ONTD Original™: 20 Great Episodes from the First Sailor Moon Anime

In a matter of days, the brand new Sailor Moon Crystal will debut across the world. If you have the spare time this Fourth of July weekend, why not re-watch some of the best episodes from the first anime? Here is a list of just twenty to start you off.

20. Night Between Us! Usagi’s Pinch (Episode 184)
One of the funniest episodes involved Usagi and Seiya's "date" being interrupted by numerous visitors to the Tsukino house. The writers poked fun at Eternal Sailor Moon's cumbersome wings, and a pizza was thrown at the monster-of-the-day à la "Moon Tiara Action." Seeing the Sailor Soldiers argue with the Starlights while completely ignoring the enemy was also a highlight. When did the Tsukinos get a greenhouse attached to the kitchen?

19. Loved and Chased! Luna’s Worst Day Ever (Episode 31)
The Rainbow Crystals arc was purely filler as the manga needed some time to catch up with the anime. Nonetheless, it was fun fluff. For instance, Luna finally got a spotlight episode. Her romantic interest was an obese yet strangely agile cat named Rhett Butler. Yes, the episode is full of Gone with the Wind references. As far as comedic episodes go, this one ranks very high. From the Sailor Soldiers trying to fight Zoisite in a very narrow alley (Jupiter's expression as she sees Mercury's business is pricelesss), to Zoisite becoming a rat king while chasing Luna and Rhett - this episode will surely make you laugh.
18. Mirror of Dreams! Amazons’ Final Stage (Episode 149)
Most fans will agree that SuperS was not the best season. It was basically Sailor Moon on autopilot. The writers turned three minor villains, the Amazon Trio, into major players in the anime. Their last episode was without a doubt one of the strongest of the Dead Moon storyline. For one thing, it was exciting: Fish Eye captured Chibiusa, Usagi nearly died, and the Amazon Trio saved the day by being selfless. Definitely a reminder of the show's old spirit.
17. A Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan (Episode 70)
The Ayakashi Sisters were more developed in the anime, and this was a good decision. Youngest sister Koan was heavily focused on, and her skirmish with Sailor Mars goes down as one of the most brutal hand-to-hand fights in the anime. The crimson sociopath Rubeus broke Koan's heart, sending her straight into a kamikaze mission. Of course the Sailor Soldiers aren't ones to let anyone, even an enemy, just go down in flames. Koan became the first of the four sisters to turn over a new leaf. Another highlight of the episode was Yuichiro and Rei's relationship. It was a slow burning one at that, but moments like Yuichiro jumping to protect Rei from Koan's attack speak volumes.

16. I Won’t Run Away From Love Anymore! Ami and Mamoru’s Showdown (Episode 41)
Of all the Sailor Soldiers, who would have expected Sailor Mercury to be the one who bested Queen Beryl's golden boy Endymion? Sailor Jupiter completely failed to subdue the dark prince, but Mercury's bubbles and resourcefulness thwarted Endymion's mission. Perhaps Mercury should've been the active leader.
15. Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru’s Past (Episode 35)
Although the animation could've been better here, the story made up for it. Mamoru was mortally wounded, and his body was then seized by the enemy. The Sailor Soldiers were trapped in the Dark Kingdom's labyrinth, and Sailor Moon was rightfully freaking out about her past, present and future. The best scene was when Sailor Mars literally slapped some sense into Moon. Fans seem to forget that anime Rei did have feelings for Mamoru at one point, and she too expressed pain over his death. The most entertaining Shitennou, Zoisite, also parted ways with the audience here.
14. Saphir Dies! Wiseman’s Trap (Episode 86)
Once again, the anime created a ship that didn't exist in the manga. The oldest Ayakashi Sister, Petz, was in love with her former superior Saphir. Their relationship's existence only came to light in one episode, but it was a brutal one. Petz's jaded and defensive personality took a break as she nursed the injured Saphir, well knowing the risks of harboring a fugitive (remember that Wiseman was the one who attacked Saphir for betraying him). Eventually, Saphir met his end, and Petz's was grief-stricken. It's truly a shame that this was the last we saw of the Ayakashi Sisters.
13. Moon Love Power! The End of the Nightmare (Episode 172)
The mini arc at the start of Sailor Stars was arguably the better portion of the final season. Queen Nehelenia, a very sad character in hindsight, was given a farewell befitting of Sailor Moon tradition. In spite of the fact that Nehelenia killed so many people, Moon still granted her a chance to re-live her life. A favorite scene is when Sailor Chibimoon stopped her friend Saturn from finishing her "Silence Glaive Surprise" technique, which ultimately would've destroyed its executor. Chibimoon would have rather died than see her best friend perish again.
12. Holy War in the Galaxy Sailor Wars Legend (Episode 194)
Kotono Mitsuishi really deserves more kudos for her performance as Usagi/Sailor Moon. Anyone who claims that Usagi was weak should remember this episode. She had not heard from Mamoru since he left for America, but she refused to tell anyone for her own reasons. The episode became almost too painful once Sailor Moon saw the iconic rose and an illusionary caped savior. Usagi's breakdown in the last scene, and Seiya asking if he himself wasn't enough for her - all these emotions had finally come to a head.
11. Awaken, Sleeping Beauty! Mamoru’s Distress (Episode 69)
Why is this episode on this list, one might ask. Simply: the Luna and Mamoru scene. Chiba's nightmares of his beloved dying if their relationship continues caused him to break up with Usagi. Mamoru wanted to make sure that Usagi understood that they had no chance of reconciliation. So, he pretended that Motoki's sister Unazuki was his new girlfriend. This hurt Usagi, and it may have been the reason why she so off her game during the fight with Petz and Calaveras' droid. Luna raced to Mamoru's apartment, and she gave him the verbal thrashing that he deserved. Her plea was enough to temporarily snap Mamoru out of his state of mind, and he hurried to save Sailor Moon. This didn't last long as Mamoru remembered why he ended the relationship to begin with. It's very hard to get over an ex when they keep showing up to help you.

10. Death of Uranus and Neptune? Talismans Appear (Episode 110)
The complex relationship between Haruka and Michiru was one that Usagi and the others didn't quite understand. Not because of obvious reasons, but due to the fact that the pair realized what sacrifice really meant. Usagi and her friends would gladly risk their lives to protect some civilians or each other. Haruka and Michiru, though, were willing to die for the sake of the entire world. That didn't mean they weren't susceptible to fleeting moments self-interest. Neptune took a beating from Eudial's traps, desperately trying to protect Uranus from the inevitable. Uranus, on the other hand, understood what had to be done. This episode was a great example of the altruism that the Sailor Soldiers displayed oh too often.

09. Dreams Forever! Light Throughout the Sky (Episode 166)
If the new anime somehow makes it to the Dream arc of the manga, one has to hope that it handles the story better than the first anime did. The finale was almost a saving grace, as it differed from other season enders for the show. Nehelenia was beaten, and she had no other means of fighting back. Well, except for one thing: Sailor Moon's daughter. The dark queen shockingly hurled an unconscious Chibimoon off a floating barge. With no qualms, Moon jumped after her. Before continuing, here is a sidebar on the topic of Usagi being a "bad mother" to Chibiusa. Bear in mind that the Chibiusa that past Usagi knew was considered more of a best friend than a daughter. Usagi didn't give birth to that Chibiusa, so to speak. The maternal bond between them had yet to form. Which is why Usagi treated her more like a close friend than relative, and maybe why she oft dispensed misguided advice. To expect current day Usagi (she was fourteen and fifteen-years old at the time) and Mamoru to behave like amazing parents instantly is silly. Back to the episode at hand. The lingering drop as Moon grabbed Chibimoon may be one of the longest falls ever depicted in media. In truth, the two probably should have crashed ages ago. The magic of drama kept you in suspense, and maybe it helped ebb the residual mediocity of SuperS. While director Kunihiko Ikuhara dropped the ball that season, he made up for it with his last episode in the anime.

08. Naru’s Cry! Nephrite Dies for Love (Episode 14)
The mood of the first season took a drastic turn with this episode, and the war had become a little more real for Usagi and her pals. The first casualty wasn't even one of Sailor Soldiers' own. Still, the pang was real enough, and Usagi's best friend Naru was devastated. Nephrite managed to change without the help of Sailor Moon's magic, which was a rare feat in the anime. At least the tragedy paved the way for Naru's adorable relationship with Umino.

07. Protect Chibiusa! Clash of the 10 Soldiers (Episode 68)
Here is the best episode of  R. The guardian Sailor Soldiers square off with the Ayakashi Sisters, and Sailor Moon relentlessly shields Chibiusa from the vindictive Rubeus. Additionally, the glorious "Ai no Senshi" (Soldier of Love) theme played throughout the battle between both sides of the crescent moon. Chibiusa haters must have had a smidge of sympathy for the twerp after this one.

06. Usagi’s Everlasting Wish! A New Reincarnation (Episode 46)
DiC's English dub did a disservice to fans by chopping the first season's last two episodes to pieces, and combining the remnants into a single entry. The actual finale had the thralled Prince Endymion beating Sailor Moon up, and quite viciously one might add. Moon managed to save her love, but their reunion was cut short again. What the DiC adaptation glossed over was that the energy used to defeat Beryl also consumed the bodies of the fallen Sailor Soldiers, Mamoru and Sailor Moon herself. Through some kind of miracle, the heroes were reborn with no memories of the previous events. The one flaw this episode possessed, at least from a western viewer's perspective, was playing the theme song during Princess Serenity's brawl with Beryl. The dub used an original song that better immortalized the scene.

05. The Bond of Destiny! The Distant Days of Uranus (Episode 106)
This episode was a nice origin story for our favorite Sailor Soldiers couple. Haruka was running away from something, and Michiru was dreaming of something inescapable. Their conflicting personalities somehow meshed, and their vow to fight the good fight together was born. Even at the start of their pairing, Neptune risked her safety for Haruka. Talk about love at first sight.

04. Usagi’s Awakening! A Message from the Distant Past (Episode 44)
The history of the fall of the Moon Kingdom was nicely illustrated in this important episode. Certain details from the manga like, say, the Shitennou being Endymion's past guardians, were sadly omitted. Regardless, this flashback painted an laudable exposition of how everything came apart ages ago. The standoff between Sailor Moon and Kunzite was a proper prelude to the season's penultimate episode.

03. The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears (Episode 34)
This episode revealed things that fans already knew - Usagi was the princess, and Mamoru was Tuxedo Mask. In spite of the anti-climatic revelations, other events here stood out. Zoisite's ruthless revenge plot, Usagi dramatic elevator transformation, and Tuxedo Mask's first impalement (how sad that one has to clarify with "first"...).

02. The Horror of the Approaching Shadow! 8 Soldiers in a Tough Battle/A Bright Shooting Star! Saturn and the Messiah (Episodes 124-125)
These two episodes can technically count as one. They even have the same writer, Yoji Enokido, and art director, Ikuko Ito. Fans herald these as some of the best episodes in the show's entire run, and that's for a good reason. The stakes were raised: Chibiusa was on the verge of death, Mistress 9 was awakened, an army of liquefied daimon was unleashed upon the city, and Pharaoh 90 was approaching. The mood was somber, and there was none of the usual humor to be found in this dire situation. Both teams of Sailor Soldiers want to save the world, but through very different means. The tone of SuperS was like a one-eighty, and it took a reprieve from the brilliant darkness of S.

01. The Sailor Soldiers Die! The Tragic Final Battle (Episode 45)
Whose heart didn't get torn in pieces after seeing the uncut version of this episode? None of that "captured" nonsense here - the Sailor Soldiers straight up die trying to protect their princess. The writers managed to shove some good character development in such little time. Many people misunderstood the dynamics of Rei and Usagi's friendship. Their farewell scenes here should make it clear as to how Rei felt about Usagi. If poignancy and tearjerkers are your thing, this episode will make you bawl.

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