What Were Ikuhara’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon R Movie? (Part 1)

Flower Garden in the Sailor Moon R Movie

Flower Garden in the Sailor Moon R Movie

Love him or hate him, Director Kunihiko Ikuhara had a huge impact on the direction that the Sailor Moon anime took and, by extension, could arguably be said to be one of the more influential forces behind the series – especially for those fans who have only seen the anime.

One of his more well-known achievements in terms of Sailor Moon, though, is his work on the Sailor Moon R movie. I’ve written about his thoughts on the movie before, with regard to Usagi and the conflicting representations of motherhood, but today we’re going to take a deeper dive into his thoughts on the imagery of the movie. Come along!

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Where Did the Moon Stick Get its Name?

Original anime and Crystal Moon Sticks

Original anime and Crystal Moon Sticks

For those of us first exposed to Sailor Moon through the DiC dub and familiar with the terminology there, learning that our beloved Crescent Moon Wand was actually known in Japan as the Moon Stick was… well… something of a let down. While I – and I’m sure many others – was enthusiastic to learn everything I could about the “pure, original” form of my favorite anime, the Moon Stick always rubbed me the wrong way. Unlike everything else in the series, it lacked that pizzazz a lot of Sailor Moon was known for.

So what happened? How did the Moon Stick come to be known by such a simple name? Today, we’re going to take a look at just that.

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What Do We Know About DALI, the Band Behind Moonlight Densetsu?

DALI – Akira Ishizawa, Mari Nishimoto, Sayuri Tsuchiya, and Misuzu Takahashi

DALI – Akira Ishizawa, Mari Nishimoto, Sayuri Tsuchiya, and Misuzu Takahashi

It’s been over twenty-five years since the opening chords of Moonlight Densetsu first graced the airwaves, heralding in a new anime that would ultimately take Japan – and then the world – by storm. And yet, even as more and more information comes to light about what went on behind the scenes of making Sailor Moon, we’re still left with a bizarre mystery: where did the band DALI come from, and where did they go?

Though I doubt we’ll ever be able to answer this question completely, today I’d like to invite you along to go over what details we do know about DALI, and for a rare mini-interview with the band.

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Why Didn’t Megumi Ogata Sing Sailor Uranus’ Song, Initial U?

Sailor Uranus transformation

Sailor Uranus transformation

When I was first getting into anime, the concept of “character songs” (or sometimes known as “image songs”) was something that was a little hard to wrap my mind around. They’re essentially songs written from the character’s point of view and performed in character. If done right, if gives you further insight into the character in a way that you don’t often hear them express themselves.

If done wrong…? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Join along for a trip down memory lane as we discuss what went wrong with Initial U!

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What Challenges Were Faced In Developing Sailor Moon: Another Story?

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story (1995; Super Famicom)

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story (1995; Super Famicom)

Released on September 22, 1995, – halfway through the anime’s SuperS season, despite being firmly entrenched in Sailor Moon S lore – Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story was a groundbreaking RPG for its time. Not only was it an RPG built from the ground up for a young, female audience, but it also had a much larger cast of characters than most other games in the genre dared to at the time and even included audio from the actual voice talent.

Today I’ll be translating an interview with members of the development staff so we can take a look at some of the challenges they faced in making the game. Let’s get going!

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What Influence Did Rei’s Voice Actress Have on the Manga?

Naoko's sketch of the VA cast: (left to right) Kotono, Aya, Emi, Michie, Rika

Naoko’s sketch of the VA cast: (left to right) Kotono, Aya, Emi, Michie, Rika

If I were to tell you that Ms. Takeuchi wasn’t much of a fan of how the anime completely changed Rei’s character, I’m pretty sure you’d roll your eyes, tell me ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ and move on with your lives. Fair enough, it’s old hat. We all have heard this one before on the internet.

But what if I told you that Ms. Takeuchi had made changes to Rei’s character in honor of Michie Tomizawa, Rei’s voice actress and one of the leading proponents of changing her character?

Assuming I still have your attention, let’s explore a little bit!

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What Joke Did the Anime Staff Sneak in About Director Ikuhara?

Oh Minakooooo

Oh Minakooooo

The team behind the Sailor Moon anime was definitely not shy about throwing in references to themselves or other people involved in the show, which provides for a fun little “cat and mouse” type of game as you watch through the anime.

Whenever you see a non-character name written in the background, it’s a fairly safe bet that it’s related to someone connected with the show. Today, I’m going to talk about one such instance, and you’re invited along for the ride!

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Why Does Usagi’s Blood Type Matter?

Just a quick prick!

Just a quick prick!

So there you are, reading through bios about your favorite Sailor Soldier, and committing all these facts to memory. We’ve all been there, totally normal.

But as you’re scanning through Usagi’s birthday, her favorite foods, favorite method of fortune telling, and all that jazz, you run into the blood type column. Now, as interesting as this may be, you can’t help but wonder why anyone would care about Usagi’s blood type, right? We’re not doctors here, so why are we so worried about blood types?

Well, today we’re to talk about why blood types matter, and what it says about the Sailor Moon cast!

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How Did the Sailor Soldiers’ Views of Love and Life Differ?

All you need is love! ♪

All you need is love! ♪

With all of the exciting adventures the Sailor Soldiers embark on and the resulting epic battles against the forces of evil, it’s often easy to forget that, at its core, Sailor Moon is a story of teenage romance.

Today, I’d like to take a closer look at the softer side of our sailor-suited heroines and see how their approaches to love and life differed.

So without further ado, let’s get this started!

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What Kind of Attacks Did Fans Want to See in Sailor Moon?

This was definitely not recommended by fans

This was definitely not recommended by fans

Now that we’ve gotten the serious attack suggestions out of the way, it’s time for us to delve a little deeper into Animage’s mail bag and look at some of the… less likely ideas for attacks recommended by Sailor Moon fans, way back in the summer of 1992.

Thought I can’t really imagine any of these attacks ever really appearing in the anime or the manga, it’s nevertheless a fun look back at the fandom in the early days of the series.

Let’s get started!

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