You know, it's taken me years to realize something about Sailor Uranus in the animated Sailor Moon series.
I've always found Sailor Uranus to be vastly overrated as far as a character. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate her, but I've always been put off by the whole idea that she was willing to put innocent people in mortal peril to save the world. Part of my dislike for her also stemmed from the idea that she seemed like a stereotypical "butch" character (which is in stark contrast to the more nuanced Sailor Jupiter). Uranus just came across too strong and uncomplicated for me.
Recently, it hit me, that a lot of the seemingly straightforwardness is just a front.
Let's suppose that there was a duty forced on you, a coercion, a persuasion, a calling that you not only didn't want to accept, but went against the very core of your moral fiber and beliefs. Let's suppose it put you in conflict with your fellow soldier, the former ally whom will brand you as a villain despite mere moments ago fighting alongside each other against the bad guys. Would you even be able to explain? Or is the necessity for action so strong than instead of being wishy-washy and delay the inevitable corruption, you go ahead and fight? After all, if you win, you've done the unforgivable, horrible act of defeating those who would stand against the orders you have been given. And if you lose, then you're free of your duty to stop "the one" at all costs.
Maybe Uranus wants to be wrong, and she forces the confrontations in order to hasten her demise. Those words of destiny ring hollow, as though someone else were speaking out of her mouth. That's not her talking. That's the order she was given, the charge she was to take. In a sense, we don't get many glimpses of the real Uranus (except, ironically enough, in her secret identity), just the facade to push people away, But then again, if you were ordered to become an enemy and kill a fellow soldier and there was no way for you to avoid that fate, you'd put on a facade too.
Sailor Moon is an idealist, one with unlimited potential despite seemingly being a second-class warrior, and one can argue that because it's her show, she doesn't have to make the hard choices. Uranus, making her reluctant choice, may have stopped to consider that she may be in the wrong, but Sailor Moon on the other hand, never seriously entertains the idea, her naive faith in people persisting to the end. Then again, that does make a better contrast of characters than if Sailor Moon opposed Uranus based on the same rigid bounds of duty. If she had, Uranus and Neptune would have had to die permanently.
It's Uranus's duty to be a cold-hearted loyal soldier and to make the sacrifice, and it's Sailor Moon's choice to make sure no more lives are harmed. That balance enriches both characters.
Actually, the sad thing is that in light of this, it makes the whole Uranus/Neptune romance more problematic. You see up until now, I always thought that past the initial meeting, it was Uranus who was pushing the two further into reprehensible behavior. But looking at it this again, it's really Neptune who drags Uranus down, who tries to assure Uranus despite the utter wrongness of what they're doing, that Uranus will have her love. Either way, though, it really detracts from their individual characters, since one acts as a mouthpiece for the other, even when it becomes clear that despite fighting for the same goal, they really have different motivations.