SU vs. SJ; a rivalry or jealously? Both strong warriors, both "tomboys," both the "most offensive members of their respective teams." Although, it starts as a "big sister" relationship, things sour causing a lot of tension. But I don't think that adoration ever melted away.

kino makoto

In the beginning, Makoto and Haruka's relationship is quite sweet (I'm talking anime version here), almost on the level of Usagi and Haruka's. Episode 96 discusses the connection between the two. Haruka rides her motorcycle and almost runs over Makoto and Usagi walking on the crosswalk. Makoto pulls Usagi down and lies on top of her to protect her from the impact; however, Haruka stops just in time. At first, Makoto is enamored by Haruka's "handsome" features; she blushes when she sees Haruka's face. Is it love at first sight? Wouldn't be the first time. Haruka, on the other hand, treats Makoto kind of like she does other "starry-eyed" girls. She ignores her glare and pays more attention to cleaning her up (although she does comment on Makoto's bravery). Of course, when she leaves, Haruka blows a kiss and drives off into the sunset.

For the better part of the episode, Haruka and Makoto maintain a distant, yet respectable friendship. Makoto even goes on a mission to return the scarf Haruka had given her (to cover up her wound). But things turn sour when an enemy comes to take Makoto's pure heart. In the shadows, Haruka watches and wants to help, but she knows her mission is to get the Talisman at whatever the cost. When the Makoto's heart is revealed, Uranus shows herself. Makoto notices this, thinking that Uranus is just like the Death Busters: watching and waiting while victims are in pain.

Jupiter: "Wait! I don't know the reason, but you always come to steal the pure heart like a thief. You're the same as the daimon!"
Uranus: "Then what are you going to do?"
Jupiter: "I can't forgive you today. I'll pound your spirits!"[1]

She transforms and runs towards Uranus. But Jupiter falls to the ground in pain after a direct hit from the fleeing Uranus. Neptune criticizes Uranus for being so rash but she gasps when she notices the bruise on Uranus's hand from the impact. Looks like Jupiter is more than she expected her to be! It's a very ambiguous episode because it creates an amiable relationship between Haruka and Makoto but a conflict between Uranus and Jupiter. I've always wondered how Makoto felt when she found out the girl she admired and the soldier she hated are one-in-the-same?

But this article is more about the comparisons between Haruka and Makoto. Strength is the biggest aspect of both Haruka and Makoto's personality. Each is considered to be the "powerhouse" of their teams. However, many fans will tell you Uranus is stronger. Yes, the Outers have more powerful attacks but that doesn't mean the Inners are "weak" when in comparison. "Strength" can be interpreted in different ways: physically, emotionally, morally, etc. I feel that even though Haruka has a greater physical strength, Makoto has a moral strength that keeps her from doing anything she feels is wrong. She will not sacrifice the lives of those she's trying to save.

Both women do share a similar "masculine" personality.Haruka dresses like a man, acts like a man, and plays herself off like one. Makoto, on the other hand, tries hard to emphasize her "feminine" qualities by cooking, cleaning, gardening & drooling over men. Could she be ashamed of her own personality or is she afraid of not fitting in? This could be a good comparison of their wills and values. Haruka seems to be so "collected" in her personality while Makoto seems conflicted. She admires Haruka for coming off strong and "cool." She is not ashamed to do what she wants and even have a little fun with it - that's the kind of woman Makoto strives to become. One could say Haruka has more emotional strength in this situation.

Nevertheless, Haruka and Makoto seem to dislike stereotypes and the social emphasis on the man. There's a bit of an inferiority complex they both deal with, especially in the manga. In Act 25, Haruka challenges Makoto to a little judo match. Makoto eagerly takes on this "man," thinking she'll whip him in a second. But Haruka slams Makoto to the ground and says that "if a girl can't beat a boy, don't you think she deserves it?"[2] How fervently Haruka and Makoto take the chance to knock down male dominance! Makoto aims to show a woman's strength; Haruka aims to chastise women for not exercising that strength. Both appear to want gender equality and the same recognition and punishment for their actions.

Like two negative ions, these two women clash and push away each other. Is there really a need choose who's stronger, who's tougher, or who's prettier? No, they do not hate each other, but likewise, they don't particularly like each other either. Makoto respects Haruka's individuality and cool personality; Haruka respects Makoto's strength, emotionally, physically, and morally. Is there tension? Yes; is there admiration? Yes. It's a mutual respect-love-hate kind of thing.

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1 Episode 92. Super Season. Sailormoon Anime.
2 Act 25. Infinity Arc. Sailormoon Manga.

[[ odango-atama ]] ~~ [[ two brothers ]]