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LGBT Representation in Sailor Moon: Heroes Edition

So there are gay villains in Sailor Moon, but what about gay heroes? Folks, Sailor Moon has THEE baddest lesbian superheroes EVAR! (What can I say? I’m totally biased.)

Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus!

A blonde woman has her arms wrapped around a woman with aqua hair


Now, I’m sure I don’t have to convince many of you out there why Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are the most memorable lesbian superheroes out there, but since my mom (and yours!) might read this, I’ll explain. By the time Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus make the scene in season 3 of the anime, we’ve seen Sailor Moon sacrifice herself to save the world and we’ve seen her join forces with her future daughter to banish the Doom Phantom. Sailor Moon has saved and healed countless villains and victims. However, when Neptune and Uranus turn up, they are all, “Screw your plans Sailor Moon, we are going to save the world by any means necessary.” OH SNAP. In fact, when they discover that the magical items they’ve been searching for are actually within themselves, Sailor Uranus commits suicide so that Sailor Moon can use the magical item to protect the world. In the fifth and final season, Neptune and Uranus even go so far as to kill their own teammates to prove to the Big Bad (Sailor Galaxia) that they’ve switched sides. They haven’t actually switched sides, and try to destroy Sailor Galaxia from within her group. Unfortunately, they fail, but are given the most epic death scene EVAR (Did you cry? Because I cried!)

There have been some critiques among fans that Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune feed into this stereotype that in lesbian couples, one needs to be the masculine/butch one (Sailor Uranus) and the other needs to be the feminine/femme (Sailor Neptune). This is a fair point. But other fans have pointed out that even though Sailor Uranus appears very masculine, she’s very impulsive and emotional (which are traditionally feminine traits). Sailor Neptune, on the other hand, is very confident, ambitious, and calculating (which are more masculine traits). In fact, Sailor Uranus admits in episode 170, that Sailor Neptune actually runs faster than her and Neptune purposefully slows down so that Uranus (the manly one!) can keep up.

But my favorite thing about Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune is how they, and the other outer guardians, are portrayed as a family in the manga. In Act 44, New Soldiers’ Dream, we see that Usagi (who is heterosexual) and Haruka (who is a lesbian) have the same dream— to live in a big house, surrounded by flowers, with their family. We see that Haruka and Michiru are wearing rings and are mistaken as a married couple (Setsuna, Sailor Pluto wears a ring too).

A person sees Haruka and Michiru wear rings and says they are married. Setsuna is wearing a ring too.

credit: missdream.org

A young child, Hotaru, calls Haruka “Papa.” Whereas Haruka wears pants and a button down shirt, Michiru is seen wearing an apron. In other words, Haruka and Michiru are acting like a married heterosexual couple who are raising a child. (And let’s not forget Setsuna who I see as either a big sister or a cool aunt.)

Haruka, Hotaru, Michiru and Setsuna sit around a table, eating a meal.

One of the arguments that conservative anti-same sex marriage organizations like Focus on the Family like to make revolve around gender roles. They argue:

9. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles.

Which is funny because that’s what Haruka and Michiru are doing here and they are both women! How funny is that no matter what your genitals are, you can do things like cook, clean, earn money and change diapers! Truly revolutionary! They also argue:

10. Women and marriage domesticate men.

Which is nice thought, but it’s not a woman’s responsibility to “domesticate” men. Plus, this really doesn’t account for lesbians who aren’t going to “domesticate” men anyway. Men are responsible for their own decisions and we, as a society, need to stop making excuses for their crappy behavior. Considering that domestic violence is a huge problem, it’s quite obvious that women, in fact, do not “domesticate” men.

Finally, they also make a lot of assumptions about what children want and need.

1. Children hunger for their biological parents.

2. Children need fathers

3. Children need mothers.

As Sailor Moon demonstrates in multiple ways, the ideal of a happy heterosexual family doesn’t always work out. Hotaru may long for her biological mother, but her mother is dead. This particular scene doesn’t even show Hotaru longing for her biological father and even it did, that wouldn’t change the fact that he was a Bad Guy who tried to destroy the world. As this scene shows, Hotaru has a loving family who cares about her well-being. In fact, one study in Australia shows that children raised by same-sex parents are doing just fine, if not, more so. When it comes to families, one size does not fit all! With countries around increasingly legalizing same-sex marriage, I hope Sailor Moon will continue to teach people around the world that families such as theirs deserve legal recognition.

Ah! But that’s not all! There’s one more lesbian superhero in the Sailor Moon universe and that’s Sailor Star Fighter! However, I think I’ll devote a post solely to Sailor Star Fighter and the Starlights. The anime brings up important issues that the trans community deals with which needs to be looked at more in-depth. Stay tuned!

a woman hugs a man in a red suit. They are the same person.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Chibi August 6, 2013, 02:10

    Awesome post and fun read 😀 I look forward to reading more Sailor Moon articles ^^

  • Lilly September 18, 2013, 04:28

    regarding haruka, she’s shown in the manga wearing a mix of very feminine ‘sexy’ clothes AND more typically ‘manly’ clothes (like slacks).

  • tinktinkgirl April 22, 2015, 04:00

    thanks sooooo muuuuuuuchh!They should realy be working on that new dub!
    ♀ can be with♀ ☆☆☆

  • Anonymoon June 28, 2018, 10:23

    Just going over some old posts here. I’ll always love Haruka and Michiru. They were part of what helped me realize I was bi, although I was gushing over them a lot even when I thought I was still “straight” too.

    I hope some day Japan can catch up to modern times and progress further with LGBTQ+ rights, including marriage. They’re taking some baby steps, but they still have a long way to go. That said, it took us far too long to get gay marriage rights here in the US, and queer rights are still endangered, particularly under this evil regime. But at least Japan doesn’t have the religious fanaticism we have here, they just need to get over their massive, backwards sexism issues.

  • kaathe January 21, 2021, 04:37


    just bc she fell in love with mamoru does not mean she is hetero
    pls no bi erasure here.

    the Manga is pretty open about it, usagi crushes on Haruka (who would not? hetero charas. tho I’m more a pluto fan)

    Usagi is bi.

    pls fix

    • Anne Lee February 15, 2021, 18:39

      I’m open to a bi or pansexual Usagi for the manga.

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