Sailor Jupiter has always held an incredibly important place in my heart as a Sailor Moon fan. Though she may not be my favorite character, she’s certainly one of my top 10 favorite Sailor Senshi, and ranks firmly in the top five of the Inners.
So what’s so special about her, you ask?
Her TV debut — “Jupiter Comes Thundering In,” for you old DiC dub watchers — happens to be the first Sailor Moon episode that I ever saw, way back in 1997. That chance encounter set off a love for the series that I’m still talking about 21 years later.
So today I’d like to take a moment to celebrate Miss Makoto Kino’s birthday (her 40th, if case you’re counting!) by examining five interesting facts about her character and role in Sailor Moon. Happy Birthday, Mako-chan!
Not only did Makoto get me into the series in the first place, but you can even trace the origins of this blog back to her as well! The very first article written for Tuxedo Unmasked (before the blog even had a name!) was about Makoto’s living situation, and just how it is possible for a 14 year old girl to live entirely on her own.
In addition to the legalities concerning a kid living alone in the big city, I took a look at the real life plane crash that shook Japan several back in the 1980s, and which may have inspired Makoto’s tragic back story.
Okay, to be fair, “plant life” or even “wind” would probably have been a more accurate description when you consider Sailor Jupiter’s “Flower Hurricane” and “Coconut Cyclone” attacks. Live and learn!
With that in mind, though, it was especially interesting for me to take a look back at the evolution of Sailor Jupiter’s character over time and how the anime and manga went totally different directions.
Part of me almost wonders if her flower connection was downplayed simply to avoid overlapping with Tuxedo Mask’s roses…
While we all know Makoto for her strength and somewhat rough-and-tumble demeanor, many forget just how much of a delinquent Ms. Takeuchi originally wanted her to be. Between her original concept sketches depicting Makoto (then known as “Mamoru”) as a smoker and the fact that Makoto actually buys alcohol in the manga, it’s pretty clear that this was meant to be a much rougher character than the one she later evolved into.
I fully acknowledge that this is something not many people stay up late at night thinking about, but hey, I live for this kind of trivia!
The fact that Makoto’s lunch is actually fairly consistent across nearly all three major versions (manga, 90s anime, and Crystal) of the series still impresses me. That’s some amazing attention to detail for something that, admittedly, doesn’t matter at all.
One of these days, I really want to sit down and make a Mako-chan special for myself!
Speaking of Mako-chan, it turns out that our darling Soldier of
Lightning Wood Flowers wasn’t the only popular Makoto floating around in the manga sphere. Though these two characters couldn’t possibly any more different — one being a junior high school girl in an adventure/romance manga and the other being an elementary school boy in a story centered around slapstick comedy — somehow, someway, their stories became intertwined.
And her Supreme Thunder hand gesture is the smoking gun.
Speaking of poses, I still can’t get over the fact that many of Makoto’s fighting stances come directly from Bruce Lee films. Pretty shocking!
Thank you, Makoto, for being so awesome that you got me into this series in the first place. I owe a lot to this character and, as weird as it sounds, I definitely think her birthday is worth celebrating! Personally speaking, I’d say that the live action version of Makoto is probably my favorite, especially since it’s one of the few versions of the series where she actually gets a proper love interest.
If you have any questions you’d like me to look into about Makoto – be it manga, anime, or even the live-action show! – I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!