Latest Update: 10 November 2017

I have compiled the following key to the various references, in-jokes and obscure comments in Drunkard's Walk S. As with the other Steps, I can't promise that it's comprehensive; it's all too easy to miss things. If you think you've spotted something that was left out or needs explanation, feel free to email me about it!

As usual, I have not included entries for most of the songs that Doug that employs in this story. Once again, this is because most of the appropriate citations are already included at the end of each chapter.

The format for this listing is simple. Entries are grouped by the chapter they appear in, in order of their appearance in the story. Each entry will start with the appropriate text from the story in italics, followed by a gloss, explanation, or, in some cases, a chatty little commentary. Where applicable, web links are provided for those interested in more information.

Of course, as future chapters are written, additional entries will be appended to this document.


— Bob

Table of Contents


Time Lost And Forgotten
There is no formalized chapter-titling convention for this Step. It'll probably end up a little bit of this and and a little bit of that.

Stand and fight,
Live by your heart.
Always one more try.
I'm not afraid to die.
Stand and fight,
Say what you feel --
Born with a heart of steel.
-- Manowar, "Heart of Steel"

Despite how it may initially appear, I did not draw the name of this Step from this song. It actually came from a line in a different Manowar song, "Call to Arms". The specific line is:

Fight for the Kingdom, bound for glory,
Armed with a heart of steel!

The songs come from two different Manowar albums, so they are probably not connected in any formal way, other than drawing upon Manowar's usual imagery.

Chapter One

the high-rise luxury hotel immediately adjacent to it
The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, one heck of a luxury hotel indeed. I've been unable to determine exactly when it was built, but its architectural style is such that I think it's possible (though, honestly, not likely) for it to have been built not long before 1992.

the flophouse district in Sanya
In our timeline this area, which used to be home to dozens of cheap boarding houses for day laborers, has since become a neighborhood full of inexpensive hotels and hostels for travelers. In Warriors' World, where the Japanese don't exactly encourage international tourism, it remains a poverty-stricken zone mostly populated by those who cannot get any but the most menial and temporary of jobs. In 1992 in the Sailor Moon world, it's near the end of the transformation from the one to the other. You can read more about the area as it exists today here.

Oh, and don't let that "16 kilometers away" make you think it's a long trip. It's only about a 20-minute drive from Minato if you stay on the ground and follow the highways at the speed limit. And Doug didn't do any of those things.

An early name for the Yakuza organization which was the direct ancestor of the group now known as the Sumiyoshi-kai. In the wake of the Sumiyoshi-kai's rise the name is considered defunct; I'm using the name as both a historical shout-out and as an alternative to invoking its descendant organization. Who probably won't care if they are mentioned more or less positively in a Sailor Moon fanfic, but why take chances?

I am now seized by the image of Yakuza who read Sailor Moon fanfic...

starting with the earthquake that had struck Tokyo about 36 hours before my arrival
I chose the date of Doug's arrival so that he'd be comfortably settled in with ID, job, and apartment by the beginning of April 1992, which is the best guess my sources had for the date of Usagi's first night as Sailor Moon. I chose February 3rd specifically as a work night when people wouldn't be in Shiba Park. (I chose Shiba Park because it's effectively in the shadow of the Tokyo Tower, and we all know that the Tokyo Tower is traditionally the site of interdimensional portals, gates and transits in anime. That it's in Minato, where Sailor Moon takes place, is just gravy.) Anyway, imagine my surprise when, upon looking up the weather for 3 February 1992, I learned that a Richter 5.7 quake had shaken Tokyo just before dawn a day earlier. The things you come across when you do your research... The casualties and damage were both as minimal as Doug reports, by the way.

It also kept me in contact with the Minato-kai, who true to the public image they liked to maintain, were helping with the disaster relief.
The Yakuza do in fact do stuff like this all the time. After the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, for instance, Yakuza groups turned out in droves to help. They opened their offices to refugees, provided truckloads of supplies to the devastated areas, and in general gave aid to anyone who needed it, no questions asked, no recompense required. Interestingly, they did this as quietly as they could manage, in part out of concern that their help would be refused if it were known where it came from. You can read more about their activities in 2011 here and here.

12-jo 1K
Standard Japanese real estate notation for an apartment with a separate kitchen(ette) and bedroom/sitting room, measuring about 200 square feet (or about 18.5 square meters, for my readers who don't use Imperial). "Jo" is an unit of measurement equal to one tatami mat. (And in Tokyo the standard mat is of course just a bit smaller than the one used elsewhere, because rents are based on the number of jo.)

In New York City this would be called a "studio apartment".

If you're curious about how Japanese apartments are arranged and how they differ from American (or European) apartments, check out this page and this one.

Better known to fic writers and readers as "Azabu-Juuban" or just "Juuban". "Juuban" literally means "district", and is part of a lot of place names, so using it as the name for this area (as many fic writers have done over the years) is like calling it just "Neighborhood". "Azabu" means "tenth"; it is the tenth district in Minato ward. The description here of the area as multicultural and popular with foreigners is accurate, even though the district goes out of its way to keep looking Japanese and not foreign. (Even the local McDonald's was carefully designed to blend in with the area's look.)

Interestingly, it's also one of those parts of Tokyo whose population ebbs and flows like the tides — during business hours there's something like an order of magnitude more people in Azabu (well, Minato as a whole) than there are at night. It's kind of like the Financial District of New York City in that regard, going from packed to deserted and back again on a 24-hour cycle. Which goes a long way toward explaining why the streets are so empty when the Senshi are out and about at night.

Oh, and judging by the results I get from Google and Google Maps, it appears the preferred romanization these days is "Azabujuban", with one "u" in "juban" and no hyphen. So that's what I'm using in this story.

At a little over 75,000 yen a month, my rent was a bit high but not outrageous
You would not believe how hard it is to find historical rent data for Tokyo neighborhoods on the Web. I ended up having to consult an economics thesis from 1989 to get figures for mid-1980s Tokyo rents (expressed as average yen per tatami mat), and jigger the resulting numbers to account for subsequent inflation, depressed housing prices after that, the extra cost of living in Azabu, and the premium for location within the ward (a very common practice in pricing rents in Tokyo). 75,000 yen is my best guess, but as Doug notes, not outrageous — it still falls in the lower-middle of the modern (middle-2010s) range of rents in Tokyo.

My place was in a newer apartment building
This one, in fact, and the subject of bit of a coincidence that pretty much guaranteed I'd use it as Doug's digs.

Just to be honest, I have no idea if the apartment I've laid out for Doug would actually fit into this building's floorplan, as I couldn't find any plans, photos or other information which would tell me what its units look like.

Also written as "manshon". A word the Japanese appropriated from English, which doesn't mean anything close to what it does for Americans or Brits — in Japan it means an apartment building three or more stories tall, of reasonably recent vintage and of concrete and steel construction, which is more earthquake-resistant and allows little sound to travel between apartments. Mansions contrast with apaato, another English loanword used for older buildings with small individual apartments, usually one or two stories tall and of wood or light steel frame construction. Apartments in apaato are cheaper than those in mansions, but they have lighter construction and thinner walls that are more prone to sharing noise.

The usage came about when high-rise apartment buildings started going up in Japan in the 1970s, and the marketeers were pushing them as more luxurious and upscale than the older buildings.

For you older anime fans out there, Maison Ikkoku in the manga and anime of the same name was an apaato, while Misato, Shinji and Asuka of Neon Genesis Evangelion lived in a mansion.

this version of Japan had been in a recession for about two years at that point
Real-world Japan did in fact enter a recession in 1990, which was just about reaching its height in 1992.

a license on my motorcycle
Acquired with a mix of illusion, misdirection and a bit of power-assisted hacking, as a certain 2.5-meter turbine-powered land missile with an antigravity drive would not actually pass inspection under Shaken in 1992 Japan. Not for most of the reasons you might think, though — it won't pass because its headlamps and other lights are unapproved equipment (being LED units that won't even be invented for another twenty-some years), and because the turbine doesn't fit easily into the engine-size classification system. It might also be too long to pass, but I can't determine if the size regulations only apply to cars or not. Anyway, Doug got around the potential problems by getting it registered as an "experimental" vehicle, with a special exemption to make it street-legal that doesn't officially exist in the system but appears appallingly proper when checked.

Hudson Soft
Hudson Soft was a real company, a subsidiary of Konami. It's now defunct, having been completely absorbed by Konami in 2012.

The Dark Agency
For those who don't know, this was the organization that Sailor V fought in the manga Codename: Sailor V. When Naoko Takeuchi reworked this one-shot manga into five volumes after the success of its sequel (Sailor Moon, of course), she added or clarified a number of elements that linked it to Sailor Moon. One of these was the revelation that the Dark Agency, an outfit that hid its evil activities behind the front of a talent agency, was an early covert operation by the Dark Kingdom. When Minako finally shut it down for good, the Dark Kingdom decided to abandon subtlety for more direct action.

Jitsuha Yoshi ground out the stub of his cigarette in the ashtray next to his keyboard, then took out and lit another.
Unlike the United States, Japan has no comprehensive workspace smoking laws. Such things are up to individual building owners, and few bother with restricting tobacco use. This is mainly because smoking is as thoroughly pervasive in Japan today as it was in the United States in the early 1960s. And in 1992? It's a wonder that Yoshi's office isn't enshrouded in a permanent tobacco-scented cloud.

Tetsuwan Atom or Tetsujin Nijuhachi-go
Better known in North America as "Astro Boy" and "Gigantor", respectively. These early anime characters have all but become folk heroes in Japan. Look up the worldwide celebrations held on the date of Tetsuwan Atom/Astroboy's "birth" sometime to see what I mean.

he never *had* found out who was behind that Sailor V arcade game. All he'd been able to determine was that it hadn't been one of the big names.
That's because somehow Artemis created the thing as a training aid for Minako — and if you read the manga, apparently it accidentally (?) trained Usagi and Ami as well. It's unclear if there are actually several scattered about Tokyo, or if the one at the Crown Arcade is the only one in existence (in which case you'd expect Usagi and Minako to have crossed paths at least once before Sailor Moon began).

(Update, 16 August 2017: Well, what do you know. They did. DW Forums member Jorlem found this image at the Sailor Moon Wikia, which shows a panel from Codename Sailor V Chapter 5 in which Usagi makes a "fly-by" cameo.)

In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal, there's definitely some largish company behind the game's manufacture — the Crown has several "Sailor V" cabinets, and there are promotional materials visible at the arcade. One wonders if Artemis somehow subverted an existing firm and inserted the game into their production schedule, or if he created an entire video game company from scratch just to train Minako. Amusingly, when you get to see the posters for the game close up, what seems to be the company logo is the "rabbit head" emblem that appears on just about everything Usagi owns in that series. (Which could mean she's the principal stockholder in the game company and doesn't know it.)

Hanami was here and according to the sakura-zensen the best day for a picnic was only a week away!
"Hanami" is the tradition of cherry-blossom viewing, better known (in the United States, at least) as the "cherry blossom festival". The term refers not so much to a festival, though, as a season during which picnics and parties are held under blossoming sakura trees.

Sakura-zensen — the "cherry blossom front" in English — is the annual forecast of the start of hanami and its peak viewing date made by the Japanese weather bureau. In 1992, the flowering date was March 24, and the date of peak blooms was April 1st.

the tens of thousands of youma which had been banished with her
In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal the Dark "Kingdom" seems to be made up entirely of Beryl, the four generals, Metaria, and nothing else. I suspect this has something to do with retconning the youma into non-living constructs so as to keep the Senshi from actually killing anything. Me, I like my kingdoms to have, you know, actual populations instead of being the size of a school club, and the moral responsibility for taking a life is an important issue that needs to be examined. Fortunately, the original clearly shows that there are hundreds if not thousands of youma in the Dark Kingdom, and that they are sapient beings with unique personalities.

Before anyone complains: "Metallia" and variations thereon are fanon spellings. The original North American (DiC) dub of the anime didn't even bother with a name for this character (other than "The Negaforce"), so all that English-speaking fans had to go on in the 90s were amateur manga transliterations, and one transcription error in an early import. According to Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi, though, it's very definitely "Metaria" with an "R" — and this can be seen in the original Japanese editions of the manga, where it is frequently spelled in romaji.

"Metaria" is the feminine form of the Latin word "metarius"; its usual translation makes it a term for boundaries and borders, but can also be applied to objects buried in the Earth — as Metaria was in both the original manga storyline and Crystal. It's also almost certainly a deliberate play on "metal", given the similarity in pronunciation in Japanese phonemes, probably as a contrast to the gem naming theme for the rest of the Dark Kingdom and to indicate that Metaria is not necessarily the same order of creature as Beryl and the youma.

Of course, with the age of the Silver Millennium set as ten thousand years in the past in this story, "Metaria" can't really be a word in Latin, but is instead a false cognate from whatever language Beryl and the Generals natively speak (or perhaps an ancient loan-word that made its way into proto-Indo-European). But that's irrelevant, honestly.

they had been the friends, advisors and chief generals of her beloved Endymion, the Prince of Earth
This actually isn't canon for the original anime; however, it's in every other version, starting with the manga. And it's useful for the story.

a 7-Eleven if you can believe it, over near Shibakoen
It's real. (Although to be absolutely honest I have not been able to confirm that it was there back in 1992.) In general, I'm going to use real locations whenever possible; I might even give addresses if you want. However I'll almost always give enough information for you to go to Google Maps and find them.

her face was far blurrier than it should have been
And here I weigh in on the eternal Sailor Moon fanwank question: How do the girls preserve their secret identities since their outfits have no masks, cowls or other face covering? For my purposes, something in their powered forms keeps people from remembering their faces and prevents cameras from registering clear images. This, I further speculate, was because the identity of the Sailor Senshi as the princesses of the various planets was actually a state secret.

Royal Guardians
"Senshi" literally means "soldier", "warrior" or "guardian", not "magical girl in a miniskirt". Since at least 2000, the various newer incarnations of the franchise have provided explicit English translations of the title as part of their logos or credit sequences, and "Bishoujo Senshi" is rendered as either "Pretty Guardian" or "Pretty Soldier". I've chosen to go with "Guardian" for reasons that will become apparent in chapter two. Doug, however, will naturally tend to mentally translate "senshi" as "warrior" and consequently will feel some kinship with the girls simply for that reason.

the capsule in which she'd slept
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal makes these capsules look like glorified Tupperware containers — nothing more than a transparent tube big enough for a cat with a couple of end caps. I prefer to visualize them as something a bit more sophisticated and spacecraft-like, for all that they're constructs of pure magic.

I have arranged for you, my trusted adviser, to arrive near where they will be reborn, at least a decade before I expect the seal to break.
Yup. Actually, when you think about it, it's amazing that she did so well — that's a margin of error of 0.1%, off by only ten years out of ten thousand.

There were gaps in her memory — terrifyingly large ones where entire swaths of her life had seemingly been erased.
This is so very canon, although no one seems to think of what it must be like for Luna. It's bad enough that she forgets what the Princess looks like, and mistakes her for a non-existent Senshi of the Moon. When you consider how much memory damage she has to be suffering in order to have done that, it's a wonder she's still a sapient being. It certainly explains a lot of her inherent conservatism and insistence on being right — she can't admit to having made a mistake because she might have to think about how damaged she has to be to have made some of those mistakes, and she clings desperately to the few things that she does remember clearly. It's kind of tragic, really.

(In Crystal it turns out the memory problems were deliberately inflicted upon her for unspecified reasons. I can't decide which is worse.)

It's a good thing that none of the girls have any better recollection of the Moon Kingdom than Luna does, and can't call her on her errors. Except maybe Minako (who as I mentioned above allegedly got all her Silver Millennium memories back at the end of Codename: Sailor V), but she doesn't seem inclined to point out Luna's mistakes for some reason. Nor does Artemis, who seems to have come through his own hibernation experience with a lot less damage — although he didn't catch onto the "no Sailor Moon" thing either.

And the Moon-themed brooch -- that had to be for the Moon's guardian, right?
If there never was a Sailor Moon in the Silver Millennium, then what the heck is the brooch that Luna gives to Usagi in the very first episode? My answer — a more sophisticated variation on the disguise pen which belonged to the Princess, with which she used to play "dress up" as a Sailor Senshi (and which Luna took away from her at some point when it got misused). Luna's vaguely remembering this when/if she remembers a "Sailor Moon" at all. Except for "Moon Tiara Magic", which was part of the costume, Usagi's attacks are cut'n'pasted from Luna's fragmentary memories of a young Queen Serenity at a time when she took an active part in field operations. Usagi's versions are pretty much invented on the spot when Luna first thinks of them, powered entirely by Usagi's raw magical potential, shaped by her belief and trust in Luna.

As she stepped out of the alley, she very carefully didn't think about Phantom Ace, with whom she'd fallen in love, and the heartbreak of discovering he was really Danburite, the leader of the Dark Agency. Or about the curse he had claimed was upon her.
All people and events from Codename: Sailor V. The curse is supposedly that Venus will never find love, more or less.

She felt more than saw the bandages they placed over Serenity's Mark, the golden crescent moon upon her forehead; in the last moments before her command of human language was stripped from her
This is canon, but it makes no sense given later revelations about the origins of the mooncats. I suspect that they were originally intended to be ordinary cats uplifted to sentience by Queen Serenity's magic. The crescent moons on their foreheads were probably supposed to be the uplift enchantment itself and covering them up somehow deprived it of power or something, which would explain why Luna appears to turn into an ordinary cat when the kids slap a bandage over hers in the first episode. But then a few seasons later came the whole explanation about the Mau and how Luna and Artemis are representatives of an alien race of intelligent shapeshifting housecats. It was a messy retcon in my opinion. In any case, I tried to handle it with as little explanation or justification as possible while minimizing the lack of sense to it.

"Soldier Blade"
An actual video game put out by Hudson Soft in early 1993.

In case you're not familiar with the term, this is the low table with a "skirt" around it that you see in almost any anime set in modern Japan.

Filene's Running of the Brides
Filene's Basement was a Boston-based chain of department stores that went out of business in 2011. For over sixty years, it had an annual event where the stores would stock up massively on bridal gowns and sell them for one day at a huge discount — sometimes as much as 90% off or even more.

Naturally, sale day was a madhouse, and it gained the name "The Running of the Brides", in homage to the famous "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. As always you can read about it at Wikipedia.

The shopping district, practically on top of the train station.
The "Jewelry OSA-P" store was based on a real store called "Jewel A" which appears to have vanished in the decades since the show was broadcast. The new building on that site has kept the old name, though (sort of — it's called "Joule A" now, although Google Translate amusingly insists on rendering it as "Jules A"), making it easy enough to find. And it is in fact practically on top of the Azabujuban station.

Interestingly enough, it's one of the buildings that Google Streeview provides a walk-through for.

and leapt into an open window on the store's second floor.
This is not a convenient deus ex machina on my part. That open window is there in canon -- Tuxedo Mask comes in through it.

"Sailor uniform" in Japanese, referring almost exclusively to the girls' school uniform style.

"'No one of consequence'," I quoted at it.
From The Princess Bride, of course.

It sounded like another teenager
Forget the "British nanny" sound of Luna's dub voice. Keiko Han's original performance in Japanese sounds like a girl not much older than Usagi. And when Luna finally regains her ability to shapeshift, we find out why — her human form looks maybe sixteen or seventeen years old at the most.

Handoki's LunchCounter
A tip of the hat to a nice short Sailor Moon story, The LunchCounter by Rob "Kenko" Haynie. Highly recommended.

Seventy years wasn't long enough for me to forget the night I'd briefly gifted Lisa Vanette with telekinesis,
In Chapter 7 of Drunkard's Walk II.

like a stop trick from *Bewitched*
And here we have Doug's show business background rearing its head. A "stop trick" is the very simple special effect where they stop the camera and add, remove or replace something in frame to make it look like it instantly appeared, disappeared or transformed when the camera starts again.

a firmly-placed liquid consonant that partook evenly of "r" and "l"
"Liquid consonant" is a term used in phonetics to describe "L" and "R" sounds. Where English has two — "L" and "R", obviously enough — Japanese has one that wanders between the two and is responsible for the stereotypical Japanese confusion between them. What Doug is noting here in his imprecise manner is that rather than using the Japanese liquid consonant where appropriate, Luna is using a very slightly different one which incorporates both sounds equally, and doesn't vary the sound for different words the way a native Japanese speaker might.

No, Keiko Han didn't do anything like this in her performance of Luna.

"'I have been a stranger in a strange land'," I murmured to myself.
Exodus 2:22, said by Moses when naming his first son, Gershom. Ironically, in one universe (briefly seen in one of the NanoSteps), Doug quoted this passage when trying to explain his own background to the man who would become the Moses of that timeline, inspiring that Moses to use it himself.

Kau cim sticks
A Taoist/Buddhist fortune-telling practice also called Chien Tung, which involves interpeting a prophetic verse identified by the number written on a chopstick-sized piece of bamboo pulled at random from large bundle of such sticks. Wikipedia has a more detailed article about it, of course.

The old fortune-teller, by the way, plays a bit part in the second episode of Sailor Moon.

Gentle, dorky Umino seemed to have no memory at all of being a bully, a thug and a gang leader over the last few days.
Events from the second episode of the series, which Usagi handled by herself, and which played out pretty much as originally broadcast.

I ordered a roast beef Dagwood
A "Dagwood", for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, is a monstrously tall, overstuffed sandwich. A Dagwood resembles a club sandwich on steroids, usually being at least twice as tall as a club on the average, with far more ingredients and intervening slices of bread, and traditionally is garnished on top with an olive on a cocktail pick.

As usual, Wikipedia has an article (when doesn't it?) about Dagwood sandwiches.

Japanese for "grandfather", but depending on how it's used it can also be more like "gramps" or "old coot". Doug's implying "old coot", of course.

There are something like a dozen different Japanese words that are pronounced "teishi", but the one Doug's using here (弟子) means "apprentice" or "pupil". At the time I'm writing this entry it's not yet been released, but Doug uses the same term for Shinji, Asuka and Rei in Drunkard's Walk VI.

Rabbit of the Moon
I almost certainly don't have to footnote this for longtime Sailor Moon fans, but for those of you coming to this without it in your fandoms, who are unfamiliar with Japanese culture, or both: Usagi's name is a pun on the name of a figure from Japanese folklore, "Tsuki no Usagi", the Rabbit of the Moon. This is the Japanese equivalent to the Western "Man in the Moon", the pattern imposed on the various shades of grey on the surface of the moon by the viewer's mind. The West sees a face, the East sees a rabbit making mochi (sweet rice cakes).

I should note (if only to satisfy one of my prereaders) that "Usagi" is a very rare given name, and is seen far more as a nickname. Also, unlike its counterpart in English ("Bunny") it is a unisex name, suitable for both boys and girls. (And yes, I'm aware that "Bunny" is an archaic diminution for both "Bernard" and "Benjamin". I'm also aware of the actor John "Bunny" Breckinridge, swing trumpeter Bunny Berigan, and tennis player Bunny Austin — all men. Let's not get sidetracked.) The point here is that "Usagi" is a much more uncommon name than the average Western anime fan might think.

Please treat me kindly.
One way of rendering in English the expression "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu", sometimes called the "magic phrase" — it's an all-purpose social lubricant in Japanese that can mean "please", "thank you", "I owe you" and a whole lot more. Here's a blog page on it which goes into a bit more detail than I can in the space I have here.

Usagi also means it in the sense that probably comes across clearest here to English readers: "Please don't beat me black and blue while you train me!"

For those who don't recognize this word, it's Yiddish (although it's also been mainstream American English for decades, so if you don't recognize it you're either not American or really out of touch). It means audacity, temerity or sheer brazen nerve. Author and humorist Leo Rosten coined the classic definition for it: "That quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Coming soon: Chapter Two!

This page was created on 21 July 2017.
Last modified May 08, 2018.