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!

Continue Reading

Why Were Both Queen Beryl and Luna Voiced by Keiko Han?

The Evil Queen We Will Defeat

The Evil Queen We Will Defeat

One of the more endearing “behind the scene” mysteries to me about the development of the Sailor Moon anime is just why, exactly, did Luna and Queen Beryl share a voice actress. Certainly, Keiko Han was a very talented – and veteran – voice actress who’s been active in the industry since her debut in 1977,1 but that doesn’t explain why the anime would choose to reuse her talent for two major roles. Today, we’ll take a look at one theory to explain this.

Continue Reading

What Does Luna’s Code Name 0091 Mean?

Very computer-literate cats

Very computer-literate cats

One of the really interesting storylines about the original season of Sailor Moon (at least to me) that never seemed to live up to its potential was the concept of a game machine in the Crown Arcade which gave Luna instructions before she had recovered her memories and while she was left on her own to assist Usagi and the other Sailor Soldiers. While it was ultimately explained that the one giving her information was actually Artemis, it just sounded like an overly simple explanation. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Rather, it’s about Luna’s strange code name: 0091. What does it mean?

Continue Reading

What Is the Shared Mythology Between Luna, Artemis, and Diana?

The Moon... Cat Family

The Moon… Cat Family

Of course we already know that Luna, Artemis, and Diana are connected through their familial connection, so there isn’t much of a mystery there. What is interesting about this connection, however, is that though Ms. Takeuchi may have recycled the name of Diana, she made a wonderful choice by choosing that as the name for Luna and Artemis’ adorable daughter.

Cat Family

Cat Family

Most people are probably aware of the connection between Luna’s name and the Moon, especially speakers of English and the romance languages, since the name has been been reappropriated for many moon-related terms in astronomy, events, and phenomena (e.g., lunar eclipse, lunar calendar, lunar tides, etc.). The source of this name, like many names associated with the planets and stars, is Roman mythology. The Roman goddess Luna1 is the goddess of the moon, corresponding to the Greek goddess Selene.2 Interestingly enough, this shows a nice, clear tie between Usagi — Princess Serenity — and Luna, which really shows up in the interplay between the pair.

What about Artemis, then? Well, sorry to say to the gruff, male assistant to the sailor-suited soldier, Sailor V, Artemis was also a goddess, this time of the Greek variety.3 It’s not all bad for poor Artemis (the cat!) though; the goddess he’s modeled after was known for her prowess as a hunter and was often depicted with a bow and arrow and was known as the protector of young girls, which fits in well with his position as confidant, advisor, and assistant to Minako.

The question of the day, then, is who is Diana, and how are Luna and Artemis connected to her?

Enter Diana (Act 20 of Sailor Moon Crystal)

Enter Diana (Act 20 of Sailor Moon Crystal)

Interestingly enough, Diana is also a Roman goddess of the moon.4 More specifically, she is the Roman counterpart to Artemis, known originally as a goddess of hunting (once again, like Artemis, many of her appearances in art depicted her with bows, arrows, and hunted beasts). Later, she became more widely known as the goddess of the moon, eventually coming to replace Luna in that role in Roman mythology. Indeed, Luna eventually came to be known as an epithet5 — a descriptive name, of sorts — for the goddess Diana. Ultimately, Diana is both Artemis and Luna, making the name a wonderful choice for the daughter of the two feline guardians.

One final little bit of trivia: the Romanian word for fairy, ZẤNĂ,6 is said to have come from the name Diana. That helps explain the moon fairy connection in her original incarnation!

Why Was Diana the Moon Fairy Cut From Sailor Moon?

The Three Lunar Guardians – Luna, Diana, and Artemis

The Three Lunar Guardians – Luna, Diana, and Artemis

One of the great mysteries surrounding the early years of Sailor Moon (and the characters developed for it) is around the character of Diana, the Moon Fairy who was to accompany Luna in her task of awakening Sailor Moon and searching for the Moon Princess. The fact that the name, Diana, was later reused for the daughter born between Luna and Artemis, and ChibiUsa’s post Luna-P companion, certainly makes matters all the more confusing when you try to look up information about her. And believe me, I certainly tried! So, what kind of character was Moon Fairy Diana originally supposed to be like, and what were the reasons for cutting her? Well, let’s find out!

Unfortunately, there’s really not much known about Diana outside of what’s written in the Materials Collection Artbook,1 so it’s hard to really go into much detail here. According to Ms. Takeuchi’s notes, she’s:

  • A cute fairy who’s mischievous, talkative, and sassy. Also a crybaby.
  • Found by the Sailor Team among the ruins of the Moon Palace, she sticks around with Luna and Usagi. She and Luna don’t get along.
  • She has pale blue wings with a light, lemon-yellow lace skirt.

What we do know is that she and Luna would have had a bit of an antagonistic relationship with each other, probably akin to the manzai comedy acts2 which are so popular in Japan. More specifically, most acts are made up of a pair of comedians playing very specific roles: the boke – who’s portrayed as light-headed, stupid, and innocent – and the tsukkomi – who’s serious, easily angered, and doesn’t put up with the nonsense from the boke.3 Here, it’d likely be Diana and Luna playing those roles, respectively.

Luna and Diana – Amateur Comedy Hour

Luna and Diana – Amateur Comedy Hour

So, why was it that Diana was cut from the story? While we’ll never really know for sure (at least without getting official word from Ms. Takeuchi, which seems unlikely this many years later), it’s most likely that she simply was too similar to Usagi. Just by reading the blurb about what her personality was meant to be like – mischievous, talkative, sassy, and a crybaby – there isn’t that too much that differs with Usagi. Also, while Ms. Takeuchi didn’t exactly steer clear from comedic moments (especially in the Codename: Sailor V manga), it seems that as the series progressed the characters had come more into their own and the idea of making Luna into a comedy-relief duo became less and less appealing.

While it’s a shame that we’ll probably never really know what kind of character the Moon Fairy Diana was meant to evolve into, ultimately I think I like her successor – ChibiUsa’s feline guardian – better than what this character would have been. Still, though, I’d love to see more material that ultimately got cut!