Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic franchises of all time. It tells the story of the sailor senshi (also known as sailor scouts) who fight evil by moonlight and win love by daylight. They also defeat enemies, protect the universe, and form strong friendships along the way.
Its international acclaim revitalized the magical girl genre and paved the way for future shows. It all began with the manga Codename: Sailor V created by the artist Naoko Takeuchi, who then went on to develop Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. Its popularity only grew as it was adapted into an anime series in the 1990s, which lasted five seasons. There is also the live-action series known as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon as well as a newer Sailor Moon Crystal anime.
Despite its popularity and dedicated fanbase, there are many things that fans have no idea about the series and the characters. You may know Sailor Mars, or Rei Hino, as the fiery girl who sticks her tongue out at Sailor Moon and competes for Tuxedo Mask's affection. However, she is far more complex than this.
Here are 15 Things You Didn't Know About Sailor Mars.
15 She Is Completely Different In The Manga
Many fans of the original manga were thrown off by how different Sailor Mars behaves in the anime. In the manga, she is conservative, cool, disciplined, and rational. She is focused on her goals and does not like to get caught up in silly things.
In the anime, Rei is still a very disciplined hard worker, but her personality is more hot-headed and she is always getting caught up in petty fights with Sailor Moon. Early on, there is a love triangle between her, Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon), and Mamoru Chiba (Tuxedo Mask). She even tries to usurp Usagi as leader at one point, though the two become closer over time.
Rei is also portrayed as a big fan of pop culture, music, and boys in the anime-- none of which really concerned her in the manga. However, her Sailor Moon Crystal counterpart is much closer to her original personality.
14 She Is One Of The Few Characters Who Has Powers In Civilian Form
Most of the characters in Sailor Moon must go through their transformation sequence before they have access to any of their powers, and are helpless in their civilian forms. However, Rei had her own special powers before she was awoken as a senshi, and is thus able defeat enemies as a normal girl.
This is due to her training as a Shinto priestess at her grandfather’s shrine. Being in touch with her spirituality allows her to exorcise evil spirits that haunt an area by performing the ritual Kuji-Goshin-Ho and using ofuda scrolls. She can also use this attack in her Sailor Mars form.
Additionally, Rei has several psychic powers. Her premonitions come at any time without warning, often while she is deep in meditation, and she does not always know what they mean.
13 Her Father Is A Famous Politician
In the anime Rei is seen living with her grandfather, who raises her to become a Shinto priestess. The anime doesn't really mention why Rei’s parents aren't ever around.
However, she is given an elaborate backstory in the short story "Casablanca Memories," which explains this. It is revealed that her mother, Risa Hino, died of an unexplained illness when Rei was only four years old. However, her father is a famous politician who apparently cares more about his job than his family, and leaves his daughter to be cared for by his wife's father.
Rei holds deep resentment toward him because he did not visit his wife once in the hospital and barely makes time for her. He is rarely seen in the manga aside from this story, and only visits Rei once a year on her birthday.
12 She Hates Men And Romance
In the anime, Rei competes with Usagi for Tuxedo Mask’s affections throughout the first season. In a later season, it is implied that she has a crush on her grandfather’s pupil, Yūichirō Kumada. However, in the manga she is a self-proclaimed hater of men, largely because of her poor relationship with her father and past trauma.
Thus, she has no interest in pursuing romance whatsoever, though she is plagued with doubts about what this means for her life. She finds men to be emotionally weak and does not trust them. When she regains the memory of her past life, she recalls that she had made a vow of chastity to Princess Serenity. Once she remembers this, she is more certain than ever that she will never need a man by her side.
11 There Is One Exception To Her Hatred Of Men
However, there is an exception to her hatred of men: Kaido.
The closest thing she has ever had to a romantic relationship is detailed in the side story “Casablanca Memory.” Whenever her father makes his annual birthday visit, he brings Rei a white dress, and his young secretary, Kaido, along with him. Though Kaido has no reason to, he always gives Rei a bouquet of Casablanca lilies.
He is always kind to her, and openly expresses his sorrow over the negative impact that politics have had on Rei’s family. As she grows up, she begins to fall for him. She is then shocked when, out of nowhere, he announces his engagement to another girl and his intention to fully pursue politics.
Kaido admits that he is only marrying as a political move, which was decided by Rei's father. Rei then becomes upset, and asks why he didn't marry her for her father's influence instead, if this was his only reason for marriage. The two then share a kiss, and Kaido leaves.
10 She Was Based On The Artist's Experiences As A Shinto Priestess
Rei is a miko, which is a Shinto shrine maiden, and is essentially a supplementary priestess. The traditions date back to prehistoric times in Japan. In modern times, miko are trained to perform sacred cleanses, the sacred Kagura dance, and help maintain the shrines, with tasks such as cleaning and reception work.
They are allowed to integrate into modern society, but Rei does not particularly care for it. She abstains from engaging in the frivolous activities of modern society as much as she can. Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon, based Rei on her own real-life experience as a miko.
Sailor Mars’ uniform is red and white, representing the colors of the priestess robes. Miko are also known for their archery skills. This may have been the inspiration for one of Sailor Mars’ well-known attacks: the Flame Sniper.
9 She Goes To A Catholic School
Whenever the Sailor Senshi are shown in their school uniforms, Rei’s is noticeably different. It is described as being “more classy” than the other girls’ uniforms. This is because she attends the Catholic institution T.A Private Girls School.
It may seem odd that Rei, a shinto priestess, attends a Catholic school. However, it makes sense in context. Firstly, Shinto is not necessarily a religion in the same way as Catholicism-- it can be described as a collection of beliefs and rituals unique to the Japanese identity. Almost 80% of Japan identifies as Shinto, but a majority of the population also identifies as not religious.
Even if a person practices the rituals, visits the shrines, and prays to the spirits, this does not mean they belong to an organized Shinto religion. Furthermore, many of the private schools in the country are religiously affiliated. Since Rei is the daughter of a famous politician, she attends a more elite school.
8 She Dreams Of Becoming Head Priestess
Since her parents are absent in her life, Rei is very attached to her grandfather. She lives and works with him at Hikawa Shrine, where he is the head priest. She aims to one day follow in his footsteps.
In the manga, she states that her ultimate dream is to become the shrine’s head priestess. This ambition is a bit different than what most teenage girls aspire to be. Sailor Venus, for instance, dreams of becoming a famous pop idol, while Sailor Moon often has her mind on romance.
However, Rei’s true passions in life are spirituality and meditation. Some of the girls at her school mock her for this, and Rei at times worries that she will not be able to achieve her goal.
7 She Wears High Heels Instead of Boots
Most of the Sailor Senshi wear long boots up to the knee, which provide extra protection, or ankle boots in their Sailor forms. There are some exceptions, such as Sailors Venus and Neptune, who wear heels with secure ankle straps. However, Sailor Mars opts to fight crime in red high heels, with no straps or extra protection.
This is due to the fact that Sailor Mars was originally designed with her own unique outfit. Naoko Takeuchi eventually decided to make the Sailor Senshi all wear the same uniform, except for the shoes. The heels are in fact the only aspect of the original design that carried over.
These heels may also represent femininity and girl power: two major themes of the series. In chapter five of the manga, Rei proclaims to a villain: “You will refrain from underestimating women! With my high heels, I will punish you!”
6 Her Fire Powers Come From The Japanese Name For Mars
Though the anime series uses the Roman mythological names and astronomical symbols that date back to ancient Greece to represent the planets, many of the Sailor Senshis' powers are also influenced by the Japanese names of planets.
Mars is the Roman god of war, which is fitting for the passionate warrior, but Mars is not associated with fire, so why is that her main power? This is because the Japanese word for Mars is Kasei (火星), which loosely translates to “fire planet or star.”
This is the reason why all of Sailor Mars’ powers are largely based on fire. Both of these influences are evident in her introduction. After she transforms, she announces "Protected by Mars, the planet of fire, Guardian of War, Sailor Mars! In the name of Mars, I"ll chastise you!"
5 She Is Second In Command
Most fans can tell that Minako Aino (Sailor Venus) is the leader of the inner Sailor Senshi protecting Sailor Moon, but did you know that Sailor Mars is her second in command?
In the manga, an image comparing the girls' heights lists Venus as "the leader," Mars as "vice leader," and Mercury as "the brains." This is brought up most prominently in the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series and is also touched upon briefly in the anime. Minako and Rei have a rather complicated relationship.
The two often clash and are always trying to outdo each other. For example, in the anime story titled “Rei and Minako's Girls School Battle”, Minako is extremely jealous that Rei does not have to take the same exams as the other girls. She is so jealous, in fact, that she crashes Rei’s private school for a day and wreaks havoc. At times Rei resents Minako for being highest in command, but is clear that she also respects her.
4 Her Blood Type Is Important
In many East Asian countries, a person’s ABO blood type is viewed as an indication of their personality, and is similar to a person’s zodiac sign. This is called blood type personality theory. Therefore, the Sailor Senshi all have their blood types listed in their character profiles along with their birthdays and zodiacs.
Rei’s blood type is listed as AB. According to the theory, this means her strengths are being rational and intelligent. Her weaknesses include being critical, unforgiving, and having a split personality of sorts. Other than Sailor Saturn, Rei is the only Sailor Senshi with this type.
Sailor Moon, Chibi-Moon, Jupiter, and Neptune are all O type, which means that they are confident and ambitious, as well as self-centered and arrogant. Mercury and Pluto are A, which makes them responsible and reserved, yet pessimistic. Venus and Uranus have B type, meaning they are passionate and creative, but also forgetful and impatient.
3 There Is A Debate Over Her Name
Most of the Sailor Moon characters' names translate into something related to their powers or personalities, but fans disagree about Sailor Mars. To understand the debate surrounding the meaning of the name Rei Hino, you must know that there are three writing systems in Japanese: hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
The first two cover the phonetic alphabet. Hiragana is generally used for native Japanese words, while katakana represents foreign words and onomatopoeia. Kanji are characters representing words and phrases. Japanese names can usually be written in hiragana and kanji, whereas foreign names are translated into katakana.
For some reason, Rei’s first name is written out in katakana. This is odd because, as far as fans can tell, she is clearly a Japanese native and there is no kanji representation of her name. Rei could therefore have one of many different meanings, including translucent, companion, zero, beauty, or spirit. The katakana can also be literally translated as "ray of fire."
2 Her Design Was Inspired By A J-Pop Idol
Fans have noticed that Naoko Takeuchi based a few of her character’s designs on real life people. For example, Sailor Mercury’s appearance was inspired by the singer and actress Noriko Sakai. In volume 14 of the original manga release, Takeuchi confirmed that Rei’s image was inspired by the singer, actress, and model Alisa Mizuki.
Mizuki sings the ending song for Sailor Moon Stars "Kaze mo, Sora mo, Kitto". She began modelling at the young age of four, and soon transitioned to acting in commercials. She made her debut as a j-pop singer when she was 15 years old, and is considered one of Japan’s main idols of the '90s. When Takeuchi was creating Sailor Moon, Mizuki was about 14-15 years old-- the same age as the Sailor Senshi.
1 Batman And Martian Manhunter Are Fans
Sailor Mars was referenced in a 1999 issue of Justice League of America. Bruce Wayne meets up with his old friend Clark Kent, who introduces him to a Japanese reporter, who just happens to be named Rei Hino.
It turns out that the woman is actually J'onn J'onzz, better known as the hero Martian Manhunter, in disguise. J'onn has the ability to shapeshift into any form he desires, which allows him to blend into the human world. Batman sees through the disguise right away, but it is not only because he is a great detective.
He tells J'onn that his accent is flawless but the name is too obvious. Which can only mean one thing: Batman and Martian Manhunter are both anime-loving weeaboos.
Is Sailor Mars your favourite Sailor Moon Sailor Senshi? Let us know in the comments!