A fan of the series since 1995, Koriander runs the popular Moon Sisters fan site and studies the Sailor Moon franchise closely.
This Wasn't Supposed to be Her Job
If you still buy the idea that Usagi is a crybaby, then you're missing out on a few things that makes this character endearing.
For starters, she wasn't supposed to have this job.
During Usagi's previous life as Princess Serenity, she was never trained to be a superhero. Sailors Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter were given the task of protecting her on the day of her birth, when they too were only children. It was their job to make sure she was safe and that she was studying, but aside from training to be the next queen after her mother, Princess Serenity really didn't have any tasks to perform. The safety of the galaxy was more or less the job of Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and to a degree, Pluto, and aside from schoolwork, Princess Serenity was left alone to be a happy teenage girl.
And then Queen Beryl came along and this entire plan went out the door.
Queen Serenity sent everyone from the kingdom to the present day to be reborn as normal humans, but gave Luna and Artemis metered out instructions and tools with which to awaken Venus, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter in that order as Sailor Guardians.
While the other girls seem to have a born knowledge of their powers and are able to jump into combat right after awakening, Usagi does not, because she never fought as Princess Serenity prior to her new life as Usagi.
She Has an Abusive Family
While Queen Serenity is gentle, intelligent and incredibly supportive of her daughter in both Usagi's past life and in her current life once she is reborn, her second family is a whole other story.
Usagi's father Kenji is largely absent. We see him at the masquerade ball musing to himself that he hopes she will grow up to be beautiful, and we see him flip out over Mamoru in episode 61 of Sailor Moon R and about boys in general in the first two seasons, but all of his appearances are sporadic, and as the series goes on, he takes less and less of an interest in his daughter.
Shingo, Usagi's younger brother, is constantly teasing her and making fun of her poor grades. He often harasses her in front of their parents and is never disciplined for his rotten behavior.
But Ikuko, Usagi's mother, may just be the worst of all.
When she isn't being verbally abusive towards Usagi about her grades, she is physically assaulting her, throwing her out of the house and in episode 16 of the 90s anime, she even hits her full blast with a cookie sheet.
She openly shows more affection towards Shingo, Chibiusa and Chibi Chibi, and convinces herself that Usagi's depression over this is somehow her own fault.
Her parents drag on her for her grades, and yet at no point do they ever think to check her for a learning disability or hire a tutor. It takes her teenage friends to step in and help her succeed, while her parents do nothing of value.
Read More From Reelrundown
She Eats Away Her Feelings
In the 90s anime, just about every character cruelly chastises Usagi about her eating habits, with Luna being the worst offender, constantly mocking her about her non-existent weight problem.
Nobody seems to notice that Usagi is a growing, 14-year-old girl with plenty of growth spurts still to go, nor does anyone notice that she is eating out of depression.
Usagi is constantly being bullied by the very people who are supposed to love her. On top of that, she has had to watch people and monsters die in front of her, and her relationship with Mamoru is initially all in tatters, and yet Luna demands she soldier through all of it as though nothing ever happened.
Is it any wonder why she's constantly hungry? She's feeding her emotions because nobody else is offering her any sort of counseling.
She's a 14-Year-Old Mom of a 901-Year-Old
Usagi's relationship with Chibiusa is initially hostile. The tiny, pink princess appeared out of the sky with a gun, and then began to run roughshod over her entire life.
Usagi could barely get any support in Sailor Moon R at all, with her family and friends rolling their eyes and yelling at her any time Chibiusa picked a fight. "Give her a break, she's smaller than you!" Insisted one not-very-well-meaning voice after another, but here's the issue.
Usagi is a 14-year-old mother to her 901-year-old daughter.
She gets no breaks after the reveal of Chibiusa's identity as her future daughter.
While Ikuko demanded Usagi show affection towards Chibiusa, when it came time to take care of her, Usagi's parents bail, leaving her with the responsibility, such as in episode 66 of Sailor Moon R when Usagi has to help her child with a school cooking project after Ikuko and Kenji refuse to help.
Aside from getting Chibiusa enrolled in school, Ikuko stops taking care of her.
This behavior repeats itself when Chibi Chibi arrives, and although disguised as Usagi's fake sister, Ikuko takes no responsibility for her, leaving Usagi to raise her.
Everyone Forgets She Is the Princess and Deserves Agency
While mostly erased from Sailor Moon Crystal/Eternal, Rei in the 90s anime was a bully, constantly harassing Usagi long after it was revealed that Usagi is the very princess she was sworn to protect. Name-calling her, physically assaulting her, the abrasive actions of Rei once got so out of hand that in episode 30 of Sailor Moon, Ami and Makoto just flat out walked away.
Sailor Moon S brought on Uranus and Neptune, who constantly put down Usagi as a leader the closer the season got to the end. While most of the forceful nature of the duo seems to ease up when they return in Sailor StarS, it goes into hyperdrive in the final few episodes of the series, with them even going so far as to join Sailor Galaxia's side long after they realize Usagi is their princess and future queen.
Aside from the taunting, there's also a big issue of the loss of agency Usagi has to deal with.
Usagi is not allowed to decide where her life is going. She is being told what to do by Luna and she is pressured into being the hero that again, she wasn't supposed to have to be in the first place.
The 90s anime also brought about an unsavory side to Seiya that also sought to undermine Usagi's agency.
Seiya hits on Usagi constantly in Sailor StarS, and each time, Usagi is clear. The answer is no. She has Mamoru. She is not interested in Seiya as anything other than a friend.
Seiya never accepts or respects Usagi's boundaries, and begins stalking Usagi, showing up at her house unannounced and even schmoozing with Ikuko.
Everyone can see Usagi is uncomfortable with this, and yet her friends, the people who are supposed to protect her, push her into going on dates with Seiya, just because Seiya is a pop star.
Once Seiya is revealed to be Sailor Star Fighter, the other Guardians again try to erase Usagi's voice by deciding whether or not she can see any of the Starlights, when it is clear they all share an enemy in Sailor Galaxia and Usagi wants to do the diplomatic thing and work on a plan with all teams of Guardians.
Like a true future queen.
© 2022 Koriander Bullard