You know what show is better than Dragon Ball Z? Sailor Moon. I don’t care if you think that Goku staring down Frieza for 17 episodes is the ultimate expression of raditude. Watching Serena Tsikino (a.k.a. Usagi Tsikino if you’re a sub rather than dub watcher) breaking up with Darien is better by like a million. And no, I am not a teenage girl. I am man in my late 30s who will just always prefer Sailor Moon to (yawn) Dragon Ball Z.
I’m just kidding (about Dragon Ball Z being boring. Not about Sailor Moon). I actually grew up watching both Anime, and I love them both for different reasons. Dragon Ball Z, which came on Toonami (remember that?) was always the show my friends and I talked about in high school. We would gab endlessly about The Cell and Boo sagas, as well as the movies like The Tree of Might and Cooler’s Revenge. Yes, Dragon Ball Z was the more popular show, but in my heart of hearts, I always preferred Sailor Moon. And I have 5 reasons why.
The Stories Have Much Better Pacing
I was joking up top about watching 17 episodes of Frieza and Goku just staring at each other, but not by much. Because oh, my God, I vividly remember watching whole episodes where not a single punch was thrown and the characters would just stare and talk angrily to one another. In a lot of ways, Dragon Ball Z is like wrestling in that these long narratives would play out for weeks and weeks and then eventually lead up to a main event, which would be the ultimate fight. And these fights could go on for-ev-er, with multiple forms and deaths and rebirths. At the time, I kind of just had to grin and bear it since all my friends were really into it, but oh, man. Sometimes, I just couldn’t stand it!
But that was never the case with Sailor Moon, because it just always had better pacing. The episodes felt economical and quick, and even though there was always an overarching story dealing with crystals and a group called the Dark Kingdom (at least in the early seasons), you never felt bogged down for several episodes because of poor pacing. Sailor Moon always just moved, and I was hooked throughout. It was honestly just a better show, pacing-wise, than Dragon Ball Z.
The Sailor Scouts Have Better Personalities Than Goku’s Friends
I’m sorry, but Goku’s friends suck. Krillin, Tien, Yamcha (Who the hell likes Yamcha?!), Chiaotzi. I mean, I don’t even know what the hell Chiaotzu is. Bulma. I mean, yes, Piccolo’s cool, and of course Vegeta, but the rest? Come on now. You know those characters are just fodder for having holes shot through them with energy blasts.
But the Sailor Scouts are awesome. And I’m just talking about the first 5—Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupitar. And of course, you can’t forget Tuxedo Mask. Each character has a distinct personality, and all of them both compliment and clash with Sailor Moon/Serena differently. And honestly, Sailor Moon is MUCH more interesting than Goku. Serena is kind of like Spider-Manin that she has to balance her personal life with her hero life, and often fails at it. Goku is pretty much just one power level away from exploding, going from black hair, to blond hair, to bigger blond hair, to even bigger blond hair, to black hair again with a tail. But now I’m getting into Dragon Ball GT territory, and if there’s any show less interesting than Dragon Ball Z, it’s Dragon Ball Grand Tour.
Sailor Moon Is Not As Much Of A Commitment To Watch As Dragon Ball Z
I kind of already talked about this, but Dragon Ball Z, at least before it was shortened and turned into Dragon Ball Z Kai, is a big commitment. I mean, it is and it isn’t. Let me explain. Like I just mentioned, Dragon Ball Z Kai is an abridged version of the original series. This means that a lot of the fluff is just cut out because that stuff was boring. But you still need to sit through a lot of crap with Kai to even know what the hell is going on, which makes sense. This is an Anime, after all.
But Sailor Moon is different. Since the episodes are more compact and have underlings that lead up to the big bad. It's sort of like Power Rangers, so you can kind of just hop in and out of episodes and not feel like you’re missing too much. Yes, it pays to watch the show consistently, but you don’t feel nearly as distanced from the show if you miss an episode here or there like you do with Dragon Ball Z, so that’s nice.
It's Not Trying Too Hard To Be Cool
Dragon Ball Z tries way too hard to be cool, and the problem is that it’s just way too engorged with testosterone. Guys shoot fireballs from their hands, and the female characters feel underdeveloped (Yes, even Android 21). I understand that getting stronger is the main appeal to the show, but looking back, it all just seems really juvenile.
But Sailor Moon doesn’t even try to be cool, and in not trying, it actually succeeds a lot better than Dragon Ball Z does. Do you remember that live-action Dragon Ball movie and how bad that was? Well, that movie was a symptom of a series that takes itself way too seriously. But Sailor Moon never takes itself seriously, even when it verges on melodrama. And that’s cool.
It Was My Very First Anime
Lastly, I’m biased! Obviously. Both Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z appeared on Toonami, but I actually saw Sailor Moon first since it came on before school for me on channel 11. This was the first time I had ever even seen Anime before, so it got to capture my imagination a bit sooner than Dragon Ball Z did.
And this interests me, because I wonder if I had seen Dragon Ball Z first if I would have even given Sailor Moon a chance. At first glance, Sailor Moon looks like a show that might appeal to girls, which it probably is. But I didn’t see it that way. I just saw it as this quirky show with long-legged female characters fighting evil by moonlight, and winning love by daylight. And I loved every second of it! And still love it. So, when I say that Sailor Moon is better than Dragon Ball Z, I mean it. I truly do. Sailor Moon is better than Dragon Ball Z!
But what do you think? Are you an avid fan of Sailor Moon yourself, or do you much prefer Dragon Ball Z? Sound off in the poll or in the comments section down below.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.