As a long-time fan girl of Sailor Moon, I was thrilled to hear about a potential reboot of the series, which was supposed to be in 2013 and has now been pushed to 2014. It's been over 20 years since Sailor Moon first aired, but many still get a warm fuzzy feeling when they think of the show. What is not often mentioned is how well researched Takeuchi's name choices were. She covered gems, minerals, astrology, mythology and creative word choices. Today I'll talk about Sailor Moon names.
Usagi Tsukino- Bunny - Serena - Princess Serenity - Sailor Moon
Usagi means "rabbit" in Japanese, referring to the Japanese legend of the rabbit on the moon, and Tsukino means "moon." In the translation of the comics, Usagi was renamed Bunny appropriately. Keeping with the mythological aspects of the moon and both Greek and Roman moon goddesses, Usagi's character was given the concept of "serene," which gave her the name Serena in the American TV series (although there was much less thought in the translation of the others). Going a bit further, Takeuchi made it so that Usagi's astrological sign was Cancer (June 30) with the ruling planet being the moon. And of course, Usagi loves Mamoru aka Prince Endymion, the mythological human that was first to observe the movements of the moon in the night sky.
Serena was already on the rise in the U.S. when Sailor Moon came out, and it currently ranks at #443.
Darien, Mamoru's English counterpart, ranks at #959.
Mercury, Ami (Amy, #144) Mizuno - "beauty of water" with water power
Mars, Rei (Raye, this spelling not ranked) Hino - "ray of fire / spirit of fire"
Jupiter, Makoto (Lita, not ranked) Kino - a tomboy/unisex name, "sincerity," and "wood, tree, spirit"
Venus, Minako (Mina, #834) Aino - "beautiful child of love"
Takeuchi continued the character/astrological sign connected for every scout - Mercury being a Virgo, Mars and Aries and so on. She also kept the mythological aspect. For example, Luna is a moon goddess. Even the scores of villians were theme-named, the first round being entirely gems/minerals. She truly did her research, and if there is one thing I'd like to point out today it's that if an artist can do all this for her myriad characters, the average expectant parents can research names for their child.