Yuri Anime/Manga: Sailor Moon

January 29th, 2004

Things I’m Not Going To Write About
Part 3

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)

What is there to say about the series that launched a thousand yuri fans, that hasn’t already been said? Well, lots really. But I won’t say it all here – I’ll just focus on the yuri. :-)

In Season 3, Sailor Moon S, the adorable Inner Senshi (and let’s face, they’re yuri subtext-y enough for any fan!) are joined by Sailors Uranus and Neptune, arguably one of the greatest lesbian couples in anime, manga and related media, ever. Directed by Ikuhara Kunihiko, (director of and creative genius behind Utena,) Sailor Moon gave the world the first anime lesbian couple to ever be portrayed *as such* on Japanese television. In doing so, Ikuhara set the bar pretty high with Haruka and Michiru, instructing the voice actresses to act as if they were married.* In fact, the next time the bar was raised was by this very same man almost ten years later, with Anthy, Utena and Juri in Utena.

It’s more than five years later and we’re *still* using these five characters as poster children for yuri anime and manga, which says a lot, IMHO.

Bottom line, Haruka and Michiru are one of the most romantic, funny, and fun yuri couples, ever. Every year sees new fanfic and doujinshi and even official Sailormoon World art about these two, and now, with the advent of the Live Action Sailor Moon, a whole new generation of kids might one day get to scream “Kakko-ii!” in the general direction of yuri fandom’s reigning queens. :-)

This anime is horrifically magical girl-y, so if repeated transformation footage, girly attack names and goofy monsters bore you, then yeah, it’ll be hard to get into the story. However, if that kind of thing doesn’t put you off, and you want to see where it so much of western yuri fandom began, you might want to get a hold of this season, which is available on DVD. The Sailor Moon manga is available on the Yuricon Shop. A new edition is available in Japan, in honor of the new Live Action series, with spiffy new cover art.

(The SM manga was one of the first titles Tokyo Pop ever translated, and boy was it a learning curve for them! Originally, they changed the names of all the Senshi, only to be met with huge fan resistance. It was too late for the Inner Senshi, but ultimately, the Outers’ Japanese names were retained. I actually have the old Mixx magazine issues with the Outers’ westernized names, before Tokyo Pop got inundated with fan mail begging them not to change Haruka’s name!)

Ratings: Yuri – 8, Art – 8, Story – 7, Music – 9, Characters – 10, Overall – 9

*It’s fairly well-known that it was was Ogata Megumi’s portrayal of Haruka that catapulted me into anime fandom in the beginning, and to be honest, she’s still my favorite. While it will be very cool to see a Live-Action Sailor Uranus, it won’t be MO, boo hoo. :-(


This week’s brainstorm

After much thought on the subject, I have now developed a working definition for “porn” versus “erotica” that I’d like to share with you all. There’s quite a few people who think that there is no difference, but I believe there is:

Porn is any representation of sexual conduct with the implicit acknowledgement of a third party who is watching – and for whose pleasure the sexual act is being conducted.

Erotica is an honest representation of sexual conduct between people for their own pleasure.

I came to this conclusion while reading several yuri doujinshi I own. If you agree with it, please feel free to use it. If you disagree, feel free to come up with one of your own. :-)

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