This review of Sailor Moon eventually shrieks out "God dammit this show struck down basic feminism so hard that it still hurts!" Entirely because the main character is a teenage girl that likes to go shopping, likes boys, and fails at school. Nevermind that the series shows many different kinds of girls and makes a point of noting that Usagi is the only one like this. Nevermind even that Usagi actually grows up and matures quite past this (which is lampshaded more than once in the storyline, and once by Usagi herself). No, let's just enjoy the irony of a series created by a woman that provided strong and varied female role models in a setting that actually placed women as the central power in the universe and showed all dominant powers as matriarchies... being attacked for killing feminism.
- Shadowjack on rpg.net commented on how Sailor Moon averted this trope:
What I find fascinating about the series is that it really is girl power in action. It does not take traditionally "masculine" action tropes and simply gender swap them, no, and it does not deny or condemn the attraction of the pretty princess fantasy. Instead, it takes all the "feminine" girly stuff like frilly princess dresses and pink unicorns and makes them into implements of power. The hypothetical girl in the audience is being told that she can be as girly as she likes and still dream of growing up into power and responsibility. Feminine articles are not shackles or playthings to be eschewed, or tools good only for obtaining the approval of men — they are treated as cool and desirable things, in and of themselves.
Boy craziness is even part of this, in the way they make the knightly romance fantasy an active one. The girls wanna be swept off their feet by a handsome knight, and, damn it, they're gonna go out there and find that handsome knight and make sure he does it.
- Heck, just look at how many times Tuxedo Mask, the only prominent male lead, is brainwashed, knocked out, or otherwise kidnapped by the latest insane villain. And it's always his girlfriend who rescues him. There's only one story arc where he has any sort of significant power, and he still is sick for most of it. Inversely, Sailor Moon is rarely kidnapped or brainwashed and if she is, it lasts all of two seconds.
- And when Tuxedo Mask rescues her a lot early on, it should be remembered that Sailor Moon doesn't have much defensive magic. She's all about attack and defeating monsters, so early on when she didn't have her team with her yet, she needed some backup. That doesn't make her weak, it just means she doesn't have one of the more stereotypical female powers.
- In-universe Sailor Moon example: the infamous Stay in the Kitchen remarks by Jadeite in the first season, where he takes Tuxedo Kamen out of the fight and then mocks the girls for being upset about the apparentl lost of their ally. Moon, Mercury and Mars responded with a Shut Up, Hannibal! and an awesome Three Plane Fu.
Jadeite: Can't you do anything without the help of a man? Women are such foolish creatures in the end!
Mars: Hah! Only old men think that they're better than women in these days!
Mercury: That's right! Scorning women is positively feudalistic!
Moon: Down with sexual discrimination!
The three: We must fight against Jadeite, that arrogant man!
- In fact, every main female character in the show is a positive female role model of some sort, specially in the manga, for instance, the most popular character in Japan, Ami (Sailor Mercury), is a very intelligent young woman that wants to become a doctor and Sailor Jupiter is a tough girl that excels in fight and sports and stills likes cooking, baking and gardening.