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. 11-12, 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 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.
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 Stars Arc. The series draws extensively from Classical mythologies, as well as fairytales and other folktales.
Stars Arc (Volume 11, Volume 12):
As Mamoru is farewelling Usagi at the airport to study abroad, his body disappears in a flash and a woman in gold steals his soul. Usagi faints, but is caught by a boy named Kou Seiya—who happens to be the lead singer of Japan’s most popular idol group (a boyband) called The Three Lights. Usagi awakens, disoriented, and goes home. The next day, she believes Mamoru got safely onto his plane to America; and Chibiusa returns home to the 30th Century. When an evil Sailor Soldier (known as a Sailor Animamate) attacks them at a school music concert, Usagi and her Sailor Soldiers are shocked when a trio of shadowy figures appear, destroy the enemy, and leave. A mysterious young girl moves into Usagi’s house, and everyone calls her ChibiChibi, believing her to be Usagi’s second daughter from the future. The Three Lights transfer to Usagi’s school, and Usagi gets to know Seiya, though she has no memory of fainting in his arms at the airport.
Gradually, in pairs, all of the Sailor Soldiers are defeated by either a Sailor Animamate, or the unknown golden-clad woman, until only Usagi remains. The three shadowy figures reveal themselves to be a trio of protectors from outside the milky way known as the Sailor Starlights: Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Maker, and Sailor Star Healer. Usagi’s repressed memories of Mamoru’s death finally return, and despite the initial hesitance of her former friends, she allies with the Sailor Starlights. The Sailor Starlights reveal their kingdom was destroyed by the golden-clad woman, Sailor Galaxia, and they were searching for their Princess Kakyuu on earth using the disguise of a boyband. An incense burner that ChibiChibi has been obsessively protecting is revealed as the place where Princess Kakyuu was hiding. Together, they all pursue Sailor Galaxia at her hideout: Sagittarius Zero Star.
As they make their journey, they encounter Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne, who vanquish the cats Luna, Artemis, and Diana. In the 30th Century, a concerned Chibiusa secretly transforms, and travels to the past with her Sailor Quartet to help Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon finally befriends Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne, they are defeated by Sailor Chi and Sailor Phi, who also destroy the Sailor Starlights. Sailor Moon, Princess Kakyuu, and Sailor ChibiChibi encounter Sailor Heavy Metal Papillion, who nearly destroys them; however, Sailor Chibimoon and her Amazoness Quartet arrive and defeat her first. Princess Kakyuu transforms into Sailor Kakyuu to continue their battle, and destroys Sailor Phi, but is defeated by Sailor Chi, who in turn is defeated by Sailor Moon.
At the entrance to Sailor Galaxia’s castle, Sailor Moon sees her friends and Mamoru reanimated with evil magic, and they try to kill her. After a painful battle, Sailor Moon destroys the reanimations, and tries to reclaim their souls so they can be truly brought back to life. However, Sailor Galaxia steals them first. She reveals she targeted Sailor Moon to incite her to release the power of her Illusionary Silver Crystal, for Sailor Galaxia to steal. Sailor Galaxia says she was born poor and weak, and wants to vanquish Chaos, the source of all evil, to create a perfect universe that she will rule with only the strongest Sailor Soldiers. Sailor Galaxia tosses the reanimated Mamoru into the Galaxy Cauldron, the source of all life, and Chibiusa vanishes. Chaos speaks from within the Cauldron, saying it hungers for Sailor Moon’s power.
ChibiChibi suddenly speaks at last, telling Sailor Moon to destroy the Cauldron. This will permanently remove Chaos and all evil from the universe, but it will also prevent any other souls from being born, eventually causing the end of all life. Sailor Moon refuses, insisting that the beauty of life is worth all the hardships and evils one must endure, and a weakened Sailor Galaxia finally dies, inspired by her words. ChibiChibi changes form into a woman who looks identical to Sailor Moon; but before Sailor Moon can react, Chaos attacks. Sailor Moon descends into the Cauldron, stating she finally understands her enemies were just as lonely as she once was, before she met her friends. She releases all her power inside the Cauldron and defeats Chaos. She speaks to Sailor Cosmos, the true form of ChibiChibi, who says she came from a future devastated by war and intended to wipe out all evil; however, now she is inspired by Sailor Moon to return to it and keep fighting. Sailor Moon also speaks to a small fairy-like creature who calls itself Guardian Chaos, who assures her Chaos and evil can never truly be eliminated.
Guardian Chaos offers Sailor Moon the chance to be reborn into a new life, or return with her friends to her current life and continue fighting. Usagi chooses her current life, and all her loved ones are truly restored to life. Chibiusa promises Usagi she’ll be waiting for her in the 30th Century. Many years into the future, Usagi and Mamoru are married, surrounded by all her friends.
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.
As with the first arc of the series, the final Stars Arc draws particularly heavily on Greek mythology. Sailor Moon and her remaining allies journey toward Sagittarius Zero Star, a location named after the real life Sagittarius A*, which scientists believe to be the heart and origin of the Milky Way galaxy. Together, they encounter Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne, the Guardians of Truth and Memory respectively, who reside at the Desert River of Memory. Their names and home are a reference to the rivers Lethe (meaning “oblivion”) and Mnemosyne (“memory”) from Hades in Greek mythology. Sailor Lethe is most aggressive to Sailor Moon and her allies, while Sailor Mnemosyne inadvertently restores Sailor Moon’s lost memories of who she is; and thus, the characters’ actions reflect the powers of forgetting and restoring memories that their namesakes had. The Star Gardeners Sailor Chi and Sailor Phi, who Sailor Moon subsequently encounters, take their names from the Greek letters Chi (χ) and Phi (φ). When they first appear, their staffs used for fighting are crossed to form the symbol of Chi, suggesting that their use of these weapons is inspired by the harsh diagonal and vertical lines in each symbol.
Sailor Moon’s ultimate enemy is revealed to be Chaos, referencing the Greek myth of Chaos as the dark primordial origin of all living things, and the gap between the heavens and earth. Sailor Moon’s final remaining ally is Sailor Cosmos, which references the ancient Greek concept of the cosmos as the ordered system of the universe and the direct opposite to Chaos. After Sailor Moon defeats Chaos, by embracing all the horrors and hopes the universe has, Sailor Cosmos describes her as the “new Sailor Cosmos”, and expresses her desire to be as brave as Sailor Moon was in that moment. Thus, Sailor Moon, the princess of the Moon Kingdom and future queen of the earth, symbolically destroys the gap between heaven and earth in the form of Chaos, and unifies the two planes of existence to create a future for all.
Fujimoto, Yukari, “Sailor Moon! The Treasure Box All Girls Want” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015, 32-39.
Nozomi, Masuda, “Shojo Manga and Its Acceptance: What is the Power of Shojo Manga?” in International Perspectives on Shojo Manga, ed. Masami Toku. 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 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.