I’ve been rewatching Sailor Moon since June and just got to SuperS because I watch TV at a snail’s pace. I’ve continuously heard that it’s the “worst” season (or at least the one fans tend to like the least), and I don’t get that because I’m having a blast with it. The justification I’ve usually read for people not digging it is that it’s too childish and silly. Then I just have to stop right there because the entire first half of the season (episodes 128-149) is a giant metaphor for sexual assault and basically straight up dismantles rape culture. In a kid’s show. In the 90’s. And it actually does a pretty fantastic job of it. Adventuresofcomicbookgirl has a series of posts on this that basically says everything I would, but in case you don’t have time to read that and haven’t seen the show, it goes down like this: The Amazon Trio is made up of these two suggestively dressed dudes (Tiger’s-Eye and Hawk’s-Eye) and a transwoman (Fish Eye), who pick targets to seduce in order to get at to the target’s “beautiful dream”. Target’s aren’t picked based on how they’re dressed, what they’re doing, or whatever else women usually get told to do or not do (one victim is even a nun). They’re picked if they just happen to strike one of the Trio’s fancy. They each have a pretty basic type, Tiger’s-Eye likes younger women, Hawk’s-Eye likes older women, Fish Eye only goes after men, but that’s as deep as they think about it. Then, over the course of the episode, they attempt to seduce the target in order to get them alone—usually with the premiss of a date—and when their advances are rejected, they result to violence. The victim gets pinned against something that uncomfortably resembles a bed, restrained, and their “dream mirror” pops out of their chest. The villian then puts his/her head into the mirror (yeah, into as in through, the writers took this metaphor all the way) and laughs or says something like “Yes” while viewing the victim’s dream. Then when the villain doesn’t find what they’re looking for, they blame the person they attacked. I say the show gets this right because obviously the victim is hurt and feels like their dream has been violated after this, but the Sailor Senshi (so far, mostly Moon and Chibimoon) show up and pin all the blame on the Villain. AS IT SHOULD BE. Sometimes they even straight up call it what it is. Then they save the victim, who then goes on (with a support system) to realize their dream isn’t destroyed and they can keep living and working toward it. The episodes really do work out to be powerful survivor stories. Every single Senshi (and Tux) gets assaulted except Chibiusa, which I was really happy about because she’s like ten and I didn’t want to see her even be metaphorically sexually assaulted. So imagine my horror when ep. 139 rolls around and this is our victim of the week: WHAT. SHOW NO. SHOW STOP. SHE IS A LITTLE GIRL. SHE’S LIKE CHIBS AGE. SHE IS BARELY TALLER THAN CHIBS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING SHOW. STOP. OH NO TIGER’S-EYE IS PRETENDING TO BE A COOL SWORD MASTER WHO COULD TEACH HER THINGS AND HER DAD IS DEAD AND THIS IS OBVIOUSLY PLAYING ON A LOOKING FOR A MENTOR FATHER FIGURE THING AND OH NO PLEASE STOP NO *BAD THINGS HAPPEN AND FEE FLAILS* BUT THEN AS SOON AS THIS LITTLE GIRL, MIHARU, IS FREE SHE GETS RIGHT THE FUCK BACK UP AND DAMNS THAT MONSTER AND BEATS THAT MONSTER IN THE FACE AND SAVES FOUR SUPER HEROES. SEE THAT. THAT IS HER UNTYING FOUR SUPER HEROES AND DELIVERING TUX’S “NOW SAILOR MOON” LINE. AND ALSO LEARNS THAT SOMETIMES RUNNING AWAY TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE IS ANOTHER KIND OF STRENGTH. SHE WAS LEGIT THE MOST ACTIVE OF ANY VICTIM OF THE WEEK. EVEN MORE SO THAN RECURRING CHARACTERS. And this gets me all kinds of excited (excited enough to make a massive post about it), when I remember Sailor Moon’s intended audience is 6-14 year old girls. I’m sitting here with my 10 year old little sister who is right smack in the middle of that age range, and probably the same age as Miharu, and I know this really hit home for her. Sailor Moon is about growing up, and more specifically about girls growing up, and this is a very real threat women and girls at any age face. So far, it had been teachers and widows and grad students attacked, but little girls need a narrative too. I checked through the rest of the episodes, and this is the only time a victim this young is attacked in this manner because once is enough. Since the writers made the smart decision to only have one episode like this, I’m glad it was a normal girl and not Chibiusa because little girls aren’t actually super heroes surrounded by more super heroes. And Miharu, the little girl who isn’t a super hero, the little girl with a problematic home life, was sexually assaulted then got up to become the single most active and powerful one shot character in this show’s entire 5 season, 200 episode run. So yeah, shut up about that “worst season” business.