Why Do Mercury and Mars Sometimes Swap?

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Mar 8, 2012
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#1
Generally when there is a group scene of the Inners transforming, attacking, combining their powers, or being introduced, they do so in the order of their first appearance in the series: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, then Venus. But sometimes Mercury and Mars switch.

For example...

From episode 102:



From episode 125 (starts around 2:25):

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRSJmXX3-9I[/youtube]

From the Sega Saturn game (starts around 2:50):

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCBwuZMXanI[/youtube]

From the Moon Pride PV (starts around 2:50):

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Va228UhRs[/youtube]


My question is why do these two sometimes swap places? The only thing I can think of is that they occasionally put them in the order of their respective weekdays (with Tuesday = Mars and Wednesday = Mercury), but I don't know /why/ they would want to do that? Is there some other special significance (in Japan) to ordering Mars before Mercury? Or do they just like to switch the order up from time to time? But then why do only Mercury and Mars seem to swap order? I can't think of a time where Venus transforms/attacks/contributes power in a group sequence before Jupiter, but maybe I'm forgetting something? Can anyone find more instances of Mercury and Mars swapping places?

I know this is a pretty trivial thing to discuss, but I've been curious about this for a while, so I thought I'd make this thread for lols.
 

Neon Genesis

Lumen Cinereum
Oct 31, 2015
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#2
I'm pretty sure Venus transforms first before Jupiter in the R movie but that's the only instance I can think of.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#3
Just checked and you're right. Interestingly, Mars also transforms before Mercury in that scene.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBETx2eWO0[/youtube]
 

Mitsukara

Luna Crescens
Apr 1, 2017
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#4
My best guess would be that they sometimes wanted to have Mars chiming in first (after Usagi at least), because of her bolder nature. And vaguely because of that thing where she briefly wanted to be the leader back in season 1, when Usagi got the moon stick and she didn't trust her Usagi with it- not that she still has any lingering distrust, but rather, she still has that same tendency to want to lead. She could sort of be considered 'the lancer' in TV tropes terms probably.

And then everyone else just retains the relative order, simply bumping Mercury down one spot. So for example, if they'd instead been introduced in the order of Venus-Jupiter-Mars-Mercury, I think they would periodically do it as Mars-Venus-Jupiter-Mercury.

In the manga, it's more apparent that Sailor Venus has a 'captain of the guards' sort of role than in the anime version; I could see her chiming in before the others for that reason, though. Well, that, and she was literally first, in any continuity; but she doesn't, as (at least in the '90s anime) she's more low-key and backgroundish, at least when she's not doing something hilariously crazy or goofing around. A lot of herstronger moments in this continuity are when she sneaks in unexpectedly or bluffs her way through (like with Esmeraude's plan in the 'Nurse Minako' episode, or faking being Usagi versus Kaolinite). Indeed, she and Artemis seem to have a pretty good combo strategy down for that kind of thing.
 

Onuzim Ima

Luna Crescens
Aug 11, 2010
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#5
Could also be due to dramaturgical reasons, depending on the episode's storyline. ;)

Fun Fact: The German version also had their voices accidentally swapped on at least one occasion. In the Ghost Hotel episode, Ami suddenly has Rei's voice when she compliments the personnel for their convincing cosplays.
 

Sabrblade

Luna Crescens
Sep 13, 2009
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#6
Oftentimes, Mars was portrayed as a sort of de facto leader of the Inners in the 90's anime, with her standing in front of everyone always at the ready, prepared to take initiative or jump in to lead. Her primarily color as a Sailor Senshi is red, the color commonly associated with leader characters in Super Sentai and several team-based hero anime. As such, Mars's transformations coming first likely reflects this whole "red leader comes first" tradition that the 90's anime was (whether consciously or subconsciously) trying to place upon her in its often having her taking point in contrast to everyone else's being positioned behind her.

All while having to never overstep Usagi's formal position of leader.
 

C-17

Luna Nova
Mar 26, 2013
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#8
Mitsukara said:
vaguely because of that thing where she briefly wanted to be the leader back in season 1, when Usagi got the moon stick and she didn't trust her Usagi with it- not that she still has any lingering distrust, but rather, she still has that same tendency to want to lead. She could sort of be considered 'the lancer' in TV tropes terms probably.
I do not remember the episode playing like that at all. I think it was made very clear at the end of the episode that she had no interest in "leading" the group, as much as she was just worried about Usagi getting hurt, because the plan they had set up was too risky for her well being.

I think the "days of the week" theory is more likely; in spanish it's a little easier to identify each planet/God with its consecrated day:

Lunes = Luna (Moon/Usagi)
Martes = Marte (Mars/Rei)
Miércoles = Mercurio (Mercury/Ami)
Jueves = Jupiter (Jupiter/Makoto)
Viernes = Venus (Venus/Minako)

It's a fun detail, 90's writers and Naoko herself pay careful attention to those kind of things.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#9
^

I think Mitsukara might be referring to one of the Rainbow Crystals arc episodes where, at least in the DiC dub version (I forget how it went in the Japanese version), Rei/Raye rejects Usagi/Serena as leader and goes on strike.
 

C-17

Luna Nova
Mar 26, 2013
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#10
MementoNepenthe said:
^

I think Mitsukara might be referring to one of the Rainbow Crystals arc episodes where, at least in the DiC dub version (I forget how it went in the Japanese version), Rei/Raye rejects Usagi/Serena as leader and goes on strike.
That person is referring to the Moon Rod "controversy" episode from season 1, which I remember quite well, and Rei had no genuine ambitions of being the lead in it.
I've seen people from the US claiming Rei to consider herself a better leader, based on the dub version of that episode, but I don't think that's how the original dialogue/text actually went.
If I remember correctly, in that episode they set up a trap for the enemy, involving Usagi being put at risk for the plan's sake.
Rei initially suggests she'd be the one holding the Moon Rod because she's more apt for the job, etc. However, in the original text, it is made explicit that Rei was putting up an act, as she was merely worried for Usagi's well being, and her attitude had nothing to do her actually wanting to be the lead.
 

CatKite

Lapis Lunaris
Oct 16, 2017
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#11
And red lightsaber at Star wars= ... you know...

Well, are word Jedi ever mentioded in SM?

Isn´t them join Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto, Minato...
But when look them at some thinks, thinks that Rei do like her was leader?
Well... maybe it was that because her was easiest get angry... Well... better NOT do her angry, luckily her is only fiction person, or was her?
 

Rika-Chicchi

Staff member
Site Admin
May 7, 2009
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#12
CatKite said:
But when look them at some thinks, thinks that Rei do like her was leader?
She's depicted as the "deputy leader" or "2nd-in-command" under Venus in some Sailor Moon incarnations. :)
 

CatKite

Lapis Lunaris
Oct 16, 2017
56
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#13
Rika-Chicchi said:
CatKite said:
But when look them at some thinks, thinks that Rei do like her was leader?
She's depicted as the "deputy leader" or "2nd-in-command" under Venus in some Sailor Moon incarnations. :)
Just... that i don´t know, but thanks...

Wait... are someone read any Fan fiction where these both swap are EVERY battle? I not remeber, but that´s not say all... i was readed so much fan fictions... Maybe Anime/narnia most?
 

Mitsukara

Luna Crescens
Apr 1, 2017
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#14
Whoa whoa whoa. First off I think I phrased my original statement a bit badly. I didn't mean that Rei explicitly demanded to be leader (the DiC dub exaggerates that quite a bit and makes her look bad), nor that she shows any sign of wanting to be the leader instead of Usagi at any point after they learn that Usagi is the moon princess (they square things away pretty quickly after that, including how Rei gives up on trying to date Mamoru, and Rei is 100% supportive of Usagi from that point on, only bickering in a friendly way).

What I was referring to was how Rei didn't want Usagi to have the moon stick in episode 26 (the second Rainbow Crystal episode, where Naru grieves at the cemetery, Youma Boxsy appears, etc). Setting any debatable translations of dialogue for that episode aside, Rei goes so far as to pinch poor Ami's leg, hard, to compel her to agree with her that Usagi should not have the moon stick (Usagi is also shown using the moon stick to break open a piggy bank, which is either meant to be a scenario Rei is hypothesizing, or what Usagi is literally doing at the moment in unwitting support of Rei's point). All that stuff is conveyed with visuals.

When you combine that with Rei's tendency to jump in front and be all bold and fiery and stuff, the implication of her objection is either "We don't need a leader at all", "Anybody but Usagi", or "I'd' be a better leader than her". She doesn't explicitly say any of those things, so I think they are all plausible ways to read her intentions. It might've been too presumptive of me to assume the latter, though, sorry.

But another reason I was thinking of that way, is that during that same scene where Rei pinches Ami's leg, Makoto says something casual Babout how she's not worried about what they're up against, and Rei gives her a look, and the translation I have has her saying "That's what I was going to say". So it really seems, in that scene, like Rei was basically being a bit jumpy at everybody about this issue. Keep in mind how early this was, Makoto was first introduced in the previous episode.

So while I definitely agree that what I've seen of the DiC dub mischaracterized her and exaggerated her objections in an unflattering way, she did have objections and I don't think it's completely crazy to say she has a take-charge attitude at that point.

Later on, such as episode 43 where they try to trick Kunzite into thinking they're fighting so that he'll take Usagi into the Dark Kingdom, Rei is absolutely supportive of Usagi and no longer has any objections, she is only scared for her friend and trying her hardest not to break character, and ultimately runs out to protect Usagi anyway. By that point, Rei doesn't have a competitive bone in her body towards Usagi, I agree. But by that point they've also all grown and matured a lot after all the things they've been through- season 1 is especially great about showing that sort of character progression.

In other words, the key word in my previous statement was "briefly". I interpreted it as Rei briefly objecting to Usagi being the leader with the implication that she would do better, and then quickly moving on from that position by the end of season 1. But that was just my guess.

I hope that clarifies what I meant, and I apologize if you took offense. If you think I am still in error I would be willing to rethink it further.

Also, any erroneous generalizations I make due to bad memory are most likely to still be based on subtitled versions of the show (not the DiC dub), because that was the first version I really watched, and I've seen season 1 at least 3 times in that format, whereas I've never managed to sit through all of season 1 in the DiC dub even once; every once in a blue moon I think, "hey, it'd be fun to try the DiC dub", then I watch like one episode, cringe a bunch, and decide that's enough for like, a year. I can appreciate some things about the DiC dub and I don't hate it entirely (I do hate some things about it), but I would not call myself a fan of it.

Also also, I agree about the Red thing for Sentai tropes.
 

C-17

Luna Nova
Mar 26, 2013
178
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#15
Mitsukara said:
I hope that clarifies what I meant, and I apologize if you took offense. If you think I am still in error I would be willing to rethink it further.
I didn't took offense, and I wasn't mad at all tho :P
I just wanted to clarify a bit the context of that episode, because that wasn't really what happened in it. That chapter was actually meant to further develop the bond between Rei and Usagi, and flesh out Rei's character.
But USA's poor translation resulted in people interpreting the episode in the exact opposite direction. This of course isn't the audience's fault, but the company behind it.
I am not familiar with Sailor Moon's english dub for the most part, but I did watched a couple clips on YouTube, and all the dialogues were altered.
Not even subtly so: they literally ignored the original text all together and wrote new dialogues from scratch. So naturally, scenes with complex dialogues/situations are the most affected by it. That episode in particular is complex, as it kinda shows Rei's "soft" side for the first time, and it gives the audience a better understanding of her harsh ways.
With completely altered dialogues, this was probably more difficult to catch (if not impossible). But that's about it: I was never annoyed or angry about your comment, I just wanted to clarify that particular thing, to avoid reinforcing misconceptions among fans: Rei never really intended to lead the group (at least not in the 90's series).