Sailor Guardians (セーラー戦士; meaning "Sailor Senshi," "Sailor Soldier," or "Sailor Warrior") is a term referring to the leading female protagonists of all versions of Sailor Moon.
In Japan, many schools impose school uniforms on their students and one of the most common worn by female middle-school students is the sailor-suit (セーラー服, sērā fuku). These sailor outfits have a distinctive collar and look. The main protagonists in Sailor Moon are school aged women who wear these sailor uniforms themselves and transform into super-hero forms (Guardians) who continue to wear sailor-suits like these real school aged girls - the franchise's original target demographic. Series creator Naoko Takeuchi attributes the idea for this motif to her editor, Fumio Osano.
Before transforming into their Sailor forms, the Sailor Guardians look like average girls. They use transformation items to turn into their Sailor Guardian forms. Sailor Guardians, as classic magical girl heroines, have both civilian and magical identities. Each Guardian has a transformation sequence that grants her a uniform in her theme-colors and her kind of elemental power; these powers come from an object called a "Sailor Crystal" said to be within each of them. Accessories gained with their uniform, such as Sailor Moon's tiara, can also be used as weapons. Usually, during their initial awakening, the Sailor Guardians would have the symbol of their respective planet display on their forehead. According to series author, Naoko Takeuchi, only females can be Sailor Guardians; though, males can have magical abilities similar to the Senshi as Mamoru Chiba can transform into Tuxedo Mask and has an item very similar to a Sailor Crystal: the Golden Crystal.
Each of the Guardians has different elemental powers, sometimes connected to their respective planets. In addition to their elemental powers, the Guardians possessed abilities common to all of them like flight, unnamed energy attacks, teleportation, and limited telepathic connections to Usagi and Mamoru as well as themselves. These abilities are shown on numerous occasions.
In Act 29, Sailor Uranus ascended into the air and ran off, with Usagi trailing behind her, showing sustained flight. Also, during the Dreams Arc, while Usagi and Mamoru were afflicted with the curse, the other Guardians would seem to feel something was wrong and mentally call out to them, which Usagi could hear. It was during the Stars arc that the Guardians were shown to have some teleportation ability, as seen when the Outer Sailor Guardians teleported to their castles or when the Sailor Starlights would always vanish when pursued. Throughout the manga, the Guardians would display unnamed energy attacks, such as when Sailor Iron Mouse first attacked. Sailor Jupiter fired an electric energy blast that seemed to cancel out the attack, or when all nine Guardians were under Cyprine's influence, they attacked each other with numerous unidentified attacks.
In many cases, Sailor Guardians had a civilian form in which they spent most of their time. By use of an item such as a Transformation Pen or Transformation Brooch, they could assume their Sailor Guardian form at will. Although transforming into a Sailor Guardian usually involved nothing more radical than a change of outfit, outside observers were not generally able to recognize even close friends or family members once they had assumed Sailor Guardian form. The mechanism that caused this was not known, although it was just as effective upon Sailor Guardians themselves as it was upon non-Guardians.
Uniforms and Power-Ups
The uniform worn by the Sailor Guardians resembles a popular style of Japanese school uniform, the seeraa fuku, or "sailor uniform." Initially, each of the Guardians had her own somewhat unique outfit, related to the others only in its basic form. In later stages of character design, Takeuchi settled on a more unified appearance. Within the Sailor Guardians of the Solar System, only the outfit worn by Sailor Venus during her time as Sailor V varies significantly from the others.
The uniforms of the Guardians not only show their femininity, they "perform it excessively in frilly, girly fashion." As the Guardians gain additional powers and insights, the features of their uniforms change to reflect these advances. Most of them have unique traits, to begin with (such as Sailors Mars' and Uranus' back-bow color alternating from her front bow, Sailors Mercury's and Pluto's lack of sleeves, Sailor Neptune's neck-pendant, or Sailor Saturn's flower-petal shaped sleeves and the spiky, star-shaped brooch on her front bow). Still, as the group becomes more powerful, their uniforms become more similar, until finally, color schemes mark the only differences. The Guardians are frequently exceptions, but throughout the series, the other characters pass through three primary phases:
- Their original forms resemble each other closely but have some individual variety. The sub-groups show traces of theming: for instance, the Outer Sailor Guardians do not have stripes on their collars, while the Inner Sailor Guardians each have one, two, or three (in the manga). In the manga, the Inner Senshi gain a few upgrades before entirely changing to their second forms, as with the alteration of their brooches from circles to hearts.
- Their second, Super, forms become more similar to each other but allow for some distinctions to remain, such as earrings and shoe-style. When Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon take on this form, they become "Super Sailor Moon" and "Super Sailor Chibi Moon."
- Their third, Eternal, forms replicate each other entirely in form and generally reach an ornate peak. When Sailor Moon takes on this form she gains wings and loses her tiara while the others do not reflect any of these two changes. This form never appears in the 90's anime for anyone but Sailor Moon.
When the future Inner Sailor Guardians of the 30th century appear during the second story arc, they wear their original uniforms, without any enhancement.
The Sailor Quartet, although Sailor Guardians of the Solar System, don't follow the standard progression of power-ups. Instead, the Sailor Quartet's uniforms combine elements of those worn by the Sailor Team in their first forms and their final forms, with the Quartet's image colors. The outfits have one-layer skirts, belts, chokers, and back-bows like those on the Sailor Team's first uniforms, with boots, gloves, brooches, leotards, and tiaras the same as the final forms. Their shoulder pads reflect the style of the last outfits but in white. Each member has unique earrings.
Sailor Moon, whatever form she takes, always has a more elaborate costume than any of the others. Among other things, in her first form, she has hair ornaments; in her second, she adds a multi-colored skirt, and in her third, she gains wings and a three-layered skirt. She also gains minor, individual power-ups more frequently than any other character. Sailor Chibi Moon progresses similarly, down to the hair-ornaments, and her uniform as Super Sailor Chibi Moon is almost identical to her predecessor's. Chibiusa's Eternal form is more similar to that of the rest of the Sailor Team than to that of Eternal Sailor Moon.
Sailor Guardians originating from outside the Solar System generally have very different and widely varying outfits, but one single feature connects them all: the sailor collar.
Princesses of Their Planets
- Main article: Sailor Princesses
Sailor Guardians of the Solar System
- Sailor Moon
- Sailor Mercury
- Sailor Mars
- Sailor Jupiter
- Sailor Venus
- Sailor Pluto
- Sailor Uranus
- Sailor Neptune
- Sailor Saturn
Sailor Guardians from Outside the Solar System
- Sailor Galaxia
- Sailor Lethe
- Sailor Mnemosyne
- Sailor Phi
- Sailor Chi
- Sailor Theta (musicals only)
- Sailor Buttress (musicals only)
- Sailor Animamates
Killed by Shadow Galactica
- Phage (fake; anime only)
- "Parallel Senshi" (Parallel Sailor Moon only)
- Oppositio Guardians (Sailor Moon: Another Story only)
Civilians Dressed as Senshi
- "Sailor Channel" (manga only)
- "Sailor Guccicci" (manga only)
- Sailor Tamasaburou (anime only)
- Sailor A (live-action series only; only existing in Ami Mizuno's imagination)
- Sailor Rabbit (live-action series only)
- Sailor K (live-action series only)
- Sailor N (live-action series only)
- Sailor M (live-action series only)
- Earth is the only planet that was never given an official Sailor Guardian. Instead it is watched over by Princess Serenity of the Silver Millennium and Prince Endymion of the Golden Kingdom. Princess Serenity is associated with the Moon and Prince Endymion with the Sun.
- Minako Aino or Sailor V is the original Sailor Guardian. Her first manga chapter spawned the entire Sailor Moon franchise and her manga series Codename: Sailor V has never been adapted into an anime.
- Naoko Takeuchi has stated that only girls are Sailor Guardians was did not like how the Sailor Starlights were re-written into being men who transform into women in the 90's anime rather than always being women like the manga.
- In the DiC English adaptation of the anime, the term "Sailor Scout" was used instead of "Sailor Guardian" or "Sailor Soldier". This is possibly meant as a reference to real-life military units, such as the US Army Indian Scouts or the British Army Lovat Scouts.
- Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Act 46 - Helios says Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity shared the same mission of protecting the Earth. He also says this in Sailor Moon Eternal.
- Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Act 49 - Queen Nehelenia says Mamoru is protected by the sun. This is just like Senshi are protected by their Guardian Planets and this also happens in Sailor Moon Eternal.