Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン ,Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn, officially translated as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) is the title of a Japanese media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi.
It is generally credited with popularizing the concept of a sentai (team) of magical girls, as well as "revitalizing" the magical girl genre itself.
The story of the various metaseries revolves around the reincarnated defenders
of a kingdom that once spanned the solar system, and around the evil forces
that they battle. The major characters—called Sailor Senshi (literally
"Sailor Soldiers"; frequently called "Sailor Scouts"
in the North American version)—are teenage girls who can transform into
heroines named for the moon and planets (Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor
Mars, etc). The use of "Sailor" comes from a style of girls'
school uniform popular in Japan, the sērā fuku (sailor outfit), after which the Senshi's uniforms are modeled. The elements of fantasy in the series are heavily symbolic and often based on mythology.
The Sailor Moon manga was preceded by Codename: Sailor V, which centered around just one Sailor Senshi. Takeuchi devised the idea
when she wanted to create a cute series about girls in outer space, and
her editor asked her to put them in sailor fuku. When Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime, the concept was modified so
that Sailor V herself became only one member of a team. The resulting manga
series was a fusion of the popular magical girl and sentai genres of which Takeuchi was a fan, making Sailor Moon one of the first series ever to combine the two.
The manga resulted in spinoffs into other types of media, including a
highly popular anime, as well as musical theatre productions, video games,
and a live-action (tokusatsu) series. Although most concepts in the many versions overlap, often notable
differences occur, and thus continuity between the different formats is
The protagonist of Sailor Moon, Usagi Tsukino(Serena), lives as an ordinary middle school girl until
she is found by a talking cat named Luna. Through Luna, Usagi(Serena) learns
that the world is about to be attacked by a Dark Kingdom that had appeared
once before, long ago, and destroyed the kingdom of the moon. Her dormant
powers are then awakened to defend the Earth against the coming onslaught,
and she is led to a number of friends who join her in the battle.
Usagi(Serena) fights using the identity of Sailor Moon, and as the story
progresses she learns more and more about the enemies which face her and
the evil force that is sending them. Gradually she discovers the truth
about her own past life, her destined true love, and the possibilities
for the future of the Solar System.
The plot spans five major story arcs, each of them represented in both
the manga and anime, usually under different names:
- the Dark Kingdom arc
- the Black Moon arc (Sailor Moon R)
- the Infinity arc (Sailor Moon S)
- the Dream arc (Sailor Moon Supers）
- the Stars arc (Sailor Stars)
The anime added an additional minor arc at the start of the second series,
and spent the first few episodes of Sailor Stars wrapping up the plot from the previous series.
・Usagi Tsukino (月野 うさぎ ,Tsukino Usagi)
The main character of the series, called Serena in the English anime (nicknamed Bunny in the English manga). Usagi, a
carefree schoolgirl with an enormous capacity for love, transforms into
the heroine called Sailor Moon. At the beginning of the series she is portrayed
as an immature crybaby who hates having to fight evil and wants nothing
more than to be a normal girl. As she progresses, however, she embraces
the chance to use her power to protect those she cares about.
・Mamoru Chiba (地場 衛 ,Chiba Mamoru)
A student somewhat older than Usagi, called Darien in the English adaptations of the series. As a young child he experienced
a terrible car accident that robbed him of his parents and of his knowledge
of who he is. During the series he has some precognitive ability, including
dreams that inspire him to take on the guise of Tuxedo Mask and fight alongside
the Sailor Senshi. After an initially confrontational relationship, he
and Usagi remember their past lives together and fall in love again.
・Ami Mizuno (水野 亜美 ,Mizuno Ami)
A quiet bookworm in Usagi's class, called Amy in the English adaptations of the series. Highly intelligent, with a rumored IQ of 300, she can transform into Sailor Mercury, acquiring power over all phases
of water. Ami's shy exterior masks a passion for knowledge and for taking
care of the people around her. She hopes to be a doctor one day, like her
mother, and tends to be the practical one in the group. Secretly, she is
also a fan of pop culture and romance novels, and becomes embarrassed whenever
this is pointed out.
・Minako Aino (愛野 美奈子 ,Aino Minako)
A perky dreamer who acted on her own as Sailor V for some time. Called Mina in the English versions, she has a companion cat called Artemis who works
alongside Luna in guiding the Sailor Senshi. Minako transforms into Sailor
Venus, Soldier of Love, and leads Sailor Moon's four inner guardians. She
also dreams of becoming a famous singer and idol and attends auditions
whenever she can. At the start of the live-action series, she is already
these things, but has poor health and separates herself from the other
The future daughter of Usagi and Mamoru, Chibiusa travels from the 30th
century to seek help to save her parents, then later to train with Sailor
Moon to become a soldier. She learns to transform into Sailor Chibi Moon.
At times she has an adversarial relationship with her mother in the 20th
century, as she considers herself more mature than Usagi, but as the series
progresses they develop a deep bond. Chibiusa wants to grow up to become
a lady like her mother. In the English adaptations, she is called Rini, and her alter ego is called Sailor Mini Moon.
【Quotation from Wikipedia 2009.03.03】