When you’re confronted with such an amazing cast like the one in Sailor Moon, it’s easy to forget that there are voice actors behind bringing these characters to life. They seem to truly take their roles to heart, and it becomes nearly impossible to separate the voice from the face on screen.
That is until you hear them so expertly perform the role of an entirely different character in another anime… and yet again, they seem perfect for the role!
For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to discuss the Sailor Moon voice cast in some way or another, but hadn’t quite found the right angle to approach it from. So after far too many hours spent trawling the depths of the internet, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what other projects our favorite voice actors and actresses have worked on together.
I hope you have some free time on your hands, because you may end up unexpectedly getting drawn into some new anime series!
First and foremost, we’re probably going to want to set some ground rules for our discussion here, so we at least know what we’re talking about. Then we can move on into the fun stuff.
I’ve decided to limit “the Sailor Moon voice cast” to the following:1
- Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi and Chibi Chibi)
- Aya Hisakawa (Ami but almost Usagi)
- Michie Tomizawa (Rei)
- Emi Shinohara (Makoto)
- Rica Fukami (Minako)
- Keiko Han (Luna and Queen Beryl)
- Toru Furuya (Mamoru)
- Yasuhiro Takato (Artemis)
- Kae Araki (ChibiUsa and briefly Usagi)
- Chiyoko Kawashima (Miss Haruna, Shingo… oh, and Setsuna)
- Masako Katsuki (Michiru)
- Megumi Ogata (Haruka)
- Yuko Minaguchi (Hotaru)
I’m probably missing a few big names from this list by excluding the major villains, Naru, and the Starlights, but the list was already getting pretty long and I was hoping to keep it restricted to characters who appeared in at least more than one season. Sorry Yaten!
Even then, that still left us with approximately 3,400 works across all 13 members of the voice cast, stretching all the way back to the mid-1970s!
Once I had my list together, I was finally able to start taking a look at the data. For the sake of brevity, I decided to limit our discussion to anime series that included at least five people.
So what did we find?
There are 39 series in which five or more members of the Sailor Moon cast provided character voices. That’s not to say that they all worked together at the same time — in fact, in some of the examples we’ll see below, they often ended up doing one-shot characters in entirely different seasons — but it’s still an impressive number!
The top spot, surprisingly, goes to Detective Conan,2 at a whopping 13/13 cast members making appearances through the show’s 22 year long run. Notably, Mitsuishi Kotono plays undercover CIA agent Hidemi Hondo,3 along with several other roles.
Let’s Go, Anpanman! (Soreike! Anpanman)4 was a surprise close second, with nearly every member of the Sailor Moon team (with the exception of Megumi Ogata) offering up their voice at one time or another to this long-running kids cartoon. I guess it makes sense when the show’s been on the air for 30 years, but there’s something that I still find something really weird about Michiru talking with a superhero made of fried bread filled with bean paste. Hopefully she didn’t say anything not meant for children’s ears!
I probably should have expected that Crayon Shin-chan 5 would rank relatively high in terms of cast participation (8/13) considering the anime plays on the same network as Sailor Moon (TV Asahi), but also that Mitsuishi Kotono, Michie Tomizawa, and Masako Katsuki are regulars on the show. In fact, the titular character, Shin, even appeared in a Sailor Moon episode!
Probably the most noteworthy on this list for me, at least in terms of personal memories of being an anime fan in the late 90s, was Cardcaptor Sakura.6 An impressive six members of the Sailor Moon voice cast found roles in the show, and now that I listen through some clips again, I can definitely hear them all.
- Kotono Mitsuishi = Maki
- Aya Hisakawa = Kero
- Emi Shinohara = Kaho
- Kae Araki = Akane
- Megumi Ogata = Yukito
- Yuko Minaguchi = Nadeshiko
I swear, these actresses practically defined my teenage years!
Magic Knight Rayearth
Seen by some at the time as a potential Sailor Moon killer, Magic Knight Rayearth 7 managed to bring five of the voice cast over, including: Aya Hisakawa as Tarta, Emi Shinohara as Presea, Megumi Ogata as Emeraude, Kae Araki as the all-important “Girl B” and “Friend,” and Yuko Minaguchi as Altina… in the Sega Saturn video game.
Okay, so that last one was kind of cheating.
I probably wouldn’t be doing my job here if I didn’t mention this last obvious anime gem: One Piece.8 It should come as no surprise that seven out of the 13 main cast had appeared in this long-running anime and one point or another across its 19 year run. While I’ve admittedly never actually seen the series,9 it seems that at least Kotono and Toru have at least fairly notable roles in the series as Boa Hancock and Sabo, respectively.
As I mentioned up above, there are a whole lot more series, movies, and more where the Sailor Moon cast had another chance to team up together — Pokemon, Doraemon, Dr. Slump, Sergeant Frog, and Super Robot Wars MX being just a few off the top of my head that stand out.
Out of curiosity, would you be more inclined to watch a specific anime because a voice actress you like is working on it? For me, personally, I don’t follow the actors, directors, or musicians very closely and it doesn’t really influence me beyond the fun trivia factor, but I know a lot of fans who are passionate enough that they’ll track down a series just to hear their favorite voice actress’ performance. I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences with this!
- Several of the voice cast also played various Monsters of the Day, but I’ve left those off the list ↩
- Otherwise known as Case Closed; see Case Closed (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Hidemi Hondou ↩
- See Anpanman (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Crayon Shin-chan (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Cardcaptor Sakura (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Magic Knight Rayearth (Wikipedia) ↩
- See One Piece (Wikipedia) ↩
- Shocking right? The story just doesn’t really sound like something I’d be interested in… ↩