What Does the Brooch on Super Sailor Moon’s Waist Do?

Count the brooches!

Count the brooches!

While changes to Sailor Moon’s costume — and in particular, her brooch — was nothing new for the first three seasons of the series, once Usagi powered up to Super Sailor Moon, her design took a radical change. Whether it was for the better or worse is a matter up for debate, but not what we’ll be touching on today.

Today we’ll be looking at the interesting issue surrounding the fact that Super Sailor Moon boasts not just one, but two brooches on her costume, and what the function of this second brooch may be.

Stick around, it’s gonna be another exciting ride!

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What Was it Like to Record Audio for the Sailor Moon S Movie?

Tell me your secrets!

Tell me your secrets!

Whether it’s due to really restrictive NDAs signed by everyone involved, a stronger sense of respect for one’s prior workplace, or a power-hungry industry that will shut out anyone who opens their mouths from finding new work, it’s pretty uncommon to find tell-all accounts of what it was like working behind the scenes of Sailor Moon, or even any anime really.

While I wish I could say that I’m here to sate your (and my?) desire for drama, I’m actually here to share with you a heartwarming account by Kotono Mitsuishi, voice of Sailor Moon and Usagi Tsukino.1

Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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Does Usagi Need Her Brooch to Stay Sailor Moon?

So if that brooch was gone, then...?

So if that brooch was gone, then…?

“Moon Prism Power, Make up!!”

With those five simple words, the klutzy 14 year old crybaby Usagi Tsukino turns into the sailor-suited soldier of both love and justice, Sailor Moon. Once her power is unleashed, she’s able to fight the toughest monsters the enemy can throw at her, and… umm… heal the baddest of the bad?

What I’d like to talk about today is something that has been on my mind for awhile: does the brooch make Usagi into Sailor Moon, or is it just a way of channeling her inner power?

Hopefully you’ll join me on this in-depth look into the source of Sailor Moon’s power!

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What Are the Sailor Soldiers’ Favorite Ways of Fortune Telling?

Usagi getting her fortune told (ep. 2; using yarrow stalks)

Usagi getting her fortune told (ep. 2; using yarrow stalks)

Once again, we’re going to be talking about something that you never knew you wanted to know: the way that each of the Sailor Soldiers prefers likes to throw their fate to the wind and find out what their fortunes may be.

That’s right, we’re talking about fortune telling! Join along for another trip into exploring the profiles of our favorite Sailor Soldiers!

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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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Do Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna’s Names Refer Back to Usagi?

Our names mean WHAT??

Our names mean WHAT??

Names are something I’ve talked about at length in this blog, from those of the main cast down to the lowly monsters of the day, and odds are good that this is something I will continue to talk about for a long time to come.

Today, we’ll be taking a look into the some possible inspirations behind the names of our favorite Outer Soldiers. Why don’t you come along for the ride?

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Why Does Usagi’s Blood Type Matter?

Just a quick prick!

Just a quick prick!

So there you are, reading through bios about your favorite Sailor Soldier, and committing all these facts to memory. We’ve all been there, totally normal.

But as you’re scanning through Usagi’s birthday, her favorite foods, favorite method of fortune telling, and all that jazz, you run into the blood type column. Now, as interesting as this may be, you can’t help but wonder why anyone would care about Usagi’s blood type, right? We’re not doctors here, so why are we so worried about blood types?

Well, today we’re to talk about why blood types matter, and what it says about the Sailor Moon cast!

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How Did the Sailor Soldiers’ Views of Love and Life Differ?

All you need is love! ♪

All you need is love! ♪

With all of the exciting adventures the Sailor Soldiers embark on and the resulting epic battles against the forces of evil, it’s often easy to forget that, at its core, Sailor Moon is a story of teenage romance.

Today, I’d like to take a closer look at the softer side of our sailor-suited heroines and see how their approaches to love and life differed.

So without further ado, let’s get this started!

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Which Character Did Sailor Mercury’s Voice Actress Apply For First?

The original Sailor Moon voice cast and characters

The original Sailor Moon voice cast and characters

Of the many (many!) things that we can praise the Sailor Moon anime production for, I’d definitely rank the excellent and highly talented voice cast right up near the top. Without their wonderful voice work to strike a chord with the viewers, I’m not sure the anime would have been as much of a success as it was.

But things very well could have turned out differently. As it turns out, Aya Hisakawa – voice of our beloved Ami Mizuno – actually went in to try out for someone else at first.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane!

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How Old Was Usagi’s Mother, Ikuko?

Don't ever ask a woman's age...

Don’t ever ask a woman’s age…

In a series like Sailor Moon which has given us so much trouble when it comes to trying to sort out the time line, it’s refreshing to finally be able to take on a question regarding an age which can actually be answered (… within reason) for once. So just how old is Ikuko Tsukino and – by extension – how old was she when she gave birth to Usagi?

Ikuko is, as implied by her name,1 the quintessential caring mother who isn’t afraid of engaging in a little bit of tough-love in order to get Usagi to actually get around to taking studying seriously. Also implied in her name is the Japanese concept of 教育ママ (kyouiku mama; a mother focused on scholastic achievement), a term which has been around in Japanese culture since at least the 1960s,2 though the concept may be more familiar in the west as a “tiger mother” as popularized in Amy Chua’s book by the same name.3

Usagi's growing up!

Usagi’s growing up!

As for her age, according to an offhand remark Ikuko makes in the manga, we can definitively say that she is 36 years old as of the Sailor Stars arc.4 Similarly, she makes a remark in the anime which puts her age at around her “later 30s,”5 so I would say it’s pretty safe to place her at 36 in both versions of Sailor Moon.

If she’s 36 years old when Usagi is first entering high school (and figuring that Usagi is 16 years old at that time), that would put her at around 20 years old when Usagi was born. And I bet you thought Usagi was young when she had ChibiUsa! In 1977, when Usagi was presumably born,6 the average age at the time of first marriage was 27 and 25 for men and women, respectively. As a point of comparison, those numbers are now 31 for men and 29 for women.7

What this does mean, though, is that Ikuko probably did not go to university, though that wasn’t so uncommon in those days. Back in 1977, only around 13% of Japanese women actually went to a four-year university, which is the same rate as that for Japanese men in 1955!8 This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it might be an additional reason behind Ikuko’s motivation for pushing Usagi to study hard (and since Usagi became the Neo Queen of Crystal Tokyo at 22, she very well could have gone to university).

Ikuko and six year old Usagi

Ikuko and six year old Usagi

What’s most interesting for me about all of this is that it shows that Usagi’s family is actually on the younger end of the scale, meaning that Ikuko would probably be a fair bit younger than the parents of all the other Sailor Soldiers (well, except Makoto’s…). From the point of view of education, it also nicely emphasizes exactly how impressive and rare it would have been for Ami’s mother to have been attending medical school at that time!

I really do which that we knew more about the family lives of the other members of the Sailor Team, but I guess I should be happy that at the very least the Tsukino’s were fleshed out as much as they were. I’d love to know just how much of their personalities were actually based on the members of Ms. Takeuchi’s family!

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