What Is a Sailor Yell? The Sailor Star Song Explained

A Sailor... Yell??

A Sailor… Yell??

Despite having debuted over 25 years ago, Moonlight Densetsu still consistently ranks in the top 100 songs played in karaoke.1 While it may be the pride and joy of the Sailor Moon fandom, there’s always been a special place in my heart for its oft-forgotten younger sibling, Sailor Star Song.

The song is probably best remembered for setting the dramatically different tone of Sailor Moon‘s fifth and final season, as well as for… well… bordering on being nonsensical.

But today I hope to change that.

Though I may not be able to explain what makes this song so awesome, I hope to at least shed a little light about the story Ms. Takeuchi was trying to tell through her lyrics.

Read on as we discuss just what’s involved in a good, proper Sailor Yell, and how you can give one too!

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Did Sailor Moon Director Kunihiko Ikuhara Hate Naoko Takeuchi?

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

In the immortal words of the Plain White T’s, “hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you.”1 And, if the internet is to be believed, this pretty much sums up the relationship between Sailor Moon‘s creator and acclaimed anime director (Sailor MoonRevolutionary Girl Utena, and more) Kunihiko Ikuhara.

It makes a certain amount of sense, when you get right down to it, too. They both have very strong, outspoken personalities, and Director Ikuhara was personally responsible for completely changing Rei in the anime — a sore spot in Ms. Takeuchi’s eyes.

Today, we’re going to take a look into whether there’s any truth behind this rumor and why (or why not!) that may not be the case. Regardless of which side of the anime vs. manga debate you happen to be on, you’ll want to stick around for this!

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How Did the Voice Cast React to the End of Sailor Moon?

The five Inner Senshi the week before their last recording session (flowers from Ms. Takeuchi)

The five Inner Senshi the week before their last recording session (flowers from Ms. Takeuchi)

As a wise person1 once said, “all good things must come to an end.” Sailor Moon was no exception to this rule, and aired (what would then be) its final episode on February 8, 1997. Even though the series would live on in the form of musicals, a live action TV series, and even a second anime series, that final airing marked the end of a five year journey for the talented actresses and actors that brought our beloved characters to life.

Today, I’d like to take a look at how the Sailor Moon cast felt about the series they gave five years of their life to, their respective characters, and their favorite scenes — all courtesy of a “Sailor Moon Graduation” commemorative interview conducted by Animage magazine.2

Grab a box of tissues, because there are going to be a lot of tears shed before we’re done!

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What Is Considered Canon In the Sailor Moon Universe?

Did they every really wear these princess dresses? Well...

Did they every really wear these princess dresses? Well…

When you spend a lot of time analyzing the ins and outs of a given series — and especially one as expansive as Sailor Moon — you’re going to eventually find yourself confronted with the question of what is and is not canon, and what sources you can actually derive meaningful information from.

Over the past 25+ years, we’ve seen the story of Sailor Moon presented to us in the form of a manga, anime, musicals, video games, a live action TV show, more musicals, a completely different anime, and countless book adaptations spread throughout. While I personally like to believe that there’s a general thread of an overarching “one Sailor Moon universe” running between all most of them, the answer is a little more complicated than I’d hope.

So join along, my dear reader, as we take a stroll through the Sailor-verse™ and try to suss out how they all fit together. I hope you like puzzles, because this one’s a level 8!

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What Did Sailor Moon’s Animators Think of the Anime’s Nudity?

I still find it shocking that this is official art by Naoko

I still find it shocking that this is official art by Naoko

If you grew up in the pearl-clutching 80s and 90s in North America, the very concept of nudity appearing in a children’s cartoon was absolutely unfathomable. Exposed flesh on a children’s cartoon? Oh, my word!!

That was one of the biggest shocks for me — and I’m sure many of you — when I first started watching anime in the late 90s: the fact that my favorite characters are here, transforming, battling, or just flying around naked… and it’s all just so normal.1

But one thing that I’ve always wondered is: what did the production staff think about all this? Fortunately for us, Kimiharu Obata,2 key animator for several episodes of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R, has kindly put pen to paper to talk about this very issue. Feel free to read this in the office — it’s absolutely SFW!

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What is Kazuko Tadano’s Secret to Drawing Sailor Moon?

The Sailor Team

The Sailor Team

One question I often (not unreasonably) get asked is: why do I so rarely talk about Sailor Moon Crystal on this blog?

Truth be told, it’s not that I don’t want to talk about it. It’s rather that bringing the Sailor Moon Crystal series into the equation introduces several key issues into what we discuss here, including:

  1. the series takes place decades after the original manga/anime ran, and the world has since changed;
  2. the story tracks closely with the manga and doesn’t add too much new information; and
  3. Sailor Moon Crystal is still a work in progress, so any theories unique to the series could still change.

Fortunately for us, with the recent announcement1 that Kazuko Tadano — character designer for the first two seasons of the 1990s Sailor Moon anime — will be reprising her role as character designer for the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal movie, this gives us a chance to take a look back into the past to hopefully answer some questions about the series’ future.

Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look into what Ms. Tadano thought of the characters in Sailor Moon, and her philosophy in how she draws women. Stick around, because things are about to get interesting!

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Why Do the Girls in Sailor Moon Have Marks On Their Cheeks?

I won't lie -- this picture kinda scared me

I won’t lie — this picture kinda scared me

Though this design quirk isn’t strictly limited to the Sailor Moon series, I’m a sucker for taking an in-depth look at pretty much all things related to Japanese anime and manga. Since the phenomenon of female characters being depicted with vertical lines on their cheeks also appears quite often in the Sailor Moon series, I’m willing to call this one as “close enough” to make it a valid question to answer.

So why exactly are the Sailor Soldiers and other female characters’ shown with lines on their cheeks? Is it just a way of animating characters that somehow got embedded in Japanese culture? Is it supposed to signify anything about the character, or somehow convey something to the viewer? Or maybe a mixture of the two?

If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, you happen to be in luck, because today we’re going to put those to rest. And if they haven’t, well hey… it never hurts to learn something new, right? Stick around, we’re going to talk about some anime trivia!

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