“Your princess is in another castle…”
One of the things that I’ve always loved most about Princess Kakyuu is how she serves as such an excellent counterpoint to Princess Serenity — and all in such a subtle way that neither the anime nor manga ever directly calls attention to it.
Despite how Japanese the myth of the “bunny of the Moon” our hero may be based on, it’s hard to deny that everything else about the Silver Millennium is about as western as they come. From their style of dress to the castles they live in, you can plainly see that the Moon Kingdom is most definitely not based in Japan.
And that’s where Princess Kakyuu and her entourage come in. As western-inspired as Princess Serenity and the Moon Kingdom may be, Princess Kakyuu and Kinmokusei take every bit as much inspiration from the east.
So today we’re going to talk about some of those inspirations, and about Princess Kakyuu’s mythological connection to the Moon. I hope you brought your reading glasses, because I’m about to get wordy!
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!
Where are Kakyuu and the Starlights from??
As a translator, one of the most difficult issues to deal with is that of trying to figure out what an ambiguous word means when you don’t have enough context. This issue becomes infinitely harder when you’re working within a fantasy setting and there quite simply isn’t any further information for you to look up.
The debate surrounding Kinmokusei is one such problem. In Japanese, it could just as easily be either a planet or star (but thankfully not both). But depending on which one it is, that kind of changes our perception of where the Starlights come from.
Today, we’re going to see if we can try to unravel this mystery. Get suited up, it’s gonna be a rocky flight!