Welcome to "Iron Mouse 101" at
Ginga U! ^_^ We're envied by Harvard, Yale, and all those others
because our curriculum has the best Iron Mouse courses. ^_^ Well,
on with the class! Be warned, though, that there are spoilers scattered throughout.
Lesson 1: The Basics
Let's start with the basics, if you're one of those clueless people when it comes to the original version of Sailormoon (everone has to start somewhere!). Of the five series of Sailormoon created, the last one was called, "Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon
SailorStars," which is usually called just "Stars" by fans. The main bad guy is Sailor Galaxia, who is trying to get starseeds (these shiny crystal-thingies that are inside everyone) of all the Sailor Senshi in
existence. She already has a lot of them, but she still needs the ones located on Earth. So, she has her henchmen, called the Sailor Anima Mates, go to Earth and look for the starseeds. These Anima Mates
are named Sailor Tin Nyanko, Sailor Lead Crow,
Sailor Aluminum Siren, and *ta dada da!* Sailor Iron Mouse! Iron Mouse was the first one to search for starseeds. To look for them, she would disguise herself as Nezu Chuuko (Nezu being her family name,
Chuuko her given name, as I write Japanese names the Japanese way), a television producer at Ginga Television. Every once in a while, a black phone she carried with her in the third production room or to the park would ring,
asking for "Nezu-producer." Then Nezu would go down a hall at Ginga TV and into an elevator that's blocked and with a "Prohibited Use" sign. This
was the gateway to Galaxia, where Iron Mouse would usually assure her that she's almost found the starseed. After nine episodes (appearing about five to ten minutes per episode) and a lot of frustration, she was killed by Galaxia (grrr... one of Galaxia's few
faults) and replaced by Sailor Aluminum Siren.
Interest tidbit: Iron Mouse was voiced by Hara Eriko, who also did various other roles in Sailormoon, including Unazuki for an episode during "Sailormoon S," Udering (that "Ringu, ringu, ringu!" droid Esmeraude
had), and Princess Dream (that lady at the amusement park early in the first series; you know, that scary doll person). [Found this out at
Doi's seiyuu site.]
Lesson 1.5: Viewing SailorStars
Reading about SailorStars is one thing, but watching it is a much different experience. To see it, you could either download RealVideos at various sites (trying looking around the
Anime Web Turnpike), request a VHS copy (subtitled or raw Japanese) from a fansub distro, or purchase a laser disc. First, here's a list of online stores that sell laser discs (that way, your money goes to the original creators!):
-- They currently list offering all of the Sailormoon LD's, but The Place is infamous for not having things in stock. If you order items in stock, though, it should take about two weeks. The
prices for the LD's look about average compared to other stores. Overall, they're pretty good, although I'm a bit ticked off at them right now. ^^;;
-- Actually, as I'm writing this, Nikaku doesn't seem to have any SailorStars LD's. They might have some during their next catalog update, though. Although I haven't ordered from here (yet! ^_^), most people
seem to recommend them, so I'm sure you won't get ripped off or anything. ^_^;
That's it for laser discs. If you want scripts to watch them, I suggest going to The Script Crypt. Next up, VHS copies. You can either get raw copies or get
fansubs [fansubs: subtitled tapes made by fans, for fans and are not for profit; check out fansubs.net for more info]. You can get these for pretty cheap (about $5 - $8) at the following places:
-- VKLL has subtitled the all of SailorStars; they had also done everything else not dubbed by DiC for the original run. They get backlogged fairly quick (a lot of people like to get their fansubs directly from them), so it can take anywhere from
two weeks to six weeks to get your tapes. If you live outside of Canada, the prices are a bit expensive compared to US distros.
Naru's Anime Fansubs
-- Naru has a huge selection of tapes; tons of Sailormoon stuff, as well as the entire Stars series subbed. Her prices are also very cheap (two tapes for $10). However, she gets backlogged a whole lot so don't be surprised if she's closed right now.
SAILOR MOON AND OTHER ANIMATED VIDEOS
-- Glen is probably the most popular distributor for VKLL. He offers mixing and matching, EP tapes, and various tape formats (for all you PAL people out there). Besides SailorStars and most of the rest of Sailormoon, you can also get most of the musicals and various other anime.
Like most Canadian distros, though, the prices are a bit high if you live in the US because of shipping rates and tapes are more expensive in Canada. Turn-around time is about average, anywhere from two to four weeks.
-- Haven't ordered from here yet, but know tons of people who have. ^^ You can get here all of the episodes of SailorStars that have been subbed by VKLL, plus a ton of other anime subbed. The prices are alright (about $7 per tape), and I hear their turn-around time is quick. They only ship within the US, though.
Glass Rose Distribution
-- My personal favorite. ^.^ You can order the entire Stars series as a package deal for only $42, or order up to six tapes for about $4-5 each (terrific prices!!). The first eight episodes are also available raw, along with other Sailormoon tapes and a great collection of mostly shoujo anime tapes. Turn-around time is pretty good, you'll probably get your tapes sooner than you thought you would.
-- Sachi's is probably the second most popular distro amoungst fansub collectors (with Kodocha being first). The entire Stars series is here as well as a truck-load of other anime. Prices are good (about $6 per tape), although you can only request up to six tapes at a time nowadays. Turn-around time is terrific; when I last requested here I got my tapes in under a week. It'll probably take about a week now, but that's still very, very good. On an aesthetic note, I love the labels! ^^
Lesson 2: Personality of Sailor Iron Mouse
Iron Mouse is this strange mixture of cuteness and attitude, plus a bad temper. It's kind of hard to explain what makes her so cute. There's just that certain zing about her that makes you say, "Oh, how kawaii!" Perhaps it's more of her physical
appearance that makes her cute. Since this lesson isn't about that, I'll just move onto her another of her characteristics.
When it comes to her enemies, she has got some attitude. It's this in your face, "I don't give a damn about you" attitude that makes you yell, "Well, it's about time someone acted like that!" Unlike past
enemies, she doesn't wait around during Sailor Moon's big "oshioki yo" speech. Usually, it's just "Bye!" and she leaves. She even turned her back on Sailor Moon during her speech one time and waved good-bye. ^_^ There are exceptions to this, like when Sailor Iron Mouse
and Sailor Moon first meet, she says something like, "Oh, so you're a Sailor Senshi, too?" in a very nonchalant way. Then she sticks her nose up at Sailor Moon, saying that she can't be a star like herself. See? Major attitude, plus cuteness.
It also seems that she's a pretty messy person, at least when her life is in trouble and is having a nervous breakdown. There was lots and lots of papers and junk all over the place; Sailor Aluminum Siren wasn't very happy about having to use it. ^.^;;.
I'm not sure if this next thing would be with personality, but I'll stick it here anyway. ;P Her speech partern is interesting to note. In about every other sentence she says "Chuu," and instead of yelling "Ack!!" when something bad happens, she yells
"Chuu!!" ("chuu" is the sound a mouse makes). Also, hinting at her age (along with the youth marks below her eyes), when refering to herself she uses "atashi," which means she's probably around the same age (emotionally, that is) or a few years younger than her enemy Senshi.
Lesson 3: Physical Appearance of Sailor Iron Mouse
When in her sailor form, Iron Mouse looks like, well, a white mouse. Her white hair is done similarly to Usagi's, with two odango on top and ponytails coming down. The odango themselves look like mouse ears, but also the rest of her hair curls down in such a way that they
too look like mouse ears (two sets of ears? o_O). An interesting note about her hair: there are two strands that usually come down out of place. Anyone else notice that a lot of great Sailormoon characters have this with their hair, too (Mako-chan, Fish Eye...)? ^_^ Okay, it's
all a matter of opinion, but it's an interesting trend...
Next, her face/head. Her eye color is grey, which may or may not be typical of mice. (I've yet to find a web site or encyclopedia that gives the answer. >_< Help, anyone?) Underneath her eyes are youth
marks, indicating (like with the "atashi" use) that she could be around the same age as the Senshi, maybe even younger. Moving on, on the sides of her head are white fluffy earmuffs. Perhaps the reason for these is to distract from her ears and make the hair-as-ears thing
seem more realistic? Or maybe I'm just looking into things too much again... ^^;; Other than what I've mention, there isn't anything else distinctive about her face.
Now let's move on to jewelry. On her hair, surrounding her odango, are two sets of golden chains with large beads. Then, instead of a tiara, she has another chain on her head similar to the ones on her hair, but with a star in the middle (take a look at the bars on the side
of the pages here). And then she has her necklace, which is like all the chains in her hair, but larger. Lastly, on her wrists are powerful golden bracelets that she uses to attack and keep herself alive; without these, she can't exist. These only appear, however, when she's actually using them.
Now let's move on to her outfit. It's quite an... interesting one. ^_^ It's mostly white with black ribbons surrounding it at certain places, forming in front a bow held by a star. From what I can tell, the ribbons also act as "spaghetti straps" (it's hard to
tell because her collar usually covers her shoulders). On her shoulders are two puffy white things like on Eternal Sailor Moon's fuku. Then she has her white gloves with a fuzzy trim (I want them!). And then she has on one of those panty things like how
cheerleaders wear, colored black. Next there's... a tail! Very cute! ^_^ And finally, there's white pantyhose and white boots with a fuzzy trim.
Now let's talk about her figure. Her body definitely has gone through the stages of maturity (she's quite "talented" ^_^). Also, she's, well, a midget. She's usually about half the size of her victims, which makes it even cuter when people freak out over her.
So, does this petite, mousey, white-ish villainess sound adorable looking? Well, that's only her Anima Mate form! There's still another form: Nezu Chuuko.
Lesson 4: Physical Appearance of Nezu Chuuko
You might notice that the side of the pages have dark pinstripes. Why? Because that's the main part of Nezu's gangster-like attire. She always wears a black pinstripe jacket with purple pants suit that looks like all those old Chicago gangster outfits (ever
see the Jim Carrey movie The Mask?). Underneath her jacket is a red, puffy scarf and a blue long-sleaves shirt. What really makes her outfit is the cool purple hat she wears with it (matches her pants ^_^), along with her black sunglasses.
And last is her black shoes with a slight heel (very nice looking!). Snazzy dresser, ne?
Lesson 5: Transforming, Attacking, Etc.
Well, when you're a Sailor Senshi (even an evil one), you gotta have a transformation and attack, ne? They may not be as superb as they should have, but they're important to know. ^_^
Her transformation is very simple. She just screams, "Chuu!" and tears off her Nezu disguise. And yes, underneath it is her Senshi fuku; she doesn't flash everyone like the other Senshi do. ^_^
To attack, what she would do first is raise her wrists in front of her. On her wrists are bracelets that give her her powers. From these bracelets, two golden blasts would shoot and hit the victim, causing his or her starseed to pop out of their heads (or sometimes chest). If it wasn't the
right starseed, it would turn black. So then, the victim would turn into a Monster-of-the-Day. (During the "Stars" series, the MotD was called a faaji, with is usually written as "phage" or "farce.") This MotD would then attack Sailor Moon and the other Senshi, who would
just happen to show up to stop Iron Mouse. So what would Iron Mouse do? Say bye and teleport away in an old English-type telephone booth while the MotD took care of the Senshi.
Not exactly your typical Sailor Senshi. ^_^