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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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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Is Princess Serenity Just Another of Sailor Moon’s Transformations?

Princess Serenity against Super Beryl

Princess Serenity against Super Beryl

What, exactly, is the connection between Usagi and Princess Serenity?

For a question that sounds so simple that it’s almost stupid to even ask, it’s a lot more difficult to answer than you’d initially think. And that’s what I find so fascinating about the topic.

We all know that Princess Serenity died back in the Silver Millennium to be later reincarnated as Usagi Tsukino. That much is clear and not really open to debate. However, how does the Usagi and Princess Serenity relationship play out after she becomes aware of her past?

Today we’re going to take a look at the the idea of whether Usagi is actually Serenity, or whether Serenity is lurking inside of her — not much unlike any of her other Sailor Moon forms.

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What Do the Sailor Moon Transformations Look Like to Other People?

Do they really henshin in front of people?

Do they really henshin in front of people?

Though I’m not a betting man, I’d feel relatively comfortable saying that nearly every Sailor Moon fan out there that has watched the anime with a friend or family member who isn’t a fan of the genre has had to deal with the question: “why doesn’t the bad guy just attack her when she’s transforming?”

And can you blame them? It’s a really good question.

Though fans have come up with a multitude of reasons to explain this away over the years — with answers ranging from the Youma wanting a fair fight to the Sailor Soldiers teleporting away during the henshin sequence — we’re actually here to address a much more fundamental question today.

Do these transformations actually take place, or are they like the eye catches between commercial breaks, and only for the viewer’s benefit?

Stick around, it’s about to get interesting!

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