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 SuperS Movie’s Three O’Clock Fairy Song Referring To?

ChibiUsa is very unimpressed

ChibiUsa is very unimpressed

While the Sailor Moon series is generally a challenge in its own right to translate in such a way that not only gets across what’s being said, but the style and nuance as well, my heart truly goes out to those who are tasked with translating the lyrics to the series’ music.

As a wise person (me) once said (right now): 80% of the meaning of music cant be found in the words that go unspoken.

Today we’re going to take a look back at yet another Sailor Moon lyrical mystery, as we try to uncover just what this fanciful song about fruits, pies, and kidnapping children is all about!

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Who Is the Real Princess Kaguya in the Sailor Moon S Movie?

Won't the real Kaguya please stand up?

Won’t the real Kaguya please stand up?

The nice thing about writing a blog covering a series that went off the air over 20 years ago is that it’s not like there’s any chance that I’m going to be spoiling the story for anyone. Even with the recent U.S. screenings of the Sailor Moon movies, I’d be willing to bet that the majority of those in the audience had already seen the movie, or at least knew what it was about.

So with that said, I really don’t feel too bad about dissecting story of the Sailor Moon S movie, or peeling back the layers to take a deeper look at the Japanese folktale Ms. Takeuchi based her story on.

If you’ve ever stayed up late at night wondering who the heck Princess Kaguya is, this one’s for you!

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What is Princess Kakyuu and the Starlights’ Connection to the Moon?

"Your princess is in another castle..."

“Your princess is in another castle…”

One of the things that I’ve always loved most about Princess Kakyuu is how she serves as such an excellent counterpoint to Princess Serenity — and all in such a subtle way that neither the anime nor manga ever directly calls attention to it.

Despite how Japanese the myth of the “bunny of the Moon” our hero may be based on, it’s hard to deny that everything else about the Silver Millennium is about as western as they come. From their style of dress to the castles they live in, you can plainly see that the Moon Kingdom is most definitely not based in Japan.

And that’s where Princess Kakyuu and her entourage come in. As western-inspired as Princess Serenity and the Moon Kingdom may be, Princess Kakyuu and Kinmokusei take every bit as much inspiration from the east.

So today we’re going to talk about some of those inspirations, and about Princess Kakyuu’s mythological connection to the Moon. I hope you brought your reading glasses, because I’m about to get wordy!

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Why Do Minako and Rei Always End Up Together?

What's going on here??

What’s going on here??

Alternative title: What Is the Relationship Between Sailor Venus and Sailor Mars?

Whenever the Sailor Soldiers split up in the anime or manga, you’ll notice that the breakdown generally ends up with Makoto and Ami and then Rei and Minako. Today, we’re going to take a look at why that may be, and if there’s any deeper reason as to why Ms. Takeuchi decided on this break down.

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What Myth Are the Ayakashi Sisters Referring To?

The Four Ayakashi / Specter / Phantom / Negamoon Sisters

The Four Ayakashi / Specter / Phantom / Negamoon Sisters

While there’s no official (or even in-universe) connection between the Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon, Ms. Takeuchi continued reaching back into her roots in mineralogy and family history in gemstones when naming the members of the Black Moon Clan. But things aren’t exactly so clear cut with the Ayakashi Sisters. So what, exactly, is the mythological background behind Rubeus’ four underlings?

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Why Did Professor Tomoe Sacrifice Hotaru?

Hotaru Taken by a Tragic Explosion

Hotaru Taken by a Tragic Explosion

Now, far be it from me to pass judgment on what makes a good and bad parent, but I’ve always found it… questionable that Professor Souichi Tomoe chose to implant a daimon egg in his daughter (and only surviving member of his family after the tragic death of his wife), which ultimately allowed Mistress 9 to take control of Hotaru. While this plot device – or one like it – was obviously necessary for the progression of the Death Busters story arc, I wasn’t completely satisfied with that answer. After all, Ms. Takeuchi is pretty well known for putting meaning behind the most insignificant details, right? While most of what’s written in this post is just speculation on my part, I think there’s enough evidence to at least give it some serious consideration. So let’s take a closer look!

Even mad scientists need to eat...

Even mad scientists need to eat…

While I’m generally a fan of the Occam’s Razor1 school of thought (i.e., that the simplest explanation is the most likely to be true), when it comes to explaining the personalities and backgrounds of the characters of the Sailor Moon series, Ms. Takeuchi has proven to prefer depth and complexity. In order to answer the question about Hotaru and her father’s questionable parenting practices, we again look to Greco-Roman mythology for a little context.

Cronus, the Greek god on which Saturn was based,2 had something of a bad habit when it came to eating his own children. Seeing as he had castrated and overthrown his own father, Uranus, in order to become the ruler of the universe,3 it’s somewhat understandable that Cronus would worry about his own children wanting to topple him. In fact, he was told by Uranus and Gaia (his mother) that his own son would be his undoing. In order to put a stop to that, he would eat his children shortly after they were born.

Though canonically we would accept Hotaru as the character representative of Saturn/Cronus when it comes to her portrayal within the Sailor Moon series – indeed, Saturn was often depicted with a scythe/sickle similar to the Silence Glaive – I wonder if it’s also possible to look at the story as it’s applied to her. Though Professor Tomoe clearly cared about his daughter and sought to save her life, implanting the daimon egg within her and allowing Mistress 9 to possess Hotaru seemed to be connected with his desire to further his research (which is what caused the accident in the first place) and completely separate from his efforts to keep Hotaru alive.

Professor Tomoe – Not All There?

Professor Tomoe – Not All There?

While one could naturally point out the obvious difference in eating your own children and what Professor Tomoe did, the results are not so dissimilar when you take a look at the motivations behind them: like Cronus, Professor Tomoe was willing to sacrifice his own child in order to further his own goals in his quest for power.

This could all very well be just a coincidence, but seeing how much effort Ms. Takeuchi went even to match up star signs and birthdays for all of the characters, it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibilities. So what do you think? Do you think that Professor Tomoe’s treatment of Hotaru was in reference to the Greek origins of the character? Just a plot device? Maybe some other theory…? I’d love to hear it!