As we know, the moral line in the Whedonverse is a teensy bit gray, but it’s pretty clear in the land of my favorite childhood bishōjo anime, Sailor Moon. One of my favorite tumblrs out there, buffy-studies-minor, linked to a pointing out of the similarities between Sailor Moon and Buffy (the original post is here) but having recently done the Whedonverse as Rainbow Brite kids, I couldn’t leave it just Buffy. I had to throw everyone in there. As there are far too many villains in Sailor Moon (they don’t just have one big bad per season, they have like… twenty) I’ll save them for a separate post, but here’s the protagonists.
As before, the “quoted” text is copied from Wikipedia, the (parenthetical) text is what was originally there, and the [bracketed] text is the Whedonverse substitution. There are more … omitted passages of irrelevant details here, but it’s the big stuff that counts most. And I do realize that there’s lots of the same kids getting recast, but that’s just because Sailor Moon and Buffy et al and Rainbow Brite are all similar in ways! (I mean that with the utmost love.)
So. Here goes nothing.
Serena Tsukino. Tsukino Usagi. 月野 うさぎ. Sailor Moon. Represented by Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar). “At the beginning of the series, she is (fourteen) [fifteen] years old and portrayed as (an immature crybaby) [a flighty valley girl of sorts] who (hates) [is annoyed by] having to fight evil and wants nothing more than to be a normal girl. As she progresses, however, she embraces the chance to use her power to protect those she cares about.” Also noteworthy of mention are powerful heirloom weapons and the fact that a great use of her power can lead to her death.
Amy Mizuno. Mizuno Ami. 水野 亜美 . Sailor Mercury. Represented by Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan). “(Ami’s) [Willow's] shy exterior masks a passion for knowledge and for taking care of the people around her… (Ami) [Willow] would also be considered the ‘tech girl’ of the group by using her (mini data computer) [computer], which is capable of (scanning and detecting virtually anything she needs) [doing what computers do, but she's the only one who does it].”
Raye Hino. Hino Rei. 火野 レイ . Sailor Mars. Represented by Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku). “She is very (serious) [tough] and (focused) [focused on kicking ass], but although easily annoyed by (Usagi’s) [Buffy's] (flightiness) [do-gooder attitude] and being totally (clueless) [wholesome], but cares about her very much.” A lot of the nouns and adjectives and verbs are different, but the power dynamic between Serena and Raye is somewhat similar to the one between Buffy and Faith: Raye was always, if I remember correctly, the other main one, the one who wanted to take charge and do things her way. Faith doesn’t exactly want to take charge, but she does want things done her way.
Lita Kino. Kino Makoto. 木野 まこと . Sailor Jupiter. Represented by Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite). “A (sixteen-year-old tomboy) [tomboy whose age is never explicitly given, but Jewel was 20 at the time of Firefly's filming and 23 by Serenity]… She cultivates her (physical strength) [prowess with machines] as well as more domestic interests, including (housekeeping) [prettying up the ship], (cooking) [apparently baking when it's someone's birthday and things can be gotten
and I have headcanon that she has a thing for birthday surprises, though Simon's was most special], and (gardening) [being everyone's mèimei or jĭejie)." Basically, the also-girly tomboy.
Mina Aino. Aino Minako. 愛野 美奈子 . Sailor Venus. Represented by Priya Tsetsang / Sierra (Dichen Lachman). This is another of those, like Indigo, where she sounds more like a character on Glee or something, so I'm not gonna bother copypasting. But hey, Sierra gets imprinted as all kinds of wacky stuff, it could happen. Also, Dichen's just pretty to look at.
Rini Tsukino. Chibiusa. ちびうさ . Sailor Chibi/Mini Moon. Represented by Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg). "At times she has an adversarial relationship with her (mother) [sister] (in the 20th century),as she considers herself (more mature than Usagi) [overprotected but with reason], but as the series progresses they develop a deep bond. (Chibiusa) [Dawn] wants to grow up to become a (lady) [badass] like her (mother) [sister].” It is also worth noting that, while Rini was Serena and Darien’s daughter from the future of Crystal Tokyo and sent herself back in time to train and Dawn was a mystical energy blob turned into Buffy’s sister by some monks so Buffy would protect her, the whole “retroactively having known you forever” thing definitely happened with both of them.
Darien Chiba. Chiba Mamoru. 地場 衛 . Tuxedo Mask. Represented by Angel (David Boreanaz). “A (student) [vampire] (somewhat) [200+ years] older than (Usagi) [Buffy]. As a young (child) [man] he experienced (a terrible car-accident) [a woman named Darla who was really a vampire] (that) [who] robbed him of his (parents) [humanity] and of his knowledge of (his own identity) [human decency]. During the series it is revealed he has a special (psychic rapport with) [redemptive mission to protect] (Usagi) [Buffy] and can (sense) [help out] when (she is) [she and her friends are] in danger, which inspires him to take on (the guise of Tuxedo Mask) [a somewhat lurky but well-intentioned role] and fight alongside the (Sailor Senshi) [Scoobies] when needed.” Tuxedo actually gets the happily-ever-after with his blonde heroine, though.
Trista Meioh. Meio Setsuna. 冥王 せつな . Sailor Pluto. Represented by Tara Maclay (Amber Benson). “She has a (distant) [shy] personality and can be very (stern) [obscure], but can also be quite friendly and helps the (younger Sailor Senshi) [other Scoobies] when she can. After so long (at the Gate of Time) [believing herself part-demon thanks to her crazy father] she carries a deep sense of loneliness, although she is close friends with (Chibiusa) [Dawn and of course her girl Willow].” Honestly, Tara ended up mostly as Pluto ’cause of her motherly/sisterly thing with Dawn/Rini.
Michelle Kaioh. Kaio Michiru. 海王 みちる . Sailor Neptune. Represented by Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin). “An elegant and talented (violinist and painter with family money) [Companion]. (A year) [An indistinct amount of years] older than (most of the other Sailor Senshi) [...Kaylee and River]… She (worked alone) [worked out of Sihnon] for some time before finding (her partner, Sailor Uranus) [the space on Serenity and its crew... and Mal], with whom she fell in love. (Neptune) [Inara] has ultimately given up (her own dreams) [a "normal" Companion's life] for the life of (a Senshi) [one aboard Serenity]. She is fully devoted to this (duty) [way of life] and willing to make (any sacrifice) [more sacrifices] for it [as time goes on].” Two other points of interest: Wikipedia describes Neptune as the soldier of “Ocean and Intuition,” and while Ocean is irrelevant, Intuition is right up Inara’s alley. Also, Neptune is technically dating and in love with Sailor Uranus, who just happens to have a physical resemblance to the Councilor that Inara entertains in “The Message.”
But that aside…
Amara Tenoh. Teno Haruka. 天王 はるか . Sailor Uranus. Represented by Zoe Alleyne Washburne (Gina Torres). (They look nothing alike, I know, just bear with me.) “A good-natured, [sometimes] masculine-acting (girl) [woman]… She tends to (dress and, in the anime, speak) [fight] like a man. When it comes to fighting the enemy she distrusts outside help and prefers to work solely with (Sailor Neptune and, later, Pluto and Saturn) [Mal and the others on Serenity].” Zoe’s a bit more feminine than Uranus, but hey.
Hotaru Tomoe. Tomoe Hotaru. 土萠 ほたる . Sailor Saturn. Represented by River Tam (Summer Glau). “A sweet, lonely young girl… Daughter of (a mad scientist) [Alliance supporters, (a terrible laboratory accident) [unwitting enrollment in a school that was really a training and torture facility] in her youth significantly compromised her [mental] health… After overcoming the darkness that has (surrounded her family) [plagued her since the Academy], (Hotaru) [River] is able to become (the Soldier of Death and Rebirth, Sailor Saturn) [a serious badass]. She is often (pensive) [hyperintelligent and thoughtful but slightly crazy], and as a human has the inexplicable power to (heal others) [read minds].” (Spoiler alert: Doctor Tomoe is the entire Alliance.)
…I swear I did not mean for most of the women of Serenity to wind up Outer Senshi together.
(I will note first off that even Wikipedia points out that Luna’s “role in the series has been compared to Rupert Giles’ in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but we’re not just doing Buffy, remember? And I’m trying to keep it same gender analogies, and Adelle is kind of the bitchy badass Giles of Dollhouse at times, and… yeah.) Luna. ルナ. Represented by Adelle Dewitt (Olivia Williams). “Luna provides the (Senshi) [Dolls] with many of their (special items) [engagements, particularly early on... Over the course of the series, (Luna) [Adelle] develops a (close bond with) [tolerance for] (Usagi) [Echo], though early on it is on uneasy terms, as (Luna) [Adelle] often upsets (Usagi) [Echo] by giving her (advice she does not want, often leading to comic results) [strictures she does not agree with].” Don’t be hatin’.
Artemis. アルテミス . Represented by Topher Brink (Fran Kranz). ” His (memory of the Silver Millennium) [relationship with the Dolls] seems to be more (intact) [realized] than (Luna’s) [Adelle's]… When a technical (problem reveals him) [anomaly arises], (Luna) [Adelle] is greatly (annoyed to learn that he’s been the one guiding her all along) [turns to him, though often with attitude]. (Artemis) [Topher] is more easygoing than (Luna) [Adelle], and has a “big brother” relationship with (Minako) [the Dolls at times], although his (attraction to her) [awareness of their physical beauty and their empty brains] is sometimes implied.” I mean, Adelle + Topher =/= love like Luna + Artemis = love, but Artemis’ personality is totally Topher.
Diana. ダイアナ . Represented by Vi (Felicia Day). A teensy bit of a stretch, but hey. “She is very curious, eager to help, and deeply polite, always addressing (Usagi and Mamoru with the Japanese honorific “-sama” and calling Chibiusa by her formal title, Small Lady) [Buffy and Faith with the utmost respect]. She is also able to help the (Senshi) [other Potentials] on [many] occasion[s], despite her youth [and inexperience with slaying], and often because of the knowledge she has gained (in the future) [through training].”
–your fangirl heroine.