Sailor Moon, known in Japan as Pretty Soldier Sailormoon or Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Japanese: 美少女戦士セーラームーン Hepburn: Bishōjo Senshi Sērāmūn), is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. It was originally serialized in the monthly manga magazine Nakayoshi from the February 1992 issue to the March 1997 issue, with the 52 chapters published into 18 and later 12 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. Sailor Moon follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, a teenager who transforms into the titular character, and her diverse group of comrades, the Sailor Soldiers (セーラー戦士 Sērā Senshi?). Usagi battles a wide variety of villains to save Earth from being annihilated.
In North America, the manga series was licensed for an English-language translation by Tokyopop, before Kodansha Comics USA acquired the rights to release it in 2011. The entire anime series has been licensed for an English-language anime release by Viz Media in North America, although the series was previously licensed and distributed by DIC Entertainment and Cloverway Inc.
The manga was adapted into an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which was broadcast from 1992 to 1997. Additionally, Toei has developed three feature films, three television specials, three short films and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, a tokusatsu television series.
A second anime series, titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, is intended as a remake following the manga's storyline more closely and is scheduled to be broadcast in July 2014.
Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes light novels, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, musical theater productions, along with several collections of soundtracks and a large number of video games.
Since its release, Sailor Moon has become one of the most popular manga and anime series. It is often cited with popularizing the concept of a team of magical girls, and revitalizing the magical girl genre itself. Sailor Moon redefined the magical girl genre, as previous magical girls did not use their powers to fight evil, but this has become one of the standard archetypes of the genre.
"Usagi Tsukino is a second-year middle school girl who is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she is full of energy. One day, she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, and she transforms into Sailor Moon, a sailor-uniformed pretty guardian of love and justice! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi seems to have a mission to find the Illusionary Silver Crystal with the other guardians and to protect the princess.
Meanwhile, the queen of the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl, also sends minions to the town where Usagi lives to obtain the Illusionary Silver Crystal, which has immense power. This causes strange events to unfold..."