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
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?
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.
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.
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, Nehelenia says as much as she’s dying:6
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.
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.
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!
- 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… ↩
- Hey, Naoko said it, not me. ↩
- See Zodiac Signs and Their Dates ↩
- See Helios (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Selene (Wikipedia) ↩
- See p. 103 of vol. 15 of the original manga ↩
- See 守護 (Jisho.org) ↩
- See p. 83 of vol. 15 of the original manga ↩