Is Naru not a very popular character?

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Neon Genesis

Luna Crescens
Oct 31, 2015
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#2
I can't speak for Japanese fandom but Naru at least seems pretty popular in Western fandom and I remember the 90s anime character designer, Kazuko Tadano, saying Naru was her favorite character in an interview in Animerica magazine a long time ago. Naru was phased out of the anime because she served her purpose in the storyline and they couldn't think of anything else to use her for. Sailor Stars was already becoming a crowded season with too many characters to focus on, so they had to cut out the minor characters to give the new characters more screen time.
 
Sep 10, 2012
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The Void
#4
She appears in the Stars are of the manga though, so they at least should have given her her obligatory victim of the day episode. Then at least we would have gotten Naru as a Sailor Soldier, even if just as a Phage
I recall Moon Sticks having one of her comics have Naru reappear in Stars because, for once, she wanted to be the victim of the week and have a chance at being a Sailor Soldier.
 
Dec 11, 2015
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#6
She appears in the Stars are of the manga though, so they at least should have given her her obligatory victim of the day episode. Then at least we would have gotten Naru as a Sailor Soldier, even if just as a Phage
I recall Moon Sticks having one of her comics have Naru reappear in Stars because, for once, she wanted to be the victim of the week and have a chance at being a Sailor Soldier.
Where's Naru-chan? Part II | Sailor Moon Doujinshi/Comics - MoonSticks


[Edited by KnM to remove direct-linked image]
 
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MariaTenebre

Luna Crescens
Jul 22, 2009
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#7
She appears in the Stars are of the manga though, so they at least should have given her her obligatory victim of the day episode. Then at least we would have gotten Naru as a Sailor Soldier, even if just as a Phage
Actually I am happy that Naru was not a victim of the day in Stars that way she can still be made into a Sailor Senshi in fanfiction. However I would have definitely liked her to appear in Sailor Stars just not as a Phage so that fans of Naru as a Sailor Senshi can still feasibly make her into ones in their fanfictions.
 

BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#8
If Naru was a Sailor Senshi she would have been discovered by Luna a looong time ago as being attacked would have triggered her planet symbol like it did Ami and Rei. Also BEHOLD USAGI'S BEST FRIEND IS ALSO A SAILOR SENSHI! Is one of the laziest plot threads fanfic writers come up with. It's up there with Sailor Earth (which usually goes hand and hand with it )and Usagi leaves Mamoru for Seiya Why can't Usagi's best normal friend just be.....normal?



As for the OP, I don't think Naru being slowly phased out and then dropped entirely has anything to do with popularity or lack thereof and more to do with she was created so Usagi would have a friend group and once the Sailor Team formed she was kind of no longer needed or something. The phasing out of Naru pretty much corresponds with the forming of the Senshi.

In the Usagi-Solo episodes she's pretty prominent (as much as she could be when she doesn't know the secret) then in the first episode after Ami's debut she only appears at the very end. In the first episode after Rei's debut the, the Dreamland episode, it's the first episode she doesn't appear at all for the first time. But from the first episode of the series to the last episode of the Senshi trio of Moon, Mercury, and Mars she appears in 20 of the 24 episodes being incredibly important to the latter half of the Nephrite episodes due to the whole relationship with Nephrite/Masato thing.

But I think Naru still being kind of important even outside of the subplot with Masato can be contributed to Usagi not being that friendly with Rei (and Rei not going to their school) so Usagi could still have someone to talk to at school besides Ami.

But from the time Jupiter debuts to the last episode before Venus? Naru only appears in, iirc, 3 of the 8 episodes (can't remember if she was in the Ryo episode during the volleyball scene but if she was it was a non-speaking cameo.) With her absence only being justified in Jupiter's debut since was was avoiding going out at that time.

And then from Venus's debut (and the official forming of the main Sailor Team) to the end of the classic series she's only in 3 of the last 14 episodes. (the salon episode, the princesses episode, and the fake Senshi fall out episode)

And then in the Makai Tree arc she appears in 7 of the 13 episodes.

Then she's only in like what 2 episodes of the Black Moon arc? And of course only gets 1 episode in both S and SuperS
 
Jun 30, 2010
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www.smcx.me
#9
I agree with you for the most part, but I want to address one point.

If Naru was a Sailor Senshi she would have been discovered by Luna a looong time ago as being attacked would have triggered her planet symbol like it did Ami and Rei. Also BEHOLD USAGI'S BEST FRIEND IS ALSO A SAILOR SENSHI! Is one of the laziest plot threads fanfic writers come up with. It's up there with Sailor Earth (which usually goes hand and hand with it )and Usagi leaves Mamoru for Seiya Why can't Usagi's best normal friend just be.....normal?
While I think it's good for Naru to be normal, there are two reasons why fans gravitate toward making her special.
  1. She's positioned centrally in not only the Usagi-solo episodes, but in the entire first half of Classic even after Ami and Rei come along. The anime invests a lot more time in her character to the point where it comes across as odd when she's dropped.
  2. In this series, there isn't much that a normal character can do. It isn't as if Sailor Guardians have a special weakness that normal people lack and can save the day to be their mundane selves.
There is also a big hint in the Nephrite arc that she's something more when Nephrite's crystal reacts to her love. Yes, her love is that strong, but why her love? There is groundwork laid for Naru to do something beyond be a victim...which is conveniently ignored.

I know she loses her narrative function when Usagi's friend collection grows, but it also raises the issue of why did Usagi break away from her normal friends to hang out with her new superpowered friends. As flawed as making Naru a Guardian is, it is at least an attempt to counter the idea that only the special people should hang out with the special people. That Sailor Moon is best friends with her past-life guardians actually works against the whole point of Sailor Moon overcoming her past tragedies and past life to live a present one and make a better future one.

Personally, I'm surprised more fans don't go the "Ron the Death Eater" route and make Naru into an outright antagonist. I believe a natural development for Naru would be to not only discover that Usagi is Sailor Moon, but to be hurt and betrayed to the point where a villain could corrupt her and override the common sense aspect of said revelation ("Usagi being Sailor Moon means she saved your life!") to have her focus on the negative ("Usagi has no time for people like you.") and force her into a fight. Then Usagi becoming Sailor Moon would mean she would ultimately face the prospect of destroying who she saved to take on the mantle. Even if it were happily resolved, that the question would be raised would be slightly different from "Do past tragedies have to repeat themselves?" or "Does being a Sailor Guardian mean I never stop fighting?" but "WHO am I fighting for?"
 
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MariaTenebre

Luna Crescens
Jul 22, 2009
4,746
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#10
If Naru was a Sailor Senshi she would have been discovered by Luna a looong time ago as being attacked would have triggered her planet symbol like it did Ami and Rei. Also BEHOLD USAGI'S BEST FRIEND IS ALSO A SAILOR SENSHI! Is one of the laziest plot threads fanfic writers come up with. It's up there with Sailor Earth (which usually goes hand and hand with it )and Usagi leaves Mamoru for Seiya Why can't Usagi's best normal friend just be.....normal?



As for the OP, I don't think Naru being slowly phased out and then dropped entirely has anything to do with popularity or lack thereof and more to do with she was created so Usagi would have a friend group and once the Sailor Team formed she was kind of no longer needed or something. The phasing out of Naru pretty much corresponds with the forming of the Senshi.

In the Usagi-Solo episodes she's pretty prominent (as much as she could be when she doesn't know the secret) then in the first episode after Ami's debut she only appears at the very end. In the first episode after Rei's debut the, the Dreamland episode, it's the first episode she doesn't appear at all for the first time. But from the first episode of the series to the last episode of the Senshi trio of Moon, Mercury, and Mars she appears in 20 of the 24 episodes being incredibly important to the latter half of the Nephrite episodes due to the whole relationship with Nephrite/Masato thing.

But I think Naru still being kind of important even outside of the subplot with Masato can be contributed to Usagi not being that friendly with Rei (and Rei not going to their school) so Usagi could still have someone to talk to at school besides Ami.

But from the time Jupiter debuts to the last episode before Venus? Naru only appears in, iirc, 3 of the 8 episodes (can't remember if she was in the Ryo episode during the volleyball scene but if she was it was a non-speaking cameo.) With her absence only being justified in Jupiter's debut since was was avoiding going out at that time.

And then from Venus's debut (and the official forming of the main Sailor Team) to the end of the classic series she's only in 3 of the last 14 episodes. (the salon episode, the princesses episode, and the fake Senshi fall out episode)

And then in the Makai Tree arc she appears in 7 of the 13 episodes.

Then she's only in like what 2 episodes of the Black Moon arc? And of course only gets 1 episode in both S and SuperS
Not necessarily for one if Naru is a Senshi she might not be one of Sailor Moon's Senshi but a Senshi in another team. Also sometimes certain Senshi are slower to awake then others. There is nothing wrong with making Naru into a Senshi in a person's fanfiction as nothing contradicts this. Also she could even still feasibly be a Sailor Senshi in Sailor Moon's team as there were many Moons of the planets without Senshi along with many new planets out there. After all Phobos and Deimos were said to be Sailor Senshi in training and did not awaken fully in Sailor Stars but were said to have Sailor Crystals.
 

BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#11
There is nothing wrong with making Naru into a Senshi in a person's fanfiction as nothing contradicts this.
Of course there's nothing wrong with making Naru a Senshi anymore than there's anything wrong with having Usagi end up with Seiya in fanfiction. Or having a Sailor Earth. It's not wrong. It's just boring, lame, and cliche. Why can't Usagi's best normal friend just....be normal.

I'd argue of all the times Naru was attacked something should have triggered her awakening is contradicting enough.
 

MariaTenebre

Luna Crescens
Jul 22, 2009
4,746
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#12
Of course there's nothing wrong with making Naru a Senshi anymore than there's anything wrong with having Usagi end up with Seiya in fanfiction. Or having a Sailor Earth. It's not wrong. It's just boring, lame, and cliche. Why can't Usagi's best normal friend just....be normal.

I'd argue of all the times Naru was attacked something should have triggered her awakening is contradicting enough.
No these other things like Usagi ending up with Seiya or having a Sailor Earth contradict the continuity as Usagi loves Mamoru only and only sees Seiya as a friend and Tuxedo Mask takes the place of a Sailor Earth. There is nothing contradicting the idea of Naru being a Sailor Senshi. Again certain Senshi take longer to awaken then others I all ready mentioned Phobos and Deimos.
 

Prince Rose

Usagi's Rose
Staff member
Site Admin
Sep 13, 2008
20,518
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in my aesthetic
#13
I can't speak for the fandom but I can speak for myself :

I always liked her especially in the 90s anime I shipped her with nephrite and yeah haters gonna hate yadda yadda yadda, besides that she's the original bestie to Usagi and seeing them still be friends after the inners came in was nice though her appearances declined arc by arc, I just wish Stars had her and Umino, maybe have them purpose or something like that.

as for the whole naru as a senshi fan idea I'm indifferent to it but ultimately prefer her as a human best friend to Usagi, if anything I just want her to outright see Usagi transform and save her and the secret of knowing her identity brings them closer as friends and that close bond helps Usagi grow as a person and as a senshi.
 
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May 1, 2015
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Pikari-gaoka
sparklyheartsdiana.tumblr.com
#14
but ultimately prefer her as a human best friend to Usagi, if anything I just want her to outright see Usagi transform and save her and the secret of knowing her identity brings them closer as friends and that close bond helps Usagi grow as a person and as a senshi.
Like in PGSM Act 41 w/o the Princess Sailor Moon thing?
 
Likes: Prince Rose
Oct 1, 2017
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#16
Personally, I'm surprised more fans don't go the "Ron the Death Eater" route and make Naru into an outright antagonist. I believe a natural development for Naru to not only discover that Usagi is Sailor Moon, but to be hurt and betrayed to the point where a villain could corrupt her and override the common sense aspect of said revelation ("Usagi being Sailor Moon means she saved your life!") to have her focus on the negative ("Usagi has no time for people like you.") and force her into a fight. Then Usagi becoming Sailor Moon would mean she would ultimately face the prospect of destroying who she saved to take on the mantle. Even if it were happily resolved, that the question would be raised would be slightly different from "Do past tragedies have to repeat themselves?" or "Does being a Sailor Guardian mean I never stop fighting?" but "WHO am I fighting for?"
Your wish has been granted! By, well... me. They say a picture is worth a thousands words, so, well...

Of course, this obviously DOES mean that I went out of my way to make Naru 'special'. But naturally, I got bored with all the 'Naru is a Sailor Senshi' stories and tried something else.

Naturally, I really did like Naru's character when I first started watching the series. I really wish she'd get her own toy in the S.H. Figuarts line. All I've got for her is the plushie from Japan.

Commission: Sailor Moon X - Lunar Eclipse


[Edited by KnM to remove direct-linked image]
 
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Neon Genesis

Luna Crescens
Oct 31, 2015
2,332
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#18
While the idea of Naru being a Sailoe Guardian is an interesting one, I have to agree if she had any powers, she would have had them awaken by this point with how many times she was attacked. I think the whole thing about Naru's love energy was meant to be a red herring to fool the audience, like Minako pretending to be the Moon Princess in the manga. I can't see Naru ever becoming a villain because she trusts Usagi too much that I don't think she would ever hold a grudge against her. And the original anime at least already tested Naru's trust in Usagi during the Nephrite arc and it would be redundant to test it again. Plus between Mamoru, Chibiusa, and Dark Mercury plots, they've kind of already done the good character becomes evil plot to death in the show itself.
 

MariaTenebre

Luna Crescens
Jul 22, 2009
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#19
While the idea of Naru being a Sailoe Guardian is an interesting one, I have to agree if she had any powers, she would have had them awaken by this point with how many times she was attacked. I think the whole thing about Naru's love energy was meant to be a red herring to fool the audience, like Minako pretending to be the Moon Princess in the manga. I can't see Naru ever becoming a villain because she trusts Usagi too much that I don't think she would ever hold a grudge against her. And the original anime at least already tested Naru's trust in Usagi during the Nephrite arc and it would be redundant to test it again. Plus between Mamoru, Chibiusa, and Dark Mercury plots, they've kind of already done the good character becomes evil plot to death in the show itself.
Again just because she hasn't awoken yet dosen't mean she can't become a Senshi later. As I mentioned certain Sailor Senshi take longer to awaken. Phobos and Deimos for instance were said to be Sailor Senshi in training and had Sailor Crystals but didn't awaken yet. Hell in the manga they didn't even show their human forms till Dream.
 
May 1, 2015
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Pikari-gaoka
sparklyheartsdiana.tumblr.com
#20
I'm with Rose on this one, while it's an awesome idea to make Naru a Sailor Soldier. I think it's too much and I like Naru more as an ordinary girl. Like, it would be more interesting if Naru found about Usagi's secret.
 
Likes: Prince Rose