Sailor Moon (character)
|Sailor Moon character|
Super Sailor Moon, as depicted in the anime.
|First appearance||Sailor Moon chapter #1: Usagi - Sailor Moon|
|Created by||Naoko Takeuchi|
|Played by||See Actresses|
Sailor Rabbit (PGSM)
King Endymion (husband)
The Tsukino family
Queen Serenity (mother)
|Powers and abilities||Generation of damaging energy, healing powers|
("Bunny" in the Mixx manga)
|Aliases||Princess Serena (DiC)|
Sailor Moon (セーラームーン Sērā Mūn?), officially spelled Sailormoon in Japan, is a fictional character who is also the main protagonist and titular character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. She is formally named Neo-Queen Serenity in the 30th century, but in the 20th century she is known by her civilian name, Usagi Tsukino (月野 うさぎ Tsukino Usagi?, known as Serena Tsukino in some English-language adaptations). She is introduced in chapter #1, "Usagi - Sailor Moon", originally published in Japan's Nakayoshi on December 28, 1991. A carefree schoolgirl, she can transform herself into Sailor Moon, the de facto leader of the series' primary heroines the Sailor Soldiers.
Due to the series' international popularity (and her distinctive odango hairstyle), she is one of the most immediately recognizable and iconic anime characters worldwide. As the protagonist, Usagi appears in every episode, film, television special, and OVA of the anime adaptations, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, as well as the live action adaptation, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.
Serena, Usagi's given name in some English-language versions of the series, derives from her being the reincarnation of Princess Serenity. In the English manga she is mostly called by the nickname Bunny (usagi literally means "rabbit"). Her boyfriend for most of the series, Mamoru Chiba, calls her by the affectionate nickname '"Usa-ko"', "little bunny" (a diminutive, the suffix -ko meaning "child").
Usagi first appears as a schoolgirl living in 20th-century Tokyo, a well-meaning but underachieving and accident-prone crybaby living the life of a normal teenage Earth girl. One day, Usagi encounters a mysterious cat, who later reveals herself as Luna, the mentor archetype who will introduce Usagi to her new heroic role. Luna gives Usagi a magical brooch and explains how to use it to transform into Sailor Moon (the "Soldier of Love and Justice"); she tells her that she is a Sailor Soldier who must fight for peace, and find the rest of the Sailor Soldiers, as well as their princess. Though at first Usagi is portrayed as a "reluctant heroine" (in the anime she often is rescued by Tuxedo Mask) as time goes on her character grows more confident and mature. She sets out to fight the evils of her past life and protects the Earth with the Silver Crystal, as Sailor Moon, providing most of the conflict within both the manga and the anime.
Usagi lives in Azabu Jūban (a real district of Tokyo) with her mother Ikuko Tsukino, her father Kenji Tsukino, and her brother Shingo Tsukino. Usagi's family names are based on Naoko Takeuchi's real-life family members. Out of all the Sailor Soldiers, only Usagi and Minako Aino live in conventional nuclear families. Usagi is also the only one known to have a sibling.
Usagi does not perform well academically, and often seems unintelligent (especially in the anime), though the storyline generally attributes this to naïveté and laziness rather than to stupidity. She spends her time daydreaming, eating, gossiping, playing video games, reading comics (including RunRun, which published the Sailor V manga in real life), shopping, and sleeping rather than studying.
Usagi has a boyfriend named Mamoru Chiba. Mamoru and Usagi's relationship forms an important part of Usagi's life, as well as of the series. The love they share helps Usagi make it through many challenges. Mamoru becomes Usagi's boyfriend after many trials, and they date for a long time during the series. In Sailor Stars Mamoru gives Usagi a promise ring in a shape of a heart at the airport just before he leaves for America. The ring represents a promise to Usagi that they will eventually get married.
A number of connecting episodes at the end of the first series reveal one of the biggest secrets about Sailor Moon: she realizes that she is Princess Serenity (the "Moon Princess" of the Moon Kingdom) reincarnated. In the second series, Usagi learns that she will give birth to a daughter (Chibiusa) by her boyfriend and future husband. Usagi will also become a "Sovereign of the Earth", known as Neo-Queen Serenity, by the 30th century.
The series shows how Usagi loves sweet foods and how easily they distract her. She loves ice-cream so much that it appears listed as her hobby in the manga, and her favorite subject is listed as Home Economics. She is also said to dislike carrots (although she eats them in the anime), and is poor with both English and mathematics. In addition to being a genuine friend, Usagi is extremely good at brown nosing when it's needed and, of course, crying to get what she wants. She is afraid of dentists, ghosts and lightning, and her greatest dream is to be a bride. She is apparently a member of the Manga Drawing Club at school, though her skill level varies widely when shown in the anime. She stands 150 cm tall. She also often appears bad at writing using Kanji to the point that even as Neo-Queen Serenity she still has problems.
In the manga and anime, Mamoru refers to her as "Odango" (a kind of rice dumpling), based on her distinctive hair-style. At first this is always accompanied with the suffix -atama, meaning "head", but as time goes on it is left off. Usagi hates the name at first, but as they become close it develops into a sign of affection. Later in the series, other important male (or androgynous) figures in her life, Haruka and Seiya, adopt the name as well. Because there is no North American equivalent to odango, the DIC/Cloverway English adaptation almost always uses "Meatball Head", once "Donut Head", and, somewhat incongruously, "Moon Face". In the Tokyopop English adaptation, Mamoru calls Usagi "buns", which is both an approximation of odango and short for Bunny.
The series often portrays Usagi as just lazy rather than lacking intelligence. This shows when she passes her high-school exams without trouble when threatened with separation from her friends.
The anime often portrays Usagi as relatively more flaky and childlike. She often bickers with her daughter Chibiusa but shows just as much caring as her manga counterpart. She does evolve during the course of the series, but generally lacks the maturity of her manga counterpart except in the last few episodes of each story arc.
The dubbed version made Serena more of a ditz than Usagi, featuring for example lines such as "Really, Luna, you're tripping when it comes to knowing what's on a girl's mind!" emulating stereotypical valley-girl usage. By contrast, in the following episode, Princess Serenity talks without this pseudo-valley girl dialect, showing this was intentional and inherent to the voice actress.
Usagi in the live-action series differs slightly from her manga and anime counterparts. She appears much more outgoing and extroverted, and seems to make friends very easily, which immediately puts her personality in conflict with her fellow Soldiers, each of whom were alone to varying degrees. She rarely uses formal grammar with those of her age (though she does with adults), and refers to everyone as "[given name]-chan", which is very informal and a way of expressing closeness. She even teases Ami when Ami continues calling her "Tsukino-san", a formal way of speaking to classmates, saying that it is as if they are not friends. Every time a new Sailor Soldier appears, Usagi immediately tries to make her a friend, even though almost all of them resist. However, through Usagi's influence, the other Sailor Soldiers gradually begin to realize that they are stronger together than they are alone. Usagi also has a habit of forcing her interests on the people that she makes friends with. This is prominent in her relationship with Rei, when she tries time and time again to get her to sing.
Aspects and forms
As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime that (virtually) spans the ancient Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Usagi gains multiple aspects and aliases such as Princess Serenity, Sailor Moon, Princess Sailor Moon, Super Sailor Moon, Eternal Sailor Moon, and Neo-Queen Serenity.
The series frequently refers to Usagi's Sailor Soldier identity, "Sailor Moon", as the "Soldier of Love and Justice", and once as the "Soldier of Mystery". Her uniform, originally colored blue and red/dark pink (depending on episode), with a crescent moon motif, gradually changes to incorporate more pink and yellow and adds a heart motif as well. She also wears red hairpieces and white barrettes resembling feathers, both of which can be used for minor attacks. Her personality is no different from when she is a civilian, although certain powers are unavailable to her in that form.
Sailor Moon's attack names center around the moon, love, mystery and light. She starts out as a frightened, reluctant girl, and others often have to bail her out, but she gradually comes to accept her full identity. She eventually becomes the most powerful Senshi in the galaxy, but her capacity for caring about other people is frequently shown to be more powerful still.
As she grows stronger, Sailor Moon gains additional powers, and at key points her appearance and title change to reflect this. The first change takes place during the third major story arc — Act 30 of the manga and Episode 111 of the anime — when she obtains the Holy Grail and becomes Super Sailor Moon (Super Sailormoon in Japan). Her uniform becomes more ornate (see top of page), and her powers are increased; at first she is unable to take this form without the Grail, and is weakened when its effects fade. Near the end of the S series, she takes this form using pure desperation and the powers of the other Sailor Soldiers after the Grail has been destroyed. Some time later, Pegasus' power enables her to transform without the Grail.
Sailor Moon receives her third and final form at the end of the fourth major story arc; the combined power of the other Sailor Soldiers transforms her into Eternal Sailor Moon (Eternal Sailormoon in Japan), whom Diana says is the closest in power to Neo-Queen Serenity. Her uniform is even more radically altered — most significantly, two pairs of angelic wings adorn her back. They replace her standard back bow as they are attached only at the waist and are in the shape of a large bow.
The general storyline of Sailor Moon has numerous occasions of asynchrony, including another form of Sailor Moon. ChibiChibi is a young girl who comes from the future to Sailor Moon. Like Chibiusa, she hypnotizes Usagi's family into believing that she is part of their family. ChibiChibi, as it turns out, was actually a future form of Sailor Moon that came back to aid Eternal Sailor Moon in her fight against Sailor Galaxia. In the manga, ChibiChibi transforms into Sailor Cosmos. It is implied that Sailor Cosmos is Sailor Moon's ultimate form, but Sailor Cosmos admits that she is a coward that ran away from one of her battles and could never match Eternal Sailor Moon's final show of courage and power.
In the manga, Eternal Sailor Moon uses the Silver Moon Crystal (an evolved form of the Silver Crystal) to carry out her attacks. In the Sailor Stars anime it is less clear whether the crystal she is using is still called the Silver Crystal. The names of the attacks are congruent with the manga, which uses the name of the new crystal, but the crystal is not clearly given a new name.
Princess Serenity (プリンセス・セレニティ Purinsesu Sereniti?) lived in the moon kingdom during the age of Silver Millennium as the daughter of Queen Serenity, who ruled Silver Millennium and watched over the Earth. Princess Serenity's guardians and closest friends were Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus, who were princesses of their own respective planets, but lived on the moon with her at times.
Princess Serenity often explored Earth to see real greenery, even though forbidden to do so. On one of her visits, she met the crown prince of the Earth, Endymion, and they fell in love.
During the attack that caused the Moon Kingdom's downfall, Prince Endymion died protecting Serenity. In the manga, she committed suicide out of grief, while in the anime Queen Metaria killed both of them. Serenity's mother, the Queen, was able to seal away the evil that had inspired the attack, but everyone involved was killed. Before her own death, the Queen used the Silver Crystal to give her daughter and others another chance at life, hoping in particular that, this time, Serenity and Endymion could find happiness together. In the live-action series, it was Princess Serenity herself who destroyed the Moon Kingdom, after Endymion was killed during the war to keep the two apart.
Eventually, Serenity reincarnates as Usagi Tsukino in the 20th century. Usagi occasionally takes the form of Princess Serenity during the meta-series, often at climactic moments when more strength is needed than Sailor Moon can access. Usagi discovers her identity as a princess in Act 9 of the manga, Episode 34 of the anime, and Act 25 of the live-action series.
Whereas Takeuchi draws Usagi with white, yellow, and even pink hair and blue eyes, in the manga Serenity almost always has white hair and blue eyes. In the anime, both characters are always blond. In the live-action series, Serenity has black hair and brown eyes, just like Usagi, and she wears her hair straight down rather than in pigtails. This emphasizes the ambiguity of her identity before the storyline reveals her as Usagi.
At climactic moments, Usagi as Serenity sometimes gains a pair of functioning angelic wings. She does this during the final battles of SuperS, after she jumps off a tower to save Chibiusa and the two of them collide with Pegasus while falling. It also happens in Sailor Stars during the fight with the fully possessed Galaxia when she grabs the Sword of Sealing. It remains unclear if this power comes from her past life, if it belongs to Usagi herself, or if it came from Pegasus and the Sword of Sealing.
The first two series dubbed by DiC refer to Princess Serenity as Princess Serena (although the original name is used at least once, to emphasize the similarity between Princess and Neo-Queen Serenity). In the last two series, dubbed by Cloverway, the name Serenity is used.
Princess Sailor Moon
Unique to the live-action series, Princess Sailor Moon is a powerful combination of Sailor Moon and Princess Serenity, introduced when Usagi is "possessed" by the spirit of her former self. She originally appears after Queen Beryl takes the Shitennou hostage in exchange for Mamoru. Silently furious, Sailor Moon transforms into Princess Sailor Moon and halts Queen Beryl using her sword.
Princess Sailor Moon (Princess Sailormoon in Japan) is not the same person as Usagi, as seen when she shows no remorse for the fate of the Shitennou and when she refers to Mamoru as "Endymion" rather than using his civilian name. It is also shown that Princess Serenity has full control of the upgrade. She is also constantly angry, and tends to leave flaming carnage in her wake. In one Act, Usagi's friend Naru accidentally gets too close to Usagi and winds up in the hospital for a while. Though smiling in most promotional material for the series, Princess Sailor Moon does not smile in the series itself until the very end.
During a confrontation with her current self as Princess Sailor Moon, Serenity states to Usagi that she has no qualms about destroying the world if Endymion is ever taken from her. Usagi pleads with her not to use the powers too much, but Serenity refuses to listen. Usagi struggles to suppress her power in fear that she will eventually destroy the world, something that comes to light in the series finale. Usagi's internal conflict forces her to undergo endurance training to keep her powers and her Princess Serenity persona at bay. For a while, Usagi is successful in keeping both at bay by keeping from thinking negative thoughts. However, when she is forced to kill a possessed Mamoru, Serenity overcame Usagi's resistance and transforms into Princess Sailor Moon. Serenity even summons her own special minions to fight the other Sailor Guardians, all bearing moon-shaped signs similar to hers, to prevent them from stopping her. Princess Sailor Moon successfully destroys the world once again, but eventually Serenity realizes the extent of her own consequences in doing so.
Princess Sailor Moon has a sword, which also doubles as a harp with invisible strings. She plays this in sorrow while thinking of her lost prince, and is capable of using it to heal people and the land. Other than this, the exact effect of playing the harp is unclear, but much of the time it causes the power of her Silver Crystal to feed the power of Queen Metaria, accelerating the devastation of the planet. Using the sword in its capacity as a weapon, Princess Sailor Moon can deflect enemy attacks and can unleash devastating projectile attacks. She also has the ability to levitate and to teleport.
Like other characters unique to the live-action series, Princess Sailor Moon's outfit was designed by Naoko Takeuchi herself. Her sailor outfit was considerably more elaborate than Sailor Moon's, and included pearls on her gloves and lace on her skirt.
During the second major story arc, it is revealed that Usagi, as Serenity, will eventually become the queen regnant of a new Silver Millennium called Crystal Tokyo, which will already exist in the 30th century. She is first seen in this future form in Act 16 of the manga and Episode 68 of the anime. Usagi learns that she will be given the title "Sovereign of Earth", and Mamoru will become King Endymion alongside her. It is stated in the anime that she becomes Neo-Queen Serenity after warding off a second Ice Age, though the specifics of this are never discussed. This incarnation is shown to be more mature than the present day Usagi, though she still has her moments — in Episode 104, Chibiusa gives the Sailor Soldiers a letter from the future, in which the Queen asks them to train her — the letter is simplistic and contains almost no kanji. Also, in Episode 146, Diana says that the King and Queen would sometimes play sick to get out of things. Letters she sends though the Door of Space-Time to Chibiusa are sometimes signed with a drawing of herself, (and sometimes King Endymion), instead of a name.
According to Diana, Neo-Queen Serenity is Usagi's most powerful form; Eternal Sailor Moon is second in power only to the Queen. However, in the manga, Neo-Queen Serenity addresses the present-day Sailor Soldiers, stating that after she became queen, she lost her power as a Sailor Soldier. However, this could simply mean that she is no longer able to transform into Sailor Moon, for she does still demonstrate a considerable amount of power (e.g.: reviving the citizens of 30th Century Tokyo with the Spiral Heart Moon Rod and bestowing the Sailor Soldiers with "Planet Powers" and her own past self with new "Cosmic Powers"). Furthermore, in the second arc of the anime she does not transform into Sailor Moon despite the fact that the other Sailor Soldiers have already transformed, and that her kingdom was under attack. However, she is still seen showing great powers in a flashback where King Endymion of the future describes to the present day Sailor Soldiers and Tuxedo Mask the great feats of Neo-Queen Serenity during the time she brought about peace. Sailors Uranus and Neptune refer to her as the "Messiah of Peace" or the "True Messiah" standing opposite the Messiah of Silence, Mistress 9.
She wears an altered version of the dress she wore as a princess, with the shoulder pieces omitted and a large, wing-shaped bow replacing the smaller one of the princess outfit. In the manga, Neo-Queen Serenity's dress is similar to her past form's outfit. She also wears a crown and new earrings. The crescent moon is always visible on her forehead, just as it was with her princess form. Her face and facial expressions are drawn to look more mature than the 20th century Usagi, but her iconic hairstyle is retained.
In the original anime and manga series, this form is the one that Chibiusa considers as truly being her mother, while Usagi of the past is regarded as more of a big-sister figure, and many characters often mistake them for sisters. In the English-dubbed anime, however, "Rini" frequently refers to her as "Mama" in her civilian or Sailor Soldier forms. Although aware of the situation, Chibiusa rarely does this (except in such situations as in episode 172, and in the R finale. In the English dub version of Sailor Moon R: The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie, Chibiusa also refers to her as her mother.) and calls her by name instead.
Special powers and items
Usagi is not shown using any special powers in her civilian form. She must first transform into a Sailor Soldier by wearing a special device (usually a brooch) and shouting a special command, which activates the device. Her original transformation command is "Moon Prism Power, Make Up!" (when dubbed the "Make Up!" part was dropped). She gains a new basic transformation sequence for each of the five major story arcs. In her basic form, the command changes as she becomes more powerful and obtains new transformation devices, evoking "Moon Crystal Power" and later "Moon Cosmic Power". A transformation into Super Sailor Moon initially requires her to already be in Sailor Soldier form and to use an additional item (called the Holy Chalice/Rainbow Moon Cálice/Purity Chalice (English dub name)) as well as the command "Crisis, Make Up!" (known as "Moon Crisis Power!" in the English dub) but in the anime this saps her strength. For the fourth story arc she gains the ability to transform directly into Super Sailor Moon via Moon Crisis (known as Moon Cosmic Dream Action in the English dub), and in the fifth arc becomes Eternal Sailor Moon with Silver Moon Crystal Power in the manga, or Moon Eternal in the anime (and once in the manga). At first, she is required to be in her Super Sailor Moon form, in the anime, to become Eternal Sailor Moon, as the upgrade to her Brooch is temporary. When facing off with Nehelleina for the final time, the Brooch is permanently upgraded allowing her to become Eternal Sailor Moon directly.
Most of Sailor Moon's anime transformation sequences involve the use of shiny red or pink ribbons that fly out of her brooch and form her uniform. Feathers and wings also figure prominently in some sequences, particularly the transformation into Eternal Sailor Moon. When she de-transforms, the ribbons reappear and unravel from around her body and go back into the brooch. Usually the clothes she was wearing before she transformed reappear, but if her de-transformation is forced, she may be left naked with the ribbons hanging loose around her body. She also has the Disguise Pen, which allows her to take on a human disguise by saying "Moon Power!" (known as "Disguise Power!" in the English dub.) This is used very frequently in the first story arc, but is only mentioned once during the third arc.
As the protagonist and leader, Sailor Moon has the most special powers of any character in the series. Her physical attacks, usually one-offs and not always successful, include Sailor Moon Kick and Sailor Body Attack, as well as the occasional use of her hair pins as projectile weapons. In her very first battle, she cries in terror and the red hair pieces on her odango amplify the sound waves, doing damage to the enemy. Her odango ornaments can also be used to hear faraway sounds, although this is rarely ever used.
General magic attacks are her most common type of power. In each adaptation of the series she can remove her tiara and turn it into a throwing weapon, which is her first major attack and which she continues to use on occasion far into the anime series. In the anime she demonstrates the ability to control the path of her Tiara, and once, to enlarge it and then shrink it around the enemy, ensnaring them. In the manga, a powered-up tiara enables her to attack with Moon Twilight Flash while in the live-action series this move requires an item called the Moon Stick and is her primary attack, though she also sometimes uses unnamed beam attacks. In the manga and anime she only uses the Moon Stick to perform Moon Healing Escalation (known as Moon Healing Activation in the English dub) and return possessed humans to their normal selves; Luna says in the anime that this item belongs to the leader of the Sailor Soldiers. In the anime, she once uses her tiara to purify a group of possessed people, and in the live-action series she can heal others without any incantation. Sailor Moon has one or two primary attacks per story arc, most of which require a unique rod or wand, such as the Moon Stick in the first series, which is used for Moon Healing Escalation, the Moon Rod in the second series, which is used for Moon Princess Halation, the Spiral Heart Moon Rod in the third series, which is used for Moon Spiral Heart Attack and Rainbow Moon Heart Ache, the Moon Kaleidoscope in the fourth series, which is used for Moon Gorgeous Meditation, and the Eternal Tiare in the fifth series, which is used for Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss and Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss. In the anime, each attack causes a monster to shout a phrase and revert to what it was made from or to dust.
A handful of powers come up only once and in critical situations; often the common repeating powers in the anime are only one-offs in the manga. In the anime, Sailor Moon uses her transformation command when battling Queen Metaria and when turning the Ayakashi Sisters into normal women. She says Moon Cosmic Power when struggling to destroy Pharaoh 90, and at the end of the series uses Silver Moon Crystal Eternal Power to fight Chaos.
Sailor Moon can be temporarily powered-up by the other Sailor Soldiers lending her their powers, as shown in the climax of the Sailor Moon R movie and multiple times throughout the series. She also often attacks in tandem with her daughter, Sailor Chibi Moon, and, at critical moments, receives power from individuals such as Luna, Queen Serenity, her future self, Mamoru, ChibiChibi, and others.
In terms of personal items, Sailor Moon attaches particular importance and sentimental value to her gold locket, known as an orgel. In the anime it plays a version of "Moonlight Densetsu", the opening theme for the series. Sailor Moon finds it after it is dropped by Tuxedo Mask. It is a relic of their past lives, which she had given to him as a gift. Sailor Moon uses this locket in moments of sadness caused by her separation from Mamoru.
By far, Sailor Moon's most important item is the Silver Crystal (銀水晶 Ginzuishō?). Its full name translates as "Illusion Silver Crystal" (幻の銀水晶 Maboroshi no Ginzuishō?), "Phantom Silver Crystal", or other names, but the series frequently refers to it by its shortened title. The English-dubbed anime sometimes calls it the "Imperium Silver Crystal" — as well as various other names.
The Silver Crystal possesses tremendous power, capable of reviving an entire world from ruin, but the strain of using such power often costs the user her life - as the power actually derives from the life force of the Moon dynasty, the members of which alone can actually use it. The anime shows this happening three times. The first time is in a flashback with Queen Serenity, and the second time when Usagi defeats Queen Metaria at the end of season one and finally, in the R movie. It is shown as the source of Neo-Queen Serenity's power during the age of Silver Millennium; Usagi Tsukino and Chibiusa each go on to inherit the Crystal in some form.
Both the anime and manga commonly portray the Silver Crystal as possibly the single most powerful artifact in the universe, able to focus the energy of its wielder to perform magnificent feats. However, several artifacts rival it in strength, including the Black Crystal of the Death Phantom and the Saffer Crystal of Sailor Galaxia. In the fifth series of the anime, the crystal also appears to double as the Star Seed of Sailor Moon, which was hinted at in the R movie, and the manga implies that it is her Sailor Crystal. It takes on a multitude of shapes, including round, diamond, rose, heart, star, and lotus, and it turns pink while stored within the brooches of both Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon.
Because Chibiusa comes from the future and will eventually inherit the Silver Crystal from Usagi, two versions of it exist in the series. After the first and second story arcs, the owners of the crystals keep them in their respective transformation brooches and only remove them in times of urgent need. Emily Ravenwood argues that the Silver Crystal, which "saves the day," comes forth from Usagi's tear, and therefore represents internal attributes.
The anime features seven rainbow crystals that had the Seven Great Monsters, the most powerful monster in the Dark Kingdom, sealed into them. Thanks to the power of Queen Serenity, they were sealed within seven separate shards of the Silver Crystal and carried to Earth where they were reincarnated centuries later, with no memories of their prior existences. All seven rainbow crystals (and, as in the manga, one of Usagi's tears) are needed to recombine into the Silver Crystal.
Conception and creation
In the initial proposal for the Sailor Moon series, each of the five heroines had a completely unique outfit. Eventually it was determined that they would wear uniforms based on a single theme, and Sailor Moon's costume concept was the closest to that which would eventually be used for all the girls. The original did have some small differences, including color changes, an exposed midriff, and ribbons around the gloves and boots. She also had a mask, which would appear in a few chapters of the manga itself before being discarded. These aspects of Sailor Moon's costume are shown in multiple pieces of early artwork, along with a gun and cloak, which were also parts of the original concept.
Takeuchi based Usagi's signature hairstyle on a "good luck charm" during her studies as a university student. Takeuchi would put her own hair up in odango before difficult classes or exams. In the initial sketches, Sailor Moon had pink hair. By the intermediate stages of development, Takeuchi planned to have the character's hair be blond in civilian form and change to silver when she transformed. Her editor, Fumio Osano, told her that silver hair would be too plain for cover art. Despite this, stylistic use of differently colored hair does sometimes appear in later artwork, and the concept of the heroines' hair changing color when transformed is used in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.
Of all the Sailor Soldiers, Usagi's personality is closest to Takeuchi's own personality at the time Sailor Moon was created.
The kanji of Usagi's surname translate as "moon" (月 tsuki?) and "field" (野 no?). Her given name is in hiragana usagi (うさぎ?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself (兎?) means "rabbit" and this is used as a pun frequently throughout the series, even in her hairstyle and possessions. Her entire name is structured as a pun, as the syllable "no" indicates a possessive, so that her name can also be understood as "Rabbit of the Moon." This derives from a Japanese folktale about the rabbit that is said to be visible in the Moon's face, much like the Western Man in the Moon. The English-language manga gives her the nickname Bunny to partially preserve this pun; many other localizations use the name Bunny as well. "Usagi" is not a common given name in Japan.
Similarly for the DIC/Cloverway adaptation, "Serena" is probably at least in part a play on the word Selene, a moon goddess in Greek mythology who fell in love with a shepherd named Endymion. It also derives from the name of the series' moon princess, which is alternately either "Selenity" (from Selene) or "Serenity" (from the Sea of Serenity on the moon), both of which would be rendered in Japanese as [seɽeneti]. In an early DiC promotional tape that advertised Sailor Moon to television stations, Usagi was called Victoria. Another preliminary name that appeared on Kodansha's English website in an advertisement for the series was Celeste.
In the Japanese version of the entire Sailor Moon anime series and subsequent related media, Usagi has been voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi. For this role, Mitsuishi used a higher voice than her natural voice. During recording sessions of the early episodes, Mitsuishi had to mentally prepare herself to play Usagi. While Mitsuishi was away having her appendix removed during production of episodes 44–50, Kae Araki voiced Usagi as a stand-in. Mitsuishi reprises her role as Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon Crystal anime adaptation.
In the DIC/Cloverway English adaptation of the anime, Usagi's name is changed to Serena Tsukino and is voiced by Tracey Moore (episodes 1–11, 15 and 21), Terri Hawkes (episodes 12-14, 16–20, 22–82, and films) and Linda Ballantyne (episodes 83-159). American singer Jennifer Cihi provided the English vocals for Serena's songs in the series. Hawkes had said that Serena is "a girl as well as an emerging young woman." Hawkes appeared at a few conventions in the 1990s and early 2010s to promote the series, and has expressed interest in reprising the role in the future. She was on maternity leave during production of the S and SuperS seasons, and was unable to reprise her role. When she first recorded the series, Ballantyne attempted to emulate Hawkes, but soon found it difficult to perform. She wanted the character to "have a lot more fun and just be a goofy teenager." Ballantyne cited her performance as "just more flighty…. Until of course the world needed to be saved." In the Viz Media English adaptation, her voice is supplied by Stephanie Sheh.
In the stage musicals five actresses have played Usagi: Anza Ohyama (whose younger sister Chiho later played Sailor Jupiter), Fumina Hara, Miyuki Kanbe (who played the character with a "cute and high voice"), Marina Kuroki and Satomi Ōkubo.
In the SuperS Musicals, Sanae Kimura, who played Sailor Uranus, provided the voice of Neo-Queen Serenity during Over the Moon, a duet between Sailor Moon and Neo-Queen Serenity, though a third, unknown person, was on stage in Serenity's costume as both Sailor Moon and Uranus were onstage. Uncredited body doubles are common in the musicals to allow the character to appear to transform instantly.
In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Usagi was portrayed by Miyū Sawai; she also portrayed Queen Serenity in the Special Act though her voice was provided by Yoko Soumi who previously narrated a book in Act 9.
In Robot Chicken, Sailor Moon faces one of Queen Beryl's minions, who develops a visible erection after her transformation because her very short skirt exposes her underpants without her even having to move. Sailor Moon and Luna are grossed out, while the monster is forced to withdraw in embarrassment. Sailor Moon was voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Reception and legacy
Sheila Rose Browning describes Sailor Moon as "one of the most popular and well-known manga characters in Japan". Sailor Moon's character has been singled out as less-than-feminist because her favorite class is home economics and her least favorite is math. Usagi influenced the hairstyle and personality of Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion. IGN listed Sailor Moon as the 9th top anime character. Rebecca Silverman, writing about the 2011 re-release of the Sailor Moon manga, felt that Usagi's initial hesitancy about whether she is good enough to be Sailor Moon added authenticity to her claim to be an "ordinary girl." Silverman states that along with Itazura na Kiss and Marmalade Boy, Usagi gave rise to an "unintelligent heroine" character type, but feels that even in the first volume, Usagi's determination sets her apart.
- "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R Image Singles". Sailormusic.net. 1994-04-21. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
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- Grigsby considers this reluctance to "substantially undermine the agency of the character", p.72 ; but Anne Allison considers this to be one of the three key attributes of the series' appeal Allison, Anne (2000). "A Challenge to Hollywood? Japanese Character Goods Hit the US". Japanese Studies (Routledge) 20 (1): 67–88. doi:10.1080/10371390050009075.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 6, 1993, March 5, 1995). "Act 15". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 4. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178753-5.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). "Back of volume". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 10. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178806-X.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (September 6, 1995). "Act 34". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 12. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178814-0.
- The other characters are unable to make out her drawing of Luna once in Stars, but her drawings of Serenity and Endymion in R are clear enough (though childlike).
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon album I. Kodansha. April 1993. ISBN 4-06-177734-3., as noted in "Ken Arromdee's Sailor Moon FAQ".
- Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Episode 101". Sailor Moon Uncensored. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 6, 1992, September 5, 1996). "Act 1". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178721-7.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (April 4, 1997, December 10, 1998). "Act 52". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 18. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178858-2. She makes a decision for the group to not stay as star forms; this contrasts where she would run away and cry at the beginning of the series. In the anime, Usagi never has to face the harsh decisions she makes in this last act, making her mature more thoroughly in the manga than the anime.
- Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Act 5.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 6, 1994). "Act 23". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 7. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178781-0.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (1995). "Act 30". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 09. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3.
- "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Moon Calendar - Minitokyo". Gallery.minitokyo.net. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
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- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 41". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (2001). Sailor Moon Volume 18. Los Angeles: Tokyo Pop. ISBN 1-892213-97-4.
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- Takeuchi, Naoko (August 23, 2004). Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon shinsouban Story Collection Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN.
- Sailor Moon R: The Movie before Serena transforms into Sailor Moon Chibiusa says: "Now do you're thing Moon-mama" and in Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie after the other Sailor Soldiers talk about memories of cookies with their mothers, Chibiusa says, "You're all lucky to have nice stories, I'm stuck with a Meatball-head mom from the future, who's specialty is burnt anything, especially cookies." Also in SuperS: The Movie after she is captured instead of shouting for "Sailor Moon" she instead shouts "Mom!"
- First used in the first episode. In the English versions, Usagi does not say 'Make Up' when transforming, although it is sometimes replaced with "Transform!"
- [dead link]
- Act 42 and Episode 168, respectively. Requires an unnamed object in the manga and the Holy Moon Chalice in the anime.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (July 6, 1992, September 5, 1996). "Act 2". Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 1. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178721-7. She uses these once as an attack against the monster that is throwing paper as a defense.
- Takeuchi, Naoko; Bandai (1996-07-08). "Pretty Guardian Sailormoon homepage". Retrieved 2007-07-04. It was listed as an attack on the Moon Prism Box
- In the manga, this is noted as Chou Onpa (超音波 chō onpa?, super sound waves) and is used again in episode 153, this time in tandem with Sailor Chibi Moon.
- [dead link]
- Takeuchi, Naoko (September 6, 1992, April 6, 1996). Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volume 2. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178731-4.
- Takeuchi, Naoko. "Manga Style - Early Designs". Retrieved 2007-02-16. (translated by Michelle Bacon of Manga Style)
- Takeuchi, Naoko (October 23, 2003). Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Shinsouban Volume 3. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-334783-4.
- Interview of Naoko Takeuchi at the San Diego Comic-con. Smile. December 1998. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
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- Grigsby, Mary (1998). "Sailormoon: Manga (Comics) and Anime (Cartoon) Superheroine Meets Barbie: Global Entertainment Commodity Comes to the United States" The Journal of Popular Culture 32 (1) 59–80 doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1998.3201_59.x
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- Robot Chicken: Sailor Moon is Hot (YouTube). Adult Swim. 2012-01-29.
- Robot Chicken: Queen Beryl is Hot (YouTube). Adult Swim. 2012-01-29.
- Robot Chicken: Queen Beryl's Evil Plan (YouTube). Adult Swim. 2012-01-29.
- Browning, Sheila Rose.; Takeuchi, Naoko (2004) Pretty little girl warriors: a study of images of femininity in Japanese Sailor Moon comics Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Missouri-Columbia. page 2
- 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.
- 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン完全攻略読本, 1997, Shinseiki Fukuin Kyoukai, ISBN 4-380-97219-4
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- "Sailor Moon GN 1 - Review". Anime News Network. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-08-01.