The Paradox

ZoisiteThe third of the Shitennou to make his appearance, Zoisite was in the most episodes of all of the kings and also has the most scenes with his cohorts: he is seen with both Nephrite and Kunzite. Aside from his intermingling in the group, the kings would pretty much be isolated from each other.

I doubt Nephrite would consider that a bad thing.

After Zoisite eliminated his rival on a charge of treason to the Kingdom, he was able to continue his job of seeking out the ginzuishou. But he learned in his first episode as the "main" villain, number twenty-five, that the ginzuishou had had an unfortunate accident.

This information would have helped Nephrite considerably: he probably would have never sought the ginzuishou. But that's neither here nor there, now is it?

Instead of looking for one silver crystal, he began his search for its pieces -- smaller rainbow-colored crystals known as the nijizuishou. Armed with a black crystal given to him by Queen Beryl herself (which looks suspiciously like the kurozuishou owned by the king who came before him; it is generally assumed that the one Zoi used and the one Neph used are one and the same, though Zoisite was the one who took Nephrite's, so why Beryl ended up with it is unknown)), he began searching for the people born with the nijizuishou inside them, to get the crystal and release the Seven Great Youma trapped in human form.

A definite 'my bad' moment.However, as luck would have it in this anime world, every person who had a nijizuishou would be befriended by a senshi in the very recent past, or have some connection to a senshi, or those damned senshi would just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Practically every Sailormoon villain has to deal with the curse of these coincidences, and they were particularly irksome to Zoisite.

This was because his enemies were after the same things he was. The senshi and Tuxedo Kamen were never interested in energy, but the crystals that make up an incredibly powerful tool/weapon are a different story. Zoisite would find the carrier of the nijizuishou and draw it out, but then someone -- the senshi, Tuxedo Kamen, or most likely both -- would appear to challenge him for it. And sometimes they'd win. Zoisite lost the yellow to the senshi and the orange and the purple to Tuxedo Kamen, and he was not happy about it. A half-complete job is worthless to Beryl.

So Zoisite needed to recover what he had lost. Through a stroke of genius, he used poor Osaka Naru-chan as a hostage yet again (along with several other amusement park visitors), forcing Sailormoon to give up her crystal. Then he teamed up with the most powerful of the kings, Kunzite, to get the two from Tux. Kunzite had always been a source of help for Zoisite (or a source of annoyance, depending on what Kunzite had to say) from way back during his problems with Nephrite. And he was more than that, of course, but we'll get into that later.

Zoisite is a pyromaniac.

Well, they tried, and got very close, but the appearance of Sailorvenus prevented their first attempt. So they tried again, this time armed with the knowledge of Tuxedo Kamen's true identity. Zoisite challenged Mamoru for possession of the nijizuishou, but, controlled by his hot temper, he sent a spear toward Sailormoon (who was accidentally and unfortunately present), which Tux took for her in the back.  Fittingly, Zoi did this while promising that yes, it would be a fair fight.  The little sneak.

Though it sounds like a good thing that this happened, it was not, for several reasons.

One: The tear that Sailormoon cried over Tuxedo Kamen somehow attracted the nijizuishou (held by Kunzite) and turned into the ginzuishou, which effectively handed the crystal over to the senshi.

Two: Possession of the ginzuishou brought back the heroes' memories of long ago. Not something that the Kingdom wanted -- it is preferable that one's enemies stay in the dark (so to speak) at all times.

Three: Queen Beryl had made explicit orders against the death of Tuxedo Kamen. It really isn't wise to go against Beryl's wishes.

And she killed Zoisite for it, blasting him over Kunzite's protests.

*sniffle*He did have one of the sweetest death scenes in the entire series, however. It is my very favorite, even if the animation makes me cringe sometimes.

Ever-vain, after Kunzite carried him away from the throne room, he asked the older king to let him die pretty. A shaken Kunzite did that, creating images of the flowers that Zoisite loved so much around them.

Zoisite's last words were telling Kunzite that he loved him, and he died as a tear fell down his cheek.

Umm… I did mention that Kunzite and Zoisite were more than co-workers, right? Oh, well, it's not like it's any big surprise.

Poor, poor Zoi.

Zoisite is quite a developed character -- more than Nephrite, more than many on the show. He's got a very interesting, complex personality: ruthless and backstabbing, vulnerable and afraid, vain and malicious, loving and devoted. He's very multifaceted.

And he's so pretty!

Mmmm... sexy eyes...Seriously, his looks are a big part of who he is. He's very self-centered, making several comments about being "pretty" -- which may stem, as I believe, from Kunzite's aesthetic sense... but no matter the background, the vanity is still there.  Of course, he's the only king to get hit in the face: not once, but twice, once by Makoto and once by a rose from Tuxedo Kamen. The artist nijizuishou carrier called him pretty upon seeing him (and he then turned her into a youma -- a very lovely youma, if it matters) and Kunzite made up to him once by referring to his beauty.

It would be easy, therefore, to write Zoisite off as a wimpy pretty-boy, and a gay pretty-boy to boot. No threat.

Easy, but highly dangerous on your part.

Remember, this is the man who had his predecessor assassinated, and stabbed his enemy in the back - literally! - twice. He kidnapped and held people hostage, he set things on fire, he threw pointy things at people. He smacked a cat (I cheered when this happened when I first saw it in the dub!  In the original, though, I like Luna...) and attacked a little girl.

It is obvious that Zoisite doesn't like physical confrontations; he'd rather let the youma take care of things while he floats off somewhere safely. All of the kings hold this preference, but this one probably has it the worst, due to his smaller, more slender build.  (I don't think Zoisite is particularly tiny --  sometimes he even appears almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Nephrite, even, and he's taller than the inner senshi; still, he's clearly the shortest of the Shitennou)  This is not to say that I believe that he's significantly less powerful than any of them (I generally put him on par with Jadeite), but I think of the four, he detests fighting the most... until he loses his temper, at least.

Naughty, naughty ZoiBut Tuxedo Kamen forced him to, many times; the masked hero would make him get off his skinny floating rear to duel him. You'd think Zoisite would learn that once he gets his hands on a crystal, he should get the heck out of there or at least watch out for Tux's disgusting extendo-stick that seemed to smack his delicate, slender fingers everytime. He didn't, though, and it was fun watching the two fight. Sometimes one would escape and make a mad dash away, getting off free, and sometimes they'd have to duke it out.

In the case of getting the blue nijizuishou, Zoisite tricked Tux by pretending to surrender, then grabbing the goods when the other's guard fell. He did something similar in their (second) battle for the yellow: he disappeared and left Tux fighting what he mistakenly thought was Zoisite, while the real Zoisite again got the crystal.

However, just think about it.  I mean, Tuxedo Kamen pretty much deserved it!  After all, for the blue nijizuishou, isn't it just a bit naive to believe an enemy when he says, "I concede to your superior power; you win."?  And when Zoi left him battling nothing -- Tux should've known by then that the flurry of sakura petals signifies that Zoisite has teleported away; he should've looked around, rather than continuing to thwack the teleport decoration.

No matter whose fault it is that Zoi succeeded, it's still a fact that Zoisite is a dirty fighter. But, really, wouldn’t he have to be, fighting his way up to get such a high position in the nasty ranks of the Kingdom and lacking physical brawn and presence? He'd never win in a "fair" fight against somebody bigger and stronger than him, and there are a lot of somebodies who are just that. So he became sneaky.

Tux should've known that Sailormoon's eyes aren't green.The Sailormoon guise was probably the epitome of his sneakiness... well, that, or when he shot that crystal toward Sailormoon in the back.  It's rather unfortunate, though, that this one stint has given him, in some people's interpretations, the reputation of being a flamboyant crossdresser.  I have to disagree with that, myself... I think his manga counterpart is, but as for the anime version, I don't really think Zoisite shows much interest in wearing women's clothes.  Yes, he dressed up as Sailormoon -- but it was really just an illusion (why else would he be fully dressed when it came off?), and all for a plan.  Hey, whatever puts him in stabbing range of Tux, right?

Besides.  He would do anything Kunzite-sama told him to do.  And, well...

Zoisite tries, he really does.  

He puts his heart into what he does, more than any of the other kings.  Jadeite always ran things from afar, as the standoffish head of the youma's dirty work; Nephrite interacted on a very overconfident level, controlling his victims while giving off the very clear signals that he felt himself above this kind of work; Kunzite either didn't show up in person, instead letting the youma do the work itself with him only occasionally dropping in a word of guidance, or he came in with a super-superior, must-dominate-everything-around-him attitude.  Zoisite was the only one who'd get really worked up about what he did.  Zoisite would be the only one who'd go gallivanting around in the sewers to hunt down, in his words, an "ugly cat" (and, in the process, would become the only king ever to go super-deformed for his pains).  And that gives him an air of being more... honest, I suppose, despite the sneakiness... than his comrades.  And I can't help but be more sympathetic to him because of that difference about him.

And he's unique in so many other ways as well; he's adorable. Some don't like him; this may be due to overexposure to the dub version (many -- including yours truly -- believe that he was quite a bitch in English -- though I find the characterization worse than the homophobia-driven sex change...) or because they are crazy about Nephrite (or Tux, I suppose) and so hate his killer. Or they just don't like him.

Double, double...Go figure; I think he's terrific.  I mean, look at what he is and does:

He's ambidextrous (he throws, at least, with both hands), he's a talented gymnast (episode twenty-eight shows his skills; also check out the backflip in the alley in episode thirty-one), he swears ("shimatta!" -- all the kings do, of course, but it sounds so cute coming out of his mouth), he flirts with boys (episode twenty-seven he blows Ami-chan's beau Urawa Ryo a kiss!), and he's not afraid to cry (Kunzaito-sama!).

He'll wear a sailorfuku if he has to. He's smart and devilishly cunning. He has a hot boyfriend. He has the nicest legs on a guy that I've ever seen, and he knows how to cross them just right. He bites his nails when he gets jealous, nervous, or otherwise upset. He likes to laugh and will take the time to ride a carousel. He hates "dirty" animals. He attacks shouting his own name, and he attacks with fire, ice, and cherry blossom petals, of all things.

Zoisite has so many quirks that he just seems real, or at least too different to be an everyday cartoon villain. It helps that the majority of his episodes are beautifully done (I particularly love the art style of numbers twenty-five and thirty-two) and his voice is spectacularly done. If you haven't heard it, you should. And trust me: if you've only heard it on a sound file on-line, it's even better when you actually see it coming from his mouth. Oh-My-God good, is what I said the first time I heard it.  (after I finished giggling in shock, that is...)

Hey, mind if I digress a moment before I wrap this up?  I hope not, 'cause I'm going to do it anyway. You should probably be used to it by now.

Anyone ever tell you you're cute when you're angry?Both the correct spelling of the mineral for which he was named (look it up in a good dictionary or mineral guide!) and the katakana in his name worked out in romanji (if you don't know already and can't read Japanese, get an English/Japanese dictionary and the credits of an episode he was in in the original anime, or an untranslated manga!) put an "s" in his name.  Z-o-i-s-i-t-e or Zo-i-sa-i-to (the latter being direct romanji, and as close to "zoisite" as the Japanese language, which only ends words in vowels or the letter "n", can get).

So what's up with the commonly-used spelling "Zoicite"???  It is neither the correct spelling of the gemstone nor the correct interpretation of the katakana of his original name.  Come on, people!  I mean, I can forgive it for dub versions (though if you're using the DiC dub character, the official spelling is Zoycite -- check the trading cards or the "button men" game!), but... seeing it so often in reference to the original character gets on my nerves!  It's not that difficult to look it up!

Er... thank you for putting up me venting on one of my pet peeves.  I hope I didn't offend anyone.  Let's get back to finishing up the shrine, okay?

Anyway, this character, so full of life and more than your average evildoer, is one of the most memorable in the entire Sailormoon series. In his highs and lows, his hot-tempered vicious rages, his jealous, vain pouts, his desperate love, in all of his moods Zoisite remains interesting, lovely, and amusing.



What a friggin' psycho.  You know I love him.

And they said flower petals aren't dangerous!

Do I ever listen to what people say?


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