Why Was the Sailor Moon SuperS Anime So Different From the Manga?

Sailor Moon SuperS: What Went Wrong?

Sailor Moon SuperS: What Went Wrong?

In all my years of writing about Sailor Moon, I’ve found that Sailor Moon SuperS seems to be the odd duck of the series. Some fans swear by it as peak Sailor Moon while others recommend skipping it entirely.1 And yet I hear none of these complaints levied against the manga. In fact, it’s generally well-loved among fans — which I suppose bodes well for the upcoming movies!

The reason for all this, of course, is due to the peculiar decision to take an extreme departure from Ms. Takeuchi’s storyline and try new things with the anime.

But that’s not good enough for me. I want… nay, need answers! Why did the anime production staff decide to deviate from the manga story? Why did they cut so many characters? And why did the story take such a comical turn?

Today we’re going to take a look into what the anime staff were thinking and the reasoning behind their changes. Sit back, grab a coffee, and read on — things are about to get Super!

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What Went Into Producing a Sailor Moon Episode?

The Sailor Moon voice cast (left to right: Michie Tomizawa (Rei); Rica Fukami (Minako); Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi); Aya Hisakawa (Ami); Emi Shinohara (Makoto))

One thing I absolutely love about Sailor Moon is the multitude of reasons why fans love the series and the different routes that brought them into our shared fandom.

Probably like many of you, I was drawn in by the fantastic story, beautiful art, and relatable characters. Sounds familiar, right?

But what kept me sticking around over the past 20+ years was something a little deeper: a fascination with how this story came to be and a passion to learn everything I could about the Sailor Moon universe.

Today we’re going to take a “look behind the curtain,” if you will, and see exactly what went into creating a Sailor Moon episode from start to finish. If you’ve ever wanted to know how all these amazingly talented people came together to create perfection, read on!

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Sailor Moon Editor Fumio “Osabu” Osano Discusses the Series’ Creation (Part 3)

Sailor Moon: The Next Generation

Sailor Moon: The Next Generation

In this third and final installment, Ms. Takeuchi’s friend, editor, and partner-in-crime Fumio “Osabu” Osano goes deep and discusses the inspiration behind some of Sailor Moon‘s most pivotal scenes and the impact the series has had on society as a whole!

Don’t miss out on this rare behind-the-scenes look into the history of our favorite series!1

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Sailor Moon Editor Fumio “Osabu” Osano Discusses the Series’ Creation

The Sailor Team

The Sailor Team

Whether you’re a casual fan of the series or a dyed-in-the-wool Moonie, you have to admit that very few anime series do birthdays quite like the Sailor Moon franchise does.

The June 30, 2019 event was no different, with a slew of large announcements awaiting eager fans, including some tantalizing glimpses of the character art for the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal movie, led by the 90s Sailor Moon art director veteran Kazuko Tadano, as well as information on a Sailor Moon ice show, cafe, and more.1

But in addition to offering this exciting images of Sailor Moon‘s future, we were also lucky enough to get a “behind the curtain” look at the creation of the series through the eyes of Naoko Takeuchi’s Nakayoshi editor, Fumio “Osabu” Osano, via an interview with the Japanese pop culture news site, Natalie.2

There’s a lot of interesting background information here that I wanted to share, so I decided to translate the whole interview across several parts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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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 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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