Ian Andreas Miller.  5 June 2002.

     The names of the important Black Moon characters, places, and items have been analyzed by other fans in the past, but an extensive explanation of the names has never been presented.  This article attempts to explain the names as accurately as possible.  It uses the canonical anime and manga sources for most of its information, and other sources such as Japanese-English dictionaries have been consulted  whenever necessary.  After studying those sources, we can draw reasonable conclusions about the origins of those names.  Many of the names clearly demonstrate that Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn, exhibits a tendency to name her characters after mineralogical terms.  This article does not include the names of the droids that appear only in the anime, but explanations of those names can be found in my “Monsters-of-the-Days” List.

How the Name Entries Are Formatted

     Each name entry will follow a specific format.  The katakana characters that the Japanese use to write the name appear with the Hepburn romanization and the etymological Roman-letter spelling of the name.  Those three components are in bold.  An explanation of the name can be found after those components.

     Notice that a romanization is not the same as an etymological Roman-letter spelling.  The etymological Roman-letter spelling of Berthier’s name is precisely Berthier, but the romanization of the katakana characters is Beruche.

A Note about the Black Moon Clan

     Sometimes the members of the Black Moon are collectively called the “Black Moon Family.”  Fans refer to the characters as a family because the group is often called a ichizoku1, which can mean family or clan2.  The word family may not accurate describe the group once we consider how the characters are associated with each other.  In the anime, Koan is at first under the impression that Rubeus really loves her.  Also, in that same continuity, Saphir and Petz love each other.  If those characters were in the same family, why are not fans upset about the apparently incestuous relationships?  We know that Koan has three older sisters, but there is no indication in the anime and manga sources that they are related to Rubeus and Esmeraude by blood.  Prince Demand and Saphir may be brothers, but nobody indicates that they are related to the four sisters or Esmeraude.  Saphir says “” (niisan-tachi) in act 20 of the manga, but that can mean older brother and the others.  It is not known whether or not Rubeus is one of his brothers.  Perhaps the word ichizoku is better translationed as clan when it refers to the Black Moon characters.

, 3
Waizuman, Desu Fantomu
Wiseman, Death Fantom

Volume 5 of the new version of the manga (with the English title of “Pretty Guardian Sailormoon”) shows “DETH FANTOM” and “DEATH FANTOM.”  “DETH” should have been “DEATH.”  “FANTOM” is a recognized variant of phantom.  Wiseman calls himself the Ankoku no Shihaisha4, which means Lord of Darkness.  The planet on which Wiseman and the others have made their home is called ankoku wakusei Nemeshisu5, which means dark planet Nemesis.  In the anime and manga, Nemesis is supposed to be the solar system’s tenth planet6.  The planet is named after the Greek goddess Nemesis (), who was associated with retributive justice7.  The planet Nemesis might also be named after the hypothetical companion star of the Sun that is called Nemesis.  Wiseman and the others use the Evil Black Crystal ( Jakokusuish)8, which is a powerful and wicked stone.  In the anime and manga, Chibi Usa eventually meets up with Wiseman and uses the evil lord’s dark power to become Black Lady ( Burakku Redi)9.

Purinsu Demando
Prince Demand

Some fans refer to Prince Demand as “Prince Dimando,” but the Japanese do not write his name as Purinsu Dimando.  The katakana characters demando usually approximate the English word demand11.  That word does not make sense once we notice that Rubeus, Esmeraude, and Saphir have names that pertain to the gemstones ruby, emerald, and sapphire, respectively.  The Materials Collection states that Demand wears diamond ornaments.  Rubeus, Esmeraude, Saphir, and Demand are three of the most prominent Black Moon characters and they all pertain to the gemstones ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond.  Demand’s name should pertain to the diamond to fit fit the gemstone naming pattern.  The Japanese write the word diamond as daiyamondo, so his name is not Diamond in the Japanese sources.

     The modern German word for diamond is Diamant12, but Demant is a poetic spelling13.  The Japanese are more likely to write Demant as Demanto rather than Demando.  Therefore, it is less likely that Demand’s name is the poetic German word Demant.

     “PRINCE DEMAND” appears on the Sera Myu Eternal Edition 2 CD.  Some Sera Myu sources show some obvious errors, but the CD does not contain anything that is inherently erroneous.

     The New High German word demand means diamond14.  (New High German is the High German language since the sixteenth century.  Demand is an obsolete word.  ( can approximate the final d in German words.  E.g. undo can approximate und, meaning and in German.  Dakkusufundo can approximate Dachshund.)  It should be kept in mind that the German word demand is obsolete.  It is not well-known nowadays.

     Demand is also a surname that means diamond.  Diémand and Diemand are other surnames that have the same meaning.

     Sometimes Demand’s name is thought to be related to Demantoid, which is the name of a mineral (a kind of garnet)15.  The name Demantoid derives from the poetic German word Demant.  When the Japanese wish to approximate the name Demantoid with katakana characters, they write Demantoido16Demantoid literally means diamond-like, so that name can be linked to the prince.  Demando (Demand) may be a contraction of Demantoido (Demantoid).

Ao no Safru18
Blue Saphir

Although there are many different spellings of Saphir’s name, few of them can be shown to be satisfactory.  Many of those spellings do not reflect the katakana characters that the Japanese use to write Saphir’s name, nor do they reflect the etymology of his name.  Saphir has the title ao, which means blue19, and the Japanese use the katakana characters safru to approximate the French word saphir, which means sapphire20.  (More of the Japanese sources that specifically explain safru state that it approximates the French word.  The Japanese write the English word sapphire as safaia21.)  Therefore it becomes evident that spellings such as Safiel and Saphiel are spurious.  They are not related to the word sapphire.  The Japanese may write safir, the Old French word for sapphire22, as safru.  However, since the Japanese tend to use modern French words more often, and the modern French word is more well-known, Ms. Takeuchi most likely was thinking of saphir.

     The Japanese Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn F.A.Q. and Hans Schumacher have suggested that Saphir’s name should really be spelled Sapphir.  Sapphir is a Latin word for sapphire23.  The ancient Romans also used the spellings sapphrus and sappir24Sappir has no f sounds, so the Japanese would not write it as safru.  Those katakana characters do not reflect sapphrus, either.  According to the classical Latin pronunciation rules used in universities today25, when a Latin word has two syllables, and none of the vowels are long, the first syllable has the stress.  The letters ph indicate the ph sounds in uphill, not the ph sound in phone.  So, sapphir, which contains no long vowels, would be pronounced as “SAHP-phihr,” not “sah-FEER.”  The ph was probably pronounced like an f in the later stages of Latin (such as Church Latin), but the accent rules were the same.  (The later pronunciation of sapphir was probably like “sap-fir.”)  Although safru contains specifically one f sound, that combination could approximate sapphir (if we want to accept a late Latin pronunciation).  However, there are fewer f sounds in the French term saphir than in the late pronunciation of the Latin term.  Moreover, the French term has fewer known spelling variations and pronunciation variations than sapphir has.

     Saphir’s name is often written as “Saffiru,” but that spelling seems to be an error for Safru, which is a romanization of .  The erroneous “Saffiru” spelling indicates two f sounds, but the katakana characters Safru indicate only one f sound.  Other people write Saphir’s name as “Sapphiro,” but there is no o sound in Safru.

& 26
Veneti & Akuatiki
Veneti & Aquatici

These two agents of Saphir appear in the manga.  Veneti’s name is relevant to the Latin word venet, which is a form of the Latin word venetus, meaning sea-colored or bluish27.  (It is possible that Veneti’s name derives from venet when it is part of a phrase.)  Many fans write Aquatici’s name as “Aquatiki,” but aqutic is a real word.  Aquatici’s name is relevant to the Latin word aqutic, which is a form of the Latin word aquticus, meaning aquatic28.  That word describes things that resemble water, and blue is traditionally the color associated with water.  Aquatici’s name is also relevant to Aqutic, which is a form of the Latin word aquticum (coming from aquticus), meaning color of water.  (Blue certainly is an aquatic color — it is a color pertaining to water.  In fact, water is intrinsically blue.)  (It is possible that Aquatici’s name derives from aquticus when it is part of a phrase.)  Veneti and Aquatici are two characters who have names that follow a the water-sea-blue naming pattern.

Midori no Esumerdo29
Green Esmeraude

The origin of Esmeraude’s name is not difficult to understand when we know that the Japanese write Emerdo-hime when they refer to Princess Emeraude from the popular anime and manga series called Magic Knight Rayearth ( Majikku Naito Reisu30).  Émeraude is the French word for emerald, and esmeraude is an older, obsolete French spelling of émeraude31( emerdo approximates émeraude, so esumerdo should approximate esmeraude.)  The title that Esmeraude uses, Midori, means green32 and refers to the color of an emerald.  The Japanese write emerald as emerarudo.

& 33
Kiraru & Akiraru
Chiral & Achiral

The names of Esmeraude’s two male underlings are actually two chemical terms.  An achiral molecule is one that can be placed over its mirror image34.  Achiral has dark skin and Chiral has lighter skin.  Molecules that cannot be placed over their mirror images are said to be chiral35.  Incidentally, the Materials Collection calls Chiral and Achiral “Optical isomers.  Twins like mirror reflections.”  The two characters call themselves the Boule Brothers ( Bru Burazzu36), but they have been erroneously called the “Bull Brothers.”  The Japanese would write “Bull Brothers” as Buru Burazzu.  A boule is a synthetic alumina-based gem37.  In the manga, the katakana characters Bru appear above the kanji ( jinkgenseki) that mean artificial rough stone38.  In the anime, Chiral and Achiral are called the Jinzhseki Burazzu, which means Artificial Jewel Brothers39.

Kurenai no Rubeusu
Crimson Rubeus

The Latin word rubeus means red, and Rubeus’ title, Kurenai, means crimson41.  Rubeus’ name does not specifically mean ruby, but the word ruby derives from rubeus42.  The Japanese write ruby as rub43.  The editors of the magazine Animerica wrote Rubeus’ name as “Rubius” in volume 4, No. 8, but clearly that spelling is erroneous.  They seemed to have taken that spelling from one of the myriad fan-created Web sites instead of studying the original Japanese script.  If the Japanese meant to approximate “Rubius,” they probably would have written Rubiusu.

     In the anime, Rubeus wields a special power called Water Blizzard ( Wt Burizdo)44.  The Black Moon section of the official Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn Web site calls his special power Water Wild Blizzard ( Wt Wairudo Burizdo).

© 2002-2008 Ian Andreas Miller. All rights reserved. Those statements refer to all of the original content on these Web pages. All of the other works that are mentioned on these pages are the properties of their authors.