Latest Update: 21 March 2022
I have compiled the following key to the various references, in-jokes and obscure comments in Drunkard's Walk S. As with the other Steps, I can't promise that it's comprehensive; it's all too easy to miss things. If you think you've spotted something that was left out or needs explanation, feel free to email me about it!
As usual, I have not included entries for most of the songs that Doug that employs in this story. Once again, this is because most of the appropriate citations are already included at the end of each chapter.
The format for this listing is simple. Entries are grouped by the chapter they appear in, in order of their appearance in the story. Each entry will start with the appropriate text from the story in italics, followed by a gloss, explanation, or, in some cases, a chatty little commentary. Where applicable, web links are provided for those interested in more information.
Of course, as future chapters are written, additional entries will be appended to this document.
Finally, as a research tool, I created a Google Maps project set in the Minato area, with various locations important to the story (and some that aren't so important but still interesting) pinned on it. It's here in case you'd like to check it out and take a virtual walk around the sites where the story takes place.
Table of Contents
Time Lost And Forgotten
There is no formalized chapter-titling convention for this Step. It'll probably end up a little bit of this and and a little bit of that.
Stand and fight,
Live by your heart.
Always one more try.
I'm not afraid to die.
Stand and fight,
Say what you feel --
Born with a heart of steel.
-- Manowar, "Heart of Steel"
Despite how it may initially appear, I did not draw the name of this Step from this song. It actually came from a line in a different Manowar song, "Call to Arms". The specific line is:
Fight for the Kingdom, bound for glory,
Armed with a heart of steel!
The songs come from two different Manowar albums, so they are probably not connected in any formal way, other than drawing upon Manowar's usual imagery.
the high-rise luxury hotel immediately adjacent to it
The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, one heck of a luxury hotel indeed. I've been unable to determine exactly when it was built, but its architectural style is such that I think it's possible (though, honestly, not likely) for it to have been built not long before 1992.
the flophouse district in Sanya
In our timeline this area, which used to be home to dozens of cheap boarding houses for day laborers, has since become a neighborhood full of inexpensive hotels and hostels for travelers. In Warriors' World, where the Japanese don't exactly encourage international tourism, it remains a poverty-stricken zone mostly populated by those who cannot get any but the most menial and temporary of jobs. In 1992 in the Sailor Moon world, it's near the end of the transformation from the one to the other. You can read more about the area as it exists today here.
Oh, and don't let that "16 kilometers away" make you think it's a long trip. It's only about a 20-minute drive from Minato if you stay on the ground and follow the highways at the speed limit. And Doug didn't do any of those things.
An early name for the Yakuza organization which was the direct ancestor of the group now known as the Sumiyoshi-kai. In the wake of the Sumiyoshi-kai's rise the name is considered defunct; I'm using the name as both a historical shout-out and as an alternative to invoking its descendant organization. Who probably won't care if they are mentioned more or less positively in a Sailor Moon fanfic, but why take chances?
I am now seized by the image of Yakuza who read Sailor Moon fanfic...
starting with the earthquake that had
struck Tokyo about 36 hours before my arrival
I chose the date of Doug's arrival so that he'd be comfortably settled in with ID, job, and apartment by the beginning of April 1992, which is the best guess my sources had for the date of Usagi's first night as Sailor Moon. I chose February 3rd specifically as a work night when people wouldn't be in Shiba Park. (I chose Shiba Park because it's effectively in the shadow of the Tokyo Tower, and we all know that the Tokyo Tower is traditionally the site of interdimensional portals, gates and transits in anime. That it's in Minato, where Sailor Moon takes place, is just gravy.) Anyway, imagine my surprise when, upon looking up the weather for 3 February 1992, I learned that a Richter 5.7 quake had shaken Tokyo just before dawn a day earlier. The things you come across when you do your research... The casualties and damage were both as minimal as Doug reports, by the way.
It also kept me in contact with the Minato-kai, who
true to the public image they liked to maintain, were helping
with the disaster relief.
The Yakuza do in fact do stuff like this all the time. After the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, for instance, Yakuza groups turned out in droves to help. They opened their offices to refugees, provided truckloads of supplies to the devastated areas, and in general gave aid to anyone who needed it, no questions asked, no recompense required. Interestingly, they did this as quietly as they could manage, in part out of concern that their help would be refused if it were known where it came from. You can read more about their activities in 2011 here and here.
Standard Japanese real estate notation for an apartment with a separate kitchen(ette) and bedroom/sitting room, measuring about 200 square feet (or about 18.5 square meters, for my readers who don't use Imperial). "Jo" is an unit of measurement equal to one tatami mat. (And in Tokyo the standard mat is of course just a bit smaller than the one used elsewhere, because rents are based on the number of jo.)
In New York City this would be called a "studio apartment".
Better known to fic writers and readers as "Azabu-Juuban" or just "Juuban". "Juuban" literally means "district", and is part of a lot of place names, so using it as the name for this area (as many fic writers have done over the years) is like calling it just "Neighborhood". "Azabu" means "tenth"; it is the tenth district in Minato ward. The description here of the area as multicultural and popular with foreigners is accurate, even though the district goes out of its way to keep looking Japanese and not foreign. (Even the local McDonald's was carefully designed to blend in with the area's look.)
Interestingly, it's also one of those parts of Tokyo whose population ebbs and flows like the tides — during business hours there's something like an order of magnitude more people in Azabu (well, Minato as a whole) than there are at night. It's kind of like the Financial District of New York City in that regard, going from packed to deserted and back again on a 24-hour cycle. Which goes a long way toward explaining why the streets are so empty when the Senshi are out and about at night.
Oh, and judging by the results I get from Google and Google Maps, it appears the preferred romanization these days is "Azabujuban", with one "u" in "juban" and no hyphen. The Viz subs of the original Sailor Moon anime also use "Juban". So that's what I'm using in this story.
At a little over 75,000 yen a month, my rent was a bit high but
You would not believe how hard it is to find historical rent data for Tokyo neighborhoods on the Web. I ended up having to consult an economics thesis from 1989 to get figures for mid-1980s Tokyo rents (expressed as average yen per tatami mat), and jigger the resulting numbers to account for subsequent inflation, depressed housing prices after that, the extra cost of living in Azabu, and the premium for location within the ward (a very common practice in pricing rents in Tokyo). 75,000 yen is my best guess, but as Doug notes, not outrageous — it still falls in the lower-middle of the modern (middle-2010s) range of rents in Tokyo.
Just to be honest, I have no idea if the apartment I've laid out for Doug would actually fit into this building's floorplan, as I couldn't find any plans, photos or other information which would tell me what its units look like.
Also written as "manshon". A word the Japanese appropriated from English, which doesn't mean anything close to what it does for Americans or Brits — in Japan it means an apartment building three or more stories tall, of reasonably recent vintage and of concrete and steel construction, which is more earthquake-resistant and allows little sound to travel between apartments. Mansions contrast with apaato, another English loanword used for older buildings with small individual apartments, usually one or two stories tall and of wood or light steel frame construction. Apartments in apaato are cheaper than those in mansions, but they have lighter construction and thinner walls that are more prone to sharing noise.
The usage came about when high-rise apartment buildings started going up in Japan in the 1970s, and the marketeers were pushing them as more luxurious and upscale than the older buildings.
For you older anime fans out there, Maison Ikkoku in the manga and anime of the same name was an apaato, while Misato, Shinji and Asuka of Neon Genesis Evangelion lived in a mansion.
this version of Japan
had been in a recession for about two years at that point
Real-world Japan did in fact enter a recession in 1990, which was just about reaching its height in 1992.
a license on my motorcycle
Acquired with a mix of illusion, misdirection and a bit of power-assisted hacking, as a certain 2.5-meter turbine-powered land missile with an antigravity drive would not actually pass inspection under Shaken in 1992 Japan. Not for most of the reasons you might think, though — it wouldn't pass because its headlamps and other lights are unapproved equipment (being LED units that won't even be invented for another twenty-some years), and because the turbine doesn't fit easily into the engine-size classification system. It might also be too long to pass, but I can't determine if the size regulations only apply to cars or not. Anyway, Doug got around the potential problems by getting it registered as an "experimental" vehicle, with a special exemption to make it street-legal that doesn't officially exist in the system but appears appallingly proper when checked.
Hudson Soft was a real company, a subsidiary of Konami. It's now defunct, having been completely absorbed by Konami in 2012.
The Dark Agency
For those who don't know, this was the organization that Sailor V fought in the manga Codename: Sailor V. When Naoko Takeuchi reworked this one-shot manga into five volumes after the success of its sequel (Sailor Moon, of course), she added or clarified a number of elements that linked it to Sailor Moon. One of these was the revelation that the Dark Agency, an outfit that hid its evil activities behind the front of a talent agency, was an early covert operation by the Dark Kingdom. When Minako finally shut it down for good, the Dark Kingdom decided to abandon subtlety for more direct action.
Jitsuha Yoshi ground out the stub of his cigarette in the ashtray
next to his keyboard, then took out and lit another.
Unlike the United States, Japan has no comprehensive workspace smoking laws. Such things are up to individual building owners, and few bother with restricting tobacco use. This is mainly because smoking is as thoroughly pervasive in Japan today as it was in the United States in the early 1960s. And in 1992? It's a wonder that Yoshi's office isn't enshrouded in a permanent tobacco-scented cloud.
Tetsuwan Atom or Tetsujin Nijuhachi-go
Better known in North America as "Astro Boy" and "Gigantor", respectively. These early anime characters have all but become folk heroes in Japan. Look up the worldwide celebrations held on the date of Tetsuwan Atom/Astroboy's "birth" sometime to see what I mean.
he never *had* found out who was behind that
Sailor V arcade game. All he'd been able to determine was that
it hadn't been one of the big names.
That's because somehow Artemis created the thing as a training aid for Minako — and if you read the manga, apparently it accidentally (?) trained Usagi and Ami as well. It's unclear if there are actually several scattered about Tokyo, or if the one at the Crown Arcade is the only one in existence (in which case you'd expect Usagi and Minako to have crossed paths at least once before Sailor Moon began).
(Update, 16 August 2017: Well, what do you know. They did. DW Forums member Jorlem found this image at the Sailor Moon Wikia, which shows a panel from Codename: Sailor V Chapter 5 in which Usagi makes a "fly-by" cameo.)
In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal, there's definitely some largish company behind the game's manufacture — the Crown has several "Sailor V" cabinets, and there are promotional materials visible at the arcade. One wonders if Artemis somehow subverted an existing firm and inserted the game into their production schedule, or if he created an entire video game company from scratch just to train Minako. Amusingly, when you get to see the posters for the game close up, what seems to be the company logo is the "rabbit head" emblem that appears on just about everything Usagi owns in that series. (Which could mean she's the principal stockholder in the game company and doesn't know it.)
Hanami was here and according to the
sakura-zensen the best day for a picnic was only a week away!
"Hanami" is the tradition of cherry-blossom viewing, better known (in the United States, at least) as the "cherry blossom festival". The term refers not so much to a festival, though, as a season during which picnics and parties are held under blossoming sakura trees.
Sakura-zensen — the "cherry blossom front" in English — is the annual forecast of the start of hanami and its peak viewing date made by the Japanese weather bureau. In 1992, the flowering date was March 24, and the date of peak blooms was April 1st.
the tens of thousands of youma which had been banished with her
In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal the Dark "Kingdom" seems to be made up entirely of Beryl, the four generals, Metaria, and nothing else. I suspect this has something to do with retconning the youma into non-living constructs so as to keep the Senshi from actually killing anything. Me, I like my kingdoms to have, you know, actual populations instead of being the size of a school club, and the moral responsibility for taking a life is an important issue that needs to be examined. Fortunately, the original clearly shows that there are hundreds if not thousands of youma in the Dark Kingdom, and that they are sapient beings with unique personalities.
Before anyone complains: "Metallia" and variations thereon are fanon spellings. The original North American (DiC) dub of the anime didn't even bother with a name for this character (other than "The Negaforce"), so all that English-speaking fans had to go on in the 90s were amateur manga transliterations, and one transcription error in an early import. According to Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi, though, it's very definitely "Metaria" with an "R" — and this can be seen in the original Japanese editions of the manga, where it is frequently spelled in romaji.
"Metaria" is the feminine form of the Latin word "metarius"; its usual translation makes it a term for boundaries and borders, but can also be applied to objects buried in the Earth — as Metaria was in both the original manga storyline and Crystal. It's also almost certainly a deliberate play on "metal", given the similarity in pronunciation in Japanese phonemes, probably as a contrast to the gem naming theme for the rest of the Dark Kingdom and to indicate that Metaria is not necessarily the same order of creature as Beryl and the youma.
Of course, with the age of the Silver Millennium set as ten thousand years in the past in this story, "Metaria" can't really be a word in Latin, but is instead a false cognate from whatever language Beryl and the Generals natively speak (or perhaps an ancient loanword that made its way into Proto-Indo-European). But that's irrelevant, honestly.
Update, 5 March 2022. Since I wrote that passage and gloss, I've decided to use Proto-Indo-European, to the extent that a vocabulary and grammar has been reconstructed for it, to represent the language of the Moon and Earth Kingdoms. (See the note in the section for chapter 4, below, for more detail.) So now it's quite definitely a loanword.
they had been the friends,
advisors and chief generals of her beloved Endymion, the Prince
This actually isn't canon for the original anime; however, it's in every other version, starting with the manga. And it's useful for the story.
a 7-Eleven if you can believe it, over near Shibakoen
It's real. (Although to be absolutely honest I have not been able to confirm that it was there back in 1992.) In general, I'm going to use real locations whenever possible; I might even give addresses if you want. However I'll almost always give enough information for you to go to Google Maps and find them.
her face was far blurrier than it should have been
And here I weigh in on the eternal Sailor Moon fanwank question: How do the girls preserve their secret identities since their outfits have no masks, cowls or other face covering? For my purposes, something in their powered forms keeps people from remembering their faces and prevents cameras from registering clear images. This, I further speculate, was because the identity of the Sailor Senshi as the princesses of the various planets was actually a state secret.
"Senshi" literally means "soldier", "warrior" or "guardian", not "magical girl in a miniskirt". Since at least 2000, the various newer incarnations of the franchise have provided explicit English translations of the title as part of their logos or credit sequences, and "Bishoujo Senshi" is rendered as either "Pretty Guardian" or "Pretty Soldier". I've chosen to go with "Guardian" for reasons that will become apparent in chapter two. Doug, however, will naturally tend to mentally translate "senshi" as "warrior" and consequently will feel some kinship with the girls simply for that reason.
the capsule in which she'd slept
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal makes these capsules look like glorified Tupperware containers — nothing more than a transparent tube big enough for a cat with a couple of end caps. I prefer to visualize them as something a bit more sophisticated and spacecraft-like, for all that they're constructs of pure magic.
I have arranged for you, my
trusted adviser, to arrive near where they will be reborn, at
least a decade before I expect the seal to break.
Yup. Actually, when you think about it, it's amazing that she did so well — that's a margin of error of 0.1%, off by only ten years out of ten thousand.
There were gaps in her memory — terrifyingly large ones where
entire swaths of her life had seemingly been erased.
This is so very canon, although no one seems to think of what it must be like for Luna. It's bad enough that she forgets what the Princess looks like, and mistakes her for a non-existent Senshi of the Moon. When you consider how much memory damage she has to be suffering in order to have done that, it's a wonder she's still a sapient being. It certainly explains a lot of her inherent conservatism and insistence on being right — she can't admit to having made a mistake because she might have to think about how damaged she has to be to have made some of those mistakes, and she clings desperately to the few things that she does remember clearly. It's kind of tragic, really.
(In Crystal it turns out the memory problems were deliberately inflicted upon her for unspecified reasons. I can't decide which is worse.)
It's a good thing that none of the girls have any better recollection of the Moon Kingdom than Luna does, and can't call her on her errors. Except maybe Minako (who as I mentioned above allegedly got all her Silver Millennium memories back at the end of Codename: Sailor V), but she doesn't seem inclined to point out Luna's mistakes for some reason. Nor does Artemis, who seems to have come through his own hibernation experience with a lot less damage — although he didn't catch onto the "no Sailor Moon" thing either.
the Moon-themed brooch -- that had to be for the Moon's guardian,
If there never was a Sailor Moon in the Silver Millennium, then what the heck is the brooch that Luna gives to Usagi in the very first episode? My answer — a more sophisticated variation on the disguise pen which belonged to the Princess, with which she used to play "dress up" as a Sailor Senshi (and which Luna took away from her at some point when it got misused). Luna's vaguely remembering this when/if she remembers a "Sailor Moon" at all. Except for "Moon Tiara Magic", which was part of the costume, Usagi's attacks are cut'n'pasted from Luna's fragmentary memories of a young Queen Serenity at a time when she took an active part in field operations. Usagi's versions are pretty much invented on the spot when Luna first thinks of them, powered entirely by Usagi's raw magical potential, shaped by her belief and trust in Luna.
As she stepped out of the alley, she very carefully didn't
think about Phantom Ace, with whom she'd fallen in love, and the
heartbreak of discovering he was really Danburite, the leader of
the Dark Agency. Or about the curse he had claimed was upon her.
All people and events from Codename: Sailor V. The curse is supposedly that Venus will never find love, more or less.
She felt more than saw the bandages they placed over Serenity's
Mark, the golden crescent moon upon her forehead; in the last
moments before her command of human language was stripped from
This is canon, but it makes no sense given later revelations about the origins of the mooncats. I suspect that they were originally intended to be ordinary cats uplifted to sentience by Queen Serenity's magic. The crescent moons on their foreheads were probably supposed to be the uplift enchantment itself and covering them up somehow deprived it of power or something, which would explain why Luna appears to turn into an ordinary cat when the kids slap a bandage over hers in the first episode. But then a few seasons later came the whole explanation about the Mau and how Luna and Artemis are representatives of an alien race of intelligent shapeshifting housecats. It was a messy retcon in my opinion. In any case, I tried to handle it with as little explanation or justification as possible while minimizing the lack of sense to it.
An actual video game put out by Hudson Soft in early 1993.
In case you're not familiar with the term, this is the low table with a "skirt" around it that you see in almost any anime set in modern Japan.
Filene's Running of the Brides
Filene's Basement was a Boston-based chain of department stores that went out of business in 2011. For over sixty years, it had an annual event where the stores would stock up massively on bridal gowns and sell them for one day at a huge discount — sometimes as much as 90% off or even more.
Naturally, sale day was a madhouse, and it gained the name "The Running of the Brides", in homage to the famous "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. As always you can read about it at Wikipedia.
The shopping district, practically on top of the train
The "Jewelry OSA-P" store was based on a real store called "Jewel A" which appears to have vanished in the decades since the show was broadcast. The new building on that site has kept the old name, though (sort of — it's called "Joule A" now, although Google Translate amusingly insists on rendering it as "Jules A"), making it easy enough to find. And it is in fact practically on top of the Azabujuban station.
Interestingly enough, it's one of the buildings that Google Streeview provides a walk-through for.
Update, 2 September 2020: While doing some research for chapter 4, I happened to come back to this building on Google Maps and discovered that there is now a Sailor Moon-themed "show restaurant" in the building, called "Shining Moon Tokyo". Or rather, there was... it had been closed due to the COVID-19 emergency for some seven weeks at the time I discovered it.
and leapt into an open window on the store's second floor.
This is not a convenient deus ex machina on my part. That open window is there in canon -- Tuxedo Mask comes in through it.
"Sailor uniform" in Japanese, referring almost exclusively to the girls' school uniform style.
"'No one of consequence'," I quoted at it.
From The Princess Bride, of course.
It sounded like another teenager
Forget the "British nanny" sound of Luna's dub voice. Keiko Han's original performance in Japanese sounds like a girl not much older than Usagi. And when Luna finally regains her ability to shapeshift, we find out why — her human form looks maybe sixteen or seventeen years old at the most.
A tip of the hat to a nice short Sailor Moon story, The LunchCounter by Rob "Kenko" Haynie. Highly recommended.
Seventy years wasn't long enough for me to forget the night
I'd briefly gifted Lisa Vanette with telekinesis,
In Chapter 7 of Drunkard's Walk II.
like a stop trick from *Bewitched*
And here we have Doug's show business background rearing its head. A "stop trick" is the very simple special effect where they stop the camera and add, remove or replace something in frame to make it look like it instantly appeared, disappeared or transformed when the camera starts again.
a firmly-placed liquid consonant that partook evenly of
"r" and "l"
"Liquid consonant" is a term used in phonetics to describe "L" and "R" sounds. Where English has two — "L" and "R", obviously enough — Japanese has one that wanders between the two and is responsible for the stereotypical Japanese confusion between them. What Doug is noting here in his imprecise manner is that rather than using the Japanese liquid consonant where appropriate, Luna is using a very slightly different one which incorporates both sounds equally, and doesn't vary the sound for different words the way a native Japanese speaker might.
No, Keiko Han didn't do anything like this in her performance of Luna.
"'I have been a stranger in a strange land'," I murmured
Exodus 2:22, said by Moses when naming his first son, Gershom. Ironically, in one universe (briefly seen in one of the NanoSteps), Doug quoted this passage when trying to explain his own background to the man who would become the Moses of that timeline, inspiring that Moses to use it himself.
Across the classroom, Mizuno Ami bent her head down and hid her
face with the textbook she held before herself, trying not to let
anyone see that she had been watching the girls clustering around
And here we have another moment where different continuities blend in this story. In the original anime, Ami is in class 1 where Usagi's in class 5. However, in other adaptations, particularly the live action version, they're both in the same class, and indeed, that's what I was remembering when I wrote this and subsequent scenes.
Kau cim sticks
A Taoist/Buddhist fortune-telling practice also called Chien Tung, which involves interpeting a prophetic verse identified by the number written on a chopstick-sized piece of bamboo pulled at random from large bundle of such sticks. Wikipedia has a more detailed article about it, of course.
The old fortune-teller, by the way, plays a bit part in the second episode of Sailor Moon.
Gentle, dorky Umino seemed to have no
memory at all of being a bully, a thug and a gang leader over the
last few days.
Events from the second episode of the series, which Usagi handled by herself, and which played out pretty much as originally broadcast.
I ordered a roast beef Dagwood
A "Dagwood", for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, is a monstrously tall, overstuffed sandwich. A Dagwood resembles a club sandwich on steroids, usually being at least twice as tall as a club on the average, with far more ingredients and intervening slices of bread, and traditionally is garnished on top with an olive on a cocktail pick.
As usual, Wikipedia has an article (when doesn't it?) about Dagwood sandwiches.
Japanese for "grandfather", but depending on how it's used it can also be more like "gramps" or "old coot". Doug's implying "old coot", of course.
There are something like a dozen different Japanese words that are pronounced "teishi", but the one Doug's using here (弟子) means "apprentice" or "pupil". At the time I'm writing this entry it's not yet been released, but Doug uses the same term for Shinji, Asuka and Rei in Drunkard's Walk VI.
Rabbit of the Moon
I almost certainly don't have to footnote this for longtime Sailor Moon fans, but for those of you coming to this without it in your fandoms, who are unfamiliar with Japanese culture, or both: Usagi's name is a pun on the name of a figure from Japanese folklore, "Tsuki no Usagi", the Rabbit of the Moon. This is the Japanese equivalent to the Western "Man in the Moon", the pattern imposed on the various shades of grey on the surface of the moon by the viewer's mind. The West sees a face, the East sees a rabbit making mochi (sweet rice cakes).
I should note (if only to satisfy one of my prereaders) that "Usagi" is a very rare given name, and is seen far more as a nickname. Also, unlike its counterpart in English ("Bunny") it is a unisex name, suitable for both boys and girls. (And yes, I'm aware that "Bunny" is an archaic diminution for both "Bernard" and "Benjamin". I'm also aware of the actor John "Bunny" Breckinridge, swing trumpeter Bunny Berigan, and tennis player Bunny Austin — all men. Let's not get sidetracked.) The point here is that "Usagi" is a much more uncommon name than the average Western anime fan might think.
Please treat me kindly.
One way of rendering in English the expression "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu", sometimes called the "magic phrase" — it's an all-purpose social lubricant in Japanese that can mean "please", "thank you", "I owe you" and a whole lot more. Here's a blog page on it which goes into a bit more detail than I can in the space I have here.
Usagi also means it in the sense that probably comes across clearest here to English readers: "Please don't beat me black and blue while you train me!"
For those who don't recognize this word, it's Yiddish (although it's also been mainstream American English for decades, so if you don't recognize it you're either not American or really out of touch). It means audacity, temerity or sheer brazen nerve. Author and humorist Leo Rosten coined the classic definition for it: "That quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."
All I'm going to say about this scene is that this name is both an obvious alias, and a clue to who this girl is.
In case it's not obvious from context, that's the proper term for the sailor-collared blouse for Usagi's school uniform.
"How can I snore?" Luna demanded. "I'm a *cat*!"
I have it on good authority that not only can normal cats snore, it is not uncommon. Luna's just in denial, like so many humans who snore.
"Editor in chief".
The semi-annual fair held in Tokyo for the creators of doujinshi to sell and celebrate their wares. Obligatory Wikipedia link.
I was hoping that you might join me at a restaurant near your
home tomorrow afternoon, so that I could meet you and your husband
and your daughter
I was very sternly lectured by my Japanese culture consultant that Doug would never suggest coming over to the Tsukino home to meet them, as I had originally written here. Not if he actually wanted to look professional and get the "job", at least. As it happens, such meetings are typically held in restaurants, which serve as neutral ground and don't trigger guest/host hospitality issues.
Then I shut off the
iPod in front of me (one of a dozen or so such devices I'd picked
up here and there on my journey)
Doug does pick up the occasional item of consumer electronics here and there on his travels. He's also been upgrading his helmet every time he hits a world with a high enough tech level to make it worth it.
a place called "Joy Fit"
Another real place, a sports club that's exactly where Doug says it is. From the look of it, it probably wasn't there in 1992, but sadly, Google Maps doesn't have very much in the way of historical searching (at least not that far back), so I sometimes have to make do with what I can find that exists now.
More Yiddish, but it's also been absorbed into American English rather thoroughly, more even than "chutzpah". It basically means to meet up and make smalltalk, network, and generally gladhand in a social situation. It's an informal, low-key kind of thing.
Edoya Wine & Restaurant Restaurant, Azabujuban
A real restaurant that used to be about a block away from Amishiro Park in Azabujuban. Sadly it closed and was torn down some time in 2021. From the photos I've seen and from Google Earth, it actually appeared to have been too small to have a private room, but let's just ignore that for now, all right? Its cuisine was as Doug describes — Western dishes done Japanese style. But not just any Western dishes — many of them are, or started out as, dishes from Europe circa 1850, which is about when the style essentially was born. It's a bit more complicated — isn't it always? — and no few dishes that are considered "real" Japanese — like tonkatsu — are actually Yoshoku. Once more, a Wikipedia article exists to provide more detail.
Amishiro Park, by the way, is a location which shows up several times in the original anime. It's implied to be within easy walking distance of Usagi's house, and the general neighborhood when viewed in Google Street View resembles that shown around the Tsukino home, so I've used it as a stand-in for the house's actual location.
the Hard Rock Cafe in Roppongi
A real place, which has been in that location since 1987, so it was there during the original run of Sailor Moon. It is also literally around the block from Toyo Eiwa Elementary School, which is one of the best candidates, name- and location-wise, to be the inspiration for "T.A. Academy", the school Rei "Sailor Mars" Hino attends. I like to imagine her sneaking out and going there for lunch every once in a while.
The Japanese variation on business cards. Like everything else in Japan (it sometimes seems), there is an exquisitely choreographed ritual for presenting and accepting business cards, almost as formalized as the tea ceremony.
If you've only heard this term and not seen it in print, you may not realize it's the guy in a tux who seats you at a restaurant. Pronounced "maytreh dee" or "mayter dee", it's French, and short for "maître d'hôtel" — which means, roughly, "master of the hotel/inn".
Roughly, "I accept your name card." Ideally, Kenji should be offering Doug his own card at the same time (and Doug would probably present his physically lower than Kenji's as he's offering his services to the Tsukinos and thus effectively trying to be their "employee") but you know, it's already an involved bit of theatre and not important to the overall plot.
(Only that young lightning-slinger from California whom I'd met
a couple timelines back could rival her.)
O hai, Terawatt!
"Tsukino-san" gave way *very* quickly to "Doug-san", "Kenji-san"
and "Ikuko-san" — far more quickly than I would have thought
Usagi had to get that "instant friendship" thing from somewhere.
And there is some canon support for this, if one chooses the canon carefully — specifically, the live-action version of Ikuko from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is a bit of a bohemian eccentric whom you could easily see addressing everyone she meets with "chan".
Because I got it
in another universe, at a monastery on a mountain outside of
Tokyo-3 in 2015
During the events of Drunkard's Walk VI.
For those readers who are too young to know what Polaroid is, it was a manufacturer that specialized in instant cameras -- cameras that would spit out a physical photo print that developed in front of you. They almost went the way of buggy-whip manufacturers with the advent of digital photography — especially the inclusion of cameras in phones — but have managed to survive by pioneering digital cameras that also make physical prints (combining the convenience of digital with the instant gratification of the older Polaroids). They also never lost a fair-sized niche market in the insurance business, which will always need photos which can be easily proven not to have been doctored or manipulated in any way.
front breakfall ... forward shoulder roll
Genuine techniques, and yes, they really are taught as part of the Marine Corps' martial arts program, the so-called "Tan Belt". They're among the few techniques for which Doug actually knows the proper names, because he learned them from a friendly practitioner instead of copying an opponent during a fight or reproducing something he saw in a video or movie.
she had a profoundly good kinesthetic sense
Yes, Usagi is a klutz who trips, stumbles and facefaults her way though every day. But at the same time, she can also be incredibly graceful — and not just because she's magically enhanced.
Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion and DW6.
Maboroshi no Ginzuishou
I suppose I should have translated this, but frankly, the closest accurate English rendering I've found is "Phantom" or "Illusionary Silver Crystal", which makes it sound kind of like it's not exactly real. (Hmmmm.) And I'm not all that fond of the various names the dubs have given it, like the "Silver Imperium Crystal". For the sake of simplicity, I'm just going to call it the Ginzuishou and not explain why the Dark Kingdom is using the Japanese term.
Sanuki Udon Noodle Restaurant
A real udon place literally around the corner from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, in another government building.
No, I didn't make this up -- Jadeite addresses the youma in episode 3 by this name at least once. Naturally this isn't the only transliteration I've found, but it is the least silly. Though I was tempted to use "Frau" as one of my sources did, and then have Doug ask if she was German.
You're very briefly *naked* right in the
middle of that whirly light show.
"Naked whirly light show" is a phrase that comes up many times to describe the Sailor Senshi transformation sequence in two (well, three) of my favorite fics —the long-vanished Relatively Absent by Mark "Togashi Gaijin" Shurtleff, and The Girl Who Loved and its sequel Violence Inherent in the System by Darth Drafter.
that Lisa had taken of Maggie and myself kissing
In Drunkard's Walk II.
Sana on stage
Sana Kurata, from Drunkard's Walk III.
Buckaroo and the Cavaliers in front of their tour bus
The Hong Kong Cavaliers in Drunkard's Walk IV.
me with Asuka, Shinji and Rei in my old dojo
Drunkard's Walk VI. Are you seeing a pattern yet?
Utena and Anthy's wedding portrait
Drunkard's Walk VII.
a photo I'd taken of
dinner at the Tarikihogonji temple, with Skuld giggling and
giving the camera a red-eye
Drunkard's Walk V.
'Tsuki no Kaihei'
Roughly, "Moon Marine". In the USMC sense of "Marine".
In general, a vaguely insulting way to describe any incomprehensible script. And on 4chan, a common way of referring to Japanese, also vaguely insulting.
And yes, the idea that Doug has lurked on 4chan in at least one universe is just as disturbing to me as it probably is to you.
"Marines" (literally, "shipboard soldiers").
And really, strictly speaking it wasn't even "sailor" ... after
the Japanese had finished running it through their phoneme set it
actually came out sounding closer to "sarah".
For those readers not familiar enough with Sailor Moon and/or Japanese, the word Doug is referring to is usually back-transliterated into Roman letters as "sera", and "Sailor Moon" as pronounced by the Japanese is actually something along the lines of "Seiramuun". It's still the English words "sailor" and "moon", just filtered through the Japanese syllabary.
Defined as "the inability to recognize certain objects, persons or sounds", but it has many varieties and effects. Among other things, Luna is suffering from a retrograde form of Prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces. Unlike many sufferers, she can remember and recognize new people in her life, but her ability to identify anyone from her past is severely damaged. Fortunately, the Senshi's modern incarnations are not perfect twins of their Silver Millennium selves, and are different enough to count as "new" for her memory. But she is completely unable to see a resemblance between, say, Usagi and Princess Serenity without other contextual clues (like a high-waisted white silk dress and a magical crystal the size of a golf ball in her hand).
I was in hard vacuum within a minute.
As has been noted in the concordance for DW5, the Ka?rma?n Line, considered to be the boundary beyond which is officially "outer space," is 100 kilometers or approximately 58 miles up. At Mach 6 (about 4566 miles per hour and Doug's top atmospheric speed using "I'm A Pioneer", as seen in Chapter Six of DW2), Doug can reach the Ka?rma?n Line in a hair under 46 seconds.
Low-earth orbit. Anything between about 99 and 1200 miles (160 to 1930 kilometers) above the earth.
But outside of the
atmosphere, I could "shift gears" and instead of Mach 6, I could
This is a standard feature of the Second Edition Villains and Vigilantes Flight power — if your atmospheric flight speed is at least Mach 1, you can shift to FTL in vacuum to travel at a multiple of c equal to your Mach speed. Life Support is not included (but "Pioneer" provides that as well).
the quarter-second FTL hop
Actually, closer to a fifth of a second. The average distance between the earth and the moon is 238,900 miles, and on April 18, 1992 the exact distance (thanks to the Moon Distance Calculator) was actually a little farther -- 239,829 miles. Divide either by 6c and you get an FTL "jump" of about 0.214 seconds' duration (0.2137 seconds for the average distance, 0.2145 seconds for the actual distance on that date). Admittedly, Doug actually travels a bit farther than that, as he has to aim for where the moon actually is rather than where it appears to be because it's about 1.3 light seconds away and thus is physically located in a slightly different place than it seems from Earth. But the difference really isn't enough to change the travel time significantly.
back when Homeline had been threatened by a alien
invasion staging there
This is the same invasion that produced the scouts Doug killed by disintegrating the space suits off them, as recounted in chapter 6 of DW5.
I'd gotten into
the habit of dropping by once a day to fuck their shit up
Yes, Doug was the equivalent of 5 O'Clock Charlie from M*A*S*H. Only far more effective.
Ironically, it was less than 20
kilometers from the Apollo 11 landing site.
I'm sure someone is wondering why the Apollo astronauts didn't see it after landing. Well, that's because the moon's horizon is only about 2.5 kilometers away, and the city is eight times that far.
How NASA and every
astronomer ever had missed it... and then I reconsidered the
proximity of that lunar lander. Who but my own prejudices said
that they *had*? ... maybe the city was a known anomaly...
Okay, it's terribly unlikely that Apollo 11 was a mission to investigate the city, as they landed too far away and they weren't on the moon long enough to do much of anything but bounce around and pick up some rock and soil samples -- only 22 hours. It's possible, however, that the landing trajectory was chosen to pass over the city so they could get some (automated?) pictures, though.
(And as one of my prereaders has noted, Neil Armstrong took partial control of the landing away from the LEM's computer, because it was overloaded with data. Maybe they were supposed to land closer to the city but couldn't.)
However, sending another lander to investigate the city wouldn't have been entirely out of the question. At least one of the later Apollo missions here in the real world that got canceled, as I recall, was specifically aimed at investigating an area where "strange lights" had been seen by astronomers. A prominent area with a different albedo from the lunar surface and a somewhat regular structure -- even if the equipment of the time couldn't resolve enough detail to conclusively determine it was a city -- would certainly have attracted enough debate and curiosity to merit a mission. And you know, maybe it did...
The equivalent of "geological" for the Moon.
To my surprise there was still a functional environmental
support spell enclosing the palace grounds
After all, the Senshi canonically walked around the place without vacuum gear.
she would be the most kick-ass combat-capable princess this
side of Xena
Xena: Warrior Princess, a 1995-2001 TV series for those readers who don't recognize the reference. It would have been at the height of its popularity when Doug was ejected from Warriors' World.
the temperature had dropped almost six degrees
Celsius. And actually about 5.6 degrees C — that's about ten degrees Fahrenheit.
The weather as described in this scene, by the way, comes right from the historical record for that day. It was overcast, with several periods of rain, and while it started out pleasantly Spring-warm, the temperature dropped not long after noon.
and slowly wandered the
paths from level to level of the park.
Prince Arisugawa Memorial Park is a real place, and as its Wikipedia article notes, it's built into a hill, with several distinct "tiers", each of which has its own set of features. The plaza with the statue is real, and on one of the upper levels.
slender Western woman with emerald-green eyes and ice-blonde
hair, and a shorter, curvier woman whose eyes were almost purple,
with braided night-black hair through which a bright blue streak
These two are the local versions of Chou and Yori from Desperately Seeking Ranma, a quite remarkable crossover fic. (They are actually Kasumi Tendo and Ranma Saotome of Ranma ˝ in disguise, at least in that story. Here? Who knows?)
For those readers coming to this story unfamiliar with Sailor Moon, this is a canon character. He has what seems to be a full-time job at the Crown Arcade on the Azabujuban market street, but at early college age seems a bit young to actually be the owner. Especially during an economic recession.
"Mau no Luna", or "Luna of the Mau". Neither Luna nor Artemis (nor their child Diana later) are ever given a family name (at least that I could find as I wrote this chapter). Given that we know precisely squat about Mau culture(s), we have no idea whether there is one and it's just never mentioned, or if they use given names only. Or something else entirely. In the mean time, she has to give something when asked.
the siren of a passing ambulance outside
Dispatched to pick up Ms. Haruna, Usagi's homeroom teacher, who has just succumbed to the Sleeping Sickness at her podium in the classroom. In episode 3, Luna is both a cat and on the sidewalk when it goes by, and follows it back to the school.
called in a favor with Inspector Sakurada
Police Inspector Sakurada Natsuna, ally of Sailor V, and sister to Sakurada Haruna, AKA Ms. Haruna, Usagi's teacher. This is canon, not me connecting some convenient dots.
the increase in victims was too linear for it to be an
If it had been a real disease, the number of victims would have grown geometrically -- basically, each "wave" of victims would be larger than the next as the currently-ill infected new victims, who themselves would infect more victims, and so on. However, since Jadeite can only give out so many brooches per show, the number of affected increases only by a set small amount every day. If nothing else, this would indicate to the doctors treating them (as well as Doug) that they are not dealing with a disease but with something like a deliberate attack.
"FM Number 10 -- the radio station? It's in Azabudai, block
3, building 3."
FM 10 seems to be based on J-Wave Radio, which started broadcasting out of the Minato area in 1987. Among other reasons, J-Wave is noteworthy for having coined the term "J-Pop". The location Usagi gives — more formally 2-Chome-3-3 Azabudai (if I've properly decoded the Japanese street address system and its Tokyo variant, that is) — is my best guess, based on what little information I can find in my research, for the general location of the station in 1992 (it's now running out of a skyscraper in Roppongi). As I write this there's an outfit called "Custom Media K.K." there.
And it really is near the Fijian embassy, and there really is a place that sells karinto manju across the street from this address, called Enoki-ya. What's karinto manju, you ask? a steamed sweet bun filled with sweet bean paste, which is then deep-fried. Just the kind of thing Usagi would drool over.
in your back pockets
A reference, kind of, to the Steve Jackson Games cartoon role playing game Toon. In it, a character's "back pockets" are where they keep all the stuff they seem to pull out of thin air when they need it.
Abbreviation for the English loan-phrase "office lady". This is a Japanese term for a girl or woman employed as low-ranking assistant or gofer in an office.
*No mechanical space between the ceiling and the roof?*
That's exactly how it appears in the anime. No doubt because the animators never thought about what is usually present above a drop ceiling, but really, guys.
I retreated down the hall just far
enough to give me a good start, then ran and leapt. I got enough
air to grab the edge of the hole, then pulled myself up and out
onto the rooftop.
The jumping and leaping rules in second-edition V&V are a little dodgy, and we actually replaced their math with a slightly more complicated formula that we felt produced more appropriate results. Once you do the math, you'll find that an unencumbered Doug can easily make a ten-foot running high jump (and a twenty-foot running long jump, as noted by the AD Police crime scene squad in DW2).
"I'm my middle school's Ultimate Frisbee champ," Moon called
back. "That's my signature move."
This is, if not precisely canon, strongly implied by it. Episode 37, "Let's Become a Princess: Usagi's Bizarre Training", actually has a sequence where Usagi (untransformed) flings a Frisbee in exactly the same way as she throws her tiara. In context, it's part of a Dark Kingdom plot (isn't it always?) to identify Sailor Moon by finding a clumsy girl who's adept at throwing Frisbees, but even setting aside the Kingdom's dubious logic, Usagi is far too good with boomeranging a Frisbee while slicing hair ribbons off of a bunch of girls' heads with it at the same time for it to have been the result of using the Moon Tiara attack once every week or so for only a few months.
For those who don't want to bother with the above link to the whole episode at Hulu, or for some reason it is inaccessible to you, you can also find the episode at Yahoo. Also, the relevant sequence has been condensed down to several still images in this Tumblr post, assuming that at the time you click the link it it hasn't been labeled as "NSFW" by the brain-dead image moderation software that Tumblr deployed when they decided to purge their site of all content unsuitable for kindergärtners or advertisers in December 2018.
Thanks to DW Forums member Jonathan Lennox for reminding me of this sequence many years after I first saw and subsequently forgot about it.
glowing blue-purple light
As Google Images will document, this is indeed the color an ion beam will be in air.
he'd had some kind of body-hugging force field protecting him
Jadeite's exact powerset is kind of hard to determine, but it seems to revolve around illusions and conjurations, on an occasionally massive scale. During one of his schemes, he actually transformed a rusting hulk of a freighter (temporarily) into a beautiful new cruise liner, and his changes were "real" and solid, at least until he was defeated and the ship reverted to its true form. He's also got a very strong telekinetic talent, as seen in this and other episodes, which he's been known to use to create barriers to protect himself. Extending all that to include a personal "force field" and deadly melee attacks is not that much of a stretch.
but between the impact and the lightning payloads in my
fists, I'd overloaded it
Before anyone complains, remember that in V&V2.1 Doug's minimum rollable damage for a single simple punch — before you factor in things like lightning payloads — is equivalent to getting shot several times with a handgun. Jadeite's also being more than a little overconfident here and doesn't have his defenses all the way up to the maximum they could be. He won't make that mistake in the future.
"Video killed the radio star."
The title of and a frequently repeated line in the 1979 song "Video Killed The Radio Star" by The Buggles. Which, because of its subject, was the very first video ever shown by MTV, back in the days when MTV still showed music videos.
"And you can call me 'Captain Video'."
This is an old reference, even for Doug — Captain Video and His Video Rangers was one of the first science fiction shows on American television, running from 1949 to 1955 on the Dumont network. There were thought to have been more than 1,500 individual episodes made, with stories written by a "who's who" of authors from the Golden Age of Science Fiction (including Damon Knight, James Blish, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Cyril M. Kornbluth), but almost none of them survive.
She didn't know what a "putz" was, but she was
pretty sure it wasn't good.
It's Yiddish for "penis" and basically gets used like "dick" or "dork", if you're not familiar with it. It also can have overtones of "idiot" or "moron" depending on the context.
Doug-sensei barked something in English, and Usagi wished she
knew what he had said.
"No running away, asshole!"
"Be healed" in Quenya.
Oh, and there's no secret reason for using Quenya here, I just wanted something that didn't sound like English or the fragmentary conlang I've come up with for the Silver Millennium so far. Although if it entertains you to envision the Silver Millennium as existing in an interstitial era between the Third Age and the modern world, go right ahead.
button had a longer marking than the one on the left -- six
characters versus two.
The two buttons are labeled "CANCEL" and "GO" respectively.
"Remind me to tell you about the time I
fought a remote-controlled robot CEO."
In chapter 15 of Drunkard's Walk II. Afterwards, Doug was arguably much closer to death than he was here.
There must be a school or
order hiding from even the other Earthers for them to have
escaped our notice.
Yes, it's in Scotland, and looks like a ruined castle to people who aren't supposed to be there. <grin> There are very deliberate echoes of DW-S throughout DW8; they also echo the other way, too.
In this universe, the Roppongi Hard Rock Cafe was on a narrow
little street, almost literally wedged into a small space behind
a mall with a couple schools and assorted businesses crowding in
on it on the other sides.
In our universe, too. It's an odd location for a popular theme restaurant. See for yourself.
a thick biro
"Biro" ("BYE-roh") is British for "ballpoint pen". It's actually a trademark owned by the BIC company, and was named for László Bíró, the inventor of the ballpoint.
the door from the stairway
The Roppongi HRC is located on the second floor of the building it shares with a Tony Roma's Steakhouse. An external, neon-lit staircase takes you up from ground level to the actual entrance — which overlooks the street in front, so Shinsuke can easily peer out and see where Doug's motorcycle came down.
Sailor V's outfit looks more like a real seifuku than that does
If you've never seen anything of Codename: Sailor V, yeah, it pretty much looks like a repurposed school uniform plus a domino mask and fancy gloves.
I was not surprised to note that Usagi skipped the rest of the
menu to go right to the desserts on the back.
Sadly, I haven't been able to find a menu from the Roppongi Hard Rock Cafe circa 1992, but I do have a copy of the 1992 menu for the New York Hard Rock. Given that as I write this the Hard Rock Cafe website displays exactly the same menu for Roppongi as it does for New York, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary (and lots of evidence from other sources like TripAdvisor in support), I feel safe in assuming that they were also the same in 1992.
Yumi suspected that most if not all of them were deliberately
designed into the Cafe's layout; some of the locations were
entirely too convenient for a would-be paparazzo.
Strictly speaking, this is probably not true to the point that Yumi's musings suggest. The photos I have seen of the interior of the Roppongi HRC don't show a lot of places someone can lurk unseen to take a picture of diners, but there are a couple. And I doubt they were engineered for that purpose, either.
An actual brand of dry cat food sold in Japan, which I chose because most of the other varieties of cat food available have the same brand names as American products with which I was already familiar, and I didn't want readers to think I was just being lazy.
Then again, I might be wrong. In October 2019, some months after I wrote that passage and the gloss, we went to Florida for a vacation. In/near Stuart, Florida, not far from the resort where Peg and I stayed, there is a vet/kennel place which we passed several times over the course of the time we were there. And at the bottom of their sign was the "Royal Canin" logo — the first, and so far only, time I have ever seen it in the United States. So you know, I'm probably wrong that it's a Japanese brand, or at least a Japan-only brand.
Fuji disposable 35mm camera
Fujifilm invented the modern disposable one-use 35mm film camera in 1986, so they'd been around for years at this point.
"It's almost ten
years too early for this joke, but... 'The first rule of Sailor
Club is you do not talk about Sailor Club.'"
The film adaptation of Fight Club, from which most will recognize that paraphrased quote, came out in 1999.
Captain Opera and his corsage of doom
"Captain Opera" as a nickname for Tuxedo Mask comes from PARAGON by Rob "Kenko" Haynie, a Sailor Moon/Ranma ˝ crossover. It's what Ranma called Tuxedo Mask before finding out what he actually goes by.
knock them down first, *then* rant at them
Advice given to Kodachi by a very different Ranma in one of the later chapters of Eric Hallstrom's monumental Ranma ˝ fic Ranma and Akane: A Love Story. Not a quote on Doug's part, just me echoing a way to say it that I liked.
'Powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men'
From the intro narration from the old Superman TV show from the 1950s. And as we've seen in DW8 Doug is familiar enough with Superman now to own at least one Superman T-shirt.
Idiomatic Japanese for "Bingo", "Got it in one" or any other corresponding English word or phrase meaning, basically, "that's right".
SDAT players of the kind Shinji had liked so much
That's Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and "SDAT" is a brand of digital audio tape and player created by Sony. Shinji has one which he listens to throughout the series.
(They reminded me of my first uniform design, which had
had a "utility belt" filled with microcassettes and a tape player
in the buckle.)
Yes, in the first few game sessions in 1986 this is what Doug wore into battle. The time spent popping tapes in and out, not to mention the extremely limited selection of songs I could reach without taking time to fast forward or rewind, convinced me I needed a more efficient solution. The villain with magnetics that he fought in a danger room simulation, whose first act was to wipe his tapes, was a big convincer, too.
I closed my eyes and started counting song files, which I
estimated at four to the seventh power. I put two and two
together, and added twelve, and carried five
Doug's quoting a bit of lyrics from the 1975 C.W. McCall song "Wolf Creek Pass" to amuse himself here, especially as the initial part of the calculation is close enough to the right count of songs for the purposes of idle conversation.
In case you're wondering but don't want to click the link, the original context is a runaway truck heading down a mountain, and one of the guys in the cab is estimating their speed based on how fast the telephone poles are going by. He comes up with 22,000 telephone poles per hour. Since in rural areas telephone poles are usually spaced about 300 feet apart, that means either he misplaced the decimal point somewhere, or their runaway truck is going the unlikely speed of 1250 MPH — Mach 1.63.
like I had been in Velgarth
The setting for Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar books, and the setting for the as-yet unwritten Drunkard's Walk I.
Sailor V cosplayer
Before someone objects, while the word "cosplay" and its relatives didn't make their way to the United States until the middle 1990s, it was coined (in Japan, of course) in 1984. So it's not an anachronism.
I own up to all my anachronisms, believe me.
Circuit Akigase, Saitama
A real track for auto racing, north of Tokyo. (There are no tracks for real auto racing within Tokyo. Horse racing, yes. Auto racing, no.) It's been there since before the early 1990s, making it a good candidate for Haruka's track of choice.
That, teishi, is an iPod Zoom
A fictional model of iPod, from an Earth that is not ours. Think of it as an alternate version of the iPod Touch.
For my younger readers, a "Walkman" was a device that people listened to music on before MP3s or even CDs. It was a portable cassette tape player about the size of a thick paperback, roughly. They usually came with straps or belt clips that let you wear them hands-free. Invented and marketed by Sony, the Walkman pretty much created the market for portable music players that iPods and other MP3 devices eventually took over.
a relatively sedate 24-point headline
For those who can't visualize how big a 24-point font is, the tallest character would be about a third of an inch or about 8.5 mm. That is a pretty sedate size for a headline.
Literally, "period drama" — a very popular and prolific genre for TV and movies, whose defining characteristic is that the story is set in Japan anywhere earlier than about the middle of the 19th century; includes but is much more all-encompassing than what the West knows of as "samurai drama".
As to which one they're watching, I can't tell you. It's been pretty much impossible for me to find a complete listing of Japanese TV broadcasts in April of 1992. I can tell you that it wasn't the long-running and immensely popular Mito Komon — that was broadcast on Monday nights in 1992.
As noted on this page at the website of The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association, there are three types of commercials: "Program commercials", which seem to be similar to way corporations would sponsor specific programs on American TV and radio in the 1950s and earlier (like The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse); "participating commercials", which are broadcast during a program, much like most American commercials; and finally "spot commercials", which air in between programs.
81.3 on your dial
The actual frequency of J-Wave radio, on which FM. No. 10 was based, as noted above.
"Gimme Chocolate!!" ... BABYMETAL
If you've never heard of them, BABYMETAL is a Japanese band that blends J-Pop and heavy metal. I kid you not — as of this writing they've been around for almost ten years, and they make regular appearances at metal festivals all over the world, alongside groups like Megadeth and Avenged Sevenfold. They've also collaborated with members of DragonForce and Judas Priest. You can watch them perform this particular song on YouTube here. If you'd like a translation of the lyrics, there's a reasonably good one here, but to summarize quickly, it's a song about a young girl worried about gaining weight but tempted by chocolate. It's the perfect song with which to introduce Usagi to heavy metal.
"Check-it-out chocolate. I can have a bit of chocolate, can't I?
But my weight worries me a bit these days.
However, chocolate. I can have a bit of chocolate, can't I?
But wait a while! Wait a while! Wait! Wait! Wait!"
If you didn't follow the last link in the gloss above, well, this is a verse from BABYMETAL's song "Gimme Chocolate!!", as rendered in English.
the guardian spirit of the shrine — fierce, armored, almost like an
oni in its appearance
This is, for those who don't know, mostly canon — this armored oni-like form appears several times as a precursor to one of Rei's fire-readings, although its exact identity and purpose is never explored. It makes the most sense to me that it would be the patron spirit of Rei's shrine.
"It's dangerous to go alone ... Take this."
A quote from The Legend of Zelda (1996) which has become something of a meme over the last twenty-some years. As always, there's a Wikipedia page about it.
Will and Word
A magic system that was named and described in The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings, it actually quantifies a lot of otherwise vague magical styles in fantasy and folklore. As Geekus at Wordpress puts it:
You gather the will to do something, and you speak a word to carry that will into action. Sorcerors in Eddings' work can create objects out of thin air, change the world around them, and do pretty much anything else they can think of. ... This is magic as wish fulfillment: think of something, anything, want it bad enough, say a word, and make it appear. Simple but powerful: the stuff of childhood dreams.
In short, the perfect magic system for an innocent, loving girl who already knows she can do magic — but who could also do with a bit of practice at being focused.
The canonical first program written by a beginning programmer — just display the words "Hello, World!" on your system's screen or printer.
Harappan, Linear Elamite and Early Sumerian
Three of the earliest writing systems for which samples still survive. They're all in the vicinity of four to five thousand years old.
The canon "code number" which Artemis uses while masquerading as Luna's "mission control". Interestingly, we only learn this arrangement exists in episode 8, just before Mercury is unveiled, and Luna's behavior makes it clear it's been going on for a while. It's never explained how Artemis set it up; this is just my try at an Occam's Razor-simple solution, with the implicit assumption that he had some way to track Luna and/or Sailor Moon.
Because one of my prereaders brought it up, it appears that the translation used for the original North American release in the 1990s made it sound like Luna was identifying herself as "Codename 0091" when operating the Sailor V game in episode 8, and this is how the phrase is identified in various references on the web. The new translation used by the Viz release, however, makes it clear in both the subtitled and dub versions that she's directly addressing someone else by that name, not claiming it as her own.
as I taught her the warding schemes Urd taught me
After the events of Drunkard's Walk V.
20° C, acceptable
humidity, and comfortable despite being mostly overcast
This was indeed the weather that day.
an isolated clearing in Prince Arisugawa Park
To be absolutely honest, there is probably no location in Prince Arisugawa Memorial Park that would qualify as a genuine clearing, as flat and large as this one is eventually described as being, which is also as isolated and private as it needs to be for story purposes. The entire park is riddled with paths and seating areas, and as well as being hilly enough to effectively have several distinct levels, though not to the "Italian wedding cake" extent I may have implied elsewhere. So don't expect me to be too specific about exactly where in the park this clearing is supposed to be.
However, the park has history and precedent within the Sailor Moon franchise, which is mainly why I stuck with it. Well, that and it is easy for everyone to reach. It's also a bit easier to get into on the spur of the moment than the next best alternative, the grounds of the Institute for Nature Study, most of a mile to the south-southwest.
If you have to have an explanation or something, chalk it up to differences between the Sailor Moon timeline(s) and ours.
"Zaphod Says Yes To Zaphod"
A double reference. In addition to the straight-out reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy it is also the name of a rather odd but interesting instrumental piece from 2012 by a group called "The Dreamers".
As the great Master Sato once said, 'Never spoil a
good day by getting the crap beat out of you.'
A tip of the hat to a very old Ranma ˝ fanfic, Nabiki - New Horizons by Greg L. Sandborn. Its first chapter (from which this line comes) was originally released waaaay back in July 1996.
remind me later to tell you
about Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell and their book
An amazing book, published in three parts between 1910 and 1913, in which these two gentlemen attempted to describe a set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic from which all mathematical truths could in principle be proven. It failed, of course, because of Godel's incompleteness theorem, but it still accomplished a great deal, and was of major importance to both mathematics and philosophy.
And to give at least part of Doug's "long answer", Whitehead and Russell took several hundred pages' worth of proofs to derive 1+1=2 from even more primitive rules and assumptions. At which point they very amusingly noted, "The above proposition is occasionally useful."
with a Jumbotron screen on the front
Two points. First, yes, that's what the place looked like, if you haven't seen the episode in question. Second, that's not an anachronism or misplaced Americanism. While the term is a generic now, in 1992 it was still a trademark of Sony, which created the first Jumbotrons for the Japanese market in the 1970s. They were in common use in Japan and the United States well before Sailor Moon came out, and Usagi certainly would have known what they were and what they were called.
However, a Jumbotron on the front of a gym should probably have been a red flag that something was weird — in 1992, even the cheapest Jumbotrons cost a cool million in 2020 dollars, and that was just for the screen, not for the installation or any of the support equipment, or the staff to maintain and operate them. Even a high-end gym would have been hard-pressed to open with a million bucks' worth of finicky electronics on its facade.
As far as I can tell, an entirely fictional celebrity. Given all the other real-world references in the show, I suspect that she's a shout-out to an actual Japanese actress from circa 1992, probably with some manner of punny or spoonerized name to disguise her, but I haven't done the research to confirm or deny that yet.
I took them down
To be absolutely fair, she did that in canon, too. She just did it after running away from them shrieking in panic for a while. Here she didn't run. And she took them out with more style and aplomb, too. <grin>
Oh, and this little exchange — the bit about washing the walls with their faces and stick-to-itiveness — comes courtesy of DW Forums member "nocarename", who suggested it in a post. I don't think he/she expected I would actually use it.
I gave her my best "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" look.
For my younger readers, this is a 1970s/80s-vintage television reference, to the show Diff'rent Strokes. The quote references the catch phrase of the character Arnold Jackson, played by the late Gary Coleman.
my transformed youma
Just my guess at what those pods — which of course were never seen again — actually were.
As she had every
day since moving in, she couldn't help but think the Western-
style apartment, with its several rooms and separate kitchen, was
far too large and luxurious for a single middle-school girl.
Makoto's apartment is one of the unsolved mysteries of Sailor Moon — how is it that an early-teen girl with no visible means of support affords and lives alone in an apartment that seems to grow larger and more luxurious in every retelling of the story? Here you see much of the explanation that I came up with.
Maybe she should give Shinozaki a call.
Shinozaki is in fact a canon character, who according to Makoto is the closest person to her; their relationship is supposedly "deeper than love". (Amazingly, he is apparently not the legendary sempai to whom she compares almost all boys.) In the dub, he was called "Ken".
This incredibly important person only ever appears once, in the episode "For Whom is the White Rose? The Moonlight Knight Appears" of Sailor Moon R, and is never mentioned before or afterward. It seemed reasonable that he lives somewhere too far away to visit her frequently, but I figured he should get at least a shout-out here to acknowledge his existence.
"Tanaka" is the Japanese equivalent to "Smith" — not in the literal sense, but in terms of a very common family name which is easily used as an alias.
Yes, the name of the youma working the pet shop really was "Iguana". It's actually used at least once in the episode.
And why were there two youma at the shop instead of the one in canon? Because of Beryl's order at the end of the last chapter.
"The group's called 'Opium Moon' and they call that 'Caravan'."
You can listen to this piece here. Many thanks to prereader Rob Kelk for both the link and the scene he wrote for it.
Gracie, Ruth and Nina
As noted in the concordances for other DW stories, these are Kat and Dwimanor's two nieces and daughter, respectively.
the Alive Radio Edit 2007 version of "Harder Better Faster
Stronger" by Daft Punk.
A live version which incorporates some bits from a couple of their other songs. You can hear one version of it here.
you have one for day-to-day stuff, one for banking, and
one for big official paperwork
If you see personal seals in fanfiction at all, a character usually just has one and it's called a hanko. This isn't exactly accurate. Hanko is a generic term for just one kind of seal, that used for less formal purposes. In real life a person could have as many as four different seals depending on their needs, hence the three Luna received. The specific types that she got are called, in order, mitome-in, ginko-in and jitsuin. For more detail on their uses see (where else?) the relevant article at Wikipedia.
a ten-year Japanese passport
Your basic Japanese passports (for the average adult citizen) come in two types, based on how long they are valid: five years, and ten years.
how the modern calendar ran
Japan uses an odd mix of the Gregorian calendar like the West for months, weeks and days, plus year numbering based on "eras". These eras are synonymous with the reigns of the emperors. At the time the story takes place, the current era was Heisei, the reign of Akihito, which had started a bit more than three years before this scene when he took the throne in January 1989. (Thus making the Japanese year Heisei 3.) Luna's passport is (supposedly) five years old, which means its official issue date would likely have been some time in Showa 62.
an expiration date some two years hence on a blue background
Japanese driver's licenses are good for three years or five — five requires having no violations during one's previous license period. The background color for the date indicates something about the driver's experience — gold for the five-year no violations renewal; blue for normal drivers, and green for "new" drivers. The minimum driving age in Japan is 18, which means Luna's license is her first renewal, and her fictional self probably has a minor moving violation — not unlikely for a new driver — on record somewhere.
"class 1 ordinary" vehicle
Basically any typical private car smaller than a minivan. It also includes mopeds and certain special small vehicles that can't go faster than 15 miles per hour.
The next two cards certified her membership in various national
insurance plans — one for health, another for a pension.
Japan, like almost all First World nations, has had national health care for decades — since the 1960s. The "pension" insurance is the Japanese version of the United States' Social Security.
It'd be a pleasant change to walk into the gym
alongside Usagi instead of being smuggled in inside a handbag.
The pass she wangled in chapter two was for temporary visitor access, and only lasted the day.
an ingenious little clip made from a loop of stiff wire
Yes, a paper clip. Something the modern era has that the Silver Millennium didn't, or had long forgotten in favor of a dab of magic that acted like Post-It glue...
Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School ... Tokyo Metropolitan
University ... St. Luke's International Hospital in the Tsukiji district
of Chuo ward
All real institutions.
The first two characters of the name for Luna's presumably fictional human mother are 大河 ("taiga") — the rendering generally used to transliterate the English word "tiger".
"Mauno", it turns out (by coincidence; I hadn't done the research yet at the time), is a genuine if uncommon Finnish surname. It's basically the Finnish equivalent of "Magnus". "Lennert" is Finnish for "Leonard", which means "lion-strength" or "lion-hearted" (to keep up the feline theme, of course).
"Rikugun-Taisa" is the Japanese rank equivalent to "Colonel" in the old, Imperial-era army rank system; "taisa" is the actual rank, and "rikugun" is a prefix that just means "army". (Navy and Air Force officers have the same rank name, but different prefixes.) "Taisa" by itself, as best as I can determine from my research, is how it is used as an honorific.
"How did the Minato-kai find out his rank?" I hear you ask. In response I will merely smile and move on to the next gloss.
Literally "chivalrous organization(s)", this is the term that Yakuza groups use to refer to themselves.
luck and overwhelming power will only take you
so far if you don't know how to apply them right
A quote from chapter 28 of the fanfic Desperately Seeking Ranma, mentioned above.
No, I didn't start out intending to load this chapter with Ranma references, but I had a lot of stuff queued up that seemed to fit this chapter best.
Shito-ryu and Wado-ryu
These are actual martial arts styles. Shito-ryu is a variety of Okinawan karate created in the 1930s in an effort to synthesize several earlier Okinawan karate styles into a unified whole. It features a strong defensive element, and stresses speed. Wado-ryu is an older Japanese form, one of the four basic karate styles, and is almost a blend of karate and jujitsu; one of its key principles is a style of defense centered around evading attacks as well as guiding them away from their target.
An Israeli military martial art developed expressly for combat, and designed to be effective, efficient, and easily taught to new recruits. One of its really interesting features is maneuvers that are simultaneously defensive and offensive. Finishing a fight fast and decisively is a key principle. It also emphasizes situational awareness, and teaches how to accept and expand on one's instinctive responses to threats and stress.
Juban Municipal Junior High School
More properly, Kuritsu Juuban Chuugako, but I'm trying to avoid unnecessary and gratuitous Japanese. This is the canon name of Usagi's middle school, by the way, and unlike almost all the other schools mentioned so far in this story, it doesn't really exist.
One of many spellings for a Yiddish word meaning "a profoundly unlucky person".
Roppongi Hills Arena
A real arena/amphitheater currently to be found in Roppongi. Like some of the other locations I've been using, it didn't actually exist in 1992 — the Roppongi Hills complex only started construction in 2000 — but honestly, I can't find any record of an arena or amphitheater that existed within a short drive of Azabujuban in 1992 that might have been the inspiration for the one seen in episode 6. I'm sure there is (or was) one, I just haven't been able to find it with the English-language resources available to me. (Or maybe I'm just drastically underestimating how far Amade Yusuke drove himself and Usagi while fleeing from Kyurene in that episode.)
"The moonlight guides us to our destination, dear --
Time and again, we'll find each other
Counting the sparkles of the constellations,
Foretelling me the future of..."
A snippet from the middle of "Moonlight Densetsu" ("Moonlight Legend"), the theme for most every Sailor Moon TV show until the live action show in 2002. I found this particular translation on this page at Sailormusic.net; it was originally made by Viz Media for their dub.
The Shadow knows!
This is a reference that's old even for Doug, calling back to the old pulp magazine, radio, film and god knows what else franchise, The Shadow, whose catch phrase was, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"
the contractually-mandated minimum crew
Wherever the theater business is unionized, labor contracts frequently specify that a certain minimum number of stagehands, musicians, and whatnot must be hired for a given production. This is a usually a reasonable number based on the size of the stage and the theater. A large production with no union workers hired, and the local shop steward doesn't care? You betcha something weird is going on.
the Nakano Sun Plaza
A real building in Minato which is clearly the model for the Shanshan Plaza building in episode 7, as shown here. It probably goes without saying that Nakano Sun Plaza has a concert hall like the fictional Shanshan Plaza does.
Someone really needed to tell Shiratori's manager about Rebecca
Rebecca Schaeffer was a young actress murdered in 1989 by a deranged fan who had been stalking her for several years. He was able to get her home address from the California DMV through a private investigator for $250, rang her doorbell, and shot her point-blank when she opened the door. If you really want the whole sad story, you can find it, as always, at Wikipedia.
The magic word which transforms Billy Batson into the original Captain Marvel, for those unfamiliar with the DC comics and film universes.
"Open the Door" by Magnapop
Listen to/see it here. And yeah, it's not the cheeriest song.
the 885 kilometers between Tokyo and Furano
Straight-line distance, as the crow flies. Where Doug goes, he doesn't need roads.
the phrase 'angel of music'
A reference to the motivations of the Phantom of the Opera.
See my notes for the last chapter if you need a reminder about the way "sailor" becomes "sera" when passed through Japanese.
Could you get me a
box of that energy drink you've been advertising?
At the start of episode 7, the first time we see Mikan Shiratori is on a poster at the local drug store, where she's being the celebrity spokesperson for an energy drink.
the Hard Rock's "Pig Sandwich"
A barbecue pulled-pork sandwich that was one of the specialties of the house in 1992. They still have a "BBQ Pulled Pork" sandwich on their menu, but it's not quite the same dish, and the modern menu doesn't have the note that the 1992 menu does, that "If you've been to the Hard Rock and haven't had a 'Pig Sandwich', then you haven't been to the Hard Rock."
"I've got to find something better for my insomnia than
Mamoru attributing his semi-amnesiac nights as Tuxedo Mask to the well-known side effects of Ambien was half-seriously suggested to me by prereader Andrew Carr way back in 2016. This just seemed like the perfect place to use it. It's not entirely an anachronism, as Ambien was introduced in 1991.
A brevet is a temporary elevation in a soldier's rank, lasting for as long as the higher officer who granted it decides it's needed, after which the soldier returns to his original rank. Brevet ranks can sometimes become field promotions, which can become permanent if they get approval after the engagement in which they were granted.
Why "provisional"? Isn't that redundant? What Doug means here is that her very deputization is provisional, not the rank. While he's part of the Warriors command staff, such as it is, he can't actually make membership decisions unilaterally. What he's really doing here is effectively nominating Usagi for a limited Warriors membership, not making her a member outright. It will have to be confirmed by the other Warriors to be truly official.
Unlike the Minato-kai who used the old Imperial system to address Doug, Doug uses the different ranking system employed by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for Usagi. "Ichii", while basically meaning "one", is the common abbreviation used for the rank "Ittō rikui", which is functionally equivalent to "army captain" in the JSDF system.
And why doesn't Doug use the Maritime Self-Defense Force rank system? Because — at least as far as this story is concerned — the "sailor" part of "Sailor Senshi" is actually a false cognate to a Silver Millennium word and they were never a naval force. As has already been pointed out in the narrative — weren't you paying attention?
the Yebisu Garden, an arthouse cinema
Yet another real place. The little bit of history I've found for it suggests that while its current incarnation (as of this writing) only opened a few years ago (as of 2022), it's been going in and out of business for many years, and it appears to be the successor to an identically-named theatre that may have been there in 1992.
"So what did Agent 86 have to tell you tonight?"
"Agent 86" is, of course, a reference to bumbling spy Maxwell Smart from the TV series and later movies, Get Smart.
had the shpilkes
More Yiddish, of course, meaning roughly "in a state of agitation or worry".
An actual word, more or less, meaning "to guess the meaning of an unfamiliar word based on hearing its use in context". Although it originated earlier in a nonsense sentence crafted by David Moser to demonstrate how much information is transmitted by word position in a sentence, it was popularized by Douglas Hofstadter in a 1981 "Metamagical Themas" column for Scientific American and entered hacker jargon from there, which is where Doug (and I) picked it up.
The name I've given to a character seen a few times in the first season, a plump girl a full head or more shorter than Usagi (which, given that Usagi's only 4'11" (149cm) tall makes her an almost literal midget at about 4"/122cm). She has no official name in Japanese; the credits just call her "Usagi's Fat Friend" (!). The original North American dub called her "Loraine", from which I've derived the name I'm using for her.
"They say she has an IQ of 300!"
Amusingly, the Viz dub translates this line as "They say she has an IQ of OVER 9000!" Which is a bit of an in-joke for long-time anime fans. It's a reference to an infamous meme born of a quote from the English dub of Dragonball Z. Naturally, Wikipedia has the whole story.
"I guess we're going to cram school," Usagi said a determination
that surprised Luna. "And I know just *where* I'm going to cram
Believe it or not, this pun actually works in Japanese, mainly because the "cram" in "cram school" is a loanword from English, and retains its meaning — to forcefully push or shove something into a volume such that it is filled to overflowing.
a teal T-shirt with the legend "Yamato Transport" and a stylized
image of a black cat carrying a kitten in a yellow oval.
These are the name, colors and logo of an actual Japanese firm, in business since 1919. Usagi would certainly be as familiar with it as any American kid is with UPS (its trademarked name for door-to-door service was even used — with its permission — in the original Japanese title of the Studio Ghibli film Kiki's Delivery Service). And the black cat logo just gives her bonus fuel for teasing Luna later.
Special thanks to prereader Rob Kelk for suggesting this company instead of the generic "All-Tokyo Courier Service" I had originally used.
"Karite" means "reaper" or "harvester". Subtle, the Dark Kingdom is not.
It held up its left arm, which to Ami's horror
twisted and warped and turned into an axe blade so tall it
pushed up the panels of the drop ceiling overhead.
If you watch this episode, you'll note that in youma form, Garoben is easily a good seven or eight feet tall, and somehow manages to raise its ax-arm, whose tip is at least another two or more feet above that, above its head without any indication that the ceiling gets in the way. I don't buy that at all.
Garoben freed itself, then spun and threatened
a nearby computer as if it were Ami-chan.
In episode 8 we see this moment from another point of view entirely, and in it — apparently using a power we don't ever see again — Sailor Mercury projects an image of herself over one of the computers, prompting Garoben to strike it and get her ax-arm stuck long enough for Sailor Moon to waste her.
hair in a traditional "princess" style
Also known as a "Hime cut", this is a very traditional Japanese style in which the hair is worn very long, except for bangs trimmed straight across just above the eyebrows and sidelocks of cheek or shoulder length. In Japanese media, it is worn by the women of very traditional, powerful and/or rich families.
In Sailor Moon, Rei has her hair in a basic hime style.
"Lead on, MacDuff."
Yes, yes, the proper quote is "Lay on, MacDuff". But as I've noted several times in the concordances for other Steps, the misquote has become a quote in its own right over the years.
Ami violently quashed an unseemly surge of jealousy at the
thought that Usagi/Moon had *two* father figures in her life
For those unfamiliar with Sailor Moon, Ami comes from a single-parent family, being raised as a latchkey kid by her mother, who is a doctor. Her father is an itinerant artist, and the two separated when Ami was quite young; she rarely if ever sees him.
Literally "president", as the real-world organization on which the Minato-kai is based styles itself a labor union. But it is functionally equivalent to "Godfather" or "Boss".
House of Louksnae
"Louksnae" (actually "louksna" with a long "A") is a word for "moon" in Proto-Indo-European (PIE). Proto-Indo-European is the theoretical ancestor tongue spoken during the late Stone Age through the Early Bronze Age, from which a large number of European and near-Asian languages are believed to have descended. It's been "reconstructed" over the last two centuries or so by the meticulous comparison of multiple modern languages and applying the known rules by which languages mutate, running them backwards and extrapolating common "root words" that they could have all evolved from, as well as the grammar used with them. As the ancient language, it's a more-than-reasonable choice for an intermediate tongue between that of the prehistoric Earth and Moon kingdoms and those languages spoken at the beginning of recorded history, or even as the Kingdoms' language itself.
I've been employing Academia Prisca's automatic Proto-Indo-European dictionary-translator to find the terms I'll be using as the language of the Moon Kingdom. Don't expect anything more complicated than the occasional word, however, because I haven't yet gotten my head wrapped around PIE's rather complicated grammar and syntax. And also because there really isn't a lot of PIE vocabulary to do anything with.
speculated that it was not a self-contained computer at all, but
a remote terminal and sensor pod for a much larger system hidden
elsewhere in the Solar System.
This is explicitly the case in the manga. The anime implies it's self-contained but doesn't actually say so.
And it does look like there's some kind of line
of energy shooting off along the zorth axis, doesn't it?
"Zorth" is a term that originally came from the comic book Atomic Robo but has migrated into a lot of other works. In Atomic Robo it's a notional "fifth cardinal direction" Robo came up with when he had some ... dimensional problems. It's since been used elsewhere as both a dimension and a direction when discussing things that are not simply three-space-and-one-time-dimensional, especially when magic is involved.
Some kind of training aid, maybe?
This is an explicit tip of the hat to the story Relatively Absent by Mark "Togashi Gaijin" Shurtleff (mentioned above), which I believe was the first fic to speculate that the "naked whirly light show" the Senshi go through to transform was in fact intended to motivate them to master the transformation and turn it into an instant, done-with-a-thought thing.
If you've never done it the genuine Japanese home cooking way, sukiyaki can be a lot of fun. Getting a takeout container of sukiyaki from a restaurant — or even a bowl at a sit-down place — may give you the basic flavor, but you miss out on the experience, which some (including me) say improves the taste in proportion to the company and the fun.
New New York Club Azabujuban
A real place that does in fact make — according to my sources — some of the best bagels you can find in Tokyo, with genuine New York bagel shop flavor and mouthfeel. Despite Doug's assertion it is the "best and only" place to get NY-style bagels in Tokyo, there are actually several such places, including at least one whose native Japanese owner actually trained at a kosher bakery on the Lower East Side in Manhattan before coming back to Tokyo to open his own.
a full British fry-up
I cover this in some detail in the Concordance to Drunkard's Walk VIII, but to sum it up quickly here, it's a traditional British breakfast, now generally relegated to weekends because of the amount of prep time it requires, in which all manner of food items including bread, mushrooms and tomatoes, along with selected leftovers from the previous evening's dinner, are all fried together and served as one massive pile.
The occasional peal of thunder rolled outside
Sunday, May 24, 1992 was in fact a rainy, thunderstormy day in Tokyo.
And there is only one thing we say to Death — *Not Today*.
Yes, I suppose this does mean that somewhere in an undocumented stop early in the Walk Doug ended up in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones long enough to meet Syrio Forel.
Strangely, her soft voice reminded me of both Lisa and
Which is because all three were performed by the same voice actress in the original Japanese: Aya Hisakawa.
magic is simply the art of getting results.
This is a quotation from someone identified only as "Michael" in Margot Adler's 1986 book on neopaganism, Drawing Down The Moon.
a restaurant only a couple blocks from my apartment
This unnamed establishment is based on an actual restaurant in the Azabujuban area which really is located on a back street a few blocks from where I located Doug's apartment. It's a place called "Kadowaki" which serves traditional Japanese-style multi-course meals with unexpected European influences, according to the reviews I've read. It does in fact have two stars from Michelin, is considered one of the best restaurants in Tokyo, and is pretty much exactly as I've described it. It didn't actually exist in 1992 — chef Toshiya Kadowaki only opened it in 2000 — but it's such an interesting place that I decided to use it as the model for the restaurant chosen by Dr. Mizuno.
A term describing a traditional multi-course Japanese meal, exquisitely prepared and plated, and descending from the kind of meals once served exclusively to members of the aristocracy and upper classes. It's inevitably beautiful, delicious, and terribly, terribly expensive — and not just expensive, but the kind of meal you order and pay for in advance, because it takes that much time and effort to prepare, and if you cancel your reservation, they don't want to be out the costs of the ingredients and labor. It's dinner as an art form — which is why it's such a pity that Dr. Mizuno treats it with no more thought than a burger from a fast food place.
In my interpretation, Dr. Mizuno expects the best, but is often far too focused to actually enjoy it.
The first course of a kaiseki dinner, usually a cold appetizer.
I escorted her to the door, and we went our separate ways.
No, she neither stuck Doug with the check nor did they both walk out without paying for it — kaiseki meals, as I noted above, are paid for in advance.
a persistent motif of bunnies
This detail is more from the live action series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and the reboot anime Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal than from the original anime, but I liked it, so why not? And if you saw PGSM and are asking "a bunny motif? Where?", well, there was a behind-the-scenes special released early on, possibly before the show's premiere, and in one part Miyuu Sawai (Usagi's actress) led the viewers through a tour of Usagi's bedroom. As part of it she pointed out every rabbit hidden or in plain sight as an on-screen counter kept tally. She ended by finally pointing at herself. If I recall correctly, there was something close to a hundred bunnies, even without counting her.
"Shiratori Mikan-chan had them send me a case
because we helped out on a problem with her talent show."
Yes, that means Usagi shared her true identity with Mikan.
Shingo never took his eyes off of her during
the entire meal except the one time she smiled at him, when he
blushed and looked away.
Shingo's canonical crush on Ami manifests even earlier here.
"Assuming a proposed theory of quantum gravity which predicts a
spin-2 massless messenger particle that follows the constraints
of the Weinberg-Witten theorem..."
I'm not up to writing the rest of that question, not being Doug, but I can certainly mine yet another Wikipedia article for the right terminology to make its beginning at the least plausible.
One of her first instructors had told her, "you don't *speak* English,
you *sing* it";
This is very real advice to native speakers of many foreign languages, not just Japanese. But speakers of Asian languages in particular, including Japanese, find the combination of English's slower pronunciation, more complicated phonetics, casual elision from sound to sound and much wider range of pitch, combined with how much meaning is carried by tone, all make it sound quite literally musical to their ears. Japanese by comparison is both very staccato and very "stiff", phonetically, and is spoken far more rapidly with almost no stresses or pitch changes.
the way English was built out of half-syllables
Most of my readers will already know this, but for those who don't, Japanese is a syllabic language — where English is built out of 44 fundamental phonemes, individual sounds like "r" or "o", Japanese is built instead out of about 100 syllables (actually elements called "morae", but let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be). More than half of this set are consonant-vowel pairs like "ke", "tsu" or "yo". There are also five stand-alone vowels, one stand-alone consonant (a nasal "n"), and the remainder are consonant-plus-"y"-plus-vowel (like the "kyo" in "Tokyo"). So in order for a native speaker of Japanese to form English words, at least at first, they string together the closest-sounding Japanese syllables.
This works kind of okay for the shortest words, but the longer the
words get, the more extra sounds end up creeping in — the classic
example is "Smith" becoming "Sumisu". Which is also an example of another
problem for Japanese speakers of English — sounds that English has
(like "th", "f" or "x") which have no counterparts in the Japanese
syllabary and need to be represented with whatever Japanese
mora comes closest (which sometimes isn't very close at all, such as when
"su" is used for "th").
Anyway, Ami knows intellectually that her English pronunciation is basically an approximation; it's in this conversation with Doug that she finally grasps just how imperfect that approximation is. And if you think this isn't being fair to Ami, well... there is at least one episode where she speaks a bit of English: "Usagi Dancing to the Waltz", the nineteenth episode of the third season of the original Sailor Moon anime (AKA Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S). Upon meeting the guest star of the episode, a British fellow by the name of Edwards, Ami manages to get out a stilted "I'm glad to see you", pronouncing it with some odd stress and emphasis, not to mention it's an unusual phrase to greet a stranger with. (Interestingly, Minako's "Nice to meet you" moments before sounds the most natural of all the Senshi's greetings to the English-speaking ear, which makes sense given how much time she spent in Great Britain.) The best estimate puts this episode somewhere around two years after the "current" date in DW-S, suggesting that Ami's progress in conversational English was not up to par with her other academic achievements.
Doug's intervention is going to change that, of course.
It also doesn't help that your teachers are training you to pass your
entrance exams, not communicate with English speakers.
This is, unfortunately, very true both now and in the early 1990s. It doesn't matter if the student can't make him- or herself understood to an American or Brit, as long as they get good marks on the standardized tests.
chattering away nineteen to the dozen
A (mainly) British idiom that Doug's picked up over the years, which basically means talking very quickly without stopping.
The eight-lane road that runs north-south over the underground portion and alongside the aboveground parts of the Azabujuban station and the railway it serves. It also anchors the eastern end of the Azabujuban shopping street. For the purposes of the story I have situated Ami's apartment in the same location as a real-world luxury high-rise apartment tower less than three blocks south of the OSA-P store, which is also located on Azabu-don Avenue.
Your condo wasn't terribly out of my way.
True. The location I've set for Ami's building is a few blocks east of the Tsukino home, while Doug's place is a fair distance to the west.
AKA "beef bowl", this is a quick and simple meal of sauteed onions and thinly-sliced beef served in a savory sauce over rice, garnished with sliced scallions and shreds of pickled ginger. It's basically the Japanese fast food, and no few manga/anime characters consider it their favorite dish.
"Why does everyone think I'm dating Motoki?"
You know, I'm not making this up out of wholecloth. The anime actually has cat!Luna get all starry-eyed the first time she meets Motoki. Is it so much harder to believe at least a little attraction and friendship if she meets him in human form instead?
'This Time Radio Mix'
A song from 2006 by the Swiss recording artist DJ Antoine. There are multiple versions of this song — he's remixed and re-recorded it many times in the sixteen years since it was first released (as of this writing), but this particular version was the first of them I heard and thus the one that stuck with me.
Many thanks to DW Forums member "Dakota" for suggesting this song to me way back in 2011. I didn't use it in quite the way they envisioned, but I don't think they'd be upset with me.
the gibbous Earth ... the sun having set
The phase of the Moon on May 26, 1992 was a waning crescent. This means most of the near face of the moon — specifically the seas of Tranquility and Serenity, between which the city is placed — is in darkness as it's almost a new moon. On the other hand, the Earth from the city would be growing full, probably almost so.
until I turned to take off after her that I realized that the
gravity here was practically Earth-normal, instead of the
one-sixth of a G with which I was familiar and which I'd been
I actually started writing a version of this passage with normal lunar gravity, and Luna and Doug bouncing across the landscape and through the ruins, but then I thought about it. There is considerable canon evidence that the area in and around Serenity's palace had/has earth-standard gravity or something close to it: Luna — subjectively only a few hours after the fall of the Moon Kingdom — has no problems with Earth gravity on her awakening; the flashbacks to the fall of the Silver Millennium show that the visiting Earth folk had no problems moving around, nor did they bounce uncontrollably; and in the sequence where the Senshi visit the moon and speak with an image of Serenity, the girls' movements clearly show that they're they in normal gravity as far as they're concerned.
Yeah, this is probably because the animators simply forgot about or actively ignored the lunar gravity. But I don't have that luxury.
As to the why of this that Doug wonders about? In at least one continuity, it is explicitly made clear that Serenity and her people are not native to the moon, but in fact came from outside the Solar System and settled there. Given that they weren't terribly different in appearance and size from Earth humans, it seems likely they evolved on a world similar to Earth, and that means similar gravity.
A single line of arches remained intact for all of ten or fifteen
meters. Another, solitary, arch stood, not quite touching, at a
right angle to it. Other than that, destruction. A few fluted
columns of marble still stood, broken off barely three or four
meters above their bases; far more were toppled entirely. The
missing pieces — stubs and fragments anywhere from a meter to
five times that in length — lay scattered about ... To one side
an almost complete column lay canted at an angle, propped up on
another that lay catty-corner on a low wall at one end and next to
the stub of its base at the other.
This location is described exactly as it appears in a flashback in episode 44 of the first season.
It is *not* a '<moon stick>', damn it all!
It's the ... The Crescent. Moon. *Wand!*"
This is a bit of a mythology joke for fans of Sailor Moon. This item is pretty much a short magic wand with a big (6 inches/15 centimeters) crescent moon on one end and in the original Japanese versions of Sailor Moon it's called ムーン・スティック — transliterated into Roman characters, that's "muun sutikku".
Yeah. Moon stick.
Well, every English translation apparently decided that that was seriously lame. Starting with the DiC dub from the 1990s, it's almost always been called some variation on "The Crescent Moon Wand", which is what I've gone with, and I'm blaming Serenity's slightly-wonky "Rosetta Stone" spell for the lame English. Then again, as Doug points out a moment later, "wand" originally meant "stick", so the spell isn't being lame for the sake of being lame.
the Four, the Other Four and even The Boss
In order: The Maiden, the Warrior, the Mother and the Crone; the Rover, the Guardian, the Hunter and the Guide; and if you need to be told who The Boss is...
the song I used to
dig the grave briefly turned me into a Tolkien-style dwarf
Yeah, "Diggy Diggy Hole". The Wind Rose cover, though, not the original version by YOGSCAST. Because it's both more awesome and (more importantly for Doug) longer.
To make the monument, that was Fall Out Boy's "Centuries".
it had turned out thunderstormy
The weather in Tokyo on Saturday May 30, 1992 was rain and thunderstorms, with a high temperature of 65 degrees F and 54-91% humidity. So yeah.
Ramua ... Grendaur and Micse
Ramua is the canonical name for the youma appearing in episode 9. The other two... not so much.
"This," I said mostly to myself, "is entirely too convenient to
be believable." I wondered for a moment if my field was
responsible, and if so, how.
It's not his field, and it is too convenient to be believable, but that's how it played out in the episode, too.
<System. Load song 'Pushed Again'. Play song.>
"Pushed Again" by Die Toten Hosen, a German punk band. (Warning: that video contains some very disturbing real-world imagery.) The song is off their 1998 album Crash Landing. It was suggested to me in my forums all the way back in 2003 by long-time member Valles. I'm not using it exactly as he suggested, but it's not too far off.
the ghostly Dali-esque melting clock faces
Even if you don't know the title, you've almost certainly seen it. Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory is the famous painting with all the melting clocks. (Wikipedia, ho.) Similar imagery appeared in episode nine, which is especially appropriate, as Dali intended the melting clocks to be a symbol of the relativity of space and time and the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order — both of which certainly apply to Ramua's lair.
*Is that a... red cocktail dress she's wearing?*
Yes, yes it is. Why? No one knows but the animators of the series.
The person or persons who called themselves "3 A.M. Again" were
an independent, online-only musical act
And that they are. And like Doug, I can't find out anything about them except that they have Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Spotify pages, and they're recorded a lot of songs. The particular song Doug employs, "I'll Go Where I'm Needed", can (theoretically) be heard on BandCamp here. However, I should note that in between the time I first wrote that gloss and when I released the chapter, 3 A.M. Again appears to have purged most of its music from the Net -- its Soundcloud and YouTube channels have been emptied out. A few things yet remain on Bandcamp and Spotify, but given what happened on other sites, there's no guarantee they'll stay up.
orange-gold energy spearhead that it had so very rarely manifested
since I'd nearly killed Marller with it all those years ago
During the events of Drunkard's Walk V.
"Brilliant/blazing light" in Latin.
...Velgarth. I had certainly learned my lesson there, in that keep
on the Hardorn border...
During the events of the as-yet unwritten Drunkard's Walk I.
the video game 'Dig Dug'
A 1980s-vintage cabinet game, in which the player must tunnel underground and defeat a corps of fire-breathing dragon-like critters by luring them under buried boulders or — more relevant to this instance — by inflating them with an air pump until they explode.
The University of Tokyo, the most selective and prestigious university in Japan.
At the lowest point of the Vampire War back home, Maggie was
Yes, this happened in the game — and without warning to any of us, least of all my wife Peggy, who (as I've mentioned elsewhere) played Shadowwalker. She had complained of feeling underpowered as Shadowwalker when compared to the other Warriors, and the GM of the time decided to address her complaints by (almost) turning Shadowwalker into a vampire. It upset everyone, not just Peggy, and was a major contributing factor to a change in GM not long afterward. Joe and I then worked up the cure as described in the text.
Kansas' "Hopelessly Human"
From their 1977 album Point of Know Return. If you've never heard it, here's a handy link.
Manowar's "Call to Arms"
From their 2002 album Warriors of the World. Here's another handy link.
This establishment appears to be located on the Azabujuban shopping street and is seen in at least one episode early in Sailor Moon; Usagi stands near it long enough for the sign to be clearly read. It would be interesting to find out if it corresponded to an actual pizzeria, but I haven't been able to find any kind of comprehensive listing (or photos) of the shops and stores on the street during the period in which the show is set.
Maybe they changed the design
after the mural was painted to make you look less threatening or
A tip of the hat to Ozzallos' Heir to the Empire where the sailor suits were both an upgrade and a P.R. move intended to make the Senshi look more like champions of love and justice and less like Serenity's jackbooted thugs.
she threw her car into the first hairpin turn out of the straightaway
at the northeastern end of the track
Fuji International Speedway (FSW) is a very real track used for major racing events, and the descriptions I'm giving of its various turns and sections are taken directly from Google Maps, which has a helpful Street View record of the entire track so you can see it from the driver's perspective.
The Speedway also has its own YouTube channel, where you can see videos of past races.
900,000 yen for an hour on the track
FSW rents out its main track (and the various smaller tracks around it) for exorbitant rates when it's not booked for anything else. According to its website, an hour on the main track (as I write this in 2021) costs Ą859,200 on a Sunday, plus an additional Ą22,000 per hour for pit access (which Haruka has also paid for). Adjusting for inflation to convert that into 1992 yen doesn't actually make a lot of difference. So yeah, she's basically spent about US$9,000 for an hour of proving herself to be a serious contender and getting "known".
And how can Haruka afford that? This is a girl whose parents own a helicopter she can use on short notice, after all... The Tenoh family is apparently not just filthy rich, but practically mud-caked with money.
she shot through the Speedway's East Gate,
and a moment later jogged left then right to get onto Yamabuki
street. She barely slowed down to the speed limit as she roared
through Tanagashira, but she knew she had to get to Route 246
To the extent that I actually say where she is, you could follow her every inch of the way on Google Maps. Route 246 is the primary east-west superhighway in the area, for instance, although she won't be on it for the whole trip.
And why is she on a motorcycle instead of just dramatically driving off the track and onto the road? Well, basically, she's only sixteen or so here, she's too young for an auto license under Japanese law (she doesn't need one to race, but she does need one for street driving). But she isn't too young for a motorcycle license. (Not to mention her race car isn't street-legal; the first cop she passes would pull her over.) Plus, Haruka's motorcycle is canon.
the Chuo-Sobu line
A genuine commuter rail line near Nakano Sun Plaza, the building which is the obvious inspiration for Shanshan Plaza.
For those who don't recognize the word, this is the Americanized spelling of the German/Yiddish lachs. Literally it means just "salmon", but in this context refers to any of several varieties of smoked salmon which have long been considered delicacies by Jewish communities and which are a traditional and favorite accompaniment to cream cheese on bagels whether you're Jewish or not. (Unless, like me, you don't like fish and prefer your bagels heavily buttered anyway.)
For Doug to forget the lox when part-time cat Luna is a member of the group he was buying for is no small faux pas. Even if he does claim to have an aversion to even seeing it thanks to his brief time working as a production assistant at his father's studio in his teens (as mentioned in chapter two).
the shrine across the street
The Hiroo Inari-jinja Shrine, located to the southwest of the park. It's not literally across the street, but it's close enough for government work — and more than a block closer than a certain other shrine we'll be seeing shortly.
In the words of the immortal Dr. Peter Venkman, "Important safety tip!"
From the original Ghostbusters, when the reason not to cross the beams is explained.
"In just a few minutes you'll never have to worry about your injuries
This is where it's really obvious that I'm using the manga version of Hotaru instead of the anime version. In the anime, the explosion that occurred when the Daimon Germatoid possessed Souichi Tomoe killed Hotaru outright, and her possession by Mistress 9 immediately thereafter brought her back. In the manga, Tomoe deliberately implanted Mistress 9 into his injured-but-not-killed daughter, as is about to happen here.
Lead singer of the band Manowar.
Gate of Time
This is, as far as I can determine, exclusively a fan/fanfic usage. The original Japanese is Jiku no tobira (時空の扉), which translates literally as "Space-Time Door" (alternately translated as "Door of Time and Space" in the dub of Sailor Moon R). However, I'm going with the "Gate of Time" because that phrase has a certain gravitas that the literal translation lacks for me.
high-waisted, Empire-style gown
Also called the "Empire Silhouette" and "Empire line", among other terms with the word "empire" in them. Wikipedia is, as always, your friend if you want more info.
Hip armor, basically. A classic suit of plate armor has one tasset on each side, attached by belts around the waist. Normally they are form-fitting, following the shape of the upper thigh. Endymion's armor, however, has a pair that kind of stick out to either side (and come to a point; regular tassets are usually straight across the bottom where they overlap the leg armor that Endymion doesn't have) — see here. They're also sky blue for some reason.
Pauldrons on the shoulders, and
cuirasses surmounted by bows, vambraces on their forearms and
greaves over their boots
These are all classic pieces of plate armor, some of which have been used since the days of Ancient Greece. Although the passage should be clear enough, pauldrons are like armored shoulder pads, cuirasses are basically torso/chest armor, vambraces wrap around most of the forearm, and greaves guard the shins (and depending on the design, the knees as well).
The classic "gladiator skirt".
"Soldier of Flame and Passion, I am Guardian Mars!" ...
"Mine is the planet of silence. Soldier of ruin and birth, I am
These little introductory speeches are amalgamations of things the Senshi actually say in the various different continuities, including Crystal and the live-action version, cherry-picked and then massaged for specific use here.
All the Senshi are supposed to have individual "castles" — more like ornate, luxurious space stations — orbiting their respective planets, but only a few were explicitly named. Those that were usually got the name of the planet's moon (or if it had more than one, one of the larger moons).
Coming soon: Chapter Five!