Thursday, May 12, 2016

What Your Favourite Sailor Scout Says About You

by Giselle Renarde


Here's the thing about Sailor Moon: I'm too old to have loved that show as much as I did.

I was in my late teens when the Japanese anime television series was broadcast on YTV here in Canada.  I had an excuse for watching it: a sister more than a decade my junior.  My siblings and I would flock to the living room and be like, "Oh no, not another kiddie show!" and secretly be thinking, "Yeah, I love Sailor Moon!"

My friends at school (and, yes, we're talking high school here) didn't have younger siblings. They didn't have any excuse, and they didn't feel they needed one. They loved Sailor Moon too, and they didn't care if it was a kids' show.

There was something about Sailor Moon that drew us in, drew everyone in.  Everybody related strongly with one character, no doubt because each Sailor Scout represents the astrological characteristics of their associated planet. 

While my youngest sister's generation could perform the role of their favourite Sailor Scouts on the playground, those of us approaching adulthood played them out in ways that were closer to real life. In a lot of ways, children's fantasy lives are more well-defined than those of adults. Our fantasies bleed into our everyday lives, sometimes to our detriment.

Sometimes not.

In my last year of high school, I had a friend (whose name escapes me--isn't that awful?) who was all about Sailor Neptune.  I'm not sure how we knew Sailor Neptune was a lesbian, and her girlfriend was Sailor Uranus, but we did. According to Wikipedia: "In the Canadian dub, her relationship with Sailor Uranus was redefined as being cousins."

But everybody knew what was really going on between them.

Granted, I did (still do) own VHS bootleg copies of TWO Sailor Moon movies, both of which escaped the dub. They're Japanese with English subtitles. Maybe that's where my inside information came from. Or maybe it was just that obvious.

Anyway, this friend whose name I can't remember identified so strongly with Sailor Neptune that she dyed her hair green. When I talk about fantasy bleeding into reality, that's where I'm coming from. Not that I'm one to talk. I dyed my hair orange because I was obsessed with Gillian Anderson. Pretty sure all those photographs have been burned.

One colour I didn't dye my hair was blue--despite being a die-hard fan of Sailor Mercury.

Ami was my girl. She loved school, just like me.  I wasn't anywhere near as sweet or kind as she was, though.  In fact, looking back, I think a love of studying is all we had in common.

If I re-watched the series today, Sailor Mercury might strike the same chord as an ex-lover.  I'm not sure I'd be gaga over her anymore, but she still holds a special place in my heart.

Before I started writing this blog post, I typed the following into Google:

What your favourite Sailor Scout says about you

There were a surprising number of recent and relevant results, but the one that jumped out at me was an article titled:

Your Inner Sailor Scout Based on Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

How could I NOT click that? I mean, really!  It's got everything.

I happen to recall, from my one year as a psychology student at the University of Toronto, that I'm an INTJ.  So I scrolled down the page to see which Sailor Scout corresponds to the INTJ personality type.

INTJ – Sailor Uranus

A quiet assassin, you slash through life like a Space Sword through a block of PC-friendly cheese. You cherish your independence and have few friends – but those few friends are your life. You’ve never been easy to categorize, whether if it’s by your fashion sense, loyalty, or even your gender. You’ve never tried to shock people, but it just seems to happen naturally. You’re just too advanced for us mortal beings, who still can’t say your planetary name without giggling.

Oh my God, yes! This is me! Independent, inadvertently shocking and genderfucked. Makes me wish I were more familiar with this character.

Moreover, Sailor Uranus is the girlfriend of Sailor Neptune--the hero of my green-haired high school friend. Maybe if I'd been more in touch with Uranus (haha) in high school, I'd have hooked up with that girl.

Imagine how different my life would be. For starters, I'd probably remember her name.

If wishes were horses...

5 comments:

  1. Wow, do I feel culturally illiterate. I've never even heard of Sailor Moon.

    I have to agree, though, that the description certainly matches what I know about you to a T!

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  2. Anime was something I also never got into. I don't know why. But what you say about kid shows does ring true. Back in the 60's it was 'Soupy Sales' in the early dinner hour. He was an off-beat take on 'Mr. Rogers', but steeped in double-entendres with an adult bite. We swore he had to be smoking pot, because his humor seemed to hit the nail on the head. We'd toke up and laugh our asses off.

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  3. I only heard about Sailor Moon through some of my young employees (not all that young, actually, but fervent fans of anime) back when I was in business. They especially liked the lesbian subtext. (They liked some of the openly gay male anime even better, and dabbled in writing/drawing anime fan fiction.) I don't know what the kids these days fixate on, except that my ten-year-old granddaughter is all about Minecraft. No sexual subtext there yet, as far as I can tell.

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  4. According to the article, I'm Sailor Pluto (I'm INFJ).

    It's a weird description, though—quiet badass is the main theme, but I'm not sure I'm all that quiet and I also don't think I'd be happy "guarding the gates of time at the end of the universe for all eternity."

    Still I'm a sucker for these sorts of articles and a sucker for Myers-Briggs!

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  5. Sailor Moon! I watched the cartoon show on TV in the 1980s, when my daughter Liz was a child. Among other things, the characters appealed to me because they could be loosely classified as "women of colour" doing impressive things, so I thought they might be good for Liz's self-esteem. (If anyone here doesn't know, her dad was Nigerian and I'm mostly white with a few drops of Mohawk.) Liz also loved the Sailor Moon comic books, which could only be found in one store, and they cost $2.50 Canadian apiece, which was a lot to pay for such a thing at the time. I bought her several. I read somewhere, years later, that Sailor Moon originated as Japanese porn! If so, the series must have changed quite a bit to appeal to a different audience.

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