Beautiful guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon!
Originally broadcast in Japan between October 2003 and October 2004, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon was a live-action Tokusatsu re-imagining of the original Sailor Moon manga, announced to coincide with the franchise's 10th anniversary. It ran for 49 episodes, plus two direct-to-dvd bonus acts that formed a prequel and epilogue. Although it shares the same name as the original anime (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon), it is commonly referred to as "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" to distinguish it from other works. (The original anime translates "Senshi" as Soldier)The first half of the show is a retelling of the manga's Dark Kingdom arc, in which Ordinary High-School Student Usagi Tsukino and four others discover that they are reincarnations of ancient lunar warriors, reawakened in the modern day to fight the evil of the Dark Kingdom. The second half of the show spins off into its own original arc, as the team struggles to balance their friendship, personal lives and responsibilities as Sailor Soldiers, and more sinister details begin to emerge about the disaster that destroyed the Moon Kingdom. In addition, several characters (particularly Minako, Ami and Princess Serenity) got significant overhauls to their story arcs.A widely-popularised nationwide search assembled a cast of unknowns for the main characters, for many of whom this was their first big acting gig. While the quality of the Conspicuous CG, a few rubber-suit monsters and many combat scenes that resembled dancing more than fighting (a style derogatorily referred to as "Ballet-Fu") expose its uncertain beginnings, all of the staff- from the actors to the CGI artists- gradually grow accustomed to their roles and produce a slow but smooth improvement in the show over time.The overall direction of the plot diverged into a much darker direction of things only previously suggested, such as the home life and social troubles the girls faced. On the other hand, the show was also known for Mood Whiplash due to its cartoonish sense of humor, which tended to contrast wildly with the more somber scenes.The ratings for this adaptation were lower than anticipated, and never reached the popularity of the phenomenon that was the anime. This led to the original 52-episode order getting cut down and the ending being rushed as a result. Toei explicitly produced the show with no intention of a release outside of Japan. In spite of that, fansubs of the show abound online, allowing it to reach the rest of the international Sailor Moon fanbase even in the absence of official distribution.Not to be confused with Toon Makers Sailor Moon, the proposed pitch to TOEI for live action/animation blend version of the franchise for western television before DiC's dub of the anime came out, which would have strayed even further from the source material. Also not the be confused with the new anime, which is officially titled in English, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal or the recent reprints of the manga which use the Guardian branding rather then Soldier.
This show provides examples of:
Adaptation Distillation: More stuff from the manga makes it in here than in the anime. What's interesting about PGSM is how many plot elements from the whole series it manages to squeeze into the Dark Kingdom arc.
For those familiar with the original anime series, two characters are close role stand-ins for the Outer Senshi and Chibiusa: Minako and Luna's human form, respectively.
Adaptation Dye-Job: With the exception of Jadeite (who looks largely the same as the original), the Shitennou had their hair colors switched around: while Nephrite's brown hair became red, the role of white-haired boy was passed from Kunzite (whose hair in this incarnation is black) to Zoisite (who originally had strawberry-blond/orange hair).
The Sailor Senshi got a subversion of this, they all have black or very dark brown hair in civilian form, but change to the actual color when transformed, the only exception is Sailor Mars, who has pitch black hair in Senshi form instead of the dark purple hair she has in the manga.
Adaptation Personality Change: PGSM is recognized as the adaptation that holds the most character focus compared to other incarnations of the franchise because so many of the characters' original traits were exaggerated or outright changed completely.
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Believe it or not, there's plenty of it going around between ALL the senshi and even some of the villains throughout the last half of the show.
Adorkable: Ami embodies the trope; Usagi when she's fangirling around Minako.
Also Motoki in this incarnation.
Affably Evil: Though Mio starts off as a manipulative Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, she doesn't lose her affability once her villainy's revealed. By the Special Act, she's gushing about her evil plans with such cheerful friendliness that she seems to really expect the heroes to be happy for her.
Amnesiac Dissonance: Shy, likable amnesiac Shin is befriended by Usagi and Mamoru, only to regain his memories and realize he's the fourth Shitennou, Kunzite. Mamoru later lies to Usagi about Shin's disappearance so she won't be hurt by the truth.
Apocalypse How: Thousands of years ago Princess Serenity unleashed a Class 6 apocalypse on the Moon, while the Earth got hit with a Class 2 apocalypse by the shockwave. She eventually finishes the job.
Babies Ever After: As with the manga's ending, the Special Act strongly hints that Usagi is pregnant.
Beta Couple: As confirmed through the series and movie/special, Motoki and Makoto become this.
Late in the series, Ami and Nephrite/Human!Nephrite, though they don't have their own happy ending like the aforementioned couple.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening showed Minako in a school uniform hanging out with Usagi and friends, which never happens.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The Senshi and Shitennou are blasted around, yet most of their injuries are in the form of blackened smudges on their faces.
Big Damn Heroes: Almost too many to count. Most episode-climaxing fights will start with one senshi nearly being beaten, only for the rest to show up at the last minute to turn the battle around.
Minako performs a unique one where Mio lies that Usagi has organized a concert for the class - hoping to cause trouble. Just after everyone thinks it's a hoax, Minako arrives and starts performing.
Bilingual Bonus: "C'est la vie!" means "that's life" in French and is a pun on the Japanese "Sera Vii" (Sailor V). The pun is even more amplified since the line says "This warm feeling is c'est la vie".
In fact, the name of Minako's CD in-world, on which that song is found, is "Venus."
One of Ami's image songs was called "Mi Amor" which means "my love" in Spanish.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mio pretends to be Usagi's friend, only to hurt/humiliate her. In fact, it is because she pretends to be nice that allows her to create some of her schemes. Mio also plays innocent at times to give Minako bad publicity as well.
Brought Down to Normal: In the Special Act we find out that the Sailor Senshi lost their powers at the end of the series. They briefly power up again to defeat Mio, but this is explicitly the last time.
Nephrite turns human when Beryl forces him to stab himself.
Tuxedo Kamen: Hey, you're that girl I keep seeing in my dreams! The one who told me to find the Maboroshi no Ginzuisho, and the only reason I've been acting like a thief and causing your team to think I'm a bad guy!
Oh, and each of the girls has a "reason" (good or not) for concealing information on a daily basis:
Usagi hates to make waves, and will conceal her own feelings and even act strongly opposite to them in order to ensure that everyone's getting along and no one's mad at her.
Ami's shy (very introverted) and a bit clingy now that she's got a friend, but she hates to bring up the fact that she has needs.
Rei is used to working alone, and feels it's wrong to depend on other people. I'd say "unless it's absolutely necessary" but those seem to be the times she's most likely to try to work alone.
Makoto doesn't want to bug people or put additional burdens on them — hence why she decided not to tell the team that Ami-chan was in the hospital, and why she held off on telling Usagi all she knew about Mamoru and his engagement. Her intentions seem to backfire a lot.
Minako seems to be operating on an entirely different wavelength from the rest of the team. Just as it starts to make sense (I was masquerading as the Princess to throw the enemy off the trail of the real Princess), she negates that motivation by saying she does things her own way since she's dying and doesn't want to get attached to anyone.
Call Forward: Mamoru's awareness of Sailor V's true identity as the popstar Minako Aino during the series is explained in the prequel Act Zero.
Camp: The fight scenes in the earlier episodes. It becomes more believably realistic and more into its tokusatsu roots as the show progresses.
The Cast Show Off: The actor of Zoisite is an expert piano player, and it shows. Particularly with the Kirari Super Live!
Cat Girl: Luna, once the Silver Crystal gives her a half-human form.
Celebrity Lie: Variant: Mio claims on Usagi's behalf that Usagi knows Idol Singer Minako as part of a plot to isolate and humiliate her. Ironically at this point Usagi does know Minako; just not in the way she expects (Minako is Sailor Venus).
Chekhov's Skill: To defeat the youma, the senshi used the tricks they learned from the games during the Reiko-Minako competition.
Chewing the Scenery: Ikuko-mama is a definite scene-stealer, ditto Beryl and the Shitennou. Rei/Sailor Mars' Oh, Crap expressions are also scene-stealers on their own.
Clark Kenting: Averted. The girls have noticeably different hairstyles and colors when they transform, making it feasible that they don't get recognized. Even so, Minako recognizes Rei as Sailor Mars instantly when they bump into each other at a church.
Clothing Damage: Like in the anime, very very averted despite everyone taking a lot of punishment. A main form of injury involves a burnt hole on the glove.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Usagi has shades of this when she's distracted, though her mom really takes the trope into Crazy Awesome territory. Mio heads in this direction as well during the Special Act.
Coincidental Broadcast: When Ami was doubting the authenticity of her friendship with Usagi, she walks past an electronics store with a TV showing a movie about a woman betraying her friend and killing her.
Colorful Theme Naming: The security guards' actors in Act Zero are named after the hair colors their actors had as the Shitennou. Shiroi (white) is Zoisite, Akai (red) is Nephrite, Kuroi (black) is Kunzite. For some reason, Jadeite's actor played a woman named Hanako (flower), which may be a reference to the fact that he was the most colorful out of the Shitennou.
Princess Sailor Moon/Serenity has the death and rebirth powers of Sailor Saturn.
Minako's behavior is a combination of the Outer Senshi and elements of manga/anime Minako.
Queen Metalia has properties of Chaos from the anime.
Contest Winner Cameo: The winners of the Sailor Moon campaign during the first 2 arcs of the show are the live audience for the Kirari Super Live concert.
Corpsing: The live concert audience doesn't take the Shitennou's threats seriously, much to their (hilarious) chagrin.
Covert Pervert: Ami of all people. In one episode, they're going through the girl's phones to look at pictures they've taken (the phones in this continuity allow them to disguise themselves). The last outfit in Ami's phone is a dress that can fall apart. The other girls are visibly shocked. This trait might have been inherited from her anime counterpart, who is only slightly less shy yet is prone to make occasional "interesting" comments.
Cringe Comedy: Okay, more like Cringe Drama, but still. These girls dress up in costumes to head into places they're not supposed to be. Episode 9 has them dressing up as a guard and a ("gardener" isn't the right word...) to spy on a place that's heavily guarded, where the owners are expecting a robbery... and they just slip past because they happen to be in uniform.
Dance Battler: At the start of the show's run, the battles resembled choreographed ballet more than spontaneous fighting. The fans call it Ballet Fu.
The most telling moment was when Naru was almost killed because of Princess Serenity's rampage.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Save for Usagi, all four of the senshi are lone wolves and have their own reasons on isolating themselves (see Cannot Spit It Out above). It is due to fate and Usagi's The Heart tendencies that they all warmed up and grew closer to each other.
Demonic Possession: The youma often start off by possessing human victims, and only manifest physically when they're discovered by the senshi. Interestingly, the youma are fairly verbose while speaking through a human, but they become The Speechless once they reveal their true forms. Later, in a change from other continuities, Mamoru becomes Queen Metallia's host after absorbing it within his body and becoming corrupted by it. He is a lot more powerful than the brainwashed Endymion from the anime and manga.
The Dragon: Although all the Shitennou technically serve and protect Beryl, Jadeite's the only one who does so without any hesitation or conflicted loyalty; anyone who wants to get to her has to go through him.
Dragon with an Agenda: Both Kunzite and Zoisite, who are not as concerned with following Queen Beryl's orders. Zoisite in particular is mostly concerned with keeping his former master Endymion safe from Beryl's machinations.
Dual Wielding: The Mars and Venus Daggers. Mars uses both daggers in the penultimate episode after Minako's death, while Venus takes her turn in the Special Act after Rei is incapacitated.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Ami, Rei, and Makoto's Sailor Star Tambourines transform into their Infinity Plus One Swords in the second to last episode of the series, too bad it was too little, too late. Mercury gets a sword, Jupiter gets a spear, and Mars, as mentioned in the Dual Wielding entry, gets a pair of daggers using both her and Venus' tambourine. The weapons return in the Special Act where they're put to better use (and with Venus wielding the daggers instead)
When Mamoru is possessed by Metallia's energy, his outfit as Prince Endymion becomes mostly black.
Evil Counterpart: The Shitennou, particularly in PGSM, are portrayed as the senshi's equals and opposites (they'd normally serve the same role for Endymion as the senshi do for Serenity, while the evil part comes from Beryl's influence). Their individual characterizations take things further:
Jadeite->Makoto = Both staunch in their duties as warriors. Jadeite because he loves Beryl and Makoto because she believes she has nothing to look forward to.
Nephrite->Ami = Both devoted to the point of fanaticism.
Expy: Luna's human form has a functional role noticeably similar to ChibiUsa's character, even though Luna in her plush form still has her original anime voice and personality, which has always traditionally been depicted as an adult.
Evil Is Hammy: Queen Beryl, but Kunzite and Nephrite takes the lion's share of the cake.
The Shitennou in general, most especially in the Kirari Super Live special, where the actors of Kunzite and Nephrite can't stop themselves from Corpsing while they are threatening the impudent human audience, who are filled with raucous giggling.
Fangirl: Usagi, Naru and her friends are diehard fans of Minako Aino, along with Makoto and Ami.
Faux Paw: Luna does this when she's in human form.
First Name Basis: In the fifth episode, Ami tries to change herself to be more extroverted, thinking it'll make Usagi like her more; she even eats with Usagi's friends and attends Usagi's pajama party with Naru. By the end, she's come to her senses and it looks like everything's back to normal: even Usagi's friends are talking about her like she's gone for good. But then Usagi suddenly realizes that her friends have started to think differently about Ami, as evidenced by this:
Usagi (thinking): Naru-chan and the others, they're saying Ami-chan.
Flung Clothing: Parodied. Rei rips off her business suit with a knee-high skirt to reveal a full, bulky miko garb beneath.
Gaussian Girl: Transformation sequences, special moves, stunning revelations... it's all done by upping the bloom, sometimes until you can't even see the character within the corona of the sun that's formed around her.
Girliness Upgrade: Ami in the anime and manga has Boyish Short Hair. In this her civilian form has long hair and her Sailor costume's short hair is in a much more feminine style. Ami also becomes more of a Shrinking Violet and Woobie in this adaptation.
Additionally, during the early "Makoto and Rei have a fight then make up" episode, this is used as evidence that Makoto is a pretty normal girl after all (since she has cute stuffed animals in her purse). And Usagi enters a contest of "dress like this cute mascot" but, when she's unable to attend, both Makoto and Rei show up in her place to try to get her the prize... so we get to see them both dressed up like a cute stuffed animal.
Queen Mio's puppy doll, Chappi.
Hair Colors: In civilian form, the girls have hair colors in the normal "real" range, from black to a dark auburn. When they undergo their Transformation Sequence, their clothes and hair both change to what their anime and manga counterparts have always had, though Minako and Usagi have a realistic blond color instead of the yellow used in the stage shows.
Heel-Face Turn: Strangely enough, it's Queen Beryl who does this when she attempts to kill Metaria following learning of the Bigger Bad's true plans. Not the first time they played with this trope with the character, either.note See Sailor Moon: Another Story.
Heroic BSOD: Usagi crashes into a catatonic stupor after she has to fight and kill Mamoru in order to save the world. Unfortunately, this means that Princess Serenity is free to take control and carry out her own apocalyptic plans.
Ami experiences one earlier in the series, after snapping out of her Dark Mercury persona and finding that she nearly killed Usagi. It takes her most of the following episode to recover.
Rei literally breaks down after Artemis delivers devastating news: Minako is dead, the operation that had a small chance to save her life killed her. The same one Rei pushed her to undergo instead of waiting for the end to come
Hot-Blooded: Nephrite. Parodied by Officer Akai played by Nephrite in the "The Birth of Sailor V" special.
"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: The team against Dark Mercury. Usagi even drops her costume rather than fight back, and starts with her speech (she is, after all, a Messianic Archetype), to the point of bringing out an object the one had given the other as a gift. Subverted when Dark Mercury cleaves the mittens in half.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Usagi discovers that Mamoru is engaged to Hina. After saving them from a youma attack, she sees them holding hands and finds it sweet - resolving to let the couple be. The trope is eventually subverted across the series, as Usagi struggles with the pain of seeing Mamoru with someone else.
Incredibly Obvious Bug: It's bigger than a quarter, has blinking green lights for eyes, and apparently also makes a bleeping noise. The villains only notice it's on the case once it's pointed out to them.
Enemy: It's so completely obvious!
Infinity+1 Sword: The Star Tambourines can transform into the Mercury Sword, Jupiter Spear, Mars Dagger and Venus Dagger. The Special Act introduces Serenity's Legendary Blade for the depowered girls to transform one last time. Said sword is physically identical to a similar sword wielded by Sailor Venus in the manga.
Intermission: Kirari Super Live is intended as an out-of-canon intermission to signify the end of the Dark Mercury arc. The concert was held a day after the start of the Mio arc, and Kunzite even lampshades that the script says Mamoru is in London while facing Tuxedo Mask.
Irony: Minako forces Rei to take up an Idol Singer persona as Mars Reiko. Later, when Minako loses her interest in singing in favor of being a full-time senshi, Artemis and Rei devise a Batman Gambit by using her Mars Reiko alias to monopolize Minako's projects. This ignited Minako's competitiveness and they duke it out in a friendly game show team battle. Minako lost, but the plan worked. The senshi are even psyched that it is their first time to bond all together as friends, and it is also implied that Minako's manager is also in Rei's plan all along.
In one episode Usagi disguises herself as Minako to allow the latter to escape a crowd of fans. At this point Minako is pretending to be the princess who is really Usagi.
Jerkass Fašade: Minako, whenever she's around the senshi as Sailor Venus. Her general meanness to them is her way of isolating herself from the team due to her terminal illness.
Leotard of Power: The main part of the senshi's sailor fuku is a white leotard, followed by chest padding and short skirt to provide the gymnastic mobility.
Letting Her Hair Down: Done with Ami's mother. When she hears about Ami missing school and considers sending her away to a new one, her hair is up in a bun. At the end of the episode when the two have come to an understanding, her hair is down.
Local Hangout: Karaoke Crown; a replacement for the Anime/Manga's Crown Game Center, as arcades had fallen in popularity in Japan by the time the show was made and teenagers now tend to hang around karaoke parlors instead.
Magical Camera: The magical pens that the heroines used in the original are updated to magic cellphones. One function is the ability to create a disguise based on photos taken with them.
Male Gaze: Just as much as the anime, of course, but with this being live-action, it's a whole different story.
More Than Mind Control: Although the senshi first assume that Kunzite's simply controlling Ami, they gradually realize that Dark Sailor Mercury is partly a result of Ami's own feelings of loneliness and inadequecy roaring to the surface (particularly when she uses her powers to make herself the most popular girl in school, and to turn her former friends into the same sort of outcasts that she used to be).
Morton's Fork: Once Mamoru absorbs Metaria and loses control, he'll go on to destroy the world, unless Usagi kills him - except that in doing so, she'll lose herself to Serenity, which will also destroy the world.
The Musical: Yep, got its own musical stage show with the same cast, Kirari Super Live!
My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Both the senshi and the Shitennou can sense if something important's happened to one of their own, and Luna and Rei often sense the arrival of a new enemy before it makes its first appearance.
More glaring with Mio, as she was seen being destroyed by the possessed Endymion near the end of the series. Justified with Minako since Usagi resurrects everyone on Earth after its destruction.
Odango Hair: Usagi of course, but also Luna's human form. Luna's are replaced by cat ears when she transforms to senshi form though.
Offscreen Teleportation: The Senshi - when they're fighting, more often than not - tend to change settings very quickly, most noticeably from an urban setting to a natural one or vice-versa. For instance, in Act 44, Zoisite is severely wounded while protecting Usagi in a dense urban area, but somehow seconds later they are in a park, Zoisite sitting against a tree where he dies
In Act 4, Ami and the youma she's fighting are teleported from a Cultural Center in a busy Tokyo street to a wooden, secluded place.
Oh, Crap: Everyone, every time Princess Serenity takes over Usagi.
Done by Mio in the Special Act when the Sailor Senshi recover their powers for one last time.
Panty Shot: The Soldiers' skirts were specifically designed to flip up as much as humanly possible so the actresses could perform their stunts more effectively.
Paper Fan of Doom: Used by Sailor Luna. She also produces one that is apparently made of gold, or is at least gold plated in a later episode.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Along with some Clark Kenting. Tuxedo Kamen is a Japanese man who dresses up in a tuxedo, top hat, cape, and mask. And yeah, to non-Japanese viewers, all Japanese men probably do "look alike" to the point where covering up his eyes was enough to make it a disguise, but how would this fool the various Japanese people around him anyway? Yet the scene where Sailor Moon finally removes his mask is played up for all the drama they can get.
Sailor Moon: [thinking] Why didn't I notice it before?
It's also funny when an early episode has dozens of thieves running around dressed up as Tuxedo Kamen, since... um... maybe they think it'll make it easier to steal a valuable jewel? Yeah.... Anyway, it does manage to fool Sailor Moon, who goes out of her way to keep "Tux" from getting caught... by transforming into another Tuxedo Mask and luring off the guards.
It's better for the girls, who now sport drastic hairstyle changes — in contrast to the anime, where they looked exactly the same in their civilian identities. Human!Luna, however, plays it straight by having the same navy blue hair she has as Sailor Luna.
Subverted by Nephrite in Act 4, as Rei senses his aura as he walks by.
Pet the Dog: Beryl starts getting a few such moments near the end of the series, culminating in her releasing Jadeite from her mind control spell so he can escape the Dark Kingdom's destruction, leaving her to die alone. He instead chooses, with his own will, to stay with her until the end. Awwwww....
Pragmatic Villainy: Queen Beryl doesn'tkill off her servants when they fail her. Oh, there's punishment, but why get rid of a loyal servant? The one time she does seem to ruthlessly kill off one of the Shitennou, it turns out to have been a bluff - she actually banished him to Earth as a depowered human.
Precision F-Strike: Makoto Kino says "fuck you" to a youma in the most widely known fansub. The Japanese language has no true curse words, though the phrase she used, "zakkenayo"note A highly contracted form of "fuzakeru na yo"; see Japanese Stock Phrases for its meaning, and the context may convey a similar meaning.
Psychopathic Manchild: Mio in the special act treats her plan for world conquest like it's a game. And she talks to a doll.
Real Time: Not in individual episodes per se, but the series' internal calendar corresponded to the broadcast calendar, in that the action all occurs between October 2003 and October 2004, and any calendar dates seen corresponded to the day or week that particular episode was broadcast, most notably the New Year's episode.
Remote Body: Mio, described as Queen Beryl's shadow, has shades of this, mirroring Beryl's moods and sometimes acting as her projected avatar. She does seem to have her own personality, though, and later returns to life as a separate villain.
Re Tool: Big and small changes from the anime and manga all across the board, including being updated to fit in with current tech and fads, rather than those of the early 90s. Some of the elements from the manga that didn't appear in the anime are kept, although the series in general is a re-imagining of both the original story and its characters.
Rule of Symbolism: Minako leaving out of doors. One of them is her stepping out of a door into a bright light, foreshadowing her doomed surgery. She later appears in a white outfit and disapppears into white light.
Right Behind Me: Happens often with Mamoru and Motoki's conversations. The latter's Oh, Crap face follows suit when their subject arrives.
Self-Parody: "The Birth of Sailor V" pretty much covers the camp factor of the series as a whole, to the point that the actors of the Shitennou are playing as kind but inept police officers with their Shitennou traits intact.
The Kirari Live concert as well, with Zoisite playing a handheld toy piano throughout his appearances.
She-Fu: There's a lot of cartwheeling going on in this series.
In the Kirari live concert, Sailor Mercury's wig is stylized to be similar to Marilyn Monroe's. Backstage, Ayaka (Minako) recognizes the similarity and teases Chisaki (Ami), who responds with a Marilyn Maneuver.
Slasher Smile: Mio. Ami replaces her shy, dorky smile with a sinister grimace as Dark Mercury.
The Starscream: Kunzite, who's extremely powerful, but also very arrogant and has almost no loyalty to Beryl whatsoever. She'd exiled him (and caused his Amnesiac Dissonance) for his Starscream tendencies before, and almost immediately begins to regret bringing him back.
Stepford Smiler: Usagi has hints of this when she is told her being upset is activating the powers of the Ginzuishou.
Superpowered Evil Side: Mamoru after sealing Queen Metallia's power within his body. Also, Sailor Moon's Princess Serenity persona.
Taking You with Me: Makoto tries this against Metallia's youma by using herself as a lightning rod. It doesn't work, but she survives. Mamoru later tries this by committing suicide before Metallia can finish taking over his body. It doesn't work, but he survives... in a manner of speaking.
Averted later when, for example, Rei isn't able to get her transformation phrase out before a youma-possessed boy runs up some stairs to sucker punch her and steal her life force. Another time, Usagi has enough time to transform, but her transformation also gives the enemy enough time to pop upbehind her, so that the second she's in costume he's got his hands around her throat.
Also, apparently ballet moves are a free action, given the number of times enemies just stand there staring while the Senshi twirl, pirouette, and cartwheel their way across the room. Maybe it's a form of Mook Chivalry? Or maybe they're just stunned by all the Panty Shots.
Time Skip: The Special Act takes place 4 years after the final battle.
Unexplained Recovery: While most of the resurrections are justified, Mio makes her villainous return in the special act with a gleeful lack of explanation, apart from vague hints that she's spent the past four years gathering her strength.
Unstoppable Rage: Makoto will pound anyone who dares to threaten the other senshi, most especially Usagi or Ami.
Being the soldier of fire and passion helps, because grief-stricken Rei becomes "unstoppable Rei" when she immolates the youma single-handedly upon learning of Minako's death.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Does nobody see Usagi magically changing dresses in the middle of the sidewalk with all these cars going by behind her??
Viewers Are Goldfish: Wait, Ami and Naru are on edge around each other? The same way they've been on edge around each other for like two episodes? Who can remember back that far? Better just replay the reason for it all, using the same flashback scene as the last couple of times, eh?
Walk on Water: Being a water elemental, Ami nonchalantly does this a few times.
Wanting Is Better Than Having: Ami again, for several episodes trying to kill off the other senshi (even taunts them in civilian form), granted she is under partial control, but actually DOING so finally snaps her out of it, cue Heroic BSOD.
Wham Episode: Act 20. Minako is dying, Makoto confronts Tuxedo Mask, and Kunzite abducts Ami.
Wham Line: With four simple words, Princess Serenity flips the whole story upside-down...
Serenity: I... destroyed... the planet.
When She Smiles: Done with all the girls. Ami as a Shrinking Violet mostly keeps her head down and so only really smiles when she is with Usagi. Seeing her smile more often highlights her Character Development. Makoto is likewise always very solemn so when she does her little smile at Motoki's flirting, it's adorable, as it is when she smiles with the other girls. Minako smiles to her fans but - knowing what we know - it's likely not genuine. So when she has a fun day with Usagi, we see her smile differently for the first time. As for Rei...well the girl never smiles at first. We slowly see her smile more often as she undergoes Character Development and it's lovely whenever she does. Seeing Rei smile is a Heartwarming Moment in and of itself.