Day by day and week by week, this rant now comes...I hope.
You see, I spent a couple of days going through the Sailor Moon manga. I heard there's no filler and the mangaka gets to the point, so I didn't expect it to be too long and the comparison I could do between that medium and the others would nice. Unfortunately it was far longer than I had anticipated and my ranting ability or desire to had faded out by the time I reached the Black Moon arc because damn is that arc boring, anime or manga. I really do not care about Prince Demande or whatever they called him or any of those sisters or what have you. But the manga did have some interesting differences I agreed with over the Anime (but that's not very hard considering I have a lot of issues with the Anime) and also I can once again squee about PGSM and declare how much I prefer it in a huge gigantic wall-of-text! So without further ado, my rant!
To begin, let us discuss the manga itself...it didn't have filler indeed. Unfortunately that meant it just went straight towards going through that plot like it was nothing and despite how long it felt the plots felt short as hell. So short that I forgot the characters were meant to be characters and that three of the Inners weren't just random meatshields for Sailor Moon. Granted I did prefer manga Ami over Anime Ami since her brilliance wasn't played out in all areas. For example, the game Ami was randomly excellent at (Sailor V) in the Anime had a plot relevant point in the manga, that the game was set up by Venus herself to train the soldiers and whoever actually was a soldier would naturally be good at it, which was a hint that Ami would become Mercury. (You know, if the cover and the illustrations and the title didn't already completely spoil that) plus, the machine is the origin of all their transformation trinkets as opposed to Luna's magical hammerspace (or orifice if you're one of the many people who keep spouting that gross joke) so it already displayed Sailor V's competence and that unlike the Anime she did in fact have more experience and wasn't just running around as Sailor V for no apparent reason when she could've just introduced herself already.
Certain plots did play out better or at least plot points, for example the manga decided to have the three Inners become kidnapping bait and Venus, who I highly expected to be predictably kidnapped next, avoided such a fate. So there was some more resemblance of previous experience with Venus and her being a leader. A lot of people say and perhaps it's canon, I don't know for sure, that Venus is by far Moon's most devoted and closest bodyguard. Threatening or attempting to harm the princess is a hot-button issue with this blonde. The sword that randomly showed up in the Special Act of PGSM appeared in the manga as well in some form in the hands of Venus because at first I thought PGSM was just obsessed with swords giving swords willy-nilly to people despite the Sailors not having pointy weapons with the exception of Saturn and Uranus for the entirety of the Anime, but it appeared in the manga! Hurrah for explanation and continuity!
My distaste for the Black Moon arc has already erased half of my memory even reading through that, so I won't go into that arc. The Dark Kingdom arc wasn't all that surprising, but the Infinity Arc (AKA the S season in the Anime) was splendid, though that might have to do with I myself loving the S season of the Anime itself. The whole self-sacrifice issue is still present this time but it isn't a huge topic during the final fight, which, amusingly enough, ended with Saturn actually killing everything but Sailor Moon, who is far more powerful and hax in the manga than in the Anime believe or not, revived everyone. (It didn't spontaneously happen, Saturn actually told Moon to do it after she deleted the existence of all life on the planet) and all Moon had to do was revive everyone except the bad guys. That might sound rather stupid to those not having read the manga, but I found it at least preferable to the idealism vs. cynicism, handing Grail to evil lady kind of thing in the Anime. (DESPITE such flaws it is by far my favourite Anime finale, it was just that good)
One difference I much preferred from the manga is when Pluto did her Time Stop and thus committing suicide. In the Anime we all know she saved Uranus and Neptune in the helicopter from exploding, but this is an insult compared to when Pluto stopped time in the manga. During the Black Moon Arc (hey, I remember something!) Prince Demande managed to grab a hold of both the Silver Crystal of the past and the Silver Crystal of the 30th Century, which our heroes have time-travelled into, to help save their future selves from the Black Moon. If Prince Demande were to touch the two crystals together, it would cause a time paradox that explodes existence altogether, but he erroneously believed putting the two together would give him infinite power. So Pluto had to time stop since everyone else could not stop him in time, and that killed Pluto, so opposed to just saving two senshi, she saved EVERYTHING breaking her taboo. Not only that, Pluto's sacrifice is what snaps Black Lady back into Chibiusa and caused her to turn into Sailor Chibi Moon one entire season before the Anime ever did. I found this far more powerful than how the Anime went about it and this is one of the few things I truly wish happened in the animated version. Perhaps the remake would do good on this.
The most obvious difference I'd like the Anime to have kept was the Amazones Quartet being Sailor Chibi Moon's four guardian soldiers. Their resolution at the end of SuperS just had them switch sides (written rather poorly as well!) and then leave as normal people. Before this only the Black Moon sisters were given a redemption to live a normal life, the rest just died rather nasty deaths, but this time they switched in one episode right after I found them acting like quite the sociopaths, especially that PallaPalla kid. She was especially brutal for someone looking the youngest and most innocent, so my suspension of disbelief failed for them turning good. At least in the manga they were manipulated and awakened too early from becoming Sailor Chibi Moon's guardian senshi. Also obviously the manga had the Outers in this Dream Arc and it wasn't completely and utterly focused on Chibiusa. The Dream Arc of the manga was definitely much more superior to the Anime version, which I make no secret dislike.
Finally there is Stars which does zero favours for our beloved Inner Senshi and even Outer Senshi, since they kind of die early on as opposed to being in the background in the Anime. I did find Galaxia far more menacing in this version though, since she steals the star seeds right in front of Sailor Moon with zero hesitation, early on in the arc when no one is properly prepared or could comprehend that there was a new enemy afoot. She was chillingly competent and didn't leave such important tasks to misfit minions. But speaking of minions, if you like any of them at all you would never choose the manga over the Anime, since the manga villains are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts that die in a panel. In fact they die so fast sometimes I accidentally go by it and don't even realize they're dead...it has happened more than once. Their lack of significance is truly sad, they are like the equivalents of monsters of the week in the Anime since the MotW aren't very prevalent or even existing in the manga at all.
The ending of Stars completely confused me though, but I guess stuff like the identity of Sailor Cosmos and how idealistic the ending was, was meant to be up in the air. That leads right into the extras of the manga which I found quite hilarious, particularly parts of the Chibiusa Diaries and every extra focusing on the Inners. The Casablanca Memories extra focused on Rei found some controversy among myself and Aoi-dono because the abstinent Rei had perhaps maybe somewhat fallen in love in that extra, though I found it a rather realistic depiction and not as though she was being boy-crazy for the random hunk they saw on the street like Anime Rei would be. And the conclusion in the end just made manga Rei's views and perspective on romance even stronger, so I had no problems with it. Then there was the Parallel extra I found to absurd to take seriously. I'm pretty sure that one is a parody or something not to take seriously at all.
So with that out of the way...characters! Let's begin with Minako simply because I find her the hardest to discuss. I went through all of Codename: Sailor V to figure out what to say about her, wondering how deep of a character she is. Granted I don't find many characters in either the Anime or Manga to be especially deep and PGSM Minako is quite dreary and drastically different from the Minakos of the other iterations. Minako...to put it bluntly, or rather Usagi to put it bluntly is a clear expy of Minako. There is no other way to say it, it isn't subjective, the mangaka wanted to do a superhero shoujo manga but based the main character off herself, and seems to only want that character archetype to ever be main character, so after Sailor V when it came down to starting Sailor Moon she just used the archetype again, but wanting Minako to show up in that canon as well...thus two blondes who seem almost completely alike.
There are differences however, though how I could discuss it what with the drastic differences between the Anime and the manga I don't know. See, in the manga we kind of get straight into the plot, so I found Usagi transforming into the Princess Serenity identity quite abrupt, and several arcs into the manga she rarely showed her initial Usagi-side anymore, considering the importance of the plot only called upon their senshi selves and their civilian-selves felt largely forgotten. In that case it's easier to differentiate Usagi and Minako because Minako continues being her crazy self forever. When Codename began she was a boy-crazy tomboy and when Sailor Moon ended...she was a boy-crazy tomboy. The only difference is her role. Her role is the leader of the senshi so she finds herself on the initiative in terms of keeping the Princess safe and being much more competent than the other Sailors. When she's first introduced into Sailor Moon for example, Zoicite who was wiping the floor out of Mercury and Jupiter at the moment, was reduced to nothing the moment Venus arrived, plus her lack of being kidnapped as I mentioned before and her Sailor V game (though designed and started up by Artemis) AND the fact that she disguises herself as a princess gives her much more of a charismatic outlook than merely "RANDOM BLONDE SHOWS UP! Holy shit Sailor V! Holy shit Sailor V is Venus! Holy shit Minako has sad past! Holy shit Minako's suddenly crazy!" and then she gets flanderized to death as the seasons went by...
I actually rather dislike her backstory in the Anime. I found it rather contrived...she fell in love with random dull guy and then makes friends with random dull policewoman. (The policewoman she makes friends with in Codename: Sailor V was far more interesting and hilarious than that oneshot lady!!) Her backstory episode in the first season was of such stark contrast to how she showed up in R you'd think the Dakr Kingdom secretly swapped Minako out with a defective clone. I much prefer Minako's sad past involving Kaitou Ace and how all the loves she's ever encountered always goes bad, but like a normal teenage girl it doesn't cause her to go emo super quickly and be regarded as some sort of crazy mature senshi...if they had gone too far with that it'd have resulted in PGSM!
Speaking of PGSM, while Minako is massively different there, I didn't mind her character in the Live Action. She was extremely hard-headed for my liking but turning her odd relationship with Rei in the manga into full-blown frenemies in a bitter rivalry amongst one another was brilliant. It truly made her death in Act 47 all the more powerful and Rei's brilliant actress, Keiko Kitagawa, did not disappoint in her utter despair. I much prefer Rei/Minako's spatting over Usagi/Rei's spatting. I like how the manga' stance seems to make it so Usagi doesn't actually prefer any senshi over the other. She is truly all their greatest friends equally. (though she's much more romantic with Mamoru in the manga which I suppose makes Mamoru far more interesting but I NEVER cared about Mamoru so even the manga could not make him any more interesting. Truly do i not love shoujos and their ridiculous focus on romance on a really boring, handsome dull man.)
In the end Minako is still my favourite character of the Anime and the Manga, but if I had to choose I think manga Minako wins this spot. LA Minako is great too but not really as comparable, and she isn't my favourite at all if compared to other PGSM characters, so.
Moving on, we go to Makoto, or Sailor Jupiter! Jupiter is actually my astrological planet or whatever and that makes me kind of disappointed because of any Sailor Soldier on Sailor Moon, I'd choose any other besides Jupiter. (okay actually I'd take her over Pluto, maybe Neptune. SORRY PLUTO) Jupiter's character is relatively consistent throughout each medium, so I don't think I'm going to discuss too much comparison here, though her PGSM form is more tomboyish and angsty than the rest. (then again ALL the PGSM characters are more angsty than the rest, what with it being a J-Drama as well olololol) I have nothing against her, but I just find her the least unique among all the characters. They certainly TRIED to make her unique. I mean her initial design was for her to actually be a delinquent and part of a gang, but those damned editors thought she was too hardcore and so the mangaka had to reduce her to merely SEEM like a delinquent when she's anything but. That would've been especially interesting.
Nonetheless a large part of character has to do with Japanese culture which in 1992 was quite outdated and rather misogynist. She happens to be slightly taller than all the other girls and so the school lacks a size for her, as if she was the ONLY girl to EVER have grow THAT MUCH more than the rest. I mean egads, could they at least not have a uniform customly tailored so she isn't singled out further beyond her height!? Also the Japanese view many young women, especially during that time, to ideally grow up, be feminine, and marry into a family to make all men in their lives proud. Makoto at first does not seem feminine or all that interested in such things because she was rumoured to get into fights and she's taller than the ideal female wife-height or whatever. But SHOCKINGLY, she isn't all that tomboyish at all! In fact Makoto gives into society's views and actually learns to cook JUST SO she can counter her masculine reputation. She ends up in a uniform that's dark foresty-green (which makes sense, since besides thunder the Japanese belief of Jupiter [as in it's in their name for the planet] is something about nature like trees or flowers or whatever) and light pink.
But as time goes on her non-feminine side seems to just dissipate. She loves to cook and wants to open a shop like a flower shop or a bakery or whatever, and she wants to marry early and seems to be obsessed with an old sempai who dumped her in her old school and was in a love triangle (manga) which meant that Anime episode detailing Minako's backstory completely ripped off Makoto's manga backstory. In the end her most notable rise to fame is declaring how "talented" she is so she should be the main role in Snow White, and being the most boy-crazy. What the fuck happened to old Makoto!? Where was she in her deput episode or deput act of the manga where she, in her civilian muggle presumably powerless form lifted up the monster of the week and threw them a good six or seven metres into a tree or wall!? Sure she manages to hold back that Bonbon Baby in the SuperS movie or ends up as the most physical protector to Sailor Moon more often than not, but in the end her strength still gives out despite a showing of her strength. Like her original strength and masculinity isn't enough and doesn't matter compared to her in my opinion rather cliche and boring overly feminine dreams of her.
I don't mind her feminine side at all of course, but I thought the point of Makoto was the balance of her feminine-side and that so-called badass side where she can deck youma in the face without having to wear a short skirt. She just happens to be a really girly traditional soldier who can benchpress a bit more than the rest. The manga once said she played basketball and was involved in other boy-like clubs, but it just completely vanishes in that manga. Her initial design was also to call her "Mamoru" instead, as opposed to the actual Mamoru, in that she is the protector. More than once she is referred to as the "Soldier of Protection" in the manga but she's as good in protecting as the rest of the other soldiers in the manga. At least in the Anime she had a few moments to shine, especially the arc in Stars where she finds Usagi first searching for Nehelenia, and then goes through ALL HELL protecting the damn girl who could only think of her boyfriend the moment she saw her fallen rose earring. But still, that just shows to us that Jupiter is pretty strong...but OH WAIT THE OUTERS SHOW UP and Uranus is completely more awesome in the physical strength department than her!
WHY DO YOU FEEL SO UNNECESSARY, MAKOTO!? Your name isn't even a feminine name! At least PGSM explores the boyish side of her personality more and actually BRINGS UP the whole living alone with zero family at the ripe age of fourteen up. She has problems finding a place to live in Act Zero because landlords find it absurd to give an apartment to a CHILD, and then she has issues with ABSOLUTE LONELINESS growing up, having zero friends and zero relatives around. You'd THINK that'd be a problem but the only trauma Makoto ends up with is her fear of planes due to that being the cause of her parents' deaths. I found it nice that PGSM and the manga somewhat explored her relationship with Motoki a lot more as opposed to that silly, silly Anime, which by the way I think follows the manga at first, but then decides to go their own route halfway through, so they don't pick up on an of the later epic developments in the manga and thus sometimes it falls flat, ESPECIALLY for characters. (but that ending for S, TOO GOOD man, TOO GOOD!)
...let's shut up about Makoto shall we? Lol.
SAILOR MARS, Rei...or Aoi-dono's favourite character! The manga version anyway. Rei and Minako are the two biggest victims of adaptation decay, in which they are drastically different in different universes. Minako is somewhat different from the Manga and Anime (what with the Anime exaggerating her character far beyond anything) and she's a whole new person in PGSM. Manga Rei and PGSM Rei are far different from what the Anime did to Rei. You see Rei falls into that archetype (manga/PGSM) that is shared with so many other shrine maidens or priestesses or what have you. She is solemn, stoic, and cold. Just like a Reimu or a Kikyou or a Mana...other characters who are solemn, stoic, and cold. They also all shoot deadly things to kill things like danmaku and bullets and arrows, which Rei also does in her lovely attack, Mars Flame Sniper. I wonder why that is? Now my knowledge of the shrine maiden role isn't that diverse, so I can only assume from my meagre knowledge through various Japanese media, but I figure their role, being that of a religious figure, would have to be one of seriousness and chastity. Shrine Maidens are never to marry, are completely devoted to their duty with their Shinto faith. In the manga Rei's dream is to become a very capable more senior (I have no idea what it's called) priestess, so....
What is the deal with ANIME Rei?
Her personality breaks all moulds in that case, but rather it simply shoehorns Rei into ANOTHER mould. Rei, due to having fiery powers in the form of Sailor Mars, takes up the other archetype involved, this time of people who can manipulate fire.... HOT-BLOODED. This Rei will not hesitate to criticize and put down Usagi, and to go into immature spats with the girl. She'll read hilarious comics just like Usagi and has no qualms about finding dates or becoming quite the independent career woman in the future. She even hooks up with Mamoru (or attempts to, at least) in the beginning of the Anime! The one constant at least between these two vastly different ladies is that they're both immensely independent. They stand on their own and do not require anyone else to lean upon, but I think she's a tad more independent in the manga than the Anime. It will be quite a mystery as to why the writers on Toei decided to change Rei like so...perhaps they found the utter seriousness of the manga characters too dreary and it would make more sense to revamp Rei so all those fillers don't have to sound like the world will be doomed every minute. All they're doing is helping a random artist not have such crippling low self-esteem or something, right!? And manga Rei is far too blunt and cold compared to the ambitious and dream-chasing Anime Rei!
Frankly I'm not sure what to think of Rei. She simply takes up two somewhat common archetypes of what she stands for. Although if you asked me which I prefer I'd go with PGSM Rei just to spite you. It's not so much because I GREATLY prefer PGSM Rei over the others, I just find the manga rather lacking in the whole characterization department and the Anime Rei completely different. The mangaka tries to make Rei rather crazy pretty in the manga. Usagi goes "HO SHIT THAT GIRL IS RIDICULOUSLY PRETTY I SHOULD FOLLOW HER!" which isn't creepy at all... (actually does that happen in just the manga, the anime, or both? I DON'T REMEMBER LOL) and then Rei acts brutally honest and cares not for silly things for romance. Heck, if they characterize her a bit more and stick closer to the manga in the remake Rei might even become a character asexual people could relate to. (Though whether or not she is or not is well, completely unknown) After all, I did mention the one extra in the manga depicting Rei and while I did not mind it per say it still didn't really give me much more information on Rei at all. (And her school extra with Minako felt more like Minako's story)
She simply feels like a...mission-bot in the manga. Her focus is to complete the mission and protect the princess, like everyone else! In fact most characters in the manga end up feeling like mission-bots...sadly I don't find them all that developed at all in the manga. I find her interactions with Minako the most interesting thing about her even.
But I guess in the end her PGSM self had some elements of interest, her hatred of her father in the manga is expanded in PGSM so that made her more interesting and she's kind of like that loner-character who prefers not to work with others (not to the extreme extent of Minako) and acts cool and chill like all those over-the-top COOL CHARACTERS in those Animes. Anime Rei? Well Anime Rei is Usagi's best friend, entertaining in her own right and ABSOLUTELY STUPID WHEN SHE SENT A BURNING MANDALA INTO A RING OF FIRE THINKING IT'D DOUSE OUT THE FIRE. You aren't normally that stupid, SAILOR MARS! (or was it a Fire Soul?)
But yes, I enjoy all versions of Rei. She isn't like Minako where I like the manga most because one exaggerates her too much and downplays her importance, and the other turns her into an emo drama-magnet. She isn't like Makoto who is boring in all three depictions (but her PGSM one was okay), Rei's genuinely pretty interesting in all three mediums and so I actually have little to say about her. (In fact, I'd actually put manga Rei LAST. PGSM > Anime > Manga)
LET US MOVE ON! Now we go onto the so-called "most popular WORLDWIDE" soldier, Sailor Mercury AKA Ami.
First let me dispute that claim...I wonder, this poll was conducted in the years of 1992 or some ancient year like that. It was before the land of the internet happened, so I guess the polls would show up in magazines and such? How exactly do they respond to something like this? But I imagine people who are more tech-savvy or more devoted to the fandom of Sailor Moon itself would know, and so that type of fan is more likely to vote on such polls. Because future polls after that so-called initial poll I rarely see Mercury at the top ever again. This whole Sailor Mercury being the most popular could actually be true, but you'd think it'd be more consistent beyond that one year. I know a lot of people whose favourite was Mercury after all, so that mystery will continue to baffle me until the rest of time. Anyway... Ami Mizuno! I already mentioned she wasn't brilliant at everything in the manga like in the Anime (my most common complaint) with the Sailor V game above, but I acknowledge is great at chess and swimming...those two make sense. But all the other nonsense skills she had in the Anime are non-canon as far as the manga's involved.
However I can see Mercury being the fan-favourite because in the Anime, since they moiderized Rei like so, she is the ONLY Inner Sailor to not give a damn about romance. I mean it does happen from time-to-time, but I personally despise the random male character of the day being love interests, it's far too shallow and forced. But really, Ami IS NOT BOY-CRAZY HOMGOT. One reason I do not have a serious favourite character is because I did not relate to any character in the Anime at all. I was not boy-crazy when I was a teenager (believe it or not) when I was even younger I was among my relatives and older brother's female friends and daughters of parents' friends who would be claiming which BACKSTREET BOY was theirs. (I got Kevin though, yay! ...er I mean) Which I'm sure continues to this day for more modern boy bands and other tween pop culture icons like the cast of Twilight and One Direction.
Forgive me, I mentioned Twilight and One Direction in the rant about Ami. So she is already quite unique among the soldiers. She is also unique in only having a crappy bubble attack in the first season which isn't offensive at all. As much as I do not like that crappy bubble attack, it truly gives some points of variety amongst the Sailor Team beyond "SPAM ATTACKS ON BAD GUY, LET SAILOR MOON FINISH IT OFF" plus she had the computer and visor thingy which I THINK starts to show up less and less as seasons go by but I cannot be sure. I'm sure she uses it in searching for Galaxia's base in the Stars season so it's not like it got completely phased out like the Luna Pen or whatever that lasted for a season or so. (or Jupiter's antenna thingy! where did that go!?) But part of the reason she is so unique is because the uniqueness of other characters was downplayed. In the manga Venus was quite the unique inner and her chain (for Love Me Chain and such) was actually a real chain beady thingy she kept around her waist, so that too was an external item just like Mercury's computer or visor or whatever.
Also MERCURY IS BLUE! BLUE IS BEST COLOUR according to the majority of people, so I can really truly see why she did become popular. I forget if she had that computer and visor in the manga but I don't really remember it at all so I'm sure it had far less significance in the manga. In that case, Mercury practically overtook Venus as the "unique" inner senshi of the group. In the manga Ami was always shoved with Makoto and they'd not be developed all too well, like when the two of them were the first to die under Galaxia like one chapter into the arc. Those poor characters, practically not even involved in the fifth storyline. However the one-shot storylines they have with Ami aren't particularly interesting (a select few are, but if you notice they tend to rehash the same plot over and over again for Ami because she seems to have some sort of self-doubt issues despite being amazing at everything. I'm not entirely sure how you feel that way when you're amazing at everything...I could see it in the manga or in PGSM, but in the Anime when all her filler episodes make her out to be amazing? I DON'T KNOW. I know lots of crazy talented people CAN feel that way but I just can't identify with that, and with the same kind of plot and message each and every episode...well Ami, YOU SURE ARE INTERESTING AREN'T YA)
Shine Aqua Illusion is downright beautiful though. Anyway like Rei she too has familial problems (well at least in the manga/PGSM, the Anime doesn't seem to realize what minor supporting characters are supposed to be) in that in Japan, divorce (at least in the wondrous time of 1992!) looked down upon divorce and lo and behold, Ami has divorced parents. She's actually a crazy rich person in the manga/PGSM but the Anime like never mentions this, though you could assume since it DOES mention her mom being a super busy prestiged doctor. Her dad is a painter who completely neglects Ami, ungrateful bastard, but sends her a piece of art every month. So you got mom never home and dad who only bothers to send pictures, combine this with dead mother for Rei and politician who neglects her and Makoto with zero parents at all! THESE CHILDREN ARE SO LOVED! No wonder they had no social skills to form friends in the beginning of the series.
Anyway Ami of PGSM is somewhat different from Ami of Anime/Manga. I can just link to this lovely Tumblr post
someone wrote which is just like how I feel about Ami because if I type it Ami's rant will be endless. I adore PGSM!Ami. She's all about that friendship yo. She is my only "serious" favourite Sailor Moon character.
Onwards to new horizons and other characters! Including Usagi...except I am not talking about her. Nope, she may be the main character but she's fairly constant in every incarnation of her. Plus she being the main character means there's going to be BOATLOADS of material to cover her and that'd be fairly endless. I will say this, I do like her character in Stars a lot (and care not of her in the manga since she's hax as hell) because her issues while related very much to Mamoru doesn't involve him at all since he's DEAD and not there to save her ass all the time. Yes, I am on Usagi/Seiya's side. The unrequited love that season was really interesting and made me like a lot of filler episodes (unlike that SuperS season, eech) She's also quite cheerful and fun in PGSM because Sawai Miyuu is amazing.
Finally we move onto the Outers, BUT BEFORE WE DO THAT...a sidenote on Mamoru. ...Mamoru is better in the manga, but too shoujo guy-interest...ish, he's like the love interest main characters get at the end of movies because they should. Those are USUALLY a guy protagonist and a female love interest, but Sailor Moon somehow switches it around and basically makes it just as sexist because damn is Mamoru boring and useless as hell in the Anime. He's slightly more interesting in PGSM and has the worst attack name ever in the manga. "Tuxedo La Bomber...something or another" ... BLEH.
I'm not going go into paragraphs about the Outers actually because my focus was on the Inners for this rant, HOWEVER. I do want to note something about Uranus and Neptune. Uranus, despite being the more masculine soldier and more active, direct, etc. I find is actually the emotionally weakest (I dunno about attack power, maybe?) of the three. She SEEMS the coldest of the Outers, but she's always the most emotional and is the one who hesitates more often about doing things like self-sacrifice. She also softens the most after the S season. I find Neptune to actually be her instigator in terms of being all cold and rude and whatever to the inners. In fact it is Neptune who most often saves Uranus. In their special episode in SuperS, Neptune was given the choice to choose the world or save Haruka and she chose Haruka. She is the one who pushed Uranus out of the way from Eudial's trap, and then SHE was the one who pulled out of Eudial's trap to attempt to save Uranus from being heart-blasted, getting shot at numerous times and then dying in the hands of Eudial, keeping her from grabbing Uranus' talisman first. URANUS is always the one taken off-guard, in Stars the Nehelenia mirror drones drive URANUS off the roof and NEPTUNE saves her.
That Neptune is one hardcore badass motherfucker, and she does it so much more subtle-like because she is never the one to jump into things like Uranus would. But oddly enough, I like Neptune from the manga more...because she's less cryptic and impossibly cool and more hilariously vain in the manga. I don't recall EXACT examples but she seems to be more comical in the manga (especially when she and Haruka actually join Usagi's high school in the Stars arc which makes them far more casual and relaxed then the Anime EVER portrayed them to be...but I guess you can blame the director who went on to make Utena for that.) I recall Michiru calling things "cute" (like actual adorable kiddy things, not Haruka) in the manga and other things. Michiru is FAR more relatable in the manga than in the Anime.
I have not much to say about Pluto and Saturn...they're kind of always constantly shafted. Saturn had some sort of role in the Dream Arc after her initial epic introduction in Infinity but then she gets killed in a far more "off-the-screen unimportant" manner in Stars than Uranus and Neptune, which I guess is the same in the Anime but YOU'D THINK THE MANGA WOULD NOT BE THE SAME. Pluto just dies all the time and is the one who causes the most plotholes and confusing time-warping elements ever, but in the manga it is implied she has unrequited love for King Endymion, which is actually quite interesting. For some reason in the SM fandom (which I don't pay attention to all that much) Pluto is quite the buttmonkey. I do love Hotaru (especially when she's all CHIBIUSA IS MY BESTEST BEST FRIEND!) but I wish there was more to her and she showed up more. She basically was introduced with a BANG and then faded out...a shame, a shame indeed.
Well that's all I have to say. PGSM does the Shitennou far better than the Anime/Manga I've found but PGSM does a lot of things better. In fact PGSM tries to squeeze every season and arc into its once season, what with Sailor Luna (Chibi Moon), Venus (Outers), Princess Sailor Moon (Saturn), Dark Mercury (EVERY TIME MAMORU IS BRAINWASHED WHICH IS ALWAYS), but with the filler actually being ABOUT the characters and not random victim-of-the-week we will never ever see again. Because beyond even characterization which I love ranting about and is the thing that makes me click the most, the Anime's FILLER is what makes me really not like the Anime as much as I think I can because Sailor Moon as a whole is pretty good! I hope the remake does it well with the characterization from PGSM, the intensity and suspense of the non-filler Anime and the crazy story of the manga.
Well...that had to be the sixth time I've tried ranting about this in the last week or so, even have some drafts that were completely different unpublished. BUT THIS HAS BEEN SPOTTO, over and out.