The Sailor Moon paper I wrote for my gender studies class
Last week, I mentioned the presentation I did on Sailor Moon for my gender studies class, and how my professor was so impressed by Sailor Moon’s themes that she told me she wants to show it to her kids. Anyway, I promised that I would post the paper the presentation focused on once I finished writing it, so here it is!
I drew quite a bit from a previous paper I wrote on Sailor Moon, but I also included a lot of new things. Particularly, I added sections on how femininity is often negatively portrayed in the media, Haruka’s gender nonconformity in the manga, and the presence of the Outer family.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
It seems as though more and more frequently, the lack of female-centric media is being called into question. It appears as though the majority of movies, tv shows, and other media feature a male protagonist, with female characters being relegated to the sidelines. Even if there is a female protagonist, it often feels like she doesn’t get to develop strong relationships with other female characters. The lack of deep female relationships and overall female representation in media is indeed unacceptable; the same can be said for the lack of representation regarding LGBT people. However, I feel as though we should praise a particular series that not only delivers on those things, but proves that doing so can lead to massive success. It’s called Sailor Moon (known as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon in its native country of Japan), an anime (cartoon) and manga (comic book) series aimed at girls. Sailor Moon is so impressive because it provides positive portrayals of femininity, female relationships (both platonic and romantic), gender nonconformity, and even non-traditional families.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, which means “Beautiful Soldier Sailor Moon” in Japanese, was created by a female Japanese mangaka, or manga artist, named Naoko Takeuchi. The manga debuted in the girls’ magazine Nakayoshi on December 28, 1991 and ended on February 3, 1997; the animated adaptation premiered on March 7, 1992 and ended February 8, 1997. From the very beginning, Sailor Moon was a smash hit; originally intended to only consist of a single arc, its popularity caused Takeuchi to expand it to five arcs. In addition to the original anime and manga, Sailor Moon’s enormous popularity has resulted in, as of 2017: A series of stage musicals, 31 in all; three movies with theatrical releases; a live-action series that comprised of 52 episodes; numerous rereleases of the manga and anime; many video game spinoffs; many foreign-language dubs; and finally, a new, updated anime reboot entitled Sailor Moon Crystal that is ongoing.