Why I like Mizuno Ami

Hi, I'm Mizuno Ami, certified suuuuper-genius.

Some literary critics say that to truly enjoy a work, you need to find someone in the story who reminds you of yourself. By seeing how this person reacts to situations, you can learn something about yourself. While I can find a little bit of myself in many SM characters (Which scares me sometimes), the one who comes closest to what I'm like in RL is Ami.

Like Ami, I read a lot, I use big words, I study hard (at least now, I do. Grad school requires that you study hard or die screaming), and I'm shy. When I watch Ami, I see someone who is VERY much like what I was like at that age, but more so. She was more like me than I was, so to speak ^_-

Where Usagi fights to find the courage inside herself, Ami must fight to overcome her shyness and her tendency to withdraw into her work. Ami has had very few friends, both because her intelligence scares people off and makes them envious and because she focuses TOO much on her schoolwork. Ami is in danger of becoming a lonely workaholic academic, spending her entire life with books instead of people.

Usagi comes into her life and changes all that, shattering her old ways of thinking and doing, confronting her with a style of life with which she is not familiar. One of my favorite Ami moments comes when Ami goes to the mall for the first time with Usagi. They enter a bookstore and select something to read, then examine each other's selection:

Usagi: It's all WORDS!

Ami: It's all PICTURES!

Ami has knowlege, but lacks experience. Usagi has experience, but lacks knowlege. Usagi drags Ami into the world of experience, the world where she can grow in ways she has never grown before. She has to face love, which she has long hidden from, monsters she once thought were fairytales, and perhaps the greatest challenge of all: friendship.

Ami is the smartest of the Sailor Senshi and it shows in everything she does.  Her powers are less offensive than the other sailors, but her brain more than compensates. She is the one who outsmarts the corrupted Tuxedo Kamen and recovers the crystal he has used to collect the Seven Shadows. She is the one who finds the source of the Doom and Gloom Girls' illusions and destroys it. She is the one who finds what must be found, using her computer.

Yet, Ami is more than a thinker. We see her emotions and her passion as well. We see her struggle through her first romance with Urawa Ryo, as two shy teens try to overcome their own fear of the future and of getting hurt. We see her sacrifice herself to save her friends during the final battle with the Dark Kingdom. We see her learn a new power when she sees little children in danger. She redeems Birdy.

Like Usagi, Ami becomes more than she was, opening up to others and finding bonds of friendship and love that surpass anything she had ever known before.

My favorite Ami moment is the episode where Ami is planning to leave to go to a special study program in Germany. She tells them the wrong date because she's afraid that if they go to the airport with her, she won't be able to leave them. They find out, but have to go fight a monster and are unable to come. They send Chibi-Usa and Mamoru with their present for Ami. Mamoru gives it to her

Chibi-Usa: Your friendship is only like this. They didn't come see you off.

Ami: That's because I asked them not to.

Chibi-Usa: That doesn't matter, if you're friends.

Ami: They are great friends.

Chibi-Usa: That's a lie. Everyone's only thinking about themselves.

[Ami opens the gift--her new transformation pen and communicator. There is a note, which reads 'No matter where you go, we are together.']

Ami: Something important must have come up.

[Ami realizes that they might be fighting. Ami asks Mamoru, and Mamoru nods.]

Ami: It's as you say, Chibi-Usa-chan. I had only been thinking about myself.

I cried when I saw that scene. It is a sign of Ami's growth and the strength of her friendship with the others. She remains what she was, but she has grown to become something more.

I may not be as strong or as powerful as some of the others, but I fight with my brain!

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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.