Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon

What is Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon?

Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon, or WoL for short, is a unique book, one of the first of its kind. It uses the world-famous Sailor Moon television and comic series pedagogically, taking the show to be a window through which Japanese culture is reflected. WoL describes the "reflections" of Japanese culture, society, and place in Sailor Moon, and also discusses situations where the series critiques Japan as well.  It is both a serious study and a lot of fun to read.

WoL is organized around the elements of Japan found in the Sailor Moon series. Fans of Sailor Moon will be blown away by the amount of detail put into the book. The analysis of the characters, as well as the information about the city of Tokyo, will rock current interpretations of the show: after Warriors of Legend, you will never look at Sailor Moon the same way again.

Yet WoL is designed with a wide audience in mind, from people just interested in learning more about Japanese culture to academics. It appeals not only to the Sailor Moon fan but also to the general anime fan and anyone interested in Japanese pop culture.

Why write a book on the Sailor Moon series?

First and foremost, because we are huge fans of Naoko Takeuchi's work. This has really been a dream pWoLect for most of us.

That said, we also believe the series is special in the way it weaves in "real" Japan with fantasy. Warriors of Legend shows that what people might think of as generic in the show is actually particular to its Japanese context, from the shops on Tokyo's streets, to the protagonist, Usagi, bowing to a telephone pole.

We also believe that, since Sailor Moon is a truly global phenomenon, known by hundreds of millions of people around the globe, the question of "why" study this particular series is almost self-evident.

Why this book, why now?

Why write a book on what's Japanese in Sailor Moon? Isn't it obvious: they live in Japan and go to Japanese school, study for tests, etc. We all know about this stuff.

It's true that most Sailor Moon fans have a basic knowledge of Japanese culture and understand that, for example, Sailor Moon wears a sailor uniform because that's standard for most Japanese schoolgirls wear. But Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon goes past these anecdotes, using Sailor Moon as a prism to understand today's Japan as it really is.

Sailor Moon doesn't just show that Japanese students study for tests-- it also critiques the test-taking culture of Japan, and the system that forces students to attend expensive, commercial, and competitive cram schools in addition to their regular school life. In Warriors of Legend, we look at the intricacies of Japanese culture through the Sailor Moon mirror. At the same time, we teach the reader a great deal about a Japan they likely didn't know, from local ghost stories to shrine (and yakuza) run festivals.

If you're a fan of the show, you're going to love this book. It'll teach you about a literal world in Sailor Moon that you didn't know before.

Why the title Warriors of Legend?

The title makes more sense if you consider its Japanese translation, Densetsu no Senshi. The term senshi was translated as "soldier" by the anime and manga versions of Sailor Moon, and "guardian" by the live action series, but also can mean "warrior." Densetsu is the word for "legend" and is part of the name for the anime series' title song, Moonlight Densetsu.

That and we thought it sounded cool.

What is the Warriors of Legend Support Team?

The WoL Support Team are websites and organizations that help support the Warriors of Legend project by linking to the site and helping the fan community to rally around it. The support page is here.

What was The Warriors of Legend Tour of Tokyo?

Previously described as the "Genvid" Tour of Tokyo, the "Warriors of Legend" Tour was an exclusive tour held in Japan in the early summer of 2006, organized around places featured in the Warriors of Legend book. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event, where Sailor Moon fans and like-minded companions gathered to take the tour of their dreams. A travelogue of the tour is here.

Sailor Moon characters are copyright © Kodansha, Naoko Takeuchi and Toei. Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon is not affiliated with Kodansha, Naoko Takeuchi and Toei. No infringement of copyright is intended.