While most of this month is devoted to gender change, I’d like to talk about the time gender change did NOT happen.
There was once a rumor floating around that Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi had discussed Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s origin in an interview in a Japanese magazine. This rumor was spread through out the internet thanks to the website Save Our Senshi*, reading:
“Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) share an interesting relationship that is rather unique by the standards of Western television. Throughout the series, the two are always together, and occasionally they show signs of affection for one another; they never kiss, but subtle indications emerge to suggest a deeper relationship.
Many Western viewers see this and assume that the two are lesbians. However, Japanese viewers don’t see it that way; apparently similar relationships of trust and interdependence often develop among Japanese girls, and their parents are happy to see this because it means that their daughter will always have someone she can depend on.
In an interview from a Japanese fan magazine (source unconfirmed), Naoko Takeuchi (the creator of the series) supposedly explained Haruka and Michiru’s relationship in terms of their past history: During the Moon Kingdom, the Prince of Uranus was in love with Sailor Neptune. His sister, Sailor Uranus, was mortally wounded in the battle with Queen Beryl’s forces, but before she died she conferred her powers onto him. Then Queen Serenity sent everyone to Earth, and since all Senshi are female, and the Prince now had Senshi powers, he was reborn as a girl; but even so, his love for Sailor Neptune endured. Thus, according to this interpretation, they are not lesbians but former lovers ironically reunited as the same gender. This interpretation has inspired much debate, but we hope to confirm it with Takeuchi-sensei herself at ComicCon this August.
Whether due to past lives, romance, or good friendship, the relationship of Haruka and Michiru is yet another sweet and entertaining aspect of the show, and fans of the original series devoutly hope that it will remain faithfully represented in any future dubbed episodes.”
So, Sailor Uranus died, her brother got her powers, and was then resurrected as a woman because of this. This should be the basis for some sort of manga, it’s so great! Maybe Kitty Hawk can work something into the web comic Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki?
At any rate, this rumored interview has never turned up, and Naoko Takeuchi has pointed out that the two are a homosexual couple, never once mentioning any dark past of sacrifice and sex change for Haruka. The closest Takeuchi ever comes to it, is stating how she was inspired by the strong stage actresses who take on even male roles. Considering how annoyed Takeuchi was with how Toei handled the Sailor Starlights gender in the anime, as “it contradicted her intention that all Sailor Soldiers be female,” It’s doubtful that she had ever intended Haruka to once have been a man.
*long quote pulled from http://wikimoon.org/index.php?title=Prince_Uranus