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The Untold Truth Of Sailor Mars

In 1995, three years after its Japanese release, "Sailor Moon" hit screens in the United States. The popular anime series is based on the manga of the same name by Naoko Takeuchi. The American adaptation of the anime underwent some notable changes from the Japanese version, but in 2014, when the 20th-anniversary reboot "Sailor Moon Crystal" came out, it restored the details of the original that were censored out of the first English localization.

On the show, there are 10 Sailor Guardians who each possess a Sailor Crystal representing the moon and one of the planets within our solar system — aside from planet Earth. However, the Earth crystal is kept by Mamoru Chiba, aka Tuxedo Mask, so one might say there are 11 Sailor Guardians. These characters are known for their unrelenting friendship and love for one another, as well as their unique personality traits.

One of the first Sailor Guardians to join the group is Sailor Mars, or Rei Hino. The sweet, yet short-tempered addition to the team brings a bit of spark to the group with her fiery powers. It's difficult to imagine what the series would be like without our beloved Sailor Mars and all her fighting skills, but there are more details to her character that might get overlooked. So here are some things about Sailor Mars that you may not have known.

Sailor Mars can use her powers without transforming

Rei Hino has a tough exterior and personality that she channels into fighting battles and defending her loved ones. Her powers include fire and clairvoyance through her use of an ofuda, or talisman. One ability Rei has that the other Sailor Scouts don't seem to have is the ability to use her powers even when she hasn't gone through her transformation.

None of the other guardians can use their unique abilities without undergoing their transformation into guardian form. Rei, however, can use her ofuda to expel evil from her vicinity. This unique ability directly results from her training as a priestess and her connection with her own spirituality. Rei is also seen experiencing premonitions in the series, and she has an uncanny ability to sense when something negative is in the area.

Sailor Mars' fashion choices differ from the other guardians

One of the most whimsical moments in each episode of "Sailor Moon" is when the guardians go through the transformations from their civilian forms into their Sailor forms. Each girl undergoes a wardrobe upgrade surrounded by flashing lights, stars, rainbow prisms, and flower petals. But Sailor Mars' upgrade is just a bit different from everyone else's.

While the other Sailor Scouts are done up with knee-high boots to perfectly match the rest of their uniforms, Sailor Mars stands alone in her choice of footwear with a pair of crimson high-heels. Her shoes might not be in line with the other fighters, but the pair of heels perfectly complements her outfit and sets her character apart from the rest.

Kudos to all of the Sailor Guardians for their ability to run and fight evil doers in the most stylish outfits from head to toe, but special kudos to Sailor Mars for her ability to do it in shoes that slip on and off the foot so easily. That skill alone makes her an incredible hero.

Rei Hino has a pair of crows watching over her in the manga

There are some notable differences between the manga and the anime when it comes to "Sailor Moon." While the series is no stranger to magical animals and alien companions, the television series did leave a few of them out just to simplify matters.

Rei Hino has two feathered guardians traveling with her and looking out for her in the manga. They are a pair of crows that stay by Rei's side and are responsible for giving her the Mars Crystal. The crows are named Deimos and Phobos after the diminutive moons of the planet Mars. How come Earth's moon gets its own Sailor, but Deimos and Phobos just get a couple of carrion birds? Call it an unsolved mystery of the series.

The two birds are fiercely loyal to Rei in the manga, and it isn't clear why the animated series leaves them out with it being so friendly to the concept of animal companions. However, possibly for the sake of the storyline, it's easier to keep it light with the two adorable and wise cats, Luna and Artemis. Nevertheless, the crows in the manga add an element to Rei that's really missing from the TV series.

Manga Mars isn't a boy-crazy teenager

Speaking of the differences between the manga and the animated series, Rei Hino experiences other changes aside from the loss of her crows. In the manga, Rei Hino is a well-rounded, mature, and confident girl who holds a complete and total disdain for men. The anime, however, paints a different picture of Rei, portraying her as a rambunctious, boy-crazy teenager. She also maintains an unrelenting rivalry with Usagi that's completely invented for the purposes of the TV show.

These aren't just subtle changes inherent to the shift in medium. These were deliberate choices. In fact, the character is almost entirely unrecognizable from her manga inspiration, save for her powers and family dynamic. It isn't clear why the animated series made so many changes to the character, though it could be due to the anticipated predilections of the target audience. The anime was initially created with a younger audience in mind than the manga's. Perhaps this is what the localization team thought American tweens wanted from their Sailors?

Sailor Mars was inspired by a real person

Like other writers and artists, Naoko Takeuchi took special care in the creation of her characters and drew inspiration for them from all types of places and people. A few of the characters in the series, Usagi's family included, are actually based on real individuals. The character of Sailor Mars was notably inspired by a talented singer, songwriter, and actress named Alisa Mizuki.

Mizuki's career was just beginning to blossom when Takeuchi was creating the Pretty Guardians in "Sailor Moon," and so the inspiration for Sailor Mars came to be. Mizuki is well aware of the connection, and must be okay with it, since she ultimately went on to sing the ending credit song for the "Sailor Moon" television series. 

Sailor Mars is a favorite character for lovers of the show and the manga alike. No matter the differences in the way the character is portrayed, she's a powerful hero that fights evil with her best friends — what's not to love?