Sailor Senshi (セーラー戦士; meaning "Sailor Warrior") is a term referring to the main female protagonists of all versions of Sailor Moon. They are also referred to simply as Senshi.
Prior to transforming, the Senshi look like average girls. They use transformation items to turn into their Senshi forms. Sailor Senshi, as classic magical girl heroines, have both civilian and magical identities. Each Senshi has a transformation sequence which grants her a uniform in her own theme-colors and her own 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 Senshi would have the symbol of their respective planet display on their forehead. According to Naoko Takeuchi, only females can be Sailor Senshi, although there is at least one male, Mamoru Chiba, has a Sailor Crystal and is the guardian over the Earth and gives himself the pseudonym "Tuxedo Mask", though he isn't called a Sailor Senshi.
In official merchandise relating to the anime and manga, the term "Senshi" was translated as "Soldier," and several songs included the term "Sailor Soldier" spoken in English. However, in reference to the live-action series, the re-release of the manga, and in the Viz Media redone English dub of the anime, the same kanji was translated as "Guardian." In the DiC English adaptation of the anime, the term "Sailor Scout" was used instead (possibly meant as a reference to real-life military units, such as, the US Army Indian Scouts or the British Army Lovat Scouts).
Each of the Senshi have different elemental powers, sometimes connected to their respective planets. In addition to their elemental powers, the Senshi 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 Senshi 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 Senshi were shown to have some teleportation ability, as seen when the Outer Senshi teleported to their castles or when the Starlights would constantly vanish when pursued. Throughout the manga, the Senshi 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 Senshi were under Cyprine's influence, they attacked each other with numerous unidentified attacks.
In many cases, Sailor Senshi 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 Senshi form at will. Although transforming into a Sailor Senshi usually involved nothing more radical than a change of outfit, outside observers were not usually able to recognize even close friends or family members once they had assumed Sailor Senshi form. The mechanism that caused this was not known, although it was just as effective upon Sailor Senshi themselves as it was upon non-Senshi.
Uniforms and Power-Ups
The uniform worn by the Sailor Senshi resembles a popular style of Japanese school uniform, the sērā fuku or "sailor suit". Creator Naoko Takeuchi attributes the idea for this motif to her editor, Fumio Osano. Originally, each of the Senshi had her own fairly unique outfit, related to the others only in its basic form, but in later stages of character design Takeuchi settled on a more unified appearance. Within the Sailor Senshi, only the outfit worn by Sailor Venus during her time as Sailor V varies significantly from the others.
The uniforms of the Senshi not only show their femininity, they "perform it excessively in frilly, girly fashion". As the Senshi 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), but as the group becomes more powerful, their individual uniforms become more similar, until finally color schemes mark the only differences. The Guardian Senshi are frequently exceptions, but over the course of the series, the other characters pass through three basic phases:
- Their original forms resemble each other closely, but have some individual variety. The sub-groups show traces of theming: for instance, the Outer Senshi do not have stripes on their collars, while the Inner Senshi each have one, two or three (in the manga). In the manga, the Inner Senshi gain a few upgrades before fully changing to their second forms, as with the alteration of their brooches from circles to hearts.
- Their second forms become a little 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". In the manga the others do not change their names accordingly, but in the anime they do.
- Their third forms replicate each other entirely in form, and generally reach an ornate peak. When Sailor Moon takes on this form, she becomes "Eternal Sailor Moon", gains wings and loses her tiara; the others do not reflect any of these three changes. This form never appears in the anime for anyone but Sailor Moon.
When the Sailor Senshi of the 30th century appear during the second story arc, they wear their original uniforms, without any enhancement.
The Sailor Quartet, although Senshi 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 in their final forms, with the Quartet's own image colors. The uniforms 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 final uniforms, but in white. Each member has unique earrings.21
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 in similar fashion, down to the hair-ornaments, and her uniform as Super Sailor Chibi Moon is almost identical to her predecessor's. Her third form, on the other hand, is more similar to that of the rest of the Sailor Team than to that of Eternal Sailor Moon.
Senshi originating from outside the Solar System generally have very different and widely varying outfits, but one single feature, the sailor collar, connects them all.
Princesses of Their Own Planets
As mentioned in the anime, Luna and Artemis told the Sailor Senshi of the past, including the Silver Milennium, the Moon Kingdom, and the forbidden love of Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. Luna even mentions how the Sailor Senshi were to support and protect the Moon Princess, but also mentions that each of Senshi were princesses, too, of their own respective planet.
Act 41 of the manga reveals the Sailor Senshi as princesses of the Solar System. Each one had her own castle, which she can call upon late in the series for power. This act first enables Sailor Moon to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. The castles are named after moons, except for Mercury's and Venus'. Venus' castle is introduced long before the others', in the Sailor V manga, but she never mentions this to them.
In Act 45, Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto actually visit their castles — huge structures orbiting around their respective planets. Each castle features viewscreens, forcefields, comm systems, and other forms of high technology; each comes under the protection of a Power Guardian, who appears as a miniature version of the Senshi she serves. Sailor Pluto states that she remembers her castle, and that they were given to all the Senshi by Queen Serenity at the time of their birth.
Takeuchi's Materials Collection artbook shows the detailed design of each princess's unique gown. The Senshi wear the gowns at key moments in the Stars manga, and also in the Original Picture Collection Volume IV. Flashbacks to the Silver Millennium, however, always show them dressed in their ordinary uniforms.
Sailor Senshi of the Solar System
- Sailor Moon
- Sailor Mercury
- Sailor Mars
- Sailor Jupiter
- Sailor Venus
- Sailor Uranus
- Sailor Neptune
- Sailor Pluto
- Sailor Saturn
- Sailor Chibi Moon (from the 30th Century)
- Sailor Luna (live-action series only)
- Sailor Astarte (musicals only)
- The Sailor Quartet (from the 30th Century, Manga only)
Sailor Senshi from Outside the Solar System
- Sailor Chaos
- Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon
- Sailor Cosmos
- Kinmoku Senshi
- Senshi killed by the Shadow Galactica
- Senshi of the Shadow Galactica
- Sailor Galaxia
- Sailor Lethe
- Sailor Mnemosyne
- Sailor Phi
- Sailor Chi
- Sailor Theta (musicals only)
- Sailor Buttress (musicals only)
- Sailor Animamates (Senshi only in the anime)
- Phage (fake Senshi)
Other and Tribute Senshi
- Sailor V
- 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 K (live-action series only)
- Sailor N (live-action series only)
- Sailor M (live-action series only)
- Sailor Rabbit (live-action series only)
- "Parallel Inners" ("Parallel Sailor Moon" only)
- Oppositio Senshi (Sailor Moon: Another Story only)
- Earth is the only planet that was never given an official Sailor Senshi, being represented by Tuxedo Mask instead.
- Naoko Takeuchi has stated that only girls are allowed to be Sailor Senshi. She stated this when she was angered by the Three Lights being men and transforming into women in the anime.
- Luna only confirmed the identities of Sailor Senshi as the princesses of the solar system in the DiC English dub of the first season; the original version did not confirm this.
- It's unknown why nobody can tell the Sailor Senshi from their civilian alter egos. The Sailor Senshi do not wear masks as part of their costumes. Their face is clearly shown and resembles that of their civilian forms.