Sailor Moon is a '90s manga/anime series created by Naoko Takeuchi. The story revolves around ditzy schoolgirl Usagi Tsukino (Serena Tsukino in the Wild Western World) who wins love by daylight, and fights evil by moonlight under the magical girl identity of Sailor Moon, along with her fellow Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts in the Space Western version). They battle Flaming Queen Beryl, a superfiend who attempts to unite the three realms—Human, Beast, and Demon—and destroy the world. As the show progresses, each season gets more plot-driven and complex, but still manages to deliver a new group of nutjob villains who suck at their jobs. At the end of the series, Usagi marries the love of her life, Tuxedo Mask, and passes on her job to three transsexuals called the Sailor Starlights.
Sailor Moon first ran in Japan as a beloved classic anime, then was brought to Canada's YTV and poorly dubbed into a campy farce. In America, the dub first aired through syndication, then moved to Cartoon Network's otherwise-testosterone-addled block Toonami. The show originally had five seasons, but only four of them were deemed fit to air in 'Murica and Leafland. Through Sailor Moon, creator Naoko Takeuchi brought many important Japanese cultural themes and motivations to American audiences, including schoolgirls, overlong transformation sequences, consumption of toast, and enormous fire-spouting monsters destroying Tokyo. Thus, it is no surprise that the series was a worldwide hit, especially with young girls who wanted to be the Sailor Senshi, young boys just hitting puberty who wanted to be with the Sailor Senshi, and Future Funk musicians who crib "A E S T H E T I C" GIFs from the series.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Sailor Moon centers on Usagi Tsukino, a whiny 14-year-old schoolgirl living in Jūban, Tokyo. The story starts out with young Usagi going to school one morning when she meets Luna, a talking black cat with a crescent moon on her head who tells Usagi that she is really Sailor Moon, and has been recruited by the Japanese government into the Sailor Senshi magical girl program. Usagi goes to meet the other Senshi, and learns that they must protect the Earth from evil; indeed, if it weren't for these scantily-clad teenagers, Earth would probably not be nearly as nice. Each Sailor Senshi is named after a planetary body; for example: Sailor Moon (the Moon), Sailor Mercury (Mercury), and Sailor J1407b from the 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 system, in the constellation Centaurus.
The characters' pasts are mysterious and hidden even to them. Much of the series is devoted to them discovering their true identities and pasts, in a romantic story more complicated than AP algebra. Luna, who teaches and guides the Sailor Senshi, doesn't know
everyanything about their histories either, and the Senshi eventually learn that, by sheer twist of fate, Usagi is the real Moon Princess, and the other Senshi are incarnations of the Moon Princess' protectors. Long ago in the Silver Millennium, when the Dark Kingdom destroyed the Moon Kingdom (sorry, but the Moon Princess is in another castle!), the Moon Queen sent the Moon Princess, her useless guardians, and her true love Tuxedo Mask into the future to be reborn and protect the world. Now the Senshi must defeat the Dark Kingdom, led by Flaming Queen Berryl. Gradually, Usagi discovers the truth about her own past life (boring...), her destined true love (*yawn*), and the possibilities for the future of the solar system.
There are five main story arcs: Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Stars. There's a "Lost Arc", where the Senshi get trapped in a fighting game and are sexually abused by slime and a black floating circle. There's an "Island Arc", where the Senshi go to an island resort, which is actually a rejected idea for another manga from 30 years ago. And finally, there's the "Crystal Arc", where some random Egyptian man steal the Silver Crystal and the Senshi must get it back through a convoluted four-part musical which blended themes of Jewish mythology, vampires, historic serial killers, and overthrowing God (which failed because God is omnipotent).
Episodes[edit | edit source]
Basically, every episode follows this formula:
- Usagi is conversing with her friends in a forced, punny-yet-unfunny way. Either that or she's whining about something.
- The Monster of the Week shows up and destroys Tokyo.
- Usagi, despite being able to peek above the park wall from behind, pays no attention and either a) zones out or b) actually figures out what's going on, but overlooks it while thinking about going on a date with Mamoru.
- The Senshi all get themselves in trouble.
- Luna reminds the Senshi to transform into their Sailor alter-egos.
- The transformation scenes take several minutes to occur, but the monsters don't attack.
- Mamoru shows up as Tuxedo Mask and saves the girls, or flirts with them. He then reminds them to use their special attack.
- Sailor Moon yells out "Moon tiara action!" or something, as do the other Senshi, and they take another minute to use their attacks. The enemies are still waiting; the viewer has forgotten who they were.
- The attack finally hits. It never misses and always kills the enemy in one fell swoop.
- Usagi narrates a cheesy '90s PSA, which states the moral of this week's episode, which was often completely unrelated to the actual episode.
- The End.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Heroes[edit | edit source]
- Sailor Senshi
The Sailor Senshi (called the Sailor Scouts in the original English dub) are a group of ten magical girls who are reincarnated to combat an assortment of antagonists attempting to take over Tokyo, the Earth, and eventually, the Milky Way galaxy.
- Usagi Tsukino (Serena Tsukino in the original English dub) – The main protagonist of the series and leader of the Sailor Senshi. She is a loud, whiny, dumb blonde with an enormous capacity for love, compassion, and understanding. Usagi transforms into The One Named Sailor Moon, the Champion of Justice who fights evil by moonlight and wins love by daylight. She's madly in love with Tuxedo Mask, who she is destined to be impregnated by to spawn Chibi Usa. In early episodes, she used her gold-plated metal tiara as a Frisbee to gruesomely decapitate enemies. Since this was too violent for a kids' show, she was later given various types of magic wands.
- Mamoru Chiba (Darien Shields in the original English dub) – A bishounen student slightly older than Usagi. Transforming into
ElonTuxedo MuskMask by donning a tuxedo, top hat, and mask, he is always there to save Usagi and friends without doing anything, but never sticks around to fulfill their lustful desires. Oddly, he's attracted to a middle schooler despite being in college. Tux's deadly rose attack can instantly level ten city blocks and has completely destroyed Tokyo in numerous episodes. After his girlfriend defeated Sailor Galaxia and her bitches, he moved to Morioh and become Kira Yoshikage.
- Ami Mizuno (Amy Mizuno in the original English dub) – The smart one of the group. A dedicated computer hacker, she can transform into Sailor Mercury, Soldier of Water and Wisdom. Her attack is the weakest, since it only creates thick fog that results in multiple traffic accidents. However, her strength was demonstrated when she survived a 24-hour chess match while fully frozen, without losing a limb to frostbite.
- Rei Hino (Raye Hino in the original English dub) – The priestess of the group. She transforms into Sailor Mars, Soldier of Fire and Passion. Aside from bitchslapping Usagi and dating her boyfriend, she likes to set things on fire. Her school uniform, notably, has the shortest skirt of the group. She practices witchcraft, proving that she is in fact a white person and not an Asian. She is also the distant cousin of Kagome Higurashi.
- Makoto Kino (Lita Kino in the original English dub) – The drama queen who's always looking for a boyfriend, only to be disappointed that he reminds her of someone she's already been with. Unusually tall and strong for a Japanese schoolgirl, she transforms into Sailor Jupiter, Soldier of Thunder and Strength. She is known for her immense amounts of "talent".
- Minako Aino (Mina Aino in the original English dub) – The self-centered, conceited valley girl of the group who somehow used to be a powerful and respected princess. She transforms into Sailor Venus, Soldier of Love and Beauty. Despite being naturally blonde and blue-eyed, she engages in traditional activities of Japanese schoolgirls, such as selling her used panties, thinking everything about herself is cute, and pleasuring her cat guardian Artemis by prancing around in her underwear.
- Chibiusa (Rini in the original English dub) – A little girl who transforms into Sailor Chibi Moon, the Soldier of Love and Justice. During one season of the series, she maintained a healthy, romantic relationship with a horse. During another season we discover that she is actually Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask's daughter from the future, and the Princess of the 30th Century Earth.
- Setsuna Meioh (Trista Meioh in the original English dub) – A distant and stern woman who transforms into Sailor Pluto, the Soldier of Time, Change, the Afterlife, and Revolution. She didn't get much screentime due to producers denouncing her appearance as "too old", compared to the other young, spy Sailors—and also because Pluto isn't a planet anymore. She has fallen into massive depression after being demoted, and was last seen at an all-you-can-eat buffet, claiming that she's "Working on regaining her previous title."
- Haruka Tenoh (Amara Tenoh in the original English dub) – The one in the group with a funny name. She is able to transform into Sailor Uranus, Soldier of the Sky and Fury. Contrary to popular belief, she is not a lesbian in a relationship with Sailor Neptune; rather, they are cousins. Her earthquake attack made her the subject of CIA investigation following the collapse of the Twin Towers.
- Michiru Kaiou (Michelle Kaioh in the original English dub) – The art school dropout of the group. She transforms into Sailor Neptune, Soldier of the Deep Sea, apparently ignorant that Sailor Mercury had the idea of a water-based attack first. She is a wanted war-criminal due to the numerous tsunamis caused by her attacks. She is the
cousinlesbian partner of Sailor Uranus.
- Hotaru Tomoe – A sweet, lonely young girl. The "bad girl" of the group, Sailor Saturn is pretty much useless. She can heal wounds? Cool. She can summon mass destruction? Done that millions of times before. Dies after doing this? Damn. She is the only Senshi to retain her original name in the English dub, but the "e" in her name was made silent, resulting in the pronunciation Toe-moe rather than Toe-moe-eh. She is considered the strongest Senshi (just because of her power), but not many people outside of Japan know about her or Pluto. That tells you a lot right there.
- Luna – A cat. A talking cat. A talking, purple, female cat who is the ruler of the known universe. She has the ability to create magical objects from her behind, and can also take on the form of a plushie, a grown-up female human, a human girl with cat ears, and a giant purple squid. She refuses to return Garfield's phone calls, as she is already engaged to Artemis.
- Artemis – A white cat destined to marry Luna and have a child. This child's name is Diana, a kitten who can talk, but apparently can't decide if she's purple or grey. She is one of the most pointless characters in the series, but people like her anyway. Later on she became Jojo's main villain/main villain's stand Killer Queen used by Mamoru's Jojo counterpart Kira Yoshikage.
- Princess Kakuyu – Some sort of princess who appeared in the last season. Along with the Starlights, she was relatively useless, and was brutally murdered by Galaxia.
- Sailor Starlights
The Sailor Starlights are women who transform into men—or is it men who transform into women?—and each share the name Kou. It doesn't really matter though, because they look exactly the same in either form. For some reason, Tokyopop named them "Lights" in the manga.
- Kou Seiya – The friendliest and most easygoing of the Starlights. Saint Seiya has a bond with Usagi, and the two have better chemistry than Usagi and Mamoru do. Seiya is a star American Football player in Usagi's school, and replaces Sailor Neptune as the star athlete which makes her jealous. Seiya transforms into Sailor Star Fighter and uses an attack called "Star Serious Laser", a combination of the two memes IMA FIRIN MY LAZOR and Why so serious?.
- Kou Taiki – Taiki is the one who wears the pants in the group. Taiki is always seen giving it to Yaten. Taiki transforms into Sailor Star Maker and arguably has the strangest attack in the series; Taiki's devastating "Star Gentle Uterus" attack sends out bubbles filled with aborted fetuses at Taiki's victims. China is currently studying this attack to help with their one-child policy.
- Kou Yaten – The photographer of the group, who gets about 30 minutes of screentime in the entire series. Often seen getting doing it with Taiki, Yaten is as gay as they come. Yaten transforms into Sailor Star Healer and has an electrical attack called "Star Sensitive Inferno", where Yaten gathers kinetic energy and releases it; while this looks cool enough, it in fact does little damage to enemies.
Villains[edit | edit source]
Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the villains show up to cause havoc, then fade into obscurity for the next arc's set to replace them.
- The Dark Kingdom
The Dark Kingdom (called the Negaverse in the original English dub) are the main antagonists in the first arc of the manga and anime, as well as the entirety of the live-action series.
BarrelBeryl – The evil heartless ruler of the Negaverse. She was the major villain of the second season, and is known for her extremely long hair and fingernails. She saps the energy from the people of Tokyo, always making it easy for Sailor Moon to defeat her. Beryl tried to destroy Sailor Moon with her army of lost souls, but failed and went into seclusion.
- Jadeite – A huge sexist pig, and one of Beryl's top-ranking minions. Soon, Beryl got so annoyed by him that she placed him in the Arctic Sea, where he was later eaten by a polar bear.
- Nephrite – A minion who wanted to get down with Mercury, but failed to do so. He was killed by Queen Beryl, but was resurrected as a normal human. He also stalked Usagi's lesbian partner Naru until Zoisite v& him.
- Zoisite – The token gay of the group, Zoisite is involved in a homosexual relationship with Kunzite and is his uke. He was killed by a cat named Hercules. The English dub turned him into a girl, because DiC believed homosexuality was the work of the devil.
- Kunzite – Zoisite's seme who made sweet, sweet love to his partner every time he could. Kunzite was turned into a zombie by Beryl, but was then converted into a normal human. His attempts to destroy the Sailor Senshi were so laughable that any meatball-head could see through them.
- The DD Girls – After watching an episode of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Beryl decided the best way to solve things was to fight 5-on-5. So she created the DD Girls, who all malfunctioned and exploded when Mercury hax'd into their l33tspaces.
- The Death Busters
The Death Busters (called the Bureau of Bad Behavior in the original English dub) are the main antagonists in the third arc of the manga and in Sailor Moon S.
- Professor Tomoe – The leader of the Death Busters, a mad scientist who takes pleasure in being seduced by his servants and is aroused by his own wicked laughter. His daughter is Hotaru, a super-emo depressed Bitch of Darkness.
- Kaorinite – A crimson-haired bitch who is always there when your man needs his pies baked, his dinner made, and his house cleaned. She attacks using black magic, or even her own hair. She tries to get the best out of the Professor to please him, but he completely ignores her. Kaorinite was killed, then resurrected, then killed again.
- Eudial – The first of the Witches Five and also the other mistress of the flame that is not Sailor Mars, Eudial is a horrible driver and is an avid snail hater. She fired things up with her transformer big ass machine gun flame buster contraption, which she nicknamed "Fire Buster".
- Mimette – Mimette took over as the second of the Witches Five. Mimette is a huge stalker, and has a crush on every male pop idol in existence. Once considered defecting to the Sailor team, but went into hiding after it was revealed she was a lesbian. She was murdered by a brown bear, because she started a forest fire in the Deku Woods.
- Telulu – The third of the Witches Five, Telulu was the mistress of plant-life, and had wild plant orgies with her plants. She became aroused by the color green, and made her home in a greenhouse. Almost attempting to tentacle rape Usagi, she was beheaded by Poison Ivy after Ivy thought she was trying to copy off of her.
- Viluy – Also known as Byruit. Viluy was a smart uber l33t space time geek who tried to use computers to take over the world, but was later defeated by Sailor Mercury during a super huge robot anime mecha-battle.
- Cyprin – She's the only member of the Witches 5 who has an evil counterpart. Her name is Petrol. They used their super huge magic sticks to try to defeat the Senshi but were tricked into firing their own weapons at each other killing them.
- Mistress Nine – Mistress Nine is actually a super version of Hotaru. She is known for having massively large amounts of "talent", akin to Sailor Jupiter.
- Dead Moon Circus
The Dead Moon Circus are the main antagonists in the fourth arc of the manga in Sailor Moon S.
- Zirconia – The leader of the circus, a beetleface character who looks a lot worse than your own grandma, who answers to Queen Nehelenia.
- Queen Nehelenia – The queen of the Dead Moon who became imprisoned inside a mirror by the previous Queen of the Moon for being on rampage for being ugly. Nehelenia lives a solitary life looking at reflections of people she had sex with, but was ditched by them, because she didn't look pretty. She resorts by consuming the dreams of people to maintain her sex drive. She also has a hostage who is Chibiusa's horse boyfriend Pegasus/Helios. She is in constant pursuit of the Golden Mirror where she might find him residing in someone's dream and obtain the Golden Crystal from him.
- Shadow Galactica
The main antagonists in the fifth and final arc of the manga and most of Sailor Stars, the Shadow Galactica (called the Shadowstar Galaxian in the original English dub) is an organization of corrupted Sailor Animamates and Sailor Senshi.
- Sailor Galaxia – The leader of the Shadow Galactica. Galaxia used to be a Senshi, until she got possessed by an evil spell or something, and became a depressive, passive-aggressive maniac with a god complex and an all-female harem of slaves. She apparently was not immune to Sailor Moon's love power. She almost turned into a female Vegeta, but thankfully the series ended before that could happen. Galaxia's main attack is killing people with her tongue and with the flick of her wrist. Galaxia is a ruthless villain, possibly the biggest evil bitch in the entire series, and also the world record holder of killing the most heroes, as well as her subordinates. Later on however, Galaxia realized what she wanted in life was love, not power. She accepted Usagi's offer of friendship, the bracelets which supplied Galaxia with life and power shattered, and she peacefully turned to ashes.
- Sailor Iron Mouse – The dumbest of the group, Iron Mouse fails at just about everything, from learning how to use a toilet to uncovering the identity of Sailor Moon. This of course, led to her downfall, and just when it was thought Galaxia killed her, she simply removed her male parts. She also owned a TARDIS!
- Sailor Aluminum Siren – The only one in the group smart enough to know Sailor Moon's identity. Slightly brain-dead, she shared a love for foods, as well as a romantic love for her sex partner Sailor Lead Crow. Killed by Galaxia, but her soul split into two parts, one went into the soul of Rachel Ray, and the other went into the soul of Paula Deen.
- Sailor Lead Crow – A Latino drama queen who was in a lesbian relationship with Aluminum Siren. After Siren died, Crow went into a deep depression. Forced to work with Sailor Tin Nyanko, she formed a trap, but Nyanko sabotaged it. Crow fell into a black hole which transported her to Oz. She now works in Munchkinland as a tour guide/mail-woman.
- Sailor Tin Nyanko – An annoying hyperactive catgirl. She worked with Lead Crow but caused her supposed death. Sailor Moon used her power to make half of Nyanko pure. However, Nyanko's exploded and died shortly thereafter. Galaxia then used her corpse as a rug. Did you know she was voiced by Pikachu?
- Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon – A sick woman who has butterfly wings and likes to fornicate with corpses.
- Sailor Buttress – A sailor who opposes both Mercury and Mistress Nine, stating that she is, indeed, the one with the most "talent" in the universe.
- Prince Endymion – The Master of Ceremonies at his school talent show. He transformers into MC Fly, a fly-man with an antenna on his head and wings, clad in a Phantom of the Opera-styled outfit. He has the ability to travel back to the future, and his minions are Shadow Bee, Shadow Bug, and Shadow Mantis.
- Sailor Guts – A huge Japanese-American football player who gets tired of being woman beef and instead chooses to become gay beef. He makes a treaty with Galaxia to become a Sailor, and runs around in an extremely tight speedo.
English dub[edit | edit source]
When Sailor Moon came over to North America to be dubbed by DiC Entertainment and later Cloverway Inc., network executives and censors mandated numerous things to be changed or removed. These included:
- Five episodes being deleted from the first season and two episodes being Frankenstein'd into one.
- Removal of any and all violence, especially violence towards children. There was a small blood mark on Sailor Moon's leg in the pilot episode, which was a mere flesh wound in the English dub, but was probably near-fatal in the original Japanese version.
- Adding a "Sailor Says" PSA at the end of each episode, with Memphis pattern visuals akin to Saved by the Bell.
- The characters' English dialogue was filled with puns and laden with '90s slang, i.e. "buggin'" and "meatball-head".
- Making Uranus and Neptune cousins rather than lesbians. The other gay people from the original version were also changed; in the original version, two of the male villains were a couple who were explicitly said to be screwing and made out every time they were onscreen, the third season female villains had wild graphic hatesex with each other, and the last season had two women deeply in love and also doing it.
- Changing names to make them sound "more American"; this was despite DiC being a French company. For example: Sailor Senshi → Sailor Scouts, Usagi Tsukino → Serena, Ami Mizuno → Amy, Rei Hino → Raye, Tuxedo Mask → The Masked Tuxedo
- For scenes of near-nudity, such as transformation sequences or bathing, breasts were digitally bowdlerized.
Through these removals, DiC and Cloverway had taken away the stuff people actually wanted to see in the show. The Japanese version was a little weird, but the
Americanized Canadianized version went way too far, being '90s cheesy and cliche wherever possible. In contrast, the earlier Spanish and French dubs retain the original sinfulness.
Merchandise and other media[edit | edit source]
Manga[edit | edit source]
Sailor Moon began in 1992 as a manga, originally released in 18 volumes, shortly before being spun off into an anime. It was later rereleased in 12 volumes in 2011, because people wanted less yin-yang for their yen. Takeuchi actually went to the trouble of re-illustrating the whole manga to make it seem less artistic and more like it was drawn by a five-year-old.
Video games[edit | edit source]
Video games based off Sailor Moon were produced. This being a '90s anime meant that lots and lots of fighting games were produced, most of which were ripoffs of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Final Fight. But hey, you expected a good, non-cashgrab game from this popular an anime? Funny...
Toon Maker adaptation[edit | edit source]
In 1993, Rocky Balboa Lew Solotoff, president and founder of Toon Maker Inc. had hoped to capitalize on the success of Saban Entertainment's Power Rangers by creating an American live-action/animated version of Sailor Moon. Solotoff wrote, directed, and produced a pilot episode of his Sailor Moon version for a company called Renaissance-Atlantic, who had helped Saban procure Super Sentai from Toei to create the Power Rangers. The show was done in a "realistic"/comic book-y Western animation style popular at the time, i.e. She-Ra or The Magic School Bus.
To this day, Solotoff's version of Sailor Moon has not been exhibited publicly on account of its sheer awfulness. Unfortunately, some poor soul had the strength to bootleg part of it, and posted it on the Internet years later.
Sailor Moon Crystal[edit | edit source]
In 2014, a new anime was released on the Crunchyroll streaming service, titled Sailor Moon Crystal. This anime was supposed to be reboot of the original, and replaced the original's charming cel animation with overly-clean digital animation and triangular faces.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Sailor Moon received international acclaim, becoming one of the most popular manga and anime series of all-time. Critic Fred Patten credits Takeuchi with popularizing the concept of a sentai ("team") of magical girls, unlike Power Rangers which was merely a sentai of boys. Anime astrologist Paul Gravett credits the series with shining new moonlight on the magical girl genre, as previous magical girls such as Cutie Honey did not use their powers to fight evil, but merely distracted enemies with their "talent". The Senshis' girl power changed all that, and magical girls could now zap their enemies from a distance rather than wooing them or doing hand-to-hand combat.
Most of Sailor Moon's viewers, ironically, were male. Some critics suggested that despite being aimed at young girls, the show had an adventurous and boyish feel to it. But really, we all know it's because it gave '90s boys — well, let's just say it really stroked a chord and they rushed home every day to watch another episode and recreate this magical feeling. The most popular Sailor Moon purchases among males were the cutouts, available exclusively in the back of video rental stores, farther back from the "adult" section.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Magical girl
- Japanese TV series centered around battles where powerful creatures are summoned using some small object that usually has a real-life equivalent of these battles in the form of a game, except in real life, you don't actually get to summon any creatures
- Dragon Ball Z
- Eclipse – Usagi might say she walked into a door but the real reason for the black-eye was she got in the way of Godzilla, the New National Theatre, and a clawed scaly fist. A Syzygy for triple word score.
- Sailor Ban Ki Moon
- Keith Moon