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Part VI

The good, the bad, and the ugly...within SM authors and stories

One of the most controversial authors of Sailormoon fan-fiction is Chris Davies. Author of a multitude of stories, including: Together Again 1996 and 2937 chapters, The Adventures of Serena and Luna, Davies is no stranger to controversy or dissension. Possibly one of the earliest recognized Sailormoon fan-fiction writers, Davies has introduced a series of alternative storylines that have seen repercussions all across the fictional field. Key concepts include a difference in perception of the Usagi/Rei (Serena/Raye) relationships, as well as the interaction of the Senshi within the anime multiverse that Davies has created.

There are many that would argue Davies' view of the Usagi/Rei relationship (which has been extended to: Ryouko/Ayeka from Tenchi Muyo! as well as Priss/Sylia from Bubblegum Crisis) has been over-used. Many of his latest writings (and an underlying current through all of his works) have featured lesbian relationships between key female characters regardless of support (or lack thereof) from canonical material.

Professor Washuu will be giving a lecture on the concepts behind the use of the phrase 'canonical' within fan-fiction creation.

What does 'canon' material entail? Within Sailormoon, there are several canon sources that are to be considered: the Japanese anime series from Toei (200 episodes + three movies + the TV specials), the Japanese manga series from Kodansha (52 acts + four ennikki + two side stories), the North American TV adaptation from DIC (82 episodes + numerous "Live Action" trailers), and the North American "manga" translation from Mixx Entertainment (6 issues (or acts) so far and counting). I will also consider material that has been released in terms of the Art books and information detailed within Volume 10 of the Japanese manga as canon. Other canon sources include various interviews and author's notes that can be verified to Takeuchi Naoko, i.e., her liner notes within the eighteen Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon manga tankoubun as well as within the three Sailor V tankoubun, the interviews with various magazines...

The many thousands of Sailormoon sites accessible upon the web also mean that non-canonical information (i.e., made up, or mixed up) is being disseminated amongst netizens. The latest controversy over the S.O.S (Save Our Sailors) campaign's explanation of the relationship between Haruka and Michiru involved claims of a Prince of Uranus within the Silver Millennium. These claims were then 'substantiated' by a quote supposedly taken from an Italian magazine interview with Takeuchi-sensei. Upon translation of the interview in question, there were no quotes that would have substantiated claims of Uranus having been a male in his/her previous life within the Silver Millennium.

The fact that there have been attempts to muddle a relationship simply because it is not following a societal view towards sexuality reflects poorly upon society as a whole, as well as those that are chosing to ignore an essential part of character development. The consistent fascination of Western society with the forbidden topic of sexuality has caused the Uranus/Neptune relationship to be blown out of proportion. Their backgrounds and motives are not the main focus of the anime or the manga. Their love is an consistent undercurrent in terms of the relationships within the storyline but the focus should not on whether Uranus was/is a male in her previous lifetimes -- unless the writer is specifically setting out to create a believable background which includes the possibility of Uranus having been a male in the past.

There has been one main writer who's created something along the lines of a background for a male Uranus in the past: John Biles has written the Silver Millennium Uranus as Marduk but through the Dance of Shiva as well as Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Z Biles briefly explores the ambiguity that is inherent within Haruka.

If authors feel that they must write Haruka (or any other character) out of character (or of a different sexual orientation), then they must also be able to justify their reasons for doing so. More than one story with a reasonable plot line has been ruined due to bizarre characterization. Authors seem to like to perversely portray the various Senshi as being extremely out of character.

Stories of OOC character behaviour would have instances of:

  • Minako (Mina) behaving in a very ditzy manner. There are many readers that would assume from the behaviour of the North American Sailor Moon Mina that she is a ditz of the first water - a character that could rival Mihoshi and C-ko on any given day. [Kuramitsu Mihoshi from Tenchi Muyo; C-ko Kotobuki from Project: A-ko.] Some authors have even portrayed her as being another Usagi with her own idiosyncrasies of silly misquotes and the knack for saying things at the wrong time.

    Needless to say, we can see from the Japanese anime as well as the manga (more in the manga than the anime) that Minako does have her serious moments and is as much a leader and good friend to Usagi as to any of the other Senshi. Takeuchi acknowledges Venus as the leader of the Senshi in the manga and has portrayed Minako to be much more serious than otherwise seen. [Then again, Minako had her own series (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor V) to be silly in.]

  • Similarly, the portrayals of Rei have veered from either an absolute cynic and hot-head who would have a raspberry fight with Usagi at the drop of a pin, to being Usagi's lover. The Outer Senshi Trio have written character studies of all the Senshi and probably come closest with their description of Hino Rei.

    Tim Nolan

    Rei is one of the more mysterious ones in the Inner or Outer Senshi. She has had an unusual and reserved upbringing, living at the shrine with her grandfather. She also has not had an easy time with her looks and her background making her a bit distant from her schoolmates, prior to meeting the Inners.

    While Rei does not show the lack of social skills like Ami, she is not very good at showing her actual feelings to the people she cares about. Usagi is the best example of this, with Rei truly caring for her so much, yet being unwilling or unable to let that love she has for her friend show.

    Her attitude towards Yuuichiro confirms that Usagi isn't the only one that this behavior is limited to. She does care for him as well, but does not let it show, either. We must assume that he has come to realize that fact, or he probably would have long since moved on in terms of seeing someone else.

    All of the others seem to have mostly caught on to this behavior of hers, actually, with Usagi being the only exception. Usagi probably is only beginning to get the slightest hint of what Rei is truly feeling behind the facade she puts forth. Rei seems to be trying to make Usagi into the more ladylike person that Rei feels she should be since she is the Princess.

    Also of note is that Rei, as a miko, or shrine maiden, has some knowledge and understanding of people that a girl of her age would usually not have. I'm sure that part of her training has included learning about people from her grandfather, and getting advice and instruction from him is going to make her more perceptive about people than most of the other Inner Senshi. When you combine this with her apparent precognitive abilities, she will probably be the one to first get an idea of what a person is like and what their real motives are.

    In regards to the Outer Senshi, I do not see any one of them being more of a choice as a friend over the others. I think Rei would get along well with all of them equally well, and be able to deal with any of them on an individual or group basis. Rei seems to understand the moral basis for the decisions the Outers have made. Undoubtedly, Rei's time with her grandfather and learning from him about people and what makes them feel the way they do, since she is the probable successor to the shrine, will make her more understanding and accepting. While Rei may not agree with what the Outers feel and the decisions they have made, I do see her being the Inner Senshi who can most easily understand them.

    Jackie Chiang

    Rei's most notable characteristic is her dedication to Usagi. It has been said that she is probably Usagi's best friend, and I would readily agree with that. Though she constantly fights with and criticizes Usagi, she genuinely cares for the princess. Mars is always the one who protects Sailormoon, as in episode 45 when she kills two of the youma to save her and in the R movie when she pushes Moon away from Fioret's flower monsters. And it's clear that behind the teasing, pushy exterior that she is fond of the blond, she is just not good at showing it.

    The two main male relationships in her life are Mamoru and Yuuichirou. I tend to sincerely downplay her feelings for Mamoru; quite a few fics I've read try to make it into the biggest deal that has ever happened in Rei's life when it's not. Rei-chan, in my opinion, felt a strong infatuation for Mamoru-san, that was it. Of course she was hurt when she found out about how Usagi and he were meant to be together, but she manages to push away that hurt for her friend's well being. In any case, her relationship with Yuuichirou develops past just friendship, though Rei doesn't like to acknowledge how much she cares about him either.

    Rei has many possibilities open for her in a fanfic. I would not suggest emphasizing her desire for Mamoru long after their relationship has ended [ie like six years after the first season] because that is really ridiculous. Her strength of character, determination, attachment to her friends, and her quick temper can be used well, if the writer knows what s/he's doing.

    One of the most important aspects of the relationships within the anime is the variety of perspectives portrayed. Each of the Senshi had a common underlying factor prior to their meeting with Usagi/Sailormoon -- loneliness. Prior to anyone becoming a Senshi, they were considered 'weird' or 'unapproachable' for one reason or another. Ami - her brilliance; Rei - her position as both a Shinto miko as well as her bourgousie upbringing; Makoto - her history of violence (or perhaps better phrased as hostility) due in part to her height and strength over others; Minako - her early start as Sailor V is probably the most tragic; forced to watch her friends and potential loves die [within the Sailor V tankobuns], Minako lost many of friends simply because she no longer had time to be with them.

    With the Outer Senshi there are slight differences..., both Michiru and Haruka were lonely but found each other prior to meeting Usagi; Hotaru was befriended by Chibi-Usa and Setsuna met the Senshi...the circumstances of Pluto are significant, the time travelling Senshi cannot reconcile the past and future Pluto's.

    One of the defining characteristics of Usagi is her openness and willingness to offer friendship to people that are not considered mainstream or normal. We see this extended beyond the Senshi to what most others would consider enemies: Fiore, Hotaru/Mistress 9, Nephrenia, Galaxia...Usagi offers unconditional love. She doesn't want anyone to be lonely and by extension: without love.

  • Love is one of the defining features of Sailormoon. The story as a shoujo style means that love and relationships will dominate, as opposed to fighting monsters of the day (MotD). This is one of the largest differences between the anime and the manga. The anime follows the style of: MotD followed by speech, followed by a battle where the weapon of the season (WotS) is displayed... The manga has a much more diverse selection of foci; not every act/chapter was devoted to a physical confrontation between good and evil.

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