Notes and Supplementary Information
- Anime: The animated Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn continuity.
- Manga: The graphic novel Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn continuity.
- The word character may be used in two different ways in this article. Depending on the context, character may refer to a written symbol that represents a word or sound in a writing system. In other cases, character may refer to an individual from Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn or classical mythology. Whenever I use that word, I try to be clear about the intended meaning.
- Hiragana: The Japanese syllabic script that is used primarily to write grammatical words and elements.
- Katakana: The Japanese syllabic script that is used primarily to write Western loan words, non-Japanese proper names (except for Chinese and Korean names), and onomatopoeic Japanese words.
- Kanji: The Chinese characters that are used to write the core of the Japanese vocabulary.
- Furigana: The small characters that are placed along the top or the side of kanji to indicate their pronunciation.
Avi and Sapphire’s Shrine
Saphir’s name has been written several different ways, but there is
no reason to think that all of those spellings are accurate and necessary.
Avi, the maintainer of the Sapphire’s Shrine Web site, attempts to explain why there are different spellings of Saphir’s name. Unfortunately,
her explanations are inadequate because she seems to be confused about
some of the terms that she uses. For instance, she calls Safiiru
a translation when it is properly called a romanization or transliteration.
Several months ago, I sent her a message in which I explained the proper
use of the terms. I also provided clearly written and understandable
explanations of Saphir’s name. She did not seem interested because
she never responded to me. Apparently, she thought that my explanations
did not make any sense. In any case, I have included the text of
my message here.
I found your Saphir site the other day! It's nice to know that
there is at least one Web site for Saphir out there.
Actually, I decided to e-mail you because you seem to have been wondering
how Saphir's name is spelled in Japanese. If you don't mind, I would
like to give you some information about his name.
Emeryl is right in saying that "Safiiru" is one way to romanize the
Japanese characters that are used to write his name. However, there's
more to say than that. Please allow me to explain to you how the
Japanese language works.
The Japanese writing system comprises two groups of written characters:
kanji and kana. (When I say "character," I'm referring to a written
symbol that stands for a sound or word.) The kanji are characters
that come from China. They represent sounds, ideas, or words.
The kana are used to write words phonetically. In other words, they
deal with representing sounds in the Japanese language exclusively.
Kana characters come in two kinds: hiragana and katakana. They aren't
alphabets, but syllabaries. Each character represents a syllable
in the Japanese language: "a," "ba," "ta," and so on. The hiragana
characters represent native Japanese words. The katakana characters
often used to approximate non-Japanese terms, but native Japanese words
can also be written with those characters.
Sometimes it's necessary to approximate those Japanese sounds using
letters of the Latin alphabet. Such a process is called romanization.
For instance, a set of three particular hiragana characters may represent
three syllables, and those who use the Latin alphabet would write "Usagi"
to approximate the sounds that those three characters represent.
The Japanese would use katakana characters to approximate my name: Ian
Andreas Miller. They would write these characters:
The first, second, and third characters represent "ian." The two
dots are used to separate the three parts of my name. The six characters
after the first dot represent the sounds "andoreasu." "Andoreasu"
is the closest the Japanese can approximate the name "Andreas." The
three characters after the second dot represent the sounds "Mira~."
The "~" indicates a long vowel. "Mira~" is the closest the Japanese
can approximate the name "Miller" in their writing system. Although
the characters represent the sounds "Ian Andoreasu Mira~," they really
approximate the three parts of my name. So:
Romanization of the characters: Ian Andoreasu Mira~
Original spelling: Ian Andreas Miller
The Japanese also use katakana characters to write Saphir's name.
Emeryl mentioned "Safiiru," which is the romanization of those katakana
characters. The two "i"s indicate that the first "i" is a long vowel.
I would have written "Safi~ru," which shows the "i" is long. The
romanization can't be "Saffiru" because there is only one "f" sound in
These are the katakana characters that are used to write his name:
The first character is romanized as "sa." The second and third
make up the "fi" (not "ffi") sound. As I pointed out above, only
one "f" sound is written. The dash mark (-) just shows that the "i"
is a long vowel. The final character is romanized as "ru."
Romanization of the characters: Safi~ru (Safiiru)
What word, then, do those katakana characters approximate? Well,
it's not a Japanese word. Actually, the Japanese use that combination
of katakana characters to approximate the French word Saphir.
That Web site lists many French words. It also shows how the Japanese
approximate those words with katakana characters. Saphir is listed,
and that combination of katakana characters is also there.
Other Japanese Web sites concur:
Go to this site:
Click on the image with Saphir in it. You'll see the katakana
characters near the top!
So, those katakana characters are romanized as "Safiiru" or "Safi~ru,"
but the original word they approximate is Saphir. That's why I have
written his name as Saphir so often in this message.
You mention several other spellings on your site. I'm not exactly
sure what "Saffir" is, but Animerica's "sapphiro" is a form of the Latin
word "sapphirus." The "pph" in sapphirus" would have been a "p" sound,
not an "f" sound. "Safiel" wouldn't be right because it doesn't resemble
the words "sapphire" or "saphir" or "sapphirus" at all. In another
words, it's a misspelling.
You may be wondering what some of the other characters (in red) on that
Saphir image say. Well, I'll tell you. The first character
is a kanji (a Chinese character) that the Japanese use to refer to the
color blue. The sound that it represents is romanized as "ao."
That is where the "Watchet" came from. Incidentally, the translation
"Watchet" comes from Alex Glover's translations. I was the one who
suggested the word to him. He decided to use it.
The second character is "no," which is the possessive particle.
It's often translated as "of" or "'s" (apostrophe "s"), but in this case
it goes with the "ao" and modifies the name "Saphir." So:
Romanization of the characters: Ao No Safi~ru
Translation: Watchet Saphir
What about some of the other names of the characters of the Black Moon
clan? I can help you with their names too. Look at this image:
You should see four characters before the dot and four characters after
the dot. The four characters before the dot are romanized as "Purinsu,"
which is how the Japanese approximate the English word "Prince."
The four characters after the dot are romanized as "Demando."
"Demando" is usually how the Japanese approximate the English word "demand."
However, it's obvious that his name isn't supposed to be the English
word "demand," but actually a form of the word "diamond." Is there
a form of the word "diamond" that is written as "demand"? Yes, there
is. This Swedish dictionary says that "demand" is New High German
There is no way that his name could be "Dimando." If it were "Dimando,"
then his name would have been written this way in Japanese:
Besides, "Dimando" doesn't mean a darn thing. It's another misspelling.
So, "Purinsu Demando" approximates the name Prince Demand.
Look at the characters in this image:
The first character is romanized as "midori" and it refers to the color
green. The second character is "no," which is used in the same way
in "Ao No Safi~ru." The six katakana characters after the "no" are
romanized as "Esumero~do." "Esumero~do" is an approximation of the
old French word "Esmeraude," which means "emerald":
That site is an entry from a rather old French dictionary. ("Smaragdus,"
by the way, is Latin for "emerald.") "Emeraude" is the word that
the French use today:
So, "Midori No Esumero~do" approximates the name Green Esmeraude.
Look at the characters in this image:
The first character is used to refer to the color crimson, and it is
romanized as "kurenai." You already know what the "no" is used for.
The four katakana characters after the "no" are romanized as "Rubeusu."
"Rubeusu" is an approximation of the Latin word "rubeus," which means "red":
Notice that the katakana characters are not supposed to represent "Rubius."
"Rubius" is what Animerica called him once, but "rubius" doesn't mean anything.
If it were "Rubius," then the katakana characters would have been "Rubiusu":
So, "Kurenai No Rubeusu" is an approximation of the name Crimson Rubeus.
You also mentioned "Veneti" and "Aquatiki" on your site. Well,
I can explain those names, too. Look at the katakana characters on
Here's how to romanize those katakana characters:
"Veneti" is how the Japanese approximate "veneti," which is a form of
the Latin word "venetus":
Venetus means, in this case, "Sea-colored, bluish."
"Akuatiki" is how the Japanese approximate "aquatici," which is a form
of the Latin word "aquaticus":
"Aquatici" means, in this case, "color of water" or "aquatic." "Aquatiki" should really be Aquatici. The latter is a real word, but the former is not.
So, Veneti and Aquatici serve Watchet (Blue) Saphir. Their names follow a sea-water-blue.
On your site, you said that the main villains of the Black Moon family
may have been named after the French names of their respective gemstones.
As I have shown, that assertion is false.
- "Demand" is New High German for "diamond."
- "Saphir" is French for "sapphire."
- "Esmeraude" is an older French word for "emerald."
- "Rubeus" is Latin for "red."
However, these three are not French words:
- Dimando (Demand's name doesn't have an "i" in it.)
- Saffir (There's only one "f" sound in Saphir's name.)
- Rubius (The extra "u" needs to be explained somehow.)
This image shows how the Japanese would approximate the French words
"diamant," "emeraude," and "rubis" in katakana characters:
The "t" in the French word "diamant" is not pronounced. The "s"
in "rubis" isn't pronounced, either. The Japanese approximations
of those French words reflect those facts. So, there is no way that
"Rubeusu" (which has an "s" sound in it) could be "rubis." "Demando"
couldn't be "diamant."
I don't know whether you'd want to add anything that I said in this
message to your site, but I thought you would like to know the origins
of those names. At least, I hope you find the information in this
© 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.