Sailor Moon: Tropes Three
The tropes found in the manga version of Sailor Moon
- Amusing Injuries: In Act 1 of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal, Usagi first meets her cat familiar via stepping on the cat's spine, tripping and faceplanting on the sidewalk. Luna returns the favor by maniacally scratching Usagi's face, (the marks from which disappear after a single scene) then leaping away none the worse for wear.
- Artistic License - Astronomy: The Lover of Princess Kaguya is just painful. When the titular comet disappear from astronomers' view, they believe it got too close to the sun and burned up, which is reasonable enough. But then a supposedly-brilliant scientist says that if the comet burned up, there should have been a rain of shooting stars. While shooting stars can come from solid particles left behind by comets, they have to enter the Earth's atmosphere to show up as shooting stars; space is big and breaking up near the sun won't do it. Later on, Kaguya says the Earth is 4.5 million years old, rather than 4.5 billion.
- A similar error appears in the Dead Moon arc. Hotaru makes a miniature recreation of the universe, which Haruka says "right now, it's at 46 million years; complete simulation of our solar system."
- Artistic License - Geography: Sailor Tin Nyanko goes undercover as a foreign exchange student... from Libya. She's pasty white, and doesn't even remotely act or dressnote like she's from a country with a conservative Muslim majority. Her "Nyanko Suzu" alias is also Japanese. Whether Takeuchi or Tin Nyanko failed to do the research is anyone's guess. She doesn't stay in that guise for long and discards it quickly.
- Artistic License - Physics: Sailor Pluto's frequent 'spacetime is warping.' In physics, spacetime is everywhere, and mass warps it. Maybe she did intend to mean 'a new star is born,' or 'we have to completely get rid of that,' but it's also possible the terminology is being misused.
- Babies Ever After: It's hinted that Usagi's pregnant with Chibi Usa by the time of her wedding.
- Back from the Dead: Unlike the anime, the power level of manga Sailor Moon, and, to a lesser extent, other characters, is (relatively consistently) insane. For a quick comparison, in the anime Usagi cannot reliably resurrect the dead, to the point that she does her best to not let Hotaru sacrifice herself against Pharaoh 90. In the manga, their solution to the Pharaoh 90 problem is to let Hotaru kill everyone on Earth, so that Sailor Moon can then resurrect everyone but the villains.
- Berserk Button: Several, both comedic and serious. Venus' one is pressed hard when you try killing Sailor Moon. (She was not her closest body guard for nothing...)
- On the more comedic side... telling her she picked a trashy colour for lipstick makes sweet, ladylike Michiru... angry.
- Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: Haruka Tenoh and her rival Seiya Kou
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The original English translation of the manga by Tokyo Pop (previously Mixx Entertainment) made many, many mistakes, especially where names are concerned. For a few examples, Kaolinite is given the title "Magnus" (large) instead of "Magus" (mage), Ptilol becomes "Petite Roll," and the Boule Brothers are translated too literally into the Artificial Jewel Brothers. Particularly sad is when Hotaru quotes passages of a William Blake poem. The translators apparently didn't recognize it despite the credits given in the story itself and retranslated the Japanese translation into English. Then they made the exact same mistake when a Yeats poem appeared in the manga.
- There's also obvious instances where the suffixes -kun, -chan, or -tan are used and the translators warped that into some really painful nicknames.
- And in the case of Minako, bordering on Les Yay, as the manga translators translated 'V-chan' as 'V-babe'. Considering how often the nickname was used in the manga by most of the Senshi at one point of another, it became truly hilarious.
- "Mugen Gakuen", which translates to "Infinity Academy", was translated as "Infinity College". The school is intended for kindergarten through high school, not college students.
- The current English translation of the manga by Kodansha USA has its own blunders, as it translates everything rather literally and often produces sentences that no normal English speaker would use, including one instance of overly-literal translation when Usagi calls Motoki, "Motoki Big Bro!", when they could have simply used the appropriate suffix ("-Niisan"), given they already use -chan, -kun, etc. Then there are the spelling errors that tend to litter the translation. And they get a number of the character's names wrong. For example, Queen Metaria's name was spelled two different ways within the same volume. They also misspelled the name of one of Rei's crows as "Demos". Most infamous was rendering Jupiter's attack as "Spark Ring Wide Pressure", a mistake none of the previous official translations have made. They also revived a common fan mistranslation, "Death Ribbon Revolution", for Sailor Saturn's key attack in the finale of the Death Busters arc. Then there's Sailor Moon using three different invocations during the StarS manga instead of, "Silver Moon Crystal Power!", which she had used consistently in the Mixx / Tokyo Pop version of StarS. Basically, while they're better by comparison to Tokyo Pop for not inventing new names or completely rewriting dialog on a whim, Sailor Moon fans are often left to wonder if a competent, consistent translator will ever handle this franchise.
- Body Horror: Between burning/melting/decaying people and bad guys with Lovecraftian superpowers, the manga's full of it.
- Body to Jewel: No, not the heart crystals, the Silver Crystal is made partly of Usagi's tears. Also, the Pink Moon Crystal appears this way.
- Literally with the Shiten'ou. They all become their namesake jewels.
- Character Development: Much more of it than in the anime for the main characters (much less for minor characters and villains, as the result of the manga being much more concise).
- Clever Crows: Sailor Mars has a pair of crows named Phobos and Deimos (named for the Moons of Mars and essentially Mars's sentries - kind of like Evil-Detecting Dog + Defence.) Let's just say that, in the manga, they aren't ordinary crows... They're shapeshifting aliens from the planet Coronis whose job is is to protect Sailor Mars.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In Stars, Princess Kakyuu has quite a bit of page time and character development, as she spends all of her time encouraging and helping Sailor Moon throughout the bad times. Then suddenly, during a fierce battle in the sailor crystal garden, she decides it'd be awesome to tell everyone she's a Sailor Senshi, transforms into Sailor Kakyuu, then proceeds to get stabbed through the chest by a blunt, rounded staff. The bad guys quickly harvest her Sailor Crystal, and Sailor Moon completely snaps.
- Eldritch Abomination: The anime Daimons were humanoid female monsters made from mundane objects, the manga Daimons were monsters that fused with humans (They also used some animals like dogs and cats), if the infusion turned out right (which was rare), it would result in a perfect Daimon (Kaolinite and the Witches 5 are examples of perfect Daimons), when it turned out wrong (Everyone aside from Kaolinite, the Witches 5 and Professor Tomoe and Hotaru), the result is a monster that easily fits the Nightmare Fuel category, just look at them
- Virtually all of the Big Bads could also be considered this.
- Expy: The series is both a spinoff and reboot of Codename: Sailor V, so several characters (Usagi, Umino, Naru, Luna) are expies of ones from the earlier series (Minako, Amano, Hikaru, Artemis). But then Minako and Artemis make the jump into Sailor Moon proper, marking one of the rare instances of expies encountering each other as something more than a joke.
- Queen Nehellania's role in the backstory of the Moon Kingdom with her cursing Princess Serenity on the day of her birth makes her eerily similar to Maleficent.
- Five-Man Band: (From the Guardian Senshi's point of view, at least.)
- Genius Loci: A group of enemies in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories refer to themselves as this by name.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Usagi gets hearts in her eyes when she meets each of the new Senshi.
- This is later taken to an extreme when Haruka kisses Usagi multiple times in the early parts of the Death Busters Arc, in both her Uranus and Haruka identities. This actually creates a brief period of friction between Usagi and Mamoru, though they eventually admit what happened and move past it. The kissing is also how Usagi figures out Uranus' identity as Haruka.
- Also, in the last two arcs Rei and Minako grow rather close and intimate.
- Humanoid Aliens: During the Stars arc, Galaxia has a flashback in which there are people with heads shaped like fish.
- Ignored Epiphany: In the manga, Beryl briefly muses about how she has sold her soul to Metaria, but thinks there's no going back.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Don't piss of Venus by threatening Usagi. Ever!
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Wiseman grants Esmeraude and Saphir magical arms/hands that definitely qualify.
- Myth Arc: The purpose and destiny of Sailor Moon and the Silver Crystal develops through all five arcs.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: In the Black Moon arc, the titular character feels faint in the presence of her future self, Neo-Queen Serenity, and her body becomes transparent; her Silver Crystal also loses its power under the influence of its future counterpart. At the end of this story arc, Neo-Queen Serenity tries to resist the temptation of talking to her past self, since it may result in the history being changed... fails, and goes to meet Sailor Moon anyway. They don't touch, but manage to say goodbye to each other in person. The story also involved Prince Demand attempting to bring the world to an end by bringing together the two Silver Crystals, which would have caused a temporal paradox and unmade time itself.
- Noodle People: The girls are of the fashion-illustration inspired, long-limbed and willowy bishoujo look when drawn by Naoko Takeuchi, and are quite leggy in proportion to their body size.
- Orwellian Retcon: Along with more standard panel redraws, a few occur in the 2003 Updated Re-release of the manga (published stateside by Kodansha in 2011), some of which carry over to Sailor Moon Crystal.
- During Act 2's Crystal Seminar story (which introduced Ami), an instance of a floppy disk from the original 1992 version was replaced by a CD-ROM in the rereleased version. Also, to be consistant with the tokusatsu version that was airing at the time, the "sailor senshi" are referred to as "guardians".
- An unnamed fog attack in the manga (referred to as "Sabao Spray" in the first anime) was changed to be called "Mercury Aqua Mist", to tie in with the live-action version. Sailor Moon's first sceptre was also redrawn to have a crystalline top.
- Sailor Jupiter had a flower-themed belt added to her first uniform in redrawn panels, a detail that Takeuchi had originally wanted to include on her but had never gotten the chance to.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: In the Infinity arc, everyone dreams about the impending doom and disaster Saturn is supposed to bring.
- Really 700 Years Old: Pretty much everyone in the future is affected, with Crystal Tokyo itself stated to be "a generation of ageless people". In the manga, it's stated that Chibi-Usa is over 900 years old - one day, she simply stopped growing (this is apparently linked to her lack of powers, and she seems to resume aging when they're unlocked). Neo Queen Serenity hasn't aged a day since she gave birth to Chibi-Usa at 22 (presumably, the other Senshi and King Endymion stopped aging around the same time), even though it's been nearly 1000 years. Additionally, though her exact age is unknown, Queen Serenity (Sailor Moon's mother in her past life) is stated to have the appearance of an 18 year old, and the race of the Silver Millennium are said to have life spans of about 1000 years.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The sheer scope of spaces is repeatedly ignored throughout the manga, mainly because this particular universe runs on Rule of Cool rather than physics.
- Updated Re-release: The manga was reprinted in 2003 to coincide with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. It featured updated artwork and dialogue, and the chapters were reorganized into fewer volumes. These reprints were later used for Kodansha USA's 2011 stateside retranslated rereleases.
- Verbal Tic: Most of the Big Bads/incarnations of Chaos start their sentences with the phrase "Ooh".
- We All Live In Japan: In the "Princess Kaguya" manga arc, Himeko mentions being denied a place on the Luna Shuttle's team because the NASA scientists thought a young woman like her "should just get married and settle down." While in Japan such attitudes toward young women are still fairly prevalent, in the U.S., such gender attitudes were largely extinct, especially in NASA which had plenty of married and unmarried female astronauts and scientists. In particular, Sally Ride had already become the first American woman in space a decade before the story ran and at the time of her NASA career was married to another astronaut. Furthermore, legal protections against such blatant gender discrimination would end in an easy anti-discrimination lawsuit.
- What Happened To The Cats?: The cats are the last of Usagi's allies to be killed off in the Sailor Stars arc... and unlike the Senshi are promptly forgotten about, never shown to be resurrected and never mentioned or alluded to during the ending. Logic (and hope) dictates that they must have been resurrected or Diana would never have been born — though the Stars arc did feature a lot of hints that the future was being erased and nothing was written in stone anymore, so the possibity is always there that she in fact wasn't born.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted during the Infinity Arc. When Haruka throws Mako while they're sparring, Minako says "Hey! How dare you throw a frail girl full-force?!" To which Haruka coolly replies that gender shouldn't matter and it's not okay to lose just because one's a girl. Ignoring, the fact that Haruka's a woman, Mako is hardly a 'Frail Girl' and much like Minako, can fight evenly with any male villain, so it's a moot point.