A fan of the series since 1995, Koriander runs the popular Moon Sisters fan site and studies the Sailor Moon franchise closely.
Kousagi Tsukino: A Polarizing Princess?
Kousagi Tsukino arrives in the final Sailor Moon manga story, Parallel Sailor Moon, as the second-born daughter of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. She's a third-grader who is constantly eating, and her personality is much closer to her mother's than her older sister Chibiusa's ever was.
Kousagi is clumsy and a bit of a crybaby, but she's actually smarter than anyone gives her credit for, and it's actually her plan that ends up saving the world when a comet is set to hit Earth. She is sweet, eager to make friends, and, like her mom, she questions everything. However, she remains a polarizing character among many internet Sailor Moon fans.
Why Is She Unpopular?
Since her debut in 1999, she has had a steady wealth of fans devoting gorgeous fan art and resin statues for her, yet some fans are unhappy that her official uniform colors have yet to be revealed.
Some people have a hard time with Parallel Sailor Moon. Unlike her mom's friends, Kousagi's friends are more like frenemies, spending more time ditching her and making fun of her than helping her.
Some weren't comfortable with her costume being similar to Sailor Chibi Moon's, but with bunny heads replacing hearts.
And then there's those who missed the magic of the manga because of a misunderstanding or two.
They Misinterpret 1999
The first problem is that many fans misinterpret the date of the story.
In the first printing of the manga short in the back of the Japan-only Sailor Moon Materials Collection art book, the first blurb says "July, 1999" while international reprints for Sailor Moon Short Stories Vol. 2 and Sailor Moon Eternal Edition #10 print the blurb as "in 1999," and then the final blurb says "A toast to 1999, the year of the rabbit, cheers!" with the date underneath being March 3, 1999.
Many internet fans misread this as the story taking place in the year 1999, which is not true. The Sailor Moon Materials Collection art book was published in September of 1999 with a second printing on November 3, 1999.
Since the story was a last-minute addition to the book, it's easy to see that it was written and drawn between March and July of that year and sent to print immediately afterwards, hence the two dates.
The Significance of 1999: The Year of the Rabbit
1999 was the year of the rabbit in Chinese astrology, which also plays into Kousagi's uniform having bunny heads and into Kousagi raising rabbits as pets. It's also symbolic of the fact that Usagi means "Bunny" in Japanese, while Chibiusa means "Small Rabbit" and Kousagi means "Little Bunny."
And, sadly, nobody caught the symbolism, and this is where confusion starts.
If the story had taken place in 1999, then Usagi would have been too young to have both girls, as Sailor StarS ended in 1997 before her 17th birthday.
They Discount Sailor V and Short Stories as "Parody"
Codename Sailor V debuted on August 3, 1991, the same day as Tuxedo Mask's birthday. Starting that December, it would run side-by-side with Sailor Moon all the way into 1997.
Codename Sailor V is the story of Minako's first year as a Sailor Guardian, starting with her meeting Artemis and ending just days before joining Sailor Moon for the first time. She even bumps into the other girls in select issues without knowing they are her future friends.
From Parody to Canon
The first half of Codename Sailor V parodies the writing of Toei tokusatsu shows like Poitrine and Super Sentai and at first, was a mixture of parody, romantic shoujo and serious, gory action, until a little later in the series, when the writing became more focused like Sailor Moon.
During Sailor Moon's run, a few lighthearted short stories started popping up. On occasion, Minako would choose to transform back into Codename Sailor V, instead of using her newer Sailor Venus and Super Sailor Venus forms.
Because of the comedy in these issues, many fans instantly dismissed all comedic issues as "non-canon." However, in reality, most of what we see in these issues is, in fact, part of the canon, with characters from these stories popping up on official art and in the art books.
Minako also accesses her previous Sailor V powers in the Infinity Arc of the manga and in Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3.
They Don't Get That Time Is in Constant Flux
Some fans have a very hard time accepting the reality that the future of Sailor Moon is in a constant state of change—when, in truth, that's been canon since Chibiusa debuted.
When Chibiusa first arrives from the 30th century, her timeline only has the Inner Guardians and Sailor Pluto. No other Sailor Guardians exist transformed as warriors. By the time the Infinity Arc ends, not only is Chibiusa now Sailor Chibi Moon, but Sailors Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are now part of the canon.
On her next trip to the future, Sailors Juno, Vesta, Pallas, Ceres, and the Sailor Starlights are now in existence. None of them existed prior to her tampering with time.
In the Snow Princess Kaguya story, Minako even reminds Artemis that the future he saw is not promised, and that time is changing rapidly. This sentiment is repeated near the end of the StarS arc, when Usagi realizes too late that the world of the 30th Century isn't set in stone.
"Only One Child"?
When the Amazoness Quartet meet Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon, they base the theory they heard on each White Moon Kingdom queen having "only one child" off of Queen Serenity and her predecessors having each just one daughter.
But again, this is only a theory, and most people know theories can always turn out to be wrong, especially when Usagi is the next in line. At this point, she isn't ruling the same way her mother did.
And yet many Sailor Moon fans ignore the idea of theories sometimes being wrong and time being in flux. They think Kousagi "can't" exist, when she actually does.
They Skimmed Through the Manga
Usagi has the same wish when she saves the world from Queen Metallia as she does when she drags Chaos into The Cauldron. And that is for everyone to continue living as they are right now, have a chance to find love, and to not be reborn as new people just yet. It is that wish at the end of the StarS arc that opens the door for Parallel Sailor Moon.
Instead of marrying at 21 and having Chibiusa at 22 as Neo Queen Serenity did, Usagi and Mamoru marry at the end of the StarS manga and discover she is already expecting Chibiusa. Usagi is a questionable 16 here.
The New Future
When Parallel Sailor Moon starts, that version of Chibiusa is 15 and looks 15, and each of the other Guardians is working towards their dreams and still able to transform.
While Crystal Tokyo hasn't yet been built, it seems to be still on the horizon, as Usagi dreams about the palace the morning Chibiusa is conceived, and when Kousagi is given her Sailor Guardian powers, she is informed that she is, in fact, a real princess.
Anyone who read the final chapters of the manga before Parallel Sailor Moon loved the new future, but many of the Kousagi-deniers seem to have missed the beautiful way the manga came to a close, and even more skipped the manga entirely and only go by the '90s anime canon.
The final manga story ended in 1999 on a new hope and a bright future. It's a tragedy if there are still fans out there missing the potential.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Koriander Bullard