Ian Andreas Miller. 10 September 2001, revised June 28 2004.
The Purpose of this Article
The katakana-character combination can approximate the Greek word Amazones (Greek letters: ) and the redundant word "Amazoness" ("Amazon" + "-ess"). This article will analyze the ideas that are associated with the word amazon in the two Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn continuities, explain why there's no need to add the -ess suffix at the end of "Amazon," and consider several examples of from the anime and manga continuities to see whether "Amazoness" or Amazones makes more sense.
Please notice that unless otherwise noted, the spelling "Amazoness" in this article comprises "Amazon" and the feminizing suffix "-ess."
Amazon in English
Before I go any further, it would be a good idea to see what a dictionary says about the word Amazon. Here is the Amazon entry at AllWords.com:
1. a river in N South America, flowing E from the Peruvian Andes through N Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean: the largest river in the world in volume of water carried. 3900 mi. (6280 km) long.
2. Class. Myth. one of a race of female warriors said to dwell near the Black Sea.
3. one of a fabled tribe of female warriors in South America.
4. (often l.c.) a tall, powerful, aggressive woman.
5. See "Amazon ant."
6. any of several green parrots of the genus Amazona, of tropical America, often kept as pets.
So, several things can be ascertained from these definitions.
1. When the term amazon is used to refer to a human being, that human being is a woman, not a man. The Amazons of South America were also female warriors.
2. A non-human amazon would be the Amazon river (and its surroundings, which implies the Amazon rainforest, etc.), a type of ant, or a type of parrot.
This is the entry for at the online Goo dictionary:
the Amazons . the Amazon.
The entry can be translated into English like this:
«Greek mythology» the Amazons ((a tribe of women)). ~River the Amazon.
Two things can be ascertained from this entry.
1. When it's a human, an Amazon is a woman.
2. When it's not a human, the Amazon is a river.
in the Anime and Manga
In what context does Ms. Takeuchi, in the manga, use the katakana in the name Amazon Trio? Does the word refer to the Amazon river and rainforest in South America, or does it refer to the women who were called Amazons? If we want to get an idea of what she meant, it would be a good idea to analyze the way she uses that word in places other than in Amazon Torio, the Japanese spelling of Amazon Trio.
I'll be using Alex Glover's Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn manga translations in the manga examples below.
1. "Circus arrival blowout sale!?" Usagi reads. She picks up a flyer. "'A huge circus from the exotic regions of the Amazon! The mysterious Dead Moon Circus! They travel the world and have finally come here!'" -- Act 34.
Obviously, this "Amazon" is the area around the Amazon River in South America.
2. "Queen [Nehellenia]," the four girls say. "Leave this to us, the , to our Amazon Stones, and to our lemures! We will surely make this planet ours! Heh heh heh." -- Act 37.
We'll ignore the meaning of for now and concentrate on the word "Amazon."
In that passage, the phrase "Amazon Stones" is written as in the Japanese script. At this time, there's no way to know whether the "Amazon" in "Amazon Stones" refers to the area around the Amazon River or to the women.
3. "I almost have a complete stock," he says. "But I could use some advice. I wonder if there's a large assortment of Amazon medicinal herbs." -- Act 37.
Again, it's not exactly told in this section how "Amazon" is used. Fortunately, it'll be explained later.
4. "Amazon!?" thinks Makoto. "It can't be... The circus is from the Amazon! The Dead Moon Circus!" -- Act 37.
Here, it's pretty clear how Makoto and Hawk's-eye are using Amazon. They're talking about the place where the Circus came. The area around the Amazon River. The Amazon rainforest. No Amazon women are implied here.
5. "Then," says Chibi-Usa, "what you were talking about before were Amazon vegetables?"
Chibi Usa asks this in the same conversation. To say that she's talking about the Amazons rather than the Amazon is to equivocate.
6. Hawk's Eye points to the ring's stone. "This is an Amazon Stone," he says. "It's an anti-evil charm from the Amazon. It also has the ability to make dreams come true."
So, now, we know that the Amazon Stones have that name because they come from the Amazon or they pertain to the Amazon. I suppose it's safe to say that the same is true whenever "Amazon Stone" comes up later. One good reason: Unless we're told that the Amazon Stones come from the Amazons rather than the Amazon, to say they're from the Amazon women is to equivocate.
7. "We are the strongest soldiers of Amazon legend!" says Jun-Jun. "We carry  blood! We are the !" -- Act 39.
Alex Glover translates the Japanese script Amazon densetsu as "Amazon legend." Since the possessive particle no appears in that sentence, a more accurate translation is, "We are the strongest soldiers of the legend of the Amazon." The second sentence in this passage begins with Amazonesu no chi rather than Amazonesu chi. The possessive particle no appears before chi, which means "blood." So, ignoring for the moment the meaning of , a more accurate translation of the other words is "the blood of."
8. "The Amazon Jungle, the Amazon Tropics." -- Act 39.
This section comes right after the one mentioned in number seven. It seems to clarify what "Amazon" meant in the previous section. Again, if we're to assume that "Amazon" is used here to refer to a woman, then we'd be equivocating. So, the "Amazon" in "We are the strongest soldiers of the legend of the Amazon" refers to the Amazon, rather than to the women who are called Amazons.
9. "It's hot," says Michiru. "Have we actually wandered to the Amazon?"
This one's easy. We're dealing with the Amazon jungle in this section.
10. Cere-Cere swings from a trapeze. "The biggest event of the century!" she says. "From the Amazon, the mysterious Dead Moon Circus! The show of the star  begins!"
Again, this refers to the Amazon.
11. "In truth," says Ceres, "we were still in the middle of our sleep, deep in the Amazon. -- Act 42.
This one's also easy.
So, in the manga, whenever appears in places other than in the Japanese spelling for Amazon Trio ( Amazon Torio), it always either implicitly or explicitly refers to the Amazon in South America.
How is used in the anime? There's no need to search very far because two of the episode titles bring up that word. Let's analyze both of them.
The title of episode 131 contains . How is used there?
Romanization: Pegasasu o Toraero! Amazon no Wana
English translation: Catch Pegasus! The Trap of the Amazon.
The only characters in this episode who are directly involved in the setting of the trap in the episode are the Amazon Trio. No Amazon women are relevant to that episode. Up until this episode, whenever the characters mention "Amazon," it's always used in the names "Amazon Trio" or "Amazon Bar."
There is a piece of music on the Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn Memorial Music Box CD that has the name Amazon Torio no Wana, meaning "Trap of the Amazon Trio." That piece of music plays in episode 131! The Amazon no Wana in the title of episode 131 can be thought of as an abbreviation of Amazon Torio no Wana. It seems as if VKLL thought the same way. They translated the second part of the title as "Trap of the Amazon Trio."
Amazon no Wana itself can mean "Trap of the Amazon," where Amazon is used here as it's used by the creator of the three characters: to refer to the Amazon area in South America. In that case, the Amazon Trio characters pertain to the Amazon and they are a trio of the Amazon. In the anime and manga, if they a trio of the Amazon, then they are representatives of the Amazon in the story. An Amazonian trap — a trap of the Amazon — is pertinent to the area that the three men represent. (Think of the Amazonian trap as pertaining to the Amazon in a similar way that the Vienna® Beef company pertains to the city Vienna. The trap wasn't made in the Amazon, and the company wasn't started in Vienna, but the trap was made by characters of the Amazon, while the company was started by people of Vienna.)
We can think of the Amazon no Wana as an abbreviation of Amazon Torio no Wana or an indication of an Amazonian trap, but there is no need to think that Amazon women are involved. It is not necessary to postulate that Amazon has been given a new meaning.
The title of episode 149 also contains .
Romanization: Yume no Kagami! Amazon Saigo no Sutji
English translation: The Mirror of Dreams! The Final Stage of the Amazon
This is the last episode in which the Amazon Trio characters are important. Up until episode 149, is used only in the names "Amazon Trio" and "Amazon Bar," and Ami refers to a kind of fish from the Amazon (episode 148). Nobody claims that the four men are Amazon women.
The back cover of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn laser disk volume 6 shows the phrase Amazon Torio saigo no butai, meaning "final stage of the Amazon Trio." The Amazon Saigo no Sutji in the title of episode 149 can be thought of as an abbreviation of Amazon Torio Saigo no Sutji, which has the same meaning as Amazon Torio saigo no butai ( butai means "stage," and sutji is a Japanese approximation of the English word "stage"). VKLL seems to have thought that "Amazon" was short for "Amazon Trio" because they translated the second part of the title as "Final Stage of the Amazon Trio."
Amazon Saigo no Sutji can mean "Final Stage of the Amazon," where Amazon is used here as it's used by the creator of the three characters: to refer to the Amazon area in South America. In that case, episode 148 is about the final stage with the Amazon motif represented by the Amazon Trio.
Again, there is no need to think that Amazon women are involved. It is not necessary to postulate that Amazon has been given a new meaning.
So, when the Amazon Trio appear in the anime, the characters aren't talking about the Amazon women whenever they use the word "Amazon." They're talking about the Amazon Trio, the Amazon Bar, or several fish that came from the Amazon River.
If we don't wish to equivocate, then we can safely say that the "Amazon" in "Amazon Trio" refers not to the mythological women, or in fact any woman, but rather to the Amazon. So, the Amazon Trio are called such because they're a trio from the Amazon, rather than a trio of Amazons.
By definition, these three men wouldn't be Amazons. In the anime and manga, it's pretty clear that they are men, not women. Fisheye looks like a female, but the character has been seen without a shirt in episode 140. The character has a man's body, not a woman's body. In the Materials Collection, the three characters are called the "transvestite trio." Now, a transvestite is a person who dresses and acts in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. If Fisheye is a transvestite and the character dresses and acts in a style or manner traditionally associated with the women, then he would be a man. There should be no doubt that Fish-eye is a man.
The Amazons were women, but they acted a lot like men. On the other hand, the Amazon Trio are all men, but they act a lot like women. Of course, an ad hoc hypothesis could be created by saying that Ms. Takeuchi was trying to be ironic with the name "Amazon Trio" by calling them Amazons. If this were the case, according to Ms. Takeuchi, an "Amazon" would be "a person who dresses and acts as a member of the opposite sex." However, if she wished to be self-consistent, and she didn't wish to confuse her readers, she would have to apply that definition to Cere Cere and the others. However, Cere Cere and the other three girls aren't people who dress up and act as members of the opposite sex.
One could easily say that Ms. Takeuchi never called Cere Cere and the others "amazons." Instead, she could have called them "amazonesses." The ending "-ess" makes words refer to females, so an "amazoness" would be a female "amazon." There's a problem with that hypothesis. If "Amazon" is supposed to be "one who dresses up and acts as a member of the opposite sex" according to the hypothetical defintion, and "Amazoness" is the female version, then that means that an "Amazoness" would be a "female who dresses up and acts as a male." Obviously, that ad hoc definition just doesn't work!
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