Sailor Moon: Community Despite Censorship
The popular Japanese anime Sailor Moon inspires many in the LGBTQ+ community and has done so since the 90s. The show tackles themes including gender discrimination and the power of friendship and love. Queer people often gravitate towards television shows with such empowering themes. Unfortunately, North American broadcasters censor this program which effectively erases many LGBTQ+ characters and storylines.
One of the most notable case of queer censorship in the series is the relationship between Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, two central protagonists of the series. Although these characters had a romantic relationship in the original version, they were depicted as cousins in North America.
Similarly, the North American broadcasters dramatically changed the gay relationship between Kunzite and Zoisite, two antagonists of the series. In the North American version Zoisite is portrayed as a woman, making the relationship between the two characters a heterosexual one.
Fisheye, a lesser known queer character in Sailor Moon often toys with their gender expression. Originally Fisheye was portrayed as a homosexual, non-binary male character that typically dressed in women’s clothing. When the show came to North America, Fisheye magically became a woman, and lost all traces of her character’s masculinity.
The Sailor Starlights are characters that when they activate their powers, they transform to a completely different gender. As civilians, the characters are male; however when they become the Starlights they turn into female badasses. These characters were unfortunately cut from the North American release altogether.
Despite North American broadcasters erasing such characters, it does not deter the audience from gaining a sense of pride and inclusivity.The show is a safe-haven for queer people because of its progressive portrayal of multiple canonically LGBTQ+ characters. It creates a sort of underground community for LGBTQ+ people that are attracted to the show’s positive portrayal of femininity and diverse queer representation. Censorship aside, Sailor Moon is a cultural staple for the queer community.