Original Sailor Moon Filler Episodes You Should Always Skip

Even if you haven't watched "Sailor Moon," you've probably heard of it. It stands as one of the most influential shoujo and "magical girl" anime of all time, and it's probably left its thumbprint on a variety of other series in both Asia and the West (via AVClub). Originally airing between 1992 and 1997, the series follows middle schooler Usagi Tsukino on her adventures as a Sailor Guardian. As Sailor Moon, Usagi protects Earth using magical powers granted to her by Luna, a talking cat. Over the course of the series, Usagi teams up with the world's other Sailor Guardians — each one with their own corresponding planet (i.e. Sailors Mars, Mercury, etc.) — and fights against the forces of darkness.

At the same time, the anime also focuses on the personal lives of the girls. The romantic affiliations and comedic shenanigans of the Sailor Guardians become as integral to the experience as the action-packed core plot. The only problem is that a good amount of both the romance and slice-of-life comedy comes in the form of filler content that is not canon to the original manga. As such, there are certain "Sailor Moon" episodes that, if you're only interested in watching canon content, you should always skip.

Sailor Moon is almost 50% filler

According to Anime Filler List, 49% of the original "Sailor Moon"  anime depicts events that don't occur in Naoko Takeuchi's original manga. Across the series' five seasons and 200 episodes, around 98 are considered non-canon. In total, these episodes include 2-7, 9, 11-12, 15-18, 20-21, 26-32, 37-41, 43, 47-59, 63-67, 69, 78-80, 89, 94-100, 104, 107-108, 114, 116-118, 127, 129, 131-132, 134, 136-142, 144-147, 151-157, 159, 175-178, 183-186, and 192.

While "Sailor Moon" is far from being the worst anime in terms of filler in proportion to its size (some series have a proportional amount of filler well above 50%), the sheer amount of episodes still require you to skip a substantial amount of content. This isn't always a good thing when it comes to "Sailor Moon," as the series has its own unique storylines that, at times, add depth to the overall experience.

At the same time, the first "Sailor Moon" anime is considered obsolete in terms of adapting the original manga's story. At least some fans prefer the 2014 reboot anime "Sailor Moon: Crystal" and its sequel movie, "Sailor Moon: Eternal," for their more faithful translation of the source material. However, you'd still be hard-pressed to find a "Sailor Moon" fan who doesn't recommend the original anime.

The original anime is still worth the watch

While it technically isn't the most manga-faithful way to enjoy the franchise, many fans still swear by the original "Sailor Moon" series. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that it is still an undeniably entertaining series with its own merits outside of simply being canon to the manga. The characterization and style of the "Sailor Moon" anime is distinct from other versions of the story, and skipping over that content could be detrimental to the overall experience.

Even then, it's not even considered a bad way to enjoy the original story. As explained by writer Odd Lazdo in their "Sailor Moon" Viewing Guide (via Medium), many "filler" episodes of the 1992 anime still contain a small amount of manga-canon content. In the series' own small ways, it never stops developing the core plot, leading to a much more nuanced approach than simply skipping episodes that aren't brimming with content relevant to the main story.

On top of all that, the franchise owes much of its popularity and iconography to the anime. The original series may not be necessary to understand the core plot, but it is essential in understanding why the series has become so widespread.