painfully aware that the world and characters of Sailor Moon are not actually real, the time and effort that Ms. Takeuchi went through in order to help you suspend your disbelief is truly impressive. From setting her story smack dab in the middle of Tokyo’s Azabu-Juban to making liberal use of real world history and mythology, there’s just enough there that you almost feel as if just maybe you could exist in the same world.
And when confronted with a story so heavily based on the real world, it’s only natural that you start asking questions about how the characters’ lives would have really played out — whether it be about how much money they make, what jobs they’d grow up to do, or even how old they would be today.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at the characters’ ages, what years they were (… or should have been) born in, and how old they would be today. Like all things in Sailor Moon, nothing is quite as easy as it seems, so you might want to keep a calculator handy!
“What could possibly be complicated about their ages?” I can hear you ask, your youth and innocence shining through.
Well, my gentle reader, there’s the whole Mamoru problem for starters. He’s a high school student in the manga and university student in the anime, so we’d have to give two numbers for him… assuming it’s even possible to narrow down his year in university.
Next up, there’s the whole confusing maybe-time-reversed-itself-but-maybe-not thing that happened in the anime when the Sailor Soldiers were reborn from their battle with the Dark Kingdom.
And then there’s the fact that it’s impossible for Usagi to be the age she claims to be.
In order to give us a fighting chance at trying to answer this question, we’ll be restricting today’s conversation to the manga only. We will also be basing all of our numbers off of the original Nakayoshi release dates, which rules out any of the modernizing that went on in the later 2003-2004 remastered editions.
So with that out of the way, let’s get started!
We know that Act 1 of Sailor Moon was released in 19921 and that Usagi is 14 years old.2
Considering that Usagi’s official birthday was a detail added later in 1993,3 I’m okay with ignoring the issue of whether this statement was made before or after her birthday and just going with the simple 1992-14=1978 math here. The same obviously applies to the rest of the Inner Soldiers as well.
Mamoru, on the other hand, would have been 16 when we first see him in the manga. We know this because the school ID that he shows Usagi lists him as a second year student in high school (meaning that he’s either 16 or 17).4 When Usagi visits his apartment later in the Black Moon arc, she comments that she and Mamoru first met last spring, and that this summer is the first time she’s come to his apartment.5 Usagi also notes that it’s almost Mamoru’s birthday while holding a calendar that says “August 1993” on it, so I think it’s fairly safe to say that Mamoru is 16 on his first appearance (spring 1992), turns 17 in the interim, and is turning 18 in the Black Moon arc. That gives him a birth year of 1975.
Good news! It’s legal for Usagi and Mamoru to date!
Haruka and Michiru are both noted to be 16 years old in the Infinity arc, meaning that they’re born in 1978. For those of you playing along at home, that means that Haruka and Michiru are simultaneously the same age as the rest of the Sailor Team, and are yet in a higher grade than them.6 That’s not entirely impossible in the real world depending on the way birthdays line up, but let’s just say that Sailor Moon has some serious issues with ages and school years.
Moving along, Hotaru (12) would have been born in 1982… and then assuming that we re-assign her a birth year based on how old she was when she re-aged (around 8 years old at the end of the Dream arc — 1996), she’d have been “born” again in 1988.
Rounding out the bunch, Setsuna, age ??, would have been born in 19??. I wish I could give a better answer for her, but she jumps around from being a university student to graduate to a school nurse all within a few issues, and her back story simply makes no sense.
So what does that all mean?
Assuming that time progressed normally and Crystal Tokyo never came to be, that means that most of the Sailor Soldiers (Moon through Neptune) would be turning 40 this year, while Mamoru would be a dapper 43 years old. Hotaru would have been 36 if she lived straight though, though due to the whole death and rebirth thing, she’d probably be around 30 instead. Meanwhile, Setsuna would still be ??, because it’s simply impossible to answer that question.7
If you have any thoughts on Setsuna’s age, I’d love to hear them!
Trying to pin ages to dates in Sailor Moon makes it very apparent that we can’t exactly stick to “one arc per year” and assume that time flows the same in the Sailor Moon universe as it does in the real world. In fact, most of the story lines that we see really don’t take all that long to play out — likely on the scale of weeks or months, actually! One of these days, I’d like to break down each of the story arcs in the manga and see how much time actually transpired, but unfortunately, that’ll have to wait for another day.
- Technically speaking, Sailor Moon was released in the February 1992 issue of Nakayoshi. Due to the way magazine publishing works, it’s entirely possible that this issue hit store shelves in late December 1991, but we’ll look the other way here ↩
- See… well, the very first page of the manga ↩
- See p. 195 of vol. 4 of the original manga ↩
- The year you enter school, and thus your age for any given school year, is determined by your age as of March 31 of the following year. We know that Mamoru’s birthday is August 3 and that he’s a second-year high school student, so he must be 16 at the start of the manga and turning 17. For a list of school years and ages,see Age by Academic Year ↩
- See p. 60 of vol. 5 of the original manga ↩
- If you’re going to comment that Haruka and Michiru were “lying about their age,” please provide some sort of proof. I get this comment a lot, but never with anything to back it up. ↩
- As of August 21, 2018 ↩
12 thoughts on “How Old Would the Sailor Senshi Be Today?”
Don’t care how old they are, just love all of them and really glad they are still going strong
Same here! But it would have been fun to hear a bit more about how their lives would have evolved (though we do get some information on this in Parallel Sailor Moon and PGSM)
Oh my gosh! That would make me and Reborn Hotaru the same age! (depending in birth month that is) as my Birthday is in September. Awesome story though! For Setsuna, she looks like she may be anywhere between 3 and 5 years older than the other scouts (wild guess here) so she’d be somewhere around age 46-51. But being the keeper of time, she is basically ageless.
The generally accepted age for Setsuna is that she’s 19 (I think because she’s said to be a first year student in university, though that’s technically impossible from what we know about her studies), but we see that she bought a bottle of champagne in the Kaguya manga, which should imply that she’s over the age of 20. Of course, lots of people drink underage and no one really checks IDs in Japan (on account of there not really being any national ID other than a driver’s license), so we can’t say much about that.
Then again, in Stars she’s graduated already and working at ChibiUsa’s school… so who knows. =p
When I did the math some time ago, I figured out that if BSSM was real, I´d be born in Crystal Tokyo already… what a disappointment. 🙂
If she´s 14 in 1992, then she would be crowned queen in 2000… wait. 2000. The start of new milennium (well, technically it´s a part of 20th century, but who cares). Coincidence? I DO NOT THINK SO!
I even wrote an article about that very same subject! Why Did Usagi Become Queen of Crystal Tokyo at 22?
I could be wrong, but wasn’t there a special, traditional way of counting the age of a child in the country: Actually NOT counting the first year or so, meaning that a few of the girls could actually be even just 12/13 at the start of the series?
Would need verification, though.
In Korea, I’m pretty sure you start life at 1 years old. That same counting system was used in Japan for a long time, but they stopped using it early in the 1900s, if I recall correctly.
So there’s no way they would have still been relevant to Usagi, though. =(
I remember I tried once to come up with the birth dates once.. but I think i mostly gave up on the birth year. The thing that I was interested was “time flow” in the series.
Starting with Usagi being 14 and looking at the school year – school uniforms change according to the time of the year. There are summer vacation episodes also (Chibiusa meeting a “pokemon” of some sort w).
So my idea would be count Usagi’s birth year as the start point 1992-14=1978 and then look at the flow of the year throughout series. Accordingly counting Haruka’s and Michiru’s age not taking into account the year when the episode aired but the time of the year in the anime:
For example if anime starts in 1992 summertime + autumn + winter + spring + summer and outers appear during this summertime then it’s 1993 when they are 16. If there are more seasons in between then its 1994 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this 🙂
I think what we need to do is calculate the time span of 1 year within the Sailor Moon timeline. This can be marked by birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I’m most familiar with the manga, so I’m gonna go off of that, but we know that Usagi turned 15 on episode 101, almost smack-dab in the middle of the series. We know she was 14 for 100 episodes, and we know that Usagi is 16 AT LEAST as of episode 173. Based on the air dates, she was 14 for 840 human days from the time the series first aired. We also know she was 15 for about 679 days, until it was revealed that she had in fact turned 16. So we now know that the average year in the Sailor Moon timeline lasts for about 760 human days. Should this be how we calculate their ages? It’s been 8720 days since episode 173 aired, and 760 fits into 8720 around 12 times. She was 16 then, so add 12, and technically she’s 28 based on the average of the original anime’s timeline.