Answering Your Sailor Moon Questions – Part IV

What it feels like to look at Tuxedo Unmasked's common Google searches

What it feels like to look at Tuxedo Unmasked’s common Google searches

While the majority of the questions we tackle here on Tuxedo Unmasked are things I’ve always wanted to explore further or fun trivia I want to share, sometimes I like to open up the floor to you, dear reader, and social media at large to take a crack at the Sailor Moon community’s burning questions.

Variety, as Minako would say, is the life of spice.

Today’s questions are a selection of common questions I see floating around online, Google search terms, and even some plucked straight from the comments.

Stick around — who knows, you just might find one of your questions here… or at least learn something fun in the process!

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Why Are Cats Such an Important Part of Sailor Moon?

Seriously Luna, explain yourself!

Seriously Luna, explain yourself!

When talking about an anime/manga series with a well-developed and passionate fan base, you often have to keep in mind that a lot of the “mysteries” out there are probably already common knowledge to fans of the series.

The rabbit imagery in Sailor Moon is a great example of this. If you asked a random person on the street about the connection between rabbits and the moon, you’d probably be met with a blank stare. A seasoned Sailor Moon fan, however, could talk your ear off about the lunar-dwelling mochi-makin’ rabbit.1

No, if I’m going to be true to my word of working to “unravel Sailor Moon mysteries,” we’re going to need to go deeper, and far more obscure.

That’s why we’ll be talking today about the cats that made Sailor Moon possible… and just why the heck Ms. Takeuchi chose cats in the first place! I hope you’re emotionally prepared for this, because things are about to get down right pawsome!2

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What Is the Shared Mythology Between Luna, Artemis, and Diana?

The Moon... Cat Family

The Moon… Cat Family

Of course we already know that Luna, Artemis, and Diana are connected through their familial connection, so there isn’t much of a mystery there. What is interesting about this connection, however, is that though Ms. Takeuchi may have recycled the name of Diana, she made a wonderful choice by choosing that as the name for Luna and Artemis’ adorable daughter.

Cat Family

Cat Family

Most people are probably aware of the connection between Luna’s name and the Moon, especially speakers of English and the romance languages, since the name has been been reappropriated for many moon-related terms in astronomy, events, and phenomena (e.g., lunar eclipse, lunar calendar, lunar tides, etc.). The source of this name, like many names associated with the planets and stars, is Roman mythology. The Roman goddess Luna1 is the goddess of the moon, corresponding to the Greek goddess Selene.2 Interestingly enough, this shows a nice, clear tie between Usagi — Princess Serenity — and Luna, which really shows up in the interplay between the pair.

What about Artemis, then? Well, sorry to say to the gruff, male assistant to the sailor-suited soldier, Sailor V, Artemis was also a goddess, this time of the Greek variety.3 It’s not all bad for poor Artemis (the cat!) though; the goddess he’s modeled after was known for her prowess as a hunter and was often depicted with a bow and arrow and was known as the protector of young girls, which fits in well with his position as confidant, advisor, and assistant to Minako.

The question of the day, then, is who is Diana, and how are Luna and Artemis connected to her?

Enter Diana (Act 20 of Sailor Moon Crystal)

Enter Diana (Act 20 of Sailor Moon Crystal)

Interestingly enough, Diana is also a Roman goddess of the moon.4 More specifically, she is the Roman counterpart to Artemis, known originally as a goddess of hunting (once again, like Artemis, many of her appearances in art depicted her with bows, arrows, and hunted beasts). Later, she became more widely known as the goddess of the moon, eventually coming to replace Luna in that role in Roman mythology. Indeed, Luna eventually came to be known as an epithet5 — a descriptive name, of sorts — for the goddess Diana. Ultimately, Diana is both Artemis and Luna, making the name a wonderful choice for the daughter of the two feline guardians.

One final little bit of trivia: the Romanian word for fairy, ZẤNĂ,6 is said to have come from the name Diana. That helps explain the moon fairy connection in her original incarnation!