The Sailor Moon series is no stranger to making some seemingly inexplicable choices when it comes to groups and planetary associations. Jupiter, for example, is most definitely one of the outer planets… and yet we find her as a member of the Inner Senshi.
Odd though that choice may be, it pales in comparison with the bizarre choice of having Sailor ChibiMoon’s team be made up of… the
Amazoness Sailor Quartet? No matter what way you try to cut it, there really just aren’t isn’t any logical connection between the asteroid belt and the Moon.
As we’ve learned many times before, sometimes the most difficult part of solving a mystery isn’t necessarily in finding the answer, but in finding the right way to frame the question.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at the Sailor Quartet, and why Ms. Takeuchi may have chosen these manga-only Senshi to serve as Sailor ChibiMoon’s guardians. You may want to keep a pen and paper handy, because things are about to get complicated!
One of the really unfortunate parts about the Sailor Quartet is that they were introduced to the story right at the end of the Dream arc, which also happens to be when Sailor Moon was blowing up1 with new characters appearing left and right — and most of them were Sailor Soldiers.
I guess we should be happy that we got as much information about them as we did, when you consider that other manga characters were considered lucky to have their whole story arc, from introduction to death, take place in just a few short pages.
- After destroying Nehelenia, Sailor Saturn approaches (Neo?) Queen Serenity3 with the four marbles/orbs that contain the spirits of the Amazoness Quartet and asks her to imbue them with the Silver Moon Power.
- When the Amazoness Quartet reappear, they are now wearing Sailor uniforms and claim to have the power of the four asteroids — Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta.
- Incidentally, the Amazoness Quartet are considered sisters, and their birth order is determined by the order in which their respective asteroids were discovered.
- Sailor Ceres explains that they were supposed to be sleeping deep in the Amazon (rain forest? warehouse? headquarters?), but Nehelenia recognized their power and placed a curse on them, forcing the Quartet to work under her.
- Now that they are freed from Nehelenia’s nightmare, the Sailor Quartet will go back to their slumber. It’s still too early for them to fulfill their role as Sailor ChibiMoon’s guardians, so they will lie dormant until that time comes.
… and absolutely no reason is given for that fourth and final bullet point. We’re introduced to the Sailor Quartet, then they say that it’s “still too early” for them to truly awaken, and they go back to sleep to await the time where they can serve Sailor ChibiMoon and then come back into the past.
While I can’t say anything useful about the issue of them waiting until the future to come back into the past,4 I think we can take a decent crack at their connection to the Moon.
Basically, the key to finding an explanation to this is that we need to completely forget about the asteroid angle. As fun and interesting as it is, sometimes the space connections are just a matter of plot convenience. Rather, the more important connection here is in their pre-transformation name: we need to look back to the Greek legend of the Amazons.
For those who don’t know, the Amazons were a tribe of fierce women warriors from Greek mythology.5 And, more importantly to us, one of the goddesses worshiped by the Amazons was none other than Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls.6
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this now, right?
The Amazoness Quartet are named after the Amazons. The Amazons worshiped Artemis.7 Artemis is the Greek name for the Roman goddess Diana who supplanted the Moon goddess Luna. Thus, the Amazons, in a way, worship and serve the Moon.
Though I admit that this is a bit of a logical leap, it’s not too far outside the realm of possibility when you consider how much research Ms. Takeuchi did into mythology — and especially that of the Greek and Roman gods — when she was creating the series. As much as I would like the asteroid connection to make sense and somehow tie into the Moon, as far as I can tell there’s just nothing there. Most likely, the asteroids were probably chosen simply because she was running out of celestial bodies in the solar system to use for Sailor Soldiers, and the asteroid belt happened to be the most convenient “neutral” choice (since they’re not associated with any other planet).
What do you think of this explanation, then? Does it actually explain anything away, or could it just be a false lead of only vaguely-related concepts? If you have any other theories for how the Sailor Quartet ended up as ChibiMoon’s guardians, I’d love to hear them!
- Sometimes literally… and in that case, pun intended ↩
- See p. 124, vol. 15 of the original manga ↩
- This is a bit of an odd situation, because Luna clearly refers to Serenity and Endymion here as “King” and “Queen.” However, since Crystal Tokyo hasn’t come about yet, that means that Usagi/Serenity is not yet “Neo” Queen and should just be your plain old “Queen” Serenity. But we already have a Queen Serenity. So maybe Queen Serenity II? ↩
- And, frankly, I don’t think anyone can ↩
- See Amazons (Mythology) (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Artemis (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Artemis (Goddess) ↩