Welcome to part two of my filler-reduced viewing guide to the original Sailor Moon anime! This is for people who want to get into Sailor Moon but don’t have the time to sit through all its filler. Today we’ll be looking at the second season, Sailor Moon R.
If you’re new here and want to start at the beginning with season one, check out my viewing guide for season one. If you’re new but just looking for a viewing guide for season 2, I’ll give you a brief introduction. The purpose of these articles is to make the original 90’s Sailor Moon anime more accessible to today’s anime fans by cutting down on the number of filler episodes that unnecessarily pad out each season. However, this is not a “filler-free” guide, because many filler episodes in Sailor Moon nevertheless nudge the plot forward with a few minutes of relevant information or conversations. Moreover, a lot of filler episodes provide good characterization or are simply entertaining. Accordingly, I’ve categorized each episode into one of three categories: required, recommended, and filler. By watching some or all of my “Recommended” episodes in addition to the “Required” episodes, you’ll see more character interaction and more of the fun, silly humor the series is known for. It is my hope that this will get you a more enjoyable Sailor Moon experience without it having to be a huge time sink.
EDIT [7/4/17]: This article has been updated with some feedback I’ve received since publication. Your thoughts on the guide are appreciated, please continue to let me know what you think!
✮The bare minimum “required” episodes:
60-61, 68-69, 73-77, 82-88.
Total of 16 out of 43 episodes.
✮ Required + all potential recommended episodes:
60-61, 64, 68-78, 82-88.
Total of 21 out of 43 episodes.
Episodes 47-59: Makai Tree Arc
Sailor Moon R opens with a twelve episode long “mini-season” that was invented exclusively for the anime, in order to allow Naoko Takeuchi to catch up with the next part of the manga’s story. On one hand, this is great because it cuts back on the need to include so much filler for the later, more important part of the season. On the other hand, we are cursed with twelve utterly pointless and generally bad (imho) episodes as a follow-up to season 1’s explosive finale.
While they address the continuation of the series (namely, the fact that the main characters had their memories wiped in episode 46), these episodes are completely skippable and most certainly should be skipped. All you need to know is the following: 1) the Senshi and Mamoru all get their memories back, 2) Sailor Moon gets a new transformation brooch and a new rod, the Cutie Moon Rod, and 3) the Senshi get new transformation sticks. That’s it.
Episode 47: Filler. Luna reawakens Usagi as Sailor Moon so she can fight a new enemy that has arrived to steal energy.
Episode 48: Filler. Luna reawakens the other senshi.
Episode 49: Filler.
Episode 50: Filler.
Episode 51: Filler. Usagi gets a new transformation brooch and a new rod.
Episode 52: Filler.
Episode 53: Filler.
Episode 54: Filler.
Episode 55: Filler.
Episode 56: Filler.
Episode 57: Filler.
Episode 58: Filler. Part 1 of the end of this filler arc.
Episode 59: Filler. Part 2 of the end of this filler arc. Mamoru’s memories come back thanks to the power of love or something. It doesn’t really make any sense and isn’t clearly explained. Seriously, this arc is not very good.
Episodes 60-75: Rubeus and the Spectre Sisters
With the Makai Tree arc over, we can finally get to the focus of Sailor Moon R, involving Chibiusa and the nefarious Black Moon Clan. This first part deals with Rubeus’ henchwomen, the Spectre Sisters, and ends with the resolution of Rubeus’ storyline. Many of these are filler - the entire concept of “Crystal Points” was made up for the anime’s filler needs. However, the Spectre Sisters go through a subplot that’s memorable, in the same vein as the Naru/Nephrite subplot from season 1, except it’s a little more relevant to the plot towards the end of the series.
✮ Episode 60: Required.
✮ Episode 61: Required.
Episode 62: Filler. The only important thing that happens is Sailor Mercury gets a new attack. This starts a string of episodes devoted to each Senshi getting a new attack animation.
Episode 63: Filler.
Episode 64: Recommended. This is a good characterization episode for Chibiusa. If you’re feeling like she’s been unsympathetic so far, watch this episode. However, a lot of the plot relevant information in this episode is repeated in episode 68, so you can skip this one if you want to cut back on the number of episodes you have to watch.
Episode 65: Filler.
Episode 66: Filler.
Episode 67: Filler, and one of the most notoriously bad episodes in the entire series. (Maybe you’ll want to watch it just out of curiosity...)
✮ Episode 68: Required.
✮ Episode 69: Required.
Episode 70: Recommended. This episode begins the Spectre Sisters subplot. I think these episodes are pretty good and provide good characterization for both the villains and the Senshi, and this subplot does factor into a required episode towards the end of the season. You can skip them, but out of all the recommended episodes for this season, these are the ones you should probably watch.
Episode 71: Recommended. Subplot continues.
Episode 72: Recommended. This is the final episode of the Spectre Sisters subplot.
✮ Episode 73: Required.
✮ Episode 74: Required.
✮ Episode 75: Required.
Episodes 76-83: Esmeraude
Rubeus is replaced with Esmeraude for a new, shorter batch of filler episodes that gets interrupted in episode 82 when the plot starts to pick up. I really love Esmeraude, as she brings back some of the campy silliness we got with Zoisite in season one.
✮ Episode 76: Required.
✮ Episode 77: Required.
Episode 78: Recommended. This is a fun episode with some good characterization for Sailor Venus, which you haven’t got much of yet if you’re following this guide. This is one of the better Minako episodes, so if you feel like you don’t know her well enough yet, give this one a try.
Episode 79: Filler.
Episode 80: Filler.
Episode 81: Filler.
✮ Episode 82: Required.
✮ Episode 83: Required.
Episodes 84-89: Black Lady and Finale
As we approach the end of the season, the show starts sticking to business and we aren’t hampered anymore by needless filler. While several of these episodes are still padded quite a bit, none of them are skippable. Enjoy the finale!
✮ Episode 84: Required.
✮ Episode 85: Required.
✮ Episode 86: Required. This episode involves the Spectre Sisters subplot in episodes 70-72. If you skipped those episodes, everything you need to know is pretty much mentioned or easily inferred from this episode’s dialogue. Basically, the Spectre Sisters left the Black Moon Clan after realizing they were being used as pawns and being turned into regular humans by Sailor Moon.
✮ Episode 87: Required.
✮ Episode 88: Required.
Episode 89: Filler. This is a recap episode in preparation for season 3.
This concludes the viewing guide for season two! Let’s look at the summary lists once more.
- The bare minimum “required” episodes: 60-61, 69, 73-77, 82-88.
- Required + all potential recommended episodes: 60-61, 64, 68-78, 82-88.
If you decide to follow my recommended episode list, please leave a comment to tell me how it worked out for you, and whether there were any moments where you were confused because you felt like you missed something. The same goes for anyone familiar with the first season who might disagree with me on any episodes. I am certainly open to any input or suggestions on how to make this viewing list better.
If you enjoyed this guide, check out my viewing guide for seasons 3, 4 and 5!