Why Does Usagi’s Blood Type Matter?
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!
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.
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
- Serious; considers things carefully; kind; hard worker; very responsible; follows the straight-and-narrow; clean
- Happy-go-lucky; optimistic; go their own way; flexible; friendly/open; easily lonely; quick to fall in love
- Calm/rational; sensitive; complicated personality; private; bookworm; spiritual; unique and creative
- 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|
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.
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 serious, diligent, and responsible (A-type), Mamoru, Ami, and Setsuna would definitely come to mind.
Unique, complicated, 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 stuff, romanticist, 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.
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!
- Disclaimer – I started getting online around 1997, and I never once called it the “information superhighway.” Even us old people thought it was dumb. ↩
- See Craig Medical Blood Typing Facts ↩
- See International Blood Type Survey ↩
- See Blood Type Personality Theory (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Kumamoto’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Notice ↩
- See The importance of blood type in Japanese culture ↩
- See No relationship between blood type and personality: Evidence from large-scale surveys in Japan and the US ↩
- See Confirmation Bias (Wikipedia) ↩