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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How Much Is Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal Worth?

Next up, on Sailor Moon Pawn Stars

Next up, on Sailor Moon Pawn Stars

It probably goes without saying that Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal is not for sale, and even if it were, there’s just no way that you could put a price on something as powerful as that. After all, it can heal the forces of evil, destroy intergalactic demons, and even make aliens realize the beauty of love. If that’s not worth top dollar, I don’t know what is!

However, as one who spends far too many hours of my life pondering every little intricacy of the Sailor Moon universe, I started to wonder: just how much would the Silver Crystal be worth if sold on the open market?

In true Tuxedo Unmasked fashion, we’re going to deconstruct the Silver Crystal and see just how much Queen Beryl would be looking to pay to buy one of her very own. I hope you’ve got your credit card handy, because things are gonna get pricey!

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Why Are Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto’s Roles Reversed?

Just what's going on here, girls??

Just what’s going on here, girls??

Ms. Takeuchi’s near obsessive attention to detail is just one of the many things that make Sailor Moon such a great series. No matter how many times you watch or read through it, there’s always something new to discover.

And yet, despite her impressive ability to get even the tiniest details right on matters ranging from mythology to astronomy — and in a pre-Wikipedia world, no less!! — even Ms. Takeuchi messed up at some pretty crucial points.

… or did she?

Today we’re going to take a look at the ancient Moonie myth surrounding just what is going on with the Great Pluto and Saturn Mix-up. I hope you like Greco-Roman history, because things are about to get mythical!

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How Was Sailor Moon Affected by the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake?

Sailor Sting & the Police

Sailor Sting & the Police

Though we often talk about how Sailor Moon has had a lasting impact on the real world, it’s important to remember that the series did not exist in a vacuum. Throughout the five years that it was front and center in society’s consciousness, the world continued to change around it — and not always for the better.

As many of you already know, prior to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck on January 17, 19951 was the largest-scale natural disaster Japan had faced in recent history.

What many of you probably don’t know, however, is that Anza and the other members of the Sailor Moon Musical — Seramyu — cast were in Osaka for their final performance of the season when the earthquake occurred.

Today we’re going to talk about the lasting impact the Great Hanshin Earthquake had on Sailor Moon and even on the story’s canon! There’s some interesting trivia here, so you may want to stick around!2

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5 Surprising Real World Locations in Sailor Moon

The Mita Suzuki Building in Minako-ku

The Mita Suzuki Building in Minako-ku

As any longtime reader can probably tell you, many of the landmarks shown in Sailor Moon are often grounded in the real world. From the iconic Tokyo Tower — a staple of nearly any pre-2000s anime — to the pachinko-parlor-turned-game-center Pachinko Crown, there’s no end to the references to keep your budding Japanophile busy researching late into the night.

But as I’m sure you also know, I’m not exactly interested in rehashing the same tired trivia you can find anywhere else on the internet. Nope, I built my self-proclaimed Sailor Moon “blogging career”1 around the concept of discussing the minutia that is so bizarre, so seemingly insignificant that you wouldn’t even think to question it.

So today I’m going to talk about five of my favorite blink-and-you’ll-miss-it real world locations that showed up in the Sailor Moon anime. Whether you’re preparing for a round of Trivial Pursuit: Anime Edition or just happen to be a fan of early 90s Japanese pop culture, you won’t want to miss this one!

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(Gekka 7) Visiting Tokyo’s All-Sailor Moon Doujinshi Expo

Gekka 7 Promotional Pamphlet

Gekka 7 Promotional Pamphlet

When I learned that there was a Sailor Moon-only doujinshi event being held in Tokyo, it was pretty much a given that I would definitely be there. No matter what I had to do to make it happen, I absolutely needed to be surrounded by the epitome of Japanese Sailor Moon fandom.

In addition to the obvious selfish reasons, this also was a great opportunity for me to introduce the Japanese fan community to readers in the west, who may not have as much exposure to what it’s like to be a fan of Sailor Moon in the land where it originated.

So today I’m going to take you along on my trip to 月華遊星 (Gekka Yuusei; lit. Alluring Moon & Planets),1 an annual by-fans-for-fans Sailor Moon event held in Tokyo. Stick around — there are a lot of pics here you won’t want to miss!

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What Power Is Sailor Mars Invoking with Burning Mandala?

The mandala, it burns!!

The mandala, it burns!!

It certainly does seem like we keep coming back to Sailor Mars, time and again, in our effort to answer yet more Sailor Moon mysteries.

And it’s not like we don’t have a good reason for it, either.

While I’m certain that most fans the world over are perfectly capable of figuring out what a “Supreme Thunder” is, or parsing out the meaning behind a “Love and Beauty Shock,” Sailor Mars is something of a different story for the western world. Steeped in Shinto tradition, and yet having nearly no Shinto-inspired powers, the attacks wielded by the Sailor Soldier of fire have a surprisingly deep and convoluted background.

Join me as we dissect the Burning Mandala, and figure out once and for all what those symbols she’s summoning up actually mean. You may want to grab a snack, because this is gonna be quite a ride!

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