Sailor Moon and her Sailor Senshi have been a part of pop culture since the early 90s. Naoko Takeuchi created the characters for a manga that released in 1991. More than 25 years later, there are multiple anime adaptations and dubs, movies, videogames, and live shows. Sailor Moon isn’t going anywhere.
With over two decades of staying power, you would think that fans would know everything there is to know about the Sailor Senshi. With so many adaptations, though, there are a lot of misconceptions about the franchise and the characters.
When the anime adapted the manga, certain story points had to be changed for the medium. There was also the matter that the manga was still being written as the anime began airing in Japan. Whole arcs were created that weren’t present in the source material.
Further, when the anime was dubbed for English audiences in other countries, studios completely changed dialogue and episode storylines to fit the standard practices in their country. The result is that fans all over the world have completely different ideas about the personalities and skills of the Sailor Senshi.
There’s also the fact that some tropes are so common in the story - like Sailor Moon getting to be the ultimate heroine - that fans misremember certain story points. Because Sailor Moon makes the final blow to the enemies so often, they might see the rest of her team as nearly useless. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We’ve rounded up some of the most common misconceptions about the characters to bring the truth to light with these 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Sailor Senshi.
20 Sailor Mars Is Always Angry
The '90s anime created a lot of misconceptions about the series as a whole. Much of that was due to filler storylines. As a result, some characters behaved very differently in situations than they did in the source material. Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon always had a contentious relationship.
For fans whose familiarity came from the '90s anime, though, it might have seemed like Rei was just the angriest person on the planet. Every little thing created an argument.
While she certainly was the first Sailor Senshi willing to debate Sailor Moon, she’s actually very calm and level headed in the manga, and in the newer Sailor Moon Crystal adaptation. Her work as a shrine priestess and her psychic visions both played a role in her controlling emotions very carefully.
19 The Inner Senshi Waste Time On Video Games
At first glance, a lot of fans might believe the Inner Senshi have a deep love for arcade games. That might be true of Usagi, but not all of them. They do, however, spend a lot of time hanging out in the arcade - some of them even before they find out they are Sailor Senshi. Those games aren’t just ordinary arcade games, though. At least one of them is important to their training.
Artemis and Luna actually created one of the games specifically to teach the team battle strategy. The game acts a a combat simulator, allowing the teenage girls to see what areas are their weak points. It’s one of the reasons Makoto and Ami take to the game so quickly - they’re natural strategizers.
18 Sailor Chibi Moon Is In Love With Her Father
The introduction of Chibiusa divided a lot of fans. In Japan, audiences of the anime and readers of the manga loved her. In the United States, not so much. Part of the divide was a result of the fixation she had on Mamoru when she travelled back in time. While Chibiusa had been alive for centuries at that point, she only developed to the point of about a 10-year-old.
Mamoru was one of the first people in the past who treated her kindly. As a result, she trusted him before she trusted anyone else.
Yes, far in the future Mamoru and Usagi would embrace their Moon Kingdom personas of Serenity and Endymion. Biologically, they were Chibiusa’s parents. Chibiusa didn’t see them that way, though. She developed a crush on the Mamoru of the past, not the Endymion she knew.
17 Only Sailor Moon Can Defeat The Enemy
One thing that frequently bothers Sailor Moon fans is the title character appears to be the only one who can take down an enemy. After long battles where all of the Senshi try their best, it’s Sailor Moon who always takes the knockout shot, right? Wrong.
It’s certainly rare for other members of the team to defeat a monster alone, but it can be done. Sailor Mercury did it in one of her very first appearances. Sailor Jupiter managed to do it twice. Even in the '90s anime where Sailor Moon was always meant to be the ultimate hero, her Inner Senshi all took out members of Queen Beryl’s DD Girls in the final confrontation. They did it alone, sacrificing themselves so Sailor Moon could fight Queen Beryl. They’re certainly capable of taking out an enemy on their own.
16 Sailor Mercury Is Weak
As the one member of the Inner Senshi who primarily uses her powers for defense instead of offense, many fans view Sailor Mercury as weak. This perception is skewed by the types of attacks demonstrated by the team.
All of the other members of the team use attacks that focus energy at their target, making them appear to be quite strong.
Sailor Mercury’s attack doesn’t do that, but instead focuses energy on the world around her target. She can actually cover the entire area in mist, fog, or even a full on blizzard as her powers grow. Sailor Mercury is also the chief strategist of the group, figuring out the weak spots of the enemy and the best attacks to use. She is far from weak.
15 Sailor Moon Personifies The Dumb Blond Stereotype
A lot of terms get thrown around about Sailor Moon. She’s called a crybaby, selfish, and most of all, dumb. Some fans believe Usagi really is dumb and can’t quite figure out how she makes it to superhero status. The truth is that all of these things boil down to maturity, not intelligence.
Usagi outgrows her crybaby tendencies as she gains confidence in her abilities and has a strong team around her. She always puts the rest of the world before herself as Sailor Moon. In her civilian life, she might get jealous, but she’s not inherently selfish. Usagi isn’t book smart, but that’s because she doesn’t like to study. She’s smart enough to determine what she needs to do to take on enemies when she’s on her own, even if she doesn’t make time to study for math tests.
14 Old Powers Vanish When The Sailor Senshi Upgrade
A common observation from Sailor Moon fans is that as the Sailor Senshi get new abilities, their old ones simply vanish. However, that’s not exactly true. The issue is that once the Sailor Senshi get an upgraded power set, those abilities are stronger than the ones they used previously. There’s no need for them to use a less powerful ability if their enemy is stronger as well.
On the other hand, there are a few cases of team members using their old powers.
Sailor Moon, for example, used her ability to amplify her crying along with Sailor Chibi Moon long after fans thought she forgot about it. Likewise, Sailor Mercury continued to use her original power set even after the Sailor Senshi upgraded to new abilities. There were times she didn’t need to access her new powers.
13 Sailor Saturn Is The Most Powerful
When a Sailor Senshi has the nickname “Soldier of Destruction,” it’s not hard to see why fans believe she’s the most powerful of the bunch. When examining the different power sets of the Sailor Senshi, though, it’s hard to pinpoint Sailor Saturn as the most powerful of them all.
Her abilities do allow her to destroy an entire planet if she wants to, sure. With enough creative thinking, though, any member of the Sailor Senshi could likely use their abilities to do something similar. Sailor Mercury could create a perpetual ice age, for example. Sailor Pluto can stop time indefinitely, even if it’s outside of her set rules. Pluto alone is a match for Saturn. When you look outside of the team and add Sailor Galaxia and Sailor Cosmos to the mix, Sailor Saturn registers even less powerful.
12 The Villains Should Strike While The Senshi Transform
Not a big criticism of the manga, this idea comes up a lot in discussions from fans of the anime series. As the Sailor Senshi go from civilian wear to their heroic uniforms, they undergo an extensive transformation sequence. It appears to take a significant amount of time - long enough for a villain to launch an attack while the Senshi are vulnerable.
While the audience gets a long transformation sequence, in universe, it occurs in the blink of an eye.
We know this because we see Sailor Neptune’s transformation from Haruka’s point of view. We also see Mamoru react to Sailor Moon transforming in front of him. The sequence is purely fanservice. It’s also likely included to take up a few precious minutes of the anime so there’s less of a need to insert story points.
11 Sailor Uranus Draws Power From The Earth
Because Sailor Uranus appears to create earthquakes with her massive energy blasts, a lot of fans thought she gathered power from the Earth. That’s not the case. If you pay close attention to just how Sailor Uranus creates an attack, you’ll notice something about her method. She holds a hand to the sky before launching the energy toward the Earth. Instead of drawing the earthquake out, she’s literally bringing energy down to Earth.
This fits right in line with the Greek god Uranus (or Ouranos), who was known as “Father Sky.” Really, Uranus’ attacks are very similar in form to Sailor Jupiter’s use of thunder and lighting. They come from the sky, even though the Sailor Senshi is also known for her connection to the Earth.
10 Sailor Moon Is Their Leader
This is a bit tricky. Fans see Sailor Moon as the team leader because she’s also the Moon Princess. Technically, this is true. She’s royalty, so the Sailor Senshi are under her command. Their actual team leader isn’t the princess, though.
Instead, it’s Sailor Venus.
Sailor Venus might be the last of the Inner Senshi to join the circle, but she is the first of the Sailor Senshi to awaken. She’s also first in line in battle. In fact, she’s meant to be the decoy Moon Princess if a need arises, which is why she masquerades as the Moon Princess when she’s Sailor V. Sailor V has extensive knowledge of their past life, in which she commanded the Senshi. Sailor Moon didn’t fight in the days of the ancient kingdom.
9 The Black Moon Clan Lost
We all witnessed Sailor Pluto bring Sailor Chibi Moon back from being Black Lady. It’s well known that the Sailor Senshi defeated the Black Moon Clan in the present day. What we’re talking about here is the future. In order for Sailor Chibi Moon to come to the past at all, the Black Moon Clan had to have won - in the future.
Chibiusa makes a journey to the past to try and get enough power to save her parents. Her father is a ghost of his former self and her mother is trapped in a coma in the palace. The reason? Their feud with the Black Moon Clan. That means, at some point, the Black Moon Clan is actually more powerful than the Sailor Senshi. They have to win in order for the timeline to exist.
8 Sailor Venus Is An Airhead
Sailor Venus might be the de facto leader of the Senshi, but sometimes, she seems a little flighty. That’s because most fans are familiar with the '90s anime version. As the anime created more stories, personalities of the Sailor Senshi were fleshed out. Hopes and dreams that rarely got a mention in the manga expanded for whole storylines in the anime. Sailor Venus, in her civilian life, wanted to be a singer.
In the anime, this expanded to her being obsessed with celebrity, cute boys, clothes, and gradually doing worse and worse in school.
This contrasts the manga where she keeps a level head and rationalizes that she can be loyal to the princess and pursue her dreams as well. The girl who had allies in Interpol before finding the rest of her team was never unfocused and flighty.
7 Sailor Galaxia Represents An Entire Galaxy
In the world of Sailor Moon, the different Senshi are largely named for the areas they represent. For example, in the solar system we know, each of the main characters is named for a planet (or the moon). Because of this, many fans thought “Galaxia” must correspond to a galaxy. In fact, they believed she probably represented the entire Milky Way, where most of the story takes place.
This contradicts the rules in place for the universe. Even Sailor Chibi Moon’s team, the Asteroid Senshi, each represent a specific asteroid. Sailor Senshi always represent a single celestial body, never an entire galaxy of them. In all likelihood, Sailor Galaxia was so power hungry after leaving her own planet and beginning to go after other Senshi that she named herself to reflect her own desires.
6 Sailor Moon Can Resurrect Anyone Anytime
One of the many powers in Sailor Moon’s arsenal is resurrection. She can bring people back to life. Fans argue that many of the characters lost in the series should have just been brought back. There is, however, a catch.
When Sailor Moon first begins her journey, she doesn’t yet have this ability.
At the end of the anime’s first story arc, it’s not Sailor Moon that brings back the Senshi she lost. Instead, it’s her final wish - that everything would go back to normal - that does it. It’s more like she hit a reset button, turning back the clock to a time when the team didn’t know they were Sailor Senshi. It’s also actually Princess Serenity who has the ability. Sailor Moon hasn’t yet reached the point of resurrection during most of what we see in the franchise.
5 Sailor Saturn Is The Messiah Of Silence
No matter the version of the story you’re used to, Sailor Saturn is always feared by the other Senshi. They call her many things, but Messiah of Silence is chief amongst them. Sailors Neptune and Uranus believe Sailor Saturn will destroy the world, and that’s where the Messiah of Silence comes into play. In reality, Sailor Saturn does have that destructive power, but she’s not the Messiah.
Instead, Sailor Saturn shared a body with the Messiah of Silence. Hotaru’s body housed both the reincarnated soul of Sailor Saturn and the soul of Mistress 9, faithful servant to the big bad Pharaoh 90. It was Mistress 9 inside of Hotaru who was actually the Messiah of Silence and bent on destroying the Sailor Senshi.
4 The Sailor Senshi Are Caucasian
Pale skin and some blond hair made a lot of fans think the Sailor Senshi just happened to be Caucasian. This idea was especially prevalent among North Americans when the first English dub crossed the ocean in the '90s.
Part of the reason why it was so easy for people to make this mistake was because the original dubs didn’t just change the language of the anime, it also changed the culture.
Signs written in the language of Japane in the series were completely eliminated. They were either painted over with English words or filled in with color instead. In reality, the Magical Girl genre of manga and anime loves its technicolor hair. Blond hair isn’t an indicator of ethnicity, just like pink, teal, or blue hair aren’t either.
3 Sailor Saturn And Sailor Pluto Have The Wrong Abilities
There’s a bit of confusion amongst Sailor Moon fans who know their mythology. Each of the central Sailor Senshi’s abilities are inspired by the Greco Roman gods associated with the planet that names them. At first glance, Sailors Saturn and Pluto have nothing in common with their namesakes.
Pluto was the god of the underworld, which is where Sailor Pluto’s “Dead Scream” comes from. Her being guardian of time does seem slightly arbitrary until you realize that time catches up with everyone eventually. Time stops for those who lose their lives. Some think Sailor Saturn (the Roman version of Cronus, Greek god of time) should have dominion over time. Sailor Saturn instead has the glaive, a favorite ornament of her namesake. She’s also the Sailor of Destruction - fitting since Saturn represented chaos and destruction when he tore apart his family.
2 Sailor Venus Is Easy Going
With the '90s anime getting Sailor Venus closer and closer to Sailor Moon’s temperament as the show continued, a lot of fans had an interesting perception of her. They believed she’d go relatively easy on enemies in a fight. Maybe it’s the whole “love” aspect of their themes that makes fans think that. However, it’s not the case.
Instead, Sailor Venus might just be the most brutal of the group in a fight.
During the manga, Minako was the one in between Usagi and a brainwashed Makoto. Minako didn’t hesitate to kick her usual ally right in the throat, sending the other girl flying across the room. That was par for the course with Venus. Sailor Venus was also ready to break into people’s houses, chase down cars, and eliminate threats without giving people a second chance. She’s ruthless.
1 The Sailor Senshi’s Nail Polish Has No Purpose
During the Sailor Senshi’s transformation sequence, a lot of intricate changes are shown. The teenagers all get new clothes. They also get new jewelry, makeup, nail polish, and surprisingly, gloves. It’s an odd choice to give characters painted nails if they’re all going to be wearing gloves over them. One fan theory persisted that the Senshi were meant to appear elegant, even if they lost a glove in battle. That theory is all well and good, but it doesn’t line up.
Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi had extensive notes from her days planning out the characters and story arcs. A lot of them have found their way online. In those early notes, two of the Sailor Senshi didn’t wear gloves at all! Some fans continue to speculate that magical nail polish may help focus the power through the Senshi’s hands.
Did we get rid of some Sailor Moon misconceptions for you? Or do you think there’s a big one we missed? Let us know in the comments!