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Sailor Uranus (セーラーウラヌス Sērā Uranusu?), officially spelled as Sailoruranus in Japan, is one of the central characters in the Sailor Moon metaseries. Her real name is Haruka Tenoh (天王 はるか Ten'ō Haruka?, or Amara Tenoh in the English anime), a masculine schoolgirl who can transform into one of the series' specialized heroines, the Sailor Senshi.
Haruka is a stubborn, protective individual, but is also strong-willed, capable, charming, and occasionally even doting. She is formally introduced in the third story arc, although she appears in silhouette alongside Sailor Neptune in the final episode of Sailor Moon R.
Haruka is a racecar driver, even though she is barely sixteen years old when she appears. However, the timing of her birthday to the Japanese school year means she is one grade ahead of the Guardian Senshi.
Among fans in North America, Haruka and Michiru are among the most famous out lesbian characters in anime. Haruka is also extremely flirtatious and loves to tease pretty girls who sometimes mistake her gender due to Haruka's tomboyish behavior. In the manga, she even kisses Usagi. Throughout the manga, she is lightly flirting with Usagi, either out of habit from the first arc she appeared in or just for fun, and eventually Usagi would occasionally flirt back out of pure playfulness.
Although her relationship with Michiru is not implicitly sexual until later in the series, their romantic situation is referred to early on and generally understood by most of the metaseries' characters fairly quickly. It is sometimes a source of good natured humor, particularly because few of the other Senshi have serious romantic prospects in comparison and because the otherwise flirtatious Haruka finds it impolite to discuss romantic matters in public. All fan rumors about Haruka being a man, the reincarnation of one, or a hermaphrodite, are untrue. Naoko Takeuchi has explicitly stated that "Haruka has always been a girl. Always will be."She further complicates the perception of her gender by appearing as a "Tuxedo Mask" instead of a Sailor Senshi in the first appearance. This form is never mentioned again.
Besides her relationship with Michiru, Haruka is also close friends with Setsuna, because the three of them work closely together as Outer Senshi. Following the destruction of the Death Busters and the rebirth of Sailor Saturn as an infant, they vow to be her family and care for her. Later story arcs show that the four live together happily for some time. Nothing about Haruka's family life is ever discussed, although she and Michiru Kaioh appear noticeably wealthy by unknown means. In the manga, Haruka says that she and Michiru have "wealthy patrons." Haruka is the target of sexism in episode 98 of the anime, but never of homophobia.
The anime and manga versions of the character are reasonably interchangeable, although her standoffishness is more pronounced in the anime. Like Michiru, Haruka is sometimes considered colder and almost unfeeling. Aside from a brief vignette in a special, Haruka and the others do not return after the third season until the final fifth season, generally retaining the same personalities.
In the Sailor Moon musicals (Seramyu), Haruka and Michiru's relationship remains largely unchanged; they are always shown together, which is consistent with both manga and anime, and while their romance in the musicals is usually kept low-key, the actresses for the two do kiss on stage in the omake of Kaguya Shima Densetsu Kaiteiban. They are also the only two Senshi to engage in physical combat with Galaxia. The other Senshi only use their powers to combat her. As in the anime, however, neither Uranus or Neptune are capable of harming Galaxia in combat. It is seen that Uranus could sense Neptune's death when Galaxia gravely injures Neptune, who had been weakened while protecting Sailor Mars. Otherwise, the two are shown to be more willing to work as a team with the Guardian Senshi in the musicals than in the anime, except where plot-lines are directly drawn from the anime, such as their pretended betrayal of the other Senshi in Stars.
Haruka's greatest dream, prior to becoming a Sailor Senshi, was to be a professional racer. Thereafter it is still a well-loved hobby, and driving is listed in the manga as her best skill. She is also a skilled runner, belonging to the track-and-field club at school. On occasion, Haruka can be seen playing piano in accompaniment during Michiru's violin performances. While Physical Education is her best class, Modern Japanese is her worst. Haruka is highly private, able to tease others while becoming flustered if teased herself, and has difficulty with confessions. Her favorite food is salad, and her least favorite is natto (fermented soybeans); she also likes the color gold. According to Michiru, Haruka has had trouble with popular men on more than one occasion. Haruka denies this, but it clearly annoys her.
Haruka and the other Outer Senshi appear in the SuperS movie, although this conflicts with the general timeline of the series in several ways. Notably, they are more overtly friendly and helpful than they had been when they last met and Sailor Pluto is present (in contradiction of certain events in the third series).
Aspects and forms
|Sailor Uranus||Act 24||Ep. 90|
|Haruka Tenoh||Act 24||Ep. 92|
|Super Sailor Uranus||Act 39||Ep. 167|
|Princess Uranus||Act 41||--|
|Third Senshi form||Act 42||--|
As a character with different incarnations, special powers, transformations and a long lifetime virtually spanned between the Silver Millennium era and the 30th century, Haruka gains multiple aspects and aliases as the series progresses.
Haruka's Senshi identity. She wears a uniform colored in yellow and dark blue, and unlike most of the other Senshi, her gloves extend only to mid-forearm. She is given specific titles throughout the various series, including Soldier of Sky (or "the Skies" in the English manga) and Soldier of Flight. Perhaps her titles regarding the sky is in reference to the Greco-Roman Uranus, who was god of the sky. Sailor Uranus is one of the more aggressive Senshi, and carries the Space Sword, which is one of three talismans carried by the Outer Senshi. Her personality is no different from when she is a civilian, although certain powers are unavailable to her in that form. Sailor Neptune is her constant companion, and they are rarely separated.
As she grows stronger, Sailor Uranus gains additional powers, and at key points her uniform changes to reflect this. The first change takes place in Act 39 of the manga, when she obtains the Uranus Crystal and her outfit becomes similar to that of Super Sailor Moon. She is not given a new title. A similar event takes place in Episode 167 of the anime, and she is given the name Super Sailor Uranus. A third, manga-only form appears in Act 42, also unnamed but analogous to Eternal Sailor Moon (sans wings).
During the Silver Millennium, Sailor Uranus was also the Princess of her home planet. She was among those given the duty of protecting the solar system from outside invasion. As Princess Uranus, she dwelt in Miranda Castle and wore a deep blue gown--she appears in this form in the original manga Act 41, as well as in supplementary art. It is unknown whether she had a relationship with Princess Neptune at that time.
Special powers and items
Although Haruka is extremely strong and has some psychic sensitivity (mostly in the form of dreams, shared by Michiru and Setsuna, or by "hearing" ill omens in the wind), she is not shown using any special powers in her civilian form. She must first transform into a Sailor Senshi by raising her hand or a special device into the air and shouting a special phrase, originally "Uranus Planet Power, Make-up!" In the manga she eventually gains her Uranus Crystal and this phrase changes to evoke Uranus Crystal Power. In the anime, although she does upgrade to Super Sailor Uranus, the Crystal is never mentioned and her transformation is not shown on screen. When it is used, her transformation sequence involves a golden cyclone which encloses around her, forming her outfit. She is also once shown de-transforming—her outfit becomes flower petals as she walks away, leaving her nude for a moment before her normal clothes reappear.
Sailor Uranus' powers are inspired by Roman mythology, where Uranus is the god of the sky. She is often mistaken as having earth-based powers, but this is because of the appearance of her first attack, World Shaking, in the anime; she gathers energy from the sky and hurls this at the ground, breaking it up, but does not manipulate the earth itself with her will. She is given three major attacks in the series, and although they all have English names (like those of the other Sailor Senshi), each is also given kanji in the manga to denote the meaning to Japanese readers. For example, World Shaking is given kanji which translate to "sky" (天?), "world" (界?), and "shake" (震?). The intended English pronunciation is given in furigana. This is Sailor Uranus's primary attack for most of the anime series.
Haruka carries a special blade, the Space Sword, which turns out to be one of three powerful Talismans, the other two of which are carried by Sailor Neptune and Sailor Pluto. In the manga, she seems to already know it is a Talisman; in the anime, she does not gain the sword until it is revealed as such. In either case, it is used in her second attack, Space Sword Blaster (宇宙剣乱風?, "space sword chaos wind"), as well as in physical strikes.
Her third and final attack, appearing only in the manga, is called Space Turbulence (宇宙乱気流?), which uses no item at all. The Uranus Crystal is perhaps her most important possession, as it is her Sailor Crystal and the source of all her power, which becomes especially important in the fifth story arc. It is given to her by Sailor Saturn.
While it was never directly mentioned in the show, Uranus and Neptune were implied to be lovers in the original Japanese manga and anime, the latter being intentionally even more ambiguous. In some countries, the relationship was censored, as homosexuality was considered too risque for a children's program.
The Albanian dub skipped the third and fifth season, in which Uranus and Neptune appeared, altogether.
In the Italian and French dub, Uranus and Neptune were merely portrayed as close friends, instead of lovers.
The North American dub referred to them as being cousins. However, Uranus's flirting was kept at some extent, although many of it was redirected towards male characters (such as Mamoru/Darien) or meant to be a joke on how she is mistaken for a man. Innuendo between Uranus and Neptune was also sometimes left intact and random characters, even monsters of the day, knew that not only were "Amara" and "Michelle" cousins, but that Uranus and Neptune were as well. Sometimes this was justified, as the monsters-of-the-day were created from people and objects near to them.
The Mexican dub kept the relationship; however, this ended up causing the franchise to be boycotted in Mexico. Polish and Russian dub also kept relationships unchanged.
Despite popular belief, there was criticism in Japan for featuring a lesbian couple in a children's show. This is presumably the reason the Sailor Starlights were changed to men in the anime.
Many fan-rumors that also exist, including that Uranus is secretly a man or a hermaphrodite, are all untrue.
The character of Sailor Uranus was not developed until partway through the Sailor Moon series, after the Guardian Senshi were well-established. She was created in tandem with Sailor Neptune, as "complementary but opposite characters," and meant from the beginning to work alongside Sailor Pluto. Creator Naoko Takeuchi has said that she was shocked by the changes made to Haruka's personality in the anime series, but that she was glad fans still liked the character.
Initial drawings of Haruka are softer and more feminine than they would later become; she was originally intended to be involved in the all-female Takarazuka Revue, playing male roles on stage. Although this was not included in the series itself, Takeuchi stated in an interview that she feels Takarazuka is "the maximum level of feminine emancipation. These actress cover all roles of the plays, even the male ones. I was inspired by them to create Haruka." She also described such a figure as "the female best friend and the fairy tale prince in one," stating that she had wanted for a long time to include a character like this in one of her works. Haruka is intended as an older sister figure for the younger girls populating the series, and as a counterpoint to Mamoru, Takeuchi's ideal man.
Haruka is relatively androgynous in the manga, wearing both feminine and masculine outfits, in tune with the traditional depiction of a beautiful androgynous woman in shōjo comics. Takeuchi drew Haruka as physically different when she crossdresses, with a more masculine figure than otherwise. She even refers to Haruka as being "in male form" at these times, and stated that she wanted this to continue in the anime—which it did. In the anime, Haruka's sometimes-feminine appearance is downplayed, and she almost always dresses as a man.
Haruka's fascination with racing draws at least some of its details from Takeuchi herself; in the manga, they even share a favorite car, the Ferrari 512M. In the anime, she is seen driving a yellow or white Toyota 2000GT (1968) convertible, and once Mazda Mx-5 Miata in montego blue (1990).
Certain background details of Haruka's character were chosen symbolically—for instance, her Western astrological sign is given as Aquarius, which in astrology corresponds to the planet Uranus. In reference to a popular Japanese belief, her blood type is given as B, supposedly indicating cheerful wildness and selfishness.
The kanji of Haruka's surname translate as "sky" (天 ten?) and "king" (王 ō?). Together, they constitute most of the name of the planet Uranus in Japanese, Ten'ōsei (天王星?, "sky king star"). Her given name is in hiragana haruka (はるか?) and so its meaning is not inherent, but the word itself means "distant". Her family name is sometimes incorrectly romanized as Tennō, which is in fact a more common writing of the planet's name, but the manga invariably glosses Haruka's surname as Ten'ō where furigana are used, and it is pronounced this way in the anime.
Her name in the English-language anime, Amara, is derived from the Greek word αμαραντος amarantos, meaning "eternal" or "unfading". In 1998, the packaging of dolls released in Canada by Irwin Toys gave Haruka the name Corinn. In the Mixx (now Tokyopop) manga, she was once named Alex; Mixx later admitted this was a mistake, and changed her name back.
Reception and influence
Script error The official Sailor Moon popularity polls listed Haruka Tenoh and Sailor Uranus as separate characters. In 1994, with fifty one choices, Sailor Uranus was the sixth most popular character, receiving over nine thousand votes more than Haruka, who was the tenth. In early 1996, with fifty one choices, Uranus was the tenth most popular character, and Haruka was the twelfth. Haruka Tenoh came first in the favorite female character poll in Animage 1995. The following year she came seventh. Mari Nishimura found that Haruka became "very popular" with female fans due to her "clear male attributes".
Sailor Uranus has been described as having "clearly masculine traits", and that she protects Usagi "as a man would a woman". She is presented as being more logical than the others, more willing to resort to whatever means is necessary, and also physically stronger.
In an effort to avoid the controversy that a lesbian character in a cartoon aimed towards a younger audience would cause, given the contemporary social mores in the United States, the dub also states that Amara (Haruka) and Michelle (Michiru Kaioh) are cousins — even going so far as to occasionally state this through characters who should not know such information. However, whether in an attempt to be more faithful to the original Japanese or through sheer failure to edit consistently, several episodes of the English dub retain a noticeable amount of their casual flirting. It has even been implied that the difficulties in dubbing Haruka and Michiru's relationship are part of the reason why there was a gap of several years between the dubbing of the earlier series and the dubbing of Sailor Moon S. However, it should be noted that in Japan, there were also some controversies around the character.
Uli Meyer describes Sailor Uranus as being either butch or female-to-male transgendered, saying that "Uranus" recalls Uranism, a concept of homosexuality. Martha Cornog and Timothy Perper describe her as being "dual gendered". Because of her masculinity, Western fans of the series have sometimes speculated that Sailor Uranus was a prince in her previous life, rather than a princess.
In the Japanese anime and movies, Haruka Tenoh is voiced by veteran voice actress Megumi Ogata, who had previously portrayed a monster-of-the-day, Petz, and young Mamoru in the series. Ogata was instructed by the director to portray Haruka as if she and Michiru were a married couple. In 1995, Ogata won the 16th Animage Anime Grand Prix award for best seiyū, largely because of her work as Sailor Uranus, breaking up a 12-win streak by Megumi Hayashibara. The previous year she had ranked third, and she ranked second for the next three years before dropping to ninth place in 1999.
In the English adaptations, the voice of "Amara Tenoh" is provided by well known TV actress, Sarah Lafleur in one of her earliest roles.
In the stage musicals, Haruka has been played by 4 actresses: Sanae Kimura, Nao Takagi, Asako Uchida, and Akiko Nakayama. Sanae Kimura regarded the betrayal of Uranus and Neptune in her last musical, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban, to be a very difficult scene for her and cried during it.
Nao Takagi, the longest-running of the musical actresses, decided that she wanted to play the role of the "Sailor Senshi with the blonde hair" when she saw one of the earlier musicals, despite having never performed before. Takagi said she was "really happy to be able to play Uranus" and regarded Uranus as "a completely cool, handsome senshi". She has stated that certain scenes involving herself and Yuhka Asami (as Sailor Neptune) were specially created just for the two of them, the song "Destined Couple" in particular.
Haruka does not appear in the live-action series.
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- ↑ Cornog, Martha; and Perper, Timothy (March 2005) Non-Western Sexuality Comes to the U.S.: A Crash Course in Manga and Anime for Sexologists Contempory Sexuality vol 39 issue 3 page 1
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- ↑ Sailor Moon Musical 10th Anniversary Memorial Talk and Live Show - March 30th, Sanae Kimura commenting on the 1998 Eien Densetsu kaiteiban footage showing Orleans no Sei Senshi ~ Uranus to Neptune Uragiri~
- ↑ Script error Nao: "When I was watching the last show of the first stage "Eternal Legend", I was telling myself that is I ever have the chance to perform this play, I want to play the Sailor senshi with the blonde hair"
- ↑ Sailor Moon Musical, 1998 Shin Densetsu Kourin Fan Guide - Fan message
- ↑ Script error Nao: "Some of the scenes were created for the two of us"