acting_gorgeous: (Uranus - stunned not happy)
Sailors Uranus and Neptune, Faith, Belief, and The Way of Sacrifice

....Why am I writing up a section for this? It can't be that important, right?

Well, whenever people talk to Uranus, at least, there's a good chance the issues either of a) sacrifice or b) hope/faith/belief will come up. And a lot of the time, Uranus's beliefs on the matters seem to be almost self-contradictory.

What you have to know is that Sailormoon (the series, heh, and the character as well) functions on a few basic premises):

1 - everyone has a little chaos in them, but everyone also has a little hope.
2 - If you have enough faith in that person, in that tiny hope anyone has, no matter how evil, the person who has it can't help but believe back. Think of candles lighting each other, essentially.


And you also have to know that Neptune and Uranus don't have this as their way.

Throughout S, as I said in the canon writeup, they've resigned themselves to sacrifice. They were prepared to sacrifice the holders of the talismans, even knowing they were innocents. They were prepared to sacrifice themselves if it came down to it -- swore an oath to not stop to help the other if one could continue a mission (which both broke at various points, heh). After things worked out with the talismans, they were prepared to sacrifice a little girl, Tomoe Hotaru, as by killing her it would prevent the end of the world. For all that they're very cheerful/light-hearted people most of the time, they are very very grim, and very very resigned deep down.

It was this last point -- Hotaru -- where they really came into conflict with the ideals of Sailormoon and the Inner Senshi. Because they (including Pluto, who shows up pretty rarely!) felt they had no choice but to kill her for the greater good. And Sailormoon felt, no, I believe in Hotaru. She can fight off the darkness inside her.

It seemed absurd to them.

But in the end? They were rendered useless, and it took a long time and it was hard and it was very nearly the end of the world, but Hotaru didn't want her body to be controlled to do these things and she ended up rebuilding herself from the bottom up to prevent it, because someone had believed in her, and protected her, and because she had important people she wanted to protect.

(Sailormoon is also about protection, of course. *g*)

And Haruka and Michiru -- Uranus and Neptune -- saw it work and couldn't really grok it. It made no sense -- what if it had failed? What if Hotaru HADN'T? Would they have sacrificed the world just to believe in one person?

They had a showdown with Sailormoon, two on one, which I didn't really understand at the time -- basically they beat the crap out of her for a while and then, just as Uranus is swooping in for one hell of an attack, Sailormoon looks up and glows for a moment and Uranus misses and hits Neptune instead.

And they both give up and just bow to her.

It took rewatching Stars (the last season; S is third season, Stars is fifth) for me to really understand -- but Stars is all about finding the Light of Hope. And pretty much, that's what happened there -- not capital letters or anything, but they weren't able to really defeat her when she looked up and believed that Uranus wouldn't hit her.

They go off then and take a vacation, but when they come back -- they're still willing to sacrifice. It's just got a twist in it. That's to say -- in Stars, we see them willing to sacrifice both their friends and their closest companions to have one shot at victory, and that they're sort of okay with that, even if they think they're going to go to hell for the sin of betrayal.

But at the same time, they don't think the world is ending when they fail. Because they know someone with more faith, who's able to act in a manner foreign to them, has her own way of fighting. They cannot fight that way. It's not something they understand, it's not something they can wrap their heads around. But after S (through Stars) they've gotten to the point where they've realized it's a way that can work. All they can do is fight in the way they know -- and if that fails, have faith in one person to have enough hope and belief to pull through.

Here's a conversation between several characters after Uranus and Neptune's sacrifice-betrayal failed to work in Stars:

Fighter: "Sailor Moon -- do you know why Uranus and Neptune fought that way?"

Sailormoon: "I don't understand."

Fighter: "I didn't understand either ... Why sacrifice their partners' lives as well as their own? Was it their style of fighting? It may be true ... But ... I now know that it wasn't the only reason."

Fighter: "Everyone believes in you! "

Maker: "Believe...?"

Healer: "Sailormoon..."

Fighter: "You're mysterious. I didn't think I could fight beside you. ...But now, we're fighting together. I don't know why, but when I'm with you, I believe in you. I want to believe in you."



...and that's why, when Haruka talks to people about sacrifice and faith, her values seem pretty conflicting.
acting_gorgeous: (Haruka - extra handsome)
Canon!

Because other people do it and I'm normally too lazy.

Haruka's the Soldier of Sky, Sailor Uranus. Most people know the basic premise of Sailormoon well enough I'm not gonna cover it in detail -- Crybaby Usagi is the reincarnation of the ancient princess of the moon and future queen of Crystal Tokyo; her four friends her her protectors and fighters for love and justice, etc.

The outer senshi (soldiers = senshi, yeah yeah; the Outer Senshi are Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn) have a somewhat different role. Where the Inner Senshi (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus) are specifically tasked with guarding the Princess, the Outer Senshi have different tasks. Saturn's job is to ... well, destroy the universe in worst case scenario, Pluto's job is to protect the flow of space and time, and Neptune and Uranus are charged with destroying any invaders far enough away from Earth that the Inner Senshi will never have to deal with them.

As a result, they're kinda harsher people.

When we first meet our girls, in S, they're tasked with finding the 'talismans' -- special artefacts hidden inside the 'pure hearts' of innocents. They need to find the talismans to create the Holy Grail (yes, yes, I know) in order to save the world, since if the enemy finds it first, the world will be destroyed. They know that if and when they find these people with the talismans, the innocents will die and have tried to resolve themselves to that fact; Michiru's handled it more capably than Haruka has -- Haruka's a lot more with the loud NO REALLY I'M OKAY WITH THIS and quietly angsting over the thought of killing innocents. Well, about halfway through the season that resolves itself quite neatly without anyone dying and with Haruka and Michiru both gaining some confidence in themselves, and as a result, they both own the talismans as special weapons (Haruka owns the Space Sword; Michiru has the o crap I forget the name of her mirror. Aqua Mirror, or something? Anyway). They have to continue to fight the enemy, though, and frequently refuse to work with the Inner Senshi, considering them too soft to handle the job, since they believe they'll have to kill the Dark Messiah (a small child, normally quite friendly and nice) in order to save the world.

...In the end of the S season, they're proven wrong and that love and faith in others can make even the Dark Messiah fight off her worse side and push Usagi into proving she can handle herself even if people are being cruel to themselves and decide, okay, the Inner Senshi CAN manage just fine, and take a vacation. At one point on this vacation (Yay SuperS special!) Haruka comes down with a cold, flirts incessantly with the maids in the hotel they're staying at, and nearly dies from random new enemy, who tells Michiru he's got a delicate item that could kill all humanity if not broken and "If you don't want that, you'll let me take her energy!" Michiru attacks him anyway, the bottle breaks, it was ALL A FACADE, and the enemy is stunned and shocked by Michiru's explanation that a world without Haruka isn't a world worth saving. And then Haruka kills the enemy dead because, wow, that was kinda embarrassing, and the two of them decide that hey, it's cool even if there's a new enemy, the Inner Senshi can handle it.


Haruka and Michiru have a canon relationship (amusingly, you can actually see it progress throughout the seasons; they're very obviously interested in each other from the moment they meet (A flashback episode), but since they're 'in a war' they try to hold off on advancing their relationship for a while, but flirt like mad, try to make each other jealous, and generally act like new lovers. About midway through S, the resolution starts to fall apart and we get a fade to black; throughout the rest of the season, it seems they've developed their relationship. After S, in their vacation, their relationship is clearly quite sexual -- taking advantage of the break in war! -- and by the time they return in the Stars season, they're, uh, kinda blatant about it:

Neptune: [trying to keep Uranus from falling off a roof] "Oo-oof! You've got to lay off the sweets!"
Uranus: "I never listen to that kind of talk outside of bed."

Haruka: [being dragged away by her hand] "Michiru! Ow, ow, you're hurting me!"
Michiru: "Oh?"
Haruka: "I want you to touch me more gently."
Michiru: "Later, when we're alone."
Usagi: "......this is what we call an adult atmosphere, isn't it?"

But yeah. Canon! Very, very canon. XD

That doesn't mean Haruka won't flirt -- she's an incorrigable flirt, even in front of Michiru (who tends to tolerate it to amusement to a point, and then tends to cut in), and is generally, all around a casual person when the fate of the world isn't involved. Around normal people, it's actually pretty rare to see her get too serious. Oh, but about flirting? She tends to get terribly jealous whenever Michiru does it. Michiru knows, of course, and takes terrible advantage.

Haruka's on her first level of power right now (doesn't get a powerup until Stars, or until Michiru's player and I decide to give 'em one!). Her transformation is "Uranus Planet Power", her attacks are "World Shaking" (a planet-shaped ball of energy that can tear up cement) and "Space Sword Blaster" (using the talisman to shoot out beams of energy); she also can use the Space Sword as a real sword.

...Like Michiru, Haruka's almost a canon sue. Despite being 16, she's a fairly well-known junior racecar driver (F1), a frequent winner at dirt bike races, able to outrun anyone else in her series, has a LOT of vehicles (At least two cars, a racecar, a motorcycle, a dirt bike, and a helicopter) all of wihch she can drive or pilot, she knows martial arts, she can dance like a pro, and she can play piano at a level appropriate to world-famous concert performance (although she only ever does so to accompany Michiru's violin, never her own performances). She and Michiru are rich as hell (probably off these world-famous persuits or maybe they came into it from family) and she and Michiru own a penthouse apartment with its own in-suite pool. And, you know, about twenty billion vehicles. By Stars, they've moved into a huge house with a wide lot. And considering Tokyo, that says something. ... They also get pretty much the only cool background music in the series. Forget cheerful electric synth, they get Leahy-style violin. In the manga, they also have floating palaces over their planets. They also attended an extremely exclusive high school, so they're pretty smart. Canon sue. >_> Except for all the personality flaws.


As for other characters noticing their Senshi sides -- it's perfectly normal in canon for people with spiritual sensitivy to 'sense something' about them in normal form -- usually if in close contact with them, or listening to their music, or whatever, people will detect the "brightness of a star"; this is with limited spiritual sensitivity, so I imagine someone with more power might pick up more, because -- well, they're basically the reincarnations of the guardian spirits of planets. Literally, their soul *is* the planet's soul, and they radiate a *lot* of spiritual energy. (Sorry, Ishida, I should have thought to mention that when you were doing things with Haruka before!) Haruka's element is the Wind, and she's got an affinity for it, so if anyone can sense that sort of thing, they should pick that up as well.

In Senshi form, they are inexplicably not recognizable as their normal selves. This is constant throughout the series with every senshi, and it's specifically commented that "you didn't recognize me because I look 'like this'." I've never heard a real reason for it, so I expect it's some kind of spiritual white noise or something. Usually, they're identified if they're seen to transform or if they make a reference or something that's familiar -- ie, Haruka's commented to Chisame that "no matter how dirty someone's hands are, there's someone who will love them"; if, as Uranus, she said something about dirty hands or something, that's the type of thing that in-series tends to make people start to wonder. I totally wish I had a better explanation than that, but what can you do. That said, a lot of the people at camp are smarter than most of the characters in Sailormoon, and/or more paranoid and devious, so looser connections might be made? yeaaaaaaaah.

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Tenoh Haruka

August 2005

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