Spoiler: It’s definitely not who you think it is!
One thing I absolutely love about doing this blog is being to stop down and actually look at the nitty-gritty details of this series that I love so much, and open my eyes up to new things that I either never noticed before, or never gave a second thought.
Today, I’m stopping to take an in-depth look into something you’ve probably never wondered about before – who is the most popular Sailor Moon villain? The answer will definitely surprise you!
It’s Sailor Saturn! Thanks for coming, I’ll see ya next time.
… no? Not a good answer? Okay, well, to be fair, I think you could consider Sailor Saturn a villain if you really wanted to. But I wouldn’t. While she was possibly the most powerful of the Sailor Soldiers and she kinda did her own thing, she was still a member of the Sailor Team at the end of the day.
As I’ve already discussed previously regarding Ami’s popularity, and the popularity of the Sailor Soldiers as a whole, it’s actually really hard to discuss popularity in an objective manner. Between the anime and the manga characters’ rankings changed quite a bit, and even more season to season.
So let’s first set some ground rules to narrow down what we’re talking about:
- We will limit our survey to the manga
(since there are no comprehensive polls for the anime)
- We will compare popularity in several ways
(to give the best picture possible, we should look both at raw votes and percentage of total)
Fortunately for us, Nakayoshi did an annual popularity poll1 from 1993 through 1997, which gives us a nice, large data set to work with. The unfortunate part of these polls, though, is that fans were seemingly allowed to write in whatever they want, with results such as “Sailor Venus,” “Sailor V,” and “Minako Aino” all counted separately.
Though this isn’t as much of an issue for the villains, I added the votes together when alter-egos appeared, as was the case with the Death Busters.
Now, as for how we want to talk about what popularity means… that is unfortunately something that wasn’t easy to answer, and the reason is quite simple: Sailor Moon grew in popularity as the series progressed, at first blush, it seems like we’d want to be careful to not look at raw number of votes.
As you can see here, the Dark Kingdom isn’t looking so good in terms of sheer, raw votes. But what if we look at it in terms of percentage of votes the enemies took per season?
Surprisingly, there’s almost no change between these two. I did the same for all of the characters as a percentage of the total number of votes, and the standings didn’t change much as all. Basically, this means that throughout the series, the enemies continued to get roughly the same amount of votes. Interesting!
Rather than just going straight out and ruining the hook of this article, let’s go year by year and see what we can learn!
- Zoisite (3202 votes)
- Kunzite (1860 votes)
- Nephrite (1523 votes)
- Jadeite (1252 votes)
- Queen Beryl (660 votes)
Zoisite’s popularity doesn’t really surprise me here seeing as he was also popular in the anime. But Queen Beryl being only one-fifth of Zoisite… wow! That was surprising.
Black Moon Clan
- Black Lady (18477 votes)
- Berthier (7935 votes)
- Esmeraude (5290 votes)
- Prince Demande (4307 votes)
- Coan (4012 votes)
I think we all knew that Black Lady must be in here, seeing as how incredibly skewed the numbers were. Berthier in second place, though? I never would have guessed.
- Mistress 9 (5376 votes)
- Mimete (4238 votes)
- Eudial (1268 votes)
- Viluy (1131 votes)
- Tellu (869 votes)
If you thought Kaolinite was going to be on this list, you’re not alone. I was certain she was one of the more popular villains, but actually she (559 votes) ranks even lower than Prof. Tomoe (657 votes)!
Dead Moon Circus
- PallaPalla (18590 votes)
- CereCere (5389 votes)
- Fish Eye (3103 votes)
- JunJun (2876 votes)
- VesVes (1860 votes)
And this, my friends, brings us to the shock that left me speechless: PallaPalla manages to topple Black Lady as the most popular villain in the entirety of the Sailor Moon manga. At a difference of only 113 votes, she one only by a hair, sure… but that’s still absolutely amazing. As for the rest, not too surprised!
- Sailor Galaxia (9326 votes)
- Sailor Mnemosyne (2195 votes)
- Sailor Iron Mouse (1322 votes)
- Sailor Aluminum Siren (1184 votes)
- Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon (1087 votes)
While I’ve always thought of Sailor Lethe and Sailor Mnemosyne as a pair, it looks like there was quite a bit of a gap between the two of them in terms of popularity, with the former only accumulating 902 votes total.
So taking us out a bit, I’ve put together the top 5 Sailor Moon manga villains and put them into a handy chart so you can see how they compare.
Another thing that really surprised me when I was digging down into the numbers is that the main villains of each story arc always rank poorly. In fact, in almost every case, the head-honcho2 is one of the lowest-ranking of the villains.
- Queen Metalia: 405 votes
- Wiseman: 1931 votes (but he does beat out Rubeus at 721 votes!)
- Pharaoh 90: 176 votes
- Queen Nehelenia: 1621 votes (Zirconia? A pathetic 276 votes)
- Chaos: 195 votes
In their defense, Sailor Moon wasn’t very good at slowly introducing the final villains, usually only bringing them in at the very end. It makes sense that they didn’t have a chance to gain a following. Also not helping their case is that the votes took place at the beginning of the year, so the “final bosses” didn’t have time to grow on fans.
So there you have it – the most popular villain in all of Sailor Moon is… PallaPalla. I’m not going to lie, this was a huge surprise to me, and I had to check the numbers several times. I even thought it might be a typo, but it seems to check out. In fact, Sailor Pallas even ranks in 17th place – right below Sailor Venus (and above Sailor Neptune and Super Sailor ChibiMoon!) – in the 1997 poll.
What do you think of these results? I’d love to know who your favorite villain is, and why!