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Human, commonly female but there are few male Senshi out there.
A Sailor Senshi is a magical girl (or boy) heroine in the series known as Sailor Moon. The name comes from sailor fuku, a type of school uniform, and senshi, which can mean "soldier" or "warrior". Naoko Takeuchi, the manga artist who originated the series, coined the term by fusing English and Japanese elements, and fans speaking each language have adopted it. The translation "Sailor Soldier" is also common, used not only by English-speaking fans but also appearing in the stage musicals. The live action series translates the word as "Guardian". The DiC dub of the anime used "Sailor Scout" for the majority of its run; other common titles include "Sailor Warriors," "Sailors," or simply "Senshi." Like most Japanese loanwords, the word Senshi is both the singular and plural form.
Sailor Senshi, as classic magical girl heroines, have both civilian and magical identities. Each Senshi has a transformation sequence which grants her a uniform in her own theme-colors and her own kind of elemental power, these powers come from an object called a "Sailor Crystal" said to be within each of them. Accessories gained with their uniform, such as Sailor Moon's tiara, can also be used as weapons. According to Naoko Takeuchi, only females can be Sailor Senshi, although there is at least one male with a Sailor Crystal. This is Mamoru Chiba, who is the guardian over the Earth and gives himself the pseudonym "Tuxedo Mask."
The most iconic and well-known Senshi, Sailor Moon, leads the primary group of Senshi in defending the Earth (or the galaxy, if necessary) from otherworldly threats. Officially, this team consists of ten people: Sailor Moon herself, Sailor Chibi Moon, and eight planetary Senshi named after the planets of the solar system, including Pluto (but not Earth). Then referring to a group, the series itself uses the terms "Sailor Senshi" and "Sailor Team" with multiple meanings. "Sailor Senshi" may refer to the entire classification of heroines, but either term may also mean the ten planetary Senshi, or the group of five comprising Sailor Moon and her four Guardian Senshi in particular. English versions also use the phrase "Sailor Scouts".
The Sailor Team often divides itself into subsets, based both on civilian age and on Senshi-related duties. The story usually makes it quite clear who belongs in which group, as they tend to work separately, so the series rarely refers to the differences. Official titles do exist to disambiguate between the groups, which this article refers to in shortened form as "Guardian Senshi" and "Outer Senshi". Sailor Moon & Sailor Star Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon & Sailor Chibi Star Moon, though both members of the Sailor Team, do not belong in either of these subgroups. Together they are often referred to as "Quadruple Moon". It is revealed that later in the future Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Chibi Star Moon are also part of their own team made up of themselves and the Sailor Quartet. The Sailor Quartet do not count as part of the Sailor Team. Like Chibi-Moon and Chibi Star Moon they come from the 30th century, but unlike them, they rarely join the Sailor Team in the present.
Inner Senshi is the term usually used to refer to the main five Sailor Senshi: Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter. There are fan made inner senshi which include Sailor Star Moon who is the twin sister of Sailor Moon. Sailor Chibi Moon is also considered a member of the Inner Senshi by some, as well as Sailor Chibi Star Moon but it is suggested that the two of them were the leaders of the Asteroid Senshi.
Outer Senshi is the term typically referring to Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Pluto, and Sailor Saturn. It is possibly an abbreviation of the official term "Senshi of the Outer Solar System," which refers to the same group of Senshi. However, unlike that term which strictly refers to those four characters, it has been known to include Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon, Sailor Chibi Star Moon and even Sailor Jupiter in lists of the "Outer Senshi." The function of the Outer Senshi was to protect the Moon Kingdom, as opposed to the Inner Senshi who guarded the Princesses. The exception to this was Sailor Pluto, who guarded the Space-Time Door. The Outer Senshi also guarded the three Talismans, the key to the appearance of Sailor Saturn, the bringer of death. When the three Talismans were brought together, Saturn would bring down her glaive. In Sailor Moon S, the mission of the Outer Senshi was to prevent these Talismans from being reunited, so that Sailor Saturn could not bring about the Silence.
Uniform & Power-UpsEdit
The uniform worn by the Sailor Senshi resembles a popular style of Japanese school uniform, the sērā fuku or "sailor suit". Creator Naoko Takeuchi attributes the idea for this motif to her editor, Fumio Osano. Originally, each of the Senshi had her own fairly unique outfit, related to the others only in its basic form, but in later stages of character design Takeuchi settled on a more unified appearance. Within the Sailor Senshi, only the outfit worn by Sailor Venus during her time as Sailor V varies significantly from the others — most notably in the manga of the same name, which pre-dates the Sailor Moon series.
The uniforms of the Senshi not only show their femininity, they "perform it excessively in frilly, girly fashion". As the Senshi gain additional powers and insights, the features of their uniforms change to reflect these advances. Most of them have unique traits to begin with (such as Sailors Mars' and Uranus back-bow color alternating from her front bow, Sailors Mercury's and Pluto's lack of sleeves, Sailor Neptune's neck-pendant, or Sailor Saturn's flower-petal shaped sleeves and the spiky, star-shaped brooch on her front bow), but as the group becomes more powerful, their individual uniforms become more similar, until finally color schemes mark the only differences. The Guardian Senshi are frequently exceptions, but over the course of the series, the other characters pass through three basic phases:
- Their original forms resemble each other closely, but have some individual variety. The sub-groups show traces of theming: for instance, the Outer Senshi do not have stripes on their collars, while the Inner Senshi each have one, two or three ( In the manga) . In the manga, the Inner Senshi gain a few upgrades before fully changing to their second forms, as with the alteration of their brooches from circles to hearts.
- Their second forms become a little more similar to each other, but allow for some distinctions to remain, such as earrings and shoe-style. When Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon take on this form, they become "Super Sailor Moon" and "Super Sailor Chibi Moon". In the manga the others do not change their names accordingly, but in the anime they do.
- Their third forms replicate each other entirely in form, and generally reach an ornate peak. When Sailor Moon takes on this form, she becomes "Eternal Sailor Moon", gains wings and loses her tiara; the others do not reflect any of these three changes. This form never appears in the anime for anyone but Sailor Moon.
When the Sailor Senshi of the 30th century appear during the second story arc, they wear their original uniforms, without any enhancement. Chronologically, this was prior to the introduction of costume changes for most of the characters, so it may be a plot hole. Whether or not Takeuchi has developed an explanation is unknown.
The Sailor Quartet, although Senshi of the solar system, don't follow the standard progression of power-ups. Instead the Sailor Quartet's uniforms combine elements of those worn by the Sailor Team in their first forms and in their final forms, with the Quartet's own image colors. The uniforms have one-layer skirts, belts, chokers and back-bows like those on the Sailor Team's first uniforms, with boots, gloves, brooches, leotards, and tiaras the same as the final forms. Their shoulder pads reflect the style of the final uniforms, but in white. Each member has unique earrings.
Sailor Moon, whatever form she takes, always has a more elaborate costume than any of the others. Among other things, in her first form she has hair ornaments, in her second she adds a multi-colored skirt, and in her third she gains wings and a three-layered skirt. She also gains minor, individual power-ups more frequently than any other character. Sailor Chibi Moon progresses in similar fashion, down to the hair-ornaments, and her uniform as Super Sailor Chibi Moon is almost identical to her predecessor's. Her third form, on the other hand, is more similar to that of the rest of the Sailor Team than to that of Eternal Sailor Moon. Senshi originating from outside the Solar System generally have very different and widely varying outfits, but one single feature, the sailor collar, connects them all.
Act 41 of the manga reveals the Sailor Team as princesses of the Solar System. Each one had her own castle, which she can call upon late in the series for power. This act first enables Sailor Moon to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. The castles are named after moons, except for Mercury's and Venus'. Venus' castle is introduced long before the others', in the Sailor V manga, but she never mentions this to them.
In Act 45, Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto actually visit their castles — huge structures orbiting around their respective planets. Each castle features views creens, force fields, comm systems, and other forms of high technology; each comes under the protection of a Power Guardian, who appears as a miniature version of the Senshi she serves. Sailor Pluto states that she remembers her castle, and that they were given to all the Senshi by Queen Serenity at the time of their birth.
Takeuchi's Materials Collection artbook shows the detailed design of each princess's unique gown. The Senshi wear the gowns at key moments in the Stars manga, and also in the Original Picture Collection Volume IV. Flashbacks to the Silver Millennium, however, always show them dressed in their ordinary uniforms.