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Sailor Moon S
When Sailor Moon first uses the Holy Grail to become Super Sailor Moon, a bright light is unleashed, and dark energy start emerging from a girl (Hotaru). Days later after Sailor Moon retrieves to Holy Grail, she and Chibiusa go to the park.
Chibiusa loses her hat at the park and runs to retrieve it, where she first meets Hotaru. She and Hotaru quickly become best friends. However, Hotaru suffers from fits obtained from a lab accident years ago, so she sometimes collapses in pain.
During a few Daimon attacks, Hotaru started showing she had powers, as she was able to unconsciously damage a few Daimon that crossed her path during her fits. It was these instances that caught the attention of the Outer Senshi (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). They started to realize that she could be the Messiah of Silence. Sailor Pluto revealed that Hotaru was really the reincarnated Sailor Saturn, and feared that if Saturn awakened, she would end the world.
Once her identity as Saturn was confirmed during a Daimon attack, the Death Busters hid her away in Mugen Academy to keep the Senshi from killing her. Hotaru's body was under the control of the Messiah of Silence, passing orders to Professor Tomoe.
Chibiusa was eventually captured by the Death Busters and the Messiah of Silence consumed Chibiusa's Pure Heart crystal, changing her form into Mistress 9. While possessing Hotaru's body, Mistress 9 struggled to keep control as Hotaru continued to fight for control. After Mistress 9 opened the way for Pharaoh 90, Hotaru was finally able to regain control and destroy Mistress 9, reawakening as Sailor Saturn.
After Sailor Saturn was willing to give her life to destroy Pharaoh 90 and save the world, Sailor Moon was able to use her Pure Heart to enter the core to save Hotaru. Pharaoh 90 was destroyed and Sailor Moon survived, holding an infant Hotaru in her arms. Sailor Uranus and Neptune took Hotaru and gave her to Souichi Tomoe (who was no longer possessed by Germatoid) to raise her again.
Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars
In the fifth and final season, infant Hotaru is still living with her father and has a vision of Neo Queen Serenity and Eternal Sailor Moon in front of a vast full moon. Soon, Setsuna comes over to take Hotaru back with her, as she will be needed for the battles ahead. Professor Tomoe gives baby Hotaru to her, which implies that he had gotten his memory back and knows her destiny as a Sailor Senshi.
After Sailor Saturn's spirit suddenly awakens inside of her, Hotaru begins to grow up at a rapid rate throughout the course of days, until she reaches the age similar to that of Chibiusa. Hotaru is still an innocent girl without any memory of her previous life, until she is visited by her alter ego, Sailor Saturn. Saturn gives her host the memories of her previous life and reawakens her as Super Sailor Saturn, the Sailor Soldier of Death and Rebirth.
When influenced by Super Sailor Saturn, Hotaru is very determined when it comes to her mission and her duty as a Super Sailor Senshi, and her personality is very different from her human identity as Hotaru Tomoe, as she partially possessed and influenced by the spirit of Sailor Saturn herself.
Hotaru is absent for a majority of the Sailor Stars episodes, but appears during all of the Nehellenia arc episodes and only the very end episodes of the main arc. Despite being seen alone, she did not transform into Super Sailor Saturn on screen via Crystal Power.
- She was a major supporting character in the third season, and a minor recurring character in the fifth.
- Her personality and character changes to that of her other self when transformed into Sailor Saturn.
- "Hotaru" means firefly and the kanji of "Tomoe" translates as earth (to) and sprouting (moe), so her name means "firefly sprouting from Earth". Also, the first kanji in Tomoe is also the first character for the Japanese name for Saturn.
- Hotaru's personality in the S season is very different from that in the Stars season.
- In Sailor Moon S, she is normally calm, shy, and usually very gloomy. As her other self, Sailor Saturn, she is very serious and without much emotion.
- In Season Five, a five-year-old Hotaru is instead more playful and energetic, especially when it comes to spending time with Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna, but also very serious and determined when it comes to her duty as a Sailor Senshi. She is no longer shy, gloomy, or reserved like she was in the third season.
- Hotaru was the only Sailor Senshi to not receive a name change in the original English dub, but her last name was pronounced differently (pronounced toe-mo instead of toe-mo-eh).
- It was thought that her name gave rise to the otaku term, moe (moe-eh), but this is not the case.