Posts Tagged 'sailor moon'

Meet the Sailor Scouts

Is there any one girl that appeals to you as a role model? Is there enough variety among the girls?

Discussion: What we Think

“As a young girl, I really liked Sailor Jupiter because she was so strong and sporty.  So in my case there was a girl who appealed to me, and even now, I considered her the best out of the Scouts in the cartoon (in the comic, Sailor Moon becomes the most mature and strongest emotionally and she as well as Jupiter become my favourites). Although, looking back now, Mercury is really appealing because she takes her school work and responsibility seriously and she is always the voice of reason when Moon and Mars argue. I think there is quite a bit variety and most girls will probably find at least one girl whom they can relate to. The only problem in my opinion is that only one Sailor Scout (Mercury) out of five isn’t excessively boy crazy. It would have been more balance if there were two at least who were not obsessed with chasing boys.”

“My favourite was always Sailor Mars, as she was fierce and feisty. From this clip, however, I definitely see the virtues of Sailor Jupiter, who appears to be the most well-rounded. I think that the personality types, from frivolous, to serious, to feisty, to well-rounded, to feminine are very encompassing and most girls will relate to at least one scout.”

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Marriage in Sailor Moon

Discussion: What we Think

“While it’s nice to see a pair that isn’t about appearances and just wants to be together. The excessive attention paid to the ritual of marriage by Serena and her home room teacher draws the viewers attention from what really matters, i.e. that two individuals want to be together regardless of each one’s faults and the fact that they cannot afford a nice marriage ceremony, to less meaningful things, i.e. the white dress, the big party. Now I think the wedding ceremony is important as it is a physical manifestation of each partner’s commitment, however, the important thing isn’t the ceremony itself, but the emotions and decisions behind it.”

“They say women grow up anticipating their “big white wedding” because it’s the happiest day of their lives. But would women really feel that way if it weren’t for pop culture influences that push that idea upon us? This episode simply proves that the idea is fed to us from the time we are little girls. It shows the fantasy of marriage -not the reality of communicating with another person, paying bills with them, running a home with them, or raising children together”

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Censorship in Sailor Moon (Episode 6 Japan-only)

Discussion: What We Think

“What is most ironic to me is that the issue of unhealthy body image as expressed by Serena in episode three (which a previous blog entry dealt with) was seen as appropriate for young viewers, but the issue of entering age prohibited places and alcohol was not. Furthermore, if Serena had bought an alcoholic drink, I would have raised an eye brow, but she, for once, acts responsibility and orders only cream soda. If anything, Serena shows a positive side of herself this episode, she has the power to do things which are illegal, yet she doesn’t. She actually acts responsibly and as such I do not think this episode’s removal was warranted. If anything, episode three should have been removed, not episode six.” –Joanna (23, ♀)

“I really am torn about the removal of this episode. On some terms, I can see why they didn’t want to show it and on other terms I don’t. Firstly, I guess I understand that the parents in North America don’t want their kids to view this because of what Sailor Moon ends up being dressed as. But when I think of this, I wonder….she pretty much depicted what a lot of the celebrities (aka Paris Hilton) are like today, while I can see most parents are fine with their kids seeing that and acting like them (believe me I’ve seen it happen) I really don’t understand why this episode was nixed! This is why i have mixed feelings about this episode.” – Sadaf (20, ♀)

“I’m not sure whether or not this clip is inappropriate enough or not to merit it’s censorship. However, I think that the motivation behind its removal is tied to the desire to prevent young viewers from being encouraged to sneak into adult-only establishments during their teenage years. That said, I am sure that it was a small enough part of the episode that many children would not necessarily been “influenced” by the clip. However I understand the motivation, and am particularly troubled by Serena’s outfit. This, I think sends a very troubling message to young girls.” –Wilhelmina (22, ♀)

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Homosexuality in Sailor Moon

I bet we all remember Zoisite and Malachite from the Sailor Moon anime. However what is interesting to note is that  Zoisite is in fact a man. He under went this sex change in North America because of the quite explicit homosexual relationship that exists between him and Malachite (Kunzite in the original).


Yet there is something quite striking about Zoisite. He is very effeminate and it is easily to see why it wasn’t hard to believe he was in fact female. Actually what is striking here is that even when the pair is homosexual, it is still a bounding being a feminine  person and masculine person. This pairing of masculinity and femininity caries over to the second homosexual pair in the show: Amara and Michelle.

Once again we see a very masculine Amara and a feminine Michelle. In fact, Serena and her friends at first thought Amara was a man because she drive a race car, dresses like a man, and speaks with a more masculine voice.

Why do homosexual pairings need a feminine and masculine aspect? What can’t too manly men or feminine women be shown to love each other?

Furthermore, in North America, why is there a need to censor homosexuality in child media at all? Granted, I understand companies do not want to deal with angry parents and Christian Right groups, but the question remains: Is society warranted in filtering out images of homosexuality from children’s eyes? And Why or Why not?

For the second question. I do not think society is warranted in filtering images. I think these images are filtered due to fear that if children see homosexual relationships, they will become homosexual. However, I do not think that seeing homosexual relationships will create homosexuals, rather these kinds of relationship will be seen as legitimate; just another type of relationship right next to heterosexual relations. Sexual preference cannot be taught, it is developed.

For the first question. I see it as a means to reinforce notions of femininity and masculinity into the notions of what constitutes a relationship. That is, a relationship consists of two people: one is masculine, the other feminine. Now, since most girls are socialize into being feminine, these homosexual relationships actually reinforce the notion that feminine girls need to bound with masculine partners, who are normally male. If the homosexual relationships had two manly men or two feminine women, then they would be really challenging heterosexual bounding which is founded upon the notions of a masculine and feminine pair. As they stand, these two relationships are still heterosexual in essence, just cosmetically you have a man taking the feminine role and a women taking the masculine role.

Granted, it’s nice that we even have homosexual relationships portrayed in media. I am not attacking Sailor Moon for that, rather I am trying to analytically understand why all relationships in Sailor Moon, both heterosexual and homosexual, feature a feminine-masculine pair.  All thoughts on this matter are much appreciated.

What do you think?

Dieting & Body Image in Sailor Moon (Episode 3)

Discussion: What We Think

“While the overall message is definitely quite positive, the ‘normal’ body type still remains slender and thin. Something about Luna’s mocking of a fat Serena reminds the watcher that being fat isn’t cool. Furthermore, Luna reminds us that if Serena kept to her normal eating habits, she would look like she does, normal and slender; so fatness is seen as deviant and a result of lack of self control, which may not always be the case.” –Joanna (23, ♀)

“I think that’s definitely a problem today, because a lot of younger girls (aka preteens or tweens) watch this and start to think that gaining half a pound is like tragic. I think the clip showed sailor moon as being very ignorant towards the people (aka her family and cat thing lol) that were helping her say that it doesn’t matter. It’s giving an impression to young kids, especially girls that it’s bad to gain weight and be fat.” –Sadaf (20, ♀)

“On the one hand, it can be argued that this episode serves to satirize the widespread obsession with body image by depicting Serena’s panic at having gained a mere half pound. However this episode seems to normalize the obsession that our society has with body image. Also, it sends a negative message to girls to depict the central heroine being so obessessed with her weight, rather than the important sailor business that Luna seeks to focus Serena’s attention on. This teaches children that young women should be more focused on their body image rather than the more important priorities in their life.” –Wilhelmina (22, ♀)

Discussion: Other Perspectives

“It’s very good because it’s a good message about why you shouldn’t be put on a strict diet. You should at least exercise. [When asked about Serena’s reaction:] I think she got totally shocked. Half a pound isn’t really a lot and you shouldn’t worry about it because you’ll lose it really easily … the message is just don’t stop eating.” –John (10, ♂)

“Why is sailor moon freaking out over half a pound … [sailor moon is being] silly and the drawing the cat made was funny.” –Anonymous (9, ♀)

“In my opinion the girl needs to stop crying, not worry about it and hit the cat with a stick. Also I believe that it makes guys think that girls are cry babies but truthfully I don’t think the kids would even notice.” –Anonymous (20, ♂)

Continue the Discussion: Tell Us What You Think

Sailor Moon: Brief Introduction

Basic Information:

Title: Sailor Moon
Country of Origin:
Japan
Licensed by: DiC Entertainment
First Aired: 1995

Basic Synopsis:

Serena is an ordinary girl, that is until she meets Luna, a talking cat who tells her that she is really the super hero Sailor Moon. Serena isn’t too pleased with this as she much rather do normal girl things than fight monsters, but Luna nevertheless usually convinces her to take action as Sailor Moon. Throughout her escapades, she meets up with other Sailor Scouts and they join together to fight as one team against the Negaverse.

Censorship:

Being one of the first Japanese animated cartoons (or anime) to make it over to North America, Sailor Moon was heavily censored. All explicit reference to Japanese culture were removed and scenes, sometimes whole episodes, were removed if they were deemed inappropriate for children. Examples include episode six, where Serena (or Usagi) transforms herself into an adult women to go into a bar, or Zoisite being changed into a women in the English adaptation to avoid having a homosexual relationship in the show.

As such, with the amount of censorship and adaptation to North American standards, the English adaptation of Sailor Moon stands as a representation of English media and creates an interesting example for deconstruction, especially in the area of what was deemed appropriate for children. For more information about censorship in Sailor Moon visit Sailor Moon’s Wiki page.

Why Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon was chosen as a candidate for deconstruction because Mina and I, Joanna, grew up on the show and we both instantly thought of it when we decided to focus on child media. Sailor Moon also provides an interesting opportunity for deconstruction on two levels. First there is a comic version (the original) which was written by a women (Naoko Takeuchi) and then there is this animated version that was made by mostly male staff. Second there is the English adaptation with censorship; this added visible layer of censorship creates an interesting opportunity of assessing what North American culture deems appropriate for children. Sailor Moon is also a mixed bag, I think, with regard to being a positive/negative form of child media. What I mean to say is that Sailor Moon has both good or bad things about it and our choices on which episodes and themes to highlight will reflect that. If there is a particular episode or thing about Sailor Moon you want to see featured, feel free to tell us in the comments. I hope everyone looks forward to the next few entries on Sailor Moon.