For anyone who's never seen Sailor Moon, it might surprise them to learn the series' namesake and her Sailor Guardians are capable fighters. The idea that all they do is run around, panic in the face of danger, and wait for a caped man to save them is false. Maybe that's true for Sailor Moon herself on occasion, but she especially holds her own in battle many times over.
The confrontations in classic Sailor Moon can be best described as brisk exchanges of magical techniques and evasive maneuvers. However, that's not entirely the case. In some episodes, the Sailor Guardians and villains really throw down and get savage. So, here are ten of the most vicious Sailor Moon fights.
10 Sailors Uranus & Neptune vs. Germatoid
As the others Guardians fought daimons outside Mugen Academy in episode 124, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto tried to enter the school from the sky. Pluto didn't make it, but her sacrifice allowed Uranus and Neptune to carry out their mission — find and destroy Mistress 9.. Inside Mugen, the duo is "greeted" by upper-level daimon Germatoid, who has been using Professor Tomoe as a vessel. He goes on to animate a series of dormant automatons. They overwhelm Uranus and Neptune before the pair is reunited with their Talismans. Uranus ultimately plunges her Space Sword deep into Germatoid's eye. It's a marvelous sequence that demonstrates Uranus and Neptune's brutal grace.
9 Sailor Jupiter vs. Queen Nehalennia
At the start of Sailor Stars, Queen Nehalennia returns to destroy the White Moon family. She captures Mamoru and takes him to her faraway kingdom. Usagi treks long and far to find her beloved, but Nehalennia — really an underlings disguised as her — isn't about to let the Moon Princess win. Just as she's about to strike Usagi down, Sailor Jupiter steps in. She single-handedly takes Nehalennia on before becoming a human shield. The wicked queen buries one energy bolt after another into Jupiter's back. She doesn't stop until Jupiter finally succumbs to her pain and passes out. The scene is a testament to both Jupiter's loyalty and resilience.
8 Sailor Guardians vs. an Army of Daimons
Mistress 9 has stolen Chibi-Usa's Pure Heart Crystal. The remaining Death Busters are about to summon their leader Master Pharaoh 90 to Earth. And Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are on their way to kill Mistress 9, Pharaoh 90's emissary. Outside Mugen Academy in episode 124, the Sailor Team squares off with an army of freshly hatched daimons.
The only way to reach Mistress 9 is through them. These gelatinous daimons are nearly indestructible, though. Once Sailor Moon clears a path, however, she's apprehended by Mistress 9. The remaining Guardians channel their energy into a force field in the meantime to keep the gooey daimons at bay.
7 Sailor Guardians vs. the Black Moon Clan
In episode 68, Sailor Moon and her fellow Sailor Guardians are drawn into an all-out spar with the four Ayakashi Sisters of the Black Moon Clan. Each Inner Guardian is pitted against her respective Ayakashi counterpart. Because she's protecting Chibi-Usa, Sailor Moon is caught off guard by Crimson Rubeus. He attacks her relentlessly until Tuxedo Mask intervenes. This is when Sailor Moon unleashes her finishing move, leaving Rubeus scared witless. He and the Ayakashi Sisters hightail it out of there before it's too late. The match between the Guardians and the Sisters could have been extended, but it's an iconic battle nonetheless.
6 Nephrite vs. Zoisite's Three Yōma
There wasn't too much hand-t0-hand combat in Sailor Moon, but on occasion, we got moments like this. To lure out Nephrite in episode 24, Zoisite sends three yōma — Grape, Hōsenka, Suzuran — to abduct Naru. Even when Nephrite spares Zoisite's minions' lives, the three yōma track him down later. Grape impales Nephrite with life-draining tendrils, resulting in one of the most graphic images in the whole anime. In the end, Nephrite dies in Naru's arms. It's worth noting Nephrite's blood was green in color rather than red here. This was probably the only way the censors would have allowed such gruesome imagery.
5 Sailor Guardians vs. Fiore
In the R movie, Mamoru's childhood friend Fiore returns to Earth after over a decade. This alien unleashes a flower-like, energy-draining yōma on the citizens of Azabu-Jūban. The Sailor Guardians defeat the floral fiend, but they are overpowered by its master.
Fiore telekinetically hurls Mercury and Venus aside into a shop window; he sends Mars flying into a closed roller door. Jupiter then charges at him, engaging in one-sided fisticuffs. Fiore evades every blow with ease before he launches her into a telephone booth. At his own risk, Tuxedo Mask swoops in to protect Sailor Moon from Fiore. This moment parallels a similar scene in episode 34.
4 Sailor Moon vs. Rubeus
After Chibi-Usa stole Usagi's transformation brooch, Mars and the others were captured by Rubeus. To get her friends back in episode 74, Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa enter Rubeus' UFO. Inside, Sailor Moon distracts Rubeus while Chibi-Usa looks for a way to free the other Guardians. Sailor Moon gives it a good go, but Rubeus has a device that manipulates the gravity within the ship. Chibi-Usa eventually breaks said device and Moon gains the upper hand. The Sailor Guardians teleport back to Earth with Chibi-Usa in tow, and Rubeus perishes along with his exploding UFO. Anyone who says Sailor Moon is weak needs to see this episode.
3 Sailor Mars vs. Kōan
Kōan revisits the Hikawa Shrine in an effort to catch the "Rabbit" (a.k.a. Chibi-Usa). In doing so, she upsets the Guardian of Flame, Sailor Mars. First off, Kōan mercilessly attacks Rei's friend Yūichirō after he comes to Chibi-Usa's aid.
With Yūichirō unconscious, Rei subsequently reveals her true identity to her enemy. Sailor Mars and Kōan then clash. It feels like Kōan has the advantage as she's more cunning, but Mars catches her by surprise. The episode takes a sad turn, though, when Rubeus casts Kōan out of the Black Moon Clan for failing to get the Rabbit. Mars finally convinces a self-destructive Kōan to turn a new leaf.
2 Sailors Uranus & Neptune vs. Eudial
In episode 110, Eudial discovers two of the elusive Talisman hosts, and invites Sailors Uranus and Neptune to a remote cathedral in Tokyo Bay. As soon as they enter, Uranus and Neptune are under attack. Eudial has set up a convoluted trap where blocks fly at the Guardians. Neptune is injured while protecting Uranus, then captured for another purpose. Later, Eudial reveals Uranus and Neptune each host a Talisman. She's about ready to kill Uranus, but Neptune cuts in. The direct blow from Eudial's gun gravely injures Neptune as well as extracts her Talisman. When Usagi comes to help, Uranus pushes her aside and accepts her fate.
1 Sailor Guardians vs. the DD Girls
In the first season's emotional, penultimate finale, the Sailor Guardians teleport to the North Pole to face off with Queen Beryl. In turn, Beryl sics a quintet of yōma called the DD Girls on the Guardians. One by one, Sailor Moon's friends are taken out by these fierce assassins. Jupiter sacrifices herself to weaken the DD Girls. Mercury forfeits her life so that she can remove the enemy's glamouring ability. Then Venus is extinguished after blasting a DD Girl at point-blank range. Finally, Mars is seized by the remaining yōma before making a fiery comeback. All is not lost, though. The four fallen Guardians return in spirit form to help Sailor Moon vanquish Queen Beryl once and for all.