Anime Heroines: Sailor Moon

by Patrick

I’m a 27 year-old man, and I love Sailor Moon. Love it. I just finished re-watching the first season, and I will freely admit that I cried at the last two episodes.

Yes, it’s a magical girl series aimed at teenage girls. No, it isn’t full of fanservice. I love it because Usagi and her friends get to be people, not simply “girls.”

Usagi (Sailor Moon) is flighty, somewhat lazy, and has to have a sense of responsibility pretty much beaten into her. But here’s the thing: she’s a 14 year-old girl with the fate of the world thrust onto her shoulders. Why should she want to fight scary monsters? It isn’t fair, and Usagi recognizes that, and eventually comes to accept that, fair or not, she has to do it. She is also an incredibly compassionate person, and goes out of her way to help and befriend people.

Ami (Sailor Mercury) is withdrawn and has difficulty standing up for herself, but she is also brilliant and considerate of others’ feelings, usually acting as the peacemaker between Usagi and Rei.

Rei (Sailor Mars) is short-tempered, has bullying tendencies, and a tremendous need to appear more mature than she really is. But she is also incredibly brave and dedicated to her friends.

Mako (Sailor Jupiter) is hot-headed and emotional, with a tendency to get into fights and to become infatuated at the drop of a hat. But she’s also the sort of person who will step in to protect a complete stranger from a group of thugs before she ever became a superhero.

None of these characters is defined by their gender. They may be “magical girls,” but everyone refers to them as senshi (soldiers). And I just love a show where the male lead’s entire role is to distract that bad guy and give the hero an inspiring speech.

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5 Responses to “Anime Heroines: Sailor Moon”

  1. Mecha Says:

    I enjoy SM too. Tuxedo Kamen being absolutely absurd support is always funny, though. Guitar-sting, Rose, Platitude! Now that’s a man. (Although the concept that she can only use her final attack once he’s shown up and inspired her could be considered not so great. Overanalysis!)

    The problem I tend to have with it, especially nowadays, is just how over the top the characters are presented, and how they tie into generic anime stereotypes (which are not always as greatly presented in other works.) Usagi (and Chibi-Usa) being presented as jealous and whiny over, and over, and over, and over… it’s meant to be funny, but it gets a little tired, and it’s a stereotype. Even when people work together in the end of an ep, you end up with the same old TV case of ‘17 minutes of one message, 5 minutes of another, which one wins?’ (Although maybe you’re mainly talking about the first season, at which point, that doesn’t enter into it so much!)

    Maybe I’m just getting a little less tolerant of mixed messages nowadays. ;) When the chips are down, though, I do think the show comes through with some pretty solid stuff.


  2. Bastet Says:

    Check out the (ridiculous) live action version–the relationships between the senshi are very powerful and well-done.

  3. Patrick Says:

    There’s a live-action version? (Rushes off to Wikipedia and YouTube.)

    This is the most magnificently silly thing that I have ever seen. Why isn’t it available in the US?

    The fact that Luna and Artemis are stuffed animals makes me giddy for some reason.

    And the actress that plays Usagi is adorable.

  4. Bastet Says:

    They’re all adorable. You start off laughing at the awful fight scenes and special effects, and suddenly you’re so into the story that you’re watching eight episodes in one day. It’s been fan-subbed and you can probably find it online…somewhere.

  5. geraldine Says:

    its excellent. Sailor moon taught me many things. like … being determined and compassionate. even though some parts of it are not so good, it is the best anime i have ever liked.

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