Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi is one of the most popular manga and anime franchises in the entire world. The show celebrates girl power with a diverse set of female characters with a variety of personalities and powers.
There is Sailor Venus, the Guardian of Love, the studious Sailor Mercury with the power to control water, the fierce warrior Sailor Mars, who is also a Shinto priestess, and Sailor Jupiter, the tall tomboy. There is also LGBT representation with Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus. Additionally, of course, there is the emotional but lovable Sailor Moon.
One of these characters is Sailor Mini Moon, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask's future daughter from the 30th century.
Her civilian name is Rini in the English dub and Chibiusa in the original Japanese. As the name suggests, Sailor Mini Moon is pint-sized, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for with a fiery personality.
You may think that Sailor Mini Moon is nothing more than a shrunken-down and pink-haired version of her mother, but she is a strong character in her own right. She is a lot more than just Sailor Moon's daughter, though.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Sailor Mini Moon.
While the English dub made their names Serena and Rini, the mother and daughter duo have the same first and last name in the Japanese: Usagi Tsukino.
Sailor Mini Moon goes by Chibiusa (chibi means little) to differentiate. The name translates to "rabbit on the moon." This is a reference to a legend common throughout East Asia about the markings on the moon resembling a rabbit with a mortar and pestle.
In the Japanese folklore, the rabbit is pounding the ingredients for mochi. To further reference the myth, Takeuchi designed Sailor Mini Moon to look like a little, pink rabbit.
She gave Mini Moon red eyes and, instead of making her hair buns round like her mother's, made them pointer so they looked like rabbit ears.
Some fans criticize Sailor Mini Moon for being relatively useless in battle. In the original anime, this is more or less true.
Most of her attacks are used as nuisances or distractions towards enemies instead of causing real damage. Before she awakens as Sailor Mini Moon, her only means of attack is her mechanical cat Luna-P, which can transform into different objects.
She also has the power to make a distress call. After she awakens as Sailor Mini Moon, her main attack is the Pink Sugar Heart Attack.
In the manga, this is an efficient attack. In the original anime, it is mostly useless. Sometimes, it does not even have enough range to reach her target. However, Sailor Moon Crystal is more faithful to her depiction in the manga.
Tuxedo Mask has black hair and Sailor Moon has blonde hair or silver in some instances, so why did they have a child with bright, pink hair?
In Takeuchi's original design for Sailor Moon, the heroine had pink hair. Pink is Takeuchi's favorite color and she originally wanted to make Sailor Moon look more like a pink rabbit to reference the Japanese rabbit on the moon myth.
However, this design was scrapped in favor of blonde hair. Takeuchi was disappointed that her original design could not be used.
Therefore, when it was time to create Sailor Mini Moon, she instantly knew that she wanted her to have pink hair.
Another explanation is that, in the manga Sailor Mini Moon's grandmother, Ikuko Tsukino is drawn with pink hair, whereas she has purple hair in the anime.
Not only does Sailor Mini Moon have the mechanical cat Luna-P, but she also has her own guardian cat in the future like Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon.
In fact, her guardian cat is the daughter of Sailor Venus' cat Artemis and Sailor Moon's cat Luna. The tiny gray kitten is named Diana and can often be seen riding on Sailor Mini Moon's head.
Like her parents, Diana is a devoted companion to her human and does anything to protect her. She is very close with Sailor Pluto as well, and offers to guard Space-Time Door for her so that she can join the other girls in battle.
In the original anime, she does not appear until Sailor Moon SuperS. In Sailor Moon Crystal, she debuts in act 19.
In Crystal Tokyo, Rini is shown not to have too many friends. She is not even seen spending time with her mother. The person she considers her only true friend is Sailor Pluto.
Pluto is forced to spend most of her time alone guarding the Space-Time door, so she is also a very lonely character.
The two meet when Rini runs off from the palace in tears and arrives at the door. Pluto tells her that she looks like her mother and will grow up to be a beautiful lady someday.
The princess begins to visit the Space-Time Guardian more and more. In many ways, Pluto is another maternal figure for Sailor Mini Moon who is easier to talk to than her real mother.
However, this close relationship is absent in the original anime.
The short manga story Parallel Sailor Moon explores an alternate dimension where Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask have another daughter named Kousagi and all of the Sailor Scouts also have daughters.
In this universe, Sailor Mini Moon is older and more mature. She is a studious and hard-working ninth grader.
She attends junior high school and cram school with her best friend so that she can get into the best schools in Japan. (She also wears glasses in this world for some reason, perhaps to convey that she is smarter.)
Sailor Mini Moon is shown to be a very responsible big sister who often watches after Kousagi because, according to her, their mother is such a ditz that she needs to be there for Kousagi to make sure that she is alright.
Sailor Mini Moon performed well with fans in Japan. She was consistently ranked high on the official Sailor Moon character popularity poll for Nakayoshi magazine.
During the Black Moon arc, she was the number one most popular character out of forty-seven options. She beat out her mother for the number one spot-- Sailor Moon was ranked second.
Her evil alter ago Black Lady was ranked as a separate character and was listed as number thirteen. In the Infinity arc, she and her mother switched places, with Sailor Moon on top and Sailor Mini Moon ranking second.
Sailor Mini Moon's civilian identity was listed as a separate entry in this poll and was ranked number eight out of fifty-one choices. In the Dream arc, she was once again ranked second with her mother in first place.
Each Sailor Scout is given a particular birthday, zodiac sign, and blood type. Each of these is carefully selected to represent the characters' personalities.
Both Sailor Moon and Sailor Mini Moon share the exact same birthday, June 30th, making them both a Cancer.
Cancer is a water sign and its ruling planet is the Moon. Their personalities are described as one of the most sensitive and emotional zodiac signs. They are also loyal and care strongly for their families.
In Japan, blood type is also used to analyze a person's best and worst traits. Sailor Moon and Mini Moon are both listed as having type O. This means that they are intuitive, ambitious, and have a strong will. However, they can also be self-centered and unpredictable.
Despite consistently ranking high in popularity with Japanese audiences, Sailor Mini Moon was considerably less popular with the Western fandom.
In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917 by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, the authors claim that ratings for the anime hit an all-time low in the Sailor Moon SuperS season partly because the focus was shifting away from Sailor Moon onto her daughter.
They call Sailor Mini Moon an "unpopular" character. However, it must be noted that this only applies to her portrayal in the original anime.
The original anime made Mini Moon less mature and developed than her manga counterpart. Many English-speaking fans found her to be overly bratty, annoying, ineffective in battle, and did not like the way she talked to or treated her mother.
Sailor Mini Moon's character has several different names and incarnations. There is her human form that she takes when she visits the past, as well as her Sailor Mini Moon form.
In 30th century Crystal Tokyo, she is known as Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity. She is most often called Small Lady by others in the kingdom.
In the original anime, she is able to transform into her princess form whenever she needs more power, just like her mother can sometimes transform into Princess Serenity.
When she becomes older, she becomes known as Princess Lady Serenity. She has another form in the later seasons of the anime, and as she grows stronger, she uses the power of the Holy Grail of the future to become Super Sailor Mini Moon.
There is another version of her in the manga that is not named, but is similar to Eternal Sailor Moon.
One might think that growing up as a princess would be a great life. However, as heir to the Crystal Tokyo's throne, Rini is constantly being compared to her mother.
In the future, Sailor Moon is known as Neo-Queen Serenity. She is a sophisticated lady and a powerful warrior. Additionally, in the future, Rini's powers were never awakened.
She was teased constantly by the other kids for being a fake princess, and they doubted if she was even the queen's real daughter. She is plagued by insecurity over this.
When she travels to the past, she meets a very different version of her mother who is clumsy, a crybaby, and gets scolded for her grades. Rini takes comfort in the fact that her mother is just as imperfect as she is.
Tuxedo Mask gets kidnapped and brainwashed more than any other character in the series. This forces the Sailor Scouts to save him numerous times, even though he is supposed to be protecting them and Sailor Moon from danger.
In the Dark Kingdon arc, he is brainwashed and breaks into the Scout's secret base. Taking after her father, Sailor Mini Moon is also brainwashed into becoming evil.
She is kidnapped by Wiseman of the Black Moon Clan. He makes her biggest wish come true -- to become a lady -- and brainwashes her into fighting the Sailor Scouts.
The evil version of her is called Black Lady, or Wicked Lady in other versions. While other characters have been brainwashed evil in the series, Rini is the only one who had an evil version before she was even awakened as a Sailor Scout.
In the manga, she first becomes Sailor Mini Moon only after breaking the Wiseman's curse.
Sailor Mini Moon is destined to become the next Sailor Moon, so it makes sense for her to have her own group of warriors to protect her.
When Rini finally awakens as a warrior, her bodyguards do as well. Their names are Sailor Ceres, Sailor Pallas, Sailor Juno, and Sailor Vesta. They are all named after asteroids and together are known as the Sailor Quartet.
Before awakening, they were asleep in Amazon stones. They make two major appearances in the manga. In the first, they were awakened early by the Dead Moon Circus and temporarily corrupted into becoming evil.
They were also seen in the Stars arc when Sailor Mini Moon travels back to the past to help the Sailor Scouts in battle. A version of the Quartet appeared in Sailor Moon SuperS, but they were not Sailor Scouts.
Sailor Mini Moon often clashes with her mother, but she gets along very well with her father. A little too well for some fans...
There have been a few odd moments between Mini Moon and Tuxedo Mask. When Rini first travels to the past, her mother and father are in the middle of a kiss. She lands on top of her mother, knocking her away, and kisses her father.
She also exhibits a little crush on him, much to her mother's annoyance. However, this could just be an innocent admiration of her father and she could just be doing this to tease her mother, but there is one disturbing moment in particular that raised many eyebrows.
In the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal, when she transforms into the Black Lady she mentally controls Tuxedo Mask and obsesses over him. She believes that her mother is stealing him from her and kisses him.
This encounter led some fans to wonder if Mini Moon has some sort of Electra Complex, perhaps stemming from jealousy of her mother.
Rini appears to be around five or six years old when she first appears, but she seems quite intellectually advanced for her age. This is because she is actually chronologically 900 years old.
The residents of Crystal Tokyo are essentially immortal, which explains the long life span. Her body halted its natural aging process at the age of five because of exposure to the Silver Crystal's power.
Because of her physical appearance being stunted, her powers did not awaken in Crystal Tokyo and she was unable to become a warrior like her mother.
This also explains why her biggest dream is to become a lady. Once she becomes Sailor Mini Moon, she resumes aging normally.
When she returns later on in the manga, she has grown up to be about seven or eight years old.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Sailor Moon's Mini Moon? Let us know in the comments!