Gender Changes in Anime

United States
July 15, 2007 2:16am CST
Have you ever watched an anime in which a character's gender was changed when dubbed into a language other than the original Japanese? The most unbelievable example for me is the change of Zoisite from a male (original) to a female (American) in the anime Sailor Moon. The dubbers did this since Zoisite was in love with another member of the Shitennou, Kunzite (Malachite in the American) and apparently it is forbidden to show a male/male relationship. I think changing a person's entire gender and personality is going incredibly overboard to cover up such a trivial thing! Sailor Moon dubbers also changed the character of FishEye from male to female to cover up his crossdressing and attraction to Mamoru/Darien. Another example is the Filipino version of Kurama or "Dennis/Denise" in the anime Yu Yu Hakusho (dubbed as Ghost Fighter). Now, this isn't a case of deliberate censorship... But for those of you who have never heard, apparently Filipino dubbers mistook Kurama for a girl and gave him a woman's name and voice (though the voice is fine since Kurama is originally voiced by a woman anyway) and then when they realized their mistake, they changed his character to male and claimed he disguises himself as a woman part of the time. Doesn't this seem like a bit of a HUGE mistake that could have been avoided by actually reading the script before beginning production? It's rather shocking to me that a company could begin dubbing of a television program and not even know whether the characters are male or female... But, anyway, do you know of any other anime where characters' genders were changed, purposely or not? Also, when a gender is changed due to censorship issues, does this bother you, or ruin the anime for you? Do you find it as ridiculous as I do?
5 responses
@lancingboy (1386)
• United States
9 Sep 07
I know in the Cardcaptors series, the guy Tory (Sakura's brother) and Julian were not best friends, they were boyfriends in the Japanese version. In the Yugioh series during the Battle City tournament, I think Joey found Tristan and Duke Devlan sleeping in the same bed. Or it might have been Tristan who found Joey and Duke Devlan sleeping in the same bed. I forgot, but I have a picture of the scene and the American version was edited not to show it. So I am guessing there is something there implied that they wanted to protect the kids from? lol.
1 person likes this
@Pompon (1758)
• Poland
9 Sep 07
Touya was not Yukito's boyfriend -_-' C'mon he was in love with the redheaded lady (I don't remember her name)...
• United States
9 Sep 07
Okay, I see that someone tried to tell you Touya (Tori) and Yukito (Julian) were not boyfriends... well you're wrong and right. They ARE best friends, but it is revealed that they are starting to fall in love with each other later on in the series. Touya dated the 'red headed lady', whose name is Kaho Mizuki, at one time, but she informed him when she went away that by the time they saw each other again, he would have fallen in love with someone else. That person was, of course, Yukito. Yukito also reveals his feelings when Sakura confesses her love to him, and he has to tell her he already loves someone else. She then very wisely figures out that it's her brother (pretty smart for a little girl). So, it's true that they weren't boyfriends, YET. Whether or not they started dating is never pointed out specifically, but their behavior towards each other seems to indicate that they did get together in the end. Oh and as for the Yu-Gi-Oh thing... I'll bet anything it was Joey, lol.
• United States
11 Sep 07
Thanks for clearing that up for me Candid, that helped a lot. The only red haired woman I remember in that series was Ms. McKensey, Sakura's temporary teacher who had those bell things that awakened Yuwe's powers. As for the Yugioh episode with the boy in question, I'll look for that pic on my flashdrive and post it on here. I'm pretty sure it was Joey who caught Tristan and Duke. I think it's unusual that they were sleeping in the same bed since Kaiba's blimp had enough rooms for everyone lol.
• United States
25 Jul 07
Well, Sailor Moon already had a Japanese gender change from the manga: originally Haruka was able to switch between male and female, whereas the Japanese version of the anime made her solid female. There was a bit of a to-do over Inuyasha, where apparently they were planning on pulling a Zoisite on Jakotsu, another cross-dressing, gay male villain. From what I heard, they dubbed the entire arc with him as a girl, but there was such fan outrage, they re-dubbed it and covered it up. Card Captor Sakura (Cardcaptors, US) had the misfortune of having a cute female lead, (oh no, cooties!) and since no one was going to believe the adorable Sakura was a boy, they made a male supporting character into the lead, and pushed back Sakura's role (as well as her place in the title) with "creative editing." Similarly, they butchered Escaflowne, to cut out all that "stupid girl stuff" and get to the action faster. This doesn't bother me horribly, because I don't watch dubs anyway. Even when it's uncensored, my ears would still bleed from the horrible voices.
• United States
31 Jul 07
Actually, Haruku never was a boy, or a Hermaphrodite, or anything like that in the manga. Naoko Takeuchi even said so herself, so, I think that is just a rumor. People in the manga did mistake her for a boy though (more than once I think).
• Philippines
7 Nov 07
oh wow.. i've only known this now. i've watched Yu Yu Hakusho and i love that anime. ^_^ it's quite bothering indeed. For my side, these mistakes are quite unforgivable to the original authors. Altering such a masterpiece is quite a no no right? What if the original authors come to know this such mistake? I wonder what it would be like. ^_^ i haven't observe any mistakes like these in animes, thank you for the infos! =)
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
24 Jul 07
in the filipino-dubbed version haruka's voice was more, as in very much male-like than the japanase original voice. i think it was too much to show that haruka was tomboyish. they didnt have to do that since even only in haruka's way of dressing anyone can tell that she's sort of a tomboy.
• Philippines
15 Jul 07
well it would bother me, only I didn't watch sailor moon really. As for the dennis mistake, they really should've read the script pre-production. One thing I want to rant about though is music changes that just for me ruined the anime. I'm talikng about Dragon Ball Z that Funimation is showing in the U.S... Compare the funimation version to the japanese or even filipino versions, you'll get what I'm talking about.