As part of our Name Origins series of articles, this page intends to try and explain the names of the 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.
This article covers musical only characters as well.
Prince Demand / Hikaru Kurozuki
（プリンス・デマンドPurinsu・Demando/黒月光 Kurozuki Hikaru）
Prince Demand’s name is an already relatively common word, so it would be recognizable to a Japanese audience. However, it does not quite fit the gemstone naming style of the rest of the characters in this group. It is quite clear the word “diamond” or “diamond” in another, most likely European, language is part of his name, such as the German “demant”. Likely the name originates from both some form of the word “diamond” and the word “demand”. There may be a word in some language or old language that gives a word that would approximate “demand”. I am personally unaware of one, but it seems highly likely. Additionally, the musicals give him a song called “Innocent Demand” and list his name in English as “Prince Demand”. The surname “Kurozuki” literally means “Black Moon”, while “Hikaru” means “Light”, making the name a pun on “Black Moon Light” and also on the actress portraying Demand, Hikari Ono.
Alternatively it is possible that his name might be a contraction of “Demantoid”. This is another gemstone that is a variety of the mineral andradite. Upon discovery, Demantoid was compared to diamonds due to its highly refractive nature1. However, this seems unlikely as Demantoid is a green gemstone, and the character Demand is associated more with whites and silvers, associative with diamonds.
Saphir of the Blue (蒼のサフィール Ao no Saphīru)
Saphir is a word from Sapphire; it is unclear what language Naoko Takeuchi was taking it from. It may have been French or German. “Of the Blue” seems to be Saphir’s title. As sapphires and the character of Saphir are associated with blue, it seems fitting.
Esmeraude of the Green
(翠のエスメロード Midori no Esumerōdo)
Esmeraude is an old French word for Emerald. “Of the Green”, like Saphir, seems to be her title and refers to her overall character design.
Rubeus of the Crimson
(紅のルベウス Kurenai no Rubeusu)
Rubeus is a latin word meaning “red”. It is from this that the French word “rubis” is from, which our English word “ruby” is from. Convoluted it may sound, “Rubeus” “Rubis” and “Ruby” are all words that are not obscure to Japan. Rubeus is connected to rubies and the colour red. Crimson probably refers to his title and design.
The Four Supernatural Sisters
(あやかしの四姉妹 Ayakashi no Yon Shimai)
“Yon shimai” simply means “four sisters”, which is because they are sisters and there are four of them. “Ayakashi” means a variety of things such as “suspicious” “foolish” or “strange”. It is also a word that refers to a strange spectre that appears during a shipwreck. However, since that is not at all relevant to these four characters, the word “ayakashi” is also connotative to supernatural phenomenon, each of the four sisters is connected to one kind each: Koan with spontaneous combustion, Berthier with dowsing, Petz with body-snatching and Calaveras with mediumship.
Kouan (コーアン Kōan)
Koan is derived from a mineral called kouanko 紅安鉱. This is the Japanese word for Kermesite. The Japanese also call it Kerumesaito (ケルメサイト). Kouanko literally means “red cheap mineral”.
Berthier (ベルチェ Beruche)
Berthier is derived from the mineral Berthierite, which the Japanese call Berucheko ベルチェ鉱. Berucheko means “Berthier-mineral” as it was discovered by French scientist Pierre Berthier.
Petz (ペッツ Pettsu)
Petz is derived from the mineral Petzite, most probably from the Japanese name Pettsuko ペッツ鉱, which means “Petz-mineral”, as it was named after the chemist W. Petz.
Calaveras / Miss Karasu Vegas
(カラベラス Karaberasu /ミス・カラスベガスMisu・Karasubegasu)
Calaveras is derived from Calaverite, most probably from the Japanese name Karaberasuko カラベラス鉱. To fit in with the naming style of the other four, the name means Calveras-mineral. It was named after the county it was discovered in, Calaveras County, California. Karasu Vegas is a triple pun, on Calaveras カラベラス, Las Vegas ラスベガス(rasubegasu) and Karasu カラス. Karasu means Crow which the actress, Ado Endou, who plays Calaveras, is associated with. It is unclear why though.
Tilmun of the Mottles（縁のティルムン Madara no Tiruman）
Though Tilmun shares the same name construction, mottling isn’t really a colour. This may signify how he does not quite fit in with the others. Tilmun is the name of a paradise garden in Ancient Sumer2. It fits in with some of the ideas present, that Nemesis was a world that was dark and cruel and Earth was viewed as a paradise. The musicals specifically symbolize Earth’s Promised Land qualities with references to how it is full of flowers while few grow on Nemesis. All the new characters in the musicals are related to ideas of a Promised Land or Paradise.
Aaron (アロン Aron)
In the Bible, Aaron was the older brother of Moses. He was important in helping the Israelites leave Egypt and out of slavery to find their promised land. Once again this seems to relate with this character’s perspective of Earth and Nemesis.
Manna was a substance that God provided the Israelites during their travels through the Desert. This is again in-keeping with the Promised Land/Paradise motif.
Black Lady (ブラック・レディー Burakku・Redī)
Though Black Lady’s name is rather obvious, a closer inspection of it actually reveals a little more detail than merely a Lady of the Black Moon Clan. The name parallels Chibiusa’s title of Small Lady and also includes a colour such as the other high-ranking members of the Black Moon Clan do, yet Black is written in katakana rather than in kanji. This may help to represent how Black Lady, despite her wishes, was never truly on the same level as the other Black Moon Clan members.
Wiseman / Death Phantom
Wiseman is simple enough and commutates the character towards fortune tellers and so forth. Death Phantom may be read literally, that he is a phantom of death since the character was thought to have died, or else symbolically… that he is a ghost of Death itself.
1. See Wikipedia’s Demantoid Article.
2. Tilmun is transliterated from Dilmun. Read more about the “Garden of gods” (Sumerian paradise) on Wikipedia.
Written by: Akiko Hime
Edited by: Hikari-Sama