In a word? The connection between automobiles and the characters, locations, and even magic spells in CLAMP’s Magic Knight Rayearth (MKR) series is “thorough.” In a phrase? There’s basically nothing in MKR which is doesn’t in some way connect back to car brands or the companies which manufacture them, either Japanese or foreign. Though the purpose of this blog is to investigate the mysteries of the characters and world of Sailor Moon, this is a topic that’s interested me for awhile and I figured it’d be worth taking a quick dive down this rabbit hole. If you’re interested, please do read on!
While it’s easy to look at the Sailor Moon series now, in its long history spanning nearly two-and-a-half decades, and to say that its monolithic success was basically guaranteed. I mean, when you look at its legacy – an immensely successful five-year run for both anime and manga, a long-running musical, a television drama, and countless other product lines – it’s hard to not look at it with our 20/20 hindsight and say that the series was destined to end up this way.
But is it really that simple? When you take a look at some of the decisions Ms. Takeuchi and the animation staff made, there’s some room to wonder if some emergency plans were made to cut the series short, specifically before Makoto made her appearance. Let’s take a closer look!
One of the interesting key differences about the Outer Sailor Soldiers is that, unlike the Inners, they all have their own weapons / talismans. Even Sailor Moon and Sailor ChibiMoon get on the trend and have their own various sticks, rods, and kaleidoscopes! So why is it that the Inner Sailor Soldiers miss out on this pattern and don’t have their own weapons? The fact of the matter is: it wasn’t always meant to be that way. So what were the Sailor Soldiers armed with?
Naru Osaka is one of those secondary characters that is incredibly hard to pin down. At first glance she’s just one of many background characters – like Ms. Haruna Sakurada, Usagi’s family, and many other members of the supporting case – but when you actually take time to look at the amount of work put into developing her character, you realize that quite a bit more work was put into her background than many others. So what do we actually know about Usagi’s best friend?
The Tsukino family play an interesting part in the Sailor Moon universe since they both have a strong connection to Usagi – the central character in the story – while at the same time supposedly representing what is mundane and normal in the world. Since it’s pretty well known that Ms. Takeuchi was a fan of adding in little touches here and there as in-jokes/references about her characters, often through clever puns in their names, it’s probably worth taking a deeper look at what connections, if any, Usagi’s family has.
First and foremost, it’s worth noting that the Usagi’s family members’ names don’t have any special meanings behind them, since we know that the makeup of her family and the names themselves are based off of Naoko’s real family.1 Though the kanji is likely different, it seems that Kenji, Ikuko, and Shingo are all based on the Takeuchi family.
However, not all is lost for subtle references to rabbits and the moon, at least when it comes to the anime!
Though far more pronounced in the anime than in the manga, if you look closely you can see that both Ikuko and Usagi share a common trait in their hairstyle – particularly, that they have a heart-shaped part in the middle of their bangs. This styling of course can also be seen in Queen Serenity, ChibiUsa, and Chibi Chibi as well. So what’s the point?
Well, it’s not actually a heart-shaped parting in her bangs, but actually two crescent moons facing each other, which gives the appearance of a heart.
While the effect may be subtle, it’s much easier to see when highlighted, as shown here. Ikuko’s hair style varies a bit from episode to episode and is a little less pronounced in the Sailor Moon Crystal anime, but if you look closely, you can definitely see that the two-moon hair style is the same across all of the versions.
Even if Queen Serenity is considered Sailor Moon’s true mother and Ikuko is her mother only through reincarnation, it’s nice to know that Ikuko still has her place in connecting to Usagi!
Moving onto Kenji, well, I’m afraid that unfortunately he doesn’t really seem to play a big part in the series (which isn’t uncommon for fathers in anime/manga, I suppose), so other than the connection to Ms. Takeuchi’s own family, there’s not much to go off of here.
The good news, though, is that Shingo isn’t without his own interesting reference!
Though not directly tied to the moon at first glance, if you take a look at his name tag (which he’s required to wear going to, from, and in school in lieu of a uniform), you’ll notice two little round bits on top of his last name, 月野 (tsukino). This is consistent throughout the first season of the anime, at least, and always appears on his name tag. So what is it?
Much like the odango hairstyle that Usagi uses, these two little circles on top of the moon kanji character are meant to be reminiscent of bunny ears, which ties back into the traditional Asian legend of there being a rabbit on the moon (and the inspiration for Usagi’s name in the first place).2 Now, why Shingo would want to draw rabbit ears, in honor of his sister, on his name tag in the first place is beyond me, but I guess we can assume he has a soft spot in his heart for his sister anyway.
It’s really unfortunate that Usagi’s family really took a back seat as the series progressed in order to make room for more characters, but I suppose it was necessary when you consider that new characters were being added and also needed time in the lime light.
All the same, though, it’s nice to know that the anime producers took the time to at least put in these extra little details for the fans to catch! Yet another little bit of trivia that makes Sailor Moon fun to watch over and over again.
Before we even begin discussing this question, let me just start out by saying that there’s absolutely no way to talk about this without sounding just a little creepy. For me, it’s not so much an interest in discussing this particular issue — namely, the bust sizes of the Sailor Soldiers — and is more of an interest in trying to figure out how one could go about answering this question. Since the world of Sailor Moon is fictional and the creators didn’t actually bother making up real world data for a lot of questions, fans are left to fill in the gaps. Like, for example, just what exactly the body proportions for the Sailor Soldiers actually are.
Once again we find ourselves looking back at the world of Sailor Moon and applying some of the real world laws and various issues which had a surprising impact on the way the world was presented to us fans. While, sure, this may seem like a minor stylistic choice made by the producers of the anime, Japanese television programs – and particularly those targeted to children – are rather frequently criticized by parents and consumer advocacy groups whenever it’s perceived that they’re promoting unsafe activity or otherwise pose risks to their viewers. So if it’s so unsafe, why do so many characters not wear seat belts??