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Sailor Moon (also known as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon) is a Japanese manga series created by Naoko Takeuchi and published by Kodansha. Since its original creation, the series has garnered a notable fan-following online, especially for its anime adaptation, spawning many fan works.
The story centers around Usagi Tsukino, a klutzy school girl revealed to be the titular character Sailor Moon whose mission is to combat the Dark Kingdom while at the same time search for the lost Moon Princess. During her adventures, she is joined by other Sailor Warriors: Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury an isolated intellect, Rei Hino/Sailor Mars a miko with psychic powers, Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter who is kind hearted and strong, and Minako Aino/Sailor Venus. Usagi is also protected by Tuxedo Kamen, who is really Mamoru Chiba, and is also looking for the Moon Princess.
The original Sailor Moon manga, written by Naoko Takeuchi, was first published by Kodansha Comics in February 1992, and lasted until March 1997, spanning a total of 30 volumes. The manga first appeared in the magazine Nakayoshi, with the series’ side-stories appearing in sister magazine RunRun. The series has also received a number of anime adaptations over the years, all produced by Toei Animation. The original Sailor Moon anime ran from March 7th, 1992 and February 27th, 1993, airing 46 episodes. This was then followed by Sailor Moon R which aired 43 episodes from March 6th, 1993 through March 12th, 1994. Sailor Moon S aired 38 episodes between March 19th, 1994 and February 25th, 1995, Sailor Moon Super S aired 39 episodes between March 4th, 1995 and March 2nd, 1996, and finally Sailor Moon Sailor Stars aired 34 episodes between March 9th, 1996 and February 8th, 1997. All the Sailor Moon series, with the exception of the final series, were broadcast in the US on Cartoon Network and dubbed by DIC Entertainment. A remake series, titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal is set to air on July 5th, 2014, and last 26 episode, which are planned to be released biweekly over the course of a year. The series is set to be released on Niconico and Crunchyroll, and will receive an english dub in late 2014.
Both the manga and anime are ranked very highly among fans, with the anime one of the most requested to be relicensed back in the West. The first dub has gained criticism over the years for its voice acting in and the changes it made to some of the original story lines. The largest criticism for the dub was its removal of homosexual content, notably making Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune cousins instead of love interests. Fans have praised the dub’s music, however, with some believing the soundtrack is better than the music featured in the original Japanese release.
As of June 2014, Sailor Moon’s Facebook page has gained over 660,000 likes. The first eight episodes of the show are available to stream through Hulu. Fans can also access episode guides and character sketches on the Wikia page for the show.
Fan sites dedicated to Sailor Moon include Club Sailor Moon, Sailor System and Moon Sisters. There are also numerous fan-run Sailor Moon Tumblr blogs including oshiokiyo, eternal-sailormoon and foreversailormoon. Fans on Tumblr tag their content Sailor Moon and Usagi+Tsukino (Sailor Moon’s real name). As of June 2014, there are over 31,000 Sailor Moon fan fictions on Fanfiction.net and 350,000 pieces of FanArt on DeviantArt tagged Sailor Moon. Fans also gather to discuss the show on the Reddit thread, which has over 5,000 subscribers as of June 2014.
Moon Scouts Reimagined
Much like the Disney princesses, Sailor Moon’s Sailor Scouts are often reimagined by fan artists as different genders, races, or styles, and these alternate versions are often covered by major websites. On April 14th, 2014, Kotaku published a round-up titled “Somehow, Sailor Moon Characters As The Avengers Works,” (below, left) and on May 23rd, 2014, Buzzfeed posted a round-up titled "Here’s What The Cast Of “Sailor Moon” Would Look Like As Carefree Black Girls" (below, center) On May 29th, 2014, HitFix published a round-up titled “21 Iconic Disney Heroines As Flawless Sailor Moon Characters” (below, right).
Talent refers to a scene in the dub in which the girls fight over who should play Snow White in an upcoming play, with Lita (Makoto’s dub name) saying she should play her because she has the most talent among the girls. In the original Japanese version Makoto says she should play Snow White because she has the biggest breasts, with a visual emphasis on her chest. Because there was little editing in the dub, fans started to use “Talent” to describe Makoto’s chest or any character’s large breasts.