6 Sailor Moon Seiyuu Alumni That Came Back for Crystal

Two faces, one voice

Two faces, one voice

Ever since the initial announcement of Kotono’s triumphant return as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal, there’s been one question that I haven’t quite been able to shake: Why is she the only cast member to come back?

Be it scheduling conflicts, concerns over whether the other cast members still “fit” their characters, or simply the belief that fans would be unwilling to accept anyone else as Usagi, there are a lot of different directions to attack this question from.

What I learned through the course of my research, though, is that Kotono isn’t the only cast member to come back from the 90s anime at all — in fact, she was just one of six 90s Sailor Moon alumni to come back to Crystal.

Today we’re going into the recording booth to introduce some of the unsung heroes and heroines that voiced our favorite characters not once, but twice!

Usagi Tsukino, as played by Kotono Mitsuishi

Usagi Tsukino, as played by Kotono Mitsuishi

Kotono Mitsuishi (90s: Usagi Tsukino, Chibi Chibi; Crystal: Usagi Tsukino)

Obviously I would be remiss not to mention Kotono Mitsuishi,1 the woman who quite literally gave Usagi her voice. Since we are all pretty well-versed in the fact that she did resume her role as our favorite Moon Princess, there isn’t much to say here other than to take a moment to share some of my favorite trivia bits about her time as Usagi:

A raving fan and Setsuna Meioh, as played by Ai Maeda

A raving fan and Setsuna Meioh, as played by Ai Maeda

Ai Maeda (90s: Three Lights fan; Crystal: Setsuna Meioh)

Ai Maeda,2 known best among Sailor Moon fans as the voice of Setsuna Meioh, has quite an interesting history with the franchise. Not only was one of her first voice acting roles as a screaming fan cheering at a Three Lights concert in Sailor Stars, but she even used to perform as Sailor ChibiMoon at meet-and-greets and in live action Sailor Moon shows put on at large public events.

Totally not creepy in the least...

Totally not creepy in the least… (full video)

Talk about your career coming full circle!

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Unfortunately, there’s not much information available about exactly when and where she performed other than that she performed the role “for a year or so.” Judging by her age and that she began her voice acting career in 1996, I’d guess that it was probably for the 1995-1996 season, meaning she probably played as Super Sailor ChibiMoon.

Esmeraude and Queen Serenity, as played by Mami Koyama

Esmeraude and Queen Serenity, as played by Mami Koyama

Mami Koyama (90s: Esmeraude; Crystal: Queen Serenity)

This one is by far and away the most bizarre connection for me. Mami Koyama,3 voice of the Black Moon clan’s very own Esmeraude, came back to Sailor Moon 20 years later in order to play the role of the fallen sovereign of the Moon Kingdom.

As for why she didn’t just come back to resume her old role is anyone’s guess, but I’d say it’s fairly reasonable to say that it’s probably either that her voice had simply matured over the years and she wasn’t able to quite play Esmeraude the same way, or that she had already agreed to do Queen Serenity before it was decided that there would be a Black Moon arc. At that point, it could be a bit awkward to have her play both hero and villain. Though this wouldn’t be the first time that happened in Sailor Moon.

Iguara, Ousooji, U-Ndookai, and Queen Metalia, as played by Yoko Matsuoka

Iguara, U-Ndookai, Ousooji, and Queen Metalia, as played by Yoko Matsuoka

Yoko Matsuoka (90s: Iguara, Ousooji, U-Ndookai; Crystal: Queen Metalia)

I’d like to go on the record and say that Yoko Matsukoa4 should serve as an inspiration to Monsters of the Day everywhere: whether you’re a lowly Youma, Cardian, Droid, Daimon, Lemure, or Phage, you still have the opportunity to someday grow up and become the most powerful enemy in the season.

From Jadeite’s partner in crime to Queen Metalia herself, I have to say that Ms. Matsuoka did pretty well for herself.

Esmeraude, as played by Hoko Kuwashima

Esmeraude, as played by Hoko Kuwashima

Hoko Kuwashima (90s: female student; Crystal: Esmeraude)

Yet another voice actress who literally started her career with a debut in Sailor Moon, Hoko Kuwashima5 would later go on to play Esmeraude in Sailor Moon Crystal.

Unfortunately, she provides little information on her role in the original anime other than that she played a “female student” in SuperS,6 but I think it’s a fascinating little tidbit all the same!

Dr. Sergei Asimov, Ventriloquist, and Pharaoh 90, as played by Takaya Hashi

Dr. Sergei Asimov, Ventriloquist, and Pharaoh 90, as played by Takaya Hashi

Takaya Hashi (90s: Dr. Sergei Asimov, Ventriloquist; Crystal: Pharaoh 90)

Takaya Hashi7 has done a little bit of everything across his storied career, from voice acting to TV work, and even appearances in tokusatsu shows — including none other than Sailor Moon‘s spiritual predecessor, The Masked Belle Poitrine!

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Before becoming Pharaoh 90 in Sailor Moon Crystal, he played Dr. Sergei Asimov (a character-of-the-day in Sailor Moon S) and the unnamed ventriloquist in the SuperS special.

Yes, I was surprised too...

Yes, I was surprised too…

So what did we actually learn from this deep dive into the voices behind Sailor Moon Crystal?

I don’t know about you, but this really helped drive home the point of just what a huge force the Sailor Moon anime was back in the day, and just how many lives it touched. Not only did it introduce fans like you and me to a whole new world of animation and storytelling, but it also helped serve as the starting point for many, many careers.

Out of curiosity, do any of you ever follow the careers of voice artists you love? Up until recently I hadn’t really paid much attention to names behind the voices, but like buying up every CD from your favorite musician, I’m starting to see the appeal.

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8 thoughts on “6 Sailor Moon Seiyuu Alumni That Came Back for Crystal

  1. You forgot Shino Kakinuma who played Naru in the 90s anime and Hotaru’s mother in Crystal 🙂

    • Good catch! There probably are a few more out there. I only did a check through all the major heroes and villains of Crystal, so I likely missed a few people who played a minor part.

  2. There’s also Daisuke Sakaguchi. He was the second voice of Kyūsuke Sarashina in the 90s version and played Ittou Asanuma in Crystal

  3. To this day I can’t wrap my head around the fact that they decided to only keep Mitsuishi Kotono san and not the other former voice actresses! Like come on now, Ogata Megumi San is still going strong and could have easily play Uranus! Hisakawa Aya san is also still very much in the business and provided the voice of Kero-Chan in CCS last year too and I’m sure that Fukami Rica San and Shinohara Emi San would have be in too!!! People will say that I am a drama queen but I don’t care I cried so much when I heard they wouldn’t return! Furuya san too 🙁

  4. I mean… while this is all interesting I would have loved to see at least all 5 of the original Inner Senshi Seiyuu come back to reprise their roles in SM Crystal, but the seiyuu they did get besides Mitsuishi-san did a great job. Satou Rina as Hino Rei/Sailor Mars did a great job. She’s also know for the eldest sister in the series Minami-ke as Minami Haruka. Totally different aura/temperament.

    I also understand that not everyone from the 90s rendition could come back because I know some of them are too old now or they sadly got ill and passed away, one example being Sailor Star Fighter’s seiyuu who passed away of some sort of cancer.. I can’t remember what type, but that’s not important here.

  5. I knew Mami Koyama returned besides Kotono, but holy cow, I never Ai Maeda, actress of both Crystal’s Pluto and Cure Aqua, was a suit actress for Chibi Moon there, and it’s cool seeing that some VAs of MOTDs returned to do bigger roles in Crystal, that’s pretty impressive.

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