1. The transgender theme was cut out.
The final arc of Sailor Moon introduced new characters called the Sailor Starlights. These scouts — Sailor Star Maker, Healer, and Fighter — were significantly more unique than the traditional Sailor Scout, because unlike the others, they were men. By day the Sailor Starlights roamed the town as (really popular and attractive) male celebrities. Every girl was enamored with them. However, once evil showed up they’d transform into their female alter egos.
This sort of trans theme was clearly opposed by America, as the final arc was never picked up and aired in America. Fans who wanted to see the end of the series had no choice but to wait for the Japanese version to release subtitles. It’s never been confirmed that the Sailor Starlights are the sole cause of the final series not being picked up, but it seems very likely, considering the trans representation (or lack thereof) in this country.
2. Sexism plagues the American adaptation.
Fans might see the above scenes as significantly more violent than they remember from childhood. That’s because the scenes are radically different. The handling of the first death of the Sailor Scouts is a testament to the sexism plaguing the American adaptation. Rather than following the storyline and having the Sailor Scouts die, the adaptation had them “kidnapped” or “trapped.” Because clearly when someone is caught in the middle of an explosion they survive.
The death of the Sailor Scouts is only one example of the adaptation’s unfair treatment of women. While Sailor Moon was edited to be less violent, other shows that aired at the same time, like Dragonball Z, were able to show violent and bloody scenes (remember when Piccolo ripped off his own arm?). Characters on Dragonball Z died plenty of times…so why can’t Sailor Scouts die too?
The difference between the two shows is that one was geared towards girls, and one towards boys. We have no problem letting boys see death and blood, but we sugarcoat these themes when it’s being shown to girls. I’m not saying that girls absolutely need to see characters dying on TV — what I’m saying is that we need to treat children equally. Protecting girls from violence and death only perpetuates stereotypical tropes that encourage women to stay meek and innocent, while doing the opposite for boys encourages them to be more aggressive and violent.
The editing of the adaptation consistently lightened the original content of the series. In fact, while the original season one finale was two episodes long, the American adaptation was edited so thoroughly that its season one finale was only one episode long. America treats female and male characters very differently, and this is only one piece of evidence among countless.
3. America’s homophobia towards the relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.
The American adaptation of Sailor Moon completely morphed the relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Originally the characters were lovers, showing time after time how dedicated they were to one another. This wasn’t a small edit, by any means; America blatantly took this part out, leaving us with awkwardly intimate moments between these “cousins,” and removing clearly romantic moments altogether. I guess incestuous undertones are better than gay ones, right?