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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Many of the episodes of the American dubbed series end with a clearly stated positive message for viewers, such as how school and studying are very important, or the virtues of patience, slowing down, taking your time, and doing something with care.
Positive Role Models
The sailor scouts are compassionate and generally friendly girls who work together to fight evil. Each sailor scout has specific positive qualities. Sailor Moon finds the courage to fight for what's right despite her own fears and anxieties. Sailor Mercury studies hard, gets good grades, and hopes to become a doctor like her mother. Sailor Mars is responsible, focused, and helps her family at their shrine. Sailor Jupiter is a great cook and a friendly sociable girl despite being set apart by her great height and strength.
Violence & Scariness
Some cartoon violence as the sailor scouts fight the various minions of the evil "negaverse." Lots of fantasy weapons, elements, and different-styled attacks. For example, Sailor Mercury attacks with bubbles and Sailor Jupiter has a lightening attack. Sailor Moon has a magic tiara that she uses as a weapon. The American/dubbed version of the series is completely bloodless, while the original has some scary monster characters and more violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A major plot element is the relationship between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask who are reincarnations of a married couple. There is some flirting and kissing in later episodes. The American/dubbed series is chaste compared to the original Japanese version and manga. Also, during the sailor scouts' transformations from their school girls alter egos to their super-powered forms the girls are shown in outlines that are essentially nude (no actual body parts shown, much like Barbie dolls). The Sailor Scout outfits have very short skirts and highlight the girls exaggerated figures.
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No cursing, but some name calling like "meatball head" and "jerk."
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Products & Purchases
Sailor Moon merchandise is plentiful and accessible.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Sailor Moon series is available in both subtitled, uncut (and more mature) versions, as well as dubbed, edited versions more appropriate for tweens. Parents might want to determine which version they have access to before giving the OK to younger kids. Some villains in the series look like dried emaciated corpses or monsters that may be scary for some younger viewers, though the more intense imagery has been edited out of the dubbed versions. Also, there is some mild romance in the series and one of the main characters is a bit boy crazy. In later episodes there are a few characters in same-sex relationships, though the dubbed version cuts this out. Also, as is typical with many anime series, the female bodies are exaggerated with long thin legs and tiny waists.
Is It Any Good?
SAILOR MOON is one of the most popular and influential anime franchises in the world and it is easy to see why. The series is full of the stuff that makes girls go crazy for Disney princesses, but with a twist. Sailor Moon has its own princesses (and a handsome prince), but these girls kick butt almost every episode. The girls start out each episode as regular school kids, but they each have a secret identity and a special purpose. What girl wouldn't find that appealing?
The dubbed American version is heavily edited from the original Japanese anime in order to make the series more appropriate for tweens and some of the original storyline and nuances are lost. In addition, some of the voice acting in the American version is downright cringe worthy. Thankfully, Sailor Moon's charm as well as the personalities of the other sailor scouts shine through. The love story between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask (Vince Corazza) as reincarnated lovers is the stuff of soap opera fun and not only provides some romantic fluff to the series, but helps drive part of the storyline later on. Since this is a series aimed at girls, it's refreshing that Sailor Moon isn't often a victim, and instead sometimes rescues her male paramour. Even though the English dub leaves something to be desired, this classic anime series offers appealing characters and lots of girl power.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.