Why Were Rules So Loose at Usagi’s School in Sailor Moon?

Makoto's Juban Junior High ID card

Makoto’s Juban Junior High ID card

Pop quiz! When you hear about Japanese schools, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

  1. A warm and inviting place to freely express yourself.
  2. A totalitarian environment that makes Joseph Stalin look like a softie.
  3. An environment centered around nurturing your unique strengths.

While technically none of those are true across the board, I think we can generally agree that 2 is a lot closer to the image of Japanese schools portrayed in most anime and video games.

And yet with all of Miss Sakurada’s throwing Usagi out of her classroom for the mere transgression of eating lunch early, I can’t help but find that Juban Junior High seems to give their students a lot of free reign.

Today we’re going to take a look at the ins and outs of Juban Junior High and see what we can find out. Be sure to comb your hair and tuck your shirt in, kids! We’re playing purely by the rules here.

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Did Sailor Moon’s Ikuhara Really Direct a Ninja Turtles Cartoon?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Senshi?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Senshi?

As I’m sure many of you have already heard, the story about how famed anime Director Kunihiko Ikuhara — known for such works as Sailor MoonRevolutionary Girl Utena, and the recent smash hit Sarazanmai — secretly directed the one of the first episodes that turned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into a household name is hitting all the major anime news outlets and taking social media by storm.

In light of his spectacular portfolio and what a revolutionary series Ninja Turtles would become, the story certainly seems believable. What’s more, it’s even backed up by a statement by the story writer, David Wise, himself.

But is this really the case? Well, as they say, if something is too good to be true1

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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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