5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sailor Moon (I Promise!)

Five Senshi, Five Facts... it all works out!

Five Senshi, Five Facts… it all works out!

Nearly without exception, the “X facts you didn’t know about Y” style of article is pretty much doomed to certain failure. After all, you must have gotten your information from somewhere, and invariably other devoted fans have probably scoured the same resources you have.

And don’t get me started on how the articles are riddled with inaccuracies, or that most of these writers aren’t even fans of the series to begin with…

After seeing yet another of these articles pop up into my news feed this morning, it got me wondering: if I were to come up with some of the most obscure Sailor Moon trivia I could think of, what would I write about? And — more importantly — do I actually think I could come up with anything that would surprise even the most diehard Sailor Moon fans who read this blog?

You know what? I think I can… but I’ll leave you to be the final judge of that!

Read on as I pull out all stops and discuss some of the most obscure bits of Sailor Moon trivia I know!

Jupiter Comes Thundering In

Jupiter Comes Thundering In

The Sailor Senshi aren’t any more powerful when they transform

You read that right: apparently the Sailor Soldiers are just as powerful as their “human” forms even after they transform.

It sounds absurd at first blush, but when you stop and think about it, it might not be that far off. After all, despite throwing people around a bit, the Youma were never able to do much in the way of any real harm to Naru or their many other victims. Then there’s also the fact that Tuxedo Mask, who didn’t really have much (if anything) in the way of special powers in the anime was easily able to hold his own against Jadeite.1

This information comes from an article published in Animage titled “100 Secrets About the Sailor Senshi.”2

Q5: Do the Sailor Soldiers’ abilities change after transforming?

A5: The Sailor uniform doesn’t power them up in any way, meaning that they generally are just as strong and intelligent as they are before transforming. However, it does provide a huge boost to their spiritual energy.

You could argue that this feature is unofficial and not totally gospel, considering the strong relationship between Animage and the Sailor Moon anime, and that question 91 is answered by Director Ikuhara himself, I’d be willing to lend it some credence.

Probably a fair representation of Naoko during crunch time

Probably a fair representation of Naoko during crunch time

Each Sailor Moon manga chapter was drawn in about one week

Just how much work Ms. Takeuchi’s assistants did on the Sailor Moon manga is, and likely will forever be, unknown. However, she did at least provide an interesting insight into the Sailor Moon drafting process in a 1995 interview with the Japanese manga artist-focused magazine Comickers.3

Read also:  5 Often Misreported Sailor Moon "Facts"

During 1995, Ms. Takeuchi’s monthly work schedule looked a little something like this:

  • 1st to 4th: Make edits to Run Run and Kodansha comics4
  • 5th to 6th: Do some coloring (as necessary)
  • 7th to 9th: Read books, come up with the plot
  • 10th to 16th: Draw the Nakayoshi manga pages
  • 17th to 20th: Sleep, go shopping, and hang out with friends.
  • 21st to 30th: Hang out with friends, hold meetings, do the colored artwork, and do the art for the Nakayoshi freebie furoku

Though I have no idea how she was able to squeeze Codename: Sailor V into that insane schedule, anecdotally speaking the schedule sounds about right.5 For monochrome manga using characters she’s familiar with drawing, and with a staff on hand at that, one week should be enough to crank out a chapter. It’ll be an insane, crazy, sleepless week. But a week nonetheless.

Still, it’s an interesting look inside how the manga was created!

Let's not get into how often Jupiter and Venus had their episodes thrown together to save time

Let’s not get into how often Jupiter and Venus had their episodes thrown together to save time

Sailor Jupiter only used her official catchphrase once

And, in case you’re curious what that is, Makoto’s catchphrase is:

痺れるくらい後悔させるよ!
(Literally: I’ll make you feel so much regret, it’ll leave you numb!)

Though we already discussed how Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars’ catchphrases were chosen by fans, I didn’t really touch on Sailor Jupiter or Sailor Venus. They were chosen later (not by fans, to my understanding) and were first unveiled in the November 1993 issue of Animage.

Though Sailor Venus’ “Accept the divine punishment of love” would grace TV screens just a short time later in episode 78 (December 8, 1993), it wouldn’t be until over a year later in episode 123 (January 28, 1995) when Sailor Jupiter would have her chance.

That was also the first and last time we would hear it in the anime.6

Kodansha wasn't exactly keen on profit sharing

Kodansha wasn’t exactly keen on profit sharing

Naoko received almost no royalties from international Sailor Moon sales

Considering Ms. Takeuchi’s penchant for buying incredibly expensive cars and going on luxurious vacations, we need to be very careful here to not make it sound like she was on her way to the poor house during Sailor Moon‘s heyday.

That doesn’t mean, however, that everything was perfect in Azabu-Juban.

According to Ms. Takeuchi,7 Kodansha’s licensing department had done an amazing job locking down the international rights to the series that she only received a paltry sum for all of Sailor Moon‘s international manga releases.

Read also:  How Did Fans React to the Deaths of the Sailor Soldiers?

This all seems to have changed around the time of the manga re-release and PGSM launch in the early 2000s, but it sounds like Kodansha really took advantage of her back in the day, which probably contributed to their several-year split during the late 90s.

All right, we don't need you guys anymore

All right, we don’t need you guys anymore

The Outer Senshi weren’t meant to be major characters

Or, at least, Ms. Takeuchi never intended for them to be anything more than side characters:8

Q45: What’s the major difference between the three outer planet Senshi and the others that have come before them?

A45: The anime really focused in on them, but they’re really just side/supporting characters.

First and foremost, I think it’s interesting that at this time Sailor Saturn wasn’t yet considered a member of the Outer Senshi. It’s possible, though, that the interviewer assumed that Sailor Saturn was no longer a character due to being basically written out of the story at the time the interview was written (sometime prior to June 1995).

It is really interesting to me, though, that Ms. Takeuchi would be the one to refer to the Outer Senshi as “just side characters” and suggest that the anime was the one to make a big deal of them when she put a focus on them in the Dream arc and the anime wrote them out entirely in Sailor Moon SuperS.

In any case, I’m glad she had a change of heart!

But I know EVERYTHING about Sailor Moon!

But I know EVERYTHING about Sailor Moon!

So how did I do? I set out to come up with five Sailor Moon facts that even the most die hard fans hadn’t heard before, but I guess you, dear reader, are the ultimate judge of that.

In case you’re interested in hearing about more obscure trivia, consider following me on Facebook or Twitter where I post (almost…) daily facts and tidbits about the Sailor Moon universe.


References:

  1.  See episode 13 of the 90s anime
  2.  See question5, page 24, of the December 1993 issue of Animage
  3.  See question 23, page 28 of the Summer 1995 issue of Comickers
  4. I’m not totally clear what this means. My best guess is that she’s referring to making edits to the manga chapters that already ran in Nakayoshi and Run Run to be compiled into the tankobon volumes
  5. Source: I do project management between US publishers and Japanese artists. This is just my personal experience.
  6. When I say “the anime,” I’m not referring to Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever.
  7.  See page 11 of Figure King Magazine Issue 37 (October 2000)
  8. See question 45, page 30 of the Summer 1995 issue of Comickers

16 thoughts on “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sailor Moon (I Promise!)

  1. You know, I feel I don’t necessarily agree that Tuxedo Mask didn’t have much in the way of special powers in the 90s anime.

    He repeatedly demonstrates superhuman dexterity, strength and endurance, and when it comes to Usagi, precognition. I’d also argue that when he faces off against the Senshi in the latter parts of the first arc, he demonstrates fairly significant degrees of power (incredibly significant compared to a normal Human), and I’m not convinced that he was just borrowing Beryl/Metallia’s energy there.

    Furthermore, there’s definitely something more to the roses he throws, given how readily they disable the monster of the week, and evenly match Rubeus’ energy blasts. I know people like to make out that he did nothing, but watching it through again he was consistently more involved than any Senshi not named Sailor Moon (except for the latter half of Super and Stars, I suppose) and handled himself better than any of the Inner Senshi (again, not named Sailor Moon or Mars) and any of the Starlights.

    Even in the 90s anime, there’s definitely significant power in Tuxedo mask.

    • Furthermore, there’s definitely something more to the roses he throws, given how readily they disable the monster of the week, and evenly match Rubeus’ energy blasts.

      To be fair, you could argue that his roses are magical items (much like Sailor Moon’s tiara and all of the other magic attacks). The same goes for his expanding staff.
      It’s really hard to say, and I imagine it may have been the idea they were going for in the beginning, but the animation staff ultimately gave up on or forgot about later on.

  2. Those are some pretty good ones, but I’m pretty sure I had heard #1, #2, 4 and #5 previously.
    I didn’t know for sure, but I actually had wondered about Jupiter’s catchphrase when watching Crystal and could only find it in one episode so far upon the rewatch…it wasn’t exactly research, but it’s something I was looking for.
    With the way the anime loved stock footage, it’s really weird how few times the other senshi get to use their speeches while Crystal makes a huge deal out of them.
    If I remember correctly, only Venus and maybe Mars actually used them in the manga, and I think I remember Venus’ being: “I’ll rain down your punishment from Heaven” or something along those lines.

    As for thinking I’ve heard the others, 1 is kind of a shock, but I could swear I’ve heard someone state that before and I disbelieved it, though with your evidence and description, I have to say it makes it feel like the first time.

    For #2, it may have actually been mentioned in Chixx comics, or am I confusing hearing that the anime was made 1 episode a week? Either way, I’m going to give you credit for the knowledge. 🙂

    #4 I had heard, and if I remember correctly there was kind of a big deal made over it at one time.

    #5 I had never exactly heard, that I know of, but it’s one of those things I always assumed, especially with Pluto and Saturn.
    To me the outers always felt like side characters, especially after S…though it is very odd how she thinks the anime made a big deal of them when it was her who made sure they were a part of every major event from Infinity onward!
    Not that I’m complaining, I love me some Neptune.

    I very much enjoy these types of articles.
    Well written, often funny and very informative. I always look forward to them.
    Thanks so much!

    • (Edit: By a rewatch, I meant a rewatch of the original anime after hearing Jupiter’s phrase in Crystal)

    • It is possible that it showed up in Chixx comics. The dialogue they wrote there was a bizarre mix of translations of Naoko’s liner notes in the original manga, and completely made up BS.
      o_O

      • Yeah, Chixx was a mess. Back then I believed it, too.
        I remember a note from Naoko to Dic in one of them, asking them to dub Sailor Moon SuperS soon.

  3. #1 – That’s an interesting topic, and could be worth an entire article to itself. When I first thought about it my reaction was “of course they’re far more powerful after transforming”, but then I wasn’t so sure.

    They never use their attacks while untransformed. But Rei and Michiru clearly seem to be able to exhibit superhuman powers while untransformed. Could they be completely capable of doing everything they do without transforming if they wanted to? Is it purely about disguising their civilian identities? If so it would be like Superman, who could dress as Clark Kent and never wear the cape and tights as all if he didn’t want to.

    On the other hand, there are situations where transforming seems to really matter. I can’t remember exactly where these took place… wasn’t there a time in R when Usagi couldn’t transform, so the others had to fight without her? Transforming seemed to mean no powers then. She also de-transformed when the crystal was taken from her, which looks like powers are connected to the transformation.

    The characters seem to have superhuman durability at times, and it seems believable enough that they would have that all of the time and not just when transformed. But then what about the time Usagi transformed in front of Mamoru for the first time… at first she didn’t want to do it, but felt that she had to in order to save the both of them. So then why did she transform? Sure, exhibiting superhuman abilities or durability would probably show Mamoru that she isn’t a normal person, but if she was so desperate to not transform then why didn’t she take that option?

    I don’t know… I just don’t buy into the idea that the transformation doesn’t matter. I feel like I’ve forgotten some other examples where it has mattered as well. It really seems that transformation is necessary at least to access their ability to attack… not once do they ever throw one out while untransformed. (Or did Mamoru do that maybe?)

    And if it truly doesn’t make any difference… then why bother doing it? Sure, a leotard might be easier to fight in than most everyday clothes, but would they always want to do it? It didn’t seem like a comfortable choice when they were in the freezing cold at the end of season 1. It has to be something more than a change of clothes, or they wouldn’t insist on doing it every single time.

    #3 – Wow! I had no idea Jupiter’s catchphrase was in the original series. All of the others had multiple scenes where they introduce themselves like Sailor Moon does, and conclude with their catchphrase. They usually had their own post-transformation animation going on while doing this, concluding in a pose.

    I always thought it was a shame that my favorite character never got to do this, and I was really happy when she got the chance to do it in Crystal. For all this time I had wondered what her introduction and catchphrase would be if she got the chance to do it, and Crystal delivered.

    But you’re right – her catchphrase is right there in episode 123. But it’s delivered right in the middle of her transformation, so it doesn’t look or sound like anything special – so I never thought it was her catchphrase.

    I love finding little bits of information like this, thanks for pointing it out.

    • They never use their attacks while untransformed. But Rei and Michiru clearly seem to be able to exhibit superhuman powers while untransformed. Could they be completely capable of doing everything they do without transforming if they wanted to? Is it purely about disguising their civilian identities? If so it would be like Superman, who could dress as Clark Kent and never wear the cape and tights as all if he didn’t want to.

      To be fair, the claim (in the magazine) is that their “energy” increases when they’re transformed, so it’s entirely believable that they aren’t able to use their attacks without being transformed.

      In terms of superhuman feats, it’s harder to say. The Sailor Fuku itself has a protector (around their chest) which could explain how they’re able to take heavier blows than you’d naturally assume. Also, Usagi is quite the talented frisbee thrower in season one, even when not transformed (in the Kunzite episode where she is trying to learn to become a refined young woman).
      I agree, though, that it’s probably an idea that they had in the beginning and quickly forgot/gave up on it.

  4. Oh, and one other thing about episode 123 I just noticed. The first one to give a speech in that section is Minako… and she DOESN’T use her catchphrase, though the line does sound like part of her introduction with “love and beauty” in there somewhere. Then it’s followed by Ami, Rei, and Makoto, who all do use their standard catchphrases. Weird that Minako is the only one not to do it there.

  5. The issue of Sailors being more or equally as powerful in “Sailor Forms” is a tricky one. As I make a hobby of giving characters stats for Role-Playing Games, I actually watched the show paying attention to this.

    In Episode #78, in a bizarre moment, a non-Sailor Minako jumps from the ground to the second-floor balcony of Usagi’s home! This is the only instance I can find of a non-Sailor girl accomplishing such a feat, however. Nearly every other instance of seemingly-incredible power (in #138, Chibi-Moon holds up Sailor Moon AND Sailor Mercury on the trapeze; much more than a little girl her age could likely handle) happens in Sailor-Form.

    • I always love hearing about people trying to convert Sailor Moon into a pen-and-paper RPG. Why? Because I’ve tried doing this multiple times over the years. =D
      I have a long-running RPG for at least 3+ years going on that was a lot of fun, but you run into a long of problems with how they should be able to level up stats, etc.

      But it’s still an undertaking I’d like to take on again at some point, if/when I actually have some free time.

      • Oh yeah- I got the whole crew statted up in Mutants & Masterminds, which is set up for super-heroes.

        The primary issue is one of “balance”- how do you properly stat up the fact that most of the girls don’t even have a hope against a monster by themselves, and only Sailor Moon can ever finish them off, barring 1 or 2 episodes a season? How do you stat up the whole “Oh, you’re more powerful now” random upgrades in R and SuperS, when the “tiers” seem as set as ever? Does it mean that versatile bad guys like the Dark Kingdom’s Heavenly Kings are MUCH, MUCH weaker than more limited threats like the Witches 5 (who seem to have WAY fewer powers)?

        The problem is, anime/manga is never as rigid with “power levels” as, say, American comic books. So RPG stats don’t always make sense :).

  6. When dvd came out season 6 part 2 really im huge fan of your show REALLY my favorite character is Jupiter and salior moon a lot funny smart kind heart

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