Moon Prism Power Syndication! Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie joins Netflix this week, so in honor of what’s shaping up to be a proper Sailor Moon summer, let’s take a closer look at one of the most quintessential parts of the magical-girl genre: weaponry.
As a rule of thumb, almost all magical-girl weapons look like adorable wands or feminine accessories and are probably created with the sole purpose of selling merchandise. But in the Sailor Moon universe, many of these items’ cuteness mask how messed up everything in the Sailor Moon universe is. Sure, some of these objects might heal people from what had to be a traumatic transformation into a monster, but then you have weapons that are actually small children, have killed a whole planet full of people, and are symbolic of our society’s obsession with throwing teen girls into adulthood before they are ready. As such, this ranking will be about emotional carnage, not power. This means we’re looking at how each weapon’s attack affects people or monsters and how much good old trauma is attached to the item.
Now for some ranking rules. We are only ranking the weapons in the anime and manga, so sorry to the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Also, it has to be a tangible item. No crystals (too powerful!), communicators, or villain weapons. Transformation items won’t be listed since they aren’t technically weapons, more like gratuitous changing rooms (though very iconic!), which means the Luna Pen and Holy Grail won’t be on this list.
If you understood all of that, wonderful; you’ve probably also spent hundreds of dollars on nostalgic merchandise and will enjoy this list.
16. Pink Moon Rod
Sadly, Sailor Chibi Moon’s weapon comes last. Maybe it’s because she’s like 8 when first introduced in the series and shouldn’t be fighting, but her item just doesn’t pack the punch we are looking for. Nor is it really tied to any traumatic happenings. The Pink Moon Rod is cute but doesn’t do much. In fact, it’s a gag in the series that when she uses it, the glowing pink hearts the rod emits don’t do more than a slap of the face would. She does end up using some of the better weapons alongside Sailor Moon (basically mini-versions of Sailor Moon’s wands, so they aren’t on the list), so it’s okay that her weapons are a little wimpy.
15. Thunder and Lightning Antenna
This device pops out of Sailor Jupiter’s tiara in order for her to summon lightning and thunder for her attacks. Like many of the other attacks used by inner Senshi, they mostly stun or disarm, so it’s not healing or causing major damage. I don’t know why she has to summon lightning while everyone else shoots lasers, fire, and ice from thin air. It also doesn’t seem like it’s tall enough to handle that much electric current, but what do I know?
14. Venus Chain
Sailor Venus’s Chain kind of skirts the rules of being a physical object, since it was not in the original anime but is in the manga and Crystal reboot. She carries it around her waist and it is a permanent part of her outfit. Power-wise, it’s in the same realm as the Thunder and Lighting Antenna — but it looks way cooler, thus claiming a slightly higher spot on the list.
13. Sailor Star Yell
Used by the Sailor Starlights, who appear in the final season of Sailor Moon. It was never broadcast in the U.S., mostly due to the fact that the Starlights transformed from men to women when becoming guardians. Can’t let the kids learn anything that upsets the gender binary! Anyways, while their Starlight outfits and secret identities are iconic, their weapon, Sailor Star Yell, is ugly and kinda lame. Like other weapons on this list, it emits a laserlike beam that varies in power and can easily be deflected if the story line calls for it. Many fans suspect it was designed solely to become merch. Plus, one of them was, for some reason, easily crushed by a high-heeled shoe, which are worn by everyone. Major design flaw. Though one of the attacks that uses the item is called Star Gentle Uterus. No notes on that one.
12. Luna P
Chibiusa’s companion, who is maybe a robot, maybe sentient, but definitely magical. This orbic cat can give its owner whatever she wants, from a mind-control umbrella to a straight-up gun. Luna P does have one power in the anime (and one in a video game, which we are NOT discussing, okay?!), and it’s to put out a fire in episode 111. She can also hit people, but considering that she floats, I can’t imagine it hurts any more than a kickball to the face. Though Chibiusa does cry into Luna P’s crappy Zoom mode, begging the mysterious figure in the video (obviously Sailor Pluto) to go home to her mom. But she can’t, because she accidentally caused her mom to go into a coma and endangered everyone she loves. Traumatic, but technically this function of Luna P isn’t for battle, so it’s low on the list.
11. Moon Tiara
This was the first weapon introduced to Sailor Moon and her fans. It’s also the item Sailor Moon makes her first kill with! You know, a life event every fictional sci-fi teen girl goes through. It can slice monsters in half, knock stuff out of people’s hands, stun enemies, and in one episode, randomly heal children. Overall, it’s pretty handy, even if not really powerful. Sailor Moon even ditches the tiara and is instead adorned with her signature crescent moon on her forehead in the final season.
10. Moon Kaleido Scope
Also known as the Kaleidomoon Scope, this wand looks unlike any of the other wands Sailor Moon wields. This is the main weapon you’ll see in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie. It’s one of the few items whose origin is known. Pegasus (a.k.a. Helios, a.k.a. Chibiusa’s fuckboy) makes the wands for Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon out of kaleidoscopes. You’ll notice in the new movie, the colors of the wand are different from the ’90s anime. This is because it’s modeled after the manga description of it being made of glass. This wand saves people’s dream mirrors from monsters, or “lemures,” which is neat, but it’s flawed because Sailor Chibimoon needs to summon Pegasus in order for it to work. Needing a horse-man in order to do something? I don’t think so.
9. Sword of Sealing
This item only shows up in the battle against Galaxia, though Sailor Moon refuses to actually use it to attack her enemy. She wants to talk it out, girl! Chaos Galaxia destroys it, and the sword turns back into a little girl. Yes, you read that right. But don’t worry, it’s not a little girl — it’s a star seed. The last season is wild.
8. Spiral Heart Moon Rod
The only wand of Sailor Moon’s that emits two different attacks. Why? Because the first attack became useless and Sailor Moon needed a cool new attack with her cool new outfit. An upgrade mid-season? Inconvenient. That’s the main reason why this item isn’t higher on the list. In the anime, the wand is born out of the love Usagi and Mamoru share for each other. Cute. In the manga, sugar mama Neo-Queen Serenity hooks her past self up with dope new weaponry. This thing packs a punch of healing and love as it defeats Daimons in the Death Buster arc, while healing the human the monster used as a host. In the Crystal reboots, it does kill off some enemies who are not Daimons, but they are revived. It also fails to defeat Princess Kaguya, the ice queen Elsa wishes she could be, in Sailor Moon S: The Movie. Lots of near misses.
7. Deep Aqua Mirror and the Space Sword
I’m pairing these two items together since they are both the talismans of everyone’s favorite lesbian “cousins.” Sailor Neptune’s Deep Aqua Mirror not only helps power up her attacks, but can also locate enemies and depict one’s past life (helpful for flashbacks!). Meanwhile, Sailor Uranus’s Space Sword upgrades her attacks in the sense that it’s a laser sword. It doesn’t need to do much else! In the original anime, the items emerge from Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus’s pure heart crystals. They talked a big game on how if the talismans appeared, they would have to kill the person they came from. It was a big vibe-killer, for sure. But then Sailor Pluto showed up and healed them. Even after being proven wrong, they continue to be assholes and not work with the inner Senshi for far too long. The real power these items possess is not in the show or manga, but in the fact that watching Sailor Uranus and Neptune use them can make any viewer question their sexuality.
6. Cutie Moon Rod
This perfectly named wand is used by Sailor Moon in two story arcs, the Makai Tree and the Black Moon Clan, plus facing off with the villain in Sailor Moon R: The Movie. The wand performs some major healing work in the worst season of the show, the Makai Tree arc, as the baddie tree itself gets turned into a sapling to hopefully not grow asshole foliage again. The wand does some neat stuff in the movie, but nothing too important. The Black Moon Clan arc is where the real trauma goes down. First of all, it straight-up kills the Spectre Sisters in Crystal and the manga. Sure, we see all the wands kill some sort of monsters — but killing humans hits differently in this arc because in the anime, the sisters are purified and go on to do hot girl shit and probably fall for MLMs. On top of everything, this wand, after everything it’s done, gets destroyed in the manga and gets knocked out of Sailor Moon’s hand in the anime. The rod disappears, never to be seen or mentioned again. Just sitting somewhere forgotten. Probably next to Molly Baker’s Brooklyn accent.
5. Eternal Tiare/Moon Power Tiare
This fucking thing. The final and most powerful of Sailor Moon’s arsenal. The Eternal Tiare becomes the Moon Power Tiare when you add the Holy Moon Chálice (which is a different item than the Holy Grail), which basically just made the Tiare longer. So I’m combining them. Many fans complain that the anime Tiare looks too goofy and may have suffered the same capitalistic fate the Sailor Star Yell did by wanting weapons to be more toylike. It’s definitely the most extra weapon with the fact it’s unnecessarily long, top-heavy, and bedazzled to death.
But let’s get to the fact that its first attack is Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss. Not only is it a mouthful, but those words should not go together in any context, yet here we are. Honeymoon therapy just sounds traumatic! This attack heals Phages back into their original human forms and also helped destroy hella Mirror Paredri, a.k.a. naked female glass monsters. The second attack, Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss, while a worse name, is more powerful since it not only heals stronger Phages but also destroys one of Sailor Tin Nyanko’s Galactica Bracelets. The weapon is strong, for sure, and has one of the best attack names, but it’s not tied to anything too emotional other than it’s the final wand we see Sailor Moon use. Which, actually, is pretty sad for us viewers who now have jobs and are paying taxes instead of twirling around in our rooms pretending to be space princesses who kicks ass.
4. Garnet Rod
Let me start this by saying this is Sailor Pluto’s weapon. While that should be enough to justify its spot on the rank (RIP, planet Pluto), there’s still more. Sailor Pluto guards the Space-Time Door alone while everyone else has castles, children, and lovers. Princess Serenity does allow her to leave her post to help the Sailor Scouts during the Death Busters arc. The Garnet Rod can perform a whopping four attacks, including one called Dead Scream, and can stop time (which kills her if she uses it). This weapon is also semi-sentient, like Luna P. It even saved Pluto from getting her heart crystals snatched, though it’s still up in the air whether or not it makes for good company while standing next to a door for millions of years.
3. Sword of the Silver Crystal
Okay, first of all, this sword has a lot of trauma attached to it. Princess Serenity uses a version of it to Juliet herself after Endymion was killed by Queen Beryl in the past. Sailor Venus avenges her princess using this sword. Venus finds the sword in the present future, and reveals that the Sailor Scouts are the only ones able to wield the sword. She also talks a lot about their past lives, and it’s a bummer, honestly, as the men they all used to be in love with became bad guys and are now dead. Oops. So not a lot of healing, but enough emotional turmoil to last a couple lifetimes. It never appears in the original anime, but in the Crystal reboot, Sailor Moon uses it to kill Queen Beryl by smashing the necklace that gave Beryl her power, and later Venus uses it in one of her attacks. Good for her to be able to look past the trauma and swing it around on the end of a laser rope.
2. Silence Glaive
Well, it’s a Glaive and not something called Sugar Heart Kisses Rod, which should tip you off that the owner of this weapon isn’t having a good time. Also known as the Scythe of the Goddess of Death, Sailor Saturn’s weapon definitely takes a hard turn from the other items we’ve seen. Its main attack is just Sailor Saturn swinging the Glaive and everything on the planet getting turned into dust, including herself. She uses the attack after the fall of the Moon Kingdom to help Queen Serenity create a clean slate. Throughout the series, there’s the occasional moment where Saturn considers going all scorched-earth on some verbose bad guy, but she’s always stopped by one of the Sailor Scouts, who are less into mortal sacrifice. Pretty sure this weapon was never produced for little girls to play with, which honestly is tragic enough in itself.
1. Moon Stick
It has the worst name, but this iconic wand is by far the most emotional-carnage-inducing weapon. Also known as the Crescent Moon Wand (hot take: The bastardized name is better than the original Japanese name, sorry you read this far only to hate me), this wand is the most archetypal magical-girl weapon ever. It’s the wand that probably gets butchered the most when people attempt knockoffs. It’s been food, and it’s most likely one of the few wands you were able to actually own if you were a fan of the show as a child. While it is technically weaker than the other wands on this list, it has put in the most work during its reign.
The Moon Stick was originally used by the first Queen Serenity to protect the palace on the moon. She uses it to save everyone so they can be reincarnated, and to seal away the Dark Kingdom crew. So already, that’s a lot. Then it gets passed down to Usagi so she can heal people who have become monsters, and yet again fight the Dark Kingdom since they broke out of their seal, weakened by Queen Serenity’s grief at losing her daughter. It becomes even more powerful when Sailor Moon receives the Silver Crystal and she adds it to the Moon Stick. The Crystal stays there until she learns to summon its power without the wand. But let’s not forget that when Sailor Moon first got the wand in the anime, the other Sailor Scouts doubted that Usagi was actually the moon princess, despite the Moon Stick only being able to be used by descendants of the moon kingdom. Honestly, fair, as Usagi is a normal teenager who, at first, is much more interested in video games and dessert than saving the world. (Oh, the symbolism of forcing young girls into adult roles before they are mature enough!) So we have the ultimate sacrifice, grief, iconic imagery, the cruelty of teenage girls, and messed-up societal norms — all rolled into one perfect package.