A few years ago, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of anime series Sailor Moon, with the series finally being brought to the U.S. on online streaming services, as well as Blu-ray and DVD. There's even a new series, a reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal.
Now, even 23 years after the series first aired, it's more popular than ever.
On the surface, Sailor Moon might seem like nothing more than fun entertainment, but at its heart, it really offers several lessons about life.
So what have we learned from watching Sailor Moon? Here are five life lessons the series has to offer.
Love conquers all.
Sure, it's an old-fashioned notion, but what Sailor Moon does is take "love conquers all" and pushes it farther than just romantic love. At its very soul, Sailor Moon isn't just about the love that Usagi shares with Mamoru (which has often helped the Sailor Senshi conquer monsters), but also about the love that the Sailor Senshi share with each other. Sailor Moon is about the love of friendship: even from the first season, this friendship shows us a group of girls willing to die for each other.
This message carries throughout each season of the series. However, this love and friendship isn't just about defeating monsters. It's also about how the girls lift each other up (even when Usagi and Rei tease each other, you know it's out of love) when a member of their group is feeling down.
It's okay if you're not perfect.
The beauty of Usagi, aka Sailor Moon, is that she's one of the most imperfect characters ever written. She's ditzy and a total klutz, can't cook, is bad at school and spends much of her time, when she's not in her Sailor Senshi uniform, being a total dork. But when it comes down to it, she's also caring and strong, full of compassion and a will that allows her to stand up for her friends when they're in trouble. She believes in love and justice and when those two things are in jeopardy, she will punish anyone who stands in their way.
All sorts of women are strong.
Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Senshi are a diverse group of women: there's the studious Ami, the fiery athletic Makoto, the pretty and brave Minako, the spiritually-guided Rei and the ditzy, but compassionate Usagi. Together, they make up a team of women that can kick butt and save the world at a moment's notice. Each has her own strengths as a young woman and those strengths make them who they are. Even the senshi that come in later, such as Sailors Pluto, Uranus, Neptune and Saturn bring strengths, as women, to the table. Even young Chibiusa, however annoying she often is, has an inner strength that cannot be denied.
Never give up.
The one thing Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Senshi never did was give up. Sometimes, they felt like it, but they persevered, and in the end, they defeated the monster and found their dream. Even when the odds were against them, they kept fighting for what they believed in, even when it put their own lives in danger.
There is a light at the end of the darkest tunnel.
The Sailor Senshi suffered often throughout the course of the Sailor Moon series. Some became targets of monsters, others suffered from their own insecurities, and some even lost people they cared about. However, at the end of the day, the girls embraced life and found joy in it, even when it seemed that there was no hope left for them.
This often played out with each episode ending with Usagi and Rei sticking their tongues out at each other, or the girls poking fun at Usagi, or diving into cake or a meal made by Makoto or even playing video games at the local arcade, but always, most episodes end with the girls laughing and joking, in spite of a seemingly dire situation.
For the Sailor Senshi, this was about hope: they always found hope in a bad situation, and because of that, they always found joy, even through their suffering.
[Photo Credit: Toei Animation]