Japanese Folklore: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

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If I tell you that her hairstyle is famous all around the world for its blonde pigtails tied up into cute Odango (lit. Meatballs) can you guess who I’m talking about? No? Her outfit is a mix between a school uniform and a sailor’s one and it doesn’t ring any bell? No, this is impossible because we are talking about Usagi Tsukino.

She universally known as Sailor Moon the warrior in a sailor uniform that protects the Earth from evil aliens from all around the galaxy. Beloved heroine among children from the 90s and one of the ambassadress for Tokyo’s Olympic games  in 2020.

Born from the sublime work of Naoko Takeuchi, at the beginning of the 90s, it immediately became and iconic character both in Japan and abroad. Triggering dreams of generations of people with her immortal love story with Tuxedo Kamen and teaching the values of friendship together with her companions of adventure, the Sailor Senshi, she is legend today still.

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The origin

Sailor Moon was originally created to be the spin-off of Codename Sailor V. Yes! Our heroine from the moon was born after her companion Sailor Venus, true leader of the Sailor warriors. This manga represents the best example of Majokko (魔女っ子 “Magical girl”), that is a sub-genre of the shōjo genre. The typical plot for this genre tells the story of a magical girl supported by a magical animal. In our case we have three cats, Luna, Artemis and Diana. Usually the protagonist of this type of mangas has magical powers, mixing love and fantasy. However Sailor Moon is also the first female version of the genre Sentai Mono (戦隊モノ “fighting squad”). This is a genre that includes all those mangas in which a group of protagonists stick together and fight against evil forces.

So it is no surprise that Sailor Moon is, for this and other reasons, one of the best examples of Feminism in the manga world.

Love beyond time, space and genre

Sailor Moon not only taught us the values of friendship, but it also had a great impact on love, free from any generalizations for categories, as it often happens in mangas and even in real life.

We all know that the most known couple in the manga like in the anime is that formed by Sailor Moon and her Tuxedo Kamen, a love beyond time and space, hence immortal.

In love since their previous life, Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion form Earth, they take their names from the Greek moon goddess, Selene, and her beloved prince from Earth, Endymion. From the legend to reality, they love each other even in their present life as Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba, as they will love each other in the future too as Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion.

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One might think that is Tuxedo Kamen that rescues our heroine when she is in danger with his flying roses, but it’s his character that many times falls in the hands of the enemy, even becoming evil himself at some points. However, it’s only thanks to the love that Sailor Moon has for him that he manages to survive and with him, all us humans. Because as Takeuchi said “Girls have to be strong to protect the man they love”.

Sailor moon and the homosexual relationships

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But there are also other love relationships in the manga. The sapphic and unconcealed relationship between the androgynous Sailor Uranus and the sensual Sailor Neptune. A relationship that is somewhat veiled but that is clearly visible from the third act on.

Also, there’s the homosexual relationship between two emissaries of the Dark Kingdome. Zoisite and Kunzite’s relationship changed from version to version. Love in the animated series and strong friendship that never becomes love in the manga.

But we can also mention the strong bond between Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus, that reminds us of the bond between Mars and Venus in the ancient myths.

Naoko Takeuchi: an empire among stars, art and style

The ‘mother’ of our beautiful sailor warriors is, as said before, Naoko Takeuchi, born in 1967. It is as if she won the lottery of life in the world of mangas. Not only her most famous work is well known all around the world, but she also married Yoshihito Togaki, ‘father’ of Yū Yū Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter.
Also, she is close friend with other famous mangakas like Wataru Yoshizumi (Marmalade Boy) e Yuu Watase (Fushigi Yûgi).

The passion for drawings has always been with her in spite of the fact that she studied chemistry in University. Her style is characterized by clean and delicate lines, that are particularly lovely in the art book with doilies as decoration.

She is a woman of many passions, from literature, to cars, arts and many other things. In many cases she used the Art Nouveau works of Alfons Muchas as references for her illustrations. Another great passion of hers is fashion, various outfits used by Sailor warriors and their enemies were inspired by Maison Dior. The wonderful and iconic gown worn by Princess Serenity is inspired by Dior’s “palladio” gown from the ‘92 spring/summer collection.

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Thanks to its 20th anniversary, and now to its 25th anniversary, Sailor Moon shines brightly under a new lucky star. True happiness for all those kids that grew up with her and now have turned into grown up collector.

Sailor Moon Franchising

The Sailor Moon franchising goes from the classic dolls, to the most varied action figures. There are also countless make-up products, lots of cult objects like the replica of the Moon Stick, outfits and many things more.

The manga was adapted into a live action series, several OVAs, musicals and let’s not forget the new anime adaptation of Sailor Moon Crystal released on July the 5th, in 2014.

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In Tokyo a theme bar was opened and remained active for some time. For all those that couldn’t go there, you can always visit the Azabu Juban “shopping district”, central district in Tokyo. This area is often shown in Sailor Moon’s frames. For every true fan this is a must if you want to feel like a real Sailor Warrior.

Photo credits: TumblrPinterest.