This has been a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. I’m an absolutely die-hard fan of Sailor Moon, and part of that is because it served as my childhood introduction to feminism. That might be a little bit hard to believe, considering the superheroines of the show are known for outfits not much more revealing than Wonder Woman’s. Silly outfits aside (you get used to them), this show was absolutely groundbreaking. Its protagonists are 10 realistically flawed, individual and talented teenage girls (and women) who, oh, you know. Save the world.
First, let me take you back in time to the summer of 1995. I’m a 9-year-old Canadian girl with a lot of time on her hands. I’m bored out of my mind, because there’s very little on television that appeals to me. Sure, there were shows made for girls back then. But they were Care Bears and My Little Pony (and I sure as heck don’t mean the Lauren Faust version) and obviously meant for very young girls. Jem and She-Ra are long since off the air, and the Powerpuff Girls won’t premiere for another 3 years. Generally, my choices were gender-neutral shows like Alvin & The Chipmunks, or male-audience shows like the 90s revival of Spider-Man. I wanted a little action. And, bless the alignment of the stars, I see this commercial for this new show called Sailor Moon. The stars aligned so perfectly that I happened to tune in on August 28th, 1995, the day that Sailor Moon premiered on YTV. I was hooked after one episode, and I can honestly say that this show changed my life.
So why is Sailor Moon feminist, besides having a mostly female cast? I have decided to take a page from my previous feminist Disney Princess essay and go through the characters individually, and explain why I, as a feminist, value them. Although I initially got into Sailor Moon via the English version, I will be basing my analysis off of the Japanese version of the series. I have long since felt that the English version does a disservice to its fans by making the characters immature, censoring homosexuality, and stereotyping what it is to be a teenager. I will also plead artistic license on the spelling and order of the names. So, without further adieu, the Sailor Soldiers.
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Image obtained via the article’s source.