Why Does Usagi’s Blood Type Matter?

Just a quick prick!

Just a quick prick!

So there you are, reading through bios about your favorite Sailor Soldier, and committing all these facts to memory. We’ve all been there, totally normal.

But as you’re scanning through Usagi’s birthday, her favorite foods, favorite method of fortune telling, and all that jazz, you run into the blood type column. Now, as interesting as this may be, you can’t help but wonder why anyone would care about Usagi’s blood type, right? We’re not doctors here, so why are we so worried about blood types?

Well, today we’re to talk about why blood types matter, and what it says about the Sailor Moon cast!

I'm not a fan of shots either

I’m not a fan of shots either

When I was first getting into Sailor Moon (back in the dark days of the then-nascent worldwide web),1 I remember scouring every site I could find to learn more about my favorite characters. Compared to western shows, the amount of detail put into their backgrounds were impressive.

But is blood type just for the sake of being thorough? I mean, they don’t even bother to give heights for most of the Sailor Moon cast, so why would this detail matter?

What makes this detail even more interesting is probably the fundamental difference in culture when it comes thoughts about blood type. While only approximately 30% of Americans know theirs,2 that number is an amazing 97% in Japan.3 Since everyone seems to know their own, it must be something you’d want to know about a fictional character too, right?

This isn’t all related to a medical curiosity, however. The Japanese fascination with blood type – which has also spread to South Korea and Taiwan – can actually be traced all the back a 1926, when the blood type personality theory was born,4 and saw a resurgence in the 1970s.

Wikipedia provides a concise summary of the theory:

[Blood type] is believed by many to be predictive of a person’s personality, temperament, and compatibility with others. This is similar to how astrological signs are perceived as influencing factors in a person’s life in other countries.

And blood types are big business in Japan. In fact, a search for books about blood types on Amazon Japan yields a whopping 1,638 results.

Name, birthday, blood type...

Name, birthday, blood type…

It was seen as such a relevant piece of information that, as recently as 2015, many Japanese companies included this as a required column in job applications, before the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare stepped in to declare that this was not a valid way to evaluate ability and was a violation of an applicants’ human rights.5

So, as you can see, blood types for most anime and manga characters are determined by their creators with great care, since it’s assumed that this will give you further insight into your favorite character.

What do these blood types mean, then? Glad you asked!

The typical personality breakdowns for the four blood types are as follows:6

  • A-Type
    • Serious; considers things carefully; kind; hard worker; very responsible; follows the straight-and-narrow; clean
  • B-Type
    • Happy-go-lucky; optimistic; go their own way; flexible; friendly/open; easily lonely; quick to fall in love
  • AB-Type
    • Calm/rational; sensitive; complicated personality; private; bookworm; spiritual; unique and creative
  • O-Type
    • Romanticist; doesn’t sweat the small stuff; strong in adversity; ambitious; good leader; devoted; keeps eyes on the goal

So with that out of the way, how well do these line up with Sailor Team, and what can we infer from their assigned blood types?

Name Birthday Sign Celestial Body Blood Type
Hotaru January 6 Capricorn Saturn AB
Haruka January 27 Aquarius Uranus B
Yaten February 8 Aquarius Uranus B
Michiru March 6 Pisces Neptune O
Rei April 17 Aries Mars AB
Taiki May 30 Gemini Mercury AB
Usagi June 30 Cancer Moon O
ChibiUsa June 30 Cancer Moon O
Seiya July 30 Leo Sun A
Mamoru August 3 Leo Sun A
Ami September 10 Virgo Mercury A
Minako October 22 Libra Venus B
Setsuna October 29 Scorpio Pluto A
Makoto December 5 Sagittarius Jupiter O

Though it’s been proven (multiple times) that there’s no correlation between blood type and personality,7 at least in the case of fictional characters, I’d say that the characters’ personalities correspond pretty well to their blood types.

QUICK! What's her blood type??

QUICK! What’s her blood type??

Obviously, since we already know the characters and the descriptors are pretty vague, there’s a pretty decent risk of confirmation bias8 and trying to just shoehorn one aspect or another to fit under the labels.

Even with that in mind though, if you were to ask me which characters are the most seriousdiligent, and responsible (A-type), Mamoru, Ami, and Setsuna would definitely come to mind.

Uniquecomplicated, and spiritual (AB-type)? Rei and Hotaru definitely fit the bill.

Would I argue if you described Usagi and ChibiUsa as doesn’t sweat the small stuffromanticist, and devoted (O-type)? Absolutely not.

Obviously this doesn’t apply in all cases and there are definitely outliers (Makoto as an O?), but I do think it can give you an insight in how Ms. Takeuchi viewed her characters when she was making up this information about them.

A doctor makes the worst kind of patient

A doctor makes the worst kind of patient

What do you think about how the blood types correspond to to Sailor Soldiers’ personalities? Do you disagree with any of the blood type assignments, or find any of them to be totally off the mark? I’d be interested in hearing about that, or any thoughts on the horoscope you may have – I admittedly know little about horoscopes, so I’d love to hear more!


References:

8 comments

  • In Cygnus And In Health

    Thanks for delving more into this subject. It’s possible that Makoto’s might have been based more on her original character’s concept.

    Saying that, I personally have never really bought into this kind of pseudo-science, along with things like horoscopes when it comes to determining someone’s personality or future.
    I do actually know that I’m O-negative (donated long ago), and I am certainly nothing like what that describes. But it’s an interesting look into how another culture operates.

    • Gotta say I’m pretty similar in that regards – I simply don’t buy into the idea that the month I was born in or what type of blood I have has any impact on my personality.
      I guess looking at horoscopes might be a fun activity for some people, like skimming news articles, but taking it seriously is definitely a bad idea.

      I was talking with a coworker about this yesterday, in fact, about how many people there are out there that may actually wind up growing into these roles, simply because they’ve been told their whole lives that this is the type of person they’re supposed to be.

      For the record, I’m O-positive. And everyone in Japan tells me I “must be wrong,” because my personality is clearly that of an A. =p Sorry guys.

  • Makoto is totally a type O, at least in the manga. She’s obsessed with getting married and she’s just as boy-crazy as Minako. She has a lot of dreams, but she is also strong and determined. They neglected a lot of this in the anime, I feel, but it’s been forever since I watched the original.

    • You know, you’re right on that. For some reason, I didn’t think about how their personalities differed a bit between the anime and manga.
      When you put it that way, she definitely fits pretty well into the O personality!

      • In Cygnus And In Health

        I believe one of Makoto’s main goals was to open a restaurant. Which is a bit more admirable then getting married, and fitting with her skills. Though she would definitely make a great mother.
        I’m reminded also of that episode in S where she went up to the mountains to train herself, so I guess that counts towards being focused and devoted.
        Likewise that thing about being a good leader, you could perhaps interpret as a reference to Jupiter being the king of the gods (wild stab I know).

        I think one of the appealing and refreshing aspects of her character, is she doesn’t really fall into the typical tomboyish stereotypes you’d expect from someone like that.

        • As you mentioned, one of the refreshing things about Makoto is that she wasn’t the typical tomboy character you expected her to be – and probably was originally envisioned as.
          But even more than that, I really like that she wasn’t ashamed of her feminine or masculine sides. It would have been far too easy to have developed Makoto as a street-brawling, butt-kicking tomboy who was embarrassed of her soft side and tried to hide it from her friends. If Sailor Moon were an American cartoon, I could totally imagine it going that way.

          Her friends all respect her for her strength as well as her grace. I think this was a very well-played move.

        • Yeah, she had three equal dreams: to get married and have a family, to open a restaurant, and to open a florist shop! She had such a fulfilling dream of womanhood. It was rather sad when she realized that her dream to protect her princess would always come first. That’s why I loved seeing the girls as normal grown women in the “Parallel Sailor Moon” short. Makoto ran the shop with her husband!

  • Blood Type = Gearbox
    Type AB = Park (Automatics Only) And Brake Pedal (Rear Red Lights)/Parking Brake
    Type B = Reverse (Rear White Lights)
    Type O = Neutral/Clutch Disengaged In Manuals
    Type A = Forward (1st Gear, 2nd Gear …)
    I wonder if Ms. Takeuchi will approve this?! XD Is she a vehicle mechanic or something?!

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