I just hit me that that Viz Sailor Moon clip doesn’t work. My grievance with the new Usagi’s VA aside, the common name to mock Usagi doesn’t sound right to an English listener*.
I get that Mamoru is making fun of Usagi’s hair by calling her a odango(-head?) but unless the viewer is familiar with sub or Japanese (as in they could watch no subs) this line sounds stupid. Odango (from my few searches on Google) refer to a hair style that looks like dango, a type of Japanese dumpling that looks spherical. So the joke comes from comparing Usagi’s hair to a food item. This works as silly joke name for her. However when dubbing this part the line is bun-head. While the translation is correct (because it’s now just referring to hair style and entomology of it) it drops out the context for the bun type in question. Since the bun is not referred to hair buns shaped like dangos, the only thing to grasp is the a regular bun (hair style). Even if you try to do the food stuffs connection (as bun can refer to food) there are many buns so it doesn’t click. Same for the dumpling-head; it has the same pit falls as bun-head. Still, even if Viz used the translation to refer to Usagi’s hair as bun hairstyle not bun food so Mamoru’s insult comes off as “wait did he just insult her by calling out that she has buns (hair style) in her hair? Well no shit she does.” rather than a playful insult to the girl who used his face as a trash bin. The insult, while it doesn’t need to be deeply wounding it has to have some sort of bit for it to make Usagi defensive. This version doesn’t do it.
This is where I like the Dic version. Sailor Moon is a silly anime and Dic channels this quite well in my opinion. I’d say it’s more insulting to have your hairstyle to be referred to as meat balls (something that is far away from hair as possible) than buns (which even if you were to buns are usually light unless covered with syrups and glazes). But that’s just me.
Also I get that this whole re-dubbing is mostly for the fans of the Japanese version so Viz won’t have to actually bother with making a dub that works for those unfamiliar with that version and it makes me a bit sad. I’m not saying the whole dub is ruined because of this one instance or that the dub will be ruined if these type of things pop up. It’s more of that the usual purpose of a different language dub is to not provide a 1:1 quesi-literal translation but to provide a 1:1 adaptation of a work. This would mean that certain things would have to be changed in things being referenced or name in order for certain things to make sense for the viewer. This doesn’t mean dumbing things down (forever will rice balls = donuts be remembered for this) but rather if there’s an English equivalent use it or if there isn’t get the general idea of what is being communicated. In this short clip it feels like a translation rather than adaptation and really if that’s the case why bother with a dub and just release sub?
*-I’ve covered this but only if you are familiar with the Sub or have a decent knowledge of Japanese to watch kid shows where you won’t see complex dialogue