Homosexuality in Sailor Moon

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As Japan is more open about portraying homosexuality in its children's media than many countries in the West,[1][2] several homosexual relationships appeared throughout the Sailor Moon series. It should be noted that not all the continuities overlap on this subject, however, and some characters who were presented as homosexual in one continuity were not presented as such in others.

Contents

[edit] Female Homosexuality

sailormns_5.jpg
Neptune and Uranus embrace
romantically in official art

In a series with a largely female cast, relationships between the girls, real or imagined, were inevitable.

[edit] Canon

The following are characters with a lesbian sexual orientation that was made clear in the series' canon.

[edit] Uranus and Neptune

The only two openly homosexual Senshi of the series, their relationship is canon in both the anime and manga. They were in a relationship from their very first appearance and were quite honest about it. Haruka flirted with other girls quite often (particularly Usagi), and Michiru occasionally flirted with men, but they were dedicated to each other. They later became baby Hotaru's "mama" and "papa."

[edit] Star Fighter

Seiya's love for Usagi in both the anime and manga could be seen as straight, but his natural form was female, and his affections seemed equally strong as Sailor Star Fighter. It should also be noted that in the manga, it was very heavily implied that Star Fighter (who, like all the Sailor Starlights, merely cross-dressed to disguise herself as a boy in the manga) had an unrequited love for Princess Kakyuu; this affection was also, but less heavily, implied in the anime. In the Korean dub, Seiya became a woman in civilian form and his relationship with Usagi was made into a homosexual relationship.

[edit] Fan Canon

The following is speculation among fans about possible homosexual/bisexual orientation among characters, through situation and innuendo, that is often noted in fan canon.

[edit] Mercury

Ami Mizuno was a "late bloomer" when it came to romance, causing some fans to interpret her relationships with the other girls as crushes. According to some fan theories, Dark Mercury of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon had an unrequited crush on Usagi and thus acted as a jilted lover. However, she did show interest in boys on a less regular basis than the other Inner Senshi, and seemed to care for Nephrite's human form, possibly as a parallel of the ambiguous relationship between Dark Mercury and Nephrite.

[edit] Jupiter

Makoto Kino's inability to settle her attentions has made some fans speculate that she was in the closet. In the anime, she twice blushed fiercely after seeing up Sailor Mercury's skirt, but that was the only real evidence shown. She also appeared to have a romantic crush on Haruka, at a point when she was aware of Haruka's true gender, in episode 96, but in truth she merely wanted to become like her (that is, a strong, independent woman, not necessarily a lesbian). In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, she eventually dated Motoki and accepted his proposal at the end of the Special Act.

[edit] Mars

Rei Hino was straight in the anime, but in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, she got to be very close to Minako Aino. Some fans interpret their relationship to be closer than simple friendship. These fans theorize that the only reason it is not canon is because the live-action series was intended as a children's show, hence the subtleties and ambiguities (e.g. trivial behaviors, special zoomed in shots, and so forth, that were not supposed to be noticed by small children but by their parents watching with them) in their interactions as seen in the show. Rei was also shown to be close to Minako in the manga, but anything beyond that is speculation.

[edit] Aluminum Seiren and Lead Crow

Sailor Aluminum Seiren and Sailor Lead Crow were shown in the anime to share a prickly friendship where Lead Crow was defensive of, and exasperated by, the scatterbrained Aluminum Seiren. Some fans have taken Lead Crow's affections for her working partner as evidence for them being lovers, or for evidence of her having an unrequited love for Aluminum Seiren. These fans also sometimes point out that there are parallels between these characters and Zoisite and Kunzite - in both cases the less experienced of the two was killed by their leader despite the pleas of the more experienced one, and when the more experienced of the two later died they called out the other's name.

[edit] Luna and Artemis

In the French dub of the anime, both Luna and Artemis were female when they first appeared, which implied that they were lesbians. However, Artemis was later referred to as a male in subsequent episodes.

[edit] Male Homosexuality

kunzzois.png
Kunzite holds Zoisite affectionately

While the show's protagonists and antagonists were mainly female, especially in the later story arcs, several men were presented as homosexual in the series, more so in the anime continuity than elsewhere.

[edit] Canon

The following are characters with a homosexual sexual orientation that was made clear in at least one version of the series' canon.

[edit] Kunzite and Zoisite

These two Shitennou were presented as homosexual lovers in the anime, and it was mentioned in passing during the musical Sailor Moon - Gaiden Dark Kingdom Fukkatsu Hen (although it was left ambiguous in later musicals). Zoisite was presented as the younger, more immature of the pair in many of his actions he performed for his commander and lover Kunzite. The two worked together on several occasions and Zoisite used the suffix "sama" (様), a suffix which implies great respect, when referring to Kunzite. When Zoisite was killed, Kunzite granted him his last wish "to die beautifully" and surrounded him with flowers; he also held a large grudge against Evil Prince Endymion whom he held responsible for Zoisite's death. When Kunzite died, he called out Zoisite's name. However, the manga did not present the two in this light, and the Materials Collection refers to their relationship as being more like that of brothers.

[edit] Fisheye

In the anime, Fisheye was presented in a similar manner to Zoisite (as an effeminate homosexual man), and in fact was arguably more effeminate than Zoisite. Fisheye was not in a steady relationship and over the course of Sailor Moon SuperS was attracted to several men, including Mamoru Chiba; he also was a frequent cross-dresser and commonly pretended to be a girl in order to attempt to attract these men. One exception to this was in the episode 140, when he dressed as a man when pursing Yoshiki Usui, implying that Usui was openly homosexual himself. In the manga, however, Fisheye had a much smaller part, similar to that of a monster-of-the-day, and he attempted to seduce Ami as a part of the Dead Moon's plans.

[edit] Fan Canon

The following is speculation among fans about possible homosexual/bisexual orientation among characters, through situation and innuendo, that is often noted in fan canon.

[edit] Fiore

Fiore's obsession with Mamoru Chiba in the Sailor Moon R Movie has led many fans to conclude that Fiore was gay. Ami Mizuno suggested that Mamoru was popular with men in reference to this in the R Movie, which led the other girls to jokingly call her perverted. However, it is quite possible that the alien was only obsessed with Mamoru, as he was the only friend Fiore could ever remember having.

[edit] Live Action Zoisite

In the live-action series, Zoisite was presented as being protective of Prince Endymion to the point of obsession. He wanted to break up Endymion and Serenity, whom he did not trust. This led to the notion of Zoisite having an unrequited love for Endymion being popular with fans. On the other hand, his targeting of Sailor Venus at her time as the decoy princess, and his later cooperative attempt with her to break up Usagi and Mamoru has led some fans to suggest the two were attracted to one another.[3]

[edit] Yoshiki Usui and His Assistant

As has been mentioned, in episode 140 Fisheye pursued the affections of a man (Yoshiki Usui) without approaching him in drag. This may indicate that Usui was openly gay (or at least known or assumed to be gay by Fisheye) and his profession, fashion design, is sometimes stereotypically portrayed in fiction as being a career choice popular with gay men. There is some implication that his assistant may be his lover, or at least be attracted to him, as Fisheye's interventions caused the two to row, and the two made up at the end of the episode after Fisheye left. Also, in the English dub the assistant was identified as Yoshiki Usui's brother;[4] this change has been said by fans to be reminiscent of the alteration of Haruka and Michiru's relationship to that of cousins in the same dub.[4]

[edit] Saitou Sugao

The flamboyant and effeminate nature of Minako's manager in the live-action series, Saitou Sugao, has led many fans to assume he was meant to be presented as gay. This had never been confirmed outright on screen.

[edit] References

  1. Male Homosexuality and Popular Culture in Modern Japan - Mark McLelland
  2. Anime, mon amour: Forget Pokemon - Japanese animation explodes with gay, lesbian, and trans themes - video - Charles Solomon
  3. Silver and Gold: The Zoisite and Venus Fanlisting: About - Sailor Donut, Shari
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sailor Moon Uncensored: Episode 140 - SMU Staff