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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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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