The most popular magical girl series ever (in or
out of Japan). Based on the manga by Naoko Takeuchi; produced
by Bandai in Japan and subbed by DIC for U.S. distribution.
The first magical girl series in which the main character gets bad
grades and starts out rather incompetent; before then, the
heroine of any manga/anime series would rarely (if ever) be
shown to be bad at school, and most magical girls start out
unexperienced yet competent. Also, the first magical girl series
with a team of magical girls, instead of the usual lone magical
Since Quizro did a good writeup of the story in this node, and
Phoebe Caulfield did a great one in the Pretty Soldier Sailor
Moon, I'll detail some of the differences between the Japanese
and North American versions. Everyone who's seen the fansubbed
version considers to original to be much superior to the dubbed
version, and some people still pass around the fansub version,
since it's considered to be so different from the dubbed version
(people usually stop distributing a fansub once the North American
rights have been bought).
First, the title. The Japanese title is "Bishoujo Senshi
Sailor Moon", which literally translates as "Beautiful Girl
Warrior Sailor Moon". However, DIC has translated this as "Pretty
Soldier Sailor Moon" (which would be "Kirei Heishi Sailor Moon" in
Japanese). What's more, the characters were originally referred
to as "Sailor Senshi" (Sailor Warriors), but in the dub are
referred to as "Sailor Scouts". Warrior to soldier to scout...
I guess DIC thought that, girls being non-violent, soldier would
be better than warrior, and scout better than soldier, but it
didn't seem to bother the girls in Japan...
Next, the character names. The Japanese names are listed family
name first, given name second, the reverse of how they are listed
in English (since they're already noded this way).
Identity Japanese Name DIC names
-------------- ------------- ---------
Sailor Moon Tsukino Usagi Serena
Tuxedo Mask Chiba Mamoru Darien
Sailor Mercury Mizuno Ami Amy
Sailor Mars Hino Rei Raye
Sailor Jupiter Kino Makoto Lita
Sailor Venus Aino Minako Mina
Sailor Pluto Meiou Setsuna Trista
Sailor Uranus Ten'ou Haruka Amara
Sailor Neptune Michiru Kaiou Michelle
Sailor Saturn Tomoe Hotaru Hotaru
Sailor Mini-Moon Chibi-Usa Rini
"Rei" and "Raye" are pronounced the same. "Ami" and "Amy" are
almost the same, but "Ami" is pronounced "ah-me", not "A-me";
"Amy" would be rendered a "Eimi" in Romanji. Chibi-Usa's real
name is Usagi, but to avoid confusion she's called Chibi-Usa
(Little Usagi); she is sometimes called "Little Lady" in the North
American version. "Chibi" has nothing to do with "Chiba".
Next, some changes that were made due to censorship/marketing:
The villains Zoisite and Kunzite (Malachite) were originally
gay. DIC turned Zoisite into a rather flat-chested woman.
Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were lovers in the original,
but changed to cousins in the dub.
The original transformation sequences show some exposed breasts
and lots of bare skin. In the dub, the breasts shots are
removed, and for bare skin the body lines are removed but the
shots left in, or it's removed entirely.
Panty shots and other straight-male oriented fan service are
In the original series, all the Sailor Scouts are killed, and
then revived. In the dub, the killing is edited out.
Miscellaneous violence is edited out: characters being slapped,
Rini being spanked, Serena being strangled by a monster, and such.
All music, except for the opening sequence music, is changed.
The opening and ending sequences are changed.
All the dialog is rewritten, rather than being translated.
The "Sailor Says" bit tacked onto the end of each episode. FCC
regulation 96-335 requires that TV stations broadcast three
hours of educational material a week; evidently, tacking a moral
onto the end of a cartoon is enough to trick the FCC into
believing that's it's educational.
Zirconia was changed from a woman to a man, for apparently no
Some scenes are rearranged, and some episodes are removed
My main source is the Sailor Moon FAQ, by Ken Arromdee,
available at http://www.rahul.net/arromdee