What Real World School Uniforms Inspired the Designs in Sailor Moon?

What inspired these uniform designs?

What inspired these uniform designs?

When you consider just how much inspiration Ms. Takeuchi took from the real world when creating the Sailor Moon universe, it seemed almost certain that the school uniforms in the series must have come from somewhere. However, no matter how hard I looked, I was never able to come up with a solid lead as to what actual schools could have served as the base for the Juban Junior High School uniform design.

That is, until this weekend.

In an interesting turn of events, what I thought would be a quaint, uneventful museum visit wound up solving one of the oldest open questions I’ve been researching off and on since this blog was first started.

And better yet, the question was answered by none other than Ms. Takeuchi herself.

Stick around, we’re about to take a trip down memory lane!

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Tuxedo Unmasked Book Gets a Name and Announcing Other Exciting Projects

"Prism Power" (cover design not final)

“Prism Power” (cover design not final)

Picking a name for my upcoming Sailor Moon book was surprisingly much harder than I ever expected it to be. After all, I had quite the opposite experience with this blog. I actually already had the name “Tuxedo Unmasked” picked out before I even knew  what I wanted the blog to be about. After two or three false starts, I settled on what you see here today.

But! I’m happy to announce that the name issue is finally behind us now.

Prism Power: A Fan’s Guide to Sailor Moon is now starting to take shape! I’ve hammered out the direction a bit better, and the slow, painful exciting drive toward writing all of the content continues to chug along.

I’ve got a few more announcements about the book — including the Kickstarter launch date and details on that — and about some other new Sailor Moon-related projects I’m hoping to start up soon.

Stick around, I’ll try to keep this interesting!

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How Were Ail, An, and the Makaiju Seen as Sailor Moon Villains?

Usagi Tsukino vs. Natsumi Ginga

Usagi Tsukino vs. Natsumi Ginga

The Makaiju story arc, exclusive to the Sailor Moon R anime, has always been extremely divisive among fans of the series. Not only did it not even exist in the manga, but it also feels more like an extension of the first season rather than as if it’s telling a whole new story.

And that, my dear friends, is exactly why I love the Makaiju storyline so much. It takes everything I loved about the anime telling of the Dark Kingdom arc, compresses it into a few episodes, and throws it all together into a “slice of life” low-impact story.

Today we’re going to take a look at an interview with Yumi Toma,1 voice actress for Natsumi Ginga (or better known as her alien form, An), about how she viewed and portrayed her character. If you love this story arc as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll find this pretty interesting!

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Why Do the Girls in Sailor Moon Have Marks On Their Cheeks?

I won't lie -- this picture kinda scared me

I won’t lie — this picture kinda scared me

Though this design quirk isn’t strictly limited to the Sailor Moon series, I’m a sucker for taking an in-depth look at pretty much all things related to Japanese anime and manga. Since the phenomenon of female characters being depicted with vertical lines on their cheeks also appears quite often in the Sailor Moon series, I’m willing to call this one as “close enough” to make it a valid question to answer.

So why exactly are the Sailor Soldiers and other female characters’ shown with lines on their cheeks? Is it just a way of animating characters that somehow got embedded in Japanese culture? Is it supposed to signify anything about the character, or somehow convey something to the viewer? Or maybe a mixture of the two?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you happen to be in luck, because today we’re going to put those to rest. And if they haven’t, well hey… it never hurts to learn something new, right? Stick around, we’re going to talk about some anime trivia!

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How Did Sailor Moon’s Producer Compare the Inner and Outer Senshi?

So Haruka, what's the difference between the Moon and Neptune?

So Haruka, what’s the difference between the Moon and Neptune?

As someone who’s fascinated by the nitty-gritty of how things work, the distinction between the Inner and Outer Senshi is a subject that I find incredibly interesting.

Though we’re given a (very) brief explanation within the series that the Inner team handles threats from within the Solar System and the Outers handle those from beyond, any other distinctions between the two groups are fairly vague and left up to fan conjecture.

Today we’ll be taking a look at how Iriya Azuma, producer of Sailor Moon S, approached these two teams and what he felt the distinction was between them. I hope you stick around, because this is actually pretty interesting!

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What Shojo Anime Was Predicted to Be the Next Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Over a quarter of a century has passed since Sailor Moon first hit the airwaves, and yet the series manages to continue to excite new and old fans alike with a constant stream of new products, musicals, cafes, and even the occasional anime season. It’s easy to forget, though, that the series had actually been relatively dormant in Japan for much of this time.

While hindsight may be 20/20, and we may now know that there was no true “successor” to Sailor Moon in the most direct sense of the word — at least not until the Pretty Cure franchise came around — I think it’s interesting to take a look back in time and see what series fans back in the 90s thought would be the next big anime in the shojo-sphere.

Join me for a trip down memory lane as we take a look at some of the interesting predictions reporters on Japanese anime were making back in the mid-90s. I hope you’re ready for some serious nostalgia!

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Tuxedo Unmasked Book Announcement, Details, Kickstarter, and More!

Henshin-ing from a blog into a book!

Henshin-ing from a blog into a book!

It’s been awhile since I made the initial announcement about the upcoming Tuxedo Unmasked book, but ever since that post I’ve been working feverishly behind the scenes doing research and working on the initial drafts for this deep dive into the Sailor Moon universe.

My goal is for the book to serve as a thorough analysis of the first season of Sailor Moon, taking you through each anime episode and manga act of the Dark Kingdom saga to shine a light on the many blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments throughout the series.

Rather than just being a cleaned up reprint of the material you can already find here on this blog, I hope to take the in-depth investigations that Tuxedo Unmasked is known for and turn that obsessive attention for detail to the very source of the Sailor Moon story itself.

But I think I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I start talking about lofty goals and ideals, we should probably get back to basics and explain what it is that we’re doing in the first place. So, in the true spirit of Tuxedo Unmasked, I think we should probably put this in the form of a question:

Why do we even need a Sailor Moon story guide?

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