Sailor Senshi Get a Life
By Mer, Summer 2005
You’ve seen them everywhere, thousands of otaku senshi. You’ve viewed images ranging from simple recolorings to elaborate fuku designs. You’ve read over dozens of profiles and only remember the senshi’s name, element, attacks and a glazed version of why they’re a senshi in the first place. You’ve scrunched your nose while noting that some basic stats are just like Ami’s or Usagi’s, or have found an affinity with a favorite class or hobby. But have you noticed that only half of the profiles you’ve read have said anything about the senshi going to school, or having friends for that matter?
Thus begs the question: how the heck do they survive on earth?
Every original senshi from Usagi to Hotaru had a life outside of fighting evil, weather it be school or playing the violin. Beyond winning the fight against evil, their problem was blending civilian and senshi lives enough so that neither would be neglected. And they do a beautiful job, if I might add.
It’s true that if you’re just creating a character for the fun of it, because everyone else is doing it, or just to enter it into Sailor Wars then there’s no real need for you to go in-depth with a civilian life that you’re never going to use. But, if the character is in a story or RP then the need for a civilian life is great. Even the most powerful of senshi can’t fight all the time.
Not only does a civilian life give your senshi a break from fighting them enemy all the time, but it adds a layer of depth that helps readers relate to your character more. A civilian past also aides in developing and backing up you’re senshi’s personality. Most great psychologists will agree that personality is developed by both nature and nurture, or by your genes and by the environment in which you developed. So when you describe how your senshi was brought up, even if only a little, it answers the ‘why are they like that’ question.
It’s also virtually impossible to keep your senshi away from other people. Unless you want your character to sleep in a cavern hidden deep in a dangerous forest and have to catch and cook her own food, she has to be able to interact well enough with people to find a place to stay, food and drink and a job that pays for everything (unless she stays with family like the Sol Senshi). Not only that, but a person who’s inclined to live as a hermit has an apathy towards others, otherwise they wouldn’t chose to be a hermit. Because Senshi fight for the lives of others, there’d be no reason for your senshi to be a senshi. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, so you could have you character live in the mountains as a monk or something of that sort, but people like that don’t fight so it’d be completely contradictory.
Things to keep in mind when making a senshi’s civilian profile:
-Family: People don’t just spring out of daisies, so tell us about parents and siblings if there are any. I’ve seen so many profiles, in and out of the otaku world, where the parents are dead. But where’s the fun in that? Whether you’d like to admit it or not, your parents are the biggest influence on a child’s life, so keeping the parents alive will make it easier to believe that your senshi is well-rounded.
Although you do not have to go into great detail, it is nice to know that your senshi does have a life.
-Friends: Friends show quiet a bit about a person. And because most people fit into a clique of people, it should be easy to give a brief description of who you senshi hangs out with. Within a group of friends, there is usually a leader, a mediator, a ‘best friend’, a big brother or sister, a little brother or sister, a ‘smart person’, and a major follower, so where does your senshi fit in? A person’s ‘rank’ in a group also shows how well they interact with others, another great thing to tie in with personality.
-School/Work: Chances are your senshi is either in school, has a job or both. If not, then they probably stay at home with their parents and do nothing… Does that sound like something you’d want to read? Probably not, so tell us if the go to school, which school, what grade and if they enjoy it. Same with the job, also add what forced them into having a job—there are many reasons; such as: needing the money for college, needing the money for living expenses, or wanting to buy that hot new car they saw.
-The Present: Currently, where are they? Where do they live? Do they have any ongoing projects that they're presently involved in? Are they involved in any relationships?
-The Future: Not what’s really going to happen, but what they want to happen. What do they see for themselves? Do they plan on getting married? Where do they plan on living?