What were Saphir's true feelings for Demand?

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What did Saphir feel for his brother?

  • Romantic Love

    Votes: 9 42.9%
  • Just Jealousy

    Votes: 12 57.1%

  • Total voters
    21
Jun 17, 2019
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#21
There are many forms of love besides romantic/sexual.
Then why did DIC cut/change these two scenes if it was truly intended to be a showing of familial affection?


That is one finely animated shot. Then again, them being not blood-related brothers really doesn't do much about the incest aspect, since one of the biggest objections to incest is the whole reproductive factor that wouldn't apply here. If they were raised together it's still icky, in my opinion, and also distracting and redundant given that Demande already has one person interested in him
Another big problem with incest is that it frequently comes along with large age gaps and the power dynamics that result from that - that's really where the whole "ick" factor comes into play. Here though I don't really see an issue since based on flashbacks it's obvious that Demande and Saphir don't have that large of a gap to begin with. It's smaller than 90's anime Usagi and Mamoru's, that's for damn sure:P Demande can't be more than 3 years older than Saphir max, so the fact that they're already peers makes the incest aspect a lot more palatable. Plus Saphir's definitely not shy about letting his opinion be known and speaking out against Demande, he doesn't have blind hero-worship of his brother which also takes care of the power-dynamic aspect of it. I can understand why it'd still feel icky though since most societies have socialized us to feel an aversion to incest.

Regarding Esmeraude, to be fair I never got the sense that she seriously loved Demande like Saphir did. Her love seemed very shallow, like she just wanted Demande cause of the power and privilege it could give her by letting her become Queen. She sure was quick to flirt with other guys after all,, as demonstrated here.



So no I don't believe it feels redundant if one member of the Clan has more of a silly, schoolgirl crush while the other has a deeper longing for the same person.


If they intended for Saphir to be in love with his brother, why put him in a relationship with Petz?
He wasn't ever said to be in a relationship with Petz though, that was just a dub invention. In the original it's only ever mentioned that Petz was in love with him, but they never outright confirm whether those feelings were reciprocated.


Why none of the sisters have a crush on Demande? Koan was into Rubeus and Petz to Saphir.
Now that WOULD be redundant. :P


I personally think Saphir was jealous of his brother at times.
Define jealous here. Do you mean jealous of his brother or jealous over him? (i.e. jealous of Serenity taking Demande's affection) Cause there is a difference.
 

Nadia

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#22
Then why did DIC cut/change these two scenes if it was truly intended to be a showing of familial affection?
As Sabrblade wrote, it's because it was an ill-fitted joke.

For the first scene, because DiC wanted to present a show that did not have hint of same-gendered romantic affection, and a joke like that wouldn't fly on television back then because gay and incest "jokes" weren't something to be shown to children.

Notably VIz subtly altered the banter between Esmeraude and Saphir, too, for the opposite reason. Nowadays a joke like that wouldn't fly among general audiences because it would be demeaning to same-gendered relationships, and Viz is trying to promote the show are more LGBT positive than it actually was (as it notably removed a lot of character homophobia that was present in other episodes).

When both an old dub and a new dub 20-years later write around content, it's a sign that the content itself is problematic. Given that neither DiC nor Viz changed much of any other Saphir/Demand dialogue, it indicated this one-off instance was your standard wacky, misplaced humor for a serious scene because incest and gay incest is supposedly inherently "funny" to the intended audience (as well as to make Esmeraude look stupid). It doesn't help that for brothers, Demande and Saphir don't look that much alike, which would sell the idea a lot more.

As far as DiC cutting of that pretty shot, while there may have been a concern about content (since DiC did err heavily to the "no homo" side), there is also the issue of time. TV-aired old dub episodes are shorter than the original episodes, even when accounting for things like the eye catches and the beginning and end themes, so more commercials can be inserted. A shot like that could end up on the cutting room floor even if nothing were objectionable about it if every second mattered.

Define jealous here. Do you mean jealous of his brother or jealous over him? (i.e. jealous of Serenity taking Demande's affection) Cause there is a difference.
From the context of the poll, I guess Star Angel Haruki presumably meant jealous of him, although that phrasing could also indicate jealous over him as in "a fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions" sense. You can definitely be protective of someone without wanting to be intimate with them...especially your family.
 
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#23
Then why did DIC cut/change these two scenes if it was truly intended to be a showing of familial affection?



Another big problem with incest is that it frequently comes along with large age gaps and the power dynamics that result from that - that's really where the whole "ick" factor comes into play. Here though I don't really see an issue since based on flashbacks it's obvious that Demande and Saphir don't have that large of a gap to begin with. It's smaller than 90's anime Usagi and Mamoru's, that's for damn sure:P Demande can't be more than 3 years older than Saphir max, so the fact that they're already peers makes the incest aspect a lot more palatable. Plus Saphir's definitely not shy about letting his opinion be known and speaking out against Demande, he doesn't have blind hero-worship of his brother which also takes care of the power-dynamic aspect of it. I can understand why it'd still feel icky though since most societies have socialized us to feel an aversion to incest.

Regarding Esmeraude, to be fair I never got the sense that she seriously loved Demande like Saphir did. Her love seemed very shallow, like she just wanted Demande cause of the power and privilege it could give her by letting her become Queen. She sure was quick to flirt with other guys after all,, as demonstrated here.



So no I don't believe it feels redundant if one member of the Clan has more of a silly, schoolgirl crush while the other has a deeper longing for the same person.



He wasn't ever said to be in a relationship with Petz though, that was just a dub invention. In the original it's only ever mentioned that Petz was in love with him, but they never outright confirm whether those feelings were reciprocated.



Now that WOULD be redundant. :P



Define jealous here. Do you mean jealous of his brother or jealous over him? (i.e. jealous of Serenity taking Demande's affection) Cause there is a difference.
Yeah, maybe because we got Esmeraude so there is no need for another sister to fall in love with him. I don't think the other 2 would fit his type though.

I do agree that Esmeraude's love was shallow and filled with power like Beryl, but it surely is strong and made her more tragic than Beryl did.
 
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#24
As Sabrblade wrote, it's because it was an ill-fitted joke.

For the first scene, because DiC wanted to present a show that did not have hint of same-gendered romantic affection, and a joke like that wouldn't fly on television back then because gay and incest "jokes" weren't something to be shown to children.

Notably VIz subtly altered the banter between Esmeraude and Saphir, too, for the opposite reason. Nowadays a joke like that wouldn't fly among general audiences because it would be demeaning to same-gendered relationships, and Viz is trying to promote the show are more LGBT positive than it actually was (as it notably removed a lot of character homophobia that was present in other episodes).

When both an old dub and a new dub 20-years later write around content, it's a sign that the content itself is problematic. Given that neither DiC nor Viz changed much of any other Saphir/Demand dialogue, it indicated this one-off instance was your standard wacky, misplaced humor for a serious scene because incest and gay incest is supposedly inherently "funny" to the intended audience (as well as to make Esmeraude look stupid). It doesn't help that for brothers, Demande and Saphir don't look that much alike, which would sell the idea a lot more.

As far as DiC cutting of that pretty shot, while there may have been a concern about content (since DiC did err heavily to the "no homo" side), there is also the issue of time. TV-aired old dub episodes are shorter than the original episodes, even when accounting for things like the eye catches and the beginning and end themes, so more commercials can be inserted. A shot like that could end up on the cutting room floor even if nothing were objectionable about it if every second mattered.
Wait that was supposed to be a joke? I never once interpreted it that way, to me that scene always read as serious and sincere considering the tone used. Usually moments pointing to comedic in the 90's anime would be much more slap-sticky, high energy and have the appropriate music accompanying it rather than the absolute dead silence we got in that background for that scene. Interesting you saw it that way and now I really do wonder if that moment was supposed to come off as humorous but might've missed the mark.

You bring up a good point about the VIZ dub though, I still remember how they changed the entire context surrounding the conversation regarding Mako's crush on Haruka in episode 96 and I'm still not sure how I ultimately feel about that. To me censorship is censorship whether it's coming from the Right (DIC/Cloverway) or the Left (VIZ). I feel that when you allow for any kind of censorship, even if it's for "good reasons" like getting rid of outdated humor it leads the way into a slippery slope.
 
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Masquerade

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#27
From the context of the poll, I guess Star Angel Haruki presumably meant jealous of him, although that phrasing could also indicate jealous over him as in "a fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions" sense. You can definitely be protective of someone without wanting to be intimate with them...especially your family.
I'm the OP, and "just jealousy" meant that he didn't necessarily want to screw with his own brother; he just didn't appreciate the idea of him falling in love with women. :P
 
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Clow

Stella
Jul 29, 2012
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#29
I wouldn’t be surprised if Saphir is in love with Demande.

As discussed before, all gay men in the “Sailor Moon” franchise are villains. :|
 
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#30
I'm the OP, and "just jealousy" meant that he didn't necessarily want to screw with his own brother; he just didn't appreciate the idea of him falling in love with women. :P
I don't know about you but I've never heard of someone getting jealous outside of romantic situations. I can't even comprehend how that works, since when is anyone ever jealous of a friend or family member having a significant other? Now envious sure, that's a thing, but envy is a different feeling from jealousy.

It's just wholesome brotherly love.
Sure, so "brotherly" that DIC just had to go and cut those two scenes out, nothing to see here folks, just completely platonic and innocent familial affection. :mischief:


I wouldn’t be surprised if Saphir is in love with Demande.

As discussed before, all gay men in the “Sailor Moon” franchise are villains. :|
To be completely fair, does Saphir in the anime even really fully qualify as a bad guy? (And the 90's anime is the version we're talking about here, since little to no subtext exists between them in the manga) Surely you can say he along with the Ayakashi Sisters were the most sympathetic members of the BMC, and they all manage to get redeemed. Heck, Saphir never even goes out attacking himself, at least none that we ever see onscreen.

As problematic as it is that a good portion of the 90''s anime SM villains were gay men, they also tended to be the ones portrayed most sympathetically when you compare them to their straight colleagues. Fish-Eye for example was easily the best out of the pretty morally reprehensible Amazon Trio, and was the only one of them that actually earned their redemption as well. Kunzite also wasn't so bad, the only truly villainous gay man you could say this trope applies to is Zoicite, who really is a snake down to his core, yet even with him one could say that his great love for Kunzite is his one redeeming, humanizing quality.
 

Zyvik

Lumen Cinererum
Oct 26, 2014
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#31
Sure, so "brotherly" that DIC just had to go and cut those two scenes out, nothing to see here folks, just completely platonic and innocent familial affection. :mischief:
Exactly. Just because American culture is so sex-obsessed doesn't mean everyone else is :-P

As discussed before, all gay men in the “Sailor Moon” franchise are villains. :|
To be fair, Fiore (if he counts) was only brainwashed. And there was also that designer dude targeted by Fish Eye in SuperS.
 
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#32
To be fair, Fiore (if he counts) was only brainwashed. And there was also that designer dude targeted by Fish Eye in SuperS.
Oh yes, I forgot about them! Fiore and that Gay Designer couple from SuperS definitely count. See? Yet some more sympathetic portrayals of gay men in the anime, the Designer Couple were never even villains and just ordinary VOTD.
 

Nadia

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#33
I'm the OP, and "just jealousy" meant that he didn't necessarily want to screw with his own brother; he just didn't appreciate the idea of him falling in love with women. :P
I understand. I was referencing Star Angel Haruki, because I took Tsundereshipper's reply to a quote (at the end) to be a reply to that specific post and not the poll overall. It was still wrong of me to presume what you initially meant by the poll, so I apologize.

I don't know about you but I've never heard of someone getting jealous outside of romantic situations. I can't even comprehend how that works, since when is anyone ever jealous of a friend or family member having a significant other? Now envious sure, that's a thing, but envy is a different feeling from jealousy.
Jealousy need not be romantic and "jealous" has the secondary meaning of "fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions." Kenji was momentarily displeased that Usagi is possibly seeing Mamoru and it's treated as just the standard reaction of a protective dad. While generally the word used these days is "possessive," once upon a time, the non-romantic version was the primary meaning of "jealousy" due to language drift.

To be completely fair, does Saphir in the anime even really fully qualify as a bad guy? (And the 90's anime is the version we're talking about here, since little to no subtext exists between them in the manga) Surely you can say he along with the Ayakashi Sisters were the most sympathetic members of the BMC, and they all manage to get redeemed. Heck, Saphir never even goes out attacking himself, at least none that we ever see onscreen.
Saphir actively helped schemes to kill a little girl, as well as provided the tools to enable a mass brainwashing and invasion of a defenseless 20th century Earth. He's a bad guy who only "reforms" at the very end, and he doesn't even truly reform. He could have, upon seeing the Sisters living happily as humans, actually provided some intelligence and told the Sailor Guardians what was up if he really wanted to make up for what he did. Instead, he decides to rush headfirst into trouble because Takeuchi doesn't let her villains live and the anime was hamstrung by her endgame for the arc. Whether it be brotherly love or something more, the point is he was so Demande-centered that he didn't stop to think "What can I do to make right what I did wrong?"

As problematic as it is that a good portion of the 90''s anime SM villains were gay men, they also tended to be the ones portrayed most sympathetically when you compare them to their straight colleagues. Fish-Eye for example was easily the best out of the pretty morally reprehensible Amazon Trio, and was the only one of them that actually earned their redemption as well. Kunzite also wasn't so bad, the only truly villainous gay man you could say this trope applies to is Zoicite, who really is a snake down to his core, yet even with him one could say that his great love for Kunzite is his one redeeming, humanizing quality.
All three of them are flavors of bad, but Fisheye isn't really meant to be seen sympathetically prior to "Redemption Time." He's trying to trick straight men into being interested in him (pandering to "gay panic" and treating it as a joke), and like Tiger's Eye he actually went after a kid. Let's also not forget that he even took over Tiger's Eye target of Mako and the one time Tiger's Eye actually started having genuine feelings, Fisheye intervened and outed Tiger's Eye as a villain. Of your three prominent gay characters in series you have a sneaky sissy, a Straight Gay seme , and a "trap." This is not good representation, even if you make the argument bad representation is better than none.

To be fair, all of the redeemed villains are like this, even ones with understandable motives, so FishEye isn't worse than the other villains, but he isn't better, either.
 
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#35
Instead, he decides to rush headfirst into trouble because Takeuchi doesn't let her villains live and the anime was hamstrung by her endgame for the arc.
Takeuchi did not write the anime. She wrote the manga. The anime (and, by extension, Saphir's death in it) was written by other people.
 
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#36
Jealousy need not be romantic and "jealous" has the secondary meaning of "fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions." Kenji was momentarily displeased that Usagi is possibly seeing Mamoru and it's treated as just the standard reaction of a protective dad. While generally the word used these days is "possessive," once upon a time, the non-romantic version was the primary meaning of "jealousy" due to language drift.
I've always seen Kenji's rage over the possibility of Usagi getting a boyfriend as playing up the old "overprotective dad trope" which is vastly different from jealousy imo. I don't know, in my mind jealousy and overprotectiveness are two completely different things. Jealousy is when you're afraid your romantic interest prefers someone else over you and you feel you can't compete and/or you're upset that you're no longer the one and only person in their lives. Overprotectiveness is just that, overprotectiveness. You're not trying to compete with anyone when you're overprotective, you're just trying to make sure the person doesn't get taken advantage of and that they're safe.



Saphir actively helped schemes to kill a little girl, as well as provided the tools to enable a mass brainwashing and invasion of a defenseless 20th century Earth. He's a bad guy who only "reforms" at the very end, and he doesn't even truly reform. He could have, upon seeing the Sisters living happily as humans, actually provided some intelligence and told the Sailor Guardians what was up if he really wanted to make up for what he did. Instead, he decides to rush headfirst into trouble because Takeuchi doesn't let her villains live and the anime was hamstrung by her endgame for the arc. Whether it be brotherly love or something more, the point is he was so Demande-centered that he didn't stop to think "What can I do to make right what I did wrong?"
(Is Earth really so defenseless when the Senshi are there? The BMC are from the future where they already dealt with the Senshi during their attack on CT, surely they must've known they would've run into them eventually)

Actually even before the episode where he dies we constantly see Saphir questioning things. He's always seen lecturing his brother on how he shouldn't trust Wiseman and that the attack on 20th Century Earth is frivolous and unneeded, he outright states that they should just be focusing on their initial goal of trying to obtain justice for their ancestors and move back to the Earth. The fact that he doesn't agree with his clan's methods already puts him in a morally grey light rather than outright "bad guy." (Manga!Saphir on the other hand is an out and out evil dude right down to his core though) In fact, I kinda see him similar to Ail and En's situation. One could argue Ail and En weren't truly bad guys either, rather they were simply doing what they did in order to survive. It's kinda a similar situation with the BMC/Saphir in particular (before Wiseman came around at least) Nemesis is said to be an inhospitable planet not suited for life, thus it's safe to assume that life on Nemesis is dreary at best, and downright misreable at worst. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire BMC was starving and every day on that planet was a fight for survival.

The fact that Saphir was never able to be corrupted by Wiseman and was always questioning him even further adds to the notion that he was at most, more of an accomplice rather than actually evil.



All three of them are flavors of bad, but Fisheye isn't really meant to be seen sympathetically prior to "Redemption Time." He's trying to trick straight men into being interested in him (pandering to "gay panic" and treating it as a joke), and like Tiger's Eye he actually went after a kid. Let's also not forget that he even took over Tiger's Eye target of Mako and the one time Tiger's Eye actually started having genuine feelings, Fisheye intervened and outed Tiger's Eye as a villain. Of your three prominent gay characters in series you have a sneaky sissy, a Straight Gay seme , and a "trap." This is not good representation, even if you make the argument bad representation is better than none.

To be fair, all of the redeemed villains are like this, even ones with understandable motives, so FishEye isn't worse than the other villains, but he isn't better, either.
I like to pretend that episode with the kid never happened, it was just bad all around. This is true, but Fish-Eye was still the only one of the Trio to get a serious redemption arc and I feel that counts for something. Those three aren't the only gay characters in the anime either, in fact in that very season we get a civilian gay designer couple who Fish-Eye ends up targeting. Was Fish-Eye's portrayal problematic? Undoubtedly, but one has to remember it was from a Japan of the 1990's and Fish-Eye was an attempt at playing up that old "Okama" stereotype.
 

Nadia

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#37
Takeuchi did not write the anime. She wrote the manga. The anime (and, by extension, Saphir's death in it) was written by other people.
She didn't, but while the manga and the anime were two separate stories, the anime did draw upon the manga at least with regard to ultimate fates and plot developments, even when it went in its own direction. By the time Saphir even appeared there was an obvious attempt to get the anime to mirror the developments the manga.

I can't remember if you or someone else pointed this out (it wasn't something I noticed on my own), but most of the redemption stories in Sailor Moon were anime filler inventions, and this is especially true of Sailor Moon R. By the time Saphir had a more active role in the anime episodes, his manga fate had been sealed and there was no more room for fillers. If Takeuchi says he dies, he has to die in the adaptation.
 
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foenyanko

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Sep 21, 2010
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#38
Hmm. I'd never actually considered this particular pairing. Been a long time since I've seen R so I hadn't recalled those scenes. I like the idea of them as a pair. The latter hair sweep scene does seem a little more than familial to me.
 

Nadia

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#39
I've always seen Kenji's rage over the possibility of Usagi getting a boyfriend as playing up the old "overprotective dad trope" which is vastly different from jealousy imo. I don't know, in my mind jealousy and overprotectiveness are two completely different things. Jealousy is when you're afraid your romantic interest prefers someone else over you and you feel you can't compete and/or you're upset that you're no longer the one and only person in their lives. Overprotectiveness is just that, overprotectiveness. You're not trying to compete with anyone when you're overprotective, you're just trying to make sure the person doesn't get taken advantage of and that they're safe.
Both jealousy and overprotectiveness are different forms of possessive behavior - basically, you feel someone is encroaching and taking away someone that is under your custody. Overprotectiveness, even if coming from an understandable place, is also unhealthy. Part of having relationships -- and I mean anything from familial to romantic -- with people means that they need their own space to make mistakes. Usagi is 14. She's not 6. It's one thing for her father to caution and even cajole her for a lack of judgement, or to voice his displeasure to Mamoru privately. It's another for him to start yelling at a man because he's going to take his daughter away. Again, the impulse is sympathetic (Mamoru is waaay too old for her, I agree)...but still wrong.

What you wrote is how jealous is defined generally. However, jealous still has that lesser-used meaning of "overly vigilant." In all definitions, there is an animosity paired with a lack of exclusivity.


Actually even before the episode where he dies we constantly see Saphir questioning things. He's always seen lecturing his brother on how he shouldn't trust Wiseman and that the attack on 20th Century Earth is frivolous and unneeded, he outright states that they should just be focusing on their initial goal of trying to obtain justice for their ancestors and move back to the Earth. The fact that he doesn't agree with his clan's methods already puts him in a morally grey light rather than outright "bad guy." (Manga!Saphir on the other hand is an out and out evil dude right down to his core though) In fact, I kinda see him similar to Ail and En's situation. One could argue Ail and En weren't truly bad guys either, rather they were simply doing what they did in order to survive. It's kinda a similar situation with the BMC/Saphir in particular (before Wiseman came around at least) Nemesis is said to be an inhospitable planet not suited for life, thus it's safe to assume that life on Nemesis is dreary at best, and downright misreable at worst. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire BMC was starving and every day on that planet was a fight for survival.
Saphir initially doesn't agree with wasting resources going to the past, but he still helped, and in episode 84, he actually did argue for getting revenge as an alternative to Demande's increasing obsession with Serenity (and I don't think he was pulling it as a last resort). He is also wholly in on the use of the Malefic Black Crystal until it seems starts to unsafe; he wasn't advocating negotiations but focusing on pummeling 30th century Crystal Tokyo. It's only after Wiseman blasts Saphir and Petz tends to him he questions whether or not getting revenge is a good thing.

Again, he was a bad guy. He questioned Wiseman, definitely, and Prince Demande's laser focus on Neo-Queen Serenity. But he never questioned the actual cause until he was on the wrong end of Wiseman's attack.

While the situation of the Black Moon Clan was dire and its implied that negative energy/Dark Power is twisting all their thoughts, it doesn't change that even Saphir was evil in the old anime. Sympathetically evil is still evil.

The fact that Saphir was never able to be corrupted by Wiseman and was always questioning him even further adds to the notion that he was at most, more of an accomplice rather than actually evil.
Being an accomplice to evil is evil. He was swindled enough to believe the best way to get a better life was to attack 30th Century Crystal Tokyo. Given that the attack started the entire mess, Saphir is complicit.

I like to pretend that episode with the kid never happened, it was just bad all around. This is true, but Fish-Eye was still the only one of the Trio to get a serious redemption arc and I feel that counts for something. Those three aren't the only gay characters in the anime either, in fact in that very season we get a civilian gay designer couple who Fish-Eye ends up targeting. Was Fish-Eye's portrayal problematic? Undoubtedly, but one has to remember it was from a Japan of the 1990's and Fish-Eye was an attempt at playing up that old "Okama" stereotype.
"It's a product of it's time" doesn't change that it's bad and damaging now. After all, many fans acknowledge the DiC dub was definitely a product of its time, but do not believe it should exist because of censorship. By that same metric, fans can't let the original off the hook or pretend that the old anime does not have some severe issues in how same-sex attraction is framed.

That there is a gay couple exists in a non antagonistic role is positive, but half of this couple is literally a throwaway VOTD and the other is less than that, and the episode contains the infamous chest scene which gets waaay more problematic with each passing year (yay, gender essentialism). That's like focusing on Princess Rubina - yes, there are more named side characters who are explicitly Gaijin in the old anime than gay - Given that there at minimum is an air of antagonism about every other supporting character who could be considered under the LGBT umbrella, hyperfocusing on their sympathetic traits doesn't make up for their damaging qualities, and firmly assigning Saphir under the umbrella because of an assumed crush on his brother only makes things worse.

Old dub haters: "At least, the original version doesn't have incestuous same sex attraction."

Saphir fans: "Hold my beer."
 
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#40
I like the idea of them as a pair.
Even with the incest it's at least better than the rape train that is Demande/Usagi that's for damn sure! :P At least Saphir would actually consent/the feelings are mutual
"It's a product of it's time" doesn't change that it's bad and damaging now. After all, many fans acknowledge the DiC dub was definitely a product of its time, but do not believe it should exist because of censorship. By that same metric, fans can't let the original off the hook or pretend that the old anime does not have some severe issues in how same-sex attraction is framed.

That there is a gay couple exists in a non antagonistic role is positive, but half of this couple is literally a throwaway VOTD and the other is less than that, and the episode contains the infamous chest scene which gets waaay more problematic with each passing year (yay, gender essentialism). That's like focusing on Princess Rubina - yes, there are more named side characters who are explicitly Gaijin in the old anime than gay - Given that there at minimum is an air of antagonism about every other supporting character who could be considered under the LGBT umbrella, hyperfocusing on their sympathetic traits doesn't make up for their damaging qualities, and firmly assigning Saphir under the umbrella because of an assumed crush on his brother only makes things worse.
There are actually quite a few characters coded as queer in the 90's anime without any antagonistic elements attached to them. 90s anime Makoto for example could be considered bisexual (see the episode where she's crushing on Haruka). Seiya, just by virtue of their gender alone and attraction to Usagi is definitely some flavor of queer. (And no, I don't actually consider the Starlights as an antagonistic force, their antagonism mostly only came about due to the Outers starting up [BLEEP]) Ikuhara is known to be a massive Usagi/Rei shipper (hence the reduction of Mamoru's role in the anime) and there are certainty quite a few shippy scenes between them which would read Rei, who is firmly a good guy, as bi. I don't know, I feel there's enough to balance it out. Though you are right, it's undoubtedly problematic that so many of the confirmed queer characters are some shade of "morally grey" in the 90's anime.


Old dub haters: "At least, the original version doesn't have incestuous same sex attraction."

Saphir fans: "Hold my beer."
To be fair, while I do agree that the "cousins" thing was stupid (If only because they couldn't even try to make it more obvious) I never thought that that somehow made Haruka & Michiru's relationship any more gross or taboo (especially since Cloverway left in all the subtext animation) because like you said, one of the main reasons to be against incest is due to the reproductive factor which cis gay couples obviously don't have. That, and the fact cousin marriage isn't even considered that big of a deal and is actually legal across a great many countries and cultures even till today. (Heck in my own Jewish culture, first cousins marry all the time) So turning Haruka and Michiru into "kissing cousins" did little to stain the old dub in my eyes. On the contrary, now I look back and am in some ways actually grateful to the old dub for that since it's inspired a great deal many fandom memes that I've had a good laugh over.

What's interesting is that in some ways the dub's attempt at "family friendly censorship" turned out to be unintentionally more politically correct than the original's depiction. For example, referring to Fish-Eye as a woman using she/her pronouns even while leaving in that shot of their bare chest pretty much makes dub Fish-Eye a transwoman, which is a vast improvement over the horribly offensive "Okama trap" stereotype the original Japanese was going for. (I personally headcanon Fish-Eye as a transwoman either way)
 
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