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How dedicated is she?

One of the most commonly written bits of information about Haruka on virtually every web page that mentions her goes like this: "She is very dedicated and would sacrifice her life and the life of her partner to complete the mission." Which is true. Haruka is extremely dedicated. She did sacrifice her life and Michiru's, twice that I know of in the anime, to fulfill their mission.

It also leads people to further the (absurdly overblown) "Michiru loves Haruka more than Haruka loves Michiru" stereotype. Which is understandable, since they must consider the two aforementioned examples combined with the many times that Neptune has thrown herself in harm's way to prevent Uranus from getting hurt and draw conclusions.

So what aren't they considering?

Well, besides the fact that level of dedication doesn't necessarily amount to differences in feeling, there's something that I noticed today when I was watching that fateful episode in which the Talismans were revealed: Haruka's turning the gun on herself at the point she did was illogical.

Whenever people have written of that scene, they speak of Michiru's great love for Haruka for trying to save her at the cost of her own life, for Haruka's great dedication to the mission since she doesn't try to return her partner's heart crystal but removes her own instead. So Haruka is obviously distraught about Michiru's death but nonetheless follows through, right?

Well, let's look at the facts:

  • Upon entering the church, Michiru pushes Haruka out of harm's way and becomes trapped herself (demonstrating her love for Haruka).

  • Haruka, distraught by her capture, instinctively runs toward her when she sees her (what happened to thinking of the mission?) but is shot down by arrows.

  • Eudial is going to shoot Haruka, but Michiru frees herself from her bonds and crosses the bridge (screaming that she won't let Haruka die) with arrows shooting her to wind up being shot by the gun first (quite a feat, a clear sign of affection).

  • Usagi stops Eudial, but rather than letting her replace Michiru's heart crystal, Haruka throws her transformation broach back at her and shoots herself.

So that's it, right? One of the great acts that demonstrates Haruka's priorities?

Well, consider that:

  • Haruka knows that the Talismans have to be found for the sake of the world; if she replaces the mirror in Michiru's heart, her partner would only have to die again;

  • Haruka knew that she, too, would have to die.

  • She had not yet located the third Talisman.

  • She knew of Usagi's utter incapability of ripping out someone's pure heart crystal for a Talisman.

  • Haruka nonetheless throws her transformation broach at her and shoots herself, telling Usagi to save the world.

What? What was that? Wouldn't it have been more logical for her to have waited until she had found the third Talisman, until she was sure that the Messiah would receive the Holy Grail?

Suddenly, Haruka's act of pure dedication is clouded by her grief; her killing herself at that particular point was an illogical escape. Of course it shows her dedication; she was willing to die for her cause, to let Michiru die for their cause. But taking such an easy escape also demonstrates her dependence on Michiru. Because she wasn't thinking completely rationally when making her decision.

Additionally, Michiru's disregarding their promise that the mission should come first (after reminding her partner of it) absolutely proves her unwillingness to allow Haruka to die for their cause, but what if Haruka's death had come first? What if Neptune's desperate action had come a moment too late?

Michiru's intelligent, and I'm certain she would have done precisely what Haruka did: sacrificed her life (and, however unwillingly, that of her partner) to save the world.

In the death scene that I've read of (but haven't yet seen) in Sailor Stars, they both opt to die together because they realize that it's their only chance to stop Galaxia. So just because the idea occurs to Uranus first, it means that she's willing to sacrifice them both? It seems to me that they both decided to make the sacrifice--in order to be together. (While protecting their princess, of course.)

Michiru most definitely has a weakness when it comes to her partner's life while Haruka manages to push aside personal concerns more effectively. But Michiru's not as weak-minded as many make her out to be. And Haruka's not as tough as she pretends.

Once in a while, I come across a page denoting Haruka as the markedly dependent partner, and there's truth in that description (her emotions are far more visible than those of Michiru), but at the same time, I can't see her immediately taking her life if Michiru dies as some people seem to (especially in fanfics). Losing the will to live, probably, but she wouldn't just take herself out in the midst of battle without a thought of her duty.

However, the vast, vast majority of pages perpetuate the stereotype which I have spent the bulk of this rant addressing, and after viewing their "evidence" myself, I don't really see it.

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Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is Takeuchi Naoko and a bunch of other bureaucratic people we don't know.
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