Manga: Sailor Moon
This page covers the manga and 1990s anime. For the entire franchise, see Franchise.Sailor Moon.
Naoko Takeuchi.Sailor Moon tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, a clumsy and lazy 14-year-old underachiever whose life takes a turn for the unexpected when she discovers that she is the Reincarnation of an ancient lunar warrior from the Moon Kingdom. With the aid of a feline mentor called Luna, Usagi must take up the mission of defending the Earth from the various evils that threaten it while searching for the reincarnation of the Moon Kingdom's princess.Over the course of a year, Usagi grows into her role as the Magical Girl Sailor Moon and greatly matures as a result, gathering a team of four other reincarnated warriors and realizing her true potential as both a fighter and a growing young woman. The series itself mostly follows a Monster of the Week format, with subsequent series introducing escalating foes and matching power-ups, and greatly expanding the mythos behind Usagi's past life in the Moon Kingdom and her fated future in the utopian Crystal Tokyo.The show ended up licensed all over the world throughout a good portion of The Nineties, and practically every country/region received its own international dubs, all of which thoroughly displaced the original work (which itself heavily displaced the original manga). The regulation of translation accuracy, adaptation for ease of viewing, and editing due to local censorship concerns varied wildly by region, but thanks to the concurrent flowering of Internet fan communities, fans became aware of these changes (loudly, in the case of the North American fandom) sometimes well before episodes aired.The original English dub was produced by DiC for the first two seasons, and recorded at Optimum Productions in Toronto, Canada. This English dub was heavily edited and reduced the first 89 episodes to 82, with many plot-points changed and characters renamed. The show initially aired in strip syndication in the US in 1995, but was a ratings failure and moved to cable on the USA Network and later to Cartoon Network's Toonami block in 1998, becoming their first anime hit and the show credited with starting the anime boom in the late 90s/early 2000s. To this day, Sailor Moon remains one of the most recognized and mainstream anime titles in North America. If you approach anyone on the street and ask them to name a Japanese anime, Sailor Moon will almost certainly be one of the natural responses, along with Pokιmon and Dragon Ball Z.When DiC was unable (or declined, depending on who you ask) to license future episodes, Cloverway (Toei's US branch) teamed up with YTV in Canada and Cartoon Network in the US to localize future episodes (Cloverway had previously worked with Pioneer and Optimum to bring the movies to the states). They ended up dubbing all of the third and fourth seasons with Optimum Productions returning as dubbing studio (although only a few of the original voice actors returned). These dubbed episodes were visually uncut (though lightly edited for TV), but continued localizing names and plot points. Most infamously, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune's lesbian relationship was changed into them being "cousins" instead.The original North American home video releases were handled by ADV Films (Seasons 1-2) and Geneon (Seasons 3-4 plus the movies). Both companies released English-subtitled versions of their respective episodes in addition to the English-dubbed versions (the visual uncut status of the Cloverway episodes meant Geneon's releases were bilingual, while ADV's release was Sub-only), with ADV's releases in particular being heavily criticized for being of poor quality.note In 2004, Toei quietly pulled all licenses to the franchise worldwide well, ADV announced publicly that their license had been revoked and retailers had to stop selling their boxsets (recalls like that are extremely rare in this business); so maybe not that quietly which meant non-bootlegged DVDs immediately came to cost a hefty sum of money on the grey-market. This license pull happened right when Sailor Stars sat on the cusp of getting dubbed into English (meaning that season never got dubbed or released in North America). This would be the situation for the next ten years.In 2010, Toei began shopping the show (in its entirety) around again, and many countries began rebroadcasting the series and/or re-releasing it to DVD but only using their old dubs.note Because the old English dub for the first two seasons only existed in a heavily edited form, and no American TV network would air the series uncut for several reasons (age, content, lack of control, but mostly that it's geared towards girls), it was assumed the series would never be able to be legally available in North America again. However, in May 2014, Viz Media announced the release of a completely remastered, re-dubbed, uncut version of the entire 200-episode original television series. That same month, the original anime began streaming subtitled on Hulu via Neon Alley, and the new dub produced in Los Angeles by Studiopolis (the same studio that dubbed Naruto, Bleach, Tiger & Bunny, and K, all of which were released by Viz Media) premiered on Neon Alley in September 2014, with the bilingual DVD/Blu-ray releases beginning on November 11th, 2014. While the reception of the home video releases was met with mixed reviews (with one of the main criticisms being on the video quality), the reception of the redub itself has been overwhelmingly positive.In 2012, Toei Animation revealed plans for a new Sailor Moon series. Originally planned for the summer 2013 and winter 2013/2014 seasons, it eventually started airing in July of 2014, and streams worldwide. The new version, called Sailor Moon Crystal, follows the manga version instead of the original anime. It will be released in North America by Viz Media eventually.Sailor Moon received several Video Game Adaptation games between 1993 and 2004, including a fan project by Destiny Revival based on Final Fight and Double Dragon variants of Beat 'em Up games.Back when it ran under the name Mixx Comics, Tokyopop picked up the original manga as one of its first series. Their translation was loosely based off the DiC version of the anime (though some name-changes were unique) and was flipped so that it read left-to-right, a then-common practice in US manga localization. Besides the questionable translation, Tokyopop's release was also criticized for its poor print and binding quality (it is very rare nowadays to find one of these volumes in good condition). All of their releases went out of print in 2005. Kodansha's American branch announced in 2011 that they had picked up Sailor Moon, and would be using the 2003 Japanese reprints as the base for a new printing of the series. Their editions which actually began with the new-to-America "prequel" series Codename: Sailor V (see below) retain the original right-to-left format and use an all-new accurate translation (though it has been frequently criticized for being too literal).The manga has a prequel in Codename: Sailor V (well, a prequel of sorts, anyway; the first issue got released before Sailor Moon, but the series itself finished after Sailor Moon ended). An aborted American live-action/animation blend adaption also exists a company called Toon Makers pitched this to Toei instead of the dub, but since Toei didn't pick it up, a two-minute music video put together using footage from the pilot Toon Makers produced remains the only footage ever seen by the general public. You can find more information on this project at Toon Makers Sailor Moon.This page has a character sheet; please put character-specific tropes there instead of adding them here.