Why were the missing episodes excluded from the English dub of the first two seasons of Sailor Moon?
During the process of adapting the first season of the Sailor Moon anime for an English speaking audience, five episodes of the original Japanese version were left out and never given an English audio release (though they can be found in their original Japanese audio with English subtitles on ADV's Sailor Moon Box Set).
In addition to these five episodes, the final two episodes of the season were merged into one (the famous Day of Destiny) naturally with 50% of the footage cut to get the runtime down to that of an average episode.
No official reason has been given for these exclusions and edits though many fans have speculated that they were done due to violence or themes deemed inappropriate for young western viewers.
While this could very well be the case with the final two episodes (which featured the deaths of almost every character in the original version) and the second original episode (that showed school violence, sexual themes and sexist portrayals of female characters) there are other possible reasons.
The animation and story quality of the first few episodes were very poor compared to the rest of the series and could have been cut due to quality concerns. Another reason could be simply pacing. If all the original episodes were left in it would have taken eight episodes (or eight weeks / two months in "viewer time" if the show aired once a week) until Sailor Moon met Sailor Mercury! That could have frustrated many viewers who were waiting for the other Sailors to appear and caused many fans to stop watching due to lack of interest.
The most likely reason though is probably due to simple contracts. When the initial batch of Sailor Moon episodes was bought and dubbed, the number of episodes was 65. These episodes ran through the first Japanese season and two thirds of the way through the second season (Sailor Moon R). 65 episodes is a very common number in American tv for tv series (try a Google search for "65 tv episodes") and DiC could have possibly been limited by this standard. If DiC adapted all the first 65 episodes of the Sailor Moon anime, the finale would have been the average monster of the day episode, A Charmed Life which would have left almost every running plot completely open and been a very unsatisfying ending. By cutting 5 episodes from the first season and one from the second season (all of which were fillers) and merging the season one finale into one episode the new 65th episode and the new series finale fell on Sibling Rivalry which featured a major battle with all the main characters, resolved (for the most part) the characters of the Four Sisters, revealed the Sailor Scouts identity to Rini and ended on a touching and funny scene that seemed very appropriate for a finale.
Whatever the reason for these famous "Missing Episodes", I hope you enjoy these complete illustrated episode guides detailing exactly what fans missed out on in their initial viewing of Sailor Moon and while I'm sure everyone has seen Day of Destiny, I can't recommend enough the original Japanese two parter that ended this classic first season for a very different end to what we know.
This question was answered in a general response to Moonies everywhere.
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