Dead Moon Circus

As part of our Name Origins series of articles, this page intends to try and explain the names of the main characters of Sailor Moon. Like many other fiction authors, Naoko Takeuchi seems to strive to put some meaning or pun into the names of her characters, though some names are less clear than others.

The following has not been confirmed by Naoko Takeuchi or anyone officially connected to the Sailor Moon series and are speculation based on evidence and knowledge of the Japanese language. Take the following with a grain of salt as it may or may not have been the intention of the original creator.

 

 

Queen Nehelenia (女王ネヘレニアu Neherenia)

A variant name of the ancient European Goddess Nehalennia. She is commonly associated with marine symbols, this might be reference in the series as the Dead Moon Circus arrives on a boat. Sometimes she is seen as a vaSariant on the Hel, who in Norse mythology presides over the realm of Hel, which is equivalent to the Underworld. Hel can also be connected to the Nether Moon, which seems to be in line with the Dead Moon of Queen Nehelenia. There is a genus of damselflies called Nehalennia which has the same Japanese spelling; Nehelenia’s “mirror-image” of Zirconia vaguely resembles an insect. Additionally there is an asteroid called Nehalennia with the same Japanese spelling.

Zirconia (ジルコニアJirukonia

Zirconia is probably from “cubic zirconia”, a cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide.

Zircon (ジルコンJirukon

Zircon is the name of the mineral for zirconium silicate.

Amazones Quartet (アマゾネス・カルテット
AmazonesuKarutteto

A Quartet is a group of for people. Amazones is harder to explain because there are so many possibilities that are all equally, in my opinion, valid. But first to explain the “Amazon” part of the word, this could refer to several things, first the Amazon Jungle in South America, this is where the Dead Moon Circus claims to be originated from, and in the anime the Quartet was also seen running through some jungle. Secondly, from the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors from Greek Mythology, CereCere remarks on them in the manga, and there are several other references to Greek Mythology in the arc. Thirdly, from the feldspar “Amazonite”(アマゾナイト) also called “Amazon Stone” (アマゾン・ストーン), the Quartet possess items they called Amazon Stones and Amazonite is found in the Amazon Rainforest, because of the links between these terms, likely Naoko Takeuchi was cleverly references all these things. What’s more, one Japanese term for Amazonite is “天馬石“ (tenbaseki) literally “Milky Way Stone”, this may be the reasoning for connecting the Amazon to the astronomy themes of Sailor Soldiers. The exact romanisation is more confusing as there are several possibilities. The most common “Amazones” seems to be from “Amazon” and “-ess”, “-ess” is a feminizing suffix, since they are all female, this would separate them from the Amazon Trio. The other possibility is Amazones or Amazons, this is a word already in Japanese, and is a word for the Amazons of mythology, CereCere specifically uses this word to mention them in the manga. It seems this word comes from the original Greek “Amazones”(Ἀμαζόνες, this word is less common that the word Amazon. Toyboxes use the term “Amazones Quartet”, so it is unclear which is intended.

CereCere, PallaPalla, JunJun, VesVes
(セレセレ、パラパラ、 ジュンジュン、 ベスベス
SereSere, ParaPara, JunJun, BesuBesu)

Each of these names is derived from the first four discovered asteroids at the time. Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, these are also their Sailor Soldier names. The doubling of sounds might reference their desire to not grow up and be adults since repetitive sounds are sometimes associated with young children in Japan.

Amazon Trio (アマゾン・トリオAmazonTorio

The word Amazon here usually refers to the Jungle, though it could just as easily refer to any of the other Amazon sources in the Amazones Quartet section. Likely Amazonite has something to do with it. A trio is a group of three.

Tiger’s Eye, Hawk’s Eye, Fish Eye
(タイガーズ・アイ、ホークス・アイ、フィッシュ・アイ
Taigā
zuAi, HōkusuAi, FisshuAi

Each of the Amazon Trio’s names come from gemstone, and from the animal associated with each. This pun is exaggerated in the musicals to include the Japanese translations of their names “tora no me” (虎の目 eye of the tiger) “taka no me”(鷹の目 eye of the hawk) and “uo no me”(魚の目 eye of the fish), the last one however also refers to corns that you can get on your feet, Tiger’s Eye and Hawk’s Eye use this term to make fun of Fish Eye. Tiger’s Eye is a kind of yellow or golden brown quartz. Hawk’s Eye is a blue variant of Tiger’s Eye. Fisheye is another name for apophyllite, a group of silicate minerals, the Japanese name for it literally means “fish-eye-stone”(魚目石). Fisheye is also a kind of gemstone cut where it is cut so light passes without being reflected. (Tiger’s Eye is also written as タイガース・アイ Taigāsu Ai, both refer to the gemstone and are used in very many Sailor Moon sources)

Xenotime (ゼノタイムZenotaimu)

Xenotime is a kind of brown, yellowy or grey phosphate mineral.

Zeolite (ゼオライトZeoraito)

Zeolites are aluminosilicate minerals often used for adsorption on a commercial scale.

The Mysterious Girl (謎の少女Nazo no Shoujo)

Better known as Hotaru, this character’s name, or lack of real name was used to symbolize how Hotaru had lost her sense of self due to the amnesia placed upon her by the Dead Moon Circus. At one point she refers to herself as Miss Dream, however this is likely not her name or title and just used for poetic symbolism, since official sources do not refer to her by this title and she only mentions it while talking about her reliance on dreams. All sources credit the character “nazo no shoujo”.

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