As anime make their way overseas, they're localized and adapted to fit Western audiences. While there are definitely some amazing English dubbed anime, a fair share of the localization just doesn't match up. Writers and American daytime TV will change an anime to be more palatable for the little types in the Western side of the world, dismantling and ruining the original intent and purpose of the Japanese creators.
Sure, there are cases where anime dubs change the script for of translation purposes but, regardless, such changes have definitely resulted in some of the best anime series turning into one big joke. What's even more unfortunate is that the English dubs can be changed multiple times, meaning that one agency changes an anime and then a second agency changes it again. This gives viewers a haphazardly sewn and censored version of the animation and voice overs.
You're about to dive headfirst into anime dubs that made big changes and succumbed to the burden of English adaptation to the point where it completely destroyed the original integrity. Vote up the anime that has been changed most drastically by its English localization.
The heavy amount of changes that this poor magical girl anime endured during its original run on US television is pitiful. The lesbian relationship between two of the sailors was changed to a slightly awkward cousin relationship. In addition, not only were entire episodes removed, which tainted the backstories for some characters such as Sailor V, but the entire fifth season was left completely out.
The fifth season involved the gender-swapping Sailor Starlights and was considered too controversial to be aired as a popular kids show in the '90s.
Number of Seasons: 4see more on Sailor Moon
Poor Dragon Ball Z endured extreme censorship in America, where the show was marketed toward kids watching daytime TV. Since the original bloody battles, lewd behavior, cursing, and drug and alcohol use were a dangerous concoction for their TV time slot and demographic, these scenes were either edited visually or completely removed, sometimes resulting in entire episodes being replaced.
Blood was turned green, alcohol was removed to create empty glasses, and cigarettes were completely erased. To make things more palatable for younger audiences, all references to Hell were removed, with one particular scene resulting in new reference to "HFIL," the new "Home for Infinite Losers."
Number of Seasons: 16see more on Dragon Ball Z
When Yu-Gi-Oh! made its appearance in the West, it was tactfully reconstructed as a card-game anime that was purely meant to be marketing fodder for young children. The original anime, which still included Dual Monsters, was more of a twisted, dark fantasy anime where Yami Yugi viciously murdered some of the opposing players in his "Shadow Games."
Much like the American horror classic Saw, the participants in these games gambled with their lives. Many players met their horrific ends by being burned alive, falling to their death, or suffering from grotesque visions of body horror while descending into madness. Of course, all of the death sequences were removed in the English adaptation and 4Kids Entertainment replaced these scenes with a fabricated "Shadow Realm" instead.
Premiered: 1998see more on Yu-Gi-Oh!
Cardcaptor Sakura not only got a name change to Cardcaptors, it also had major pieces of the storyline altered to make the show more appealing to both boys and girls when the show was originally intended for young girls. The American dub started out at episode 8, went straight to 12, and continued to jump around from there. The relationships developed between characters (especially members of the same sex) were snipped from the final production, leaving Yukito's (a boy's) romantic endeavors towards Sakura's older brother totally out of the picture.
Premiered: 1998see more on Cardcaptor Sakura