The Threeeeeee Lights
I’m sure you must have figured this out by now, but I absolutely love trivia — the tinier the detail, the better. Anything I can learn to extract just a little more detail about the world of Sailor Moon is awesome to me, because it helps make the story all the more “real.”
Even more so than that, learning these tiny little details helps keep this series fresh. Despite having watched and read through the various misadventures of the Sailor Soldiers countless times already, every time I learn some new little bit of information, I want to go back through the story and see if it changes how I view the characters.
In the interest of shedding a little light on Sailor Moon‘s fifth and final season, today we’re going to talk about the Three Lights — Seiya, Yaten, and Taiki — and the inspirations behind their names. If you’re also a huge fan of boy bands that are actually girls bands in disguise, then you’re going to want to stick around for this one!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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). 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!