Answering Your Sailor Moon Questions – Part IV

What it feels like to look at Tuxedo Unmasked's common Google searches

What it feels like to look at Tuxedo Unmasked’s common Google searches

While the majority of the questions we tackle here on Tuxedo Unmasked are things I’ve always wanted to explore further or fun trivia I want to share, sometimes I like to open up the floor to you, dear reader, and social media at large to take a crack at the Sailor Moon community’s burning questions.

Variety, as Minako would say, is the life of spice.

Today’s questions are a selection of common questions I see floating around online, Google search terms, and even some plucked straight from the comments.

Stick around — who knows, you just might find one of your questions here… or at least learn something fun in the process!

I'm here to answer questions and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of bubblegum!

I’m here to answer questions and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of bubblegum!

(For those of you keeping track, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the “Answering Your Sailor Moon Questions” series)

There’s quite a lot of ground for us to cover today, so let’s jump right on in! First up…

Is Sailor Moon’s Brooch the Source of Her Power?

This ties in closely with another question I’ve looked into in the past, specifically regarding whether Usagi needs her brooch to stay transformed. However, it was different enough that I thought it was worth taking a separate look at here.

You could approach this question two ways and come up with different answers, really. Since Usagi — almost without exception — needs her brooch to transform and access her powers as Sailor Moon, then it ultimately doesn’t matter what the power source is since she needs the brooch either way. In that case, you could comfortably answer “yes.”

On the other side of the coin, some of Usagi’s most epic and climactic battles have occurred without her being Sailor Moon at all. Namely, they took place in her Princess Serenity form and absent any involvement from her brooch at all.1

Personally, I’d argue that the brooch serves as a way for Usagi to focus her powers and unlock her potential, but ultimately the power is within her.

Rei, the odd (wo)man out

Rei, the odd (wo)man out

Why Does Rei Go to a Different School?

Because it would be tacky if they all went to the same school?

In all seriousness though, I think this all boils down to having to strike a balance between having characters who are near enough to Usagi that they can share common experiences (Ami and Makoto) and also provide more connections outside of their school to expand on possible story line opportunities. T.A. Gakuin served as the backdrop for several stories in both the anime and manga.2

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This also had the added bonus of having more variety in the girls’ school uniforms.

Tuxedo Mask's Anime Transformation (ep. 19)

Tuxedo Mask’s Anime Transformation (ep. 19)

Does Tuxedo Mask Ever Power Up?

In the anime? No, not really. If anything, he engages in less and less combat as the series progresses, so he probably peaked out in either the first season or in Sailor Moon R in the fight against the Black Moon, depending on if you subscribe to the idea that each new enemy is more powerful than the last.

Things are a little different in the manga, however. We see him first use the Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber in the Black Moon arc,3 though we can’t say for sure when exactly he first gained access to this ability. I’ll be charitable and pretend it’s a new technique that he gained after awakening as Endymion.

Later on, in the Dream arc, Mamoru gains access to the Golden Crystal. If that doesn’t count as powering up, I don’t know what does.

Does Artemis Believe Minako Is the Princess?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: nooooo.

Considering that Artemis was feeding information to Luna to encourage her (and, by extension, the other Sailor Soldiers) to look for the Princess, he obviously knew that he hadn’t already found her. Further, we can be pretty certain that Minako herself knew that she wasn’t the Princess due to how she reacted when Usagi put her own life on the line to save Minako in the manga.

Minako's feeling WHAT??

Minako’s feeling WHAT??

What Do the Senshi Feel When They Transform?

This is an interesting one for multiple reasons. It also ties in closely with the question over whether the Sailor Senshi transform instantly or in real time. If they transformed instantly, they probably don’t feel anything. If it takes place in real time, then there’s a little more room for debate.

The other noteworthy thing about this question is that the only real source I can find that even remotely comes close to answering the question is actually the Codename: Sailor V manga.

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When she first transforms, the reader is greeted with the following monologue:

What… what is this sensation?! I feel so free, I can feel the power welling up!
I feel the passion burning deep inside me!

Though we obviously don’t have any other sources it work with, it’s my guess that the rest of the Senshi feel something similar, though maybe slightly different and relevant to their individual powers.

One note: ムラムラ, which I’ve translated here as a “burning passion,” is often used to describe feelings of arousal4 and has been rendered as such in some fan translations.5 Obviously I can’t say without absolute certainly what Ms. Takeuchi was thinking, but considering how often she tended to prefer subtle nuance and wordplay in her works, I think this was meant to be read as “a sense of excitement/passion” by younger kids while also carrying more adult implications for her older readers.

The emotional stages of blogging

The emotional stages of blogging

Well, that was pretty intense! Hopefully you found at least some new or interesting tidbit in here!

I know this is a slight departure from the long-form content I typically write on one specific topic, but I think it’s nice to go through and take on some of the smaller questions from time to time. Usually topics that don’t have enough meat to them — either due to lack of information or the answer being too short — get dropped in favor of denser topics, but that doesn’t make them any less important in my overall goal of digging deep into the Sailor Moon universe.

If there’s anything you’ve been dying to know more about, or you have some thoughts or questions about one of the topics above, please drop a comment and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

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References:

  1. Off the top of my head, Super Beryl, Fiore, and Sailor Galaxia
  2. Though, interestingly enough, we can’t say the same about Shiba Koen Junior High School for Minako
  3. See Act 18 of the original manga
  4. See 群々 (Jisho.org)
  5. See p. 35 of Miss Dream’s translation of Codename: Sailor V Act 1

6 thoughts on “Answering Your Sailor Moon Questions – Part IV

  1. I love reading your articles! Apropos of nothing but I’d love to hear your opinion on something. I know this will sound kind of odd but have you ever read anything about Buffy the Vampire Slayer being influenced by Sailor Moon?

    I see some similarities between Sailor Moon’s battle with Queen Metalia and Buffy’s battle against the Master. For example, Buffy wearing her white prom gown for the fight and characters dying and coming back to life. Then of course there’s the storyline of Angel suddenly turning evil and fighting Buffy which is similar to Mamoru being under Queen Beryl’s control.

    The similarities between Chibi-usa suddenly arriving and brainwashing people to think she’s Usagi’s cousin and Dawn suddenly arriving and everyone’s memories changing to include her as Buffy’s sister are pretty striking.

    I’ve tried researching if any of Buffy’s writers ever mentioned anything about Sailor Moon but didn’t really find anything. I’m afraid you might be better at researching things like this than I am though lol

    I may be completely wrong about this but there tare several plotlines that mirror Sailor Moon and its hard to believe that it is completely coincidental. I’d love to hear what you think about it if you have the time.

    Anyway, I just want to say how much I enjoy your writing. I’ve learned so much not only about the Sailor Moon series but so many details about Japanese television and culture. I’ve spent hours reading your site, its almost like falling into a Wikipedia hole.

  2. Nice stuff! These are great little tidbits that might not need a column of their own, but still deserve to be talked about, so I like this context for Q&A.

    Question: What changes would YOU have made to improve the original anime series of the ’90s? I’ve read bits and pieces of your opinion before, but I’m curious what you think the major missteps were, and how you’d fix them.

    (me, I’d have liked to see a lot more backstory on the Sailors’ home lives. It was so unacceptable to me that the parents of the Big Four were completely ignored so much)

  3. The old Sailor Moon novels based on the DiC dub for kids actually describe the transformations as being something akin to instantaneously surrounded by warm light seconds before transforming was complete. Makes some sense as the girls in the sequences are covered in Light effects. Yeah.

    • I never had a chance to read the books back in the day, but I’d like to give them a quick skim one of these days! Even better, they featured a few of the episodes that never aired.

  4. Minako going to a diff rent school is likely just a remnant of the Sailor V manga, and Takeuchi wanting to give Usagi a different school uniform then her. It’s telling when they advance to high school that she joins them.

  5. This was so fun and interesting to read! I enjoyed your answer to whether or not Usagi needs the brooch in order to transform. I agree that it’s more of a talisman to help her focus her power on transformation. I will say this though: the brooch holds the legendary silver crystal, which is the source of Usagi’s power. You see it when the brooch opens up at the very beginning of her transformation in the anime. During her greatest battles, it was her love (for the villain or Mamoru or senshi) that triggered the crystal’s power. Which leads me to another thought to chew on: is the legendary silver crystal her source of power, or is it her heart? 😉 I look forward to more lovely articles by you! <3 Stay safe and healthy!

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