I’ve finally gotten around to reading the volumes of Sailor Moon that come after volume one, and for me that necessitated re-reading volume one as well. Considering that Usagi is the only female member of the cast who has a long-term boyfriend and that her romance with Mamoru is established as a vital for several plot-points/plots (the entire Black Moon arc seems the most obvious), she comes off as surprisingly gay. In fact, prior to the arrival of Haruka and Michiru, I’d even say she’s the gayest character in the story. Very little of this carries over to the anime, sadly – she gets a bit starry-eyed over Rei initially there, but its definitely played much more strongly as Usagi finding her impressive and possessing the sort of glamour she wishes she herself had. And while there’s a smattering of Usagi being gaga about guys, this is an aspect the anime really amps up, I can only guess at the behest of Toei (given what they did with the Sailor Starlights).
Rei is the first moment where we watch Usagi doki-doki over a girl; Makoto and Unazuki earn similar receptions. She gushes over Makoto with massive hearts having taken the place of her eyes, a blush on her cheeks. When she meets Unazuki, she exclaims that she’s extremely cute and demands to know who she is, heart-eyed again. And while we could wave off her initial reaction to Haruka since she thinks Haruka is a boy at the time, even when she does realize that Haruka is a girl it is very clear that Usagi is attracted to the debonair young woman.
(Its interesting to note that in the manga, the only true challengers to Mamoru for Usagi’s heart are both girls – Haruka, and, later, Seiya. Both manage to steal some kisses, as well!)
This stuff, I must confess, flew over my head when I was younger (I read the manga when I was in middle school). Re-reading it, it honestly excites me to discover that Usagi is pretty queer. What probably appeals to me so much is that its presented in such a straightforward fashion – it never gets past some kisses and blushing and her heart fluttering, but it isn’t there as a “oo, bisexual girls are HAWT!” thing. This is also probably why I don’t find myself irritated like I have been in other stories involving bisexual girls or women who end up with the dude and don’t really have romantic relationships with any of the ladies they’re shown to be interested in. Or maybe its just exciting to me that, for once, the bisexual girl is the heroine.
…ok, or maybe its the stealth Usagi x Haruka shipper in my heart finally de-lurking. Whoops. (I love Haruka and Michiru as a couple, and the manga version of Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship makes me really happy, but, man, bros, dat sexual tension!)