Sailor Moon, the popular middle school girl manga character who fights against evil, and has been called the essence of female power, is now fighting a new nemesis…syphilis.
Japan’s health ministry will distribute 60,000 condoms to women, each wrapped in pink, heart-shaped packages featuring the blond, wide-eyed character Usagi Tsukino, to raise awareness of Japan’s increasing syphilis problem.
“Sailor Moon” was created by Naoko Takeuchi in 1992. It’s the story of magical schoolgirls that has aired in more than 50 countries with millions of fans around the world.
Now, its young character is battling a rising sexual health concern.
The ministry in Japan said that cases of syphilis reached 2,697 in 2015. As of November, cases had already jumped to 3,779.
Along with text on the condom encouraging testing, the ministry will distribute 5,000 posters and 156,000 leaflets the junior high school character and a slogan that says: “I will punish you if you don’t get tested!”
However, not everyone is happy with the use of the beloved character.
“I don’t like it a bit. ‘Sailor Moon’ was a childhood heroine and a sacred figure for me. I still want her to be distant from this issue,” Twitter user @akaimihajiketa wrote Monday. “But I want the leaflet … I am still looking for words to explain my mixed feelings.”
According to the Japan Times:
By turning to the popular character, the ministry aims to regain control over syphilis, which has made a rapid return among young people, said Kazunari Asanuma, head of the ministry’s Tuberculosis and Infectious Disease Control Division. He said the STD outbreak is especially serious among women in their 20s and men in their 20s to 40s.
Patients infected with STDs like syphilis and AIDS usually don’t notice the symptoms for weeks or even years. The ministry believes early testing and appropriate use of condoms are effective means of prevention.
Although Asanuma says that “Sailor Moon” is popular with people of all sexual orientations and may prove useful in bringing up STDs among those too shy to discuss them, some Usagi Tsukino fans are upset the junior high school student is being used as the “campaign girl” to broach the topic.
We never share your info, we only share ours.