Why did Dic/Cloverway/Optimum censor some stuff but not others?

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Jun 17, 2019
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#1
Something that's always baffled me about the old dub was just what was determined to be inappropriate for kids and what wasn't. Sure we all know about the gender changes, butchering of entire episodes like 44/45 and most infamous of all the "cousins." But then we get stuff like this left intact.

- The whole Naru/Nephrite subplot left completely unchanged. They didn't even bother deaging "Maxfield Stanton" or anything, tbh I'm surprised they didn't even think to skip these episodes.

- Mamoru still being in college while Usagi is an 8th grader

- The Demande/Usagi kidnap scenes, sure that one scene where he makes her kneel so that it looks like she was giving him a blow-job was cut out but other than that? The whole forced kissing shenanigans? Totally left intact. When it was outright sexual assault.

- That scene in SuperS where Chibi-Usa changes in front of Pegasus, shows her bare chest and he outright blushes!

If the dub was trying to make SM as "child-friendly" as possible why did they cherry pick what to cut and what not cut instead of just cutting it all? Not only that, they didn't just leave stuff in, sometimes they even made it worse! I think the old dub is what's largely responsible for the general misconception among the fandom that Mamoru is much older than he actually is. Sure the original sub aged him up compared to the manga, but only by 1 or 2 years. The old dub however by adding in that little comment about Darien having been a model after graduating college and changing some dialogue to insinuate his age such as Shingo's comment changing from "this guy's way too cool to be Usagi's boyfriend" to "this guy's way too old" helped pave the way to old Geocities/Angelfire sites where fans would constantly speculate on Mamoru's age, some even going so far as to say he was in his 30's or 40's (!!)

So let me get this straight: Age gaps between minors and adults, predatory behavior, attempted rape and pedophilia were all okay and deemed appropriate enough for little kids to view by Optimum's standards but gays and lesbians weren't? Can someone please try to explain the old dub's logic?
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#3
- The whole Naru/Nephrite subplot left completely unchanged. They didn't even bother deaging "Maxfield Stanton" or anything, tbh I'm surprised they didn't even think to skip these episodes.
Pretty sure the dub made a point that Maxfield Stanton was too old for Molly, like Serena said it or something. Naru’s crush on him was a huge plot point that would have been impossible to censor without rendering the story incomprehensible. They never had Nephlyte reciprocate romantic feelings towards her at any rate and made it clear what he was doing was wrong when he did act romantic toward her (less due to the age gap than his bad intentions of using her for the Negaforce but still)

- Mamoru still being in college while Usagi is an 8th grader
Admittedly I’m a loss to why they didn’t de-age him but the age gap would be deemed less problematic than gay people...existing. Welcome to America.

- The Demande/Usagi kidnap scenes, sure that one scene where he makes her kneel so that it looks like she was giving him a blow-job was cut out but other than that? The whole forced kissing shenanigans? Totally left intact. When it was outright sexual assault
Because he’s a bad guy and while trying to force a kiss on someone is repugnant it’s not exactly rape.

- That scene in SuperS where Chibi-Usa changes in front of Pegasus, shows her bare chest and he outright blushes!
Her bare chest isn’t developed so there’s that.

Can’t defend leaving the blushing in.

If the dub was trying to make SM as "child-friendly" as possible why did they cherry pick what to cut and what not cut instead of just cutting it all?
They hardly cherry picked

The old dub however by adding in that little comment about Darien having been a model after graduating college
He used to model to pay for tuition nothing about graduating college was said as he was still in college and at least one official dub source listed his age as 18


and changing some dialogue to insinuate his age such as Shingo's comment changing from "this guy's way too cool to be Usagi's boyfriend" to "this guy's way too old"
He is way too old.


helped pave the way to old Geocities/Angelfire sites where fans would constantly speculate on Mamoru's age, some even going so far as to say he was in his 30's or 40's (!!)
And they were probably joking (!!)

So let me get this straight: Age gaps between minors and adults, predatory behavior, attempted rape and pedophilia were all okay and deemed appropriate enough for little kids to view by Optimum's standards but gays and lesbians weren't? Can someone please try to explain the old dub's logic?
Predatory behavior that never goes past a G rating and is coming from the bad guys

You act like Optimum made the choice to eliminate gay characters without any reason. In 1995-2000 no way in hell were gay characters going to appear on us broadcast television for a show aimed at grade schoolers. It was controversial at the time to include gay characters in shows aimed at an older audience than Sailor Moon.

Of course it speaks volume how ridiculous things were (and still are to a point) that even acknowledging gay people exist on kids tv has the house wives clutching their pearls and calling their local governor to complain but the problem is the screwed up priorities of American moral values not Optimum.
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#4
Ironically though, they kind of made Fisheye less problematic by making him a trans woman. Even if it was totally unintentional.
Trans visibility was also not much of a thing back in 2000 so I doubt Cloverway/Optimum even considered the possibility of Fish Eye being construed as a male to female transexual. Generally when transexuals appeared in media they were just treated as super gay men who cross dressed (so pretty much what the Japanese version of Sailor Moon SuperS did) like the episode of Xena with a “gender bending character” even though the episode clearly had its heart in the right place it couldn’t make up its mind if the character was a female trapped in a male’s body, a drag queen, or a really extra gay man who liked women’s clothing but “identified as a man”
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#5
The dub came out in 1995.

1995 was also the year The Babysitters Club movie came out, in which 13 year old Stacey dated 17 year old Luc. When he learned her age, he freaked out a little, but the storyline resolved itself by having Stacey tell him she'd be 14 next summer when he returned from Europe.

Around this time the first SuperMystery was released in which 13 year old Claudia basically dates a college student and no one says anything (though she eventually tells him she just wants to be friends).

Basically it was just a different time.
 
Jun 30, 2010
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#6
Most of the points covered by the OP have already been countered by others. Basically, what is considered irredeemable now was considered wrong, but not unforgivable by the standards of the mid 90's censors. It's only within the past few years that we have gotten away from forced kisses being a harmless or relatively muted form of punishment to a gross violation of bodily autonomy.

Regarding the age gap between Serena and Darien, another point is that due to mistakes, they may have initially aged Serena.

In "The Return of Sailor Moon" Alan and Ann are introduced as being in 10th and 9th grade respectively. This is a grade higher than their equivalents in the Japanese version. This would make Serena possibly 15 and not 14.

Of course, later on, when the scripts started getting closer to the original version, Serena's age of 15 in S and Super S was firmly set, it really throws continuity into the trash.

I also want to add that Sammy's comment isn't really that creepy given than Sammy's a prepubescent boy. To him, anything older than his sister is probably old. If anything, the lampshading of Darien's age isn't just a funny comment or even a jab at the material, but also ties into the irony of him and Serena being the the reincarnation of people from centuries ago.
 
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Nov 22, 2016
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#7
The dub came out in 1995.

1995 was also the year The Babysitters Club movie came out, in which 13 year old Stacey dated 17 year old Luc. When he learned her age, he freaked out a little, but the storyline resolved itself by having Stacey tell him she'd be 14 next summer when he returned from Europe.
Is this age gap considered too much in the US now?