The Sailor Starlights. From left to right, top row: Taiki, Seiya and Yaten; bottom row: Sailor Star Maker, Sailor Star Fighter and Sailor Star Healer.
|Story arc:||Sailor Stars|
|Key figures:||Sailor Star Fighter (Kou Seiya)
Sailor Star Maker (Kou Taiki)
Sailor Star Healer (Kou Yaten)
|Powers and abilities:||Projectile attacks|
|English adaptation:||Seiya Lights
The Sailor Starlights (セーラースターライツ Sērā Sutāraitsu?) are a group of three fictional characters introduced in the Sailor Stars arc of the Sailor Moon media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. In the manga, they were relatively minor characters who appeared toward the end of the series to represent the vast number of Sailor Soldiers spread out across the galaxy. In the anime, however, they were given a major role, sometimes even acting as protagonists. They first appear in Act 43 of the manga and Episode 173 of the anime.
The group itself is composed of Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Maker, and Sailor Star Healer; when in civilian form they go by the pseudonyms Kou Seiya, Kou Taiki, and Kou Yaten respectively. They come from the fictional planet Kinmoku, which has been destroyed, and disguise themselves as male pop stars, The Three Lights (スリーライツ Surī Raitsu?), in order to hide their true identities as they search for their lost princess, Kakyuu.
The name "Three Lights" (also stylized as "3 Lights") is taken from the Shinto concept of san hikari (literally "three lights"). These three lights are the sun, moon, and stars, each with a specific color and properties. The roses worn by the Three Lights while in concert correspond to these three colors: the sun is red (Seiya's rose), the moon is white (Taiki's rose), and the stars are yellow (Yaten's rose). The characters' titles as Soldiers (Maker, Healer, and Fighter) may also be connected to the Hindu Trimurti: the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer.
The Starlights first appear as the "Three Lights", an all-female trio who pose as male idol singers. In their past, Princess Kakyuu leaves Kinmoku to escape Sailor Galaxia's assault, Sailor Star Fighter, Star Healer, and Star Maker abandoned the planet to find her. They are able to track Kakyuu to Earth and then Japan. The Starlights took male civilian forms - Seiya, Taiki, and Yaten - and became idol singers. They did this to attract as much attention as possible. Their music is embedded with a telepathic broadcast that the Princess (and later Usagi and Michiru) can feel, serving as a beacon to guide Kakyuu to them.
The Sailor Soldiers have at some point joined their fanclub, with Ami Mizuno being the first to discover the band (she's member #25). Only Usagi is unaware of them. Several episodes feature the Three Lights having to deal with fans. Later, the Three Lights all attend Jūban High School. As humans, they're all very popular with the Juban students. As Starlights, they distance themselves from the other Sailor Soldiers, deeming Earth as not being their responsibility. They come into conflict with the Sailors Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn on multiple occasions, as they view the Starlights as invaders. Eventually, they are killed off by Sailor Chi and Sailor Phi, Galaxia's closest servants.
In the anime only, the trio appears as males in their civilian forms, becoming women when transforming into Sailor Soldiers. The Starlights survive several direct battles with Galaxia herself, and help Usagi defeat Chaos to save Galaxia.
Their exact relationship to each other is unknown; according to the manga they are not siblings. The three share one name, Kou, which is always second when their full names are given. Because this is the location of the given name in Japanese order, it is usually assumed that they have different family names but one given name. "Kou" (光) translates to "light," among other things, making the name "Three Lights" a pun. In the English manga, "Kou" was translated to "Lights" and was used as their shared family name.
Kou Seiya (星野 光 Seiya Kō?) is the leader of the Sailor Starlights as Sailor Star Fighter (セーラースターファイター Sērā Sutā Faitā?) and the lead vocals for the Three Lights. In general, Seiya acts arrogant and tends to be, at least on the surface, confident in his/her own abilities.
Seiya becomes the star player of the local high school American football team, and becomes the school's star athlete, upsetting Haruka Tenoh, as she was the previous star athlete of the school (on the track & field team, however). Eventually, she raises the suspicions of the Sailor Soldiers as to her identity. She also develops deep feelings for Usagi, kissing her and thinking as she walks away, "We are of different stations in the universe. It might be unrequited love."
In the anime only, Taiki and Yaten consider him prone to bouts of childishness (such as when he shows off his basketball skills in front of the school), but generally follow his lead. Eventually, Seiya develops strong feelings for Usagi and his attempts to forge a bond with her provides the primary romantic tension of the season. From their first meeting on, Seiya calls Usagi odango, like Mamoru does. The two even go on a date at an amusement park, which prematurely ends when Sailor Iron Mouse attacks. Seiya makes his interest in her clear when they spend time together practicing softball, telling her, "I like your light." However, Seiya's feelings are not fully reciprocated and acknowledges the one-sided romance, finally kissing her cheek and saying "I wish I had met you sooner." After Galaxia's defeat, before leaving earth, Seiya tells Usagi he will never forget her while Usagi, oblivious to what he really meant, tells him that they will always be the greatest friends.
The relationship between Sailor Star Fighter and Princess Kakyuu is slightly ambiguous. In the manga, the princess had a lover who was killed by Galaxia. In the anime, when he daydreams of his home planet, he thinks lovingly of an image of his princess, which is suddenly superimposed by an image of Usagi (much as Usagi had seen Seiya's image overlaid by Mamoru in previous episodes). In the image poem released for his CD single, however, he suggests that his feelings for her are because he is "carrying the heart of a boy" and because he was attracted to her light.
Seiya's responsibilities in the band are lead vocals, guitar, and lyrics. S/he was seen in the anime playing the drums very angrily in their hideout because they think their princess has not heard them yet. After this, Seiya is not seen on the drums again. S/he also enjoys American football and belongs to the club at school. According to Naoko Takeuchi's words, when she created this character it was meant to be a combination between Haruka and Mamoru, and was modeled after Jenny Shimizu.
Kou Taiki (大気 光 Taiki Kō?), Sailor Star Maker (セーラースターメイカー Sērā Sutā Meikā?), is the most intellectual. His/Her abilities rival that of Ami Mizuno (see below), though s/he considers her romantic notions foolish. In the anime, Ami's appeal for him to see the good in dreaming does begin to have an effect, however. In combat with a phage, Star Maker is the first of the Starlights to willingly allow Sailor Moon to heal the monster rather than trying to kill it herself. She spares the monster only because it had been a teacher who Ami respected. Later in the series, as he is beginning to lose hope in finding Princess Kakyuu, he visits a sick girl named Misa in the hospital. She shows him a drawing of the Princess that she sees when she listens to the Three Lights' song. With renewed hope, Taiki returns to the Three Lights. In the anime, he sometimes wears glasses.
Like Yaten, Taiki believes that Seiya should stay away from Usagi after learning she is Sailor Moon, despite their wish, shared by Princess Kakyuu and the Sailor Soldiers, for them all to work together. However, his views on Usagi change for the better near the end of Sailor Stars. He seems to be the most cool headed of the trio.
Taiki's responsibilities in the band are background vocals, keyboards/synthesizer, and composition. S/he also enjoys poetry and belongs to the literature club at school. Taiki is meant to be a more distant Setsuna Meioh.
Kou Yaten (夜天 光 Yaten Kō?), Sailor Star Healer (セーラースターヒーラー Sērā Sutā Hīrā?) is a lonely person who does not like to socialize or do sports. His/Her remarks are often sharp-edged and blunt, which further separates her from the world. At one point, the other Starlights even chastise Yaten for behaving in a way that might reduce the number of fans. However, she and Luna get along well.
Yaten is a female that dresses up as a male. Blunt, and to the point, for example antagonizing Michiru Kaioh for her choice of lipstick. Yaten does not interact with the people around her much. She wants to focus on the mission most of all. She is egotistical and nurses grudges, and she hates injury.
In the anime adaptation, he has the most spiritual awareness of the Starlights, and is able to tell when Starseeds are taken by Sailor Galaxia. He views humans as untrustworthy and wants to find Princess Kakyuu so they can leave Earth as quickly as possible. This comes further to light when they discover that Usagi is Sailor Moon. Yaten believes that Seiya should stay away from Usagi, despite their wish, shared by Princess Kakyuu and the Sailor Soldiers, for them all to work together. His view is shared by Taiki as well as Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. However, also like Taiki, his views on Usagi change for the better near the end of Sailor Stars. In Yaten's civilian form in the anime, "he" is shown to be physically stronger than Makoto Kino, the strongest of the Sailor Soldiers, in her civilian form.
The Starlights are featured in several of the Sailor Moon musicals (Sailor Stars, Eien Densetsu, and their revised editions, plus Ryuusei Densetsu, and Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin). While played by women, it is meant to be ambiguous as to whether or not they take on male forms (like in the anime) or are cross-dressers (like in the manga), though their personalities are clearly from the anime. However, many cast members regard the original Three Lights during Anza Ooyama's stage to have personalities which are different from the original works., and scenes starring them are referred to as "Confusion Scenes"  In one Fankan the Trio is even referred to as "our Beloved best in the Galaxy Singing Dancing Miracle Super Monkey Guys"  Seiya is portrayed as being eager to assist the Earth's Sailor Soldiers in their battle with Galaxia, while Yaten and Taiki are more reluctant. However, Yaten is portrayed as being less cynical and more airheaded, often behaving similar to Minako Aino. Taiki is also more of a womanizer, several times hitting on Michiru by telling her that he is a big fan of her music, to which Yaten says, "You say that to every girl you meet!" Seiya is also explicitly referred to as "Leader" by the other two.
In their songs, the Starlights refer to themselves as "Soldiers of the Stars."
Of the pairings implied and explicit in the anime, only Seiya and Usagi's relationship is at all presented in the musicals. Among the musicals with Starlights, only Eien Densetsu includes Usagi and Seiya's interactions as a romantic subplot similar to the Sailor Stars anime. Sailor Moon Sailor Stars touches on a special bond between Seiya and Usagi, but it is not as deeply explored. In Ryuusei Densetsu, Mamoru is not killed by Galaxia, so there is no romantic interplay between Usagi and Seiya (though Usagi does make Mamoru jealous several times by saying Seiya is better looking than him).
In all musicals, Minako and the other Sailor Soldiers are fans of the Three Lights, as in the anime. Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are still suspicious of the Starlights, though the Haruka and Seiya rivalry is generally absent. In two of the plays, Haruka and Michiru are the first to realize that the Three Lights are also Sailor Soldiers. In all three musicals, it is the Starlights who tell the other Sailor Soldiers who they really are - the Starlights always seem to know their civilian identities without needing to be told, though Sailor Moon's ownership of the Silver Crystal is sometimes revealed by Kakyuu.
After the Starlights find Princess Kakyuu (only in Eien Densetsu, its revised edition, and Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin), they travel with the others to the Galaxy Cauldron as in the manga.
As in the anime, the Starlights are never killed by Galaxia and help protect Sailor Moon after the others are (temporarily) destroyed. Unlike the manga and anime, the other Sailor Soldiers do not always die fighting Galaxia and when they do they are always resurrected before the final battle. In some versions of the musicals, the Starlights are the only Sailor Soldiers other than Sailor Moon who successfully wound Galaxia via a combined attack, as in the anime.
The sixth musical, Shin Densetsu Kourin, features Galaxia but not the Starlights, the task of protecting Sailor Moon after the deaths of the Sailor Soldiers is instead taken by the Amazon Trio.
The Starlights have been played by Sayuri Katayama and Chinatsu Akiyama as Seiya, Hikari Ono and Akiko Nakayama as Taiki, and Momoko Okuyama and Mikako Tabe as Yaten.
Special powers and items
Like all Sailor Soldiers, the Starlights are given special powers and items that aid in their missions as soldiers of their planet and ruler.
- Fighter Star Power, Make-Up! — Changes Seiya into Sailor Star Fighter (and, in the anime, back into a female).
- Maker Star Power, Make-Up! — Changes Taiki into Sailor Star Maker (and, in the anime, back into a female).
- Healer Star Power, Make-Up! — Changes Yaten into Sailor Star Healer (and, in the anime, back into a female).
- Star Serious Laser — Sailor Star Fighter's attack, a focused light blast.
- Star Gentle Uterus — Sailor Star Maker's attack, an explosion of lights. Tokyopop altered the name to "Star Gentle Creator."
- Star Sensitive Inferno — Sailor Star Healer's attack, a circular blast of lightning.
- Star Healer Beam, Star Healer Tornado, and Star Healer Worm — additional attacks listed in the Materials Collection for Sailor Star Healer. It was never specified what they did nor were they ever used in the any version of the series.
- Star Fighter Kick, Star Fighter Punch, Star Fighter Uppercut, and Star Fighter Attack — additional attacks listed in the Materials Collection for Sailor Star Fighter. It was never specified what they did nor were they ever used in the any version of the series. The names alone show that the first three attacks were likely physical attacks.
- Star Maker Relaxation, Star Maker Strike, and Star Maker Music Box — additional attacks listed in the Materials Collection for Sailor Star Maker. It was never specified what they did nor were they ever used in the any version of the series, however little notes were added for two of them.
- Starlights Fusion Tempest — A special combined attack from all three Starlights and the only physical attack other than the Sword of Sealing able to physically hurt Sailor Galaxia. It is only named in the Eien Denstesu musical, but something similar is seen in Episode 199 of the anime. In the manga, Sailor Kakyuu uses a similarly named attack called Kinmoku Fusion Tempest.
- Star Yell — The palm sized star-shaped device used by the Starlights to launch their attacks. It is also sometimes called the Sailor Star Yell. It only appears in the anime.
- Sailor Change Star — According to Bandai, this is a two piece set of the microphone and brooch used by the Starlights to transform. According to Naoko Takeuchi's own notes, the brooches contains the Sailor Crystals of the Starlights, similar to those of Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon.
Series creator Naoko Takeuchi has expressed surprise at Toei Animation's decision to make the Starlights lead characters, but she was even more shocked by their treatment of the Starlights' gender. Originally, they were women who merely disguise themselves as men on Earth. In the anime, they physically become men, and change back to females only when transforming into their Sailor Soldier forms. Takeuchi was annoyed at the change and said that it contradicted her intention that all Sailor Soldiers be female. The change was directly overseen by director Takuya Igarashi. Takeuchi originally designed the trio without their ponytails, but the ponytails were added after it was explained to her that short-haired dolls were difficult to make.
Because they pose as a musical group, the Starlights are given numerous character songs, a few of which figure in anime episodes.
- "Nagareboshi he" (Shooting Star) - A group song which figures in the plot of both the anime and manga. They use it to try carrying their message to Princess Kakyuu in order to find her.
- "Todokanu Omoi: My Friend's Love" (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend's Love) - A group song from the anime, also released as a CD single.
- "Bokutachi no Uta wo Kite" (Listen to our Song) - Another group song from the anime, this is the instrumental version of "Todokanu Omoi" and was performed during the joint concert with Michiru Kaioh. A violin is used in place of the vocals.
- "Ginga Ichi Mibun Chigai na Kataomoi" (A Galaxy of Difference: One-Sided Love) - Seiya's anime image song. Also a phrase used by Seiya in the manga when she says goodbye to Usagi.
- "Chikara wo Awasete" (Combining Strengths) - Taiki's anime image song.
- "Mayonaka Hitori" (Alone at Midnight) - Yaten's anime image song.
- "Chasin' After You" - The main pop piece performed by the Three Lights in the musicals, taking the place of "Todokanu Omoi" and "Nagareboshi he." Two album versions exist, as the instrumentals were remixed for the 12th musical, as well as a Special "Yaten Version" sung by Yaten, Sailor Moon, Uranus, Pluto and Mars. Hikari Ono, as Taiki, sang a solo version of her own during the Super Revue Musical Show in 2001.
- "See Me, Bokutachi No Jidai" - Another group pop song from the musicals.
- "I Miss You" - Explicitly states Seiya's romantic feelings to Usagi, juxtaposed against Usagi's longing for the missing Mamoru.
- "Knockin' Down Hesitation" - A song for which the Three Lights provide background vocals for Usagi.
- "Yume no Naka e" - A Japanese pop hit from the 1980s which was covered by many artists through the years and served as the ending theme for Kare Kano. In the final performance of Eien Densetsu (Kaiteiban) The Final First Stage!!, Yaten and Taiki's actresses gave an impromptu performance of this song.
- "A Shooting Star Light" - A song from the twelfth musical. It serves as the Starlights' battle cry.
- "Kakyuu to Three Lights" - A piece focusing on their interaction with Princess Kakyuu, in which she advises the Starlights to fight alongside Sailor Moon.
- "Sailor War Supreme" - A production number combining many Senshi themes, including parts of "Chasin' After You" used as a leitmotif.
- "What For!? Shinjitsu no Kajitsu" - Another Production members, it uses a combination of pieces from "Get Across The Moon," "A Shooting Star Light," "By Heaven! Kami Nomi zo Shiru," and "Prince of the Earth" as medley as well as its own unique verses.
||This section possibly contains original research. (March 2012)|
In the Italian dub, instead of changing sex, there were six people - the Starlights were always men, and simply summoned their twin sisters instead of transforming, as the original depiction was very controversial in Italy. Similarly in the Russian dub, the Sailor Starlights were consistently referred to as men, even in their Senshi forms (despite the visible breasts). However, they had different voice actors in their civilian and senshi forms. Some countries implied that they were still men, even when transformed, or were women in civilian form. The French, Swedish, Dutch, and Hungarian dubs did not get the rights to this season, so they never appeared. In the Korean dub, the Sailor Starlights were female in both their civilian and senshi forms. This change was made to make them become straight women, but this made Usagi's and Seiya's relationship more like a homosexual relationship than a heterosexual relationship. The Latin American dubs, specifically those from Mexico and Brazil kept the nature of the Starlights gender intact, though gave the characters separate voice actors for their male and female selves. Similarly, the same was done in the Hebrew dub, except for them keeping male voice actors for the both civilian and senshi forms.
In fact, the anime made them actually men instead of cross-dressing women, to avoid further controversy, as Uranus and Neptune's relationship apparently did. This made Seiya and Usagi's relationship heterosexual in the anime. In the manga, Yaten was a heterosexual woman and Taiki was an asexual woman. The anime implies that Yaten has feelings for Minako Aino and Taiki for Ami Mizuno, although nothing clear comes from either.
The fifth season not being dubbed into English during the initial North American release has usually been falsely attributed to the Starlights. Despite popular belief, this is really because Toei would not sell the rights to it. Cloverway attempted to bring the season over, as did ADV Films and Geneon, but it was left in limbo. It wasn't until Viz Media acquired the series that Sailor Stars would receive an official English dub.
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- "Starlight Pops The Hindu Trimurti". Retrieved 28 October 2006.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (September 1999). Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Materials Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324521-7.
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- SAILORMUSIC.NET >> Lyrics >> Prologue & Poem Sailor Starfighter
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- 1997 Sailor Moon Musical, 1997 Sailor Stars Kaiteiban omake, the narrator Yuuta Mochizuki (Tuxedo Mask) comments on the adlibs the Three Lights made.(The adlib joke scene by them is called "Confusion Three Lights".)
- Ad-libbed on the final preference of Eien Densetsu; Michiru: From here on out it's a Confusion Scene." Haruka: We wanted to do one too...
- Shin Densetsu Kourin fankan in 1998
- Sailor Moon Musical, 1997 Sailor Stars Kaiteiban, Stage 1, meeting between Three Lights and Haruka and Michiru after the overture and "Chasin' After You"
- Sailor Moon Musical, 1998 Eien Densetsu Kaiteiban
- Sailor Moon Musical, 1997 Sailor Stars Kaiteiban, Stage 1, conversation before "Sailor War Supreme"
- Translation of Takeuchi's note: Star Maker Relaxation (what kind of move could thatbe?), Star Maker Strike (a bit ecchi), Star Maker Music Box.
- Takeuchi, Naoko (August 1997). Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Volume V Original Picture Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324522-5. Available online at Manga Style!
- "BLACK MOON - Sailor Moon, created by Naoko Takeuchi". Retrieved 6 October 2006.
- Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Original Picture Collection Vol. V | Manga Style!
- Sailor Moon Musical, 1998 Eien Densetsu kaiteiban omake - Fan Appreciation Event
- Marco Pellitteri, preface by Kiyomitsu Yui; with an essay by Jean-Marie Bouissou; contributions by Gianluca Di Fratta, Cristiano Martorella, Bounthavy Suvilay (2010). The Dragon and the Dazzle: Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination—A European Perspective. Latina, Italy: Tunué. p. 424. ISBN 978-88-89613-89-4.