Countless Sailor Moon references in Ebiten

Ebiten episode 2 - Sailor FukuSailor Moon posing

Ebiten is an animated Internet series that has also played on TV in Japan. The second episode of the show features more Sailor Moon references than you could ever hope for as the main character relives many events from Sailor Moon, transforms into Tailor Moon and breaks the fourth wall by making reference to the similarities. Not only are there references in the characters and actions in the episode but many sequences are nearly frame by frame recreations of counterparts in Sailor Moon. I’ve tried to put together a list of as many of these as possible. Fans of Sailor Moon would be best to simply watch the episode in question and marvel at the similarities. The first episode is available streaming at Crunchyroll or from NyaaTorrents.

With that being said keep reading for a bit of a play by play of the similarities as they happened. For the most part these similarities were to the first episode of the Sailor Moon anime and to the Sailor Moon R movie.

Right off the opening shot of this episode shows a close up of the main character Hakata’s comforter, a call back to a similar opening shot in the first episode of Sailor Moon.

Ebiten episode 2 - Opening scene shot of a comforterSailor Moon episode 1- Opening scene shot of a comforter

We then see a poster in Hakata’s room featuring a very familiar looking character.

Ebiten episode 2 - Sailor Moon style poster

Hakata is late for school, as Usagi often is. She mentions that she should have bread in her mouth and that she might run into someone, showing an image of a man that looks like Tuxedo Mask. Usagi sometimes runs with toast in her mouth and often meets Mamoru on her way to and from school before their relationship starts.

Ebiten episode 2 - Running with toast meeting Tuxedo MaskSailor Moon episode 47 - Late for school with toast in her mouthSailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi runs into Mamoru

Hakata then run into a cat in a parking lot with two bandages on his head. These next few shots are incredibly similar to the same scene from the first episode of the Sailor Moon anime where Usagi first runs into Luna who is in the same situation. Hakata even points out that this is similar to “Bishoujo Soldier” and we then see a picture of her watching a TV where Usagi is taking Luna’s bandage off.

Ebiten episode 2 - Cat freaking out with bandage on headSailor Moon episode 1 - Luna freaking out with a bandage on her headEbiten episode 2 - Watching Sailor MoonEbiten episode 2 - Removing a bandage from a cat's headSailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi removing a bandage from Luna's head

The show then proceeded with a quick pre credits clip before running it’s real opening credits. This included direct references to Sailor Moon’s first opening theme such as the following scenes of clouds over a city and a flowered border which is identical right down to the individual roses.

Ebiten episode 2 - Opening theme cloudsSailor Moon opening theme - TokyoEbiten episode 02 - Roses and titleSailor Moon opening theme - Roses

Then there was the title screen. It appeared just as they did in the first season of Sailor Moon, following a moon and some streaking stars. The episode’s title itself “Crybaby Hakata’s Magnificent Transformation” is a direct reference to the first episode of Sailor Moon’s title “Crybaby Usagi’s Magnificent Transformation”.

Ebiten episode 2 - Title screen shooting starsSailor Moon episode 1 - Title screen - Shooting starsEbiten episde 2 - "Crybaby Hakata's Magnificent Transformation"Sailor Moon episode 1 - Crybaby Usagi's Magnificent Transformation

At about 6 and a half minutes into the episode some of the background music is very similar to that used during the introduction of the characters in the Sailor Moon R movie.

We later see Hakata imagining herself with a couple of foxes that look like Tuxedo Mask.

Ebiten episode 2 - Foxes dressed like Tuxedo Mask

Hakata then dons a rabbit outfit. This may or may not be an intentional reference to “Usagi” which is the name of Sailor Moon’s main character but is also the Japanese word for rabbit.

Ebiten episode 2 - Hakata dressed as a rabbit

A poster seen on the wall in the background of one room shows a white cat, similar looking to Artemis, and a crescent moon.

Eibten episode 2 - Artemis on a crescent moon

When the commercial break rolls around the bumper being used is identical to the ones that were used in Sailor Moon’s first season. This has a spot light shining around a wall, focusing on a cat in the bottom left corner and then on a girl on the right, who then turns and poses in an identical way.

Ebiten episode 2 - Sailor Moon style commercial bumperSailor Moon commercial bumper

One of the show’s characters dresses up as Queen Beryl. As she introduces herself we see a shot of Dark Kingdom monsters that is very similar to a shot from the Sailor Moon opening.

Ebiten episode 2 - Queen BerylSailor Moon opening - Queen Beryl in the Dark Kingdom

Hakata then believes that she hears a cat talking, telling her to transform, which is one of the first things Luna tells Usagi. This is just a misunderstanding as the girl holding the cat is doing the talking. In this shot we can see the backdrop that looks like Queen Beryl’s Dark Kingdom set.

Ebiten episode 2 - Queen Beryl and a talking catSailor Moon episode 1 - The Dark Kingdom

Then things get real as Hakata actually transforms into something that looks like Sailor Moon. She says “Moon something or another power, image make up”, a direct reference to “Moon Prism Power, Make Up!” and the transformation sequence and posing that following is nearly frame by frame identical to that in the early episodes of Sailor Moon.

Ebiten episode 2 - Transformation sequece - HandSailor Moon - Transformation sequence - Hand

The version of the episode I saw had the transformation sequence blurred out like a criminal’s face in cops so there may have been some copyright issues with the overt similarities. The full version appears below and the similarities are undeniable.

She transforms into “Tailor Moon”. Her costume bears obvious similarities, though her shoulder bubbles are closer to something like Eternal Sailor Moon. She calls out very similar catch phrases to the ones Sailor Moon would say.

Ebiten episode 2 - Sailor Fuku poseSailor Moon posing

She does an attack with a measuring tape called “Moon measure action” which is remarkably similar to “Moon Tiara Action”.

Ebiten episode 2 - Moon Measure ActionSailor Moon - Moon Tiara Action

We then get introduced to even more characters! One girl turns into Tailor Marketing, similar to Sailor Mercury. She uses and attack named “Employee Business Card Exchange Illusion” which I guess shares a single word with “Shine Aqua Illusion”.

Ebiten episode 2 - Sailor Marketing (Mercury)Sailor Mercury

We are also introduced to Tailor Reception Desk (Sailor Mars), Tailor Accounting (Sailor Jupiter) and Tailor Sales (Sailor Venus) who is a cat…

Ebiten episode 2 - Tailor Accounting, Tailor Reception Desk and Tailor Sales

The introduction sequence that follows is similar to that used in the Sailor Moon R movie, showing them all in a spotlight in a similar way to the commercial break bumper seen earlier.

Ebiten episode 2 - Tailor AccountingSailor Moon R movie - Sailor JupiterEbiten episode 2 - Tailor Reception DeskSailor Moon R movie - Sailor Mars

Hakata then uses “Kanomori Princess Make Up!” to transform into something that looks like Princess Serenity. What follows is a scene, including a song that sound identical to “Moon Revenge”, that is identical to the climax of the Sailor Moon R movie where Princess Serenity uses the Crystal to stop an asteroid from crashing into the Earth.

Ebiten episode 2 - "Kanomori Princess Make Up!"Sailor Moon R movie - Usagi transforms into Princess SerenityEbiten episode 2 - Kanomori PrincessSailor Moon R movie - Princess Serenity

After a rose shows up a mysterious figure known as Tuxe-noh Mask appears! No doubt this is meant to be Tuxedo Mask.

Ebiten episode 2 - Tuxe-noh MaskSailor Moon episode 1 - Tuxedo Mask

Finally as the episode ends some rose pedals fly across the screen, similar to a sight from the end of the Sailor Moon R movie.

Ebiten episode 2 - Roses in the WindSailor Moon R movie - Rose pedals

Is that everything? Well it’s entirely possible I missed something, but these were the things I noticed. Obviously the people who put this show together are big fans of Sailor Moon and went to painstaking efforts to make sure their references were perfect right down to the last detail.

If you haven’t checked the show out yet, do so right now! It’s well worth it.

A big thanks to reader Kirk for bringing this show to our attention. You can check out some of Kirk’s Sailor Moon music videos on his YouTube channel. This link was also mentioned at the Sailor Moon forums.

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