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Sailor Moon's Weirdest Details, Ranked

Jun 22, 2023

The magical girl classic Sailor Moon has plenty of strange moments filled with offbeat humor, unique character choices, and eerie character designs.

Sailor Moon is considered a ubiquitous classic that is also a highly creative work. Naoko Takeuchi wove layers and layers of thought into her characters and their world, drawing from mythology, folklore - and high fashion.

The fantasy classic influenced dozens of magical girl anime. The animated series is also extensive, riffing off the plot of the manga. As such, the excess of creativity, unique characters, humor, and filler episodes make for some delightfully odd moments. Some details pack a punch of offbeat humor, some incite a double-take, and some are just uniquely unsettling.

RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Naoko Takeuchi, The Creator Of Sailor Moon

It's nice to see that Tuxedo Mask has some powers considering that he is Sailor Earth for all intents and purposes. But it begs the question: if his roses are so powerful, then why didn't he use them to defend himself and the Senshi more often? Apparently, his flowers are meant to be more poetic than a fleshed-out part of a power system.

It's easy to buy into Sailor Moon's power-ups by her love for others and for the Earth. But the same goes for Tuxedo Mask. Something as simple as his rose is what puts a crucial nail in Beryl's coffin simply because nothing will ever defeat his love for the titular character. At its core, Sailor Moon is a romance that's heavily inspired by myths and folktales. Sometimes a scene works simply because it's meant to be metaphorical.

Alan and Ann are misguided antagonists in the Doom Tree arc. They come from a planet that's been destroyed and, to their knowledge, the two of them are the only remaining survivors of their race. Fiore, the antagonist from the R movie, The Promise of the Rose, is likewise lost and alone.

The three aliens have a lot in common. They're good people who are misguided by strange entities, and they all look oddly alike. Alan, Ann, and Fiore each share the same hair color and style, fashions, pointed ears, and pale green skin tone. It's not confirmed whether they in fact come from the same unknown planet. However, they share enough traits and similar backstory that it certainly seems that way.

Reci is a Cardian summoned by Alan and Ann, and it is without a doubt one of the most off-putting minor villains seen in the show, bordering on the horrific. In Episode 51, Reci gathers energy for Alan and Ann during a flower festival, cloaking itself within the flowering trees themselves.

The way Reci blends into a cherry tree would fit well in body horror anime. It hangs gaunt and silent, suspended from branches with wrists and neck bent at unnatural angles, its legs subsumed into the trunk of the tree. The most unsettling part about Reci is its eerie quietude and the way it ripped Sailor Moon right out of her transformation, reducing her to her civilian form with ease.

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Sailor Saturn and Sailor Pluto are both Outer Senshi with strangely enmeshed powers and symbolism. Sailor Saturn is a formidable Senshi; her powers center around death and destruction. She's also called the Guardian of Death and Rebirth. It's odd that these accolades and gifts wouldn't be given to Sailor Pluto, as her title derives from the planet named after the Greek god of Death and Rebirth, Hades.

Sailor Pluto bears a connection to the dwarf planet because she, like the real world planet in comparison to the rest of the Solar System, is the farthest removed from the Senshi. She guards the Door of Space and Time and spends most of her time in solitude. However, her powers don't seem to symbolically embody the mythology behind her planet as well as Sailor Saturn does.

In the Season 1 episode, "Slim City," the Negaverse concocts a scheme to drain humans' energy by opening up a fake gym. Although it's meant to be lighthearted, this episode can be difficult to watch for people with eating and weight-loss sensitivities. Jadeite realizes that people spend a lot of energy by going to the gym, and he exploits that by compelling people to frantically lose weight.

In the episode, Luna shames Usagi about her eating habits and draws an insulting caricature of her. Luna is normally the voice of reason, but that message gets lost with this episode because of her unproductive shaming, which is played for laughs. Ultimately, exploiting people's minds, demonizing different kinds of bodies, and pushing a crash diet course are terrible things, and that's why the Negaverse is drawn to the idea. There's a strange mixed messaging in this episode that not even a "Sailor Moon Says" segment can iron out, no doubt due to the era in which it was produced.

Few things get weirder than a sentient inflated balloon that's working for the forces of evil. The Lemures Pooko from "The Perfect Couple: Usagi and Mamoru's Love" would be kind of cute if it wasn't so unsettling and odd. Pooko's sent to kill the Senshi, and its power is to suffocate others.

Not only are such powers on-the-nose for the character design, they're a bit too non-fantastical for such a strange creature, which somehow adds to its menace. The Lemures has a childlike voice and a sweet, chibi expression, even as it nearly suffocates Usagi, making for very disturbing imagery.

Rei Hino's grandfather is gross around young ladies. He works at the shrine with her, and is goofy, spirited - and solely lacking in social skills. On its own, his personality wouldn't be a problem, but that's not the half of it. He's incredibly forward with ladies who are decidedly not in his age group.

He flirts with girls and even pesters Ami. Even though he loves his granddaughter very much, he's a bit of a creep to everyone else. Unfortunately, Rei's grandfather's characterization only gets more uncomfortable as the series progresses.

In the episode, "Become A Prima: Usagi's Ballet," Usagi and Tuxedo Mask face off against Kurumiwario. Kurumiwario is a puppet nutcracker creature who is creepy enough by its mere design, but he also has an off-kilter sense of humor that can come across as slightly off-putting at times.

Tuxedo Mask, like Sailor Moon, nearly always enters a battle by thoroughly introducing himself. Kurumiwario checks Tuxedo Mask's confidence in a split second by pretending to mishear his name, calling him "Torpedo's Ass." This completely throws Tuxedo Mask off his game and makes for a delightfully unexpected and slightly crass moment of pure comedy.

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One of Sailor Moon's weirdest moments still sparks controversy to this day. Chibi-Usa gets manipulated and transformed by Wiseman into a warped version of herself in Sailor Moon R. Wiseman has a particular gift for exploiting good people's worries and weaknesses, then brainwashing them into being his henchmen.

Chibi-Usa is Tuxedo Mask's and Sailor Moon's future daughter; no doubt it's strange and unsettling for her to meet her mother while she's a goofy teenager still dating her eventual dad. But Chibi-Usa sublimates that discomfort by trying to compete with her future mother for her future father's attention. It culminates in Wicked Lady kissing Tuxedo Mask (under Wiseman's manipulation) in one of the most awful and disconcerting scenes in Sailor Moon.

Even with its literary and mythological themes as well as life-and-death stakes, Sailor Moon doesn't seem like it would be the kind of anime with a crucifixion scene. Turns out it is, though. In episode 123, "Shadows of Destruction! The Awakening of the Messiah of Silence," poor Hotaru is bound to a cross.

Perhaps such imagery makes sense in light of Mistress 9's title, the Messiah of Silence. Even so, the imagery goes extremely hard for a shojo anime, as opposed to a josei or dark fantasy seinen. Little Chibi-Usa sees Hotaru in the hazy distance of a dream. The Senshi's tied to a cross and scratched at by disembodied zombie hands in one of the most macabre and disturbing moments of the show.