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EXCLUSIVE

Interview with Takeuchi Naoko

—by Charles McCarter

This year's Comic Con International had another noteworthy anime personality in attendance. The creator of the phenomenally popular SAILOR MOON, Takeuchi Naoko was brought over from Japan for a rare personal appearance by Mixx Entertainment.
  While Ms. Takeuchi was only able to attend the convention for the first two days, her impact was immediately felt. Throngs of people dressed as their favorite SAILOR MOON character roamed the halls. They stood in line for autographs and to attend her one and only panel at Comic Con.
  It took nearly 20 minutes for the fans to be led into the room single file and be seated. After the crowd had calmed down, Ms. Takeuchi made her entrance to thundering applause. Then, after some initial confusion and technical problems, the panel began. It was essentially a long question and answer session. Here are most of the questions that were asked of Ms. Takeuchi, and her responses.


Q:   How did you come up with the idea for SAILOR MOON?

TN:

I was talking with my editors and trying to decide on the story, when I mentioned that I was a fan of sentai shows [live-action team shows]. I decided I wanted to do a team show with an all-female group.

Q: How do you feel about SAILOR MOON being called a "new kind of cartoon for girls"?

TN:

In Japan, there is a lot of anime targeted specifically at girls. I would like to see this trend continue throughout the world.

Q:

Will SAILOR MOON continue?

TN:

The SAILOR MOON manga ends at volume 18. That's it, there won't be any more.

Q:

Will there ever be male Sailors?

TN:

Sailor scouts are only girls.

Q:

What influenced your creation of SAILOR MOON?

TN:

In Japan, junior high and high school girls wear seiraa-fuku (sailor suit uniforms), so these clothes are a very widely recognized symbol of young girls. I wanted to turn it into a super hero that everyone could relate to. Also, many Japanese guys really like those uniforms. (laughs)

Q:

If you could be one of the Sailor Scouts, which one would you be and why?

TN:

I'd be Sailor Moon, because when I created the character, she was close to my own personality.


Q:

There is some controversy over the character Haruka. Was she a man who transformed into a woman when she became Sailor Uranus?

TN:

Haruka has always been a girl. Always will be. As for the Starlights, in the manga they were always girls. In the anime, however, they got turned into guys, and I wasn't very happy about it.

Q:

Will there be any Starlight movies or OVAs?

TN:

I want them to do that, too!

Q:

Are Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune lovers? If so, why did you write the story that way?

TN:

Yes, they are lovers. The reason why is because they fit together. Neptune is very girlish and feminine while Uranus is kind of boyish and has the heart of a guy. And at that age, girls have a lot of emotion. (She pauses). And compared to all the other five, they have the most free time. (laughs).

Q:

Why is there no Sailor Earth?

TN:

Tuxedo Mask takes the place of a Sailor Earth.

Q:

Why are Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars always fighting?

TN:

Because they're such good friends. They're so close they fight all the time.

Q:

Did you always want to be an artist?

TN:

In Japan, it's very common for children to want to be artists when they grow up. It's been my dream since I was young.

Q:

Why is the SAILOR MOON comic, which is targeted at young girls, so popular with older guys?

TN:

Because there are a lot of cute, sexy girls in them. (laughs).

Q:

What are you working on now?

TN:

I'm trying to decide on my next project. I'd like to do something with magic.

At the end of the panel, Ms. Takeuchi posed for some pictures with some of her costumed fans, and then had to run downstairs for her autograph session.

Images copyright © Takeuchi Naoko / Kodansha, TV Asahi, Toei Animation


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