Foreign Friday: Sailor Moon-iversary

Pluto, Uranus, Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Venus, Mars, Chibi Moon, Mercury, Jupiter.

Pluto, Uranus, Moon, Saturn, Neptune, Venus, Mars, Chibi Moon, Mercury, Jupiter.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon first premiered in Japan on March 7, 1992.  Today marks the 22nd anniversary of this anime that popularized the magical girl genre.  Sailor Moon is one of my absolute favorite shows ever.  In honor of this show being almost as old as I am, and because I love lists and expressing my opinions, I’m ranking the Sailor Senshi today!

10. Sailor Jupiter

IMG_4995There are so many reasons I want to like Jupiter.  She’s a total Independent Woman, a wiz in the kitchen, and girl can rock a ponytail!  I’m also a big fan of her rosebud earrings… I actually have a couple pairs of ’em myself.  Jupiter is supposedly the strongest of the inner senshi… I’m guessing they don’t mean in magical powers, but physical.  Makoto is supposed to be a big lady.  Am I truly supposed to believe that there is no school uniform to fit this chick?  I don’t buy it.  Jupiter also seems to have control of two “elements,” a term I use loosely here– electricity and wood.  The wood thing seems like an afterthought, but I read it has to do with the Japanese name for the planet itself.  Regardless, I just never could muster much enthusiasm for poor Jupiter.

A note on the dub: They give poor Makoto the name Lita.  Whose name is Lita?  The only thing I can think of is big Litas– those chunky platform boots.  I find this oddly fitting.

09. Sailor Mars

IMG_4994Mars barely beats Jupiter in my ranking of sailor senshi.  First of all, I get that it must be hard to be representative of a planet that it so symbolically male.  I mean, of course, that the planetary symbol for Mars is the male symbol.  (You know, the one that Austin Powers wears around his neck?  Shagadelic, baby.)  Thank goodness they femme’d it up a little by making the circular part a heart.  The thing about Rei that really bothers me, is that I think she’s like, cheating.  Rei is a miko, so her heightened spirituality lends her additional power.  Akuryō Taisan really seems to be her power as a miko, not as Sailor Mars.  Oh, and she’s like psychic?  Like, are you already magic?  Why are you even Sailor Mars?  The only reason I do rank Mars ahead of Jupiter is for her later attacks.  Fire Soul Bird?  Awesome.  Flame Sniper?  So bad ass.  I like fire power.  Her voice actress, Michie Tomizawa, also has a lovely singing voice, so I think fondly of Mars when I hear her songs from all the Sailor Moon soundtracks.  (Check out sailormusic.net.  You’re welcome.)

08. Sailor Mercury

IMG_4987I’m so sorry, Inners.  It’s sad that the inner senshi kind of diminish in coolness as the series go on, but that’s kind of how I felt.  Mercury, however, does have a few things that set her apart.  For one— girl’s got gadgets!  I love gadgets.  I wanted to be Harriet the Spy growing up, and practiced by carrying around a ton of spy gear.  Sailor Mercury totally had the gear.  She harkens back to Penny and her computer book.  She also had Mercury goggles, which seemed kind of Power Ranger to me.  Mercury is the brain of the operation.  Ami is super smart, and who doesn’t love a smart girl?  Ami is truly just a sweetheart, so you can’t not like her.  Notably, in Sailor Stars, I remember a scene where Taiki asked her if her dreams and romance could stop the rain.  Ami believed they could.  Ami’s just like that.  I just loved this line, and Ami really shined in this episode.  That’s what bumped her up for me.

07. Sailor Uranus

IMG_4989I think Sailor Uranus is as high on this list as she is because of her relationship with Sailor Neptune.  That’s fitting, though, because these two were created as counterparts.  The thing that puts Haruka up here is the way she carries herself with such elegance.  She is the protector and wields a sword.  She holds dominion over the sky. Her strength as Sailor Uranus is both physical and emotional, but love and duty are at war within her.  Most of all, Haruka is so secure in herself which makes her truly exceptional.

06. Sailor Venus

IMG_4993The highest of Sailor Moon’s inner senshi on the list is Sailor Venus!  Minako is undoubtedly the most fun of the planets closest to the sun.  She, like Usagi, is kind of more of a good time girl than a serious studier.  She’d rather have fun and play video games.  She’s cheerful, and sometimes irrational, but still manages to be a strong leader for the smaller group of senshi.  Venus is the star of her own manga, Codename: Sailor V.  Minako, before really being awakened as Sailor Venus, was a crime fighter  masquerading as Sailor V!   I love that this character was implanted into this series, and I do love her little announcing catch phrase: Say.  La.  V!  Her dream is to be famous, and thus her voice actress, Rica Fukami sings songs that are high energy and powerful.  Her “element” is love, which is kind of weak considering it’s not a traditional element, but it’s just perfectly fitting for the planet she represents.

A note on the live action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Venus actually is a famous singer in this incarnation, and her song C’est La Vie (get it?  love it!) is completely awesome.

05. Sailor Pluto

IMG_4999Not much is known about Pluto in relation to the other senshi.  She’s a woman of mystery!  Sailor Pluto stands guard at the Space-Time Door.  This must make for a lonely existence.  It isn’t until after she leaves her post that we see Setsuna, who’s older and wiser than all the other senshi.  She is associated with time, space, so I feel like she could travel in the TARDIS.  She is also associated with darkness, and thus wears black.  I actually love her associations.  I like that their can be a senshi associated with “darkness” on the good side, and I LOVE that she can rock black; it’s my favorite color to wear as well.  I also love that she wields a garnet orb, since garnet is my birthstone.  Even better, that orb sits atop what is basically a giant key.  I love keys.  She may not be the mainest of main characters, but I think Setsuna is pretty neat.  Oh, and I completely refuse to accept that Pluto is not a planet anymore.

04. Sailor Saturn

IMG_4991Saturn is my favorite planet.  I was pretty frustrated that this series made me wait so long to meet Sailor Saturn, but as you can see with her placement on the list, it was worth it.  Hotaru is another character who’s shrouded in mystery.  She’s sort of a dark figure as well, being the senshi of death and destruction.  But, like Death in a deck of Tarot cards, she also symbolizes rebirth.  Sailor Saturn has tremendous power:the power to destroy everything.  She carries that badass scythe and wears dark colors, mainly purples.  Saturn is maybe the chic-est of all the sailor senshi.  (Need proof? Check out this drawing of Hotaru at Maxime’s in Paris by creator Naoko Takeuchi.)  Hotaru and I share a sun sign and a birth month– as Capricorns, we’re both ruled by Saturn, so her rank was a no brainer!

03. Sailor Chibi Moon

IMG_4988Chibiusa is an interesting character in that there are a lot of things that fundamentally bother me about her.  I am eternally confused about her relationships with Usagi and Mamoru, her future parents!  She’s technically a member of the outer senshi, but seems to be more of a member of the inner senshi.  And like, she’s not even a planet.  Well, neither is Moon, but she’s just Chibi Moon.  This should be dumb.  I should totally hate this time travelling, sickly-sweet, pink-clad girl.  But I don’t.  I totally love her.  She embodies a lot of the qualities of Usagi that we love: a heart of gold, the desire to do no harm and help everyone she can, and the dream to be a lady someday.  Her attacks are so silly and wonderful.  Twinkle Yell?  Absolutely.  Pink Sugar Heart Attack?  Yeah, why not?  Chibiusa is actually as sweet as these attacks.  Still, she has that competitive edge, especially with Usagi that makes her a little mischievous and a lot of fun.  Sailor Chibi Moon is pretty important to the storyline overall, and even against my better judgment, she totally works for me.

02. Sailor Neptune

IMG_4990Sailor Neptune is undoubtedly my favorite… I guess I have two?  I actually wrote her description last, because I’m not sure if I can put into words how much I love Michiru.  I don’t know what it is about her that makes me melt– the waves of her aqua hair, her voice… seriously, I am actually in love with Michiru, move over Haruka.  Sailor Neptune, senshi of sea, is beautiful, graceful, and elegant.  I have always loved the way that the world seems to stop and rose petals float by when she and Haruka enter the scene.  Her personality is so warm and comforting, but still cautious and wise.  I love that she plays the violin; it makes me proud to have played the violin.  I really give so much credit to voice actress Masako Katsuki, because Michiru’s voice gives me the warm and fuzzies.  (Please listen to Unmei Wa Utsukushiku and melt with me.)  Sailor Neptune is as tough as the get when fighting and staunch on her beliefs, but this artistic angel is a sensitive soul.  She’s a lover.  And I completely love her.

01. Sailor Moon

IMG_4992I actually think it’s horribly tacky and out-of-character for me to pick the main character as my favorite.  Duh, you’re supposed to like her the best!  But I just do; I really do.  Usagi is worth loving the most.  Sure, Sailor Moon is the obvious best fighter.  She has more power, more attacks, and more transformation outfits than anyone else.  Most importantly, she has more love in her heart.  You can’t help but love the sometimes cheesey things Usagi says.  She needs to protect girls in love, the innocent people with good hearts, and like, stray kittens.  Usagi’s heart holds the purest form of love, and in a lot of ways, I aspire to this.  I love her optimism, and her fundamental belief in the good of everyone.  As Sailor Moon, her love is manifested as incredible power.  As a normal girl, Usagi is far from perfect.  She is clumsy, usually sleepy, always hungry, and never can seem to get good grades.  I love her imperfections.  They make her real, and relatable.  I’m usually hungry and sleepy too, and I can be pretty clumsy for a former ballerina.  I get you, girl!  Sailor Moon steps up as a leader when she’s needed, and ultimately, she is a super positive role model.  I admit it: she’s the best!

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