Haruka, not even five minutes ago, has said she’ll make whatever sacrifice, but her first instinct is rush to help. Michiru? She doesn’t have that issue.
They know what’s going on and Haruka’s first reaction is to help. Michiru is the one who stops Haruka with the handgrab and her name, reminding Haruka of their mission. It’s Michiru who is immediately ready to make the sacrifice, not Haruka.
These two are just so beautifully complex that it hurts sometimes.
Yet another perfect illustration: I really believe that Haruka is the emotional weak link of the Outers. Not that it’s necessarily bad to be emotional, or to war with one’s emotions—arguably that’s one of the big things that makes Haruka so interesting—but when compared to the others, we see time and time again that Haruka’s the one who hesitates, and the others just…don’t. Michiru’s the one constantly keeping Haruka in check, like you see here. Setsuna’s job transcends the here and now, and I don’t think there’s anybody who questions the fact that she’ll do absolutely anything to make sure the timeline gets preserved. Even Hotaru, when she gets to really fight as a senshi in Stars, is willing to throw around her Silence Glaive and make things real in the blink of an eye.
And then there’s Haruka, who, for all of her scowling and bluster, has so many of these moments. Her knee jerk reaction here is to want to swoop in and save the day. She outright questions everything she’s doing to Michiru in episode 99. She hesitates before leaving Neptune when it seems that Neptune’s been thrown over a waterfall in 98, despite the promise they had made to abandon the other in such a situation. She nearly breaks down at the possibility of Usagi carrying a pure heart crystal. There’s a pretty memorable scene in 103 when Haruka, despite herself, decides to save the Inners’ lives despite there being no tactical advantage; it’s different then, than when she could just leave them, because at that point she’s gotten to KNOW them. There are more instances (maybe to be catalogued in a later post?), but these are the ones that immediately spring to my mind.
Nonetheless, it’s enough to make it clear: if you tug on Haruka’s heartstrings, if you mess with her emotions or people she cares about, she falters. Haruka can undoubtedly be very ruthless, but she’s missing the coldness that you can see in Michiru, Setsuna, and even Hotaru. It reminds me of the scene in 106 in the garage when Neptune has attacked the daimon, and Haruka immediately protests about it, because the daimon had just been human, and attacking it any further would be murder. She’s borderline Usagi-lite levels of idealism and indignant quixotic justice in that scene.
I think people tend to miss a lot of the time just how sensitive Haruka is. And once you’ve picked up on that… If I personally had to pick either Sailor Uranus or Sailor Neptune to have to fight, I’d pick Uranus every time, because it’s so clear how to beat her: just mess with her head.