Sailor Moon holds a unique place in the anime fandom as a common entry point for many 90s kids and introducing queer characters to children’s television. DiC’s adaptation of the first two seasons and Cloverway‘s release of S and SuperS both removed quite a bit of what was regarded as controversial content. Zoisite’s gender was changed to female to remove his gay romance with fellow villain Kunzite. Famously, Sailor Uranus’ and Neptune’s relationship was reworked from amorous to familial, and like Zoisite, the villain Fisheye in SuperS was changed into a girl to mask his cross-dressing. The Starlights, three Guardians that appear in the final season, transform from men into women.
Fan communities filled in the gaps for censored American version. Fans attracted to a show focusing on strong female friendship, romance, and super powers could turn to the internet and find what was missing, including the truth about the show’s characters.
In the latest episode of Vice’s American Obsession mini-documentary series, viewers can learn about some of the influence Sailor Moon had on LGBTQ+ kids growing up in the 90s. The documentary interviews cosplayers at last year’s Anime Expo, Viz Media‘s Charlene Igram, and other fans of the anime series.