One year my school schedule worked itself out in a way that I would routinely sit and eat a bowl of cereal in the morning while I enjoyed an 8am airing of Sailor Moon before making my way into class. It started off as something to watch while I scarfed down my Cheerios, but it didn’t take long before I looked forward to my time with the plucky school girls and a debatably hot cartoon dream boat known as Tuxedo Mask.
Sailor Moon is a Japanese Shojo manga series that was originally serialized from 1991 to 1997 with 200 episodes and follows the life of a school girl named Usagi Tsukino (or Serena to North American audiences) who transforms into Sailor Moon while she and her battle companions (the other Sailor soldiers) search for a mystical and magical artifact known as the “Legendary Silver Crystal”. Serena can transform into Sailor Moon with an assist from a magical locket. The creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi, was inspired by the Power Rangers series and sought out to create an all-female superhero team, with five girls as the main warriors fighting against evil.
While some people argue that a cartoon character can’t be sexy, particularly one as young as Sailor Moon, there is no doubt that there is some aesthetic appeal to all the Sailor Scouts. For those who don’t believe that cartoons can be hot, have you ever seen pics of Betty Boop, Jessica Rabbit, or these ones of the Sailor Moon Warriors?
15. When Sailor Moon Was In A Little Pink Dress
One of the best things about Sailor Moon is how vulnerable and flawed she is. The series begins when she is just 14 years old and in junior high. On top of being a school girl, Serena and all of the Sailor Scouts are also “rich school girls” being from fairly affluent families in the Juuban district of Tokyo, so it’s no wonder sometimes Serena seems a little sheltered from reality. Some people find her annoying and immature, while others find this type of innocence sexy. Serena is often sleepy (because of her moonlight battles) and always late, often seen running to the bus to get to school with a piece of toast jammed in her mouth since she has no time for breakfast. In the song “One Week” by Canadian Band, Barenaked Ladies they reference Sailor Moon, “Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon, Cause that cartoon has got the boom anime babes that make me think the wrong thing” addressing the controversy that stems from the sexualization of young female characters, like Sailor Moon, in anime.
14. When They Got A New Look
A lot of things in Sailor Moon have changed over the years based on time and the intended audience they are presented to. While some of the alterations are subtle, others are a lot more notable. When Sailor Moon was brought to North American audiences all of the characters’ names were changed, and even original Anglicized names weren’t taken on: Sailor Moon (Serena) was Celeste, Mercury (Amy) was Blue, Mars (Raye) was Dana, Jupiter (Lita) was Sara, Venus (Mina) was Kari, and Tuxedo Mask (Darien) was supposed to be called Mark. Other notable changes were a decrease in violence during fight scenes, and the removal of drawing lines to emphasize the breasts of the young characters, particularly during the first two seasons. Some love the different variations of the Sailor Scouts, but I’m guessing a number of people were hoping some of that line work remained in place.
13. When They Were A Five-Some
There is something remarkably attractive about several strong and good looking women, hanging out together; put them in a set of coordinating scantily clad uniforms fighting evil and you have a lot of people’s biggest fantasies realized. Self-proclaimed space nerds take note: Each Sailor represents a power based on some mythology for their planets. Sailor Mercury – water and wisdom, Sailor Venus – Love and Beauty, Sailor Moon – Love and Justice, Sailor Mars – War, Flame, and Passion, Sailor Jupiter – Protection, thunder, and courage. Another big change to the North American version of the show was the English dubbing of the series essentially removing the romantic relationship between Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus and making them cousins instead. In the manga and its translations to other languages, thankfully, the same-sex relationship is very obvious. This was a major disservice to young American audiences, particularly those in the LGBT community, who could have benefited from seeing this relationship as intended.
12. When Sailor Mercury Showed That Brains Are Hot
As the first Sailor Scout to join Sailor Moon in her fight for justice, it might surprise people that Sailor Mercury was meant to be a bit-part or throw-away character. Mercury (aka Ami Mizuno) is intelligent, analytical, and considered the brains or strategist of the girl-powered group. Fans of the manga loved Mercury so much and she was so well liked and respected that creator Naoko Takeuchi took heart and made her much more integral to the series. The reason why young girls loved Sailor Mercury so much was the way she encouraged them to strive for educational excellence, not a bad role model that parents would also approve of. For those interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Mercury take note, in the original series she quips that Albert Einstein “would be her ideal man”.
11. When They Traded In Their Schoolgirl Uniforms For Something New
It can be easily speculated that there are two main reasons why someone would watch (or read) Sailor Moon: 1) They feel inspired by the girl power feelings of badass girl heroes defending the universe against evil and, 2) They want to watch attractive young women in schoolgirl uniforms. The iconic Sailor suits are based on common Japanese school uniforms which were based off of the British Royal Navy (this is where the whole “Sailor” part comes into the title). Originally each Sailor Scout was supposed to have a different fighting uniform, complete with a mask, but this was changed when it was decided that the themed schoolgirl uniform would work best for the series. As great as it is to see the Sailors in the usual fighting garb, there’s something else to be said about them “out of uniform” which showcases another side of them.
10. When They Had Mad Weapon Skills
Somebody want a hero? Sailor Venus had her own manga called Codename Sailor V, this is referenced in the very first episode of the series since Serena looks up to Sailor V and wants to be strong and powerful like her. Venus is the first Sailor Scout to be awakened and has a curse on her that means she will never find true love; no wonder she’s got so much passion in her fighting. Well-choreographed fighting skills are hot, unless you’re the one on the receiving end of a whooping. In typical Sailor fashion, before each attack the name of the attack is loudly announced and is complemented with bright colors, a light show and the magical fighting girl aesthetics the series is famous for. For anyone who’s ever wondered what it means when Sailor Moon calls out, “Tsuki ni kawatte, oshiokyo!”, here’s a translation of this meaning (approximately), “In the name of the moon, I will punish you!”
9. When They Mastered The Hot Librarian Look
Sailor Mercury doesn’t need to be your favorite Sailor Scout for you to truly embrace your inner librarian all while showcasing your love for fighting evil. In 2016, the Tokyo-based Eyewear Company JINS teamed up with Bandai’s Sailor Moon Crystal to create a Sailor Moon themed line of fabulous frames. Offering eight types of frames including Sailor Moon blue, Sailor Mars red, Chibiusa pink, Sailor Mercury light blue, Sailor Jupiter green, and orange for Sailor Venus. All glasses have patterned sections inside the frames to represent their respective character. The most coveted by die-hard fans are The Princess Serenity glasses that have signature crescent moons, and the Silver Crystal inspired ones that have a jewel embedded into the frames.
8. When Their Hair Was Flowing In The Wind
Flowing hair, particularly pre-battle is a big part of Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon has her signature look of two tiny buns on top of her head, and are the reason that Darien (aka Tuxedo Mask) teases her by calling her Meatball Head. The hairstyle is called odango and named after dumplings. This look wasn’t really in style at the time the series came out, but fans and cosplayers everywhere have learned how to get their hair to look like Sailor Moon. There are even online tutorials where people can learn to master the Meatball Head buns. Originally Sailor Moon was supposed to have pink hair, then it was thought that she’d have blonde hair when she was Serena and Silver hair while she was Sailor Moon. Eventually blonde was decided for both. In later episodes, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask’s daughter from the future (it’s complicated) is given the pink hair originally intended for Sailor Moon.
7. That Sassy Wink
What’s exciting about most superhero related series is the variety of secret identities. Most of us would find it fun to have an alter ego, even if it was for just a short time. In Sailor Moon, there is something really thrilling about being in on a secret, whether it’s how Serena remains oblivious that Darien is Tuxedo Mask (I mean come on lady, it’s like not knowing who Superman is from Clark Kent), to the plot of the entire franchise. When a character, like Sailor Moon, is winking at another character we’re also “in on it” with them. Winking is a cute and somewhat forward way of flirting, and since it’s generally Sailor Moon who winks, and not Serena, it’s an interesting display of her confidence when she’s her super self.
6. Head Over Heels In Love
Boy-crazy Serena is head over heels for Darien (Mamoru), and it’s not a shocker that she is absolutely crushing on him like a little girl— because she is one. When the series begins Darien is a 17-year-old college student and Serena is only 14 years old. Some people find it a little off-putting how Tuxedo Mask is so into a schoolgirl, but for the most part, fans just roll with it; three years isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, particularly when the two get a little older. Critics of their relationship quip that Darien dresses like a “28-year-old investment banker” and don’t get why Serena’s even interested in him, on top of that he’s always getting captured and brainwashed. Just the same she’s crazy about him, and you have to love her for her passion for good ol’ TM.
5. As The Ultimate Halloween Costume
Cosplay is a fun pastime, and what better way is there to relive yesteryear than paying tribute to your favorite hero or heroes? Group or couple costumes have always gained more attention, particularly when they feature scantily clad ladies like the Sailor Scouts. For years now couples have gone out as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, all of the Sailor Scouts, villains and even Luna and Artemis. Halloween doesn’t need to be the only time fans wear their super powers on their sleeves! More and more, cosplay is becoming a part of mainstream culture with various events, conventions, and film screenings embracing cosplay as a part of the fan culture. So strap on those boots and fight some evil by moonlight!
4. In bed
In the series Sailor Moon and her crew are always taking care of business, so a look at their “real” lives is refreshing. The only regularly featured male character is Tuxedo Mask and he’s pretty useless. I mean the guy throws flowers at villains and arrives to the sound of castanets. Essentially Tuxedo is constantly the damsel in distress in the series, and he is saved more than any other character in the series, which is pretty cool from a feminist perspective. But there is something to be said about routinely placing Serena in her bedroom as a reminder that she’s more real than just a hero, she’s a real person. Plus who doesn’t love checking out Sailor Moon lying in those adorable bunny sheets?
3. All Grown Up
There’s something exciting about seeing someone we find attractive all grown up; it’s a fun kind of curiosity. It’s kind of like how we love to creep on that cute person from school’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed— it’s intriguing. Looking at representations of Sailor Moon and all of the Sailor Scouts a few years, or even decades, down the road is exciting, not to mention a lot more age appropriate since Sailor Moon wasn’t even 17 years old by the time the series ended. Fan fiction and depictions allow us to experience characters long after the regular series has ended. More recent portrayals of the blonde beauty as an adult are shockingly beautiful tributes to a fan love that has been going on for over 20 years now, and that’s something worthy of celebration and exploration.
2. Fighting Head To Head Against Queen Beryl
Queen Beryl is in more episodes than any other villain, so there’s got to be some chemistry between her and the Sailor Moon gang; they share the spotlight 45 times. There’s a reason why people think vampires are so sexy; and Queen Beryl is like the energy vampire of the Megaverse who is bent on harvesting human life force energy for a diabolical cause: to serve her master and resurrect Queen Metaria. Beryl has long red hair, pointy fingernails, and is the ultimate Goth bad girl. There’s some serious master/servant stuff going on in the bad guy world of Sailor Moon that is a little tough to ignore. There are many more complexities between Moon and Beryl’s relationship, but they’d involve spoilers…
1. Her Sweetness
Sailor Moon (or more specifically Serena) really is just a girl next door, even if she is wealthy with a ton of super powers and super friends. Her realness and all of the Sailor Scouts’ genuine portrayals are a part of what make them so darn appealing; they all have flaws, whether it’s a fiery temper, trouble making friends, or always running tragically late for pretty much everything. The girl next door as a type exists because people enjoy and relate to it – and it’s accessible. At the end of the day, these ladies have each other’s back and there is nothing better or more attractive, I’m sure it also doesn’t hurt to a number of fans how they fill out their super (and regular) schoolgirl uniforms either.