Broken down to its simplest elements, Sailor Moon is the story of a
bizarrely talented totally ordinary junior high school girl who is actually the reincarnation of a princess from a long-forgotten space kingdom fighting against the forces of evil in defense of truth and love.
Though this isn’t in itself noteworthy, what is surprising is just how unlucky in love everyone else in the series tends to be. After all, outside of Haruka and Michiru’s relationship, none of the other main cast members are ever really paired off with a romantic partner.1
… except that’s not entirely true.
Today we’re going to talk about the surprisingly controversial relationship between the Sailor Senshi and the Shitennou, from its inception to where it stands in Sailor Moon canon. Whether you love it or hate the pairing, there’s something interesting to learn for everyone!
I never fully realized just how strongly fans were divided on the Shitennou x Inner Senshi pairings until Sailor Moon Crystal came out — and I can see why. Suddenly, this little footnote in Sailor Moon lore came out to the forefront, and many fans who were only exposed to the anime or manga translations were now scratching their heads wondering where this whole romantic back story came in.
To some, it was rejection of Zoisite and Kunzite’s relationship. To others, it simply felt shoehorned in.
For the first group, it’s worth noting that their relationship was an anime invention and homage to an older series.2 For the second, I don’t entirely disagree, but it’s worth exploring the origins of this pairing.
As mentioned above, one of the most common criticisms I hear of this pairing is that it never existed prior to Sailor Moon Crystal except for one picture that Ms. Takeuchi published in the first Sailor Moon artbook. This is technically correct… and also not. Surprisingly at the same time!
You see, while there were only a sparse few hints at the Shitennou x Senshi pairing in the Sailor Moon manga itself, when taken as a whole, it’s pretty clear that this was Ms. Takeuchi’s intention from the start.
First and foremost, of course, is her very own commentary on the aforementioned art book image:3
And for those of you who haven’t spent the past decade of your life learning Japanese:
This was the title page to the final act of Sailor Moon‘s first season. This got a pretty big response from some of the readers, probably because of how surprised they were to see the four couples on the right. You know, I had been thinking about the romantic stories back in these four couples’ past lives. I’d love to write about that someday.
Putting aside for a second that I’m sure there are many of us fans out there that wish Ms. Takeuchi would pick up her pen and write about the tales of the Silver Millennium, I would imagine that this comment alone should be enough to lay to rest the argument that the relationship wasn’t intended to be a part of the manga canon.
You could also argue that there was a small hint at the relationship when Princess Venus gets flustered and blushes after an encounter with Kunzite in the past.4
The best supporting evidence of a past relationship in the manga canon, however, is actually in Codename: Sailor V:5 Adonis (Danburite), just a tad bitter that his unrequited love with Princess Venus went unnoticed, comments dismissively that she was often falling in love. The accompanying scene shows Sailor Venus and Kunzite gazing into each other’s eyes as Adonis watches on.
That’s gotta hurt. Almost as bad as your sempai turning you away.6
Going beyond the Sailor Venus and Kunzite connections, I’ve seen some people make mention of Jadeite’s reaction when he first encounters Rei and talks about how he was drawn to her from the moment he laid eyes on her.7
And then, of course, there’s also the increased emphasis this pairing has been getting in the more recent post-Bandai SeraMyu musicals.
So with all that said, what do you think about the relationship between the Shitennou and the Sailor Team?
Personally, while I agree that they were probably together in the manga canon back in the Silver Millennium, it’s my personal belief that this is where their relationship ends. While Serenity and Endymion tell the story of a love that spans generations, I think that the rest of the figurative “Moonlight Destiny” for the rest of the Sailor Soldiers lies elsewhere — most likely in the unexplored aftermath after the events of Sailor Stars.
Not only are the Shitennou dead once again after the events of the Dark Kingdom arc, but there’s really nothing to suggest that the there is any sort of continuing connection in this life. Princess Venus may have been in love with Endymion’s guardian Kunzite, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Minako Aino feels the same way.
At least that’s my take on the situation. Let me know down below what you think about it!
- Unless you count Parallel Sailor Moon, which we don’t. For obvious reasons. ↩
- Yes, I’m aware of the scene where it looks like Zoisite is sidling up to Kunzite in the manga. No, that does not make for a relationship. ↩
- See SAILOR MOON ORIGINAL PICTURE COLLECTION VOL. I; liner notes p. 4 ↩
- See Act 12, p. 165 of Vol. 3 of the original manga release ↩
- See Act 15 of Codename: Sailor V ↩
- But at least pretty much every guy looks just like him! Good ol’ Freddy. ↩
- See Act 3, p. 108 of Vol. 1 of the original manga release ↩
23 thoughts on “Were the Sailor Senshi Dating Endymion’s Shitennou?”
I completely agree with you ^^ I don’t like these pairings (except for Kunzite x Venus… but the rest seems forced, it is quite unlikely for 4 friends/fellow guardians to fall in love with 4 men connected in the same way) but knowing it was Naoko-sensei’s intention, I can’t disagree with them :p So actually I had the opinion “they were in love in the previous life but that’s it” for quite a long time.
Bandai musicals had these pairings as well (for example in Ryuusei Densetsu, if I remember correctly)
Personally, I was one of those who hated it in Crystal because of how sloppy it was handled.
I became so excited when I saw they were not killing off the four kings and assumed they were going to add more depth to them and the story.
But what a waste.
It was kind of embarrassing as a fan to watch that mess play out in such a stupid way.
I didn’t buy the connection at all.
I guess I prefer it being something that may or may not have happened in the distant past, with the girls not giving it much thought. The idea of being tied romantically to someone because of “destiny” doesn’t appeal to me as much as it did when I was young, so maybe that’s part of it.
I agree, the Senshi and the Shitennou were together… In the past. As for now, the most they’d get would be a quick death from Sailor Venus, and that depends on circumstances as Zoisite can testify.
Yay, a new article! <3 And it's about everyone's favorite can of worms, too.
While I'm still surprised there wasn't even a single side chapter fully dedicated to the Silver Millennium, I can see why this story never happened. And it has nothing to do with the Shitennou being DEAD (it's a fantasy series, why would this be a long-term problem?), and everything to do with the new arcs focusing on new characters. If anything, the Sailor V finale referencing Minako/Kunzite is a clue that the idea was never fully discarded, since that chapter was published after Sailor Moon ended. There just wasn't enough time to implement it. Then again, I guess SeraMyu contributed to the pairings still being popular.
However, it bothers me when people ignore any plot points that never made it into the final work because "if the author didn't include this, they probably didn't like that idea in the first place or changed their mind about liking it". You can have a subplot or a character that looks GREAT, and then the story ends up going in a different direction than was originally planned and renders those ideas unusable. With what we know about the early Sailor Moon drafts, that happened a lot. (And this is the main reason why I hate the term "canon". Most of the time, it completely ignores how complex the process of writing actually is.)
Anyway… yeah, my interpretation was more like this: they were lovers in the past life, and some of them may subconsciously remember some of those feelings, but unlike Usagi and Mamoru they never got a chance to form a connection in the present. Which is the most important part.
This was always super-interesting to me, especially since I first read about the “they were LOVERS in the Moon Kingdom!” thing WAY back in the “Anime Web Turnpike/Sailor Moon Webring” days of the internet. It came off like a “WTF?” thing even back then, and since it almost literally never got mentioned, it was easily to dismiss.
The issue, of course, being that Ms. Takeuchi had the usual “Well I’d like to explore this, but deadlines, so…” thing, plus a general lack of focus on ANYONE but Usagi & Mamoru, and the fact that she wiped out the four Generals so casually in the manga that literally every other adaptation of her work had to invent personalities wholesale for the baddies (Jadeite becoming sexist and fearful of Beryl, Nephrite being in love with Naru, Zoisite being a conniving up & comer and uke to Kunzite, and Kunzite being the elder lover of Zoisite)… this always feels like an unexplored “Origin Story” that just never got used in ANYTHING, so it always felt tacked-on when emphasized.
Personally, I wouldn’t have minded it being part of the backstory, and something the girls had to think about and deal with in the show. The show REALLY had issues giving anyone a romantic life, as Takeuchi didn’t deal with that much at all, either (Rei’s minor backstory with her dad’s junior associate; Minako with her “Sailor V” castmates… and that’s about it), so it would have added something, especially as the show had so much filler and could have gotten some mileage out of it. But every time an adaptation focuses on it, it comes off as forced and weird.
I’ve always liked the idea of the inner Senshi and the Shitennou. I always thought it was sad we never got to see the other Senshi, (minus Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask and Neptune/Uranus) fall in love or find their true love. With such a big emphasis on the love between Serenity and Endymion, it felt cruel to kill the Senshi’s former lovers with a blink of the eye. The handling of the Shitennou in Crystal was a disappointment, a false hope after they let them love. I like the SeraMyu version of the arc. They get to fall in love again, and then the Shitennou sacrifice themselves (if I remember right). I would love to see more of the Silver Millennium and who the Senshi fall in love with after Sailor Stars.
I have mixed feelings about these pairings. The idea is kind of cute, but I didn’t like how Crystal handled it. I like them more as individual pairings. I’m not crazy about the idea of each of them being magically paired together, like so many two-piece puzzles. Ami, Rei, Mako, and Minako are four very different girls, so the dynamics between them and their paired King would be different. I’m not even sure I’d want all four pairings to exist within the same continuity. It seems too “picture perfect.” I’m not against all four girls having boyfriends, but all four girls having boyfriends, *and* those boyfriends all happen to be bodyguards to Usagi’s boyriend? That’s stretching my suspension of disbelief a little far.
That said, I think your analysis of the canon-ness of the pairing to be spot-on. Naoko at least likes the idea, and it’s canon between their past lives in Crystal, whether I like it or not.
Well, considering that in the manga the sailors (except for Ami) wiped out their former lovers, I don’t think there is little chance that there will be any continuation in the present time. (That is if the sailors are allowed lovers at all because the few glimpses in the futures we were shown didn’t show them as happy wives and loving mothers. So I guess their fate is just staying single for their mission.)
Part of me is kind of sad about it. I liked the cute interactions between Ami and Nephrite and Venus and Zoisite but this relationships were just futile as we are talking young men in their 20’s and 14-year-old middle school girls. A 26yo teacher marrying his 16yo student may be cute in a certain Clamp manga but in real life or even just a life action film it’s not just borderline creepy. There is a reason why they didn’t let Mako start the relationship with Motoki really before she was older. Well at least on screen.
I agree with those who recognize these pairings canon in the past, but a very ambiguous thing in the current timeline. Yes, Naoko is very into things like this, but the circumstances and plot make it doubtful, especially considering that after Mamoru x Usagi it would look like a not very original imitation of the main ship. Honestly, I don’t like the idea that of all the girls, only Usagi “has the right” to love, while the other girls ’love interests are either temporary or jerky, or Naoko generally decides to use them for a message about” romance isn’t the most important thing in life “and give them a celibacy message.
In any case, for me personally this is not the most important issue in the romantic side of Sailor Moon, since it seems to me that the ambiguous Starlights context or the author’s “obsession” with various ships for ChibiUsa is much more interesting for discussion.
I think we’re all forgetting about the Another Story game here. It’s casually canon (eg it wasn’t produced in a vacuum without Naoko Takeuchi’s input), but uses materials from the Anime and Manga. If you play the game and explore a bit, the towns people make references to all five of the pairings, particularly in the Silver Millennium time period. So I believe the game might have have explored the Shitennou more (Chapter 2 is entirely each inner senshi going off to find the Hi (Light) stone to the dark stones that Mamoru kept) than the Manga and Anime tried to. However it also feels like when you go back in time and re-explore those same towns, content might have been cut, because there is literately nothing to do in any of the towns of the past, and while Venus’s statue with the sword exists in both time periods, the statues of Jadeite and Kunzite only exist in the present. You can meet them in the past at the earth castle, but they don’t really have anything to say. Basically the layout of the towns implies that the temples were there and the townspeople revered the four kings like gods, but only Venus has any character recognize her in the present.
So of all the relationships in the game, Venus and Kunzite are the only ones that there’s a heavier implied past. When Jupiter goes to the underground city in the present, there’s one image, and you never hear anything about Nephrite in the present, but if you go out of your way to come back there in the past, there is a non-destroyed town with people all talking about Nephrite.
Though none of that really has to erase the original anime either. Just because they reincarnated, doesn’t mean they all have to have the original relationships re-established. As it is, the Sailor V manga doesn’t really get to explore any relationships, and the game in the “fantasy future”‘s only gives Ami and Makoto boyfriends, while it gives Rei Mamoru, and Minako doesn’t even get the name of the boy she gives a love letter to. Usagi’s fantasy future is just a glimpse of things to come either way. So the only fated relationship is Usagi and Mamoru.
Interesting look at the situation! Personally, I wouldn’t consider Another Story to be canon even though Naoko had input in the stories (like the musicals) simply because there’s just no way to make a lot of the scenarios outlined in the game fit into the Sailor Moon universe.
But if we were to accept it as canon, then that definitely does give us some more insight into the Senshi & Shitennou relationships!
My only real beef with the idea it doesn’t make a lot of internal sense according to Takeuchi’s own canon. All canons goes out of their way to mention in the backstory that the two kingdoms (not just Serenity and Endymion, the Kingdoms themselves) aren’t supposed to fraternize, which is why 1) Endymion and Serenity have the whole Romeo and Juliet thing going 2) each of their own teams is conflicted between wanting their leaders to be happy vs endangering their kingdoms doing that thing.
So the idea those same EIGHT people are also doing that (let alone with each other) feels weird. Especially because on a storytelling level, it feels like something you COULD cut out or tweak fairly easily if you really wanted to pursue it? But because it’s made such a big deal… feels like trying to eat your cake and have it too.
My objections to these pairings lies simply in the fact that it’s rather too convenient. Endymion’s 4 body guards happened to fall for Serenity’s. Maybe Venus and Kunzite I could buy. But literally all of them?
It struck me as a convenient way for Naoko to tie up loose ends rather than there being any sort of legitimate romance in the pairings. I’m really not a fan.
Takeuchi did the Four Kings so dirty…… Their deaths made narrative sense and I get not wanting too large a cast of major characters from the get-go as it would hinder plot growth, but…… She straight just barely ever mentions them again, even in flashbacks and such. They’re barely even mentioned during the Golden Crystal storyline, if I recall. Plus, with the Silver Crystal’s penchant for bringing everyone and their mother back to life, the choice seems a little insulting to Mamoru lol
I grew up on the Dic dub and I think I was still a kid when I learned about the Kunzite/Zoisite relationship in the classic anime. I just assumed it was good it was edited because they were villains and it was the only male/male couple at that time.
It seems like a lot of the male/male romantic or possibly romantic (although I think Fiore was straight in the end, but didn’t realize he wasn’t following earthly 90s codes) energy was written with villains (except once or twice, like in the SuperS season with the fashion designer and the other man, but the biggest ones are villains).
I never liked that, although I kind of laughed when I realized if Crystal had it I might not have felt so bad because we see them try to be good, but I do think it’s better that they are straight and that must be because I’m straight too.
I’m still not behind celebrating villains as gay (because you still go to prison if you commit a crime and are gay and I feel like representation sometimes gets severe flaws and crimes glossed over), because I know how I felt as a straight person growing up. I thought most gay people were bad because of some representation and fan works that I saw and now I know even fear can turn to anger and can hurt other children or adults.
Honestly, though, I’m not behind Nephrite and Molly/Naru either. I just didn’t like it, but I rewatched that part (but in the Dic dub) after I watched Crystal. I don’t really have any attachment to it or strong memories of shipping them from when I first watched the show as a kid. It just makes for a bigger story to have the four kinds of Heaven have their queens. It was romantic, even in Crystal, although I think they should ahve done more. We needed filler and to have the girls think of them more.
Also, I will note, I got something out of Uranus/Neptune, because their love made them good not bad (although I watched the Cloverway dub and that cut out anything bad, like emotional cheating and I don’t think seeing the Haruka/Usagi kiss would teach kids. Those moments in 80s/90s/early 2000s shows confused me as a kid). Some of the man/woman pairings have flaws too, but overall I think Crystal is better with it.
Kings not kinds lol. My bad.
Cloverway trasnformed Uranus/Neptune into cousins, which it was ridiculous, no wonder that this become a joke.
Hooo boy, back in 2000/2001 I came up with a whole dramatic backstory for Sen/Shi involving infidelity, attempted sexual assault, and a breakup scene that would make The Room blush. Even after I realized it was a terrible idea and super unlikely I was fascinated by how Sen/Shi could’ve played out and hoped Crystal would delve more into it. Unfortunately they followed the manga too closely and didn’t give it the focus and development it needed. 🙁
My guess is that Rei and Jadeite did break up, but it was mutual because of their devotion to their respective lieges. And Venus was portrayed as closest to Serenity in the manga, so even if she and Kunzite liked one another…well, it’s been more or less established that Minako would always choose Usagi.
I eventually got super into Jupiter/Nephrite, and was surprised at how much the musicals love Zoisite/Mercury.
It’s sort of a case-by-case situation with me. Do I like the idea of ShitennouxSenshi? No, it’s too contrived and forced. But at the same time, I could very easily see nearly all of their relationships playing out at some point during the past, and possibly even having managed to work, depending on how they assisted Endymion/Serenity in seeking the other out. In formal balls and other such occasions, they could easily be paired off by official rank as dance partners and the like to get to know each other. There are ways they could have grown closer, that they could have happened, but I still don’t think a strait four-to-four would work.
For Kunzite/Venus, it’s stated in Sailor V that she was the embodiment of beauty and always falling in love with people. This gives the impression of a fickle heart with shallow, surface levels of affection. Like Makoto in the anime, jumping from boy to boy like a flitting hummingbird. I could totally see Venus having flitted to Kunzite, fallen deeply in love for the moment, and then having fallen out of love as she found the next handsome guy just as fast. And being the perfect embodiment of beauty, it’s not so very shocking that if Kunzite had romantic attraction towards girls at all, he’d go for the most beautiful one in existence when she showed attention to him. So, given her manga personality, I could clearly see this relationship as having been a thing that happened once upon a time in the past. However, Minako–especially anime!Minako–is a different story. She’s too flaky and immature to catch and hold the attention of someone with Kunzite’s serious personality. Maybe once she’s an adult and has gotten her shit together, but as the show stands, I don’t see him able to form a relationship with her at all.
Jadeite/Mars is another rather plausible one. Jadeite expressed right off the bat that he found her attractive and was strangely drawn to her, even in the anime. He clearly had feelings for her and would likely have at least attempted to pursue them if the series had left the two alive in each other’s presence for long enough. So I could also see there have been a relationship of a sort in the past, as well, and it could have even been a rather deep and passionate one. However, he’s stated to be cruel, which could just be a side effect of him being under Queen Metalia’s control, or it could be an original part of his personality. Manga!Rei’s distrust for men might even play into that if his cruelty had been at all turned on her in their past life as some sort of sadistic pleasure. But, if you kept that out of it and especially if using anime!Rei who never swore off men, I think their relationship could really work.
Nephrite/Jupiter is a little more far-fetched, but is still possible. Makoto longs to be feminine and have that romance and happy family life. Partially because she’s lonely, but a large, confident, macho guy like Nephrite might actually be able to give her what she’s looking for. He won’t be intimidated by Makoto’s height or strength, and seems the sort of guy that would appreciate a homemaker like Makoto wants to be. But that’s assuming they take their relationship in that direction, as I can just as easily see the two of them being rather indifferent to each other and just sort of accepting the other’s existence as a necessary evil given as he’s Endymion’s personal guard and she’s Serentity’s so they’re co-workers with a job to do. They do barely seem to have anything in common, after all.
And finally the one that totally breaks the deal for me, I really can’t see childish, self-absorbed, vain Zoisite either having or being of any interest to shy, calm, wallflower Mercury. Not that they couldn’t work together well enough, or that they wouldn’t partner off for dances or the like during formal events where everyone is expected to be paired off with an appropriate escort. However, though tentative friendship may be possible, I can’t see it moving past a working environment without it getting on both of their nerves. Zoisite is the sort to want too much to be the centre of attention, to be fawned over and adored, but Ami’s too studious and into her career to give him the attention he craves. They might be able to even possibly date for a short time to see if things would work, but he would drive her crazy with his needs, and she would neglect him for her solitary hobbies.
Plus, having grown up with the old DiC dub, and later the anime subs long before I ever tried to unfurl the difference between anime and manga versions of the characters, I just have way too much of a soft spot for Kunzite/Zoisite and Ryo/Ami to ever be able to appreciate Kunzite/Venus and Zoisite/Mercury to their full extent.
I’m going to be honest – as a kid, I flat out loved the Senshi/Shitennou pairings. All of them. And I’m still fond of them even now, but I think that’s because of the various fanfictions that I’ve read. Fans have really taken the pairings and run with them, and there are some outstanding stories out there focusing on their stories, whether it be the tragedy of how things turned out for them in the Silver Millennium, AUs where there are no powers, how the Shitennou might be brought back, etc.
Heh, and there’s more. As a kid, I had this whole insanely self-indulgent headcanon for how things turned out. Namely, after Sailor Stars, Mamoru and Usagi continued to grow into their powers and control over the Golden and Silver Crystals, eventually getting to the point that between the two of them, they’re able to revive the Shitennou from their stones. Perhaps just in time for Crystal Tokyo. The Senshi then got to decide if that whole previous life romance thing was for them (which, to tween/early teen me, it totally was), there was a bit of groveling on the Shitennou’s part for having gotten themselves captured and brainwashed, etc. Fast forward, and we reach the Dark Moon War. The Shitennou are involved, fighting the good fight until everything goes to hell because no one thought to put the Silver Crystal on a pedestal high enough for Chibi Usa to not be able to reach it. This leaves everyone doing damage control, trying to keep the Dark Moon people out of the Crystal Palace, until the 20th century gang shows up. At this point, King Endymion’s hologram basically shoves the Shitennou into a closet and orders them to stay there until the 20th century group is gone because they’re not supposed to know about them. Everything eventually works out and yay! Happily ever after!
I told you, I was a total sap as a kid. 😉
When I saw that Sailor Moon Crystal was actually acknowledging the Senshi/Shitennou romances, I was very excited, and I don’t think it was too terrible. It actually served as a great and tragic comparison and contrast to Usagi’s saving of Mamoru. In each case, the guys were ultimately saved. Mamoru finally got de-brainwashed, and the Shitennou did as well – all by the power of love (a combination of love from the Senshi and the love and devotion the Shitennou had for Endymion). The only difference is that Mamoru survived, whereas the Shitennou didn’t, and given the way things played out in Crystal, I get the feeling that they would have allowed Sailor Moon to revive them along with the rest of the planet if it wouldn’t be such an enormous departure from the source material. Crystal played fast and loose with the Shitennou’s storylines in allowing them to live longer than they did in the manga, but ultimately still had them fall in battle.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment, though, was that the girls forced themselves to put their grief over their losses aside because of the current crisis, even saying that they’ll grieve later. And yet we never get hint of them processing what they lost. :'(
Personally, I’m a fan of the concept of the Senshi/Shitennou ship. The first time I heard of this ship was in Anime America’s Sailor March Madness. Although it does sound cliche that Princess Serenity’s guardians and Prince Endymion’s guardians would’ve been couples during the Silver Millennium, I still like the concept nonetheless.
I was kinda bummed with the ship’s portrayal in Crystal. One one hand, it was nice to see the Shitennou get redeemed and show some exposure to this ship. On the other hand, everything semeed so rushed to get the plot going. Obviously the ship wouldn’t really work in the 90’s anime since the Senshi and Shitennou are couples with other characters (e.g.: Kunzite and Zoisite, Yuuichiro and Rei, Ryo and Ami even though they only had like 2 episodes together; also I have nothing against these ships, they’re perfectly fine the way they are).
I started coming up with a Sailor Moon AU in 2019 that’s mostly a retelling of the story of the 90’s anime with some influence from other Sailor Moon media here and there (e.g.: Crystal, PGSM, the musicals, the DiC and Cloverway English dubs), and I was thinking of making the Senshi/Shitennou pairing work by giving the Shitennou a better redemption arc, having some sort of interaction between each pairing, and making the Shitennou stay alive to aid Mamoru and the Sailor Guardians in case they need it. Since I have Nephrite and Kunzite be much older than Jupiter and Venus by like 5-6 years, they’re just gonna be friends in the modern day.
But yeah, I still like this ship, even though there are some flaws here and there. But I definitely wasn’t aware about some of the fan division controversies surrounding this ship and any of the other ships in the fandom.
I really love PGSM’s interpretation of the concept of senshi/shitennou romance, in that they did something interesting with it; adding so much more to character development than the source material allowed (| lived for the unexpected & refreshing chemistry btw Nephrite & Ami). Also loved that they didn’t feel compelled to pair up all 4 inners with the shitennou, as the comp-het of it all leaves a bad taste in my mouth & allows much more for a queer interpretation of some of the character’s close frienships (Rei & Minako especially)