Hi, I'm Hino Rei, also known as Sailor Mars, as you can rather CLEARLY see here. I am a Shrine Maiden when I'm not busy fighting evil or trying to keep Usagi in line, a full time job, if you ask me.
Hino Rei is a Shrine Maiden attending a Catholic Girls' school. This raises some interesting questions which, unfortunately, are never answered. Nonetheless, Rei brings the spiritual perspective to the team, as well as the bossy, pushy self-glorifying perspective.
Hitting me won't help, Rei-chan. Hino Rei has the strengths and weaknesses of many highly spiritual people. It gives her a special sensitivity. She is the one of the Inner Senshi most adept at detecting evil. She can exorcise evil spirits. She knows how to comfort people as well. Her inner strength helps her to overcome all obstacles, as she burns with the same fire that she serves.
But at the same time, Rei has the weaknesses of the highly spiritual as well. She has the same absolute certainty as Usagi, but in her case, it often leads her to be a butthead instead of a pillar of strength. Her faith sometimes becomes stubborness and self-righteousness. She has very high expectations and looks down on anyone who doesn't match them--which is virtually everyone.
Also importantly, her spirituality all too often isolates her from others. She is an aristocratic figure, who leads from afar, and like all such figures, she often suffers from loneliness. Her powers scare people sometimes, and they want to stay away from her.
When we first meet Rei, she is the imperious Shrine Maiden, wielding spiritual power as a tool of authority as well as a means of protection. She misidentifies Usagi as some kind of threat. She acts imperiously to protect the temple from what she sees as meddling outsiders. Little does she understand that Usagi is a threat...to her perfect little world she's tried to build for herself.
Usagi drags her out of herself and into the world to become a champion for love and justice. Rei doesn't quite know what to make of it all, but she adjusts fairly quickly, for she is used to being a champion against evil. However, Rei now faces new challenges. She is used to being in charge and must learn to follow the lead of others, even one who often seems unworthy to lead. She must overcome her own ego, which we perhaps most clearly see in the school festival episode, where she has basically turned the school festival into a monument for herself. She must unlearn her own sense of her own superiority, and learn the humility that has eluded her.
Her relationship with Usagi is a key to seeing the changes that take place in her. Over five seasons, she goes from constantly bickering with Usagi to the girl whose first thought on learning that Mamoru has been missing for months, but Usagi was too ashamed to tell anyone, is to comfort Usagi and promise they will do their best to find him. She gives her life to protect Usagi twice--once in the first season, and once at the end, along with risking herself countless times for Usagi's sake.
I can empathize with Rei, for I consider myself a fairly spiritual person, and I know the perils inherent in seeking to develop that path. It is far too easy to consider oneself superior to others as a result, to look down on those who don't strive as hard as you do. Humility is one of the hardest things in the universe. I still struggle with it, and I can empathize with her struggle with her own pride.
I also admire Rei's dedication to protecting those she cares about. Rei fights with all her might to take care of and protect those she cares about. Her grandfather, Yuiichiro, Usagi, and her friends are all very important to those and she'll go any distance to protect them.
For me, one of the most moving moments with Rei in SM is in the final battle against the Dark Kingdom. One by one, the Sailors have fallen. Sailor Venus has just died. Sailor Mars drags Sailor Moon away as she cries for Minako. The last two of the Doom and Gloom girls move in to confront them. Sailor Moon begs Rei not to fight them, but she tells Usagi that she will have to go on alone. 'Don't worry, I'm not going to die. I'm the strongest of all the senshi.' Her face, however, belies her words. She goes on to fight them so that Usagi can go on to face Beryl, knowing she may not come back herself. This is Rei at her best, a protector and comforter, a spiritual warrior who gives her life that others may live.
The Fires of Love are BURNING!
Return to the Main Shrine
My Fun pages!