Things You Didn’t Know About Sailor Moon

sailor-moon-mainSailor Moon Crystal recently wrapped up its first season, with a second season expected to begin airing sometime in 2016. The first season of Sailor Moon Crystal received mixed reviews, with most criticisms being lobbied against the poor, haphazard quality of the animation. Despite many fan’s qualms about the poor animation in the series, the storyline—which was much closer to the original comic book than the first animated series—was generally well praised.
Hopefully, Toei will take the heavy criticisms against the show’s animation to heart for the second season, and give the animation team both more time and a much bigger budget for their work. Sailor Moon Crystal and Sailor Moon in general, is one of the most popular franchises to come out of Japan in decades. Let’s take a look at some surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Sailor Moon!

The English version almost had completely different names

The localized dubbed versions of Sailor Moon almost always changed the character’s names to something that was more typical in that language or country. In the first English dub, the character’s names were changed to Serena (Usagi); Amy (Ami); Raye (Rei); Lita (Makato); Mina (Minako); and Darien (Mamoru). Most of these names are almost identical to the originals, with some spelling changes or the removal of common Japanese name suffixes, such as ‘ko.’ However, these English dub names were not the original choices. In the first draft of the English dub, the characters names (in the same previous order) were changed to: Celeste, Blue, Dana, Sara, Kari and Mark.

Sailor Moon was supposed to have silver hair

In the original concept of the series, Sailor Moon’s hair was supposed to change color from blonde to silver when she transformed into Sailor Moon. However, the original creator revealed in the first art book compilation that she had to scrap the idea based on the advice of her editor. Silver was not considered flashy enough and would not ‘jump out’ at readers who were browsing for new comic books to pick up. Sailor Moon’s hair was changed to yellow/blonde full time, although she occasionally has silver hair in various special artworks done by the original creator.

The original “Soldier” outfits were meant to be very unique

sailor-moon-outfitsIn the comic book version of Sailor Moon, each of the character’s ‘soldier’ outfits has something a bit unique about it—such as Sailor Mercury not having sleeves, Sailor Venus having a belt, and so on. In the animated series, the ‘soldier’ outfits were modified to appear exactly the same except for the colors used. However, in the original concept for the comic, each of the soldier outfits was meant to quite different—with different skirt lengths, a lot more accessories, and special masks. This idea was set aside after the creator realized that similar themed outfits would be less complex to draw.

The characters come from wealthy families

Most non-Japanese audiences would not pick up on this trait, but the 5 main characters come from families who are considerably wealthy. They live in the Juuban district in Tokyo, which is a high-end district; all of the characters live in homes or apartments which would cost a quite a lot in Japan, particularly Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino’s home, which is a two story home. In Japan, real estate is very expensive due to the general lack of space, and a two story home like Usagi Tsukino’s would be similar in cost to an extremely large home in a wealthy suburban area.

The creator has a degree in Chemistry

Most people only know Naoko Takeuchi as the creative mind behind Sailor Moon, but she actually had a career before she became a comic book artist. She has a degree in Chemistry and was a licensed pharmacist before she decided to pursue her passion in drawing and storytelling. The degree may be responsible for the series’ tendency to create villains with scientific themes and names–such as villain droids with the names Achiral and Chiral, or characters that have themed related to minerals and rocks.

The stage musicals have even more Sailor Soldiers

sailor-moon-musicalThe comic books and animated series have introduced a host of Sailor Soldier characters, but it is the stage musicals which can boast the most original Sailor Soldier characters. In the stage musicals, characters such as Sailor Astarte, Sailor Titanium Froggy, Sailor Buttress, and more have various supporting roles. In an interview, Takeuchi revealed that she thought Sailor Astarte had the most potential–she was named after an ancient Greek Goddess, and in the stage musicals she appears is, is a “lost” sailor soldier.

The original English dub had a lot of changes

Most English dubs of Japanese animated shows were altered and censored when they were brought to America for localization. Although censorship and storyline changes are unusual in modern English dubs, when these shows were first brought over in the 1990s and early 2000s, companies heavily altered them in order to make them suitable for young American audiences. You can find a huge selection of great animated entertainment when you subscribe to one of these DIRECTV packages.

Some of the changes in the original English dub include:

  • Completely removing any nudity, implied nudity, or possible nudity; body lines were erased from the transformation sequences, the water lines in bath scenes was raised up higher, any references to body parts (such as a line where Makoto says she has the biggest chest) were removed.
  • Almost all physical violence was removed; sequences where characters slap each other in the face were removed or edited so that the actual physical slap was not shown; a sequence where a brainwashed Endymion brutally beats Sailor Moon and chokes her was edited to remove almost all physical violence; scenes where characters hit the ground, walls or other objects were removed so that characters were never shown on impact.
  • Character deaths were removed; the original first season finale was a two-parter, which included the deaths of the four Sailor Soldiers and Mamoru. In the English dub, the characters did not die but were simply “kidnapped by the Negaverse.”
  • At least three gay relationships were censored out of the show. In two instances, the gender of one of the characters was changed from male to female; in another instance, the characters were described as “cousins” instead of lovers.
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