What Are Some Difficulties Faced in Translating Sailor Moon?

What translating feels like

What translating feels like

One common theme that runs through many of the topics I end up discussing is that of the differences between Japanese and English nuance, and how much of that gets lost in translation.

I want to make it clear that I don’t mean this as an indictment against some of the translators who have taken on (or been assigned) the challenge that Sailor Moon has to offer. In fact, I’d like to take a look at some of the challenges people face when translating Sailor Moon – or really, any Japanese media with a sufficiently deep enough plot – into another language.

This topic may be a little inside baseball, but if you’ve ever been interested in the art of translation, this article may be for you!

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What Inspired the Design and Name of the Legendary Silver Crystal?

The Legendary Silver Crystal

The Legendary Silver Crystal

Discussions about the Legendary Silver Crystal are always an interesting issue because there’s simply so much we don’t know about it, and even what we do know about it changes depending on which season you’re talking about or whether we’re discussing the anime or the manga.

But interestingly enough, there’s actually some more information to be had if we step outside the Sailor Moon universe and take a good hard look at the real world. Like, specifically, where the design for the powered-up flower form of the Legendary Silver Crystal comes from.

That’s right, my friends, today we’re talking about flower power! I hope you stick around.

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How Did Figure Skating Influence Sailor Moon?

Grace isn't exactly what Usagi is known for...

Grace isn’t exactly what Usagi is known for…

If you’re anything like me – which hopefully you aren’t – the idea that there is some sort of connection between Sailor Moon and figure skating probably never even crossed your mind. But when the words are put together in the same sentence, as I’ve done here, it all kind of clicks together. Or at least it did for me once I actually started to put all my information together.

Today we’re going to take a look at how Ms. Takeuchi was influenced by figure skating, and what kind of impact that had on how Sailor Moon developed. I hope you stick around!

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Why Are There Numbers in Mistress 9 & Pharaoh 90’s Names?

U + Me = Mistress 9

U + Me = Mistress 9

Anyone who has been a fan of Sailor Moon for any significant amount of time – which, let’s face it, is probably most of you – has probably been more than a bit perplexed about what was going on with the naming of our two lead villains in the third story arc of the series.

While Queen Metalia was pretty easy to understand and Sailor Galaxia really didn’t leave anything to the imagination in the name department, the seemingly random numbers that came up in the Infinity arc always left me puzzled.

So today we’re going to take a look at one possible explanation for why Ms. Takeuchi chose those numbers, and what significance they may have on the story. I hope you join along!

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Why Were Dracula, a Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster in Sailor Moon?

Rei ain't afraid of no ghosts

Rei ain’t afraid of no ghosts

Never one to turn down the opportunity to talk about old anime and manga that are relatively unknown to the west – and tie that into a Halloween-themed article to boot! – I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at the time when three of our favorite Sailor Girls found themselves in what basically amounts to a Scooby Doo-themed filler episode.

That’s right, I’m talking about episode 20 of the first season of Sailor Moon, the aptly-named “The Summer, the Beach, Youth and Ghosts.”1

Anyway, today we’re talking about some of the “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” references in this fun summer romp. I hope you’ll stick around!

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Why Does Ami Think Vampires Like to Eat Flowers?

Lilica Hubert (spoiler: she's a vampire)

Lilica Hubert (spoiler: she’s a vampire)

In the spirit of the season – and for all of you reading this in the future, that means Halloween – I desperately wanted to find some sort of story or mystery relating to Sailor Moon that I could talk about, but unfortunately I didn’t have much luck. There just isn’t a lot of scary things that happen in the show, unless you’re talking about Mamoru’s fashion sense or Taiki’s obnoxiously large forehead.

So I took to social media for suggestions and, as expected, I got a lot of great suggestions that never even crossed my mind. You people rock.

Today, we’ll be talking about about the story of the vampire who once graced the pages of Sailor Moon, and Ami’s seemingly bizarre leap in logic in how she determined this young girl was a blood-sucking demon of the night.

Stick around!

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Why Are the Sailor Moon Characters Always at School?

Usagi practically lives at school

Usagi practically lives at school

When the Sailor Team aren’t being shown at school, the vast majority of the misadventures our girls of love and justice get into seem to take place on the way to – or from – school. While the sailor-inspired school uniform is obviously an important part of the story’s theme, the schoolwork itself plays a very minor role in the series. So why are the characters always at school, then?

Before you say “because it’s a cartoon, you jerk!” – and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, on either point – it’s probably worth pointing out that there actually is some historical significance behind this.

Today we’re going to take a look back at the early 90s, and how the Japanese Ministry of Education’s policies affected the world of Sailor Moon. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I don’t know what will!

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