Legend: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン) is a Japanese manga (comic) created by Takeuchi Naoko in 1992. An anime (cartoon) series based on the manga series soon followed. Bishoujo means "pretty girl" and senshi means "soldier" or "warrior," so the official translation (not including the North American dub) is "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon." In 2003, a live-action TV series based on the first arc/season of the Sailor Moon manga/anime began broadcasting on Japanese TV; the official translation of the series' name was then changed to "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon." Official English romanizations of the senshi names combine "Sailor" and the planet/star/planetary object name into one word, so you may also see Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon as a title and Sailormoon, Sailoruranus, Sailorneptune, etc. for the character names.

The original release of the manga series had 18 tankoubon (compilations or volumes) and 52 "acts" (the Sailor Moon manga's term for "chapter") for the main storyline. These 18 tankoubon also included a number of side stories. In 2003, the Sailor Moon manga was re-released in a new format with brand new covers. Takeuchi changed how the arcs were divided, touched up old artwork (such as adding more detail to hair and adding noses to previously noseless faces), added new art, and redid some dialogue. This re-release contained 12 tankoubon for the main story, spread across 60 acts, and had 2 additional tankoubon collecting all of the side stories for a total of 14 tankoubon. Starting in 2013, a "perfect edition" (kanzenban) of the manga was released with brand new covers, a larger A5 size, and the original color spreads included; this perfect edition release had 12 volumes.

There were 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime spanning five seasons in five years (from 1992 to 1997); there were also three anime movies, originally released in theaters, and a few specials. The anime was based loosely on the manga. In 2013, a brand new anime series, this time relying heavily on the manga series, began called Sailor Moon Crystal. Additionally, there were many live-action Japanese Sailor Moon musicals based on both the manga and anime series; these musicals ran from 1993 through 2005 and then began anew in 2013.

Sailor Senshi

Story Outline
Sailor Moon is a magical girls series about Tsukino Usagi, a young, klutzy, crybaby girl, who is also very naive and has a good heart. One day, on her way to junior high school, Usagi comes across several boys torturing a black cat. Usagi saves the cat. Later that same day, she encounters the cat once again at home. The black cat, who can talk, introduces herself as Luna. Luna says that Usagi is one of the soldiers she has been searching for; as a Sailor Soldier, Usagi's duty is to find the Moon Princess and to save the world from the Dark Kingdom. Usagi, so Luna explains, is Sailor Moon. Usagi doesn't take this information seriously at first, but she nevertheless cooperates and transforms into Sailor Moon, much to her shock. So begins her adventures as the pretty sailor-suited soldier.

As Usagi soon discovers, there are more Sailor Senshi like Sailor Moon. Each soldier represents a planet in the solar system (except for Earth). Usagi's main allies are: the studious genius, Mizuno Ami (Sailor Mercury); the beautiful shrine maiden, Hino Rei (Sailor Mars); the physically powerful (but very feminine in interests) Kino Makoto (Sailor Jupiter); and the original Sailor Senshi formerly known as Sailor V, Aino Minako (Sailor Venus). The five girls are the main Sailor Soldiers for the first two arcs/seasons of Sailor Moon (the original anime seasons being called Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R).

In the first arc/season, Usagi eventually learns that she is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity (Selenity), the princess of a kingdom that once existed on the moon. The Sailor Senshi's only male ally, Tuxedo Kamen (a mysterious man who dresses in a tuxedo and mask, throws roses as his weapons, and appears when the senshi need him most) turns out to be Chiba Mamoru. In the anime, Mamoru is a university student who irritates Usagi to no end; in the manga, Mamoru is a high school student with whom Usagi has a much closer, more romantic relationship. The Sailor Senshi also discover that Mamoru is the reincarnation of Prince Endymion, Princess Serenity's past lover.

A long time ago, a civilization called Silver Millennium flourished on the moon. It was the center of the solar system and was ruled by Queen Serenity, who had one daughter, Princess Serenity. The Sailor Senshi - Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus - were Serenity's guardians and lived on the moon with her. Endymion was a prince from the planet Earth who fell in love with Princess Serenity.

Despite the moon's peace and prosperity, a group known as the Dark Kingdom came from Earth to attack Silver Millennium. It succeeded, killing everyone, including the Princess, Prince, and the soldiers. Queen Serenity had no choice but to use her most powerful weapon, the ginzuishou ("mystical silver crystal") to seal away the Dark Kingdom. This act also cost her her life. Before she died, Queen Serenity sent her daughter, the prince, and the Sailor Senshi into the future to be reincarnated on Earth; there they could live normal lives in peace. However, the Queen instructed Luna and another cat, Artemis, to watch over the girls. In present day Tokyo, the Dark Kingdom managed to resurface, and so the Sailor Soldiers were awakened to fight once again.

Having many interesting adventures during the first two arcs/seasons (which would take too long to explain, and that's not the focus of this website), the Sailor Senshi encounter two new senshi in the third arc of the manga (which I refer to as the Infinity arc); in the third season of the original anime, called Sailor Moon S; and in the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal. The two new senshi are none other than Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, two mysterious soldiers who seem to have completely different objectives and mindsets from the five original soldiers. This is where the shrine begins its explanation of the two new senshi - who they are; what they want; and their relation to the other characters and the story.

If this brief summary isn't enough to tide you over, and you want to know more about the anime and manga without the Neptune and Uranus-centric view, then you can visit The Sailor Senshi Page, my more in-depth page about Sailor Moon in general (the anime, manga, musicals, live-action TV series, etc).


Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is © Takeuchi Naoko.
Image of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune is © Shoko Mikuni.
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