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Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Manga Guide

Naoko Takeuchi
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Naoko the Genius

Why do I call Naoko Takeuchi a genius? She took the most cliche plot basis in the world and wove in into a story that still captures the imagination nearly eight years after its first appearance. "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon" is a classic case of boy-meets-girl, except here, the boy and girl are superheroes dedicated to protecting the Earth. What more could a reader ask for?

Basic Naoko Facts

Naoko was born on March 15 in the city of Kofu. She graduated from Kyoritsu Chemical University with plans to become a pharmacist (now you can stop wondering why the villains were named as they were). However, she turned to the activity that had brought her joy since high school: manga drawing. While in college, she had already won the Nakayoshi New Manga Artist Award for her story "Love Call." It only seemed natural that Naoko should take up manga drawing as her career.

As it turned out, her career choice was a good one. She had a string of successes with the popular "The Cherry Project," "Code Name wa Sailor V," and "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon," which won the 17th Kodansha Manga Award. During the writing of Sailor Moon, she moved to Azabu Juuban in Tokyo (the same area where Sailor Moon is set). She married fellow manga artist Togashi Yoshiro ("Yuu Yuu Hakusho") on January 6, 1999. She continues to write, but her greatest work is considered to be "Sailor Moon."  As of 2003, she has been busy overseeing the live-action version of Sailor Moon.

The Making of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon

It all started when Naoko remarked to her editor that she'd like to write a story about allies of justice. Her editor suggested sailor-suited soldiers (note: Japanese school uniforms are sailor suits). With that idea in mind, Naoko wrote a short story called Code Name wa Sailor V. It was intended to be just that: a one act short story. However, it was published in 1991 and captured a large fan base. Surprised at Sailor V's popularity, Naoko began to write more. Soon, an idea for a much larger story took shape in her mind. While in the middle of the Sailor V story, Naoko wrote and published the first act of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon in February 1992.

Sailor Moon took off. During its run in Nakayoshi (Feb 1992 to March 1997), the popular manga spawned a five season anime series, three full-length movies, nine side stories featuring the Senshi, and an avalanche of merchandise. Oh, and let's not forget the million or so websites.....

Artist, Writer, & Lyricist

We know that Naoko wrote and drew the Sailor Moon manga, but did you know that she also had a hand in the anime as well? Many of those catchy songs from the anime were written by Naoko. She also wrote some of the poems and prologues that the Senshi recite on the CDs. Here's some of the Sailor Moon songs she has written.

Ai No Megami No How To Love (The Goddess of Love's How to Love): Minako's image song from Sailor Stars

Ai Wo Shinjiteru (I Believe in Love): Usagi's image song from Sailor Stars

Ashita Mo Mata Jitensha (Bicycle Again Tomorrow): Ami's image song from Sailor Stars

Chikara Wo Awasete (Combining Strengths): Taiki's image song

Ginga Ichi Mibun Chigai Na Kataomoi (Unrequited Love a Station Apart in the Galaxy): Seiya's image song

Golden Queen Galaxia: Sailor Galaxia's image song

Honoo No Sogekisha (Flame Sniper): Rei's image song from Sailor Stars

Hottokenai Yo (We Can't Leave You Alone): a song from the original SM series before Sailors Jupiter and Venus were discovered

I Am Sailor Moon: Usagi's song from the R movie; it's also the song Mimet was singing to in SMS episode # 114

Initial U: Haruka's image song from Sailor Stars

Mayonaka Hitori (Alone at Midnight): Yaten's image song

Nagareboshi He (To the Shooting Star): the first song sung by the Three Lights

Princess Moon: the second end song used for the series

Rashiku Ikimasho (I'll Go As Myself): theme song for the animated short "Ami-chan No Hatsukoi"; it was originally shown with the SuperS movie

Route Venus: Minako's image song from SMSS; it's the song she plays for the children in episode # 154

Sailor Star Song: the second opening song for the series; it replaced Moonlight Densetsu for the Sailor Stars season

Sailor Team No Theme (Sailor Team's Theme): from the soundtrack of the SMS movie; it's also the song played in SMSS episode # 161

Senshi No Omoi (Feelings of a Soldier): Michiru's image song from Sailor Stars

Todokanu Omoi~My Friend's Love~ (Feelings that Cannot be Delivered): the Three Lights' second song

Tuxedo Mirage: ending song for the S season; it can also be heard as BGM in many episodes

We Believe You: Makoto's image song for Sailor Stars

Other Manga

Takeuchi Naoko has written many other manga besides Sailor Moon. This is a short list of some of her other manga. All names are in Japanese format.

Love Call (1986): a sweet story about love and pre-paid phone cards

Maigo No Swing (1988): slow student Mima develops a crush on her tutor.... But is he involved with her older sister?

Boku No Pierce Girl (1989): inseparable twins must deal with a potential boyfriend coming between them

July Marmalade Birthday (1989): when Miina receives a jar of expensive marmalade for her birthday, she wonders if her long-time friend Amari is the "prince" who sent the present

Maria (1989 - 1990): based on the book "Daddy-Long-Legs"

Miss Rain (1990): the story of the sad teen idol Kuramitsu Rena , who seems to bring rain wherever she goes

The Cherry Project (1990 - 1991): Asuka Chieri (aka Cherry) loves to ice skate. It seems like a dream-come-true when she meets and falls in love with her idol, Tsukuki Masanori. The only problem is, does he love her too?

Code Name wa Sailor V (1991 - 1997): the original sailor-suited soldier goes up against the villains of the Dark Kingdom (note: while Sailor V's story line takes place before and up to Act 7 of Sailor Moon, it was published irregularly)

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (1992 - 1997): Naoko's best known work, it chronicles the sailor-suited soldiers as they save the world from evil and create a new peace

Rain Kiss (1997): Minazuki Shigure, the class dunce, falls for the class brain. Unfortunately, he only has studying on his mind...

PQ Angels (1997): Peanut and Kyuuri are on a secret mission until they get side-tracked by two handsome boys. What are two girls with the ability to morph into roaches to do? (Unfortunately, we may never know, since the series is unfinished)

Princess Takeuchi Naoko's Return-to-Society Punch!! (1998 - 1999): after her year-long hiatus, Naoko returns with a manga that describes her life during and after the Sailor Moon phenomenon. Includes wedding wishes from the voice actors of Sailor Moon

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