SMS Dub Fun
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.
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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"
- "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
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
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
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.
* * *
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
June 23rd, 2000
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Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions,