Is Michiru the Most Powerful of the Sailor Soldiers?

Is Neptune really an unstoppable force?

Is Neptune really an unstoppable force?

Let me start out first by saying that I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory that Sailor Neptune is the most powerful of the Sailor Team, but during my research of going through old Japanese fan sites, this was an interesting theory I ran across. The reasons behind it are also pretty interesting, so whether or not this is something one personally believes in or not, it’s definitely something interesting to think about!

Before we can talk about “most powerful,” I think it’s important that we take the time to define what it is that we’re actually talking about and, more importantly, to explain why the obvious choices don’t count.

Not exactly my first choice...

Not exactly my first choice…

Why not Sailor Moon?

First off, we’re going to need to remove Sailor Moon from the running since she’s the heir-apparent of the entire Silver Millennium, holder of the silver crystal, and future queen of Crystal Tokyo. I think it’s pretty commonly accepted that Usagi isn’t included in the same category as the rest of her Sailor Team, so we’ll take her out of the running as “most powerful” for now since she’s in a league of her own.

How about Sailor Saturn?

Now this is where the theory gets interesting and, depending on how you look at it, makes or breaks whether or not you are willing to believe in the uncontested power of Sailor Neptune. With Sailor Moon out of the picture, the next obvious answer is Sailor Saturn.

The Obvious Choice

The Obvious Choice

As far as we see in both the anime and the manga, she’s nearly unstoppable and is something of a nuclear bomb among the Sailor Team.

But that, or so the theory goes, is the reason why we cannot include Sailor Saturn in any normal analysis of the relative strength of the Sailor Soldiers. From what we see in the series, Sailor Saturn cannot generally transform and come on her own – she needs to be summoned (by the three talismans, for example) in order to act. No matter how powerful she may objectively be, if that power is locked away, can we really rely on it? Going back to our nuclear bomb example, we also run into the issue with the fact that though Sailor Saturn may be immensely powerful, she really specializes in mass destruction and isn’t really suited for general fighting of youma, monsters of the day, or other general threats. You don’t want to blow up your house to kill a few ants.

Then why Sailor Neptune?

As the theory goes, there are two main reasons for why Sailor Neptune would be the most powerful, and both are related to its position in the Solar System. The first of these reasons is the simple fact of the power needed to get there. As we saw in both the anime and the manga, it took the entire inner Sailor Team in order to teleport from Earth to the Moon.

While we don’t know much about the way travel worked in the Silver Millennium (and it must have at least been more simplified in order to facilitate travel between the Earth and the Moon in order for Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion to carry on their relationship), if we were to extrapolate this out on the power necessary for each of the princess/soldiers to travel to their own respective planets, Neptune is the clear winner here when it comes to difficulty. Even if all of the Sailor Soldiers were to travel together as far as they could (i.e., Sailors Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune moved onto Mars, then Jupiter and so-on), Sailor Neptune must make the final trip from Uranus to Neptune on her own. Sailor Pluto is excluded here due to living in the Time Palace, which she can access from seemingly anyway, so travel is a bit more simplified for her.

Possibly the face of unparalleled power...?

Possibly the face of unparalleled power…?

The second argument is that she must be the most powerful simply by necessity. As you probably know, the biggest difference between the functions of the inner and outer Sailor Teams is that the inner team deals with “threats from within,” while the outer team deals with threats from outside the Solar System. Once again, considering that Sailor Pluto is located in the Time Palace, that means that Sailor Neptune is the first line of defense against any incoming threats. We don’t know much about how the military /defenses of the Silver Millennium functioned, but it is relatively safe to say that you would put your most powerful resource on your first line of defense. Sailor Neptune, as the holder of the Deep Aqua Mirror, also has the option of making the choice to summon Sailor Saturn in order to deal with any threat that is too powerful for her to take care of.

As I mentioned at the very beginning, I don’t necessary believe in this theory simply for the fact that it requires too many precedent conditions (e.g., that we exclude Sailors Saturn and Pluto, that Moon doesn’t count, etc.) and assumptions on the way the Silver Millennium functioned (e.g., that the Sailor Soldiers all travelled by transportation and that Neptune personally confronted extra-Solar threats). But with that being said, it’s definitely an interesting theory and provides an interesting way of looking at the relative power of the Sailor Soldiers.

So what do you think? Who would you rank as the most powerful of the Sailor Soldiers, and why?

31 thoughts on “Is Michiru the Most Powerful of the Sailor Soldiers?

  1. If you take away Sailor Moon (and by proxy, Sailor Chibi Moon, because I think she will eventually have the same powers as her mother) and Saturn, my next choice for most powerful would be Pluto. What is more powerful than being able to control time? Granted she’s not supposed to use the power and it costs her her life, but the ability is there.

    Then again, that could cause you to make the same argument you did for Sailor Saturn (not you personally, just using the article) and say that since using the power would destroy her, she is not as powerful.

    That said, I don’t really think that any of the other Senshi are particularly more powerful than others. I think the idea of having your strongest Senshi fighting off extra-solar attacks would be a bad idea. Let’s say a villain comes along and destroys or stops Sailor Neptune… if she is the strongest you have then what hope do any of the individual other Senshi have of stopping the villain before they get to the moon?

    Also, if we assume that the villains’ targets are always either Earth or the moon, and strength is in order of the planets, then that completely negates Sailor Mercury and Venus because they are between Earth/the moon and the sun. Also, the planets are not actually in a straight line from the sun to Mercury out to Pluto, so a villain would only have to come in from a different angle and perhaps only face a few Senshi. And that’s assuming that all of space is on the same 2D plane as the solar system, which it’s not, so a villain could come from any direction and not have to pass any planets at all.

    Phew, I had a lot of thoughts on this!

  2. I wanted to add to my previous comment: unless I’ve missed something (quite possible, haven’t watched or read the anime and manga in 2 years, besides Crystal), Sailor Neptune can’t summon Saturn alone, she needs Pluto and Uranus to do it. So “making the decision” to summon Saturn isn’t very helpful.

    Which brings us to the point that the Senshi are most powerful together and they need each other.

    • All great points you brought up — and I totally agree on both the point of Sailor Pluto (and her time ability, which would probably exclude her for the same reasons as Saturn) as well as the point that all of the Sailor Soldiers are about equally powered.

      As sappy as it sounds, I think this is one of those “we’re stronger together!” situations. None of the Sailor Soldiers are particularly more powerful than the others (though Uranus and Neptune do seem to be a more powerful combo than the Inner Soldiers), but the majority of their power seems to come from them working together. Mercury using her mist to confuse the enemy while Mars attacks. Jupiter attacking the enemy with her brute force while Venus attacks with a directed Crescent beam — that sort of thing!

      It is kind of interesting to think about how the Sailor Soldiers would have been used militarily in the Silver Millennium, though. I really wish a little more information would come out on what their life was like before the attack by Queen Beryl and the forces of the Dark Kingdom.

          • There’s so much they could do with it, I think there’s a lot of potential to looking back. As much as I love the Crystal Tokyo setting, I feel like there’s less potential for story telling since it’s pretty much acknowledged to be an age of unending peace (with the exception of the Black Moon Family and the events of Another Story, though not canon).

            I’d love to see just what kind of battles they got into and how the Sailor Soldiers actually functioned in more independent roles. Here’s hoping at least one of the musicals touches on it someday!

  3. This makes me think back to the first few episodes of Stars, when the senshi are fighting Nehellenia. The inners and outers are paired off, forced to work in teams they aren’t accustomed. They really need each other’s strengths to pull it off.

    • I really liked those episodes, because it gives you a look into not just how powerful each of the Sailor Soldiers are individually, but how so much of their strength comes from them working together as a team with people they’re familiar with. It was a surprisingly thoughtful look into it by the anime producers!

      • Agreed! I loved the pairings and Jupiter finding Usagi and the a-bit-exaggerated-but-cool rose pendant situation. The less cool for me was the Pluto-Venus one. You should write an article about this mini-arc!

        • I’d definitely like to look at those episodes a little bit later, especially to try to see if there might have been any sort of reason/agenda for why they split the characters up like that. Other than that, though, it seems that the Inner and Outer senshi didn’t really interact all that much with each other, though it would have been nice if we got to see more of that.

          • Interestingly, a very similar Inner-and-Outer setup occurred in one of the Seramyus (right down to the specific pair-offs), and I suspect Takeuchi deliberately tweaked it to account for the different relationship in her version of both teams. In the anime the Outers were caught and basically bailed out by the Inner Senshi, while in the myu the Outers actually sacrificed themselves so the Inner Senshi could get out of trouble.

        • Jupiter finding Usagi is one of my favorite moments from the anime!
          I was also disappointed by Venus/Pluto, although I do appreciate it as one of the few times Venus is acknowledged as the leader.
          Also love the Neptune/Mars pairing – Neptune is badass in her resolve and then Mars gets to shine.

  4. Once Sailor Saturn has been summoned, she can still use her ultimate power. She threatened to use it twice in Stars. Once on Nehellenia and another on Galaxia. I would say she’s still the most powerful and we can’t rule out the being summoned thing. I also personally believed she COULD have used it on Galaxia, despite Galaxia’s warning that it would have no effect.

    • Saturn is a really weird wildcard in the series. We know for a fact that she’s the “most powerful” because that’s what we’ve been told, but we don’t really see that power in action.

      But you’re right: if we don’t rule her out for some reason or another, she’s pretty clearly the most powerful.

      • This is sadly one of the main problems with Saturn. She’s used more like a plot device then an actual team player, due to her abilities being so overpowered. Along with the drastic effects they have on her. Which is probably why she doesn’t get much of a role compared to others.

        • I KNOW!!! I really think that Hotaru was a great character and had so much potential to be a huge opening up in the plot as Sailor Saturn. But after Death Busters, she’s basically either just used as any other team member, or the characters all refer to how powerful she is and nothing really happens.

          It’s such a waste.

  5. Interesting Analysis, and I agree with some of it, like taking Moon and Saturn out of the ranking, but Neptune would actually be one of the lower ranking soldiers if we’re talking pure power or combat effectiveness, even compared to some of the inner senshi. Here’s Why:

    1) Without Uranus, her track record for combat effectiveness is abysmal. She’s had maybe 3 instances where she fought without Uranus and got trounced every single time. (Kaorinite, Nehelenia, and even a Daimon.) From this, we can gauge that Michiru is not a very good solo fighter. In this aspect, she actually performs lower than even Mercury if we go off solo combat feats alone.

    2) Deep Submerge has some good raw power behind it that can did decent damage throughout Sailor Moon S (I’d rank it higher than the most powerful inner senshi move for the S saga, Sparkling Wide Pressure.) But once the inners get their power-up from Pegasus in Super S, Deep Submerge becomes a fairly average attack. She fires it roughly 5 times in the Stars saga, only once does any lasting damage against Nehelenia’s paradories (combined with Uranus and Pluto) while the other instances missed or did no damage (Not counting when she was powered up by Galaxia.)

    3) She plays more of a support role to Uranus, using her mirror to ascertain weaknesses. She did use submarine reflection once as an offensive attack that seemed to be pretty decent, but no more effective than any of the other senshi’s attacks at that time, as the paradories regenerated.

    In short, Neptune is only good when she works in tandem with Uranus. Uranus has demonstrated she has the capacity to work amazingly by herself or with any other soldier, but Neptune needs Uranus in order to be any good, really. Though make no mistake, the two of them are an incredibly awesome team! By far, probably the best duo throughout the whole of Sailor Moon.

    • Yeah, I know the anime is generally the only continuity to bother with implying ‘power’ as a static thing, but Neptune has a pretty bad actual solo record. At best she falls under the general marketing rules where she’s surprisingly powered in the arc she’s introduced in but more or less falls to around everyone else at the end.

  6. Something to kind of keep in mind is that Michiru is perhaps the only Senshi to have awakened on her own… just saying. It seems everyone else had like a mentor or someone ahead of them. Interesting idea.

    • The way Michiru woke up to being a Sailor Senshi is always something that’s intrigued me. We know exactly, well, nothing about it. But I agree — the safest bet is to assume that she woke up on her own, since clearly Luna and Artemis weren’t involved.

      By the same logic, though, Setsuna (human form of Sailor Pluto reincarnated on Earth from the Infinity/Sailor Moon S arc) probably woke up on her own as well. Though we know almost nothing about her. x_X

  7. Taking off Moon,I firmly believe it is Saturn. She awaken on her own at the start of Stars and felt the unknown danger coming right at them,plus she upgraded Pluto’s,Uranus’, and Neptune’s power.

  8. You need to read the “Nice model” astronomy theory saying that at the beginning of the Solar system, Neptune was closer to the Sun than Uranus.
    It implies that Sailor Uranus was the strongest and for a reason we don’t know, Sailor Neptune was finally put in the front line.

  9. By the way (and a bit à propos the comment above), even if Sailor Pluto would reside on her planet, Pluto’s orbit is so irregular that sometimes the planet is closer to the Sun than Neptune. So yeah, that would still make Neptune a force to be reckoned with, as per your theory. 🙂

  10. I love reading Japanese fan theories since it’s so easy to never hear them with all the crazy ones we westerners come up with.

    I’d say she’s on par with Uranus as the strongest, excluding Moon, Saturn and Pluto for the usual reasons.

    There’s a line in the Mercury/Uranus team up episode during Stars that I never quite understood.
    When Uranus realizes she’s pacing herself so Sailor Mercury can keep up, she says something along the lines of:
    “I see, Neptune. You were always setting your pace to mine.”
    Is it saying that Neptune is actually a faster runner than Uranus and had to slow down for her?
    Or is it saying that Uranus never noticed how hard Neptune ran to keep up?

    I would go with the latter, but the translations can make it hard to understand.

    Anyway, I would think Neptune is more on equal footing or even weaker than Uranus as a senshi. She usually seems to defer to her.
    Uranus is better at physical combat and her attacks seem more lethal.
    Neptune’s edge is her intuition.

    I believe early on in their current incarnations, Uranus and Neptune were more powerful, but as the inners awakened and began to mature, I think they mostly closed the gap.

    They all have strengths and weaknesses.
    In spite of being physically weaker in combat, Mercury’s intellect is invaluable and she can outperform any of the others except maybe Neptune in the water, so she’s by no means physically weak.

  11. I just wonder what sailor Neptune role was during the silver millennium or even during the 30th century Tokyo. Where exactly is her station, beneath the waters? It would make sense if there were invaders that rose from the sea, that could give purpose to her duty. I could possibly under sailor Uranus role as a fighter of heaven or space. Her attacks act more like an asteroid or fallen star. That could be useful against literal outside threats. I guess if you take some of the monsters from Greek mythology like kraken or sirens from Norse mythology, I could see a use for her role.

  12. For me, if we exclude Moon and Saturn, it’s Uranus. Given that in the anime the Outer Senshi were always portrayed as ‘superior’ compared to the Inner Senshi, while in the manga they were the only ones whose attacks didn’t change despite the powers up (I think, I don’t remember exactly).
    Uranus raw strenght and power combact is one of the best as well as her endurance, which is why I argue with Michiru being the most powerful as she always had the support of Haruka.

    I’m also a bit mad at how the Inner Senshi are gradually useless in the anime (but also a bit the manga) in the latest seasons, and especially Ami and Minako are considered ‘the weakest’. And about that, I think the Inner are generally the same, all things considered. Of course if we account intelligence it’s Ami, raw strenght Makoto, psychic Rei, and Minako is supposed to be their leader with her fancy sword and all..but all in all, they compliment each other and there is not one who is too strong compared to the others.

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