Think about your favorite book, your favorite manga, your favorite movie. Who is the first character that comes to mind? Odds are, it’s going to be one of the main characters, like Harry Potter, Inu Yasha, or Tony Stark. While these characters are obviously very important, as the story revolves around them, there are other characters in the chosen work that support them. The book/manga/movie wouldn’t be the same without these supporting characters, whether they’re bad guys to support motivation or good guys that provide emotional assistance in times of stress.
For this week’s Top 5 Wednesday, I thought that I might go back to one of my favorite works: the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi. This was a relatively short series when you think about some of the other series out there (Bleach, Naruto), but it packed a lot of characters in that meant a lot to the series as a whole. Today I’ll share my favorite ones with you.
Artemis, Diana, and Luna
Each of these characters represents a huge presence in their respective owner’s lives: Artemis to Minako, Diana to Chibiusa, and Luna to Usagi. They’re not only confidantes, but they serve as bearers of new equipment, such as the transformation compacts and wands used by the Sailor Soldiers.
Throughout much of the series we only see them in their feline forms; the human forms don’t appear until near the end of the series, when we’re dealing with Sailor Galaxia, Princess Kakyuu, and the False Soliders. However, in the animated movie Sailor Moon S: The Movie, we are treated to the only time in the anime we see Luna’s human form. It’s a heartbreaking story of unrequited love, but a beautiful one nonetheless because Luna gets a lot of screen time.
While aesthetically Kou Yaten was the Sailor Starlight that I preferred (the white haired one), Kou Yaten was the Starlight that seemed more like the person that I would’ve been. S/he was also the kindest of the three of the Starlights, in my opinion, much more open to kindness rather than remaining islands unto themselves.
In the manga the Starlights were female that crossdressed as males when in their human forms, whereas in the anime they actually changed genders, so that’s something to keep in mind when viewing/reading Sailor Moon Stars.
Usagi Tsukino’s human mother, Ikuko is a hilarious mum and while we don’t get to see her much, she’s a vital part to the structure of the Tsukino family. She not only does her best to keep Usagi on the right path (which isn’t always easy, given how lazy that girl is!), but when characters like Chibiusa and Chibichibi show up she cares for them as well. Granted a bit of magic is involved, but still, her mothering instinct is there and I think she’d have done these amazing things even if she knew the whole story.
Phobos and Deimos
These two are responsible for at least some of my interest in mythology when I was in high school. I even submitted their names in a knight naming contest (two suits of armor guarded our library, I don’t remember why). They’re the crow equivalent of Luna, Artemis, and Diana: protectors of Sailor Mars who reveal their names to her when she’s young and help her guard the Shinto temple she lives in with her grandfather. They’re not on a humorous level like Luna; they’re more noble and mysterious. The anime doesn’t do them justice and their manga story ends tragically. Actually, pretty much all of the story does once you hit Stars. ^^;
Chibichibi might have annoyed me when I first met her watching the anime, but after reading the manga, I learned so much about her character. Her backstory and place in the manga is different from the anime that I first encountered. I’m not sure if I’d quite call it more hopeful, but her anime identity, which is revealed to be the Star Seed of Sailor Galaxia, is in keeping with the feel of the past seasons of Sailor Moon. The time travel and hopelessness of Sailor Cosmos, her true identity in the manga, reminded me of Chibiusa’s own time travel ordeal earlier in the manga. The callbacks involved with Chibichibi’s story to traditional Sailor Moon story lines and feelings made this ending story arc feel, sad as it was, like it was true to what the series was.
Who are some of your favorite side characters? These characters are the support structures of our favorite stories, after all! Please share your favorite with me in the comment section down below.
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