15 years ago today, on March 7th 1992, the first episode of Sailor Moon, “Crybaby Usagi’s Magnificent Transformation”, aired for the first time in Japan. The series spanned 200 episodes until it’s finale on February 8th 1997. It also spawned 3 theatrical movies, 2 specials, musicals, videos games and an immense assortment of merchandise.
At its prime Sailor Moon saw great success worldwide as it was broadcast and published in nearly every country in the world. In the mid 90s you’d be hard pressed to go very far without seing some sort of Sailor Moon merchandise. It was likely the most internationally widespread franchise of it’s time. Sailor Moon herself is one of the most popular fictional characters ever, up there with such greats as Santa Claus, Superman and Jesus.
Here in North America the show began airing on September 11th 1995 and despite a number of complications and interuptions finally had 4 of its 5 seasons released both televised and in a variety of home video formats. It was one of the first prominent anime series to find an audience in the west, especially in Canada.
More recently a live action version of the show was released starting on October 4th 2003 and running for 50 episodes which ended on September 24th 2004. This series was complemented by one live show and 2 direct to video specials which followed the series. While the live action series had only a moderate level of success in Japan it had little international appeal aside from fans of the original series.
Now 15 years later the show is older than our heroine was when we first met her and the phenomenon has pretty much completely passed. While like with anything there are still some hard core fans who continue to watch and discuss the series the world for the most part has moved on.
So let’s party like it’s 1992! Try to sit down today and watch an episode to try to keep the memory alive. I’d suggest watching the first episode to celebrate the occasion. A show like this is too good to be forgotten and the best way to remember just how great it was is to watch it and have it all come back.