The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: February 12th, 2000

Dub and Dub

By: Raven

We have read quite a lot of interesting articles about the DIC (the North American dub of Sailormoon), we have never watched any of the DIC episodes and only three specials of the original Japanese version and the Ami special too, so we want to tell you a little bit about the version we have watched, the German dub of Sailormoon.

First of all we are lucky because they have broadcasted all regular episodes (not the three specials from the 4th season and not episode 89) and the three movies (but not the Ami Special).

Hitoshi Doi's summaries gave us the opportunity to compare the original episodes to the German dub versions, so we were able to spot differences. No dub is perfect and the German dub isn't either. Here are our complains about what we have missed and what has been changed:

They (the producers of the German dub) put the first name first (not the second name as it is in the original Japanese Version), the called Usagi "Bunny" and Rei is written "Ray". They used various names for Beryl like "Perillia" or "Periglia". If your translate the German names of the Amazon Trio into English you get "Falcon's Eye" and not Hawk's Eye.

Transformations and Attacks:
In the original version every transformation phrase contains the words "make up", it seems that the translators were not able to find out the true meaning of the phrase, they translated it "mach auf" which means "open", so Sailormoon's first transformation spell is "Macht der Mondnebel, mach auf!" - it can be translated as "Power of the Moon Fog, open!". All other senshi also use the powers of their "planetary fogs" - the "Mars Fog" for Sailormars, the "Mercury Fog" for Sailormercury and so on. Their transformation phrases do never change no matter what kind of henshin pen or stick they use.

The attacks do also sound funny or strange. Sailormoons first attack is called "Mondstein, flieg und sieg!" - "Moonstone, fly and win!", no matter what kind of stick, rod or staff Sailormoon has there is always something that should "fly and win" or "win and heal" (Moonhearts, Light of the Silvermoon, and so on....) except the first scepter (there she calls "Power of Moon heal him/her!"), Mercury's first attack is "Soap Bubbles, fly!", the most boring attacks are the ones of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Their first attacks involve glowing energy balls so the translators did an easy job and called them "Neptune, fly!" "Uranus, fly" and "Pluto, fly" (only Pluto's attack has got some more words, it starts with "Pluto, send me the fire from the depth.").

Male or Female?
I must admit that if it were not for the many pages about the original version, I would still believe Zoisite to be female because he has got a female voice, and Nephrite talks about him calling him a "pretty young woman"....

I was also sure that Fish Eye is female, because he has a female voice too and others sometimes talk about him using the terms "she" or "her", finally there was the episode with the fashion designer and there was no way they could go on hiding the fact that Fish Eye is a man and not a woman....

Lovers or Friends?
Haruka and Michiru do love each other; the translators first try to change this into a very close friendship by editing some dialogues. There are still enough hints left for most viewers to find out that they are more than just very close friends, but the makers of the German dub carefully deleted most hints that they have sexual relationship too, as to be found in the dialogues at the end of episode 106 and in episode 167.

Other Translation Mistakes:
The translators did not know how to translate various Japanese names, for instance Usagi is eating daifuku mochi in episode 30 - they translate them as "delicious somethings" or the nikuman. Usagi is eating in episode 4 are called "Krapfen" (a typical German kind of food).

One of the worst mistakes happens in episode 146: Usagi wants to show Princess Rubina the fireworks at the festival and Luna comments that Usagi often does treat important things carelessly. In the German dub the cat comments that they should follow Usagi because Princess Rubina may think that all German are as crazy as Usagi - a very silly mistake because everyone knows that Usagi is Japanese and not German.

There are lots of great songs in the series but in order to save money the makers of the German dub decided not to translate most of them (we do hear parts of the melodies in the background but there is no singer). We have 200 episodes and three movies but only 10 songs. They even cut the beginnings of the three movies (and the endings of two of them) so that they didn't need intro/ending songs for the S-Movie and the SS-Movie. Further the intro song to the whole series changed only twice and they never used the original song. The second version of the intro song is sung by a group called "Super Moonies", kind of a techno sound, their text has only about five or six lines and is repeated over and over again... terrible!

Intro/Ending Sequence:
What would you think if you see an intro with only Moon, Mercury and Mars - an intro where Queen Beryl appears? Everyone would think that now an episode from the very beginning of the series would follow. But everyone would be wrong - you are going to watch episode 134, 89, 28, 200.... or which episode ever.

At the beginning after Jupiter had appeared we hoped to see her in the intro, but it never happened. After Venus had joined the team, we hoped that they would show her too, nothing changed. After the end of the first season, we waited to see a new intro for new villains but there wasn't any. They never changed the intro!

And the ending was always the same too. They show a shadow of Usagi standing under a tree; you hear a part of the intro song (a slower version) and that is all. The ending is about 20 seconds long and it never changes.

Well, we are not ungrateful, we are happy to have seen the German dub, but we are also happy to have learned about the original series so that we know what was really going on. We have to thank a very good friend for sending us the subs of the three specials and the Ami special, otherwise we would never have heard the original voices and Mamoru's Japanese voice sounds much better than his German voice does.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Raven.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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