Few anime franchises are quite as well known as Sailor Moon. Beloved all around the world, Sailor Moon continues to be culturally relevant, thanks to new incarnations of the franchise. Out of all the many amazing characters that make up the Sailor Moon roster, none are quite as well liked as the titular heroine: Usagi Tsukino.
Otherwise known as “Serena” in the English dub (though she was nearly named “Celeste”), there’s a reason why everyone loves Usagi so much. Kind, caring, willful, but also a bit silly and childish, Usagi is the best friend we all wish we had in our lives. The thing is, while people know who Usagi Tsukino is, they don’t actually know her all that well.
Only die-hard Sailor Moon fans know everything there is to know about Usagi Tsukino. Well, not all, because even some of the most Sailor Moon-obsessed people probably don’t know a lot of things about Usagi. Find out for yourself and read through the list below, a collection of facts about Usagi Tsukino you almost definitely didn’t know.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About Sailor Moon (The Character).
15. She Grows To Be 1,000-Years-Old But Never Grows Up
Usagi is a little childish. It’s one of the character’s enduring traits, with Usagi’s childlike nature both endearing and frustrating to other characters. However, that’s just Usagi, because acting like a kid is something she never grows out of, even after hundreds of years.
Technically, Usagi grows to be about 1,000 years old, as revealed in the second season of the show. At some point, in the 30th century, Usagi uses the Silver Crystal to wake the Earth out of an ice age and establishes a new Silver Millennium dubbed Crystall Tokyo.
It’s suggested that Usagi, and most of the Earth, were in some sort of cryogenic deep sleep for all those years, which is why Usagi doesn’t look too old, but she is technically about 1,000 when she reigns as queen of Crystal Tokyo.
After all that time, and after becoming a monarch, Usagi never loses her childlike whimsy. Snippets of future-Usagi’s personality are revealed throughout the series, like how the future queen would pretend to be sick to get out of royal duties.
When sending letters to Chibiusa, Neo-Queen Serenity signs off with a picture of herself, rather than a signature, and she still can’t write in kanji, the more difficult Japanese writing form. It’s good to know that you can live a millennia, become a queen, but still be a kid at heart.
14. She Got Drunk…Twice
In the anime, Usagi is a kind, but childish young girl. More so than the other characters, Usagi maintains a somewhat juvenile nature throughout the course of the series, only becoming mature and sensible during times of crisis.
Well, not always, because Usagi acts like an adult a couple of other times, and not in the “holding yourself together and fighting evil with a cool head” kind of way. No, Usagi gets completely drunk on two seperate occasions in the anime.
The first time occurs in episode 22, when Usagi crashes a fancy party held by Princess Diamond to thwart the evil plots of the Dark Kingdom and find the Silver Crystal. When she’s there, though, Usagi enjoys one too many free beverages, forgets about searching for the Silver Crystal, and gets plastered enough to pass out.
A similar scene occurs in episode 108, when Usagi and the gang are invited to a party with a bunch of international students. Fearful of having to speak English (one of Usagi’s worst school subjects), the heroine calms herself by “accidentally” chugging a bunch of drinks. We’ve all been there.
13. She Has A Second Daughter
Chibiusa is Usagi and Mamoru’s daughter from the future, as you probably already know. Most assume the couple only had one child, which is true, unless you count alternate universes. In The Materials Collection Sailor Moon art book, the last drawn by the franchise’s creator Naoko Takeuchi, an alternate “parallel” Sailor Moon world is presented where Usagi has a second daughter, Kousagi Tsukino.
Much like her mother, Kousagi loves food and is also a little annoying. In fact, the daughters of the other Sailor Scouts in this alternate reality straight-up hate Kousagi and try to avoid her at any cost. When the safety of Earth is threatened, however, the junior Sailor Scouts band together to fight an evil herd of… rabbits. Yes, rabbits, which is ironic since Kousagi’s name means “little rabbit.”
Kousagi is able to save the day by transforming into a Sailor Scout and summoning a horde of cats, which then morphs into a giant Lynx, and destroys the rabbit horde. Overall, it’s a pretty weird story, but it’s cool to see a future that might have been, where Usagi has a second daughter.
12. She Is Super Rich
North American audiences probably never gave too much thought on the economic class that Sailor Moon and the gang belong too. To the average North American viewer, Usagi and company were middle class, living in moderately-sized homes in a seemingly average neighbourhood.
However, if you know a little something about Japan, you’d realize Usagi and the other Sailor Scouts are pretty well off. Every one of the five main characters live in the Juuban district in Tokyo, which is a very affluent area.
Real estate in Japan is also incredibly expensive, so the fact that the Sailor Scouts can afford homes in this district showcases their wealth. Usagi is especially rich, since she has a two-storey house, a luxury only the wealthy can afford.
Characters outside of the core five are also pretty loaded when you recognize the cars they drive. In the anime, Darien/Mamoru drives an Alfa Romeo SZ and Sailor Uranus sports a Ferrari 512M. Both are luxury vehicles, further demonstrating that the characters of Sailor Moon are all quite wealthy.
11. She Kills Herself… Kind Of
All the reincarnation and past lives stuff in Sailor Moon can get pretty confusing. Aside from a headache, Usagi’s past life can also bring about tears when you point out one rather tragic aspect.
As Princess Serenity, daughter of Queen Serenity of the Silver Millenium Kingdom, past-Usagi fell in love with Prince Endymion of the Earth. They fell in love, as we all know, and then the shadow of evil creeps in through Queen Metaria.
In the anime, when Queen Metaria leads an assault on earth, Prince Endymion (the past-version of Tuxedo Mask) is killed. Princess Serenity is then sent into a spiral of sadness and then kills herself out of grief.
Intense, yes, and it’s a major distinction between the anime and manga. In the former, Queen Metaria kills both Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. The manga-version is far more tragic and saddening, which is probably why it was changed for TV. Still, technically, Usagi kills herself– well, her past self, anyway.
10. Only Her Hair Clips Never Change
Sailor Moon rocks a lot of outfits over the course of the series. This usually happens whenever Usagi needs a power-upgrade, like when she transforms into Super Sailor Moon with the power of the Holy Grail.
Truthfully, that costume change only involves a few added bows and colours. A more drastic transformation occurs when Usagi grows wings and a different color set when transforming into Eternal Sailor Moon.
However, it isn’t just Usagi’s clothes that changes after every “level up” she gets in powers, her tiara changes too. Usagi’s original costume has a tiara with a red jewel at the centre, Super Sailor Moon’s tiara features a crescent moon on her forehead, and Eternal Sailor Moon ditches the tiara completely.
In fact, the only thing that doesn’t really change about Usagi’s costume throughout the course of the series is her red hair bun clips. Yup, those red hair-bun clips are the only real constant across Sailor Moon’s costumes.
9. Her Name Means Rabbit
Understanding the meaning behind Usagi’s name is kind of impossible unless you understand Japanese– for most North American viewers, this isn’t the case. “Usagi Tsukino,” you see, is a play on words, of a sort.
In Japanese, “usage” means “rabbit.” “Tsuki,” meanwhile, means “moon.” So, when paired together, Sailor Moon’s name roughly translates to “rabbit on the moon.” Usagi is often seen wearing rabbits on her clothes (like on her pyjamas) or just having bunny-themed items, like her bed sheets, to reference the word-play of her name. Unlike a rabbit, however, Usagi hates carrots.
This isn’t some random pairing of animal and celestial body, mind you. The rabbit-moon combo is actually based off of a Japanese folktale about a bunny that you can supposedly see on the moon.
It’s kind of like “the old man on the moon” motif, the idea that you can see a man’s face on the moon, that we have in North America. However, the English dub also largely did away with the “rabbit on the moon” thing, since Usagi’s name in the west is technically “Serena.”
8. She’s Always Had One Voice
Voice actors are key to the enjoyment of any animated series. Thus, when a voice actor suddenly changes mid-series, it’s always a jarring experience. You grew attached to how that one particular voice actor portrayed a character, and you can’t let go of the connection between the two. Fortunately for the Sailor Moon animated series, Usagi Tsukino pretty much always had one voice.
Kotono Mitsuishi is pretty much the only voice actor to bring Usagi to life throughout the Japanese animated series. Unlike her normal voice, Mutsuishi uses a higher pitch when voicing Usagi, a role she assumed even in the various movies that the Sailor Moon franchise spawned.
In fact, one of the only times Mitsuishi didn’t voice Usage was when she had to miss the productions of episodes 44 through 50. Kae Araki took over voice-duties during those episodes and later Araki went on to voice Usagi’s daughter Chibiusa. Mitsuishi is also the only voice actor from the original cast to reprise her role in Sailor Moon Crystal, continuing the legacy of Usagi today.
7. She Nearly Had Different Hair
Usagi’s long, flowing blonde hair (and hairstyle) is iconic. Fans could never imagine an Usagi who wasn’t a blonde, but this was almost the case.
Early character designs for Usagi showcase the titular heroine sporting pink hair. Later, this was changed to blonde, as we all know. However, this original hair-colour-choice would be used for later characters, specifically Chibiusa, which explains why Usagi’s daughter has pink hair while she is a blonde.
Usagi’s hair colour was planned to change during the course of the series too. When Sailor Moon’s creator, Naoko Takeuchi, first invented the character of Usagi, she wanted to have her blonde hair change to silver after transforming.
It took an editor stepping in to change that plan, as Takeuchi was told that silver hair was simply too plain to have on the cover of a manga. Blonde is more eye-catching, so Takeuchi kept Usagi’s hair bright yellow throughout the series.
Another cool hair-based factoid is that Usagi’s signature hairstyle is based on Takeuchi’s life. The Sailor Moon creator would put her hair up into buns during exams or hard classes as a sort of good luck charm.
6. She Isn’t Stupid, Just Lazy
Usagi is never really portrayed as all that smart. Not only is she always portrayed as having a strong distaste for school, but Usagi never really seems to do well in her classes, particularly English and math– her worst subjects.
The only exception is maybe home economics, Usagi’s favourite subject, which is pretty telling unto itself. Throughout the series there’s actually a running joke that Usagi can only write hiragana, and not the more complicated writing-form of kanji.
However, Usagi may be more lazy than she is stupid. Case in point: when Usagi needs to do well on her high school exams lest she be held back and not be in the same class as her friends. Without out too much effort, Usagi passes her high school exams, which are pretty difficult in the Japanese school system.
5. Her Family Is Based Off Of The Creator’s
Naako Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon, took inspiration from her own life and her family when creating Usagi. The Tsukino household, which includes Ikuko, Usagi’s mom, Kenji, her father, and Shiingo, her brother, are all named after members of Takeuchi’s family.
Usagi is generally seen as a stand-in for the author. Takeuchi, however, has never divulged any more information on the connection between her family and Usagi’s. It’s pretty much a mystery as to which family members, exactly, were used as the basis for each fictional character.
It may seem like a bit of a cop-out for an author to just use their real family when creating a fictional one, but plenty of creators have done it in the past. The Fantastic Four are based off of some of Stan Lee’s family. Same goes for The Simpsons, with almost all of the core family members based off of Matt Groening’s immediate family.
4. There Was Almost An American Sailor Moon
As any fan knows, Sailor Moon came to North America like most animes do, in an edited form with an English dub. Sure, the North American version may have switched some things around (like Usagi being named “Serena”) and censored some of the more “inappropriate for children” elements (at least by western standards) but the core narrative of the show largely remained intact.
However, that was almost not the case. Before the rights to an English dub for Sailor Moon came about, a company by the name of Toon Makers decided to make their own version of the show.
Somewhat inspired by what Saban had done with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (making a new show using Japanese footage of Super Sentai), Toon Makers crafted an absurd North American version of Sailor Moon.
Intended to be half live-action and half animation, the “American Sailor Moon” was vastly different from the original, featuring a titular character who looks like a cross between Usagi and She-Ra. Fortunately, the pilot never got off the ground.
3. Her Nickname Is “Rice Dumpling Head” In Japan
Anyone who grew up with the English dub of Sailor Moon remembers how Darien (otherwise known as Mamoru) would call Usagi, “meatball head.” Given the balls of hair on Usagi’s noggin, it was a pretty accurate nickname. However, meatballs aren’t quite as ubiquitous in Japan as they are in North America. Usagi, in the Japanese version of the anime, has a different nickname.
Both in the anime and manga, Mamoru calls Usagi “odango,” which is a type of rice dumpling. The suffix “-atama” (which means “head”) is originally used by Mamoru (so he calls Usagi “rice dumpling head”) but eventually, once the name becomes more of an affectionate pet name, the “-atama” is dropped.
Other characters use the same nickname when referring to Usagi, like Sailor Uranus.
2. She Can Grow Angel Wings
Bows, elbow-length gloves, and high-heel boots are all parts of the Sailor Moon costume that we’re familiar with, and love. However, eventually, towards the end of the series, Usagi gets a rather odd addition to her Sailor Scout uniform: angel wings.
Saved for particularly intense battles, Usagi grows fully functioning angel wings on a couple of different occasions. The first is during the final battle of SuperS, when Usagi jumps off a tower to save Chibiusa. Usagi pulls the same wing-trick when fighting Galaxia in the show’s penultimate showdown.
Angel wings are somehow connected to Usagi’s fully realized potential, but the how-and-why she can sprout wings is a little hazy. No one is really sure if Usagi’s wings are a remnant of her past life, were granted to her by a magical entity (like Pegasus,) or are just naturally a part of Usagi. Not that it matters, because the angel wings are pretty damn cool.
1. She Wields The Most Powerful Weapon In The World
Throughout the Sailor Moon series, the Silver Crystal is shown to be an item of immense power. Exactly how powerful is never officially explained, but it’s fair to say that Usagi, bearer of the Silver Crystal, wields the most powerful weapon in the entire universe.
Capable of reviving entire worlds and destroying immeasurably powerful dark forces, the Silver Crystal’s power is only rivalled by Death Phantom’s Black Crystal ad Sailor Galaxia’s Saffer Crystal.
Still, the Silver Crystal is arguable superior, since Usagi was able to defeat the aforementioned foes. Deriving its power from the collective life force of the Moon Kingdom, it’s thought that the Silver Crystal is also Sailor Moon’s Star Seed. And so the Silver Crystal’s power comes at a cost, since using the crystal’s powers drains Usagi’s life force. If Usagi overuses the Silver Crystal, it can even kill her.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Sailor Moon‘s main protagonist? Sound off in the comment section!
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