Why I like Haruka and Michiru
Hi, there! I'm Ten'ou Haruka, the one on the left and that's Kai'ou Michiru. I race and she records music. If you think we look like those two senshi you may have seen watching your house from the nearby rooftops, it's purely coincidence. May we come in? What? You want to know if I'm a boy or a girl? Damn, you're ruder than I am. Isn't it obvious?
Heh. This page could almost be titled the 'Why I both love and hate Haruka and Michiru page'. I have a tendency to alternate strongly between cheering them on and wanting to crush their heads. Usually this happens when they do something stupid which they THINK is a noble sacrifice on their part, part of 'by any means necessary'. The only problem is...it never is necessary.
When Haruka and Michiru first appear, they represent what I might call the 'second stage of teenagerdom'. They are the glamourous older teenagers who the younger teens look up to. Haruka seems to be a very attractive guy, who is just a bit of a rebel, has his own car and has enough charisma to power Tokyo with with chutzpah alone. Michiru seems to be his artistically inclined girlfriend, someone the youngers can take as a model and tremendously envy for her good looks, her own charisma, and her musical talents. It seems they are just too cool to live.
But wait, there's more! They are, of course, not what they seem. While it is rather blatantly obvious to us, the viewers, it takes longer for the Sailors to begin to pierce the veils around these two. First of all, Haruka is actually female. Secondly, they are the two new Sailors on the block, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. But they're not quite like the Inner Senshi.
Haruka and Michiru are, in a word, obsessed. They will break any rule, cross any mountain, do anything to ANYONE to succeed in their mission. Their job is to defend the Solar System from outside intrusions. In Sailor Moon S, they're out to stop the Deathbusters and Master Pharoah 90. In Stars, they suspect the Starlights of being agents of the main person they're out to stop, Galaxia. 'By Any Means Necessary' should be their motto. Unlike the Inner Senshi, their private lives are consistently and heavily sacrificed to their mission. They are a team that works well together and with their partner Pluto, though she is often not around.
They start out seeing the Inner Senshi as children who have to be kept out of the way at best and destroyed if necessary. They're not inhuman. They do sometimes have pangs of doubt, but ultimately, they supress those doubts and return with redoubled force to their task. They do things the Inner Senshi would never dream of doing. They're perfectly willing to let people die or kill them if it seems necessary. They bully the Inner Senshi mercilessly during S. They steal Sailor Moon's transformation brooch to keep her out of their way while they do their work. They want to kill Hotaru before she becomes the Dark Messiah. Imbued with a sense of their own rightness, they will do anything to achieve their mission.
They provide the balance to the Inner Senshi. They are the shadow to the Inner senshi's light, the Dirty Harry to the Inner's Sgt. Joe Friday. They provide a constant reminder that in the real world, good often has to get its hands dirty to defeat evil, that you can't make an ommlet without breaking eggs. Or does it? You see, there's one BIG problem that the 'By Any Means Necessary' tactics of the Outer Senshi have...they don't work.
Over and over, the Outer Senshi prove they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their mission. But they fail, over and over, sometimes in spectacularly stupid ways. They are willing to let people die in order to get the Talismans...which it turns out that they ALREADY HAD. The only people who had to die were them. We'll leave aside the question of why Setsuna DIDN'T tell them when she must have known. However, the person who keeps this from turning into a complete disaster is...Usagi. The person they most tried to keep away from the Cathedral. The person whose transformation brooch they stole. A person who has every reason to dislike or hate them, but she risks her life, without her powers, to try to save theirs. Through her power, the Talismans are saved and the Grail is found.
But do they learn ANYTHING from this? Nope. They're back to treating the Inners as little hopeless kids in no time at all. They blunder their way through the rest of S, often doing nothing whatsover except lurk and look cool. Of course, this is partly the story editor's fault as well as theirs...Still, they set out on their own to defeat the forces of evil, rather than trying to oh, say...cooperate with other people with the same goal? The result? They get their ass kicked. In the end, it's Sailor Moon who helps Hotaru to overcome Mistress 9 and Sailor Moon who stops the rampaging Sailor Saturn AND Master Pharoah 90. And she does it all without ever once having to cross the moral line, without having to do the sort of thing that Haruka and Michiru congratulate themselves on their willingness to do for the greater good.
It happens again in Stars. Haruka and Michiru spend episode after episode totally distrusting the Starlights and wrecking any hope of real cooperation with them. As a result, the final battle with Galaxia turns into a complete disaster. Not that a coordinated effort would have had much more hope, but it would at least have been a moral victory, instead of a shambles. Instead, first the Outers fail to cooperate with the Senshi, then they try to trick Galaxia by 'selling out'. Their real goal is to get the special bracelets so they can blast her. Unfortunately...Galaxia isn't dumb enough to give anyone something they can turn against her. Pluto and Saturn fall to the 'traitor' Uranus and Neptune, then Galaxia kicks Uranus and Neptune's ass when they try to turn the bracelets on her. Again, their willingness to cross the line results only in failure.
It is this inability to learn from this mistakes, this stubborn sticking to methods which repeatedly result only in catastrophe which most drives me insane about the Outer Senshi. They think their willingness to do whatever it takes makes them more mature, but they are unable to grasp that it is NEVER necessary for them to cross the lines, to breach the boundaries of the way in which the Inners operate. Perhaps in the real world, things would be different and they would be the true heroes of this story...and maybe not. I think that a willingness to embrace any means ultimately makes you no different from the opponents you are fighting against and sometimes even worse. Haruka and Michiru will probably NEVER agree with me on that one, though.
Yet, despite my philosophical disagreements, I like them as well as sometimes wanting to MALLET them. I respect their dedication and their strong devotion to each other. Even I can't resist the waves of coolness they radiate, sometimes. It can be refreshing sometimes to see them taking their Senshi status more seriously than the Inners. You won't catch Haruka and Michiru squabbling over men, complaining about their duties, or arguing over other petty things. They are more adult than the Inners, which is both a strength and a weakness. Most importantly, I respect them for their consistency. They apply their tough standards even to themselves. Their willingness to die for what they believe is right wins great respect from me.
And I'd have wanted to noogie Seiya for hanging around Usagi so much too. But that's another story :)
It's hard for me to pick a favorite moment. I haven't seen enough episodes to really be sure, but one of my favorite moments has to be when Haruka and Usagi are chained together by Kaolinite. They keep trying to run in different directions and as a result, they can't accomplish anything. It is a scene both silly and symbolic.
Haruka: We have to find the Messiah. The talisman which is the key to the Messiah is locked in three pure hearts. I'll get it for sure.
Michiru: Even if you have to sacrifice the owner of the pure hearts?
Haruka: Even if I have to sacrifice the owner of those pure hearts.
Michiru: For world peace?
Haruka: It's for world peace. There isn't much time left. The silence is coming.
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