Sailor Saturn

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Sailor Saturn
Sailor Moon character
Sailor Saturn in her original uniform with her Silence Glaive, as drawn by Naoko Takeuchi.
First appearance Sailor Moon chapter #24: "Infinity 1 – Premonition" (1994)
Created by Naoko Takeuchi
Played by (See below)
Aliases Hotaru Tomoe
Princess Saturn
Mistress 9 (when possessed)
Mysterious Girl (musicals only)[1]
Kon (musicals only)[2]
Affiliations Sailor Soldiers
Death Busters (when possessed)
Dead Moon Circus (musicals)[1]
Shadow Galactica (manga)
Powers and abilities Destructive powers, generation of force field, psychic powers, healing powers

Sailor Saturn (セーラーサターン Sērā Satān?) is a fictional lead character in Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon media franchise. The alternate identity of Hotaru Tomoe (土萠 ほたる Tomoe Hotaru?), a Japanese schoolgirl. Hotaru is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Saturn is featured in the third season of the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon S, and a few episodes of the fifth season, Sailor Stars. She possesses powers associated with destruction, death, and rebirth; she has the ability to annihilate a planet and even an entire star system, as well as resetting the evolution of the same to zero.


Hotaru is first introduced when she becomes friends with Chibiusa. She did not have friends until she met Chibiusa and Usagi. In the anime she was not popular with her classmates because of her powers and her strange seizures, as well as personality changes for being the host of Mistress 9, the evil entity that lived in her after the age of 5. Naoko Takeuchi, the series creator, describes her as delicate, quiet, precocious, and expressionless.[3]

Hotaru Tomoe, as seen in the 1990s anime

In the manga, there was a lab accident which killed Hotaru's mother, Keiko, and critically injured Hotaru. Souichi Tomoe, Hotaru's father, rescued her by making her body cybernetic and making a deal with Master Pharaoh 90. He used Pharaoh 90's power in the hope of reviving her. In exchange, he also lost his humanity and became malevolent. After Sailor Moon prevents Sailor Saturn from destroying the world at the end of Infinity she is reborn as a baby without the cybernetic parts. She also ceases to have seizures after this point.

In the anime, she does not have a cybernetic body and is an outcast because of her powers and seizures. Her mother is deceased. Her father does not die like in the manga, but lives after the end of Sailor Moon S. He takes care of Hotaru until Sailor Pluto asks for her in the first part of Sailor Moon Stars. It is unknown if she returns to her father after the battle.

Hotaru's age fluctuates during the series; she is first introduced as a 12-year-old, is reborn as an infant, quickly develops into a young child around 4, 5, or 8 then reaches her proper chronological age after a metaphysical epiphany. As Sailor Saturn, Hotaru can destroy planets. Her powers awaken once the three Talisman of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto gather and resonate. Saturn reveals in the Infinity arc of the manga that this power is necessary, because rebirth cannot happen without death. It was Saturn who destroyed the remnants of the war-torn Moon Kingdom, allowing a new world to be born. At first, knowledge of her powers caused the other Outer Soldiers to attempt to kill her unawakened form. However, Saturn's awakening ultimately saved the world by forcing Master Pharaoh 90 to escape to his former universe before being destroyed with Earth. Sailor Pluto then sealed the gateway to their dimension so that he could never return and Super Sailor Moon used her powers as Neo-Queen Serenity to resurrect all that had been destroyed.

In the manga, after Professor Tomoe's death, Hotaru becomes the adopted daughter of Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh and Setsuna Meioh. She refers to them as Haruka-papa, Michiru-mama and Setsuna-mama. They live together in an Empire Victorian House.

In the musicals, Professor Tomoe is only present in a few stages, though Sailor Saturn appears in every musical from the third on. In musicals where Tomoe is absent, Hotaru is presented as being in the care of Haruka and Michiru. During Last Dracul Jokyoku, Hotaru is presented in the care of Professor Tomoe, knowing of the existence of the Sailor Soldiers, yet not awakening as Sailor Saturn until halfway through the musical.

Aspects and forms[edit]

As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime virtually spanned between the Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Hotaru gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.

Sailor Saturn[edit]

Sailor Saturn, Hotaru's Soldier form, wears a purple and brown uniform. The initial version of this uniform has petal-shaped sleeves, a windrose brooch and choker with the same kind of windrose, gloves, and knee-high, laced-up stiletto boots. She is given various specific titles, including Soldier of Silence,[4] Soldier of Destruction,[4] and Soldier of Death and Rebirth.[5]

Sailor Saturn carries the Silence Glaive, which she may use to bring about the destruction of a world or worlds. However, she has the ability to heal minor wounds in both her civilian and Soldier forms. In the anime, Hotaru (in civilian form) healed Chibiusa's knee scrape when she was dealing the "monster of the day".[citation needed] However it was revealed that healing even a very minor injury like that would leave her in a weakened state due to her sickly constitution prior to her death and rebirth.

In the manga, Sailor Saturn is said not to have lived among the other Sailor Soldiers on Silver Millennium. Additionally, Sailors Neptune, Uranus and Pluto were not supposed to be reborn when the Kingdom was destroyed,[6] but they gathered together because of its destruction, and their Talismans reacted and accidentally awakened Saturn from her sleep. She then killed the remnants of Silver Millennium and they were all reborn on Earth. After their rebirth, the Talismans, which were never meant to be on the same planet, reunited and ended up awakening the spirit/soul of Sailor Saturn within Hotaru in the present day.

Sailor Saturn gains additional powers as the series progresses, 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 Saturn 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 168 of the anime, and she is given the name Super Sailor Saturn. A third, manga-only form appears in Act 42, also unnamed, but analogous to Eternal Sailor Moon (sans wings).[7]

Princess Saturn[edit]

According to the manga, on Silver Millennium, Sailor Saturn was also the princess of her home planet. She was among those given the duty of protecting the Solar System's Outer Rim. As Princess Saturn, she dwelt in Titan Castle and wore a purple gown—she appears in this form in the original manga and in supplementary art.[8][9] Unlike the other Sailor Soldiers, it is stated that Saturn did not awaken on Silver Millennium until after it was destroyed so Princess Saturn's exact status during that time is unclear.

Mistress 9[edit]

Main article: Mistress 9

During the third story arc of the manga and the anime adaptations, Hotaru's body was possessed by an alien known as Mistress 9. She was used as a tool of the Death Busters during this time. Mistress 9 was used to bring the demonic Pharaoh 90 to Earth so that he could destroy it. He was only stopped by the reawakened Sailor Saturn, who requested Sailor Pluto to seal away the entity into his world, preventing him from returning to Earth.

Mysterious Girl[edit]

In the musical Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... and its revision, Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!, Hotaru takes the alias of a girl with no name while under the control of the Dead Moon Circus, who beat and ridicule her. Her memories are seemingly erased and she is given the powers to enter and alter people's dreams. Only Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto realize who she really is. In the original musical, it is only implied that she is Hotaru, and it is stated but not shown that she is Sailor Saturn. Her actual awakening as Saturn is also ambiguous, while implied, it's not shown and she is simply shown as a normal girl at the end of the musical. In the revision, her identity as Hotaru is stated plainly, and she awakens on-stage as Saturn, after being saved by the other Sailor Soldiers and appears transformed moments later.


In all four of the Kaguya Island musicals, Hotaru is possessed by a spirit named Kon, who speaks through Hotaru to the other Sailor Soldiers. When Hotaru awakens she has no memory of what happened while Kon possessed her body. Kon is the remnant of stars destroyed by Dark Plasman and the comet Coatl. In the first two of these musicals, she gives her power to Sailor Moon in the final battle to allow her to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. Kon was given the song "Hitosuji no Hikari no Kokoro" in her appearances.

Special powers and items[edit]

Sailor Saturn using the Silence Glaive to perform Death Reborn Revolution in Sailor Moon Crystal.

While several Sailor Soldiers have unusual powers as civilians, Hotaru's are numerous and varied. Some of these are portrayed only in the third story arc, when she is possessed by Mistress 9; these include force-fields and energy beams that arise when she is in danger, often involuntary. As shown in that arc, she also has the ability to heal minor flesh wounds. In both the manga and anime she is reborn as an infant immediately upon fulfilling her task as Sailor Saturn,[10] and later, when she is needed in that role again, grows to her former age in a matter of days. Eventually she is visited by an image of other self, Sailor Saturn, who bestows power on her again.

Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto gained their second evolved transformation when Hotaru gives them their Sailor Crystals after she has regained her teenage body. In the anime, Hotaru is still a baby when her power floods Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, upgrading them and herself to their evolved Super forms. In both versions, Hotaru has visions of coming events, especially of danger, and can project these visions to other people. When she is a young girl, she creates a small projection of the galaxy which hovers in the air in her room, simulating astronomical history at high speed. However, it is only in the manga that Haruka stays with her while she reproduces these events to help keep her increasingly powerful abilities in check.

Her transformation into Sailor Saturn is rare. The transformation sequence into her Soldier form is never shown in the main series, although one of the video games included a shortened transformation sequence, which she initiated by raising her hand in the air (like the other Sailor Soldiers) and shouting "Saturn Planet Power, Make up!".[11] In the manga she eventually gains her Saturn Crystal and does transform in front of the other Soldiers, evoking Saturn Crystal Power! Make Up!.[12] In the anime, although she does upgrade to Super Sailor Saturn, the command Saturn Crystal Power is never mentioned and her transformation is again not shown on-screen.

Sailor Saturn's powers are mostly based on Roman mythology, in which Saturn is the god of the harvest.[13] In western astrology, the planet Saturn is known as "the Greater Malefic", "the Old Taskmaster" and "the Grim Reaper."[14] In Act 37 of the manga, Sailor Saturn refers to herself as "the harbinger of death" and her primary role is that of the destroyer. As such, her awakening is greatly feared by Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Her first act upon arrival is to assault Master Pharaoh 90 with the attack "Death Reborn Revolution."[15] The kanji used with this maneuver translate to "Death World Revolution" (死世界変革?), with the intended pronunciation given in furigana.[16]

The item most associated with Sailor Saturn is her Silence Glaive, which, apart from its capacity as a bladed weapon, figures in many of her named attacks. It is referred to by Sailor Neptune as the "scythe of the Goddess of Death,"[17] and the act of lowering its point to the ground is all that is required for her to "bring ruin to the world". It is essentially a planet-destroying weapon of mass destruction. No incantation is spoken, and this action is separated from "Death Reborn Revolution" by the dialogue given in between the two maneuvers.[18] In the anime, Sailor Saturn will die if she uses this ability, and Super Sailor Moon risks her life to prevent Saturn from doing so, after Saturn defeats Master Pharaoh 90. In the manga, Sailor Saturn deliberately allows herself to be sucked into Master Pharaoh 90's dimension while he is escaping.

When Sailor Saturn returns near the end of the fourth story arc (which overflows into the beginning of the fifth anime series), several more attacks are introduced. She defends herself and her allies with Silence Wall (不動城壁?, "motionless rampart"),[19] a dome of dark energy that deflects attacks, and attacks with Silence Glaive Surprise (沈黙鎌奇襲?, "silence sickle surprise attack"). In the anime this attack is used against Nehellenia; seeing no other way to defeat her, Saturn intends to bring down her Glaive and destroy everything, but before she manages to strike the ground Sailor Chibi Moon throws herself at Saturn to stop her from completing the action and sacrificing her life, nevertheless, the Glaive releases massive power that destroys most of Nehellenia's palace.[20]

In the manga series, the Death Busters use a power source called the Taioron Crystal, which was once worn by Hotaru's late mother, Keiko Tomoe. After her death, Professor Tomoe gives it to Hotaru in order to ease the pain she must frequently endure.[21] The Saturn Crystal is her Sailor Crystal and the source of all her power, which becomes especially important in the fifth story arc.


In the original character sketches, Takeuchi drew Sailor Saturn with a brown staff rather than her Silence Glaive. Her Sailor Uniform was also different with purple sleeves rather than white, there was no windrose on her chest, and the third band on her gloves was sheer with a point. Her choker also differed from the final version having a gold 6-pointed star rather than the present choker.[3]

The kanji of Hotaru's surname translate as "earth" ( to?) and "sprouting" ( moe?). The former comes from the name of her planet in Japanese, Dosei (土星 Earth Star?). Her given name is in hiragana hotaru (ほたる?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself means "firefly" (?), and this meaning is used at least once as a pun.[22] Fireflies are associated with spirits of the dead in Japanese mythology, referring to her status as the Soldier of death and rebirth. In the Cloverway English dub, she is the only member of the Sailor Soldiers to retain her original name. This maybe because of Cloverway's attempt to make it more loyal to the Japanese version and the rushed production to finish it on time for Toonami's summer lineup. However, while she also keeps her surname like the other Soldiers, the "e" is silent. In the Mixx (now Tokyopop) manga, Hotaru was once named Jenny; Mixx later admitted this was a mistake and changed her name back.[citation needed] In English fandubs she was named Helen, which means "shining light" or "light bringer". The symbol for Saturn, ♄, resembles a monogram of Hotaru's initials and is also a similar shape to her Silence Glaive. This is Earth element ruler Saturn.


In the Japanese anime series, Hotaru has been voiced by Yūko Minaguchi. In the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal, she is voiced by Yukiyo Fujii. In the Cloverway English adaptation produced in association with Optimum Productions, she is voiced by Jennifer Gould. In the Viz Media English adaptation, she is voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos.

In the stage musicals, Hotaru has been played by ten actresses: Keiko Takeda, Chihiro Imai, Asami Sanpei, Mao Mita, Mario Tomioka, Ayami Kakiuchi, Ruria Nakamura, Yui Iizuka, Eriko Funakoshi and Karin Takahashi.[23]

Reception and influence[edit]

The official Sailor Moon popularity polls listed Hotaru Tomoe and Sailor Saturn as separate characters. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Sailor Saturn was the third most popular character and Hotaru was the fourth.[24] In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Saturn was the sixth most popular character, and Hotaru was the seventh.[25]

It has been suggested that moe comes from a contraction of her last name, but this is considered a false etymology.[26][27]

Tsubame Sanjou of Rurouni Kenshin had her final design based on Hotaru.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sailor Moon SuperS Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... and Sailor Moon SuperS [Kaiteiban] Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!
  2. ^ 1999 Spring Special Musical Kaguya Shima Densetsu, Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu, and their revisions.
  3. ^ a b Takeuchi, Naoko (October 1999). Materials Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324521-7. 
  4. ^ a b Takeuchi, Naoko (February 6, 1995). "Act 30". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 9. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178797-7. 
  5. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (March 6, 1996). "Act 39". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 14. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178826-4. 
  6. ^ Stated by Luna in Volume 9
  7. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 42". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  8. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 41". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  9. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (September 1996). Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Original Picture Collection. IV. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324519-5. 
  10. ^ Manga Act 33, anime Episode 125.
  11. ^ Sailor Saturn's transformation is shown in the video game Sailor Moon SuperS - Various Emotion for the Sega Saturn. No transformation device is shown. The same phrase, with no accompanying sequence, is also used in Sailor Moon: Another Story and other video games.
  12. ^ Act 39, when she acquires her second uniform. No new phrase is used for her third uniform.
  13. ^ In Greek mythology, Saturn is called Cronos. He is not the same as Chronos, god of time.
  14. ^ Donna Cunningham (1994). An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness. Dubois Publishing. ISBN 9780916360573. 
  15. ^ Act 33. Never used in the anime, where her most destructive and deadly attack on Pharaoh 90 is not directly shown.
  16. ^ The visual effect of the attack looks like thousands of ribbons, making the name of the attack a pun on "Reborn" and "Ribbon", which sound very similar in Japanese.
  17. ^ Act 33.
  18. ^ Act 33. After Sailor Saturn has banished Pharaoh 90, the others watch it go, and Sailor Uranus thinks, "She'll bring down the silence glaive. Along with the monster, this world will end!" Translation by Alex Glover. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  19. ^ "Silence Wall" in manga Act 39. First appears in anime Episode 172, once with the incantation and once without. Appears again in Episodes 196 and 197, here bearing the name "Silent Wall." The Silent Wall name also appears in the musicals.
  20. ^ Act 39 and Episode 172. When Sailor Saturn and the other Soldiers are controlled by Galaxia in Act 50, she uses Galactica Glaive Surprise. She also joins with a mind-controlled Eternal Sailor Pluto for Galactica Cannon which badly hurt Eternal Sailor Moon and caused her angelic wings to shatter.
  21. ^ First appears in Act 25.
  22. ^ Episode 115 is titled "Shadow of Silence!? The Pale Glimmer of a Firefly."
  23. ^ "eternal.legend". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  24. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 10. Kodansha. pp. 138–139. ISBN 4-06-178806-X. 
  25. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  26. ^ "Ask John: What is Moe?". AnimeNation. January 30, 2004. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  27. ^ Galbraith, Patrick W. "Moe and the Potential of Fantasy in Post-Millennial Japan". ejcjs. October 31, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  28. ^ Rurouni Kenshin Volume 5 (The Secret Life of Characters, Sanjou Tsubame), p. 68

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