Naoko to a T: An Analysis of Sailor Moon’s Creator’s Unique Signature

A sketch penned and signed by Naoko Takeuchi

A sketch penned and signed by Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi: a name — for readers of this blog at least — synonymous with love, justice, and unparalleled stories.

But have you ever taken the time to actually look at her name? At the way she composes the individual letters and expresses herself through them?

I know I never had. At least not until a few days ago, when I found myself faced with the challenge of trying to determine if a manga purportedly signed by the legendary author herself was legitimate or not. And from there I fell down the rabbit hole1 of analyzing every aspect of her signature.

If you’re as interested in learning everything there is to know about Naoko Takeuchi as I am, stick around! We’ve got a lot to talk about today, as well as some tips and tricks to make sure you don’t end up buying a counterfeit signature someday!

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Was Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick Created Just to Sell Toys?

Doesn't this make you want to buy one??

Doesn’t this make you want to buy one??

The story, at least according to Moonie lore,1 is that Sailor Moon’s licensed toys weren’t meeting Bandai’s sales targets. As one of the series’ major sponsors, they put the screws to politely asked Ms. Takeuchi to create something a little more toyetic to boost their profit margins, to which she responded with the beloved-yet-awkwardly-named Moon Stick.

Though a tad scandalous, it all sounds pretty par for the course when money-making enterprises are involved. What’s the problem?

Well, like many of the Sailor Moon facts we take for granted, the story isn’t quite as cut and dry as we’ve been led to believe. So today we’re going to travel down the rabbit hole2 and see whether Sailor Moon’s most iconic wand was really a money grab in disguise!

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sailor Moon (I Promise!)

Five Senshi, Five Facts... it all works out!

Five Senshi, Five Facts… it all works out!

Nearly without exception, the “X facts you didn’t know about Y” style of article is pretty much doomed to certain failure. After all, you must have gotten your information from somewhere, and invariably other devoted fans have probably scoured the same resources you have.

And don’t get me started on how the articles are riddled with inaccuracies, or that most of these writers aren’t even fans of the series to begin with…

After seeing yet another of these articles pop up into my news feed this morning, it got me wondering: if I were to come up with some of the most obscure Sailor Moon trivia I could think of, what would I write about? And — more importantly — do I actually think I could come up with anything that would surprise even the most diehard Sailor Moon fans who read this blog?

You know what? I think I can… but I’ll leave you to be the final judge of that!

Read on as I pull out all stops and discuss some of the most obscure bits of Sailor Moon trivia I know!

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Did Sailor Moon Director Kunihiko Ikuhara Hate Naoko Takeuchi?

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

Kotono Mitsuishi and Kunihiko Ikuhara discussing the Sailor Moon R movie

In the immortal words of the Plain White T’s, “hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like you.”1 And, if the internet is to be believed, this pretty much sums up the relationship between Sailor Moon‘s creator and acclaimed anime director (Sailor MoonRevolutionary Girl Utena, and more) Kunihiko Ikuhara.

It makes a certain amount of sense, when you get right down to it, too. They both have very strong, outspoken personalities, and Director Ikuhara was personally responsible for completely changing Rei in the anime — a sore spot in Ms. Takeuchi’s eyes.

Today, we’re going to take a look into whether there’s any truth behind this rumor and why (or why not!) that may not be the case. Regardless of which side of the anime vs. manga debate you happen to be on, you’ll want to stick around for this!

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Why Did Naoko Takeuchi Nearly Call Off Her Own Wedding?

Romantic, huh?

Romantic, huh?

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!

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What Does Naoko Takeuchi Credit for Sailor Moon’s Success?

Got a few questions here for Naoko...

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!

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Is Parallel Sailor Moon a Part of the Series Canon?

More like Inverted Sailor Moon

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!

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