Father and Daughter – Souichi and Hotaru Tomoe
Prior to Sailor Moon S, a laboratory explosion would claim the lives of Souichi Tomoe’s family. Lamenting his daughter Hotaru’s death, Souichi is approached Geramatoid of the Tau Nebula. Geramatoid presents him an offer: Restoration of Hotaru’s life in exchanged for Souichi’s freewill and servitude.
Souichi accepts, not caring about his own life. Upon Souichi’s agreement Germtoid takes him as a vessell; controlling his body, will, and life. Unknown to Souichi , Hotaru would become a vessel to Mistress 9; the Messiah of Silence.
After the incident Hotaru and Souichi continued their lives “normally” and grew close, despite acting as pawns for the aliens. With Hotaru’s character arc introduction, we are given a solid example of their bond. In episode 112, Hotaru and Chibi-Usa are warmly greeted by Souichi at Hotaru’s house. Hotaru cheerfully introduce her Chibi-Usa to her father, who is glad to see Hotaru made a friend (for once in her pitiful life). Hotaru is affectionate towards her father, expressed in tone and body language.
Later, the relationship cemented at the arc’s climax. Souichi (liberated from Germtoid’s control) confronts Mistress 9 (fully controlling Hotaru’s body). He falls to his knees, clutching the unrecognizable woman and begins begging for forgiveness, guilt ridden for allowing her to become possessed and indirectly ruining her life.
Irritated, she responds with calling Tomoe a “useless filthy shell of Geramtoid” and strangling him with her hair. Enraged, Hotaru (whom was inside Mistress 9) overpower the Daimon, forcing her to release her father.
Mistress 9 would struggle with Hotaru to regain control of the child’s body but to no avail. Hotaru’s drive to save her father would lead to the awakening the spirit of Sailor Saturn residing in her. Mistress 9 was instantly killed as the power of Saturn’s awakening was too much for her.
Soon after awakening, Hotaru, as Sailor Saturn, proceeds to destroy Pharaoh 90 (leader of the Daimons, summoned earlier by Mistress 9) saving the world at the cost of her life. However, with her powers of rebirth, Hotaru was reincarnated as a baby. Souichi (recovering from his injuries and amnesia) reunited with Hotaru, beginning a new life free from the Daimons.
At the end, it’s funny to think about the roundabout results Souichi noble act of sacrifice. The man gave up his own will and body to save his daughter’s life. Hotaru saved her father and “sacrificed” herself to save the world.
To quote a certain rapper: ‘Have you ever loved someone so much, you’d give an arm for? Not the expression, no, literally give an arm for?’
(If we were to dig deeper into their relationship there’s actually a second side of Hotaru and Souichi’s, relationship although not as direct. After Hotaru’s introduction in the series, there are a few scenes of Hotaru and Souichi [under the influences of Mistress 9 and Germatoid] interacting with one another and discussing plans for Mistress 9’s awakening and the destruction of Earth.)
While the anime portrayed Souichi as a caring, warm, and selfish father, his original manga counterpart was a deranged monster. (Okay, maybe monster is a bit too strong of a word. Bastard seems right).
Professor Tomoe was a self-centered madman whom perceived his daughter’s near fatal injuries and the invasion of the Daimons as gifts from the heavens. His grand ambitions and selfish drive would lead to Hotaru living a horrible life.
An infamous figure in the science community, Professor Tomoe was blacklisted due to his unethical research and experiments. After being blacklisted Tomoe sold his findings, using the money he earned to buy property for a research lab and founded the Infinity Academy to continued his work. Flip and hustle my dude. Flip and hustle.
Similar to the original anime, his wife was killed and Hotaru was severely injured in a lab fire. Tomoe saved Hotaru’s, using a combination of genetic technology and replacing her damaged limbs with cybernetics implants.
During a follow-up operation, lighting struck his lab, opening a dimension gateway (it’s a comic book, roll with it). Master Pharaoh 90 emerged from the gateway with an offer: he would give Souichi everlasting power and knowledge in exchanged for his allegiance. Although bewilder and hesitate at first Souichi accepts, seeing this chance encounter as a breakthrough for his research.
Pleased, Pharaoh 90 gives Tomoe Daimon eggs for implantation of human hosts. The professor receives one for himself and another containing Mistress 9. The Mistress 9 egg needed a suitable host for her powers to grow. Souichi knew the “right’ person.
Tomoe implants the egg inside Hotaru who was still recovery. Her body degrades to a frail state resulting from the unnatural combination of cybernetics implants, genetic technology, and finally, becoming the unwilling vessel of Mistress 9. Culminating from the selfish ambition of her father, her health plummeted ranging from seizures, shortness of breath, and blackouts.
While Souichi and Hotaru were close in the anime, their manga counterpart was distant and cold. In chapter 2 of the arc Kaori (Tomoe’s assistant) notices Hotaru having a health fit.
Kaori offers to help Hotaru until she recovers.
Despite being offered help, Hotaru pretty much tells the woman to fuck off, stating that she can take care of herself. Tomoe intervenes, asking Hotaru not to be rude to his assistant as Kaori helped the family ever since the death of her mother.
Hotaru proceeds to go off on her dad. She doesn’t hold back in telling him that he’s only infatuated with the woman, who just happens to be his private tutor. As Hotaru storms to her room she tells Kaori that “she ought to learn her place”.
Souichi checks up on Hotaru once things cooled. As she is being comfort by her dad she remarks on how inhumanly cold his hands are.
I believe this is the best to describe their relationship: Cold. The two were distance and cold. Souichi was invested in his research, always in his lab. This left Hotaru lonely with little interaction with her father. Souichi only saw Hotaru as a project, more concerned Mistress 9’s growth than his own daughter.
Later in the future, Mistress 9 awoken (transformed after consuming Chibi-Usa’s Silver Crystal). Souichi was excited to see her in full. He expressed concerns that initial fusion attempts with Hotaru’s body failed, nearly prevented her awakening. Hotaru (observing the discussion in her spirit form) wasn’t pleased that her father did this to her.
Her suffering and ostracized life was caused by her own father. Her father whom only saw her as a science experiment.
Souichi would meet his demise in Act 35 of the manga. Soon after transforming into Daimon Germatoid, Tomoe was instantly killed by Super Sailor Moon’s “Rainbow Moon Heart Attack”. (Dude was talking all that good shit but he didn’t even last three pages.)
As she watched her father die, Hotaru reflects how he did everything for her ever since her mother’s death. However, she states that her father died on the day he sold himself to Pharaoh 90. The man who died was not her father.
It’s strange how opposite their relationship were comparing the anime to the original manga. Souichi wanted to do anything to save Hotaru even if it meant becoming a servant to Germatoid and the Pharaoh 90. While he was noble for doing so it did spite him as Hotaru would also become a servant to Mistress 9. Souichi had enormous remorse for allowing Hotaru to be possessed despite he knew it wasn’t his fault.
Unfortunately his manga counterpart did not share that guilt. He felt prideful about his actions, thinking of Hotaru as just a project and not his daughter. Yea, he did saved her life (how he did at may not been totally legal, performing surgery his kid in his secret lab) but what good was that if he took advantage of her suffering?
Goddammit manga Souichi. Just…goddammit.
While most (hardcore) fans are aware that Hotaru and her father’s interactions are vastly different in the manga/Crystal and original 90s anime, there are some who may had only grew up watching or experienced the original anime. It is because of watching the original anime alone that they were unaware that Souichi was a horrible person in original manga thus his cruel nature in Sailor Moon Crystal.
Their surprise is understanding as Souichi was a good person who was thrown into a horrible situation in Toei Animation’s portrayal of his character in the original series compared to Naoko Takeuchi’s Professor Tomoe in Crystal and the manga. Their shock pretty much inspired me to write about both versions lol (YouTube comments can do that to you)
I hope you enjoy this post and if you took the time to read it and enjoy what I wrote I hope you follow me on WordPress for more content like this. I am currently working on a piece for Son Goku from the popular Dragon Ball series so stick around for that in the future!