Why I like Usagi-chan
So what compels a grown man to watch a clutzy crybaby fight goofy looking monsters with 'glizty jewelry and make-up', as Dave Berry put it?
Because Usagi has a heart big enough to hold the entire world and then some.
Yes, Usagi is a goofy little teenager who chases boys, eats too much, falls down constantly, can't study worth a hill of beans, has the willpower of an angry tree sloth, and cries enough to end an average drought. She whines. She runs away. At the start of the series, Usagi seems to be completely worthless, the sort of girl who drives people nuts with her inability to motivate herself to any worthy endeavour, her incredible childishness, her bad grades, her state of being completely sunk in the trivialities of the life of a junior high student. This is not a person of whom one might expect great things.
And yet, from the very start we can see hints of what is to come. Usagi's strength is her compassion, her love for others, her kindness to all, whether or not they deserve it. Within the first five minutes of the first episode, she saves a bedraggled cat from the torments of a small group of children, and as fate would have it, this is no ordinary cat...When her friend Naru is in trouble, she runs to Naru's aid, even though she has just been faced with a series of events like cats talking and magical transformations that are utterly beyond her experience.
It is Usagi's ability to love and the strength she finds within herself from that love that transforms Usagi from the self-centered whining, crying, cowardly, lazy child that she is at the beginning to the woman who gives her life for others over and over again. It is her love which takes four lonely misfits and bonds them together with a powerful friendship that transcends death. It is her love which enables her to redeem those who seem beyond hope, brining back Ail, Ann, the Doom Tree, Fiore, Hotaru, Galaxia, and others from the pits of evil into which they had slid (or been pushed in the case of Hotaru). It is her love that drives her to go with Pluto to the Marine Cathedral to try to save Uranus and Neptune, even after they had called her worthless, after they had literally attacked her, after they had taken away her transformation brooch and with it, her powers. It is not for nothing that the ending of S shows her to be the Messiah of the world.
Usagi's transformation over the course of the series is a wonder to behold. It is the growth of a soul more beautiful than the mind can almost comprehend. She possesses the faith that moves mountains, mountains of the soul. She believes in love, utterly and completely, and nothing can shake that faith for long. I can only dream of possessing such an ability, and I must admit it makes me envious sometimes. As a historian, I am far too aware of the evil that men do, yet Usagi sees horrors the likes of which I have never seen in reality and does not lose her faith in love, in joy, in the ultimate triumph of good. I must struggle where she floats effortlessly. Some might call her out of touch with reality, but I say that the real problem is that she has seen the higher reality more clearly than we. She can see what should be, and she strives to make it real. There is no nobler task than that.
Also importantly, Usagi never becomes perfect, never loses her humanity. She still eats too much sometimes, has trouble studying, can oversleep, and even chases boys, or at least one boy :) She does not become unbelievably perfect, nor do all of her troubles go away, but she becomes better able to bear them. She remains real, and her strength is all the more inspiring because of that.
Perhaps my favorite Usagi moment is this one, from the Sailor Moon R movie:
The sailors are on Fiore's asteroid. Sailor Moon is about to try to stop the asteroid from crashing into the Earth.
Fiore: [grabs the ginzuishou and tries to stop her from using it] You're going to change the path of the meteor with that. I won't let you do it. You're going to die with me!
Sailor Moon: [softly] What are you afraid of? Don't worry, you aren't alone. [puts her hand on Fiore's hand]
excerpt from Doi's SM page summary
In the hospital, a little Mamoru was crying. A little girl with odango hair came up to him and told him not to cry.
Little Mamoru said that his friend was going to leave soon, and there was nothing he could do about it. Then little Usagi said, "From today, I'm going to be an older sister. My mother had a baby. I brought this for present. Here. It's a happy day today." Then little Usagi gave one rose to little Mamoru.
[end of flashback]
Fiore has just spent most of an hour of screen time trying to kill Usagi and her friends, kidnapped her boyfriend, and now is trying to stop her from saving their lives. Yet, Usagi doesn't hate him. In fact, she feels compassion for him, for she understands that it was his loneliness that made him vulnerable to the power of the Kisenian flower. She wants him to understand that he's not alone, that she cares about him. It is her ability to care even for those who have done horrible things, for those who have even tried to kill her that make her a true hero.
She is the heart and soul of the Sailor Senshi and by the final episode, we can truly see that she is worthy to one day be Queen of the Earth, as we see her being in Crystal Tokyo.
What are you afraid of? Don't worry, you aren't alone.
Hey, you didn't mention all my nifty costumes! And after all the effort it took to make these things! Oh well. You can click here to return to the main page! Or you can just stay here with me forever! Your call!