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Sailor Moon is one of the most iconic anime and manga series of all time, and that is due to the lead character we are focusing on in this Usagi Sailor Moon guide. Usagi is the protagonist and titular Sailor Moon of the series. She is the Sailor Guardian of Love and Justice and one of the most popular characters.
This Usagi Sailor Moon guide is all about the middle school student who stumbles upon the ability to transform into the compelling Sailor Moon. I’ll be sure to cover everything you need to know about her here. This includes her general history in the series and the weirder parts, like why her name changed in the original English dub.
Bottom Line Up Front
Usagi Tsukino is the lead character in the Sailor Moon series. She goes by two names due to the transformation that awakens within her. While an ordinary teenage girl, she is just Usagi. But when she envelops herself in the moon’s power, she is the one called Sailor Moon.
With this immense strength, she can defeat the foes looking to steal crystals, kidnap innocent citizens, and take over the world. Her past is fascinating, with a long history that she is initially unaware of. There is a lot to love about her character as she leads the Sailor Guardians throughout the manga and anime series.
Today, she is an icon representing one of the strongest female characters in pop culture and still inspiring countless people and series.
Who Is Usagi Tsukino?
Usagi Tsukino is the name of the teenage girl who leads the Sailor Moon series. At the start of the series, she is just an average middle school girl in Japan. However, there is more to her than meets the eye, and she is not even fully aware of everything within her.
Eventually, she learns about the power that she can command. With this power, she can turn into her other-self. This other version of her is known as Sailor Moon. This transformed version of Usagi is a Sailor Guardian, meant to protect Earth and its people from the forces of evil.
Usagi leads the series as she begins to gather others around her to help in the fight against evil. In the end, Usagi is the leader of the Sailor Guardians and an unforgettable hero. She is a kind young lady who desires to protect the innocent and keep the world out of harm’s way.
Over time, Usagi became one of the most popular manga and anime characters. When anime was starting to make waves outside of Japan, Usagi arrived. She came at an influential time and changed many fans’ lives around the world. Some saw themselves in her, while others saw a powerful female hero who did the saving this time around.
This immense success of Usagi Tsukino’s story allowed her to infiltrate pop culture, and she continues to define it even today. There are so many people and series out there that have Sailor Moon to thank for what she first did in the 1990s.
When it comes to appearance in manga and anime, few can outdo Usagi Tsukino. After all, she is the character who made appearances matter in the series and even manga as a whole. This is due to the dual personas and looks that she can have. These two looks for Usagi are her school uniform version and her Sailor Moon transformation.
When Usagi first appears at the start of the Sailor Moon series, she is just an average middle school girl. Her appearance while she is a student is relatively average. She has a traditional Japanese school uniform based on the sailor outfit.
It has a white top with blue embroidering on the top of it and a giant red bow in the middle. It is long-sleeved with a long blue skirt at the bottom of her outfit. She wears simple black shoes at the bottom that are cute. Most notable about Usagi’s appearance is herself.
She is blonde and blue-eyed, with a twin tail hairstyle that is exceptionally long, almost to her knees. At the top of her head are two tiny buns where the tails start and bangs that cover most of her forehead with nearly a slight intentional heart shape in the middle where they part.
As the titular hero Sailor Moon, Usagi’s appearance changes drastically. Not only does she undergo a 10-minute scene to change her look, but she appears quite different. The sailor uniform that she wears at school acts as the basis for the new outfit but more brightly and cheerily.
The top is no longer long-sleeve, removing the sleeves and causing the blue-collar to pop out more. The bow in the middle remains, but another bow appears on the back of Usagi. Meanwhile, her skirt is shortened quite a bit to give her an older look.
Instead of the simple shoes on the bottom, she has long pink boots that she wears that go up to her knees. Her twin tail hairstyle remains the same. However, some lovely embellishments appear. She has a tiara-like item that she wears on her head now. In the middle is an elaborate crystal. She also has two tiny crystals that she has on her buns.
Usagi is a carefree student who does not worry too much about life at the beginning of the series. Overall, she is a pretty average middle school girl. She is pretty emotional, crying quite often and taking things personally. But at the same time, she does not take school too seriously and likes to have fun.
She may not be the brightest person in the room, but she is an easygoing person overall. Someone would even consider her to be immature at the beginning. This is understandable, again, because she is quite a realistic teenager. That said, there is a heroic side to Usagi that is underneath.
As she gains powers, she begins to want the best for everyone. She uses her newfound strength to rescue people and even teach her enemies a lesson or two. She especially cares about her friends and will do anything to help them. Well, so long as they do not mess with the boy, she has a crush on.
What is fascinating is that we get to see the personality of Usagi grow as she grows up in the series. As the story arcs go on, we eventually see an Usagi is more mature. She is less childish and is more intuitive about the right decisions to make. This is a fascinating growth path that we do not see in manga and anime too often.
Usagi is the central character of the Sailor Moon series, so it should come as no surprise that she has a strong relationship with just about everyone. Her family, admittedly, does not play too large of a role outside of the opening parts of the series.
She loves her family and is very close to them. There are the rest of the Sailor Guardians, too, that Usagi recruits to the team. Some of them are more friendly with Usagi than others, such as Sailor Mercury. Others, on the other hand, are more like close rivals. Such is the case with Sailor V, who butts heads with Usagi quite often.
Usagi’s best friend at school is Naru Osaka. Though Osaka does not play too large of a role later in the series, she does have some moments within the anime. She is Usagi’s best friend, and the enemies of Sailor Moon know this. They try to take advantage of her but, thankfully, Usagi stops them from harming her.
Then there is also Luna. Luna is the magical talking cat that we meet at the start of the series. Because of her, Usagi is even able to get her powers in the first place. Luna acts almost motherly towards the protagonist at times, teaching her the ways of the world and guiding her when she needs it, which is often.
Finally, the last key relationship that Usagi has is with Mamoru Chiba. Chiba, who also goes by the undercover name Tuxedo Mask, is the handsome lead man that appears in the Sailor Moon series. There is an immediate connection and fling that appears between him and Usagi right from the start. Their relationship with one another is at the forefront of the series.
Since Sailor Moon has two central anime adaptations, there are a few different English voices. To make matters more complicated, there were multiple English localizations as well. For the original series, the two prominent English voices for Usagi were Terri Hawkes and Tracey Moore.
The voice actors were Kotono Mitsuishi and Kae Araki on the Japanese side. The English voice actor changed when it came to the Sailor Moon Crystal adaptation. Stephanie Sheh is the current voice of Usagi, and I think she does a fantastic job. You may know her as the voice of Madoka from Madoka Magica and many other significant English dubbing roles.
The abilities that Sailor Moon, or Usagi, have come from her moon power. That said, there are some natural-born gifts that she also has that help her in battle.
Usagi’s moon power comes from the Moon Kingdom of the past. This gift is awakened in her at the start of the series. With the moon’s power, there is almost nothing that Usagi cannot do if she sets her mind to it. After all, she has the power of the celestial beings on her side.
The most notable ability with the moon’s power is her transformation. The use of her powers turns her into the guardian known as Sailor Moon. In this form, she can wield multiple skills. Some of them are meant for taking out enemies, while others use the power of love for good. Usagi grows in strength and learns more skills as the series goes on.
It is also worth noting that Usagi is a natural leader. Outside of the powers that the moon grants her, she is able to lead her teammates in the Sailor Guardians through space and back. Despite being a young girl, she has the authority to command her friends, including those older than her.
She is even able to discern what needs to be done to win a tough fight and stop evil beings that have existed for a long time. Her reaction times are great, too, allowing her to make on the fly decisions that will help her reach her goals.
Usagi is also someone who people naturally flock to, allowing her to have excellent leadership skills even as the team grows into significant numbers.
The Sailor Moon series is literally named after Usagi, so it should be expected that her history in the franchise will spoil most of the storyline. Here is your fair warning that a lot of spoilers are going to be ahead in this next section. With this in mind, here is the history of Usagi Tsukino from start to finish.
Discovering Her Past
The story of Usagi Tsukino begins with her fateful encounter with the talking cat Luna. When that happens, she finds out about the moon power that she has. With this ability unlocked, she is then able to transform into the superhero known as Sailor Moon.
At the start, it is a lonely road with Luna being the only partner of Sailor Moon. Usagi has to keep her identity a secret to protect the ones that she loves. As such, she is unable to tell anyone about who she is. With her powers, she begins fighting monsters and saving innocent civilians in trouble.
Along the way, she encounters the equally mysterious Tuxedo Mask. At times friends and other times uncertain, he is a fascinating person to Usagi. Eventually, Usagi starts to discover others who have powers similar to hers. She recruits people and begins to form the Sailor Guardians team.
At the end of the first story arc, she takes on the Dark Kingdom. Through this, she finds out the truth about who she really is. In reality, Usagi is the reincarnated form of Princess Serenity. She was originally the princess of the long-forgotten Moon Kingdom that was destroyed.
At the time, she was in love with Endymion, the prince of the Earth Kingdom. He was reincarnated as Tuxedo Mask, or Mamoru Chiba, who she cares for. With this new truth, she is able to defeat the Dark Kingdom and protect the world.
Of course, saving the world is not an easy task and there are always new villains that appear. After defeating the Dark Kingdom, she meets a person from the future. Through this, she takes on the Black Moon Clan, another group of evil people with their goals in mind.
Along the way, more people join the team like Chibiusa and her talking cat Artemis. Then the third arc of the series begins where Usagi investigates the Death Busters group. Another evil organization, this time, she learns of the Messiah and the missions of Sailor Uranus and Neptune. Together with these new teammates, Usagi is able to save the solar system once more.
The Dead Moon Circus soon follows with a new queen that is the enemy of Usagi and the other Sailor Guardians. With the assistance of the final new members of the Guardians, Usagi is able to take them out as well. But, alas, peace still does not come.
Triumphing Over Chaos
In the final arc of the series, Sailor Stars, Usagi and her friends learn of the existence of the Sailor Starlights. In the process of helping these three new Sailor Guardians, they learn about the truth behind the entire universe. She learns that the enemy behind the groups up until that point was led by Galaxia.
That, in turn, reveals to Usagi the final enemy: Chaos itself. She is able to use the power of love across the universe to save everyone and stop the true enemy once and for all. From there, she is able to live a relaxing life with her friends and family. At least, until the next threat presumably appears.
Usagi in Other Media
Usagi Tsukino is a massive character in manga and anime, but her appearances go far beyond just those two. Outside of the original manga and anime, there is also the Sailor Moon Crystal anime adaptation. She appears there in a modern reboot of the series that is closely tied to the source material.
There are other adaptations of the groundbreaking magical girl series like video games and stage plays. There are plenty of collaborations and crossovers that she appears in, both with merchandise and other franchises. The Sailor Moon series is still going strong today with new animated films on the horizon.
Fun Facts about Usagi
Here are some fun trivia facts about Sailor Moon that you might not have known about before:
- The name Usagi Tsukino can literally mean the “bunny of the moon” in Japanese. The series spoils it from the start that Usagi is simply a reincarnation of the Moon Princess Serenity. In addition, though, this name is also a reference to bunny on the moon legend.
- Speaking of her name, the original English version of the Sailor Moon manga hilariously chose Bunny as her human name. This was a direct translation of her Japanese name. Though it did not stick around, there are other languages that do keep her name as Bunny in their languages.
- Lastly, for names, Serena was the original English name in the anime for Usagi. This itself is a great reference to her previous identity as Princess Serenity.
- We all know Chibiusa but Usagi has another daughter in an alternate storyline that is possibly not canon. Her name is Kousagi Tsukino or little rabbit of the moon, and she also can transform into a Sailor Guardian.
- The death of Princess Serenity is different in the manga and anime versions. In the manga, Queen Metaria murders both Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity. However, in the anime, it is more of a Romeo and Juliet-style situation. Queen Metaria kills Endymion, which results in Princess Serenity (aka former Usagi) killing herself.
Question: Is Usagi a Reincarnation?
Answer: The answer to this question is going to be spoilers so please skip it now if you want to avoid spoilers. Yes, Usagi Tsukino is essentially the reincarnation of her past self. She was previously known as Princess Serenity during the time of the Moon Kingdom where she was in love with Prince Endymion.
Question: Why is Sailor Moon Called Serena?
Answer: It is only in the original English dubbing of Sailor Moon in the 1990s and early 2000s that calls Usagi Serena. The reason for the name Serena, instead of Usagi, is likely due to wanting to give her a more English-sounding name.
The name Serena was likely chosen because of its similarity to Princess Serenity, which was Usagi’s former name. In the current English version of Crystal, she is known as Usagi.
Question: Who does Usagi End Up with?
Answer: This is another major spoilery question and answer. That said, it should come as no surprise that Usagi ends up with Mamoru Chiba, or Tuxedo Mask, in the end. Mamoru is the guy that she has a romantic connection for most of the series and they have a daughter together in the future, so this is not too surprising at all.
Usagi Sailor Moon Guide: Conclusion
Usagi Tsukino is one of the most iconic manga and anime characters of all time. Without a doubt, the two mediums would not be where they are today without the help of Sailor Moon. The magical girl transformation genre and entire series would sadly be absent without the pioneering that she did.
If you want to see more of the amazing work that Sailor Moon accomplished, be sure to check out our full overview guide to the series. In it, I detailed just how successful this manga and anime series was. It helps to put into perspective just how influential Usagi and her moonlighting as Sailor Moon is.