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!
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.
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
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!
Sailor Jupiter only used her official catchphrase once
And, in case you’re curious what that is, Makoto’s catchphrase is:
(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
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.
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.
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!
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.
- See episode 13 of the 90s anime ↩
- See question5, page 24, of the December 1993 issue of Animage ↩
- See question 23, page 28 of the Summer 1995 issue of Comickers ↩
- 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 ↩
- Source: I do project management between US publishers and Japanese artists. This is just my personal experience. ↩
- When I say “the anime,” I’m not referring to Sailor Moon Crystal. Ever. ↩
- See page 11 of Figure King Magazine Issue 37 (October 2000) ↩
- See question 45, page 30 of the Summer 1995 issue of Comickers ↩