.....While it had nowhere near as
many episodes (despite having a longer run chronologically), Jem has
something the other Sunbow shows never had much of: songs. The songs, while not
unheard of in Japanese animation (to say the least), presented a situation
where re-takes could be rampant. Thankfully, though, Jem premiered
just as the re-take budgets began to shrink. However, the first part of the
series aired as a part of the compilation show Super Sunday, and when
Jem graduated from that program, those brief episodes were combined and
expanded for the half-hour format, creating two versions of the same episodes,
and the potential for even greater issues from the error-prone Rhino.
.....Time codes are derived from Rhino's DVD releases.
Beginning"-three changes (verified using bootleg of original
Jem series broadcast and AVID's version of FHE's "Truly Outrageous!"
Description: Oh, this is going to be fun. The first time we see Eric Raymond, and the truck-in is botched in the original take, as it fails to stop (and possibly never gets in as close as the broadcast version, but framing issues make this unclear). The best part? Sunbow caught this one before the Super Sunday airing. Go team Rhino!
Description: The animation of the coastline was frozen for broadcast.
Description: When reinserting the titles (which were timed absolutely terribly in this episode, BTW), Rhino forgot to put in the "To Be Continued..." tag.
changes (verified using bootleg of original Jem series broadcast and
AVID's version of FHE's "Truly Outrageous!" tape)
Description: The explosion is frozen in the broadcast version, primarily because the Act break was placed differently when the episode was expanded into the final half-hour format.
Description: A coloring error with Roxy's hair results in a complete alteration of a shot due to insert a close-up of Pizzazz from moments later in the scene.
Rebellion"-three changes and eight variations (verified using bootleg
of '80s re-broadcast and AVID's version of FHE's "Truly Outrageous!"
Description: The Rhino version of this episode is time-compressed compared to the home video version, likely due to a poor transfer of some sort.
Description: The Rhino DVDs have a severely shortened version of the rather long recap to this episode. Given the length of the cuts, as well as the alternate shot that opens the Rhino recap, I'm inclined to believe that the recap Rhino used for their box set was the one prepared for USA when that channel aired Jem during the late '80s and into the early '90s as part of their expansive (and long-discontinued) Cartoon Express lineup.
Description: This one's a bit complicated, as the order and timing of shots was changed a bit. In the DVD version, the first shot is extended so that we see the other ship pass (which is a fairly significant timing error, as the other ship should not be viewable from the bridge at this point. This was clipped out, leaving only the bit where the ship levels off. The captain declares, "Reduce speed!" partially during both the first and second shots in the broadcast version, but entirely in the second shot on the DVDs. "Bring her back down!" occurs during the same shot of the boat on both versions (though at slightly different points). The shot of the captain wiping his brow appears correctly after the shot of the boat, and the episode continues in a synched-up fashion from that point on. The difference in the two versions is due to Rhino pulling the original negatives from the Super Sunday version, and filling in the gaps (which there are quite a few of) with the negatives prepped for the half hour version of the episode.
Description: A shot of the Misfits cruising by in their lifeboat is omitted in the series version, as is the line, "We simply must do this again some time," quite possibly because the line (by Roxy) bleeds into animation of Stormer laughing.
Description: Shana's line, "Let's do it right now!" is omitted in the broadcast version. These lines were trimmed in the transition to the weekday series.
Description: Another extraneous line, "We can never thank you enough!" that never survived the transition from Super Sunday to Jem, likely due to the very odd voicing by Cathianne Blore.
Description: Another cut line, from Stormer: "Okay, let's do it again."
Description: A pan involving the Arc de Triomphe is cut. Also, the Rhino version has significantly different music-it features an instrumental version of "Twilight in Paris", while the broadcast version features normal music from the series. The series music is much more appropriate to the scene, as the series' suspense theme plays as Kimber approaches Zipper.
Description: Unlike my original suspicion, this shot is apparently not in the Super Sunday version, as much of the songs in this episode are hacked in half. In other words, this shot was made for the half-hour version, then re-ordered when it turned out awfully.
Description: A substantial portion of the "Twilight in Paris" video (much of it being the parts not dealing with Jem and Rio) is removed in the final broadcast version. Of note is the second shot, which shows Kimber with pink hair. Oddly, the last show is not in the FHE version (and looks like it was done by the same studio that added animation to this episode for the weekday airings).
Description: This quick shot of the Holograms is also removed from the final broadcast version.
Up"-one change (verified using bootleg of '80s re-broadcast)
Description: A little bit of normalcy after the chaotic recap and first act in the previous episode. Yet again, Rhino goofed a Sunbow recap by pulling 35mm footage from the episode the footage came from (in this instance, close to the end of "The Beginning") when the recap really used alternate, incorrect footage.
Battle of the Bands"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s
Starbright Part 1: "Falling Star"-one change (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
Description: In an extremely cute move, Rhino switched from broadcast master footage of the recap to incorrect footage culled from 35mm footage. Rhino + Sunbow recap = FAIL.
Part 2: "Colliding Stars"-one change (verified using bootleg of '80s
Description: The first shot of Act 3 and most of Jem's call for help was mysteriously removed from Rhino's DVD version.
Part 3: "Rising Star"-14 changes (verified using bootleg of '80s
Description: More recap shenanigans. The music is totally different, and shots are different in places. The kicker, however, is the end of the recap: the broadcast version, like with "Kimber's Rebellion", has no fade to black. On the Rhino version, however, the end of the recap is altered to have a fade to black, with the above establishing shot (which smacks of video editing on Rhino's part) used to place the title card. These changes are utterly mystifying.
Description: Another absolutely bizarre alteration. For the briefest of moments, the correct shot following the shot of Kimber shouting for help is seen before this bit of animation is seen. Then, things revert to the last frame of the shot of Kimber and play forward from that point, and the music noticeably begins to match in both versions.
Description: This shot, culled from the broadcast masters, replaces a transition in the episode's first song as seen in the broadcast version. Again, Rhino completely botches this episode.
Description: The opening truck-in of Act 2 (which is where Rhino's phony title card came from) is absent in the Rhino version.
Description: OK, that's it. I'm declaring this episode to be the "Heavy Metal War" of Jem episodes botched by Rhino.
Description: In a move worthy of USA, the Rhino DVDs cut short a shot and splice in the dialogue over the next shot. The shots do not synch up until the second shot of Rio receiving directions on how to throw "movie" punches.
Description: The animation of Pizzazz's father is extremely choppy in the Rhino version, and it shows signs of having been altered in some manner.
Description: See Change #12.
World Hunger Shindig"-14 changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 1,
"Passport to Rock" and FHE's "Last Resorts" tape)
Description: After going through both American VHS releases, there's no doubt that the DVD version is too slow, likely yet again to a bad transfer on Rhino's part.
Description: I'm guessing the issue leading to a re-take was Eric hands?
Description: The original effect, which is technically consistent with how Synergy's holograms behave, was discarded with a re-take due to the issue of the sheer scope of the hologram in this case.
Description: This shot of the hay cart veering away is missing in the DVD version.
Description: The picture cuts away to Jem and the Holograms waving to the crowd far quicker in the Rhino version, and to compensate the pan of Zipper dropping the money into his bag moments later is artificially slowed down (and is likely a re-take in the broadcast version on top of it).
Description: Kimber's eyes remain open in the Rhino version, as opposed to opening in the next shot (which is also different across the two versions).
Description: Eric's eyes look, for lack of a better work, Asian in this shot on the DVD version.
Description: A re-take ordered because the spotlights were barely visible in the initial take.
Description: The special effects with the sun and the layering of the foreground element are handled poorly in the original take. Ironically, the animators forgot to include the wheat in the re-take, creating a rather silly-looking error.
Description: The initial shot of Pizzazz is repeated in the Rhino version, when Jem pops up in the broadcast version.
Description: A quick fade-out is not present in the DVD version, marking another silly Rhino change.
Description: Part of the celebration is cut out on the DVDs due to a strobing effect. Note that Rhino did nothing of the sort with an even worse example of strobing (or paka paka if you want to use Japanese terminology) in G.I. Joe's first episode, "The Cobra Strikes" (and its later re-uses in MASS Device recaps).
Description: This shot was added in the DVD version, likely to help cover up the bit that was removed.
Description: The awfully done effect in the original take was changed to just the flashing dollar sign for broadcast.
In China"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 1, "Passport To
"Last Resorts"-no changes (verified using FHE's "Last Resorts" tape)
"In Stitches"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 2, "Fashion Fiasco")
"The Jem Music Awards" Part 1-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 3, "The Music Awards")
"The Jem Music Awards" Part 2-one variation (verified using FHE's Volume 3, "The Music Awards" Note: Recap not verified)
Description: This shot, cribbed from the previous Misfits song, appears in the Rhino DVDs, but not the FHE release. However, FHE rules apply (i.e., expect edits and alterations), so I'm counting it as a variation until more definitive proof arises.
Rock Fashion Book"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 3, "The
"Broadway Magic"-four changes (verified using FHE's Volume 6, "Glitter 'N Gold")
Description: This shot of Eric and Roxy was flipped for broadcast to mirror the perspective of Stormer.
Description: In the original take, Roxy pauses after Pizzazz and Stormer move offscreen. A re-take was ordered wherein Roxy moves with the other Misfits. This re-take ends rather roughly as it lasts longer than the rejected version to cover up Roxy joining her bandmates in the next shot.
Description: Either through a re-take or through some video editing, the truck-in was increased to further emphasize the crystal ball.
Description: The background of the Statue of Liberty slides across in a fairly unrealistic manner in the original take, prompting a re-take.
Search of the Stolen Album"-three changes (verified using bootleg of
Description: More Rhino stupidity. There's a fade to black after Jerrica walks off screen, which Rhino eliminated by slowing down the last part of the shot leading into the fade-out.
Description: Same story as with #1.
Description: And yet again.
Time in Hawaii"-two changes (verified using FHE's Volume 5, "Hot Time
Description: Behold, the first screw-up I found. (Let's just say I was at the mercy of the Google when I started in on Jem.) In the broadcast version, the camera is zoomed-in on Kimber and Steve (aka, Kimber boytoy #135), so that you can't see Steve's pants. After the color of Steve's pants blinks orange for a moment, the camera slowly zooms back out to the default position.
Description: The last part of the hilarious "We're the Misfits in Hawaii" video was faded out for broadcast primarily because the camera moves and the animation look terrible.
Princess and the Singer"-three changes (verified using FHE's "The
Princess and the Singer" tape)
Description: The original cut of this episode has a direct cut to and cut away from black instead of the intended fade-out and fade-in. The broadcast version fixes this.
Description: The shot of the suspicious guard is wildly different in the Rhino version, but both have signs of having been altered in some way. The Rhino version features a different truck-in (with highly obvious jaggies-a sure sign that the shot was altered by modern video-editing equipment), and the broadcast version of the shot is far tighter on the guard.
Description: The song encores have been omitted from the Rhino DVDs, resulting in a substantially shorter running time. Oddly, the Misfits encore on the FHE tape is "Universal Appeal" and not "The Queen of Rock and Roll".
of Deception"-no changes (verified using FHE's Volume 5, "Hot Time in
"Old Meets New"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Intrigue at the Indy 500"-no changes (verified using bootleg of FHE's "Culture Clash" tape)
"The Jem Jam" Part 1-seven changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
Description: The Rhino version cribs from moments earlier in the episode, so I'm guessing that the footage was missing in the original take, leading to the re-take (and explaining why this episode has a relatively high number of re-takes in general for Jem).
Description: The Misfits' costumes are supposed to reflect light in every shot. The animators left that effect out in the original take in these shots (leaving, oddly, one shot uncorrected).
Description: This re-take was ordered because the shot in the original take is composed exactly like the shot before it.
Description: More fun with the Misfits' fugly outfits.
Description: The re-take here was ordered to speed up the pan, but every character except for Jem and Johnny was completely redrawn, as well.
Description: Even Jem can't avoid Rhino's needless and frankly moronic digital tinkering. Why their restoration people felt the need to alter effects like this is beyond me.
Jem Jam" Part 2-three changes (verified using bootleg of '80s
Description: Again, this shot is screwed up, but as is the case with the recaps, the problem is different. While the footage in Part 1 was simply a glowing blue light on Techrat's remote, in the recap, it's a quick flash of blue light followed by an effect like the one simulated by Rhino-the recap, like with the infamous missing mountain top in The Transformers' third episode, is correct, but the episode itself is wrong.
Description: Due to the dissolve and the choppy pan (similar to the pan at the end of Act 2 of "Heavy Metal War"), a simple video-edited zoom was not possible, resulting in a re-take. Note that the pool was hastily added in using a rather ugly cel.
Description: The starting position and speed of the pan across Pizzazz's loot (which is probably the least stylized part of the entire song sequence) were altered with a re-take before broadcast.
Clash"-no changes (verified using Rhino's Volume 2, "Fashion
"Glitter and Gold"-one change and one variation (verified using FHE's Volume 6, "Glitter 'N Gold")
Description: A timing goof like this would probably never be corrected under normal circumstances, but as Christy Marx herself said in the DVD commentary, the "Glitter and Gold" campaign was of extreme importance to Hasbro at the time.
Description: Invoking the FHE Rules again, I'm declaring this change (the omission of the longer shot of Jem and Rio dancing) a variation until I have more definitive proof. I will note that this episode (which has no time for a "Jem Superstar" PSA) has a running time of a couple of seconds longer than the first five episodes of the series (which also ran without the PSAs) on the Rhino DVDs.
Talent Search" Part 1-no changes (verified using FHE's "Talent Search"
Description: And the second Jem box set begins as poorly as the first. Rhino inserted a close up of Roxy for no reason, and left evidence of their work by having the shot end with a jaggy-filled freeze frame.
Talent Search" Part 2-one change (verified using FHE's "Talent Search"
Description: This episode, as presented on the Rhino DVD set, is sped-up, as evidenced by a 22:23 running time, which is too long for a "Jem Superstar" PSA. My best guess is that the episode received a poor transfer of some kind (as I've heard that the telecine transfers Rhino used were automated).
changes (verified using FHE's "The Princess and the Singer" tape)
"One Jem Too Many"-one change (verified using a time-compressed '80s re-broadcast)
Description: The fade-out between Rio leaving Jerrica and getting in his car was eliminated by Rhino, and to cover it, they crossfaded the two separate pieces of background music.
"The Bands Break Up"-one change (verified
using a time-compressed '80s re-broadcast)
Description: Footage of Stormer's close-up from seconds later is inserted in order to edit out Stormer spitting out her ice cream. Rhino, naturally, being lazy as hell, did nothing to fix this apparent animators' joke.
Fan"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Father's Day"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Treasure Hunt"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Aztec Enchantment"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Music Is Magic"-one change (verified using bootleg of an unknown broadcast, possibly YTV)
Description: Lazy Rhino + bad AKOM animation = incorrect footage. Professor Frick's assistant is completely removed from the shot as aired because his mouth begins moving instead of the Professor's.
"The Jazz Player"- no changes (verified
using a time-compressed '80s re-broadcast)
"Danse Time"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"Roxy Rumbles"-no changes (verified using bootleg of an unknown broadcast, possibly YTV)
"Alone Again"-no changes (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
"KJEM"-no changes (verified using a time-compressed '80s re-broadcast)
"Trick Or Techrat"-no changes (verified using a time-compressed '80s re-broadcast)
"The Presidential Dilemma"-one change (verified using bootleg of '80s broadcast)
Description: Seemingly to preserve the streak of discs with at least one foul-up, this episode is time-compressed on the DVDs. Granted, the episode is pretty bad (and the animation by AKOM even worse), but this is beyond annoying.
N' Roll Express"-one change (verified using bootleg of '80s
broadcastNote: Song encore not verified)
Description: Well, this officially completes the Rhino cycle. They screwed up in every possible way with all three of the Sunbow series they remastered: from recaps with the wrong footage to re-takes left uninserted to video edits unperformed and even the insertion of footage in the wrong places, we can now add errors in the title cards (besides the fonts and timing which are wrong on nearly every single episode of The Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Jem put out on DVD in "remastered" form) to the mix. Anyone have an appropriate booby prize for Rhino?
Gras"-four changes (verified using bootleg of '80s
Description: The camera trucks in on the portrait of Shana's lookalike in the Rhino version, but not in the broadcast version.
Description: The first Act fades to black as Shana begins to sit up in the broadcast version in an extremely obvious bit of tinkering in post production by Sunbow. Further exposing Rhino's laziness is how Shana's scream fades out in time with the aired act break and not the abrupt ending we see on the DVDs.
Description: Apparently, someone at Sunbow wanted to delay the stylized portion of the song sequence, resulting in this change. What's particularly maddening about this uninserted re-take is that Rhino did in fact catch a shot during the song that needed to be replaced.
Description: Another shot of the mysterious eye in LaFitte's portrait was added for effect. (Side note: LaFitte is also the last name of G.I. Joe's cajun marine, Gung-Ho. This is rather ironic given that GH calls out Snow Job on being a con man on the polar trooper's file card. Glass houses, Gung-Ho, glass houses.)
Notes: As with G.I. Joe and The Transformers, the problems with Rhino's Jem DVDs are an annoying mix of missed changes and intentional tinkering. And like its brethren, Jem has fewer re-takes as the series proceeds, instead preferring to rely upon Sunbow's video editing equipment (which was most assuredly in place for Jem's entire run, as evidenced by the complete lack of guillotine tape splices) and some clever re-usage of footage. But unlike the other Sunbow shows, the bootlegs provide a completely unsatisfactory replacement until corrected set arrive. A great deal of episodes with issues (and many without) on the Rhino DVDs have time-compressed bootlegs due to ads for theme weeks shoehorned in before commercial breaks. Plus, given that old bootlegging spirit, many episodes are only available on the mighty piracy machine that is the internet in the FHE forms, and FHE was even more ruthless in removing evidence of commercial breaks on their Jem tapes than any other show they released on VHS. To add insult to injury, "Culture Clash" isn't available on the bootlegs for verification at all. (Special thanks to TotallyJem!'s list of video releases for revealing that the episode is in fact available for legitimate purchase, and for aid in identifying which other episodes I could additionally purchase legally for re-verification.) With all these problems added onto the current unavailability of the last part of the series on DVD (which may likely have its own problems if care is not taken in using the 35mm negatives), Jem fans are stuck with wholly unacceptable options to view the show, and especially with many of its greatest episodes.
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