How Absurdly Expensive Was Haruka and Michiru’s Rent in Sailor Moon?

Dreaming about all their money

Dreaming about all their money

Between the race cars, motorcycles, helicopters, violins, and other extravagancies, I’m quite sure we’re all pretty much on the same page that Sailor Moon‘s Haruka and Michiru are ridiculously wealthy. And we’re not even talking about Usagi “I Own a Million Dollar House” Tsukino style wealthy here, either. We’re talking about the kind of money you and I dream about while we eat instant ramen.

… or are we?

Today we’re going to take a look at just how out-of-this-world Haruka and Michiru’s rent really would be. I hope you brought your calculators, because things are going to get intense!

Haruka and her sweet Patreon cash

Haruka and her sweet Patreon cash

One question I get often, and don’t get around to answering, is about where Haruka and Michiru’s money comes from, and just how rich they actually are.

As much as I’d love to actually give you an answer to this question with some hard facts, maybe a few graphs, and interesting references for you to read through, the simple answer is: we don’t know. Other than that, according to the manga, they apparently have “a patron” that covers their expenses,1 Ms. Takeuchi is mum on the whole issue of where their money comes from. The anime doesn’t even bother to address it.

So as much as I’d love to just rant and rave with my own baseless theories,2 it really wouldn’t do anybody any good.

That said, I can talk about how much their rent costs, and what that would actually mean in the rental market. And that can give us at least some idea of how much we’re talking about here, right?

Just flying a helicopter, as rich people like to do

Just flying a helicopter, as rich people like to do

Before we get into the actual rent, I’d like to just share with you one neat bit of trivia: Haruka (Apartment 1127) and Michiru’s (Apartment 1306) apartments get their numbers from their birthdays — January 27 (1/27) and March 6 (3/6), respectively. The extra 1 at the beginning is probably just added because it’d be pretty lame for Haruka to live on the ground floor.

So how much is their rent? Well, we only have a firm number for Haruka, who comments in the manga that her rent is 1 million yen per month. As for Michiru, I suppose we’ll just have to assume it’s around the same. Considering their equally extravagant lifestyles, I’d say that’s a safe bet.

Now, one million anything sounds like a lot, especially when we’re talking about something you pay per month. But first we need to see what that’s like in 2017 money, since inflation is kind of a thing.

So 1,000,000 yen in 1994 would be about 1,036,009 yen in today’s money,3 or about $9,308 USD.4

Does she look like she follows conventional budgeting wisdom? Of course not.

Does she look like she follows conventional budgeting wisdom? Of course not.

Customary financial wisdom dictates that your rent should be no more than 30% of your take-home income. Coming from someone who lives in Tokyo, let me assure you that this isn’t all that easy, and the average for Tokyo is closer to 35.5%.5

Assuming that Haruka was following this rule — and it’s pretty unlikely that she is, because again, she’s absurdly wealthy and a patron is paying for all of her stuff anyway — that would give her an approximate monthly take-home income of 2,918,335 yen ($26,220), or a yearly net income of 35,020,023 yen ($314,645) in today’s money. This isn’t chump change, by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m starting to wonder if Ami might actually be richer.

But we’ve kinda lost track of our original question. Just how absurd is it for Haruka to be paying that much in rent?

This is what 1M yen/month will get you in Tokyo

This is what 1M yen/month will get you in Tokyo

Well, like all money-related matters for those who live in Tokyo, it’s surprisingly not all that absurd. For those willing — and with the means! — to pay, there are actually quite a few places on the market right now that are willing to take your million yen in exchange for a place to live.

In fact, there are over 290 apartments in listed in Tokyo for one million yen or more per month.6

If that’s not enough to make you shudder, there are plenty of places that charge much more, with prices going on up to double or triple that for the more high class units.

"I just got a new patron on Patreon!!"

“I just got a new patron on Patreon!!”

So where does that leave us with our original question?

Well, in terms of a story about ordinary junior high school girls fighting the forces of evil with the power of love, Haruka and Michiru live quite the jet-setting lifestyle. But in terms of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, it turns out that they actually live pretty modestly.

I know we’ve talked time and again about how absurdly wealthy the Sailor Soldiers are, so I’d like to take a look at the situation from a different angle: Who do you think is the most “normal” of the cast in terms of having a non-extravagant home life? I know what my answer is, but I’ll save that for the comments below!

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  1.  See Act 33 of the manga
  2. Please, no comments about how that’s what 99% of what this blog is. I know that, but I like to pretend otherwise.
  3.  See Japanese yen inflation calculator
  4. Using the November 28, 2017 exchange rate of 111.30 yen to $1
  5.  See Monthly Income vs. Rent Survey
  6. As of November 28, 2017. Using the following conditions on on Suumo: Greater Tokyo Area, Condo, 2nd floor of above

11 thoughts on “How Absurdly Expensive Was Haruka and Michiru’s Rent in Sailor Moon?

    • Which… was totally my answer! She actually lives a pretty normal and modest lifestyle, at least compared to all the insanity around her.

      If we include side-characters, I guess it’d have to go to Melvin Umino. Motoki’s family owns an arcade and cafe, so he’s out. Naru literally lives in a jewelry store, so no. Haruna might also be a candidate? But the other members of her family are pretty elite.

      • Do we know anything about how Umino’s family lives? Motoki’s family may not necessarily be rich, but they’re probably ahead of the Ainos and Tsukinos at least. How do you know Haruna’s family is rich? Do you know anything about Yuuichiro’s family?

        If you includes ALL side characters I’m sure there are some with pretty modest homes.

        • As far as I recall, nope, we know practically nothing about Umino’s home life, so basically he wins the “non-glamorous lifestyle” contest simply by the fact that we don’t know anything saying otherwise.
          Regarding Motoki, he’s definitely well off. His family owns both a popular arcade and cafe, his sister (Unazuki) goes to the same elite school as Rei, and he goes to the same elite university as Mamoru. So no way is Motoki middle class.

          I never said that Haruna’s family is rich, but her family is pretty elite. Her sister, Natsuna, is the Superintendent General of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in Sailor V. Another sister, Fuyuna, is a famous ballerina. Let’s just say that I’m really doubtful that two highly successful Sakurada girls came from a modest background. Ballet ain’t cheap.
          (What Do We Know About Miss Haruna’s Family?)

          Yuuichiro is actually from an incredibly wealthy family. So he’s out too.

          • thanks for the info! I had forgotten about Haruna’s family, and had never known Yuuichiro came from money… they really did make every important character wealthy, didn’t they?

          • It’s so weird, isn’t it, that almost every character in the series is incredibly well off.
            And if you consider Umino to just be an altered version of Amano, then he’s out too (since Amano from Sailor V was also immensely wealthy).

            That leaves us with either “characters of the day” or maybe ChibiUsa’s friends, I guess? Momoko lived in her family’s Chinese restaurant, so you could argue either way about how they were doing financially.

  1. For me Mamoru was the one with a bit interesting financial situation.
    He lives in a pretty nice apartment on his own at the age of 17/18. Ok most, probably it was inherited from his parents. Also he has a car, a motorbike, has enough money to feed both Usagi and Chibiusa.
    But still as shown in the anime he has to work sometimes, not just save his gf/the world and go to school, but he worked as a waiter in a “far-away” holiday resort.
    That one job was always a bit strange to me. Why needed he to get a job not in Tokyo?

    • My guess? He owns the resort and just working there to learn about everything works there.

      • I always assumed that he just worked those side jobs as a way to keep an eye on Usagi. Something in the back of his mind told him that something was going to happen in a certain place, so he found a job there. Maybe he didn’t even realize it himself?

  2. I think one of the most interesting things is that, neither the anime nor manga play off any of them as being wealthy. (Other than Ami and the outers) We are just supposed to accept that the others live a “normal” life. They all seem incredibly middle class by today’s standards. Maybe that’s through an American eye though.

  3. I think a wealthier-than-average cast has to be expected when the author has a passion for haute couture and fashion in general. I mean, magical gowns, transformations and non-canonical illustrations aside, Naoko always liked putting her characters in pretty outfits, especially in the manga. Some fashion choices look quite espensive, further cementing the idea that none of the girls do actually come from average-income families.
    Then again, relative wealth must be a pretty moot point when the global society is on the verge of becoming a utopian paradise in a few years anyway.

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