One of the Sailor Scouts who protect the world from evil in Sailor Moon, Makoto Kino (known as Lita Kino in the DiC English dub) is Sailor Jupiter. A tough tomboy with a love for gardening and cooking, Makoto embodies both femininity and masculinity.
After rumors spread that she was kicked out of her last school for fighting, people avoided Makoto at her new school. But her classmate Usagi (aka Serena) knows an opportunity for free food when she sees one, and the two become fast friends. Harnessing the power and lightning and plants, Sailor Jupiter is the muscle of the Sailor Scouts.
Fans of the Guardian of Protection may be surprised to learn these 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Sailor Jupiter, which includes the demise of Makoto’s parents, her various romantic relationships (one leading to an engagement), and what her character was originally supposed to be like in the proposed Codename: Sailor V anime.
15 She Has Her Own Manga Short Story: Mako's Depression
Three manga shorts known as “The Exam Battle” stories were created as side stories for Sailor Moon. Each chapter featured a different Sailor Scout back and took place at some point during their final year in middle school. The first chapter focused on Makoto, the second showed Ami (and later got turned into an episode), and the final chapter was shared by Minako and Rei. Each story showed the girls fighting a Genius loci, a guardian spirit from Roman mythology.
During Makoto’s chapter, titled "Exam Battle 1 - Mako-chan's Depression" (or "The Melancholy of Makoto"), she wanders into a store with a big sale going on. It turns out a Genius loci known as “Touhi-chan" has made it so anyone who consumes the food and drinks in the store will come under her spell. By transforming into Sailor Jupiter, Makoto takes down the Genius loci and saves the day.
The chapter also tells readers why Makoto is afraid of airplanes, and the answer was too tragic for the English dub to even include in the original show…
14 Her Parents Died In A Plane Crash
It is revealed in Makoto’s side story "Exam Battle 1 - Mako-chan's Depression" that she lost both her parents in a plane crash. As a result, she is extremely afraid of flying. Fans have theorized that Makoto is able to live on her own without her parents because she received a sizable inheritance from them after their death. In the anime, Makoto is shown being uneasy when airplanes are around. However, this fear seems to be forgotten later in the show since Makoto is seen getting on a plane in episode 188 (“An Invitation to Terror! Usagi's Night Flight”) without any hesitation.
The DiC English dub also tried to erase Makoto’s tragic backstory by having her mention that her mother is allergic to cats. However, in the manga Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, her parents’ death is mentioned in a flashback scene during Act 6, though it does not mention how they died.
13 Her Height Is A Bigger Deal In Japan
Makoto’s height is 168 cm or 5'6". This may be slightly tall for a woman, but it’s not seen as a very big deal by European or American standards, which is why those dubs don’t reflect the significance of Makoto’s height as much as the original Japanese version does. In Japan, the average height for a female (5'2") is slightly lower than in America and Europe. So Makoto’s height is a much more notable than it would stateside. This is why her height is downplayed in the other dubs.
Unfortunately for Makoto, her height adds to her inadvertent intimidating persona. This is further emboldened by her long skirt and curly hair, which are considered visual cues for delinquent girls in Japan. This is all unintentional, since Makoto is forced to wear her old school uniform (with the long skirt) because she is too tall for the uniform at Usagi’s school. Her wavy hair is also natural.
12 She Made A Cameo Appearance In Codename: Sailor V
The Codename: Sailor V manga was created by Naoko Takeuchi and was used as the basis for her sequel series Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. The story follows Minako Aino, a schoolgirl who meets the talking cat Artemis. He reveals she is Sailor Venus and gives her a crescent moon shaped compact and a magical pen that allows her to transform into a powerful magical girl. She takes on the codename of Sailor V and uses her powers to protect Earth. Minako later goes on to become Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon.
Makoto is not formally introduced, but she does make a brief cameo appearance in the manga. She passes behind Makoto and Artemis while they are on a train at the end of Codename: Sailor V Chapter 16: “A New Journey Begins – Part 2”. Readers are privy to her thoughts, in which she remarks that Makoto is a weird girl for bringing a cat onto the train.
11 Appeared In The Proposal For The Codename: Sailor V Anime
The manga Codename: Sailor V was being considered for an anime before the actual anime of Sailor Moon came out. Toei Animation wanted to adapt the story into anime but they ended up wanting more than one character who could transform into a magical girl, so the idea turned into what would become Sailor Moon.
Originally, when the creator was making the proposal for Codename: Sailor V, Makoto was pitched as a character for the show. Her name was Mamoru Chino (similar to the name later given to Tuxedo Mask’s civilian identity, Mamoru Chiba). She was going to be a tough, straight-haired girl who led a gang and smoked. This version was scrapped and Mamoru Chino became Makoto Kino, the magical girl Sailor Jupiter.
Clearly, they could not use her proposed incarnation if they were planning on marketing the work to children. However, in the first "Chibiusa Picture Diary" (a series of manga short stories about Chibiusa), Makoto is shown eating a chocolate cigarette, but many fans think she’s smoking a real cigarette.
10 Several Image Songs And CDs Mention Sailor Jupiter
Makoto has been the focus of several image songs. These songs are tie-in singles created for the purpose of exploring the personality of her character. Her anime songs include “It’s Not Your Fault” from the first season of the show and which plays in the background in Makoto's flashback during episode 49; “Kissing in the Starlight” from the second season of the show; “In Order to Forget, Don’t Fall in Love” also from the second season of the show; and “We Believe You” from Sailor Stars.
The live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series featured a couple image songs for Sailor Jupiter, including “Lovely Yell”, “Miracle Dance Night”, and “Friend” (which is also the song for the other four Sailor Soldiers). In the Sailor Moon musicals (also known as Sera My), Makoto has the image song “Zigzag Slash”, and the song she shares with the rest of the magical girls, “We Can’t Be Soldiers of Love Forever.”
9 She Gets Engaged To Motoki Furuhata
Most of the Sailor Scouts have crushes on Motoki Furuhata, a young man who works at the Game Center Crown. However, unlike in the anime, Motoki does end up with one of the girls in the live-action Pretty Girl Sailor Moon (2003-2004) television show.
His TV counterpart serves as comic relief and worked at the Karaoke Crown. He was interested in Makoto, who had to transform in front of him during the episode “Act 41 - Actually, I'm a Senshi!”, in order to save his life from a villainous Youma.
Their relationship is confirmed in the 50th and final episode of Pretty Girl Sailor Moon, “Special Act - We're Getting Married!” The episode takes place four years after the Final Act of the series. It is established that Makoto and Motoki are dating. After Usagi and Mamoru get married, Motoki catches the bride’s bouquet. He turns to Mokoto and proposes to her, and the two of them get engaged.
8 The Various Meanings Of Her Name
Makoto’s first name in Japanese can mean “trust” or “sincerity”, which is reflective of her character. Her last name, Kino, can be read as “wood field” or “tree field.” This would reflect her love of plants and gardening. Her original name, Mamoru, means “to guard” or “to protect.” While Makoto does fit as a protector, it makes for a more fitting name for Tuxedo Mask.
The DiC dub gave Makoto the name "Lita Kino". The name Lita could be a shortened version of lightening. However, the Latin and American meanings of the name are both “joyful,” which would accurately describe Lita’s cheerful nature… when she’s not around airplanes, that is. Yet the name is Spanish, and in that language would translate to “sorrow.” Ironically, this would also fit Lita, based on the tragedy with her parents in “Mako’s Depression.”
Named for the planet Jupiter, Makoto did share traits of the Roman God of the same name. Jupiter was a Sky god and controlled lightning, just like the Sailor Soldier.
7 The Sailor Jupiter and Nephrite Relationship
Another relationship not seen in the anime or much of the manga, creator Naoko Takeuchi suggested there was a relationship between Sailor Jupiter and Queen Beryl's commander Nephrite. When she drew the Sailor Scouts and the Shitennou (meaning "Four Heavenly Kings") together as couples, she put Princess Jupiter and Nephrite together. This suggested they were lovers in their past life, or were supposed to become lovers in the manga. They do have some similarities, including the ability to control lightning. However, Nephrite ends up getting killed by Sailor Jupiter in the manga (though he does come back later).
In the anime, Nephrite was shown to have a romantic interest in Usagi’s friend Naru Osaka. The two share a tender moment before Nephrite dies, after being stabbed by a monster’s poisonous thorns. So Sailor Jupiter and Nephrite never do become a canon couple. Instead, Nephrite meets a pretty grim fate and Motoko goes off and marries Motoko in the Pretty Girl Sailor Moon live-action TV show. Sorry, Nephrite!
6 Censorship And Other Changes Made To Sailor Jupiter
There has been a lot of censorship in Sailor Moon, and Sailor Jupiter did not go unaffected. Besides the English dub changing the way her height was viewed, there was a pretty famous (or, rather, infamous) scene edited for the English dub. In the episode “Steal Mamoru's Kiss! An's Snow White Strategy” the girls all want to play Snow White in a play, and Makoto’s reasoning for why she should be the princess differ quite a lot depending on which language of the anime you listen to.
In the Japanese version, Makoto says she should be Snow White because she has big breasts. However, in the first English dub, Lita says she has the most talent… however, since Lita was pointing to her chest, which is featured in the show, and there is a boing sound effect, many watchers of the English dub consider the word "talent" to be a code word for breasts.
5 Actresses Who Portrayed Sailor Jupiter
Three voice actresses who took on the role of Sailor Jupiter were Emi Shinohara, Susan Roman and Amanda C. Miller.
Emi Shinohara voiced the original Japanese version of Makoto. Some of her other voice work roles are Eri Ochiai in Perfect Blue (1997) and Charlotte Elbourne in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000).
The original DiC dub of Sailor Moon featured Susan Roman as the voice of Lita. Her voice work includes Judy Tate on Beyblade (2001-2005), Snowy and Milou on The Adventures of Tintin (1991-1992), and a girl in the film Heavy Metal (1981).
Amanda C. Miller voiced Makoto in the Viz re-dub of the classic Sailor Moon as well as in Sailor Moon Crystal. She’s done several iconic voices, including Naruto’s son Boruto in the recent film Boruto: Naruto the Movie (2015), various characters in K-On! (2009-2011), Takeru on Squid Girl (2010), and Seiji Noumi in Accel World (2012).
In the live-action Pretty Girl Sailor Moon, Makoto was portrayed by Myû Azama. Azama was a member of the J-pop and dance group B.B Waves and was Miss Seventeen in 2003, earning a contract with the Japan Edition of Seventeen magazine.
Many other actresses portrayed Makoto in the Sailor Moon musicals, including Noriko Kamiyama, Marie Sada, Chiho Oyama (her older sister Anza played the first Sailor Moon), Emi Kuriyama, Yu Takahashi and Kaede, to name just a few.
4 The Strongest Sailor Scout
Of all the Sailor Scouts, Sailor Jupiter is physically the strongest member of the team. Makoto serves as the muscle of the group, both in costume and out, thanks to her supernatural strength. One notable example of her demonstrating her immense strength out of costume is in the episode “Paired with a Monster: Mako, the Ice Skating Queen” (titled by Viz). Makoto shows off her impressive ice skating skills, plus her strength. She’s able to lift a male figure skater up over her head with ease while skating around the rink, proving she is both powerful and graceful.
She is also the only Sailor Scout able to use electricity and plants as attacks. One of her signature attacks is the Flower Hurricane, which unleashes a flurry of flowers to sting her opponent. Jupiter is also able to use Supreme Thunder, releasing a lightning rod hidden in her tiara that extends, collects lightning, and releases a devastating blow against her enemy.
3 She Gets Her Powers Differently In The Manga And Anime.
Makoto discovers she is Sailor Jupiter in two different ways in the manga and the anime. In the manga, she is targeted by Queen Beryl’s commander (and her planned future lover) Nephrite when he is trying to steal energy from the grooms. He sees Makoto as she comes out of Game Center Crown and gets a drink from the vending machine. Nephrite’s shadow disguises itself as a wedding bride (ironically controlled by Motoki, who Makoto would get engaged to in the live-action series). He attempts to steal her energy, but the Sailor Scouts intervene. When Makoto realizes Nephrite was tricking her, she picks up the monster and throws it.
However, in the original anime, the events leading up to Makoto’s transformation are very different. She is spending time with a boy she has a crush on (called Joe in the DiC dub) in a restaurant when one of Queen Beryl’s commanders, Zoisite, pretends to be a waitress and attacks the two of them. The commander chases Joe but Makoto follows them. After Joe’s crystal is taken and he turns into a monster, Jupiter physically lifts up the monster and throws him, which reveals the sign of Jupiter on her forehead, leading to Luna giving Makoto the green Transformation Pen. She becomes Sailor Jupiter and the rest is Sailor Moon history.
2 Makoto Was Bullied Out Of School
While rumors spread at Usagi's school that Makoto was kicked out of her old school because of fighting, the truth was much more tragic. Because of her height, hair, strength, and tomboyish personality, many people were intimidated by Makoto and thought she was a bully. Based on these assumptions, people would avoid her and she could not make any friends besides her ex-boyfriend, who she clearly still carries a torch for, as she's constantly falling for boys who remind her of him.
If she did get into fights, it was probably to protect others; after all, she did fight a group of boys who were picking on Ami when they accused her of cheating to get good grades. Or someone could have made the mistake of trying to take Makoto on in a fight to prove they were stronger than her. But the bullying stopped when Usagi became friends with her, breaking down the stereotype surrounding Makoto at her new school.
1 Makoto’s Secret Dream
Makoto Kino has a lot of dreams that she has not shared with many people, as revealed in Act 42 of the manga, "Dream 4 – Jupiter Dream." While having tea with Hawk's Eye, Makoto confesses she wants to own her own florist or cake shop, combining her love of gardening and cooking. After their encounter, Makoto thinks about her dreams. Because her parents died when she was young, she wants to get married at a young age and build a home together with her partner. She wants the family that she was cheated out of when she was still young.
The next part of her dream is more secret than the rest of her aspirations. She wants to be as pretty and elegant as Michiru (Sailor Neptune) and be more like Haruka (Sailor Uranus), since she admires her strength. Though we can't imagine why she would want to be like those two when she's already so awesome just by being herself!
Do you have any Sailor Jupiter trivia to add? Share it in the comments!