Sailor Senshi

From Academic Kids


Missing image
The "Sailor Senshi"
Back row: #4, #8, #6, #7, #5
Middle row: #2, #1, #3
Front row: #9, #11, #10

The Sailor Senshi (セーラー戦士 sērā senshi, prob. from セーラー服 sērā-fuku, girls' uniform + 戦士 senshi, warrior/soldier) are the group of heroines from the metaseries Sailor Moon. They are known in the English translations as the Sailor Scouts.

Senshi is, in fact, a generic Japanese word; however, Sailor Moon is so well-known amongst English speaking anime fans that, absent other context, it invariably refers to the Sailor Senshi (despite the term's use in other anime such as Fushigi Yūgi). Contrariwise, usage of the term Scouts (or even Sailor Scouts) is comparatively rare. The only official English title for Sailor Moon used in Japan very loosely translates senshi to mean "guardian".

The term Sailor senshi in the Japanese anime and manga is used descriptively for all Sailors; the group from our solar system is officially called the "Sailor Team". Tuxedo Kamen (Tuxedo Mask, #0) is also described as a senshi in the series, but according to creator Naoko Takeuchi a male cannot be a Sailor Senshi. The anime defies this by making the Sailor Starlights male; they are always female in the manga who are disguised by male clothing. In the manga, Tuxedo Mask also has powers similar to the other senshi; in both the anime and manga he has a true star seed of a senshi with his planetary domain being Earth.

Like almost all Japanese borrowings, senshi is both the singular and plural form.


Inner vs. Outer Senshi

The Inner Senshi and Outer Senshi are two distinct subsets of the Sailor Senshi. Although in the story there is a distinct divide between the Inner and Outer Senshi, both "Inner Senshi" and "Outer Senshi" are strictly terms from Anglophone fandom, and are never actually used in any of the series or adaptations (although see the section Japanese naming below).

The Inner Senshi are Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus, and almost invariably Sailor Moon herself; they serve as the protectors of Earth. They are referred to as the princesses of their respective planets in the manga (and, oddly, the North American dub), but not in either the original language anime or the live action show.

The Outer Senshi are Sailor Pluto, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Saturn. They protect the solar system from external threats (although the Doom Tree arc of the anime throws this into question, notwithstanding the fact that Takeuchi did not write that story). Sailor Pluto is introduced earliest, during the Nemesis arc; the remainder of the Outer Senshi are not introduced until the Death Busters arc.

Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Chibi-Moon, the Sailor Starlights, and other allied or Senshi-like characters are not typically included in either of these groups.

Japanese naming

There is a common misapprehension amongst American fans that, in the original Japanese, the term "Sailor Team" (either in Roman letters, or as katakana セーラーチーム sērā chīmu) is used to refer to the Inner Senshi. However, this term is not applied exclusively to the Inner Senshi; it often includes Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and/or Chibi-Moon.

However, in the original manga, the terms yon shūgoshin no senshi (四守護神の戦士, lit. "four warriors of the guardian gods") and gaibu taiyōkei senshi (外部太陽系戦士, lit. "outer solar system warriors") are occasionally used to describe the Inner Senshi (sans Moon) and the Outer Senshi, respectively. Their use is comparatively rare, however.

Similarly, the musical adaptations also use gaibu taiyōkei yon senshi ("outer solar system four warriors"), but this contrasts with naibu taiyōkei yon senshi (内部太陽系四戦士, lit. "inner solar system four warriors") instead.

Basis of the division

The storyline-implied division between 'Inner' and 'Outer' is not based on any mythological, astronomical, or astrological tradition. Modern astronomy divides the outer planets from the inner between Mars and Jupiter, which in our solar system is both the site of the asteroid belt and the point of division between the gas giants and the interior terrestrial planets. Contrariwise, modern astrology (both Western and Eastern) divides the planets between Saturn and Uranus: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were only recently discovered, and are not visible from Earth with the naked eye, while the other planets have been known since antiquity.

Instead, the reason is more likely that a typical sentai team has five members, and the planets for the Inner Senshi were simply selected to fill that number. The Outer Senshi thus did not exist in the early run of the manga, and remained mostly separate from the Inner Senshi throughout.

Other Sailor Soldiers

The manga also features a variety of other senshi such as the Sailor Quartetto, often referred to in English fandom as the "Asteroid Senshi". These senshi are Sailor Chibi-Moon's guardians, just like the Inner Senshi are Sailor Moon's guardians.

External links

  • Debunking Common Misconceptions ( DIES GAUDII's description of the term "Sailor Team"
  • "Inner Senshi and Outer Senshi" ( DIES GAUDII's description of the original terms

Missing image
This logo was used for the Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Characters
Missing image
This logo was used for the live-action Sailor Moon series.

Protagonists Usagi Tsukino | Ami Mizuno | Rei Hino | Makoto Kino | Minako Aino | Setsuna Meioh | Michiru Kaioh | Haruka Tenoh | Hotaru Tomoe
Mamoru Chiba | Chibiusa | Chibi Chibi | Sailor Starlights | Princess Kakyuu | Luna | Artemis | Diana | Queen Serenity

Manga and Anime Villains "Dark Kingdom" Sailormoon/ Sailormoon: Queen Metallia | Queen Beryl | Shitennou ("Four Kings")
"Doom Tree" (Does Not Appear/R (Return)) : Ail (Alan) | En (Ann) | Makaiju (Doom Tree)

"Black Moon" (Black Moon/ R(Romance)): Death Phantom | Demande | Saphir | Esmeraude | Rubeus | Ayakashi Sisters

"Death Busters" (Infinity Arc/ Super): Pharaoh 90 | Mistress 9 | Professor Tomoe | Germatoid | Kaolinite | Witches 5
"Dead Moon Circus" (Dream Arc/ SuperS): Nehelenia | Zirconia | Zircon | Amazon Trio | Amazoness Quartet
"Shadow Galactica" (Stars Arc/ Sailorstars): Chaos | Sailor Galaxia | Iron Mouse | Aluminum Siren | Lead Crow | Tin Nyanko | Heavy Metal Papillon | Sailor Lethe | Sailor Mnemosyne | Sailor Phi | Sailor Chi | Sailor Chaos

Live Action and Myuu Villains "Sera Myuu" (Musicals) : | Pewter Fox | Titan Kerokko
"Pretty Guardian Sailormoon" (Live Action Sailormoon): | Mio Kuroki

Support Cast Shingo Tsukino | Ikuko Tsukino | Kenji Tsukino | Naru Osaka | Gurio Umino | Haruna Sakurada | Motoki Furuhata | Unazuki Furuhata | Yūichirō Kumada

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