I was surprised to find out recently that way back when the Sailor Moon anime first aired, Animage1 – one of Japan’s premier anime magazines – held a contest in conjunction with the anime production staff to for fans to send in ideas for what they’d like to see in the series. This was known as the “Sailor Awards” (セーラー大賞; seeraa taishou).
The suggestions were reviewed and comments on several of the better choices were provided by either Junichi Sato (series director)2 or Iriya Azuma (producer).3 The best ideas were even ultimately used in the series!
Today we’re going to look at some of the plot suggestions that these early-adopting Sailor Moon fans sent in.
To the best of my knowledge, the Sailor Awards were held twice in Animage: the first was announced in the April 1992 issue and reported on in the June 1992 issue, which is also when they announced the second contest would be held, with the results of that second contest appearing in the September 1992 issue.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to track down these 20- to 25-year-old magazines and even harder to find out if they contain any useful information in the first place, so I’m still in the process of confirming if any more contests were held. They seem pretty successful, so I don’t see why not.
There’s a lot to talk about with some of the ideas sent in, so today I’ll be limiting it to the three episode suggestions sent in by some of Sailor Moon’s passionate fans that the Animage staff felt were all strong contenders but didn’t quite make the cut – and I’ll discuss why a little bit later.
(apologies for not providing these in Japanese. I usually provide text when I can so people can check my translations, but it’s time consuming to type up)4
Operation: Deep Sleep Pillow
(submitted by Inapan, of Kanagawa)
Inapan sent in several ideas in the form of a plan submitted by Jadeite to Queen Beryl, titled Jadeite’s Secret Strategy Report. They were all pretty good, but we give the “Oh, so close!!” award to the one titled “Operation: Deep Sleep Pillow.”
“Special magic waves cause humans to have bad dreams, affects their emotional states, and keeps them from having a restful sleep. People start to seek out a good night’s sleep as the insomnia takes hold. Jadeite uses a TV shopping network5 to sell a ton of deep sleep pillows, which were made by a youma, to gather energy.”
According to Junichi Sato (series director), the deep sleep pillow is pretty good and “the strategy of using a TV shopping network was refreshing.”
Incredibly Serious Mars Story6
(submitted by Tembo Murunbi, of Chiba)
“The Four Kings decide to sneak in a raven7 that they can control among those around Rei. This raven can take the form of a human boy, gets close to Rei, and keeps an eye on her in both his human and bird forms.
While spying on her, he finds himself drawn to Rei’s personality. However, he’s given the order to kill her, and sneaks into her room in the middle of the night.
With his hands around Rei’s neck, he ultimately realizes that he can’t do it, and reveals his true identity and his orders.
Rei, knowing that he will be killed for turning his back on his orders, invites him to stay with her, but just then the Four Kings appear and…”
This is quite a Greek tragedy, with the youma raven ultimately giving his life to save Rei. This is the most emotional of all the ideas submitted. (this idea was sent under “Other,” and not “Interesting Strategies.”)
Operation: Ramen Bowl
(submitted by Tomonori Senoo, of Saga)
“Jadeite creates a ramen shop with a 1000 yen all-you-can-eat ramen, which he uses to steal his customers’ energy. ‘Heh heh heh,’ he mocks, ‘those stupid humans can’t resist cheap ramen.'”
Between how naturally the idea of ramen fits in with everyday life and capturing Jadeite’s weirdness, this is a nice idea.
Tomonori sent in several other ideas, including: “Jadeite makes a new, super-popular game at the arcade, which he uses to steal human energy with each play. ‘Heh heh heh,’ he mocks, ‘those stupid humans can’t resist games.'”
According to Junichi Sato, “out of all the submissions, he really had the best understanding of the Sailor Moon universe (laugh).”
And there you have it, some pretty classy episode suggestions from some Sailor Moon fans.
I personally like the pillow one, since I think it fits in pretty well with the themes of the show, and seems like some of the tacky plots Jadeite tried to pull off. He was never shy about dressing up or disguising himself with his youma, so I could definitely see that.
As for why none of these ideas were ever used, quite frankly I think it was simply due to the fact that Jadeite’s days were numbered, and the anime staff obviously knew this. The contest results were posted in early- to mid-May, just a few weeks before Jadeite’s demise.8
In fact, for the second contest, they explicitly ask for fans to come up with ideas about the Sailor Soldiers themselves, and specifically for ways on how the Sailor Soldiers could avoid killing anyone.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you think any of them actually had any potential, or were they a bit too far off the mark in terms of how the anime played out? In either case, I absolutely love that they introduced these ideas. There’s a lot more content here, which I’ll report on later!
- See Animage (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Junichi Sato (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Iriya Azuma (Wikipedia) ↩
- However, you can check the magazine for yourself, if you’d like; see pp. 50-51 of the June 1992 issue of Animage ↩
- The original Japanese reads “telephone shopping,” but this term is interchangeable for TV shopping. It just depends on how you look at the medium. ↩
- Yes, that’s the title – don’t blame me. ↩
- What’s the difference between a crow and a raven? Well, apparently ravens are known for traveling in pairs, so I think that makes it a better choice for Phobos and Deimos; see the difference between crows and ravens ↩
- In episode 13, first aired on June 6, 1992 ↩