Where Did the Sailor Animamates Get Their Names?

Not the full team, but... close enough!

Not the full team, but… close enough!

I know that I’ve brought it up (many times) in the past, but I absolutely love the fact that when Ms. Takeuchi settles on a theme, she tends to stick with it. And stick with it she did in terms of having a unifying naming pattern — gems, minerals, elements, and metals — for nearly all of the primary villains in the Sailor Moon series.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of Sailor Galaxia’s minions, the Sailor Animamates, and see where their names came from. Though some of these are probably obvious on the surface, there are actually a few surprises worth sticking around for!

Grab some shovels and hardhats, kids. We’re digging deep!

Continue reading

Why Did Naoko Start Writing Sailor Moon Attack Names in Kanji?

Sailor Moon and the Holy Grail

Sailor Moon and the Holy Grail

While I’m well aware that the majority of the audience who reads this blog probably watched/read Sailor Moon in translation, I think it’s sometimes informative to take a look at the more in-depth Japanese linguistics issues that, even though they don’t have a substantial impact on the series as a whole, they still would stand out and affect the interpretation of a native Japanese speaker.

And besides, I live for this geeky Japanese interpretation stuff.

I hope you join along for this trip through the bizarre world of the kanji wordplay! If we’re really lucky, maybe we’ll have even learned something at the end of this!

Continue reading

Is the Sailor Starlights’ Kinmokusei a Planet or a Star?

Where are Kakyuu and the Starlights from??

Where are Kakyuu and the Starlights from??

As a translator, one of the most difficult issues to deal with is that of trying to figure out what an ambiguous word means when you don’t have enough context. This issue becomes infinitely harder when you’re working within a fantasy setting and there quite simply isn’t any further information for you to look up.

The debate surrounding Kinmokusei is one such problem. In Japanese, it could just as easily be either a planet or star (but thankfully not both).1 But depending on which one it is, that kind of changes our perception of where the Starlights come from.

Today, we’re going to see if we can try to unravel this mystery. Get suited up, it’s gonna be a rocky flight!

Continue reading

Why Does Sailor Moon Talk About Angry Lizards, Salamanders, and Fish?

Correction: Lizards, Salamanders, Fish, AND RABBITS will be angry

Correction: Lizards, Salamanders, Fish, AND RABBITS will be angry

While I typically avoid going down into the tiny nitty-gritty in individual episodes (that kind of analysis is saved for the Episode Reviews), there’s something about this line that I just found so nonsensical and confusing that I just had to look into it. And I’m glad I did.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m even talking about, today we’re going to take a look at the odd line in episode 5 of the original 90s anime, where Sailor Moon exclaims that three animals are “going to be mad” about Jadeite’s plan.

If you’re as confused as I was, stick around!

Continue reading

What Is the Correct Spelling of Haruka’s Last Name, Tenoh or Tenou?

Wait, which one is it Haruka?!

Wait, which one is it Haruka?!

While I’m sure I’ve made quite a reputation for myself about being a stickler for the every little tiny detail in the Sailor Moon universe, I’m just going to say up front that I find it absolutely absurd that fans even argue about this.

And argue they do! As someone who’s been a part of the Sailor Moon internet community since the late 90s, I can say that I’ve seen this argument come and go since the earliest days of the fandom.

So, since this is a question I see from time to time in my inbox and DMs, I figure it’s time I throw in my 2.27 yen!1 What is the correct spelling?

Continue reading

Where Did the Dead Moon Circus’ Lemures Get Their Names? (Part 3)

The Amazoness Quartet

The Amazoness Quartet

Well, here we are! We’ve finally made it to the exciting climax (??) of the three-part series into where the Lemures get their names.

Today, we’ll be talking about the Lemures that served under the Amazoness Quartet and, I have to admit, the names are quite a challenge to describe!

Since we’ve got a lot to discuss, let’s just dive right in!

Continue reading

What Are Some Difficulties Faced in Translating Sailor Moon?

What translating feels like

What translating feels like

One common theme that runs through many of the topics I end up discussing is that of the differences between Japanese and English nuance, and how much of that gets lost in translation.

I want to make it clear that I don’t mean this as an indictment against some of the translators who have taken on (or been assigned) the challenge that Sailor Moon has to offer. In fact, I’d like to take a look at some of the challenges people face when translating Sailor Moon – or really, any Japanese media with a sufficiently deep enough plot – into another language.

This topic may be a little inside baseball, but if you’ve ever been interested in the art of translation, this article may be for you!

Continue reading