Is There a Connection Between Rei Hino and Rei Ayanami?

Rei and... Rei?

Rei and… Rei?

When you consider the sheer volume of anime, manga, and videos games that produced in Japan every year, it’s really no surprise that you’ll run across characters that share the same name. The more popular or common a name is, the more likely you are to see it elsewhere, either in other media or even in the real world!

But when you stop and consider (1) the relatively short time period in which Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion hit the market and (2) just how uncommon a name like Rei is in the first place, it’s a little harder to write it off as pure coincidence.

Today we’re going to take a look at the interesting, behind-the-scenes connection between these two juggernauts of anime!

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What Happens When Google Translates Sailor Moon?

Google Translated Sailor Moon is truly a thing of beauty

Google Translated Sailor Moon is truly a thing of beauty

Between the anime, manga, games, musicals, live action TV show, audio dramas, and more, there’s a massive volume of Sailor Moon material still left untranslated, and there are many fans out there eager to try to pick up the slack and bring their favorite series to an even bigger audience.

So what’s a fan with all the passion, but not exactly the proper language skills, to do? Well, that’s where Google translation usually comes in.

Today, we’re going to take a look at several key scenes in the Sailor Moon manga and run them through our good friend Google Translate. While we look at the results, I’d like to discuss the pros, cons, and provide a few suggestions about how people can help out in bringing Sailor Moon to other fans in their own language.

Grab a cup of coffee, because things are gonna get a bit weird!

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Where Did the Members of Shadow Galactica Get Their Names?

Just going out flying with the girls

Just going out flying with the girls

While admittedly not the most exhilarating topic out there, I really enjoy digging down into the names of the various characters, items, attacks, and villains in the Sailor Moon universe. Not only is it an interesting intellectual exercise, but it also gives you some insight into what Ms. Takeuchi had in mind when she was sketching out and creating the characters’ personalities.

Speaking of which, it’s pretty impressive just how much she was able to research when you consider that the series was created in an age before the internet had really hit its stride.

Today we’re going to be turning our magnifying glass to the members of the Shadow Galactica, and where the inspirations for their names come from. Stick around, this is gonna get interesting!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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