A Guide to Watching Sailor Moon: Original Series Watch Order

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Credit: Toei Animation

Sailor Moon is a key moment in the history of shojo anime and the magical girl subgenre. The show's inclusivity, interesting female leads, superb nostalgic aesthetics and fun action mean that Sailor Moon is popular decades after it first aired. So, what's the best way to get into the anime? We have put together a guide to watching Sailor Moon:

About Sailor Moon

A Guide to Watching Sailor Moon: Original Series Watch Order Introduction
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Credit: Toei Animation

Sailor Moon is based on a Japanese shojo manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. The manga became immensely popular in its time, especially when it received what would become one of the most successful anime of the 90s.

The iconic anime and manga follow a romantic, somewhat lazy 14-year-old girl, Usagi Tsukino, who leads a relatively normal life.

This is about to change when Usagi encounters Luna, a talking cat, and receives a brooch that allows her to transform into Sailor Moon: a legendary warrior destined to save the world from evil forces.

As the story progresses, Usagi is joined by an increasing number of other girls from different walks of life, who all become Sailor soldiers and help her in her mission.

Sailor Moon is a long ride, with many episodes. You can expect 90s nostalgia - if you go for the original series -, female friendship, creepy villains, high stakes, and a bit of romance along the way!

Related: The Strongest Female Anime Characters of all time

A Guide to Watching Sailor Moon

A Guide to Watching Sailor Moon Watch Order
click to enlarge
Credit: Toei Animation

Thankfully, you can mostly watch Sailor Moon media in chronological order. However, the original series has many episodes and it can still feel a little intimidating, so, if you're just starting, we're here to help!

The original Sailor Moon series ran for five seasons, between 1992 and 1997.

All seasons after the second are followed by an OVA or Special which is generally recommended to watch after completing the respective season - though, of course, it isn't strictly necessary if you're only here for the series.

Here's the correct order to watch the anime:

  1. Sailor Moon (1992–1993) (Season 1)
  2. Sailor Moon R (1993–1994) (Season 2)
  3. Sailor Moon R the Movie: Promise of the Rose (1993)
  4. Sailor Moon R: Special (1993)
  5. Sailor Moon S (1994–1995) (Season 3)
  6. Sailor Moon S the Movie: Hearts in Ice (1994)
  7. Sailor Moon Super S (1995–1996) (Season 4)
  8. Sailor Moon Super S Plus: Ami's First Love (1995)
  9. Sailor Moon Sailor Starts (1996-1997)

Since then, the series has also received a 2014 reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, which was meant to be a more faithful and action-packed adaption.

Related: The Best Fantasy Anime You Should Watch

Rather than concluding it with two final seasons, Toei Animation went on to create a 2021 movie, Sailor Moon Eternal.

The new series is not without merit, but we would still recommend starting with the original Sailor Moon series. It is, after all, what many Millenial anime fans grew up with, and what got many of us into anime as children, so, even if it's a bit vintage for you, we would urge you to give it a chance!


For more articles like this, take a look at our Anime and Sailor Moon page.