Rantings and Ravings
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SMS Dub Fun

By: JunJun

When the news hit that Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS were going to be dubbed, not many people believed it at first. How many times had we heard the same thing in the past? About a billion. Besides, SOS claimed that DIC lost the rights to the dub. Basically resulting in mass confusion, was it actually true this time? Or did someone "cry wolf" yet again?

It wasn't until it was officially confirmed on Optimum's webpage that people started to say, "YES! They're coming!" or "DAMN! They're coming!" (or "I have fansubs! Who cares?") Eventually this all gave way to speculation on what the new episodes would be like. Now the dub is airing in the US, 4:00 PM every weekday on Cartoon Network. To help answer some of the speculation on the quality of the new episodes, we've compiled a list of changes for the dub, with of course some ranting and commentary intermingled.

Wait! Where's DIC?!

Let's begin with the biggest change: the dub is not produced by DIC. Yes, scary, SOS was right for once. Then again, they DID reverse that claim and said DIC was back almost immediately after the new episodes were announced...[insert your groans here]

Actually another company, Cloverway, is producing the dub. Cloverway is the American branch of Toei Animation, the Japanese company that created Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. Cloverway claims to "represent the best in Japanese animation", but after looking at the Sailor Moon S dub so far, that claim is pretty dubious.

The Music

To be fair, there are positives about the dub. The background music (BGM) from the original anime is kept so the BGM that you hear in the SMS dub is the original Japanese BGM. Fans of the original anime should be happy about this big bonus. Some sound effects are not used though- the heart crystal's twinkling sounds, the daimon eggs cracking after they are defeated, etc.

The animation during the dub end credits is the same animation used for the end credits in the original Japanese anime. However, the animation is sped up and cut off prematurely after you see Jupiter and Venus. The original anime had "Tuxedo Mirage" playing at the end which was replaced by DIC's Sailor Moon theme song, music only.

The Voice Actors

Most people will recognize that Serena and Amy have new voice actresses. Mina and Raye also have new actresses, however Raye's "new" VA is actually her original English VA. Raye's second VA became Mina's new VA. There are also new VAs for Uranus, Pluto, and Rini. Neptune's VA is the same VA as Serena's mother.

Kaolinite is, of course, voiced by Kirsten Bishop, the same VA for Zoicite and Emerald. Many people also believe she will also voice Fisheye. A lot of people are displeased with Serena and Amy's VAs. Some think they try too hard to sound like the original VAs when it's obvious that they aren't the same; actually, to be blunt, a lot of people hate their voices. Many people also hate the voices of Neptune and Uranus, who sound too deep, too much alike, have little to no emotion, and Uranus sounds too much like a girl for anyone to mistake her for a guy.

Names, Attacks, and Items

The dub is extremely inconsistent in its terminologies and names. Those of you who want to make an English SM page will have a heck of a time trying to come up with the "correct" names of people and objects since some of those names vary from episode to episode. These inconsistencies makes it pretty clear that the production of the SMS episodes worked just like the last 17 of SMR. They were way over rushed.

  • "Professor Tomoe" becomes "Doctor Tomoe", though "Tomoe" is pronounced "Tomo", so you may find a lot of people spelling it as "Tomo". It's unclear if it's officially "Tomoe" or "Tomo". Considering the inconsistencies in this dub, it could very well be both.

  • "Kaolinite" is called several things: "Kaolinite", "Kaorinite" (which might also be spelled "Kaori Knight" or "Kaori Night"); and "Kaori" (which in the original anime is not used until later in the series).

  • The enemies have not yet called themselves the "Death Busters". They are, however, not yet affiliated with the "Negaverse" like all previous villains (in the big DIC conspiracy).

  • The "heart crystals" are called "pure hearts", "crystals", and "pure heart crystals" in the dub.

  • The "Talismans" are called the "objects of power", "objects of pure power", and the "three crystals". Obtaining the "Purity Chalice" leads to a "state of almightiness".

  • In the first SMS dubbed episode, the "Holy Grail" was not referred to at all; apparently the dubbers tried to avoid the subject. Of course, they had to address it sooner or later, and when the later came, it became called the "Purity Chalice".

  • The "Messiah" is the "Chosen One".

  • Daimons are called "daimons" by the enemies and "heart snatchers", "heart attackers", "heart wreckers", etc. by the Sailors. "Daimon eggs" are called "daimon pods".

  • The Sailors are referred to as both "Sailor Scouts" and "Sailor Soldiers".

  • Unazuki, Motoki's (Andrew's) younger sister, was "Lizzy" in the DIC dub. In the SMS dub, she is called "Elizabeth". Lizzy is often used as a shortened form of Elizabeth, so this change isn't so bad, but for some reason Elizabeth claims to have a brother named "Paul". This "Paul" does not exist in the original anime and manga, her only brother is supposed to be Andrew.

  • Sailor Uranus, Tenoh Haruka, has the dubbed name "Amara". This is the most popular spelling of the name, though several other fans have spelled it as "Emara" or "Immara". I guess we'll all have to wait till some merchanise comes out to help confirm what is the correct spelling.

  • Sailor Neptune, Kaioh Michiru, actually got a name that was a fan-favorite, "Michelle". By the way, if you own one of those Irwin dolls and still have the box with "Corinne", and "Nerissa" you may want to hang on to them. They may have just become a collectors item!

  • Sailor Chibimoon has not yet arrived but, as far as we know, will be called "Sailor Mini Moon", which is her name in Pioneer's Sailor Moon S movie dub. The best evidence to show she will keep the Pioneer name comes from Cartoon Network's Toonami ads, which do call her "Mini Moon".

  • The Attacks: Uranus's attack is "Uranus World Shaking", but it once was just "World Shaking". Neptune's attack is "Neptune Deep Submerge". Both attack names are the same as the original Japanese names, only with "Planet" tacked on at the front (probably to go along with the other Sailors' attack names). The real fun is with Jupiter. So far Jupiter's "Jupiter Thunderclap Zap" has been called three names! They have used, "Sparkling Wide Pressure", its original Japanese name, "Jupiter Thunder Power"; and "Supreme Thunder Crash". Sailor Moon uses "Moon Cosmic Power" to transform, which is the same as the original Japanese name, only without "Make Up". She also uses "Moon Spiral Heart Attack" with her rod, which is the same as the original attack name. By the way, the rod is called a "Sceptre". In an obvious oversight, Mina once uses "Venus Crystal Power" to transform.

  • "Meatball head" is no longer a term just reserved for Darien. Everyone joins in in calling Serena that in the dub. Whereas in the original, only Mamoru, Haruka, and Seiya call Usagi "odango" (atama).


Ooh, yes, there is still censorship. Cloverway may be part of Toei, but SMS is still being shown in the US. Several scenes containing violence have been cut, for example: Artemis being smacked by Mina is cut; in the episode where Amara and Michelle are introduced, Mina and Serena sliding into the cans in the garage is cut, but somehow they magically appear there later; the little girl being strangled by the cat daimon is cut; and anytime any daimon shows "too much skin" (breast areas or thigh areas), that is either cut or cropped. Oddly enough, a lot of Japanese writing is kept in the anime; however, the Japanese writing is never explained or defined. This is yet another sign of the rush job on these eps. Nametags with the senshi's original Japanese names are also not changed, Mamoru and Michiru's names are left romanized, and Unazuki's name outside her apartment is kept. So far nothing drastic has been done in censoring or cutting, basically things you would expect, but the episodes so far have been okay in terms of cut scenes.

The scripts themselves, are fairly good overall. For the most part, they seem to follow the original scripts. However, there are still "good days and the bad days" when it comes to translating. There's still a lot of "Americanization". I use that term loosely, because I don't know anyone who speaks like the scouts do, a better term is "Valley Girl slang". While many conversations are translated perfectly, others are changed and altered drastically.

The characters' personalities are altered several times. For instance, Raye appears to still have the hots for Darien in "Bad Harmony", and Amy in "Damp Spirits" seems to want Darien as well! This doesn't look too good for either character, wanting a guy who's already taken. Then again, Amy's character might already be suffering because her VA can't act!

Lita seems to go brain dead in "Lita Borrows Trouble", wanting Amara for her best friend instead of Serena (since when have they been best friends?), basically blurting out to Uranus and Neptune that she's a Sailor Scout/Soldier, then deciding at the end that she only looks up to Amara and wants to be like her, which doesn't really make much sense if she wanted Amara as a best friend. Plus the SMS dub decided that Lita needed a mother; in the second SMS episode, she claimed she couldn't take a kitten home because her mother was allergic to them. In the original anime and manga, Makoto's parents are dead (died in a plane crash), so either the dub has brought her mother back to life or else Lita often disrespects the memories of her dead parents. Serena doesn't win any brownie points either when she confuses Michelle's violin with a guitar.

The infomation you've all been waiting for...

Now we get to Uranus and Neptune. A lot of changes are made to the dub revolving around them. Uranus and Neptune's attack names are pretty much the same, so no complaints there. Their speeches are episodic, rather than the general "Invited by a new age, I am the magnificent Sailor Uranus" stuff, which is sort of annoying since I like their original introductions.

Now, onto names. Moan and gripe all you want that "Amara" is a bad name, and I'll agree with you. I can't figure out how the heck that was picked! Maybe one of the script writers has a kid named Amara or something. "Michelle" is a pretty reasonable, a pretty obvious choice for a name, so no complaints there either. For all those people who were thinking that "Alex" and "Michelle" were the DEFINITE names for the dub - sorry, you were wrong once again. "Michelle" was right but "Amara" came out of nowhere. That just proves no one knows the names for Setsuna and Hotaru yet. Unless you work for Cloverway, Optimum, or are one of the VAs.

It's pretty funny to note how there are now three different sets of names for Haruka and Michiru in the US and Canada. "Amara" and "Michelle" for the SMS anime dub; "Corrin" and "Nerissa" for their Irwin dolls; and "Haruka" and "Michiru" for the Mixxzine manga and Mixxzine's anime Scout guides. It would have been even funnier if Mixxzine had went with "Alex", "Jenny", and whatever names they had for Michiru and Setsuna in their English manga, then there would be four different names for Haruka and three or four for Michiru!

Next, Amara and Michelle's personalities. Is it just me, or do Michelle and Amara need some serious attitude checks? Even if you dislike Haruka and Michiru, it's pretty obvious that they're nice to the Inner Senshi in the original. It's also obvious that Haruka and Michiru are portrayed as being elegant, sophisticated, talented people who would never ever say the type of things that fall out of their mouths in the SMS dub!

Michelle says things like "Meatball alert" when she sees Serena, and calling the girls "dweebs". Then there is when Michelle telling Serena that "you might even get to the point [with the violin] where no one's ears hurt". That is completely out of character. Would Haruka ever say, "Little Miss Beethoveen" or call Usagi and her friends the "peanut gallery", like Amara does? And for two soldiers who seem to be so prissy and snotty, why do they suffer from inferiority complexes? They both state that they're "not good enough" to do what they want- Amara isn't "good enough" to be a racer and Michelle isn't "good enough" to be a violinist, even though both are famous for those very things!

Are the script writers just bad at translating or they do they have some sort of personal vendetta against Haruka and Michiru so that they have to slam their dub counterparts with inferiority complexes that result in them having superiority complexes in public? I worship Tenoh Haruka, but Amara (whatever-her-last-name-is-if-she-has-one) seriously pisses me off.

Third, the most important aspect of the dub to some people so far- Amara and Michelle's relationship. "Driving Dangerously", the episode in which they finally appear, left a lot of fans relieved. Amara and Michelle didn't claim to be sisters, and at the end, Amara said she was a girl. Both Andrew and a waitress noticed Amara and Michelle's closeness, emphasizing how they made a good couple. Serena and Mina asked Michelle if Amara was her "Prince Charming", and Michelle said "no", which was true enough. The scene where Michiru puts her hand on Haruka's was cut, but everything else was alright, so things were left open.

Now switch to the next episode, "Bad Harmony", and fastforward to the scene where Amara and Michelle see Serena and her "peanut gallery" at the violin concert. The two girls have the following conversation. Michelle: "That must be Darien." Amara: "You're drooling, Michelle." Michelle: "Can't I look?" Amara agrees that she can. So, WHY is Michelle drooling over Darien? Michiru is a lesbian. Michiru would not be drooling over men. Taken one way, it's Amara just teasing Michelle; taken another, it's the dubbers saying that Michelle is at best bi, if not straight.

Amara and Michelle's relationship gets progressively worse. In the next episode, "Swept off Her Feet", Michelle and Amara tell Serena and Elizabeth about kissing. Michelle reminisces about her first kiss with the school hottie, Brad, then wonders where he is now. The first part might be understandable, even if all the Haruka-Michiru love fans are screaming at their TVs, but the second part just indicates that Michelle is obviously straight. It's not until the next episode, "Blinded by Love's Light", that we get the shocker. In this episode, Amy states that Amara and Michelle are cousins. Cousins?!

At this point, the comment is put in at such a strange place, at the weirdest time that you'd have to think, "Cousins? What? When did this happen?!" Like some people, you might think that the dubbers just said it to justify the whole "joke" of Amara and Michelle entering the love contest. BUT! Amy said it, not Amara and Michelle, and how would Amy know about them anyway if they never told the girls? The whole "cousins" thing might not be referred to again. However, why would the dubbers insert such a comment into the dialogue in the first place? Obviously to make it so that Amara and Michelle aren't lesbian lovers.

But moving on to "Lita Borrows Trouble", we get more proof that it's not the last of the "cousins" bit, it's just the beginning. Lita, wanting Amara as her "best friend" [cough, hack], is told by the others that Michelle is Amara's best friend. In the car, Amara introduces Michelle as her cousin. Michelle then says that she and Amara grew up together. So now you have Amara and Michelle saying that they're cousins. Yes, it's definitely official, they're cousins. They're related, so unless they come from the mountains of West Virginia, they're not likely to be lesbian lovers. You can basically see the rest snowballing from here- all the romance in future episodes is killed. All those looks and touches? It's not romantic, it's "cousinly love".

Episode 106? Well, unless they come up with a damn good explanation, the episode will not work at all and will obviously be poorly translated. Episode 106 explains how Haruka and Michiru met; Michelle explaining how she and Amara "grew up together" will not work at all, unless Michelle somehow states that she was lying about them being together since children. Episode 110 will lose a lot of its meaning as well, though it's probably scheduled for dumbing down anyway. We could always hope for a miracle, like Michelle and Amara saying they're not really cousins, and it was a cover-up story. Yes, them lying could work. Unfortunately, there was no need in the original for Haruka and Michiru to invent such a wild tale, so why would they do so in the dub? They wouldn't, except for the script writers needing to get rid of any hints of homosexuality.

As if finding out that the two icons for anime lesbians have been reduced to cousins wasn't enough, the dubbers just love to shove it down our throats even more! The next episode, "Damp Spirits", has Michelle and Amara calling each other "my cousin", and in "Friendly Foes", Michelle calls Amara "cuz". Yes, we get that you are cousins, not lovers. A lot of people were expecting the worse, and well, we probably got it. What would DIC have done? Probably DIC would've made them sisters. Cousins isn't that far off from sisters, given that the two grow up together anyway.

Despite Cloverway leaving in the original BGM, and being true to the script in many episodes, all those inconsistencies, plus the handling of Amara and Michelle's relationship just proves that they're not much different from DIC. Body shots, violence, and homosexuality have once again been eradicated. Weird names and terms are still used (though nothing Nega-ish, thank God), and name inconsistencies still exist.

Not that anyone was expecting Haruka and Michiru to remain lesbians in the dub- there was hope for best friends, but we got stuck with cousins. Cloverway's dubbing so far, especially with the Haruka/Michiru test, demonstrates that they can and will butcher if necessary, and a lot of episodes in SMS and SuperS will "need" butchering to make them fit their standards. Not that anyone thought SMS was going to be dubbed well anyway- oh, wait, I forgot, a lot of people did! To quote one person, "I hope Optimum dubs the episodes better than DIC!" Some people are suprisingly content with saying "It's not DIC. It could have been a lot worse." Yes, that's true, DIC would probably have done a lot worse. On the other hand, Cloverway's dub also could have been a lot better.

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Additonal (July 13th): It has now been revealed Pluto has been named Trista and Saturn somehow kept her original name, Hotaru. All four outers also kept their original family names. For more infomation, check out our Characters Name List by clicking here

  • June 23rd, 2000
  • As usual any comment made on this page is that of "The Amazoness Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions, etc, lalala...

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