The Magnificent Mars Mantra!
While Sailor Moon definitely had its fair share of character stereotypes, I think that was actually one of the points where the series truly shined. Rather than just sticking with common tropes, it built upon them to make each of the characters into people that stood out on their own merits and that the readers/viewers could really relate to.
One such character, for me at least, is Rei — and especially the Rei that we see depicted in the anime. Though a haughty, strong-headed, and competitive 14 year old girl in her day-to-day life, she somehow manages to make this work with her spiritual side without ever feeling like either depiction of the character is shoehorned in.
Today, I’d like to take a moment to explore a little more of Rei’s spiritual side, and specifically about what some of her chants actually mean. If you happen to be an evil demon, you may want to skip this article. For the rest of you, read on!
Could This Be Rei’s Darkest Secret??
I know that I’ve talked a lot about Rei and the rather confusing situation going on with her Christian/Buddhist/Shinto beliefs, but the more you look into it, the more unclear the whole situation behind the Hikawa Shrine becomes. It’s that time again where we take another deep dive into Grandpa Hino’s questionable religious affiliations!
Our Eager Miko
The answer to this question can be really short or surprisingly quite long, depending on how deep you want to get into it. Of course, the quick and easy answer is that “Rei is a miko because she lives at a Shinto shrine,” but like most things in the Sailor Moon universe, things aren’t that simple (nor would it be interesting if they were!). We’ve already discussed the interesting religious (in)significance of Rei attending a Catholic school, so let’s take a closer look at the inspirations behind her more obvious religious affiliations!
Fortunately for us, Ms. Takeuchi directly addresses this question in her ~~ Punch! question and answer segment added to the end of the re-released manga volumes around 2003/2004 (the shinsouban; “new editions”).