There are some anime that are so globally popular that even if you've never seen a single frame of anime in your life, you know it.


There's Naruto, Pokémon, Digimon, Attack on Titan and, of course, Sailor Moon.

Titular character Usagi Tsukino, her magical cat Luna and her fellow Sailor Guardians — Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus — became the heroes of a generation when they first transformed into their iconic sailor uniforms on-screen to fight menacing villains.

Created by Naoko Takeuchi in the early '90s as a manga series, the franchise has since gone on to spawn anime, movies, spin-offs, video games, clothing lines - if you can think of it, Sailor Moon likely has it.

It's so popular that the franchise has made over $2.5 billion in merch sales since its inception.

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However, because Sailor Moon has been brought back and updated time and time again, it can be difficult to decide where's the best place to start.

Even legacy fans can find themselves confused as to whether Sailor Moon (1992) is the best place to begin, or if Codename: Sailor V (1991) is technically the right introduction to the series.

Read more to find out everything you need to know about the Sailor Moon franchise, and how to watch it in the correct order.

How to watch Sailor Moon in release order

How to watch the Sailor Moon franchise in chronological order, according to its original release:

  • Sailor Moon (Season 1)
  • Sailor Moon R (Season 2)
  • Sailor Moon R: The Movie – Promise of the Rose
  • Sailor Moon S (Season 3)
  • Sailor Moon S: The Movie
  • Sailor Moon Super S (Season 4)
  • Sailor Moon Super S: The Movie
  • Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (Season 5)
  • Sailor Moon Crystal (Reboot)
  • Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1
  • Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2
  • Sailor Moon Cosmos Part 1
  • Sailor Moon Cosmos Part 2
Characters in Sailor Moon Eternal with wearing colourful clothes
Sailor Moon Eternal. Netflix

Should I start watching Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal?

Admittedly, the older run of Sailor Moon in the 1990s can be a lot of filler (depending on how much you love their outfits and magical changes, though, it might be all killer), so if you're looking for the easiest jumping on point for the franchise, your best bet is Sailor Moon Crystal.

It is a faithful adaptation of the manga, and so it is unlikely that the ongoing series will remake any of the storylines from earlier iterations of the franchise that weren’t first created by Takeuchi.

How many series are there in the Sailor Moon franchise?

A character in Sailor Moon Cosmos with pink hair and pink eyes
Sailor Moon Cosmos. iMDb

The Sailor Moon anime adaptation first began airing in 1992, and it ran for a total of 46 episodes until 1993. It introduced the world to Usagi, the Sailor Guardians and the villains they had to face in the Dark Kingdom.

This series was then followed by the sequel Sailor Moon R, a follow-up saw Sailor Moon that acts as Season 2. In it the Guardians fight off the Black Moon Clan. It was a brand new story that didn’t take its ideas from Takeuchi, and it even led to a sequel film (more on that later).

From 1994 to 1995, the franchise had another sequel titled Sailor Moon S, which had 38 episodes in total, and is season 3.

In the anime, Usagi and the gang had to face the menacing, and appropriately named, Death Busters. The series may have been darker than what came before it, but it was its exploration of darker themes that made it a favourite among fans.

Sailor Moon Super S came next, and acts as season 4, though the spin-off was aimed at a younger audience - and so it had a much more light-hearted story compared to seasons past. The show had 39 episodes in total.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars was the final series in the original version of the franchise, bringing it to five seasons in total, and the series featured 34 episodes that aired from 1996 to 1997. The anime returned the story to a darker tale, including the ominous Sailor Wars.

The TV series was given the reboot treatment in 2014 with the anime Sailor Moon Crystal, which ran until 2016 and had 34 episodes in total.

The faithful adaptation of Takeuchi’s manga covered the Dark Kingdom, Black Moon and Infinity arcs again, and it is more closely tied to its source material.

How do the Sailor Moon films fit in the franchise?

There were a number of films that have been released as part of the Sailor Moon franchise, and they were released as sequels to their respective anime series.

As such, 1993 film Sailor Moon R: Promise of the Rose was released as a sequel to Sailor Moon R, while 1994 film Sailor Moon S: The Movie was a sequel to Sailor Moon S.

Sailor Moon Super S: The Movie was, you guessed it, a sequel to Sailor Moon Super S, and it was released in 1995 after the anime series.

Sailor Moon Crystal has also spawned several sequel films, which adapt the Dream arc from Takeuchi’s manga. There will be four films in total, the first two were titled Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 and 2, and the second set is titled Sailor Moon Cosmos Part 1 and 2.

The two Sailor Moon Cosmos films were officially released in Japan on the 9th and 30th June 2023, and an international release date has not yet been announced for them both.

Is Sailor Moon Cosmos the final Sailor Moon movie?

Sailor Moon Cosmos characters gathered together
Sailor Moon Cosmos. iMDb

Currently, Sailor Moon Cosmos stands as the finale to the rebooted adaptation of Sailor Moon Crystal, meaning that it's technically the final Sailor Moon movie as of writing.

However, there could always be another reboot or a continuation of the series in the future, as there has been multiple times in the past.

However, given that Sailor Moon Cosmos adapted the 'Stars' arc, which is the final arc of the manga before it ended in 1997, we may expect a new addition to the manga before a new anime is announced - we'll have to wait and see what Takeuchi wants to do.

Does Naoko Takeuchi still make Sailor Moon?

Throughout Sailor Moon's multiple reiterations and reboots, franchise creator Naoko Takeuchi has been involved throughout as the chief supervisor on all Sailor Moon-related projects. This includes the recent two-part movies Sailor Moon Eternal and Sailor Moon Cosmos, which adapted the 'Dream' and 'Stars' arc of the Sailor Moon mangas.

Sailor Moon Eternal also featured the return of Japanese animator Kazuko Tadano, who designed the characters for the original 1990s Sailor Moon anime series, which was something that Takeuchi had been aiming to involve in the project since its initial inception.

How to watch Sailor Moon in the UK

The bad news is the original Sailor Moon franchise is not available to stream, nor is its reboot Sailor Moon Crystal. However, Viz Media has released the first series on Blu-ray and DVD.

The company has also done so for Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon Super S, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars and Sailor Moon Crystal.

All of the aforementioned films are also available to purchase on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to Viz Media.

Meanwhile, both Sailor Moon Eternal movies are available to watch on Netflix, and Sailor Moon Cosmos is expected to release on DVD and Blu-ray on 20th December 2023.


Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to find out what else is on.
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