Why I like Setsuna and Hotaru

Looks like Setsuna-chan is late to the photo-shoot for this page. She must be off dealing with something important, though! I'm Hotaru! Nice to meet you! Brrr, it's so cold in here...


Setsuna and Hotaru are the two most consistently mysterious characters in Sailor Moon.  We never really quite get inside their head, and for all their power and Setsuna's knowlege, they are clearly supporting characters. We rarely get to see them really grow and change over time, as we do with the Inners and Outers. Of course, Setsuna is theoretically an Outer, but she seems to treat them almost the same as she does everyone else...they are part of a game where only she knows the rules. For example...

We see the Outers and Pluto floating inside a helicopter, frozen in the process of blowing up.

Neptune: [voice echoing] Pluto?

Uranus: What have you done?

Pluto: I have stopped time. You must take this opportunity and escape now.

Uranus: I never knew you had this kind of power!

Pluto: No. As the Guardian of Time this is the most forbidden act for me.

Uranus: The most forbidden...?

Neptune: What's going to happen to you?

Pluto: [softly, with warmth in her eyes] I've already met the true Messiah...

Neptune: The true Messiah...?

[Uranus and Neptune are teleported inside the barrier, and the helicopter explodes. As usual with Setsuna, they don't get a real answer.]

Setsuna is someone who is incredibly cool to watch, but would doubtless drive me completely insane in real life. She would make an excellent Aes Sedai. She is a secret, wrapped inside a riddle, shrouded by an enigma. What we do know is that she is the Guardian of Time (maybe), that she has rules she must obey (maybe), that she is seeking to bring about Crystal Tokyo (maybe), that she never tells you anything you really need to know until it is too late to matter (definitely). Pluto leads the Outers around by the nose and for all their suspicious natures, they never quite clue in to this. Given her time powers, you'd think she would already know who the Messiah was, where the Talismans were, etc, etc. Since she consistently fails to abuse this advantage, one must conclude either that she really IS bound tightly by rules, or that she has serious memory problems. Or...she's deliberately limiting herself. Pluto seems to believe that some things MUST happen and she deliberately acts or fails to act to insure that they do happen.

Whatever her motivations, she remains seemingly serene and untouchable through almost every disaster, even going to her death in Stars with a smile on her face and the knowlege that she has done the right thing. Ultimately, Setsuna sometimes seems sinister, but if you actually observe her actions, instead of her words, Setsuna is a good person. She manages to combine some of the strengths of both the Outers and the Inners and avoid some of their flaws.  Of course, she replaces those flaws with her OWN personal flaw: her utter secretiveness. NOONE is inside her her inmost councils...even the Outers, who seem to trust her implicitly, don't ever get the full story from her, like with the Talismans.

Yet, despite all that, if she showed up and told me I had to marry her for the good of the Universe, my response would likely be, 'Where should I arrange it to take place?'. I like Pluto, despite her extreme secretiveness...maybe because of it. Ultimately, she convinces me to put my trust in her...maybe it's not so mysterious after all as to why the Outers trust her as well.

Tomoe Hotaru is probably the unluckiest superhero of all time. She spends S being periodically possessed. She spends SS being a baby. She spends most of Stars off screen or doing basically nothing, comes in for the big battle...and gets killed by her own friends. Even the most powerful of the Senshi cannot defeat...the scriptwriters.

With Hotaru, the thing I can most emphasize with is her health problems.  I was a weak little kid due to my pre-asthma, unable to participate heavily in sports. It caused me a lot of the same problems she has to suffer with. In addition, she is shy and I was too.

Everytime Hotaru struggles to do something simple that everyone should be able to do, my heart goes out to her. Her first crush brought back memories of my junior high struggles to express how I felt, how to find the strength to approach someone I liked. She did far better than I, which says something, though I won't say what. :)

I wish we had gotten to see more of Hotaru, but like all the Outers, she practically vanishes in SS, though considering the story quality of SS, they may have PLANNED that...

My favorite Hotaru moment is when she overcame Mistress Nine and almost explodes out of her, burning her away with her power. It is one of the best visual sequences in Sailor Moon and to see Hotaru finally triumph over her tormentor is inspiring.


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