Over the years, Sailor Moon won a lot of success and popularity among fans. Two anime series were released, with the first from the 1990s containing more episodes and taking more liberties with character development. The most recent, however, Sailor Moon Crystal, moved its plot forward faster by staying more faithful to the manga series.
While the two series show their arcs relatively similarly, they actually unfold quite differently, and Hotaru Tomoe’s backstory – the civilian form of Sailor Saturn – is no exception to this. Either way, however, his story is not a happy one to tell.
Hotaru was forced to become the host of Mistress 9
Hotaru lived a fairly normal life until the freak accident that happened while she was with her father, Souichi Tomoe, in his lab. In Sailor Moon Crystal, she is shown living with both her parents before her mother dies in a fire caused by a bad storm. Hotaru is also about to die, but Souichi saves her life by planting a Daimon known as Mistress 9 in her body, as ordered by Pharaoh 90, the leader of the Death Busters.
In the 90s anime, however, Hotaru’s mother had already died before the incident. Hotaru dies instead, but not in the crash. Rather, his death is caused by the eruption that occurs when Germatoid, another Daimon, and Pharaoh 90 show up at the lab. In desperation to save her, Souichi agrees to their terms to bring her back to life. Pharaoh 90 is also the one who made Hotaru host Mistress 9 instead of Souichi.
Hotaru’s body changed in different ways
Along with turning her into Mistress 9’s vessel, Souichi also saves Hotaru’s life by modifying her body with cyborg parts. Not wanting anyone else to know, Hotaru continues to wear the long-sleeved version of her school uniform, even in the summer. Outside of school, she conceals her body with mostly dark colors. On top of that, Mistress 9 being in her body, Hotaru has mysterious seizures.
In contrast, Hotaru is not turned into a cyborg in the 90s anime. However, she continues to wear all dark clothes when not in school. Additionally, she continues to have seizures, with the amulet given to her by her father seemingly keeping them at bay.
Hotaru was ostracized at school
Until she meets Chibiusa, Hotaru has no friends. At school, she is often bullied by her classmates because of her illness, and does not wear the summer version of her uniform when the weather calls for it. His naturally shy and introverted nature doesn’t help either.
unlike her Crystal counterpart, Hotaru is aware that someone else lives inside her in the original anime. Mistress 9 has a bigger role to play in causing Hotaru’s peers to avoid her, as she sometimes has dramatic mood swings that cannot be explained. Hotaru also has healing powers, which unfortunately only adds to the bullying she experiences on a daily basis.
Hotaru’s father was a different person
Prior to the accident, Souichi’s obsession with the possibility of extraterrestrial life forms and inhuman experiments causes him to be expelled from the scientific community of which he was a part. He is further despised when he brings his experiences to Hotaru to make him a cyborg. To add insult to injury, he has no problem planting a Daimon Egg in Hotaru’s body, as it means getting more power for himself in return.
In the first anime, on the other hand, Souichi is shown to be more loving and fatherly towards Hotaru. This turned out to be true when he begs Pharaoh 90 to save Hotaru’s life in the accident. He even pretends not to care what happens to him, as long as his daughter is safe. Although Souichi is unaware of what is to come, he undoubtedly cares about Hotaru more than himself.