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Cut-and-Paste Translation

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"I know what they've done! They've shot that beginning here, themselves. They've cut the picture to pieces!"
Kira Argounova, We The Living

Sometimes when works are translated elsewhere, major changes are made to it, from the scripts to editing the footage. The usual reason is to make it more accessible to the audience for the localization, but other reasons include avoiding Values Dissonance, avoiding the ire of local Moral Guardians, editing to fit in commercial breaks, or otherwise trying to make a series longer or shorter than it was originally to match local syndication packages.


Common methods include:

Fans tend to really dislike this, referring to such translations as "Macekres". The worst of the worst will basically have the entire original script discarded and replaced with an entirely new one. Most of them aren't that bad, but they will frequently Bowdlerize the original, create additional plot holes, or otherwise just cause Adaptation Decay. This is a major plank in the Subbing vs. Dubbing debate.

It's not always a bad thing, though. When the target audience is nearly totally unfamiliar with the work, a translation like this can turn the work into a Gateway Series, helping create new fans who seek out other works. These translations are often thought of fondly, especially by those who saw the dub first and didn't piece together that there was an original version.


The practice is rarer nowadays, as it's becoming easier and easier to immerse oneself in foreign cultures and styles thanks to things like This Very Wiki explaining things. When it happens, it's usually just changes to fit syndication requirements. In any event, editing as heavy as a Cut-and-Paste Translation is expensive.

If the importers actually add new material to something when they import it, it's Importation Expansion.

Compare Woolseyism (changes are made for things that actually won't translate well, and the changes are simply the most pragmatic), Gag Dub (script changes based on Rule of Funny), "Blind Idiot" Translation (where translations don't intend to make changes from the original work, but use the wrong words/grammar such that the meaning is changed), Difficulty by Region, and Dolled-Up Installment.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • The term "Macekre" comes from Carl Macek, who was prolific at this sort of thing and one of the first to do it.
    • Macek's most famous effort was Robotech, a three-way hybridization between Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. These three series are unrelated, and the script was mostly from Macross. Robotech made several changes throughout, including censoring nudity (but not all the violence), changing character's ethnic names from Japanese to English, an original "narrator" who assumed Viewers Are Goldfish, and cutting off a major Macross sequel hook. Anime purists hated it, but it was a commercial success in the U.S. and was indeed credited for creating new anime fans. A subsequent Remaster in 2004 restored much of the original Japanese content, including scenes of violence and nudity. Robotech even got a Recursive Import in Japan (which was credited for reviving interest in the then-moribund Southern Cross).
    • Macek also took Part 1 of Megazone 23, edited in some Southern Cross footage, wrote in his own script, and called the result Robotech: The Movie. The script needed drastic alterations too, because the Macross creators didn't want any similarities to their own film, Macross: Do You Remember Love?. The movie was received much worse than Robotech itself; his distributor couldn't get it into theaters in America because of its tenuous connection to Robotech and it was still too violent for children (possibly as a result of the action coming from poorly shoehorned Southern Cross footage). He later produced a proper uncut dub of part 1
    • Macek also merged Captain Harlock and Queen Millennia to create the rarely seen Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years. The script was also rewritten from scratch, causing many plot holes within both series.
    • Macek rewrote the script for Windaria, which he retitled Once Upon A Time. He trimmed its running time from 102 minutes to 95, rearranged some scenes, gave all the characters Western names, and provided narration which, most egregiously of all, replaced the original's Downer Ending with something more hopeful.
    • Macek was also responsible for the dub of Meikyuu Monogatari's "The Running Man", as shown on MTV's Liquid Television. This one was considered one of his best efforts and is largely an aversion of this trope.
  • Voltron was created by World Events Productions from two unrelated Combining Mecha series, GoLion and Dairugger XV. However, while the plot changes were considerable, the interference between the two combined stories was minimal, and each occurred almost in its own continuity. The biggest change was a Never Say "Die" moment; Sven, who dies in the original, barely survives in the dub. This worked out very well for WEP, because there was such a backlash against his death in the original that they introduced his Backup Twin, which the dub could conveniently say was Sven all along.
  • WEP went on to take Sei Juushi Bismarck, rearrange more things, again refuse to say die, and release it on American television as Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. Some episodes were skipped due to their violent content and replaced with new episodes created from scratch. Not to mention the character of Saber Rider was a secondary character in the Japaneses version. This was another success, again outdoing the original Japanese in ratings. The company thus built a reputation for taking Japanese duds, making them kid-friendly, and salvaging them. They don't actively license anymore, though, as this trope has gone out of style.
  • Mazinger Z got this treatment after Voltron's success, but the dubbers here didn't care a whit about the show's integrity. The result, called Tranzor Z, was reviled by fans, and Go Nagai was frustrated enough with the failure that it took over a decade for any other Dynamic Productions show to reach America.
  • DiC and Cloverway made many, many changes to Sailor Moon to make it more palatable for American audiences. It's nigh impossible to list them all (although some sites have tried), and many of them were rather inexplicable. The biggest changes were of a Never Say "Die" variety (which didn't always leave the plot unscathed), Westernizing names, and trying (and failing) to remove Homoerotic Subtext, even infamously changing a lesbian couple (Sailors Uranus and Neptune) to "cousins" only to get even more subtext than they bargained for. It also resulted in the oddity of the Mexican dub, which was much better received and closer to the original, using the Americanized names for the first two seasons.
    • Interestingly, this wasn't the first crack at Sailor Moon to hit this trope. Toon Makers was bidding for the rights as well, and their plans for the show were so drastic that they included original American footage, both animated and in live-action. Here's some footage of a promo showing how lucky fans were.
  • 4Kids Entertainment (later reformed into 4Licensing Corporation after they were sued for fraud by TV Tokyo post-bankruptcy declaration), was infamous for localizing shows like this, especially in their early years. Their then-CEO, Alfred Kahn, is quoted in Animation World Network saying, "By the time we localize the programs, kids don't even know they're from Japan anymore." Their reputation was rather poor, to say the least, and other companies learned from their mistakes and would produce anime with minimal edits (such as Viz Media, who did this with Naruto and found a Cash Cow Franchise, and FUNimation with many, many more anime franchises, including one of 4Kids' own subjects as seen below).
    • Pokémon: A lot was changed in the early years. Character names were changed (largely to match the games' localizations), and characters' personalities were altered to make them more relatable to American children (and at least in Misty and Brock's case, to tone down the sexuality). It was a hit anyway, even among those who were aware of the changes, although it did become mainstream enough to help establish the anime's Snark Bait reputation in the West. Funnily enough on the other hand, 4Kids' successor in localization of the anime (The Pokemon Company International); ironically gained some reputation out of nostalgia from an older audience of viewers in comparison to TPCI's efforts of localizing, and their dub is seen as their one example of Superlative Dubbing in the West despite the downplayed changes from TPCI.
    • 4Kids also dubbed Tokyo Mew Mew, which it originally wanted to call "Hollywood Mew Mew" before settling on "Mew Mew Power". It's most remembered for being bad, changing practically everything (from the names to the music), and being cancelled halfway through. It got worse outside the United States, as it was often used as a reference for those translations rather than the original, resulting in a nonsensical Recursive Translation (which would also randomly cut itself off at the point where the American version was cancelled).
    • 4Kids is known for dubbing Yu-Gi-Oh!, changing character names and enforcing a strict Never Say "Die" mentality. It also changed the entire premise of the second and third series, boiling down a number of complex self-discovery Character Development arcs into a fight against a villain trying to Take Over the World.
      • 4K Media, the Konami unit that bought the rights to the series post-lawsuit (4Kids' lawyers convinced the judge to block any other dubbing productions in international territories during it), would prove themselves capable of bastardizing the series even further, simply to just spite the fans. It's a ready source of mockery among fans, and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series never misses an opportunity to highlight the dub's absurdity (ironically, 4Kids have enjoyed The Abridged Series).
    • One of 4Kids' better dubs was Shaman King, a show with death, blood, possession, and slapping. They tried to do a Pragmatic Adaptation and kept a lot of the violence in, including a point where the Big Bad beats the crap out of Yoh, rips the soul out of his body, and eats it whole. The Moral Guardians didn't approve, the schedulers wouldn't give it the time of day, and the show's reputation was wrecked in the U.S. anyway. This led to 4Kids' experience in dubbing One Piece below...
    • ...and their dub of One Piece, by contrast, changed as much as it could after realizing that the series didn't fit their demographic when they acquired the license to the series. Given the long-running and intricate story, they only succeeded in creating a morass of plot holes, removing whole episodes and even story arcs (Laboon and Little Garden). It also went big into Never Say "Die" and Frothy Mugs of Water (but failed to fix a sequence where Luffy tries to cheat at a Drinking Contest), and it went nuts removing all traces of weaponry, once digitally changing a rifle into a shovel (only for a mob wielding shovels to be edited into bizarre neon blobs later). The resulting dub reduced the first 144½ episodes to 104 total episodes. After 4Kids finally dropped the license to One Piece, FUNimation redubbed the entire series, including the 4Kids-era episodes for the post-2007 DVD releases.
  • Nelvana, a Canadian distribution studio, edited Cardcaptor Sakura and turned it into "Cardcaptors". While their dub Anglicized the characters' names and censored some of the more controversial relationships (such as Tori/Julien and Rita's love for her teacher), it was otherwise passable for a Saturday morning dub. However, the US broadcast on Kids' WB! is the one most people remember, since it was extremely hacked up and rewritten. In a rather clumsy attempt to widen the show's appeal beyond its original demographic, half the first season was cut out or chopped up into flashback sequences, the episode order changed drastically, and the scripts were rewritten, trying to turn supporting character Li Syaoran into a lead character alongside the original heroine. At the same time, a much more accurate subtitled version was released on tape and DVD under the original name; the DVD version of the original sold so much better that the dub version was discontinued.
  • Vision of Escaflowne was edited in this way by Fox Kids. Most of the drama was removed or rendered incoherent, and the resulting mess was quickly canceled. Furthermore, the first episode was cut entirely because of Fox's concerns that the Hitomi-centric episode would make boys think it was a "girls' show". The uncut version of the dub by The Ocean Group was released on DVD in 2003, and the edited-for-TV version was mercifully forgotten by most. The dub's failure also sidelined Fox Kids' plans for Slayers and Magic Knight Rayearth; all three shows were picked up largely in an ill-advised attempt to stick it to Toonami.
  • The Dragon Ball franchise ran into several attempts to localize it before finally hitting its stride:
    • The earliest attempt to launch Dragon Ball in the U.S. was from Harmony Gold, responsible for Robotech and Captain Harlock above. While their test dub was much more faithful to the original than their previous efforts, it still changed lots of dialogue and Westernized all the names, with such gems as Zero and Bongo for Goku and Krillin respectively; and Whiskers the Wonder Cat aka Korin. This dub only covered the first five episodes, but Harmony Gold also produced a TV special made up of footage from the first and third movies, with heavily altered dialogue combining the two stories together.
    • Next crack at it was FUNimation, working The Ocean Group in 1995 on Dragon Ball. This dub only had the first movie as a pilot and the first 13 episodes. Interestingly, the script was mostly recycled from Harmony Gold's earlier dub of the film, with the result that it also had heavy censorship and altered dialogue (although it would also factor prominently into FUNimation's uncut redub years later). They decided to cut their losses and move straight to Dragon Ball Z.
    • For the first dub of Dragon Ball Z, Saban Entertainment joined Ocean and FUNimation as a partner. Many early episodes were cut and rearranged, the third movie was chopped into three separate episodes, many scenes were digitally censored, and nobody died — they were just "sent to another dimension". Some additional Early Installment Weirdness resulted from incomprehensible guidance from Japan. The resulting dub reduced the first 66½ episodes and third movie into 56 total episodes. It failed to find an audience in weekly syndication, but proved to be a huge success on Cartoon Network's then-new Toonami block, allowing FUNimation to continue the show with their own in-house dub. FUNimation's dub mostly averted this, since while it replaced the soundtrack and toned down some of the dialog, it was largely uncensored.
    • For their dub of Dragon Ball GT, FUNimation cut the first 16 episodes into one recap episode, replaced the intro with a rap song, and went for a Darker and Edgier tone than the source material.
  • Transformers goes both ways!
    • When Beast Wars, a rather dark series with somewhat outlandish comic relief moments at times, was dubbed into Japanese, it received a Gag Dub with no sense of self-restraint and a few other random changes, such as turning the Predacons' computer into a character (or characters) named Naviko. Many Japanese Transformers fans were quite unhappy with this. The blame for this can be pinned on director Yoshikazu Iwakami, who applied this same wacky, over-the-top dubbing style to every future American-made Transformers series until he left after Transformers Prime.
    • By contrast, American fans were quite pleased with 2001's Transformers: Robots in Disguise which rewrote the bland Transformers: Car Robots as a maybe-sequel to The Transformers cartoon (it was later determined by Fun Publications to exist in its own universe). Its endearingly quirky characters and the added Mythology Gags were a surprise hit in America, while Car Robots had done so badly in Japan that it was pulled from television before airing its finale. The changes eventually cross-pollinated back to Japan, albeit not without some Continuity Snarl.
    • The dub of Transformers Armada was heavily rushed, leading to many cases of characters being referred to by the wrong name and a lot of weird, out-of-place dialogue that didn't relate to what was actually happening onscreen.
    • While Armada's dub might have had some problems, it was still nothing compared to the one its sequel series, Transformers Energon got. Not only does it have many of the same problems as Armada due to also being severely rushed, with the same awkward dialogue and wrong names, it also has many deliberate changes, including the removal of Primus's dialogue and scenes seemingly at random—one moment a scene where Primus speaks will be dubbed faithfully, the next references to him will be removed and replaced with vague mentions of "the core", with characters just suddenly "knowing" plot-relevant information for no reason. An entire episode also was omitted from the dub for some reason, and its absence caused several plot-holes in the story. Oh, and Never Say "Die" was in full effect.
    • Transformers Cybertron, the sequel to Armada and Energon, was by contrast considered a Woolseyism of the highest order, but its dub caused its own share of problems. In Japan, Cybertron was an independent series and not a sequel. This didn't cause much stress until Galaxy Force came out. Fun Publications would later reconcile the continuity errors by shoehorning in a few lines about the "Unicron Singularity" warping the very fabric of reality itself, and manufacturing three shots of the previous series' characters in the series finale. Ironically, Galaxy Force has since been retconned into Micron Legend continuity in Japan.
  • Digimon has a number of Dub Induced Plot Holes across the individual shows, mostly concerned with characters mentioning sibling and pets they didn't have, as they produced them so close to the original that it was hard to predict whether any lines would cause continuity errors later on. Beyond that, they mostly just changed names (although some were Westernized, and others were changed to different Japanese names). Fan Dumb was not impressed.
    • The worst from the series would be the second season of Digimon Adventure, where Executive Meddling resulted in a lot of forced humor, most of it at Davis' expense, to the point that it made Davis look like a complete dumbass. The second season's Non-Serial Movie, Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!/The Golden Digimentals, was also combined with two short anime movies about the kids from the first season; with a lot of reworking having to be done to cram the continuities together.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior is more or less given the cold stare from the Mega Man Battle Network fandom for being a total mess of changed names, randomly edited scenes, and other strange changes. The name changes in particular were weird, not because the fandom preferred the original Japanese, but rather that the characters already had Westernized names from the localized source material, the Battle Network video games. This led to characters with three names. The same thing happened to some NPCs in Mega Man Star Force.
  • Tekkaman Blade got a fairly standard Macekre-ish dubbing into Teknoman for release in English-speaking countries. Oddly enough, after a Full Run In Australia, the series was Macekred even more before being released in the US.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman wins a lifetime achievement award for this trope. There have been five separate English dubs of various parts of the franchise: Battle of the Planets, G-Force: Guardians of Space, Eagle Riders, the Urban Vision dub of the Gatchaman OVA, and finally ADV Films' dub of the original series. The ADV dub is the only one of these that didn't have character names and plot points rewritten wholesale.
    • The first of these adaptations, Battle of the Planets, is generally thought to be its own separate entity due to the amount of censorship and rewrites that went into it, along with the newly-added Off-Model animation made to cover up the missing material. It's an early example of a Macekre, even with its better points. Most overseas releases of Gatchaman based their scripts off of this adaptation (since Sandy Frank held the international license), although there would be the occasional dub that stuck to the Japanese version or those that adapted from G-Force and Eagle Riders.
    • While most of these English adaptations used either the first Gatchaman TV series or OVA for their source material, Eagle Riders was a Macekre of the second and third series (Gatchaman II and Gatchaman Fighter). Numerous episodes were cut, some episodes were rearranged or had portions from others spliced together, nobody could die, and the series ended on a random episode with no resolution to the main plot.
  • The German dub of Naruto is unintentionally hilarious. They took the already somewhat edited American version and EDITED IT EVEN FURTHER!, going so far as to erase any nosebleed. They also took Never Say "Die" to the extreme (like Orochimaru suggesting to Kabuto he'd have to "hide Sasuke forever"), often made weapons look like lightsabers, removed things like sword blades (resulting in a scene where a giant sword stuck in a tree becomes a weird levitating stick), enforced Dull Surprise among the voice actors, and replaced action scenes with Inaction Sequences on par with Dragon Ball Z. You can guess what things like the Haku-Zabuza arc looked like. Furthermore, they cut the entire backstory of Kyuubi attacking the village. If that isn't enough, the first German opening. The second fared no better.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats is one of the most successful of these translations. Saban Entertainment wrote an entirely original script for it, matching the dialogue to the Mouth Flaps and whatever was happening on screen. The result was a hilarious Gag Dub that even the Japanese creators preferred.
    • The Dub wasn't without its problems though. Most notably, Speedy's and Polly's relationship was cut out entirely from the series, making his proposal to her in the final episode pretty much come out of nowhere. It also led to speedy's Two-Timer Date with Polly and Lucille instead being just a date with Lucille and an weird 'undercover mission' with Polly.
    • Exactly why all of this happened has been the subject of various rumors for a long time. The most common of these says that the original Japanese creators sent over all the footage and sound effects to Saban, but not the dialogue or the script, forcing them to improvise. Robert Axelrod, who was one of the writers, claims that they totally did have scripts, but in Engrish.
  • Jim Terry's American Way company would often do this, especially with Merchandise-Driven shows. Terry made Force Five out of several Super Robot shows, cut out 40 minutes from the Crusher Joe movie to make "Crushers", and cobbled the first season of Time Bokan into two 95-minute features, Time Fighters and Time Fighters in the Land of Fantasy.
  • Space Battleship Yamato was dubbed into Star Blazers. It had the usual for this trope; dead bodies were edited out, Dub Induced Plot Holes, and Never Say "Die" (even for characters who would be revived later). Odder things involved super-futuristic Westernized names, strange voice acting decisions (like giving the Season 3 Big Bad a ridiculous Russian accent), and removing some Character Development (degrading some moments to a Senseless Sacrifice). The Comet Empire movie also suffered from this as well, in addition to having 20 minutes cut from it.
  • "Knights of the Zodiac", the English broadcast dub (though not the ADV Films dub) of Saint Seiya tried to eliminate all references to death, excessive violence and religion out of a show about saints of the Greek goddess Athena fighting holy wars against the servants of a corrupt pope. And that's not even taking into account changing a ridiculous amount of blood into "spiritual energy" and giving the Siberian a surfer's accent, and cutting some pretty epic music.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena was an interesting aversion. Enoki Films, the licensors, had Westernized names all ready to go for promotional material, but the American distributors, Central Park Media, decided to use the original names. The Enoki Films names would be used in other regions, though, like the Philippines and Latin America — the latter did have to deal with this sort of translation, as what was now "Ursula's Magic Ring" was aired in a children's timeslot.
  • Glenat's Spanish translations were largely poorly received for this reason, especially Mahou Sensei Negima!, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and Hayate the Combat Butler. The latter was particularly poorly dubbed, as it removed almost all non-visual Shout-Out gags (despite them being integral to the series' humor), creating huge Dub Induced Plot Holes, and most bizarrely, creating new (and Totally Radical) dialogue in some instances but refusing to translate at all in others.
  • The official English translation of Mahou Sensei Negima!! can be quite spotty depending on who's doing the translation; volumes 5, 20, and 21 all mess around with the translation a bit. Volume 1 is worst though, as entire conversations were completely rewritten to be lead-ins to (bad) jokes, and it was stuffed full of pointless pop culture references; the only thing saving the volume being the Narm Charm. Fortunately, Kodansha USA noticed, and now that they're in charge of the English release, the translation quality has improved and the first three volumes are being retranslated.
  • In 1985, footage from Go Shogun and Akū Daisakusen Srungle, a similar show produced by Kokusai Eiga-sha, was combined to form Macron-1, which portrays the Srungle characters as being part of another branch of the organization fighting evil in a parallel universe. This combined series was produced and released in the United States by Saban. They accomplished this by having each series' protagonist be a Parallel Universe version of the same character. It was voiced by the same crew who did Robotech.
  • The French version of Ranma ½ can compete with the worst American output. Almost all names were changed to French ones, which couldn't even stay consistent throughout the series. It was heavily edited to make the series more child-friendly, especially concerning nudity or Happōsai's Dirty Old Man behavior. The worst, though, is that the characters kept switching voice actors, which made things confusing and made the actors' performances suffer (not that they had much to work with to begin with). The manga translation and Mexican dub had similar problems, but at least the characters' names were unchanged there.
  • Anyone who has read the US manga version of Battle Royale will run into some outcry against what writer Keith Giffen did to the story's dialogue. To be fair, this was not entirely his fault, as he was simply following orders from Tokyopop. In fact, Tokyopop later explained why they allowed Giffen to mess with the original script. It's also worth mentioning that none of the violence and sex got cut, so plenty of author Koushun Takami and artist Masayuki Taguchi's work for the Japanese version remains intact. Still, the major changes (turning the program into a Reality Show, a conceit that utterly fails by the final volume), will have purists shaking their heads.
  • In the American dub of Kirby of the Stars (entitled Kirby: Right Back at Ya!), the finale episodes in Japan were aired in the middle of the series in the American dub and edited as a way to promote the then-upcoming Kirby Air Ride.
  • Though they never succeeded, if you look up the Gaga Communications trailers for 1988 on YouTube, they were clearly anticipating this trope. Titles and character names for series (including some ones which eventually went on to be well-known in the West), for example, and some details of the stories are already changed — all without a single bit of English dubbing. Perhaps this is just as well — for example, imagine Project A-ko as "Supernova". (This particular trailer inspired someone to do a Bowdlerized fan-edit of the first episode as if it had been taken up by Celebrity Home Entertainment for their "Just for Kids" label- which can also be found on YouTube.)
  • The European Portuguese dub of Dragon Ball Z did this to such an extent that it became So Bad, It's Good. The dialogue is nonsensical and the voices are exaggerated, but when you have King Kai trying to call the fire department to stop Earth from exploding, it loops back around to hilarious.
  • The English dub of the 2001 Cyborg 009 series suffered this, as part of Sony Pictures' attempt to sanitize it for younger viewers. The dialogue changes and visual cuts also carried over to other countries that Sony distributed the anime through, as they were given the English dub scripts to adapt. It also experienced inconsistent dubbing, with the faithfulness of scripts and dialogue varying heavily, and some episodes' flashbacks not even retaining the dialogue that was in the sourced episodes. When the first few episodes appeared on Toonami, complaints from Moral Guardians caused further edits, removing any questionable language, mentions of 002's atheism (and his Jerk with a Heart of Gold nature in general), and a stronger Never Say "Die" attitude.
  • Saban Brands had also pulled this off with the English adaptations of Smile Pretty Cure! and DokiDoki! PreCure (which were renamed to Glitter Force and Glitter Force Doki Doki respectively), by either removing or combining two episodes together, resulting in a shorter run time compared to the Japanese original. While Smile didn't loose too much from this, Doki Doki was hit hard with uneven pacing and missing arcs from having over 19 episodes re-cut or removed entirely, since Doki Doki was purposefully designed so that it can't be abridged after Toei received criticism from Smile's constant use of Filler.

    Asian Animation 
  • Yoohoo and Friends was originally a Korean cartoon about Ridiculously Cute Critters going on wacky adventures. The US version, created by David Feiss, threw in a subplot about the titular characters being Corrupt Corporate Executives who were turned into animals as punishment for their crimes against the environment. The contrast between the original footage and the new footage is very noticable and jarring.
  • Space Thunder Kids is what happens when this trope is applied to a hodgepodge of old, mostly ripped-off Korean animated films, and done in the same off-the-wall incomprehensible manner as the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies (unsurprising since both were produced by Joseph Lai).

    Card Games 

  • Foreign (and especially Italian) Disney Comics tend to be heavily altered for their English-language printings, though at least the modern editors are honest about this and credit the translators for "dialogue" right next to the original writers. This can range to minor "spicing up" of the dialogue to add some more culturally appropriate jokes, to completely changing plot points around. Reactions to this are mixed, causing a case of Broken Base in the fandom — some think that, at least in its more extreme form, it's disrespectful to the original writer, and also muddles up criticism as some questionable elements one would blame on the author turn out to actually be the translator's work; while others, while more or less disgruntled by the more jarring parts, argue that unlike some other cases of Macekre, the "localized" versions are extremely fun to read and often moreso than the originals.
  • Asterix ran into issues when other European markets were keen on changing the Gauls into locals.
    • It was first translated into German by Rolf Kauka, who changed the Gauls into Germanics, naming them "Siggi und Barabbas" instead. When Nationality Confusion ensued in the book Asterix and the Goths (no, not those), Kauka made the Goths "Eastern Goths", depicting them as Communists from East Germany. The Macekre came to its end when he made The Dragon of The Golden Sickle (who kidnapped the sickle maker and sold overpriced golden sickles) speak with a Jewish accent. René Goscinny was enraged after reading the re-translated comic and forbade Kauka from making further translations.
    • In its first English translations for the UK market, the Gauls became ancient Britons. Before the Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge albums, two separate children's magazines printed a few storylines where Asterix and Obelix were known as "Little Fred and Big Ed" and "Beric the Bold and the Son of Boadicea".

    Films — Animation 
  • Hayao Miyazaki fought this trope tooth and nail when his works were localized in the West.
    • The original New World Pictures dub of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (which became "Warriors of the Wind") was Macekred so heavily, it became one of the most reviled such translations of The '80s. Miyazaki was so disgusted that he held off licensing his other films until someone approached him with a deal that stipulated no changes to the script or editing. When Miramax picked up Princess Mononoke, one of Studio Ghibli's producers reportedly sent the Miramax execs a katana with a note saying, "No cuts." Subsequent dubs, like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away have largely been faithful to the original (with some Woolseyisms to get American viewers up to speed with some Japanese tropes).
    • The Streamline dub of The Castle of Cagliostro made a number of changes to the movie, changing the plot, inserting cheesy dialogue, and stuffing dialogue where it shouldn't have been. It also includes the single line most often brought up as the archetypal example of a "Macekre": "Should've worn an asbestos suit." Later, it was redubbed much more faithfully (albeit with the unnecessary addition of Obligatory Swearing that was never present in the original language).
  • New World Pictures performed similar duties on several other anime pictures, including Galaxy Express 999 and Angel's Egg, which suffered the indignity of having live-action footage added and being released as a post-apocalyptic thriller.
  • The CGI film remake of The Magic Roundabout was very well-received over in European countries. When The Weinstein Company was given the task to distribute it in America, they figured that Americans would be unfamiliar with the series, so they renamed it "Doogal" and basically took a hacksaw to it. They dubbed over dialogue that was already in English, added Totally Radical dialogue, lame jokes, nonsensical cultural references, and Toilet Humor, and advertised it as an action-adventure movie.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire has Milo explain that the Big Bad will probably sell the atlantean superpower to the Kaiser. The german dub changed it to "some kind of tyrant".

    Eastern European Animation 
  • There is a series of English dubs notorious for that (Some are in a collection called "Classic Fairy Tales From Around The World"). For example, in The Frog Princess when Ivan meets Baba Yaga, the dub has him flattering her how he needs her help... the original had him complaining she asks him questions before obeying the rules of Sacred Hospitality.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Fritz Lang's Metropolis was Macekred originally on its American release, with the American distributor publically priding themselves on having essentially chopped it up and rewritten it, leading to much of the film being lost for a century. The original has since been found.
  • Quite a few of the Godzilla movies, beginning with inserting Raymond Burr into Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, suffered this fate. But contrary to popular belief, King Kong won in the Japanese and American versions of King Kong vs. Godzilla. The 1954 original is surprisingly excellent in its unadulterated, non-dubbed form. Godzilla 2000 received a gagdub from Tri-Star, as the original version was regarded as slow-paced and dull.
  • This was the main method of localizing the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies. Godfrey Ho was infamous for getting cheap, low-budget Hong Kong films, cutting them to ribbons, and inserting new footage featuring Caucasian actors for distribution in the West. Among his films are Ninja Thunderbolt, Clash of the Ninjas, Full Metal Ninja, and Zombie Vs. Ninja. As you could tell, ninjas were a recurring theme, although later efforts included a kickboxing flick and a "superhero" called Catman. He's also done it at least once in the other direction, adding new footage using Asian actors to the Cynthia Rothrock vehicle Undefeatable to create the movie Bloody Mary Killer for distribution in China.
  • Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? and Steve Oedekerk's Kung Pow! Enter the Fist are what happens when the Cut-and-Paste Translation is combined with the Gag Dub and played entirely for comedy.
  • Master with Cracked Fingers was a 1979 film cut together from different early Jackie Chan films, as a means to cash in on his rising fame. It primarily takes footage from the little-seen 1973 film Little Tiger of Canton, but featured several newly-filmed scenes with a double playing Jackie's character (badly disguised with a blindfold).
  • Jackie Chan did one himself with his Hong Kong Re-Cut of The Protector, made because of creative differences with director James Glickenhaus. Glickenhaus had made the movie in a typical American style, a significant departure from your usual Jackie Chan film. Chan re-shot many of the fight sequences in his own style, removed some gratuitous nudity and added a subplot with Cantopop singer and actress Sally Yeh, and made various other edits to improve the pace. Glickenhaus' original bombed in the US; the Hong Kong version did better.
  • Several Soviet sci-fi films got the cut-and-paste treatment (or were used as Stock Footage) to make Western B-movies:
    • Planeta Bur was edited twice for distribution in the West: once as Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet by Curtis Harrington in 1965, containing a few additional American-made scenes and with the Soviet actors' names Westernised to hide the origin; another in 1968 by Peter Bogdanovich (as "Derek Thomas") as Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, along with additional scenes involving nubile Venusian women.
    • Nebo Zovyot was adapted as Battle Beyond the Sun. To disguise the fact that it involves rival space missions between the Soviet Union and America, the two nations become the northern and southern hemispheres in a post apocalyptic world. Francis Ford Coppola worked on this while in film school; one of his notable additions was supposedly two monsters based on certain parts of the human anatomy. Scenes from Nebo Zovyot were also used in Voyage To the Prehistoric Planet and the 1966 alien vampire woman film Queen Of Blood (alongside another Soviet film, Mechte Navstrechu).
  • The second of the six Lone Wolf and Cub movies was greatly simplified, dubbed into English, and combined with about 12 minutes of footage from the previous film to create Shogun Assassin, which is considered its own separate film, with a completely different list of credits. Decades later, the other four Lone Wolf and Cub films were dubbed and released on DVD as Shogun Assassin 2 (actually the third film), Shogun Assassin 3 (actually the fourth film), and so on, creating a translation where the sequel numbering is messed up.

  • The Bible is a difficult book to translate, as different parts of it were written in different times and in different languages. Translations were not above reworking some verses to match the contemporary political climate.
    • The Ur-Example in English is the King James version, first commissioned by James I of England in 1611. The translators were instructed to ensure that it supported the views of the Church of England. It subsequently gained significant prominence in the English-speaking world, but the extreme version would have to be the super-fundamentalist "King James Only" movement, which considers the King James version the only proper translation (even if not the original) and all other translations in any other language a Macekre by Satan himself.
    • Words are often translated a certain way to fit specific political views. The New Testament denounces people described by the Greek word malakoi, meaning "soft". At the time, it probably meant Idle Rich, as the Greeks thought luxury made you weak (preferring the relative austerity of The Spartan Way). The King James version has it as "effeminate". In today's political environment, you'll find lots of people who will tell you it really means "homosexual". These people are also willing to pull out random Old Testament translations to further their point, making it as close to "cut and paste" as you're going to get. Teetotalers are uncomfortable with all the mentions of people drinking "wine", so they will translate it into "unfermented grape juice"except where the passage denounces it.
  • Matthew Ward's English translation of The Stranger (currently the most popular one in America) spends some time bashing Stuart Gilbert's (which before his was the only one available in America). In the original French, and in Ward's version, the narrator begins as a Terse Talker in the vein of an Ernest Hemingway protagonist, then becomes oddly lyrical after going to jail. Gilbert essentially turns him British, and incidentally rewrites some of his odder comments to sound more conventional.
  • Used in-story in Ayn Rand's We The Living, where Kira and Leo go to see a movie called The Golden Octopus, which is a laughably censored American film with unfitting subtitles and obviously different-looking Russian footage added at the beginning.
  • Until 2011, the one extant translation of Stanisław Lem's Solaris into English was based on a French translation rather than the original Polish novel, and suffered accordingly. Lem, who was fluent in English, vocally disapproved of the double translation, but the rights to the novel belong to his Polish publisher and they have thus far had no interest in commissioning another. However, it turned out that the publisher only has the rights to paper editions, and in 2011, a new translation by Bill Johnston was released as an audiobook and a Kindle e-book.
  • This sort of thing happened even before animation itself: In the 19th century, the works of Jules Verne got altered drastically when translated into English, generally by utterly incompetent people who made basic mistakes and replaced all of the greatly-detailed (albeit outdated) science with even worse scientific and mathematical errors, and often cut out entire chapters. The most egregious example is quite possibly an early translation of Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is affectionately known as the "Hardwigg version" among people who care, after the Translation Name Change of The Professor. It changed the writing style of the novel completely.
  • The German translation of Terry Pratchett's Good Omens completely omits the homosexual content about Aziraphale: "gayer than a tree full of monkeys high on nitrous oxide" becomes "whimsical (verschmitzt) as a tree full of monkeys" which doesn't really make sense. Also, Shadwell's "Southern Pansy" becomes something else entirely. It's not really clear why, because neither are those lines likely to be offensive nor is German society extra sensitive about homosexuality.
  • In an example that overlaps with Based on a Great Big Lie, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red includes a rewrite of Stesichoros' Geryoneis that is almost entirely Carson's original work, but is prefaced by an essay that seems designed to mislead the reader into thinking it's simply a translation. Since it's full of pretty obvious anachronisms — hot plates, weekends, glass-bottomed boats — a certain amount of playfulness must be in effect.

    Live-Action TV  
  • Super Sentai to Power Rangers, with the battle footage spliced into entirely new stories. The first three seasons of the latter took three completely seperate seasons of the former and reworked it into one "mega-arc", and the later incarnations seem to only be superficially similar to their originals, with the motives of the characters and some story elements being completely changed. Of course, Power Rangers was never intended and doesn't claim to be a dub/reenactment of its Super Sentai parent, despite borrowing suits and battle footage.
    • It should also be noted that certain Power Rangers seasons have stuck decidedly close to their source material, like Power Rangers Time Force sticking to Mirai Sentai Timeranger's original plot or more drastically, the Shot For Shot Remakes Power Rangers Wild Force and Power Rangers Samurai. Others have had varying levels of similarity, such as Gekisou Sentai Carranger into Power Rangers Turbo and Denji Sentai Megaranger into Power Rangers in Space. Carranger was a parody Sentai show, and Turbo suffered from many reasons on top of that footage (seriously, the Rangers were once baked into a pizza); such is that Disney was wiser when adaptating the equally campy Engine Sentai Go-onger into the apocalyptic Power Rangers RPM, and mostly Lampshaded and moved right past some of the inescapably Go-Ongery elements (such as mech designs). In Space, on the other hand, was a drastic variation upon the Sentai version; Megaranger never even left the Earth, instead literally surfing the web!note  In Space was a smash hit, though.
    • Taken to a frustrating extreme with Disney's "remastering" of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Rather than simply sharpening up the image, random freeze-frames and comic book-style character explanations run rampant, and flashy-yet-crappy CGI has been randomly spliced into the 1993 footage. To be fair, some of this was mandated; censors are stricter about on-screen violence these days so Hit Flashes served a practical purpose in obscuring the blows.
    • In the third series of the original show, the Ninjazords appeared first, followed by the Shogunzords. In the original Kakuranger, however, it was the reverse. Essentially, the entire second half of Kakuranger was used first. To give an example, Vampirus was the first monster of the week for the season. His Sentai equivalent was in episode 36.
    • Power Rangers Samurai was a Shot-for-Shot Remake at first, but Deker and Dayu had to be have their stories changed for censorship reasons. By the end, though, it made them much more sympathetic characters, and therefore tragic when Never Say "Die" doesn't mean you can't kill them after all. Said Shot-for-Shot Remake was the result of Executive Meddling, as producer Jonathan Tzachor vetoed any plans that would've straying too far from the source materialnote  - however, had he gotten his way, it would've been even closer to it's Sentai. This led to...
    • Meanwhile, Power Rangers Megaforce couldn't be more un-Goseiger, as an affectionate nod to MMPR to the point of practically being a remake. Frequent use of Gosei Cards in the Japanese scenes means an unprecedented number of sentai weapon/attack/zord names are kept, but the story's more reminiscent of MMPR, and also a sequel to it, with Zordon's Expy being an old student of his. Where the UMA Beasts followed the Warstar Empire and were linked only by having Buredoran being with but not of them, the insects and the toxic mutants are now working side by side. The final villain group has Metal Alice being the Buredoran Expy Vrak's personal minion and their base being his personal base. Robogog is almost adapted out and used as a part of the next villain group of Gokaiger, as an emissary announcing their arrival.
    • Super Megaforce is a fascinatingly bad example of this. Not that it can't be explained, it's just that the explanation is so jarring, you literally have to watch Gokaiger then watch Super Megaforce in their entireties to believe it. A series about space pirates coming to Earth to find the Greatest Treasure in the Galaxy, but along the way grow to appreciate the Earth, grow as people, and learn about the legacy of the previous Super Sentai teams, to give an excuse for newer audience members to also learn about them as well, that's heavily influenced by One Piece is replaced with a stripped down version that barely tries to fuse the pre-established Megaforce plot and characters with the bare minimum they needed to from Gokaiger to make the season. Wanna know how well that went? In stripping down Gokaiger's overall plot, they essentially made it into MMPR season 1, removing a lot of what was in Gokaiger, but unlike MMPR season 1, didn't even remotely try to introduce anything new to replace what they removed. As a result, they kept the day-to-day plots, wholesale, I may add, but they didn't fit into the new context because some of the characters, Jake and Noah mostly, don't exactly match up with their Gokaiger counterparts due to having personalities that would fit better in the opposite situations, the main suits are blatantly pirate-themed, as are the weapons and zords, but they go unexplained as to why, the characters just know how to use their predecessor's powers (which, admittedly was a thing in Gokaiger, but you could imagine the ship, or Akared, had explanations of how to use them that they used to practice with them before the show began), several new teams that are said to be "never before seen on [Earth]" never getting explanations (because they're from Sentai teams that weren't adapted into Power Rangers, due to being before Zyuranger, and in Dairanger's case, they never used the main 5 suits from that season)note  as to what they are, or who they belonged to, a weird choice in episodes to adapt from Gokaiger that resulted in better ones that would've been great to see in Power Rangers not getting used, no episodes explaining who the past teams were, or why they mattered in the grand scheme of things (essentially, they picked only the episodes that introduced new toys, a few random fillers, and a few plot-relevent episodes, with some that were fused together that were originally 2-parters, with absolutely no attempt to alter the pacing, as a result), wasted past actor cameos that were saved for a few minutes, at best, cameos in the last episode that felt more like self-indulgence on the producer's parts than awesome, and a lack of tension overall because of the overemphasis on the action scenes from Gokaiger lead to apathy over the current situations, as well as the series not having a conclusion, thus making the whole series feel like an insult, a joke, and/or just a waste of your time to have watchednote . Longtime fans, of both Power Rangers and Super Sentai as well as the people who like both, hated it, the main 6 actors hated it, and Jonathan Tzachor was let go as showrunner and was replaced by Judd Lynn. According to a few of the main actors, this was mainly due to the higher-ups not caring at all because it's a kid's show, which would explain a lot if you actually think about the series from a production standpoint.
    • Dino Charge, compared to Super Megaforce, however, is a, mostly, well-received series as the producers took fan reception to not only SM, but the original Sentai, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, into account and made changes that makes the series come off better than either, although many would argue you couldn't get worse than Megaforce. This includes toning down characters to make them easier to bare, adapting what worked in the Sentai and either changing, or improving what didn't to make the result a considerable improvement over both, plus creative and/or playful nods to the original Sentai, some in easter egg form, to acknowledge the part of the fanbase that knows about it and has watched it. The second season, however, has been far less positively received, due to focusing mostly on fillers and being a step down in quality from the first, as well as the ending, which might result in serious Harsher in Hindsight down the road if not already.
    • Ninja Steel took fan reception from both DC and Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the Sentai being adapted - in the case of the latter, it's notable that it's widely considered to be one of the worst Sentai in recent memory, to the point where Western fans had gone from wanting it to be adapted into Power Rangers instead of the train-themed Ressha Sentai Toqger to wanting it to be over with by the time the series was over. The plot was made so that it's nothing like it's source material (the story of Ninninger was about the latest generation of a line of ninjas hunting yokai, with the gold ranger being unrelated to the family; Ninja Steel, on the other hand, has an intergalactic gameshow hosted by the villains, with only 3 of the rangersnote  related), and the red's personality (which was the usual Idiot Hero taken Up to Eleven) was drastically toned down. It repeats some elements of Dino Chargenote , although the series has been better received than it's source material.
  • VR Troopers was made from three different Metal Heroes series: Choujinki Metalder, Jikuu Senshi Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider. Somehow, having three shows to draw on didn't stop it from recycling plots.
  • The Ultra Series is very prone to this.
    • Ultraman's English dub is quite well-known due to having aired on syndicated American television for many years after it debuted in 1966. While not a complete macekre, the fact that it was done by the same people who dubbed Speed Racer should tell you a lot about its quality, which probably accounts for the series' poor reputation in the west. Its notoriety also inspired the Ultraseven and Tiga dubs below as Spiritual Successors.
    • When Ultraseven, was dubbed into English by Cinar for TNT, it received a Gag Dub that changed many of the characters' names and added sillier dialogue (one episode inserted a running joke of the characters shouting "from space!", every time someone said "invaders"), while also dumbing down the darker elements in favour of making fun of the special effects. This version has since been almost entirely forgotten even by fans of the series (perhaps willingly), but can be found online in all its awful glory.
    • The Ultraman Tiga dub by 4Kids Entertainment had even more comedic dialogue that mocked the original material, making the series more kid-friendly to westerners (antagonist Keigo Masaki was changed from an amoral Corrupt Corporate Executive to a generic Mad Scientist), derailing characters like the level-headed Captain Iruma into idiots, and renaming many things. Fans think its either So Bad, It's Good or irredeemably awful, and only 25 out of 52 episodes were aired due to negative reception (and Out of Order too for a good measure). According to Erica Schroeder (who dubbed Rena), this was because 4Kids was having issues deciding on whether to mock the show or to make it serious.
  • To capitalise on the success of Power Rangers, Saban licensed Kamen Rider BLACK RX and turned it into "Saban's Masked Rider": a gay old Aesop-tastic romp starring a superhero alien learning about Earth culture with his adoptive American family. Later the editing got so shoddy that at times you could clearly see the original Japanese actors, or the fact that the footage they were splicing in was from two seperate movies (Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J) starring completely different heroes. Reportedly, Creator Shotaro Ishinomori was so incensed by Saban's take that he swore never to license the franchise againnote .
    • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight did much betternote , even winning a Daytime Emmy for stunt choreography. Its ratings meant not enough of the intended demographic were watching to keep it alive. The last two episodes weren't even aired, though were made available on the website. Odds are, we aren't getting that second season. It, too, is dissimilar from its footage-sake, and it's best if you don't go in with a "Ryuki Dub" mentality (see some of the Power Rangers examples above; Tropes Are Not Bad.) Interestingly, Dragon Knight became a Recursive Import and did quite well back in Japan. It even got a continuation... sadly, in the form of a book nobody back in the US will probably ever see.
  • As if Saban hadn't done enough toku cut-and-paste jobs, they licensed two more Metal Heros series, Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto and turned them into Beetleborgs, apparently aimed at a younger demographic than Power Rangers and being more light-hearted, and changing the story utterly from the Japanese originals.
  • This happened to Star Trek when it was dubbed into German. In the episode "Amok Time", in which Spock must return to his home planet to mate or else die, all sexual references were cut and the plot changed so that he was suffering from "space fever", making his battle to the death with Kirk a mere hallucination.
    • And that was just the worst example. The whole series was suffering severely from massive cuts, a severe case of Gag Dub and a massive case of censorship through the dub, sometimes even destroying the structure of the episode. When the DVD got produced, Paramount had to spend lots of money to restore the series and correct the worst of this madness.
  • In one of several early, unsuccessful atempts to introduce Monty Python's Flying Circus to American audiences (unrelated to And Now For Something Completely Different), American network ABC bought some episodes from the John Cleese-less final season with the sole intention of cutting out separate sketches and inserting them as filler into a different show, called The Wide World of Comedy. This was done very clumsily, with rampant censorship, and the result was reportedly incomprehensible. The Pythons, who had in their contract a clause that their show would not be re-cut without their permission, used this as grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit against the BBC, who held the rights to series. The result was that all material produced by Pythons for the BBC became their intellectual property, which was unprecedented at the time.
  • The HBO broadcast of the Extras Christmas special did this with some jokes, cutting or replacing references to British celebrities who aren't known in America. It was mild but still silly, because the show in general is still full of Britishisms that don't necessarily translate. It also makes a scene about talking celebrity dolls very jarring. The original one has a Jade Goody doll that says a catchphrase and then the racist remark she made about Shilpa Shetty's name on Big Brother. The American version replaces it with a Kramer doll that does a Seinfeld quote followed by the part of Michael Richards's notorious onstage rant about the black members of his stand-up audience where he reminded the white people present them that in the past they could have lynched them — which is less Never Live It Down and more Dude, Not Funny!.
  • The BBC's Tales From Europe strand from The '60s came about as a result of the children's department being unable to make its own programmes, and so began adapting films from the Continent and particularly Eastern Europe, most notably The Singing Ringing Tree from East Germany. Typically the films would be edited into several parts and shown as a serial, with a narrative track over the top instead of dubbing the original dialogue into English.

  • When released in America, the albums of The Beatles would experience two different approaches: (a) either the album would be released with the same (or a similar) name as the British release (such as With The Beatles becoming Meet The Beatles — kind of justified in this case, as the album was the first to be released in America), only with a few songs chopped off and / or rearranged, or (b) the songs would be grouped together to form a whole new album (such as Yesterday and Today, the one which originally generated controversy over the infamous "butcher cover" involving the group wearing white butcher's coats and surrounded by slabs of meat and chopped-up dolls parts). British releases tend to be considered 'canon', although the American release of Magical Mystery Tour has replaced the original British EP in both popularity and official-ness due to it also including some of their most popular non-album singles of the time, including 'Strawberry Fields Forever', 'Penny Lane' and 'Hello Goodbye'.
    • This also extends to almost every British rock group from the start of the British invasion to around 1967 or so. It stemmed from two factors. First, records released in Europe usually had around fourteen songs on them, while American records usually had only twelve. Second, songs that were released as singles in England were usually not put on albums, meaning that many of any given band's most popular songs were not available on their regular studio albums. This caused American companies to mix and match songs and albums so they could exhaust their catalogue and make more money. Both The Rolling Stones' and The Yardbirds' American albums have become canon in the UK, though with the former that's only because ABKCO - an American company - owns the rights to the pre-1970 Stones catalogue. The practice ended as rock music focused on albums instead of singles, and for the most part British and American releases were identical from the late '60s onward.
  • The Clash's first album from 1977 was released in the US in 1979. This happened after their second, Give Em Enough Rope had been released in the US in 1978, which was the first album of theirs to be released there. Probably as a result, their newer singles from 1979 were included on the new version of their first album, replacing some songs that were deemed controversial by the record company at the time. Although a lot of people like this version of the album, the Clash's change in production techniques makes the inclusion of a later track like "I Fought The Law" pretty noticeable.
  • There's a self-titled album by German act Nena (of 99 Luftballons/99 Red Balloons fame) which features some of their songs translated into English and another side with some original German songs. The songs in either case seem to have been taken from two different original German albums (another self titled, debut album and ? (Fragezeichen)).
  • ABBA's first two albums Ring Ring and Waterloo have different tracklists outside Sweden. Ring Ring began with the Swedish version of the title track, and included the English version as Track 10. The German version (used for other export versions) moved the English song to track 1, and replaced the Swedish one with "She's My Kind Of Girl," which had been the B Side to the English version in Sweden (it was actually a Bjorn and Benny solo track). Waterloo did the same thing with the title track to that album, and added (in the UK and US) a 1974 remix of "Ring Ring" to the end of the album. The Japanese release of their Self-Titled Album moves "SOS" to track 1, and the non-Swedish release of The Album has a blue background on the cover, rather than a white one.
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra got this too, but the solo work of Ryuichi Sakamoto even more so. It started with his album B-2 Unit which had the single Warhead added and Participation Mystique taken out on the UK version. Then the UK/US version of his album Left Handed Dream was largely different outside Japan (featuring his work with Robin Scott), as was his later Ongaku Zukan (Made into Illustrated Music Encyclopedia - a single LP featuring half the tracks, and the two singles Field Work and Steppin' Into Asia added). In the 90s, Sakamoto reworked his albums Beauty and Heartbeat for the international market to make them more marketable - some tracks were translated from Japanese into English, and Beauty gained the single You Do Me and the single remix of We Love You but lost Adagio, whereas Heartbeat gained two David Sylvian sung tracks Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II) and Cloud #9 and lost the original Tainai Kaiki. Also, Heartbeat's unique foldout sleeve was not included on the International Version due to being too expensive to produce. Sakamoto went one further with Sweet Revenge, remixing and overdubbing the album noticeably and translating some of the songs into English and rearranging some others entirely, and cutting out two Japanese tracks. Sakamoto intended for this version of the album to be an alternative experience and it definitely is.
  • The US edition of Life by The Cardigans cut a few songs and replaced them with tracks from the previous album, Emmerdale, and added the previously unreleased "Happy Meal" - This was because the US market got the second album first. Once Emmerdale did see release in the US, it included a bonus disc of the missing Life tracks.
  • Alphabeat's first LP was first released in Scandinavia and then refashioned into This Is Alphabeat for the international market. The songs "Into The Jungle", "Ocean Blue" and "The Hours" were replaced with "Go Go", "Touching Me Touching You" and a cover of "Public Image". Additionally "Boyfriend", "What Is Happening" and "Rubber Boots" were remixed and edited to be more poppy and less guitar-oriented. Furthermore, "Fantastic Six" was moved from Track 8 to be the opening track, with the original opener "10'000 Nights" moved to Track 3. A number of British journalists had previously heard and enjoyed the original Danish album, and were confused at its refashioning for the UK market given that the rocky elements were what made the group stand apart - and that none of the three songs added were even released as singles there.

    Puppet Shows 
  • This happened to Thunderbirds twice. First when it was run on Fox Kids with redubbed voices, rock music, and cuts to remove content deemed inappropriate for children and also to cram the plots into half-hour episodes, rendering most of them incomprehensible. After that bombed, the rights holder released another half-hour version for syndication, Turbocharged Thunderbirds, which further altered the original episodes to be taking place on the planet "Thunder World", redubbed the dialog yet again to add more "post-modern" jokes, had the Tracy family taking orders from a pair of live-action teenagers who called Jeff Tracy "Mr. T", and referred to the teenagers as Hackers who lived aboard Thunderbird 5, now dubbed "Hacker Command". This version so enraged original creator Gerry Anderson that it was quickly pulled from syndication and supposedly destroyed at his request.
    • To give you an idea of how bad Turbocharged was, look up an episode on YouTube. If that alone isn't enough to convince you, read the comments under the videos — more than once, you'll see someone posting that this series made the 2004 live-action adaptation seem better by comparison. To give some perspective: Anderson called that one "the biggest load of crap [he'd] ever seen in [his] life".

  • Italian toy company GIG once took the Kinnikuman/M.U.S.C.L.E., N.I.N.J.A. and Fistful of Power toylines and sold them as a single toyline named Exogini, with completely new backstories (the first two series, released in the late eighties, presented the characters as aliens from a mysterious planet planning to invade Earth, while the last series, released in the late nineties, was presented as a civil war between the inhabitants of Mars, Mercury and Venus). When Transformers introduced the Decoy figures as an extra packed in with the regular toys, the Italian release passed them off as a crossover with the Exogini line.
  • Infamously, Hasbro was guilty of this when it came to Transformers, which was born out of mashing two of Takara's unrelated franchises- Diaclone and Micro Change- together, and then giving the whole thing a completely new backstory, when importing them to be released into the US. Takara loved the change so much however that they eventually dropped both original franchises and imported the Transformers lore back into Japan.

    Video Games 
  • A positive example of this is Decap Attack, where a previously so-so Platform Game licensed from an obscure anime became one of the silliest, strangest and most bizarre games to hit the Sega Genesis.
  • Power Blade is a similar case: not only was Steve Treiber, the Mega Man-like player character of the original Japanese version, swapped out for an Ahnold-type dude named Nova, the game was made both more playable and more complex.
  • Blaster Master is about Jason Frudnick, a high school senior piloting the tank Sophia III (as named in the "Worlds of Power" novelization) to save his pet frog Fred and beat underground mutants and their leader, the Plutonium Boss. Its Japanese counterpart, Super Planetary War Chronicle MetaFight, however, (according to the manual) is about Kane Gardner piloting the Metal Attacker on the planet Sophia III to defeat the Invem Dark Star Cluster army of mutants and their emperor Goez. Since the game was more successful outside of Japan, Japan eventually got the Blaster Master story in the PlayStation sequel Blaster Master: Blasting Again. The 2017 reboot Blaster Master Zero contains elements of both stories.
  • Back in the early days of Atlus, they localised the cult hit Shin Megami Tensei: Persona as Revelations: Persona by scrubbing the script of any Japanese references, redrawing the characters with different skin tones (including making one into a jive-talking black sidekick), and trying (inconsistently) to relocate the setting from Japan to a strange America full of Japanese landmarks. This gets confusing in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment when several characters from the first game make an appearance, retaining their American names (for continuity purposes) but looking a bit different (the hero in Persona had an earring in the Japanese version and looked Angstier, and when did Ellen dye her hair black?!). They also removed an entire ten-hour Bonus Dungeon for reasons unknown, though as part of it is translated, it's likely this was simply cut to speed up the localization process.
    • Atlus tried to make up for their blunders in the first game to some extent by pretending Nate/Kei never got a last name change, Guido Sardenia was an alias (as they couldn't rename him Takihisa due to the spoken cutscenes calling him Guido), so they broke even and established his original name was Guido Kandori, as well as few other minor changes to compensate. It's still a much messier Retcon that Nyarlathotep was manipulating things from the beginning, as his name was changed to Massacre for the US release.
    • The real strange part is that Atlus today is one of the most respected publishers in the West for its studious attention to detail and its respect for the titles it brings out. Obviously they learned their lesson, as the US release of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment made no attempt to hide the fact that the game was in Japan, and recently the PSP remake was released in the US, with better translation and the entire game translated.
  • In Japan, Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere was a fast-paced flight arcade game with highly competent teammates, a deeply involving, character-driven, completely non-linear storyline, featuring five young pilots caught in the middle of a struggle between two megacorporations, a guerrilla faction hell-bent on digitalizing everybody's minds, and a secret peacekeeping force where some dark monkey business is going on deep inside; all of that interspersed with beautiful, sleek anime cutscenes by Production I.G. However, as the next console generation was fast-approaching, and that the Japanese release had underperformed relative to its lavish production values, the western localization cut most of the game's selling points. The truly intelligent teammates were removed, making almost all your missions solo. The original plot was replaced with a bland, highly generic story about a peacekeeping force who just jumps in and ruins enemy stuff every time something bad happens, without adequately explaining why the bad guys suddenly became good guys and vice-versa about halfway through. The anime cutscenes were replaced with text slideshows that just threw an infodump on what was going on once every ten missions or so. The entire "story tree" was replaced with a completely linear plot that just goes from point A to point B (the only saving grace is that they did their best to grab the better missions from every path to throw into the localized version, like the famous "Zero Gravity", even if the result made little sense). Even Dision's quest for causing massive mayhem was retconned into being a computer AI that suddenly went haywire for no reason other than being a computer AI.
  • XS Games bought the rights to two unrelated Bullet Hell shooters, Gunbird and Castle of Shikigami, and released them as Mobile Light Force 1 and 2, respectively. The original Japanese scripts were tossed out completely and replaced with an English script that made no sense, and the games were released with a Charlie's Angels-style cover that had absolutely nothing to do with either game. After great anguish from fans, XS Games brought over Castle of Shikigami 2 uncut, though the translation was still filled with Engrish. The third game was brought over by a different publisher, Aksys Games.
  • Then there's the first Ranma ½ game, which was edited into Street Combat, changing the premise and removing all Japanese elements and renaming and redrawing all the characters completely differently.
  • Drakengard had almost all plot points pointing to incest removed, and everything related to pedophilia removed. Some other parts of the script were also gummed up and rendered incoherent, such as the scene leading in to the third ending.
  • Several Puyo Puyo games got this treatment, being reworked into games starring Dr. Robotnik on the Genesis/Megadrive or Kirby on the SNES, as well as a computer game (Qwirks) with completely original characters, and one of the game modes for the Windows version of Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games. The Puyo Puyo franchise still lives on to this day under its original title, even after the demise of Compile, the company who created the series.
    • A similar thing happened to the Panel de Pon series, released in Japan with cute shoujo-style characters. It was released in the US, with characters from Yoshi's Island, as Tetris Attack, even though the games don't have anything to do with Tetris.
    • Perhaps the most well-known act of cramming mascots into ported oddities is the US version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which is a sprite hack (with other changes/improvements) of Doki Doki Panic. The proper Mario 2 epitomized Nintendo Hard — it eventually reached the US after being Remade for the Export on the Super Mario All-Stars Compilation Re-release for the SNES as "The Lost Levels," though the original 8-bit version was eventually released on the Wii and 3DS Virtual Console.
      • On the plus side, either due to Miyamoto's involvement with the original Doki Doki Panic or the fact the title was later released in Japan, many of the monsters from Super Mario Bros. 2 have joined Mario's Rogues Gallery. Bob-ombs were in the immediately following game, Super Mario Bros. 3. Yoshi's Island featured Shy Guys, and most Mario games since then have featured at least a few enemies who originated in Subcon. Furthermore, in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, Princess Peach has a few abilities based on her appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2 namely her ability to throw vegetables and hover in midair.
      • 2 can best be summed up as a game that got a cut and paste translation, but ended up better than the actual sequel and Nintendo made it canon.
  • The translators of Earnest Evans moved the year from 1925 to 1985, made Earnest Evans into Earnest Evans III, tore out the entire story, made Annet his mom instead of his girlfriend, and changed Al Capone into Brady Tressider. Of course, the game was reverse-ported from the Sega CD to the Sega Genesis cartridge, so a lot had to go.
  • Probotector for the Mega Drive, the European localization of Contra: Hard Corps not only replaced all of the humanoid characters with robots (much like the previous Probotector games for the Nintendo platforms), it also turned the plot of the game into a barely coherent mess, by replacing references to the enemy being an Earth-based terrorist organization with some nonsense about "Alien Rebels", as well as downplaying the role of Dr. Geo Mandrake so he was no longer a traitor.
  • For the American version of Streets of Rage 3, the main characters were recolored for the purpose of having "gender-neutral" colors, female enemies have more clothing, and the story is completely rewritten, changing the plot from one revolving around nuclear weapons to one about robotic duplicates of city officials.
  • There's a lot of Internet Backdraft related to Working Designs about whether or not their scripts are Macekres or Woolseyisms. Either way, enough was changed in their localizations that they can't reasonably be called "translations" of the original games. They were notorious for slipping in an ungodly amount of pop culture references and plenty of Toilet Humour that didn't exist in the original script, as well as playing fast and loose with the dialogue in the games, which made keeping track of changes in the many Lunar remakes difficult just because the player never knew whether a change was added for the new version or just added to the English version. On the other hand, this notoriety is also what made their games appealing. The Clinton joke in the original Lunar: Eternal Blue is legendary, to the point where many mourned its loss when the PS1 version came out and they had updated it to something more relevant.
    • This even extends to the actual game mechanics. In Vay, there is a wind fairy who could send the Player Party to another location. This straightforward mechanic was changed in the localization so that all members of the party need to wear "Filtration Masks" before utilizing her service, for her wind powers were changed to a fart joke, and if even one member of the party isn't wearing a mask, it will lead to a Game Over. Later on, there's a joke chest in Vaygess. In both versions of the game, it at first appears to be empty, but what happens next depends on the version of the game. In the original Japanese version, the player discovers 1g hidden in the chest, while in the Working Designs localization, the chest turns out to have a vortex that steals all of your gold, with no way to stop it.
    • Working Designs was also known for jacking up the difficulty of the original game essentially at their own whims (the "gold vortex" mentioned above being only one example) by altering enemy stats and, occasionally, goods and service prices. This doesn't always negatively affect the gameplay, but when it does, it does so hard — games like Popful Mail and Exile: Wicked Phenomenon are almost unplayably difficult in their English localizations, and even they admitted that forcing the player to pay magic experience to save the game in Lunar: Eternal Blue was a bad idea.
  • While otherwise a decent game, the poor translation effort put forth in Warsong, the Genesis version of Langrisser, is said to have contributed to its low sales and the prevention of any other game in the series being released outside Japan.
  • Nintendo of America's self-imposed decency guidelines scrubbed almost all references to religion, Nazis, sex, and gratuitous violence from the NES and SNES.
    • If you didn't beat it, you probably didn't know Bionic Commando was about stickin' it to Hitler.
    • EarthBound took a number of edits, but more notably so did its NES predecessor EarthBound Beginnings (AKA Earthbound Zero). Since the US port team fixed bugs and added features as they meddled, that translation / edit was used in the Japan-only Mother 1+2 for the GBA.
    • Oddly averted in Harvest Moon, which features an apparently unaltered church complete with pastor and gigantic gold cross. The alcoholic references were censored though.
    • Nintendo apparently gave themselves a free pass on the first two The Legend of Zelda games, which are loaded with crosses and even a church (explicitly identified as such) in both Japanese and English. Then they backpedaled with Link to the Past, changing a church into a "sanctuary" and a priest into a "sage" (though without altering any visual imagery). They also edited out graphics based on Egyptian hieroglyphs, citing that they were a religious reference—a reference to a religion that hardly anyone has practiced for thousands of years.
  • Germany is infamous for its game edits. Nazi symbolism is verboten in games, so games like Bloodrayne (set in Nazi Germany) get set in Ruritanias with we-swear-they're-not-swastikas everywhere.
    • "They're just machines" is common there, too. The back page of the official guide to the N64's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter touted the PAL-version replacement of all the human mooks with robot soldiers as a feature.
    • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: the removal of Nimdok and his section in the PC version. The game wasn't changed to not require his section to be completed to beat the game, making that version of the game Unwinnable.
    • This German requirement has led to the international versions of many strategy games set in World War II using the imperial German flag and symbols instead of the Nazi ones, and replacing Hitler with a fictional character. This of course leads to Unfortunate Implications as it can appear to be historical revisionism and claiming the Nazis never existed.
  • The German releases of Command & Conquer changed everyone in the whole series into robots, but Generals was by far the worst in this regard:
    • Every face was cyborgified.
    • All voice samples were modified to make them sound more like robots.
    • Blood was changed to green.
    • The GLA suicide bomber was replaced by a bomb with wheels, which inexplicably starts talking once you put it into a car. Oops.
    • All this was parodied by The Series, whose German mercenaries have a small army of "Cyborg Robots With Green Blood" who they called upon when required to fight for civilisations so squeamish they faint at the sight of real humans fighting.
  • While we're talking about German versions, the German version of Half-Life not only changes all enemy soldiers to robots but also removed all blood and gore and made it so that instead of dying when shot, the science team would just calmly sit down while shaking their heads in disappointment before fading away.
  • Speaking of which, the Team Fortress series has also seen a large amount of editing in Germany:
    • In Team Fortress Classic, all of the class models were replaced with a generic robot model, which made the game impossible to play.
    • In Team Fortress 2, the class models remain the same, but blood is replaced with oil, and it uses the "Silly gibs" that Pyroland uses in the English versions (for those unaware, "Silly gibs" makes the players explode into toys, mechanical parts, food, and other inanimate objects, rather than exploding into limbs and organs). Also, all the Meet the Team shorts that made it over there were heavily censored/edited (except Meet the Sniper, which they didn't even bother to censor). For example, in Meet the Soldier, Soldier's collection of severed heads have oil oozing out of them, and their neckbones are replaced with mechanical springs, so it's almost as if the classes are robots due to the way the game and its shorts are edited. However, they eventually stopped censoring newly-released content without decensoring existing content, most apparent in some weapons having their bloodstains removed, while others still have them.
  • Dynamite Headdy removed all dialogue except for the tutorial segments and the end of Scene 4 from the US version of the game. What was once an intentionally silly but coherent plot becomes an incomprehensible mess that's barely discernable past random action sequences because of this.
    • In the original Japanese version, if you enter the tutorial segments, you'd be asked if you want to practice, which is nice if you have second thoughts about doing it. In the US version, once you enter the room, there's no turning back. And you don't get any dialogue if you fail these attempts. At least they had the sense to change the ending in light of the dialogue removal: in the US version, Smiley rejoices upon seeing Heather, who turns to Headdy and glomps him. During the ending demo, Headdy sees Heather off with the rest of his friends. In the Japanese version, Smily pins himself to Headdy's face as Fingy looks on. In the ending demo, only Headdy's friends see Fingy off, as Headdy struggles to get Smily off his face.
  • The European and American versions of Magical Drop III removed a lot of things present in the Japanese version. The endless mode no longer has Kyu and Dan Ranks, characters now use generic "I'm gonna beat you!"-style dialogue before each versus matchup, plot-related cutscenes have been removed, and characters no longer have individual voices—there's about three in the whole game (one in the American version), with each voice being shared by multiple characters.
  • Sega of America delayed the US release of Sonic CD by several months for the purpose of replacing 75% of the soundtrack, most likely due to sampling issues as the Japanese sound track used a lot of 'em (Prime example if you don't believe that: Listen to the Japanese boss theme and then to "Work That Sucker To Death" by Xavier.). Even Spencer Nielsen, the composer working on behalf of Sega of America, sympathized with the purists.
    • In addition to the change of soundtrack, Amy Rose was arbitrarily renamed "Princess Sally" in a weak attempt at appealing to the ABC cartoon's fanbase. Never mind the fact that Amy is a pink hedgehog, and Sally is a redhead squirrel.
    • The manual of Knuckles Chaotix has a completely different story in the Japanese and Western versions; in the Japanese version, Dr. Eggman builds his base called Newtrogic High Zone on an island when he discovers powerful artifacts called Chaos Rings there, and Knuckles goes there to investigate, while in the Western versions, Knuckles is the guardian of "Carnival Island," and must save it from Dr. Robotnik before opening day. In-game, it is still referred to as "Newtrogic High Zone" in all versions, and there's no time limit.
  • The TwinBee platformer spinoff Rainbow Bell Adventure was released in both Japan and Europe. The Japanese version featured an overworld map with many, many optional stages and potential paths to the end, and multiple endings depending on how much of the game you actually cleared before taking on the final boss. The European version stripped out all but one of the endings and made the game completely linear.
  • In the American release of Um Jammer Lammy, a level taking place in Hell was relocated to a desert island for fear of offending religious types. The European versions got to stay in Hell, though.
    • Some lyrics were also changed, and not just obvious ones like Chop Chop Master Onion singing about "playing on an island" rather than "playing in hell". Teriyaki Yoko's song changes mentions of "the devil" to "a man", and Paul Chuck no longer "chops down trees just for fun", apparently for fear of offending environmentalists!
  • Pretty much any instruction manual written by Konami of America's localization staff during the NES era and most of the SNES era, which usually changed the plots of the games and renamed all the enemy characters with puns. The changes usually never affected the games themselves, as many games at the time were lacking in-game dialogue at the time and when they did, Konami would often forget to actually change the plot of the game, leading to various game to manual discrepancies.
    • The most infamous example would be the NES version of Metal Gear. The plot within the game itself was mostly kept unchanged, but the manual identified the antagonist as a "Colonel Vermon CaTaffy", a clear pastiche of Libyan socialist leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. It's obvious that the writer of the manual never actually finished the game.
    • Snake's Revenge, the NES sequel to Metal Gear, is an ever odder case. The game was released only in America and Europe, so the English manual has no Japanese version to be compared with. Even then it still manages to be inconsistent with the game itself, as the manual identifies the villain as a middle east dictator named "Higharolla Kockmamia", another pastiche (this time of Ayatollah Khomeini; at least not Hideo Kojima), but the actual bad guy is revealed to be a cyborg version of Big Boss in the actual game. Additionally, the manual claims that Jennifer "X" (Snake's female contact within the enemy base) is "rumored to be related to Ginger from Gilligan's Island".
    • When the first Game Boy Gradius game was translated in America, the plot of the game was changed from a "Aliens are attacking us!"-style blurb to ridiculous crap about chasing down a criminal called "King Nemesis". While the Gradius series was never plot-heavy in the first place, the manual of this game has to be seen to be believed.
      • In the SNES conversion of Gradius III, "bosses" became "Mayors", and several bosses got renamednote : QB2B, Monarchnote , Ice Icenote , Grimnote , among others. Worst of all, the Vic Viper gets renamed to the "M.A.X."
      • The American manual for Life Force identifies the planet-devouring being of Zelos as the child of a "Ma & Pa Deltoid", as well as switching the names of Intruder (the dragon) and Cruiser Tetran (the core ship with the four tentacles).
    • In addition to having the cut-scenes actually removed from the first NES game, the manuals of the early Contra games actually changed the plot for each game as well, placing them in the present instead of the future. The manual for the original Contra, which was actually set in the fictional Galuga islands near New Zealand, sets the game in South America instead, while the manual of Operation C, which was originally about Bill Rizer fighting against an unknown superpower in the Japanese version, was changed by identifying the antagonist as another alien invader named Black Viper. While Contra III kept the futuristic setting of the game, it changed the identities of the main characters from Bill and Lance into their descendants, "Jimbo" and "Sully". The enemy characters were also given sillier names such as "Jagger Froid" and the "Babalu Destructoid Mechanism". Oddly enough, the manuals for the European Probotector games had more accurate translations, changing the text only to take into account that the main characters were robots.
    • The manual for Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a bit of an odd duck. One on the hand it makes up a story about something called "the Dragonbeast", which has nothing to do with the game. On the other hand, the humorous tone of the manual is in-line with the game itself.
  • Much to the ire of long-time fans of the series, Yakuza 3 was brought heavily under the cutting knife in an effort to excise elements that "would not resonate with Western audiences." This includes the removal of a string of quests involving the management of a hostess bar, elimination of such alarmingly Japanese games as shogi and mahjong, and the tossing aside of massage parlors, a number of optional missions, and a rather deep trivia game.
  • When Magical Doropie was translated as The Krion Conquest, the story stopped at the intro, beyond which all cutscenes were removed and the ending became A Winner Is You. This only made the game look even more like a ripoff of Mega Man than it already was.
  • The Sega Master System game Pro Wrestling (unrelated to the NES game) was a port of an arcade game which featured Dump Matsumoto and Captain Ersatzes of her AJW rivals. The entire cast was replaced with male wrestlers for the American and European releases.
  • When Ninja Cop Saizou was localized as Wrath of the Black Manta, the story scenes were almost entirely rewritten and redrawn, one stage was removed, a few bosses were altered, and the music was completely replaced.
  • The Western localization of Gungriffon completely rewrote the plot of the game. The original Japanese script is set in 2015 and cast the player as a Japanese pilot of the Asian Pacific Community fighting in a world war against the Pan European Union. The English script moved the game to 2075 and instead had the player be a pilot of the U.S's 45th Foreign Legion assisting Russian forces in beating back an invasion by the APC. The opening FMV was edited to remove German voice clips (as their role as enemies were reversed by the plot changes), although the briefing illustrations and radio chatter in the missions were left unaltered.
  • The English-language version of Love Live! School Idol Festival strips out a lot of Ship Tease between the exclusively-female cast. Additionally, many lines that imply that the player character is female were changed to treat the player as male instead.
    • Subverted with an update on 30 June 2015 which brought back the Ship Tease elements and made the player character female again. Considering a character's line in an upcoming set (now only available in Japanese) includes a reference to adding a bracelet around the player character's wrist, it would be difficult to treat the player character as male.
  • The localization of Bravely Second heavily rewrote the latter half so to make it so the player didn't have to go through multiple playthroughs to get the Golden Ending. The results were controversial to say the least, though it's worth noting that many of the changes were in response to complaints from Japanese critics.
  • Mystery Quest, the NES localization of the Famicom Disk System game Hao-kun no Fushigi na Tabi, excised the last third of the game due to cartridges at the time having only having half the space of FDS disks, and required the player to play through the game four times to see the true ending, along with removing the save function. Commensurately, the overall difficulty of the game was lowered.
  • In a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, the Russian release of darkSector replaced the original Russian setting with Soviet. A change which doesn't really impact the story and makes the Acceptable Target easier to justify.

    Web Animation 

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Probably one of the best examples of this trope being successful is the British version of The Magic Roundabout, in which Eric Thompson ignored the original French scripts and wrote new ones based solely on the visuals, leading to the cult series that is known and loved today.
    • Doubtless puzzling Francophones who know only the forgettable original.
    • Averted in America, when the series was shown and re-dubbed for Pinwheel on Nickelodeon using the French scripts.
  • The Polish version of Futurama. Oh Lord. Professor Farnsworth is Fry's uncle in some episodes, most of the references are happily butchered, and the show is called Przygody Fry'a w kosmosie, that is "Fry's Adventures in Space". Not only that, but the TV station that picked it up was fined for showing the episodes at the time when children could see it. It allegedly showed "an unreal world full of violence".
  • From what Gaelic speakers have said, the Gaelic translation of Danger Mouse. For a start, in order to justify his Brought to You by the Letter "S" Chest Insignia, they gave him the rather uninspiring name of "Donnie Murdo".
    • In the same fashion, the italian dub of Underdog named the title character "Ughetto".
  • The Code Lyoko cartoon series managed to avert this in a major way (even with all the Fanservice). The "Subdigitals" CD release was not so lucky...
  • The Japanese dub of Beast Wars transformed it into a goofy comedy show with many characters' personalities becoming completely altered. Examples can be found on the Transformers Wiki.
    • Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime also suffered similar translations when translated into Japanese. Of the two, Prime was hit the hardest— Airachnid was changed from an Ax-Crazy psychopath to a shrill girly-girl who was in love with Jack, the Insecticons were all given comedic, ill-fitting voices, and most damningly of all, the entire third season was cut, due to an enforced 52-episode limit given by the network. The season 2 finale, "Darkest Hour", had the last several minutes hacked off (including its Cliffhanger ending) in order to convert it into a series finale. The "Beast Hunters" season was replaced by a series of Japan-original direct-to-DVD shorts collectively entitled Transformers: Go!, which have very little to do with the main plot of Prime.
  • Tugs, when it was brought to the US as part of Salty's Lighthouse in the '90s. The original 15-20 minute episodes were edited down to new, 5-minute shorts that were Lighter and Softer compared to the often dark and mature plotlines of Tugs. The more consistent changes included renaming "OJ" and "Big Mac" to "Otis" and "Big Stack", and gender swaps for Captain Star and Sunshine. There wasn't much footage to work with, since the original show only had 13 episodes, and as a result, footage was repeated and continuity errors popped up.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The Japanese dub, although not otherwise terrible, cuts several scenes and lines present in all other dubs of the show (to make room for the extended opening/ending and advertisements, apparently), resulting in a few Dub Induced Plot Holes.
    • The original 2014 Croatian dub went for directly translating a lot of dialogue and character names however possible - in some cases strongly based on their original name - giving us names like "Iskra Sumrak" ("Spark Twilight" for Twilight Sparkle), "Roza" ("Pink" for Pinkie Pie), "Skakutalo" (roughly "Jumpy" for Scootaloo), "Crna Princeza" ("Black Princess" for Nightmare Moon) and "Kristalina" (for Queen Chrysalis). The last episode of season 2 was especially affected due to the Changelings' name going completely untranslated, only referring to them as "army" and "subjects" by the villain and "they change forms" by ponies, which also leads to a case of the villain introducing herself with "I am a queen" that also leaves empty space where dialogue should've been due to the line being too short.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series got hit hard by this in Germany. The station ZDF felt it should treat it like "stuff for idiot kids", which is little wonder considering how they treated TOS. Numerous missing episodes, the remaining episodes hacked to half the runtime and a horrible dub that made the show into a complete mockery (and didn't even use the dub voices from TOS). When Paramount got wind of that in 1994 when they wanted to release the series on VHS, they did a completely new dub, which not only used the correct dub voices, but also is very faithful to the original and uncut. This new dub was also released on DVD.
  • The 4Kids English dub of the first 3 seasons of the Italian Winx Club cut and rearranged many scenes, changed the music, punched up the scripts, and renamed some characters/terms (ex. Bloom's home planet "Domino" became "Sparks," "Aisha" became "Layla," the "Trix" became the "Witches,"etc). Nonetheless, it was a successful show (the most successful English version overall), and is sometimes considered an improvement over the Italian version.
    • When Nickelodeon got the rights to the show, they produced four 1-hour TV specials that summarized the first two seasons. That was more of a shot-for-shot remake than a translation, and many shots had replaced character designs. Their dub of Seasons 3-4, and the first movie was relatively faithful, and they co-produced Seasons 5-6 anyway. Their dub of the second movie got over 20 minutes cut however.
    • Rai, the original Italian network responsible for the show has their own English dub of the series for use as a reference for other foreign dubs, partnering with Cinelume in Montreal (Seasons 1-4), Dubbing Brothers in Los Angeles (Movies 1-2), and DuArt Film & Video in New York (Seasons 7-present) that are very faithful to the original Italian dub.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers got an amazing German dub, with some of the characters coming off arguably better than the English original...except for Doc. The German dubbers did this for the character's dialogue. Doc's dialogue was meant to be three-quarters Sarcasm Mode and the German dub used Sincerity Mode, which completely missed the point of the character being the show's comic relief.