13 Questions About Sailor Saturn, Answered

Throughout its story arcs, the Sailor Moon franchise introduced the title character’s supporting Sailor Senshi slowly. One at a time, they made their debut. As a result, fans really got to know the first introduced, the Inner Senshi, very well. The final Sailor Senshi to be revealed as part of the ancient Moon Kingdom’s defenses, however, was Sailor Saturn.

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Sailor Saturn’s massive power could destroy an entire world when she woke. That is a stark contrast to the sweet and shy civilian form of Hotaru Tomoe that the Sailor Senshi met. Because Hotaru doesn’t have as much story time as the other Sailor Senshi, there are a lot of questions about her character.

Updated by Amanda Bruce on September 10, 2021: Each new adaptation of Sailor Moon provides fans with new takes on their favorite characters. From the manga to the anime to the live musicals, Sailor Saturn’s character has remained largely consistent. Unlike a lot of the other Sailor Moon characters, drastic changes to the material don’t alter her personality or her function within the story, but fans still want to know more.

13 *What Is Sailor Saturn’s Zodiac Sign?

Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi took care when planning out the world of her characters to make each one’s respective planet match up with the ruling planet of their zodiac sign. As a result, Sailor Saturn has a January 6 birthday, falling right in the middle of Capricorn season.

Capricorns and their ruling planet are associated with hard work and responsibility. While the audience doesn’t see Hotaru in her civilian or Sailor Saturn guise demonstrate the ambition associated with the sign, she is very much the serious and responsible child. She works very hard to keep her power in check once she’s awakened. She also takes the full responsibility of saving (and ending) the world on her own shoulders.

12 *What Unique Ability Does She Have?

Hotaru Heals Chibiusa in Sailor Moon Crystal

All of the Sailor Senshi have abilities that essentially transform energy into blasts associated with their planets. Sailor Venus is centered on love while Sailor Mars is associated with fire, for example. They don’t often exhibit special abilities outside of their combat skills. That’s not true of Hotaru.

Hotaru is one of only two Sailor Senshi who exhibits the ability to heal others. She’s able to heal Chibiusa after a battle. The only other Sailor Senshi able to do something like that is Sailor Moon herself, and only after a few power-ups. That unique ability shows how powerful Sailor Saturn is compared to the other Senshi.

11 *Is Sailor Saturn Stronger Than Sailor Moon?

Because Sailor Saturn and her Silence Glaive are capable of literally destroying the planet, it might seem like she’s the most powerful of Sailor Senshi. That isn’t necessarily true.

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In the manga and anime, Sailor Moon isn’t presented as destructive, but as a healing force. Even when dealing an enemy a finishing blow, it’s with the power of love. Other adaptations of Sailor Moon, like the live action series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, have explored just how powerful the title character is a little further. The Outer Senshi don’t appear at all, and the Princess form of Sailor Moon is revealed as capable of ending the whole world herself. It’s worth noting that Sailor Moon is always the last Senshi standing against the biggest enemy in any adaptation, capable of channeling the power of all of the Senshi herself, something the rest of them are implied to be unable to handle, including Sailor Saturn. Sailor Moon is still the most powerful.

10 Is Sailor Saturn Evil?

Mistress 9 In Sailor Moon Crystal

There is a perception that Sailor Saturn isn’t one of the “good” Sailor Senshi. Why is Sailor Saturn evil? She’s not. Some fans see the character of Sailor Saturn as evil because of her early portrayal in the ’90s anime. The Outer Senshi feared her power since it could mean the end of their existence when she destroyed a world.

Sailor Saturn, however, was never truly evil. The “evil” connotation comes mostly from her civilian form’s association with Mistress 9 – who inhabited her body. Instead, Sailor Saturn can be thought of as the Sailor Senshi’s last resort. She was only intended to end the world if there was no other way to end a conflict. Sailor Saturn didn’t take pleasure from ending civilization. 

9 Did She Originally Help Defend The Moon Kingdom?

Sailor Saturn In The Sailor Moon Manga

Just how involved Sailor Saturn would have been in the original Moon Kingdom is up for debate. From what fans know, she wasn’t actually conscious during the heyday of the kingdom.

Sailor Saturn was always intended as the Sailor Senshi, who would “reset” the world if it was beyond saving. According to the manga, she slept in her castle on her home planet until the catastrophe of the Moon Kingdom’s fall caused her to awaken. It was only then that she used her Silence Glaive to destroy the entire kingdom, allowing Queen Serenity’s reincarnation magic to take effect. Sailor Saturn destroying everything allowed everyone to be born again.

8 How Is Her Blood Type Significant?

Fans of Japanese pop culture will notice that stats pages and trivia write-ups often include blood types for characters and celebrities. That’s because there is a belief that aspects of someone’s personality can be affected by blood type. That makes Sailor Saturn pretty interesting since she’s had different blood types listed in various adaptations.

In creator Naoko Takeuchi’s initial sketches, she was type O, the same as Sailor Moon. These people are energetic, social, and flexible – which Hotaru is initially not. That’s likely why by the time Takeuchi got the manga going, she became type AB, which is the blood type of opposites. These people tend to have aspects that make them very conflicted characters – like Naruto’s Sasuke Uchiha.

Sailor Saturn has this blood type in the manga, original anime, and musicals. For some reason, Sailor Moon Crystal information has listed her blood type as A. Type As are calm in a crisis, but tend to be awkward around people, feeling like they never fit in, giving another interpretation for her quiet and often serious nature.

7 Does Sailor Saturn Have Any Abilities In Civilian Form?

Hotaru Tomoe In Sailor Moon Crystal

Like all of the Outer Senshi, Sailor Saturn has some precognitive abilities, though hers are even stronger than theirs. Sailor Neptune’s, for example, are so strong that she awakens herself to her Sailor Senshi identity – as well as Sailor Uranus. She doesn’t, however, always understand the vague dreams she has, much like Sailor Mars. Hotaru’s visions are more specific.

RELATED: 10 Questions About Sailor Moon’s Sailor Pluto, Answered

Even as Hotaru, she can actually project images for others to view, not just have visions and prophetic dreams herself. She’s able to make images appear around the room for the other Sailor Senshi to view, even just for fun.

6 How Is Sailor Saturn’s Personality Unique From The Other Sailor Senshi?

The Sailor Senshi In Sailor Moon Crystal

Typically, when one of the teenagers awakened their Sailor Senshi form, they didn’t recover all of their past memories, but their past life did merge with their present life to create one entity. Sailor Venus remembered more than most, and over time, some of the others recovered many of their past memories. Sailor Saturn, however, was the only Sailor Senshi to be completely distinct from her civilian persona.

That is to say, Hotaru and Sailor Saturn were two different personalities. Sailor Saturn might have been reincarnated in Hotaru’s form, but her soul existed independently of the little girl’s. This allowed for the personification of Sailor Saturn to actually awaken memories inside Hotaru on her own.

5 How Many Other Souls Lived In Her Body?

Sailor Saturn In Sera Myu

Knowing that Sailor Saturn and Hotaru act as two different beings sharing a body already means there are at least two souls in existence. Two more, however, have been known to take up space in Hotaru’s body. In both the manga and anime, Mistress 9 grew inside Hotaru, essentially keeping the young girl alive after a life-threatening injury. It was her darkness that took over Hotaru’s body for a while.

In the musicals, there was yet another entity. Four of the live musicals performed in Japan make up the Kaguya Island stories. During all of those stories, Hotaru and Sailor Saturn shared their body with Kon. Kon was actually made up of the energy of destroyed stars and lent her power to Sailor Moon during the big conflict. So, in any adaptation of Hotaru’s story, there are always at least three beings sharing the same mind at some point in the story.

4 What Does Her Name Mean?

Sailor Saturn Awakens Her Memories In Hotaru

Like all of the other Sailor Senshi in the franchise, Sailor Saturn’s civilian name links her to her planetary status. Takeuchi often used some of the kanji that made up the Japanese word for the Senshi’s respective planets to also create their last name. She did the same here. The first kanji in the surname Tomoe is also the first kanji in the name Dosei, which translates to Saturn (in English, literally, “Earth star”).

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In particular, it’s the kanji that is used to denote “soil” or “earth.” The kanji that make up Tomoe actually means “earth” and “sprouting,” a nod to the Roman god Saturn’s association with the harvest. Hotaru, on the other hand, is a word that means “firefly” in Japanese. It’s a fitting reference since fireflies are associated with the spirits of the dead. Some believe that fireflies are the spirits of Japanese soldiers. 

3 Did She Have An Alternative Name?

Outer Senshi In Sailor Moon Manga

When the ’90s Sailor Moon anime was dubbed into English, nearly all of the characters received new names as part of the translations. Hotaru did not. She did, however, receive a new name in a teen magazine.

When the character made her first appearance in Tokyo’s Smile magazine as they serialized Sailor Moon, publishers changed her name to Jenny. Fans who were already familiar with the manga wrote in to complain about the change, and the magazine reversed their decision, printing Sailor Saturn’s name as Hotaru for her subsequent appearances.

2 What Is Her Favorite School Subject?

Chibiusa And Hotaru In Sailor Moon Crystal

At the back of many manga volumes, publishers will spotlight different characters, giving statistics about them that might not otherwise come up in the book. For Hotaru, some of those statistics include her favorite color (purple) and her favorite subject.

Hotaru’s favorite subject is a fitting one. She loves world history. For a young girl who is the reincarnated form of an ancient being who can level whole worlds, it’s nice to see that she cares about preserving that world history. It might not have been an intentional reference to her function as a Sailor Senshi, but it certainly works.

1 How Does Sailor Saturn’s Power Relate To The Roman God Saturn?

Sailor Saturn Manga Illustration

Though the Sailor Senshi are named for planetary bodies, their skill sets are based in Greco-Roman mythology. That is to say, their powers are associated with the gods that gave the planets their names.

Saturn is the god of the harvest, wealth, and renewal. That doesn’t, at first glance, sound like Sailor Saturn. The harvest, however, is seen as akin to the cycle of life, which is what Sailor Saturn’s big power concerns. She ends all things so that they can start anew – just like a farmer clearing his fields for next season.

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