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YMMV: Sailor Moon

Tropes from the Anime and Manga

  • Adaptation Displacement: When the manga received its Animated Adaptation within months of publishing, the eventual 200+ episode anime thoroughly eclipsed its source via Adaptation Expansion for the better part of a decade, being the version that most of The Merch and all but one Video Game Adaptation was based on. Internationally, this was aided by a lack of or latecoming manga licensing in comparison to multilanguage dubs as anime grew in popularity during The Nineties. (In North America, it took three years after the DiC dub's premiere for the manga to be acquired and translated by Mixx). A 2003 Updated Re-release of the manga (to tie in to an ironically lesser known tokusatsu version) revitalized the property and regularly topped bestseller lists when eventually released stateside in 2011. The newfound exposure eventually resulted in Toei allowing international relicensing of the out-of-print anime during The New Tens, and beginning development on Sailor Moon Crystal, a new adaptation that is explicitly Truer To The Text of the once-displaced manga.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Some of the main characters fill this trope: two characters were orphaned at an early age (Jupiter and Tuxedo Mask), two have dead mothers (one of which has a Big Bad for a father and thus becomes orphaned, while the other hates her father, Saturn and Mars respectively), one is the child of divorce (Mercury), and three never have their parents mentioned at all (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Only three characters have whole nuclear families (incidentally, these are the happier, more-or-less well-adjusted characters: Moon, Chibi-Moon and Venus). Furthermore, Usagi and the Sailor Senshi really ought to feel at least some angst about having to be mankind's defense against the Dark Kingdom. Thanks to the show being leaning on the idealistic side of the scale, this hasn't turned it into Dysfunction Junction. Only Mamoru ever expressed any issues with his lot in life, and that was really only in the first series and very privately. Rei's issues with her father were briefly explored in a one-shot sidestory, Casablanca Memories.
    • Also, all the victims of the MotWs. You'd think that being attacked and hurt by a horrible monster (repeatedly, in the case of Naru und Unazuki) would scar them for life; instead they're usually cheerful again ten minutes later.
    • Both versions, the only Senshi that displays any anger towards Beryl or Metalia is Minako after regaining her memories of her past life (she being the first to do so), but even when the others do, we don't even see them have a passing through of an ill will.
    • Naru sure gets over her first love dying after bleeding out in her arms awfully quick.
  • Base Breaker: A few of them:
    • Usagi herself, who can be seen as either a naive but kind girl with faults, but a strong will to protect her loved ones, or a whiny, klutzy Canon Sue or Anti-Sue that gets everything handed to her.
    • Chibiusa for multiple reasons, usually more of an issue in the anime than the manga though. In her initial appearances in R, she's often bratty and demanding, though the English dub played this up much harder and cast a rather obnoxious voice actress for her Sailor Moon R episodes. Not shockingly, she's more of a base breaker in the Western fanbase. There's also the matter of how she suddenly went from supporting character to main character in SuperS thanks to Executive Meddling and the extremely popular Outer Senshi were jettisoned for the course of the series. This also nearly killed the show off in Japan. None of this is the character's fault per say, but she does get blamed for it regardless. She also gets accused of having an Electra Complex due to her attitude towards Mamoru in the anime. There's also the fact that she never seems to want to admit making mistakes of her own and loves blaming Usagi for everything that goes on.
    • Mamoru. For starters, there's a lot of people that find the nature of their relationship as sweet due to their shared past. There are also a lot of people that find said shared past the only reason the two characters are together. There's also the matter of the break-up arc inflicted on him in the Sailor Moon R anime. While many fans pointed out that his reasoning in the arc was to actually protect Usagi, some other fans thought he was being unnecessarily nasty. The cheap resolution to the arc didn't help - they pull a Screw Destiny and get back together anyway...and the "threat" he thought he was protecting Usagi from never really materializes. His alter-ego Tuxedo Mask is also either adored by fangirls or loathed for being rather useless (his powers are throwing roses and...that's about it). In the anime, he doesn't get any of the character growth OR power growth he got in the manga that let him keep up with the main cast, and in fact downgraded after R to being mostly a supporting cast member and occasional Distressed Dude when the stakes needed to be raised. Oh, and all of this is before we even get to the blockback from the shippers who wanted Usagi to hook up with Seiya in the final story arc, or the crazy people who accuse him of being in love with his daughter.
    • Rei/Sailor Mars, and this is almost entirely due to her portrayal in the English dub. While Usagi and Rei are frequently at odds in the Japanese show, it's made abundantly clear by the end of the first series that they are in fact the closest people on the team and Usagi trusts Rei more than anyone else. The dub changed her into a bratty, abusive, hyper-critical nutcase who tries to usurp leadership and kick Sailor Moon off the team, to the point where she even bullies Amy into joining her in refusing to show up for combat. A critical scene in the Japanese version in which Rei revealed Usagi entrusted her with the Moon Stick to prevent Usagi from handing it over to the enemy was changed to Raye stealing the Crescent Moon Wand because she doesn't trust Serena. Not shockingly, this led to a pretty large anti-Mars faction in the English speaking fanbase.
    • The Starlights, particularly in the anime where they have much more screentime and Seiya's attempts to woo Usagi are more open. This tends to cause fights between people who like what the new set of characters bring or in particular people who like Seiya as the first serious alternative to Mamoru in the series, and people who don't like the new characters or the greater screentime they got in comparison to long-running cast members. And this is side-stepping the Die for Our Ship Seiya herself brings to the Usagi and Mamoru shipping quarters.
    • Shingo's voice in Viz Media's new English dub. He's played by Nicolas Roye (Mikey Kudo from Digimon Xros Wars), a full grown man, instead of a girl like in the DiC dub. Some genuinely don't mind this casting choice and find that his acting improves in Shingo's focus episodes, but others are quite critical of said casting choice and find Julie Lemieux's performance to be automatically superior.
  • Broken Base:
    • Haruka and Michiru's decision in the anime to defect to Galaxia in an attempt to kill her led to a great deal of fans turning on them. Especially because they actually killed Saturn and Pluto in the process, which many feel is just unforgivable.
    • Since the North American run of the show handled by DiC replaced the entire soundtrack, there's some contention over people who are upset that the critically-acclaimed soundtrack was replaced. Many people who grew up on the DiC dub often preferred this, finding it more "modern" or "epic", while others decried it as generic 90s cartoon music. This got scratched open again when Cloverway didn't replace any of the background soundtrack, thus exposing dub-only viewers to the actual soundtrack and immediately dividing even the fans of the dub between those that wanted DiC's replacement music and those who preferred having the show as close as the English dub ever got to a faithful dub.
    • The quality of the various dubbed versions of the show, and especially the English adaptation. Many attempts to fandub Sailor Stars into a DiC-style dub complete with the altered soundtrack, censorship, and random rewrites to the script. Not shockingly, fans of the Japanese version are very vocal about their opposition to it. It doesn't help that Viz Media confirmed that they're redubbing the entire series from scratch, being more faithful to the original. Most people are happy about this, but there are some who want the dub names Serena, Darien, Lita, etc to be retained, or want at least some of the original dub cast back.
      • The English dub went through three voice actresses for the main character. During the original run of the show, Terri Hawkes was the most popular (largely because she dubbed the majority of the DiC run). So popular in fact that her much-maligned replacement, Linda Ballantyne, is often criticized for simply attempting to mimic Hawkes instead of acting. Which is not actually her fault as she was being told by Optimum to mimic Terri Hawkes. However, since the heyday of the dub, Tracey Moore, the original voice for the character who was replaced early in the first series, has built up a fandom and now there's two camps that fight over whether Moore or Hawkes was better. Usually the arguments are that Moore was better at actually sounding like a teenage girl, and Hawkes was significantly better at delivering a wide array of emotions. Ballantyne's fanbase is significantly smaller than the other two.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In the manga Uranus first appears in a Tuxedo Mask-style outfit. In every other appearance she's in her sailor outfit like the others and no one brings up the costume change.
  • Complete Monster: As idealistic as Sailor Moon is, there are several villains in it who cross the ultimate lines:
    • Wiseman of Sailor Moon R is the most vile of all the main villains through the long run. Wiseman corrupts the Black Moon Clan into villains and used them to turn the peaceful, utopian Earth of the future into a barren, desolate wasteland while using Mind Rape on a little girl to turn her into The Dragon. Worse still, this is Sailor Moon's future daughter and Wiseman happily sends her to murder her friends and her parents. Wiseman's own allies fare no better. Wiseman manipulates Esmeraude of the Black Moon Clan into turning into a monster, sending her to her death. When Saphir, the brother of the clan's leader Prince Dimande, attempts to warn his elder brother of Wiseman's treachery and his true plans Wiseman painfully executes him in front of Dimande. Wiseman later kills Dimande as well when he sacrifices himself for Moon in the anime. Revealing his true nature as Death Phantom, Wiseman intends to to destroy all that lives solely out of boredom and spite. Before he became Death Phantom, he was a depraved mass-murderer in the manga as well, and while he wasn't planning on destroying the Earth, he didn't care if it was destroyed in his attempts to rid himself of any threat posed by the Silver Crystal, seeing the planet as nothing more than a stepping stone before he could carry out in the rest of the universe. Of all the villains in the series, Wiseman was easily among the most personal, and the most monstrous.
    • The manga version of Shuichi Tomoe was no slouch. He was supposedly a loving father once (or at least Hotaru thinks so), despite being a Mad Scientist even then. He completely snapped after the accident in his lab that crippled Hotaru (her manga self is a heavily scarred cyborg, thanks to it) and killed her mother, willingly joining Death Busters and implanting the egg of Mistress 9 into Hotaru's body without any sort of second thought, even though he knew Pharaoh 90 plan to fuse with the Earth would wipe out its indigenous life. He also had a massive A God Am I complex and wished to create a new race of superbeings, starting with himself. He was toned down in the anime, where he was mostly a Brainwashed and Crazy father who made a Deal with the Devil to save Hotaru after the freak accident - not knowing that they'd be rendered insane in different ways. The manga version, however? Pure evil.
  • Critical Research Failure: It's painfully clear in Lover of Princess Kaguya that Takeuchi didn't know the difference between a comet and a meteor. (And yes, the context makes it impossible to chalk up to translation error.)
  • Crossover Ship: Lots, one of the most popular being Chibusa with Gohan, as they are both children of the series protagonist.
  • Die for Our Ship: Mamoru is the biggest victim of this trope, but this show has so many shipping battles that it has its own page dedicated to them
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Many a villain, whether they get redeemed in the end or not.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The creator was hugely surprised when Ami was the most popular Sailor Senshi, worldwide. The Outer Senshi are also extremely popular, especially Hotaru (in fact one of the criticism of the anime's fourth season was that they were cut out of it), though none of them match Ami's popularity.
    • From the first arc, there's Queen Beryl's Quirky Miniboss Squad, The Shitennou - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite. For every fan tribute to Beryl, there's hundreds more dedicated to them.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The bulk of the villains embody this, unless they're an Eldritch Abomination, and are either attractive woman in fairly revealing clothes or pretty boys.
  • Faux Symbolism: In the Black Moon arc, Rubeus uses crystalline crosses to hold the captured senshi.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Dragon Ball Z, likely due to American audiences being introduced to both through Toonami (though they both actually began in syndication long before landing there).
    • In Mexico and Latin America, is this with Saint Seiya instead, since both series were broadcasted in the same era and sometimes in the same channel.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Naoko Takeuchi meant for Usagi to be a bit chubbier than the rest of the Inner Senshi. Sailor Moon Abridged has ruthless fun with this fact at Usagi's expense.
  • Idiot Plot: The breakup arc requires that Mamoru not tell Usagi why he is avoiding her. While you could argue that perhaps he felt she wouldn't leave his side if he told the truth, this is not an excuse he gives. In fact, he never gives any reason for this. He just suffers in silence as if he is fated to. On top of this, despite Mamoru's habit of being a Distressed Dude to the forces of evil, none of the Sailor Senshi think to press him for details on his extreme mood swing. On top of this, because Mamoru does NOT tell Usagi the truth about her being in danger if they're close, he also prevents her from being able to protect herself while he avoids her. He also doesn't really do anything to investigate the dreams, to find out why Usagi is in trouble, or even to, you know, completely cut her off instead of constantly spending time with her and babysitting the 6 year old that lives with her. The kicker? Usagi finds out, runs to Mamoru's side and swears she'll never leave him, and he puts up only token resistance to reuniting with her. The REAL kicker? It's Mamoru's future self doing this. He was trying to test the strength of his past self's love for his future wife, the mother of his child, by breaking them up and putting the entire timeline in jeopardy.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The "Am I not enough?" scene between Seiya and Usagi in Stars is known to spark heavy flamewars in some spaces. One portion of fans feel sorry for Seiya for having such unrequited love, the other half see this as proof that she was a manipulative creep and it being a gross Kick the Dog moment (in making it about her rather than comforting Usagi over her missing Mamoru). Of course, Seiya and Usagi didn't know Mamoru's true fate, but it still makes Seiya come off selfish.
    • Usagi/Mamoru vs. Usagi/Seiya in general applies to this trope.
    • Commentary on the girls' similar bodies and whether or not Naoko Takuechi is fatphobic (and whether it's intentional or not) never ends well.
    • Similarly whether or not Takeuchi is transphobic due to comments she made about the changes to the Starlights from manga to anime.
    • Saying anything at all about the original English dub. Insult it, defend it, mention it exists, you're guaranteed to piss someone off.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Usagi is the Princess they are all searching for in the first arc, Chibi-Usa is from the future and is Usagi and Mamoru's daughter, the identities of all 10 primary senshi and Tuxedo Mask. Not only that, most of this should be painfully obvious even to someone who has lived in a cave for the past twenty years and is watching the show for the first time.
    • Also, it was pretty impossible for Black Lady to keep her identity under spoilers.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Usagi, who has not only been shipped with Mamoru and Seiya, but the rest of the Sailor Senshi, most commonly Rei and Haruka despite the latter being an Official Couple with Michuru.
  • Mary Suetopia: Crystal Tokyo, if the glut of fanfictions that reinterpret it as a Crapsaccharine World are any indication. Likely as a form of backlash, there's been a great number of fanfics that instead portray it as an authoritarian dystopia.
  • Memetic Hair: Usagi, Trope Namer for Odango Hair.
  • Memetic Loser: Tuxedo Mask. He has throwing roses, an extendable cane (which he uses as a baton), and a propensity for dramatic entries to save and encourage the Sailor Senshi. He's somewhat useful in both Anime and Manga versions (although he goes Out of Focus on a couple of seasons and in one he got a bridge dropped (temporarily) on him off-screen (while he was going to America).) This has only fanned the Fanon of him being pretty damn useless period and no lack of jokes and curb-stomping are done at his expense in (mostly Crossover) Fan Fiction.
  • Mis-blamed: Contrary to popular believe, the changes of voice actors had nothing to do specifically with the change from DiC to Cloverway, as the same company Optimum Productions handled the dubbing process for the entire series. Optimum also handled the production of the scripts themselves. As the dub itself kept going in and out of production during the duration of its English license, changes in the production were largely due to routine changes in staffing that tend to happen over such a protracted period. Also the fact that the Cloverway-era dubbing was produced on a much tighter schedule and a lower budget. Though DiC and Cloverway would still have provided some level of oversight to the final product.
  • Moe:
    • Hotaru; it has been claimed incorrectly that the term originates from Tomoe Hotaru.
    • Ami also fits this trope, being a cute dorky girl and all.
  • Narm:
    • While the whole series is known for it, Sailor Moon Abridged in particular pokes a lot of fun at the odder lines of dialog the dub has. These will often be accompanied with the subtitle "Actual Dialogue in the English dub"
    • Sailor Moon tends to make ridiculous, overly formal speeches, usually declaring that someone related to the monster's plan is "angry." It's carrying over the tradition from other Japanese super hero series, but the anime also often uses them to set up additional jokes (Usagi plagiarizing Mamoru, Usagi mixing up Haydn and Bach).
    • Tuxedo Mask does this too - sometimes this is his only contribution to an episode, in fact. In all honesty, though, Tuxedo Mask pales in comparison to the Moonlight Knight, whose cornball, pretentious speeches are Narm Charm at best and just laughable at worst.
    • One of the lines in the Sailor Moon R movie is this when Fiore loses the will to fight.
    Fiore: "I can't... because Mamoru threw a flower at me."
    • From the Manga:
    Sailor Mars: I am Mars of the red high heel!
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Pluto gets vilified more than any other Senshi in fanfiction, especially in Ranma crossovers. Fanon holds that she's actually a Manipulative Bitch using the time gates to control the future, usually to bring about Crystal Tokyo by any means necessary. It's worth noting that the gates are canonically a portal and only a portal, not a magical scrying machine or anything of the sort, but this tends to fly right over the fanon's heads.
    • Mamoru gets it pretty bad as well, when combined with the heat he already takes for being with Usagi. A particular type of crossover plot involves him mistreating or cheating on Usagi, giving her reason to run and discover characters from another series. Other times, Mamoru being a rotten boyfriend is used to have Usagi realize that Seiya (or Rei, etc.) is truly the one she loves.
    • Neo Queen Serenity and Crystal Tokyo are at times vilified and treated as if they were an oppressive totalitarian society bent on controlling the entire world's population, with the Black Moon family painted as misunderstood freedom fighters.
    • Chibi-Usa gets this sometimes. She's portrayed as an awful person by some fans, when really she's just a Bratty Half-Pint. Fans also ignore the fact that she still loves her family despite everything. Even the English dub of the anime gets in on this, by making her meaner and more bratty towards Usagi.
  • The Scrappy: Chibi-Usa. See Americans Hate Tingle below.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: In its time, it was groundbreaking in creating a new sub-genre (Magical Girl Warrior) by fusing the Sentai and Magical Girl genres, and also playing a big role in making anime popular internationally. Today it's usually looked down upon for falling oh so far on the Idealistic side of the Sliding Scale and, being from the early 1990s, appearing very cliche by more recent standards. A great deal of more recent magical girl series have deconstructed the tropes this show propagated.
  • Ships That Pass In The Night: Hotaru/Shingo is surprisingly popular, even though they're never actually seen together in the anime or the manga.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Lots of young kids loved Sailor Moon for the empowering lessons it and the characters of the show taught them:
    • It's okay to be an insecure and flawed individual! (Usagi)
    • It's okay to balance both masculine and feminine interests! It doesn't make you odd or undesirable, and you don't have to limit yourself to just one thing! (Makoto) Speaking of which, Amanda Celine Miller, Makoto's new English voice actress, wrote a Tumblr post regarding how Makoto influenced her when she first watched Sailor Moon as a child.
    • Women are just as capable of kicking ass and being awesome as men are, if not more so!
  • Testosterone Brigade: The series has a surprisingly significant male following, probably due to its action-oriented nature and all of the female characters (99% of the main cast) qualifying as Ms. Fanservice.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The anime's first episode includes a scene where Usagi fearfully shows her mom that she has failed her test, only to have her mom verbally berate her and kick her out of the house to "think about what she's done." To Japanese audiences, this is seen as strict, but appropriate punishment for her perceived laziness. To western audiences, looks an awful lot like child abuse. Naturally the English dub somewhat watered it down to just telling her to go to the library to study.
    • The diet episode early in the anime is representative of the extremely thin-obsessed culture of Japan...and all the negative body issues that comes along with it. It comes off as even harsher a good twenty years later when body image and eating disorders are gathering far more media attention in the west.note 
    • In the first Sailor Moon Memorial, which is a non-canon recap of the previous season, part of the narration turns to Zoisite and Kunzite's relationship. When Luna points out that this sort of relationship is far more common today ("today" being in 1992, thus twenty years ago), Usagi starts making gagging noises on the soundtrack. While this comes off extremely poorly in a far more gay friendly world and presents Usagi more harshly, jokes like these were extremely common in the early 90s when gay characters had less media visibility. Notably, in the show itself, which is canon, nobody reacts to their relationship as if it's unnatural at all and in fact the two characters sharing a genuine romance in spite of their horrifically evil deeds is presented as their sole sympathetic traits. Later in the series, Usagi's only concern about Haruka and Michiru's relationship is that she initially took Haruka for a boy and got a crush on her. The show would later portray the gender-swapping Sailor Starlights as pining exclusively over women and none of the cast members reacted as if this was abnormal.note 
  • Values Resonance: People complain that it's outdated and all, but it has several concepts that are timeless:
    • Women in both the enemy and the allies's sides had their own share of power;
    • There was a lesbian pairing portrayed in a sympathetic light (Haruka and Michiru), and the villainous gay couple from the anime loved each other deeply despite their alignment (Zoicite and Kunzite);
    • The girls themselves had all kinds of different personalities and were still friends in spite of how different they were. They also encouraged each other's goals note  and supported each other when needed instead of throwing each other under the bus for their own benefits (and the girls who did it weren't supposed to be in the right);
    • The girls didn't only talk about guys, but also about their own interests, school, their missions and their own friendships, among other themes;
    • The One Guy Mamoru helped them, but he also needed help and protection from Usagi and the girls. He was always portrayed as a masculine and romantic love interest, and his being rescued by Usagi never did anything to undermine that characterization;
    • etc.
  • The Woobie: Minako, Setsuna, Hotaru, Chibi-Usa in R, and Usagi herself sometimes.
    • Iron Woobie: Usagi by the end of series manages to endure despite repeated TraumaCongaLines. And she does so with a smile, too.
      • Minako in the manga. She ends up having to brutally kill two of her love interests in the Codename Sailor V manga. Yet, she ardently decides that her newfound mission is more important than her own pain, and goes on to become the best fighter of the Inner Senshi, doing it all with a smile and goofy personality.
      • In fact, all of the Senshi display this to a degree, being almost stupidly heroic, valorous and self-sacrificial when the situation gets bad. In a way similar to Minako, Haruka and Michiru come to mind, their early episodes clearly establish that they hate having gotten their mission because it prevents them from devoting their lives to their own dreams, but they take duty very seriously and seem almost too eager to give up their lives for the cause.

Tropes from the Anime

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: This hits hard when the likes of Chibi-Usa near the end of the Nehellenia Arc in Stars dies/becomes Ret Gone while Usagi holds her. It's also sad when realizing with Fridge Tearjerker that because Mamoru dies by Galaxia's hands, the last piece of Chibi-Usa we see is the remains of Usagi's memory/dream before everyone around her in the dream near the episode is gone.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Although Japanese audiences were quite fond of Chibi-Usa, in America, Rini is often seen as The Scrappy, often taking the brunt of criticism for the fourth series because it's centered around her. A large part of this is due to fans' strong negative reaction to Rini's original dub voice, which was considered ear-grating.
    • Americans love Chibi-Chibi, though. It might help that she barely talks.
  • Anvilicious:
    • In Episode 13, Jadeite appears to have killed Tuxedo Mask and then, out of nowhere, starts screaming out misogyny at the Sailors and accuses women of being too weak to win against him in a fight. They respond with an equally non-subtle speech about how discrimination against women is wrong, then run him over with his own planes. The lesson's a good one, but the way it's delivered is jarringly anvilicious. Jadeite had been shown to see women as inferior in the occasional mental commentary about his victims, but this episode turns it up to 11. It's also worth noting that he never displayed this traits towards his boss (Queen Beryl), and while he regarded his entirely-female youma rather lowly, it was more because of rank than gender.
    • The Mood Whiplash at the end of Episode 20 (US). It goes from a scene that's actually pretty sad no matter which version you're watching to Sailor Moon talking about how Naaru saw the good in Nephrite, and how nobody (In real life) is a Complete Monster. It's quite Anvilicious, but arguably not exactly a bad message to be sending to the kids.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Mamoru. Mainly because while the anime never gave him anything more than his roses and the occasional moments with his cane, the manga gave him an attack of his own that was strong enough to kill some of the villains. He still died without a fight in the Sailor Stars manga though. In his defense, so did most of the cast of the manga.
    • Sailor Venus starts out as the most skilled and the first sailor soldier to have her powers awakened. She beats the crap out of the bad guys in her first appearance and is incredibly competent. As the seasons pass, she becomes ditzier, is less and less effective in battle and gets a big dose of chickification. In fact, Usagi was originally the ditziest and chickiest girl in the group but her character development into the leader meant that Minako would have to take on the role as the chick. Granted, Sailor Venus in the anime was never as badass as her manga counterpart in the first place.
    • The monsters of the day became generally goofier as the show progressed and the Quirky Miniboss Squad of each villain faction became less and less menacing too.
    • Starter Villain Jadeite started off a competent threat. He had powerful minions, curb-stomped Sailor Moon during their first meeting, and actually managed to succeed in getting away with human energy in one scheme, earning Queen Beryl's compliments. But right after that last event, things began to go downhill for Jadeite. Very downhill. Once he got Hoist by His Own Petard for the last time, Queen Beryl "decommissioned" him for good. The rest of the Shiten'nou avoided the trope, with Nephrite and Kunzite never ceasing to be threats (though Kunzite slips when he gets his own arc, there is more of a justified in-story reason for it), and Zoisite never being much of one to begin with so that he couldn't possibly decay (he always relied on dirty tricks in order to be dangerous.)
    • Queen Beryl actually comes off as weaker than Kunzite in the anime and number of his plans end failing due to her sending the brainwashed Endymion out with him, compare to the manga where she was shown to stronger than him.
    • The Ayakashi Sisters in the manga are murderous maniacs, while in the anime they were merely misled and are granted a chance to live free in modern day Tokyo. The manga also had them capable of killing the Sailor Senshi with ease, something they struggled with in the anime. Possibly a case of Tropes Are Not Bad since they also contributed to the other Sailor Senshi being Demoted to Extra in the manga.
    • While more decayed in demeanor rather than character, the frightening Zirconia in Super S also got a lot more frustrated and pathetic in the last half of the series, whereas in the first half she was chillingly calm and foreboding. Justified in that she had to deal with more rebellious, troublesome minions and orders from the real Big Bad, Queen Nehelenia.
  • Complete Monster: Wiseman/Death Phantom takes the cake. Also, Rubeus from the same arc was just plain nasty.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The English opening, an original cover of the Japanese version, is a Base Breaker (like the dub itself) - but even people that hate it generally agree the epic guitar instrumental about halfway through the song is incredible. Of course, that doesn't touch the made-from-scratch German opening.
    • The Sailor Stars theme fit the tone of the final season far better than Moonlight Densetsu, so its inclusion is generally lauded.
  • Ending Fatigue: The fight with Galaxia at the end of "Stars", which can be summed up as "some way to stop her is brought up, and it fails, rinse repeat" for the last few episodes of the show.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In episode 3, Usagi talks about how much fun it must be to never wake up again, because you get to stay in your dreams forever. It wasn't so much fun in episode 69, when she almost died because she couldn't wake up.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The Al/En episodes are much more popular among American and Canadian fans. This is because these episodes have very faithful translations, and not as many censor cuts and no missing episodes. These episodes were actually held up during the first run of the English dub and initially aired after the first 12 Rini episodes due to an attempt by DiC to sell them exclusively to a Network (the first episode of this arc actually did air on a Fox Kids Saturday morning slot). To the rest of the world, they're just filler episodes.
    • Chibi-Chibi is much more popular amongst American fans as due to her cuteness and not being bratty like Chibiusa.
    • The anime itself is becoming this among Americans thanks to Viz Media. According to various sources, it's become THE number one show on Hulu, and pre-orders for the DVD sets are the highest Viz has ever gotten.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Makaiju and the aliens it created - The Makaiju tree created a race of aliens because it was lonely. However, Makaiju watched the race it created eventually start falling to warfare and self destruct, leaving the planet a barren wasteland. Taking the loyal followers for better lands, the Makaiju departed. But it was too weak to create any more followers, so it was forced to watch all of the Makaiju aliens die one by one... until only two were left. (Ali and En) As a result of this, Ali and En grew up without love. Fortunately, Sailor Moon managed to heal the Makaiju's suffering, and granted all three of them a second chance.
  • Jerk Sue: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune can come off as this. Aside from being expies of the more established (and popular) Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mercury, respectively, and being perceived as "better" versions of them, but occasionally play the Rich Bitch card, act condescending to the other Senshi (including Pluto and Saturn made worse by the fact they DID kill them later in the series), are not team players, and even tried to kill Sailor Moon at the end of S. And even if this is all an act to testing Usagi's powers, they are unnecessarily nasty.
  • Les Yay:
    • Rei with Usagi, and some with Minako, particularly in the manga. Also, the Not a Date with Maya Touno, a one-shot girl.
    • The Sailor Starlights are (somewhat) a subversion when their in their male forms.
  • Macekre: Lots of changes were made to the DiC and Cloverway dubs to make it more palatable to America's powerful Moral Guardians, including:
    • The Sailor Senshi's given names are changed or anglicized, though a few throwaway lines suggest family names have stayed mostly intact. In the Tokyopop English manga, Usagi's name (which means "Rabbit") became Bunny, though it was implied that this was a nickname and Serena was her real name.
    • Quirky Miniboss Squad member Zoisite being changed from a flamboyant homosexual male into a full-blown (heterosexual) woman. The same happened to a similar character Fish-Eye.
    • Sailors Uranus and Neptune being portrayed as "cousins" instead of "more than just friends" despite no real change in their interactions with each other.
    • The ending of the first series being cut down into one episode, to avoid the suggestion of "Kill 'em All".
      • A heavy Bowdlerization comes in Usagi's fight with Metalia, with it being changed to Luna telling Usagi everyone is counting on her and she can't lose, while in the Japanese version it was Luna telling her not fight because she'd die from using the Silver Crystal even if Metalia didn't kill her, which takes away from Usagi's Heroic Sacrifice since she was going ahead to save the world even if she was going to die from the fight. Also, Metalia's dialogue before fusing with Beryl is ALOT less threatening the dub, with it being changed "turn this world pitch black" to berating and saying she was getting a last chance.
    • Raye's character was flanderized in the first season to be a lot meaner than she actually was and create a character arc in which she attempts to usurp control of the team. Although thankfully it's "concluded" by Raye apologizing and saying she never should of doubted Serena as leader.
      • It comes back into play in the final DIC-dubbed episode in which now everyone wants to take over as team leader. In the original version, it was merely a recap episode and they were debating on who should be the new main character.
  • Memetic Mutation: Chocolate parfaits, due to their importance in Nephrite's final episode, and especially to his death scene.
  • Seasonal Rot: SuperS and Stars are often cited with this trope in play, the former for focusing more on comedy rather that character development, and the latter since it didn't offer much of anything that earlier seasons didn't have.
  • Squick: There seem to be a rather large and unnecessary panty shots for Chibiusa...
  • The Untwist: Chibiusa being Usagi and Mamoru's daughter from the future. In her very first appearance, it's obvious to the viewers who she is given her appearance and the fact she claims to be "Usagi Tsukino" in both the anime and the manga. This is pretty much a gimme to the viewer, since the real mystery is not her identity, but where she came from, why she needs the silver crystal, and why there's a bunch of murderous psychopaths chasing her down.
    • Usagi is the princess. Despite what some detractors may tell you, no the dub didn't really ruin the surprise. As 13 episodes before we even find out who the princess is Mamoru's dream shows a girl who looks exactly like Usagi and sounds exactly like Usagi as the princess.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The reason that Sailor Moon S tends to be the favorite season of many fans, as it is one of the darkest.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Mamoru, Haruka and Michiru ocassionally can come across as this. See Base Breaker and Jerk Sue.
  • Values Dissonance: Mamoru is a college student (meaning at his absolute youngest, he'd be 18) and Usagi is a middle school student of 14 at the start of the show. They are a couple (and the American dub did next to nothing to tone it down). Mamoru also dated Rei (same age gap) briefly in the first series and nobody bats an eye. Such serious age gaps between love interests are quite common in anime and manga made around the same time period (see also Glass No Kamen and Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), and for that matter, are entirely legal and at worst mildly scandalous in Japan. However, in most of the world where the show actually got localized (America especially), Mamoru would be considered a pedophilenote  and busted on lewd conduct with a minor charges. In the manga, the two are much closer in age Mamoru is in high school when he starts out, and doesn't enter college until the final story arc. Usagi entered high school at the start of the Dead Moon Circus arc in the manga, thus keeping their gap not quite so extreme.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Just try and tell a fan of the original that in Japan Sailor Moon's target audience is 4-12 year old girls.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Yes, it is possible for the English dub of Sailor Moon to actually have a line in English that actually manages to one-up the original, and it happened in the final dubbed episode too. After Nehellenia throws Chibi Moon off her rising debris platform, and Sailor Moon finishes up a brief BSOD, she turns around and says "I won't lose to you!" and jumps off to rescue Chibi Moon. Her final line to her in English? "I still pity you." Directing this at Nehellenia, who was always envious of Sailor Moon and the Silver Millennium and her kingdom, this line is more effective and leaves more of a sting. Ironically, Nehellenia's actual redemption arc was never dubbed.
    • Some people also admired the "That's so sweet, I'm getting cavities!" line Beryl utters doing the otherwise butchered "Day of Destiny" dubbed episode. Such a line might've become an Ascended Meme if someone used it right.

Tropes from the Manga

  • Complete Monster:
    • Professor Tomoe. When his wife is killed and daughter Hotaru fatally wounded in a fire, he decides to make the latter into the prototyped "Super Being". When this initially fails, he becomes ecstatic when the Daimons land. (Their first, for your information, act is to possess his Sexy Secretary Kaolinite.) He embraces their offer , believing himself to be The Chosen One. Unlike the other villains of this arc, he was never possessed; he was just willing to sell humanity down the river, his daughter included, For Science! and godhood. Yes, he really was that much of a dick.
    • The Bigger Bad Chaos, and thus Metaria, Death Phantom, Pharaoh 90, and Nehelenia by association.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Himeko says that "Apollo 12 launched during a snowstorm!"
    • It DID launch during a thunderstorm, though. Bad translation?
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The very end of the Stars arc reveals that Sailor Moon managed to defeat Chaos, and kept the Galaxy Cauldron intact, allowing everyone to eventually reborn from there. Her friends all end up being reborn, life does not cease to exist as Sailor Cosmos intended, and she marries Mamoru in the end. It sounds happy enough, right? Not quite. Chaos is only stopped temporarily, having been melted in the Galaxy Cauldron from which all life in the universe comes from. And as long as the Galaxy Cauldron still exists, Chaos will keep rising back up as an all-powerful enemy who will eventually wage a devastating war across the entire galaxy. Sailor Cosmos' final speech helps to soften the impact of this info, but it doesn't change the fact that Chaos will always be present to devastate the Senshi's lives continually in the future.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Naruru and Ruruna aren't actual sailor soldiers, but they're avid Sailor Moon fans and dress in outfits resembling them. Their nicknames come from their favorite clothing brands.


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