Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
Episodes 1-46 of 200
NOTE: Japanese names will appear first, followed by English translations.
The season begins with the introduction of Usagi Tsukino (Serena or Bunny; her name means "rabbit of the moon", roughly translated), the one with the distinctive spaghetti-and-meatball style "odango" hairdo. Usagi meets the talking cat Luna in the first episode, and her secret past identity as a "pretty soldier of love and justice" is revealed to her. Luna gives her a transformation locket that shortens the hem of her school uniform by a good eight inches and increases her physical strength. Luna also gives her a magical pen which enables her to disguise herself in various ways (flight attendant, high-powered buisnesswoman, princess, etc.) and the crescent moon wand, which sends a somehow-deadly set of pretty sparkles at her foes. Her tiara is also used as a kind of deadly boomerang-thing.
After she becomes Sailor Moon, Usagi fights a series of enemies from the Dark Kingdom (Negaverse) led by Queen Beryl and her four generals. In addition to holding off the forces of the Dark Kingdom, Usagi must find and protect the Moon Princess, although she really has no idea how to find her. Meanwhile, she has several chance encounters with an older boy named Mamoru Chiba (Darien), who basically makes fun of her hair and calls her stupid.
As she fights against Queen Beryl’s various busty hench-women, Sailor Moon is often rescued in the nick of time by Tuxedo Mask, who usually makes a dramatic entrance by flinging a red rose at the enemy and making some kind of strange speech. Usagi becomes quite infatuated with Tuxedo Mask, but has no idea as to who he really is or why he protects her. Later on, we find out that Tuxedo Mask himself is unsure as to why he protects her, but he is compelled by dreams he has of a beautiful girl in peril. Still later we find out that Usagi’s “friend” Mamoru is actually Tuxedo Mask.
Within the first couple of episodes Usagi meets Ami Mizuno (Amy), the blue-haired school genius, who is revealed to be Sailor Mercury. Luna gives Mercury a transformation pen, and her attacks generally revolve around water. She's the weakest of the scouts, but she makes up for it in various episodes with crafty computer skills and such.
The next soldier to join is Sailor Mars, Rei Hino (Raye). She lives in Sendai temple as a priestess with her grandfather and assists in maintaining the site. Her powers originate from fire (her Japanese surname Hino means "of fire"). She and Usagi argue quite a bit, usually over boys; Usagi gets especially jealous when Rei and Mamoru go out on a few casual dates.
After quite a few episodes with Moon, Mercury and Mars fighting without anyone else, they meet Makoto Kino (Lita), a tall, scrappy brunette (who is so buff she has to have her school outfit custom made, supposedly). Although Mako intimidates everyone else at her new school, Usagi befriends her (but in the beginning it is just to eat her lunch), and she is later revealed to be Sailor Jupiter. Her element of destruction is thunder; her outfit is green and pink. She is, by far, the strongest of the Sailor Team.
A long stretch of episodes carry the four girls near the conclusion of the first season, when in battle they encounter the celebrity superhero Sailor V. (Sailor V was actually a manga series by the same author which preceeded Sailor Moon, it's generally thought of as the prototype to the Sailor Moon stories). Sailor V bears an uncanny resemblence to Sailor Moon and she too has a talking cat, Artemis. It is later revealed that Sailor V is actually Sailor Venus, AKA Minako Aino (Mina). She fights with the power of love (hence her last name, "Aino", which means "of love"). Minako and Usagi become very close friends; united by mutual boycraziness and poor performance in school.
After the five “Inner Scouts” are united, Luna and Artemis insist that the search for the Moon Princess intensifies. Meanwhile, the minions of the Dark Kingdom have taken to killing people looking to see if they possess one of seven “rainbow crystals”, which when united form the Silver Crystal, a source of immense power. Sailor Moon’s loyalty to Tuxedo Mask wavers when she discovers that he too is after the mysterious crystals.
Eventually, one of Queen Beryl’s generals tricks Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru into meeting him. Usagi tags along with Mamoru, in spite of the fact that he insists that she go away. As they talk on the way to the meeting, Usagi comes to dislike him less, especially since he reveals to her that he was orphaned at a young age and has very few memories of his past.
Anyway, the bad guy tricks Mamoru and steals his rainbow crystals and Mamoru is forced to transform into Tuxedo Mask in front of Usagi. Mamoru gets his ass handed to him and Usagi is forced to become Sailor Moon and fight. Each is inexplicably suprised to find out the other’s secret identity. The enemy attempts to stab Sailor Moon in the heart, but Tuxedo Mask springs from the ground to take the blow. He crumples to the ground just as Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter arrive on the scene. They find Sailor Moon crying hysterically, and suddenly the seven rainbow crystals fly out of the enemy’s hand over to Sailor Moon, where in a flash of light they amalgamate into the Silver Crystal which affixes itself onto Usagi’s crescent moon wand.
Another flash of light and suddenly Usagi appears in a flowing white gown, kills the bad guy with a mere whisper, and pleads with Mamoru not to die. Usagi then remembers her past life as the Moon Princess, Serenity, 1,000 years before, when she and Prince Endymion from Earth were lovers (Naturally, Mamoru is Prince Endymion). Usagi remembers a bit of a memory in which Endymion goes to fight Queen Beryl, but before she can recall anything else, Beryl abducts the nearly dead Mamoru and Usagi faints, her clothes reverting to normal.
In the next few episodes, the events of 1,000 years before are slowly revealed. Basically, the solar system was ruled in peace by Queen Serenity, Usagi/Sailor Moon/Princess Serenity’s mother. This time was known as the Silver Millenium. The Moon Kingdom comes under attack by the Dark Kingdom, the palace and the sailor soldiers (Princess Serenity’s ladies-in-waiting) are destroyed, and Beryl slays the Prince and Princess. Queen Serenity gives her life, by using the force of the Silver Crystal, in order to banish Queen Beryl and her Dark Kingdom to another dimention and to send the souls of the Prince, Princess, and the Sailor Soldiers to a new future on Earth.
The manga differs a bit from the anime here. In the manga, Princess Serenity’s mother has little involvement with anything except banishing Beryl out of the dimension (just how this is accomplished I have no clue). Prince Endymion tries to kill Beryl and is slain in front of Princess Serenity; she stabs herself in the stomach and dies with him. Basically, the death of the young lovers is a lot more violent and blatantly reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet in the manga.
Anyway, back in the present tense of the plot, Queen Beryl has brainwashed Mamoru and repeatedly sends him to kill Sailor Moon and steal her Silver Crystal. Sailor Moon almost un-brainwashes him with various declarations of undying love on several occasions it never really does the job. It is then revealed that the reason Beryl wants the Silver Crystal is because it’s power is the only thing that can destroy her. She also lusts after Mamoru/Endymion for herself.
In the conclusion of the story, the Sailor Soldiers enter the Dark Kingdom (oddly enough, though a video arcade). Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus are all brutally killed by Metallia as they get separated on the way to Beryl’s lair (In the US edit, they aren’t killed, but captured). Usagi faces Beryl alone, and is forced to watch Beryl kill her beloved Prince Endymion (this part is really mangled in the US version, but there’s a really sweet part in the Japanese version where Usagi kisses him after he has died and says, “It isn’t fair- none of the other girls got to kiss their true loves before they died.”) Usagi faces Beryl alone, and with the aid of the spirits of Mamoru, Ami, Rei, Mako, and Mina, she once again transforms into Princess Serenity and kills the evil Queen.
The conclusion of the manga, again, varies somewhat from that of the anime. Sailor Moon is forced again to kill Prince Endymion and then herself. This unites the Silver Crystal, part of which had been lodged in Endymion’s body after he was captured by Beryl, and the reunion of the two parts revives Serenity and Endymion and allows her to kill Beryl. All of the other Sailor Soldiers are then revived and the next storyline begins after a little time for celebration.
The anime doesn’t resolve itself in the same way. None of the girls or Mamoru remain dead, but they reappear in Tokyo unaware of what has transpired and unware of one another.
Next is Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R
See also: Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars.