From Virtual Japan
Sailor Moon (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) is an extremely popular Japanese Animation that was, in part, responsible for making anime popular in the United States. The series started out as a manga written by Naoko Takeuchi and was developed into an anime in 1992. The series has gone through five different story lines, each intertwined with the other, and is comprised of funny characters and story lines.
Sailor Moon is an anime set in modern times that stars five girls, each with separate magical abilities. The name "sailor" comes from the traditional Japanese school girl uniform, which resembles a sailor outfit. Each girl is named for a different astrological sign and is capable of doing different things.
- Serena (Usagi Tsukino) is the main character of Sailor Moon. It is she that transforms into the actual Sailor Moon, and is, more or less, the leader of the girls. In the beginning of the series, she starts out fairly immature, but as the shows progress she matures and learns to respect her powers.
- Amy (Ami Mizuno) transforms into Sailor Mercury. She is granted the power over water and is a very shy, very intelligent girl. She tends to be the voice of reason in the group and is very knowledgeable due to her constant reading.
- Raye (Rei Hino) is actually a Shintō priestess and has some minor powers as a human. She tends to be fairly serious and is able to change into Sailor Mars. In her changed form, she has the ability to manipulate fire.
- Lita (Makoto Kino) is able to control both lightening and some plant life when she turns into Sailor Jupiter. Due to her parents’ death, she takes care of herself and has become a very strong individual.
- Mina (Minako Aino) transforms into Sailor Venus. Mina had her own series as Sailor V, before Sailor Moon came to be. She is also called the “Soldier of Love” and is one of the four inner guardians of Sailor Moon.
- Darien (Mamoru Chiba) is also a very important character in Sailor Moon. Due to an accident before the series begins, he suffers from amnesia. He is able to see into the future, mostly in his dreams, and creates the alter-ego known as Tuxedo Mask. Darien uses this character to help Sailor Moon and, eventually, he and Serena recall their past lives and fall in love.
The girls discover that they each have a hidden power when a talking cat, named Luna, finds Serena and explains about the evil that is coming to destroy her world. Luna helps Serena awaken her powers, and Serena, in turn, helps her friends to awaken theirs. Together the five girls fight evil in order to save their world.
The series came to the United States and hooked young girls everywhere. It paved the way for animes to enter the television sets of American children, which they did, in force. Since Sailor Moon, literally dozens of Japanese animes have entered and left American cartoon networks, but Sailor Moon remains the one that started it all.