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Fans have been pretty patient with the production team for the upcoming newest installment in the Sailor Moon anime franchise. After all, the previous animated TV series wrapped in 1997, so the sudden announcement of a continuation last summer was enough, in and of itself, to put them in a good mood.

Still, there’s only so much people can take. Originally slated to begin last summer, not only did the new show fail to make that air date (it’s currently been rescheduled for this winter), not so much as a single piece of artwork for it had been released. Fans started to get agitated. Sailor Moon already has some of the most iconic designs in Japanese animation. Just add a few more detail lines, slap on some shiny digital paint, and give us a peek at the new series, already! There had better be a good reason for the hold-up.

Today, however, a series of ultra-detailed character drawings surfaced online, alleged to be official character designs from the new Sailor Moon. Sadly, this turned out to be misinformation, but the designs are nevertheless incredibly impressive.

Update: The original title for this article was “Finally! Designs from the new Sailor Moon anime released” Unfortunately, it appears that we, along with a number of Japan’s news sites on which this article was based, have fallen victim to bogus news :-( The following work has now been proved to belong to the clearly extremely talented artist and Pixiv user Makacon, and not, after all, proof that the long-awaited series is any closer to completion. We apologise for any confusion caused. Rest assured we’re as disappointed that this isn’t the real deal as you are.   

For now feel free to enjoy Makacon’s work below, which comes complete with detailed character descriptions. Hopefully this will inspire the real team behind the new series to get the lead out!

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In Makacon’s amazing designs, original Sailor Moon heroine Usagi Tsukino appears as a 34-year-old housewife, married for 15 years to long-time sweetheart Mamoru Chiba. In traditional happily-ever-after fashion Usagi gave birth to a daughter less than a year after the wedding, and a second at the age of 21. Mamoru spends considerable time overseas due to his work, but Usagi and her daughters had been living happily together up until a year before the new series starts, when her oldest daughter became a shut-in.

Continuing her characterization from previous installments, the clumsy, free-spirited Usagi is described as being a mediocre cook who wants her children to experience as much of life as they can.

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Also returning is the bookish Ami Mizuno, perennial favorite of fans in Japan who until now filled the role of Sailor Mercury. Married at 22, the academically gifted Ami and her husband now run a respected cram school. Work keeps the couple busy though, leaving them with less time than they’d like to spend with their daughter.

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Rei Hino, the previous Sailor Mars, took over her family shrine, the Hino-jinja, and likewise married at the age of 22. Rei is hoping that her daughter (noticing a pattern here?) will someday succeed her as the head of the shrine, something the child herself has no interest in doing.

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After walking down the aisle at 21, Makoto Kino, who was once Sailor Jupiter, gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl, at 22. In the same year, the industrious Makoto, also a certified barista, opened a café called Jupiter, which is frequented by her former sisters-in-arms.

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The last of Sailor Moon’s original five-member team, Minako Aino, former Sailor Venus, returned to the entertainment world after completing her duties as one of humanity’s protectors. Fluent in English, Minako became an accomplished actress in both Hollywood and Japan, marrying an American man and giving birth to a daughter before later divorcing. Often away from home on business, Minako employs a maid to look after her child.

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The only male character shown so far (and if we’re being honest, the only important male character in the franchise who isn’t an antagonist), Mamoru Chiba, also known as the mysterious Tuxedo Mask, married wife Usagi at the age of 22, while studying abroad at Harvard. Originally planning to enter medical school, the fates decided this apparently wasn’t quite dreamy enough, and his outstanding language skills landed him a job as a UN negotiator, a position which keeps him outside Japan most of the year.

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Another character who should be familiar to old-school Sailor Moon fans, even if they might not recognize her at first glance, is this older version of pink-haired pint-sized moppet Chibiusa (meaning just “little Usagi”), who appeared in the original series as Usagi and Mamoru’s time-travelling daughter. In the upcoming series, she finally gets a real name: Mikage.

As the new series opens, the 16-year-old Mikage has become a shut-in due to the strain of the responsibilities she took on two years ago, fighting to protect the world as her mother’s successor, Sailor New Moon. Mikage has since relinquished the position to her younger sister, Koyomi.

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Largely unchanged from her previous appearance is Sailor Saturn, Hotaru Tomoe, whose power over death and rebirth have caused her age to fluctuate throughout the franchise. A brilliant scientist, Hotaru was Mikage’s partner during her year as Sailor New Moon.

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14-year-old Koyomi is the spitting image of her mom, and has also inherited her cheerful if air-headed personality. Although worried about her big sister’s sudden personality shift, Koyomi has little time to dwell on such things after her family’s pet cat, Luna, implores her to save our world by taking up the mantle of Sailor Moon.

Of course, fighting evil is a team effort in Sailor Moon, and Koyomi will be joined by the numerous daughters we mentioned above, all of whom are also 14.

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Aiha Mizuno, the new Sailor Mercury, takes after her mother with her cool-headed studiousness. But while Aiha’s mom goes to great lengths in directing her pupils’ studies, she is decidedly hands-off in Aiha’s academic efforts, something which doesn’t quite sit right with her daughter.

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Rei’s daughter Rin seems to be going through a rebellious stage, taking issue with her mother’s suggestion that she take over the family shrine, while at the same time not putting much thought into what she’d like to do with her life instead. Perhaps her new responsibilities as Sailor Mars will give her a little more ambition.

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The new Sailor Jupiter, Kanari Kino, twin sister of Koito, spends every week helping in her parents’ café. She can’t help but feel it’s a little unfair that she can’t hang out with her friends like other kids her age, but seeing how much effort her parents are putting into making the family business a success, Kanari keeps her complaints to herself.

The name Kanari also happens to be a homonym for the Japanese word kanari, which means “really.” As the new series opens, the hard-working Kanari has already heard the compliment/pun, “Kanari, you’re a kanari good kid!” about 1,000 times.

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With a name like Venus, chosen by her mother, you might expect Minako’s daughter to be on her way to becoming a stripper. Thankfully it looks like she’ll end up as the new Sailor Venus instead.

As for what the real new Sailor Moon series has in store, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Source: Jin
All images are the work of Makacon, via Wachacha