|Sailor Moon character|
Setsuna as Sailor Pluto in her original uniform, with the Garnet Rod, as drawn by Naoko Takeuchi.
|First appearance||Act #18, "Time Warp, Sailor Pluto" (1993)|
|Created by||Naoko Takeuchi|
|Portrayed by||See Actresses|
Shadow Galactica (manga)
|Powers and abilities||Manipulation of time and space, generation of damaging energy, generation of force field|
|Name||Trista Meioh (anime only)|
Setsuna Meioh (冥王 せつな Meiō Setsuna?), better known as Sailor Pluto (セーラープルート Sērā Purūto?) is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. Setsuna is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.
She is unique among all the characters in that she is stationed at the Door of Space-Time, with the specific duty of forbidding anyone to pass through it without permission. She possesses powers that are associated to time, space, the underworld, and darkness.
Sailor Pluto is not introduced until late in the Sailor Moon R series. She is the soldier who guards the gates of time. She is first seen contacting Chibiusa through Luna-P. Sailor Pluto refers to Chibiusa as "Small Lady." Chibiusa usually calls Sailor Pluto by the nickname "Puu" (subtitled as "Plu" in the S season subs). She acts as Chibiusa's guardian.
After the events of the second story arc, she leaves the gates of time to temporarily live as a human being, joins Sailors Uranus and Neptune, and becomes a university student studying physics. The exact nature of how she leaves her post differs between versions; in the manga, she is reincarnated in present day by Neo-Queen Serenity after sacrificing herself during the second arc, while in the anime Neo-Queen Serenity allows her to leave. Even in her civilian form, Setsuna is the oldest of the Sailor Team, around her late teens or older. Her personality has been described as distant and somewhat lonely, however she does consistently display warmth and affection for Chibiusa. When she reincarnates, she becomes more friendly, but is still not very emotional, although there are moments in the manga where she expresses much more emotion than the anime. She later cares for Hotaru along with Michiru and Haruka.
Unlike the other Soldiers (excluding Sailor Venus, who has been described as a goddess of love before), it is questioned whether she is fully human—she has been described as "a goddess, eternally guarding the Portal of Space and Time." She was born under the sun sign Scorpio, the equivalent for Pluto.
Sailor Pluto's precise abilities and knowledge of the past and present are only vaguely defined, although a common theory is a form of omniscience, possibly due to her portrayal in the anime. For example, she was presumably aware of the two Sailor Soldiers carrying the mystical objects they were hunting for, but did not inform them and allowed various people to be attacked. (This differs greatly from the manga, and may be a simple continuity error.) This omniscience is represented as being able to watch through the gates of time, and such.
Sailor Pluto appears in just a few TV episodes. Unlike Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, she is sympathetic toward the Sailor Soldiers, and assists them on several occasions. During the second story arc, she allows them to travel through time even though this is not ordinarily allowed. In the third story arc, she often extends help or advice to Sailor Moon and her companions even when Sailors Uranus and Neptune want the two groups separate. Later, Setsuna joins the Sailor Soldiers in investigating the true identity of ChibiChibi. In the manga, she is an inspiration to Ami, and her relationship with Ami gives Sailor Mercury additional strength to power-up to her Super form.
Sailor Pluto has additional, less cited influences and spheres of dominion in her manga incarnation, influences that are vaguely suggested in the anime, but never made explicit. Sailor Pluto is much darker in her initial form in the manga, identified as the "Guardian of the Underworld" with very dark skin and a black sailor suit. She is also stated to be the daughter of Chronos, god of time. She is a ruthless soldier who follows rather exacting laws, executing any intruders who dare violate the underworld in search for the Gates of Time. She nearly kills Sailor Moon before realizing who she is, stating that "all who break the taboo must be eliminated." Luna also states to the others that no one is to even know that Sailor Pluto exists, due to her dominion and nature, and that to her knowledge no one has ever seen her. Luna calls her a "lone warrior," noting the sadness in her eyes.
In the manga, Pluto's death scene vaguely implies a romantic interest in Endymion, though this is never explored again. In the Sailor Moon musicals, Sailor Pluto has an unrequited love for King Endymion. It is explicitly mentioned in Eien Denetsu and Shin - Densetsu Kourin, in the song Onna no Ronsou ("Woman's Conflicts"). In the manga, it can only be inferred from depictions of Pluto blushing while around King Endymion, her reaction when he runs to comfort her during her death and in artwork depicting Neo-Queen Serenity, Pluto, and King Endymion. Various situations in the musicals have shown Pluto's unrequited love; for example, Tuxedo Mask's actor, Yuuta Mochizuki being leaned on by the actress of Sailor Pluto, Rei Saitou, and commenting on his new year's resolution: to be by Pluto's side.
A small quirk occurs in continuity between the manga and anime. Sailor Pluto (temporarily) expires in both, but at different times; her death in the manga occurs much earlier and reawakens the good side of the possessed Chibiusa. However, for all intents and purposes, in the manga the technicality of Sailor Pluto existing outside of time means she is able to be reincarnated as a normal woman while still existing back at her post at the Time Gate.
Aspects and forms
As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime virtually spanned between the Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Setsuna gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.
Setsuna's primary identity is that of a Sailor Soldier. Her sailor suit is colored in black and garnet, and in its first iteration has no sleeves and a jewel hanging from the choker; her appearance (including height and exact hairstyle) changes somewhat throughout the series because, due to time travel, different "versions" of her are present at different times. She is given specific titles throughout the various series, including Soldier of Change, Soldier of Revolution, Soldier of the Afterlife, and, most commonly, Guardian of Time. Her personality is not noticeably different when she is a civilian, although certain powers seem to be unavailable to her in that form.
Sailor Pluto has power over both time and space, and is ordinarily stationed at the Space-Time Door (a time-travelling gate) to prevent its use. When charged with this duty by Queen Serenity, she was given three "taboos", rules which she was forbidden to disobey: she must not travel through time, she must not abandon her post at the Door, and she must never cause time to stop. If she does stop time, her life is forfeit. Throughout the course of the series, Sailor Pluto breaks all three of these rules. She wields the Garnet Rod, a key-shaped staff which is topped by the Garnet Orb, one of three Talismans carried by Sailors Uranus, Neptune and herself. In the manga, she sometimes wears a chain of keys around her waist.
As she grows stronger, Sailor Pluto gains additional powers, and at key points her uniform changes to reflect this. The first change takes place in act 39 of the manga, when she obtains the Pluto Crystal and her outfit becomes similar to that of Super Sailor Moon. She is not given a new title. A similar event takes place in episode 167 of the anime, and she is given the name Super Sailor Pluto. A third, manga-only form appears in act 42, unnamed but analogous to Eternal Sailor Moon (sans wings).
In Silver Millennium, Sailor Pluto was also the Princess of her home world. She was among those given the duty of protecting the Solar System from outside invasion. As Princess Pluto, she dwelt in Charon Castle and wore a black gown—she appears in this form in the original manga act 41, as well as in supplementary art.
Special powers and items
Setsuna is not shown using any special powers while in civilian form. She must first transform into a Sailor Soldier by either raising her hand, or using a special device called the Lip Rod in the anime adaptation, into the air and shouting a special phrase, originally "Pluto Planet Power, Make-up!" In the manga she eventually gains her Pluto Crystal and this phrase changes to evoke Pluto Crystal Power. In the anime, although she does upgrade to Super Sailor Pluto, the Crystal is never mentioned and her transformation is not shown on screen.
Sailor Pluto's powers over time and space are somewhat tied with the destructive power of Sailor Saturn for astrological and mythological reasons. The names of Sailor Pluto's attacks include frequent reference to the Underworld, which was the province of Pluto in Roman myth; this is evident in her first named power, Dead Scream (破滅喘鳴(デッド・スクリーム) Deddo Sukurīmu?), which is her primary attack throughout the anime adaptation. Unlike any other attack in the series, its name is whispered rather than shouted when she uses it. In the Cloverway English adaptation, it is renamed Pluto Deadly Scream.
Sailor Pluto has enough power over time to stop it entirely, and although she is forbidden to do so, she uses this power one time each in the anime and manga. In the manga and musicals Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady and its revision Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady (Kaiteiban) - Wakusei Nemesis no Nazo, she uses it to stop Prince Demand from touching the Silver Crystals of the past and future together, which would destroy the universe in a time paradox. In the anime, she uses this power to allow Sailors Uranus and Neptune to escape from a helicopter explosion. In each case, she sacrifices herself to unnamed punishments as the keeper of time, but is reinstated later in the series.
In addition to these powers, when the Space-Time Door has been misused, Sailor Pluto is able to close off passage to other worlds. At the end of the manga's third story arc, Sailor Saturn asks her to seal off forever the gateway to the world Pharaoh 90 had come from. This is done with Dark Dome Close (冥空封印?, "dark sky seal").
All of Sailor Pluto's attacks require the use of the Garnet Orb. The orb rests at the top of her staff, the Garnet Rod, which is shaped like a giant key as a symbol of her stewardship over the Door of Space-Time. In the manga and both version of the Black Lady musicals, she also wears a chain of keys around her waist, one of which is stolen by Chibiusa in order to travel back in time at the beginning of the second story arc (She lets Chibiusa play with it in the musical version, but Small Lady runs off with it due to the Black Moon's attack startling her). The Pluto Crystal is perhaps her most important possession, as it is her Sailor Crystal and the source of all her power, which becomes especially important in the fifth story arc. It is given to her by Sailor Saturn.
The statistics listed for Setsuna in the back of manga volume 10 are unusual in that most of them never come up in the series body itself. Her favorite school subject is given as physics, which tracks with her stated college major in theoretical physics; and the love of green tea attributed to her is common among Japanese people. More incongruously, however, she is listed as skilled in sewing, with a dream of becoming a fashion designer. These interests are never spoken of in the actual story, although creator Naoko Takeuchi drew concept art of Setsuna in outfits worn by real-life supermodels. Likewise, Setsuna is never actually shown to enjoy shopping, nor to dislike cockroaches, eggplant, or the study of music, yet all of these things are delineated by Takeuchi well after the character's introduction. In fact, almost nothing about her personal life or interests is ever revealed. It is not even clear whether she has a civilian history at all, as time travel and multiple deaths and reincarnations complicate any backstory. Her devotion to the life of a Sailor Soldier, too, may have cut her off from worldly dreams, as it did with Sailors Uranus and Neptune. Also, according to Naoko Takeuchi's notes in the various artbooks, she mentions that "Setsuna wears hotpants as well at home, but basically she also likes long skirts." and that she believes "Setsuna should forever wear white clothes." 
The kanji of Setsuna's surname translate as "dark" (冥 mei?) and "king" (王 ō?). Together, they constitute most of the name of the dwarf planet Pluto in Japanese: Meiōsei (冥王星?, "dark king star"). Her given name is in hiragana setsuna (せつな?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself means "moment" (刹那?). The name Setsuna has the same pronunciation of a Japanese Buddhist term セツナ meaning "split second" which was imported from China (in Chinese character format: 刹那 chànà) and originated in India (in Sanskrit: क्षण ksana). It can also be taken as a derivative of setsunai (切ない?), meaning "painful."
According to the English-dubbed anime's executive producer, Janice Sonski, the choice of her English name, "Trista," was based on the latter interpretation. Trista derives from the Latin triste, meaning sadness. The packaging of Irwin dolls released in Canada in 1998 called Setsuna by the name Celia.
In the Japanese version of the Sailor Moon series, Setsuna Meioh is voiced by Chiyoko Kawashima until her retirement from voice acting in 2001. In the Cloverway English adaptation, her voice is provided first by Sabrina Grdevich and later by Susan Aceron.
In the stage musicals, Setsuna has been portrayed by Miwa Hosoki, Rei Saitou, Yuki Kamiya, Seiko Nakazawa, Teruyo Watanabe, Yuko Hosaka, Yukiko Nakae, Miho Yokoi and Mikako Ishii. In one show, Usagi * Ai no Senshi e no Michi, she appeared only as a silhouette and was portrayed by Noriko Kamiyama.
Reception and influence
The official Sailor Moon character popularity polls listed Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as separate entities. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Setsuna was the thirteenth most popular character, and Pluto was fifth. In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Setsuna was the twenty-ninth most popular character, and Pluto was the twenty-first.
Amongst English-speaking fans, her existence was discussed as one of the mysteries of Sailor Moon after the English dub stopped airing before she had been properly introduced to the audience. A doll bearing her likeness was sold in Canada prior to her official introduction to the audience.
Sailor Pluto is still considered a member of the Sailor Soldiers despite the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet (as opposed to just a planet). Many fans joke that Sailor Moon will reinstate Pluto as a planet after becoming Queen. Others joke she was "fired" from the Sailor Soldiers.
- Drazen, Patrick (October 2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 212. ISBN 1-880656-72-8. OCLC 50898281.
- In act 27 of the manga, she identifies herself as a university freshman.
- Episodes 68, 82, 115. SuperS movie.
- Drazen, Patrick (October 2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 282. ISBN 1-880656-72-8. OCLC 50898281.
- Episodes 82 and 85.
- In Episodes 110 and 111, she helps Usagi locate Uranus and Neptune so that Usagi will be present to get the Holy Grail. In episode 119, she reveals her knowledge of the Death Busters' plan, claiming that she could not continue without telling them the whole truth. She also joins Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon, and Tuxedo Mask in battle in episode 121.
- Episode 182.
- When Chibiusa travels through time, she calls on Chronos, referring to him as the "almighty god of time, the time guardian's father." This incantation is first used in manga act 18 and in anime episode 82. She also states in the stage musical song "Forbidden Hades" that Chronos's blood runs in her veins.
- Episode 82.
- "Onna No Ronsou". Retrieved 2006-08-06.
- Sailor Moon Musical 1998 Eien Densetsu kaiteiban (Senshuuraku) - Eikyuu Honzonban Video - FanKansha Event (Fan Appreciation Event)
- Takeuchi, Naoko (March 6, 1996). "Act 39". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 14. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178826-4.
- Acts 22-23.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 42". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3.
- First used in the manga short story The Lover of Princess Kaguya.
- "Crystal Power" starting in act 39, when she acquires her second uniform. No new phrase is used for her third uniform.
- Cronos carried a sickle to signify the harvest, which was a tie-in to death. Note the confusion between Cronos, god of the harvest, and Chronos, god of time. Sailor Pluto mentions Chronos as her father several times during the course of the series. Current astrology has it so that Pluto and Saturn are linked for these reasons.
- Uses the Garnet Rod. First appears in act 18 of the manga and episode 112 of the anime.
- Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Sailor Moon Uncensored: Episode 112". Retrieved 2007-07-06.
- Uses the Garnet Orb. First appears in act 31. When Sailor Pluto and the other Soldiers are controlled by Galaxia in act 50, she uses Galactica Chronos Typhoon. She also joins with Sailor Saturn for Galactica Cannon.
- Used in act 32.
- Act 23; she shouts "Time! Stop!!" (Jikan yo! Tomare!!). This part of the story was also featured in the Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady stage musical and its revival.
- Episode 124.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). "Act 33". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 10. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178806-X.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). "Back of volume". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 10. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178806-X.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (September 1996). Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume III Original Picture Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324518-7.
- Picture Collection vol. 3.
- Picture Collection vol. 5
- Doi, Hitoshi. "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon". Archived from the original on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
- "eternal.legend". Retrieved 2006-11-04.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 10. Kodansha. pp. 138–139. ISBN 4-06-178806-X.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon vol. 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3.
- Brown, Louise (July 27, 1996). "Sailing the Internet It's a treasure trove of trivia for Sailor 'Moonies'; [Final Edition]". Toronto Star. pp. SW.65. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- Brown, Louise (July 27, 1996). "Sailing the Internet It's a treasure trove of trivia for Sailor 'Moonies'; [Final Edition]". Toronto Star. pp. SW.65. Retrieved 2009-11-06.