a prostitute and getting a shock upon finding out they're a Transsexual! Oh yes, what a perfectly suitable thing to include on schoolwork!
- The above example isn't the only time there were some slip-ins like this, most especially closer to SuperS and Stars, while in Stars Seiya is a little provocative and seemingly in love with Usagi (let's just forget that whole 'disguised as males' thing, it was a lesbian love and you know it!) to the point of showing jealousy of Mamoru in each and every episode (under the mistaken belief that he had dumped Usagi, though to her credit nobody knew what truly happened), trying to kiss Usagi at least twice, and making her think she was going to get raped at one point. (She cornered Usagi, seductively told her she'd show her something "new" and "exciting" which sounded a LOT like she was about to ask Usa for sex... and it turned out to be a dance club date.) Totally appropriate for the 16- to 19-year age groups.
- In "Dog Day For Artemis" when Lita/Makoto is stroking a dog she says, "I think he looks like my old boyfriend...but hunkier." She says this with a completely straight face and Rei gives her a magnificent "WTF" look.
- Though in the anime Usagi and Mamoru's relationship was treated in a much more chaste manner than manga with nary a hint of anything more mature going on than kissing, perhaps due to the fact that the age gap was 14/21 in the anime rather than 14/17 in the manga... Haruka and Michiru's was not. Similar hints that appeared in the manga peppered the anime about them distinctly implying the two did have sex, for example in the SuperS movie Sailor Neptune chastises a villain who is turning adults back into children saying that there are "some fun things only an adult can enjoy!" and Sailor Uranus raises her eyebrow and coughs; Michiru teasing Haruka by flirting with Seiya asking him to undress her and when Haruka complains extending the offer to Haruka instead, and this exchange:
Haruka: (as Michiru is holding her back from a confrontation) You're hurting me.
Michiru: (softly) Am I?
Haruka: I want you to touch me gently.
Michiru: Later, when we're alone.
- One of the first Stars episodes had a similar conversation going.
Michiru: (holding onto Haruka who is dangling off a roof) You're heavy.
Haruka: I don't listen to that sort of talk outside of the bed.
- And again near the end when they're facing Galexia.
Michiru: You're blaming the sword?
Haruka: I don't think I've lost my edge.
Michiru: You want to try it?
Haruka: Later, when we're alone...
- The whole deal with the "Dream mirror catching" in the first part of Super S reeks of sexual allusions. The member of the Amazon Trio who's on the hunt first tries to befriend/seduce his victim... when rejected by her/him he gets her/him immediately restrained with handcuffs onto a horizontal surface... and once the aggressor gets his head inside the mirror, the victim starts screaming...
Minako: [with shiny eyes and a rather unsubtle blush on her face] "Please be gentle... my heart... it could break!"
- Tiger's Eye's laugh whenever he looked in a Dream Mirror. He seemed to enjoy it a bit too much. Especially in one episode where he flat out chases his target to a balcony - and says that someone like her should have some loud dreams.
- One episode has Hawk's Eye target Usagi's mother, and of course Hawk's eye tried to hit on her (Despite that she's married.) The English dub makes it arguably even worse with the talk of Lemon Pie, as well as when he does the famous count...
- Oh, and to further hammer it in... the targets included teenage girls and a nun, and in the case of Fish Eye there was an 8-year-old boy. Tiger's Eye even goes after a girl. And he tells her to close her eyes.... Yeesh, it's amazing the editors got away with this.
- In one of the early seasons, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter are in a tight alley watching the monster of the week, when Mercury tries to use her abilities, but due to tight alley, falls face first, sticking her rear up in the air. If you watch those few frames, Jupiter blatantly looks down at Ami's upturned rear end◊, and even bites her fist for a second◊, blushing furiously. At least one such moment remains in the dub, even getting a "hey, do ya mind?!" reaction.
- Just why was Luna being chased by a group of cats? This scene has some Unfortunate Implications about what they would do to her had she not been saved by a large cat. And if we remember the anatomy of a male cat, it was going to be a very painful experience for Luna.