If you were a North American fan of Sailor Moon back in the mid- to late-90s (and even into the early 2000s), your exposure to the… well, let’s say “deeper” parts of the series was limited at best. Nudity? None of that. Death? Make them unconscious instead. Homosexuality? Let’s try “cousins.”
Then one day, you were taking a trip down the information super highway — known to some as “the internet” — when all of a sudden you read that there was much more to Sailor Moon than you had been led to believe. Eternal Sailor Moon flew around naked. The Sailor Senshi died. Oh, and what’s this? Some of the Sailors were lesbians??
I think I speak for many of us in my generation of Sailor Moon fandom when I say that the exposure to Haruka and Michiru’s relationship was an incredibly eye opening experience. For that reason alone, these two characters will always be incredibly important to me.
In honor of Haruka Tenoh’s birthday, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight five interesting facts about the Senshi of the wind and her role in Sailor Moon. Happy Birthday, Haruka!
As someone who grew up watching Sailor Moon in English (first through the dub, then fansubs, then later official subs), my view of the series has always been colored by what the English-speaking fan community thought of the series. So for once, I really wanted to take a look at some articles written about Haruka and Michiru back when Sailor Moon S was still on the air, and see what Japanese fans thought about their relationship.
After all, it couldn’t be any worse than Prince Uranus, right?1
Japanese pronouns and suffixes — the bane of every translator. And yet, they can tell us a lot about how a character views and expresses themselves.
It’s hard to say whether the difference in pronoun choice between the anime and manga was a conscious choice by the writers or possibly even a preference expressed by her voice actress, Megumi Ogata, but it’s still a fascinating subject nonetheless!
Whether you’ve been told that Haruka owns an international driver’s license or that she’s secretly 18 years old (and yet somehow no one at Mugen Gakuen reads the newspaper?), there’s a lot to unpack here regarding how Haruka is actually able to drive around Azabu-Juban despite her age.
This article actually inspired me to research a companion article regarding Setsuna’s epic helicopter save, but somehow I didn’t think anyone (other than me) would be interested in the process to become a certified helicopter pilot in Japan. Anyone else out there…?
This is another article that I loved writing just because, well, it was really fun to research. Of course I knew that Haruka and Michiru are insanely rich, but we never actually got much of a look at what their personal lives were like outside of a few quick scenes.
So off I went to research Japanese apartments for rent to see just how much you could rent for around one million yen per month.
Tidbit: Haruka (Apartment 1127) and Michiru’s (Apartment 1306) apartments get their numbers from their birthdays — January 27 (1/27) and March 6 (3/6)
Megumi Ogata is not only a renowned singer, but also has been a pretty vocal advocate for all of her characters throughout the years. So what could possibly have come in the way between her and singing Haruka’s image song, Initial U?
As it turns out, there have been rumblings for years in a small feud brewing between her and the lyricist who wrote the song. And who was that lyricist? A certain well-known manga artist named Naoko Takeuchi.
Thank you, Haruka, for being so awesome and opening my eyes up to a whole new part of this series. And also for not being a stupid reincarnated prince.
Personally speaking, I’d say that the manga action version of Haruka is probably my favorite, though it’s a really close call since the anime also did a pretty good job with the character, and all of the musicals were great at playing up on all of her quirks.
If you have any questions you’d like me to look into about Haruka, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!