5 of the Greatest Unsolved Sailor Moon Mysteries

Perhaps you may be able to help solve a (Sailor Moon) mystery

Perhaps you may be able to help solve a (Sailor Moon) mystery

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a firm believer that you can answer — or at least come up with a sufficient explanation — almost any question as long as you have the right data to work with. Be it information provided in the anime/manga, from official interviews, or even offhand comments made by characters, there are a lot of Sailor Moon mysteries that you can put to bed if you can just find the right angle to approach them from.

Alas, much like the hunt for the great Loch Ness monster, there are still some that simply defy all explanation. Whether you want to call them plot holes, oversights, or mere story omissions, the series hasn’t really left us with anything to work with to bring us any closer to solving these annoying questions.

Join me, dear readers, on a look at some of Sailor Moon‘s greatest unsolved mysteries. As the great, late Robert Stack would put it, “perhaps you may be able to help solve a mystery.”

Don't even get me started on the Nephrite color-changing issue...

Don’t even get me started on the Nephrite color-changing issue…

What were the Four Kings’ true identities?

It’s hard to tell exactly what the Shittenou were in the anime, either humans or some sort of higher level Youma, but in the manga at least we learn that they were awakened from their human lives just like the Sailor Soldiers. However, by a sheer stroke of plot convenience luck, apparently Queen Metalia (via Queen Beryl) was able to hypnotize the Four Kings before they were able to find their Prince.

Unfortunately, that’s basically as much as we ever learn about their lives in the “modern” day.

While the later arcs (and even Codename: Sailor V) eventually went on to flesh out a bit more about what the Shitennou were like back in the Silver Millennium, this will forever remain one of biggest supply of untapped potential for me. There were just so many places the story could have gone with creating human back stories for the Shitennou and Queen Beryl.

Note also the inclusion of sleeves on Sailor Mercury's outfit in her base form

Note also the inclusion of sleeves on Sailor Mercury’s outfit in her base form

Why are the future Senshi in their base Sailor forms?

“Because,” I can hear the passionate commenters banging furiously on their keyboards like a thunderstorm rolling across the plains, the Black Moon arc was written before the rest of the series had been fleshed out!”

And you’re absolutely right, my dear readers! Except, of course, for the fact that Ms. Takeuchi continued to depict the other future Sailors in their base forms even in Sailor Stars.1

The most reasonable explanation is that in the peace that came over the world with the dawn of Crystal Tokyo, the Sailor Senshi no longer needed to be so powerful and simply reverted back to their base forms. However, I don’t entirely buy into this theory for two reasons:

First off, why would they lose most (Super and Eternal) of their power, but not all of it (retaining their base form) in that case? If they still anticipated a “need for Sailor Soldiers,” they should have kept their maximum level.

Second, if the Sailor Soldiers did reduce their power whenever it wasn’t needed, we should have seen them go from Base → Super → Base → Eternal.

Alas… we  never really get any sort of explanation on this other than assuming that we’re dealing with parallel dimensions.

Michiru has a lot in common with the Hulk -- both are green, and you won't like them when angry

Michiru has a lot in common with the Hulk — both are green, and you won’t like them when angry

How did Sailors Uranus and Neptune awaken?

Though the manga is completely mum on the subject, the anime at least shows how Michiru found Haruka and helped her awaken as Sailor Uranus. This doesn’t, however, get us any closer to figuring out how Michiru came to realize that she was Sailor Neptune in the first place. It’s more than a little bizarre when you consider that none of the Inner Senshi realized their true identities on their own, nor does it explain how Michiru got her transformation lip rod.

The obvious choices would be Luna (not possible because she didn’t know Uranus or Neptune’s identities), Setsuna (unlikely since Michiru was under the impression that she and Uranus were working as a pair), or possibly Queen Serenity.

The Queen Serenity AI/ghost seemed to no longer be functional after Sailor Moon’s trip to the remains of the Moon Kingdom in the first season, which would initially rule this theory out. However, since the Sailor Moon timeline works in mysterious ways, I suppose it’s possible that Queen Serenity reached out to Michiru from the Moon before the events of the Dark Kingdom story arc.

Alas, we have no information on this at all, so it all boils down to baseless speculation.

The Sailor Quartet

The Sailor Quartet

Why did Nehelenia enslave the Asteroid Senshi?

I get that Ms. Takeuchi wanted to include more Sailor Soldiers and almost assuredly created the Amazoness Quartet to eventually serve as a team for Sailor ChibiMoon. Even if I don’t necessarily think it makes a lot of sense that the four major asteroids separating the inner and outer planets would serve as the sleeping guardians to eventually protect Princess Serenity’s future daughter, this is at least canon as far as the manga story is concerned, so my misgivings don’t mean a whole lot here.

What doesn’t make any sense is why Nehelenia decided to use them as her henchmen women. The only explanation we get after Nehelenia is defeated is from Sailor Ceres, who tells us that they were supposed to be sleeping deep in the Amazon (rain forest?), but Nehelenia recognized their power and placed a curse on them, forcing the Quartet to work under her. Now that they are freed from Nehelenia’s nightmare, the Sailor Quartet will return to their slumber and await the day where they will join Sailor ChibiMoon as her guardians.

Considering that Nehelenia makes no use of the Quartet’s Sailor abilities, it always seemed to me like she could have forced just about anyone to be her minion. The only theory that makes any sense to me is that Nehelenia was afraid that the Asteroid Senshi would join Sailor ChibiMoon in the battle against the Dead Moon, so she made a preemptive strike to put them under her control before they had a chance to enter the fray. But that’s the best explanation I can think of.

Something like this, maybe?

Something like this, maybe?

What were the Sailor Wars?

The Sailor Wars sounded awesome on paper. Just imagine it — a massive battle spanning the vast expanses of space. And yet that’s pretty much all we ever learn about it.

What really makes the Sailor Wars so confusing is the fact that the the story leads us to believe that this was a huge battle that spanned the entire Milky Way galaxy. And yet, all of this seems like news to Usagi and the rest. Even assuming that her memories as Princess Serenity aren’t fully restored, at the very least you’d think that Luna would know something about this.

Considering that the Moon Kingdom — and by extension, Princess Serenity — serves as the de facto center of the universe, it seems absurd that the Sailor Senshi serving under the Moon Kingdom’s court wouldn’t be involved in this massive battle.

We never get an exact timeline on the Sailor Wars in either the manga or the anime, so the only real way to address this would be to assume that they either took place so long ago that it was treated simply as a legend to the people back in the Silver Millennium, or the Sailor Wars happened after the fall of the Moon Kingdom and before everyone was reincarnated in the modern day.2

Don't worry -- I won't be giving up!

Don’t worry — I won’t be giving up!

I decided to keep this list down to only one item per season for the sake of brevity, but I’m sure we could probably go on for quite awhile if we tried. That said, however, I’m always amazed at just how much in the Sailor Moon universe can be explained, despite being such a long series spanning so many different forms of media and its massive cast of characters. You can tell that Ms. Takeuchi really put a lot of time and attention not just into her art, but into her back stories as well.

So do you have any possible answers to these mysteries? Or maybe some mysteries of your own that you’d like to introduce? Maybe if we’re lucky, we can actually find some answers if we put our heads together!

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  1. Except for Sailor Pluto, who is drawn as Super Sailor Pluto; see Act 48, vol. 17 of the original manga
  2. This is impossible in the manga, however, because Queen Metalia was created by Chaos…

22 thoughts on “5 of the Greatest Unsolved Sailor Moon Mysteries

  1. The point about their base forms reminds me of Final Fantasy 5, where after you’ve mastered a job, its passive bonuses are applied to the default class, and by the end of the game the default job is the strongest for each character.

    Of course, I don’t think that’s the case here. It could instead be the point that the Crystal Tokyo we see is a different timeline to the manga/anime continuity after the Black Moon arc.

  2. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever even considered that the Four Kings were reincarnated as humans, but it really does make sense. Beryl too.
    I mean, if we go by the anime, they most certainly should have been born sometime in the 70’s (maybe late 60’s for Kunzite and Beryl).
    Were they reincarnated in Japan or maybe over each part of the Earth they were supposed to have dominion over.
    Is it possible that Nephrite was once his anime alter ego and maybe Jadeite really was a radio host? (Also…did Jadeite have a Disguise pen?!)
    There really is a lot of potential here, but I don’t like fanfiction…so I guess I’ll be left in the dark here.

    The senshi being in base form stopped bothering me. Because if I think about it too much I’ll just go in circles. As you said, the alternate timeline doesn’t really work, and that leaves us with them powering down…or maybe even that this is a higher form of power or something akin to a uniform they put on or…see what I mean? It goes nowhere.

    The Uranus and Neptune one does still bug me. I always assumed they got their power from their castles. And in the manga this could even imply that those little Guardians (I forget what they’re called) in the Castles could have been behind it.
    Perhaps it was an automatic safety mechanism for when there was an outside threat…the most likely explanation for me. It even implies in the anime that it was something of the sort.

    The Asteroid Senshi are pretty much a “Just Because” situation. It’s also possible Nehellenia wanted senshi of her own and they were all that was available, yet she didn’t have the ability to awaken them as senshi, so she cursed them.
    The bigger question for me is who put them to sleep? Why were they there and who knew that Chibi Moon would show up? Were they an extra set of senshi that Queen Serenity had prepared? They are a weird case, for sure and they leave way more questions than they ever answer. Like, do they have castles, too?

    What were the Sailor Wars?
    I’ll tell you what. Wasted potential!!
    If Naoko can’t continue Sailor Moon, she should tap into this story.
    I imagine the Sailor Wars happened while the Moon Kingdom was gone and for some reason, I get the feeling it hadn’t been over for long.

    I love these type of articles and would even be up for reading a part II.
    Keep ’em coming!

    • The Uranus and Neptune one does still bug me. I always assumed they got their power from their castles. And in the manga this could even imply that those little Guardians (I forget what they’re called) in the Castles could have been behind it.

      You know, that’s an interesting idea that I never considered. The little “guardians” were capable of giving each of the Sailor Senshi weapons and new powers, so I guess it isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility that they could also awaken them as Senshi in the first place.

  3. > How did Sailors Uranus and Neptune awaken?

    If I remember correctly (probably not…), Haruka’s transformation rod simply materialized in front of her when she was attacked by the proto-daimon, so presumably Michiru’s appeared in a similar manner as well. Maybe her precognitive powers allowed her to “remember” having a special mission to complete, and that triggered the item.

    …Or we could just admit that their rods/communicators were only there for the sake of merch sales. Until that point, all the senshi items were distributed by the cats, and by that arc’s beginning in the manga the non-Moon senshi seem to transform without any magical sticks/rods/whatever those things were. I’m actually kind of surprised the anime decided to show how Haruka got her powers; guess they wanted some sort of an explanation for those items?

    You might as well ask how Chibiusa became Chibimoon in the anime… Also, I would point out that in the manga, Setsuna more or less (re-)awakens in response to danger, so they don’t really need any external force to “make” them Sailor Senshi. I like to imagine that in that continuity Haruka and Michiru awakened the moment they met for the first time, whenever and wherever that event took place.

    > Why are the future Senshi in their base Sailor forms?

    I have theories about this one, though very few of them deal with in-universe explanations.

    Chibimoon and Diana seem to know about Eternal Sailor Moon, so Usagi’s power-ups definitely happened in their timeline. Nothing is ever said about the rest of the senshi, so one possibility is “Takeuchi didn’t have time to think this through”. I mean, they barely even appear in that arc before getting killed off.

    Another possibility requires asking the following question: “Why did the anime version, which surprisingly actually bothered to introduce the Super forms for the non-Moon Senshi, decide to completely ignore their final forms, and how did Takeuchi feel about this?”


    > Why did Nehellenia enslave the Asteroid Senshi?

    Because they were meant to guard the future Moon Princess?

    Nehellenia pretty much considered herself the true queen of the Moon, that’s why she tried to take over the Earth in the first place (since this planet is where the current ruler of the Moon, Princess Serenity, lives and plans to re-establish her kingdom). Why *wouldn’t* she grab somebody destined to serve the White Moon and get them to work for her?

    • Nehellenia pretty much considered herself the true queen of the Moon, that’s why she tried to take over the Earth in the first place (since this planet is where the current ruler of the Moon, Princess Serenity, lives and plans to re-establish her kingdom). Why *wouldn’t* she grab somebody destined to serve the White Moon and get them to work for her?

      It’s not exactly clear when exactly Nehellenia got a hold of the Amazoness Quartet. Unless it was only in the past few months, then she should have been just as able to grab any of the other Sailor Senshi. Maybe I’ve just always looked at it the wrong way, but I felt like Nehellenia had gotten her hands on the Quartet a long time ago. It obviously would have had to have happened after the fall of the Silver Millennium, though, or else they wouldn’t have been on the Earth.

      Also, I still can’t wrap my mind around why ChibiUsa has future Senshi from way back in the Silver Millennium. Does that mean that ChibiUsa’s daughter also has totally different Senshi out that who are also in a deep sleep, waiting to wake up?

  4. I don’t have anything interesting to add about this topic, but I just wanted to say I appreciate your writing style and it’s always fun to read your articles regardless of the topic. I get the email notifying me of a new post, and the “lead in” paragraph or two always makes me want to click the link to the article because whatever it is you’re writing about will always be written in an entertaining way.

    BTW even if it makes no sense, I liked that the future senshi were in their base forms. I just think those outfits looked the best.

    • Thanks for the kind words! It’s really nice to know that there are actually people out there reading this love letter to Sailor Moon and who also spend their days thinking about the same weird things I do!

  5. Good article. I remember had read that in one Single of Sailor Neptune, her character explain, that she get her memories from a dream.

  6. According to her prologue in the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars singles, her memory awoke in the form of dreams.

  7. Re: Uranus and Neptune
    Not that I ever really cared as the way they behaved in the S anime turned me perminantly off their characters, but I had always just assumed Michiru had gotten into some sort of trouble with a Monster of the Week we weren’t shown and awoke as a senshi in response to the danger, similar to how Haruka did. That the two of them had been quietly working as senshi for months–or even years–in the background, similar to how Sailor V was running around before Sailor Moon was discovered, only not so attention seeking. I mean, others had to be awoken by something other than Luna and Artemis, right? If we’re sticking to anime, there were characters who spoke of their memories of their last life at least in part without being senshi or having an outside force awaken them, and even Luna and Artemis had to be awoken SOMEHOW, and obviously not by each other because Artemis didn’t know where Luna was.

    Re: Astroid Senshi
    They did have power beyond that of average nobodies. I mean, ParaPara on her own transformed some animals into the Amazon Trio, not something the average person is capable of doing. Not to mention they weren’t even supposed to be awoken yet, so it’s likely their powers were still somewhat dormant. And I never read it so much as they were meant to be Chibi-Usa’s guardians as they were meant to be the next generation of guardians. Like… if the Silver Millenium never fell, when Serenity and her senshi reached the age where they would start becoming the queens of their worlds and giving birth to the new generation of Senshi, the Astroid Senshi were there as an in-between generation to step up and pick up the slack. Then, when it’s time for them to retire, the children of the inner senshi would be ready to step up and become the new senshi while the Astroid senshi give birth to their own replacements. Sort of an endless cycle that ensures there’s always someone there to guard the royal capital.

    Re: Shitennou
    Was it really stated that they were reborn and awoke like the senshi? I don’t remember that detail about them. I mean, if they were, they probably went to the Dark Kingdom for the same reasons they went there in the Silver Millenium, but that would be yet another case of self-awakening like the Michiru-issue above. Ah, now I want to read a story about their awakening… or write a story about it.

    Re: Sailor Wars
    Ok, now this is just my own head-cannon, but this is the way I see it: Chaos and CauldronSeed are basically like the two gods of the SMverse. One (CS) is where everything in the universe begins and spreads out from, and the other (Chaos) is where everything in the universe colapses back into. They’ve been going about doing their job since time began, CS filling the universe with starseeds and Chaos corrupting and snuffing them out. However, the tide turned when Chaos corrupted Sailor Galaxy. By using Galaxy, Chaos was able to start going around a lot more agressively. This is when the Sailor War broke out, though not the first in history. I’m assuming this took place before the Moon Queen took her throne, because of the things CS said to Sailor Moon when the two met. It would make sense that the Moon Queen would become harolded as being on such a high pedistal for having done something outstanding, and what better thing than to be the one responsible for winning the war? It would also explain the villian’s obsession over the Silver Crystal. If that was the starseed that brought Chaos to it’s knees in the hieght of it’s power, of course it would target it to obtain or destroy the power before it could stop it again. So it laid in wait, sending peices of itself to attack the Moon Kingdom until finally Metallia used Beryl to take it down. With the Silver Crystal out of the picture, Chaos resumes concoring the universe with Galaxia, solar system by solar system until present day. So I see it as being both “old news” by the time the current lot of senshi are running around the Silver Millenium, so not a detail they would necessarily remember upon reencarnation, and also “something that happened in-between”. Also, adding to it, in my own personal head cannon, the inner senshi function more like the local police, dealing with in-system affairs. The outer senshi are something like the coast guard or boarder control, dealing with outside invaders. And the Trans-Neptonian Senshi (Kupier Belt, Scattered Disk, Ort Cloud) are like the proper military that leave the solar system and fight threats elsewhere. That’s why we never see any of them in the series, and why the inner senshi (and outer senshi to a lesser extent) wouldn’t necessarily know about threats going on beyond the boarders of their solar system. How much they would know would depend on how much the Moon Queen shared with her daughter and body guards and retainers. She may very well have been keeping large parts of the truth from them in a misguided attempt to “protect” them and their innocence. After all, they were throwing a ball for all of the courtisans while Earth was in the middle of a civil war and no one knew who could be trusted, and the Queen also kept a cursed mirror with someone that tried to kill her daughter locked inside of it within her own house for most of said daughter’s life. For as much as I adore Queen Serenity, she didn’t exactly seem to always make the best choices.

  8. About the base forms…
    Later in the manga (I can’t remember when), Sailor Moon has some sort of memory or something where it shows Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity as a baby (a rare sight). I think in that scene, the Senshi have their base form, but they are little kids. That’s all I remember…sorry!
    I find it kind of confusing myself, but maybe it is because they are meant to serve the royal family? Who knows…

  9. I just think Michiru got her powers on her own. I mean, Chibiusa and Hotaru set their powers free (unintentionally) when they were attacked! So why not Michiru? The lip rod could have just appeared like it did for Sailor Uranus. (At least that could be an anime explanation.)

    For me, on of the biggest mysteries is the Sailor Cosmos thing. So many people think she’s the future Sailor Moon. But she kinda denied it herself in the manga? Maybe I just got it wrong.

  10. I think of their reversion to their base forms as more like a cross between full mastery of their powers and a ceremonial uniform thing.

    The default uniform would be the base. That’s also the “dress uniform” as it were. It’s the one you wear when the danger threat is low/non existent.

    The higher levels are “It just hit the fan,” and “pull out the nukes.” You don’t deck your soldiers out in full combat gear unless you’re expecting trouble. You don’t make them wear the bomb disposal suit unless they’re trying to deal with that.

    As to why they don’t revert all the time? They don’t know any better. Luna’s an advisor, she’s not a warrior who knows all the ins and outs of warrior combat, and who knows how far back in the past it was since anyone actually had to power up? She might know she has the items to give to them, but she doesn’t necessarily know the best ways to use them. They don’t have any institutional knowledge to fall back on here.

    The star power sticks are the only power up items the cats give the girls. Those don’t change their uniforms.

    Pegasus gives them the crystal change rods. Who knows how long he, or a previous priest, has been sitting on them?

    The eternal transformations come from their own sailor crystals. In effect they are a desperation move that they gain access to once they have the power, skill, experience and, most importantly, need.

    I suspect it’s likely that after all the dust settled they actually had time to research any old data they could get from the moon kingdom and figured out “hey we don’t need to be on maximum alert all the time. Let’s dial it back some so that we aren’t terrifying the populace.”

    Once you have access to the power of your entire planet you can probably eventually gain the ability to vary your power state at will. Honestly, I’d not be surprised to learn that the pens are just training tools.

  11. I’m pretty sure there’s a scene in the anime, during Uranus’s backstory episode, that explains Uranus/Neptune’s awakening. Haruka has these dreams/premonitions, and somewhere in the process, her past life “reawakens” some form of her memories. She says as much during her conversation with Michiru after the concert, something about how she wants to be a famous racer and doesn’t want her past life and duties getting in the way. Given that Michiru and Haruka didn’t really hang out much before this, I doubt that Michiru told her all of this information. Haruka kind of came to this realization herself. Most likely Michiru had the same thing happen to her – through premonitions and dreams she remembered her identity as Neptune and her pen appeared to her during a Daimon battle.

    As for future forms… I’m pretty sure it’s an alternate universe thing. It’s stated somewhere (can’t remember whether anime or manga) that the original Crystal Tokyo formed after the defeat of Metalia, and the senshi were unable to defeat Wiseman because their powers essentially never had the ability to grow because Metalia was the only enemy they ever defeated. Chibiusa’s return to the past directly influenced the course of time – it was largely because of Chibiusa’s interference in the past that their Super forms awakened (and, logically following, also the reason why their Eternal forms awakened). Chibiusa is from the timeline where they only achieved base form, and that is the usual “future” that is shown, so it makes sense.

    • Alternate timeline, not alternate universe, sorry. Although one could argue they are technically the same thing lol.

  12. The Sailor war is interesting as I always read it as something that had happened fairly recently. I may be misremembering but I’m pretty sure it’s implied that in the grands scope of things, the Sol System is implied to be a backwater system so to speak, and the war simply hasn’t made it there yet, as it’s part of the small percentage of the Galaxy that Galaixa hadn’t conquered.

  13. “You can tell that Ms. Takeuchi really put a lot of time and attention not just into her art, but into her back stories as well.”
    But did she? Especially when it comes to the Sailor Wars I wonder if she had the time to think things through properly.

  14. Sobre as formas das Senshi : eu acho que elas ainda mantém suas transformações mais fortes, porém, nos tempos de paz, elas podem ficar em suas formas básicas, já que não tem um grande inimigo por derrotar. Sailor Wars : por o Milênio de Prata ser uma época de tranquilidade e prosperidade, eu não acho que a guerra chegou até eles . Quer dizer, a Queen Serenity estava lá e as Senshi internas também, então não há motivo para preocupação.

  15. Re: Base Forms

    It was stated in both the anime and manga that the Crystal Tokyo that Chibi-Usa comes from is the 30th century. In the manga it says she strangely enough stopped aging for 900 years, while in the anime it seemed more like she was just born 900-ish years in the future. Either way, that’s plenty of time for the other senshi to have all found love, gotten married, and had kids of their own. Given the Stars arc introduced Sailor Crystals and StarSeeds, and basically all but said the senshi are continuously reincarnated and basically give birth to themselves, why couldn’t the four inner senshi we see be like the chibi inners from the Parallel Moon side-stroy? Little girls born from Usagi’s friends who inherit their mother’s names, looks, and StarSeeds, and grow up in a peaceful time where they never have to make use of power ups and don’t have the battle experience to fight the likes of the Black Moon Clan. Then, unlike Chibi-Usa, they continued to grow up and become the royal guard they were meant to be while their mothers who were Usagi’s friends and allies live out their happy retirement with their loving spouses as members of Neo-Queen’s court.

  16. Wasn’t it mentioned at some point that the Earth was in some sort of stasis that Serenity awoke it from in the 30th century? Maybe that reset everything similar to their reincarnation on Earth.

    Or maybe when Serenity became queen and lost some of her powers as a Senshi the rest of the girls did also? Maybe they had to give up their powers to her transition?

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