This series was first released in 1991! And it doesn’t back away from representing ideals and minority groups that we, as a society, are still struggling to represent today. So to have representation in a series where the characters just accept who people are and what they do – that’s amazing. Especially because this series has been around forever, so many people watch/have watched it, and it’s something that children watch too. So by having homosexual couples and women’s independence accepted in Sailor Moon, that really can have a positive impact upon children growing up with this series.
Unfortunately though, the manga and anime when translated for the English dub was censored. And the stuff that was censored was really silly. America felt so threatened by a lesbian couple that they made the characters cousins. And they felt so threatened by a gay couple that they decided to change the gender of the more ‘feminine’ looking character so that the couple was heterosexual. Sailor Moon is such a a progressive, accepting series. We should be embracing the ideals it perpetuates about gender and sexuality.
- It has a out and proud lesbian couple. In fact, the creators wanted to ensure that Michiru and Haruka were shown to be, “like an old married couple”
- And moving to back to talking about Haruka… their aren’t cisgendered. They are an androgynous character. They have a unisex name, like to dress in pants when not in their sailor uniform and Michiru even says herself, “Uranus is both a man and a woman. A soldier of both genders, with strengths and personalities of each.” Non-binary characters are seriously under-represented in media. Wikipedia’s list of non-binary characters (including genderqueer, gender fluid, agender and bigender) only consists of 29 characters. And there’s only 52 YA novels listed online that have a non-binary character in it (of which I have heard of about 5 of them before). The only series, films and books I’ve come across so far with non-binary characters are Sailor Moon and Attack on Titan, so it’s awesome to see that for a series this mainstream, there’s representation for people who aren’t cisgendered
- It has a gay couple who are. BOTH. MALES. AMERICA. And who cares if one of them has long hair?! Boys can have long hair if they want! Kunzite and Zoisite are such a sweet couple… We should let them embrace their gaynesss!
- There are the Sailor Starlights, who pretty much destroyed any preconceptions the other characters had about gender. They were male-bodied and then during their transformation, they would change into female-bodied people
- It’s a series with strong themes of feminism. Practically all the main characters are female, and they’re the ones doing most of the hero work
- Tuxedo Mask actually plays the role of the ‘damsel in distress’ throughout the series, because boys and girls can save each other. Usagi and Darien have a bit of a role reversal in their relationship too. Usagi is what society likes to call the ‘man’ in the relationship since she’s the one always saving Darien. So take that gender roles
- And leading on with that, Darien may be shown to struggle throughout the series with how he’s the one needing to be saved and having to rely on Usagi so much – but it’s not like his ego is dashed because of it or anything. I’ve always tended to interpret this as that Darien doesn’t like to feel helpless, and wants to be able to return the favour to Usagi by saving her once in a while… But Darien isn’t salty about having to be the ‘damsel in distress.’ These two are actually shown to have a very supportive relationship. Darien is continuously very encouraging of Usagi and doesn’t try to intervene with her decisions. Instead he prefers to trust her judgement.
- We also had the wonderful cross-dressing Fish Eye. That guy had some mad make-up skills. But of course America just had to deem this as ‘inappropriate content,’ so his character underwent a gender-swap during the production of the English dub
- Throughout the series, the female characters are still allowed to be feminine. Their outfits are bright and they have a surplus of jewellery and bows on hand. The scouts’ weapons are also things like tiaras, pens and wands. These items are typically portrayed as being very feminine and therefore tend to be associated with things like fragility but instead, in Sailor Moon these weapons are shown to be pretty awesome and very powerful
- The scouts have healthy friendships with each other. Usually, girls are portrayed to be very vicious when with other girls, so it’s nice to see so many non-toxic female friendships
- The girls aren’t restrained into behaving a certain way. As a main character, Usagi is not not typical all – especially for such an action-packed series. She’s lazy, lacks intelligence or any special skill (excluding napping) and likes to eat a lot. But the others scouts also all have their own varied interests – some of them like sports, others like music, others like fashion… They just like what they like and they aren’t pigeon-holed into being the ‘tomboy’ trope or ‘girly-girl’ trope if they don’t want to be
- Usagi makes her own decisions. She is not swayed by others. Takeuchi ensures that she is the only one to influence her decisions and actions. She is an independent woman