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.
Professor Souichi Tomoe / Germatoid / Germanoid
(土萠創一教授 / ゲルマトイド / ゲルマノイド
Tomoe Souichi Kyouju / Gerumatoido / Gerumanoido)
Souichi is a regular name, made from the kanji “創” which can mean a variety of things including “flaw” “emotional hurt” and “wound”, this may relate to how he was an imperfect human that suffered serious trauma as a result of the accident in his laboratory. The kanji can also mean “origin” and appears in the Japanese word for the Biblical Book of Genesis “創世記” (Souseki) this may refer to Tomoe’s attempt to act like God, creating new life, Biblical references are scattered throughout the arc. The “ichi” (一)means “one”, it is a common name ending. Tomoe’s family name is probably more related to his daughter than himself. The “to” 土means “earth” referring to Saturn’s Japanese name ” 土星” (Dosei, literally Earth Star), while the “moe” means sprouting or budding, though this may be related to germination which is somewhat in line with Tomoe’s genetic engineering. Germatoid may originate from the mineral Germanite “ゲルマン鉱” (Gerumanko). It may involve the English word “germ” which can refer to a pathogen, the Daimon could be seen as pathogenic to human life, or it could refer to a germ cell which in biology, is a cell that gives rise to gametes for sexual reproduction or even a cereal germ, which is the part of a cereal plant that reproduces. These last two may remind us of the “moe” in Tomoe and the ideas of genetic engineering. I must point out now, however, that in English “germ” contains a soft “g” while in Japanese “Germatoid” has a hard g, they pronunciation is quite different, however Naoko may have been making a pun of sorts along the lines with Germanite. The ending –oid, (many words that use this have the ending –toid) is a suffix that means “like” or “resembling”, so it might be seen as “like a Germ”, depending on how you want to take the word germ. Interestingly the musicals refer to him as Germanoid, making the Germanite idea even stronger.
Kaolinite / Kaori Kuromine カオリナイト/黒峰カオリKaorinaito / Kuromine Kaori)
Kaolinite is the name of a clay mineral. Kuromine means “black peaks”. Kaori is a name in katakana, so its meaning is ambiguous, it could even be written Kaoli if one wishes. As a word “Kaori” can mean “fragrance”.
Eudial / Yuuko Arimura (ユージアル/有村ゆうこ Yūjiaru / Arimura Yūko)
Eudialyte, ユージアル石(Yūjiaruseki) is a type of red silicate. Arimura means “exist town” literally, Yuuko is a hiragana name and does not seem to have any particular meaning behind it, it seems to just share the sounds of Eudial making it a corruption of sorts. It is unclear if the name Eudial is derived from Yuuko Arimura or if Yuuko Arimura Is derived from Eudial.
Mimet / Mimi Hanyuu (ミメット/羽生美々Mimetto Hanyū Mimi)
From Mimetite ミメット鉱(Mimettoko), an orange lead arsenate chloride. Hanyuu literally means “feathers birth”. The “Mi” in “Mimi” means Beauty and the second “mi” is a kanji to signify the repetition of the first kanji. It seems Mimi Hanyuu is simply a corruption of the sounds in Mimet.
Vilyui / Yui Bidou (ビリユイ/美堂ゆいBiriyui / Bidou Yui)
From Viluiteビリユイ石 (Biriyuiseki), also called Wiluite, this is a dark coloured silicate, the Japanese name of Vilyui has a distinct large “yu” while Japanese names for the mineral Viluite usually have small a small “yu”, from this I have thought more likely that Naoko has used an alternate name for this mineral that directly stems from the origin source for this name, the River Vilyui (also called Wilui and Vilyuy) in Siberia. This may explain Vilyui’s blue colour scheme since Viluite is not blue. Like the other members of the Witches 5, it is unlikely that Yui Bidou has any real significance other than being a corruption of Vilyui. However, literally Bidou means “beautiful hall”, Yui is in hiragana so its meaning is rather ambiguous but it may involve優 (gentle, skilled, elegant, superior). Words that either are ironic for her character or suit her very well.
Tellur / Ruru Teruno (テルル/ 照野留々 Teruru / Teruno Ruru)
Tellur’s name is actually the same as the Japanese word for the element Tellurium which is from the German “Tellur”, however it more likely comes from Tellurite テルル鉱(Teruruko), a tellurium oxide since the other characters derive from minerals not elements. Tellur comes from the Latin word Tellus meaning “earth”, this may help to explain Tellur’s green colour scheme. Teruno literally means “shining fields”. The first “ru” means “stop”, the second “ru” is a kanji that represents the doubling of the first sound. Most likely Ruru Teruno comes from Tellur.
Cyprine is a blue variety of vesuvianite.
Probably from clinoptilolite クリノプチロル沸石(Kurinopuchirorufusseki), a natural zeolite that can be reddish in colour, zeolites due to their porous structions can relatively readily have some of their cations (positively charged ions) exchanged for others and be transformed into other minerals. Perhaps the idea that Clinoptilolite can come and go like the character Ptilol in Sailor Moon helps to represent her namesake.
Death Nightmares (I, II, III, IV, V and VI)
Desu Naitomea I, II, III, IV, V, VI)
… Self explanatory. They’re demons who can seep into people’s dreams.
Death Mannetjes (Death Rā, Death Rū, Death Rū and Debu Rē)
Desu Rā Desu Rū, Desu Rū, Debu Rē)
A Mannetje is a diminutive word for “man” in Dutch (so one might say it means “little man”). The word is connotative towards the ideas of a homunculus, a homunculus can refer to a human-like body with no soul or artificial life. Homunculus also literally means “little man” and comes through Latin, it seems these terms are supposed to be used interchangeably to the Japanese. This seems to be related to Tomoe and his genetic engineering. The names come from the English word “Death” and the names seems to be lifted off a row of the hiragana, it is similar to naming them A B an C in English. However the fourth member is a pun, rather than “death” he is “debu” which means “chubby”, referring to his ample body.
Mistress 9 / Messiah of Silence
(ミストレス９/沈黙のメシアMisutoresu 9 / Chinmoku no Meshia)
Mistress probably comes from the “Master” in “Master Pharaoh 90”, she’s his female partner. The 9 is less clear but there is quite a few references to the number 9 with the Death Busters (while the number 3 seems to be associated with the Sailor Soldiers). This could be a pun on the unluckiness of the number 9 in Japan. As nine ( ) can be read as “ku”, which with when written with the kanji” can mean “pain” or “suffering”.
Master Pharaoh 90 (マスターファラオ９０Masutā Farao 90)
Master Pharaoh 90, the Master is straightforward. Pharaohs were Egyptian kings, there are two possibilities of sources for this, first as Biblically, Pharaoh can be seen as the “oppressor of the people of God”, there are heavy references to Christianity in this arc, especially regarding though quite ambiguously the Sailor Soldiers. Secondly the connection to Egypt could be through The Book of Abramelin, the story of an Egyptian mage, this connects Egypt, the term Magus and the term Tioron in the arc.