Why I like Kino Makoto

Hi, I'm Kino Makoto, also known as Sailor Jupiter! I don't suppose you'd like a snack?

Kino Makoto seems like an ordinary girl, until you realize that she's half a foot taller than virtually all the other characters. Until you realize that even before she got her powers, she was several times stronger than all of them. Until you realize how incredibly lonely and unhappy she was once...

Kino Makoto has had a rough life. She lost her parents in a plane crash. She was kicked out of school after school for fighting. Some of the fights were probably her fault, others not, just like anyone else, but she had MORE of them. Girls jealous of her figure whispered behind her back. Everyone was afraid of her and no one wanted to be her friend. She lived alone.

And yet, her tough exterior hides a vulnerable interior. She helps out Usagi, a girl she doesn't even know when she sees her being bullied. One of the most heartrending moments in anime I have ever seen is a very short and simple scene in the episode that introduces her. Makoto is sitting under a tree alone, about to eat lunch. Usagi smells the good food and follows her nose over to Makoto. She says hello and asks if she can have some. Makoto stares at her and asks, 'Aren't you afraid of me?' Usagi looks at her and says, 'No. Why should I be?' Makoto is sincerely shocked, for she has become used to being alone and people being scared of her.

In the R movie, Makoto looks back on that moment and it summarizes all that Usagi means to her. Usagi took her away from her loneliness and brought her into a 'family' where she could belong. Usagi wasn't afraid of her. She WANTED to be Makoto's friend and this is a new experience for Makoto. She repays Usagi's friendship with unfailing loyalty, even unto death.

Makoto learns as a Sailor Senshi to put her strength to good use, so that she can be a protector instead of a bully. She continues to favor the blunt approach. While the other Senshi bicker over how to get into the Starlight Tower, she simply blows the door down. When her oldest friend, Shinozaki is hurt, she goes all out, even weakened by giving blood, to get the monster that hurt him. Makoto will never be subtle, but it feels good to know her strength is on your side. When others doubt, Makoto continues to trust in those whom she loves.

Makoto always follows her heart, and this leads her into constant boy troubles. Some of them become monsters of the week, while others just aren't interested. Sadly, Mako never does find a steady boyfriend in the course of the series, though her efforts often enough get her into trouble. Mako doesn't let this get her down. She always bounces back.

He reminds me of my old boyfriend!

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All Art originally found courtesy of the many execellent Sailor Moon Pages out there, the TCP.COM archive, and other fine anime pic locations, expecially matatabi@xmission.com's archive.