Naoko Takeuchi created the Sailor Moon manga in the early 1990s, and it was quickly adapted into an anime series. Since the manga was still ongoing when the anime aired, the story line and characterizations ended up diverging between the two mediums. In 2012, Kodansha and Toei Animation announced a new anime adaptation of Sailor Moon would be produced, with the intention of making the new series more faithful to Takeuchi’s original manga. This meant that some of the characterizations would change between the original Sailor Moon anime and the reboot. Get to know the characters of Sailor Moon Crystal.
Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon / Neo-Queen Serenity
At the beginning of Sailor Moon Crystal, Usagi is depicted as an immature and klutzy 14-year-old crybaby. She gets bad grades at school and is constantly being scolded by her mother. One day, after helping a talking cat named Luna, Usagi's life changes dramatically. Luna gives her a brooch that allows her to transform into Sailor Moon, one of Earth's guardians.
At first, Usagi doesn’t want to fight evil, she just wants to live a normal life. After a while, she is fortunate enough to meet the other Sailor Guardians. This encounter changes her feelings towards becoming Sailor Moon and also leads to the start of her quest to find Princess Serenity and the Legendary Silver Crystal.
During her battles with the Dark Kingdom, Usagi discovers that she is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity from the Moon Kingdom and the leader of the Sailor Guardians. While gaining this knowledge doesn’t suddenly change her personality completely, Usagi starts realizing that she has an important role and that she needs to start taking this responsibility a little more seriously. This is one of the first steps she takes toward maturing during the course of Sailor Moon Crystal.
Usagi also meets Mamoru Chiba, who is rather antagonistic toward her at the start of the series. But as Usagi starts running into Mamoru on a frequent basis, it becomes obvious that she is attracted to him, even though she denies it to herself. Not surprisingly, her attraction to Mamoru grows into love. The bond that Usagi and Mamoru share later shows to be an important key in saving Earth from certain doom.
In the Black Moon arc, a little girl named Chibi-Usa falls out of the sky. It is later revealed that this falling beauty is Usagi and Mamoru’s daughter who came from 30th century Neo-Tokyo to look for Sailor Moon and ask for her help. But things get complicated when Chibi-Usa becomes attached to Mamoru. Usagi’s jealousy gets the best of her and causes many problems. The ramifications of her envy causes Usagi to realize how stupid she’d been acting and brings about an important change in her character. Her convictions to protect Earth become stronger, and Usagi seems to truly embrace the idea that it’s her duty to act as a guardian and protect the world.
Mamoru Chiba / Tuxedo Mask / King Endymion
Mamoru first appears as a high school student that Usagi keeps running into. He’s constantly giving Usagi a hard time and acts antagonistically toward her, but Mamoru's role as a potential love interest is apparent from the start.
As the series progresses, Mamoru's dark past comes to light. After his parents died on his sixth birthday, Mamoru started having brief flashbacks of his previous life as Endymion. At the beginning of the series, Mamoru keeps having dreams about Princess Serenity, and he’s determined to find her and the Legendary Silver Crystal in the hopes that he will regain his lost memories. He also discovers that he can sense when Sailor Moon is in danger, and he disguises himself as Tuxedo Mask to run to her rescue every time. At the beginning of the series, it is unclear whether Tuxedo Mask is a friend or foe of Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians. But when it’s revealed that he and Usagi were lovers in a previous life, Mamoru proves that he’s an ally and stays by Usagi’s side throughout her journey.
An identity struggle seems to be a running theme for Mamoru throughout Sailor Moon Crystal. During the Dark Kingdom arc, Mamoru struggles with trying to find his true identity. In the Black Moon arc, Mamoru tries to figure out how Tuxedo Mask fits in with the Sailor Guardians. He seems to believe that he gets in the way of the Sailor Guardians because of his lack of a special ability. Unfortunately, it seems like this identity complex makes him more susceptible to being brainwashed by the enemy. Mamoru is used by the antagonists to get to the Sailor Guardians in both arcs of the series. His relationship with Usagi is another reason why he is targeted so many times.
Although depicted as an antagonist, Mamoru also has a tender side. His interactions with Chibi-Usa after she arrives in present day are proof of it. In some respects, her vulnerability helps him feel like he is actually able to protect someone even though he doesn’t seem to have any of the Sailor Guardians’ special powers. As Mamoru spends time with Chibi-Usa, it becomes evident that he will make a great father at some point in the future.
Like Usagi, Mamoru also goes through an important change in 30th century Neo-Tokyo after meeting his counterpart, King Endymion. He comes to realize that he does have a special ability, which manifests itself during the final battle with Nemesis.
Ami Mizuno / Sailor Mercury
Ami and Usagi meet by chance when Usagi sees Luna approaching Ami after school. The two of them soon become friends. It turns out that Ami is Sailor Mercury, making her the first Sailor Guardian that Usagi finds. As Sailor Mercury, Ami is the soldier of water and wisdom.
Ami is rumored to have an IQ of 300 and is the “brain” of the Sailor Guardians. When the other Sailor Guardians are fighting enemies, she uses her mini data computer, which has the ability to scan and detect, to provide them with information about their targets.
Ami is extremely shy. This timidness is often misinterpreted as snobbery, making it difficult for her to make friends. Ami's position as a member of the Sailor Guardians is most always the peacekeeper of disagreements and arguments. Ami’s dislike of quarrels and strife probably arises from the fact that her parents are divorced. She lives with her mother, who is a busy doctor that isn’t home very often. Being around Usagi and the other girls seems to help her let go of the lonely life she had been leading prior to meeting them. Ami is also practical, kind, and gentle, and has a tendency to want to take care of the people around her.
Rei Hino / Sailor Mars
Rei is a 14-year-old shrine maiden that Usagi and Ami meet when they go to the Hikawa Shrine. They discover that Rei is Sailor Mars and she becomes the second Sailor Guardian discovered by Usagi. As Sailor Mars, Rei is the soldier of fire and passion. Since Rei is a Shinto priestess, she also has a limited precognition ability which allows her to dispel evil using special Shinto scrolls without transforming into her Sailor Guardian form.
Unlike the founding member of the group, Rei is serious and focused. Because of these differences, Rei is often annoyed by Usagi’s laziness. Yet although they are completely different, the fact that Rei truly cares about Usagi is crystal clear. Rei doesn't seem to have any interest in romance and is probably the character with the most self-control.
Out of all the Sailor Guardians, Rei is probably the most distant. Because she is enrolled in a different school, she doesn’t get to be around the other girls as much as she'd like. However, the fact that she's further away doesn't get in the way of her duties as a Sailor Guardian. She pitches in to help when needed and is an important member of the team.
Rei lives with her grandfather at Hikawa Shrine, and she belongs to her school’s archery club.
Makoto Kino / Sailor Jupiter
Usagi has a couple of run-ins with Makoto before the two of them become friends. It turns out that Makoto is Sailor Jupiter, the third Sailor Guardian that Usagi discovers. As Sailor Jupiter, Makoto is the soldier of thunder and strength. This title fits Makoto well, because she’s physically strong in addition to being unusually tall. She is also rather talented at hand-to-hand combat. Makoto serves as the “brawn” for the Sailor Guardians. She may have a tough appearance, but she’s actually a very gentle person.
When Makoto is introduced in Sailor Moon Crystal, it’s rumored that she was kicked out of a previous school because she had a fight with another student. If this isn’t bad enough, she also stands out at school because her uniform is different from everyone else's. Due to her unusual height, Usagi’s school doesn’t have a uniform large enough for Makoto to wear. Makoto is shunned by her peers until Usagi ignores the rumors and befriends her.
Makoto lives alone because both her parents have past away. She's had to take care of herself for so long that she's become self-sufficient to a fault. She has also honed her domestic talents as a way to overcome her tom-boyishness. Even though Makoto may be more of a tomboy, she’s not adverse to falling in love. In fact, she transferred to Usagi’s school after a boy she liked broke her heart.
Minako Aino / Sailor Venus
Minako is the fourth Sailor Guardian that Usagi finds. She is Sailor Venus, the solider of love and beauty. Before running into Usagi, Minako had been covertly serving as a guardian under the name Sailor V. She had been under the tutelage of another talking cat named Artemis. As Sailor Venus, she serves as Sailor Moon’s closest bodyguard and decoy due to the similarity in their appearances. Out of the Sailor Guardians, Minako is the one with the strongest memories of their past life during the Dark Kingdom arc.
Sailor V is actually referenced in the very first episode as a guardian of justice, and there’s even a Sailor V game that’s very popular at the arcade that Usagi and her friends frequent. Usagi is seen playing this game on a regular basis, and at one point, it became a way for Minako and Artemis to covertly communicate with Usagi before she revealed herself. So while Sailor Venus is the last Sailor Guardian to be located, she’s actually the first one ever mentioned in Sailor Moon Crystal.
Minako is athletic and seems to be the Sailor Guardian that is the most interested in boys and romance. She’s the one likely to dispense romance advice, even though she herself has very little personal experience in the matter. Minako’s also rather versatile, and is able to act graceful, clever, and refined.
Sailor Pluto is the solider of time and space, and first appears in 30th century Neo-Tokyo. Her duty is to guard the time corridor and the Space-Time Door, making sure that unauthorized travelers don’t try to go through. While Sailor Pluto has the ability to stop time entirely, she is forbidden to do so at the cost of her own life. She is also the keeper of the Space-Time Key, which Chibi-Usa steals in order to travel to the past to find Sailor Moon.
Sailor Pluto can be distant and have a stern personality, which is understandable due to being isolated from people in order to perform her duty. But when Chibi-Usa sneaks out one day and finds Sailor Pluto, the two strike up a kind of friendship. During the Black Moon arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, there are several flashbacks of Chibi-Usa and Sailor Pluto interacting with each other, which allows the audience to see that there’s a softer side to Sailor Pluto’s personality.
When the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask first arrive in the 30th century, Sailor Pluto treats them as enemies. It's not until Chibi-Usa arrives and explains who they are that Sailor Pluto starts treating them as allies. As the plot progresses in Neo-Tokyo, she finds she wants to try to help them protect Neo-Tokyo from the threat posed by Black Moon.
Luna is a talking black cat that Usagi helps in the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. To thank her, Luna gives Usagi a brooch that allows her to transform into Sailor Moon. As Usagi finds the other Sailor Guardians, Luna provides them with several special items and gives them advice. She’s usually the voice of wisdom when Usagi and the others can’t figure out how to proceed when they’re taking on the enemy. Luna has a tendency to become frustrated with Usagi, especially when it seems that Usagi is slacking off on her duties as a Sailor Guardian. Despite these little quarrels, Luna develops a close bond with Usagi.
Luna had served Princess Serenity and her mother. When the Moon Kingdom falls, she and another cat named Artemis are put into a long sleep and sent down to Earth to look after the Sailor Guardians when they are reborn. Part of Luna’s memory became suppressed, which forces her to have to locate the Sailor Guardians. After the Sailor Guardians’ memories are reawakened when they return to the Moon Kingdom, Luna’s suppressed memories are awakened as well.
During Sailor Moon Crystal, it’s implied that Luna and Artemis have a romantic relationship. This relationship is confirmed when they accompany the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask to 30th century Neo-Tokyo and meet their daughter, Diana.
Artemis is a talking white cat, and is the companion of Minako. He was the one who found her and trained her to become Sailor V, a guardian who is well-known at the beginning of Sailor Moon Crystal. It turns out Artemis is the one covertly guiding Usagi through the Sailor V video game, and it’s only through a technical problem that his identity is revealed. Luna seemed a bit annoyed to learn that he’d been the one guiding her along the whole time.
Artemis is more easygoing than Luna is, so he’s the perfect foil for her when she becomes frustrated or annoyed by a situation. He seems to care deeply for Luna, and Artemis is seen comforting her when she’s distressed and telling her how much he admires her.
Like Luna, Artemis was put into a long sleep by Queen Serenity and sent to Earth to watch over the Sailor Guardians. However, unlike Luna, it appears that none of his memories were suppressed.
While Luna has a close bond with Usagi, Artemis tries to be a “big brother” figure to Minako. The two cats are friendly with all of the Sailor Guardians, but they have developed closer relationships with the respective humans that they’ve come to live with.
Chibi-Usa is the future daughter of Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion, who is referred to by her parents as “Small Lady.” Unfortunately, Chibi-Usa’s powers have not manifested, which causes her to be teased by others. Her desire to become a lady like her mother and to have Guardian abilities is a driving force for her actions throughout the Black Moon arc. Combining these desires with her impulsive nature is a recipe for disaster.
When 30th century Neo-Tokyo is attacked and her parents are unable to do anything, she comes to present-day Earth to ask for Sailor Moon's help. Chibi-Usa is accompanied by Luna-P, a rubber ball with a cat face that looks a lot like Luna’s. She finds Usagi and Mamoru, and bonds with Mamoru. In fact, Chibi-Usa seems to develop an innocent crush on him. However, she acts like a brat to Usagi. But trouble follows Chibi-Usa, because Black Moon is after her for the Legendary Silver Crystal from the 30th century.
When the story moves forward to the 30th century, a distraught Chibi-Usa is taken by Wiseman, the ultimate leader of Black Moon, and uses the Malefic Black Crystal to make her grow older. He also manipulates her memories to make her believe she is Dark Lady. But when Sailor Pluto stops time in order to save everyone, Chibi-Usa’s grief over Sailor Pluto’s death breaks Wiseman’s spell on her. This grief also awakens Chibi-Usa's dormant powers.
Beryl is in charge of the Four Kings of Heaven, who are the ones responsible for sending the various monsters to Earth that the Sailor Guardians must fight. These monsters are all part of Beryl’s plan to harvest life energy from Earthlings for an entity known as Queen Metalia. Once Beryl receives the life energy from the Four Kings of Heaven, she uses her own magic to channel it toward Metalia.
Beryl is another character reborn from the age of the original Sailor Guardians from the Moon Kingdom. She was in love with Endymion, but her love was unrequited. When she discovers that Princess Serenity is with Endymion, she joins Queen Metalia in a fit of jealous rage and mobilizes the forces of Earth to fight against the Moon Kingdom. It turns out that Beryl is the one responsible for leading both Endymion and Serenity to their deaths. It was ultimately Beryl and Metalia who set the whole story of Sailor Moon Crystal in motion.
Now reborn as the Queen of the Dark Kingdom, Beryl is determined to find the Legendary Silver Crystal and to defeat the reawakened Sailor Guardians. During Beryl’s final battle with the Sailor Guardians, she is able to take control of Mamoru, which was likely fueled by the fact that she had loved him in the past. But when Beryl falls at the end of her battle, she’s almost portrayed as a tragic character.
Metalia is an amorphous energy being made from radioactivity in the Sun, and is the true mastermind behind the Dark Kingdom. Metalia is the incarnation of Chaos, the final arch-villain.
Metalia is the one who instigates the attack on the Moon Kingdom that brings about its destruction. After the war, Queen Serenity seals Metalia to the North Pole. When Beryl is reborn, she finds Metalia and returns to her service. Metalia has given Beryl the job of finding the Legendary Silver Crystal because it can free her from the seal. For most of the Dark Kingdom arc, Metalia is primarily seen as the energy being that Beryl communicates with about her plans.
Metalia doesn’t truly play a role in Sailor Moon Crystal until Beryl captures Mamoru. Metalia takes over Mamoru’s body and allows Beryl to die. It just goes to show that Metalia only cares about her subordinates as long as they are of use to her. Metalia’s possession of Mamoru causes Sailor Moon to have to make a painful choice, and it looks like history will repeat itself. The end result is that Metalia is freed and tries to destroy Earth.
Four Kings of Heaven (Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite)
The Four Kings of Heaven are the commanders of the Dark Kingdom, who work directly under Queen Beryl. They are the ones responsible for sending out the monsters that the Sailor Guardians must stop in order to keep them from absorbing life energy. The Four Kings’ mission for the Dark Kingdom is to track down the Legendary Silver Crystal and gather life energy for Queen Metalia.
They were originally the four guardians of Prince Endymion, but were led astray and sold their souls to the Dark Kingdom. When they are reborn, they fall prey to Beryl again and are under her command. However, they still have a nagging sense of needing to seek out and aid their real master.
In Sailor Moon Crystal, these characters were kept alive beyond the time they died in the manga, which is the biggest deviation this series made from the original source material. In this telling, the Four Kings discover their past lives but are brainwashed by Beryl before they can act on this discovery. During a battle with the Sailor Guardians, Sailor Venus reveals that they and the Four Kings were in love during their past lives. This breaks the brainwashing, but the Four Kings are killed by Metalia.
Death Phantom (Wiseman)
Death Phantom is an immortal form of Chaos from the future. He was originally a human who lived in Neo-Tokyo that possessed dark powers. With these powers, he brought about chaos and mayhem. Neo-Queen Serenity stopped him and banished him to Planet Nemesis, and Death Phantom merged his spirit with the planet. Using a cloak on his decayed human body and going by the name of Wiseman, he found a group of rebels who believed that the 30th century Neo-Tokyo was a utopia that needed to be destroyed because the Legendary Silver Crystal gave its citizens the power of immortality. Wiseman gathered these rebels to form the Black Moon Clan and launched the attack on 30th century Neo-Tokyo that caused Chibi-Usa to travel through time in search of help. Wiseman orders Black Moon to follow Chibi-Usa in order to obtain the Legendary Silver Crystal and to kill Chibi-Usa. Of course, Wiseman didn’t truly care about the rebels’ cause. He was only interested in exacting his own revenge for Neo-Queen Serenity banishing him to Nemesis. He displays his true colors when he kills members of Black Moon. But Death Phantom’s plot for revenge is foiled when Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa team up with their crystals and defeat him.
Black Moon Clan (Crimson Rubeus, Green Esmeraude, Blue Saphir, and Prince Demande)
The Black Moon Clan is made up of the rebels that Wiseman gathered to attack Neo-Tokyo.
Crimson Rubeus is the first member of the group to appear in present day Tokyo. In Sailor Moon Crystal, he first appears in Rei’s mystic fire as she was meditating. Rubeus’ assignment is to find “Rabbit,” the codename given to Chibi-Usa. In the process, he kidnaps Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Jupiter. Rubeus is loyal to Prince Demande, yet he starts suspecting that there’s more to Wiseman than meets the eye. Concerned about Demande and his growing reliance on Wiseman, Rubeus confronts the prince about the truth. Wiseman’s response is to kill Rubeus.
Green Esmeraude is the second member of Black Moon to appear. When her two servants are killed, Esmeraude pleads with Demande to let her attack the Sailor Guardians with the ability that Wiseman bestowed upon her. But in the end, she is vanquished by King Endymion and Tuxedo Mask.
Blue Saphir is Prince Demande’s younger brother. In Sailor Moon Crystal, he is the Black Moon Clan’s alchemist. While he has misgivings about his brother’s ambitions, he still supports him. But in the end, Saphir is used by Wiseman to attack Demande when his older brother decides to turn against him. Tragically, Demande is forced to kill his brother.
In Sailor Moon Crystal, Prince Demande is the Prince of the Black Moon and willingly follows Wiseman’s orders. He is obsessed with Neo-Queen Serenity, and this obsession shifts to Usagi when he sees her give the same angry look that Neo-Queen Serenity had once given him. He’s determined to have her all to himself. But after being forced to kill his brother, Demande tries to force the destruction of the space-time continuum with the two Legendary Silver Crystals. He’s stopped by Sailor Pluto before he can succeed. Demande is ultimately defeated when Usagi and Tuxedo Mask work together.
As you can see, Sailor Moon Crystal includes a diverse cast of characters. With so many characters included, there should be at least one that every viewer of the series can identify with.