one of the best things about the internet is that i was finally able to watch the scene that got cut from the dub in the finale of the first season in which sailor moon, having just barely defeated her enemy, dies. as she’s dying these are her last thoughts (using their subtitles, i don’t speak japanese ha):
When I wake up in the morning, a pure white curtain of lace is rustling in the breeze. The cuckoo clock in the room says it’s seven o’clock, and Momma’s voice says, “You’ll be late if you don’t get up!” I’m still half asleep, and I think, “Please let me sleep for three more minutes.” I’m late for school every single day like clockwork, my teacher makes me stand out in the hallway, and I get failing grades on my tests. The crepes we’d all eat on the way home. We’d gaze dreamily at a party dress in a store window. The little things bring me such joy and I’m happy. I wish… I wish I could go back to that kind of normal life. I want to go back.
she gets her wish, until The Forces Of Evil step in, obviously. a friend of mine i roped into following the show disliked how many qualities deemed faults sailor moon had — terrible study habits and grades, chronic lateness, obsessions with comic books, pretty clothes, sweets, video games, and cute boys — but these days maybe my favorite thing about the series is how a girl like this gets to save the world because she has to and manages to do it because she has, underneath all that, so much love.
it’s total girlworld. i don’t want to essentialize, because i don’t think it’s an innate quality of girls; i just mean that emotions, caring, love — these things are considered women’s work and are taught to be valued in and by women in a way they are not, for men. in dragonball Z, the show that was my brother’s sailor moon, you fight the bad guys through physical strength gained through endless exquisitely dull training montages, you defeat evil with violence. in sailor moon you expel evil with love — devalued by the dominant powers in our world, crushed by structural oppressions that teach people to cut off love for whole huge pieces of humanity, worthless to capitalism — essential to life, as anyone worth knowing knows.
in sailor moon it’s okay if love is what you’re best at, is maybe the only thing at which you truly excel. more than okay: it means you can do the most important thing.