Sailor Moon is a world-famous Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi.
The series follows protagonist Usagi Tsukino, an unassuming middle school student who transforms into the title character, Sailor Moon.
With the help of her fellow Sailor Guardians, Sailor Moon sets out on a quest to find the Legendary Silver Crystal, the most powerful artifact in the galaxy.
Along the way, these superheroines come head-to-head with a whole host of villains who seek to claim the crystal as their own and cause the ultimate destruction of the galaxy.
The original 18-volume Sailor Moon manga contained sixty chapters and ran from 1991 to 1997 in the monthly shōjo magazine, Nakayoshi. Since then, Sailor Moon has become one of the best-selling manga series in history, with more than 35 million copies in circulation worldwide.
Numerous Japanese and international adaptations have sprung up over the years, including a smash-hit anime series and several feature-length movies. And more recently, it’s been translated into English for a Western readership to enjoy.
Sailor Moon’s Most Interesting Manga Characters
In this post, I’ll give you a run-down of the most interesting characters from the Sailor Moon manga.
There’s a huge cast to choose from, but today, I’ll be taking you on a deep dive into eight of the most beloved characters of all.
But first, let’s take a moment to recap what the series is all about.
Sailor Moon Summary
Sailor Moon and her friends are a group of ten schoolgirls who are transformed into superheroines called Sailor Guardians.
Each Guardian is named after a planet in the solar system, which grants them their own unique elemental power. To activate these powers, the girls use mysterious devices while yelling out a special command, which allows them to morph from their earthy forms into celestial manifestations.
Alongside their unique attributes, the Guardians also possess the common ability of telepathy, flight, and transportation, which they use to defend the galaxy from evil forces intent on destroying everything within it.
The Sailor Moon manga spans five major plot arcs, and while much of the series takes place in far-flung corners of space, most of the story is set in Minato, Tokyo.
At the start of the series, the protagonist Usagi is a regular, innocent middle school kid. But when she befriends Luna, the talking cat, her life is forever changed.
Luna gives Usagi a powerful brooch that enables her to morph into her alter ego, Sailor Moon.
But she can’t protect the universe alone, so she assembles a group of friends who, one by one, undergo the same Sailor Guardian transformation.
Although the girls don’t realize it at first, the Guardians have existed for millennia. They were originally entities from the long-forgotten Moon Kingdom, and their souls have traveled through space and time to inhabit the girl’s bodies.
Now, in their reincarnated forms, they can continue their ancient quest to prevent the destruction of the Earth.
But while these teenagers now have the responsibility of the whole galaxy on their shoulders, they’re often preoccupied with trivial things like boys, fashion, and homework, just like any regular kid.
Still, they take their guardianship seriously, and each girl grows to realize their own limitless potential, becoming a brave defender of justice.
Together, they set out on a dangerous mission to uncover the Legendary Silver Crystal to prevent it from falling into the hands of evil. But, if they fail, the fate of the entire known universe is at stake.
Sailor Moon’s Most Interesting Manga Characters
Now, let’s delve a little deeper into some of the fascinating characters that make up the cast of Sailor Moon, starting with the star of the series, Sailor Moon herself.
Along with the rest of the Sailor Guardians, Sailor Moon has her own unique catchphrase, which she uses to introduce herself to her enemies. Here’s she goes like this…
“I am the Pretty Guardian who Fights for Love and for Justice. I am Sailor Moon! And now, in the name of the moon, I will punish you!”
Before she becomes Sailor Moon, Usagi Tsukino is a fun-loving, kind-hearted, and empathetic fourteen-year-old girl who only wants the best for others, even those she doesn’t like.
Yet despite her good nature, at the beginning of the series, Usagi resents her newfound powers. All she wants is to be a normal teenage girl, and she often lets the pressure of her new role get to her.
But as the story continues, she begins to embrace her transformation into Sailor Moon, the official Guardian of Love and Justice. Slowly, she learns how to use her powers to help those around her, and her confidence grows.
Unlike many of the other Sailor Guardians, Sailor Moon’s powers of attack are laced with love and healing, reflecting her kind-hearted nature and desire to do the right thing.
She can change herself into any form at will, all she has to do is call out her transformation command, “Moon Power, change me into a…!” while using her special transformation pen, and the metamorphosis is complete.
“I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for Love and Intelligence. I am Sailor Mercury! Douse yourself in water and repent!”
Sailor Mercury’s introduction catchphrase
Sailor Mercury, whose civilian name is Ami Mizuno, is the second Sailor Guardian, after Usagi, to be transformed by Luna, the magical talking cat.
In her earthly form as a middle school student, Ami is shy, bookish, and highly intelligent, with a rumored IQ of 300. She’s particularly skilled in computers and uses a novel, portable handheld device to find the answers to any question in the known universe.
Ami adores learning, and while she excels in most subjects, her favorites are math and science.
Yet while her academic abilities are unparalleled, her social skills could use some work. She feels much more comfortable with her nose in a textbook rather than hanging out with the other kids, and some people mistake her shyness for arrogance.
But things change when she becomes Sailor Mercury, the Guardian of Water and Wisdom. She’s braver, tougher, and more resilient and finds newfound confidence in her powerful form.
“I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for Love and Passion. I am Sailor Mars! In the Name of Mars, I’ll chastise you!”
Sailor Mars’ introduction catchphrase
Sailor Mars, otherwise known as Rei Hino, is the daughter of a famous politician. And so, unlike the rest of the Sailor Guardians, she attends a private catholic school known as the T·A Academy for Girls, according to her father’s wishes.
She’s a serious and focused fourteen-year-old who has little time for the petty distractions that occupy her friends.
And so, rather than chasing boys and going shopping, she dedicates much of her time to working at the Hikawa Shrine as a Shinto priestess. As a result, even in her civilian form, she has powerful abilities to ward off evil using the Buddhist ofuda scrolls.
But as Sailor Mars, she becomes even more powerful. She is the Guardian of Fire and Passion and uses her pyromancy abilities to manifest her future through depictions in flames.
She can also predict the future with her impressive precognition skills and detect evil presences with an innate sixth sense.
“I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for Love and for Courage. I am Sailor Jupiter! I’ll fill you with regret; it’ll leave you numb!”
Sailor Jupiter’s introduction catchphrase
Sailor Jupiter goes by the earthly name of Makoto “Mako” Kino.
She’s noticeably taller and stronger than the rest of her friends, and even in her fourteen-year-old civilian form, she’s incredibly skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
Due to her intimidating stature and fighting skills, many people get the wrong impression of Makoto. They see her as nothing but a juvenile delinquent who, according to the rumors, was kicked out of her last school for fighting.
Yet, in reality, Makoto has a gentle heart and only uses her formidable strength to fight against evil.
But before she became Sailor Jupiter, Makoto’s early childhood was marked by grief when both of her parents tragically died in a plane crash.
And so, in order to survive on her own, she taught herself how to cook, clean, and tend the garden at a young age, making her the most independent and self-sufficient member of the Sailor Guardians.
When Makoto wishes to take the form of Sailor Jupiter, she utters her special phrase, “Jupiter Power, Makeup!”
As the Guardian of Thunder and Courage, her natural physical strength is amplified, and she harnesses the power of lightning to fight off her enemies and defend her friends.
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“I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for Love and for Beauty! I am Sailor Venus! In the Name of Venus, I’ll punish you with the power of love!”
Sailor Venus’ introduction catchphrase
Sailor Venus, otherwise known as Sailor V, takes the civilian form of Minako Aino, a whimsical fourteen-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pop star.
She cares much more about singing and performing than academic achievement. So, rather than focusing on her studies, she attends auditions whenever she gets the chance, hoping to find her big break into the world of show business.
But despite her desperate ambition to be famous, Minako still takes her role as a Sailor Guardian very seriously.
As Sailor Venus, the Guardian of Love and Beauty, she harnesses the power of gold and light to attack her enemies.
Even in her civilian form, Minako bears a striking resemblance to Usagi, and she uses their almost identical looks to act as a decoy for Sailor Moon, protecting her from attack.
But it’s not just Usagi she can emulate. Using her special compact, Sailor Venus can disguise herself in any form she wishes, simply by uttering “Crescent Moon Power, Transform!”
“I am the Keeper of the Door of Space and Time. I am Sailor Pluto. Guardian of the Underworld.”
Sailor Pluto’s introduction catchphrase:
Sailor Pluto’s civilian identity is Setsuna Meiou, but unlike the rest of the Sailor Guardians, she didn’t begin her life on Earth.
Long before she assumed her human form, Sailor Pluto was bound by duty to guard the Space-Time Door, ensuring that no unauthorized travelers passed through.
It was a lonely role, and she wasn’t permitted to leave her post for millennia. But eventually, she is freed from her duty and allowed to come to Earth, where she takes on her civilian identity as Setsuna Meiou.
Unlike her middle school and high school friends, Setsuna attends university. But despite being the oldest of all of the Sailor Guardians, she’s not a natural leader and often looks to Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune for guidance.
Her years of isolation guarding the Space-Time Door left her stern and pensive. But beneath her stony exterior, she has a softer, caring side to her personality, and she’s always willing to help out her fellow Sailor Guardians, even in the most dangerous situations.
To assume her superheroine identity, Setsuna wields a magical Garnet Rod while calling out the phrase “Pluto Planet Power, Make Up!”
And while she claims no extraordinary abilities in her civilian form, as Sailor Pluto, she possesses the powers of space, darkness, and the underworld and can stop the flow of time at will.
Tuxedo Mask isn’t a Sailor Guardian, but he often works alongside them as a close friend and ally.
His civilian identity is a teenage boy named Mamoru Chiba, who also happens to be Usagi’s boyfriend.
Mamoru is a true gentleman with a friendly disposition and a genuine desire to help others.
But despite his good nature, he had a tough start in life. When he was just six years old, both of his parents were tragically killed in a car accident, and all of his memories from before that day were erased.
But in the years that followed, he had a recurring dream about a mysterious girl who spoke of a strange object called the Silver Crystal, a premonition of what was to come.
Mamoru hopes that by finding the Silver Crystal, his memories of his earlier life will be restored. And so, he creates an alter ego, Tuxedo Mask, and joins the Sailor Guardians on their mission to track it down.
While concealing his identity with his iconic mask, he uses his powers of psychometry and healing to help the girls in their epic battles to protect the galaxy. And all the while, he’s head over heels for Usagi, Sailor Moon, the girl from his dream.
Together, the pair share a psychic connection. Even when they’re apart, Mamoru can sense when Usagi is in trouble and immediately rushes to be by her side and protect her from harm.
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Queen Beryl is the villainous leader of the Dark Kingdom and the very first evil force to come up against the Sailor Guardians.
But she wasn’t always evil. Long before assembling the Dark Kingdom, Beryl was an Earth sorceress who longed for the love of Prince Endymion.
But jealousy turned her heart into stone, and eventually, she was corrupted by the evil Queen Metalia, who used her in her mission to steal the Silver Crystal and take over planet Earth.
As the founder of the Dark Kingdom, Beryl assembles an army of brainwashed reincarnated souls from the Golden Kingdom of Earth, enlisting them to destroy the world from which they came.
Her one and only goal is to find the Silver Crystal and take control of the Earth, alongside her unrequited love, Prince Endymion. But ultimately, she proves no match for the Sailor Guardians, and she’s pulverized into dust before her mission is complete.
With so many fascinating characters in Naoko Takeuchi’s epic Sailor Moon manga, it’s impossible to list them all in one post. But I hope you agree that the characters above are some of the most beloved, iconic, and interesting of them all.
Who is your favorite Sailor Moon character? Let me know in the comments below!