Discussion: Mercury

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Feb 13, 2016
161
0
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28
California
#1
I want to have a full conversation on Sailor Mercury on her overall position as a character in the show, what makes her special and how she fits in with the other sailor guardians. The reason I want to have this conversation is because I want to explore the character even further than what we've seen in the anime, also want to find out why she's referred to as the weakest on the team despite the fact that she does have decent attacks.I also want to talk about how her character develops from the beginning of the series all way to the end of this series. We'll also explore how her character has become popular over the years and what an impact it's the made in the world of anime and so forth.
 

Neon Genesis

Lumen Cinereum
Oct 31, 2015
2,332
250
165
#2
Sailor Mercury was typically referred to as the weakest of the team because for the entirety of the first season, her only attack was bubbles and didn't really seem to do much other than to confuse the monsters. Even when Mercury did get stronger attacks later in the anime, it seemed like you rarely saw her in an offense position and she was mostly the strategist of the team. Though I think Mercury was portrayed as much stronger in other versions, like the live action series and the manga. As for why Ami was so popular in Japan, it was partly because her shy personality fit what was considered the ideal Japanese woman back then though I'm not sure how how true that is for modern times, though it seems like Rei and the Outers are more popular in America. But I also think for a lot of girls, especially those who feel like they've been stigmatized for being "nerdy" feel like they're able to relate to the way Ami was ostracized for her intelligence. She starts off being lonely to being one of the most essential members of the team. Even if her attacks aren't as focused on offense, it's Ami's brains that keep the team glued together and get everyone out of the tough jams. So seeing a shy intelligent woman being given superpowers to save the world is empowering to a lot of women, especially with how sadly women still face a lot of hurdles in advancing in STEM careers.
 
Nov 30, 2015
42
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Tokyo
www.tuxedounmasked.com
#3
I don't remember where I saw the quote recently, but I believe it was in reference to Rei and Asuka (from Neon Genesis Evangelion). Back in the 90s, the cold, intelligent, and emotionally distant female characters were popular with fans, but that's starting to turn around nowadays in Japan. Rei has always edged out Asuka in popularity polls, but apparently that tide's turning now.

I'd love to see a poll and where Ami ranks nowadays. I know that, at least among male fans, she was always an incredibly popular character (especially if doujinshi say anything about that), but I'm curious how that's going now.
 

Moonstone

Lapis Lunaris
Jan 27, 2016
61
0
0
#4
Ami represents the stereotypical ideal Asian person. She's studying for a practical profession that requires a lot of hard work, high intelligence, and top of her class. She's following in her mother's footsteps rather than choosing a career of her own that would be seen as less desirable. She values work over play and as a teenager is more concerned with her long-term future than playing around.

Ami doesn't participate in a lot of sports. Swimming is her only passion, and even though she's good at it, it doesn't take priority over her studying, as it would for more sporty people like Makoto and Minako. She's also shy and not the kind of person who would pursue a career in entertainment like Rei or Minako.

This heavy reliance on intelligence is what made her be designed the physically weakest member. Her magic powers grow in strength over time, but they're still not the focus of her character and so she doesn't need to be strong. Ami provides balance where it's needed, such as the time Uranus defended her when she realized the importance of her skills to beat Nehelenia. A strategist wouldn't spend as much time combat training as the others when they have to focus on studying plans and tactics.

Ami's greatest power is that she can break down the magic of the villains and expose weaknesses, where all of the other Senshi would just keep hitting at them fruitlessly hoping something would work. Someone has to be the one to step back and not fight in order to find a solution. It doesn't make her any less a warrior; she even called it her own way of fighting. She's given enough power to get by because it's not the point of her.
 
Feb 13, 2016
161
0
0
28
California
#5
During Ami's conception, she was going to be a robot with high intelligence, that idea was scrapped, however she was made human but the intelligence factor was kept. It was this concept that made Ami popular with schoolchildren, as she was a role model for students as well as the cover girl for Academics.

Powers wise, I think she can hold her own. Before her death in the first season, she admitted that Mars and Venus had more firepower than her which kinda surprised me. Although, her bubble spray is more of a defensive/counter defensive maneuver, it's really helped the team better. I was surprised at her bubble freeze attack, not only did her attack destroy a monster but it also showed that she's full of surprises.

She's the child of divorced parents, so my theory is that the studying is to cope with the situation, not as much as she wants to be a doctor like her mother. I get that she's the stereotypical Asian student, it's the fact that she chose to study and not by being "forced" to is what I realized.
 

Moonstone

Lapis Lunaris
Jan 27, 2016
61
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0
#6
Mars and Venus did have better firepower than her. The only time I can recall that her normal bubble spray did any offensive damage was when she combined it with others, like Moon Tiara + Fire Soul to finish Nephrite's Gemini twins, or with Supreme Thunder to hurt evil Tuxedo Mask. Even the blue Gemini twin's bubbles seemed deadlier than hers since they were running from it.

By itself, the fog is the major reason she uses it. Instead of hurting the enemy it chills the area. I think at its very worst, it immobilizes the enemy by surrounding him. The freezing bubbles are more damaging by far for literally turning things to ice. But in the first season she was categorically the weakest.

I've always felt that Shine Aqua Illusion is her deadliest attack that both freezes and hurts. Aqua Rhapsody never felt quite like it had its impact, just a narrower funnel of water.
 
Nov 30, 2015
42
0
0
Tokyo
www.tuxedounmasked.com
#8
Onuzim Ima said:
http://www.tuxedounmasked.com/2016/02/03/who-saved-ami-from-becoming-a-cyborg/

:lol: Yeah, all work and no play...

@T_U: Please tell me if it's okay with you that I linked it up here
Not at all, I'm happy the article was interesting to you! In fact, after reading this thread, I decided to dig deeper into the Ami popularity thing and actually see what people thought of her back in the 1990s. Here are the stats!

http://www.tuxedounmasked.com/2016/02/2 ... -soldiers/
 

DarkStarLeo

Lapis Lunaris
Oct 30, 2015
121
1
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Ohio
#9
Ami is an awesome character who definitely deserves more chances to be awesome as Sailor Mercury. Not only is she sweet and kind, she is also a genius, she gets to work with the cool high-tech gadgets, she's a book lover, and her signature color is blue. Best color ever! What isn't there to like?
 
Jun 6, 2006
3,119
579
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NJ
#10
I was always puzzled as to why Mercury is a fan-favorite. You had this array of colorful characters, and yet most fans seem to favor... quiet, shy, perfect Ami. I just don't get it. Especially when it comes to anime Ami, since she's the image of a "Mary Sue" in my mind. But that's just me.
 

DarkStarLeo

Lapis Lunaris
Oct 30, 2015
121
1
0
Ohio
#11
Umino said:
I was always puzzled as to why Mercury is a fan-favorite. You had this array of colorful characters, and yet most fans seem to favor... quiet, shy, perfect Ami. I just don't get it. Especially when it comes to anime Ami, since she's the image of a "Mary Sue" in my mind. But that's just me.
Maybe it's because she wears blue.
 

Moonstone

Lapis Lunaris
Jan 27, 2016
61
0
0
#15
Now Michiru? There's a Sue if ever I saw one. Everything comes naturally and perfectly to her every time, because she was written as the antithesis of Usagi, the utter scatterbrain.

I'm convinced that if you sat Ami and Michiru down with an hour's worth of calculus problems, Michiru would hand them in in less time, while Ami would take the full hour and go over everything twice worried that she got one wrong.

And if you gave them both a brand new musical instrument, Michiru would be playing serenades on her first shot while Ami would be furiously looking through music books trying to learn about notes and pitch.

Michiru's complete lack of a learning curve is what makes her far more Sue than Ami.
 

meekxthree

Lapis Lunaris
Dec 18, 2014
496
3
0
#16
As much as I love all the girls, Ami is probably my least favourite of the inner senshi. (I favour the inners over the outers so she's about 6th on my list of the girls)

I've never really been sure why. I know that in PGSM it's because she's generally just annoying, in the 90s anime she was also pretty annoying IMO, but in the other adaptions I'm not sure why I still don't like her as much as the others. Perhaps it's because she is the least complex of the characters. She is very very unique, as are all the girls, but I feel as though maybe her personality type is the least conflicting/most common amongst other anime/TV shows. Quiet, shy, anxious, smart, nerdy, get's bullied for being smart. I don't know, perhaps that's why.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love her despite that, but I've never really understood why she's such a fan favourite.
 

Moonstone

Lapis Lunaris
Jan 27, 2016
61
0
0
#17
I'd definitely call Ami the least complex character because she's so strongly tied to a stock Japanese archetype that it's difficult to make her anything more. She's a young teenager who lives to study, and not for the love of learning but because she's just got to be that doctor!

None of the other girls do that; they've got social lives. They have to drag Ami out to most fun things, and even then she often brings a book with her. It's one thing to call Ami emotionally shy, or introverted, but the fact that her greatest love when not attending school is to study more, while her friends take studying more relaxed and still get by, speaks to Ami's lack of depth.

I mean, an entire special was devoted to her that might as well have been called Never Saw it Coming! Someone Wants a Hot Piece of Ami-chan! For "normal" stereotypical girl things like crushes, Ami's a freak and gets patronized. And when someone like Ryo is staring her in the face, she just doesn't get it, and she needs her friends to smack her upside the head.

I think to really like Ami, you have to except her for what she is and nothing more. She doesn't have much a developed character at all, but that simplicity can also be likable.
 

Mamo Two-Face

Lapis Lunaris
Feb 12, 2012
995
3
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#18
I like Ami for what it's worth, she isn't my favorite character of Sailor Moon, but I do like her,and I think previous posters have said a lot about the character and what made the character appeal to fans, or what made her boring or annoying for others, not the case for me.

I'd like to add that episodes with more focus on her in the 90's anime were among the best to me.

And let's not forget the PGSM "Darkury" :)
 

Moonstone

Lapis Lunaris
Jan 27, 2016
61
0
0
#19
Oh god Darkury gives me liiiiiife. I just wish it would have been more involved than simple brainwashing. I wish we could have seen Ami snap. Where she's not only lonely from being neglected, she's also jealous of her friends' lives, and being an outcast. Can you imagine sweet sensitive Ami-chan choosing evil to give her power and get back at everyone, and then kicking their butts in a fight The ostracized nerd gets revenge by joining the bad guys. Now that's awesome.
 

Rika-Chicchi

Staff member
Site Admin
May 7, 2009
37,485
982
665
#20
Moonstone said:
Oh god Darkury gives me liiiiiife. I just wish it would have been more involved than simple brainwashing. I wish we could have seen Ami snap. Where she's not only lonely from being neglected, she's also jealous of her friends' lives, and being an outcast. Can you imagine sweet sensitive Ami-chan choosing evil to give her power and get back at everyone, and then kicking their butts in a fight The ostracized nerd gets revenge by joining the bad guys. Now that's awesome.
I've always thought Kunzite didn't exactly brainwash her, but simply released what'd long been (severely) repressed & hidden deep inside her mind. :)