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 Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?

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sophiesmystery
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Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime12th April 2013, 5:45 pm

This is a really good question.

I think for every person, though, you take from Sailor Moon what speaks to you the most.

For me, the 'powerful/strong female' aspect isn't as hard and rough as many other stories can make it out to be. Usagi and the other scouts love, they are sensitive and feminine, and yet they are strong and believe in themselves and their futures. I found Usagi's faith in her future to be really inspiring, especially during a time in my life when I had so many doubts and questions and I was afraid of the tomorrow because I was unsure of what was going to happen.

Rereading the manga (both the 2003/2013 prints), I found a lot of themes of not just love and friendship, but enduring hardships and facing those terrible moments in life without blaming someone else or getting angry and giving up. I mean, honestly, Usagi has a hard life, much more so in the manga than the anime. It's really difficult to remain positive during tough trials and most people end up being angry and confused than the other way around, and yet Usagi, with every trial, grew even more beautiful, stronger, and faithful in her dreams.

I like to think SM enhances a woman's qualities to their best advantage without being soupy. I love how Usagi turned from an innocent, slightly ditzy, greedy little girl into this angelic queen of the future who was still as silly and fun as she was when we first meet her, and yet she was a woman, through-and-through. It's fun to see the senshi's transformation from young girls to women, and with the appearance of the outer senshi - who were already these confident, elegant women - you really see a lot of maturity and growth. You almost have the sense of 'growing up' with Usagi and the other senshi throughout the whole manga.

I'm on the edge with the anime, though, I have to rewatch it again...
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Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime12th April 2013, 5:50 pm

Quote :
I think for every person, though, you take from Sailor Moon what speaks to you the most.

I agree! With everything you said too!
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PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime14th October 2018, 7:58 pm

@Neon Genesis wrote:
I would say that the main theme of both the anime and the manga is female empowerment but the anime portrays it from a male perspective and the manga is from a female perspective.
Well, that was probably the case, but I think that one of the directors said at a lecture that the senshi-in-miniskirts reflected the growing independence of women in the society, so to an extent the anime also represented female significance's increase. The Sailor Moon anime series certainly does seem to reflect a male perspective more than the manga does though, but it also had a larger staff while the manga was probably just Takeuchi's team. Nevertheless the female-empowerment aspect does seem to be a prominent element, so I can imagine that in the days of its initial publishing it must have been even more so.
lengthy quotes:
 
I feel like this depends on how one thinks of these sorts of values, whether they are feminine or not, which I'm somewhat inclined to disagree with. Although it seems that frequently those do seem to be associated with each other. Either way though, I think it's a magnificent message, in the way that Usagi won without resorting to Galaxia's violent methods. It probably would have been the only way to truly win, since the previous scenes clearly illustrated the futility of those kinds of endeavors, not to mention how nicely it developed her character as Usagi. The manga's story was still better probably, but the themes in Sailor Stars were really well-done, even if the story finale wasn't as intensified as the manga.

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PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime23rd October 2018, 12:25 pm

I'll have to agree that female-empowerment is definitely one of the strongest themes but I don't quite think it's the top spot. I think others are right that teamwork/love/self-actualization are probably stronger themes both in anime and manga.

The thing with the female-empowerment bit is that although definitely a strong theme, it's not as explicit as it could have been. It sort of comes about naturally as a product of the character relationships, the societal realities of the day, and of course the Senshi's literal powers. And even though it colours other themes such as romance and finding/following one's dreams, etc. nobody's really chasing it down as a devoted advocate. Usagi defends helpless girls and encourages them to lift themselves up all the time, but I think she does it in the spirit of "hey love yourself" vs. "hey don't be THAT weak girl" if that makes any sense... She doesn't prescribe a particular way to be powerful to anyone beyond believing in themselves and their own strengths, which is very gender-neutral. So again, I think the theme is there but I think it's meant as more of a backdrop or context - except perhaps when it comes to the Senshi powers.

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PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime24th October 2018, 8:14 pm

i think it is a more subtle thing in a lot of ways, and not so much applied in-universe as it is from a reader's perspective. 

there's one line naoko says somewhere about how "girls have to be strong to protect the guys we like!" and I feel like that represents a lot of the way it's handled in SM... girls stepping up to the plate and getting things done.

I also feel like one big thing is "empowerment" isn't just about the typical "strength," especially physical strength. Like how in the first battle, when Usagi uses her crying to defeat the enemy, this emotion is shown as a strength rather than a weakness (though of course, she has to overcome her fear to actually finish the job). To me, the themes of female empowerment and friendship and even romance are all connected, rather than being separate things which steal the focus from each other. Usagi might be super strong, but it's not because of herself, but because of the connections to others she has. Her friendship and her love is her strength, and that's not a bad thing. It shows strength as something collective rather than something one individual gains, and how someone's strength can be increased by having others they love and want to protect.

and i also feel like the "power" shown... is something less inherent, and more something grown into. Sailor Moon shows not that all girls are awesome and powerful, but that girls also have the power to beat the bad guy and save the universe, and don't have to take a passive role.

also, on the comment about Moon not being as powerful in the Stars finale of the anime.... I feel like Usagi's goodness is a power of its own regard. being able to resolve things and save people is just as, if not more, powerful, even though it might not look as flashy or require as much physical strength.


in general, i find it interesting how this definition of power compares to a lot of shounen.... while there are many shounen concerned with saving the world, a lot of them (even ones that end up about saving the world) have a main character whose goal is to be the strongest, and there's a lot of focus on one-on-one fights. in SM, the girls don't fight because they want to, but because they have to... in Sailor War in the musicals, there's a few lines that say something along the lines of "we don't want to fight, but.... we don't want to die, but..." and they acknowledge that they have to fight anyways.

and that's real strength  Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 2869872805 Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 2869872805 Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 2869872805

but my actual point in saying that was i feel like the female empowerment/female strength shown in SM isn't the Raw Power of shounen, but more of a.... gets-things-done type power.

ive been typing too much so this might all be a mess

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SpikeDevilman
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PostSubject: Re: Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment?   Debate: Is Sailor Moon mostly about female empowerment? - Page 2 I_icon_minitime24th October 2018, 11:35 pm

Short answer, but no. I don't think Sailor Moon is mostly about female empowerment. It's certainly an aspect of it though!

What, with women in it traditionally being the warriors who protect the galaxy.

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