Sailor Moon

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Fandom
Name: Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン bishoujo senshi seeraamuun)
Abbreviation(s): SM, BSSM
Creator: Naoko Takeuchi
Date(s): manga 1991-1995, anime in Japan 1992-1997, live action in Japan 2003-2004, new anime 2014
Medium: Manga, Anime, live action TV series
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Official Site/JP Wikipedia
Ai no Senshi by SarahForde (2010)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Sailor Moon, also known as Sailormoon or Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn (美少女戦士セーラームーン) (sometimes translated as Pretty Soldier or Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) was originally a shoujo manga created by Naoko Takeuchi. It's notable for being one of the first magical girl mangas that has a group of magical girls instead of just one. The main character is Usagi Tsukino, a teenage girl who transforms into the titular character, who is a part of a team called Sailor Senshi or Sailor Scouts, Sailor Warriors, Sailor Soliders in English depending on the translation. The manga has been adapted into two animes -the 90s anime being extremely popular-, several movies, several stage musicals, and a live-action tv series.

Sailor Moon is long-standing franchise, said to have made $13 billion in merchandising revenue before 2014. [1] In Japan, Sailor Moon has long since become cultural heritage: Sailor Moon is part of the 'Cool Japan' line-up at the Universal Studios Japan Theme Park in Osaka[2] [3] [4] [5], and has been one of the 'cultural embassadors' for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held in 2021, including original art by Naoko Takeuchi for Sailor Moon in the Olympics' official program.[6] [7] [8]

The fandom is still active and thriving after 30 years.

Canon

Original Releases

After the success of its predecessor, Sailor V, Naoko Takeuchi was asked to broaden the concept and Sailor Moon was born. The first chapter of the Sailor Moon manga was released on December 28th, 1991 in Nakayoshi's February Issue.[9] The original release in Nakayoshi was a milestone for the magazine, and remembered in its 65th anniversary logo.[10] Back in the 90s at the start of things, the anime followed soon after, in March 1992 and both ran through 1997 in Japan.

The Manga spanned 5 arcs (Dark Kingdom, Black Moon, Infinity, Dream, and Stars) as well as several separate short stories later comprised into two seperate short story volumes.

An international hit, the manga was translated into 17 languages (among them English, German, Thai, simplified Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Italian, French, Indonesian, and Vietnamese) and sold in 50 countries according to Kodansha.[11]

An in-depth account of the spread and international reach of the Sailor Moon franchise has been analysed on the Mondsteinflug podcast episode "Sailor Moon Across Cultures", including testimonials by international fans.

Sailor Moon was a world-wise phenomenon in the 90s, yet the success of Sailor Moon in Italy, France and Germany is especially note-worthy, which surpassed that of North America, where the show remained incomplete, merchandise was much scarcer, and the manga was unavailable for a long stretch of time.

The re-release of the Sailor Moon manga, compressing formerly 18 volumes into 12 thicker volumes, spread out from Japan in 2003 and reached Italy first in 2010. After many years of being unavailable in English, this new reprint of Sailor Moon (and the previously unreleased Codename: Sailor V) was released by Kodansha USA in September 2011. [12]

Since then, several new editions of the manga have been released, including the Complete edition: "kanzenban” (完全版)[13], or "Eternal Edition" as its called in many international releases. These are high-resolution, quality re-translations of the Kodansha re-release, often in Hardcover binding depending on the international edition and annotated with Translator's notes. In Japan two volumes of a colored manga edition have been released so far.[14]

The Sailor Moon anime spanned 200 episodes (Seasons Classic, R: comprised of two arcs; the Makaiju and Black Moon arcs, S, Super S, and Stars: comprised of two arcs), 3 movies and 2 specials. It premiered in Japan in 1992. France was first to broadcast an international version in 1993.[15]

The original 90s version of the anime has been dubbed into: Spanish/Castillian, Catalan, Galician, Mandarin Chinese (first 2 seasons and movies)[16] Cantonese,[17] Russian (voice-over), Korean, French, Italian, English (only Classic through Super S, with long gaps), Indonesian, Tagalog, few episodes were dubbed into Hindi but never caught on[18], Greek, Portugese, Brazllian Portugese, Swedish[19], Hungarian (from the French version), Turkish (from the Chinese version), Polish, Dutch (Netherlands and parts of Belgium)[20], Croatian (R-Stars, Classic was only subbed)[21], Portuguese, Malaysian English (only the Makaiju arc!), Bulgarian (only first 59 episodes, and only voice over, from the German dub with all minor-ish German changes)[22], Vietnamese (voiceover 1-3, dub 2015 of S1), and Thai.

Many of these versions had their own dub names in the 90s, a number of them contained multiple dub changes and some of them re-cuts and censored scenes, and many of those with particular many changes from the original were re-dubbed years later using original names and the original cuts.

The live-action adaptation Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon or PGSM ran only in Japan from 2003 to 2004, and consisted of a particularly different retelling of the Dark Moon Kingdom arc.[23] It spanned 49 episodes, a prequel, a sequel, and a Making-Of.

The new Sailor Moon anime was first announced on July 6, 2012[24], and was expected to premiere several times through out 2013 and early 2014 before it the new series titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal finally aired on July 5, 2014. It is a direct adaptation of the original Manga. Sailor Moon Crystal spans the original Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arc, Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 spans the original Infinity arc, and the two Sailor Moon Eternal movies, released in 2021 and available on Netflix, span the Dream arc. Stars is yet to be adaptated for Sailor Moon Crystal.

Characters

  • Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon, Princess/Neo-Queen Serenity), American dub names: Serena, Bunny
  • Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury), American dub name: Amy Anderson
  • Rei Hino (Sailor Mars), American dub name: Raye Hino
  • Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter), American dub name: Lita Kino
  • Minako Aino (Sailor Venus), American dub name: Mina
  • Mamoru Chiba (Tuxedo Mask, Prince/King Endymion), American dub name: Darien Shields.
  • Usagi "Chibiusa" Tsukino (Sailor Chibi-Moon/Mini-Moon, Princess Small Lady Serenity) (Appears in: Seasons R through Stars (first arc)), American dub name: Rini
  • Haruka Tenou (Sailor Uranus) (Appears in: Seasons S and Stars), American dub name: Amara
  • Michiru Kaiou (Sailor Neptune) (Appears in: Seasons S and Stars), American dub name: Michelle
  • Setsuna Meiou (Sailor Pluto) (Appears in: Seasons R, S and Stars), American dub name: Trista
  • Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Saturn) (Appears in: Seasons S and Stars)
  • Kou Seiya (Sailor Star Fighter) (Appears in: Season Stars)
  • Kou Yaten (Sailor Star Healer) (Appears in: Season Stars)
  • Kou Taiki (Sailor Star Maker) (Appears in: Season Stars)
  • Luna
  • Artemis
  • Diana

Other recurring minor characters that appear intermittendly:

  • Usagi's family members, Ikuko, Kenji, and Shingo
  • Naru Osaka (American dub name: Molly Baker), Usagi's best friend
  • Motoki Furuhata (American dub name: Andrew) Mamoru's best friend in the anime and an early crush of Usagi and several other Sailor Senshi, and his sister Unazuki Furuhata
  • Grandpa Hino, Rei's grandfather, the head priest of a Shinto shrine.
  • Yuichiro Kumada (American dub name: Chad), a priest-in-training at Grandpa Hino's shrine
  • Haruna Sakurada, Usagi's Middle School teacher
  • Umino Gurio (American dub name: Melvin), a classmate of Usagi and Naru's, and later Naru's boyfriend

More side characters than these exist that appear infrequently in only one arc and yet during several episodes, whether as friends or foes, such as Ryo Urawa, one of the seven great youmas and Ami's maybe-boyfriend, Reika Nishimura, Motoki's girlfriend, Ail & An/Natsumi & Seijuro, the Ayakashi sisters, Professor Tomoe, Chibi Chibi, Sailor Galaxia and others.

Since Sailor Moon has a "monster of the week" episodic narrative that often features original, one-off characters, there are many characters that appear only once and yet are often featured in fanfiction. Such as Saori and Kobayashi, Mamoru's co-eds in Super S, Mika, the girl Shingo crushes on, or Rhett Butler, the fat cat who crushes on Luna and is one of the seven great youmas.

Additionally, there are Manga-Only side characters, such as Asanuma Ittou, Mamoru's kohai and potential love interest for Makoto, or Kousagi, Usagi and Mamoru's second daughter in the short story Parallel Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon References

Because Sailor Moon has been a worldwide phenomenon in the 90s and brought the genre of anime on the map in many countries, it is known to be a gateway fandom. Due to its widespread recognisablity and immense spread into mainstream popular culture, Sailor Moon is referenced both in other types of media as well as in fanworks across different fandoms.

The following is a small selection within a wide range of references. A larger list of specifically canon-media references can be found on the Sailor Moon in Pop Culture entry on the Sailor Moon wiki.

Sailor Moon references in other canon media

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Other anime and manga

  • Arguably, Wedding Peach can be seen as one giant homage to Sailor Moon and is known to have been greatly influenced by it. Even more specifically, episode 5 of the anime contains a scene that shows two girls who closely resemble Ami and Rei.[25]
  • There are Sailor Moon easter eggs in both Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi. In Hunter x Hunter, Killua's sister Alluka played with toy versions of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. In Yu Yu Hakusho, Koenma disguises himself as Tuxedo Mask. These references are especially noteworthy since the author is married to Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon's creator. He is also known to have drawn Sailor Moon tribute art. [26] [27] [28]
  • Shin-chan is an oddball, since the Sailor Moon 90s anime itself also contains Shin-chan reference, thus the referencing is mutual. In the film "Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back", three of Shin-chan's preschool teachers are dressed in Sailor Senshi inspired Sailor fukus.[29]
  • Ebiten is littered with Sailor Moon references, from pose references from iconic Sailor Moon image stills to references such as that she shown to be said she should be having "bread in her mouth" while running late, and that she "might run into someone," all while showing an image of a man that looks like Tuxedo Mask on screen. [30]
  • In Wotaku ni Koi wa muzukashii Episode 4, Narumi introduces Hirotaka to Sailor Moon. [31] [32]

Other films, shows and comics

  • The Simpsons have referenced Sailor Moon a number of times. In the 2003 episode “‘Tis The Fifteenth Season”, Lisa was dressed as Sailor Moon in the intro scene. In the 2011 episode “Holidays of Future Passed” she was dressed in a Sailor Fuku inspired outfit in the intro again, complete with long streamers of blonde pigtails. In the 2014 episode “Married to the Blob”, Comic Book Guy's love interest Kumiko wears a Sailor Moon inspired cosplay at a Con.[33] Kumiko is shown in a 2019 episode again dressed in a Sailor Moon inspired outfit, with Comic Book guy dressed as the Moon.[34] The Simpsons comics also contain several Sailor Moon references, such as "Sailor Moose" in issue #45 clearly modeled after Sailor Moon. [35]
  • There is a Princess Serenity reference in Adventure Time. [36]
  • In Justice League Issue 27, the Martian Manhunter disguises himself as a dark-haired Asian woman under the name Rei Hino.[37]

Video Games

  • In the Sega game Yakuza 0, the Platinum Hosts for Cabaret Czar are based on the Sailor Senshi (as well as Serenity individually), including many little easter eggs, such as the clothes of the hostesses being color-coded to the Senshi and slightly Sailor Fuku-like, the owner's name of Club Mars being Hino, Club Jupiter's hostess Saki loving to cook and being known to be very sporty as well as having had a crush on a sempai, and many more.[38] [39] [40] [41] In addition to the Sailor Moon references, all the Hostesses, as is custom in Yakuza games by now, are additionally modeled after and voiced by real life Japanese porn actresses. This might be the reason that while the outfits and personalities match the Senshi, their general appearance does not.[42]

Music

  • The 2021 song "Sailor Moon" by German rapper Beyazz references Sailor Moon directly, singing appreciately of "his 'bad bitch' who looks like Sailor Moon" and whose "actions prove her words."

Sailor Moon references in other fandoms' fanworks

The distinctions may be fluid, but apart from elaborate crossovers, where the Sailor Moon world coincides and collides with that of other fandoms, or full Sailor Moon AUs, where the fic from a different fandom follows the basic plot and visual elements of Sailor Moon, references to Sailor Moon can be found in multiple fanworks.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Doctor Who

Miraculous Ladybug

Wonder Woman

Fandom

The Sailor Moon fandom is very large and still pretty active. This is in part due to it being a gateway fandom or threshold fandom for many fans.

Additionally, many revivals of the franchise like the re-releases and international re-translations of the manga or the release of adaptations like Sailor Moon Crystal or the Sailor Moon Musicals ("Sera Myu") have kept not only the original fandom active, but have also generated new generations of fans.

Furthermore, impromptu internet/fan engagement with the franchise such as the viral 2020 Sailor Moon Redraw-Challenge[43] keep the fandom and its thriving fanwork very much alive even beyond its dedicated core fanbase.

Shipping

Shipping in Sailor Moon runs the gamut from canon to semi-canon to purely fanon relationships. Examples include:

Phantom Statistician has analysed most common shipping patterns for Shipping on Fanfiction.net and AO3 since the 2010s and has found the following for the most prominent Sailor Moon characters with data collected between 2019 and 2021[44].

For an overview of most common pairings, Phantom Statistician analysed most common ships in Sailor Moon fanfiction and found the following rates for AO3[45]: Usagi/Mamoru (33%) plus a further 4% for Serenity and Endymion who are the past life incarnations of Usagi and Mamoru, Haruka/Michiru (20%), Minako/Kunzite (9%), Rei/Jadeite (7%), Ami/Zoisite (6%), Rei/Minako (6%), Makoto/Nephrite (6%), Usagi/Seiya (5%), and Ami/Makoto (4%). This makes the Usamamo, Harumichi, Sen/Shi, Reinako, SeiUsa and Ami/Makoto pairings the most relevent in contemporary Sailor Moon fanfiction.

10 Most Popular Ships in Sailor Moon Fanfiction (AO3) 2000-Present by Phantom Statistician on Tumblr

A similar analysis made for the Mondsteinflug Podcast episodes covering Shipping[46] and Rarepairs[47] conducted a survey among English-speaking and Japanese fans. This data, too, confirms that for the English-speaking fandom Usamamo, Sen/Shi and HaruMichi are most common ships, whereas in the Japanese fandom, Sen/Shi shippers are much rarer, and Harumichi, Usamamo, and SeiUsa are the most relevant ships.

Most Popular Ships in the English-Speaking and Japanese Sailor Moon Fandom Corners by FloraOne and Nari20 on the Mondsteinflug Podcast

Phantom Statistician further analysed shipping patterns for individual characters:

  • Usagi/Sailor Moon is most often shipped with: Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask (54%), Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter (23%), Rei/Sailor Mars (10%), Prince Diamond (4%) and Minako/Sailor Venus (3%). Her canon love interests include Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask and she is shown to crush on Motoki and Haruka as well as, arguably, all of her Senshi. Several characters, side characters and villains are shown to crush on her.
  • Ami/Sailor Mercury is most often shipped with: Zoisite (44%), Makoto/Sailor Jupiter (32%), Taiki/Sailor Star Maker (5%), Rei/Sailor Mars (5%), Ryo Uwara (3%) and Nephrite (3%). Her canon love interests are Zoisite (manga), Ryo (anime), Taiki (anime) and Mercurius (Super S Special: Ami's First Love). She has had shared a canon dance with Makoto/Sailor Jupiter in evening wear which is very popular in fandom.
  • Rei/Sailor Mars is most often shipped with: Minako/Sailor Venus (43%), Usagi/Sailor Moon (23%), Jadeite (18%), Ami/Sailor Mercury (4%) and Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask (3%). Her canon love interests are Jadeite (manga), Kaido (manga short stories) Yuichiro (anime) and Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask (anime). Additionally, Naoko Takeuchi has often alluded to romantic tension between Minako and Rei both in the manga and her artwork.
  • Makoto/Sailor Jupiter is most often shipped with: Ami/Sailor Mercury (51%), Nephrite (19%), Minako/Sailor Venus (16%), Rei/Sailor Mars (5%) and Usagi/Sailor Moon (4%). Her canon love interests are her sempai (all canon versions), Shinozaki (anime), Motoki (anime and PGSM), Asanuma Ittou (manga), Haruka/Sailor Uranus (anime), Nephrite (manga) and everyone who reminds her of her sempai, which is a running gag in the series.
  • Minako/Sailor Venus is most often shipped with: Rei/Sailor Mars (36%), Kunzite (26%), Yaten/Sailor Star Healer (12%), Makoto/Sailor Jupiter (9%) and Usagi/Sailor Moon (5%). Canon love interests include Alan (anime), Kaitou Ace (Sailor V manga), Saito (arguably a version of Kunzite, Sailor V manga), Kunzite (manga), Yaten (anime) as well as several one-off characters. It's a running gag in the Sailor V manga that gets loosely carried over into the Sailor Moon anime that Minako meets her Hundredths First Loves basically weekly.
  • Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask is most often shipped with: Usagi/Sailor Moon (95%), Rei/Sailor Mars (2%), Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter (1%), Motoki (1%) and Setsuna/Sailor Pluto (1%). His canon love interests are Usagi, Rei, he pretends to date Unazuki for one episode, and a lot of villains as well as his daughter have un-requited crushes on him.
  • Haruka/Sailor Uranus is most often shipped with: Michiru/Sailor Neptune (87%), Usagi/Sailor Moon (5%), Taiki/Sailor Star Maker (4%) and Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter (2%). Her canon love interests is Michiru/Sailor Neptune (all canon versions). Arguably Usagi/Sailor Moon can be listed here for the manga, since Haruka/Sailor Uranus kisses and attempts to kiss Sailor Moon in the manga a notable number of times.
  • Michiru/Sailor Neptune is most often shipped with: Haruka/Sailor Uranus (97%) and only 3 other characters following with 1% each: Setsuna/Sailor Pluto, Usagi/Sailor Moon, Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask. Her canon love interest is Haruka/Sailor Uranus. Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter is once seen flirting with her, ending in an antagonistic stand-off with Haruka in the anime. Mamoru has a moment with her in the Infitity arc of the manga paralell to Usagi's moment with Haruka. In an adorable marketing aspect, all official merchandise for Haruka and Michiru are released together.
  • Hotaru/Sailor Saturn is most often shipped with: Chibiusa/Sailor Chibi Moon (47%), Minako/Sailor Venus (12%), Ami/Sailor Mercury (9%) and Setsuna/Sailor Pluto (9%). Her only canon love interest is her celebrity crush on an athlete in S.
  • Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter is most often shipped with: Usagi/Sailor Moon (73%), Yaten/Sailor Star Healer (13%), Minako/Sailor Venus (5%), Haruka/Sailor Uranus (2%), and Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask (2%). Canon love interests are Usagi/Sailor Moon (anime and in part also manga) and Kakyuu (manga).
  • Yaten/Sailor Star Healer is most often shipped with: Minako/Sailor Venus (47%), Seiya/Sailor Star Fighter (31%), Usagi/Sailor Moon (7%) and Rei/Sailor Mars (4%). Canon love interests are: none. However, Luna has an un-requited crush on Yaten in the anime.
  • Taiki/Sailor Star Maker is most often shipped with: Haruka/Sailor Uranus (45%), Ami/Sailor Mercury (23%), Minako/Sailor Venus (9%) and Yaten/Sailor Star Healer (9%). Canon love interests are: none. However, Ami is shown to have a celebrity crush on Taiki.

Notable Rarepairs for Sailor Moon include Hotaru/Shingo, Mamoru/Setsuna, Yaten/Sailor Star Healer (no this is not a typo), Mamoru and several character's mothers, Minako/Seiya, Mamoru/Fiore, Mamoru/Shitennou, Mamoru/Seiya, Usagi/Senshi, and Galaxia/Queen Serenity [48]

Impact on English-Speaking Fandom

Sailor Moon and the North American English-language dub of the anime are credited with bringing many new English-speaking fans into anime fandom.[49]

The show reversed a common trope in many Western cartoons, where all the main characters are male with one token female. In Sailor Moon, all the main characters are female, with the "token male" being Sailor Moon's romantic interest. The show focused heavily on female friendships and "girl power," making it especially attractive to female fans who might have previously thought of anime as a "guy thing."

One fan explains the appeal of the series:

This is a world where femininity is not something to be ashamed of, it’s the source of POWER. The girls don’t use their pretty clothes and jewels and compacts as playthings to impress men- these things are all weapons against evil, and powerful ones. They declare themSELVES pretty, needing approval from no one. Our hero possesses all the typical “chick” attriibutes- emotional, tearful, forgiving, loving, nurturing- and she uses these attribute to triumph and kicks ass. She burns monsters alive with the purity of her love, sends out supersonic waves that shake the villains down when she bursts into tears, and her friendship and forgiveness is the most effective superpower one could ask for. The “girly” emotions and affectations are not something to be ashamed of or suppressed, but the source of the power these girls wield. They don’t have to imitate guy heroes at all or act “masculine” to be taken seriously- girliness is just as powerful. The manga also rips apart the idea that masculine and feminine traits cannot coexist by showing Sailor Jupiter to be the tomboyest toughest fighter…AND the best cook, master of housework and hopeless romantic. [50]

The usenet group alt.fan.sailor-moon was extremely active in the late nineties when Sailor Moon was airing in the US (and for some time after it had stopped airing.)

Dubs, Subs and Fansubs

The official North American dub went off the air in the US in 1996, after only 65 episodes, stopping abruptly in the middle of Season Two. New episodes would not be dubbed for almost two years, and then only 17 more, to finish off the season. Because of this, Sailor Moon was a popular title for fansubbing, where independent fan groups translate the dialogue themselves, and then synch the on-screen subtitles to the dialogue using a computer program. Most Sailor Moon fansubs were distributed on videotapes.

Fandubbing

The first commonly noticed fandub can be regarded as Mark Sprague's Sailor Moon S internet fandub, receiving international publicity on the Sailor Moon News Group. Mark's fandub prompted many others to produce similar productions of their favorite shows.

Following the advent of YouTube, several fandubbing projects were conceived to deliver English-language content for Sailormoon fans of the only remaining undubbed season of the show, Sailor Stars. Two examples include projects by Fighter4Luv Productions and CrescentMoonzStudios.

Fan Usage of Dub vs. Original Names

Once the North American dub came out, there was a fair amount of confusion over what names to use. Purists insisted that only the original Japanese names and terms should be used in fanfic; fans who had come in through the North American dubs used the names from there. This question became even more complicated when ficcers using North American dub names wanted to write the characters that hadn't been introduced in the dub yet, such as the Outer Senshi. Some of these writers decided to keep the original Outer Senshi's names while using the dub names for the Inner Senshi; other writers invented new names for the Outer Senshi that felt like they could fit in the dubbed world. One such example is Mark, who has a chart for the character names he used. Haruka became Alexandra, Michiru became Michelle, and so forth.

Eventually consensus agreed that using dub names in fic was fine, provided that the author was at least consistent. Mixing dub and original names became a sign of sloppy writing in the fandom.

Some fans were insistent on use of original names only: for example the site PGSM Fanfiction would not allow stories using dub names.[51]

Internationally, with many countries having many different dub names, fanworks especially in France and Italy have included their respective dub names too, and the problems and fan-discourse surrounding it has been similar.

Nowadays, especially since the Kodansha re-release of the Manga that prompted worldwide re-translations of the manga containing the original Japanese names, as well as the Viz Media re-dub of the North American dub, new fanfiction now almost exclusively uses the original Japanese names.

"Saban Moon"

Before DiC's dub hit the Western shores, there was another American Sailor Moon adaptation in the works that would feature half live-action segments and a different style of animation, complete with the girls getting complete redesigns. The live-action segments were meant to capitalize on the popularity of Power Rangers at the time. It was made by the company Toon Makers, but gained the nickname "Saban Moon" due to Renaissance Atlantic (a company working alongside Toon Makers) being responsible for Saban getting the rights to the Super Sentai series that would become Power Rangers, in addition to the live-action segments reminding fans of the show. [52] A 17-minute pilot was shot but never aired on TV.

In the late 90s, a video clip of this dub being shown at a convention began circulating the internet. It quickly gained status as a meme, general "wtf fodder" meant to confuse and shock with its sheer cheesy badness. It was always brought up as an "it could have been worse" argument, sometimes by fans of the DiC dub trying to shut down arguments with dub bashers, sometimes by fans who may not like the DiC dub but were aware of what could have hit the shores instead.

Over the years, though, more information sprang up about this unreleased adaptation and its pilot episode. On July 12th, 2019, YouTuber Red Bard released a video featuring the script and the animation cells from the pilot along with some backstory.

The pilot became a heavily sought after piece of lost media, and on March 15th of 2022, YouTuber Raven Simone (Bobdunga) released part one of a two part documentary detailing her search, interviews with people involved with the project, and the history behind it. Later on in August 2022, Raven released the second part of the documentary in which they included the 17 minute pilot they had found in the Library of Congress.

Save Our Sailors

Save Our Sailors (or SOS)[53] was a campaign devoted to getting the entire series dubbed for American audiences. While it had a large following, it also invited controversy. Much of this was centered around the "Prince Uranus" rumor, which claimed Sailor Uranus had been a man in a past life despite being a woman in the series proper. SOS claimed Haruka and Michiru were "not lesbians, but former lovers ironically reunited as the same gender." [54] This led to SOS being branded as homophobic, and the article was subsequently removed. The Prince Uranus rumors died down when Naoko Takeuchi officially stated that Uranus and Neptune were indeed lesbian lovers.

Today, SOS and Prince Uranus are remembered with a degree of amusement and fondness by older Sailor Moon fans, considered "classic Sailor Moon wank."

Other things they were known for were for their "Procott" which involved buying Unfrosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts which they believed was one of the show's sponsors and ignoring the fact that in 1997 the last 17 episodes of the second season were dubbed into English and aired in Canada (where the show was dubbed and had a bigger following) before they aired on US TV almost a year later!

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Cosplay

Sailor Moon has been popular for cosplay both inside and outside Japan for 2 decades.

Fanfiction

One of the largest online fanfiction archives in Sailor Moon history was A Sailormoon Romance, which was founded in the mid-nineties and succumbed to a server crash in 2007. The site has been semi-resurrected with some of the original fanfics as well as some essays on fandom history.

These days, Sailor Moon fanfiction is still going strong especially for a fandom that has reached its 30th birthday in 2021. Sailor Moon fanfiction is still written and published in many different languages across many different platforms, and especially the English-speaking, Japanese, Italian and German fandom corners are huge cornerstones of the international community. With many notable examples, the majority of Sailor Moon fanfiction is written and published in the English language.

The biggest platform for Sailor Moon fanfiction remains Fanfiction.net with 44.7K Sailor Moon fanfics as of January 2022. However, nowadays AO3 has more daily uploads for Sailor Moon fanfiction than Fanfiction.net does and many fans are migrating there, which serves as evidence that AO3 is growing in importance for the Sailor Moon fanfiction community.

Naoko Takeuchi collects fanfic. In her authors notes, she encourages fans to continue writing fanfic for her universe. [55]

Naoko Takeuchi approves of fanfic. Image from chapter 9 of the Sailor Moon manga.

History of the Fanfiction Community

Tina Century -a member of the Sailor Moon fanfiction community with a degree in history- has identified several eras of Sailor Moon fandom history that are closely linked with waves of Sailor Moon fanfiction.[56]

  • The First Wave: The Early Days of Usamamo Fanfiction (Mid-1990s-Early 2000s) - First Wave Platforms, Authors/Works, Themes, Community. This wave was characterised by young authors on the early internet writing in a young genre. Some authors that are still around and have honed their craft have started then, a lot of so-called badfic (see below) has originated here: which is only to be expected for this time period, and a mirror of the age of the fandom at the time, and not the quality in itself.
  • The Second Wave (Early 2000s-Mid 2010s): Usamamo Fanfiction at the end of ASMR (approx. 2004-2010) - Second Wave Platforms, Authors/Works Purges, AO3, and the Rise of Tumblr. The Sailor Moon fanfiction community has been hit hard by the Purges of the 00's. With the loss of geocities, the Purges on LJ and Fanfiction.net and the crash of ASMR, many fandom works have been forever lost. Due to this, a large body of work only remains for younger-audience targeted fics from the early 00s on Fanfiction.net as well as all fanfiction created after the purges.
  • The Third Wave (2011-2013): Usamamo Fanfiction in the Early Tumblr Years - Third Wave Authors/Works. This wave is characterised by the rise in popularity after the re-release and re-translation of the Kodansha manga. Following this, a number of authors today recognised as BNFs in the fandom started writing or returned to the fandom.
  • The Fourth Wave (2014-Present): The Sailor Moon Fanfiction Renaissance - Renaissance Themes and community. Following the release of Sailor Moon Crystal many original fans returned to the fanfiction communities. A fanbase largely comprised of women and queer people influenced by the largely feminist themes of the series has now aged with the series and is writing modern, more mature versions for the series. Most active fanfiction communities exist for the Usagi/Mamoru Usamamo (Japanese fandom side: Mamousa) as well as the Sen/Shi (Senshi/Shitennou) pairings.

Non-UsaMamo fanfiction

While the UsaMamo pairing saw a lot of traffic due to being the main canon couple, other factions of fandom cropped up over time.

  • Dark Kingdom fans: The first anime's incarnation of the Dark Kingdom Shitennou developed one of the most devoted villain followings of the 90s and early 2000s. This is due largely in part to both Kunzite/Zoisite, a First Yaoi Pairing for many fans, and the short but meaningful Nephrite/Naru arc. The Shitennou (usually called the Generals back then) had many fanfics devoted to their lives behind the scenes, their ongoing angst and other parts of their daily lives as they served Beryl and continued to lose to the Senshi. While Kunzite/Zoisite made up the bulk of these fics, Queen Beryl, Nephrite, and Jadeite did not go ignored.
  • Yuri Fandom: It became increasingly popular to pair the other Inner Senshi with each other. Makoto/Ami became so common that some fans joked about it being actually canon, which led to a bit of controversy when other fans took issue with newcomers genuinely being confused by it. Usagi/Rei was also popular thanks to their bickering best buddies dynamic in the first anime, with rumors that director Kuniko Ikuhara himself even shipped it.[57] And of course, Haruka/Michiru was the quintessential yuri pairing of the series.
  • Crossovers: Sailor Moon lent itself to a lot of crossovers with other anime, particularly Ranma 1/2, Gundam Wing, and Pokémon. A form of this was "betrayal fic", where all of Usagi's friends turned on her and she ran away to other 'verses. There, she would grow incredibly strong and usually hook up with Ranma Saotome or Heero Yuy. Other fics dumped characters from other anime into the Sailor Moon universe to make them Sailor Senshi. This is otherwise known as Fuku Fic.
  • Breakup/Infidelity Fic: These fics saw Usagi either dumping Mamoru, being dumped by him, or cheating on him with whoever the author saw fit to pair her with. Seiya Kou was the most popular choice due to the 90s anime putting a lot of emphasis on their interactions (in the manga, the Starlights had a much smaller role), but so was Haruka due to her flirtations with Usagi in S, Rei due to fans seeing a lot of sexual tension in their interactions, or Prince Dimande due to the 90s anime attempting a "redemption equals death" moment for him in which he died to protect her.

While the late 90s and early 2000s saw a rise in the yuri and Dark Kingdom fanfiction communities, there are no specific "eras" for any of the above other than Kunzite/Zoisite seeing a massive renaissance in 2014 with Viz redubbing the entire 90s anime from start to finish.

Badfic

In the heyday of Sailor Moon's early fandom history, Sailor Moon fandom was home to many a fic classified as "badfic" that fell into two categories.

  • Category one was clumsily-written cliché-fests and Self-insertions penned by inexperienced and young authors who meant well, but didn't understand the mechanics or the characters and were heavily chastised for it by older fans.
  • Category two were the truly outrageous and horrible works that involved creepy fetishes, squicks, and actively attacked members of the fanbase. Artemis's Lover, ChibiUsa's Seventh Birthday, The Countess Chronicles, and the American Kitsune series were among them.

Over time, fans became more forgiving of the first category, due to even the best fanfic writers starting out just as badly and needing to hone their talents. While the squick and horror of the second category still remains, certain works spark nostalgia in some older fans.

Fanfiction Examples

Notable First Wave Sailor Moon Fanfiction Authors

  • Sailor Mac, a known writer of Sekkushiaru Romans. Her main focus was on UsaMamo (or Darien/Serena, as she used the dub names).
  • Mark Berger, Sailor Mac's friend. He and Sailor Mac ran an [MST] series together, converging their individual fic timelines as the crew trapped by Dr. Forrester.
  • The Yarnspinner and Hopeless Romantic, a husband and wife duo who also specialized in the Sekkushiaru Roman. Their main focus was UsaMamo, but Yarnspinner wrote a good amount of stories for other couples.
  • Amazoness Duo, a pair of writers who specialized in ChibiUsa/Tomoe Hotaru fanfiction with other yuri pairings on the side. While they never gained BNF status, they were well-known in the yuri community and were considered the pioneers of the ChibiUsa/Hotaru pairing. [58]
  • Sailor Star Love was famous for her Sailor Moon/Yuu Yuu Hakusho crossovers pairing Yaten Kou with Kurama. She and Sailor Mac collaborated on a few stories.
  • Ivana B. Anonymous, who wrote UsaMamo and Haruka/Michiru fiction, as well as a few other pairings.
  • Lady M. Harris, a UsaMamo writer who would publish two of her stories as original fiction.[59] The dates for which came first between the novels and the fanfics is muddled.[60] [61] [62]
  • Moon Momma, a hardcore Nephrite/Naru shipper. While some of her fandom views could be fairly controversial back in the day, she had a strong following in other Nephrite/Naru fans.

Notable Second and Third Wave Sailor Moon Fanfiction Authors

Notable Fourth Wave Sailor Moon Fanfiction Authors

  • Antigone2 has written over 70 works of Sailor Moon fanfiction from 2001 onwards and is still active in 2022. Her work is mostly comprised of Usamamo works with some notable exceptions. Her exceptional work is the entry point for many fans active in the fandom today.
  • Ellorgast has written 29 works of Sailor Moon fanfiction since 2014, focusing on Sen/Shi as well as Mamoru (Endymion) and Shitennou stories focusing both friendship and multiple pairings.
  • FloraOne has written 35 Usamamo works for Sailor Moon since 2017. Her body work focuses on feminist themes in Sailor Moon, among them many Trope Detox lemons/smut fanfics with a focus on consent, empowerment and assertiveness.
  • UglyGreenJacket has written 17 Usamamo works for Sailor Moon since 2017. Her work is considered "wholesome" and "feel-good".
  • Daikon has been actively writing Usamamo fanfiction since 2020 with a feminist voice.

Notable Epics in Sailor Moon Fanfiction

  • Ikigai by Floraone and its sequel Yugen are usamamo-centered modern retellings of R through Stars, mixing manga and anime canons while picking her favorites.
  • Sailor Moon X by Starling_Sinclair is a modern, aged up retelling of Sailor Moon's first season.
  • A Twist in Time by Beej88 is a canon retelling of the first season featuring the Shitennou.
  • The Cardinal King Series by Kyralih is a reverse retelling of Sailor Moon starting with the Dark Kingdom arc, that instead of focusing on Sailor Moon and the Senshi, focuses on Mamoru Chiba and his Shitennou.
  • Rubies in Zoisite by Experimental, well-known among the Dark Kingdom fandom.
  • The Crystal Weaver Saga by E. Liddell, possibly the longest and most involved Dark Kingdom epic in existence.
  • Lyra's Children by Moon Momma, a Nephrite/Naru love story spanning from the Silver Millenium all the way to Crystal Tokyo.
  • Tacky Yellow No Name by House Coat, Cape Girl, and Orange Shirt. More of a mini epic with only 7 chapters, but long and involved ones devoted to satire and off the wall characterizations in the name of good fun. Zoisite/Malachite focused.
  • Wildflowers by Naru-chan and Pitzy-chan. A lengthy saga kicking off from episode 23 of the first anime, taking a different turn when Nephrite accidentally kills Naru. The story begins to branch off heavily from the series, introducing a variety of original characters. The story was divisive among Dark Kingdom fans; while some adored it, others found it too far-fetched and disliked the characterizations.

Podfics

Fanart

Urban art of Sailor Moon

Various forms of fanart dedicated to Sailor Moon fandom is extremely popular. Since the early days of the internet, there have been various websites that feature Sailor Moon fanart, but Deviantart has a large collection too.

Especially for the Japanese sites of the fandom, Twitter and Pixiv.net are important places for Sailor Moon fanartists. Artists like DOLCE/Anko have been sharing their fanart and doujinshi on these platforms since the sites' foundings.

Examples:

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Doujinshi

Doujinshi is an umbrella term for Japanese fanwork: it contains not just fanmanga, even though it is its most common form, but also art and fanfiction in Japanese. Doujinshi are most often distributed in printed form both as single artist/authors works and anthologies of several artists. For Sailor Moon, they have existed even during the original run, and Naoko Takeuchi has drawn herself reading them. Among early Sailor Moon doujinshi artists some famous mangaka have emerged, such as Arina Tanemura[63].

Encouraged by Naoko Takeuchi herself who has 1) both endorsed doujinshi of her work and 2) self-published a doujinshi tribute artwork book (Memorial Picture Collection Vol. Infinity) both by herself and many people involved in the Sailor Moon world, including original drawings by her showing Sailor Moon/Usagi tastefully naked and in lingerie[64], Sailor Moon doujinshi are an ongoing staple of Japanese fanwork. Nowadays distributed mostly via Booth.pm in Japan, Sailor Moon doujinshi still are made and collected.

An annual Sailor Moon fan convention in Tokyo is held where doujinshi plays a big role.

Archives for Sailor Moon Doujinshi

  • Sailor Moon Doujinshi Archive on Miss Dream: Huge collection of translations as well as original Japanese-language versions especially of older doujinshi broken down by categories, such as romantic, one-shot, 18+, etc, for easier browsing.

Examples of Individual Doujinshi

Deviantart Groups

Sailor Moon Art, Kool Sailor Scouts Club, Planet Power, DiamondBlackLady, Sailor Senshi 2013, Universe Scouts, Sailor Moon Love, Senshi Love, Sailor Planet, Sailor Moon Fans 4ever, Outer Senshi Fans, Rini Chibiusa

Example Art Gallery

Fan Zines

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Several generations of Fan Zines have been created for Sailor Moon.

  • Dark Side of the Moon Zine, 2016. A Sailor Moon Zine focussing on the Sailor Moon villains. [65]
  • Moonlight Zine, 2018. A collaborative Zine focussing on the Senshi spanning artwork and fanfiction.[66]
  • Moonlight Chorus Zine, 2020. A collaborative zine illustrating three original Sailor Moon songs: Fighting Evil By Moonlight, Moonlight Densetsu and the Sailor Stars Song.[67]
  • Smutember 2020 Sailor Moon Fandom E-Zine, 2020. A collaborative zine featuring fanart, fanfiction and other fanwork rated T to E in celebration of sex-positive and consentual themes in Sailor Moon fanwork.[68]
  • Drops of Moonlight Zine, 2022. A Japanese/English bilingual, collaborative Fan Zine spanning fanart, fanfiction, essays, cosplay and all sorts of other fanwork celebrating Sailor Moon's 30th Anniversary. Currently in the making.[69]

Fan Music: From new fan-made arrangements of the OST to original music dedicated to Sailor Moon by fans

Fan Projects: Fan Communities, Youtube and Co.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • SailorMoonGerman is a non-profit German fan project active since 2009. They've organised and crowd-funded fan meetups, exhibitions, a cosplay ball, a pop up Sailor Moon themed Maid café, an anniversary fan tribute CD re-recording the dubbed German versions of the 90s anime insert songs, they run a blog, a digital fan magazine, a fan radio channel, they have fan-subbed PGSM into German, narrated fan poems on a podcast and much more. They have an official model who dresses as their logo: Sailor Moon in a Germany-flag themed black, red and gold fuku with braids instead of pigtails.
  • Ochibawolf is a dedicated fan and collector of Sailor Moon merchandise that she regularly discusses and unboxes.
  • Hanako Moon is a Japanese fan creating elaborate Sailor Moon themed desserts. Her food creations have been featured on national TV as well as Buzzfeed Japan[70]

Podcasts

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • Mondsteinflug is a podcast hosted by Meso about canon, fanon and meta topics discussing Sailor Moon with guests. Over 60 episodes in English and German available, spanning cross-cultural fandom comparisons to episodes discussing popular fan theories.

Anime Music Videos

As a widely known anime, Sailor Moon has been a popular source for both single anime videos and multi-source projects, with over five thousand videos currently listed at animemusicvideos.org. The attack sequences are particularly useful for dance amv's, such as Premonition Studios' Elvis vs. Anime. The series also comes up often for loving parody, one notable example being Doki Doki Productions' [Senshi on Springer] that mixes together footage from the Jerry Springer Show as well as the series.

Fan Games

Fan games for Sailor Moon are quite common, and many can be found on Sailorvgame. (A few are located on the new version of the site. Click on the "Games" menu for a list.)

  • Fans Anton-P and RAMMAR created a Sailor V game:
This game was created by Sailor Moon fans accordingly to screenshots of the actual Sailor V arcade game shown in the Sailor Moon anime (episodes 02, 08, 29, 31). Accordingly to Sailor V manga volume 2, Sailor V game arcade machine was brought into Game Center Crown by Artemis so that Minako could train her warrior skills.
One of the main goals in development was to reconstruct Sailor V game as close to original as it is only possible. All Sailor V's movements, enemies, animations, backgrounds, music from the original game are included into this fan-made game. [71]

Dress up Games

Sailor Moon themed sports performances

  • Evgenia Medvedeva, Russian figure skater and Sailor Moon fan, has been performing Sailor Moon routines since 2016. Her most famous routine from the Tokyo Exhibition 2017 can be watched here on YouTube, lip-sinquing a sequence from the anime and transforming into Sailor Moon ice. One of the events where she performed this routine has been attended by Naoko Takeuchi herself, who is known to be an avid fan of figure skating and has drawn inspiration from it for Sailor Moon. Pictures of a happy Evgenia receiving autographed art by Naoko were all over the fandom sites and posted on Evgenia's Instragram.[74] She has since been casted in the Sailor Moon Prism on Ice show that has been scheduled for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but has since been post-poned, lifting her from athlete fan-performer to official cast.[75] [76] [77]
  • During the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the The Uzbekistan rhythmic gymnastics team performed a routine in Sailor Moon inspired fuku costumes and to snippets of the Sailor Moon Soundtrack, specifically Moonlight Densetsu.[78] The routine can be watched here on YouTube.

Conventions, Expos and Fan Meet-ups

Sailor Moon cons existed internationally almost before the word "convention" was established. This is an ongoing list of past and present events in which Sailor Moon fans have gotten together in style.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • Neo Moon in Zorneding near Munich, Germany in 1998 made history: Not only was it the first Sailor Moon convention in Germany, it was also the first anime convention in Germany in general, dedicated largely to Sailor Moon, because the franchise was what first brought anime onto the German map.[79]
  • The SMFT Sailor Moon Fan Treffen held annually from 2008 to 2012 in Marburg, Germany, were fan meet-ups organised by SailorMoonGerman, a German non-profit Sailor Moon fan community still active in 2022.[80]
  • During the anime convention Hanami in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in 2017, SailorMoonGerman organised both a PopUp Sailor Moon-themed Maid Café as well as the "Moonlight" Cosplay Ball. The latter was an evening gown cosplay event, attended by Dominik Auer, the German voice actor of Tuxedo Mask, dressed in tuxedo, mask and top hat.[81]
  • The Silver Millennium Masquerade Ball was a fan gala held in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA in 2017.[82]
  • Gekka (月華遊星) is an annual Sailor Moon expo dedicated to Sailor Moon doujinshi in Tokyo, Japan, first held in 2011. It is ongoing. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gekka events in 2020 and 2021 have been exclusively held online. [83]

Notable Fansites

Fannish Links

Archives

Fanfiction:

International Fanfiction Sites:

Mailing Lists

LJ Communities

Dreamwidth Communities

Tumblr

Notable Tags

Notable Tumblr Blogs

Additionally, the majority of 4th wave Sailor Moon Fanfiction authors have tumblr accounts under their pen names. Such as Queen Risa, she-dreams-in-pink, Tina Century, Daikon, Beej88, Antigone2 (IdesofNovember), FloraOne, irritable-vowel-types, wishwars, Ellorgast, Smokingbomber, Uglygreenjacket, Angelmoongirl, Starling Sinclair, Kasienda, Ninjette Twitch, Lin Lamont, AlEvans (sailormoonandme), and Goddess Althena. As of 2022, the Sailor Moon tumblr community is very active and ever-evolving.

Resources

References

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