How Were Ail, An, and the Makaiju Seen as Sailor Moon Villains?

Usagi Tsukino vs. Natsumi Ginga

Usagi Tsukino vs. Natsumi Ginga

The Makaiju story arc, exclusive to the Sailor Moon R anime, has always been extremely divisive among fans of the series. Not only did it not even exist in the manga, but it also feels more like an extension of the first season rather than as if it’s telling a whole new story.

And that, my dear friends, is exactly why I love the Makaiju storyline so much. It takes everything I loved about the anime telling of the Dark Kingdom arc, compresses it into a few episodes, and throws it all together into a “slice of life” low-impact story.

Today we’re going to take a look at an interview with Yumi Toma,1 voice actress for Natsumi Ginga (or better known as her alien form, An), about how she viewed and portrayed her character. If you love this story arc as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll find this pretty interesting!

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Why Do the Girls in Sailor Moon Have Marks On Their Cheeks?

I won't lie -- this picture kinda scared me

I won’t lie — this picture kinda scared me

Though this design quirk isn’t strictly limited to the Sailor Moon series, I’m a sucker for taking an in-depth look at pretty much all things related to Japanese anime and manga. Since the phenomenon of female characters being depicted with vertical lines on their cheeks also appears quite often in the Sailor Moon series, I’m willing to call this one as “close enough” to make it a valid question to answer.

So why exactly are the Sailor Soldiers and other female characters’ shown with lines on their cheeks? Is it just a way of animating characters that somehow got embedded in Japanese culture? Is it supposed to signify anything about the character, or somehow convey something to the viewer? Or maybe a mixture of the two?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you happen to be in luck, because today we’re going to put those to rest. And if they haven’t, well hey… it never hurts to learn something new, right? Stick around, we’re going to talk about some anime trivia!

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How Did Sailor Moon’s Producer Compare the Inner and Outer Senshi?

So Haruka, what's the difference between the Moon and Neptune?

So Haruka, what’s the difference between the Moon and Neptune?

As someone who’s fascinated by the nitty-gritty of how things work, the distinction between the Inner and Outer Senshi is a subject that I find incredibly interesting.

Though we’re given a (very) brief explanation within the series that the Inner team handles threats from within the Solar System and the Outers handle those from beyond, any other distinctions between the two groups are fairly vague and left up to fan conjecture.

Today we’ll be taking a look at how Iriya Azuma, producer of Sailor Moon S, approached these two teams and what he felt the distinction was between them. I hope you stick around, because this is actually pretty interesting!

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What Shojo Anime Was Predicted to Be the Next Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Over a quarter of a century has passed since Sailor Moon first hit the airwaves, and yet the series manages to continue to excite new and old fans alike with a constant stream of new products, musicals, cafes, and even the occasional anime season. It’s easy to forget, though, that the series had actually been relatively dormant in Japan for much of this time.

While hindsight may be 20/20, and we may now know that there was no true “successor” to Sailor Moon in the most direct sense of the word — at least not until the Pretty Cure franchise came around — I think it’s interesting to take a look back in time and see what series fans back in the 90s thought would be the next big anime in the shojo-sphere.

Join me for a trip down memory lane as we take a look at some of the interesting predictions reporters on Japanese anime were making back in the mid-90s. I hope you’re ready for some serious nostalgia!

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Was Codename: Sailor V Inspired by a Volleyball Manga?

Minako plays for keeps in volleyball

Minako plays for keeps in volleyball

When I say “Minako Aino,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? … after “Sailor Venus” … and  “Sailor V” … yeah, after “Artemis” too.

Okay, fine. When I say “Minako Aino” and “favorite sport that you see her engage in occasionally throughout the Sailor Moon anime and manga,” what comes to mind? That’s right, volleyball! Glad we’re on the same page.

While there isn’t really anything terribly remarkable on the surface about the fact that Minako plays volleyball, it turns out that there may actually be yet another of Ms. Takeuchi’s many hidden references when you dig a little deeper.

I hope you’re paying attention, because today we’re going to servevolley of information your way!1

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Is There a Connection Between Rei Hino and Rei Ayanami?

Rei and... Rei?

Rei and… Rei?

When you consider the sheer volume of anime, manga, and videos games that produced in Japan every year, it’s really no surprise that you’ll run across characters that share the same name. The more popular or common a name is, the more likely you are to see it elsewhere, either in other media or even in the real world!

But when you stop and consider (1) the relatively short time period in which Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion hit the market and (2) just how uncommon a name like Rei is in the first place, it’s a little harder to write it off as pure coincidence.

Today we’re going to take a look at the interesting, behind-the-scenes connection between these two juggernauts of anime!

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What Happens When Google Translates Sailor Moon?

Google Translated Sailor Moon is truly a thing of beauty

Google Translated Sailor Moon is truly a thing of beauty

Between the anime, manga, games, musicals, live action TV show, audio dramas, and more, there’s a massive volume of Sailor Moon material still left untranslated, and there are many fans out there eager to try to pick up the slack and bring their favorite series to an even bigger audience.

So what’s a fan with all the passion, but not exactly the proper language skills, to do? Well, that’s where Google translation usually comes in.

Today, we’re going to take a look at several key scenes in the Sailor Moon manga and run them through our good friend Google Translate. While we look at the results, I’d like to discuss the pros, cons, and provide a few suggestions about how people can help out in bringing Sailor Moon to other fans in their own language.

Grab a cup of coffee, because things are gonna get a bit weird!

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