Sailor Moon Info page

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         Sailor Moon is a cartoon about 14-year-old sailor-suited superheroines, aimed at young girls, which began broadcast in North America on September 11, 1995 (August 28 on YTV in Canada). The show is syndicated and airs at dif- ferent times in different areas. The North American version is produced by DIC Entertainment and distributed by Seagull Entertainment, and the toys pro- duced by Bandai USA. It is not a Fox show, although some Fox stations are showing it and Fox also showed one episode as a special. The series is a dub of a Japanese cartoon (anime) whose name (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) is usu- ally translated as "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon"; this cartoon is based on a manga (Japanese comic book) created by Takeuchi Naoko. (Note: All Japanese names in this FAQ are listed Japanese style, with family name first.)

         The 65th North American episode corresponds to Japanese episode 72, which is a minor breaking point (defeat of the four Black Moon sisters) but doesn't finish the story. The first time around, the episodes were shown out of order (the Alan/Ann story was supposed to go _between_ the Beryl and the Black Moon story), but the reruns (currently being shown) mostly show them in the proper order.

       Sailor Moon is unique as anime that is broadcast in America, is moderately promoted, and was well-known to fans before it ever appeared here. (Before 1995, the last anime series that appeared nationwide on US broadcast televi- sion at all was Dragon Warrior, 13 episodes, in 1989, and before that, Robotech, in 1986?. And these didn't have 200 licensed products.) So there are many people in the US who have seen the original Japanese version of the series and know information about characters and plots that have yet to appear here, which this FAQ heavily uses.

         Note: There are lots of spoilers here for past episodes. Read at your own risk. There are also spoilers for _future_ episodes, which I've tried to rot13, but I can't rot13 everything.

         rot13 is done by moving each letter 13 places in the alphabet, so that applying it twice returns the sentence to normal. It is normally translated by machine, and many newsreaders have commands to do it automatically. Translating it by hand is pointless.

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Questions about plot elements

Q: Why does nobody ever recognize Serena or the others in costume?

A: There's no real explanation. You can guess that they're magically immune to being recognized, but we never get _told_ that. In Japanese episode 5, and in the dub episode 15, she hides from her brother when in costume, ap- parently because she's afraid she'd be recognized, so if there _is_ magic in- volved, she didn't know it. Dub episode 31 says that they can't be recog- nized in their normal identities, though I'm not sure if this line was in the original version. This problem doesn't happen in the manga (they don't appear in front of friends and relatives unless the friends and relatives are unconscious)

Q:Why do the villains all attack places in walking distance, at best, of where the Sailor Scouts are?

A:They can't teleport like the Power Rangers (they do have a Sailor Teleport group power, but they don't teleport routinely), so if the villains attacked Paris or New York, the heroines would be helpless to stop them. For that matter, why don't they ever attack when the Sailor Scouts are in class? Boy, you're smart

. Q: Why does nobody attack the Scouts while they're transforming or charging their attack?

A: Usually, the transformations don't really take any time and are there just for the viewers' sake. (Like near the end of the first series where Serena and Darian are attacked, and Serena completely transforms while the attack is still in the air.) There is an episode, however, where Jupiter does her usual motions to attack and gets tied up in mid-gesture...

. Q: There are nine planets, so why don't we see a Sailor Scout for each one?

A:The ones for the other planets appear later--in the third year of the ori- ginal, so you won't see them until the season starting Fall 1996. They're not actually part of the team. The exception is Earth. Darian (Chiba Mamoru) is prince of the Earth, and his name in Japanese uses the kanji for "Earth", so he obviously represents Earth (besides, the moon revolves around the Earth :-)) and you'll probably never see a Sailor Scout for the planet Earth. Mamoru is claimed to also represent the sun, with Helios as his guardian, and his astrological sign is supposedly ruled by the sun. Sailor Mars has pet ravens named Phobos and Deimos (which are the moons of Mars). They have been shown in human form in the manga. The black moon in Sailor Moon R is Nemesis, a dark star theorized as responsible for comets like the one that killed off the dinosaurs. In the manga corresponding to Sailor Moon SS, the Amazoness Quartet become Sailor Scouts of the four largest asteroids, but not in the anime. The Sailor Stars don't seem to be associated with particular heavenly bodies.

Q: Who is Sailor V? Does she really exist?

A:Sailor V is really Sailor Venus, the fifth member of the team. In real life, the Sailor V comics were published first, before Sailor Moon. After the Sailor Moon comic started, Sailor V was included in it as Sailor Venus. Unfortunately, DIC messed up the dub. The first Sailor Venus episodes had Sailor Venus appear, everyone being told she's Sailor V, with Serena happy because Serena is a big Sailor V fan. The dub of those particular episodes took out all reference to Sailor V except in the title.

Q: Who is Luna talking to on the computer in the early episodes?

A:It's Artemis, Sailor Venus's cat. Luna is rather annoyed when she finds out. The dub, of course, can't even get this right. In dubbed episode 39, Luna and Artemis inexplicably refer to a real Central Control. I would guess the episode was dubbed by someone who didn't see the episode where Central Control is found to be Artemis. Anyway, ignore it. Central Control doesn't exist.

Q: Who is the Moonlight Knight?

A:Tuxedo Mask was split into two when revived after the battle with the Dark Kingdom. The Moonlight Knight held his love for Serena, so his regular self didn't remember anything of her for a while.

Q: Who is Rini (Chibi-Usa)?

A:She is the daughter of Serena and Darian, time-travelled from the future.

Q: Who is Rini talking to back in the future, through her Luna ball?

A:Sailor Pluto, who Chibi-Usa calls "Pu". The dub messes up the first occurrence of this by using Luna's voice and pretending Renie is talking to the _ball_ instead of using it as a communicator to talk to another person.

Q: Why does Serena stop using some of her magic items later on?

A:Why does everyone else stop using some of their attacks? The attack in the first episode, where she hurts the monster by crying, reappears in Sailor Moon SS, as a joint attack of Usagi and Chibi-Usa. Usagi loses the first moon stick at the end of the first storyline and never gets it back, though she does recover and use the silver crystal (which moves to her brooch). There is no explanation of why she stops using the disguise pen. (It is still around; at least, Venus uses it later in SMS when she has to disguise herself as Sailor Moon.) The explanation of why she can't use her moon tiara is that she has to really want to be Sailor Moon to use it. This immediately makes you wonder if she uses it again when her mood improves. In (Japanese) episode 98, 100, and 123, she _does_ use it again, although the attack is stock footage, cut so that you can't see that she wore a different brooch when the stock footage was drawn. The Sailor Scouts get new attacks in episodes 41-53. The new attacks don't appear even once after 53 in the series except for Sailor Moon's, with no explanation why not. (They do, however, show up in the video game Another Story.) The real explanation is that these episodes were something of a fill-in (the original comic is monthly, and the series is weekly, and they had to do something to stretch it out). Note that in the clips episodes (Japanese #89 and the first third of the SS special) no clips from these episodes are shown.

Q: Is Nephrite really dead?

A:YES. No, he doesn't come back in any way, shape, or form. This is not Marvel comics.

Q: Why does Sailor Jupiter wear a different school uniform?

A:From a Japanese book "Secrets to Sailor Moon": because there isn't one of the school's uniforms in her size.

Q: What city does the series take place in?

A:Tokyo, even in the dub. "Kitty Chaos" mentioned the name, and the episodes derived from the second part of Sailor Moon R refer to Crystal Tokyo. That tower is the Tokyo Tower.

Q: Are Alan and Ann really brother and sister?

A:Wouldn't that make their relationship incest? They're really children of the tree, from which their race came. In a sense, this does mean they really are brother and sister (and they admit the tree is their mother), but in another sense, they're no more brother and sister than Adam and Eve were. Take your pick.

Q: Have Serena and Darien had sex together (in the present day)?

A:There is a scene in the manga which is commonly pointed to as evidence. (start of manga 6?). Nothing is shown explicitly, though.

Q: How can Renie's hair be pink when her parents' hair colors are black and blond?

A:How is pink hair inherited anyway? Anime hair colors are a stylistic convention and the characters' hair colors are almost never really what you see. Her hair is no more pink than Superman's is blue.

Q: Is Fiore (from the Sailor Moon R movie) from the same planet as Alan and Ann?

A:He certainly looks similar, and is voiced by Alan's original voice actor. It is conceivable that they're from the same race, but this is never stated. The Sailor Moon R movie is often considered an attempt to redo the first Sailor Moon R story, so it is natural that the characters would look similar.

Q: What does the writing on Rei's shrine mean? Does such a shrine really exist in Japan?

A:The shrine is based off a real one. The writing reads "Hikawa shrine", with the character for "fire" (hi) substituted for the one for "ice" (also hi) in the real shrine.

Q: What does the symbol Nephrite uses mean?

A:It is not a kanji and has no real meaning. Some people have suggested that it is a stylized "ne".

Q: Have the Sailor Senshi ever killed anyone?

A:Most of the enemies seem to die by other enemies killing them off, by running into their own attacks, getting caught in the destruction of their base, etc. Metallia ("negaforce") is obviously killed at the end of the first series. It is arguable that Kunzite (Malachite) was killed by them, although he really died from his own attack. Many youmas, etc. die, but they probably fall under the usual animation/comics rule that if you're artificial, it's not considered killing to get rid of you even if you _are_ a sentient being. In the manga (I think), the Senshi do kill their enemies.

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Questions about the series itself

Q: What about this "live action version" I've heard of?

A:The half live action version was a really horrible idea that indeed was one possible plan for a North American Sailor Moon. All they made was a brief promo (lucky for us). The promo was first shown to the public at Anime Expo in summer 1995. The animated part was _American_ animation. No, I don't know how to get a copy. A special showing of several episodes around Thanksgiving had the episodes introduced by a live action Sailor Moon, no relation.

Q: Why does everyone look American if this is a translated Japanese show?

A:It's the style used in Japanese animation. The large eyes date back to artists partly inspired by Disney. The hair is not 'really' colored the way you see it; normally, the hair color of Japanese characters in anime is always brown/black no matter what you see on the screen, and is shown as something else only to visually distinguish between the characters.

Q: Why do the heroines get their power from jewelry and makeup, if they are supposed to be fighting sexism?

A:Dave Barry had a field day with this question. The truth is that they aren't fighting sexism (except in the sense of having heroic female charac- ters). The anti-sexism idea seems to come from an early press release; it described a scene (in dub episode 10) where the Sailor Scouts dodge airplanes sent after them by Jadeite and make comments about how women aren't fools, not to belittle women, etc. The speech was there, but someone took it more seri- ously than it should be. As a final irony, when the episode appeared in the dub, the lines were removed.

Q: Are there male monsters-of-the-episode?

A:The monsters of the episode are mostly female, but there is a point where Zoisite is turning ordinary people (reincarnated youma) into monsters, which includes several males (a priest, Raye's grandfather, and Amy's boyfriend). Still, it's usually pretty rare. Also, in episode 18 the monster is formless but has Nephrite's voice, and might be considered male, and in episode 35 two skaters, one male, are changed into monsters. And in Sailor Moon SS, Fish Eye's monsters are male. For those who are interested, the original names of the monsters of the episode are as follows: Episodes 1-46 (versus the Dark Kingdom): youma Episodes 47-59 (versus Earl and Ann): cardian (this name was still used in the dub). Episodes 60-88 (versus the Black Moon): droid (also used in the dub). Episodes 90-125 (versus Master Pharaoh 90, Mistress 9, Professor Tomoe, and the Death Busters): daimon Episodes 128-166 (versus the Dead Moon Circus): lemures Episodes 167-present: ???

Q: Aren't those dolls horrible-looking?

A:The Japanese dolls are also horrible-looking. Really, I think the fans who are upset over this are being a bit ridiculous. (Hey, I write this FAQ, I get to put personal opinions in.)

Q: American voice actors/actresses (I'm not going to bother trying to phrase this as a question): Serena/Sailor Moon: Tracey Moore (eps. 1-11, 15, 21, 41) Terri Hawkes (all others) Ami/Sailor Mercury: Karen Bernstein Rei/Sailor Mars: Katie Griffin Lita/Sailor Jupiter: Susan Roman Darien/Tuxedo Mask: ?, Toby Proctor Mina/Sailor Venus: Stephanie Morganstern Luna: Jill Frappier Artemis: Ron Rubin Molly: Mary Long Melvin: Roland Parliament Andrew: Colin O'Meara Rini: Traci Hoyt Queen Beryl: ? Jedite [sic]: ? Neflite [sic]: Kevin Lund Zoycite [sic]: ? Kunzite: ? Alan: ? Ann: Sabrina Grdevich

Q: When does the series continue?

A:The chronologically last dub episode is in the middle of the Dark Moon story. When the episodes were first run, they were shown out of order, making the end of the Alan/Ann story the last new episode actually shown. In reruns, they're shown in the proper order. If you get TBS (or are in Canada and get YTV) you might see the show again next season. Otherwise, good luck.

Q: Do we ever see the Scouts transform back?

A:In one episode, Sailor Uranus transforms back. We also see Sailor Moon transform back twice when she loses a previous transformation before getting powered-up, but these are arguably abnormal transformations back that might not look like normal ones.

Q: Do we ever see Tuxedo Mask transform?

A:Episodes in which he transforms are 16, 22, 30, amd 62 (19, 26, 34, and 69 for Japanese versions.)

Q: Why do they stop the episodes and rerun even though they're in the middle of a story?

A:Because that's all the episodes that have been dubbed! Try some of the synopses on Hitoshi Doi's site to see what happens next. (If you get TBS or YTV, you can wait until the next season.)

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Japanese television series

      Japan does not have television seasons like the US does. However, Sailor Moon has been divided into several different series, each aired weekly and lasting a year:

        Sailor Moon: 3/7/92-2/27/93 (episodes 1-46): The appearance of the five Sailor Scouts and their fight against the Dark Kingdom. Sailor Moon R: 3/6/93-3/5/94 (episodes 47-88): Episodes 47-59 have as villains two space aliens Earl and Ann. 60-88 are a fight against the Black Moon family, also introducing Chibi-Usa (Rini), who is an 8-year-old (roughly) girl from the future. Sailor Pluto first appears (but only briefly) here. Episode 89, 3/12/94, was a special (and a clips episode).

         For anyone who wonders, the R was supposed to stand for Romance. Sailor Moon Super: 3/19/94-2/25/95 (episodes 90-127): Villains are Professor Tomoe and the Witches 5 (the Death Busters). Chibi-Usa first be- comes Sailor Chibi-Moon, and Sailors Uranus and Neptune first show up (and later Saturn).

          Sailor Moon SuperS: 3/4/95-3/2/96 (episodes 128-166): Villains are the Dead Moon Circus. Heavily based around Chibi-Usa. Sailor Moon Sailor Stars: 3/16/96-?

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Theme Song

The American version (from the CD lyrics):

Fighting evil by moonlight
Winning love by daylight
Never running from a real fight
She is the one named Sailor Moon!

She will never turn her back on a friend,
She is always there to defend,
She is the one on whom we can depend,
She is the one named Sailor...

Sailor Venus!
Sailor Mercury!
Sailor Mars!
Sailor Jupiter!

With secret powers
All so new to her
She is the one named Sailor Moon!

Fighting evil by moonlight,
Winning love by daylight,
With her Sailor Scouts to help fight
She is the one named Sailor Moon!
She is the one named Sailor Moon!
She is the one ... Sailor Moon!

The original version (translated by Theresa Martin), "Moonlight Legend": (Lyrics in parentheses aren't used in the opening, but are part of the song and appear when it's on CDs and such):

"I'm sorry, I'm not gentle.",
I can say if it's in my dreams.
My thoughts are about to short circuit.
Right now, I want to meet!
Making me want to cry, moonlight.
I can't telephone either, midnight.
Because of my naivete, what will i do?
My heart is a kaleidoscope.

Led by the moonlight,
we meet by chance many times over.
The number of twinklings of the constellations
foretell love's whereabouts.
Born on the same earth, a miracle romance.

(Once more, a weekend with you.
God, grant me a happy end.
In the present, past, and future
I'll be completely devoted to you.)

(I won't forget your dear look when we met.
Out of [tens of] millions of stars, I can find you.
Changing even serendipity to opportunity,
I love this way of life!)

(A wondrous miracle growing close,
we meet by chance many times over.
The number of twinklings of the constellations
foretell love's whereabouts.
Born on the same earth, a miracle romance
that I believe in, a miracle romance.)

"Moonlight Legend" (and the US song) are sung to a melody swiped from "Sayonara at the End of the Dance", by Chieko Baishou, in the 1960's.

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Japanese myths and cultural elements

       Sailor Moon's Japanese name (Tsukino Usagi) means "rabbit on the moon", specifically referring to an Asian legend of a rabbit on the moon pounding the mochi (a rice cake). There are several jokes based on this name: she wears and uses rabbit designs all the time; her hair visually suggests rabbit ears; Luna's computer password is "the rabbit on the moon pounds the mochi"; Chibi- Usa is referred to as "the rabbit" by villains (DIC even kept this a few times); Usagi's _least_ favorite food is carrots, etc. The jokes mostly go over the head of audiences who don't know about the original, though the North American version does claim (on the doll boxes) that her favorite animal is the bunny rabbit.

        Some dubs in other languages translate her name to keep the jokes; for instance, in the French, German, and Italian versions she's named "Bunny".

       Japanese schools: The Japanese school system is uniformly 3 grades of mid- dle school and 3 of high school, so Serena is in the equivalent of 8th grade when in second year middle school.

     Uniforms are standard for Japanese public schools, including sailor suits for girls in many places. Both boys' and girls' uniforms were derived from the uniforms worn by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Meiji era (1868-1912).

        There is a fierce high school and college entrance exam competition in Japan, and what college you go to ultimately determines a great deal of your standing in your whole life. The exams are nothing like entrance exams in America; they are long and involve a lot of regurgitation. Many students go to special cram schools (juku) for years solely to study for these exams; Amy goes to one (explained as "computer class" in the dub). School is very difficult, and students get hours of homework a day (having much less time for socializing than usually shown in Japanese animation), up to college; college itself is often easier than in America.

      All Japanese students study English for years, but the English teaching system is one of the worst foreign language teaching systems in the world, and most Japanese can speak little English.

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