8) Questions about plot elements
Q: Is it true that Venus and Mars are lesbians?
No, no, no! This is based on a misinterpretation of a scene in the manga in the June 1996 Nakayoshi, where they are actually expressing their devotion to the Princess, except that since she doesn't say any words, people reading just the translation thought they were referring to each other. I had hoped this rumor would die soon, but when I took it out, over a year after I put it in, the question popped up again in less than a month.
The fact that you can find manga scans showing them as lesbians means nothing. Those manga scans are from dojinshi, which are produced by Japanese fans and have no connection to the actual series.
Q: Why does nobody ever recognize Serena or the others in costume?
There's no real explanation. You can guess that they're magically immune to being recognized, but we never get _told_ that. In Japanese episode 5, and in the dub episode 15, she hides from her brother when in costume, ap- parently because she's afraid she'd be recognized, so if there is magic in- volved, she didn't know it. Dub episode 30 says that they can't be recog- nized in their normal identities, though I'm not sure if this line was in the original version.
Asai in episode 100 recognizes Venus.
Fiore in the R movie recognizes Tuxedo Mask.
This problem doesn't happen in the manga; they seldom appear in front of people they know, Usagi (Serena) and Tuxedo Mask recognize each other almost immediately, and Motoki (Andrew) does recognize them in costume (V3 p. 100, 177; V4 p. 113).
Q: Why do the villains all attack places in walking distance, at best, of where the Sailor Scouts are? They can't teleport like the Power Rangers (they do have a Sailor Teleport group power, but they don't teleport routinely), so if the villains attacked Paris or New York, the heroines would be helpless to stop them. For that matter, why don't they ever attack somewhere far away from school when the Sailor Scouts are in class?
Boy, you're smart.
Q: Why does nobody attack the Scouts while they're transforming or charging their attacks?
Usually, the transformations don't really take much time and are there just for the viewers' sake. (Like near the end of the first series where Serena and Darien are attacked, and Serena completely transforms while the attack is still in the air.)
There is an episode, however, where Jupiter does her usual motions to attack and gets tied up in mid-gesture. In dub #32, Sailor Moon was attacked while trying to "heal" the youma. According to the storyboard writers, in dub #30 Usagi was embarassed at transforming in front of Mamoru because she would be seen naked, implying the transformations do take some time (Source: Animage 5/93, formerly translated on ftp.tcp.com)
Q: There are nine planets, so why don't we see a Sailor Scout for each one?
Darian (Chiba Mamoru) is prince of the Earth, and his name in Japanese uses the kanji for "Earth", so he obviously represents Earth (besides, the moon revolves around the Earth :-)) and you'll never see a Sailor Scout for the planet Earth. Mamoru is claimed by some fans to also represent the sun, with Helios (from SuperS) as his guardian, and his astrological sign is supposedly ruled by the sun.
Sailor Mars has pet ravens named Phobos and Deimos (which are the names of the moons of Mars). They have been shown in human form in the manga, where they are said to come from planet Coronis (which is not a real planet).
The black moon in Sailor Moon R is Nemesis, a dark star theorized as responsible for comets like the one that killed off the dinosaurs. (The Nemesis theory is widely discredited now; infrared scans have found no such dark star.)
In the manga corresponding to Sailor Moon SS, the Amazoness Quartet become Sailor Scouts of the four largest main-belt asteroids, but not in the anime.
The Sailor Stars don't seem to be associated with particular heavenly bodies.
Q: Who is Sailor V? Does she really exist?
Sailor V is really Sailor Venus, the fifth member of the team.
In real life, the Sailor V comics were published first, before Sailor Moon. After the Sailor Moon comic started, Sailor V was included in it as Sailor Venus.
Unfortunately, DIC messed up the dub. The first Sailor Venus episodes had Sailor Venus appear, and everyone was told she's Sailor V. Serena was happy because Serena is a big Sailor V fan. The dub of those particular episodes took out all reference to Sailor V except in the title.
The references in "Follow the Leader" were kept in, though.
Q: Who is Luna talking to on the computer in the early episodes?
It's Artemis, Sailor Venus's cat. Luna is rather annoyed when she finds out.
The dub goofs here. In dubbed episode 39, Luna and Artemis inexplicably refer to a real Central Control. I would guess the episode was dubbed by someone who didn't see the episode where Central Control is found to be Artemis. Anyway, ignore it. Central Control doesn't exist.
Q: Who is the Moonlight Knight?
Tuxedo Mask was split into two when revived after the battle with the Dark Kingdom. The Moonlight Knight held his love for Serena, so his regular self didn't remember anything of her for a while.
Q: Who is Rini (Chibi-Usa)?
She is the daughter of Serena and Darien, time-travelled from the future.
Q: Who is Rini talking to back in the future, through her Luna ball?
Sailor Pluto, who Chibi-Usa calls "Pu". The dub messes up the first occurrance of this by using Luna's voice and pretending Renie is talking to the _ball_ instead of using it as a communicator to talk to another person.
Q: Why does Serena stop using some of her magic items later on? Why does everyone else stop using some of their attacks?
The attack in the first episode, where she hurts the monster by crying, reappears in Sailor Moon SS, as a joint attack of Usagi and Chibi-Usa.
Usagi loses the first moon stick at the end of the first storyline and never gets it back, though she does recover and use the silver crystal (which moves to her brooch).
There is no explanation of why she stops using the disguise pen. (It is still around; at least, Venus uses it later in SMS when she has to disguise herself as Sailor Moon.)
The explanation of why she can't use her moon tiara is that she has to really want to be Sailor Moon to use it. This immediately makes you wonder if she uses it again when her mood improves. In (Japanese) episodes 98, 100, 114, and 123, she _does_ use it again, although the attack is stock footage, cut so that you can't see that she wore a different brooch when the stock footage was drawn. She also uses it in the R movie, episode 163, and the SuperS movie without the old stock footage. The Eternal Sailor Moon outfit in Sailor Stars no longer includes a tiara; however, Usagi uses "Moon Tiara Action" with a frozen pizza in episode one hundred eighty four.
The attacks that the Senshi get in the Earl/Ann story almost never appear later except for Sailor Moon's, with no explanation of why not. (Crescent Beam Shower shows up in #141 with a different name, and Shabon Spray Freezing is reused in #80. The attacks show up in the video game Another Story, but these are the only single attacks without voice samples.) The real explanation is that these episodes were something of a fill-in (the original comic is monthly, and the series is weekly, so they had to stretch it out). Note that the clip episode at the start of the SS special completely ignores this series; also, although the Another Story game uses all the old villains and monsters up to S, it leaves out Earl and Ann.
ailor Planet Attack is used again in Japanese episode 102, with different footage.
Q: Who is Chibi-Chibi?
The manga and anime differ on this question.
In the manga, she is a "Sailor Cosmos" from the future, but later says that Sailor Moon is the true Sailor Cosmos because she has the power to defeat Chaos. It's not clear if or how she's related to Usagi. One character _asks_ if she is the ultimate form of Sailor Moon, but she doesn't seem to be, regardless of early rumors.
In the anime she is the "light of hope" from Galaxia's star seed.
Q: Why does Sailor Jupiter wear a different school uniform?
There is no uniform her size. This is explained in episode 25 and in the Japanese book "Secrets to Sailor Moon".
In Sailor Stars (anime) and SuperS (manga) she gets the regular Juuban uniform.
Q: What city does the series take place in?
Tokyo, even in the dub. "Kitty Chaos" mentioned the name, and the episodes derived from the second part of Sailor Moon R refer to Crystal Tokyo. That tower is the Tokyo Tower. (It's not in France.)
Q: Are Alan and Ann really brother and sister? Wouldn't that make their relationship incest?
They're really children of the tree, from which their race came. In a sense, this does mean they really are brother and sister (and they admit the tree is their mother), but in another sense, they're no more brother and sister than Adam and Eve were. Take your pick.
Q: Have Serena and Darien had sex together (in the present day)?
There is a scene in the manga which is commonly pointed to as evidence. (act 18, manga 5), showing them kissing and lying on top of each other. Later, she shows up with the same dress she had on but with her shirt off, implying that she undressed. Nothing is shown explicitly, though.
Usagi and Mamoru have sex at the end of manga 18, act 52, conceiving Chibi-Usa just before they get married.
Q: How can Rini's hair be pink when her parents' hair colors are black and blond? How is pink hair inherited anyway?
Anime hair colors are normally a stylistic convention and the characters' hair colors are almost never really what you see. Apparently her hair is really pink, though, as mentioned in the Chibi-Usa segment in the SS special, and in the manga story it was based on. So I guess this will remain forever a mystery.
Q: Is Fiore (from the Sailor Moon R movie) from the same planet as Alan and Ann?
He certainly looks similar, and is voiced by Alan's original voice actor. It is conceivable that they're from the same race, but this is never stated. (They definitely aren't the same _person_.) Ikuhara Kunihiko, the director of the R series and R movie, has explained in the LD bonus for the R movie that the movie contained shared ideas with the TV series.)
Q: What does the writing on Rei's shrine mean? Does such a shrine really exist in Japan?
The shrine is based off a real one. The writing reads "Hikawa shrine", with the character for "fire" (hi) substituted for the one for "ice" (also hi) in the real shrine.
Q: What does the symbol Nephrite uses mean?
It is not a kanji and has no real meaning. Some people have suggested that it is a stylized "ne" hiragana or katakana. No, I refuse to enter the debate as to whether it looks more like the katakana or hiragana.
Q: Have the Sailor Senshi ever killed anyone? Most of the enemies seem to die by other enemies killing them off, by running into their own attacks, getting caught in the destruction of their base, etc.
Metallia ("negaforce") is obviously killed at the end of the first series. It is arguable that they killed Kunzite (Malachite), although he really died from his own reflected attack. Many monsters of the day die, but they prob- ably fall under the usual animation/comics rule that if you're artificial, it's not considered killing to get rid of you even if you _are_ sentient.
In the manga, the Senshi do kill their enemies.
Q: Were the four main generals really friends of Tuxedo Mask once?
This idea is stated in the Sailor Moon "Friends and Foes" children's book, in English. The idea really does come from the original manga, though not the anime, and is also used in the Another Story video game.
There are also pictures in the manga showing them paired with the four Senshi. The only reference I know of in the text to this is one reference in Sailor V #3 where Danburite refers to Sailor V falling in love "since way back then", showing Kunzite. (It says nothing about them being engaged or about the love being both ways, a common fan idea.)
Q: What happened to the parents of all the Scouts (present day)?
Sailor Moon: parents alive and shown.
Tuxedo Mask: parents dead in a car crash.
Sailor Mercury: parents separated; she lives with her mother. Her mother is shown from the back in the SuperS movie, and her father in #151.
Sailor Mars: lives with her grandfather (mother's side). In the manga it is explained that her mother is dead (V4) and that her father is alive but she prefers living with her grandfather to living with him (V11).
Sailor Jupiter: parents dead in an airplane crash; she lives by herself. (Don't ask how, or where she gets money.)
Sailor Venus: parents alive. Shown only in the Sailor V manga.
Sailor Uranus/Neptune: they have an unknown benefactor (in the manga) and live by themselves. (I've gotten some conflicting information on this, specifically that their stuff is paid for by their parents.)
Sailor Pluto: old enough to live on her own, and if she was brought back as an adult (in the manga) she wouldn't have parents anyway.
Sailor Saturn: mother apparently dead, father alive in anime, but dies in manga at end of SMS story. Names are Tomoe Keiko and Tomoe Souichi. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto act as substitute parents in the manga after her father dies.
Asteroid senshi, Sailor Stars: not much known.
Q: Who was Serena's father in the Silver Millennium?
Q: Is Sailor Jupiter a lesbian?
The episode which makes people think this is #96 where she seems to have a crush on Haruka (Sailor Uranus). While some of the other characters thought it might be a homosexual attraction, it was not. What it was was somewhat culture specific: a situation where a younger girl looks to an older girl as a role model, and wants to be like her, but is not in love with her. Similar situations happen in other series, such as Akane in Orange Road being "in love" with Madoka (which is also often seen by Western fans as a lesbian attraction, and which the creator of Orange Road has specifically said is not).
If you think someone showed you a manga showing otherwise, it was a dojinshi. Dojinshi are written and drawn by fans and are not official.
Q: In flashback, we are shown that Queen Serenity died immediately upon using the Silver Crystal to send the Scouts into the future. Yet we are also shown that she split up the crystal to seal away the Seven Shadows. How could these both have happened?
The entire Seven Shadows plot was added to fill time in the anime version. In the manga, the crystal comes directly out of Sailor Moon's tear, rather than her tear combining the seven pieces into the crystal.
I've been told that the original Japanese could be translated to mean that they are just splinters of the original crystal and aren't a significant part of it, but that doesn't sound to me very consistent with how the seven crystals are treated in the series. Any Japanese speakers care to comment?
Q: Are the Starlights really male or female?
In the anime, they are obviously male in their civilian identities and become female as Senshi; they are even shown with bare chests to confirm this.
In the manga, there are two references:
First, Princess Fireball asked the Starlights why they chose "this appearance", and they responded that it was easier to find women that way. Some people have interpreted it to mean that they chose to be male.
Second, in manga #16, page 165-166, Tin Nyanko tells Usagi not to trust those who are female but dress up as guys.
Naoko Takeuchi was asked about this at the San Diego Comic Con in August 1998. What she seems to have said (from secondhand reports) is that they're girls in the manga, and that they were made boys in the anime without her approval. I assume that this means they don't change sex in the manga, they just crossdress, but it's hard to tell.
Q: Are the Senshi really princesses on their home planets?
This idea is from the original manga, but not, as far as I know, from the anime. They have castles named as follows (thanks to Silver0091@aol.com for the list):
These are named after moons of the planets, except for Mercury and Venus, which are named after space probes (these planets have no moons). Don't ask me how come they can be named after space probes not named until hundreds or thousands of years after they existed -- it's like the sailor suits.
Q: Who is the leader of the Senshi? I heard that Venus is really the leader.
In the anime, Sailor Pluto claims to be the leader (of the outers?) in episode 171 (haven't checked this yet).
In the manga, Venus pretends to be the princess for one chapter. She is leader of the four inner Senshi that protect the princess. Sailor Saturn takes leadership of the outer Senshi in volume 14.