Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon is a shojo manga by Naoko Takeuchi. It was adapted to an anime series by Toei Animation CO., LTD. Sailor Moon was one the most popular anime/manga series during the 1990s, spanning five seasons, four movies, and multiple video games. It continues to hold a strong fanbase with many fansites devoted to it.
Usagi (Serena in English) is an eighth grader who is clumsy, a crybaby and gets bad grades. One day, she meets a talking cat named Luna, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon, a superhero. Now, she has to fight monsters to save people from getting their energy stolen. Usagi also has some friends who fight evil. They are named Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter. They make up a team called the Sailor Senshi (Senshi means soldier or guardian). The Sailor Senshi are named after different planets in the solar system. Each of the Sailor Senshi uses magic powers to become a Sailor Senshi. They are also young Japanese girls. Their real names are not Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter. For example, when Sailor Mercury is not fighting evil, her name is Ami Mizuno (Amy in English). The name of Sailor Venus is Minako Aino (Mina in English). The name of Sailor Mars is Rei Hino (Raye in English). The name of Sailor Jupiter is Makoto Kino (Lita in English). Each of them has a transformation sequence where they turn into their Sailor Senshi form.
Mamoru Chiba (called Darien Chiba in the English manga and Darien Shields in the English anime) is Usagi's boyfriend. He uses magic powers to transform into a man named Tuxedo Mask, who fights evil along with the Sailor Senshi. In the future, Usagi and Mamoru get married and become the king and queen of the earth. Their daughter, named Chibiusa (Rini in the English version), travels through time to help them and the Sailor Senshi.
Usagi has a cat named Luna. The cat is named Luna because "luna" is the Latin word for moon. Minako has a cat named Artemis after the Greek goddess of the moon (although Artemis is a male cat). Luna and Artemis are not ordinary cats. They can talk, and they have moon symbols on their foreheads. They can also turn into humans in the manga, and Luna turns into a human in one of the anime movies. In the future, they have a kitten named Diana (Diana is the name of the Roman moon goddess).
Later there are some other Sailor Senshi. They are named after the planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (now a dwarf planet). Sailor Saturn's real name is Hotaru Tomoe . Sailor Uranus' real name is Haruka Tenoh (Amara in English). Sailor Neptune's real name is Michiru Kaioh (Michelle in English). Sailor Pluto's real name is Setsuna Meioh (Trista in English). In the manga and the Japanese anime, Haruka and Michiru are lesbians, but in the English anime they were changed to cousins. This is because the English anime was made for younger children than the Japanese anime.
Each Sailor Senshi has different powers. Sailor Moon has powers of love and healing. Sailor Mercury has powers of water. Sailor Mars has fire powers, Sailor Jupiter has electricity and plant powers, and Sailor Venus has light and energy powers. Sailor Chibi Moon, (called Sailor Mini Moon in the English version) has love and sugar powers. Sailor Saturn is death and rebirth, Sailor Neptune is water, Sailor Uranus is earthquakes, and Sailor Pluto has time and death powers. Tuxedo Mask can throw sharp rose darts at the enemies.
In the manga there are five series:Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R(eturn/omance), Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Super Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Stars. Sailor Moon was originally serialized in the Japanese manga magazine by Kodansha. Afterwards Kodansha published the completed series in volumes. There are eighteen volumes total.
The anime stayed close to the story from the manga. However due to its popularity, Toei made more seasons and produced movies. Sailor moon was licensed to be aired in the United States by DIC Entertainment (a company that makes TV and film). DIC cut out some scenes and changed some of the dialogue to make it more acceptable for children. Many anime fans in the US did not like the changes. Due to their complaints, ADV Films and later Pioneer Inc. made uncut versions.
The following TV series and movies were made:
- Original TV Series (1992-1997)
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Stars
- Revived TV Series (2013-present)
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S: The Movie
- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie