5 Reasons Why Sailor Moon is Popular

The five Sailor Scouts.
Credit: Toei Animation

The five Sailor Scouts.
Credit: Toei Animation

The original Sailor Moon anime episode ended before the turn of the century, yet to this day, it remains one of the most-loved and influential anime.

In this article, I'm listing down 5 reasons why Sailor Moon is so popular, even decades after its release.

Sailor Moon is Inclusive

Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune
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Sailor Moon was way ahead of its time.

The anime came out in the 90s, when the world was visibly and relatively less accepting of the LGBT. But that didn't seem to be a problem for the creators, as the series features a lesbian relationship between Haruka and Michiru, or Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, respectively. Not that homosexual relationships are inherently different that they have to be taken a certain way, but LGBT rights back then really weren't as respected as they are now.

Related: The Strongest Female Anime Characters of All Time

Sailor Moon isn't Only for Girls

Sailor Uranus fighting a Germatoid puppet
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Sailor Moon was groundbreaking.

Though it very effectively made use of the Magical Girl trope in anime, it also had action scenes that were so good they also appealed to male watchers—much like the original Powerpuff Girls series did.

In my opinion, Sailor Moon was able to expertly put the best of the shoujo and shounen genres together.

Sailor Moon had Elite Aesthetics

Chibiusa and Usagi.
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This goes without saying, but Sailor Moon's visuals were stunning, especially for its time. The color palettes used were soothing and dreamy, even in the masterfully executed fight scenes. The dazzling aesthetics, which were paired with top-tier animation, were consistently kept throughout the whole series' run too!

The picture that the anime gave of 90s Japan is especially well-received today, when nostalgia is one of the most explored themes in almost all things—from music to fashion, and everything in between.

The girls look absolutely gorgeous in their transformed states, but even their daily outfits are to die for, further proof that the creators' eye for art spans generations.

Sailor Moon Characters are Lovable

The five main Sailor Scouts in speech bubbles.
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Sailor Moon is one of those rare anime where none of the characters are hard to love. The anime's titular character, Usagi, is a realistic heroine (minus all the magical elements), in that she starts off as a very average, kind of selfish, and clumsy high schooler who sees a commendable growth in personality and character as the series goes. Her character resonates with not just the fans from when the anime was still airing, but also with the young people of today.

Usagi's friendship with the other girls is enviable because it best exemplifies the good things in women cliques. For example, the series shows how the girls can have disagreements from time to time but then make up because their bond is stronger than what caused the rift. The girls' friendship doesn't get in the way of them having their own individual personalities, and I think that's the best thing about the show.

Related: 12 Best Anime Waifus of All Time

Sailor Moon Worked Great as a Gateway Anime

Headshots of the five main Sailor Scouts.
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Many remember Sailor Moon as the show that got them into the world of anime. While that doesn't necessarily point to what makes it so great, it certainly proves that there was something about the anime that made watchers want to see more of this style of art and storytelling.

It may be because Usagi and the other girls came into people's view at a significant wave of feminism, with an image that was far from the typical female lead, virtually catching the attention of people whom society deemed as outcasts and eccentrics. Whatever specific reason there may be, it's clear that Sailor Moon was refreshingly different, which is why even the West loved it.

Sailor Moon's popularity hasn't died down and it doesn't look like it will anytime soon. Its reach goes for generations, as highlighted by the 2020 #SailorMoonRedraw Challenge, where modern artists shared their takes on an iconic Sailor Moon still. If you ask me, I'm all for it!

Looking for other anime with great and strong female leads? Check out this list!

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