"Sanitizing" the Relationship
Haruka and Michiru are, unquestionably, in love. Because they're both female, however, their relationship makes some people uncomfortable. As a result, attempts have been made throughout the years to "sanitize" the Haruka/Michiru relationship. Although I understand why some of these attempts were made (though I don't like them), I think others were disingenuous in motive. Regardless, these attempts have been unsuccessful in ridding the relationship of the love that the two girls share. Below are a few examples of how people have "reinvented" the relationship.

North American Anime Dub
The most obvious example of "cleaning up" the relationship can be seen in the North American dub of Sailor Moon S by Cloverway. To permit the show to be aired to children on American television, the dub made "Amara" and "Michelle" into cousins who grew up together. A familial tie was apparently the dub's way of explaining the closeness, looks, and touching. If this change weren't bad (and disturbing) enough, Cloverway went one step further, adding new lines to several episodes that made it very clear that Michelle was completely heterosexual. Inexplicably, however, the dub also left in some romantic lines and some romantic scenes. When the dub aired in North America, the phrase "kissing cousins" was used by fans to describe Amara and Michelle.

Save Our Sailors
In the late 1990s or the early 2000s, the then popular Save Our Sailors (SOS) website created an article called "The Intriguing Relationship of Haruka and Michiru." The article, from its original incarnation, has been reposted below. The article underwent various "reforms" during its lifespan; after first claiming to be truth, it eventually was labeled an "interpretation" by SOS. Although there was nothing to support this "interpretation" in either the manga or the anime, many people believed the story at the time it was posted and for many years after.

SOS's motives in creating this article were questionable. Some believe SOS was just trying to convince companies that Sailor Moon had no homosexual content and was thus "safe" for dubbing. However, one of the leaders of SOS was apparently against homosexuality, so he may have also been "sanitizing" the relationship out of his own personal beliefs. Whatever the reason, SOS knowingly invented this elaborate lie to mislead its visitors. Despite the demands for proof, SOS never produced evidence of the elusive "magazine" in which the interview took place; no one else had ever heard of the interview either. The "history" described in SOS's article directly contradicts both manga and anime canon. Besides that, an established Italian magazine had interviewed Takeuchi Naoko around the time SOS created its article; in this Italian interview, Takeuchi-sensei stated that Haruka and Michiru were lovers. In a later appearance at an anime convention in California, Takeuchi-sensei again stated that Haruka and Michiru were lovers.

Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) share an interesting relationship that is rather unique by the standards of Western television. Throughout the series, the two are always together, and occasionally they show signs of affection for one another; they never kiss, but subtle indications emerge to suggest a deeper relationship.

Many Western viewers see this and assume that the two are lesbian. However, Japanese viewers don't see it that way; apparently similar relationships of trust and interdependence often develop among Japanese girls, and their parents are happy to see this because it means that their daughter will always have someone she can depend on.

In a magazine interview, Naoko Takeuchi (the creator of the series) explains Haruka and Michiru's relationship through terms of their history. During the Moon Kingdom, the Prince of Uranus was in love with Sailor Neptune. His sister, Sailor Uranus, was mortally wounded in the battle with Beryl's forces, but before she died she conferred her powers onto him. Then Queen Serenity sent everyone to Earth, and since all Senshi are female, and the Prince now had Senshi powers, he was reborn as a girl; but even so, his love for Sailor Neptune endured. Thus, according to this interpretation, they are not lesbians but former lovers ironically reunited as the same gender.


Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is © Takeuchi Naoko.
Image of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune is © Shoko Mikuni.
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