Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.
Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1–18, vol. 8–10, Kodansha Comics, 1993–1997.
Sailormoon-official.com (accessed: January 20, 2022).
1993 – Kodansha Manga Award – Shōjo Category.
Comics (Graphic works)
Shōjo Manga / Girls' Manga*
Crossover (Teenage Girls, Young Adults)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel A. Nkemleke, University of Yaoundé 1, email@example.com
Naoko Takeuchi (Author, Illustrator)
Naoko Takeuchi is the creator of numerous successful manga series for teenage girls; most notably the globally-renowned Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon and its prequel series, Codename: Sailor V. As a manga artist, she both authors and illustrates all her works. She has won numerous awards, and Sailor Moon is considered the archetype of the “magical girl” character and genre. Nonetheless, Takeuchi has frequently discussed the publisher and editorial interference in the Sailor Moon manga, and criticised the 1990s anime adaptation for having “a slight male perspective” due to the mostly-male creator team, compared to her manga which was “written by a girl (me) for girls…” (quoted in MTV). She originally trained to be a licensed pharmacist at Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Takeuchi is also a songwriter under the pen name “Sumire Shirobara”, and has written many songs to accompany various Sailor Moon adaptations.
Sailor Moon official website (accessed: July 26, 2021);
AnimeNewsNetwork (accessed: July 26, 2021);
Alverson, Brigid, Sailor Moon 101: Pretty, Powerful, and Pure of Heart available at MTV.com (accessed: July 26, 2021).
Bio prepared by Emily Booth, University of Technology, Sydney, Emily.Booth@uts.edu.au
According to the publisher's website the versions of the manga that are currently in print are available in Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Thai, and Portuguese.
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Sailor Moon Volume 1: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 2: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 244 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 3: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 3, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 4: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 4, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 5: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 5, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 256 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 6: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 6, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 7: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 7, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 240 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 11: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 11, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 12: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 12, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 280 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 13: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 1, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 200 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 14: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 2, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 208 pp.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon follows 14-year-old Usagi Tsukino, a klutz and crybaby who receives the power to transform into a magical warrior named Sailor Moon, Soldier of Love and Justice. Transforming not only changes her clothes, but grants her access to supernatural powers to fight enemies. The story is set in Tokyo, Japan. There are five primary arcs to the series, plus several short stories that accompany the core narrative. The arcs reflect the primary antagonists and themes the protagonists face in those chapters. The five story arcs are: The Dark Kingdom Arc, The Black Moon Arc, The Infinity Arc, The Dream Arc, and The Stars Arc. This entry focuses on the Dream Arc. The series draws extensively from Classical mythologies, as well as fairytales and other folktales.
Dream Arc (Volume 8, Volume 9, Volume 10):
During a solar eclipse, a flying ship emerges from the sun claiming the Dead Moon Circus has arrived; and Usagi and Chibiusa see a Pegasus. That night, as the enemies Zirconia and the Amazoness Quartet create a barrier sealing all of Tokyo in an enchanted dome, Chibiusa is visited by Pegasus who begs for her help to save “Elysion”. The next day, Mamoru is hospitalised due to strange pains in his chest, and the Dead Moon Circus launches multiple attacks—and some circus-like pranks—on the Sailor Soldiers. Usagi and Chibiusa are targeted first, followed by Ami, Rei, and Makoto, whose power is increased as they defeat the creatures sent to destroy them. Minako knowingly walks into a trap alone, aiming to build her powers, however she is unable to fight back. Meanwhile, Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna have been raising Hotaru, who has rapidly grown into a young girl. That night, Sailor Saturn appears to Hotaru in her dreams, restores her old memories, and ages Hotaru up to her former age. Hotaru informs Michiru, Haruka, and Setsuna that it is time for them to return and fight alongside Sailor Moon. Back in Tokyo, Minako is finally able to free herself from the trap, unlock her powers with Artemis’ help, and defeat those enemies.
Despite having caught the same illness as Mamoru, Usagi battles Zirconia along with the other Sailor Soldiers. Sailor Saturn arrives and confronts the Amazoness Quartet, revealing they are being controlled by Zirconia and her mistress Nehellenia; but when they disavow the Dead Moon Circus, Zirconia captures the Quartet, Sailor Saturn, and Sailor Chibimoon. Usagi and Mamoru are rescued by Pegasus, and awaken in Elysion, once the capital of the Golden Kingdom of Earth, which is located deep in the heart of the planet. They speak to Pegasus in his humanoid form, as the priest Helios, and learn of the threat posed to earth. After another battle on the earth’s surface, the Sailor Soldiers board the Dead Moon Circus’ ship to confront Nehellenia.
On the ship, Nehellenia reveals the origin of her grudge against Sailor Moon and the Sailor Soldiers. It began because she was not invited to the birth of Princess Serenity in the Silver Millenium. In her offense, she had cursed the princess to not live to ascend to the throne—a curse that ultimately came true when the Moon Kingdom fell. Queen Serenity had sealed Nehellenia away into a mirror in return. As the Sailor Soldiers channel their power from their past lives, they create the Holy Moon Chalice; and drinking from this allows Usagi to evolve into Eternal Sailor Moon. She banishes Nehellenia and heals the earth. She also purifies the stones the Amazoness Quartet were trapped in, and it is revealed that when Chibiusa becomes a true sailor soldier in the 30th Century, they will awaken to fight by her side as her Sailor Soldiers. Helios thanks them for saving Elysion.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon draws on Greek and Roman mythology, Japanese folklore and traditions, and fairytales to establish its worldbuilding. The series has a strong focus on the theme that peace and happiness are always worth fighting for, even though they can never be permanent, because hardship is part of human existence.
The Dream Arc provides further revelations about the characters’ pasts, triggered by the attacks of Queen Nehellenia and the Dead Moon Circus, which deepen the worldbuilding. During the past and the time of the Moon Kingdom, the capital of the Golden Kingdom of Earth was Elysion, located at the heart of the planet. “Elysion” itself is phonetically similar to both the word “illusion”, and Elysium or the Elysian Fields from Greek mythology, the home of those destined for a happy afterlife. However, it is not associated with death within the series, but rather sanctuary. The architecture in Elysion is similar to that of the Moon Kingdom, in that it resembles structures like the Parthenon. However, in the present, Elysion has fallen into disrepair, due to time and the attacks of the Dead Moon Circus. At the conclusion of the Dream Arc, Elysion is restored to its former glory. Elysion’s priest is a man young in appearance, but actually many thousands of years old, named Helios. His name references the personification of the sun in Greek myths. He can take the form of a white Pegasus with a horn like a unicorn as needed. In his human form, the horn remains on his forehead, and he is depicted in all white. Helios tends to the shrine in Elysion along with two unnamed shrine maidens he calls Maenads. In Greek myths, Maenads were followers of the God of wine, Dionysus and were known for frenzied, wild behaviour. However, when introduced, the Maenads in the series are frozen in crystals due to the attacks on Elysion. They are depicted with long flowing hair and dresses, and appear tranquil while frozen, suggesting a very different characterisation from the Greek myth.
During a flashback in the Dream Arc, it is revealed that the Moon Kingdom’s fall, explored initially in the Dark Kingdom Arc, was actually brought about by a curse from Queen Nehellenia. She is a dark magic user who was not invited to the birth of Princess Serenity – a premise which echoes that of the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, in which the 13th fairy uninvited to the princess’s birthday cursed her to die before adulthood, but the good fairies altered the curse to cause her to fall asleep. Similarly, Princess Serenity was cursed to never ascend to the throne. In the Silver Millennium, it was the brainwashed people of the Golden Kingdom of Earth who attacked the Moon Kingdom, causing the deaths of Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity and the kingdom’s fall. The myth of Selene and Endymion (discussed in the Dark Kingdom Arc entry) is therefore integrated with this fairytale and the myth of the Elysian Fields, deepening the worldbuilding by drawing on multiple stories.
Fujimoto, Yukari, “Sailor Moon! The Treasure Box All Girls Want” in Masami Toku, ed., International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 32–39.
Nozomi, Masuda, “Shojo Manga and Its Acceptance: What is the Power of Shojo Manga?” in Masami Toku, ed., International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, Routledge, New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 23–31.
Originally serialised in Nakayoshi Magazine: December 28, 1991 – February 3, 1997.
First Japanese compilation of 18 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1–18, Kodansha Comics, 1993–1997.
Second Japanese compilation of 12 volumes: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Volumes 1–12, Kodansha Comics, 2003–2004.
Third Japanese compilation: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volumes 1–10, Kodansha Comics, 2013–2014.
Editions used for entry:
Sailor Moon Volume 8: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 8, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 232 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 9: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 9, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 264 pp.
Sailor Moon Volume 10: Naoko Takeuchi, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 10, Kodansha Comics, 2014, 248 pp.