Sailor Moon (DiC/Cloverway dub)
The DIC Entertainment (Seasons 1-2) and Cloverway (Seasons 3-4) dubs of Sailor Moon are a series of English dubs for the show which were produced from 1995-2000 and broadcasted via syndication on channels such as YTV, Fox Kids, Toon Disney, USA Network, and Cartoon Network's Toonami block, where the dub was arguably the most successful on. Although they were well received for the time, they were and still are heavily criticized for its censorship and unnecessary changes to the story and characters.
Why This Dub Sucks
- Much like the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z it is an expurgation of a popular anime series, as anything which they thought was violent and/or sexual was censored out.
- The transformation scenes were toned down because DIC claimed that they had partial nudity, which makes no sense because the characters are completely naked during them, just with chroma-keying on their skin.
- Some questionable changes:
- The character's names were changed to sound more American:
- Usagi was renamed Serena, though it would make sense as it sounds closer to her ancestor's name Princess Serenity.
- Minako was romanized as Mina. (which was her nickname in the original Japanese version)
- Makoto was renamed Lita, which may be a play on how similar Minako and Makoto's names are. But if this is true or not is yet to be confirmed.
- Chibiusa was renamed Rini, which is a play on the "rena" in Serena. Similarly to how Chibiusa is supposed to be a play on "Chibi Usagi".
- Ami was changed to Amy.
- Rei was changed to Raye. (Though it’s still pronounced the same way).
- In the nurse Venus episode, Rei is given something else instead of rice porridge.
- The character's names were changed to sound more American:
- Terrible voice acting for the most part.
- Usagi's voice sounds too old to be a 14-16 years old. Speaking of which, her voice is also even more annoying than in the Japanese version and the Viz dub due to her whining and crying being more annoying than usual. She speaks with a strange accent, and her voice was made even worse in Cloverway's dub. With some saying she sounds like a 40-year-old woman with a cigarette addiction. You be the judge.
- The casting choices are also questionable like Ami’s who for some reason talks in a British accent (the voice would fit more to Minako since she was actually born in Britain), and Luna having an elderly voice when she is said to be around the same age as Usagi.
- The soundtrack was completely replaced with a cheesy, generic soundtrack (all except for the theme song) which is considered disrespectful as the soundtrack in the original Japanese version was great, but understandable as DIC likely didn't license the original songs. The Cloverway dub did however include the original Japanese BGM, since Cloverway was formerly Toei's American branch.
- This is the opposite of how it usually works with English dubs of anime: the theme song is replaced, but the actual soundtrack is kept.
- Although, the second soundtrack album Sailor Moon and the Scouts: Lunarock did include two songs from the original Japanese version, so it's unknown if was due to licensing or not.
- Laughable dialogue that poorly translates from Japanese to English, including (but not limited to):
- "I'll give you a ride home on my motorcycle and make sure you go straight to bed."
- "Ever since you fell off the roof, you've been acting like a, granola bar!"
- "What did you call me, you top place on the worst dress list?!"
- "I love tuna fish and field mouse pudding."
- Pointless transition effects as a cheap way to make it look more hip and cool.
- The Sailor Says segments, which were only made to meet a certain E/I criteria.
- Possibly the most infamous censorship of all is the removal of LGBTQ+ characters. This can be understandable because LGBTQ+ themes weren't a common thing in Kids' TV shows back in the day.
- Zoisite was changed to be female due to his relationship with Kunzite.
- Fisheye was changed from an effeminate homosexual man to being female.
- Most infamous of all, changing Sailor Uranus and Neptune from lovers to cousins. Which was done so poorly that many people see it as an incest couple.We are not making this up!
- There are animation errors due to censorship.
- Some episodes were skipped and left undubbed in this dub. Episode 42 (Minako's backstory), was cut for unknown reasons, possibly because it could be found as too upsetting for a younger audience. Episode 2 was also skipped due to Umino's vandalism being too violent and sexual for a younger audience. Episode 67 was cut because of DIC not receiving the episode in their licensing package due to Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi's distain for the episode.
- The dialogue doesn’t properly fit into the character’s actions.
- The Cloverway dub worsened most of these problems, as it was rushed due to Cartoon Network wanting the rest of the series to be done in just a year, which of course means many more errors and questionable rewriting decisions.
- The 5th and final season, Sailor Stars, was not dubbed due to a plethora of reasons:
- The English rights to the entire franchise expiring.
- Toei Animation not wanting the season dubbed in English, stating that it wasn't suitable for the kid-friendly direction the dub was taking.
- The Sailor Starlights being rather hard to censor, due to their heavy transgender undertones, and Seyia, Sailor Star Fighter, having a crush on Usagi (a huge plot point in Sailor Stars).
- Speaking of the 5th season being left undubbed, it also means the dub ended on a cliffhanger with Queen Nehellenia undefeated at the end of SuperS (Season 4) and returning as the villain for the first 6 episodes of Sailor Stars. The Inner Sailor Guardians were also not seen finally getting into high school, which they regularly gushed about during seasons 3-4.
- Regarding characterizations, Rini (Chibiusa's name in this dub) is extremely unlikable in this dub, seeing as her brattiness is cranked up to eleven. In this dub, she's a rude and hot-headed bully. While Chibiusa was kinda bratty and no saint in the original Japanese version and even the Viz dub, she's nowhere that bad. At least she does have a couple of caring moments here and there, and she went on better terms with Usagi in the later seasons. In this dub, however, they made Rini (Chibiusa) mean and disrespectful to Serena (Usagi) like no tomorrow.
- It gets worse. Rei (named Raye) isn't immune to flanderization either, because she's more snobbish, arrogant and immature in this dub. Sure, Rei was hot-headed in the Japanese version and the Viz dub, but then again, at least she does care for Usagi and often willing to help her out.
- It introduced the English-speaking world to Sailor Moon. Like the dubs or not, the series' popularity wouldn't be as massive in the English speaking world had they not existed.
- The theme song is decent, in fact, many people have nostalgic memories with it.
- Though most of the voice acting isn't good some actors did at least tried, Like Emilie-Claire Barlow (Best known for voicing Courtney in Total Drama) as Minako (Or Mina in this dub).
- It later spawned the Viz dub which was far better received and considered an improvement. Not only that, but the Viz dub has minimal censorship or changes, making it more faithful to the original Japanese version, and actually includes the cut episodes and Sailor Stars.
- Minako herself is still a funny character, even if most of the lines given are terrible.
- Although still rushed, when Cloverway obtained the rights, their dub was much less censored. Especially episode 125, one of the darkest episodes of the entire series. Which was left mostly uncensored in Cloverway's dub.
- Despite its problems, these dubs have a fair amount of fans who unironically enjoy them and prefer it over the Viz Dub and original Japanese subbed. They can also be enjoyed in a "so bad, it's good" way with unintentionally hilarious scenes such as "NOT THE DUCKS!"and "Go bleach your roots creep!".
- While the some of the dialogue is terrible at times, it can be funny for viewers to enjoy.
- Although Usagi is called Serena in this dub, in the early English releases of the Sailor Moon mangas, Usagi was named Bunny. (Which by the way, Usagi means bunny in Japanese). Though as for the other characters, their names were the same as in this dub.
- The dubs are long out of print due to the North American license to the entire franchise currently being owned by Viz Media, who aren't planning on relicensing the dubs anytime soon and instead have opted to do their own redub of the entire series. Nowadays, the dubs can only be watched via buying the DVDs/VHS Tapes second-hand or illegal means such as torrents and streaming on unlicensed sites.
- Dubs of all three of the movies based on the show were also produced by Cloverway. They suffer from many of the problems the dub of the show itself faces.