As I’m sure we’ve discussed countless times, Sailor Moon was a media juggernaut throughout the 1990s, as evidenced by it being able to hold onto the leading hour of Japan’s much beloved “Golden Time” – 7 to 10pm at night – for its entire run.
When you’re that famous and and on the top of Japan’s animation game, is it any wonder that there would be crossovers between it and other anime? Today, we’ll talk about one such anime that shares a surprising connection with the story of our favorite sailor-suited soldiers of justice.
In case you’re wondering what’s going on with the cover image there, it’s a 1993 commercial aired on TV Asahi to promote its Spring Anime Festival,1 which was being promoted by Doraemon and all the other leading anime at the time. You should definitely watch it for a bit of retro anime fun!
As much as I’d love to talk more about that, though, unfortunately Usagi doesn’t talk in the video and only appears for a brief second.
No, instead we’re here to talk about the odd recurring crossovers between Sailor Moon and everyone’s favorite trouble-maker, Crayon Shin-chan.2 This actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it, seeing as they aired on the same TV station, though Crayon Shin-chan took the coveted 7pm time slot on Mondays.
Interestingly enough, the appearances go both ways, first off with Shinnosuke Nohara (Shin-chan, our titular character) appearing in Sailor Moon in the form of a doll landing at ChibiUsa’s feet as she plays in a park.3
Seeing as Japanese companies seem to be worried about copyrights in the most bizarre ways, they copied the design but wrote Chin on his shirt.
Now, it could just be a combination of Shin-chan = chin here, but I have a feeling the joke is a bit more vulgar, since the word chin on Japanese is used both for… two different parts of the male anatomy. The “frank” (chinchin; ちんちん)4 and “beans” (chinko; ちんこ),5 if you will. Call me a critic, but I think this joke fits well with the character’s personality.
ChibiUsa then looks up from the UFO catcher doll in her hand to see a handsome young boy run up to her, multi-colored bubbles everywhere in the background to make sure that we, the audience, know that she thinks he’s cool. The boy then does what can only be described as the “most hideous dance known to man”6 before… taking off his pants. And underwear. You know, in case he hadn’t broken enough laws.
“Wait a tick,” you say, with a thick British accent. “That voice sounds familiar!”
Ignoring for a second that you’re probably not listening to the audio, yes my attentive reader, you’re right! This boy is voiced by none other than Akiko Yajima,7 the voice of Shin-chan himself.
And that woman next to him, his mother? Well, she happens to look a lot like Misae Nomiya, Shin-chan’s mother. What are the odds!
But who’s really getting the last laugh here?
In 2001, the creators of Crayon Shin-chan returned the favor in their feature-length animated film, Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back.8
In the movie, the adults start to act like children, which results in this scene here with three of Shin-chan’s preschool teachers dressed up in sailor suits and ready to triumph over evil.
But this wouldn’t be the only time these two would don sailor uniforms in this series.
Once again, during the hour-long special in celebration of Crayon Shin-chan being on the air for 15 years,11 Ageo-sensei and Matsuzaka-sensei poke a little fun at their counterparts in the opening act of the “Lord of the Squid Ring” story, with Ageo-sensei (voiced by Kotono /Usagi) even breaking out her catch-phrase, “In the name of the moon, I’ll punish you!”
Later in the episode, Matsuzaka-sensei (voiced by Michie / Rei) tries to get in on the action and also throws out the famous Sailor Moon line, but gets shut down by Ageo-sensei who tells her “Hey, that’s my line!”
While there are no doubt countless parodies of Sailor Moon that appeared in other anime and live action shows back in the day and even now, I’ve decided to not include them because they are, at the end of the day, just parodies of the genre in general rather than a direct homage to Sailor Moon directly.
I’m confident that there must be more references to other anime and manga, and other series that featured an homage to the Sailor Moon cast, but since this all happened so long ago, it will definitely take some time to find them all.
If you know of any other characters that appeared in the show, or where our sailor-suited cast may have appeared in another anime, I’d love to hear about it!
- See TV Asahi 1993 Spring Anime Festival ↩
- Disclaimer: I don’t like Crayon Shin-chan; see Crayon Shin-chan (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Sailor Moon episode 104; episode 15 of Sailor Moon S ↩
- See ちんちん (Jisho.org) ↩
- See ちんこ (Jisho.org) ↩
- See the scene ↩
- See Akiko Yajima (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Kotono Mitsuishi (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Michie Tomizawa (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Crayon Shin-chan – What a Legend! Squid Ring Special ↩