Those who grew up watching television in the '90s were introduced to the concept of anime and its magic girls before they ever knew what they were. Those growing up in the '90s were also introduced to a famous manga character before they ever knew what manga was.
Sailor Moon got a whole generation of kids curious about the two.
Usagi Tsukino, renamed Serena in the American dubbing of the anime, was an average teenager who loved shopping and boys and got bored in a classroom.
She also had a secret past life as the princess of the Moon Kingdom and a secret identity as a warrior for love and justice as Sailor Moon.
Usagi’s story kicked off with her discovering her past life thanks to the help of a talking cat named Luna. As her story went on, she gathered together her group of Sailor Senshi (aka Scouts) to protect the world.
Sailor Moon was the de facto leader of the Sailor Senshi. It was her weapons and her abilities that would frequently finish the fight against the evils of the Negaverse or Dark Moon Kingdom and the many other villains they faced over the years.
Some of her powers only appear once or twice, and some are exclusive to certain adaptations.
As a result, there are quite a few fans might not realize she’s got, so we’ve collected 10 Powers Fans Didn’t Know Sailor Moon Had (And 5 Weaknesses).
15 Power: Supersonic Waves
Serena might have been accused of being a crybaby in the anime a few times, but she can certainly make the argument that her tears are actually a superpower.
To be fair, Sailor Moon didn’t know that her tears were “supersonic,” but instead, when she panicked in battle, it actually helped her out.
During the very first episode of the anime, Serena was thrown into the world of the Sailor Scouts unexpectedly after finding a stray cat in an alley.
When Luna revealed that Serena was actually Sailor Moon and showed her how to unlock her power, Serena wasn’t exactly a ready-made-superhero. Instead, she had a very difficult time in her first battle.
During the fight, a villain named Morga was controlling the customers in a shop, overwhelming Serena and causing her to panic.
As Serena started to cry, though, her odango (the circular part of her pigtail hairstyle) actually amplified the sound of her crying, disabling the customers and Morga as well.
The sequence in the anime was inspired by the same event occurring in the manga and was remade for Sailor Moon Crystal.
Serena also doubled the power of her tears over 150 episodes later in the anime when she and Sailor Mini Moon both panicked and cried during a fight!
Even one of the Sailor Moon inspired video games -- Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon -- got in on the action, allowing the character to concentrate her cries in the direction of her enemies.
14 Power: Moonlight Attractive Attack
There are actually a lot of abilities and attacks that the Sailor Senshi can use in the live action series that never make an appearance in another variation of the Sailor Moon story.
One of those is the Moonlight Attractive Attack, though Sailor Moon can’t do this one alone.
Sailor Moon is the leader in this particular power, but it takes all of the Sailor Senshi in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon to put it into motion. When the group needs a particularly powerful attack, they frequently combine their own favorite abilities to create a whole new power.
For the Moonlight Attractive Attack, Sailor Moon’s Moonlight Stick and each of the Scouts’ Star Tambourines channels their own unique power and combines forces.
Each of the Sailor Scout’s power sets are denoted in the attack by their own signature color. The colors combine to form a rainbow in the form of a ribbon, not unlike the ribbons that are central to the uniforms of the Scouts.
The effect used to create the power for the series is very memorable, but with the show not available all over the world, many might not know it exists.
The attack itself is essentially a blast of energy aimed at their enemies, but the unique combination makes it a serious part of Sailor Moon’s arsenal.
13 Weakness: Food
If you grew up in the '90s, one of the most common criticisms of teen girls in fictional settings -- whether it be TV or books -- was that they rarely ate real food.
There was a trend to show teen girls as too nervous to eat on dates or always dieting by writers, something that audience members believed promoted unhealthy eating habits.
Sailor Moon didn’t have that problem. If there’s one thing Usagi did, it was eat like a real person.
In the anime, Usagi had plenty of obsessions as a teen before she ever discovered her past life. She loved arcades and video games, shopping, talking about boys, and especially good food.
She was always ready for a full meal or a snack in a food court, frequently lamenting early in the series when a battle would cut into her time to find a delicious morsel.
In fact, some of the earliest episodes of the anime actually showed her friends as put off by her eating habits because she ate so much whenever they were together. That type of teasing toward her was eventually dropped.
Can we really blame her for having a weakness for things like sushi or pastries though? She expends a lot of energy saving Japan from hostile attacks, so she needs to replenish those calories!
12 Power: Moon Twilight Flash
A deceptively simple power of Sailor Moon’s, this method of attack involves reflecting moonlight at her enemies. It goes by different names in different incarnations of her story, but the English dub of the anime made it Moon Twilight Flash.
Just saying that Sailor Moon reflects moonlight doesn’t do this particular ability justice. It’s not as though she aims a mirror at the sky and her enemies are afraid of the moon’s reflection.
Instead, she uses the jewel set in the middle of her tiara to reflect the light of the moon at her enemies as pure energy. It’s one of the earliest powers she learns about, but it’s also one of the most powerful.
In the manga, she actually uses the power when she receives a brand new tiara. Her first tiara is destroyed by an enemy early on, and the new one is more powerful than before.
She first employs the Flash to destroy an enemy’s shadow. The same basic premise was also used for the anime.
It’s in the live action series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon where the attack based on the power became more complicated.
There, the power comes from her brooch initially, not her tiara, infusing her Moonlight Stick with energy. The stick then creates three separate colors of light, which turn into energy to blast her opponent.
Who knew moonlight could be so devastating?
11 Power: Using The Princess Sword
The Sailor Scouts are known for their very particular types of weaponry. Namely, that they don’t use traditional weapons like swords or bows.
Instead, their powers are more of the magical variety. In the live action series, however, there’s a bit of a change to that.
Princess Sailor Moon doesn’t just have her tiara or jewels to channel her power-- she’s also got a sword.
The sword is called, fittingly, the Princess Sword. It’s specific to the version of Sailor Moon that exists while Princess Serenity takes over Usagi’s body for battle.
It certainly has to be strange to have your past life take over your body, but at least she brings a sword to defend you with.
We all know that when it comes to swords, the pointy end goes in the enemy, but the Princess Sword isn’t just for slashing or cutting. Instead, it can be used beyond tradition.
The Princess Sword can also be used to absorb and deflect energy.
So much of the fighting in Sailor Moon’s stories, no matter the version, is in the form of releasing light or dark energy.
The Princess Sword provides Sailor Moon with a way to counteract that dark energy. She can even use the sword to send an attack back at her opponent.
10 Weakness: Jealousy
For years, one of the biggest stereotypes shown amongst stories of teenage girls has been cattiness.
There’s been an effort to show stronger female friendships of late, not letting jealousy or insecurity get in the way of a connection. Sailor Moon was ahead of the curve, already depicting the same idea in the '90s.
In both the manga and original anime series, Usagi might have been the leader of a group of guardians, but she was also a teenage girl who frequently allowed her feelings to consume her.
She was quick to jump to conclusions about others -- whether that meant trusting them implicitly right off the bat or thinking they were evil immediately. One of the ways her emotions surfaced most frequently -- and the one that got her into the most trouble - was jealousy.
Serena and Rei’s friendship might as well have been built on jealousy. With two clashing personalities, the duo almost never agreed on anything.
While in the manga, that led to some serious fights between the two, in the American dub of the anime, that frequently manifested as Serena being jealous of Rei’s accomplishments or the attention paid to Rei by others.
It could lead to cracks in the foundation of their team in a fight, but ultimately, they always overcame the odds.
In the anime, Serena’s jealousy also frequently surfaced around “Rini,” her future daughter from the Moon Kingdom.
Serena and Rini weren’t good at sharing the spotlight, leading to plenty of fighting between the two.
9 Power: Moon Sparkling Sensation
Like many of Sailor Moon’s powers, this one has the same namesake as the Sailor Scout, and it is a light-based power.
Much of the powers in the manga and anime involve her using light, specifically moonlight, as energy she can direct at a target. Moon Sparkling Sensation has the same idea, but it’s exclusive to the Sailor Moon arcade game.
The arcade game Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon was released exclusively in Japan in 1995. The game followed the Sailor Senshi through various stages as they fought enemies from the animated series.
In order to use special powers, the Senshi had to collect crystals throughout the levels, holding up to five of them at a time.
So that she could use this particular power, Sailor Moon had to possess four crystals. The move involves her spinning to gather energy before her, and then she releases it as beams of light at her intended target.
The attack is strong enough to knock even the most difficult opponents down a peg or two.
The video game move is very similar to the anime’s Moon Twilight Flash, and may have been inspired by her frequent channeling of moonlight in the other source material.
8 Power: Immortality
We all like to think our heroes will live forever, but in the case of Sailor Moon, she really can!
The origin story for the manga, the anime, and every version that followed, is that Sailor Moon wasn’t just a typical teenage girl with superpowers.
She was actually the reincarnated form of Princess Serenity of the Moon Kingdom. Her Sailor Scouts were also the reincarnated forms of the other planetary princesses and warriors.
When the Moon Kingdom fell to its enemies, the queen didn’t want her daughter to lose a chance at happiness, or for her people to lose their chance at life.
She knew they couldn’t win in their own time, so she used magic to make sure that Princess Serenity and her Sailor Senshi were able to live on in a new life.
While this might sound like these few souls were simply getting a chance for a do-over after the fall of their kingdom, that’s not entirely the case. They actually got multiple do-overs, proving that their warrior spirits are essentially immortal.
During the events of the first Sailor Moon animated series, the Sailor Scouts all sacrificed themselves in the final battle so that Sailor Moon could move on.
After she successfully saved the universe, she and her friends were all reset to their civilian lives with no knowledge of their superhero personas all over again, getting yet another chance at life.
7 Weakness: Grief
For some people, grief can be an inspiration as they draw strength from the loss they’ve experienced.
Sailor Moon is certainly able to increase her powers as a result of some of the losses she experiences, but that isn’t always a good thing.
In the anime, as Sailor Moon sees her friends sacrifice themselves in order for her to move forward, she draws strength from them and embraces her Princess Serenity persona to defeat great evil.
In the manga and the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, though, she experiences a whole other dimension of grief that changes her.
It’s revealed in the manga that Princess Serenity lost Prince Endymion. Rather than continue to support her people and try to find a way to stop the fall of her kingdom, she gives into her own grief.
The princess takes her own life, though her soul is saved and reincarnated by her mother, and she is given another chance at life.
In the live action series, the princess also loses her prince in her past life.
Here, though, this version of the character is Princess Sailor Moon, and she doesn’t just lose herself in grief, but instead, destroys her entire world in her anger. In fact, the part of her that exists in the modern Sailor Moon admits she would do it all over again, making her a danger to the entire world.
6 Power: Flight
Though the Sailor Scouts all have plenty of magical abilities, they don’t have the typical superhero traits of super strength, speed, or complete invulnerability.
The girls cannot make themselves invisible or leap tall buildings in a single bound. Sailor Moon, however, does have one major ability usually reserved for superheroes that wear capes: she can fly.
It’s not a power she pulls out all the time. In fact, it’s not even something that it seems like Usagi knows she can do when she finally does fly.
The feather imagery used in the various adaptations of Sailor Moon’s story almost makes her seem angelic, but it isn’t until she has to save Chibiusa that the wings come out.
When Chibiusa is sent to the past, she’s a bit of a pest for Sailor Moon, who doesn’t understand why this little girl suddenly becomes her “mini me.”
Eventually, the truth about who Chibiusa is, Sailor Moon’s daughter from far into the future, is revealed. Before that though, Chibiusa had a connection to the mythical Helios, who actually could fly.
When Chibiusa was in danger and falling from the sky, Sailor Moon ignored her own fears to dive after her.
When she was able to catch her and wake the younger Senshi, the duo had to call on Helios for help, who gave them wings to help them fly their way back down to Earth.
5 Power: Princess Harp Healing
Another unique power to the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon live action series is that of healing.
While the manga and the anime have seen different extreme circumstances show the Sailor Scouts healing, the live action series gave Princess Sailor Moon the ability to heal everyone as long as she used the right tool to do it.
Her Princess Sword could actually magically transform into her Princess Harp. As you might have guessed, the harp allows Princess Sailor Moon to use the healing power of song on her allies.
All she has to do is play the harp to heal injuries and restore energy. She can seemingly use the harp to restore the lifeforce to any living thing -- including plants.
Interestingly enough, the harp’s music can even be used to repair torn fabric.
When she transforms the sword into the harp, it doesn’t actually seem like the harp can be played because it looks like it’s missing its strings.
In reality, the harp doesn’t need any physical strings. As Princess Sailor Moon wants to play her harp, magical strings appear for her to use.
In order for the healing magic of the harp to work, there has to be intention behind Princess Sailor Moon’s playing. If she doesn’t set out to heal someone, she uses the harp to express her feelings, usually when she’s feeling particularly sad.
4 Weakness: Royal Lineage
Sailor Moon isn’t just a warrior or a teenage girl. She also happens to be a princess, a fact that can be easily glossed over in the anime.
For animation, she’s portrayed as a reincarnated teenage girl who has magical powers, and that’s certainly true, but she happens to be the reincarnated form of a woman who would become a queen and rule the entire Moon Kingdom.
Princess Serenity was a member of the Sailor Senshi in her youth. She spent time training, throwing her tiara, and defending her kingdom from the villains.
Sailor Moon wasn’t just a Sailor Scout who could spent her time on the battlefield though. Much like her reincarnated Usagi later, Sailor Moon had a big piece of her life that required her to be something other than a fighter.
Instead of a being a high school student, she had to learn to be a diplomat, a peacemaker, even a symbol for her people.
In the manga, it’s revealed that once Princess Serenity became Queen of the Moon Kingdom, her life changed.
She had to take a step back from her guardian mode, setting Sailor Moon’s uniform aside, her tiara traded for a crown. She no longer fought as part of the guard.
It’s a change from the other Sailor Senshi. Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter all retained their Sailor Scout status even though they were all princesses of their respective domains.
3 Power: Feather Attack
Born of the feather imagery prevalent in the manga and anime, the Feather Attack, sometimes referred to as the Moon Feather Attack, only appears in the Sailor Moon arcade game released in the mid '90s.
It never officially had a name during the game since Sailor Moon didn’t call out the name of the attack for the game like she would have if it was used in the television series or manga.
In order to use this particular power, Sailor Moon has to have at least one crystal in her arsenal as all the special powers require the players to collect crystals.
The feather attack causes the video screen to fill with hairpieces that contain feathers. Flashes of light then hit and disable Sailor Moon’s enemy.
If this particular power set seems a little random, it’s not. It’s got its roots in the original manga series.
Throughout the manga, and sometimes in the anime, Usagi wears pins in her hair that contain feathers. Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi used plenty of feathers when it came to Usagi’s look in the manga.
It’s those pins that inspire the hairpieces in the video game. Those same pins also inspired the use of the feather imagery throughout the animated series.
2 Power: Princess Star Attack
Exclusive to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, the Princess Star Attack packs quite a punch. It’s also not employed by the Sailor Moon that fans are used to seeing, but instead by Princess Sailor Moon, the version of the character that sees Princess Serenity take over the body of Usagi Tsukino.
In the guise of Princess Sailor Moon, the warrior has her Princess Sword to aid in her attacks. That sword is what she needs for this specific power set.
In order to direct this strong energy blast at her enemies, Princess Sailor Moon has to use the sword to create multiple slashes of light in the air in front of her. Those lines of light form a star, which channels energy at her enemy.
There is, however, a downside to a power like this.
Because Princess Star Attack is used while in the form of Princess Sailor Moon, it can be used against her.
Though Princess Serenity takes over her body, Usagi is still in there, conscious of what her past life self is doing. The duo can actually use the attack against one another, making for a tense situation if they don’t agree on what’s happening.
Luckily for the Sailor Scouts, the attack was almost always aimed at their enemies instead!
1 Weakness: Duality
In every incarnation of the Sailor Moon story, the warrior is reborn as an average teenage girl. That might seem like an advantage; a teen with extraordinary powers and the motivation to do the right thing is quite the force to be reckoned with. That’s not necessarily the case here.
The teenager and her past life self are very different people.
While the reincarnation of the warrior is a teen who has trouble in school, loves her family, and finds strength in her friends, the Sailor Moon she was as a part of the Moon Kingdom is an entirely different person; sometimes she even has a completely different personality.
In the anime, Princess Serenity only “takes over” the body of Serena on a handful of occasions, shown by her clothing changing to that of a flowing white dress.
Those times are only to give Serena a power boost in a desperate situation. Her personality doesn’t completely change and she’s still able to save the day.
In the live action series Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, when Serenity takes over the teen’s body, she becomes Princess Sailor Moon, a ruthless warrior who lets nothing and no one get in her way.
She’s so dangerous that she even puts one of her civilian forms’ friends in the hospital.
Here, the duality of the character provides a weakness as the two souls spend more time battling one another to control their body than they do working together.
Princess Sailor Moon even ends the world (before fixing it).
Did any of Sailor Moon's powers surprise you? Can you think of any other abilities or weaknesses that she has? Sound off in the comments!