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!

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

What Shojo Anime Was Predicted to Be the Next Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Is this the end for Sailor Moon?

Over a quarter of a century has passed since Sailor Moon first hit the airwaves, and yet the series manages to continue to excite new and old fans alike with a constant stream of new products, musicals, cafes, and even the occasional anime season. It’s easy to forget, though, that the series had actually been relatively dormant in Japan for much of this time.

While hindsight may be 20/20, and we may now know that there was no true “successor” to Sailor Moon in the most direct sense of the word — at least not until the Pretty Cure franchise came around — I think it’s interesting to take a look back in time and see what series fans back in the 90s thought would be the next big anime in the shojo-sphere.

Join me for a trip down memory lane as we take a look at some of the interesting predictions reporters on Japanese anime were making back in the mid-90s. I hope you’re ready for some serious nostalgia!

Continue reading

What Did the Sailor Moon Voice Cast Think About Their Roles?

The voices of the five Inner Senshi

The voices of the five Inner Senshi

As I try to track down every bit of bizarre Sailor Moon trivia you could possibly imagine, I end up purchasing a lot of old magazines, books, and watching hours upon hours of long-forgotten commercials and promotional tapes.

And that’s the part of this job I love.

It’s not uncommon that, in my pursuit to answer one question, I end up coming across two or three more that I’ve love to look into. And today’s article is just one such case.

Today we’ll be looking at the responses given by eight of the Sailor Moon voice cast to a survey on what it’s like to work in the voice acting industry, and how they feel about their various roles. If you’ve ever been interested in getting a bit more insight into the people behind the characters, this one’s for you!

Continue reading

Who Knows the True Identities of Sailor Moon and the Sailor Team?

Usagi makes the decision to transform in front of Mamoru

Usagi makes the decision to transform in front of Mamoru

To be completely honest, I love casually posing the question of who knows the Sailor Soldiers’ identities to other fans. Responses span the entire gamut of a vehement “no one!” to pretty much every member of the supporting cast, who were apparently just too nice to tell Usagi that they knew the truth.

Like all things in life, however, the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes.

Join along as we take a magnifying glass to the Sailor Moon anime and manga in an attempt to suss out just who actually has figured out the secret identities of our favorite sailor-suited soldiers of love and justice!

Continue reading

Where Did the Members of Shadow Galactica Get Their Names?

Just going out flying with the girls

Just going out flying with the girls

While admittedly not the most exhilarating topic out there, I really enjoy digging down into the names of the various characters, items, attacks, and villains in the Sailor Moon universe. Not only is it an interesting intellectual exercise, but it also gives you some insight into what Ms. Takeuchi had in mind when she was sketching out and creating the characters’ personalities.

Speaking of which, it’s pretty impressive just how much she was able to research when you consider that the series was created in an age before the internet had really hit its stride.

Today we’re going to be turning our magnifying glass to the members of the Shadow Galactica, and where the inspirations for their names come from. Stick around, this is gonna get interesting!

Continue reading

How Much Money Does Toei Animation Make From Sailor Moon?

Usagi the Accountant to the rescue!

Usagi the Accountant to the rescue!

We all know that Sailor Moon was — and is — an economic powerhouse, and that plastering the cast’s likenesses on a product is basically a license to print money. But with all the talk going on nowadays about the sharp increase in anime production costs, and the suspiciously missing-in-action Sailor Moon Crystal: Dream movies, I think it’s about time we address the pink rabbit in the room:

Just how much money is Toei Animation making off of Sailor Moon, anyway?

I hope you brought a snack, because we’re going to talk about a bunch of really big numbers!

Continue reading