It is unclear who originally wrote the rumor, but it was stated to have come from an unnamed Japanese magazine's article interviewing Naoko Takeuchi. In this article, Takeuchi supposedly explained the origins of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune's lesbian relationship.
The Rumor in Question
The article posted on the SOS site is presented here:
Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune) share an interesting relationship that is rather unique by the standards of Western television. Throughout the series, the two are always together, and occasionally they show signs of affection for one another; they never kiss, but subtle indications emerge to suggest a deeper relationship.
Many Western viewers see this and assume that the two are lesbians. However, Japanese viewers don't see it that way; apparently similar relationships of trust and interdependence often develop among Japanese girls, and their parents are happy to see this because it means that their daughter will always have someone she can depend on.
In an interview from a Japanese fan magazine (source unconfirmed), Naoko Takeuchi (the creator of the series) supposedly explained Haruka and Michiru's relationship in terms of their past history: During the Moon Kingdom, the Prince of Uranus was in love with Sailor Neptune. His sister, Sailor Uranus, was mortally wounded in the battle with Queen Beryl's forces, but before she died she conferred her powers onto him. Then Queen Serenity sent everyone to Earth, and since all Senshi are female, and the Prince now had Senshi powers, he was reborn as a girl; but even so, his love for Sailor Neptune endured. Thus, according to this interpretation, they are not lesbians but former lovers ironically reunited as the same gender. This interpretation has inspired much debate, but we hope to confirm it with Takeuchi-sensei herself at ComicCon this August.
Whether due to past lives, romance, or good friendship, the relationship of Haruka and Michiru is yet another sweet and entertaining aspect of the show, and fans of the original series devoutly hope that it will remain faithfully represented in any future dubbed episodes.
Responses to the Rumor
This rumor is untrue and as a result SOS experienced a backlash from fans. SOS was accused of being a homophobic organization (even if there was no proof anyone at their staff had actually written the article) since the article implies that Haruka and Michiru's lesbian relationship is actually a heterosexual one. SOS also lost credibility among some Sailor Moon fans for neglecting to check sources and printing a story with no verifiable truth.
SOS has long since removed the article. Any sign of a retraction or apology cannot be found, but the removal of the article suggests that they do not support what it contained. In its place are quotations from Takeuchi (the first quote from multiple eyewitnesses at the San Diego Comic-Con, the second provided by Phoenix and translated by Icefalcon and Mackenzie from the September 1996 issue of the Italian magazine Kappa) confirming Uranus and Neptune's lesbian relationship:
San Diego Comic-Con, 1998
At the 1998 San Diego Comic-Con Naoko told an audience that they are "lovers"and became that way because they fit naturally together. She said that in Japan, girls 16 and up go through a very emotional process so that such a relationship is possible. And when compared to the other 5 scouts (who are going to school) that, "...those two have a lot more free time." The audience laughed.
Kappa Magazine, September 1996
Reporter: Although the animated series (because of the censorship brought to Italy) does not particularly give it meaning, there is a rather ambiguous relationship between Michiru and Haruka. Care to comment?
Takeuchi: The relationship between Michiru and Haruka is a little peculiar. The truth in their feelings is that they have a very serious and pure friendship. The relationship, on account of the friendship between the two fighters is so strong that it flowed into love. Love does not only exist between different sexes, but can also come forth as a homosexual love, in this case between two girls.
Reporter: Considering Sailor Moon's young audience, have there been any problems with this?
Takeuchi: In Japan, boys seek girls with a popular strong temperament. The popular tradition of my country sees the maximum feminine emancipation in the Takarazuka, the Japanese sun theater women. These actresses take all roles, even male parts. They were an inspiration to me in creating the personage of Haruka. It was not easy to make the children understand that a true love between two women could exist: Haruka is masculine, in dress and speech, and it is natural that she has male tastes. It is normal, then, that she loves Michiru.
Since Naoko Takeuchi has repeatedly stated that Haruka and Michiru are a couple, the debate is considered closed by many (if not most) fans.
- An interview with Naoko Takeuchi - Full text of the translated Kappa interview