Watch a short clip of Naoko Takeuchi mentioning that Super Sentai shows inspired her as a child

Naoko Takeuchi with the Zyurangers

Yesterday I found this photo of Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon, with the Zyurangers, from the Super Sentai series which was adapted as the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series in North America. The photo was posted to Twitter by Tuxedo Unmasked, who runs a great web site by the same name. He later shared a link to the source video, which was a 20th Anniversary video of TOEI’s Sentai Series which aired on March 21st 1995. I can’t embed the video but you can watch the video on YouTube to see the brief appearance by Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi at 16 minutes and 57 seconds. This interview lasts less than 30 seconds.

Naoko Takeuchi discusses Super Sentai series

Why is Naoko Takeuchi, who created Sailor Moon, wrote and drew the Sailor Moon manga, and provided work for various incarnations of the Sailor Moon series, appearing in a show about Super Sentai? As she mentions in this brief clip, she was inspired by Super Sentai series as a child. This special from 1995, which commemorates 20 years of Super Sentai series for TOEI, demonstrates that such series had been around a long time before Sailor Moon. It is often said that Sailor Moon, a series in which many girls transform into coloured uniforms and use attacks to defeat monsters, is a kind of Super Sentai type story about and for girls. This clip confirms that such series were a partial inspiration for the Sailor Moon manga and ultimately the anime and live action series as well.

Sailor Moon

I’ve certainly mentioned this similarity many times in the context of the live action series. The Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series is a Tokusatsu (live action special effects) series much like Super Sentai series are. As Sailor Moon is a manga version of a Super Sentai series the live action version is a way of the franchise evolving into something even more similar to the shows which inspired it. The few recycled sets and even costumes are not proof of that, so much as the general similarities in the basic plots of these series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 18 - The Sailor Guardians with Sailor Venus in the middle

Although Naoko Takeuchi likely drew at least partial inspiration from Super Sentai series, it’s not possible for her to actually have been inspired by Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, which was later adapted in North America as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That series first aired in February of 1992. The Codename: Sailor V manga started in August of 1991 and Sailor Moon, which has more similarities to a Super Sentai team show, was first published in December of 1991. The Sailor Moon anime series began airing in March of 1992, so it’s certainly easy to compare Sailor Moon to Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, because they were both on television at the same time, but without a time machine it’s impossible for either to have been an inspiration for the other.

Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers didn’t start airing until August of 1993 which was still two years before Sailor Moon started airing on TV in the US and Canada in August of 1995. Though Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was adapted from three different Super Sentai series, they kept the Zyuranger outfits for all three of those seasons, so North American fans would mostly only be familiar with those costumes when Sailor Moon’s first 65 episodes played on TV until Power Rangers Zero started in April of 1996 after which the costumes for each series continued to change.

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 5 - Red Ranger

Source: Tuxedo Unmasked on Twitter

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14 thoughts on “Watch a short clip of Naoko Takeuchi mentioning that Super Sentai shows inspired her as a child

  1. I would love to have another Sailor Moon live-action. As corny as the last one was, it was so much fun and had some great side plots!

  2. The plot of ZyuRanger has some shocking similarities to the plot of Sailor Moon, which is especially interesting since the first act of the Sailor Moon comic was published only two months before ZyuRanger began airing, and ZyuRanger ran at exactly the same time as the first series of the Sailor Moon cartoon (Sailor Moon started airing two weeks after ZyuRanger started and ended two weeks after ZyuRanger ended).

    SPOILER ALERT (if you plan to watch ZyuRanger and don’t want any of the “surprises” ruined, don’t read this, but I’ll try to keep it as vague as possible and not spoil too much)

    The earthling Bandora (Rita Repulsa in Power Rangers) experienced a traumatic event in the distant past, and an evil entity gave her powers and used her grief to manipulate her into doing some “bad things” to avenge herself, including killing a bunch of the inhabitants of Earth. The good guys manage to seal her away, and they put their own strongest warriors, the ZyuRangers, into suspended animation so they can be revived to fight her in the future if she ever returns. In the present day, two astronauts exploring the desolate planet Nemesis accidentally release the seal on Bandora and she resumes her quest for vengeance, so the ZyuRangers are taken out of suspended animation to protect the earth. They fight the monsters Bandora sends, which are made from clay.

    END SPOILER ALERT

    That backstory is literally *exactly* the same as Sailor Moon (except the Sailor Soldiers are reincarnated instead of being taken out of suspended animation, and Metaria is released by one person exploring a desolate wasteland rather than two). Bandora and Beryl’s monsters are even both made from “earth”.

    Who knows if the two series “inspired” each other (they were developed at the same time so it’s not impossible), but either way, the live action Sailor Moon series acknowledged the similarities (intentionally or not) by re-using the designs for the Golem costumes from ZyuRanger (the Putties on Power Rangers) for the monsters that manifest from the ground after the Silver Crystal increases Queen Metaria’s power. It completely makes sense, since the Golems were made from earth, too.

    (BTW, ZyuRanger is great and anybody who likes Sailor Moon would probably like ZyuRanger ^-^ )

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