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 Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?

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Deathscythe
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PostSubject: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 2:43 pm

I've been re-reading the manga as I'm watching Crystal, and I noticed Takeuchi gave a darker skin tone for Pluto. Also, I noticed the name "Setsuna," although a Japanese name, actually originated from India. So this is making me wonder, is Pluto perhaps South Asian or something along the lines of that?

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 2:46 pm

I think Naoko intended Setsuna to be half-Romani. Which is an indo-Aryan group, so yes it's likely that she's part South Asian.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 3:14 pm

^I think that was an unsubstantiated reported made on a fan website many years ago. I've never been able to find a primary printed article or interview where she says this.

If one must assign an ethnicity, then Setsuna/Pluto would be Japanese. I think Naoko Takeuchi might've simply liked how dark skin looks for Pluto's character design, but her ethnicity is the same as all of the other Sailor Senshi. IMO her darker skin tone is for simple aesthetic reasons. But from a sociological point of view, I think it's interesting that fans in the West, perhaps because we live in a less ethnically homogeneous community than Japan, have a tendency to want to assign ethnicity to fictional characters even if said differences in skin color never impacts the plot.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 3:46 pm

Well, it's not like I watch anime and point to every character and declare them an ethnicity. It's just that reading the manga, Pluto's skin color really stood out compared to the other Senshi, and I was just wondering what the design choice behind it was.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 3:49 pm

@mangaka-chan wrote:
^I think that was an unsubstantiated reported made on a fan website many years ago. I've never been able to find a primary printed article or interview where she says this.

If one must assign an ethnicity, then Setsuna/Pluto would be Japanese. I think Naoko Takeuchi might've simply liked how dark skin looks for Pluto's character design, but her ethnicity is the same as all of the other Sailor Senshi. IMO her darker skin tone is for simple aesthetic reasons. But from a sociological point of view, I think it's interesting that fans in the West, perhaps because we live in a less ethnically homogeneous community than Japan, have a tendency to want to assign ethnicity to fictional characters even if said differences in skin color never impacts the plot. 
I was a bit unsure of the claim myself, but I thought it was an interesting idea to come off of. 

Her tone is darker than the others, yes, but I'm wondering if we can truly pinpoint an ethnicity on her. Considering that in her first appearance she was (I think) the same Pluto from that of the Silver Millenium. So perhaps her features are native to those of Pluto rather than Earth. Then again, she was reincarnated so I'm not exactly sure how her presumably Plutonian features would translate to one of the many races and/or ethnicities here.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 4:00 pm

@Deathscythe wrote:
I've been re-reading the manga as I'm watching Crystal, and I noticed Takeuchi gave a darker skin tone for Pluto. Also, I noticed the name "Setsuna," although a Japanese name, actually originated from India. So this is making me wonder, is Pluto perhaps South Asian or something along the lines of that?

I've always had a headcanon that she is half Japanese and half Indian. Her darker skin and super long hair gave me that impression, but I had no idea that "Setsuna" actually origination in India!

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 4:10 pm

I'm pretty much open to her being any ethnicity to be honest. There's so little info out there aside from her dark skin, everything's open game-though I do like the theory that she's from india because of her name origin.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 5:51 pm

I find it a bit funny that her skin is darker, considering the fact that she's from the planet that's furthest from the sun.
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 6:07 pm

Also to point out that there are people in Japan with varying skintones, even if we don't really see it in the mainstream as outsiders looking in.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 6:21 pm

@starshine wrote:
I find it a bit funny that her skin is darker, considering the fact that she's from the planet that's furthest from the sun.

Oh, well I think it's implied that it's not a tan but rather natural skin tone.

Edit: and yes, what Brit said.
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 6:29 pm

Small Lady wrote:
Also to point out that there are people in Japan with varying skintones, even if we don't really see it in the mainstream as outsiders looking in.
Yes. I've always just assumed she was Japanese and just happened to have a darker skin tone.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 6:30 pm

I always thought she was Japanese, but just from the south where they generally have darker skin.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 8:31 pm

These links might also seal the deal: http://ribbonchocolate.tumblr.com/post/108461864980/could-i-get-a-source-on-sailor-pluto-being-romani

http://ribbonchocolate.tumblr.com/post/106531916855/sailor-pluto

I've searched and searched and searched the internet, the materials collection, interviews, etc. to find this piece of information claimed to have been stated by Naoko. I swore by it too! I could've sworn it was in the materials collection (it was not).

Apparently this is the only time she's mentioned why she wanted to give her a darker skin tone, according to the second link I posted:


So there you have it kids.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   16th May 2016, 9:17 pm

Hmm, well that explains it I guess.

As for anime being characters Japanese by default, I'm not one of those "OMG ANIME CHARACTERS ARE WHITE THEM JAPANESE ARE INSECURE" people, but I could still see the possibility of South Asian influence for the character. Either way, I'm not gonna lose sleep over it.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   17th May 2016, 4:40 am

It was never a huge deal to me. Maybe she just goes outside a lot? But seriously, Naoko probably just wanted to make her darker for the reason Small Lady stated above.

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   17th May 2016, 5:50 pm

There's also the fact that by anime logic, characters can have naturally pink/blue/green/purple hair and no one questions it. Anime is a magical place in which people can have enormous eyes, disproportionate bodies and hair that defies gravity. Unless it plays a part in the story, I suppose that ethnicity isn't really important in anime. Though, it's still fun to come up with fan theories!

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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   19th May 2016, 3:05 am

I believe she's just Japanese but I feel as if they Amazonness Senshi might be Amazons. Maybe lol...
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   28th May 2016, 7:43 pm

I could just argue that this is how people look in Pluto and all senshi just reincarnated with the same appearance that they had in they previous life.
Dunno.
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PostSubject: Re: Sailor Pluto's ethnicity?   28th May 2016, 9:12 pm

Plus, Pluto never really has a consistent skin color. There are plenty of places in the manga where it appears lighter and darker. It varies a lot.

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