Naoko Takeuchi is something of an interesting character, even by Japanese manga artist standards. As you follow her career, she seems to waffle between two extremes — sometimes she’s intensely private, and other times she’ll write about deeply personal stories and publish them in comics with massive, nationwide circulation.
And for that, I’m immensely thankful. How often do we have a chance to get such a close look “behind the curtain,” so to speak, of our favorite creators?
Today, I’d like to take a closer look at Ms. Takeuchi’s relationship with the equally-famous manga artist Yoshihiro Togashi. Or, more accurately, how she very nearly called the marriage off. It’s a pretty epic tale, as told by our favorite eccentric artist herself, so you might wanna stick around!
Got a few questions here for Naoko…
As the writer of a Sailor Moon blog, invariably the day would come where I’d sit down and put
pen to paper fingers to keyboard and weigh in on the “secret to Sailor Moon‘s popularity.” I thought that today would be that day.
But then I started to have second thoughts. Why should I write this?
Why don’t we just go straight to the source, and see what Ms. Takeuchi has to say for herself? With all the dozens (hundreds?) of interviews that she’s done over the years, she must have already answered this question, right?
And, as a matter of fact, she did!
Join me, dear readers, as we follow Ms. Takeuchi’s logic behind just what made Sailor Moon the raging success that we know it to be today!
More like Inverted Sailor Moon
Parallel Sailor Moon has always held a special place in my heart due to its unique place in the history of the series: technically speaking, it’s the last Sailor Moon manga written by Ms. Takeuchi… well, ever.
Though she did draw a few short comics about the series in her Naoko Punch comic series, and was involved in designing the live-action series’ very own Sailor Luna, this was the last story that Ms. Takeuchi would write in the world of Sailor Moon.
But just how seriously should we take Parallel Sailor Moon, and where does it tie in to the greater lore of the series?
If you’ve ever been kept up at night wondering about these issues and more, stick around! Once we’re done, you might finally have that restful sleep you’ve been hoping for!
That’s not true, I tell you!!!
When you dedicate a large portion of your free time to crawling through 25+ years of Sailor Moon sources, you eventually just learn to accept that running across inaccurate information is simply a fact of life.
However, thanks to the recent releases of Kodansha and Viz’s manga and anime translations along with the rise of curated (… okay, not really) wikis, the general quality of information you’re going to run into nowadays is worlds better than what I started with as a fan in the late 90s.
That being said, today I’d like to tackle five of the more common myths I often run across in my research and see if I can set them straight. Who knows, maybe some piece of Sailor Moon trivia you’ve “known” about for years could be on this list!
What inspired these uniform designs?
When you consider just how much inspiration Ms. Takeuchi took from the real world when creating the Sailor Moon universe, it seemed almost certain that the school uniforms in the series must have come from somewhere. However, no matter how hard I looked, I was never able to come up with a solid lead as to what actual schools could have served as the base for the Juban Junior High School uniform design.
That is, until this weekend.
In an interesting turn of events, what I thought would be a quaint, uneventful museum visit wound up solving one of the oldest open questions I’ve been researching off and on since this blog was first started.
And better yet, the question was answered by none other than Ms. Takeuchi herself.
Stick around, we’re about to take a trip down memory lane!
Naoko Takeuchi at San Diego Comic-Con 1998
I am what you could reasonably call a longtime Sailor Moon fan — a “lifer” if you will. I was there when the series was taken off the air, came back on the air, and was taken off again. Yours truly remembers when “new” episodes of Sailor Moon meant the last part of the Sailor Moon R anime that DiC never bothered to get around to dubbing.
And then there were the misguided Sailor Moon / Pop-Tarts campaigns.
Today we’re going to talk about something a little different: we’re going nearly 20 years into the past to talk about the time that Ms. Takeuchi addressed American Sailor Moon fans and answered some of our burning questions. It’s gonna get interesting, so stick around!
Sailor Moon and the Holy Grail
While I’m well aware that the majority of the audience who reads this blog probably watched/read Sailor Moon in translation, I think it’s sometimes informative to take a look at the more in-depth Japanese linguistics issues that, even though they don’t have a substantial impact on the series as a whole, they still would stand out and affect the interpretation of a native Japanese speaker.
And besides, I live for this geeky Japanese interpretation stuff.
I hope you join along for this trip through the bizarre world of the kanji wordplay! If we’re really lucky, maybe we’ll have even learned something at the end of this!