Photo
adventuresofcomicbookgirl:


(FMA 2003)
Winry: Hey guys I have some input-
Ed: GO AWAY Winry, stop tagging along
Al: Yeah, you helped us and stuff now go away it’s dangerous I guess
Winry: Hey but I-
Ed: STOP TRYING TO IMPACT THE PLOT.
Al: Bye
(FMA Manga/Brotherhood:)
Winry: So, my input is THIS
Ed: rrrght as much as I worry about you being in danger I have learned to respect your input and personal autonomy
Al: Yes Ma’am!
Ed: but I can’t let you-
Winry: Ed stop it.
Ed: Okay.
you should run away
Winry: NO
Ed: Okay.

So this isn’t meant to start a “2003 vs original” fight or anything, but make a larger point about how lady characters can be handled in narratives, and I think the difference between how Winry’s handled in the manga and the first anime is just a pretty good illustration of that?
See, I flippantly said that the first anime made it so Winry did nothing during a certain scene that was adapted from the manga and someone was like, that’s not true, and gave me photographic evidence that Winry basically TRIED to say the same things in that scene but Al TALKED OVER HER so he could ANGST some more- and basically Winry continued trying really hard to help after that but kinda wasn’t acknowledged as doing so. And well, that’s true! But I don’t think the 2003 anime should get points for that? It’s like- there’s no such thing as a bad character. I truly believe that. It’s about whether the character is given room to develop and used to their fullest potential. 2003 anime Winry is basically the same character as Manga Winry, only a lot less developed and repeatedly sidelined by the other characters and the narrative itself.
Winry’s character is show TRYING to impact the plot in 2003, but it rebuffed by the other characters and the circumstances the narrative constructs. She saves Ed and Al on a tractor, they tell her to go home. She tries to talk to Al, he talks over her. She tries to talk to Roy about you know, killing her parents, he decides to ignore her and give a speech to Ed and Al instead. She goes on a secret investigation with Sheska and discovers Sloth…it’s completely useless because she can’t warn anyone and Ed and Al find it out on their own. She’s kidnapped the second she enters the narrative and not given the oppurtunity to save herself, she’s made to stand silently and watch the bros fight. She’s not allowed to put her foot down, say it’s my way or the highway and have others listen to her. It’s not that I’m shortchanging Winry’s character in either continuity. It’s that one continuity allows her actions to have impact and the other doesn’t. One narrative respects her and the other doesn’t. 
And that’s a larger problem in fiction. A female character can be presented a kickass, proactive lady who tries really hard, but it the narrative refuses to focus on her or let her accomplish things and if the narrative constantly suppresses her or even punishes her when she tries to have a voice- that’s just, really bad. It’s like saying “Girls, don’t try to accomplish anything, the world won’t let you.”
And no, I don’t care if it’s because 2003 focused more on Ed and Al. That’s not an excuse. You can focus on the protagonists without shortchanging other characters. In fact, if Ed and Al exist in a bubble and no one else can impact them or have a role, why the hell do other characters exist at all? And on a personal note, I think 2003 Ed and Al had really circular, self-centered, shaky development precisely because of the “all about them” attitude. How the hell am I supposed to sympathize with an Ed and Al who don’t listen to Winry when she has good advice and treat her like shit?
On a final note, Ed has an entire character arc in the Manga/Brotherhood where he learns not to keep the truth from Winry and to respect her decisions and not coddle her. He goes from keeping from her who killed her parents because he wants to protect her to after discovering this is a hurtful and disrespectful thing to do, telling her immediately when she’s in a hostage situation because he “doesn’t want to betray her by decieving her” and then following her plan to get them all out of the situation because even though he doesn’t like the risks she’s taking, he respects her right to take them and do what she wants with her own life. So basically, Ed has a whole arc where he learns it’s better to respect and listen to the woman you like rather than keep things from her and try to control her in the name of protecting her.
In an anime aimed towards boys, this is a really important lesson to have. The manga is specifically teaching young boys that girls have important input and you should respect and be honest with them and listen to them. It’s a really great and uncommon lesson in a shounen story. But the 2003 never shows anyone learning to listen to women or respect them. The protagonists ignore Winry’s input and keep things from her and sideline her till the end. So boys come away from that thinking what every other shounen manga teaches- “it’s okay to take girls for granted and ignore them and treat them as secondary.”
You get what I’m sayin?

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

(FMA 2003)

Winry: Hey guys I have some input-

Ed: GO AWAY Winry, stop tagging along

Al: Yeah, you helped us and stuff now go away it’s dangerous I guess

Winry: Hey but I-

Ed: STOP TRYING TO IMPACT THE PLOT.

Al: Bye

(FMA Manga/Brotherhood:)

Winry: So, my input is THIS

Ed: rrrght as much as I worry about you being in danger I have learned to respect your input and personal autonomy

Al: Yes Ma’am!

Ed: but I can’t let you-

Winry: Ed stop it.

Ed: Okay.

you should run away

Winry: NO

Ed: Okay.

So this isn’t meant to start a “2003 vs original” fight or anything, but make a larger point about how lady characters can be handled in narratives, and I think the difference between how Winry’s handled in the manga and the first anime is just a pretty good illustration of that?

See, I flippantly said that the first anime made it so Winry did nothing during a certain scene that was adapted from the manga and someone was like, that’s not true, and gave me photographic evidence that Winry basically TRIED to say the same things in that scene but Al TALKED OVER HER so he could ANGST some more- and basically Winry continued trying really hard to help after that but kinda wasn’t acknowledged as doing so. And well, that’s true! But I don’t think the 2003 anime should get points for that? It’s like- there’s no such thing as a bad character. I truly believe that. It’s about whether the character is given room to develop and used to their fullest potential. 2003 anime Winry is basically the same character as Manga Winry, only a lot less developed and repeatedly sidelined by the other characters and the narrative itself.

Winry’s character is show TRYING to impact the plot in 2003, but it rebuffed by the other characters and the circumstances the narrative constructs. She saves Ed and Al on a tractor, they tell her to go home. She tries to talk to Al, he talks over her. She tries to talk to Roy about you know, killing her parents, he decides to ignore her and give a speech to Ed and Al instead. She goes on a secret investigation with Sheska and discovers Sloth…it’s completely useless because she can’t warn anyone and Ed and Al find it out on their own. She’s kidnapped the second she enters the narrative and not given the oppurtunity to save herself, she’s made to stand silently and watch the bros fight. She’s not allowed to put her foot down, say it’s my way or the highway and have others listen to her. It’s not that I’m shortchanging Winry’s character in either continuity. It’s that one continuity allows her actions to have impact and the other doesn’t. One narrative respects her and the other doesn’t. 

And that’s a larger problem in fiction. A female character can be presented a kickass, proactive lady who tries really hard, but it the narrative refuses to focus on her or let her accomplish things and if the narrative constantly suppresses her or even punishes her when she tries to have a voice- that’s just, really bad. It’s like saying “Girls, don’t try to accomplish anything, the world won’t let you.”

And no, I don’t care if it’s because 2003 focused more on Ed and Al. That’s not an excuse. You can focus on the protagonists without shortchanging other characters. In fact, if Ed and Al exist in a bubble and no one else can impact them or have a role, why the hell do other characters exist at all? And on a personal note, I think 2003 Ed and Al had really circular, self-centered, shaky development precisely because of the “all about them” attitude. How the hell am I supposed to sympathize with an Ed and Al who don’t listen to Winry when she has good advice and treat her like shit?

On a final note, Ed has an entire character arc in the Manga/Brotherhood where he learns not to keep the truth from Winry and to respect her decisions and not coddle her. He goes from keeping from her who killed her parents because he wants to protect her to after discovering this is a hurtful and disrespectful thing to do, telling her immediately when she’s in a hostage situation because he “doesn’t want to betray her by decieving her” and then following her plan to get them all out of the situation because even though he doesn’t like the risks she’s taking, he respects her right to take them and do what she wants with her own life. So basically, Ed has a whole arc where he learns it’s better to respect and listen to the woman you like rather than keep things from her and try to control her in the name of protecting her.

In an anime aimed towards boys, this is a really important lesson to have. The manga is specifically teaching young boys that girls have important input and you should respect and be honest with them and listen to them. It’s a really great and uncommon lesson in a shounen story. But the 2003 never shows anyone learning to listen to women or respect them. The protagonists ignore Winry’s input and keep things from her and sideline her till the end. So boys come away from that thinking what every other shounen manga teaches- “it’s okay to take girls for granted and ignore them and treat them as secondary.”

You get what I’m sayin?

Photo

(FMA 2003)
Winry: Hey guys I have some input-
Ed: GO AWAY Winry, stop tagging along
Al: Yeah, you helped us and stuff now go away it’s dangerous I guess
Winry: Hey but I-
Ed: STOP TRYING TO IMPACT THE PLOT.
Al: Bye
(FMA Manga/Brotherhood:)
Winry: So, my input is THIS
Ed: rrrght as much as I worry about you being in danger I have learned to respect your input and personal autonomy
Al: Yes Ma’am!
Ed: but I can’t let you-
Winry: Ed stop it.
Ed: Okay.
you should run away
Winry: NO
Ed: Okay.

So this isn’t meant to start a “2003 vs original” fight or anything, but make a larger point about how lady characters can be handled in narratives, and I think the difference between how Winry’s handled in the manga and the first anime is just a pretty good illustration of that?
See, I flippantly said that the first anime made it so Winry did nothing during a certain scene that was adapted from the manga and someone was like, that’s not true, and gave me photographic evidence that Winry basically TRIED to say the same things in that scene but Al TALKED OVER HER so he could ANGST some more- and basically Winry continued trying really hard to help after that but kinda wasn’t acknowledged as doing so. And well, that’s true! But I don’t think the 2003 anime should get points for that? It’s like- there’s no such thing as a bad character. I truly believe that. It’s about whether the character is given room to develop and used to their fullest potential. 2003 anime Winry is basically the same character as Manga Winry, only a lot less developed and repeatedly sidelined by the other characters and the narrative itself.
Winry’s character is show TRYING to impact the plot in 2003, but it rebuffed by the other characters and the circumstances the narrative constructs. She saves Ed and Al on a tractor, they tell her to go home. She tries to talk to Al, he talks over her. She tries to talk to Roy about you know, killing her parents, he decides to ignore her and give a speech to Ed and Al instead. She goes on a secret investigation with Sheska and discovers Sloth…it’s completely useless because she can’t warn anyone and Ed and Al find it out on their own. She’s kidnapped the second she enters the narrative and not given the oppurtunity to save herself, she’s made to stand silently and watch the bros fight. She’s not allowed to put her foot down, say it’s my way or the highway and have others listen to her. It’s not that I’m shortchanging Winry’s character in either continuity. It’s that one continuity allows her actions to have impact and the other doesn’t. One narrative respects her and the other doesn’t. 
And that’s a larger problem in fiction. A female character can be presented a kickass, proactive lady who tries really hard, but it the narrative refuses to focus on her or let her accomplish things and if the narrative constantly suppresses her or even punishes her when she tries to have a voice- that’s just, really bad. It’s like saying “Girls, don’t try to accomplish anything, the world won’t let you.”
And no, I don’t care if it’s because 2003 focused more on Ed and Al. That’s not an excuse. You can focus on the protagonists without shortchanging other characters. In fact, if Ed and Al exist in a bubble and no one else can impact them or have a role, why the hell do other characters exist at all? And on a personal note, I think 2003 Ed and Al had really circular, self-centered, shaky development precisely because of the “all about them” attitude. How the hell am I supposed to sympathize with an Ed and Al who don’t listen to Winry when she has good advice and treat her like shit?
On a final note, Ed has an entire character arc in the Manga/Brotherhood where he learns not to keep the truth from Winry and to respect her decisions and not coddle her. He goes from keeping from her who killed her parents because he wants to protect her to after discovering this is a hurtful and disrespectful thing to do, telling her immediately when she’s in a hostage situation because he “doesn’t want to betray her by decieving her” and then following her plan to get them all out of the situation because even though he doesn’t like the risks she’s taking, he respects her right to take them and do what she wants with her own life. So basically, Ed has a whole arc where he learns it’s better to respect and listen to the woman you like rather than keep things from her and try to control her in the name of protecting her.
In an anime aimed towards boys, this is a really important lesson to have. The manga is specifically teaching young boys that girls have important input and you should respect and be honest with them and listen to them. It’s a really great and uncommon lesson in a shounen story. But the 2003 never shows anyone learning to listen to women or respect them. The protagonists ignore Winry’s input and keep things from her and sideline her till the end. So boys come away from that thinking what every other shounen manga teaches- “it’s okay to take girls for granted and ignore them and treat them as secondary.”
You get what I’m sayin?

(FMA 2003)

Winry: Hey guys I have some input-

Ed: GO AWAY Winry, stop tagging along

Al: Yeah, you helped us and stuff now go away it’s dangerous I guess

Winry: Hey but I-

Ed: STOP TRYING TO IMPACT THE PLOT.

Al: Bye

(FMA Manga/Brotherhood:)

Winry: So, my input is THIS

Ed: rrrght as much as I worry about you being in danger I have learned to respect your input and personal autonomy

Al: Yes Ma’am!

Ed: but I can’t let you-

Winry: Ed stop it.

Ed: Okay.

you should run away

Winry: NO

Ed: Okay.

So this isn’t meant to start a “2003 vs original” fight or anything, but make a larger point about how lady characters can be handled in narratives, and I think the difference between how Winry’s handled in the manga and the first anime is just a pretty good illustration of that?

See, I flippantly said that the first anime made it so Winry did nothing during a certain scene that was adapted from the manga and someone was like, that’s not true, and gave me photographic evidence that Winry basically TRIED to say the same things in that scene but Al TALKED OVER HER so he could ANGST some more- and basically Winry continued trying really hard to help after that but kinda wasn’t acknowledged as doing so. And well, that’s true! But I don’t think the 2003 anime should get points for that? It’s like- there’s no such thing as a bad character. I truly believe that. It’s about whether the character is given room to develop and used to their fullest potential. 2003 anime Winry is basically the same character as Manga Winry, only a lot less developed and repeatedly sidelined by the other characters and the narrative itself.

Winry’s character is show TRYING to impact the plot in 2003, but it rebuffed by the other characters and the circumstances the narrative constructs. She saves Ed and Al on a tractor, they tell her to go home. She tries to talk to Al, he talks over her. She tries to talk to Roy about you know, killing her parents, he decides to ignore her and give a speech to Ed and Al instead. She goes on a secret investigation with Sheska and discovers Sloth…it’s completely useless because she can’t warn anyone and Ed and Al find it out on their own. She’s kidnapped the second she enters the narrative and not given the oppurtunity to save herself, she’s made to stand silently and watch the bros fight. She’s not allowed to put her foot down, say it’s my way or the highway and have others listen to her. It’s not that I’m shortchanging Winry’s character in either continuity. It’s that one continuity allows her actions to have impact and the other doesn’t. One narrative respects her and the other doesn’t. 

And that’s a larger problem in fiction. A female character can be presented a kickass, proactive lady who tries really hard, but it the narrative refuses to focus on her or let her accomplish things and if the narrative constantly suppresses her or even punishes her when she tries to have a voice- that’s just, really bad. It’s like saying “Girls, don’t try to accomplish anything, the world won’t let you.”

And no, I don’t care if it’s because 2003 focused more on Ed and Al. That’s not an excuse. You can focus on the protagonists without shortchanging other characters. In fact, if Ed and Al exist in a bubble and no one else can impact them or have a role, why the hell do other characters exist at all? And on a personal note, I think 2003 Ed and Al had really circular, self-centered, shaky development precisely because of the “all about them” attitude. How the hell am I supposed to sympathize with an Ed and Al who don’t listen to Winry when she has good advice and treat her like shit?

On a final note, Ed has an entire character arc in the Manga/Brotherhood where he learns not to keep the truth from Winry and to respect her decisions and not coddle her. He goes from keeping from her who killed her parents because he wants to protect her to after discovering this is a hurtful and disrespectful thing to do, telling her immediately when she’s in a hostage situation because he “doesn’t want to betray her by decieving her” and then following her plan to get them all out of the situation because even though he doesn’t like the risks she’s taking, he respects her right to take them and do what she wants with her own life. So basically, Ed has a whole arc where he learns it’s better to respect and listen to the woman you like rather than keep things from her and try to control her in the name of protecting her.

In an anime aimed towards boys, this is a really important lesson to have. The manga is specifically teaching young boys that girls have important input and you should respect and be honest with them and listen to them. It’s a really great and uncommon lesson in a shounen story. But the 2003 never shows anyone learning to listen to women or respect them. The protagonists ignore Winry’s input and keep things from her and sideline her till the end. So boys come away from that thinking what every other shounen manga teaches- “it’s okay to take girls for granted and ignore them and treat them as secondary.”

You get what I’m sayin?

Photo
adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

art by Athena-chan
It’s Ami’s birthday, so I have to do a rambling essay on her. It’s the LAW! I did a spam for Tuxedo Mask on his birthday after all, and I like Ami better, so!
Ami is apparently the most popular Sailor Moon character in Japan. It’s not surprising, considering that this is a culture that values hard work and intelligence and Ami embodies those virtues. Yet, this may not be the case in America, she is the Senshi I’ve run into some weird bashing for over on Tumblr. People reblogging and saying they hate Ami because she “always” talks about how smart she is.
Because heaven forbid a girl be proud of her intelligence and not hide it. Heaven forbid she be admired for it.  
I really like Ami for several reasons. One, she is smart, a geek, a nerd, a studious person, and so am I. I can relate to that, and I like that Ami doesn’t hide that about herself. She’s also hella brave and on the ball, as well as super sweet and strong, which I will get to. Second is how many stereotypes she breaks in regards to being the “Smart Girl.”
Just the fact that she is a supersmart geekgirl superhero breaks convention in itself- there just aren’t that many of them out there. Ladies who are intelligent in fiction tend to be smart in a passive way, to balance out the typical bullheaded male love interest with their womanly wisdom. They certainly don’t apply their smarts to save the day or contribute to the team. The idea seems to be that woman can be smart, she just can’t be smart where it really counts- in a useful or active way. She can’t call attention to herself. But Ami does. She’s proud of her brains and she uses them to apply her powers creatively, help the team, and be on the ball in battle. She comes right out and says it “I am Sailor Mercury, Soldier of Water and Wisdom.” She is going to kick your ass with her intellect.
Ami has defensive powers throughout the first season of the anime, but unlike other fans, I never got the impression this made her weaker. (also, in the manga, she always had a full arsenal of amazing powers for what it’s worth). She applied them so creatively that the fact she was using bubbles didn’t really slow her down. She was always a force to be reckoned with because of how smart and level headed she was.  Remember the battle with Evil Tuxedo Mask? He said right away that he respected her as an opponent. And he was right to- she kicked his ass. He was able to bat away her bubbles, but she was just doing that shit as a distraction so she could use her mad skillz to steal his crystal right out of his damn hand and foil his evil plan. Intellect and Ami’s mad ninja skills win the day even if she isn’t packing heat. She also applies her powers creatively other times- using bubbles to trap and smother opponents. Bubbles. Killing monsters. How badass do you have to be to do that. She’s often the first to attack and with the quickest reflexes and best strategy (goes hand in hand with kicking ass at video games, I guess). And in the ultimate holy shit creative power use moment, she uses her powers on HERSELF to walk into a fireball. Oh, and then she destroys the enemy’s weapon with a handheld computer. 
And once she gets Shine Aqua Illusion she’s just as powerful as the other Senshi, to the point where they’re quite terrified when it looks like she might turn against them (and she kicks their asses in PGSM when she DOES turn against them). Girl has no shortage of badassery.
She’s proud of the way she fights with her intelligence rather than brute force, and knows it’s effective. She tells Uranus “this is my way of fighting, this is who I am, and it’s just at effective as you are.”
And I looove that Ami isn’t punished for being smart in any way like most smart girls in fiction are. She is introduced as a bit of a criticism of how smart girls are treated- singed out and isolated, gossiped about, condemned for being “snobby” and “uppity” by the class- and that’s smart-girl-shaming culture is the source of a lot of Ami’s insecurity and loneliness. But then she meets Usagi, who absoulutely adores and idolizes girls who outshine her, rather than engage in hate for them. Usagi loves that Ami’s a sharp girl- she wants to be like Ami. Then Ami finds out she’s was chosen to be a goddamn warrior of wisdom because of her fabulous brain. Then she gains a whole gaggle of girlfriends who absolutely adore her intelligence and are eager to learn from (and mooch off) her. They teach her to loosen up and socialize, but at the same time absolutely encourage Ami’s dreams of success through her brain (encouraging her to go to Germany, Usagi worrying about holding Ami back) and admire her. Though her study habits are a running gag, the girls themselves never make fun of Ami for her smarts, and value them.
And her smarts do not deter boys from being attracted to her. In fact, quite the opposite. She never tries to dumb herself down for a guy and she never has to. Ami gets as many love interests as any of the other girls. Urawa is specifically attracted to her intelligence, and tries to do better in school not because he is intimidated by her or wants to outclass her, but feels he has to be worthy of such a smart girl. Mamoru strikes up a really cute friendship with Ami based on their mutual booksmarts, and engages in geek discussion and encourages her in her academics. When Ami is down on herself and thinks she isn’t as whole a person because she focuses so much on studying, Mamoru assures her that he thinks he really thinks it’s admirablehow she pursues her dreams and uses her brains. and that he thinks she’ll be the best doctor. AND insinuates that he finds it attractive (one of the few times he demonstrates even being capable of feeling attraction for non-Usagi personel). And then there’s the fact that out of all the hot friends his sister has, she’s the one Usagi’s little brother falls head over heels for, and he heavily implies he find her intelligence and independence to be her most attractive quality.
Ami also breaks tropes of what smart people (specifically women) should act like- she’s incredibly compassionate and emotional, romantic and sentimental, and this doesn’t deter from her smarts in the least- she considers them to be a big component in her passion for science and something that motivates her. She’s never cold, and very motherly and protective of her friends. Her kindness is legendary. She’s such a good friend and kind person that Senshi feel depressed and lost when she leaves, and miss her like crazy.
And she rocks the world at science and math, but I also like that she’s creative and whimsical- she loves writing  and music (so much so that it awakens one of her powers) and indulges in trashy romance novels. She has a significant artistic side she gets from her father. I really like that side of her, and how multifaceted she is. Also, defying the stereotype of smart girls sucking at sports, she’s athletic in that she’s talented at swimming and really enjoys it.
She also shows her to be a bit more sexually aware than the other girls in some ways- she’s a demon at picking up the homoerotic goings-on or other sexual details going on, and isn’t afraid to make it known when she’s being lusty. 
Ami is goal and career oriented, she wants to be a doctor which is a hell of a difficult career choice, and of course a male dominated science pursuit, but she is determined and knows she can do it. And she does it because she admires her mother as a career woman. That’s right, this was a woman who never got to spend much time with Ami like a mother is “supposed” to, and rather than resent that, Ami idolizes her career and wants to follow it (though she mentions to Shingo she would try to spend more time with her family than her mother got to if she had one). And the her friends encourage her in this dream, admire it, and are willing to help her achieve it. In PGSM, she DOES achieve it. 
I also love her competitive-take-no-shit streak, seen most prominently in “Ami’s First Love”. Ami is attracted to intelligence, so when a guy beats her at a test, she falls for him a bit- yet is also hell bent on kicking his ass. No one, no one outperforms Ami Mizuno in the brains department. She is determined to be at the top, she knows she is the best, and if anyone threatens that, she’ll do her damnedest to take them down. Forcibly if need be. The fact she automatically decides any boy who beats her on a test must be an enemy (because how is it possible to be better than he and be human? It’s not!) and she needs to kick his ass (even if the idea of someone smart enough to match wits with her turns her on) is both hilarious and awesome. This is the opposite of a girl dumbing herself down for a guy- this is a girl determined to always be the smartest person in the room, who wears her brains and competitiveness with pride, and will keep her place at the top no matter what. Competitive girls (especially ones determined to outshine and dominate guys) aren’t considered socially acceptable, but Ami doesn’t give a fuck. She’ll destroy anyone who tries to take away her intelligence in cold blood. WITH HER SCIENTIFIC EQUATION OF VICTORY. She’s a badass like that. 
Also, gotta love when that guy in the video game competition says he “would never lose to a girl!!!” and she simply politely kicks his ass.
I also love her story, how lonely she was, how she gained friends and confidence, how she struggles with her insecurities and doubts about her future so many times- she’s so relatable to me.
In short, Ami is a girl genius badass and awesome friend who is so complex and multifaceted and breaks so many stereotypes, and invaluable to Sailor Moon as a character. Also, her powers are super pretty (water is cooool and Mercury Aqua Rhapsody is just UNF) and she is pretty (I love blue and I love her pretty short hair. Heck, I love that she rocks the short hair- so much ridic long hair in this anime, it’s a nice break, and it isn’t even the typicl “this singles this girl out as a tomboy” bit - just a sign of her practicality - and cuteness. Ami rocks, I love that she flaunts her brains, and a very happy birthday to the Sailor Senshi of Water and Wisdom.

Gonna just reblog this for Ami’s bday cuz I’m lazy and my opinion hasn’t changed. Happy birthday to an excellent fictional lady.

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

art by Athena-chan

It’s Ami’s birthday, so I have to do a rambling essay on her. It’s the LAW! I did a spam for Tuxedo Mask on his birthday after all, and I like Ami better, so!

Ami is apparently the most popular Sailor Moon character in Japan. It’s not surprising, considering that this is a culture that values hard work and intelligence and Ami embodies those virtues. Yet, this may not be the case in America, she is the Senshi I’ve run into some weird bashing for over on Tumblr. People reblogging and saying they hate Ami because she “always” talks about how smart she is.

Because heaven forbid a girl be proud of her intelligence and not hide it. Heaven forbid she be admired for it.  

I really like Ami for several reasons. One, she is smart, a geek, a nerd, a studious person, and so am I. I can relate to that, and I like that Ami doesn’t hide that about herself. She’s also hella brave and on the ball, as well as super sweet and strong, which I will get to. Second is how many stereotypes she breaks in regards to being the “Smart Girl.”

Just the fact that she is a supersmart geekgirl superhero breaks convention in itself- there just aren’t that many of them out there. Ladies who are intelligent in fiction tend to be smart in a passive way, to balance out the typical bullheaded male love interest with their womanly wisdom. They certainly don’t apply their smarts to save the day or contribute to the team. The idea seems to be that woman can be smart, she just can’t be smart where it really counts- in a useful or active way. She can’t call attention to herself. But Ami does. She’s proud of her brains and she uses them to apply her powers creatively, help the team, and be on the ball in battle. She comes right out and says it “I am Sailor Mercury, Soldier of Water and Wisdom.” She is going to kick your ass with her intellect.

Ami has defensive powers throughout the first season of the anime, but unlike other fans, I never got the impression this made her weaker. (also, in the manga, she always had a full arsenal of amazing powers for what it’s worth). She applied them so creatively that the fact she was using bubbles didn’t really slow her down. She was always a force to be reckoned with because of how smart and level headed she was.  Remember the battle with Evil Tuxedo Mask? He said right away that he respected her as an opponent. And he was right to- she kicked his ass. He was able to bat away her bubbles, but she was just doing that shit as a distraction so she could use her mad skillz to steal his crystal right out of his damn hand and foil his evil plan. Intellect and Ami’s mad ninja skills win the day even if she isn’t packing heat. She also applies her powers creatively other times- using bubbles to trap and smother opponents. Bubbles. Killing monsters. How badass do you have to be to do that. She’s often the first to attack and with the quickest reflexes and best strategy (goes hand in hand with kicking ass at video games, I guess). And in the ultimate holy shit creative power use moment, she uses her powers on HERSELF to walk into a fireball. Oh, and then she destroys the enemy’s weapon with a handheld computer. 

And once she gets Shine Aqua Illusion she’s just as powerful as the other Senshi, to the point where they’re quite terrified when it looks like she might turn against them (and she kicks their asses in PGSM when she DOES turn against them). Girl has no shortage of badassery.

She’s proud of the way she fights with her intelligence rather than brute force, and knows it’s effective. She tells Uranus “this is my way of fighting, this is who I am, and it’s just at effective as you are.”

And I looove that Ami isn’t punished for being smart in any way like most smart girls in fiction are. She is introduced as a bit of a criticism of how smart girls are treated- singed out and isolated, gossiped about, condemned for being “snobby” and “uppity” by the class- and that’s smart-girl-shaming culture is the source of a lot of Ami’s insecurity and loneliness. But then she meets Usagi, who absoulutely adores and idolizes girls who outshine her, rather than engage in hate for them. Usagi loves that Ami’s a sharp girl- she wants to be like Ami. Then Ami finds out she’s was chosen to be a goddamn warrior of wisdom because of her fabulous brain. Then she gains a whole gaggle of girlfriends who absolutely adore her intelligence and are eager to learn from (and mooch off) her. They teach her to loosen up and socialize, but at the same time absolutely encourage Ami’s dreams of success through her brain (encouraging her to go to Germany, Usagi worrying about holding Ami back) and admire her. Though her study habits are a running gag, the girls themselves never make fun of Ami for her smarts, and value them.

And her smarts do not deter boys from being attracted to her. In fact, quite the opposite. She never tries to dumb herself down for a guy and she never has to. Ami gets as many love interests as any of the other girls. Urawa is specifically attracted to her intelligence, and tries to do better in school not because he is intimidated by her or wants to outclass her, but feels he has to be worthy of such a smart girl. Mamoru strikes up a really cute friendship with Ami based on their mutual booksmarts, and engages in geek discussion and encourages her in her academics. When Ami is down on herself and thinks she isn’t as whole a person because she focuses so much on studying, Mamoru assures her that he thinks he really thinks it’s admirablehow she pursues her dreams and uses her brains. and that he thinks she’ll be the best doctor. AND insinuates that he finds it attractive (one of the few times he demonstrates even being capable of feeling attraction for non-Usagi personel). And then there’s the fact that out of all the hot friends his sister has, she’s the one Usagi’s little brother falls head over heels for, and he heavily implies he find her intelligence and independence to be her most attractive quality.

Ami also breaks tropes of what smart people (specifically women) should act like- she’s incredibly compassionate and emotional, romantic and sentimental, and this doesn’t deter from her smarts in the least- she considers them to be a big component in her passion for science and something that motivates her. She’s never cold, and very motherly and protective of her friends. Her kindness is legendary. She’s such a good friend and kind person that Senshi feel depressed and lost when she leaves, and miss her like crazy.

And she rocks the world at science and math, but I also like that she’s creative and whimsical- she loves writing  and music (so much so that it awakens one of her powers) and indulges in trashy romance novels. She has a significant artistic side she gets from her father. I really like that side of her, and how multifaceted she is. Also, defying the stereotype of smart girls sucking at sports, she’s athletic in that she’s talented at swimming and really enjoys it.

She also shows her to be a bit more sexually aware than the other girls in some ways- she’s a demon at picking up the homoerotic goings-on or other sexual details going on, and isn’t afraid to make it known when she’s being lusty. 

Ami is goal and career oriented, she wants to be a doctor which is a hell of a difficult career choice, and of course a male dominated science pursuit, but she is determined and knows she can do it. And she does it because she admires her mother as a career woman. That’s right, this was a woman who never got to spend much time with Ami like a mother is “supposed” to, and rather than resent that, Ami idolizes her career and wants to follow it (though she mentions to Shingo she would try to spend more time with her family than her mother got to if she had one). And the her friends encourage her in this dream, admire it, and are willing to help her achieve it. In PGSM, she DOES achieve it. 

I also love her competitive-take-no-shit streak, seen most prominently in “Ami’s First Love”. Ami is attracted to intelligence, so when a guy beats her at a test, she falls for him a bit- yet is also hell bent on kicking his ass. No one, no one outperforms Ami Mizuno in the brains department. She is determined to be at the top, she knows she is the best, and if anyone threatens that, she’ll do her damnedest to take them down. Forcibly if need be. The fact she automatically decides any boy who beats her on a test must be an enemy (because how is it possible to be better than he and be human? It’s not!) and she needs to kick his ass (even if the idea of someone smart enough to match wits with her turns her on) is both hilarious and awesome. This is the opposite of a girl dumbing herself down for a guy- this is a girl determined to always be the smartest person in the room, who wears her brains and competitiveness with pride, and will keep her place at the top no matter what. Competitive girls (especially ones determined to outshine and dominate guys) aren’t considered socially acceptable, but Ami doesn’t give a fuck. She’ll destroy anyone who tries to take away her intelligence in cold blood. WITH HER SCIENTIFIC EQUATION OF VICTORY. She’s a badass like that. 

Also, gotta love when that guy in the video game competition says he “would never lose to a girl!!!” and she simply politely kicks his ass.

I also love her story, how lonely she was, how she gained friends and confidence, how she struggles with her insecurities and doubts about her future so many times- she’s so relatable to me.

In short, Ami is a girl genius badass and awesome friend who is so complex and multifaceted and breaks so many stereotypes, and invaluable to Sailor Moon as a character. Also, her powers are super pretty (water is cooool and Mercury Aqua Rhapsody is just UNF) and she is pretty (I love blue and I love her pretty short hair. Heck, I love that she rocks the short hair- so much ridic long hair in this anime, it’s a nice break, and it isn’t even the typicl “this singles this girl out as a tomboy” bit - just a sign of her practicality - and cuteness. Ami rocks, I love that she flaunts her brains, and a very happy birthday to the Sailor Senshi of Water and Wisdom.

Gonna just reblog this for Ami’s bday cuz I’m lazy and my opinion hasn’t changed. Happy birthday to an excellent fictional lady.

Photoset

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

Fiore (as Mako forces herself up): You’ve never felt that is was unfortunate that you were even born…

(green tinted flashback, a girl and boy are discussing Mako as she sits under a tree. She’s chewing on a staw weed, her hands behind her head, legs crossed, her hair covering one eye so she looks a little ferocious)

Girl: Did you hear she injured someone again in a fight?

Boy: She’s getting expelled for sure this time.

Girl: No one would ever approach a violent person like her.

Mako’s ostracism was also pretty consistent, and also with pointed social commentary. Even though the R movie is an anime movie, I consider it in continuity with the anime because it does draw on continuity just to explore it all deeper- Ami was isolated for her intellect, Mako was kicked out of her last school for getting into a fight, Mamoru did lose his parents when he was about six and hang out in the hospital with amnesia for a while feeling super lonely, and the continuity gets even more specific later on.

Thought the anime did have random friends of Mako show up, it’s been pretty consistent that people did avoid her for both her appearance and reputation as “violent”. Boys also rejected her romantically for this. Boys are expected to get in fights, but girls are NOT.

I have no idea how it is in Japan, but in my own experiences, guys who hit me tended to get away with it while I was always punished harshly if I hit boys or girls. Three seperate occasions in middle school- a boy pile-drived me, an older boy slapped me, and a boy threw rocks at me- I didn’t fight back and reported it to the teacher each time, but these boys were not suspended. The older boy merely got “you shouldn’t hit girls” as an admonishment, apparently I had deserved it for getting in his face, I’m not supposed to be aggressive when boys are easily provoked after all.But the two times I hit a boy (admittedly he didn’t fight back either and I wasn’t justified, I’m not saying that) and the one time I hit another girl (this was in response to her strangling me so I was pretty within my rights) I was suspended right away. In high school, a boy hit me and one tried to force kiss me, but I didn’t bother to report it because I knew they wouldn’t be punished, but I would be if it was discovered I had hit those boys back. Girls aren’t supposed to do that shit.

Most of the fights with civilians we’ve seen Mako get into are taking down a gang of guys who were terrorizing and victimizing a girl. She’ll also defend guys being beat up on. It’s pretty much 100 percent certain that it was this sort of fight that got her kicked out of  school. She took down some guys who took advantage of their power to threaten, hurt and dominate someone physically weaker than them, she defended people who didn’t have the power to fight back and she was punished for it because she should have just let boys be boys and she was a “masculine, violent girl” and therefore suspect. Society lets boys off easy for abusing their power, what’s rejected is the idea of a girl fighting back against that. She’s expected just to take it, and if she doesn’t, there’s something wrong with her. Especially if she “flaunts” her strength.

What’s more, people avoid her for this sort of behavior and boys reject her because they are threatened by her strength. But despite all this, Mako continued to do what she does, because she couldn’t let injustice go, not matter how much her deviation from the norm made her suffer personally.

I love Mako and everything she stands for, I’m so glad she found friends who adore her for her strength and fighting back. Also I appreciated how she looks like a bamf even when she’s all sad about people dissing her.

Mako <3

Link

kishmet:

reyairia:

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

Looks like this essay was needed, so I went ahead and did it. Not sure I said everything I wanted to say, but I tried.

So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects…

Eh, I agree in some aspects, and disagree in others.

I don’t like to read about overly obvious power fantasies. Why? Because 99% of the time they are badly written. I agree that this is obviously skewed negatively against female characters, that female characters are much more likely to get slapped with a “mary sue” label by people, especially those who don’t really understand what the label even means and often young girls who find themselves jealous of a fictional character because said fictional character is who they’d want to be. It simply turns into “I don’t like this female character therefore she is a sue.” Most of the time the girls thinking this are under the age of eighteen. There’s a reason for that. And I have to admit myself I do have a habit of calling any original character that pairs herself or himself up with an original character a sue or a stu.

But that’s the thing; I don’t discriminate on gender. I dislike badly written power fantasies regardless of what gender the main character is. In fact, I was very critical of the movie AVATAR because I thought the main character was an enormous gary-stu. The only difference between male power fantasies and female power fantasies is that the female ones usually concentrate more on romance and don’t always involve the character being physically powerful. And Stueness/Sueness isn’t just about the main character herself or himself, it’s also how everything in the story revolves around him/her, and how characters react to them. Most of all, the glaring issue is when that character doesn’t have to work for anything, or go through any or much character development. He (and I say he because this one is almost always male) doesn’t have to train for years to become a master of martial arts. He just gets slapped with a “chosen one” or “natural talent” label and suddenly after a couple of days or months they’re a master (yes, I am aware I am including a LOT of movies in here) and can easily defeat people who had been training their whole lives. Or if they don’t fight, she (and I say she because this one is almost exclusive to female characters) charms everybody into suddenly laying down their lives for him or her without a question because she’s so beautiful and lovely and kind and blargh.

So

Do I agree that the label mary-sue gets thrown around too liberally when applied to female characters? yes.

Do I agree that male characters get excused from this, despite the fact that they share the same qualities with mary-sues? Yes.

Do I agree that this shows sexism in our society? Most definitely.

But instead of coming to accept all power fantasies, like you believe, I think we should learn to distinguish badly written male characters, not just female ones. Mary-sues and Gary-stus should be equally scrutinized. If we accept badly written power fantasies, then we’re going into the encouraging bad writing territory. People can have their fantasies all they want, but when it goes through publishing territory then it should be critiqued as such.

If the main character and story are crap, then the main character and story are crap, regardless of what gender they are. People just need to be able to accept strong females more, and accept overpowered god-modded male characters less.

Loved the original essay and I think this is probably the best critical response I’ve seen. The last sentence of the reply pretty much sums up how I feel about this except I would add that creators of fictional works should also try and balance their characters a little better, too.

I mean, another response mentions Ichigo from Bleach as a Gary Stu, which is totally true for Ichigo and a ton of the other male characters. The girls in Bleach seem like they’re gonna be equally awesome at first (and in Yoruichi’s case she stays that way) but then the guys, in general, outlevel them and leave them in the dust. Or in Prince of Tennis (my last fandom, haha uh >_>), where there’s like three female characters who are even given dialogue, while the guys are literally driving the dinosaurs extinct and leaping through the asteroid belt… with tennis.

…okay, so that’s a little over-the-top regardless, but dude, that happens everywhere. Like in the movie Avatar, where yeah, Neytiri’s fucking awesome and teaches Jake a bunch of shit and ends up (spoiler, I guess?) whackin’ Commander Dickface, BUT Jake is still the savior and the Best Na’vi Ever and In Charge and gets accepted into the tribe where Grace really couldn’t. It could be argued that Jake’s role as savior is instrumental to the plot, etc., but, uh, the plot was written by someone. They could’ve changed it. Hell, I would’ve been an even bigger fan if Jake had been a female Marine who had to prove herself even more to Commander Dickface due to her gender and her disability. (I would’ve been an even bigger fan still if Neytiri had stayed female in this case, but Avatar: The Lesbian Version is not really the topic here.)

Sooo yeah. I get why fanfiction authors write OFCs as wish fulfillment, because female characters so often don’t measure up to the all-powerful male protagonists, in terms of how they’re written in canon. In addition, I understand why a lot of authors discard the female characters or give them tiny roles and look to the slash instead… because, again, of how crappily women are written in the first place.

Creators need to step up to the plate and give us more to work with, because, frankly, it works to place more fandom emphasis upon female characters. Once Upon A Time fandom proves this, regardless of my personal critiques of the show. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic proves this even more, as the fandom’s focused almost exclusively on the female main cast.

Funnily enough, some members of Tokio Hotel fandom (hallo, Tan and Tay in particular) seek to remedy this with genderbending despite an utter lack of women in the real life band, which is kind of awesome. But that’s OT again lol.

I’ve said this many, many times, but the point of my essay was that the very root of the term Mary Sue being so popular is because its coded female and female is the default. It sprung out because idk, teenage girls did some poorly written fanfic power fantasies and despite the fact guys have been doing that and publishing it for years, it became a big deal when young girls did it. The point was that I believe the reason the Mary Sue concept has become so ridiculous today was because it was problematically slanted against women from it’s very origin. 

Why can’t a poorly written character just be a poorly written character? Why can’t they be criticized for not being compelling, or for representing problematic things? I think they fact there’s the blanket term makes it easier for people to dismiss female characters for the slightest thing rather than take things on a case-by-case basis and actually look at what bothers them (which, with female characters is too often “I’m uncomfortable with her being female and getting or doing something I want). 

But thanks to both of you for being more reasonable than most with the criticism, and for the kudos. I really like people actually responding critically in a thoughtful way, I just wish more of it was addressing the root point I was trying to make, even if you disagree.

Text

now onto Bahina Bai

so Bahina was married to this abusive douche at age eleven and she was way too holy for him to handle

she had this calf and that calf loved her so much they were bros and went everywhere together

the calf even went to church and prayed with her and everyone was like “HOLY SHIT HOW HOLY IS THIS GIRL”

her husband was jealous that everyone was paying attention to her and not him (apparently he had the maturity of a five year old) so he

(trigger warning double wammy of severe spousal and child abuse)

tied her up and threw her off a roof. Yes. She was thirteen or still eleven i can’t remember by the way. He was like in his thirties. And That is what he did. Her family just watched because apparently she was his property holy shit.

oh and to top that off the translator decided to be a condescending douchebag and put in his TOTALLY CLEVER LITTLE rhyme mocking the situation by turning the TEXT OF AN INDIAN SAINT into a parody of an ENGLISH NURSERY RHYME. “Bahina had a little calf its hair as black as coal and everywhere bahina went the calf was sure to go she followed her to church blablabla and everyone laughed and said
to think a calf could pray”

like wow, thanks dude that was so incredibly creative and worth interrupting the text for we really want to hear from some random dude’s bad attempts at humor you just couldn’t translate the text of an Indian woman without inserting your inane two cents? It’s like the ultimate example of how white guys who are obsessed with themselves just can’t let PoC women talk even if they’re FUCKING HINDU SAINTS and it’s not even accurate they didn’t laugh at her at all, they were super terrified and impressed and guru was like “whoa girl you are holy this is amazing”

also how disrespectful can you imagine if someone did that with like one of the saintly texts from Christianity? Yeah that would never happen because that person would be roasted on a spit.

Here is my poem i will say it’s better

translator dude had a lot of privilege

and a huge ego

and everytime that dudebro wrote

that ego was sure to show

he thought he was super clever

but he was just not cool

so I hope i can find another translation somewhere

because seriously fuck this fool

man i’m not even done bahina gets a part two i guess.

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Let&#8217;s talk about Michiru Kaioh.
For some reason, I see a lot of weird accusations leveled towards this character. She&#8217;s a snob! She&#8217;s a perfect Japanese housewife and therefore not empowered! She&#8217;s obsessed with sex (and that&#8217;s terrible!) She&#8217;s a satellite character that exists only to complement Haruka! It&#8217;s also naturally assumed she&#8217;s the weaker of the duo because she&#8217;s the more feminine.
Another day of being a female character (and especially a queer one) but hey, it still bothers me. Because I adore Michiru and think she&#8217;s a very complex character who brings a lot to the story. So I&#8217;m going to talk about that.
First of all, there&#8217;s the fact that in the anime she was a Senshi before Haruka. We don&#8217;t know for how long, but there&#8217;s an implication that she fought alone and it was very hard for her. It changed her. She seems to indicate in her episode that she started off trying not to kill, but something bad happened as a result of that (like Haruka almost dying in that episode because of the hesitation), hence her resolve.
We don&#8217;t know what happened to Michiru&#8217;s family, but she appears to be wealthy and upper class and yet she&#8217;s not with her family anymore. She may have been isolated and very sheltered. In fact, that&#8217;s what Haruka accuses her of being when they first talk- a &#8220;sheltered rich girl&#8221;. This indicates a class difference between the two of them (as suggested in the Drama CD) (also in the manga Haruka acts rather hyperactive and braggy about the amount of money they have while Michiru is embarrassed by the behavior, which indicated to me Haruka is new to having lots of money). Michiru seems to be attracted to Haruka for the bold, down to earth attitude she has, which is probably very different from the circles Michiru is used to. She specifically tells Haruka that she wants to be with someone who is &#8220;honest to their own feelings and doesn&#8217;t depend on anyone&#8221; and she admires Haruka for that. She apparently thinks that she lacks such traits, though Haruka thinks the opposite.
I think probably one of the most interesting things about her is that she was ultimately the person responsible for Haruka becoming a Senshi. It always seems to be her greatest source of conflict. She gave off the impression of having been incredibly lonely and lost and when she finds this connection, it&#8217;s like a lifeline to her. But at the same time she doesn&#8217;t want to pull this one connection into the same kind of danger she&#8217;s in. If she puts Haruka in that kind of situation, there&#8217;s not only a chance Haruka will die, but that she&#8217;ll change, the same way Michiru seems to feel she&#8217;s changed. But she can&#8217;t keep it inside, and even though she tries to prevent Haruka, she breaks down in tears in front of her admitting that she&#8217;s in love with her and she&#8217;s selfish because she was so happy that someone would be with her on this really stressful and terrifying journey she has to take. Michiru is the kind of person who keeps things bottled up- &#8220;goes into her own world&#8221; as Haruka puts it- and then it tends to build to a bursting point.
I don&#8217;t think Michiru ever forgot she was the reason Haruka became a Senshi- it sort of informs all of her actions.In S, it started out with Haruka emotionally questioning what they were doing and Michiru being cold, but then became the other way. I think that was because it scared Michiru when Haruka got colder and more used to it- it meant what was happening had changed her. So she began to question as well.
 She informed Haruka to leave her behind if things got rough, but never intended to keep her end of that promise. I don&#8217;t think it&#8217;s just the pureness of love though. If Haruka dies being a Senshi, it&#8217;s her fault in her head, so she&#8217;s almost eager to take that bullet, especially since Haruka is so important to her. she really does save Haruka a lot, it&#8217;s like her job. Also this isn&#8217;t just limited to Haruka. In the Stars Nehelenia arc she instantly tells Rei to shoot through her to get to Nehelenia, without even considering another solution. I think again, that&#8217;s a product of guilt and her early isolation. She&#8217;s always carrying this &#8220;I have to take care of everyone alone, and if I&#8217;m in a position where I have to throw my life away it&#8217;s my fault for being weak and cowardly, I should be glad to give it up to the greater good&#8221; thing with her. 
I think oddly, out of all the Senshi (even including Usagi), Michiru values &#8220;normal life&#8221; the most. In both continuities, she expresses a desire to start a family with baby Hotaru right away. She was the first one to jump on that. She really desires a family connection.  and in the manga she&#8217;s absolutely thrilled about going to high school again. Haruka points out that they&#8217;ve like, traveled all over the world and raised a child, but Michiru goes into spasms of joy about how being in a normal high school is the best and they&#8217;ll get to pass love notes and omg. Haruka enjoys being flashy, but Michiru is someone who enjoys serenity. Hence her calm attitude, hence her connection to the sea, hence her interest in such traditionally serene endeavors as violin and oil painting. It also may account for her intensity about preserving peace-peace is her favorite thing. It also accounts for the fact she things Usagi and her friends are so cute and talks about it in an almost envious way (in fact she did say &#8220;I envy them&#8221; once). She really wants that level of normality and innocence. 
There&#8217;s a lot of parallels between Usagi and Mamoru and Michiru and Haruka- the fact is that Michiru and Mamoru are both the rational, intellectually driven ones while their respective girlfriends are more driven by passion and emotion. And again, they&#8217;re both wealthy and probably grew up isolated (we know this for a fact with Mamoru). 
Other interesting traits Michiru has: she&#8217;s really hypercompetitive (both anime and manga, when Yaten tried to challenge her in the manga IT WAS ON), and absolutely hates someone losing on purpose to her. Remember the episode with Ami? Her icy response reduced Ami to tears and Haruka had to tell her she was being mean and it confused and worried her. I just wanted her to respect me!!! but then Haruka&#8217;s like &#8220;no she just hates conflict come on&#8221;. So despite her intuition, Michiru can&#8217;t read people all that well- again, indicating isolation in her past. She&#8217;s of course, hugely snarky and she really enjoys pushing the buttons of those she loves and getting a rise out of them. She is the master of being passive agressive and she uses it in spades on Haruka. It&#8217;s a way of expressing frustration that&#8217;s both sneaky (which she enjoys) and allows her to maintain the cool exterior she tries so desperately to uphold. And she just finds it adorable to tease. But she&#8217;s incredibly generous, as shown by all the free concert tickets and meals she gives out and how nice she is to Usagi and her friends, and she appreciates kind people. She&#8217;s comfortable and open about her sexuality (and yes! Flirting! It goes with her love of pushing people&#8217;s buttons, and also she&#8217;s attracted to her gf! gasp!) because I think it is one of the things about herself she&#8217;s sure of and proud of- she could never see any need to be ashamed about loving Haruka.
Yeah, she&#8217;s feminine. But she kicks just as much ass as Haruka. Again, she tends to be the one to save her honey, and along with Mako and Haruka, she&#8217;s one of the Senshi who employs martial arts the most. She&#8217;s definitely not subservient to Haruka, she take the lead a lot and again, trolling her gf is her fave thing to do. She&#8217;s very much in charge of her own life and independent, she just loves Haruka. And she&#8217;s just as tough. I honestly never thought her being a badass was a question, but I&#8217;ve heard phrases like &#8220;even Michiru was badass!!!&#8221; Even? Her very first MEETING with Haruka as Sailor Neptune had her tackling Haruka away from a hellbeast at the cost getting back completely gashed open which was basically the biggest wound the anime ever showed, and then standing up and DeepSumberging the thing without missing a beat before collapsing. There would not even be a Sailor Uranus is if it wasn&#8217;t for her. That&#8217;s just the FIRST on the list. This girl&#8217;s default state is badass.
In conclusion- fuck you, she&#8217;s awesome. Also, happy belated, Michiru.

Let’s talk about Michiru Kaioh.

For some reason, I see a lot of weird accusations leveled towards this character. She’s a snob! She’s a perfect Japanese housewife and therefore not empowered! She’s obsessed with sex (and that’s terrible!) She’s a satellite character that exists only to complement Haruka! It’s also naturally assumed she’s the weaker of the duo because she’s the more feminine.

Another day of being a female character (and especially a queer one) but hey, it still bothers me. Because I adore Michiru and think she’s a very complex character who brings a lot to the story. So I’m going to talk about that.

First of all, there’s the fact that in the anime she was a Senshi before Haruka. We don’t know for how long, but there’s an implication that she fought alone and it was very hard for her. It changed her. She seems to indicate in her episode that she started off trying not to kill, but something bad happened as a result of that (like Haruka almost dying in that episode because of the hesitation), hence her resolve.

We don’t know what happened to Michiru’s family, but she appears to be wealthy and upper class and yet she’s not with her family anymore. She may have been isolated and very sheltered. In fact, that’s what Haruka accuses her of being when they first talk- a “sheltered rich girl”. This indicates a class difference between the two of them (as suggested in the Drama CD) (also in the manga Haruka acts rather hyperactive and braggy about the amount of money they have while Michiru is embarrassed by the behavior, which indicated to me Haruka is new to having lots of money). Michiru seems to be attracted to Haruka for the bold, down to earth attitude she has, which is probably very different from the circles Michiru is used to. She specifically tells Haruka that she wants to be with someone who is “honest to their own feelings and doesn’t depend on anyone” and she admires Haruka for that. She apparently thinks that she lacks such traits, though Haruka thinks the opposite.

I think probably one of the most interesting things about her is that she was ultimately the person responsible for Haruka becoming a Senshi. It always seems to be her greatest source of conflict. She gave off the impression of having been incredibly lonely and lost and when she finds this connection, it’s like a lifeline to her. But at the same time she doesn’t want to pull this one connection into the same kind of danger she’s in. If she puts Haruka in that kind of situation, there’s not only a chance Haruka will die, but that she’ll change, the same way Michiru seems to feel she’s changed. But she can’t keep it inside, and even though she tries to prevent Haruka, she breaks down in tears in front of her admitting that she’s in love with her and she’s selfish because she was so happy that someone would be with her on this really stressful and terrifying journey she has to take. Michiru is the kind of person who keeps things bottled up- “goes into her own world” as Haruka puts it- and then it tends to build to a bursting point.

I don’t think Michiru ever forgot she was the reason Haruka became a Senshi- it sort of informs all of her actions.In S, it started out with Haruka emotionally questioning what they were doing and Michiru being cold, but then became the other way. I think that was because it scared Michiru when Haruka got colder and more used to it- it meant what was happening had changed her. So she began to question as well.

 She informed Haruka to leave her behind if things got rough, but never intended to keep her end of that promise. I don’t think it’s just the pureness of love though. If Haruka dies being a Senshi, it’s her fault in her head, so she’s almost eager to take that bullet, especially since Haruka is so important to her. she really does save Haruka a lot, it’s like her job. Also this isn’t just limited to Haruka. In the Stars Nehelenia arc she instantly tells Rei to shoot through her to get to Nehelenia, without even considering another solution. I think again, that’s a product of guilt and her early isolation. She’s always carrying this “I have to take care of everyone alone, and if I’m in a position where I have to throw my life away it’s my fault for being weak and cowardly, I should be glad to give it up to the greater good” thing with her. 

I think oddly, out of all the Senshi (even including Usagi), Michiru values “normal life” the most. In both continuities, she expresses a desire to start a family with baby Hotaru right away. She was the first one to jump on that. She really desires a family connection.  and in the manga she’s absolutely thrilled about going to high school again. Haruka points out that they’ve like, traveled all over the world and raised a child, but Michiru goes into spasms of joy about how being in a normal high school is the best and they’ll get to pass love notes and omg. Haruka enjoys being flashy, but Michiru is someone who enjoys serenity. Hence her calm attitude, hence her connection to the sea, hence her interest in such traditionally serene endeavors as violin and oil painting. It also may account for her intensity about preserving peace-peace is her favorite thing. It also accounts for the fact she things Usagi and her friends are so cute and talks about it in an almost envious way (in fact she did say “I envy them” once). She really wants that level of normality and innocence. 

There’s a lot of parallels between Usagi and Mamoru and Michiru and Haruka- the fact is that Michiru and Mamoru are both the rational, intellectually driven ones while their respective girlfriends are more driven by passion and emotion. And again, they’re both wealthy and probably grew up isolated (we know this for a fact with Mamoru). 

Other interesting traits Michiru has: she’s really hypercompetitive (both anime and manga, when Yaten tried to challenge her in the manga IT WAS ON), and absolutely hates someone losing on purpose to her. Remember the episode with Ami? Her icy response reduced Ami to tears and Haruka had to tell her she was being mean and it confused and worried her. I just wanted her to respect me!!! but then Haruka’s like “no she just hates conflict come on”. So despite her intuition, Michiru can’t read people all that well- again, indicating isolation in her past. She’s of course, hugely snarky and she really enjoys pushing the buttons of those she loves and getting a rise out of them. She is the master of being passive agressive and she uses it in spades on Haruka. It’s a way of expressing frustration that’s both sneaky (which she enjoys) and allows her to maintain the cool exterior she tries so desperately to uphold. And she just finds it adorable to tease. But she’s incredibly generous, as shown by all the free concert tickets and meals she gives out and how nice she is to Usagi and her friends, and she appreciates kind people. She’s comfortable and open about her sexuality (and yes! Flirting! It goes with her love of pushing people’s buttons, and also she’s attracted to her gf! gasp!) because I think it is one of the things about herself she’s sure of and proud of- she could never see any need to be ashamed about loving Haruka.

Yeah, she’s feminine. But she kicks just as much ass as Haruka. Again, she tends to be the one to save her honey, and along with Mako and Haruka, she’s one of the Senshi who employs martial arts the most. She’s definitely not subservient to Haruka, she take the lead a lot and again, trolling her gf is her fave thing to do. She’s very much in charge of her own life and independent, she just loves Haruka. And she’s just as tough. I honestly never thought her being a badass was a question, but I’ve heard phrases like “even Michiru was badass!!!” Even? Her very first MEETING with Haruka as Sailor Neptune had her tackling Haruka away from a hellbeast at the cost getting back completely gashed open which was basically the biggest wound the anime ever showed, and then standing up and DeepSumberging the thing without missing a beat before collapsing. There would not even be a Sailor Uranus is if it wasn’t for her. That’s just the FIRST on the list. This girl’s default state is badass.

In conclusion- fuck you, she’s awesome. Also, happy belated, Michiru.

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On that note when look at a site collecting Megumi Ogata stuff I found transcripts for Haruka and Michiru bits done by the voice actors of course in a live drama CD

YOU HAVE TO READ THEM THEY ARE AMAZING.

http://gbeans.tyrlen.org/homepage/lyrics/ogata_index.html

This is so fab, Minako and Usagi ask Michiru and Harukahow to be elegant ladies because they admire them so much AND THEY RESPOND BY TROLLING THE HELL OUT OF THEM. “oh yeah elegant ladies don’t go to the bathroom. Ever. We don’t need to. Also we don’t sweat and if we don’t want body hair it doesn’t grow if we don’t want is. Farting? What’s farting? We’ve never heard of it.” And Usagi is like “BUT NOT FARTING IS BAD FOR YOU. God I could never do that we give up on being elegant ladies omg” and they leave and Michiru’s like “no Haruka seriously what is farting?” and Haruka is like “WHUT.”

MICHIRU DOESN’T FART. She’s like manga Rei, she’s just too good for that. OMG.

http://gbeans.tyrlen.org/homepage/lyrics/ogata_index.html

There’s this one where Haruka keeping getting roped into odd jobs DAMN HER HELPFUL NATURE. And so she works at a fish store and finds out she’s naturally good at it because she’s so hot and charming everyone (women mostly) come in to buy fish from her i’m not kidding this is actually what happens sailor moon you are perfect anyway this sort of disturbs her.

and Usagi is like “so um Michiru and Haruka must come from rich families right” and Rei (WHO IS THE EXPERT ON SUCH THINGS BECAUSE OF HER HIGH RANKING POLITICAL FAMILY LINE) is like “well Michiru definitely but Haruka I mean I think her family probably owns a fish store or something idk why it just strikes me like she’s just elegant without having the background”

and then they find Haruka working at the fish store and Usagi’s like “OMG IT’S TRUE. but don’t worry Haruka I still deeply admire you nothing can ever change that”

and Haruka’s like “aww thanks that’s sweet NO WAIT I MEAN I DON’T ACTUALLY-“

and then she gets roped into working as a hostess for a gay bar because according to the dude she’s so charming she’s perfect for it.

you read that right. perfection.

And then Michiru is revealed to have known the whole time because of course she did she knows everything. And she’s like “you looked super hot in that fish store but especially super hot at the gay bar. Seriously why didn’t you accept that job I would have gone drinking there every single night” (and presumanbly picked up all the ladies)? OMG MICHIRU IS FLAWLESS HATERS TO THE LEFT

AND HARUKA IS LIKE “OMG SO HUMILIATING”

and Michiru is like “no matter what you do, my feelings for you will never change” FUCKING AWESOME MY FUCKING OTP MAN I CAN’T REALLY CONTAIN MY JOY SORRY

and Haruka is like “I just can’t win against you, huh?”

and Michiru is like “damn straight”

AND I FUCKING DIED OF OTP HEAVEN

PERFECT COUPLE

PERFECTTTTTTTTT

WORDS CANNOT DO IT JUSTICE THEY SHOULD HAVE SENT A POET MICHIRU YOU FAB ROMANTIC TROLL HARUKA YOU FAB HUGE DORK. 

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Haruka gives as good as she gets though

White petals falling into the sea 
Rush to awaken your shadow 
Sweet hair is waiting for me. 

TRANSLATION: MICHIRU I WANT TO SMELL YOUR HAIR WE HAVE A MUTUAL SMELLING THING GOING.

Eyelids closed, burning as on that night… 
The machine in front is the Ferrari! 
My memories become the wind… 
Now, the blue checkered flag!

TRANSLATION: BUT FAIR WARNING YOU’LL HAVE TO COMPETE WITH MY CAR. I KIND OF LOVE IT A LOT. BUT YOU LIKE IT TOO RIGHT YOU WERE ALL OBSESSED WITH CRUISING WITH ME IN IT. ALSO EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE A RACING METAPHOR GOD I LOVE SPORTS.

* I face only the path of glory 
I’ve left the evidence of this vow in a kiss 

TRANSLATION: WE DO ACTUALLY KISS, YOU GUYS JUST DON’T GET TO SEE IT, NYAH NYAH.

I could certainly run facing the sunrise 
But you have been carved, in shining gold, on my heart, 
Initial U

TRANSLATION: YOU WOULDN’T LET ME GET THAT HARUKA AND MICHIRU FOREVA TATTOO SO I HAVE TO SETTLE FOR THIS METAPHOR

Why do you speak of a hand that doesn’t hang? 
My shattered dreams have been dried of tears 
That silver mirror has been washed away in the sea 

TRANSLATION: MICHIRU MICHIRU DO YOU GET THAT YOU’RE THE SEA AND I’M THE MIRROR DO YOU IT IS A CLEVER METAPHOR

I could have given up the future 
Now, shuffle and open your mind!

TRANSLATION: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT ANYMORE

Someday I will definitely believe in this day again. 
I left the kiss of this promise behind 

TRANSLATION: WE WILL MAKE OUT LATER, I’M ANGSTING RIGHT NOW.

Whatever darkness may be waiting, I will face the sunrise 
Together, we are carved, in shining gold, in my heart 
Initial U

SERIOUSLY THE TATTOO I WANTED IT WHY ARE SO SO MEAN

* I face only the path of glory 
I’ve left the evidence of this vow in a kiss

WE’RE JUST TROLLING YOU ABOUT THE KISSING THING AT THIS POINT.

I could certainly run facing the sunrise 
But you have been carved, in shining gold, on my heart, 
Initial U

I LOVE SPORTS BUT I LOVE YOU MORE. AWWW.

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If we’re gonna talk about male gaze, can we talk about how Mamoru is totally a construction of female gaze?

Takeuchi has SPECIFICALLY SAID he’s her ideal man.

Luxurious dark hair and “eyes the color of the ocean” that “draw you in”?

Fights crime in a sharp looking suit (and in the manga, Mamoru really hardly ever wears the hat so we can always see his mop of hair. And loses the mask with alarming frequency)

Generally wears really fancy and nice looking tailored clothes that make him look even nicer?

Lots of shots that accentuate his good looks? Plenty of him without his shirt or with his shirt partially or completely unbuttoned? Often shown stretched out on a bed?

Incredibly bishie, built pretty solidly but not hugely muscled, tall (ridiculously tall for a Japanese person actually) but not a hulk? A delicately featured well built face?

The first thing that the main character comments on when meeting him is how hot he is, and a double page spread emphasizes this hotness?

And let’s not forget, the regular guy and hot, rich wife is completely inverted with Usagi and Mamoru. While Usagi is attractive, in universe it’s commented SEVERAL TIMES by random people that it’s so bizarre she’s with Mamoru because she’s supposedly average and he’s like this superhot rich dream guy. 

Oh, and Mamoru has like, no  relatives to deal with, he’s really smart, he owns a car and a motorcycle and basically chauffers Usagi whenever she wants and gets her access to all sorts of good things. He has an apartment and Usagi basically stays over there whenever she wants and sleeps on his huge bed. He makes tea for her and cooks for her!

Oh and lets not forget he’s completely devoted to Usagi and literally has said he lives to be there for her, yet he’s not in the least possessive and trusts her completely (even when it looks like she’s cheating on him) and respects her independence and is in awe of her strength. He’s okay with hanging out with her friends all the time and is nice to all of them. He really gets along with women and respects them, but he never ever for a second even considers cheating. It’s not even in his makeup. At all. 

Just like, damn, has there ever been a more unabashed example of an idealized het female fantasy (okay Edward Cullen comes to mind, but he’s also a possessive, abusive misogynistic shit while Takeuchi SPECIFICALLY MADE MAMORU THE EXACT OPPOSITE. He wins in the het female romantic ideal department).

So yeah, there’s a lot of female gaze in Sailor Moon. It was drawn and written by a woman! Most of the male villians have like, open shirts and skin showing and perfect bishieness going, and let’s not forget Motoki and Helios (HE WHO IS SHOWN TIED UP AND NAKED).

Bless you, Naoko Takeuchi.