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Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol. 5 - Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published July 29th 2020
The Guardians of the Outer Planets Arrive
Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol. 5
Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Volume 5 was written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi and was published on 15 October 2019 by Kodansha Comics. It covers acts 27 to 33 of the manga and chapters 1 through to 7 of the Infinity story arc. The Infinity story arc is a favourite of mine because it introduces Haruka Tenou (Sailor Uranus), Michiru Kaioh (Sailor Neptune), Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Saturn) and Setsuna Meiou (Sailor Pluto). Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Volume 5 has my favourite front cover yet out of all of the Eternal Editions. It features Sailor Venus on the front holding her love chain and surrounded by sparkles of light. She looks magical.

We learn a lot about Haruka Tenou and Michiru Kaioh in Eternal Edition Volume 5. In the manga, Haruka is a beautiful androgynous woman who wears both male and female clothing and enjoys race car driving. Her girlfriend, Michiru Kaioh, was made to be her exact opposite. She is elegant, dresses and acts very feminine, and plays the violin. Haruka and Michiru are in a devoted lesbian relationship.

There has been a lot of debate over the years about Haruka's gender identity in both the manga, anime and musicals. In Eternal Edition Volume 5 Sailor Neptune describes her as being "both male and female" and having attributes and strengths limited to neither. I see Haruka as being gender-fluid. Haruka is comfortable shifting between masculine and feminine. In the manga, she appears as a man in some scenes, and a woman in others. When she appears as a man, she wears male clothing and is drawn differently than when she appears as a woman. Haruka is constantly confused for a male. In one scene, Usagi asks her if she is a man or a woman. Haruka bends over her and asks "Guy? Girl? Does it really matter?" which only adds to Usagi's confusion.

I love how Naoko Takeuchi wrote and illustrated Haruka Tenou. She is a great example of a confident and androgynous non-binary character. One of the things that I like about Sailor Moon is the variety of different female heroines in it. Far too often in pop culture, feminine girls have been seen as weak, and girls who embraced more masculine character traits have been viewed as strong female characters. In Sailor Moon there are girls who look and act masculine like Haruka. There are girls who have tempers and do not act nice like Rei (Sailor Mars), girls who are a blend of masculine and feminine traits like Makoto (Sailor Jupiter), and girls who draw strength from acting feminine like Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Michiru Kaioh (Sailor Neptune). The message in Sailor Moon is that there is no right way or wrong way to be a girl and that all girls are strong and powerful.
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Why? In Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol. 5 new enemies arrive in town, Chibi-Usa makes a new friend, and new Sailor Guardians introduce themselves
Cost: $49.99
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