Sailor Saturn (セーラーサターン Sērā Satān?), officially spelled as Sailorsaturn in Japan, is one of the central characters in the Sailor Moon metaseries.[citation needed] Her civilian name is Hotaru Tomoe (土萠 ほたる Tomoe Hotaru?), a sickly schoolgirl who can transform into one of the series' specialized heroines, the Sailor Senshi. She is the only human protagonist whose name is not Anglicized in the English dub, although the e sound in her surname is silent in the dubbed version.

She is known for making the fewest appearances in the anime, especially in her Senshi form, and has never appeared in any of the animated Sailor Moon films.


Hotaru is first introduced when she becomes friends with Chibiusa. She did not have friends until she met Chibiusa and Usagi. In the anime she was not popular with her classmates because of her powers and her strange seizures as well as personality changes for being the host of Mistress 9, the evil entity that lived in her after the age of 5. Naoko Takeuchi, the series creator, describes her as delicate, quiet, precocious and expressionless.[3]

In the manga, there was a lab accident which killed Hotaru's mother, Keiko, and critically injured Hotaru. Souichi Tomoe, Hotaru's father, rescued her by making her body cybernetic and making a deal with Master Pharaoh 90. He used Pharaoh 90's power in the hope of reviving her. In exchange, he also lost his humanity and became malevolent. After Sailor Moon prevents Sailor Saturn from destroying the world at the end of Infinity she is reborn as a baby without the cybernetic parts. She also ceases to have seizures after this point.


Hotaru Tomoe, as seen in the anime.

In the anime, she does not have a cybernetic body and is an outcast because of her powers and seizures. Her mother is deceased. Her father does not die like in the manga, but lives after the end of Super. He takes care of Hotaru until Sailor Pluto asks for her in the first part of Sailor Stars. It is unknown if she returns to her father after the battle.

Hotaru's age fluctuates during the series; she is first introduced as a 12 year old, is reborn as an infant, quickly develops into a young child around 4 or 5, then grows up to be a little younger when she first appeared like 9 or 10.

As Sailor Saturn, Hotaru can destroy a planet. Her powers awaken once the three Talisman of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto gather and resonate. Saturn reveals in the Infinity arc of the manga that this power is necessary, because rebirth cannot happen without death. It was Saturn who destroyed the remnants of the war-torn Silver Millennium kingdom, allowing a new world to be born. At first, knowledge of her powers caused the other Outer Senshi to attempt to kill her unawakened form. However, Saturn's awakening ultimately saved the world by forcing Master Pharaoh 90 to escape to his former universe before being destroyed with Earth. Sailor Pluto then sealed the gateway to their dimension so that he could never return and Super Sailor Moon used her powers as Neo-Queen Serenity to resurrect all that had been destroyed.

Hotaru wants to be a nurse one day. Her hobbies include reading and collecting lamps. She enjoys her World History class, but dislikes Physical Education and has difficulty with marathons.[4] She also has trouble with milk. Other favorite things include soba (buckwheat) noodles, panthers,[5] and the color purple. Her blood type is AB,[4] and her height fluctuates throughout the series depending on her present age.

In the manga, after Professor Tomoe's death, Hotaru becomes the adopted daughter of Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh and Setsuna Meioh. She refers to them as Haruka-papa, Michiru-mama and Setsuna-mama. They live together in an Empire Victorian House.

In the musicals, Professor Tomoe is only present in a few stages, though Sailor Saturn appears in every musical from the third on. In musicals where Tomoe is absent, Hotaru is presented as being in the care of Haruka and Michiru.

Aspects and forms

As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime virtually spanned between the Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Hotaru gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.

Sailor Saturn

Sailor Saturn, Hotaru's Senshi form, wears a purple and maroon uniform. The initial version of this uniform has petal-shaped sleeves, a star brooch and choker with the same kind of star, gloves, and knee-high, laced-up stiletto boots. She is given various specific titles, including Soldier of Silence,[6] Soldier of Destruction,[6] and Soldier of Ruin and Birth.[7]

Sailor Saturn is especially recognizable for the Silence Glaive she carries, which she may use to bring about the cataclysmic destruction of a world or worlds. However, she has the ability to heal minor wounds in both her civilian and Senshi forms. In the anime, Hotaru (in civilian form) healed Chibiusa's knee scrape when she was dealing the "monster of the day".[citation needed] Even healing a very minor injury like that would leave her in a weak state.

File:Saturn symbol.svg

Planetary symbol of Saturn

In the anime, all of the Senshi (including Saturn) had lives in the Moon Kingdom and their represented planets, and were all reborn with Princess Serenity and her court.[citation needed] In the manga, however, Sailor Saturn is said not to have lived among the other Senshi. Additionally, the Outer Senshi were not supposed to be reborn when the Kingdom was destroyed,[8] but they gathered together because of its destruction, and their Talismans reacted and accidentally awakened Saturn from her sleep. She then killed the remnants of the Silver Millennium and they were all reborn on Earth. After their rebirth, the Talismans, which were never meant to be on the same planet, reunited and ended up awakening Sailor Saturn in the present-day.

Sailor Saturn gains additional powers as the series progresses, and at key points her uniform changes to reflect this. The first change takes place in Act 39 of the manga, when she obtains the Saturn Crystal and her outfit becomes similar to that of Super Sailor Moon. She is not given a new title. A similar event takes place in Episode 168 of the anime, and she is given the name Super Sailor Saturn. A third, manga-only form appears in Act 42, also unnamed, but analogous to Eternal Sailor Moon (sans wings).[9]

Princess Saturn

According to the manga, during the Silver Millennium, Sailor Saturn was also the Princess of her home planet. She was among those given the duty of protecting the galaxy's Outer Rim. As Princess Saturn, she dwelt in Titan Castle and wore a purple gown—she appears in this form in the original manga and in supplementary art.[10][11] Unlike the other Senshi, it is stated that Saturn did not awaken in the Silver Millennium until after it was destroyed so Princess Saturn's exact status during that time is unclear.

Mistress 9

Main article: Mistress 9

During the third story arc of both anime and manga, Hotaru's body was possessed by an alien known as Mistress 9. She was used as a tool of the Death Busters during this time. Mistress 9 was used to bring the demonic Pharaoh 90 to Earth so that he could destroy it. He was only stopped by the reawakened Sailor Saturn, who requested Sailor Pluto to seal away the entity into his world, preventing him from returning to Earth.

In the musicals

In the musical Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... and its revision, Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!, Hotaru takes the alias of "Miss Dream" while under the control of the Dead Moon Circus, who beat and ridicule her. Her memories are seemingly erased and she is given the powers to enter and alter people's dreams. Only the other Outer Senshi realize who she really is. In the original musical, it is only implied that she is Hotaru (she is listed as "Mysterious Girl"), and it is stated but not shown that she is Sailor Saturn. Her actual awakening as Saturn is also ambiguous, while implied, it's not shown and she is simply shown as a normal girl at the end of the musical. In the revision, her identity as Hotaru is stated plainly, and she awakens on-stage as Saturn, after being saved by the other Senshi and appears transformed moments later. The name Miss Dream comes from the song she sings of the same name.

In all four of the Kaguya Island musicals, Hotaru is possessed by a spirit named Kon, who speaks through Hotaru to the other Senshi. When Hotaru awakens she has no memory of what happened while Kon possessed her body. Kon is the remnant of stars destroyed by Dark Plasman and the comet Coatl. In the first two of these musicals, she gives her power to Sailor Moon in the final battle to allow her to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. Kon was given the song "Hitosuji no Hikari no Kokoro" in her appearances.

During Last Dracul Jokyoku, Hotaru is presented in the care of Professor Tomoe, knowing of the existence of the Senshi, yet not awakening as Sailor Saturn until halfway through the musical.

Special powers and items


In her second, upgraded uniform, Super Sailor Saturn blocks attacks with Silent Wall.

While several Sailor Senshi have unusual powers as civilians, Hotaru's are numerous and varied. Some of these are portrayed only in the third story arc, when she is possessed by Mistress 9; these include forcefields and energy beams that arise when she is in danger, often involuntary. As shown in that arc, she also has the ability to heal minor flesh wounds. In both the manga and anime she is reborn as an infant immediately upon fulfilling her task as Sailor Saturn,[12] and later, when she is needed in that role again, grows to her former age in a matter of days. Eventually she is visited by an image of herself in Senshi form, who bestows power on her again.[13]

In the manga, Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto gain their second transformation when Hotaru gives them their Sailor Crystals after she has regained her older body. In the anime, Hotaru is still a baby when her power floods Sailors Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, upgrading them and herself to their Super forms. In both versions, Hotaru has visions of coming events, especially of danger, and can project these visions to other people. When she is a young girl, she creates a small projection of the galaxy which hovers in the air in her room, simulating astronomical history at high speed. However, it is only in the manga that Haruka stays with her while she reproduces these events to help keep her power in check.

Her transformation into Sailor Saturn is rare. The transformation sequence into her Senshi form is never shown in the main series, although one of the video games included a shortened anime-style transformation sequence, which she initiated by raising her hand in the air (like the Guardian Senshi) and shouting "Saturn Planet Power, Make up!" (like the Outer Senshi).[14] In the manga she eventually gains her Saturn Crystal and does transform in front of the other Senshi, evoking Saturn Crystal Power! Make Up!.[15] In the anime, although she upgrades to Super Sailor Saturn, the Crystal is never mentioned and her transformation is again not shown on screen.

Sailor Saturn's powers are mostly based on Roman mythology, in which Saturn is the god of the harvest.[16] As such, her primary role is that of the destroyer, and her coming is greatly feared by the Outer Senshi. Her first act upon arrival is to assault Master Pharaoh 90 with the attack "Death Reborn Revolution."[17] The kanji used with this maneuver translate to "death world revolution" (死世界変革?), with the intended pronunciation given in furigana.[18]

The item most associated with Sailor Saturn is her iconic Silence Glaive, which, apart from its capacity as a bladed weapon, figures in many of her named attacks. It is referred to once as the "scythe of the Goddess of Death,"[19] and the act of lowering its point to the ground is all that is required for her to "bring ruin to the world." No incantation is spoken, and this action is separated from "Death Reborn Revolution" by the dialogue given in between the two maneuvers.[20] In the anime, Sailor Saturn will die if she uses this ability, and Super Sailor Moon risks her life to prevent Saturn from doing so, after Saturn defeats Master Pharaoh 90. In the manga, Sailor Saturn deliberately allows herself to be sucked into Master Pharaoh 90's dimension while he is escaping.

When Sailor Saturn returns near the end of the fourth story arc (which overflows into the beginning of the fifth anime series), several more attacks are introduced. She defends herself and her allies with Silence/Silent Wall (不動城壁?, "motionless rampart"),[21] a dome of dark energy that deflects attacks, and attacks with Silence Glaive Surprise (沈黙鎌奇襲?, "silence sickle surprise attack").[22] In the anime this attack is used against Nehellenia; seeing no other way to defeat her, Saturn intends to bring down her Glaive and destroy everything, but before she manages to strike the ground Sailor Chibi Moon throws herself at Saturn to stop her from completing the action and sacrificing her life, nevertheless, the Glaive releases massive power that destroys most of Nehellenia's palace.[23]

In the manga series, the Death Busters use a power source called the Tioron Crystal, which was once worn by Hotaru's mother, Keiko Tomoe. After her death, Professor Tomoe gives it to Hotaru in order to ease the pain she must frequently endure.[24] The Saturn Crystal is her Sailor Crystal and the source of all her power, which becomes especially important in the fifth story arc.


In the original character sketches, Takeuchi drew Sailor Saturn with a brown staff rather than her Silence Glaive. Her Sailor Uniform was also different with sleeves purple rather than white, there was no star on her chest, and the third band on her gloves was sheer with a point. Her choker also differed from the final version having a gold 6-pointed star rather than the present choker.[3]

Certain background details of Hotaru's character were chosen symbolically—for instance, her Western astrological sign is given as Capricorn,[4] which in astrology corresponds to the planet Saturn. In reference to a popular Japanese belief, her blood type is given as AB,[4] supposedly indicating a cool, rational, critical and indecisive personality.

The kanji of Hotaru's surname translate as "earth" ( to?) and "sprouting" ( moe?). The former comes from the name of her planet in Japanese, Dosei (土星 Star of Earth?). Her given name is in hiragana hotaru (ほたる?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself means "firefly", and this meaning is used at least once as a pun.[25] Fireflies are associated with spirits of the dead in Japanese mythology, referring to her status as the Senshi of death and rebirth. In the Mixx (now Tokyopop) manga, Hotaru was once named Jenny; Mixx later admitted this was a mistake and changed her name back.[citation needed]

Reception and influence

The official Sailor Moon popularity polls listed Hotaru Tomoe and Sailor Saturn as separate characters. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Sailor Saturn was the third most popular character and Hotaru was the fourth.[26] In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Saturn was the sixth most popular character, and Hotaru was the seventh.[27]

It has been suggested that moe comes from a contraction of her last name, but this is considered a false etymology.[28][29]

Tsubame Sanjou of Rurouni Kenshin had her final design based on Hotaru.


In the Japanese anime series and movies, Hotaru Tomoe is voiced by Yūko Minaguchi. In the English-language dub, her voice is provided by Jennifer Gould.

In the stage musicals, Hotaru has been played by 9 actresses: Keiko Takeda, Chihiro Imai, Asami Sanpei, Mao Mita, Mario Tomioka, Ayami Kakiuchi, Ruria Nakamura, Yui Iizuka, and Eriko Funakoshi.[30]

Hotaru does not appear in the live-action series.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sailor Moon SuperS Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... and Sailor Moon SuperS [Kaiteiban] Yume Senshi - Ai - Eien ni... Saturn Fukkatsu Hen!
  2. 1999 Spring Special Musical Kaguya Shima Densetsu, Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu, and their revisions.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Citation/CS1/Suggestions' not found.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). "Back of volume". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 10. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178806-X. 
  5. Taken from the Irwin toy boxes
  6. 6.0 6.1 Takeuchi, Naoko (February 6, 1995). "Act 30". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 9. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178797-7. 
  7. Takeuchi, Naoko (March 6, 1996). "Act 39". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 14. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178826-4. 
  8. Stated by Luna in Volume 9
  9. Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 42". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  10. Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 41". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  11. Takeuchi, Naoko (September 1996). Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Volume IV Original Picture Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324519-5. 
  12. Manga Act 33, anime Episode 125.
  13. Manga Act 39, anime Episodes 167-168.
  14. Sailor Saturn's transformation is shown in the game Sailor Moon SuperS - Various Emotion for the Sega Saturn. The usual segment showing the formation of a sailor outfit is not included, and no transformation device is shown. The same phrase, with no accompanying sequence, is also used in Sailor Moon: Another Story and other games.
  15. Act 39, when she acquires her second uniform. No new phrase is used for her third uniform.
  16. In Greek mythology, Saturn is called Cronos. He is not the same as Chronos, god of time.
  17. Act 33. Never used in the anime, where her attack on Pharaoh 90 is not directly shown.
  18. The visual effect of the attack looks like thousands of ribbons, making the name of the attack a pun on "Reborn" and "Ribbon", which sound very similar in Japanese.
  19. Act 33.
  20. Act 33. After Sailor Saturn has banished Pharaoh 90, the others watch it go, and Sailor Uranus thinks, "She'll bring down the silence glaive. Along with the monster, this world will end!" Translation by Alex Glover. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  21. "Silence Wall" in manga Act 39. First appears in anime Episode 172, once with the incantation and once without. Appears again in Episodes 196 and 197 as "Silent Wall".
  22. Act 39. When Sailor Saturn and the other Senshi are controlled by Galaxia in Act 50, she uses Galactica Glaive Surprise. She also joins with Sailor Pluto for Galactica Cannon.
  23. Episode 172.
  24. First appears in Act 25.
  25. Episode 115 is titled "Shadow of Silence!? The Pale Glimmer of a Firefly."
  26. Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 10. Kodansha. pp. 138–139. ISBN 4-06-178806-X. 
  27. Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  28. "Ask John: What is Moe?". AnimeNation. January 30, 2004. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  29. Galbraith, Patrick W. "Moe and the Potential of Fantasy in Post-Millennial Japan". ejcjs. October 31, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2010.
  30. "eternal.legend". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 

See also

ko:토모에 호타루 it:Hotaru Tomoe hu:Tomoe Hotaru ms:Sailor Saturn pl:Hotaru Tomoe ru:Сейлор Сатурн th:โทโมเอะ โฮตารุ tr:Hotaru Tomoe vi:Thủy thủ sao Thổ zh:土萌螢

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