5 Sailor Moon Rumors That Just Won’t Die

Seriously, why are these rumors still a thing??

Seriously, why are these rumors still a thing??

While I’m generally more interested in expanding on less discussed aspects in the Sailor Moon universe, every once in awhile I find it hard to resist the urge to confront some of the crazier fan rumors running rampant across the internet in a (probably ill-conceived) effort to set the record straight.

By the nature of how these things work, it unfortunately leaves me in the unenviable position of trying to prove a negative (i.e., Bigfoot isn’t real, but it is impossible to provide evidence that it doesn’t exist),1 so if you strongly believe any of the following, I probably won’t be changing your mind any time soon.

However, if we’re lucky, at the very least least I hope to open up some dialogue on how these rumors came to be, and why they continue to be repeated throughout the Sailor Moon fandom.

Following in the footsteps of the immortal Doctor Beckett,2 join me on my journey as I strive to put right what once went wrong — Sailor Moon style!

Okay, so scenes like this don't help my case

Okay, so scenes like this don’t help my case

ChibiUsa Has an Electra Complex Toward Mamoru

This one has always been a bit weird to me. While ChibiUsa does have a strong attachment to Mamoru, especially in the anime, it’s really nothing all that out of the ordinary for a girl her age. Mamoru makes her sing, makes her laugh, so it’s natural that she loves Tuxedo Mask.3 For a little girl who is stranded back in the past, all alone, and being hunted by scary enemies who are trying to kill her and her parents, it’s not all that surprising that she wants to be around a guy that is nice to her and reminds her of her father.

The Electra complex4 angle (and, in case you aren’t aware, an Electra complex refers to a girl who is in love with her father — the opposite of the Oedipus complex with a boy and his mother) seems to come from Usagi.

Stop making a scene, Usagi!

Stop making a scene, Usagi!

Despite there not being anything remotely suggestive between ChibiUsa and Mamoru (nor should there be, considering the ages we’re talking about here), Usagi seems to view ChibiUsa as a romantic rival for her newly separated boyfriend. Usagi’s reaction to ChibiUsa seems to be interpreted among fans as being a sign of ChibiUsa actually having some attraction toward Mamoru, though there’s really not much to support that.

I mean, except the whole Black Lady kissing Mamoru, but that was a hallucination and Black Lady was evil, so we’ll let that slide.

Basically, ChibiUsa was nothing more than a daddy’s girl in Sailor Moon R and Usagi simply blew the whole situation way out of proportion.

A romantic night in, or a family dinner?

A romantic night in, or a family dinner?

Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna Are in a Polyamorous Marriage

I kind of get where this theory is coming from. Almost. Kinda. After the events of the Infinity arc, Hotaru is reborn as a baby and is taken in by the three Outer Senshi. Not only do they all live in a large house together, but they all wear matching rings on their left hands. In case that wasn’t enough, Hotaru even refers to them as Mama Michiru, Papa Haruka, and Mama Setsuna.5 Open and shut case, right?

Well, not really.

While Haruka and Michiru are confirmed to be in a relationship, there is exactly zero evidence to suggest that Setsuna is a party to this other than Hotaru referring to her as “mama” and her ring. Let’s address these in order.

Setsuna's left-handed??

Setsuna’s left-handed??

Assuming that Hotaru looking up to Setsuna as her mother meant anything about her relationship status, then that would mean that Haruka and Michiru are also potentially married to Professor Tomoe. Considering that absolutely no one wants to go down that rabbit hole, I think we can easily put that one to bed.

Read also:  25 Years of Sailor Moon – Tuxedo Unmasked's 2017 Year in Review

As for the ring, I think people often read a lot into this because of Mamoru’s promise ring to Usagi at the beginning of Sailor Stars and because on the same page some bystanders comment on the rings and assume that Haruka and Michiru are married. However, precisely because all three are wearing rings, it’s probably better to interpret them as a form of promise/commitment ring (similar to the types worn by nuns as a sign of their devotion to their duties)6 than as a sign of their relationship.

The Tsukinos

The Tsukinos

Ikuko and Kenji Are Usagi’s Protectors

Can I just say “that’s ridiculous” and be done with it? No? All right, fine.

This theory basically fails on all fronts. Usagi’s parents don’t know about her being Sailor Moon in either the anime or manga, and if they were her guardians, they would have absolutely no reason to hide it from her. Their role would also have to be a secret from Luna, since Luna makes concentrated efforts throughout the first season to not talk in front of them, and even has to sneak in the house for the first few episodes.

Lastly, if Ikuko and Kenji were put in place to watch over Usagi, that would mean that the rest of the Senshi’s parents were also supposed to protect them as well.

Ami’s parents are divorced, Rei’s mother is dead and father is uninvolved, Makoto’s parents are dead, and Professor Tomoe is evil.

Let’s just say that if Queen Serenity did assign people to watch over the reincarnated Senshi, the plan went pretty poorly.

Sailor Cosmos

Sailor Cosmos

Sailor Cosmos Is Sailor Moon’s Descendant

I’ve seen this one go back and forth with people “setting the record straight” multiple times over. Honestly, some of the confusion isn’t entirely unwarranted. The Sailor Moon manga has had two (soon to be three) official translations and at least one complete fan translation, which can leaves us with some pretty different interpretations on the same (already vague!) Japanese dialogue.

The question is whether Sailor Cosmos is Sailor Moon from the future, or a future Sailor Moon — i.e., Sailor Moon’s descendant. The critical line, spoken by Sailor Ceres of all people, is:7

まさか、あなたは未来の・・・未来のセーラームーンの究極の姿!?

Or in English:8

You’re… you’re Sailor Moon’s ultimate form from the future?!

So the question basically devolves into whether “from the future” implies that it’s a future Sailor Moon, or if it’s our present Sailor Moon coming back from the future.

However, the argument for this being a future descendant of the Moon line falls on its face pretty quickly, thanks to the existence of both Queen Serenity and Princess Usagi “Small Lady” Serenity. There’s no evidence anywhere in the story that anyone other than Usagi/Serenity has ever held the title of Sailor Moon, and the existence of Sailor ChibiMoon further implies that this isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Are there three people in this picture, or two?

Are there three people in this picture, or two?

The descendant theory also changes the entire focus of the scene… nay, the entire climax of the story if it’s some descendant down the Moon line. You see, the story of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon is the story of a young ne’er do well junior high school girl who gets thrust into the role of a soldier fighting for love and justice and her growth along that journey.

Read also:  5 of the Most Bizarre Sailor Moon Products and Tie-Ins

Any descendant of Usagi’s is equally a descendant of ChibiUsa’s, as well as Queen Serenity. This would mean that, more accurately, Sailor Cosmos is the ultimate form of a future Sailor ChibiMoon. And I think most of you would agree that’s not the story Ms. Takeuchi was trying to tell.

In case that isn’t enough evidence, several pages later, Sailor Cosmos goes on to explain that:9

「ここ」でのわたしもやはりずっと孤独だったすっぞ苦しんでいた
だからずっとよりそい支え
こんどこそ正しい道を選ばせるつもりで・・・

… hm? oh! Right, English:

The “me” back in this time was also fraught with loneliness, so I decided to constantly be by her side, support her, and help her to choose the right path this time around.

And we see a picture of Usagi holding Chibi Chibi. So I think we can basically put this one to bed now.

With this mask on, I'm completely unrecognizable!

With this mask on, I’m completely unrecognizable!

People Can’t Recognize the Sailor Senshi

Insofar that I literally commute with probably 80% of the same people on crowded Tokyo trains every single day and probably wouldn’t recognize them outside of the train car, then yes… this is absolutely correct.

The fact of the matter is that most people don’t know who Usagi and the gang are, so seeing them running around in their Sailor uniforms doesn’t really tell you a whole lot in a city of 7.5 million.10

While it’s generally true that in the anime the Sailor Team tend to not be recognized as often as you think they would be (especially considering all of Usagi’s interactions with both Mamoru and Tuxedo Mask), this is more confirmation bias than anything else. The Senshi are actually recognized quite frequently, especially in the manga.

Taiki Is a Good Character

… clearly, provably false.

Like lipstick on a pig, nothing can make Taiki's forehead look better

Like lipstick on a pig, nothing can make Taiki’s forehead look better

As I mentioned earlier, I doubt that I’ll be able to sway the most ardent believers of these rumors / fan theories / head canons, but I hope that this at least gives you a little further insight into the issues.

So now that you’ve heard my opinion on these issues, what’s yours? I’d also be interested in hearing what other fan rumors you either have suspicions about or have been trying to put to rest. Even though I’ve been around the Sailor Moon fandom for over 20 years now, I still only see a very small corner of it and would love to hear more viewpoints on the series!


References:

  1.  See Proving a Negative (Wikipedia)
  2. See Set Right What Once Went Wrong
  3. Yes, I totally just did that.
  4.  See Electra complex (Wikipedia)
  5.  See Act Vol 14, Act 39 of the original manga release
  6.  See Why Do Nuns Wear Wedding Bands?
  7.  See p. 155 of vol 18 of the original manga
  8. And yes, the question mark and exclamation mark should change places in translation. Fight me.
  9.  See p. 159 of vol 18 of the original manga
  10.  See Tokyo population (within the 23 wards) in 1995

26 thoughts on “5 Sailor Moon Rumors That Just Won’t Die

  1. Poor Taiki…

    Alright, so I want to talk about the “People Can’t Recognize the Sailor Senshi” point. First, quite a few “victims-of-the-day” actually directly meet Usagi and/or other Senshi before being attacked, but many end up being rescued -while unconscious-, so they don’t even get to have a closer look at their transformed selves. -That- is a pretty good explanation, and there are exceptions (Tsutomu Asai, for example).

    More annoyingly, though, the anime really overused the whole “dramatic irony” device. I mean, yes, it’s implied that the characters avoid recognition because nobody expects them to be superheroes, but let’s see how many times this happened:

    – Usagi and Mamoru, season 1: yeah, she obviously can’t accept the possibility that this annoying guy is Tuxedo Mask, but Usagi herself is never recognized as Sailor Moon because she is too clumsy and childish. It gets worse when Serenity awakens, because unlike in the manga (where Serenity was very similar to Usagi), she does act like a fairytale princess.

    – Honestly, Mamoru himself is just as bad (those grand speeches vs. how he acts outside his alter-ego. And IIRC he uses different speech patterns as Tux.)

    – The Outers are Tuxedo Mask 2.0, but reversed, with them being friendly towards Usagi as civilians and hostile as senshi.

    – The Starlights are Outers 2.0, with Seiya/Fighter being closer to Tuxedo Mask 3.0.

    …Okay, where was I?

    Right, let’s also mention the fresh-from-the-future Chibiusa not recognizing present day Senshi in their regular clothes. The anime really loved them dramatic reveals.

    • What’s really weird about the whole “almost nobody ever recognizes them in the anime” thing is that in one of the early episodes, Usagi hides behind a car from Shingo to make sure he doesn’t realize that she’s Sailor Moon. So at least in the beginning of the series, Usagi believed that she could be easily recognized.

      • That would be episode 5, IIRC.

        I think this might have been a deliberate change on part of the anime staff. They clearly went through a bit of an “experimental” phase at the start of the series (hence things like Moon Tiara Stardust), so it’s entirely possible that the scene with Shingo was either a one-time joke, or a setup that eventually was discarded in favor of something else.

        That “something else” ties neatly into my point about dramatic irony, because Nephrite’s arc introduced two key changes: it gave its central villain a stable civilian identity, and, more importantly, it confirmed the identity of Tuxedo Mask to the audience. In other words, there now was a source of DRAMA and TENSION, and apparently some of the staff really liked that.

        (TBH, a lot of superhero and magical girl series is like that. “Oh no! I have to transform, but my crush is nearby and they don’t know my secret! What do I do?!”)

        I would LOVE to find some official word on how that idea came to be. Especially when you consider that the senshi were originally supposed to have masks as part of their battle uniforms.

  2. Oh man those first two especially XD. The one about Usagi’s parents I’ve actually never seen before! Sounds like the making of a run of the mill fanfic for sure ^^;;;.

    Can’t wait to hear all the fans coming in with the lines about how Black Lady’s actions can only be interpreted as EXPRESSIONS OF HER DEEP SEATED DESIRES OBVIOUSLY CAUSE FREUD GUYZ. 😉 Jks! I know some people do put some serious thought into it so I can’t make fun too much :p. I mean to be fair, as you say it’s hard to prove the inexistence of something.

    From my understanding, the revulsion that the audience is meant to feel at her kissing/placing claims on Mamoru as Black Lady is meant to be purely a way for the story to communicate how evil and twisted Wiseman is. You’re supposed to walk away from the finale of the arc feeling total relief because she’s back to being a normal little girl, instead of feeling risidual trauma or niggling ick feelings. But we all bring our own base levels of anxiety, trauma, half-understandings, changing understandings of what a “normal little girl” is psychologically speaking, etc. to any media we consume so it’s not surprising to me that the Electra complex theory lives on. Apparently Freud has gained a resurgence in popularity lately as well.

    You forgot to mention how Chibiusa constantly says inflammatory things like “he’s mine” or whatever to Usagi in the anime. Some fans seem to be happy to take it at face value instead of taking into context her penchant for riling up Usagi generally. She realized quickly this topic was a big red button to get a rise out of Usagi, so she goes for it in a tiresome way only a child can without meaning a single word the way Usagi jealously interprets them X””’D.

    As for the promise rings, is it just the new Myu where they say “we have no need for these rings anymore” when Saturn awakens or is it in the manga too? I just reread it in the Spring jeez you’d think I’d remember lol.

    One more thing… “And I think most of you would agree that’s not the story Ms. Takeuchi wasn’t trying to tell.” <- wait it was or wasn't? Really dude how am I supposed to quote you this way XD.

    • As you mentioned, the Black Moon clan and Wiseman are kind of meant to be twisted and evil. Prince Demande is a pretty good example of that. The whole Black Lady kiss thing is just a way of showing in a visual way about how such a sweet, young, innocent girl was turned into an evil, twisted adult.

      Regarding the promise rings, they also seem to disappear immediately after that initial appearance. I only skimmed a few chapters, but by Stars they’re definitely gone and at least in the last few (non-henshin’d) appearances in Dream I couldn’t find the rings in any of the panels. So like you said, more than anything else, they seem to be a promise to protect Hotaru.

      One more thing… “And I think most of you would agree that’s not the story Ms. Takeuchi wasn’t trying to tell.” < - wait it was or wasn't? Really dude how am I supposed to quote you this way XD.

      Good catch! Thanks, I just fixed that line now.

    • Yeah, they take off the rings after Hotaru reawakens and grants them new powers, since they fulfilled that promise:

      ほたるの育てることを ちかいあった 三人の約束の指輪 もういられない
      (– Shinsouban, vol.9, last panels of p.243)

  3. I feel so thankful for your explanation of the so popular elektra complex thing with ChibiUsa amd Mamoru. To me has always been clear that while she adores her mother to no end, she was more attached to her father in a sense that he was the one that told her stories and always tried to cheer her up, the same way Mamoru had done in the present–or past… you get the idea. That she she jealous? Maybe a little, but mostly because she wanted Mamoru’s attention like the little girl she is. She’s always asking him to help her with her homework or play with her, so I never really saw that complex. As black lady, I saw it the same you mentioned above, she was evil and due death panthom’s influence that connection distortioned into something taken as lust. With her desire to be with him completely different. Also, it was Usagi’s illusion and own jealousy what made her imagine things like that and what served black lady to make Usagi feel more miserable.

    Also, the point you mention with Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna. To me, them wearing a ring looked more lile a promise to take care of Hotaru and give the kid a chance to life without the sole purpose of being a reaper.

    There are a ton of missconceptions when it comes to Sailor Moon, but these for sire are the ones that ever seem to go away. Loved this article!

    • Glad to see this connected with people! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it was worth writing, since I know there are a lot of people who are passionate about these fan theories… but frankly, I’m just tired of seeing the same nonsensical information thrown about as fact.

      The way people view the relationship between ChibiUsa and Mamoru is particularly a shame because it’s really just a young girl who wants to hang around her dad. I’m not really sure if it’s because a lot of the old hatred for ChibiUsa is still running around in the fan community, but the criticism seems really weird to me.

  4. I agree with you mostly regarding Sailor Cosmos. She absolutely is Usagi/Sailor Moon. But there is ambiguity regarding the exact nature of the future form. I believe that question is: Is Sailor Cosmos Usagi from the future or a reincarnation of Usagi? We don’t know what Sailor Cosmos’ original time is, only that is far past the current time and even further than the 30th century. The dialogue seems vague enough to allow either possibility.

    The dialogue about “The “me” back in this time” makes Sailor Cosmos sound like she’s talking about someone else, rather than herself. I just feel that if Sailor Cosmos is supposed to be Usagi, the dialogue would be less…detached? The translations makes it sounds like Sailor Cosmos sees Usagi as a separate person entirely. Does the Japanese dialogue give the same impression?

    The dropped plotlines are the best worst part of Sailor Moon. So much to explore but often very few answers.

    • Put frankly, Sailor Cosmos is just a massive plothole shoved into the series at the very last minute that answers, like, three questions and adds about 15 more. While I like the idea of Sailor Cosmos (a counterpoint to Chaos), it really just makes everything far more complicated that it needs to be and doesn’t fit in with a lot of the things we were already told.

      Sailor Stars, as good of a season/arc as it may be, really feels rushed to me. It starts way too many stories and resolves few of them.

      As for the “to me,” there really isn’t any ambiguity in the text. At least not any more ambiguous as me talking about if I were to have lunch with my past self. While it is still “me,” by the very nature of time travel, it’s me confronting a different version of myself. But still, at the end of the day, we are the same person.

    • As a fan of 20+ years, I’m ashamed to say that I never have been able to get my hands on much with the Sailor Stars or Sailor Cosmos. I read a lot about them sometime around highschool, but that’s been…a while.

      BUT. One thing that has always been a trend with Sailor Moon is that…if it’s supposed to be the same person,they’re going to look the same. If it’s a different person, there will be differences to their body/hair, not just costume.

      So, without knowing a lot about that plotline yet outside of what was online in 2002, I’d have to say Cosmos is Sailor Moon, maybe after the Neo Queen Serenity days. And after that much life experience, “the me from this time” sounds totally normal, because that would feel like an entirely different person. The me from 2000 was an entirely different person, so I can totally relate. I’ve never been sure how much time is supposed to lapse between young Sailor Moon and her becoming a queen, but considering the amount of stuff they go through in just a year, she’s going to be way different.

  5. This was a really cool and interesting!!! I love finding out different things about Sailor Moon and the scouts/ seshi. Thanks for explaining the whole chibiusa and tux thing. It confused me for years and I have also thought that sailor Cosmos was Sailor Moon. Also with other theories on this list some of them I’ve never even heard of. It was quite interesting to learn about different theories.

  6. I have to admit that since we see Chibi Usa’s actions through an Usagi-tinted lens, I have often fallen into that line of thinking until I remember that it is Usagi’s interpretation and Chibi Usa is totally innocent as far as her feelings, though she does ham it up to tease Usagi.
    Usagi is just so convinced that this child is here to take away her love it gets pretty warped. It’s silly, but Usagi herself is a child and it’s not that shocking she could come to desperate conclusions.
    By S and SuperS it seems Chibi Usa only works that angle as a tease.

    The ring thing never really made me think they were polyamorous, I’m kind of surprised people push that still. Friends often do stuff like this, it’s a symbol of unity.
    I wonder if anyone would even think that if it were not for Haruka and Michiru being confirmed lovers? While Setsuna definitely seems to respect them, I can’t say I’ve seen a single shred of evidence she feels more than that. I mean, she barely shows signs of friendship, though I’m sure she is somewhat close to them.
    And as for Haruka-papa, it’s obvious why if she was going to call one papa she’d pick Haruka. I imagine she probably called them all “Mama” and then Michiru would have teasingly said: “No, no, Haruka is papa!”

    I haven’t heard this one in a long time! I actually speculated this once when I was younger but couldn’t ever find any evidence or even reason why they would be. This seems like it could just be a way to deny reincarnation in the series…good luck with that!!
    Also, Usagi and Ikuko have the same bangs. DNA confirmed!
    I do wonder though, did Serenity have any power over where they were reincarnated or was it random? I mean, those last names are quite the coincidence! Even non-conforming Miss Aino!

    Okay, with Cosmos we were so robbed of a continuation! I still hold out hope that Naoko will continue it. It’s a faint hope, true.
    Cosmos is so vague, I have wondered a lot about her identity even though it is explained. I do agree that she is not a descendant, but I do wonder if she is a distant reincarnation of Princess Serenity. I don’t think anything goes against that, and back when I first read Stars in Smile/Mixx, that was my interpretation. That Sailor Moon/ Usagi/Neo Queen Serenity had eventually passed on or been killed and in a very distant future she’d been reborn again as Sailor Cosmos.

    If she is a distant version of Usagi, it’s sad that she lost everything, eventually.
    Perhaps she is from an alternate timeline where the Black Moon clan didn’t attack and she also didn’t become Queen of the Earth, and another future was born where she developed all-new powers.
    I would love to see more of her. And I can’t wait until we eventually get to see her animated in Crystal.
    However, I am in my thirties so barring my own reincarnation, science stopping death. my consciousness being uploaded to the cloud or anime being allowed in Heaven, I doubt I will be around to see that Arc at this rate.

    It’s definitely true in the manga that people can and do recognize the senshi…they seem to put very little effort into even hiding who they are, with Usagi even tossing her mask away. I also believe in the manga there are few if any instances of them being on television or in the newspaper. Sailor V does, but she is wearing a pretty concealing mask.

    In the anime I think it’s a bit more vague. No one recognizes Minako when she first arrives at the Hikawa Shrine, though when they’d seen her as Venus, it was night. It also seems like family and friends fail to recognize her, even when she’s right in front of them.

    On your last point, I agree. For years I’ve had a wallscroll that prominently features Taiki and her forehead, top center of the image and for some reason she appears larger by quite a lot than all of the other senshi. It is quite horrifying. I appreciate diverse designs but I can’t find anything appealing about Taiki.

  7. I agree with all your explanations of these lists and it’s funny, I never knew these were rumors to begin with. This was a great read btw! If you can do a part 2 to this I would look forward to reading that too. Some of the rumors I’ve heard are more the issues with Usagi and Mamoru’s age, as well as theories on three lights but I feel like the list can go on and on lol.

    Thanks for the article!

  8. And on a pretty unrelated note….do you remember the fanfictions that were online around 2000-2003? I think sailorjupiter.com and sailormars.com had most of them (young me just typed random things with “.com” at the end to see if there were websites about them. Dangerous game)

    There were some really interesting stories on those pages, but it’s like sailor moon disappeared from the internet around 2006, and there was little to be found until a few years ago when they started Sailor Moon Crystal. So forgive me for being off topic, I have no people to talk about these things with.

    • In terms of fanfiction, the biggest archive I remember was A Sailor Moon Romance (ASMR). I was an active member on their forums for several years before they died due to some sort of server crash. I really loved the community, and was pretty broken up to see it go away.

  9. I was always under the impression that Sailor Cosmos was ChibiChibi’s full form and that ChibiChibi herself was Galaxia’s star seed given form. (The hairdo fits anyway.)

    • The Galaxia < -> Chibi Chibi connection comes from the anime (there is no Sailor Cosmos in the anime) while the Cosmos < -> Chibi Chibi connection comes from the manga (no connection to Galaxia in the manga).

      Though there is a loose connection between Cosmos < -> Chaos -> Galaxia I suppose!

  10. If i remember correctly, in the manga, Sailor Cosmos called Eternal Sailor Moon the new Sailor Cosmos and said that one day she’ll come and awaken the true Sailor Cosmos. Since Neo Queen Serenity would have to give Chibiusa the silver crystal in the future, NQS wouldn’t be able to transform anymore so maybe Sailor Cosmos is actually Chibiusa’s ultimate form?

  11. Pingback: How Sailor Moon Changed My Life | Tuxedo Unmasked

  12. Okay, you’re right, Sailor Cosmos calls Sailor Moon a “me”. So she is the future Sailor Moon. But I don’t understand one thing. When the Amazonesses ask wheter she is the future Sailor Moon, she replis: “No, I’m just a coward who fled from where I am supposed to be.” (German manga version) So it seems to me like she denies it? Could you explain that to me please?

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