Sailor Moon is the most iconic magical girl show in existence. The designs of Sailor Moon and the other characters are memorable and different from other anime characters we have seen during the '90s. Naoko Takeuchi brought us a classic that anime fans new and old will always recognize regardless of what year it is.
The manga was first adapted by Toei Animation, the famous animation studio that also brought us the Dragon Ball franchise and One Piece, to name a few. It was a huge hit in Japan, and later around the world, but as an adaptation to the original manga, the classic Sailor Moon was not necessarily great. Not to say that it's terrible since the '90s adaptation had gorgeous animation, stellar music, and a memorable art style.
The anime is not the only one at fault either, since even the reboot, Crystal, has its fair share of issues that do not make sense. Heck, even the manga has some things we question that aren’t really answered, but they are mostly nitpicky queries that don’t completely distract us from the story. Those that grew up with the Western dub and then later watch the original Japanese or new Viz Media dub will be very confused about some characters’ genders or parts of the story having been changed.
Sailor Moon is not the perfect story, but it is a good one that brought about a lot of nostalgia to fans who watched the 90s adaptation, read the manga, or even started watching the reboot. Here are twenty-five things in Sailor Moon that do not make sense.
Chibiusa is the future daughter of Usagi and Mamoru. With this in mind, you will notice that she does not share any hair or eye color from both of her parents. Just how does that work?
No wonder Usagi got jealous of Chibiusa before finding out the truth.
Genetically, it does not make sense for Chibiusa to have different hair or eye color, but Naoko managed to clear up this issue. Originally, Usagi had pink hair in her original design, but it is more than that. Check out Tuxedo Unmasked’s article explaining more about this phenomenon.
Anyone outside of the Sailor Moon fandom will know that the transformations scenes are what they remember from the series. After all, it’s how we see the Sailor Scouts transform to face off the bad guys. Other than our tendency to question what’s going on, which we’ll get to later, there is one part that confuses us.
Why do the Sailor Scouts have nail polish if they would just be covered up by gloves immediately after? Is it just an extra touch, or does it complete the cosmetics the girls get while transforming? Or maybe it's a gimmick to sell nail polish in general?
Before the second season of Sailor Moon could get to the meat of the story, the filler episodes took over to extend the show longer. While it does help Naoko Takeuchi with having more time to continue the manga, this section just doesn’t add up well.
While the girls managed to get their memories back, Mamoru’s case was different. The Moonlight Knight was Mamoru’s lost memories and while we got an explanation in the anime, it still gets our heads scratching from with confusion. Thankfully Crystal spared fans from this headache.
As if the 90s anime couldn’t be any more guilty, it added a lot of drama to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. One issue that was completely unnecessary was when Mamoru broke up with Usagi. Because of the nightmares he had been having, he believed that leaving her would save her.
But he was completely wrong.
Out of fear and for Usagi’s safety, it makes sense, but Mamoru’s future self, King Endymion, did this to test his relationship with Usagi. Fortunately, Mamoru and Usagi managed to make it through despite what happened.
It seems that there are a lot of issues circulating about the Black Moon arc. This case can be said in both incarnations of the manga and anime, and it's about the lack of worry for time paradoxes. There was a lot of time traveling involved, ranging from Chibiusa traveling back to the past, to the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask heading to the future.
With how the Black Moon Kingdom was stopped and saved Crystal Tokyo, we can’t help but wonder if there would be other issues that would occur as a result of changing the course of history. This is what fan theories are for anyway.
A lot of tension came about during the Black Moon arc, and it got real when Chibiusa gave in to the corruption of Wiseman. She would grow into a beautiful, but dangerous woman that would attack Sailor Moon and the other Scouts, but then take Tuxedo Mask.
Before he was hypnotized by her, why didn't Mamoru recognize his own future daughter despite being older? He was suspicious, but he didn’t question it. That doesn’t even answer Chibiusa’s Electra complex, and when they kissed, that threw us off with a hint of nausea.
Ami Mizuno is the second Sailor Scout introduced to us who would later become Sailor Mercury. She is a genius and while she is not the strongest Sailor Scout, she is still very important for her brains and strategy. The last thing she worries about is love.
In Ami’s First Love, she liked the idea of having a rival who got a better score than her on a test and develops feelings for him. She would then get love letters and that would cause her to feel ill. In reality, something like that does not happen, unless lovesickness is really that strong.
When Sailor Moon became localized in America, it would become a huge hit, just like in Japan. The formula was to have every single character that has a Japanese name be changed into Western ones. For example, Usagi would change into Serena.
Although in the third season, where Hotaru shows up, she was the only one to not have her name changed. She might have been spared from being localized, but that just makes Hotaru feel out of place while everyone is either Lita, Darien, or Michelle. Maybe Cloverway just couldn’t think of a Western name for Hotaru?
If there is one issue that even super Sailor Moon fans can call out, it is the lack of identity changes when the Sailor Scouts transform. When Sailor Moon first saved an imposter of Naru’s mother, it is amazing how Naru could not recognize her friend defeating the monster Morga with a tiara.
There really is no clear-cut evidence as to why no one recognizes the Sailor Scouts. At least in the live action series, they look like normal Japanese citizens but turn completely different when they transform.
Like with the previous entry, Sailor Moon as a whole is guilty of having not-so-good disguises for any of the characters except for Tuxedo Mask and in the live action series. If we have to pinpoint the worst way to use a disguise, it's when the Sailor Starlights come in.
The original anime had the three ladies turn into men when they were in civilian form. This was unneeded and it even goes against Naoko Takeuchi’s statement that only women can be Sailor Scouts. No wonder America never got to see Sailor Moon Stars back in the day.
In Japan, people can date whoever at thirteen, so of course, over here, the idea of a teenager like Usagi dating Mamoru is concerning. It is bizarre for someone who is in middle school to date someone who is almost in college, but at least in the anime, the romance is kept down to a minimum.
One can see this relationship as entirely impossible since Mamoru is definitely mature, while Usagi at the time was incredibly childish. At least, in the end, these two would become one of anime’s best couples of all time.
When it comes to the villains in the classic Sailor Moon, they are a mess, except for the Black Moon Arc. The Infinity Arc went back to the Dark Kingdom where most of the villains are incredibly useless.
The Witches 5 are the victims here.
They are brought together to serve Professor Tomoe, but they are too focused on trying to get his attention. Each of them would perish due to their jealousy, so teamwork was just not a priority for them apparently.
There are a lot of faults in the '90s anime for being disloyal to the manga, and one of those cases is Kunzite and Zoisite being lovers. In the manga, these two, alongside Jadeite and Nephrite, are the four generals from Earth who served Prince Endymion before the fall of the Silver Millennium.
Although they were under Queen Beryl’s control, it still is strange to have Kunzite and Zoisite to be a couple since there was no indication of this in happening the manga. The only positive thing about this is that it does have a representation for the LGBTQ+ community, just like Haruka and Michiru.
Speaking of Haruka and Michiru, one alteration that only made these two weirder in the Western version is the change from lovers to cousins. Since they were animated as an actual couple, making them cousins just does not sit well.
They hold hands and look at each other like a couple, and no pair of cousins would do that. It makes the scenes of Haruka and Michiru acting all romantic while being related uncomfortable to watch. Today though, Viz Media has returned them to the original lovable same gender couple we root for.
Even though we do tend to make fun of the changes the Western localization made in Sailor Moon, there are other countries who made some questionable ones as well. Take for instance the genders of Luna and Artemis. In the original Japanese, Luna is female and Artemis is male.
The French and Portugal versions have their genders swapped.
To France’s credit, they fixed Artemis’ gender, despite going through with that oversight for some time. Portugal is still adamant on keeping the swapped genders where they are at, even changing Artemis’s name to Artemisa.
A segment we’ll get into later, which involves the filler episodes, tends to expand the Sailor Moon story, but it doesn't really relate to the original plot from the manga. This entry is about Naru and her relationship with Nephrite.
While Usagi and Mamoru have quite the age gap, Naru and Nephrite are on a completely different level. This does not really work because Nephrite is the answer to Sailor Jupiter, also known as Makoto Kino, and Naru has no relevance outside of being Usagi’s good friend.
The transformation scenes in Sailor Moon are what make the show stand out as a "girly" magical anime and it still holds up. There are critics and nitpickers who point out the inconsistency the transformations bring, especially when it comes to those who are waiting for the girls to finish transforming.
Are the bad guys waiting, or are the transformation scenes something to abide for time?
It is funny to think that the villains are frozen in time until the Sailor Scouts finish their transformations, but then there’s the notion that they can attack them while transforming and to stop it. Perhaps we’ll never get a true answer.
The Sailor Moon movies are a nice addition, bringing some original stories that offer interesting ideas, even if there are some inconsistencies plot-wise. The first movie, which is titled Sailor Moon R: The Movie, features a character named Fiore, who looks strangely similar to anime-only characters An and Ail.
Yet, An and Ail mentioned that they were the only survivors of their race.
So, are the three related? The only real answer is that this does not matter, since the filler episodes in Sailor Moon R and the movie are not canon, but the similar character designs do spark up theories regarding Fiore, Ail, and An.
Sailor Moon Crystal did a fantastic job with covering parts of the manga that were sorely missed in the '90s anime. Unfortunately, it does go by very fast and with that, it doesn't give the personalities of Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako a lot of attention.
It’s a shame since it’s harder for people to connect with them, unlike the '90s anime.
Maybe the reason for this was because people who grew up with the original Sailor Moon will have already understood their characteristics. But for newer fans, it makes it harder for them to relate.
Gender-bending was a common unnecessary change that the original English dub of Sailor Moon would make. There was Zoisite, who changed into a female as a result of his relationship with Kunzite. Then Fisheye as a result of his cross-dressing. However, the one change that was even more unnecessary was Zirconia from Sailor Moon Super S.
She went from female to male because of her appearance, for whatever reason, looking masculine. This subtracts from the villain, Queen Nehelenia’s, fear of becoming an ugly woman, as having Zirconia changed into a male makes that aspect ironic and pointless.
Tuxedo Mask in the '90s was a pathetic character. Because the point of Sailor Moon is to show that girls are just as strong as boys, Tuxedo Mask looks like a joke whenever he wants to step in and help out.
When the rose comes in, that’s when it all spirals down.
The roses Tuxedo Mask throw are only for distraction. They don’t even explode or set off some sort of trap. To our relief, the manga and Crystal have him written as a better hero who actually has powers and his own crystal.
The classic anime took a lot of creativity when adding to the Sailor Moon mythos. After all, there are a lot of things that occur that do not make sense, such as every single person having a dream mirror inside their bodies.
For the plot’s convenience in Super S, it's how the likes of Tiger’s Eye, Fish Eye, and Hawk’s Eye became human; getting rid of the dream mirrors. A concept like this does make Sailor Moon more magical, but it makes the anatomy of Sailor Moon’s humans quite strange.
In defense of the classic Sailor Moon, the filler episodes do feature great lessons for the viewers to look back on, along with more adventures for the characters. But for an anime that is supposed to adapt from the manga reliably, they are a distraction to the main story.
Nowadays, it can be hard to watch some of the fillers, since they are not necessary to understand the true story of Sailor Moon. The series did one thing right, and that is expanding the characters’ personalities. Though, even without the fillers, the '90s anime would have still been loved by millions.
For this entry, we will be referring to the ending of the first season where Usagi manages to defeat Queen Beryl for good with the spirits of her friends by her side. And once it ended, Usagi is back in bed essentially taking us back to the first episode.
Having everyone, except for Luna and Artemis of course, forget everything feels like the characters learned nothing. In the grand scheme of things, it would help them move on with their lives, but with the incoming danger that is Ail and An, it was a wrong move to make.
Sailor Moon might be one of the greatest heroines in anime, but the only way she can prove herself is by receiving the cue from her fellow Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask. The only time this was ever needed was when Luna helped Usagi transform and giving her advice to defeat Morga by using her tiara.
This is a trend that occurs frequently in the '90s anime and it was pretty annoying to get through, with Sailor Moon having to wait until someone says it’s okay to defeat the enemy. But hey, at least she becomes more aware in future fights.