In honor of Women's History Month, Byte is doing a month long Byteing Question about the most iconic female characters and why they matter. Every day two writers will look at two characters that are important to them in many different ways. Today, we look at Sailor Moon and Katniss Everdeen
Whether fighting evil by moonlight or winning love by daylight, Sailor Moon is one of the most recognizable anime characters in existence and has served as an introduction to anime for many young viewers, including myself. When wondering why this teenaged superhero has captured the childhood of so many over the years, it is crucial to look at other superheroes that were present in the media at the time.
Growing up, there was a wide variety of heroes to choose from, however, very few of them were targeted towards a female audience. This was especially apparent during my favorite holiday, Halloween. There were many great costumes, if you happened to be a boy. I personally loved heroes, but because I was a girl, there was little besides princesses and fairies. Batman, Superman, The Hulk, Wolverine, The Flash, Static Shock, and The Green Lantern are only a few of many male characters that filled superstore isles during October.
Women’s portrayal in the genre has always been severely limited, and often downplayed as a supplement to their male counterparts as members of a team like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl in Justice League. Because of this, there were very few characters in children’s media that I could really relate to. The release of Sailor Moon in the United States finally gave young girls an evil fighting, (but still fabulous), figure to look up to.
Finally this added a whole new set of costumes to department store aisles, those based around Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Scouts. I related to her in no unsubstantial part because she ran the group instead of just being a complimentary female member on some team, showing that even girls can kick butt and take names.
Though she may be a bit of a ditz and a crybaby at times, Sailor Moon always manages to overcome her struggles through determination and teamwork. She is dedicated, beautiful, and always willing to help her friends. Most importantly, she is a character that doesn’t remain completely static throughout the course of the show.
She grows more confidant in her abilities as time progresses and gains more power after each season. Instead of wanting to be Supergirl, a carbon copy of Superman, I wanted to be a Sailor Scout. Supergirl was super from the beginning, but Sailor Moon started her super adventures in the same place I was at: being a regular school girl battling her next math exam.
That’s the appeal of Sailor Moon: not only was she a hero to look up to, she was someone I could truly imagine being one day, minus the short skirt.
Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of the book series The Hunger Games, is very important to me. One aspect that some readers may gloss over is her protectiveness of others. Katniss does everything in her power to protect her sister and friends from the perils of the dystopian world they live in.
And I know that no matter what the situation, I would volunteer as tribute in place of my little sister. I’m very protective of her, so I really connected with Katniss in that sense. Katniss also has a very stubborn, powerful, and unique willpower. This can be seen at innumerable moments throughout the trilogy, from putting flowers around Rue, to killing President Coin.
She defies everything that people tell her she should do, so every moment with her in the book is very unexpected on a first read. Katniss is a very important character to me just through her personality alone. She’s protective, defiant, and strong. I believe that she is one of the best representations of women in nerd culture because of her personality.
Unlike most female characters in book series, Katniss is strong on her own, and doesn’t constantly rely on those around her. Throughout most of the series, Katniss is always set on being alone and doing things her way without the involvement of others. However, that usually doesn’t end up to be the case. Be it Peeta, Gale, Prim, or any other character, someone always sets out to help Katniss, even when she tells them she doesn’t need help.
Another aspect that I enjoy about Katniss besides her unique personality is how she deals with romantic situations. She’s not like every other stereotypical girl who immediately falls in love. Rather, she questions her feelings and thinks logically about each of her options, those being Peeta and Gale of course. Toward the beginning of the series, she also tried to avoid romance as well, considering that she has a lone wolf personality.
For me as a reader, I liked Katniss’s mindset on romance, and found it refreshing. All in all, I believe that Katniss Everdeen is the epitome of strong women in nerd culture. I mean, I cosplay two different versions of her for a reason! She’s rebellious. Witty. Stubborn. Unique. Motherly. And much more.
Katniss is a defiant young woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, even if that means becoming the face, the Mockingjay, of the rebellion. She is the symbol of what women in our society should look up to. Someone who isn’t afraid to say what she thinks, and doesn’t let others boss her around, especially if it’s a corrupt government system.