Why Is Minako Bad at Japanese?

Don't feel bad, Mina-P! We all have weak points...

Don’t feel bad, Mina-P! We all have weak points…

As odd as I’m sure it sounds, this is actually an article I’ve wanted to write about for a long time. Quite simply, it combines two of my favorite activities: talking about Japanese and looking at the minutia of the world of Sailor Moon.

If you’ve got a moment, why not join along as I throw out a possible theory as to why Minako seems to occasionally struggle with the intricacies of the Japanese language.

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What Kind of Magazines Does Usagi Read?

Not even pretending to study

Not even pretending to study

Say what you will about Usagi’s lack of interest in educational pursuits, but despite her rather… questionable scores in her scholastic pursuits, at the very least we should give credit where credit’s due: she is portrayed in the anime quite often reading comics, magazines, or other materials. All that hard work (?) must be paying off, because her Japanese — as in, language arts,1 or the study of a national native language — scores are her highest.2

  • Japanese: 52 pts.
  • English:10 pts.
  • Math: 20 pts.
  • Social Studies: 32 pts.

In honor of Usagi’s uncharacteristic pursuit of language arts, I’m going to take you on a tour of Usagi’s room, and we’ll look at some of the magazines she seems to enjoy reading as well as their real-life counterparts.

Let’s get started!

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How Different Was Makoto in the Anime and the Manga?

Sailor Jupiter

Sailor Jupiter

If I were to describe Makoto to someone who had never heard of Sailor Moon, it would probably be “feminine tomboy.” That’s one of the things that I really liked about her.

While it would have been all too easy to have gone for the easy gag and made Makoto an out-and-out tomboy with a feminine side that she was ashamed to admit, Makoto owned both of the two sides of her personality, being both proud of her strength as well as proud of her delicate touch.

Today, I’ll be taking a look in how Makoto – and, in particular, Sailor Jupiter – differed in the anime and manga. Why don’t you come along?

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Who Was Responsible for Rei’s Change in the Anime?

Okay, whose fault is it??

Okay, whose fault is it??

I know that I’ve talked at length about how Rei was portrayed quite differently in the anime and manga, and I’m sure at some point you might be wondering when the commentary on this issue will end.

Well, depending on your opinion of the issue, I have some good or bad news for you — today is not that day.

That’s right! We’ll be looking at an exclusive interview done in the November 1992 issue of Animage1 between the magazine’s editorial staff, Rei’s voice actress, and the top production crew for the Sailor Moon anime.

Come for the trivia, stay for the drama!

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Why Doesn’t Setsuna / Sailor Pluto’s Story Make Any Sense?

Setsuna's back story confuses even herself

Setsuna’s back story confuses even herself

Considering how I constantly talk about how Setsuna simply serves as a third wheel to Haruka and Michiru, it may comes as something of a surprise that she’s one of my favorite characters… in theory. The idea of a single Sailor Soldier surviving all the way from(and possibly prior to?) the Silver Millennium is a fascinating concept — even more so when you think about the emotional hardship she must have gone through living all on her own for centuries at a time.

Sadly, in stark contrast with this vast amount of potential her character had, neither the anime nor manga did much with Setsuna. And what they did do didn’t even make sense.

Today, we’re going to talk about how utterly non-sensical Setsuna’s university education is.

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Why Does Sailor Pluto Look Different From the Rest?

Sailor Pluto looks a little... hmm.

Sailor Pluto looks a little… hmm.

Take a look at any lineup of the Sailor Soldiers and you’ll undoubtedly notice that, well… Setsuna – Sailor Pluto – tends to stand out just a bit from the other members of the Sailor Team. But just why is that?

One of the theories I’ve seen thrown around a lot is that Sailor Pluto isn’t Japanese, and that is why she differs in appearance from the rest of the cast. Well, today we’ll take a look at this question and more, and see what Ms. Takeuchi and the world of Sailor Moon can tell us about the Sailor Soldier of Time!

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Why Didn’t Megumi Ogata Sing Sailor Uranus’ Song, Initial U?

Sailor Uranus transformation

Sailor Uranus transformation

When I was first getting into anime, the concept of “character songs” (or sometimes known as “image songs”) was something that was a little hard to wrap my mind around. They’re essentially songs written from the character’s point of view and performed in character. If done right, if gives you further insight into the character in a way that you don’t often hear them express themselves.

If done wrong…? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Join along for a trip down memory lane as we discuss what went wrong with Initial U!

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Is Sailor Saturn a Member of the Outer Senshi?

Are there too many members here?

Are there too many members here?

The interesting, and seemingly inaccurate, breakdown of the two teams of Sailor Soldiers is definitely an interesting issue that I don’t feel gets discussed as much as it deserves to. Obviously from where we stand at the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Sailor Moon there are many answers that we could provide, but I’d rather take a look in how the teams formed in the first place.

Join me along for a look back into how the Inner and Outer senshi teams were formed in the first place, and where Sailor Saturn fits into that mess.

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How Many Sailor Senshi Are There in the Sailor Moon Universe?

Sailor Soldiers Assemble!

Sailor Soldiers Assemble!

It’s amazing how stupid this question sounds on the surface, but when you stop and get down to it, it’s actually a lot harder than you’d think to count all of the canonical Sailor Soldiers. The biggest impacting factor on answering this question is your imagination what you’re willing to consider canon in the Sailor Moon universe.

As much as I’d love to write a long intro and drag this out, we’ve got a lot of discussion ahead of us, so let’s get this started!

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What Influence Did Rei’s Voice Actress Have on the Manga?

Naoko's sketch of the VA cast: (left to right) Kotono, Aya, Emi, Michie, Rika

Naoko’s sketch of the VA cast: (left to right) Kotono, Aya, Emi, Michie, Rika

If I were to tell you that Ms. Takeuchi wasn’t much of a fan of how the anime completely changed Rei’s character, I’m pretty sure you’d roll your eyes, tell me ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ and move on with your lives. Fair enough, it’s old hat. We all have heard this one before on the internet.

But what if I told you that Ms. Takeuchi had made changes to Rei’s character in honor of Michie Tomizawa, Rei’s voice actress and one of the leading proponents of changing her character?

Assuming I still have your attention, let’s explore a little bit!

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