Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn, originally translated as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon[1] and later as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon[2][3]) is a Japanese shōjo manga series by Naoko Takeuchi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997; the 60 individual chapters were published in 18 tankōbon volumes. The series follows the adventures of a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino as she transforms into Sailor Moon to search for a magical artifact, the "Legendary Silver Crystal" (「幻の銀水晶」 Maboroshi no Ginzuishō, lit. "Phantom Silver Crystal"). She leads a diverse group of comrades, the Sailor Soldiers (セーラー戦士 Sērā Senshi) (Sailor Guardians in later editions) as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the Solar System.

The manga was adapted into an anime series produced by Toei Animation and broadcast in Japan from 1992 to 1997.[4][5] Toei also developed three animated feature films, a television special, and three short films based on the anime. A live-action television adaptation, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, aired from 2003 to 2004, and a second anime series, Sailor Moon Crystal, began simulcasting in 2014. The manga series was licensed for an English language release by Kodansha Comics in North America, and in Australia and New Zealand by Random House Australia. The entire anime series has been licensed by Viz Media for an English language release in North America and by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.

Since its release, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon has received acclaim, with praise for its art, characterization, and humor. The manga has sold over 35 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling shōjo manga series. The franchise has also generated $5 billion in merchandise sales.

Sailor Moon
SMVolume1
First tankōbon volume, released in Japan
on July 6, 1992 featuring Usagi Tsukino as Sailor Moon.
美少女戦士セーラームーン
(Bishōjo Senshi Sērāmūn)
GenreMagical girl
Manga
Written byNaoko Takeuchi
Published byKodansha
English publisher
Penguin Books Australia
Turnaround Publisher Services
DemographicShōjo
MagazineNakayoshi, Run Run
English magazine
Original runDecember 28, 1991February 3, 1997
Volumes18
Anime television series
Other media

Plot

In Minato, Tokyo, a middle-school student named Usagi Tsukino befriends Luna, a talking black cat who gives her a magical brooch enabling her to become Sailor Moon: a soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil. Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Soldiers to find their princess and the Silver Crystal. They encounter the studious Ami Mizuno, who awakens as Sailor Mercury; Rei Hino, a local shrine maiden who awakens as Sailor Mars; Makoto Kino, a tall transfer student who awakens as Sailor Jupiter; and Minako Aino, a young aspiring idol who awakens as Sailor Venus, accompanied by her talking feline companion Artemis. Additionally, they befriend Mamoru Chiba, a high-school student who assists them on occasion as Tuxedo Mask.

In the first arc, the group battles the Dark Kingdom. Led by Queen Beryl, a team of generals—the Four Kings of Heaven (四天王 Shiten'ō, lit. "Four Heavenly Kings")—attempt to find the Silver Crystal and free an imprisoned, evil entity called Queen Metaria. Usagi and her team discover that in their previous lives they were members of the ancient Moon Kingdom in a period of time called the Silver Millennium. The Dark Kingdom waged war against them, resulting in the destruction of the Moon Kingdom. Its ruler Queen Serenity later sent her daughter Princess Serenity, her protectors the Sailor Soldiers, their feline advisers Luna and Artemis, and the princess's true love Prince Endymion into the future to be reborn through the power of the Silver Crystal. The team recognizes Usagi as the reincarnated Serenity and Mamoru as Endymion. The Soldiers kill the Four Kings, who turn out to have been Endymion's guardians who defected in their past lives. In a final confrontation with the Dark Kingdom, Minako kills Queen Beryl; she and the other Soldiers then sacrifice their lives in an attempt to destroy Queen Metaria. Using the Silver Crystal, Usagi defeats Metaria and resurrects her friends.

At the beginning of the second arc, Usagi and Mamoru's daughter Chibiusa arrives from the future to find the Silver Crystal. As a result, the Soldiers encounter Wiseman and his Black Moon Clan, who are pursuing her. Chibiusa takes the Soldiers to the future city Crystal Tokyo, where her parents rule as Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion. During their journey, they meet Sailor Pluto, guardian of the Time-Space Door. Pluto stops the Clan's ruler Prince Demand from destroying the spacetime continuum, leading to her death. Chibiusa later awakens as a Soldier—Sailor Chibi Moon and helps Usagi kill Wiseman's true form, Death Phantom.

The third arc revolves around a group of lifeforms called the Death Busters, created by Professor Soichi Tomoe, who seek to transport the entity Pharaoh 90 to Earth to merge with the planet. Tomoe's daughter, Hotaru, is possessed by the entity Mistress 9, who must open the dimensional gateway through which Pharaoh 90 must travel. Auto-racer Haruka Tenoh and violinist Michiru Kaioh appear as Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, who guard the outer rim of the Solar System from external threats. Physics student Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto's reincarnation, joins the protagonists. Usagi obtains the Holy Grail, transforms into Super Sailor Moon, and attempts to use the power of the Grail and the Silver Crystal to destroy Pharaoh 90. This causes Hotaru to awaken as Sailor Saturn, whom Haruka, Michiru, and Setsuna initially perceive as a threat. As the harbinger of death, Hotaru uses her power of destruction to sever Pharaoh 90 from the Earth and instructs Setsuna to use her power over time-space to close the dimensional gateway.

In the fourth arc, Usagi and her friends enter high school and fight against the Dead Moon Circus, led by Queen Nehelenia, the self-proclaimed "rightful ruler" of both Silver Millennium and Earth. Nehelenia invades Elysion, which hosts the Earth's Golden Kingdom, capturing its High Priest Helios and instructing her followers to steal the Silver Crystal. As Prince Endymion, Mamoru is revealed to be the owner of the Golden Crystal, the sacred stone of the Golden Kingdom. Mamoru and the Soldiers combine their powers with those of the Holy Grail, enabling Usagi to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon and kill Nehelenia. Four of Nehelenia's henchmen, the Amazoness Quartet, are revealed to be Sailor Soldiers called the Sailor Quartet, who are destined to become Chibiusa's guardians in the future; they had been awakened prematurely and corrupted by Nehelenia.

In the final arc, Usagi and her friends are drawn into a battle against Shadow Galactica, a group of false Sailor Soldiers. Their leader, Sailor Galaxia, plans to steal the Sailor Crystals of true Soldiers to take over the galaxy and kill an evil lifeform known as Chaos. When Galaxia kills Mamoru and most of the Sailor Soldiers, she steals their Sailor Crystals. Usagi travels to the Galaxy Cauldron to defeat Galaxia and revive her teammates. Joining Usagi are the Sailor Starlights who come from the planet Kinmoku, their ruler Princess Kakyuu and the infant Sailor Chibichibi, who comes from the distant future. Later, Chibiusa and the Sailor Quartet join Usagi and company. After numerous battles and the death of Galaxia, Sailor Chibichibi reveals her true form as Sailor Cosmos. After defeating Chaos with the Silver Crystal, Usagi revives Mamoru and the Sailor Soldiers, before returning to Earth. The series ends with Usagi and Mamoru's wedding six years later.

Production

Naoko Takeuchi redeveloped Sailor Moon from her 1991 manga serial Codename: Sailor V, which was first published on August 20, 1991, and featured Sailor Venus as the main protagonist.[6] Takeuchi wanted to create a story with a theme about girls in outer space. While discussing with her editor Fumio Osano, he suggested the addition of Sailor fuku.[7] When Codename: Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime by Toei Animation, Takeuchi redeveloped the concept so Sailor Venus became a member of a team.[8][9] The resulting manga series became a fusion of the popular magical girl genre and the Super Sentai series, of which Takeuchi was a fan.[10] Recurring motifs include astronomy,[7] astrology, gemology, Greek and Roman mythology,[11] Japanese elemental themes,[12]:286 teen fashions,[11][13] and schoolgirl antics.[13]

Takeuchi said discussions with Kodansha originally envisaged a single story arc;[14] the storyline was developed in meetings a year before serialization began.[15]:93 After completing the arc, Toei and Kodansha asked Takeuchi to continue the series. She wrote four more story arcs,[14] which were often published simultaneously with the five corresponding seasons of the anime adaptation. The anime ran one or two months behind the manga.[15]:93 As a result, the anime follows the storyline of the manga fairly closely, although there are deviations.[16] Takeuchi later said because Toei's production staff were mostly male, she feels the anime has "a slight male perspective."[16]

Takeuchi later said she planned to kill off the protagonists, but Osano rejected the notion and said, "[Sailor Moon] is a shōjo manga!" When the anime adaptation was produced, the protagonists were killed in the final battle with the Dark Kingdom, although they were revived. Takeuchi resented that she was unable to do that in her version.[17] Takeuchi also intended for the Sailor Moon anime adaptation to last for one season, but due to the immense popularity, Toei asked Takeuchi to continue the series. At first, she struggled to develop another storyline to extend the series. While discussing with Osano, he suggested the inclusion of Usagi's daughter from the future, Chibiusa.[17]

Media

Manga

Written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon was serialized in the monthly manga anthology Nakayoshi from December 28, 1991 to February 3, 1997.[6] The side-stories were serialized simultaneously in RunRun—another of Kodansha's manga magazines.[6] The 52 individual chapters were published in 18 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha from July 6, 1992, to April 4, 1997.[18][19] In 2003, the chapters were re-released in a collection of 12 shinzōban volumes to coincide with the release of the live-action series.[20] The manga was retitled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and included new cover art,[21] and revised dialogue and illustrations. The ten individual short stories were also released in 2 volumes.[22][23] In 2013, the chapters were once again re-released in 10 kanzenban volumes to commemorate the manga's 20th anniversary, which includes digitally remastered artwork, new covers and color artwork from its Nakayoshi run.[24] The books have been enlarged from the typical Japanese manga size to A5.[25][26] The short stories were republished in two volumes, with the order of the stories shuffled. Codename: Sailor V was also included in the third edition.[26]

The Sailor Moon manga was initially licensed for an English release by Mixx (later Tokyopop) in North America. The manga was first published as a serial in MixxZine beginning in 1997, but was later removed from the magazine and made into a separate, monthly comic to finish the first, second and third arcs. At the same time, the fourth and fifth arcs were printed in a secondary magazine called Smile.[27] The series was later collected into three-part graphic novels spanning eighteen volumes, which were published from December 1, 1998, to September 18, 2001.[28][29] Tokyopop's license expired in 2005 and its edition went out of print.[30] Daily pages from the Tokyopop version ran in the Japanimation Station, a service accessible to users of America Online.[31] In May 2005, Tokyopop's license to the Sailor Moon manga expired, and its edition went out of print.[32]

In 2011, Kodansha Comics announced it would publish the Sailor Moon manga and the lead-in series Codename: Sailor V in English.[33] It would also re-publish the twelve volumes of Sailor Moon simultaneously with the two-volume edition of Codename Sailor V, from September 2011 to July 2013.[34][35][36] The first volume of the two related short stories was published on September 10, 2013;[37] the other was published on November 26.[38]

The manga has also been licensed in other English-speaking countries. In the United Kingdom, the volumes are distributed by Turnaround Publisher Services.[39] In Australia, the manga is distributed by Penguin Books Australia.[40]

The manga has been licensed in Russia and CIS for distribution by XL-Media publishing company, a subdivision of Eksmo publishing company. The date of release is unknown.[41]

Anime series

Sailor Moon

Toei Animation produced an anime television series based on the 52 manga chapters, also titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon.[4][5] It was directed by Junichi Sato, Kunihiko Ikuhara and Takuya Igarashi.[42] The series premiered in Japan on TV Asahi on March 7, 1992, and ran for 200 episodes until its conclusion on February 8, 1997. Most of the international versions, including the English adaptations, are titled Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon Crystal

On July 6, 2012, Kodansha and Toei Animation announced that it would commence production of a new anime adaptation of Sailor Moon, called Sailor Moon Crystal, for a simultaneous worldwide release in 2013 as part of the series' 20th anniversary celebrations.[43][44][45][46] Crystal premiered on July 5, 2014, and episodes would premiere on the first and third Saturdays of each month.[47] Kotono Mitsuishi reprised her role as Sailor Moon.[48] The first two seasons were released together, covering their corresponding arcs of the manga ("Dark Kingdom" and "Black Moon"). A third season (subtitled "Death Busters" based on the "Infinity" arc on the manga) premiered on April 4, 2016.[49] On January 25, 2017, another sequel was announced.[50]

Films and television specials

Three animated theatrical feature films based on the original Sailor Moon series have been released in Japan. The films are side-stories that do not correlate with the timeline of the original series. A one-hour television special was aired on TV Asahi in Japan on April 8, 1995.[51] In 1997, an article in Variety stated that The Walt Disney Company was interested in acquiring the rights to Sailor Moon as a live action film to be directed by Stanley Tong.[52]

Companion books

There have been numerous companion books to Sailor Moon. Kodansha released some of these books for each of the five story arcs, collectively called the Original Picture Collection. The books contain cover art, promotional material and other work by Takeuchi. Many of the drawings are accompanied by comments on the way she developed her ideas, created each picture and commentary on the anime interpretation of her story.[1][53][54][55][56] Another picture collection, Volume Infinity, was released as a self-published, limited-edition artbook after the end of the series in 1997. This art book includes drawings by Takeuchi and her friends, her staff, and many of the voice actors who worked on the anime. In 1999, Kodansha published the Materials Collection; this contained development sketches and notes for nearly every character in the manga, and for some characters that never appeared. Each drawing includes notes by Takeuchi about costume pieces, the mentality of the characters and her feelings about them. It also includes timelines for the story arcs and for the real-life release of products and materials relating to the anime and manga. A short story, Parallel Sailor Moon is also featured, celebrating the year of the rabbit.[14]

Novels

Sailor Moon was also adapted for publication as novels and released in 1998. The first book was written by Stuart J. Levy and the following written by Lianne Sentar.[57]

Stage musicals

In mid-1993, the first musical theater production based on Sailor Moon premiered; Anza Ohyama starred as Sailor Moon. Thirty such musicals in all have been produced, with one in pre-production. The shows' stories include anime-inspired plotlines and original material. Music from the series has been released on about 20 memorial albums.[58] The popularity of the musicals has been cited as a reason behind the production of the live-action television series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.[59]

During the original run musicals ran in the winter and summer of each year, with summer musicals staged at the Sunshine Theater in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. In the winter, musicals toured to other large cities in Japan, including Osaka, Fukuoka,[60] Nagoya, Shizuoka, Kanazawa, Sendai,[61] Saga, Oita, Yamagata and Fukushima.[62] The final incarnation of the first run, New Legend of Kaguya Island (Revised Edition) (新・かぐや島伝説 <改訂版> Shin Kaguyashima Densetsu (Kaiteban)), went on stage in January 2005, following which, Bandai officially put the series on a hiatus.[63] On June 2, 2013, Fumio Osano announced on his Twitter page that the Sailor Moon musicals would begin again in September 2013.[64] The 20th anniversary show La Reconquista ran from September 13 to 23 at Shibuya's AiiA Theater Tokyo, with Satomi Ōkubo as Sailor Moon. Satomi Ōkubo reprised the role in the 2014 production Petite Étrangère which ran from August 21 to September 7, 2014, again at AiiA Theater Tokyo.

Live-action series

Unmade American remake

In 1993, Renaissance-Atlantic Entertainment, Bandai and Toon Makers, Inc. conceptualized their own version of Sailor Moon, which was half live-action and half Western-style animation. Toon Makers produced a 17-minute proof of concept presentation video as well as a two-minute music video, both of which were directed by Rocky Sotoloff, for this concept. Renaissance-Atlantic presented the concept to Toei, but it was turned down as their concept would have cost significantly more than simply exporting and dubbing the anime adaptation.[65]

At the 1998 Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles, the music video was shown. It has since been copied numerous times and has been viewed on many streaming video sites. Because of the relatively poor quality of the source video and circulated footage, many anime fans thought that the music video was actually a leaked trailer for the project. Additional copies of the footage have since been uploaded to the Internet and served only to bolster the mistaken assumption, in addition to incorrectly citing the production to Saban Entertainment, who became known for a similar treatment that created the Power Rangers series.[65]

In 1998, Frank Ward, along with his company Renaissance-Atlantic Entertainment, tried to revive the idea of doing a live-action series based on Sailor Moon, this time called Team Angel, without the involvement of Toon Makers. A 2-minute reel was produced and sent to Bandai America, but was also rejected.[66]

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

In 2003, Toei Company produced a Japanese live-action Sailor Moon television series using the new translated English title of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Its 49 episodes were broadcast on Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting from October 4, 2003 to September 25, 2004.[67][68] Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon featured Miyuu Sawai as Usagi Tsukino, Rika Izumi (credited as Chisaki Hama) as Ami Mizuno, Keiko Kitagawa as Rei Hino, Mew Azama as Makoto Kino, Ayaka Komatsu as Minako Aino, Jouji Shibue as Mamoru Chiba, Keiko Han reprising her voice role as Luna from the original anime and Kappei Yamaguchi voicing Artemis. The series was an alternate retelling of the Dark Kingdom arc, adding a storyline different from that in the manga and first anime series, with original characters and new plot developments.[59][69] In addition to the main episodes, two direct-to-video releases appeared after the show ended its television broadcast. "Special Act" is set four years after the main storyline ends, and shows the wedding of the two main characters. "Act Zero" is a prequel showing the origins of Sailor V and Tuxedo Mask.[70]

Video games

The Sailor Moon franchise has spawned several video games across various genres and platforms. Most were made by Bandai and its subsidy Angel; others were produced by Banpresto. The early games were side-scrolling fighters; later ones were unique puzzle games, or versus fighting games. Another Story was a turn-based role-playing video game.[71] The only Sailor Moon game produced outside Japan, 3VR New Media's The 3D Adventures of Sailor Moon, went on sale in North America in 1997.[72] A video game called Sailor Moon: La Luna Splende (Sailor Moon: The Shining Moon) was released on March 16, 2011 for the Nintendo DS.[73]

Tabletop games

The Dyskami Publishing Company released Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge, created by James Ernest of Cheapass Games and based on the Button Men tabletop game in 2017, and Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff in 2018.[74][75][76]

Theme park attractions

A Sailor Moon attraction, "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Miracle 4-D", exists at Universal Studios Japan.[77]

Reception

Sailor Moon is one of the most popular manga series of all time and continues to enjoy high readership worldwide. More than one million copies of its tankōbon volumes had been sold in Japan by the end of 1995.[15]:95 By the series' 20th anniversary in 2012, the manga had sold over 35 million copies in over fifty countries, and the franchise generated $5 billion in merchandise sales.[78] The manga won the Kodansha Manga Award in 1993 for shōjo.[79] The English adaptations of both the manga and the anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States.[80] The character of Sailor Moon is recognized as one of the most important and popular female superheroes of all time.[81][82][83][84]

Sailor Moon has also become popular internationally. Sailor Moon was broadcast in Spain and France beginning in December 1993; these became the first countries outside Japan to broadcast the series.[85] It was later aired in Russia, South Korea, the Philippines, China, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong, before North America picked up the franchise for adaptation. In the Philippines, Sailor Moon was one of its carrier network's main draws, helping it to become the third-biggest network in the country.[12]:10–11 In 2001, the Sailor Moon manga was Tokyopop's best selling property, outselling the next-best selling titles by at least a factor of 1.5.[86] In Diamond Comic Distributors's May 1999 "Graphic Novel and Trade Paperback" category, Sailor Moon Volume 3 was the best-selling comic book in the United States.[87]

In his 2007 book Manga: The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson gave the manga series three stars out of four. He enjoyed the blending of shōnen and shōjo styles and said the combat scenes seemed heavily influenced by Saint Seiya, but shorter and less bloody. He also said the manga itself appeared similar to Super Sentai television shows. Thompson found the series fun and entertaining, but said the repetitive plot lines were a detriment to the title, which the increasing quality of art could not make up for; even so, he called the series "sweet, effective entertainment."[80] Thompson said although the audience for Sailor Moon is both male and female, Takeuchi does not use excessive fanservice for males, which would run the risk of alienating her female audience. Thompson said fight scenes are not physical and "boil down to their purest form of a clash of wills", which he says "makes thematic sense" for the manga.[88]

Comparing the manga and anime, Sylvain Durand said the manga artwork is "gorgeous", but its storytelling is more compressed and erratic and the anime has more character development. Durand said "the sense of tragedy is greater" in the manga's telling of the "fall of the Silver Millennium," giving more detail about the origins of the Shitennou and on Usagi's final battle with Beryl and Metaria. Durand said the anime omits information that makes the story easy to understand, but judges the anime more "coherent" with a better balance of comedy and tragedy, whereas the manga is "more tragic" and focused on Usagi and Mamoru's romance.[89]

For the week of September 11, 2011, to September 17, 2011, the first volume of the re-released Sailor Moon manga was the best-selling manga on The New York Times Manga Best Sellers list, with the first volume of Codename: Sailor V in second place.[90][91] The first print run of the first volume sold out after four weeks.[92]

Legacy

With their dynamic heroines and action-oriented plots, many attribute the manga and anime series to reinvigorating the magical girl genre. After its success, many similar magical girl series, including Magic Knight Rayearth, Wedding Peach, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Saint Tail and Pretty Cure, emerged.[80]:199[93] Sailor Moon has been called "the biggest breakthrough" in English-dubbed anime until 1995, when it premiered on YTV,[12]:10–11 and "the pinnacle of little kid shōjo anime."[94] Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn said that soon after Sailor Moon, shōjo manga started appearing in book shops instead of fandom-dominated comic shops.[95] The series are credited as beginning a wider movement of girls taking up shōjo manga.[80][96] Canadian librarian Gilles Poitras defines a generation of anime fans as those who were introduced to anime by Sailor Moon in the 1990s, saying they were both much younger than other fans and were also mostly female.[93]

Historian Fred Patten credits Takeuchi with popularizing the concept of a Super Sentai-like team of magical girls,[97][98] and Paul Gravett credits the series with revitalizing the magical girl genre itself.[99] A reviewer for THEM Anime Reviews also credited the anime series with changing the genre—its heroine must use her powers to fight evil, not simply have fun as previous magical girls had done.[100] The series has also been compared to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,[11][101] Buffy the Vampire Slayer[12]:281[102][103] and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.[104] Sailor Moon also influenced the development of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, W.I.T.C.H., Winx Club, LoliRock, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and Totally Spies!.[105]

In western culture, Sailor Moon is sometimes associated with the feminist and Girl Power movements and with empowering its viewers,[106] especially regarding the "credible, charismatic and independent" characterizations of the Sailor Soldiers, which were "interpreted in France as an unambiguously feminist position".[107] Although Sailor Moon is regarded as empowering to women and feminism in concept, through the aggressive nature and strong personalities of the Sailor Soldiers,[108] it is a specific type of feminist concept where "traditional feminine ideals [are] incorporated into characters that act in traditionally male capacities".[108] While the Sailor Soldiers are strong, independent fighters who thwart evil—which is generally a masculine stereotype—they are also ideally feminized in the transformation of the Sailor Soldiers from teenage girls into magical girls, with heavy emphasis on jewelry, make-up and their highly sexualized outfits with cleavage, short skirts, and accentuated waists.[11]

The most notable hyper-feminine features of the Sailor Soldiers—and most other females in Japanese girls' comics—are the girls' thin bodies, long legs, and, in particular, round, orb-like eyes.[11] Eyes are commonly known as the primal source within characters where emotion is evoked—sensitive characters have larger eyes than insensitive ones.[108] Male characters generally have smaller eyes that have no sparkle or shine in them like the eyes of the female characters.[108] The stereotypical role of women in Japanese culture is to undertake romantic and loving feelings;[11] therefore, the prevalence of hyper-feminine qualities like the openness of the female eye in Japanese girls' comics is clearly exhibited in Sailor Moon. Thus, Sailor Moon emphasizes a type of feminist model by combining traditional masculine action with traditional female affection and sexuality through the Sailor Soldiers.[108] Its characters are often described with "catty stereotypes", Sailor Moon's character, in particular, being singled out as less than feminist.[109]

In English-speaking countries, Sailor Moon developed a cult following among anime fans and male university students.[11] Patrick Drazen says the Internet was a new medium that fans used to communicate and played a role in the popularity of Sailor Moon.[12]:281 Fans could use the Internet to communicate about the series, organize campaigns to return Sailor Moon to U.S. broadcast, to share information about episodes that had not yet aired, or to write fan fiction.[109][110] In 2004, one study said there were 3,335,000 websites about Sailor Moon, compared to 491,000 for Mickey Mouse.[111] Gemma Cox of Neo magazine said part of the series' allure was that fans communicated via the Internet about the differences between the dub and the original version.[112] The Sailor Moon fandom was described in 1997 as being "small and dispersed."[113] In a United States study, twelve children paid rapt attention to the fighting scenes in Sailor Moon, although when asked whether they thought Sailor Moon was violent, only two said yes and the other ten described the episodes as "soft" or "cute."[114]

References

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External links

Chibiusa

Chibiusa (ちびうさ, Chibiusa or Chibi-usa, renamed "Rini" in some English adaptations) is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is also one of the main characters of the series. She is introduced in Chapter 13, "Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangere", first published in Nakayoshi on February 3, 1993. She is a small child from the 30th century who travels to the past to seek help from the Sailor Soldiers. She later returns, a few years older, in order to train as a Soldier herself—Sailor Chibi Moon (セーラーちびムーン, Sērā Chibi Mūn), translated as "Sailor Mini Moon" in the DIC and Cloverway English adaptations.

Chibiusa's birth name and official title is Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity (うさぎS (スモール)L (レディ)セレニティ, Purinsesu Usagi Sumōru Redi Sereniti). She is adopted as a member of her mother's family, using the alias Usagi Tsukino, in the 20th century. She is given her nickname to differentiate from the older Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon. The nickname is a combination of chibi (meaning small person or small child) and her given name, Usagi.

Dark Kingdom

Dark Kingdom (ダーク・キングダム, Dāku Kingudamu) is a group of fictional antagonists in the Sailor Moon manga series by Naoko Takeuchi. They are the chief antagonists of the first story arc in every version of the series, and were first introduced in the first chapter of the manga, "Usagi – Sailor Moon", originally published in Japan's Nakayoshi on December 28, 1991. In some English adaptations, the Dark Kingdom's title was changed to Negaverse.

In each variation of the series, the characters — led by Queen Beryl — attempt to steal life energy from humans and the Silver Crystal, so they can release the evil Queen Metaria, who was imprisoned by Queen Serenity during the destruction of the Moon Kingdom during the "Silver Millennium" period.

Dead Moon Circus

The Dead Moon Circus (デッドムーンサーカス, Deddo Mūn Sākasu) are a group of fictional antagonists from the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. They serve as the main antagonists of the fourth arc, called Dream in the manga and Sailor Moon SuperS in its first anime adaptation. They are first introduced in chapter #34 "Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream", originally published in Japan on September 6, 1995. In the English dubbed anime, they are called the "Dark Moon Circus".

The Dead Moon Circus is led by the twisted Zirconia, in command by the absence of the dark Queen Nehelenia who is trapped within a mirror. Zirconia is searching for the legendary Golden Crystal, which will allow Nehelenia to break free of her entrapment and take over the Earth. They are the only group of villains with two subordinate groups: the Amazon Trio and the Amazoness Quartet.

List of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes

The fifth and final season of the Sailor Moon anime series, titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (美少女戦士セーラームーン セーラースターズ, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Sērā Sutāzu), was directed by Takuya Igarashi and produced by Toei Animation. Like the rest of the Sailor Moon series, it follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino and her fellow Sailor Guardians. The series is divided into two story arcs. The first 6 episodes consist of a self-contained arc in which the Sailor Guardians encounter Queen Nehelenia again. The remaining 28 episodes adapt material from the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi, in which the Sailor Guardians meet up with the Sailor Starlights, led by Princess Kakyuu. They discover that Sailor Galaxia, the leader of the "Shadow Galactica" organization and a corrupted Sailor Guardian, plans to increase her powers and rule the galaxy.

The season began broadcasting on TV Asahi on March 9, 1996 and ended on February 8, 1997 for 34 episodes. It was later released on DVD in six compilations with five episodes, by Toei, from September 26 to November 21, 2005. In May 2014, Viz Media announced that they licensed the series from the start for an uncut release, and also that they plan to release the fifth season on Blu-ray and DVD. On December 14, 2015, Viz Media streamed the first episode of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, along with the series finale of Sailor Moon SuperS, on Hulu in the United States, followed by a streaming release of the entire show on Tubi TV in Canada on July 15, 2016.

Sailor Stars will be released in a dual-language format in May 2019.

Three pieces of theme music were used: one opening theme and two ending themes. The opening theme, titled "Sailor Star Song", is performed by Kae Hanazawa. The ending theme, used for the first 33 episodes, is "Kaze mo Sora mo Kitto..." performed by Alisa Mizuki. The second and final ending theme is "Moonlight Densetsu" performed by Moon Lips.

List of Sailor Moon characters

The Sailor Moon manga series features an extensive cast of characters created by Naoko Takeuchi. The series takes place in Tokyo, Japan, where the Sailor Soldiers (セーラー戦士, Sērā Senshi), a group of ten magical girls, are formed to combat an assortment of antagonists attempting to take over the Earth, the Solar System, and the Milky Way galaxy. Each Soldier undergoes a transformation which grants her a uniform in her own theme colors and her own unique elemental power. The ten Sailor Soldiers are named after the planets of the Solar System, with the exception of Earth but with the inclusion of its moon. While many of the characters are humans with superhuman strength and magical abilities, the cast also includes anthropomorphic animals and extraterrestrial lifeforms.

The series follows the adventures of the titular protagonist, Sailor Moon, her lover Tuxedo Mask, and her guardians: Sailors Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. They are later joined by Chibiusa (Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask's daughter from the future) and four more guardians: Sailors Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn. The series' antagonists include the Dark Kingdom, the Black Moon Clan, the Death Busters, the Dead Moon Circus, and Shadow Galactica.

Takeuchi's initial concept was a story called Codename: Sailor V, in which Sailor V discovers her magical powers and protects the people of Earth. After the Codename: Sailor V manga was proposed for an anime adaptation, Takeuchi changed her concept to include ten superheroines who defend the galaxy. The manga's anime and live-action adaptations feature some original characters created by the production staff and not by Takeuchi.

List of Sailor Moon episodes

Sailor Moon, known in Japan as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, is an anime series adapted from the manga series of the title by Naoko Takeuchi. The series was directed by Junichi Sato, Kunihiko Ikuhara and Takuya Igarashi and produced by TV Asahi and Toei Animation. The first four seasons were dubbed and released in North America by DIC Entertainment (now DHX Media) and Cloverway. The series concentrates on the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a schoolgirl who learns that she and several other girls can transform into superheroines, Sailor Senshi, and fight against evil forces that threaten the world: the Dark Kingdom, the Makaiju (for the first 13 episodes of Sailor Moon R), the Black Moon Clan, the Death Busters, the Dead Moon Circus, and Shadow Galactica.

The series aired from March 7, 1992 to February 8, 1997, on TV Asahi in Japan. In addition to the 200 episodes, three feature-length films were produced, as well as five short films. In North America, the episodes aired from August 28, 1995 to December 21, 2000, on YTV in Canada, and in first-run syndication (and later on Cartoon Network) in the United States.

The first two seasons of the series, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R, were sold across 20 VHS volumes in Japan in 1995, and by the end of that year, each volume had sold more than 300,000 copies. In 2001, ADV Films released the English dubs of the first two seasons to 20 VHS volumes. The first two English language seasons were released on 14 Region 1 DVDs in 2002 by ADV. ADV also released subtitled and uncensored and uncut versions of the first two seasons in two separate Limited Edition DVD box sets in 2003. Pioneer Entertainment released both edited and unedited versions of the third and fourth seasons, Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S respectively, on DVD and VHS in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, the international rights to the series expired.At the start of Sailor Moon S, the episode numbers for the dub were adjusted by YTV to match those of the original Japanese version. There had previously been a gap in numbering because of the seven episodes that had been cut or merged in the previous two seasons. Because of this, episode numbers 83-89 were never used for the dub. However, in the United States, 83-89 were used for the dub on Cartoon Network, and did not match those of the original Japanese version.

On May 16, 2014, the entire anime series (all 200 TV episodes, all three movies, and the TV specials) was re-licensed for an updated English-language release by Viz Media.

List of Sailor Moon video games

The Sailor Moon video game series is based on Naoko Takeuchi's manga and anime series of the same name. The series was released in Japan during the height of the media franchise's popularity. By 1995, there were ten game releases, each with sales figures of about 200,000 to 300,000. By 1998, twenty games were released. They have never been released in any other country, with the exception of the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon game developed by Angel, which was released in France in 1994.

Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi (武内 直子, Takeuchi Naoko, Japanese: [ta.keꜜ.ɯ.tɕi naꜜ.o.ko] born March 15, 1967) is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known as the author of Sailor Moon, one of the most-popular manga series of all time.She has won several awards, including the 1993 Kodansha Manga Award for Sailor Moon.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (2003 TV series)

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn), commonly shortened to PGSM, is a Japanese tokusatsu television series based on the Sailor Moon manga created by Naoko Takeuchi. It is produced by Toei Company.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon was presented by Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, airing on that station in Nagoya and on the Japan News Network nationwide from October 4, 2003 to September 25, 2004, and was a retelling of the series' first story arc, albeit with considerable plot divergences.

The opening theme, titled "Kirari*Sailor Dream!" (キラリ☆セーラードリーム!, Kirari Sērā Dorīmu!), is performed by J-pop singer Nanami Yumihara under the name Sae (小枝).

The series lasted 49 episodes (called "Acts"), and also included two separate made-for-DVD specials, for a total of 51 acts.

Sailor Jupiter

Makoto Kino (木野 まこと, Kino Makoto, renamed "Lita Kino" in some English adaptations), better known as Sailor Jupiter (セーラージュピター, Sērā Jupitā), is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. Makoto is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

In the series, Makoto is the third Sailor Soldier to be discovered by Usagi Tsukino, and serves as the "muscles" of the group, as she possesses superhuman strength, as well as powers associated with electricity and plants.

Aside from the main body of the Sailor Moon series, Makoto features in her own manga short story, The Melancholy of Mako-chan. A number of image songs mentioning her character have been released as well, including the contents of three different CD singles.

Sailor Mars

Rei Hino (火野 レイ, Hino Rei, renamed "Raye Hino" in some English adaptations), better known as Sailor Mars (セーラーマーズ, Sērā Māzu), is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. In the series, Rei is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Rei is the second Sailor Soldier to be discovered by Usagi. She possesses powers associated with fire, the Ofuda charm, and psychic clairvoyance. Aside from the main body of the Sailor Moon series, Rei is featured in two different manga short stories. The first, Casablanca Memories, is entirely about her and her past; the second, Rei and Minako's Girls School Battle, is shared with Minako Aino. A number of image songs mentioning her character have been released as well, including the contents of three different CD singles.

Takeuchi based Rei on her own personal experience as a miko. Originally designed with her own unique outfit, when Takeuchi decided to give all of the Guardians identical outfits, Rei's high heels were the only aspect that was carried over. A cold and aloof character in the manga, her personality was drastically changed in the anime adaptation at the behest of Kunihiko Ikuhara, where she became fiery and hotheaded.

Sailor Mercury

Sailor Mercury (セーラーマーキュリー, Sērā Mākyurī) is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi. She is the alternate human identity of Ami Mizuno (水野 亜美, Mizuno Ami, renamed "Amy Anderson" or "Amy Mizuno" in some English adaptations), a teenage Japanese schoolgirl, and a part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Mercury is the first Sailor Soldier to be discovered by Sailor Moon. She serves as the "brains" of the group, as she is highly intelligent and can also use a supercomputer to collect useful information in battles. She possesses powers associated with water and ice.

Aside from the main body of the Sailor Moon series, Ami features in her own short story in the manga, Ami's First Love. Originally published in volume fourteen of the manga, this was the only of three "Exam Battle" stories to be made into a special for the anime, which by therefore, makes her one of the most recognizable and popular characters in the series. A number of image songs mentioning Ami's character have been released as well, including the contents of three different 3-inch CD singles.

Sailor Moon (TV series)

Sailor Moon, known in Japan as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン, Hepburn: Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn), is a 1992 Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation using Super Sentai motifs. It is based on the manga of the same title written by Naoko Takeuchi that was published from 1991 to 1997 in Nakayoshi. Sailor Moon first aired in Japan on TV Asahi from March 7, 1992, to February 8, 1997, and was dubbed into various territories around the world, including the United States, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

The series follows the adventures of the protagonist Usagi Tsukino, a middle school student who is given the power to become the titular Sailor Soldier. Joined by other Sailor Soldiers, they defend Earth against an assortment of evil villains. The anime also parallels the maturation of Usagi from an emotional middle school girl to a responsible young adult.

Due to the success of the anime in the United States, the manga comprising its story was released by Tokyopop. Additional manga works, called animanga, were released which adapt the animation to manga form. Sailor Moon's popularity has spawned numerous releases which have come to represent most of the content in the Sailor Moon universe, including 3 films, 39 video games, and numerous soundtracks stemming from this material. A second animated adaptation, Sailor Moon Crystal, began streaming worldwide from July 2014 onwards.

Sailor Moon (character)

Usagi Tsukino (月野 うさぎ, Tsukino Usagi, renamed "Serena Tsukino" or "Bunny Tsukino" in some English adaptations), better known as Sailor Moon (セーラームーン, Sērā Mūn), is a fictional superheroine who is the main protagonist and title character of the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. She is introduced in chapter #1, "Usagi – Sailor Moon" (originally published in Japan's Nakayoshi magazine on December 28, 1991), as a carefree schoolgirl who can transform into Sailor Moon, the de facto leader of the Sailor Soldiers. Initially believing herself to be an ordinary girl, she is later revealed to be the reincarnated form of the Princess of the Moon Kingdom, and she subsequently discovers her original name, Princess Serenity (プリンセス・セレニティ, Purinsesu Sereniti).

In Sailor Moon, Usagi meets Luna, a magical talking black cat that is searching for the Moon Princess. Luna reveals that Usagi is destined to save Earth from the forces of evil and gives her a brooch to transform into Sailor Moon. She asks Usagi to form the Sailor Soldiers, find their princess and protect the "Silver Crystal". As Usagi matures, she becomes a powerful warrior and protects her adopted home planet, Earth, from villains who wish to harm it. Usagi is depicted as usually carefree and cheerful, but with cry-baby tendencies that show themselves when things don't go her way.

As the protagonist, Usagi appears in every episode, film, television special, and original video animation (OVA) of the anime adaptations, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal; as well as the live action adaptation, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. She also cameos in the sister series Codename: Sailor V. She has been the subject of parodies and has appeared in special events. Most Western audiences were introduced to Usagi appearing in the Sailor Moon anime, which is an adaptation of the manga series. Usagi's critical reception has been largely positive and she is recognized as one of the most important and popular female superheroes of all time.

Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal, known in Japan as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (美少女戦士セーラームーンCRYSTAL(クリスタル), Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Kurisutaru), is a 2014 original net animation adaptation of the shōjo manga series Sailor Moon written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi and produced in commemoration of the original series' 20th anniversary. Produced by Toei Animation and directed by Munehisa Sakai (Seasons 1 and 2) and Chiaki Kon (Season 3-present), the series was streamed worldwide on Niconico from July 5, 2014 to July 18, 2015. Season one and two’s episodes were released twice a month. Instead of remaking the 1992–97 anime series preceding it, Toei produced Crystal as a reboot of Sailor Moon and as a more faithful adaptation of the manga by omitting much of the original material from the first series. The story focuses on Usagi Tsukino, who is a young girl that obtains the power to become the titular character. Other Sailor Guardians join her in search for Princess Serenity and the Silver Crystal.The first episode had an advanced screening on June 30, 2014 to celebrate Usagi's birthday. In May 2014, Viz Media licensed Crystal for an English-language release in North America. Viz is simulcasting the series on Neon Alley and Hulu to coincide with the worldwide streaming. Crunchyroll is also simulcasting the series in a separate contract with Toei Animation. Viz also premiered the first episode as part of their "Sailor Moon Day" celebration at the Anime Expo Convention in Los Angeles.A third season, based on the Infinity arc of the manga, premiered on April 4, 2016 and concluded on June 27, 2016. A sequel project was announced on January 25, 2017, later confirmed to be a two-part theatrical film project adapting the Dream arc from the manga that could be released in 2019.

Sailor Venus

Minako Aino (愛野 美奈子, Aino Minako, renamed "Mina Aino" in some English adaptations), better known as Sailor Venus (セーラーヴィーナス, Sērā Vīnasu), is a fictional character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. Minako is her sailor form's alternative human identity as part of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Minako is the fourth Sailor Soldier to be discovered by Usagi Tsukino, although she was the first Soldier to awaken her powers, even before Usagi did. She possesses powers associated with love and beauty, light, and golden material metal. In the manga and anime series, she dreams of becoming a famous idol, but in the live-action series, her character is already a well-known celebrity.

Minako is introduced as the protagonist of Naoko Takeuchi's much-shorter manga series, Codename: Sailor V, the prequel to Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. In it (and the early part of Sailor Moon), she goes by the pseudonym Sailor V (セーラーV, Sērā V), short for "Venus", and is given a personal backstory. The plot lines of Sailor V are generally compatible with the latter series, but are usually considered separate. Later, she co-stars with Rei Hino in a special short story titled Rei and Minako's Girls School Battle.

Tuxedo Mask

Tuxedo Mask (タキシード仮面, Takishīdo Kamen), also known as Mamoru Chiba (地場 衛, Chiba Mamoru, renamed Darien Shields in some English adaptations), is a fictional character and one of the primary protagonists of the Sailor Moon media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. He disguises himself in order to support the series' central heroines, the Sailor Soldiers. Wearing a mask to conceal his identity, he interferes with enemy operations, offers the Sailor Soldiers advice, and sometimes physically aids them in battle.

Like the Sailor Soldiers, Tuxedo Mask possesses a power item: a Sailor Crystal, which gives him guardianship over the planet Earth. He also has psychic powers, including psychometry and healing, which evolve and become important to the storyline in the manga, but which play only a minor role and remain static in the anime. Along with his primary love interest Sailor Moon, a significant player in much of the story, he has royal credentials in the "past life" storyline as well as in the future.

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