Character ClichésThere are some common characters & themes that are often seen in otaku senshi creation and these traits are know as 'cliché.' Cliché means that while these ideas may have once been novel or original, they are now so common and overused that they have lost their distinction.
If you are interested in being more original with your character, this list will show you some of the most common clichés you might want to avoid. Keep in mind, just because a certain type of otaku senshi if often made, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't make one as well. It's just good to know that many other otaku senshi like your new character probably already exist and that you may run into many similarities with them. There's always the chance that your otaku senshi will break a stereotype and become something original all on her own; so, just because you see something on this list, that doesn't mean it is a bad trait, it just means that it's common!
Commonly Themed Otaku Senshi
Cliché Traits of Otaku Senshi
Commonly Themed Otaku SenshiWant to suggest a cliché for this list? Contact Sakura or Sign the Guestbook and let her know.
- Sailor Earth - AKA Sailor Terra, Sailor Earth often appears as a relation to Mamoru/Darien/Tuxedo Mask as a sister, daughter, mother, etc.; her outfit is usually green, blue or brown
- Sailor Sun - AKA Sailor Sol, usually from the Sun of the Solar System and formerly a Princess of a Sun Kingdom that existed before, during, or after the Silver Millennium; her attacks usually include the concepts of Solar Flare or Sun Spot and her outfit is often shades of yellow (or gold), red, and orange
- Sailor Star - Many various 'star' senshi have been created that do not come from any particular star of which there are hundreds of billions in our galaxy alone; her outfit is often combinations of silver, grey, yellow or white. Her name is often 'Hoshi' which is the Japanese word for star.
- Sailor Nemesis - The dark planet Nemesis was shown in Sailor Moon S as the base of the Death Phantom and the Black Moon Family. Many fans like to speculate on what kind of sailor senshi would have come from this planet; she is usaully evil and wears dark colors; she often has some connection to the Death Phantom
- Sailor Universe - AKA Sailor Cosmos? This character hypothetically already exists as a future form of Sailor Moon. If you are thinking about making a senshi that represents the entire universe (my goodness!) you might want to check out the 'Overly Powerful Senshi' cliché in the following section. Otherwise, just keep in mind that most people consider Sailor Cosmos "the" soldier of the universe, a la her name. Still, a creative back story for your universal character with strong personal development might allow you to use this archetype without being cliché.
- Sailor 'Element' - As will be explained later, your character's element is the power they use. It is common to see an otaku senshi that is just named after their element. For example, Sailor Dream uses dreams as her element, Sailor Fire uses fire, etc. This is a direct relationship that generally can come of as a little bland.
- Neo/Chibi Senshi - Daughters, descendants or other individuals that have inherited the powers of the canon senshi; often have very similar or equally opposite personalities as their predecessors. It is also worth noting that there is a second 'generation' of Sailor Senshi which exist in the Sailormoon manga. The four guardian senshi for Sailor Chibi Moon, commonly refered to as the Asteroid Senshi (Sailor Vesta, Sailor Ceres, Salilor Juno, and Sailor Pallas) are the soldiers who guard Chibiusa in Crystal Tokyo. Though they are not understood to be related to the canon senshi, many neo teams are created without taking them into consideration.
- Zodiac Senshi - A popular theme for a senshi team based on the astrological Greek zodiac; sometimes the Chinese zodiac may be used instead
- Constellation Senshi - Another popular, easily recognizable, space related group which often results in easy basis for team creation.
- Moon Senshi - Creating otaku senshi for the existing moons of solar planets, i.e., Sailor Titan, Sailor Io, Sailor Charon, etc., usually related in some way to the canon senshi of the main planet, often an additional guardian for the original planetary senshi
- Kuiper Belt Senshi - With recent discoveries and naming of various new celestial object in the outer reaches of the Solar System, Sailor Moon fans have taken it upon themselves to design new soldiers from these far off places. Examples include: Sailor Sedna, Sailor Varuna, Sailor Eris, & Sailor Quaoar
Cliché Traits of Otaku Senshi
- Self Insertion - Basically, this means making yourself into a Sailor Senshi. While there is nothing inherently wrong about this, it can sometimes be very obvious that the character is nothing more than you as a sailor senshi. Without additional development and history, this can be very cliché.
- Relatives - Otaku senshi that are related to canon characters: having your character be the long lost sister, cousin, aunt, mother, half-sister, etc. of a canon character seems to be a common way to get them 'into' the Sailor Moon universe but it is often seen as a short cut.
- Copies or 'Recolors' - This occurs when someone takes a coloring book image of a canon Sailor Moon character and colors her in with different colors from the original character without changing anything about the over all appearance. This is the most common, clichéd way to make a new character. In some ways, this is creating a new senshi, but it is very limited and can come off as rather effortless. Additionally, creating a senshi with basically the same history/powers as a canon senshi is also very cliché and generally seen as super unoriginal. This applies to weapons as well! If you design a staff, glaive, wand, etc. for your senshi it will be much more interesting if it is not a recolor of a weapon one of the canon senshi already use.
- Reborn on Earth - In order to have their otaku senshi interact with the canon senshi, many people will want their characters to some how end up on Earth. The most common way this is accomplished is to have the senshi's history place them on the Moon at the destruction of the Moon Kingdom. This allows them to be reborn on Earth in the 20th Century with all of the other characters. Once again, there is nothing inherently wrong with this and it certainly can be used effectively, but if that's the only reason you senshi happened to be on the Moon that day, there should be some more development. Additionally, otaku senshi creators might have their character be reborn on Earth from another place in the universe with little or no explanation as to why. We understand that you want your senshi to meet the canon characters, but there should be reasons for why she ends up on Earth beyond just randomly being reborn there.
- Overly Powerful Senshi - Another common cliché involves creating a character that is way too powerful. Theoretically, Sailor Moon is the strongest Sailor Senshi in the known universe of the Sailor Moon series and the series is about her as a character (hence the name). Therefore, many fans feel that no senshi should be more powerful than Sailor Moon. Now, there are ways to make your character more powerful than Sailor Moon, but there should be some good reasons as to why that is within the context of your character's history. Additionally, even very powerful characters must have some weaknesses. Sailor Moon in her future form as Sailor Cosmos faces challenges that she cannot deal with, and she flees in fear. This shows that while Sailor Cosmos is very powerful, she has weaknesses too. If you create a very powerful otaku senshi, you still should make a well rounded character with flaws that are realistic. Otherwise, the character will be very flat.
- Oh Woe Is Me, My Tragic Life - A common cliché of a character's history would be a tragic, drama-filled history. Characters who were orphaned, abandoned and/or abused have become increasingly popular as back stories for otaku senshi. This leads to their tragic future and tragic story and tragedy, tragedy, doom. There's nothing wrong with giving your character a challenging life or having them face or overcome difficulty. However, this is often taken to the extreme leading to a 'woe is me' character that oozes pity filled pathetic disgrace. Many readers find these character's intolerable to the extreme. Try to balance the amount of strife in your character's life with other aspects of their history.
- Kamikaze Attacks - A 'kamikaze' attack is an attack which involves the death of the senshi in order to perform the attack. For example, Saturn's ultimate attack involves the destruction of all life, but if she uses it, she too will die. There are certain circumstances where this attack might make sense for your senshi, but generally speaking this very powerful type of attack is not needed. If you are considering using this type of attack you should know that many Sailor Moon fans consider it cliché. Additionally, you don't really have to make it an attack after all. It's clear from canon that all Sailor Senshi are capable of giving off all of their power which would, in turn, cause them to die.
- My disability defines me - It's interesting for a character to have something challenging in their life like a physical, mental or emotional disability with which they struggle or triumph. It can add depth to a character and it can lead to interesting development in their story. When working with your character be sure to take care to not allow their disability to be the only major factor that defines them. It should be a part of who they are without having to drive it into every single aspect of their life. People are more than their disabilities - remember to give your character a personality, too! Also, if you decide to go this route with your character, be sure to do your homework. It's perfectly fine to give you character a believable trait in a disability but you should try not to work off stereotypes or misinformation. Learn as much as you can about whatever you're trying to portray so that you can create something believable.