Anybody who was a preteen in the mid-nineties in America probably had the privilege of watching the English dubbed Sailor Moon on Saturday mornings.
There’s little to hate about this iconic show– the outfits, the talking alien cats, the love story, a relatable heroine, the engaging plot lines, and a theme of friendship, healthiness, and trust between all of the Sailor Scouts. While the Scouts would often bicker with each other as friends usually do, they stuck together all the way to the very end. Talk about ideas that young girls should be absorbing at an early age!
Out of the nine magical girls, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are the two most memorable other than Sailor Moon herself. From the true nature of their revolutionary relationship to each of their mysterious backstories to their ultra unique power sets, there are many things about Michiru Kaioh (aka Michelle in the English version) and Haruka Tenoh (aka Amara) that even the most dedicated Sailor Moon super fan might not know.
Do you think you’re a true fan with all the expertise on these iconic Sailor Moon Characters? Check out these 15 Things You Never Knew About Sailor Uranus And Sailor Neptune!
15. They aren’t cousins…
The time has come for these two Sailor Scouts to come out of the fictional cartoon closet! Alright, so most fans probably know that Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were a couple, not cousins.
However, it’s still quite disappointing that the company that purchased rights to broadcast Sailor Moon in the United States censored their true relationship– as well as quite the laundry list of other things in the show. What better way to cover up two girls in love than to say that they are cousins and are just weirdly touchy with each other?
The ambiguousness and transparency of the cover-up on the part of DiC was homophobic but ultimately unsurprising– American parents in the ’90s would not have let that whole gay thing fly on a kid’s TV show. Thankfully, Sailor Moon Crystal is making it pretty hard to cover up.
14. Sailor Uranus’ gender identity was the subject of rumors for a long time…
There are some inconsistencies between the Sailor Moon manga and the actual show, along with various translations of the show. In the manga, it is made clear that Haruka is pretty much gender fluid or nonbinary in some sense.
In the original series, Haruka sort of says that she’s a woman and it’s made clear that only women can be Sailor Scouts. In Sailor Moon Crystal, Michiru tells Usagi that Haruka is both male and female. However, series creator Naoko Takeuchi has said that Haruka “always has been and always will be a girl.”
The inconsistencies have driven fans nuts, but when it comes down to it– who cares? She’s clearly not entirely on the gender binary, straight, or interested in stereotypical gender roles, making her an excellent character for young queer kids to witness.
13. They weren’t the only LGBT couple on the show
It seems like Sailor Moon might have been the gayest animated show on television for its time. In Japan, of course. In America, DiC Entertainment went to strange lengths to make sure yet another gay couple in the English dubbed version went under the radar.
This time, it was with Shitennou generals Kunzite and Zoisite. In the original version of the show, the two are male lovers, though in the manga they are depicted more as brothers. When it came to dubbing the English version of the show, it was tough to pull the “cousin” card for Kunzite and Zoisite as they were very outwardly affectionate with each other. The solution? Get a female voice actor for Zoisite and pretend he’s a woman in a straight relationship with Kunzite.
In Sailor Moon Crystal, they appear to be truer to the original anime characters. The character Fisheye is presented in the anime as another gay character, particularly as an effeminate gay man who enjoys dressing in drag.
11. Sailor Neptune’s voice actress is no stranger to anime dubs
If you’re a Sailor Moon fan, you probably know how recognizable each Scout’s voice is and how much the subtle differences reflect their personalities. Sailor Neptune’s voice is no different– and the voice actress behind Michiru actually lent her chops to quite a handful of other anime characters in English dubs as well.
Lauren Landa is an American voice actress known for voicing Neptune in Viz Media’s English dub of the original series, as well as Kasumi in Dead or Alive 5, Annie Leonhart in Attack on Titan, and Yan from Soulcalibur V. She is also known for being behind a slew of additional voices for anime and video games including Super Smash Bros., Redline, Sword Art Online, Space Dandy, Hunter x Hunter, and several other magical girl anime.
10. SuperS was almost going to be a Uranus/Neptune movie
This would have been pretty interesting to see. Unfortunately, this plot never happened.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Super S / Sailor Moon Super S is a name given to the fourth season of the original anime. Instead of following along the story arcs of the Dead Moon Circus and the Amazoness Quartet, the season was supposed to be a movie called Sailor Moon Super S.
While a Sailor Moon Super S film did get released in 1995, the original story that was pitched– Uranus and Neptune betray Sailor Moon and awaken an ancient god at The End of the World– was scrapped in favor of a totally different plot. Instead, the movie was about Sailor Mercury’s love life and Queen Badiane’s evil plans involving gingerbread and fairies.
9. Sailor Neptune was the only self-awakened Sailor Scout
All of the original Inner Senshi (Scouts) had to be awaken by the moon cats in Tokyo. However, Michiru was an exception– she was able to awake as a Sailor Scout on her own through dreaming.
The “Soldier of Deep Waters” is extremely unique in this respect. Sailor Neptune, like Rei (Sailor Mars), has incredible psychic ability. It’s likely that her abilities helped her realize her true identity and awaken.
Some fans believe that all of the Sailor Scouts have the ability to awaken on their own regardless of Artemis’ interference, but can only truly do so in times of crisis. Others believe that the revelation of the Lip Rod was responsible for Michiru’s awakening. Either way, it hasn’t been explained in the manga or anime.
8. Naoko Takeuchi loves the pair’s reception
Naoko Takeuchi, the creator, writer, and artist behind Sailor Moon, is a big fan of the pair and is extremely grateful for how well the two Scouts have been accepted by fans. It’s hard to ignore how significant her achievement is– Takeuchi created one of the first lesbian couples in mainstream Japanese media.
During a 1996 interview for the Italian publication Kappa Magazine, Takeuchi said: “The relationship between Haruka and Michiru is quite special… There’s not only heterosexual love, but there also can be a homosexual love, in this case between two girls.”
However, Takeuchi isn’t satisfied with every aspect of the two characters. In a Sailor Moon artbook Takeuchi released in 1996, she claimed that she “was shocked by the changes made to Haruka’s personality in the anime series, but that [she] was glad fans still liked the character.”
7. Sailor Uranus constantly hit on Usagi in the original show
This fact is pretty hard to miss in the original series’ Japanese-language version, and even harder to miss in Sailor Moon Crystal. Haruka was quite the saucy womanizer and made her very surface-level crush on Usagi as clear as day, often affectionately referring to Usagi as “bun-head” and making obvious passes at her. Who has time for subtlety, anyway?
In the English-dubbed version of Sailor Moon, this wasn’t so much the case. (Surprise!) In one particular scene, Usagi is lamenting over her relationship with Mamoru. Haruka takes this as an opportunity to whisper sweet nothings in her ear along the lines of “Does that mean I have a chance now?” and “I am rather fond of you, buns-head.” The English version completely removes this dialogue.
6. Naoko Takeuchi’s opposite
As a writer and artist, it’s easy to find parallels between yourself and some of the characters you’ve created. For Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi, it’s simple to see similarities and total differences between herself and her characters. Takeuchi has stated that she is most similar to Sailor Moon (Usagi) when it comes to her bubbly, sensitive, and innocent personality.
However, Takeuchi believes she is almost completely the opposite of her character Sailor Neptune (Michiru), who is ladylike, composed, mature, harsh, and somewhat cold, particularly in her civilian form. In Sailor Neptune’s Sailor Scout form, Michiru is much more loving and kind. The differences between Michiru’s “two personalities” are interesting, but Takeuchi still maintains her similarities to our favorite bun-headed magical girl heroine.
5. Sailor Uranus’ Powerset and planet association
Sailor Uranus has quite the interesting power set that differs greatly from the rest of the Sailor Scouts. Haruka has the power of precognition, excels in melee combat (she uses a sword called the Space Sword), and psychokinesis. However, as Sailor Moon Crystal clearly states, Haruka possesses multi-gendered powers– meaning she has the strength of a man and a woman combined. This makes for quite the physically strong powerhouse of a Scout.
Haruka’s planet is Uranus, a planet and Roman god typically associated with the sky, disasters, and earthquakes. This definitely makes sense when you view Haruka’s power set and headstrong personality, as well as her physical strength that outweighs that of the other Sailor Scouts.
4. Sailor Neptune’s Powerset and planet association
Sailor Neptune has one of the most interesting power sets and planet associations of the Sailor Scouts, much like Sailor Uranus.
Michiru can generate and manipulate seawater to attack, has powerful psychic abilities, and can even astrally project. Sailor Neptune’s main attacks are “Deep Submerge”; “Submarine Reflection”, in which her mirror talisman is required; and “Submarine Violon Tide”.
Michiru is also incredibly talented at playing the cello. While in her civilian form, Sailor Neptune cannot access a majority of her special abilities and powers.
Michiru’s planetary associate is Neptune, who is also the Roman god of the sea. Her sea green hair and Sailor Scout outfit match her planetary association, as does her hot and cold personality that mimics the ever-changing nature of the ocean.
3. Sailor Neptune is bisexual and Sailor Uranus is a lesbian
At least, this is assumed by what is seen in the anime and the manga. It is clear enough that Haruka and Michiru are lovers in a queer relationship throughout the anime. Their actual respective sexual identities, however, are not quite as clear.
It’s believed that Haruka is a lesbian, based on her constant flirtatious interactions with only women in the anime. Michiru, on the other hand, has had her brief flirtatious moments with some men in the anime.
Many fans also believe that Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury), Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter), and Rei Hino (Sailor Mars) are all bisexual characters as well based on their interactions with the other Scouts and male characters throughout the anime. This, however, has never been confirmed by Naoko Takeuchi.
2. Neither Michiru nor Haruka have backstories
All we know about Sailor Uranus is that she loves to drive race cars, despite the fact that when she is introduced she’s just barely old enough to be driving. She is one year older than the other Sailor Scouts, she’s super flirtatious, and she is romantically involved with Michiru at the beginning of the series. Other than that, there are few other facts about her past.
The same goes for Sailor Neptune. We know that she is introduced in the third story arc and goes to Infinity Academy with Haruka and Hotaru and then to Usagi’s school. She has studied abroad, is great at the cello, and might live in a hotel as well, but this is all we know of the mysterious Michiru’s backstory.
1. What’s her name again?
Sailor Moon made a lot of money from the show’s merchandise, selling everything from dolls to posters to games to stuffed animals from Japan all the way to the United States and beyond.
When the Sailor Moon dolls were first released in the United States, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s dolls were released before they even appeared in the official English-language dubbing of the anime. Sailor Neptune’s doll was mislabeled as Nerissa, even though her English name was Michelle.
The toy company Irwin released her doll in 1998 before DiC gave Sailor Moon S (the third season where both Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are introduced) over to Toei Animation. Sailor Neptune’s name was originally supposed to be Nerissa, but Toei changed it to Michelle.
Do you have anything else to add about Sailors Uranus and Neptune from Sailor Moon? Let us know in the comments!
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