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Prince Charming by Day, Superheroine by Night? Subversive Sexualities and Gender Fluidity in Revolutionary Girl Utena and Sailor Moon
journal contributionposted on 2017-05-22, 05:54 authored by Catherine E. Bailey
In the third major story arc of Naoko Takeuchi’s groundbreaking graphic narrative series, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn (or Sailor Moon, to English-speaking audiences), the protagonist finds herself questioning the sex of the person she has recently kissed. Judging from the cropped hair, male school uniform, and other characters’ repeated use of the masculine pronoun in reference to this individual, Usagi might safely assume it is a man. However, she has also seen Haruka on the battlefield—in a costume clearly revealing a female body. As her alluring acquaintance leans in for a second kiss, Usagi hesitantly asks, “Are you a guy or a girl?” Haruka simply responds, “Guy or girl is that so important?” The question echoes thematically throughout the rest of the series, prompting readers to examine their own preconceptions.