Why Is There No Sailor Sun in the Sailor Moon Universe?

Shush, Endymion, and let me tell you about my OC, Sailor Sun...

Shush, Endymion, and let me tell you about my OC, Sailor Sun…

The longer the Sailor Moon series went on, the more Sailor Soldiers we were introduced to, with Sailor Soldiers practically crawling out of the woodwork to join the cast in the fifth and final season, Sailor Stars.

And yet, despite the fact that we had countless Sailor Soldiers of planets, asteroids, dwarf planets, and even stars, there’s someone suspiciously absent from our solar system lineup: a Sailor Sun.

Today we’re going to talk about Sailor Sun’s absence in the Sailor Moon roster, and how this possibly relates all the way back to the Moon Kingdom and the Silver Crystal. I hope you left some room for breakfast, because this article is most definitely going to be sunny side up!1

No, seriously, this is Sailor Earth!

No, seriously, this is Sailor Earth!

Obviously the first thing that we need to sort out is the awkward pink elephant in the room: the fact that Sailor Moon is also lacking a Sailor Earth. But, as many of you already know by now, it’s not so much that there’s no Sailor Earth, but rather that only women can be Sailor Soldiers,2 and thus Tuxedo Mask is the best we’ve got.

For all intents and purposes, Mamoru Chiba possesses the Earth Sailor Crystal, and should therefore be counted as the equivalent to a Sailor Earth.

So now that we got that little issue out of the way, let’s turn our focus back onto the topic at hand: where is Sailor Sun?

This is actually a question that’s fascinated me for a long time. And by long time, I mean something like “for the past 20+ years that I’ve been a fan of Sailor Moon.” Of course it’s true that not every object has a Sailor Soldier, but when you consider what a huge presence the Sun is in the solar system, its lack of any representation seems like a pretty big oversight.

Or is it?

Mamoru's ready for the Sun!

Mamoru’s ready for the Sun!

In reality, this isn’t an oversight at all. In fact, the Sun (and its power) is strongly represented throughout the entirety of the Sailor Moon series — and especially in the Dream arc —  even if not in the form of a Sailor Soldier.

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You see, in addition to representing the Earth, Mamoru also serves as a stand in for the Sun. This fact is hinted at early on in the series when we learn that his birthday is August 3 — making him a Leo. The ruling celestial body of Leo is, incidentally, the Sun.3

But in case you weren’t satisfied with the gentle hints that were provided early in the series, Ms. Takeuchi opted to go all out and make this connection obvious in the Dream arc of the manga, where we are first introduced to the concept of the Golden Kingdom.

Located within the Earth in Elysion, the Golden Kingdom served as Prince Endymion’s court and was watched over by the high priest Helios. As the ruler of the Golden Kingdom, Prince Endymion has locked away within him the Golden Crystal, which serves as a (the?) source of his power.

Elysion

Elysion

Let’s take a minute to review:

  • Name: Silver Millennium (or Moon Kingdom, if you prefer)
  • Place: Moon
  • Source of Power: Silver Crystal
  • Important figures: Luna, Serenity

And on the other hand, we’ve got:

  • Name: Golden Kingdom
  • Place: Elysion/Earth
  • Source of Power: Golden Crystal
  • Important figures: Helios, Endymion

In case the silver/gold connection wasn’t strong enough to sway you, then the fact that Helios is the guardian of Elysion may help bring you over. According to Greek mythology, Helios is the god and personification of the Sun,4 and is the brother of Selene, the Greek goddess of the Moon.5 Selene, Serenity, Silver, Moon. Helios, Endymion, Gold, Sun. Not sure about you, but I’m seeing a theme here.

But probably the most convincing proof that the power of the Sun is with Mamoru is the fact that, well, Nehellenia says as much as she’s dying:6

太陽の守護を受けた地球の王子よ

Or, in English:

The Prince of Earth, protected by the Sun.

The Japanese word here, 守護 (shugo; protection, safeguard),7 is the same word used to refer to the celestial bodies that protect and offer up their power to their respective Sailor Soldiers. The implication here being that Mamoru has been granted the protection of the Sun to perform his duties. How that works together with the Earth is never quite explained, but we do know at least that the source of his power, at least with regard to the Golden Crystal, is closely tied to the Sun.

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You could probably also make a compelling argument that the Sun’s power is further tied up in the “Sailor Princess” transformations, since they are formally known as the Solar System Sailor Princesses (太陽系のセーラープリンセス)8 and their powers were released after Usagi gives her power to Mamoru, but personally I think that’s probably a bit of a stretch.

Nehellenia dies (page 103, vol. 15 of the manga)

Nehellenia dies (page 103, vol. 15 of the manga)

Basically there is no Sailor Sun because the Sun, at least in some sense, has already committed its power (in the form of the Golden Crystal) to protect the Earth. While this sounds a bit odd on the surface, I guess it isn’t all that shocking when you consider the weirdness going on between Serenity, the Legendary Silver Crystal, the Moon Sailor Crystal, and Sailor Cosmos.

So what do you think about all of this? Obviously most of what’s written here is exclusive to the manga and can’t really be applied back to the anime, but I still think it gives an interesting insight into that missing Sun presence in the series. That said, I know that the suggestion of a connection between Mamoru and the Sun has been controversial among fans, so I’d be interested in hearing what you think!


References:

  1. No, that doesn’t actually make any sense at all. I didn’t want to make a “sunny” pun about it being bright. Incidentally, I can’t eat sunny side up eggs due to an allergic reaction…
  2. Hey, Naoko said it, not me.
  3.  See Zodiac Signs and Their Dates
  4.  See Helios (Wikipedia)
  5.  See Selene (Wikipedia)
  6.  See p. 103 of vol. 15 of the original manga
  7.  See 守護 (Jisho.org)
  8.  See p. 83 of vol. 15 of the original manga

25 thoughts on “Why Is There No Sailor Sun in the Sailor Moon Universe?

  1. So, basically, Serenity and Endymion represent Yin and Yang, then? Interesting, since their color schemes are kind of reversed.

  2. I find this so interesting. I saw a post that talks about it in another sailor moon blog and it’s how the earth cannot function without the sun and the moon, with Mamoru in, in this case, Endymion being the Prince of Earth, it is given that his people in Elysion took care of it from the inside while the Moon Queen and Princess watched over it from the outside and that along the way, ChibiUsa is the true Sailor Earth because she was born from both, Sun and Moon–it’s a theory a little out there, I know, but I like your take on this and it sure gives a little more clarity to the whole idea.

  3. Naoko’s comment that only women can be Sailor Guardians is just that: her comment, made some time after the manga had ended. That “rule” is never stated in the actual manga itself, and if something isn’t in the text, it doesn’t exist. (Besides, given Haruka’s gender identity, the Starlights’ possible gender identities, and even Sailor Chaos, the manga itself would even seem to contradict that rule.)

    It’s really only a fluke that Mamoru isn’t “Sailor Sun/Earth.” Remember that unlike the Inners, he wasn’t awakened by some magical talking cat. He was receiving vague dreams telling him to find the Silver Crystal. To that end, he came up with the Tuxedo Mask persona: the name and the costume. When he finally regained his past life memories, he retained the persona he had invented. But he could have just as easily called himself “Sailor Sun/Earth” and made himself a costume with a sailor collar. It wouldn’t be this series’s first instance of an invented or nonstandard Sailor identity. Look at Sailor V. Look at Sailor Moon (a role that did not exist in Silver Millennium days). If the reincarnated Moon Princess could get a Sailor identity in her present day life, the reincarnated Prince of Earth just as easily could have had he been awakened by Artemis, Luna, or maybe someone else like Helios. At the end of the day, he has a Sailor Crystal, he has a communicator, he can transform, he has an attack… Mamoru is definitely the Sailor Guardian of the Sun and/or Earth; it’s just that he hasn’t thought to call himself such as yet. 🙂

    • I can see where you’re coming from regarding Naoko’s comments on the series. However, her comments on the series were given at an interview in 1998, which was one year after Sailor Moon had ended. Considering how recent the series still was, I’d say that it’s fairly safe for us to consider her comments as true. This also applies to her comments on the Starlights not being male (female only in the manga) and on Haruka only being female.

      So, at least as far as Naoko is concerned, there are no male Sailor Soldiers.

      If, on the other hand, we were to disregard any information other than what is explicitly noted in the Sailor Moon manga volumes themselves (which I assume also excludes all liner notes, the Materials Collection, and artbooks as well?), then we’re still left with the fact that there are no examples of male Sailor Soldiers anywhere in the entirety of the Sailor Moon canon. There’s no proof in the series that Haruka is male, and the Sailor Starlights are clearly female (as far as the manga shows), so unfortunately those are out.

      Though a non-standard Sailor identity, Sailor V is also the result of a transformation (henshin), and thus she clearly exists as a unique identity. She doesn’t choose her own name, but rather it’s been chosen for her… as is her costume.

      Tuxedo Mask is a bit of a unique situation insofar that in the beginning of the series he clearly owns the outfit and has assumed the identity himself, though later in the series (especially once he gets powers in the Black Moon arc) it seems to imply that he actually is now transforming into Tuxedo Mask.

      • I wonder if Naoko wishes she could retcon some of the stuff in the story? I mean, I wouldn’t bother by this point, however, a lot of these fan theories are simply more sensible avenues for where the story should have gone.

        But I do understand her stance about senshi only being female.

        • From reading modern interviews with her, I don’t really get the sense that she regrets anything in the story. While I understand that fans wish the story had gone another way and that many fans have their own “head canon” versions of the story, I really don’t see anything in the story as-is that’s wrong or needs fixing.

          Further, given the fact that she’s at least somewhat involved in Sailor Moon Crystal as well as the recent Sailor Moon musicals — and that there haven’t been any major changes to the story — I think we can safely assume that she’s comfortable with the story she originally told.
          They weren’t afraid to make the relationship between the Shitennou and the Sailor Soldiers explicit in Sailor Moon Crystal (something which had only been hinted at in the original manga), so I feel that if Ms. Takeuchi wished to “retcon” anything, she probably would have in the new stories.

          Of course, that’s just my take on the subject.

  4. I think partially what complicated things for there being a true “Sailor Sun” early on was that Metallia’s invasion of Earth occurred due to suspicious activity on the surface of the Sun. The manga goes so far as to have something literally shoot out of it towards Earth and we’re all to possibly assume that’s the birth of Metallia. (2003 reprint, vol 2, P. 163-164) So, there doesn’t seem to be any force protecting the Sun itself and seems to be more of a wildcard. Maybe like the Cauldron.

    I like the solution/explanation you’ve given. There doesn’t *need* to be a Sailor Sun but the fact that its power seems to flow to the Earth and Endymion does at least address its strong presence in the Solar System and how it affects the magic we see.

  5. I wanted to point out that in season 4 when the sun is darkened marmour get ill and becomes bed ridden so i put it together at that point i always thought earth and sun were together some how

  6. My thoughts were that the guardian of Galaxy Cauldron was in essence the scout of the Sun. When Usagi goes to confront Galaxia she goes to the core of the galaxy. I assumed that was a kindom on the Sun.

    • One thing I do think that the Sailor Moon series did well is that, at least in Sailor Stars, they made it fairly clear the the Solar System is not the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

      Considering how far the Sun is from the center of the galaxy (we’re likely in one of the spiral arms near the outside), it’s probably safe to say that the center isn’t the Sun Kingdom. Still makes me want to know more about the Galaxy Cauldron, though!

  7. [Editor’s note: This comment has been edited slightly for readability and length.]

    Interesting article however I have to disagree. While yes Mamoru has some Solar Influence I do not think he is the Senshi of the Sun nor does he take the place of a Sun’s Senshi.

    For one it violates the rule that people can only be Senshi of one celestial object at the time and there can’t be two or more Senshi of the same celestial object. Mamoru was given the Zodiac of Leo because for one in traditional astrology the Earth never had a planet it ruled. Likewise Mamoru was given the Golden Crystal because of it’s parallel to the Silver association of Usagi. However by the same token Sailor Galaxia was also given Golden imagery and really is more associated with Gold then Mamoru is being called the Golden Queen and all.

    As for Mamoru being called Prince of the Earth Guarded by the Sun. The Sun was said to have a protective role toward the entire Solar System. The series tends to describe the Sun as a protective figure to the whole Solar System and Queen Serenity in the manga even calls the Sun, Father Sun. Of course she was being metaphorical likewise calling Prince Endymion being protected by the Sun is metaphorical to the Sun’s protective nature to the Solar System. Also Prince Endymion was always stated to be the Prince of the Earth not the Prince of the Earth and Sun.

    [Omitted — Mamoru’s role as holder of the Earth Star Seed in the anime]

    I have heard good arguments for say Helios being the Sun’s Senshi and it would work as he does protect Mamoru however there isn’t any canon information supporting this nor has Helios been stated to either be the Prince of the Sun or having anything to do with the Sun like Mamoru and his Earthly affiliations.

    [Omitted — fanfiction discussion]

    • I just want to apologize for editing down this comment. I understand this is a matter you’re very passionate about, but unfortunately it was getting a bit long for the page.

      First off, to address the parts I edited: this theory applies only to the manga (which I believe I mention in the article), so the commentary on the anime is absolutely on point and very likely correct. However, I think we both are in agreement on this already.

      Second, going back to the top, I don’t believe that Mamoru is the Senshi of the Sun, so I think we’re also in agreement on this point as well. Rather, the Golden Kingdom / Earth (and not specifically Mamoru/Endymion) is blessed with the protection of the Sun. At least in my opinion, that’s a pretty big distinction.

      As for your point regarding the rule that people can only be a Senshi of one celestial object at a time, I agree with this… to an extent. This would mean that we have to assume that Usagi is not Sailor Cosmos at any point throughout the series (at least up until ChibiUsa takes over the Moon Sailor Crystal) and that she later acquires the Cosmos Sailor Crystal. Obviously the series is quiet on all of this, but my opinion on the matter was always that the Cosmos Sailor Crystal was dormant inside Usagi and she only realized it later on, far in the future. That would mean that, at least for the main Sailor Moon story, she would have possessed both the Moon and Cosmos Sailor Crystals.

      Finally, regarding the Starlights, since they are extra-solar Sailor Senshi, I’d say it’s a safe bet that their birthdays don’t count under the astrology system, since there’s nothing to account for it. Instead, Naoko just gave them birthdays that had some other, more personal meaning. Yaten, for example, was given James Dean’s birthday (as noted in the Materials Collection). I suspect that Seiya was made a Leo like Mamoru precisely because s/he and Mamoru are meant to have a lot in common.

      • Interesting reply and I agree with most of it however with regard to the Cosmos Crystal I don’t think the Cosmos Crystal lies dormant in Usagi. Maybe a piece but in the manga the Cosmos Crystal was at the Galaxy Cauldron. Maybe after say Sailor Chibi Moon becomes the full Moon Senshi and gets her Pink Moon Crystal and long after Usagi stopped being able to transform into Sailor Moon maybe she gets the Cosmos Crystal. Alot of people think that Guardian Cosmos is a Sailor Power Guardian of the Cosmos Crystal in the same vein as say Guardian Mercury, Guardian Mars who guarded the Crystals for their respective Senshi so who knows?

  8. Finally got around to watching the Sailor V backstory episode from the first season and I noticed a scene that makes this whole topic a bit more interesting. Someone would probably have to confirm the subtitle are correct though, since that’s what I’m relying on being accurate.

    Part way through the episode, the girls find out there’s an increase in sunspots on the sun and Luna+Artemis say that’s exactly what happened when the Moon Kingdom was destroyed. This is also what is mentioned in the manga, that Queen Metallia showed up when sunspot activity increased. Further in the episode, Queen Metallia is speaking and says that Endymion has a similar energy to her. Queen Metallia is from the sun and recognizes the sun inside Endymion? I found that really interesting considering we’re three story arcs out from Helios and the Golden Crystal.

  9. I like this theory a lot! The connection between the Sun and Earth makes sense to me.
    The Earth being protected by Sun (in Nehelenia’s quote) – I imagine it could be some kind of metaphor. It’s the same for us – thanks to Sun we live… Therefore Earth is protected by Sun (or at least should be – or it would be, if people didn’t harm our planet and caused us to seek protection from the Sun’s rays that are too strong for us now…)
    Anyway, thank you for the articles, they are amazing!
    Have a nice day 😉

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