If you weren’t watching Sailor Moon as a kid, you missed out on one of the queerest children’s shows of all time.

This queerness didn’t sit well with the companies responsible for the English-dubbed version that aired in North America. So they covered it up. Or tried to. Turns out, straightening out Sailor Moon is harder than it sounds. And in many cases, the end result looked just as queer as the original. Sometimes even queerer.

Here follows a list of attempts by the NA English dub to de-queer Sailor Moon, ranked from most to least effective.

1. Baby-Gay Sailor Jupiter

In Japan, the episode “Cold-Hearted Uranus! Makoto in Trouble” is about Sailor Jupiter (Makoto) getting what looks like a crush on Sailor Uranus.

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It turns out not to be a crush; she just wants to be exactly like Uranus when she grows up… a gorgeous butch lesbian.

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In North America, Jupiter wants to become “best friends” with Uranus. Sailor Moon tells her she can’t, because Uranus already has a “best friend” in Neptune.

More on those “best friends” later.

2. Zoisite and Kunzite

Zoisite and Kunzite are first-season villains.

In Japan, they are also a gay couple.

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(Not pictured: heterosexuality.)

In North America, Zoisite is a woman, though she lacks two very important attributes every other girl on the show has in abundance.

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(Not pictured: breasts.)

3. Tuxedo Mask’s Ex-Boyfriend From Space

In Sailor Moon R: The Movie, Sailor Moon’s boyfriend Tuxedo Mask gets a visit from Fiore, a male space alien who has not only a burning obsession with giving flowers to Tuxedo Mask but also a violent, jealous hatred of Sailor Moon.

In North America, we get all the same visuals between Tuxedo Mask and Fiore, but absolutely none of the other characters acknowledge the incredible queerness of the situation, which makes them all look completely oblivious.

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In Japan, this leads the other Sailor Scouts to speculate on the nature of the relationship between Tuxedo Mask and Fiore, eventually coming to the conclusion that they are ex-boyfriends.

Sailor Moon: Is he thinking too much? But they didn’t seem like just friends… No, Mamo-chan wouldn’t ever do that!

Sailor Mars: Mamoru looked rather serious too…

Sailor Jupiter: Oh yeah, he suddenly said he was going to go home, too…

Sailor Venus: I wonder if the guy we met at the botanical garden was an acquaintance of Mamoru’s.

Sailor Jupiter: You haven’t heard anything, Usagi?

Sailor Moon: No… Come to think of it, I know next to nothing of Mamo-chan’s past…

Sailor Mercury: Mamoru seems to be popular with men…

Sailor Mars: Such a comment from you, Ami?

Sailor Venus: Ami, you’re a perv!

Artemis: Ah, they had THAT kind of relationship.

Luna: I guess that ends today’s meeting.

Sailor Mercury: N-No! I didn’t mean it THAT way…

Sailor Mars: Then which way did you mean?

Sailor Mercury: W-Well, I meant…

Sailor Venus: You know, there’s a couple in that kind of a relationship at my school, too…

In North America:

Sailor Moon: Oh, I wonder what it is! There seemed to be some kind of connection between those two. Darien’s not allowed to have secrets.

Sailor Mars: Why? Because you can’t keep one to save your life?

Sailor Jupiter: I think that guy was just some kind of whacko.

Sailor Venus: Maybe Serena’s right. There did seem to be some kind of connection between them.

Sailor Jupiter: Serena, did Darien mention this guy?

Sailor Moon: No. We don’t talk about his past very much, I guess. He says it was too lonely.

Sailor Mercury: That’s strange, seeing how everybody’s in love with him.

Sailor Mars: Everybody including you?

Then the conversation collapses into a pile of girls talking over each other about cute guys because have we mentioned all the characters are heterosexual today?

This change of dialogue is even more bewildering considering an exchange between Fiore and Tuxedo Mask later on in the North American version…

Fiore: You swore me eternal friendship! But now you choose this dingbat over me, Darien!

Tuxedo Mask: She is my friend, as you are.

The “dingbat” in question is Sailor Moon, aka Tuxedo Mask’s girlfriend. So if Sailor Moon is to Tuxedo Mask what Fiore is to Tuxedo Mask…

Maybe it’s not as gay as it looks. How do these lines read in Japan?

Fiore: Why are YOU seeking solace from your loneliness with a dull girl like this? She’s going to deceive you soon anyway, and you’ll end up all alone!

Tuxedo Mask: Please, Fiore. If you believe that our friendship is true, then believe in her and the people on her planet.

So, to recap: North America turned a conversation speculating on Tuxedo Mask’s sexuality into a conversation about secrets and cute boys, and a conversation about believing in friendship into Tuxedo Mask coming out as bisexual and polyamorous. Nice job counteracting that homosexual agenda, guys.

4. The Incredibly Heterosexual Male Fashion Designer

In the episode “Love Those Minis! The Fashionable Soldiers,” there is a fashion designer named Yoshiki Usui…

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…who works very closely with his unnamed male “assistant.”

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In Japan, the villains send their minion Fisheye in male form to seduce Usui. This does not go over well with Usui’s assistant/boyfriend.

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In North America, Usui’s assistant becomes his “brother,” which makes the backrub scene between them a bit awkward.

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(Or, in English: “Ugh, thanks bro.”)

5. Fuck Your Binary Preconception of Gender, I’m a Magical Fish

Fisheye is a fish who has been magically transformed into a human-like shape to search human dreams for a pegasus because the evil head honcho said so.

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In Japan, Fisheye is arguably gender-ambiguous…

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…but more commonly interpreted as an effeminate man whose transforms into a woman to seduce other men.

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Except for the episode mentioned above, where Fisheye stays male to seduce the the fashion designer Yoshiki Usui.

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In North America, Fisheye is a woman 100% of the time, even in the episode where Fisheye stays male to seduce a gay man. This involves involves a lot of cut-aways and draw-overs to disguise Fisheye’s bare flat chest. In the DVD version they just gave up and used the original footage.

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Do not be deceived; those are pecs, not A-cups.

6. Kissing Cousins

At long last, the least-successful attempt at cutting out the gay, and the couple you’ve all been waiting for: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.

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Sailor Uranus (Haruka, aka “Amara” in the English dub) and Sailor Neptune (Michiru, aka “Michelle” in the English dub) are a lesbian couple who might as well be married. They can’t enter a room without spreading cherry petals and pastel freeze-frames everywhere. They’re constantly all up in each other’s personal space, always fight side-by-side––

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(No seriously this is how they enter every fight scene.)

––and die for each other. (It’s okay, they get better.)

In the North American dub, Uranus and Neptune are cousins. Trouble is, the dub only changed the dialogue, not the visuals. So we end up with, at best, creepy touchy-feely cousins, or more likely, incestuous lesbians.

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Totally cousins.

In the episode “Leave it to the Moon for Love Aid,” Uranus and Neptune enter an “affection contest” as a couple and only their decision to drop out at the last minute keeps them from winning.

In the North American version, however, it becomes a “friendship” contest… until the heterosexual couples enter, at which point it’s called a “true affection contest.”

The English dialogue also makes Sailor Moon and her friends sound weirdly homophobic.

Sailor Moon: Oh, look. Here come Amara [Uranus] and Michelle [Neptune].

Sailor Jupiter: Oh, great. Why do you think they’ve entered the contest?

Sailor Mercury: They’re girls, and cousins too!

Sailor Venus: Maybe they’ve decided to enter as a practical joke.

Then, immediately after this exchange, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mars start cheering for Uranus and Neptune to win. Make up your minds, ladies: do you like lesbians or not?

In an effort to cement Neptune’s heterosexuality, the North American version of the episode “Protect the Pure Heart! A Three-Way Battle” has Neptune describe her first kiss with her totally straight ex-boyfriend “Brad.” The fact that Brad happens to look exactly like Uranus in her flashback is more than a little suspicious.

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And then, as Neptune finishes her story–

“My sweet Brad. I wonder where he is today?”

–this happens:

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Yeah. “Brad.”

Despite all this, the kiss in the Japanese version wasn’t even between Uranus and Neptune; it was Neptune describing the first kiss between Adam and Eve as a romantic ideal. So the English-language version took an already heterosexual story from a canonical lesbian––and made it look gay.

For those of you bemoaning this infuriating (if ineffectual) censorship, good news! The new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, will be keeping the relationship between Uranus and Neptune intact––which is to say, gay as the day is long. No word yet on what will become of the other queer characters in the canon, but the future is looking bright.

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