Sailor Uranus

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Sailor Uranus
Sailor Moon character
Sailoruranus.jpg
Haruka in her Super Sailor Uranus form, as seen in the anime.
First appearance (See below)
Created by Naoko Takeuchi
Played by (See below)
Profile
Aliases Haruka Tenoh
Princess Uranus
Affiliations Sailor Soldiers
Shadow Galactica
Powers and abilities Generation and manipulation of wind,[1] precognition, sword combat
English adaptation
Name Amara Tenoh (anime only)

Sailor Uranus (セーラーウラヌス Sērā Uranusu?), is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon media franchise. Her alternate identity is Haruka Tenoh (天王 はるか Ten'ō Haruka?, or Amara Tenoh in some English adaptations), a teenage Japanese schoolgirl. Haruka is a member of the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who protect the Solar System from evil.

Sailor Uranus fights alongside her partner and lover Sailor Neptune. She possesses powers associated with the sky, precognition, and sword combat.

Profile[edit]

Haruka is a stubborn, protective individual, but is also strong-willed, capable, charming, and occasionally even doting. She is formally introduced in the third story arc, although she appears in silhouette alongside Sailor Neptune in the final episode of Sailor Moon R. She is the second tallest of the Sailor Soldiers at 5'9", just behind Sailor Pluto at 5'10".

Haruka is a racecar driver, even though she is barely sixteen years old when she appears. However, the timing of her birthday to the Japanese school year means she is one grade ahead of the Sailor Soldiers.

Haruka is also extremely flirtatious and loves to tease pretty girls. In the manga, she even kisses Usagi.[2] Throughout the manga, she is lightly flirting with Usagi, either out of habit from the first act she appeared in or just for fun, and eventually Usagi would flirt back out of pure playfulness occasionally. Their relationship in the anime is different, as Haruka also refers to her as "Odango" or dumpling in the same way Tuxedo Mask does as a playful nickname. By the time she returns in Sailor Stars, however, she begins to refer to Usagi as "Kitten."

Haruka with sword and Ferrari F512M, as drawn by Naoko Takeuchi.

Although her relationship with Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune is not implicitly sexual until later in the series, their romantic situation is referred to early on and generally understood by most of the metaseries' characters fairly quickly. It is sometimes a source of good natured humor, particularly because few of the other Soldiers have serious romantic prospects in comparison and because the otherwise flirtatious Haruka finds it impolite to discuss romantic matters in public. In the anime, however, the physical aspects of their relationship is limited to hand-holding, flirting and sometimes even humorous implying, but generally remains intact.

She further complicates the perception of her gender by appearing as a "Tuxedo Mask" instead of a Sailor Soldier in the first appearance. This form is never mentioned again.[3]

Besides her relationship with Michiru, Haruka is also close friends with Setsuna Meioh, because the three of them work closely together. Following the destruction of the Death Busters and the rebirth of Sailor Saturn as an infant, they vow to be her family and care for her. Later story arcs show that the four live together happily for some time. Nothing about Haruka's family life is ever discussed, although she and Michiru appear noticeably wealthy by unknown means. In the manga, Haruka says that she and Michiru have "wealthy patrons."

The anime and manga versions of the character are reasonably interchangeable, although her standoffishness is more pronounced in the anime. Like Michiru, Haruka is sometimes considered an antihero. Aside from a brief vignette in a special, Haruka and the others do not return after the third season until the final fifth season, generally retaining the same personalities.

In the Sailor Moon musicals (Seramyu), Haruka and Michiru's relationship remains largely unchanged; they are always shown together, which is consistent with both manga and anime, and while their romance in the musicals is usually kept low-key, the actresses for the two do kiss on stage in the omake of Kaguya Shima Densetsu Kaiteiban. They are also the only two Soldiers to engage in physical combat with Galaxia.[4] The other Soldiers only use their powers to combat her.[5] As in the anime, however, neither Uranus or Neptune are capable of harming Galaxia in combat. It is seen that Uranus could sense Neptune's death when Galaxia gravely injures Neptune, who had been weakened while protecting Sailor Mars.[6] Otherwise, the two are shown to be more willing to work as a team with the other Sailor Soldiers in the musicals than in the anime, except where plot-lines are directly drawn from the anime, such as their pretended betrayal of the other Soldiers in Stars.

Haruka's greatest dream, prior to becoming a Sailor Soldier, was to be a professional racer. Thereafter driving is still a well-loved hobby and is listed in the manga as her best skill.[7] She is also a skilled runner, belonging to the track-and-field club at school.[8] On occasion, Haruka can be seen playing piano in accompaniment during Michiru's violin performances. While Physical Education is her best class, Modern Japanese is her worst. Haruka is highly private, able to tease others while becoming flustered if teased herself, and has difficulty with confessions. Her favorite food is salad, and her least favorite is natto (fermented soybeans); she also likes the color gold. According to Michiru, Haruka has had trouble with popular men on more than one occasion. Haruka denies this, but it clearly annoys her.[9]

Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna appear in the SuperS movie, although this conflicts with the general timeline of the series in several ways. Notably, they are more overtly friendly and helpful than they had been when they last met and Sailor Pluto is present (in contradiction of certain events in the third series).

Aspects and forms[edit]

As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime virtually spanned between the Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Haruka gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.

Sailor Uranus[edit]

Haruka's Soldier identity. She wears a uniform colored in dark blue and gold, and unlike most of the other Soldiers, her gloves extend only to mid-forearm. She is given specific titles throughout the various series, including Soldier of Sky[10] (or "the Skies" in the English manga) and Soldier of Flight. Perhaps her titles regarding the sky is in reference to the Greco-Roman Uranus, who was the embodiment of the sky.[11] Sailor Uranus is one of the more aggressive Sailor Soldiers, and carries the Space Sword, which is one of three Talisman carried by herself, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Pluto. Her personality is no different from when she is a civilian, although certain powers are unavailable to her in that form. Sailor Neptune is her constant companion, and they are rarely separated.

As she grows stronger, Sailor Uranus gains additional powers, and at key points her uniform changes to reflect this. The first change takes place in Act 39 of the manga, when she obtains the Uranus Crystal and her outfit becomes similar to that of Super Sailor Moon. She is not given a new title. A similar event takes place in Episode 167 of the anime, and she is given the name Super Sailor Uranus. A third, manga-only form appears in Act 42, also unnamed but analogous to Eternal Sailor Moon (sans wings).[12]

Princess Uranus[edit]

On Silver Millennium, Sailor Uranus was also the princess of her home planet. She was among those given the duty of protecting the Solar System from outside invasion. As Princess Uranus, she dwelt in Miranda Castle and wore a deep blue gown—she appears in this form in the original manga Act 41, as well as in supplementary art. It is unknown whether she had a relationship with Princess Neptune at that time.

Special powers and items[edit]

Although Haruka is extremely strong and has some psychic sensitivity (mostly in the form of dreams, shared by Michiru and Setsuna, or by "hearing" ill omens in the wind), she is not shown using any special powers in her civilian form. She must first transform into a Sailor Soldier by raising her hand or a special device into the air and shouting a special phrase, originally "Uranus Planet Power, Make-up!"[13] In the manga she eventually gains her Uranus Crystal and this phrase changes to evoke Uranus Crystal Power.[14] In the anime, although she does upgrade to Super Sailor Uranus, the Crystal is never mentioned and her transformation is not shown on screen.[15]

Sailor Uranus' powers are inspired by Greek mythology, where Uranus is the god of the sky. Her first attack is World Shaking;[16] she gathers energy from the sky and blasts it at her foes. She is given three major attacks in the series, and although they all have English names (like those of the other Sailor Soldiers), each is also given kanji in the manga to denote the meaning to Japanese readers. For example, World Shaking is given kanji which translate to "sky" (?), "world" (?), and "shake" (?).[11] The intended English pronunciation is given in furigana. This is Sailor Uranus's primary attack for most of the anime series.

Haruka carries a special blade, the Space Sword, which is one of three powerful Talismans, the other two of which are carried by Sailor Neptune and Sailor Pluto. In the manga, she seems to already know it is a Talisman; in the anime, she does not gain the sword until it is revealed as such.[17] In either case, it is used in her second attack, Space Sword Blaster[18] (宇宙剣乱風?, "space sword chaos wind"),[11] which fires damaging energy, as well as in physical strikes.

Her third and final attack, appearing only in the manga, is called Space Turbulence (宇宙乱気流?),[19] which uses no item at all. The Uranus Crystal is perhaps her most important possession, as it is her Sailor Crystal and the source of all her power, which becomes especially important in the fifth story arc. It is given to her by Sailor Saturn.[11]

Development[edit]

The character of Sailor Uranus was not developed until partway through the Sailor Moon series, after the Sailor Soldiers were well-established. She was created in tandem with Sailor Neptune, as "complementary but opposite characters,"[20] and meant from the beginning to work alongside Sailor Pluto. Creator Naoko Takeuchi has said that she was shocked by the changes made to Haruka's personality in the anime series, but that she was glad fans still liked the character.[21]

Initial drawings of Haruka are softer and more feminine than they would later become; she was originally intended to be involved in the all-female Takarazuka Revue, playing male roles on stage.[22] Although this was not included in the series itself, Takeuchi stated in an interview that she feels Takarazuka is "the maximum level of feminine emancipation. These actress cover all roles of the plays, even the male ones. I was inspired by them to create Haruka."[23] She also described such a figure as "the female best friend and the fairy tale prince in one," stating that she had wanted for a long time to include a character like this in one of her works. Haruka is intended as an older sister figure for the younger girls populating the series, and as a counterpoint to Mamoru, Takeuchi's ideal man.[24]

Haruka is relatively androgynous in the manga, wearing both feminine and masculine outfits, in tune with the traditional depiction of a beautiful androgynous woman in shōjo comics. Takeuchi drew Haruka as physically different when she dresses in male clothes, with a more masculine figure than otherwise.[25] She even refers to Haruka as being "in male form" at these times, and stated that she wanted this to continue in the anime—which it did.[21] In the anime, Haruka's sometimes-feminine appearance is downplayed, and she almost always dresses as a man.

Haruka's fascination with racing draws at least some of its details from Takeuchi herself; in the manga, they even share a favorite car, the Ferrari 512M.[21] In the anime, she is seen driving either a yellow or white 1968 Toyota 2000GT open-top (resembling the custom "Bond Model"), or, once, a 1990 montego blue Mazda Mx-5 Miata.[citation needed]

The kanji of Haruka's surname translate as "sky" ( ten?) and "king" ( ō?). Together, they constitute most of the name of the planet Uranus in Japanese, Ten'ōsei (天王星?, "sky king star").[26][27] Her given name is in hiragana haruka (はるか?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself means "distant" (?). Her family name is sometimes incorrectly romanized as Tennō, which is in fact a more common writing of the planet's name,[28] but the manga invariably glosses Haruka's surname as Ten'ō where furigana are used, and it is pronounced this way in the anime.

Her name in the English-language anime, Amara, is derived from the Greek word αμαραντος amarantos, meaning "eternal" or "unfading".[29] In 1998, the packaging of dolls released in Canada by Irwin Toys gave Haruka the name Corinn. In the Mixx (now Tokyopop) manga, she was once named Alex; Mixx later admitted this was a mistake, and changed her name back. During the comciccon Sandiego in 1998 when asked if Haruka was male or male in her previous life Naoko stated Haruka is and always has been a girl.

Censorship[edit]

In an effort to avoid the controversy that a lesbian character in a cartoon aimed towards a younger audience would cause, given the contemporary social mores in the United States, the dub also states that Amara (Haruka) and Michelle (Michiru Kaioh) are cousins—even going so far as to occasionally state this through characters who should not know such information. However, whether in an attempt to be more faithful to the original Japanese or through sheer failure to edit consistently, several episodes of the English dub retain a noticeable amount of their casual flirting. Due to the censorship and problematic dubbing, some viewers of the English dubs inferred not only a homosexual relationship between the two girls, but also an incestuous one. This was due to the unusual amount of flirting between the so-called "cousins." It has even been implied that the difficulties in dubbing Haruka and Michiru's relationship are part of the reason why there was a gap of several years between the dubbing of the earlier series and the dubbing of Sailor Moon S.[30] However, it should be noted that in Japan, there were also some controversies around the character.[31] Many other international dubs also either toned down or censored the character to reflect similar social mores in other countries. For example, the French dub showed Frédérique (Haruka) was deliberately disguising herself as a man to hide her identity as Sailor Uranus. This even went as far as casting a male actor to play Frédérique, while a female actor played Sailor Uranus starting with episode 95 onward. Mylène (Michiru) was rewritten as merely pretending to be "his" girlfriend to maintain the charade. A similar change was made in the Russian dub in the Stars season.

Actresses[edit]

In the Japanese anime and movies, Haruka Tenoh is voiced by veteran voice actress Megumi Ogata, who had previously portrayed a monster-of-the-day, Petz, and young Mamoru in the series.[32] Ogata was instructed by the director to portray Haruka as if she and Michiru were a married couple. In 1995, Ogata won the 16th Animage Anime Grand Prix award for best voice actress, largely because of her work as Sailor Uranus, breaking up a 12-win streak by Megumi Hayashibara. The previous year she had ranked third, and she ranked second for the next three years before dropping to ninth place in 1999.[33]

In the English adaptations, the voice of "Amara Tenoh" is provided by well-known TV actress Sarah Lafleur in one of her earliest roles. According to her co-star, Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune, she and Lafleur recorded their lines together, which is unusual as anime voiceover in North America is usually recorded individually.[34]

In the stage musicals, Haruka has been played by 4 actresses: Sanae Kimura, Nao Takagi, Asako Uchida, and Akiko Nakayama.[35] Sanae Kimura regarded the betrayal of Uranus and Neptune in her last musical, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban, to be a very difficult scene for her and cried during it.[36]

Nao Takagi, the longest-running of the musical actresses, decided that she wanted to play the role of the "Sailor Soldier with the blonde hair" when she saw one of the earlier musicals, despite having never performed before.[37] Takagi said she was "really happy to be able to play Uranus" and regarded Uranus as "a completely cool, handsome Soldier".[38] She has stated that certain scenes involving herself and Yuhka Asami (as Sailor Neptune) were specially created just for the two of them, the song "Destined Couple" in particular.[39]

Haruka does not appear in the live-action series.

Reception and influence[edit]

The official Sailor Moon popularity polls listed Haruka Tenoh and Sailor Uranus as separate characters. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Sailor Uranus was the sixth most popular character, receiving over nine thousand votes more than Haruka, who was the tenth.[40] In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Uranus was the tenth most popular character, and Haruka was the twelfth.[41] Haruka Tenoh came first in the favorite female character poll in Animage 1995.[42] The following year she came seventh.[43] Mari Nishimura found that Haruka became "very popular" with female fans due to her "clear male attributes".[44]

Sailor Uranus has been described as having "clearly masculine traits", and that she protects Usagi "as a man would a woman." She is presented as being more logical than the others, more willing to resort to whatever means is necessary, and also physically stronger.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sailor Moon Materials Collection - Third Series.
  2. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko. "Act 26". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 8. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178790-X. 
  3. ^ Act 25
  4. ^ 1998 Sailor Moon musical, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban, after Sorezore no Elegy
  5. ^ 1998 Sailor Moon musical, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban, before Sorezore no Elegy
  6. ^ Sailor Moon Musical 1997 Sailor Stars Kaiteiban, before Sorezore no Elegy - While Uranus is searching a hall of mirrors with Sailor Mercury, she feels Neptune's death, shouting, "I would know!" to a shocked Mercury.
  7. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). "Back of volume". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 10. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178806-X. 
  8. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (September 6, 1996). "Act 43". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 16. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178841-8. 
  9. ^ Episodes 181 and 184.
  10. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (February 6, 1995). "Act 29". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 9. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178797-7. 
  11. ^ a b c d Takeuchi, Naoko (March 6, 1996). "Act 39". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 14. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178826-4. 
  12. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). "Act 42". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  13. ^ First used in Act 27 of the manga (she raises her hand) and Episode 106 of the anime (she raises the Lip Rod). In the English version, "Amara" does not say 'Make up' when transforming, and the phrase "Uranus Star Power" is usually used instead.
  14. ^ "Crystal Power" starting in Act 39, when she acquires her second uniform. No new phrase is used for her third uniform.
  15. ^ Episode 115.
  16. ^ appears in Act 26 of the manga and Episode 92 of the anime. In the English anime, the word Uranus is sometimes added at the beginning.
  17. ^ Episode 110.
  18. ^ First appears in Act 31 and the SuperS movie.
  19. ^ Act 43. This attack is also used by the evil Sailor Uranus in Act 50, where it is renamed Galactica Space Turbulence.
  20. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (February 6, 1995). "Act 29". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 9. Kodansha. p. 31. ISBN 4-06-178797-7. 
  21. ^ a b c Takeuchi, Naoko (September 1996). Bishōjo Senshi Sailormoon Volume III Original Picture Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324518-7. 
  22. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (October 1999). Materials Collection. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-324521-7. 
  23. ^ Kappa magazine, September 1996. http://www.kicie.net/realm/naoko.htm
  24. ^ Holzer, Stefanie; Mrs. Okishita from Kodansha (translator) (July–August 1999). "Interview mit Naoko Takeuchi". AnimaniA (in German) (30). 
  25. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (February 6, 1995). "Act 30". Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 9. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178797-7. 
  26. ^ "Sailormoon Terms and Information". The Sailor Senshi Page. Retrieved 2006-03-05. 
  27. ^ "Asian Astronomy 101". Hamilton Amateur Astronomers 4 (11). 1997. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  28. ^ "dictionary.goo.ne.jp". Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  29. ^ As seen at Name Meanings and particularly at Behind the Name, which tracks the name as a short form of Amarantha.
  30. ^ Sebert, Paul (2000-06-28). "Kissing cousins may bring controversy Cartoon Network juggles controversial topics contained in the "Sailor Moon S" series". The Daily Athenaeum Interactive. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  31. ^ Johnson, Dany (2001-04-21). "Q & A Rocking the Boat". Akadot. Retrieved 2007-02-21. Their appearance on TV was sensational, something unheard of in TV cartoons. 
  32. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (June 1997). Bishōjo Senshi Sailormoon Original Picture Collection Volume Infinity.  Available at "MangaStyle.net". 
  33. ^ [1][dead link]
  34. ^ "Blog Archive » Kana’s Korner – Interview with Barbara Radecki". 91.8 The Fan. 2011-01-25. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  35. ^ "eternal.legend". Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  36. ^ Sailor Moon Musical 10th Anniversary Memorial Talk and Live Show - March 30th, Sanae Kimura commenting on the 1998 Eien Densetsu kaiteiban footage showing Orleans no Sei Senshi ~ Uranus to Neptune Uragiri~
  37. ^ "Hyper Hobby Interview". Retrieved 2008-04-01.  Nao: "When I was watching the last show of the first stage "Eternal Legend", I was telling myself that is I ever have the chance to perform this play, I want to play the Sailor Soldier with the blonde hair"
  38. ^ Sailor Moon Musical, 1998 Shin Densetsu Kourin Fan Guide - Fan message
  39. ^ "Hyper Hobby Interview". Retrieved 2007-12-09.  Nao: "Some of the scenes were created for the two of us"
  40. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (June 6, 1995). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 10. Kodansha. pp. 138–139. ISBN 4-06-178806-X. 
  41. ^ Takeuchi, Naoko (July 5, 1996). Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 15. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178835-3. 
  42. ^ [2][dead link]
  43. ^ [3][dead link]
  44. ^ "The Sexual and Textual Politics of Japanese Lesbian Comics: Reading Romantic and Erotic Yuri Narratives". Japanesestudies.org.uk. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2010-10-28. 
  45. ^ brown, Jennifer L. (May 2008). "Female Protagonists in Shōjo Manga – From the Rescuers to the Rescued" (PDF). University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 

External links[edit]