I’ve been very, very slowly working my way through the original Sailor Moon anime, which aired from 1992-1997. Although there is a certain charm to the the first few seasons (titled Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R, respectively), they are often pretty heavy on filler, sag in the middle, and are slow to develop character until the very end. While the five original Scouts are introduced by the end of the first season, Venus, the last, doesn’t appear until episode 33.
Sailor Moon R particularly dragged on, giving us over a dozen episodes with two fillery sibling villains before introducing Prince Demande and the Black Moon arc and finally giving me some character development. When I finished, I was a bit demoralized by the formulaic nature of the show. The only reason I was interested in starting Sailor Moon S was because it would finally introduce Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus (a.k.a. the most explicitly queer of the Sailor Scouts). What I wasn’t expecting was that this season would be so much more engaging on all counts than the rest of the show so far.