“Guide me to the world where your soul drifts”—-Supervillain Ships in “Sailor Moon”

We’re on our way back from our anniversary trip to Chicago. As part of that trip, we visited the Field Museum, and at the Field Museum we saw (amongst many other things) a gemological exhibit.

I noticed this:

We’re all thinking the same thing, right? …no?
Well, I mean… maybe it’s just me? I’ll explain in a bit, anyway. They’re pretty, though, right?

My brain 🧠 immediately whiplashed into Sailor Moon Mode (TM), and things only got worse from there:

NOW we’re all thinking the same thing, right? Yeah?

Before I know it, I’m scouring the display for Sailor Moon characters, but that’s neither here nor there. I don’t know why Naoko Takeuchi chose to name her characters (both good and bad) after gems, but it was a smart move. And this whole affair got me thinking about a great villain ship that, at this point, I probably don’t need to introduce.

But how many villains do I actually ship with their fellows and with their non-villain counterparts? I’d never actually considered it before. Thus, this article is born! I had originally planned on including villain ships from multiple franchises here, but instead, I think I’ll focus on Sailor Moon and save the rest for another day. Without further fare, so begins a reflection.

We’ll start with the pairing that began it all—Zoisite and Kunzite. Let me pull a Bernie Sanders and make it very clear; I don’t care about the relationships these characters had in the manga with the inner sailor scouts. I don’t care if this was anime-only. These two are a SHIP 🛳. Like, they have sailed, and they aren’t coming back to port, guys.

Just try and deny it.

They are such a notable, casual approach to same-sex couple depiction, especially for the 90s. They go about themselves, and clearly love each other. And honestly, I don’t like their coupling for that reason specifically, but it’s worth mentioning.

I watched the dub as a kid that turned Zoisite as a woman, and finding out much later that “she” is actually a “he” was shocking at the time. (This is the same dub that turned Neptune and Uranus into cousins instead of lovers sooo no big surprises there.) And even as a kid, it was so clear how much they mattered to each other.

They’re evil, yes, but what are their motivations? What are their actions hinting at that might run deeper than their orders? Where are their hearts? I’m not spoiling anything for those of you who want to go back and take a refresher course in their romance. I mean, hey, I’m going to do so once Husband and I get home today. Because I need a good cry today, right?

I cried. I totally cried.

I mean, “Zoisite, guide me to the world where your soul drifts” ???? True love, guys.

The original Sailor Moon Anime was surprisingly good at tugging the heartstrings. We’ll touch more on that with our next half-villain couple: Molly (or “Naru”) and Nephrite.

Okay, I know Molly is like 14, so for my sanity, Nephrite is a teenager. That’s how it is. He’s a teen. I can’t find anywhere it gives him a specific age, and it makes sense that he would be, so it’s official. He is.

Molly is totally into the guys, but Again, she’s a teenage girl, and it really isn’t any surprise. (I mean, I was a teenage girl once. I get it.) What’s most interesting about this ship is Nephrite’s particular (and fairly short) redemption arc.

Until the very end, he’s well-and-truly evil while at the same time obviously acting on his feelings for Molly. Does he use her to get to Sailor Moon? Yes. Does he stop his attack on Sailor Moon to run to Molly’s aid when she’s in trouble (after having SENSED as much just from Molly’s thoughts because he’s so in tune with her)? Also yes! He himself doesn’t understand his feelings for her, and he denies them to his fellows, yet he saves her. He laughs with her. He protects her (spoiler because I HAVE TO) at the cost of his own life.

And Nephrite’s first experience with love brings this ship home to harbor in the saddest way…

It made my heart hurt.

Even though this post founds its inspiration and beginnings in Sailor Moon, my reflection can’t end there. I’m going to have to be more observant about the villains I ship. I think I’ll put out a headcannon post in the near future as well.

What really deserves a look are the general relationships in Sailor Moon that proved tragic. Because there are a lot of them. (Saphir and Demande, I’m looking at you.)

Did these ships break you like they broke me? Let me know in the comments below! And, you know, if you find any well-written, clean fanfics, lemme know about those too? :p

Love, Shoujo 🌸

“Street Corners and Cemeteries” (Create-A-Story Tag)

While I was nominated by Hazelyn over at Archi-Anime, Keiko’s Anime Blog originated the Create-A-Story tag.



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Rules

1. You pick your first word, your setting and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to yours, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it.

First Word
Fall
Fire
Music
Station
Rain

Setting
Hospital
Mountain
Sea
School
Street

Genre
Comedy
Drama
Slice of Life
Romance
Tragedy

2. The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand.
3. YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO ANSWER THE TAG.
4. You must tag three people to participate.
5. Don’t forget to link back to Keiko (this is her story) so she can collect all the stories.
6. Use the Create-A-Story picture in the post.
7. Copy and paste the rules in your tag post as well, so others can be clued in to the Create-A-Story rules.



Author’s Note: I don’t know why this got so dark, and I apologize. But it is dark, though whether well written or not, I can’t say. My selected words are “rain,” “street,” and “tragedy,” though I realize now that, subconsciously, “station” and “fall” also played a part.

Story: Street Corners and Cemeteries

Professor Martin hated graveyards, he’d said. He’d grown up in Mexico, where sprawling cemetery cities are intentionally isolated from the daily grind. The habitual reminder of his own mortality, he insisted, was eerie to say the least.

Laura had never been afraid of death. Death, she’d said, wasn’t an ending so much as a beginning, and while she’d never race toward it, she wasn’t scared. Her mother took her to the Pentecostal church on Brant every Sunday, and while she thought their practices a little strange, she’d found faith in something bigger than herself. Laura’s mother thought it beautiful even as her father, atheist to the core, thought it foolish. But how he loved his foolish girls.

Dominic grinned at tragedy. He laughed when the characters in Final Fantasy met their ends, and his father worried a little when he’d caught Dominic smiling widely during the violent cut scenes from Assassin’s Creed. But that’s what made it so amusing to Dominic, he’d tried to explain as his father packed up his horror movies and video games. It seemed so unrealistic! It was a game! It wasn’t real.

Emily had a sixth sense about these things. She couldn’t describe it really, just a feeling that something was about to go wrong, a nagging suspicion, or a tingling behind her left ear. So when her sister got in the car that night to meet up with her project group, Emily tired to stop her. Emily’d been feeling it all day, but when Jessica opened the front door, she knew.

She’d begged her not to go, to wait until tomorrow night or call her friends and have them all to her house, but her sister was stubborn, and she walked out the door anyway. Emily started to cry.

It had just started to rain. At the corner of Mills and Hyacinth, a girl held hands with her boyfriend as they stood bundled beneath a gas station overhang. He held up his phone, and the girl laughed, turning her face into his jacket, smelling the mixture of sweat and body spray.

In the car rolling down Mills, another girl sat trying to navigate familiar streets while her best friend frantically chatted away in the passenger seat about the deadline for their project and about how her sister didn’t like her out after dark. Emily was always worried, she said, but tonight it was especially bad.

A block away, Professor Martin sped toward his mother’s house with a cooling casserole in the side seat and papers in the back to be graded after dinner with the family.

The young couple started across the street, and the boy tugged her wet braid, hopping away with a grin as she spun to face him. Laura laughed and rolled her eyes at Dominic’s teasing. He thought she was probably the most beautiful girl in the world.

Professor Martin considered all the ways he might convince his mother it was time to move in with him. After all, it was only right that the family stick together, even if they’d forsaken the compound that was their birthright. But Mama was stubborn and had truly embraced that spirit of American individualism which, for better or worse, permeated this country.

They were two miles from their destination when one of the neighborhood’s feral tabbies darted in front of the girls’ black Escort, and they swerved.

Professor Martin had the right of way as he pulled through the green light, and distracted as he was, he didn’t stop to check who might be coming the other way.

Dominic’s lighthearted leap let him off with a broken leg in the impact that t-boned his girlfriend between the two cars.

Suddenly, death was real. Nothing had ever been so real as standing helpless while his girlfriend, coughing up blood between the Escort and the Bolt, told him not to be afraid. By the time the paramedics arrived, it was too late for Laura, who had died even as Dominic, frozen, couldn’t bring himself to reach for her hand.

Fire-EMS cut Professor Martin out of the car, but from his position sandwiched between his door and center console, he heard Dominic gasp, and he heard Jessica screaming.

In the days that followed, Emily didn’t say much, though she did spend a good deal of time clinging to her equally quiet sister. Professor Martin underwent surgery on a broken shoulder. Dominic cried.

Two funerals were held on separate days in homes on separate ends of town. Jessica attended both, though—as neither the driver of the Escort nor friend of Laura—the second was unexpected. When Laura’s mother realized who she was, she walked away. Her father, quietly, stepped in to offer forgiveness he wasn’t sure was needed.

Jessica nursed her relatively minor injuries, and she struggled as her high school mourned two lost lives taken before the age of 17, one of whom she’d known since they were much younger children.

And Professor Martin learned that street corners and cemeteries both have a ways of reminding us of our own mortality.



I don’t know why I wrote this. I don’t even know what it is. I’m tempted to apologize. I write a lot of depressing things, though it speaks nothing to my underlying state of being, however; emotionally, I’m fine. In any case, while “enjoy” might be the wrong word, I hope you liked my writing.

I’m not tagging anyone because I’ve already broken the rules by writing this past the two week deadline, and I don’t know who has participated at this point. :/

To enter the sweepstakes mentioned here, click here. I’ll include this link on all blog posts published between now and the sweepstakes conclusion.

~Shoujo

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The Nature of Greed — “FMAB” POST SERIES, PT 2

[Massive Spoilers]


“I’m Greed,” he says. “I’m greedy.”

Image result for FMA greed gif


In a way similar to (and yet removed from) homunculus Gluttony’s all-encompassing appetite, homunculus Greed knows only want. Created by Father (or “the dwarf in the flask”) from one of said villain’s basest parts, Greed very quickly becomes his own man in that he—you guessed it—wants more than to be a pawn in another creature’s scheme.

In his pursuit of supremacy (a greedy ambition indeed), Father isolates those most sinful, human parts of himself and turns them into individual homunculi; these personifications, designed to be his “children” of sorts, assist in his ambitions, existing for little other purpose than furthering their creator’s aims. In this respect, however, Greed is different. Greed, whose very self is an outside existence of Father’s own ambition, wants more than to be an accomplice. In fact, Greed wants everything.

Image result for FMA greed gif

Greed’s desires lead him astray of the path Father chose for him, and he begins to amass his own underground band of followers sometime before the series begins. While their backstory remains incomplete, it is clear that this odd, motley gang genuinely care for each other and their leader; Greed voices no such attachment. He claims them possessions; sex, status, glory: he wants it all, and this disjointed crew is his first step to attaining fresh abet ill-gotten fruits. Or are they ill-gained? Given no glimpse into Greed’s supposed nefarious activities, an audience is left to wonder about his purported purposes, even if Greed’s explanations satisfy himself. In fact, it is long after homunculus Greed ends up in the body of our young emperor candidate, Ling, that FMAB begins to dissect the nature of this deadly sin (and homunculus Greed by extension).

To begin, it’s important to recognize that greed is not a singular trait, but rather the manifestation of wants gleaned from personality or circumstantial derivatives. As stated in the clip below:

You want to bring back someone that you’ve lost. You might want money. Maybe you want women, or you might want to protect the world. These are all common things people want, things that their hearts desire. Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad, either. You humans think greed is just for money and power; everyone wants something they don’t have.

 

FMAB argues that greed is not a sin, but rather a defining human trait. The second coming of Greed is facilitated by Ling’s own overwhelming want to be emperor; even altruistic, his single-minded desire is greedy. He knows that it puts his clan in a position of power and thus safety. He is a good man striving to accomplish his goals for the right reasons, but he wants them achieved no matter who or what he must sacrifice in their attainment. By the standards of FMAB, this is truly greed.

Homunculus Greed leaves Father’s fold a second time upon regaining his first incarnation’s memories; it is at this moment that he realizes those things he most wanted have been taken from him, even though he only gained self-awareness in their loss. He joins up with Edward and the gang after a potentially lethal confrontation with homunculus Wrath. At first we’re left wondering, why does Greed go along with our heroes? It isn’t long before we reach an answer; adventuring with the Fullmetal Alchemist and crew allows Greed to glean that thing once lost, that thing which—to him—is worth more than anything else. In discovering that homunculi are not so different than humans, it can be ascertained that what Greed wants most…

(Skip to 1:00–the video looks dead, but it isn’t)

I wanted the chance… to have friends like these. 

Well, why not? “Everyone wants something they don’t have.” Greed lost his friends once, only then becoming self aware. This is his second chance to gain what his heart truly desires. This process is arduous, and it takes some time for Greed to accept certain truths about himself, but sharing a body with Ling helps Greed to learn what it means to be human and to embrace what one truly needs to be happy. Our heroes go through a great deal together.

At the end of our journey, Greed is willing to sacrifice himself, to die alone; he breaks his aesthetic and lies to save Ling. He cares about the man who has, within him, become his closest friend, and cherishes the lives of his companions. He cares about their goals, their wants and desires. Greed, in coming into himself, sums it up best:

(Skip to 2:00)

Looks like this is the end…. Heh, I could do without that pitiful look right now, ya piss ant. Heh. [lost in memories] Heh. I can’t believe I let Ling and the little runt talk to me that way.

Well, I’ve had enough. That’s all I really need. They gave me everything I could want. Thank you… and goodbye, my friends.

 

Knowing the nature of greed, we understand that its humunculus stands a perfect illustration of the irony behind Father’s actions; in attempting to transcend humanity, the dwarf in the flask threw away the most human parts of himself for both better and worse.

Goodbye, Greed. </3

 

 

Until next time,

Shoujothoughts