Sailor Moon is a highly successful shoujo
(girl soldier) anime
which was created due to the popularity of Naoko Takeuchi
's highly popular serial manga
which chronicles the adventures of a team of junior high students in short schoolgirl uniforms as they fight various evils that tend to periodically infiltrate metropolitan Tokyo
. There are eighteen volumes in the manga series, each of which contains three to five episodes and are about 180 pages. Each of five separate storylines lasts for about three-and-a-half volumes. The anime ran for five seasons and spawned three motion pictures. The storylines are complex, spanning from a thousand years in the past to a thousand years in the future.
Sailor Moon is pretty unique in that it’s a kid’s show, and yet there’s all sorts of pretty mature content: for example: Chibi-Usa (Rini) has a pretty blatant Electra complex, people die left, right and center, Sailors Uranus and Neptune are romantically involved (although in the US dub they are laughably referred to as “cousins”), the three Sailor Starlights of season five are inexplicably dual-gendered (they're a boy band by day, girly evil-fighting trio by night), and Mamoru’s parents were killed in a pretty brutal auto accident, to name a few.
As I mentioned before, there are five separate storylines for each of the five seasons of the show. Each season of the show had a different name in Japan: Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. If you click on the name of one of the seasons, you’ll get a pretty lengthy synopsis of the plot and the characters who are introduced (once I am able to post them all). The anime doesn’t always adhere to the plot of the manga; interesting exceptions will be noted.