Confidence through powers in Shojo

The common themes that appear to be an occurrence to the female protagonist character in shojo is they become independent and confident in themselves, usually through the development of their magical powers. We see that in Sailor Moon, Tsukino Usagi  has not fully developed her powers during her first fight and was only was able to win by distracting her enemy with her crying , Later on she allows her powers to expand to greater lengths, allowing her to be calm and composed during battle and truly transition into the Sailor Moon. As Tsukino Usagi, who was a normal middle school student, she did set herself apart from other girls, we see in the first episode she was not excelling in class as she performed poorly in class. Moreover, based upon her personality, she did not stand out among her classmates. But as Sailor Moon, she is tough, charismatic, powerful, successful and vital to her teammates. She becomes a leader, which is a position for someone who exhibits strong characteristics, characteristics one would argue she did not show before she acquired powers. Sailor moon also gives us a glimpse of what happens when someone looses their power.  Sailor Venus is unable to use her powers while undergoing a “power up” She is the last one to receive the power up and so she can not use her powers the longest. As a result, Venus begins to question her ability as a leader to her teammates and  eventually tells them she feels she is not a dependable leader. This can be contributed to her lose of confidence without her power, assuming that her case was the same as Sailor Moons, she built her esteem and confidence on her powers.

These powers help Sailor Moon and other characters become self-reliant, and not always rely on friends and other individuals for help. An interesting thought arises to me as how does this become interpreted to the girls and boys watching these shows. They see a characters development through strong powers. I see it unlikely but I can imagine circumstances where children will feel they will need some outstanding talent or power in order to be confident and liked and respected. I will restate I find it unlikely but it still I still find it worth pondering.


One thought on “Confidence through powers in Shojo

  1. Dakota,

    A lot of these shows are targeted towards adolescent children, particularly girls. You raise an interesting question in your second paragraph about how these powers reflect development/facing fears/etc. How might Sailor Moon reflect the concerns of an adolescent girl, and what does her transformation into a magical girl “give” to these viewers? How might they deal with the challenges of adolescence/growing up through the figure of Sailor Moon; what do her magical powers and ability to overcome challenges represent to female viewers? Does the transformation (from girl to heroine) signify anything in particular to viewers? Why is this for young female viewers, rather than for adult female viewers (i.e., what strikes a chord with girls which might not strike a chord for women)?


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