Sailor Moon was the quintessential girl power manga series of the ’90s and it’s no surprise that it was adapted into countless TV series and movies in the years that followed.
Its popularity has been felt across the world, thanks to the anime series being dubbed into English, French, Portugese and many other languages, with brand new episodes following the titular character and the Sailor Scouts’ defence of the world still coming thick and fast on Hulu.
But there would be no Sailor Moon without the characters of Luna and Artemis, the black and white cat guardians, with crescent moon symbols, who are as much loved as the Scouts. The cats were advisors to Queen Serenity in the Silver Millennium but sent to Earth, using the power of her Silver Crystal, after the kingdom fell to ruin in order to awaken the Sailor Senshi.
Here’s 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Luna And Artemis.
15. Luna and Artemis are aliens
They may look like cats but Luna and Artemis are actually aliens from the planet Mau. Luna is the guard and mentor of our titular character and Artemis is the same to Sailor Venus.
There’s not much backstory about the planet, other than it being the home of origin for this feline species with the ability to transform into human-like figures, though it’s implied during Sailor Galaxia’s galaxy siege that Sailor Tin Nyamko is from there too.
In the anime series the planet is never mentioned. It’s only in the manga series, where we learn that it was destroyed during Sailor Galaxia’s siege.
Creator Naoko Takeuchi actually retconned their original background to make them aliens because he liked the human form for Luna in the movie and so created human forms for Artemis and Diana as well – more on those later.
14. Planet Mau has feline origins
There’s a reason Luna and Artemis’ home planet is called Mau. The name means “cat” in Egyptian and there’s even a breed of felines called Egyptian Mau, known for their small-to-medium sized short hair and natural spots.
Egyptian Mau are the fastest of the domestic breeds of cats and have anatomical, metabolic, and behavioral differences from other breeds that make them unique – traits Luna and Artemis definitely share.
Egypt is famous for its celebration of cats so it’s no wonder Naoko Takeuchi named our guardian cats’ home planet Mau. The ancient Egyptians worshipped a Cat goddess, who was half-feline and half-woman, called Bastet and they dished out severe punishment for anyone who killed or injured cats.
13. Only Luna takes human form in the anime
In Sailor Moon S: The Movie – adapted from a manga side-story “The Lover of Princess Kaguya” – and Sailor Moon Crystal, Luna appears as a human (who is one year younger than Usagi) but Artemis and Diana do not.
This is in stark comparison to the manga where the three feline aliens are often seen as humans. Human Luna has long black hair with two odango style buns on the side of her head and blue eyes while Artemis has straight white hair with green eyes.
Luna also appears in live-action human form in Act 27 of the live-action series, but as a young human girl called Luna Tsukino who becomes a Sailor Soldier herself. Rina Koike played this live-action version of the black cat.
12. Luna’s first English voiceover caused controversy
Keiko Han voiced Luna in the original anime television (as well as Queen Beryl) and the live-action series but in the 2014 reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, Ryō Hirohashi took over but for the English language adaptation Jill Frappier provided the voice.
However, her version was more old English nanny, like Angela Lansbury, which didn’t exactly correlate with the Japanese version or her characterization. She was replaced by Michelle Ruff for the Viz Media series and a Ford commercial which starred Luna and Sailor Moon.
11. Artemis has the same voice as L from Death Note and Hurley from Lost
In the original Sailor Moon series, Artemis is voiced by Yasuhiro Takato (who also provided the Japanese dub for Hurley in Lost) while Yōhei Ōbayashi provides the voice in Sailor Moon Crystal.
In the live-action series, he is voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi, who famously voiced L in the 2006 Death Note TV series. Ron Rubin voiced Artemis in the DIC/Cloverway English adaptation, and Johnny Yong Bosch in Viz Media’s version.
10. Diana is their daughter
While it was assumed that Luna and Artemis was romantically involved, the arrival of Diana from the future proved it. The grey kitten is the companion of Chibiusa (aka Mini Moon) and like Luna and Usage, and Artemis and Minako, she shares a special bond with her Sailor.
Diana’s first appearance was in the fourth season, Moon SuperS, but was originally thought to be the love child of Artemis from an affair he was thought to have had with another woman. She appears much earlier in the manga in the Black Moon arc, which corresponds with the second storyline of the R season.
9. Artemis and Luna’s names are connected
It seems that Artemis and Luna were always destined to be together because of their names. Luna is the Latin word for “moon” and Artemis is the name of the Greek Goddess of the hunt, forests and hills, archery and the moon. Pretty fitting for two cat guardian companions in a series called Sailor Moon, huh?
Their daughter, the cat named Diana has a connection to them through her own name as well. “Diana” is the Roman name for Artemis, who actually replaced Luna as the moon goddess in Roman mythology, so this family of three are connected even more.
Interestingly, unlike most of the Sailor Scout characters, whose names are changed from Japanese names to English names in the English-dubbed anime, Artemis, Luna, and Diana’s names are kept pretty much the same.
8. Luna once loved a human
Artemis and Luna may be each other’s true love, but Lina was briefly in love with a human man, in “Kaguya-hime no Koibito (The Lover of Princess Kaguya)”, which was a short story that appeared in Volume 11 of the original manga and was later adapted into the Sailor Moon S movie.
Luna falls for in love with Kakeru Ozora, a human astronomer, who rescues her when she is almost hit by a car. She develops romantic feelings for him but they are unrequited as he has a girlfriend, an astronaut called Himeko Nayotake, about to journey into space.
Thanks to Usagi’s wish, Luna is transformed into Princess Kaguya and saves Kakeru after he wanders into a snow storm. After sharing a kiss, Luna advises him to reconcile with Himeko. She then returns to her cat form and reunites with Artemis.
7. They’ve been gender swapped
When Sailor Moon was dubbed into Portuguese, Artemis was made female and his name changed to Artemisa to match the gender while Luna was made male.
In the French dub, Artemis was voiced by both male and female voice actors, beginning as female in early episodes before changing back to male for the rest of the series.
6. Luna’s password was changed in the English dub
In the first series of Sailor Moon, Luna used a game machine in the Crown Arcade where she received instructions before regaining her memory.
Her password was “the moon rabbit makes mochi“, which is a nod to traditional Chinese folklore about a rabbit on the moon who pounded the elixir of life with a mortar and pestle. The Japanese version of this tale sees the contents of mortar changed to rice in order to make mochi. It also shows a connection to Usagi as her name means “rabbit” in Japanese.
5. Artemis is Game Machine
When Luna first starts communicating with the Game Machine in the anime she does not initially realize that she’s being fed information by Artemis. Even when he and Sailor Venus joins up with the rest of the Sailor Senshi, he continues to advise Luna in this sneaky way.
This Game Machine “character” only appeared in the anime, as a disembodied voice through the Sailor V game in the Game Centre Crown – though the game did appear in the manga and Codename: Sailor V to deliver items and train the Senshi.
4. In the live-action series Luna and Artemis are toys
In the live-action Pretty Girl Sailor Moon series Luna and Artemis are represented as plush toys that are carried around by their Sailors. Luna’s fur is more dark blue than black but still has the crescent moon emblem on her forehead. Artemis is still white with a golden crescent moon emblem on his forehead. They both wear necklaces too.
When Luna becomes human in the series, after being bathed in the Mystical Silver Crystal, she can transform into a human girl but her hair is bright blue and worn in two ponytails unlike that depicted in the anime/manga. She does wear a yellow costume, though slightly different in style to her illustrated counterpart, with the addition of cat ears and a tail.
3. They were all killed
In the Sailor Moon manga series, tankubon 17, Sailor Lethe joined Sailor Galaxia after her home planets’ demise (also called Lethe) and, after a confrontation with Sailor Moon, she actually kills Luna, Artemis, and Diana.
Sailor Lethe did this because she wanted to make a point about how futile Sailor Moon’s life is – just for that, she murdered our poor kitty family. Sure, this series is known for being directed at little girls, but there’s definitely something scarring about seeing your favorite magical cartoon cats die. Surprisingly dark!
Luckily everyone who died was ultimately reincarnated so Luna, Artemis, and Diana came back with a vengeance. But once you’ve seen these cute kitties die, you just can’t unsee it. Sailor Lethe is truly the worst.
2. Luna was almost white
Before Sailor Moon was licensed in America, Toon Maker created a very different pilot for Bandai to make an American series inspired by the show. This pilot saw Luna as a white cat rather than black. She wasn’t the only character to get a revamp, though, as the scouts were mixed race, and one was even wheelchair bound.
This version featured both live-action footage, CG, and new cel animation in a two-minute trailer which was shown at the 1995 Anime Expo.
You can find the trailer online going by the name of “Saban Moon” as fans thought the Saban company had something to do with it. Thank Goodness this show never got picked up to series and we got the English dubbed version of the original anime instead!
1. Luna and Artemis are barely in the stage musicals
The Pretty Girl Sailor Moon TV series isn’t the only live-action adaptation of the Sailor Moon series. First between 1993 and 2005, the manga was turned into a series of stage musicals in Japan using the plotlines from the anime and manga. Called Sera Myu for short, the stage shows were revived in 2013 and continue in Japan to this day.
Luna and Artemis were played by Tomoko Ishimura and Kenji Himeno in the first sera myu, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon – An Alternative Legend – Dark Kingdom Revival Story, and its revival and that’s it. The musicals since have given those guardians roles to other characters.
This is presumably because the translation of a human in a cat costume looked rather awkward and didn’t really work.
Do you have any trivia about Luna and Artemis to share from Sailor Moon? Let us know in the comments!
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