The Mary Sue Litmus Test
Special Thanks cause they helped, la: Lev and Aurae for helping with the questions, and finally Aescleal, her sharp wit is hidden in the comments afterwards. And finally Kali, who gave me a nice kick in the pants to finish this. You rock, girl.
Another thanks goes to my editors, la: Lori ^^, Aescleal, Kali/Angel-san, Akira
And to the brave souls who put their senshi to the test already: Lori (you so rock), Shuu-san, Yami, Amanda
Resources for this test:
Date Completed: September 16th, 2003
Last Updated: November 17th, 2003
The Mary Sue. Some worship them, some despise them beyond human ability. But love them or not, Mary Sues have been in existence as long as fandoms have. Some Fandoms have them, and some don't. It really depends on the size and popularity of said fandom, and how long (if all) that fans have been writing fanfiction for it. For those whom do not have a clue what a Mary-Sue is, it was a Star Trek Fandom coined term for a particular character who was happy, cheerful, excelled at running the ship, tending to the sick, checking the generator, and capturing the hearts of the main male characters. Now it is generally used for a fandom female character (Mary-Sue Males don't have a defined term, but are usually referred to as Gary-Stu's), who can range from being an avatar of the author/ self-insertions to a clone of one of the original characters. No matter what kind you have, Mary Sues will always: one, steal the spotlight from the main characters, and two, cause the characters to be OOC (out of character), almost violating their whole character to some extreme points. From thereon out, they can vary from an Angsty Sue, to a Stereotype Sue, and many more varieties, including Crossover Sue, which ends in disaster more times than you might think. Mary Sues are considered beginner writing; anyone can write them, but few can realize what they are and revise them. Everyone has written one of these before, and I don't beleive there's a way around it, really. There's no shame in it, but some of the most popular authors have kept working on their abilities, and have been better for it. Since there is no known Litmus Test for the Sailor Moon Fandom (at least publically, from what I see), I have collaborated this test (with the help of a few good friends who have been reading Sailor Moon fics for years) for use for the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon anime and manga series. What appears below are a series of questions ranging from the fan senshi's personal self, her senshi self, to her interaction with the original character, and any parts of the canon twisted, bent or moved for her or because of her, plus a variety of miscellaneous questions that have no real grouping. Lorelei takes full responsibility for the extra section (^_^). Please be honest in taking the test; flaming me because you lied doesn't make you look very good. If you think you cannot be honest, then compile your senshi into a bio and give it to someone trustworthy who can judge her honestly for you. If you are not sastified with the rating, please do not flame me about it; I created this to serve a need, which is to help those Sailor Moon Fiction writers who might and do have mary-sue characters, to help them evolve beyond characters that simply imitate one of the originals, and to help them realize their own creative skills, and ultimately, is the main purpose for this test. If you need something to be clarified, or if you require more help than has been provided after the test, then please e-mail me, and I'll help you to the best of my abilities. If you are offended, then close this window; if you're ignorant enough to be and stay angry, then the test has lost its intended purpose. Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcomed, and possibly needed as not all of what would be considered cliche or mary-sue like is on this test. This is not meant to be absolute, as no one can be absolute in writing about Sailor Moon save Naoko (she is the creator, she writes the rules); take the test and its explanations with a grain of salt. This test is mainly about helping those who want to seek it out, and hopefully be the foundation for creativity, and ultimately, the better and more original character.
Some lingo that appears here:
Otaku - Fan, Senshi - Warrior (but in this case it refers to a Sailor Senshi)
Note: Don't bother to take this test if said Senshi is Male.
Don't. Do. That. It is stated even by Naoko herself that Sailor Senshi are NOT male. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is translated to 'Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon'. I don't beleive we refer to men as being 'pretty' without stabbing ourselves in the eye. Women have the power here. Yes, there is a Tuxedo Kamen, but he is the Earth's representative, not a Sailor Senshi. It's like before in the Middle Ages, only men were allowed to become warriors (even some cultures do this today), and women weren't. Now it's the ladies' turn to stand up and fight, so let's obey the rules? ::wink::
2nd Note: If the senshi is more powerful than Sailor Moon, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Galaxia, or Sailor Cosmos, put down your pencil and burn your paper; You have FAILED. I don't care what your excuse is.