Sailor Moon heralded the beginning of the magical girl era of manga and anime. Over the years, plenty of books and shows have created characters that far surpass the abilities of Sailor Moon and her Sailor Scouts, despite many fans thinking that Sailor Moon herself might have been overpowered in her original stories.
So much focus is placed on just how much Sailor Moon can do with her power of love and forgiveness that sometimes the powers of her supporting characters went overlooked.
Sailor Moon might have got all of the attention, but her Sailor Scouts also had a variety of abilities that made them even better equipped to handle a fight than fans might have believed. Despite Sailor Mercury being used for defensive purposes, she packed one heck of a punch, for example.
Likewise, many of Sailor Moon’s villains were marked as easy defeats simply because Sailor Moon’s devotion to her friends, and her love for those around her, gave her an edge in the fight. This was not always the case, however, as some of her villains actually did manage to win, though this fact is often glossed over.
On the flip side, some of the characters fans have always seen as nearly strong enough to take Sailor Moon out aren’t actually as strong as they seem. Plenty of the characters are restricted by the rules of the story -- or are actually restricted by magical bonds.
To remind us all what might have been overlooked, we’ve got the 10 Characters More Powerful Than Fans Thought (And 10 Who Are Even Weaker).
20 More Powerful: Sailor Chibi Moon
When Chibiusa was introduced to the series, Sailor Moon fans weren’t quite sure what to make of her. She looked like a little kid, but she was ready to shake things up.
Anime watchers might have thought she caused more trouble than she was worth, but they soon realized that she was no damsel in distress.
Instead, Sailor Chibi Moon had nearly the same level of power as Sailor Moon.
She had similar energy attacks to lob at the enemy and even eventually, she discovered that she had her own Silver Crystal.
To top it off, Sailor Chibi Moon became one of the most difficult enemies for the Sailor Senshi to face when her loneliness turned her into Black Lady.
19 Even Weaker: Sailor Pluto
When it comes to sheer power, there’s no denying that Sailor Pluto is one of the strongest of the Sailor Senshi. She can, after all, control time if she wants to.
The truth is that her power is tempered by many restrictions, however.
Despite Sailor Pluto being able to command time, she doesn’t get to. She has all of this power locked inside of her, but she isn’t allowed to use it. Sailor Pluto doesn’t allow herself to stop time, even for a short while, because if she did, her life would end once time began to pass again.
What’s the use of having a power if you can’t wield it? Instead, she’s relegated to guarding a space-time doorway for much of her time in the story.
18 More Powerful: The Amazon Quartet
This foursome might have seemed a little silly. They appeared to be young women who were part of a circus act. However, in reality, they could pack quite a punch.
The Amazon Quartet were part of the Dead Moon Circus in both the manga and anime. There was one crucial difference between the two, though.
In the manga, they were actually the group in charge of the lower level Dead Moon operatives. They outranked the Amazon Trio.
This group also happened to really be a group of Sailor Senshi. They had been in a deep sleep in the Amazon before they were brainwashed by a villain.
Upon being “cured,” they became the Asteroid Senshi they were destined to be, and Sailor Chibi Moon’s team.
17 Even Weaker: Queen Beryl
Queen Beryl is the most iconic villain of Sailor Moon. Whether someone is a manga purist, a '90s anime fan, or introduced to the franchise through Sailor Moon Crystal, they know Queen Beryl.
She’s the first major villain Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts take on, but she isn’t actually as powerful as you might think.
Queen Beryl’s origin story saw her as a peasant woman in the ancient kingdom of Earth. Much of the power she gained came from Queen Metalia instead, as the latter groomed Beryl for evil, helping her get revenge on Princess Serenity.
Beryl, to be sure, puts her learned skills and gifted magic to good use, but without Metalia, she never would have become the big bad she was.
16 More Powerful: Sailor Mercury
In the '90s, Japanese audiences loved Sailor Mercury. Ami consistently ranked as the favorite in anime magazine polls and her merchandise sold like crazy.
As the franchise rose to popularity in the United States, though, Sailor Mercury didn’t. Instead, audiences complained that she wasn’t a very good fighter.
Don’t let Ami’s shy demeanor fool you though-- she’s still quite the powerful Sailor Senshi.
Most of Sailor Mercury’s powers are used defensively in the manga and the anime. She’s got control over water and ice, making mists to obscure the enemy’s vision, but if she chose to, she could use water offensively instead.
The live action series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon figured this out, giving her a sword made from ice. When she was brainwashed, Dark Mercury was even able to take on all of the Sailor Senshi on her own.
15 Even Weaker: Doctor Tomoe
There’s this perception that Doctor Tomoe must have been very powerful simply because his story arc as a villain is the one to bring the Outer Senshi out of the shadows.
His experiments with daimons and Mistress 9 cause Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to fight back. His arc also introduces the destructive force that is Sailor Saturn.
It’s not Tomoe anyone should be worried about, though.
Instead, Tomoe has Mistress 9, Kaolinite, and even the Witches 5 to do all of his dirty work. He might be in the background doing the experiments, but they’re the ones with the power to fight. Tomoe doesn’t have any of his own.
He’s not even really calling the shots. It’s Pharaoh 90, using his body, that’s really in charge, making Tomoe one of the weakest villains in the franchise.
14 More Powerful: The Black Moon Clan
Named for gemstones, the Black Moon Clan is certainly an interesting bunch of siblings. Rubeus has the Ayakashi sisters fighting for his attention, Demande wants to force Neo Queen Serenity to fall for him, and it all seems more like a soap opera than villainous plots.
The group has one thing going for them though: they win.
No, they don’t win in the present timeline where Sailor Moon is able to get her future daughter back and put a stop to them. Instead, they had to have won in the future for the time traveling to occur at all.
The danger of the Black Moon Clan is what brings Chibiusa to the past.
They’re able to somehow get beyond their sibling squabbles and pettiness to put their considerable power to good use.
13 Even Weaker: Sailor Venus
Like many of the Sailor Senshi who appear on this list, Sailor Venus isn’t weak in the sense that her powers don’t accomplish anything. She’s simply weaker than she appears at first glance.
As the Sailor Senshi who awakened to her old life before anyone else, Sailor Venus masquerades as Sailor V until the rest of the team learns who they really are.
She also pretends to be the Moon Princess to keep the villains off of Sailor Moon’s back for a while. Sailor Venus is even revealed as the Senshi who is supposed to be the team leader at one point.
All of this makes it seem like she’d be the most powerful team member. Unfortunately, a lot of her attacks don’t slow down the enemy at all.
Her attacks are most effective when paired with another’s, like Sailor Jupiter.
12 More Powerful: Luna And Artemis
Not your average cats, Luna and Artemis are actually aliens from the planet Mau. While neither of them transform into Sailor Senshi or throw energy blasts at their enemies, they’ve still got plenty of tricks up their sleeves.
Their “power” doesn’t come from sheer force, but instead from their intelligence.
It’s Luna and Artemis who are able to track down all of the Sailor Senshi in their new lives and awaken them to their true potential.
They also manage to somehow build entire technologically advanced hideouts for the girls and sneak secret messages into video games. (They even manage to do all of this without having fingers to type with.)
On top of all of that, they actually can turn into human form in extreme circumstances, which makes them more than just animal sidekicks.
11 Even Weaker: Queen Metalia
Queen Metalia is the one who gives Queen Beryl most of her dark energy and magical abilities, so you already know she’s got some power. The thing about Queen Metalia, though, is that she can’t actually access all of her power during the time that fans see her in the franchise.
After her original fight with Queen Serenity, Queen Metalia’s magic (not to mention Metalia herself) was bound in place.
In the '90s anime, she was bound in the Arctic Circle.
Restricted to one place as she was, and with her power tamped down, she couldn’t do much herself.
Instead, she had to rely on Beryl and other minions to actually get her more energy.
She needed this energy to even access her own power. Without her weaker minions doing the dirty work, Metalia was nothing.
10 More Powerful: Tuxedo Mask
The '90s anime painted an unfair portrait of Tuxedo Mask. He showed up in the midst of fights, threw a rose to distract the bad guy, and that was it. His abilities in the source material made him more powerful.
In the manga, and later in Sailor Moon Crystal, Tuxedo Mask has a connection to the Earth that allows him to sense danger.
He has a superhuman method of detection as well, and is therefore able to find Sailor Moon no matter where she is. It’s also his love that provides the title character with many of her power ups.
Beyond his sheer magical powers, though, is the fact that he’s actually good in hand-to-hand combat, something else the '90s anime pushed aside.
He can hold his own against the enemies that the Sailor Senshi go up against without the aid of supernatural abilities.
9 Even Weaker: Sailor Saturn
Sailor Saturn is known as the Soldier of Destruction. She’s the one member of the Sailor Senshi no one wants to awaken to her true self, so she’s got to be pretty powerful, right? Of course. However, she isn’t quite as powerful as everyone seems to think.
When the Outer Senshi are introduced to the story, a very big deal is made of waking Sailor Saturn up. Everyone is terrified of what waking her could do.
Will she use her power to destroy civilization as they know it? Will they have to fight her?
As Sailor Moon Crystal shows, though, this power doesn’t have to be an all consuming thing.
8 More Powerful: The Witches 5
Depending on which version of the story fans have been exposed to, the Witches 5 are either consumed with competition and beating one another to the top or they’re close-knit sisters who just want to succeed.
Either way, their abilities are used one by one to try to bring the Sailor Senshi to their end.
Individually, the Witches are pretty powerful. Each of them comes close to beating the Senshi they go up against.
Eudial is the most innovative of the bunch. Rather than relying on magic, she builds her own inventions, and she comes the closest to beating them all.
If the Witches 5 had actually put their abilities together and gone up against the Senshi at once, they might have even won.
7 Even Weaker: Kings of Heaven
The Kings of Heaven are also known as Queen Beryl’s Generals. The four men (or three men and one woman in the '90s English dub) were originally Prince Endymion’s bodyguards.
Reincarnated in their new forms, they were corrupted by Queen Beryl to do her bidding.
Because these four recur throughout the first major arc of Sailor Moon in every version of the story, and because Queen Beryl leaves them all in charge of gathering energy for her on Earth, it would seem like they have a huge amount of power.
Yes, they are powerful, but no, that power isn’t huge.
Most of their power is simply that granted by Queen Beryl to allow them to fade in and out of different spaces on Earth. Otherwise, they spend much of their time standing around giving orders.
6 More Powerful: Neo Queen Serenity
There’s no denying that Neo Queen Serenity holds some power. After all, she’s the leader of the new Moon Kingdom far into the future.
Some fans seem to think that she’s lost quite a bit of power simply because she’s no longer transforming.
Once Usagi became Queen of the kingdom, her days as Sailor Moon were over. The rest of the Sailor Senshi remained her bodyguards and still used their own power sets.
Neo Queen Serenity ruled from her throne, so some fans believed that this meant all of the power she held as Sailor Moon was gone.
This isn't true because the queen still holds the Silver Crystal, amongst other objects revealed throughout the series. Thoese objects still allow her to channel the same power in a different way.
5 Even Weaker: Sailor Mars
As the Sailor Senshi of passion, Sailor Mars has one fiery personality in the adaptations of the manga. She’s also got pretty explosive abilities. She is not, however, the strongest of the Sailor Senshi.
Sailor Mars is more flashy than effective.
Despite commanding fire, many enemies are simply stunned by her attacks and come back for more. Most of Sailor Mars’ power actually lies in a more passive skill set.
Rei is a psychic. Sporadically throughout the series, she sees visions of the future and is able to connect with her past self.
It’s that ability that does more good for her, though she doesn’t get to utilize it nearly enough in the adaptations of the source material.
4 More Powerful: Sailor Jupiter
When the namesake planet of a Sailor Senshi is known for powerful storms across its surface, you know their attacks are going to be powerful. Such is the case with Sailor Jupiter.
Many of Sailor Jupiter’s attacks are based in lightning because of her association with the planet full of storms.
They were so powerful that she was the only member of the Sailor Senshi to be able to use her power to successfully destroy an enemy without the help of Sailor Moon during the Super S arc of the anime.
In addition to that, she was also the first of the Sailor Senshi to take on the DD Girls in the original anime during their confrontation with Queen Beryl. She managed to take out two when Venus couldn’t take out any.
3 Even Weaker: Ayakashi Sisters
Despite working under the Black Moon Clan, the Ayakashi sisters certainly weren’t as powerful as the people giving them their instructions.
They talked big, but when it came to acting out their plans, they fell a little short.
Each of the sisters had a specialized skill set that corresponded with the same elemental controls of the Sailor Senshi.
They took their turns isolating one of the Sailor Senshi, managing to capture most of them, but each was destroyed by Sailor Moon in turn, showing that their abilities weren’t quite as good as they thought they were.
The sisters were so preoccupied with impressing Rubeus that they didn’t really attempt to use their limited abilities to their advantage or team up to combine their power. The infighting proved fatal.
2 More Powerful: The People of Earth
Human beings might be a surprising addition to this list since they don’t hold the same super powers as the Sailor Senshi or most of the villains in the franchise. Their placement on the list comes for two very different reasons.
During the heyday of the ancient Moon Kingdom, it was the people of Earth who helped Queen Metalia and Beryl begin their assault.
The women were able to convince the people of Earth that the Moon Kingdom was not only stealing their prince, but that it couldn’t be trusted with lasting peace. The people revolted, starting the war between the two kingdoms.
On a modern Earth, it’s the people inhabiting the planet who give most of the villains their power.
It seems that every villain needs just a little more energy, or artifacts hidden in plain sight, that come from humans.
1 Even Weaker: Chaos
The end of the manga revealed that Chaos was the architect behind every major villain that the Sailor Senshi faced, making her one of the most evil entities in the Sailor Moon universe.
It was Chaos who infected everyone with its evil.
If Chaos is so pervasive, then why does it land as a weaker than expected villain? Despite Chaos being able to influence so many people, the end of the manga had a neat little solution to the spread of Chaos: allow it to happen.
Rather than attempt to bind Chaos to one place or person (as occurred with Sailor Galaxia in the anime), it was spread across the universe.
There’s a little piece of Chaos in everyone as a natural part of their lives, which is easy to fight with just a little bit of love.
Did we get the power levels right for these Sailor Moon characters? Or were we way off the mark? Let us know in the comments!