For all of its fantastical locations like the Moon Kingdom and Crystal Tokyo, a whole lot of "Sailor Moon" takes place in an actual part of real Tokyo. Ordinary schoolgirl Usagi Tsukino is shown as living and going to school in Minato Ward’s Azabu Juban neighborhood, and even after her magical girl powers awaken, the area is frequently the battleground for the Sailor Senshi’s fights with their monster-of-the-week/story arc foes.
The connection between the hit anime/manga franchise and the downtown district is about to get stronger still, as Minato Ward has just announced that they’ll be installing a series of artistic Sailor Moon manhole covers, each placed in a spot with special significance to the "Sailor Moon" story.
Starting things off is a cover for Sailor Moon and her sharply dressed, barely disguised beaux, Tuxedo Mask. This will be located at the entrance to the Azabu Juban Shopping Street (shotengai), which can be seen in multiple scenes in the series and where "Sailor Moon" creator Naoko Takeuchi frequently went for leisure and inspiration while drawing the manga.
Next, the whole Inner Senshi team stands together on this cover in front of the Minato Library, near Shiba Park and also near the in-series Shibakoen Middle School that Minako (Sailor Venus) attends. Oh, and if you noticed that the second cover has a blue background, just like the image color of Sailor Mercury, the second Sailor Senshi to joint the team, you can probably guess this isn’t a coincidence.
The core cast appears in kimono finery on this cover with a Sailor Mars-red background, which will be installed near Toyo Eiwa Jogakuin, which served as the model for the fictitious T.A. Girls’ Academy which Rei/Sailor Mars attends.
The Sailor Senshi are back in their battle gear in front of a Sailor Jupiter-green cover which will be placed near Tokyo Tower, inside Shiba Park in front of the Shiba Water Supply Station.
And finally, the fifth cover will be at the entrance to the Keio-nakadori Shopping Street, as a treat for fans with a deep appreciation for the franchise’s lore who remember the location from "Sailor Moon’s" predecessor "Codename: Sailor V," in which Minako was the main character.
Exact locations for the manhole covers haven’t been disclosed, but the approximate addresses, in order of the images above, are:
● Azabu Juban 2-1
● Shiba Koen 3-2-25
● Roppongi 5-6-14
● Shiba Koen 3-6-7
● Shiba 5-20
The covers are scheduled to be installed in mid-March, and considering how much fun we had tracking down all the Pokemon manhole covers in Yokohama, it looks like we’ve got another urban exploring walk in our near future.
Source, images: Minato Ward
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