Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sailor Mercury Actresses

In the original anime production of Sailor Moon, Ami is voiced by veteran voice actress Aya Hisakawa. After the show's conclusion, Hisakawa wrote in an artbook that she was "raised by" the character of Ami, and was "really, greatly happy" to have met her.
For the English-language dub, the voice of "Amy" is provided first by Karen Bernstein, for the original and R series and the movies, and later by Liza Balkan for the S and Supers series. Shandi Sinnamon also provides the English vocals for a song attributed to Amy's character in the second story arc.
Ami has been portrayed by 6 actresses in the stage musicals: Ayako Morino, Yukiko Miyagawa, Hisano Akamine, Mariya Izawa, Chieko Kawabe, and Manami Wakayama.
In the live-action series, she is played by Chisaki Hama. Child actress Kanki Matsumoto portrays Ami in flashback sequences and childhood photographs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sailor Mercury Reception and Influence

The official Sailor Moon character popularity polls listed Ami Mizuno and Sailor Mercury as separate entities. In 1992, readers ranked them at seventh and fourth respectively, out of thirty eight choices. One year later, now with fifty choices, Ami was the eighth most popular while Mercury was ninth. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Ami was the fifteenth most popular character, and Mercury was sixteenth. In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Ami was again the fifteenth most popular character, and Mercury was the nineteenth. Ami was the most popular female character in Animage's May 1993 poll, and an episode featuring her, "Love for Ami?! A Boy Who Can Predict the Future", was the eleventh favorite episode. The following year she came second behind Belldandy, and in 1995 she came fifth. In 1995, an episode featuring Ami, "The Labyrinth of Water! Ami the Targeted", was the ninth favorite episode. In 1996, after the debut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, she came sixteenth, and in 1997 she came twentieth.
A five-book series was published, one book on each of the Guardian Senshi and Sailor Moon. Ami's was released in 1996. This book was later translated into English by Mixx. The episode where Sailor Mercury gained her powers was novelised by Mixx.
She was popular with the male audience of Sailor Moon due to her computer use and skills.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sailor Mercury Development

Noriko Sakai, circa. 2000 - Takeuchi describes Ami as looking like Noriko Sakai.

Ami was not included in the original proposal for a hypothetical Codename: Sailor V anime, which instead featured Minako's very similar-looking best friend from that series, Hikaru Sorano. She was present, however, by the time the concept was expanded to center on Sailor Moon.
Creator Naoko Takeuchi designed Ami as the "team brain," giving her genius-level intelligence to create the impression that she was not quite human—in fact, the character was originally intended to be a cyborg with an accelerator. One possible storyline involved her losing an arm or being injured in some other way and dying from it, but Takeuchi's editor objected, so Ami became a fully human character.
Sailor Mercury's original costume design, like the others', was fully unique. It featured full-length sleeves, pink ribbons, shoulder guards, green accents, buttons on the stomach, and high-tech goggles. Later, Takeuchi was surprised by these sketches and stated that she did not remember drawing them. She also describes Ami as looking like Noriko Sakai, a J-pop idol of the early 1990s, and in Ami's original debut, Usagi thinks to herself that Ami resembles Miss Rain, a character from another Takeuchi series. This reference was removed in the 2003 renewal manga. In the English manga, a similar comment was made, but referencing Demi Moore.
Certain background details of Ami's character were chosen symbolically—for instance, her Western astrological sign is given as Virgo, which in astrology corresponds to the planet Mercury. In reference to a popular Japanese belief, her blood type is given as A, supposedly indicating sensibleness and fastidiousness.
The kanji in Ami's last name translate as "water" (水 mizu) and "field" or "civilian" (野 no); and her first name translates as "Asia" or "second" (亜 a) and "beauty" (美 mi). It is structured as a pun, as the syllable "no" indicates a possessive, so that her name can also be understood as "Ami of Water." It is frequently mistranslated as "Friend of Water" because of the French word ami, which is included in some Japanese dictionaries.
In the English manga and other books, "Amy" retains her family name of Mizuno. One early episode of the anime shows her answering the phone in her house by saying "Anderson residence," where in the original she had answered with "This is Mizuno," but this surname never appears again, and she is reverted to Mizuno by Cloverway in the series' third season.