What Are 5 of My Favorite Bits of Sailor Moon Trivia?

ChibiUsa wants to know more!

ChibiUsa wants to know more!

It should probably come as no surprise that, in the course of researching the 270+ articles posted on Tuxedo Unmasked, I happen to run across a lot of small bits of trivia. While some of what I find is interesting (and detailed) enough to turn into a full-blown article, more often than not it’s just something I note down for future reference and go on with my life.

Today we’re going to do a bit of a “spring cleaning” of sorts and share five of my favorite bits of Sailor Moon-related trivia that I’ve run across over my nearly 3 years of researching the series. Though I’m sure most of you reading this are already pros when it comes to everything about the series, hopefully you’ll find at least one gem in this list that you’ve never heard before!

Wait, Haruka and Michiru aren't cousins??

Wait, Haruka and Michiru aren’t cousins??

Before we get started, I would like to take a second to mention that I post Sailor Moon trivia every day to my social media accounts, so if you’re interested in seeing more of this kind of stuff, consider following me over on Twitter (@t_unmasked) or on Facebook (TuxedoUnmasked).

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get this trivia party started!

Say hi to Super Beryl!

Say hi to Super Beryl!

The True Identity of the Beryl/Metalia Combo

Honestly, for years I always assumed that the green-haired woman that Sailor Moon was fighting against in the climactic end to the first season was the human form of Queen Metalia. I later learned that it was, in fact, Queen Metalia possessing the body of Queen Beryl, and figured… oh, well, that kind of makes sense too.

When I learned that the official, canonical name of this Queen Beryl/Metalia combo is Super Beryl…1 well, let’s just say that I was a little disappointed by the lackluster name. And now you, too, can be disappointed along with me!

Pegasus... but not

Pegasus… but not

Pegasus Is Not a Pegasus

A pegasus is defined as a divine hose with wings, which is pretty much on the mark with what we see in the anime/manga. There is, however, one small problem: horses don’t have horns.

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Technically speaking, Sailor Moon‘s Pegasus is not a pegasus at all, but rather a winged unicorn,2 sometimes known as pegacorn or alicorn.3 This is probably just a minor oversight on Ms. Takeuchi’s part, but I find it fascinating all the same!

Kotono and the Sailor Moon Crystal cast

Kotono and the Sailor Moon Crystal cast

The Repetitive Repetitive Repetitive Job of a Voice Actress

Though Sailor Moon (and anime in general) is well known for reusing attack and transformation animation to eat up time and save on animation budgets, it turns out that the voice actresses were still on the hook for performing their lines.

The incredibly talented Sailor Moon voice acting talents re-recorded their transformation lines and attack phrases for nearly every episode. This is especially easy to tell if you listen to the characters call out their transformation or attack when they first appear and compare it to later in the season. Good job, team!

Sailor Uranus transformation

Sailor Uranus transformation

7 Seconds and Counting

Originally, only seven seconds worth of time and budget were allotted for Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s transformation sequences in the Sailor Moon S anime. Just seven seconds each! That’s less than half of the normal ~16 seconds allotted for the other Sailor Soldiers.

However, director Hideaki Anno (who you may recognize from the hit anime Neon Genesis Evangelion — yes, that Hideaki Anno), who was in charge of the animation for Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s transformations,4 stood his ground and fought for the full 16 seconds each. Even then, he remarked that he would have liked another 4-5 seconds to work with.

It's party time with Esmeraude!

It’s party time with Esmeraude!

Hitting the Clubs With Sailor Moon

Though probably not the most attention-seeking in the series, the Black Moon’s Esmeraude has one of the racier costumes in all of Sailor Moon. And that should come as no surprise, seeing as her character design was based on the popular bodycon (ボディコン; bodikon; “body conscious” = sexually flattering clothing) nightlife style of the late 80s and early 90s.5

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Juliana’s Tokyo,6 a popular nightclub in operation from 1991 to 1994, was located close to where the events of Sailor Moon took place, in nearby Shibaura. It’s fairly likely that Ms. Takeuchi was at least exposed to this, and maybe even joined in on the clubbing scene herself!

No, you don't need to study like Ami to understand Sailor Moon

No, you don’t need to study like Ami to understand Sailor Moon

The great thing about Sailor Moon is that this is just scratching the surface. Even going beyond all of the long form articles written here (and there are still 30 topics in the queue that I need to work on, with more constantly being added), I love the fact that there so many little bits and pieces of trivia to find, like breadcrumbs, while reading up on the series.

While I don’t want to turn this blog into a collection of trivia tidbits, I think there is a lot of value to be had in bringing some of the lesser known trivia to light, especially when there isn’t enough information to make a full article.

So, is there anything here that’s new to you? All old hat? Got any Sailor Moon trivia that you would like to share? I’d love to hear from you down below!


References:

  1. This is confirmed in both the Sailor Moon Another Story player’s guide and the Nakayoshi Sailor Moon Anime Memorial Album
  2.  See Winged Unicorn (Wikipedia)
  3. Though popularized by My Little Pony, the term “alicorn” predates the series. The word itself refers to the actual horn of the unicorn, but it has been used since at least the 1980s in several fantasy novels by author Piers Anthony to refer to a winged unicorn; see Citations (Alicorn) (Wiktionary)
  4.  See Works by Hideaki Anno
  5.  See Behind the Scenes with the Sailor Moon R Game Designer
  6. See Juliana’s Tokyo (Wikipedia)

10 thoughts on “What Are 5 of My Favorite Bits of Sailor Moon Trivia?

  1. Is it really considered to be trivia that the voice actors performed the transformations and attacks in every episode? Are there any shows, Japanese or American, where they re-use the same voice acting clip repeatedly? I could absolutely be wrong, I just thought things were always done this way.

    That’s definitely interesting that they were going to give Uranus and Neptune a shorter transformation. It definitely would have lowered the quality of the show, because their transformations were amazingly well done. You can see the effect of a short, barely-animated transformation in Sailor Stars and it just doesn’t look interesting at all.

    The bits of trivia that I love are all the references to astrology and geology that you’ve covered extensively on this site. My favorite tidbit is that in 1993 Naoko Takeuchi told a story of invaders from a distant hidden 10th planet who fight on the side of the evil being known as Chaos… and then 12 years later, scientists found a distant hidden 10th planet and named it after the goddess of Chaos. (Yes, Eris is a dwarf planet, I don’t care, it still counts.)

    • I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the animated series “Voltron” from the 80s, but during their robot transformation phase, the audio was absolutely reused. It’s actually very common to reuse audio during “animation banks” (re-used scenes), especially if they’re going to always be saying the same thing.

      As for as the 10th planet thing, the theory of Planet X has been going on for a long time, especially in the context of being a possible rogue “Earth killer” planet. (more information) It was also sometimes referred to as “Nemesis,” so unfortunately none of this can actually be credited to Ms. Takeuchi.

      Chaos, however, is related to Galaxia and Sailor Stars, so probably more in line with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. No real connection to Nemesis/Planet X to my knowledge. =(

  2. The real world trivia is one of the big draws to your blog. Highlighting 80/90s Japanese cultural tidbits within the context of the series continues to fascinate me.

    A big example of that would be the article that explains that Usagi’s catchphrase uses non-intimidating language. That single piece of trivia adds depth to Usagi’s character. It shows that she’s young, that her life has been so free of hardship that being lectured by your mother is a threat, and that she’s still full of youthful invincibility at the beginning of the series when she comes up with the catchphrase. This is all shown through other means but it’s a reinforcement of those traits that is lost on an audience only exposed to an english translation.

    For those not familiar with Japanese culture and language, these explanations can help the reader understand the motivations and actions within the series and bring various aspects into greater context. Please don’t discount the value of a well-researched piece of trivia.

  3. Oh, I always figured “Super Beryl” was just something people called her. It is a bit disappointing that that is her real name. I still like to think of her as Queen Metalia.

  4. I would add with the whole Super Beryl thing and again this is just my opinion that I never thought that Queen Metalia merged with Queen Beryl. For one the form is called Super Beryl not anything related to Metalia. Also it is clearly Beryl’s personality that is in charge and the one who will fight Sailor Moon. In my opinion Queen Metalia powered up Beryl so she could destroy the world and then left. She basically tells Beryl that she will be the one to destroy everything but not we. Also if Queen Metalia merged with Queen Beryl then logically Queen Metalia would be the one who would take control and fight with Sailor Moon. Kind of like when Chaos fully possessed Sailor Galaxia in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. Also even more telling is that when Chaos takes over Sailor Galaxia the form is called Chaos Galaxia. Where as Queen Beryl in this final form is called Super Beryl not say Metalia Beryl and again Queen Metalia dosen’t take her over we don’t hear Metalia’s voice coming out of Beryl so in my opinion Queen Metalia powered up Queen Beryl and in my mind left. Maybe she didn’t have faith in Beryl being able to take on Princess Serenity and wanted her to take the blow rather then risking her own life as she did in the Silver Millennium.

    • It’s a shame that neither Super Beryl nor Chaos Galaxia are named in the episode credits themselves – they both seem to be coined in secondary sources.

      Anyhow! I love that bit about the 7 seconds! Way to go, Hideaki Anno!!

      • It definitely puts them in a weird “canon… kinda” category. The names come from officially licensed materials, but you never know if the people writing those materials ever bothered to fact check or just needed to write a name down.

  5. Back when I saw the original English dub, I assumed it was just Beryl being powered up by “the Negaforce”. In the Japanese one I realized Metalia was taking possession.
    But it really does seem that Beryl is still running the show for the most part. She does have something different about her (besides being a mile high with green hair).
    Super Beryl is unimpressive, but it seems to fit the sentai themes.

    Also, imagine how awful those 7 second animations would have been…possibly even still images like Sailor Stars. Ugh.

    • Honestly, Queen Metalia always felt like an entirely pointless plot point in the first season, that never really contributed anything to the story. As it is, the Dark Kingdom already had enough on its plate with trying to collect energy, the Silver Crystal, and conquer the world. I don’t think they really needed the Queen Metalia angle at all.

  6. Since Pegasus’s “horn” is actually the Golden Crystal it may not actually be considered as a horn at all! 🙂

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