Friday’s Feature: 3 Reasons Why Sailor Jupiter Was The Best of the Sailor Scouts


There is no hiding that I was a major Sailor Moon fan from the original anime and it was probably my history with Sailor Moon that made me the anime fan I am today even if there was quite a gap between Sailor Moon and my venturing further into the anime world. What is probably slightly less known is that Sailor Moon (Serena) wasn’t really the appeal of the show for me only coming it at number 5 when I looked at my top 5 scouts (Tuesday’s Top 5: Sailor Scouts). Certainly the bumbling twin-tailed heroine has her moments and some of those are great (particularly in the later seasons) but season 1 sees her falling and crying and complaining far more than I really like in my main character.


No, my obsession with the show, other than the sparkly girl power and moon dust, came largely after the midway point where Jupiter literally came thundering into the show. Prior to her arrival, I’d enjoyed Ami to a degree but been disappointed with her submission to Rei but I found Rei and Serena’s bickering tolerable at best and if it wasn’t for the massive pre-teen crush I had on Tuxedo Mask I may have ceased to watch the show and then I may never have actually become an anime fan (that is almost a tragedy in and of itself).

And then we had Lita.


Lita, who even before knowing she was a Sailor Scout saved Serena from thugs and took on Zoisite bare-handed. Lita who had a sense of style about her. But she wasn’t the cool and untouchable beauty queen. She was ditsy and love sick with a huge heart who loved to cook for others and felt miserable when left alone. She was a dynamic and interesting character who could be tough when the occasion called for it but wasn’t ashamed of her deftness at her skills around the house. Lita was an eye-opening character to the teenage me and I absolutely loved her.


So here are 3 reasons why Sailor Jupiter is the best of the Sailor Scouts and the reason why I have at least 4 different miniature models of this scout around my house, a plush toy, key chain, and jigsaw puzzle (bought while last in Japan). That said, I am only discussing Lita as portrayed in the 90’s anime series in seasons 1 and 2. I am not discussing the manga or Crystal versions of the character.

Number 1: When the other scouts hesitate to take action, Lita knows that the direct approach is the best.


On more than one occasion Lita has been the push the scouts have needed to get into what will end up being a dangerous situation. When Serena and Darien were in the tower it was Lita who busted open the door. When the other scouts couldn’t bring themselves to fight Darien and couldn’t accept that he had been turned, Jupiter took him on one-on-one (unsuccessfully but it was still a rare and pretty cool display of actual combat without all the powers). Lita’s brash approach may not always win the day, but it so often spurred the others on and ultimately was the reason they managed to get through so many situations.

Number 2: Absolutely loyalty and absolute trust; you want Lita on your team.

Jupiter 5.jpg

When Rei and Ami go on strike, Lita is the one who runs to Serena’s rescue. At no point does Lita abandon Serena or even question her as leader. That doesn’t mean she is blind to Serena’s less desirable traits admitting that Serena is a crybaby and not very brave. But Lita remembers the girl who approached her at school without fear of her reputation and the girl who speaks honestly at all times (even if she is without tact). Lita isn’t someone who switches sides. From the moment she became a scout, she followed Serena and she held true to that through thick and thin.

Number 3: Lita summons and commands lightning.


Sorry, does that need an explanation? Ami plays with bubbles, Rei admittedly is a very cool fire user but there are plenty of those to be found in anime, Mina has a chain of love hearts which looks cool and all, but none of those come close to being as awesome as Jupiter’s lightning. Okay, friendly fire is an issue on more than one occasion and having Jupiter’s power thrown back at them kind of sucks because it’s pretty intense, but the attack itself is beautiful to watch in action (even if it is one of the longest to get going given she usually says a prayer or some kind of summons to Jupiter before she gets moving). The payoff is worth it as this is no bug-zapper lightning attack. This is divine thunder and you do not want her aiming it at you.


Now, we could go on and list the absolutely divine boots the girl wears, the fantastic hair-style, her earrings, her short temper when losing at arcade games, and her general disdain for people who are cheats or unfair, but really I think I’ve made my case. Still, I’m always open for a great Sailor Moon discussion so feel free to tell me who your favourite scout is or your reasons for loving Sailor Jupiter.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

3 Reasons Why Rukia Kuchiki Should Have Died At The End of Season 3


No surprise that I’m back to Bleach given it was one of the anime that got me into anime as an adult. Previously I’ve looked at whether Orihime contributes anything to Bleach and it occurred to me at the time that I really needed to look at Rukia’s character (okay, I need to look at a lot of characters in Bleach and eventually I need to review it as well but that will be a long time before I get to it). Today I finally intend to get around to arguing the case that Rukia Kuchiki should have died at the end of season 3 of Bleach (clearly spoilers incoming for those who haven’t watched it).

Now unlike my post that took a swipe at Orihime, I really like Rukia’s character. She’s the literal life changer of Ichigo by being the catalyst for him getting caught up in pretty much everything that happens from the first episode forward. She’s got a strong presence and even when stripped of her powers strives to fight and fight hard. Anyone who has watched the first season of Bleach knows that Rukia Kuchiki is one tough cookie, who is also terrible at art.


And while I probably swooned a little bit when Ichigo first swept in to save Rukia after many, many, many, many episodes of him fighting his way through Soul Society to rescue her, part of me had to wonder how much better the series would be if he had faced a complete defeat and failed to save her in that instance. So much of the tension in the show vanishes after the end of season 3, so much of the drive, and ultimately Rukia’s character becomes one that increasingly serves little purpose other than the occasional pep-talk (or smack down).


However, I’ve narrowed it down to 3 main reasons why Rukia Kuchiki should have died at this point in the story (and none of them have anything to do with shipping wars and whether Ichigo would be better off with Rukia or Orihime).

01. Rukia’s character becomes reasonably redundant after the initial arc has run its course.

She’s an impressive character to be sure. When Ichigo’s family were in danger she showed up to fight the Hollow and then when she failed and was injured, she gave Ichigo the power he needed to protect his family. It was an incredibly self-less act (though she didn’t actually intend to hand over all her power so it’s a little less selfless than it might at first appear).


After serving first as the catalyst for change, Rukia adopts a mentor role in the story. She teaches Ichigo what he needs to know and provides him access to a range of tools that sometimes even help him out as he tries to defeat Hollows and protect those around him.

Then we get to the end of season 1 and the tone shifts dramatically as Rukia is finally tracked down by other Shinigami from Soul Society who believe she’s broken the law in staying in the human world as long as she has and in giving her power to a human. They beat Ichigo down and take Rukia back to Soul Society providing the clear goal for the next two seasons. Defeat everyone in Soul Society and rescue the girl.

It’s a pretty big down-grade for a mentor character in the first place going from adviser to damsel in distress in about ten minutes of air-time, but it again sets out a necessary goal for our hero. Still, I wonder how Yoda would have reacted to that kind of plot twist? She’s the prize, the trophy or the life sized Kinder Surprise awaiting rescue at the end of an arduous hero’s journey.

Eventually however she is rescued but Ichigo no long needs her as a mentor. Many other characters have swept in to fill that void (most of them older and significantly wiser than Rukia). She’s not one of his friends, they aren’t love interests (unless you happen to be on that side of the shipping wars), they no longer have a mentor-mentee relationship, so the question becomes what role does she serve?

I think the show itself flails as it attempts to answer that question. For awhile after the rescue, Rukia disappears to ‘regain’ her powers or whatever and she does appear off and on afterwards, notably showing up in the Hueco Mundo arc when Ichigo wants to save Orihime. And anyone who watched to that point knows Rukia is fantastic when we finally get to see her fight with her power actually in-tact.


But, was she needed? Honestly, this arc was stretched enough so seeing Rukia get a cool fight might have been fantastic for Rukia fans, but all it did was slow the story. It tried to bring some closure to the whole Rukia killing her friend who was possessed by a hollow way back when too, but that story was never much of a major tipping point and the conclusion is more or less pointless.

Rukia does get a friendship with Orihime, but this also isn’t much of a bonus for a series as hopelessly padded as Bleach becomes.

This story needed to take a tip from Game of Thrones. Kill your characters, occasionally. If they aren’t needed, or even if they are, occasionally take them out. In this instance, Rukia had served any purpose she was ever going to for the grander narrative and any thing attributed to her after season 3 could easily have gone to the thousands of other underused characters. So as a redundant and no longer purposeful character, killing her off seems like the smart move to me.

And I know the counter argument. Just because she doesn’t serve a purpose anymore doesn’t mean she needs to die. And ultimately she is used toward the end of the story, but I think most Bleach fans would agree that the overall plot is so ridiculously stretched that we probably could have done without a few of those twists and turns.

02. Think how much more motivated Ichigo would have been to track down Aizen and make him pay.

Really, after the Soul Society arc Bleach loses focus. Aizen flees and Ichigo resumes his normal life with the slight perk (problem) of being a substitute shinigami. There’s no sense of urgency to do anything about the guy who literally had all of Soul Society dancing to his tune.


However, if Rukia dies, Ichigo loses it. He’s driven to be the best, to save those around him, he gave it everything he had and pushed himself beyond his limit and he still failed to watch Aizen float up into the sky and escape. Ichigo becomes obsessed with bringing Aizen down and guess how much faster we can now get to the invasion of Hueco Mundo and the ultimate face-off between these two.

Added bonus, Byakuya Kuchiki (Rukia’s brother after he adopted her), is also ticked and Soul Society get off their collective butts and do something far sooner than they actually did. Added, added bonus, Renji also gets a massive power up after witnessing the death of his childhood friend.


Giving Ichigo a solid motivation would give this story so much more purpose and direction. Because basically after rescuing Rukia, the show flounders. And it does this for a long time until Orihime is targeted and abducted and Ichigo decides he must save yet another damsel in distress, setting up an almost mockery of his first desperate race into Soul Society as he now charges into Hueco Mundo. I get that not everything in long running series is going to be amazing, but that was a rehash of a motive if ever we saw one and it effectively knee-capped any kind of character progress Ichigo may have made.

Kill Rukia, get a more affective motive for our protagonist and kick the story into high gear faster. Not seeing a down side to this plan. But let’s get to the third reason and it is probably the most crucial.


03. Nobody of note ever seems to die in Bleach.

The occasional villain gets a send off but most characters recover from even the most insane wounds. Ichigo himself is pretty much killed at least four times before he ever finds Rukia in Soul Society and yet plot armour is such a fierce thing. Don’t get me wrong, this adds to the fun of the show. Zany and over the top fight sequences and attacks, blood splatter and drama at every corner, but you don’t actually have to get too worried.


But, Rukia is a different story. This was a chance to give this story a truly dramatic turning point and give the show some actual narrative credibility in amongst all the shouting, sword flailing antics. It was an opportunity utterly squandered by the need to keep her alive so that she could engage in some half-hearted verbal sparring with Ichigo and linger on fairly pointlessly in a story that had outgrown its beginnings.

And let’s relate this back to her main role early on. She was Ichigo’s mentor. Mentor’s die. Sorry Yoda, Konobi, Gandalf (okay, he came back to life), Ur (Fairy Tail), Mami (Madoka), and Kamina (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) but mentor characters die. They pass what is needed onto the next one and then they bow out of the story.

Rukia was the character who could be killed off because of the role she’d played. It would hurt the audience greatly but it would be one of the most memorable moments of the series and her character would be remembered as the amazing young warrior who gave Ichigo the start he needed on the road to whatever it was he became by the end (seriously, is there anything Ichigo isn’t by the end?).


You could argue almost every problem people have with Bleach after the third season stems from Rukia still being alive (or at least we could have avoided most of them if the writer had just been willing to kill off a key player). Ichigo isn’t motivated to chase down Aizen until far later in the series. There’s no sense of tension or drama and no matter how bleak the situation you know these characters will survive. Absolutely. Without fail, survive.

So let’s imagine a reboot. Let’s take the incredible concept of Bleach, trim all the fat, and really think about the role the characters were set to play and have the series play out as it really should. See that fantastic moment when Ichigo realises his failure and Rukia’s final moments play out? See Ichigo actually have an immediate clear goal to progress with after this arc?

Certainly, this is all a matter of my opinion but these are the three reasons why I think Rukia Kuchiki should have died at the end of season 3. If you’d like to share your thoughts on the matter, be sure to leave me a comment below. Obviously there’s some great reasons not to knock off one of the arguably better realised characters in the story, but from a strictly narrative point of view it kind of makes sense for her to bite it.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James