What Did Naoko Actually Say?

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Sep 8, 2011
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#21
I think her problem may be (and I'm guessing) that the Starlights were made prominent characters and the main faces of Sailor Stars. Usagi and Minako disguise was a one off but we are taking three minor manga characters and sticking them in front and marketing them like dudes, and not only that, lets kill Naoko's dream man so we can ship a Sailor Senshi from another Galaxy who is disguised like a dude as her new potential love interest. If I was the creator, I'd be a bit surprised and irritated by this as well. Granted, Usagi doesn't give in, but still, it's annoying.

There is nothing wrong with them using this disguise to elude enemies but the way the anime blasts the Starlights as if it's their show is a bit of a meh.

Either way, the last few episodes of Stars were great!
But all of that are- more or less -Naoko's ideas. She killed Mamo-chan early on (the anime keeps it vague till the final battle), she made Fighter fall for Usagi (Seiya even kisses Usagi). The 90s anime ended before manga and its obvious that the creators worked in advance which means they had about half of the manga material to work wth. And in the first half of the manga Starlights are very prominent so its not surprising that the 90s anime made them so important. Naoko gave them transformations, introductions and unique attacks - things previously reserved only for big characters.

Usagi,and Minako crossdresser as men.The starlight s were physical men.That's the big difference !
From what we know Usagi and Minako did use magic to change their gender. Same with Nephrite. Its never stated as a dress up. On top of that -correct me if im wrong- the manga NEVER states if Starights just dress up or use magic to pretend boys. I think only TinNyanko implies they're dressing up as boys but its never confirmed by the manga itself. Only Naoko herself later on said it. So its possible the anime creators thought they were supposed to use magic before it was too late and Naoko said they were supposed to just dress up.

Magic makes more sense in so many ways though.
1. They were supposed to be a boyband, surrounded by many fans and many people in general, being in the spotlight the whole time. Thats already risky
2. Naoko send them to school where they were surrounded by all their fans at all times (!). Can you imagine if Justin Bieber suddenly started going to a regular school? Young fans would go nuts. The risk of Starlights real gender being exposed by other people was HUGE. Specially druing PE.
3. As previously stated Naoko was using magic to play with gender swap in the past so using her own idea just seems pratctical.
 

Clow

Lumen Cinereum
Jul 29, 2012
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#22
I have not read the "Sailor Moon" manga in a long time, but if memory doesn't fail me, male characters are poorly developed and Naoko focuses all of her writing on women. What I got from the manga is that women can be and do anything, including being lovers and crossdressing as men, but they are still, biologically, women. It is a manga about women.
 

Rika-Chicchi

Staff member
Site Admin
May 7, 2009
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#23
I have not read the "Sailor Moon" manga in a long time, but if memory doesn't fail me, male characters are poorly developed and Naoko focuses all of her writing on women. What I got from the manga is that women can be and do anything, including being lovers and crossdressing as men, but they are still, biologically, women. It is a manga about women.
Agreed - it's a shojo, not shonen, manga afterall & that's precisely why. :)
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#24
So, like everyone else, I'd always been under the impression that the reason Naoko stopped working on PQ Angels was Kodansha lost several pages of its manuscript. This is what I'd always heard, so I assumed it to be true. However, upon reading Alex Glover's translation of Naoko's "Return-to-Society PUNCH!" series for the first time, that doesn't seem to be the case (assuming his translation is accurate):


Naoko: I don't have any more material! This is too much! I'm worn out, so I can only draw strange names and pictures.​
Narration: For the new serial, PQ Angels, I was exhausted after four chapters, and ended part one.​

Sounds like Naoko decided to put the series on hiatus because she just ran out of steam.


Manuscripts Missing Punch!
Narration: In the fall of '97...
Osabu: We looked, but they're gone, so we can't make a book.​
Narration: The crystallization of our blood, sweat, and tears as manga artists, the manuscripts I cut into my life to draw... They lost them!​
Osabu: I'm looking for them now.​
Comment: Every time he called it was like that.​
Osabu: I'll get in touch with you again.​
Comment: Never heard from him.​
Osabu: It's nothing to get angry about. Even though I'm busy at the magazine, I'm looking for them.​
Comment: Always so wonderful.​
Narration: Everyone was very optimistic.​
Kodansha: They just got mixed in somewhere. They'll turn up eventually. (Anyway, get to work.)​
Anime company: We gave them back to Kodansha.​
Comment: But there are like seven pages of manuscript lost.​
Toy company: Since a subsidiary lost them, we don't know.​
New boss and Nakayoshi: It's not our responsibility, we don't know.​
[Naoko punches them all into the sky.]​
Narration: Since it wasn't settled, I thought I'd go to the company myself and look for them...​
Osabu: Don't bother coming!​
Narration: I waited for a year, but there was no communication, there was no apology. Just when I consulted with the office chief (a great person in shoujo manga), they told me they'd give me an apology, but...​
Comment: In the fall of '98, the company building moved, and while they were at it, everyone was sure to look for them.​
Chief editor: But, we can't find them after all. Don't give up.​
Office chief: This happens quite often.​
Comment: This still sticks in my heart.​
Narration: There was nothing I could do about the lost pieces, but I wanted to deal with it clearly sooner.​
Comment: I got mad when they lost the seven pages and made demands. Nakayoshi is cold. *sniff*​
Narration: But it happens quite often, does it... To determine if it happens quite often, I decided to try working for Shueisha.​
Naoko: Saruko, that's why I decided to take this job!​


According to this, the missing manuscript pages were lost in the fall of 1997, which is when PQ Angels began its serialization. While it's possible the missing pages were from one of the first chapters, it seems highly unlikely that they were from the last chapter as is sometimes claimed, and it seems doubtful that they were from PQ Angels at all as 1) Naoko never specifies what manga the pages were from; and 2) The loss of the pages was not the reason she stopped work on the series. Furthermore, the pages were apparently given to an anime company (Toei?) and a toy company (Bandai?). While it's been rumored there were early plans for a PQ Angels anime, and while some early promotional merchandise was made, it doesn't quite add up to me that it's PQ Angels she's talking about. It makes more sense that it would be Sailor Moon or Sailor V (maaaaaaybe an earlier work, like The Cherry Project), in which case they either eventually recovered the missing pages or have had to use copies rather than the originals ever since.

In any event, I'm now skeptical that it was PQ Angels's manuscript that had some of its pages misplaced. What do you guys think?
 

Rachael

Lapis Lunaris
Jun 2, 2011
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#25
I think one of the reasons that Takeuchi objected to the change was that the anime writers seemed interested in creating some romantic tension between Seiya and Usagi, mimicking the relationship Usagi and Mamoru had in the first season. In the manga, Seiya doesn't tease Usagi, and isn't romantically interested in her so much as drawn to her because she resembles Kakyuu. (Even when she kisses Usagi, it seems more like a comforting kiss than a romantic kiss.) Usagi, too, is drawn to Seiya because she reminds her of Mamoru. In the anime, Seiya is more aggressive (and obnoxious, in my opinion) in pursuing Usagi, who's not really interested.

Furthermore, it almost feels like the writers didn't feel like it was acceptable for there to be any romantic tension between Usagi and a woman. Haruka would playfully flirt with Usagi sometimes, but she never seemed genuinely interested in her, or in anyone but Michiru. (Even though she said "I'm not joking," she obviously was.) But here's another woman being interested in Usagi, and we can't have that.

And before anyone says that the writers can't be homophobic because Haruka and Michiru's relationship remained intact, that's not necessarily true. I can't tell you how many Sailor Moon fans I've seen who have accepted Haruka and Michiru's relationship, and maybe even Kunzite and Zoisite's, but seem repulsed by the idea of any other characters being gay or bi. Takeuchi at least seemed to suggest, in the manga, that Usagi's sexuality was a bit fluid, seeing how she was literally looking at Rei with hearts in her eyes and getting mad when Luna distracted her and caused her to lose sight of her. (And let's not even get started on that Minako/Usagi drawing...).
 

Rika-Chicchi

Staff member
Site Admin
May 7, 2009
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#26
Takeuchi at least seemed to suggest, in the manga, that Usagi's sexuality was a bit fluid, seeing how she was literally looking at Rei with hearts in her eyes and getting mad when Luna distracted her and caused her to lose sight of her. (And let's not even get started on that Minako/Usagi drawing...).
Perhaps Usagi is actually pansexual. XD
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#27
Furthermore, it almost feels like the writers didn't feel like it was acceptable for there to be any romantic tension between Usagi and a woman. Haruka would playfully flirt with Usagi sometimes, but she never seemed genuinely interested in her, or in anyone but Michiru. (Even though she said "I'm not joking," she obviously was.) But here's another woman being interested in Usagi, and we can't have that.

And before anyone says that the writers can't be homophobic because Haruka and Michiru's relationship remained intact, that's not necessarily true. I can't tell you how many Sailor Moon fans I've seen who have accepted Haruka and Michiru's relationship, and maybe even Kunzite and Zoisite's, but seem repulsed by the idea of any other characters being gay or bi. Takeuchi at least seemed to suggest, in the manga, that Usagi's sexuality was a bit fluid, seeing how she was literally looking at Rei with hearts in her eyes and getting mad when Luna distracted her and caused her to lose sight of her. (And let's not even get started on that Minako/Usagi drawing...).
The Sailor Moon anime brought a lot of LGBT representation, and you're suggesting its writers were homophobes because Usagi was straight? :|
 
Sep 6, 2014
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#28
The Sailor Moon anime brought a lot of LGBT representation, and you're suggesting its writers were homophobes because Usagi was straight? :|
Usagi gagged in the season 1 memorial at the mention of Zoicite and Kunzite’s relationship

Fish Eye is conflated with being a pedophile

Usagi freaks out over the idea of Mako being gay or bi.

No, I don’t think the writers were homophobes haha why would anyone think that?
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#29
Usagi gagged in the season 1 memorial at the mention of Zoicite and Kunzite’s relationship

Fish Eye is conflated with being a pedophile

Usagi freaks out over the idea of Mako being gay or bi.

No, I don’t think the writers were homophobes haha why would anyone think that?
No, they weren't homophobes, considering this was a show made in Japan in the early 90s. Even with those flaws, it's still a pretty progressive show for its time and age.
The only way to regard BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON as a homophobic TV show is if you're looking at it with SJW lens.
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#30
Not all representation is good representation. Given that the series' queer characters tend to be villains, and given the general hetero-sexist mentality espoused by the protagonists on several occasions, I'd say that, yeah, the show's writers probably had some homophobic views. Just because they weren't advocating conversion therapy or gay bashing doesn't mean they weren't being homophobic; bigotry comes in a variety of forms.
 

Rachael

Lapis Lunaris
Jun 2, 2011
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#31
The Sailor Moon anime brought a lot of LGBT representation, and you're suggesting its writers were homophobes because Usagi was straight? :|
Prejudices exist on a spectrum. It's possible to be relatively accepting of gay relationships while still holding on to some homophobic and heterosexist ideas.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#32
Not all representation is good representation. Given that the series' queer characters tend to be villains, and given the general hetero-sexist mentality espoused by the protagonists on several occasions, I'd say that, yeah, the show's writers probably had some homophobic views. Just because they weren't advocating conversion therapy or gay bashing doesn't mean they weren't being homophobic; bigotry comes in a variety of forms.
I'm not denying they had some homophobic views. I'm saying they were not homophobes considering the time and country they lived in. They made Haruka and Michiru's love a deal much bigger than it was in the manga. Kunzite and Zoisite's love is humanized and beautiful, even though they are villains. They even had the Starlights switch genders.
And about hetero-sexism... The vast majority of people were hetero-sexist in the 90s, and even in modern times. The characters were just reflecting Japanese culture through these comments.
 
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Sep 6, 2014
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#33
No, they weren't homophobes, considering this was a show made in Japan in the early 90s. Even with those flaws, it's still a pretty progressive show for its time and age.
“It was made in this place and this time period” doesn’t make it not homophobic. That’s as dumb as saying minstrel shows weren’t racist based on the time they were en vogue in the United States

The only way to regard BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON as a homophobic TV show is if you're looking at it with SJW lens.
Is Sailor Moon a homophobic show? No.

Did people working on the series clearly hold homophobic views? Yes.

Also dismissing any criticism you don’t like just because its toward a series as love as sjw lense is a weak ass argument.
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#34
People have free will. People can think and feel for themselves. People can get educated on issues unfamiliar to them. If your first response to encountering someone with an unfamiliar identity - be it racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, whatever - is hatred, fear, or contempt, then that is a you problem. Rational thought and basic empathy are not qualities conditional on a person's historical, cultural, or geographical context. Living and working in '90s Japan may weakly explain the anime staff's latent homophobia, but it by no means excuses it. (The whole ~product of its time~ defense is the absolute worst take on criticizing any piece of media that contains "problematic" content because it does not hold water. Criticizing racism, misogyny, homophobia was not invented last week on social media, contrary to popular belief.) A person's bigoted views don't have to be at 100 for them to merit being labeled as a bigot. I don't think the majority of the anime's staff had an active hatred of queer people, but they clearly weren't troubled by the ignorance-fueled crap they were spewing, as benign as you and others may find it.
 

Tuxedo Kevin

Lumen Cinereum
Nov 22, 2016
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#35
Those Japanese boomers working at Toei... How dare they let our beloved characters spew what is now considered ignorance-fueled crap almost thirty years ago? I feel so triggered by this. :x
 

MementoNepenthe

Aurorae Lunares
Mar 8, 2012
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#36
They didn't let our beloved characters spew "what is now" considered ignorance-fueled crap. That crap was considered ignorance-fueled thirty years ago, too. Yes, even in Japan. You don't think there were real LGBTQ+ people living in Japan in 1992 who had or would have had a few critiques of the show?

Clearly we are not going to end up on the same page here, so let's agree to disagree. I've had this conversation on here more times than I can count and I'm tired.
 
May 31, 2009
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Tankei Kingdom, Kinmoku
#37
Usagi,and Minako crossdresser as men.The starlight s were physical men.That's the big difference !
How do we know it was just cross-dressing and their sex wasn't changed when they transformed? They physically looked like men in terms of facial features and body proportions instead of looking like women wearing men's clothing.

While it's been rumored there were early plans for a PQ Angels anime, and while some early promotional merchandise was made
That is why I believe the lost material was from PQ Angels. I'm surprised the missing pages were only seven. I assumed it was like twenty or more pages. Seven is not a lot. She could have recreated them from memory more or less and without too much work. It seems Naoko used the missing pages as an excuse to give up as she lost motivation.