That’s right! Sailor Moon celebrated her birthday on June 30th! It’s only fair that one of the most famous and popular anime characters of all time gets to have fun on her birthday (you try defending the Earth full-time!) And what an excellent time to have a birthday in the middle of the summer, full of sunshine and holiday fun.
Even though Sailor Moon’s birthday has passed, plenty of summer and warm days are still ahead. In the spirit of spending time with our friends and enjoying plenty of cool treats, let’s learn more about the world’s greatest (and prettiest!) guardian, Sailor Moon!
Sailor Moon (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) debuted in 1991’s Nakayoshi magazine, published by Kodansha. Created by Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon began what would become one of the largest and most successful manga series ever. The series follows the adventures of Tokyo teenager Usagi Tsukino who possesses the power to transform into her alter ego, Sailor Moon. Usagi defends Earth from all horrible forces with her best friends, the Sailor Scouts.
What may come as a surprise is that Sailor Moon was not the first Sailor Scout. She wasn’t even the first series that Naoko Takeuchi created! Months earlier, Takeuchi created Sailor Moon. She also penned another series, Codename: Sailor V. This series centered on the adventures of 13-year-old Minako Aino.
Minako meets a talking white cat named Artemis with a moon on his head. He informs her that she can transform into a power protector of Earth. This concept was later expanded upon and adapted into Sailor Moon. Yup, that’s right: Sailor Venus is the very first Sailor Scout!
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Even though she’s one of the most powerful girls in the world, Sailor Moon isn’t always super awesome. As her regular self, Sailor Moon is a bit of a klutz. While she might not be as savvy as Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury) or graceful (like Michiru Kaiou, Sailor Neptune), she doesn’t let this hinder her. Sailor Moon compensates with her bravery, loyalty, and love for those she cares about.
When she isn’t Sailor Moon, Usagi is a typical teenage girl. She has a love for sweets (cake is her favorite food), but she dislikes carrots. She loves playing video games and reading manga (super cool!) and even joined the Manga Drawing Club at her school. Her favorite subject in school is Home Economics, but she’s not very good at math or English. Despite being one of the most powerful beings on Earth, Usagi is still really scared of ghosts and thunder.
The outstanding success of Sailor Moon’s manga series prompted an anime series in 1992, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn.) Several more anime series and subsequent films debut, each expanding the story and world of Sailor Moon. Books, novels, video games, live-action movies, and even stage plays have all celebrated Sailor Moon.
In 2018 Universal Studios Japan featured a live attraction called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Miracle 4-D, an event where the Sailor Scouts come to save park-goers. In 2022 an idol group, Sailor Guardians Five, debuted and released a single, “Firetruck,” in 2023.
Sailor Moon undoubtedly stands as a significant manga and anime series. Unlike many others with fleeting success, it boasts remarkable cultural longevity. In the realm of magical girl genres since the 1970s, Sailor Moon played a pivotal role in popularizing “transforming heroines” across mainstream culture.
Beyond being a manga or an anime, this franchise reshaped a genre and defined an entire decade of storytelling in manga and anime. With such remarkable achievements, let’s collectively shout: Happy Birthday, Sailor Moon!
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