The Sailor Moon Prototype: Sailor V
You can see some of the changes the new pretty soldier series went through during its evolution from the original Sailor V short story by glancing at this preview which ran in the December Nakayoshi just a month before its debut, reprinted in the Infinity Artbook (click on snapshot for the full image). This new “Pretty Soldier Sailor V” has Usagi’s hairstyle and there is a caped figure in the back who must be Tuxedo Kamen, but she is wearing the same goggles (mask) as Sailor V and a very slightly modified costume. And the cat is still Artemis, not Luna. She also appears to have some sort of crown on her head, but it’s hard to tell.
The crescent moon originally seen on Minako was kept, while the goggles appear only in the manga, and disappear after she gets her second transformation. Sailor Moon does not appear to particularly like wearing her mask, since the first time she transforms she sees an image of Naru being attacked by a youma, and she quickly pulls it off. In future she tosses off her mask in a carefree gesture after transforming. She seems to worry less than Minako did about keeping her identity secret, or perhaps a mask just isn’t her style. Minako also complained at first about her Sailor V uniform not being “cool” ^_^
Ever wonder why no one recognizes the senshi? Well, some people do, but originally all the soldiers were intended to wear masks just like Sailor V. These must have been deemed too difficult to animate, along with the very detailed costumes Naoko originally designed for the five-senshi team. Yet even with the more streamlined anime uniforms, the manga costumes were still detailed and individualistic. I rather like Sailor Mercury’s costume but I must confess to being glad that Jupiter did not end up wearing the skimpy costume shown here ;-)
Secret Agent or Caped Superhero?
In the early stages of Sailor Moon’s character design, Naoko actually considered giving her a cape and a gun! Now the psychedelic guns sported by P-ko and Q-ko in the short-lived PQ Angels don’t seem so surprising ^_^ During the early issues of Nakayoshi she continued to draw variations on the early midriff-baring top, schoolgirl pleated skirt and gold-ribbed gloves prototype which can be seen in these pictures.
“I drew this color picture with just an image, when I hadn’t decided on the content of the story yet. She has a crescent moon mark of her forehead, and somehow everything is revealed. At first I wanted to do Sailor Moon’s tiara in a form like this. I really like it. Since the Sailor Moon color pictures started from this picture, I made it the last one in the picture collection.”
“This was a color picture for use as the cover of the first issue of Nakayoshi with the serial. At first, I planned to have Sailor Moon’s hair be yellow before transforming, and silver after transforming. But I was told by the editor in charge of the front cover, ‘Silver is plain for use on the cover. Yellow is definitely more flashy, and it will stand out.’ Since then I feel my way of thinking about my color pictures has completely changed.”
“This is a color picture from the title page of the first issue with the serial. I was still wavering on Sailor Moon’s costume design, and drew this while worrying about it. I waver a lot. At first I was thinking about giving her a cloak and a boomerang. The picture and design are really completely different from now. But since this is the color picture from the title page of the first issue with the serial, which should be commemorated, it’s a work very, very deep with memories.”
“This color picture is a picture for use as a telephone card. I drew this before the serial, when I was still wavering on the costume. The face is also different.”
“I also drew this for use as notebook supplement. I like the night view in the background.”
“In the first series, there were echoes of Sailor Moon’s cloaked figure. I wonder if it was that surprising. I was determined to make the five of them barefoot. Speaking of which, I’m not doing the barefoot versions for the Super Famicom Sailor Moon yet.”
In the following picture Sailor Moon has the white boots seen in the original sketch. She would not wear white boots again until her incarnation as Eternal Sailor Moon.
“I actually planned to make this picture a poster, and went to the trouble of drawing it on large paper. But for various reasons, they weren’t able to make it into a poster. Since I was looking forward to it, it was a shock. Maybe because of that, I have a real longing for a poster.”