If there is one series that has had a strong impression on me growing up, it was Sailor Moon. It provided an endless amount of strong female heroes to look up to. It also showed me just how powerful a friendship can really be. The SDCC 2020 panel, The Power of Female Friendship was exactly what we needed to see. It dives into how the franchise continues to survive today and speaks to us on so many levels.
Moderator Jessica Tseang and panelists Michelle Ruff, Kate Higgins, Chris Bryant, Sam Maggs, and Amanda Miller
Tseang kicked off the panel introducing each of her fellow panelists. They all share such a strong connection with the Sailor Moon series. Each of them find that the show has provided them an avenue that shares their beliefs. That female friendship is more powerful than anything. The series gives fans strong female protagonists to look up to while also staying true to who they are as people.
Higgins, who voices Sailor Mercury in the Sailor Moon Crystal series shared just how important it was to her to play strong female characters. what made is even better was that she was able to hold onto who the character was as a person. She could be strong and smart while also remaining feminine. The complexity of the characters is something the entire panel was happy to discuss. They all felt that creator Naoko Takeuchi was so far ahead of her time when creating the series characters.
She was lonely and the series came to life as she thought what kind of female friends she wished she could have. She wanted to create something that showed the power of female friendship. Maggs shared that to her the series provided a multiple ways female characters could be portrayed. No character was forced into having every feeling or emotion. Together the group builds each other up and continues this idea of being positive and true to ones self.
They could have Usagi who was strong in her own ways along with her friends. But she still had flaws that made her human and relatable that were different from the others. This spills into how diverse the cast is, giving everyone their own identity and the strong ideas of gender fluidity. Miller shared that Sailor Jupiter was physically the strong one in the group. However, she still had her feminine qualities that didn’t serve as flaws but to better round out the character.
Maggs shared that because of the characters Takeuchi created for Sailor Moon it gave viewers the power to embrace who they wanted to be. When it really comes down to it the power behind female friendship is that we are much more similar as people than we believe. Being true to ourselves allows us to be better friends to those around us. It is these core values from the series that really helped to give it longevity even as it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary next year.