What Does Naoko Takeuchi Credit for Sailor Moon’s Success?

Got a few questions here for Naoko...

Got a few questions here for Naoko…

As the writer of a Sailor Moon blog, invariably the day would come where I’d sit down and put pen to paper fingers to keyboard and weigh in on the “secret to Sailor Moon‘s popularity.” I thought that today would be that day.

But then I started to have second thoughts. Why should I write this?

Why don’t we just go straight to the source, and see what Ms. Takeuchi has to say for herself? With all the dozens (hundreds?) of interviews that she’s done over the years, she must have already answered this question, right?

And, as a matter of fact, she did!

Join me, dear readers, as we follow Ms. Takeuchi’s logic behind just what made Sailor Moon the raging success that we know it to be today!

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What Were Director Shibata’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon S Movie (Part 2)?

Closing out the story on Sailor Moon S

Closing out the story on Sailor Moon S

Whether you love the Sailor Moon S movie or think that it is a lackluster performance in an otherwise excellent brand, I probably won’t be changing your mind through this series. But regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, I think it can be immensely helpful — and even entertaining — to get a little insight into just what the creative minds behind a movie were thinking as they made it.

Today we’re going to continue our journey through Hiroki Shibata’s1 commentary regarding his directorial debut in Sailor Moon‘s theatrical universe. If we’re really lucky, we might even learn something new by the time we’re done!

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What Were Director Shibata’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon S Movie (Part 1)?

Aww, it's okay Luna!

Aww, it’s okay Luna!

Asking a Sailor Moon fan which of the three movies is their favorite is akin to walking into a crowded room of strangers and asking them all what they think about the latest political hot-button issue: it’s not going to end well.

While I personally prefer the Sailor Moon R movie, all three of the movies are definitely worth watching, and I can understand why they have their fans.

Today we’re going to try to get a little more insight behind the story of the Sailor Moon S movie by looking at some of the director’s notes provided with the Laser Disc release of the Sailor Moon S movie. If anyone can help win my heart over with a deeper interpretation of the movie — putting aside for a second Naoko’s amazing manga version on which it’s based — I’d say the director is probably out best bet!

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What is Kazuko Tadano’s Secret to Drawing Sailor Moon?

The Sailor Team

The Sailor Team

One question I often (not unreasonably) get asked is: why do I so rarely talk about Sailor Moon Crystal on this blog?

Truth be told, it’s not that I don’t want to talk about it. It’s rather that bringing the Sailor Moon Crystal series into the equation introduces several key issues into what we discuss here, including:

  1. the series takes place decades after the original manga/anime ran, and the world has since changed;
  2. the story tracks closely with the manga and doesn’t add too much new information; and
  3. Sailor Moon Crystal is still a work in progress, so any theories unique to the series could still change.

Fortunately for us, with the recent announcement1 that Kazuko Tadano — character designer for the first two seasons of the 1990s Sailor Moon anime — will be reprising her role as character designer for the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal movie, this gives us a chance to take a look back into the past to hopefully answer some questions about the series’ future.

Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look into what Ms. Tadano thought of the characters in Sailor Moon, and her philosophy in how she draws women. Stick around, because things are about to get interesting!

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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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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 Information Did Naoko Share With American Sailor Moon Fans?

Naoko Takeuchi at San Diego Comic-Con 1998

Naoko Takeuchi at San Diego Comic-Con 1998

I am what you could reasonably call a longtime Sailor Moon fan — a “lifer” if you will. I was there when the series was taken off the air, came back on the air, and was taken off again. Yours truly remembers when “new” episodes of Sailor Moon meant the last part of the Sailor Moon R anime that DiC never bothered to get around to dubbing.

And then there were the misguided Sailor Moon / Pop-Tarts campaigns.

Today we’re going to talk about something a little different: we’re going nearly 20 years into the past to talk about the time that Ms. Takeuchi addressed American Sailor Moon fans and answered some of our burning questions. It’s gonna get interesting, so stick around!

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