DIES GAUDII focuses primarily on the anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comic book) series Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn by Naoko Takeuchi and Toei Animation. (The name Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn means Beautiful Girl Soldier Sailor Moon, but many official sources refer to the series as Pretty Soldier Sailormoon. A collection of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn musicals is called Sera Myu. There is now a live-action version of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn that also has the name Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. Ms. Takeuchi revised the manga continuity to produce a new continuity that has the name Pretty Guardian Sailormoon. The new version of the manga continuity comprises a number of new cover edition (shinsban) books. The various continuities of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn star Usagi Tsukino, a clumsy girl who becomes the heroine Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon is a sailor soldier and other sailor soldiers appear as she fights the forces of evil. It is important to understand that this Web site does not offer comprehensive episode summaries of the series, detailed character profiles, or numerous image galleries to its visitors. There are many other Web sites out there that serve as satisfactory introductions to the series. Novices and long-time fans can benefit from the material at DIES GAUDII, but it does help to have some familiarity with the series.
Many non-Japanese fans of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn first become aware of the series through the various dubs and adaptations of the original anime. Many of them do not know the Japanese language. When they want to learn more about the original Japanese version, they often have to rely on secondary sources for information. Sometimes those respected secondary sources do not explain important concepts correctly, and erroneous ideas are spread to other Web sites.
Some of those misconceptions are so old and established that few people are willing or able to speak against them. For instance, contrary to popular belief, Sailor Moon’s civilian name, Usagi Tsukino (Tsukino Usagi in Japanese), does not literally mean “rabbit of the moon.” As a matter of fact, the Japanese phrase that means “rabbit of the moon” actually sounds exactly like the name Tsukino Usagi. (That is why people say that Usagi’s name is a pun on that Japanese phrase; if Usagi’s name really did mean “rabbit of the moon,” then it would not be a pun. A pun is a play on words, not a literal meaning of a word.) This explanation may disturb and annoy some long-time fans, or some of them may even want to contradict it, but it is about time somebody pointed out what are errors and what are facts.
DIES GAUDII features articles that debunk those old misconceptions. It is hoped that those articles will give people a better understanding of the characters, story, and ideas that the original anime and manga exhibit. Not only do those articles debunk common misconceptions, but they also promote accurate information. Although it is interesting to see misinformation exposed and refuted, it is also fun and educational to know what information is correct. Most of the time, there is a right answer. The articles at DIES GAUDII will attempt to draw informed conclusions and present reasonable explanations even when there is no answer to a question or problem. Somebody once said that, although there are many wrong answers, there is not always one right answer. Perhaps we could elaborate on that idea. There may be more than one right answer to a question, but not all right answers are appropriate in every situation. Choosing the best right answer for the job is to apply what is called Occam’s razor. When two or more explanations can explain the material equally well, it is often wise to go with the simplest one.
Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn, and the people at Toei Animation used many non-Japanese and non-English terms in the two continuities. Many of the names and terms that come up have to do with characters from classical Graeco-Roman mythology. Other terms derive from the names of minerals and precious stones. There are other terms in the series whose origins are not as well known by most fans. Some of the essays at DIES GAUDII deal with the etymology and origins of many of the terms in the series. In the SuperS movie section, the reader will find out that “Peruru” is really a Japanese approximation of the French word perle. So, the animators actually had the French word in mind when they worked on the movie; they did not randomly come up with “Peruru.”
Sometimes it is necessary to debunk misinformation, to discuss what information is correct, and to indicate the etymology of certain terms in the same article. Several of the articles at DIES GAUDII do any combination of the three. Sometimes it is difficult to say that an etymology essay does not also discredit erroneous beliefs. The Witches 5 Etymology section, for instance, performs all three actions. It explains the etymology of the names of the Witches, it shows a list of erroneous spellings of Ptilol’s name, and it argues that “Ptilol” is the best Latin-letter spelling of the name according to the information that we have.
Please note that much of the written material at DIES GAUDII attempts to be presented in a scholarly fashion. For that reason, I shall not consider every cockamamie idea that comes my way worthy of my assent. In other words, do not expect to see a “balanced” presentation of arguments and viewpoints in these essays and articles. When it comes to presenting different ideas, not all of them deserve equal time. Usagi, for instance, could have had a love affair with Rei (who is one of Usagi’s close friends), but that hypothetical relationship will not be taken as seriously as the relationship between Usagi and Mamoru (who really is Usagi’s lover).
DIES GAUDII and Its Mascot
The name of this Web site means day of joy in Latin. There are reasons for that name. It has been pointed out earlier that this Web site attempts to expose common misconceptions about the series Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn. It also seeks to promote accurate information. Hotaru Tomoe, the mascot of DIES GAUDII, is often portrayed as a morbid and antisocial outcast. In reality, she is a happy girl who would like to make new friends. The word gaudii, which is grammatically a form of the word gaudium, refers specifically to inner joy. Hotaru’s dark and mysterious exterior hides her friendly, gentle, and enthusiastic personality. Moreover, her sailor soldier form, Sailor Saturn, is often thought of as frightening and sinister. Sailor Saturn’s powers may be associated with death and destruction, but she is really on the side of good. She even tells Sailor Moon and the readers that “along with death, there is always hope and rebirth.” The triumph of good over evil brings one inner happiness.
The Latin name also suggests my interest in etymology and linguistics. I enjoy studying languages and learning new words. Figuring out the origins of words brings me joy! Furthermore, as stated earlier, the articles and etymological essays that are found at this Web site are meant to be seen as scholarly. Latin had been used as the European scholarly language for many centuries. Moreover, Sailor Saturn’s name and role derives from the role of Saturnus (or Saturn), an ancient Roman god of agriculture. Latin, of course, was the language that the ancient Romans spoke. So, the use of the Latin language hints at this Web site’s purpose and the origin of the name of its mascot.
Style and Romanization
Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn is a Japanese anime and manga series, so there is no way that one can appreciate it without becoming casually familiar with Japan, its language, and its culture. Visitors to DIES GAUDII will notice that many of the articles feature Japanese characters along with the letters of the Latin alphabet that the English language uses. I am aware that many of DIES GAUDII’s visitors do not use Web browsers that support Japanese encoding formats such as EUC and Shift JIS. Therefore, small image files that show the Japanese script are used instead of encoding. Readers do not have to download any special software to view correctly the Japanese characters in the articles. Those who wish to enable Japanese character encoding on Netscape or Internet Explorer should read this tutorial.
Some fans insist that the "Sailormoon" and not "Sailor Moon" is the only correct Latin-letter spelling of the name of the original Japanese version of the series. They argue that there is not supposed to be a space between "Sailor" and "moon." Although those people are right in saying that many official Japanese sources do often show the name in Latin letters as "Sailormoon," sometimes "Sailor Moon" appears. Written English uses spaces, but written Japanese does not. Since English uses spaces, and some official sources show "Sailor Moon," and both the words sailor and moon are English words, it is not wrong to call the original Japanese version "Sailor Moon." In most cases, spaces will be used in names such as "Sailor Mercury" and "Sailor Mars" for clarity's sake at DIES GAUDII. For those who know how to read English, something like "Sailorheavymetalpapillon" can be difficult to read. Moreover, without the use of spaces, we would get unwieldy double consonants such as in "Sailortinnyanko."
Something should be said about how Japanese names will be presented in the material at DIES GAUDII. Japanese names, when they are written in the Japanese script, usually follow a particular order: the characters that represent the surname (family name) appear first, and the characters that represent a person’s personal name appear last. Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn, writes her name with the characters . The first two characters represent Takeuchi, which is her surname. The name that her parents gave her when she was born was Naoko, and the characters represent Naoko. That is her personal name. It is important to note that her name would never appear as (first the Naoko characters, then the Takeuchi characters) in the Japanese script. However, when people transliterate her name into the alphabet that English uses, Ms. Takeuchi’s name can appear as either Takeuchi Naoko or Naoko Takeuchi. The former follows the eastern format (surname first, personal name last), and the latter follows the western format (surname last, personal name first). The media usually presents Japanese names in the western format. Most English-language newspapers would show Naoko Takeuchi instead of Takeuchi Naoko. In most cases, the articles and essays at DIES GAUDII follow the western format. However, when the characters that represent Japanese names appear in those articles and essays, they may be followed by a romanization that follows the eastern format. Here is an example: ( Takeuchi Naoko).
Sometimes English-speaking people find it necessary to use the letters of the Latin alphabet to represent the sounds of the Japanese language. The process of approximating Japanese sounds using the letters of the Latin alphabet is called romanization. (The term transliteration refers to the process of representing the sounds of one language with another language’s script. So, romanization is a type of transliteration.) One can use any of the different systems of romanization to render Japanese terms into Latin letters, but the Hepburn system is the most common. The articles at DIES GAUDII use the Hepburn system. The Hepburn system usually uses a symbol that has the name macron (-) for letters that represent vowels when the vowel sounds are long. (The macrons are placed above those vowels.) In my articles, letters representing vowels that do not have macrons over them are often assumed to be short. (Some articles do not indicate long vowels.) There are times when characters with macrons cannot be used. In those cases, each macron is usually replaced with another symbol called a circumflex (^).
I am not associated with Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation, or any of the other companies that own Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn. Therefore, the information in the articles at DIES GAUDII is imperfect and fallible. The articles will never be absolutely correct. However, I do try to make them as accurate as possible. There are times when one does not need the authority of the aforementioned companies to insist on the veracity of a particular fact or spelling. There are special cases in which one would have to go against what those official sources tell us. For instance, a piece of merchandise calls the Three Lights (Seiya, Yaten, and Taiki) the “Three Rights,” but we can insist that the typists meant to write “Three Lights.”
Readers who find errors in the articles should get in touch with me. When those errors are pointed out to me, I shall do my best to correct them. Please be specific about where the errors are and what the errors are. It may even be necessary to indicate the appropriate URLs and to quote the particular passages.
Notes About the Different Versions of the Manga
Many of the articles and essays at DIES GAUDII were written before the new version of the manga (Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: shinsban) was released. Readers may not know whether those articles and essays are referring to the old version, the new version, or both. If a section at DIES GAUDII mentions the Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn manga, but it does not mention the new version or both versions together, then it is referring to the older version by default.
The articles at DIES GAUDII mainly deal with the Japanese versions of the Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn anime and manga continuities. They do not usually deal with the the English-language version of the manga that Tokyopop (Mixx) released. If a section at DIES GAUDII mentions the Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn manga, but it does not mention a) the English-language version by Tokyopop, or it does not mention b) the new version of the Japanese manga, or it does not mention c) both versions of the Japanese manga together, then it is referring to the older version of the Japanese manga by default. As far as I know, the Tokyopop version of the manga does not have the name Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn.
A Note About the Nakaguro (Middle Dots)
A dot () that has the name Nakaguro is used in the Japanese script to indicate word divisions. (Sometimes the dot is referred to as a middle dot.) That dot is optional and it attempts to make the constituent words in a katakana-character group more orthographically apparent. The official Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn sources are not always consistent about when they use dots in katakana-character phrases. They may use dots in one instance of a phrase, but they may not use any dots in another instance of the same phrase. It is important to understand that even if dots are not included in a phrase, that does not mean that spaces are not meant to be placed between the individual words. If one particular official source does not include dots in a katakana-character group, it is not necessarily wrong to put in the dots when writing the group elsewhere. The articles at DIES GAUDII usually include dots in the katakana-character groups in order to help the reader recognize the individual words. Furthermore, spaces are usually used to indicate individual words in Roman-letter transliterations of katakana-character groups and in phrases that contain important non-Japanese terms even if an official source does not use dots.
Thank you for reading this introduction. Please explore DIES GAUDII.