|Summertime and the living is easy~~~|
The girls of Sailor Moon are the ones featured on our second template. I can now clearly see the girl power they represent and the fact that they are tied together not so much by obligation rather by true friendship; a friendship persistent in time, a friendship which overcomes obstacles.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon was the anime that got me hooked, introduced me to the anime world, charmed me and gave me plenty of illusions and ideals as a 6 year-old girl, but opened my mind as a teenager…
|From left to right: Kino Makoto, Tomoe Hotaru, Hino Rei, Mizuno Ami, Tsukino Usagi, Chibiusa, Aino Minako, Meioh Setzuna, Kaioh Michiru, Tenoh Haruka|
Where should I really begin from? Let’s see…I was 6 years old, a girl who wore often ponytails -not as long as Usagi’s, yet ponytails…more like Makoto’s I’d say in the end- and who waited patiently or to be more honest impatiently each weekend to watch Sailor Moon. I remember that those first years of my life the cartoons that were on TV mostly targeted boys (Dragonball, Transformers, Kabamaru) and that a ‘cartoon’ for girls was so rare, so it was overly welcomed by me. Heidi, Candy Candy and Sandybell had a more family series atmosphere rather than romance and adventure. Mummins and Maya the Bee were nice watches as well but it goes the same as the previous. There were more like the above and atop of the content, the constantly changing air time and perhaps some problems with the dubbing had as result to watch these series every now and then. So, yup, Sailor Moon was a big change. Well, the dub was for the trash bin, as I later understood (many girls were voiced by the same actor!), but back then I didn’t mind at all. And the first time aired in Greece all the episodes were aired; on the contrary, the next times from a different channel -when I was in junior high- it was aired only till the Black Moon arc, most probably due to to Michiru’s and Haruka’s introduction in the next arcs.
I know one thing though: I got so stacked on the series that the first time the Sailors died, I cried really hard!
|From left to right: 1rst row- Tomoe Hotaru and Chibiusa, 2nd row-Tenoh Haruka, Kaioh Michiru, Hino Rei, Tsukino Usagi, Mizuno Ami, Aino Minako, Kino Makoto, Koh Yaten, Koh Seiya, 3rd row- Chiba Mamoru, Koh Taiki|
Sailor Moon enhanced the ideal of friendship in me, perhaps in such a grade, that it became an obsession, a dream which unfortunately is hardly ever achieved in life. People come and people go, and nowadays everyone cares first of all about him/herself without caring if others are wounded by his/her behaviour. The same goes with the ideal of eternal love and the puppy-corny love that the series serves through Mamoru and Usagi. Every time they died and every time they were reborn again, meet each other and fall in love. There’s no such thing as eternal love…*sigh* I still remember Usagi’s words that she wants a man to do her thing no matter the place and time…The good thing is that I fancied the mini skirts they wore, the ones that oozed feminity and represented the girl power. Chibiusa’s words are also in my head : “You see, girls don’t have to wait for a prince on a white horse all the time, do they? Sometimes they should ride on the back of a white horse to find their prince by themselves! It depends on you whether you can make your dream happen yourself.”
But Sailor Moon offered me much more later, when I started rewatching the series at my 12 and I had access to internet. Internet was the revelation of the world to me. I learnt a lot about the series’ aspects: astronomy, mythology, religions, psychological interpretations (most of them found in Anime Myth with you, a site that unfortunately has changed its content now). Most importantly my mind opened and I came to accept homosexuality through Michiru & Haruka after a tough inner struggle (since my parents are homophobes, I didn’t have where to turn to…). And of course, I improved my English, as well. I swear that my Proficiency Certificate is something I owe to the countless pages I read about Sailor Moon in English. Below are some of the sites I found most useful and interesting.
Moon Garden -> very good manga summaries and great character profiles
Sailormoon center -> HQ videos of the series
Moon princess -> well-done anime summaries
sailormusic.net -> all osts of the series
The Sailor Senshi Page-> General information and mythological trivia
the oracle-> another good page about character profiles and other info
Sailor Moon ~ manga style -> gorgeous manga gallery, organized by artbook with Naoko Takeuchi’s comments
sailormoonlinks- gateway to sailormoon ->a list of sites for those who want more
Another reason why this series is so memorable is its openings and endings that changed frequently and I may dare that although the design is of the old-school, such well-made openings and endings, in what concerns both music and visual presentation, are hardly found nowadays. Till Sailor Stars the music is the same for the opening but the endings always change. The beat of the openings is wonderfully co-ordinated with the change of surrealistic scenes and that gives a very good result. My only complain is that the outer senshi aren’t featured very much even in the last seasons, where they appear -you’ll notice them only in the death busters’ arc.
And it’s not only the ops and eds. It’s the general ost. The locket’s music is something that till now I murmur.
Although I hadn’t read the manga itself at first, through the manga summaries I came to love even more the manga for its plot, the more mature characters and the beautiful artwork. The senshi don’t die and resurrect/reincarnate (if we can really call it that) almost every arc like in the anime; Usagi is much less annoying and her romance with Mamoru is way more obvious and full of tenderness; there are manga-only characters like Lethe and Mnemosyne who are eye-catching and have interesting background and psychosynthesis; and Naoko Takeuchi’s style is soft very feminine with some dashing 2-page spreads.
But that doesn’t mean that the manga is flawless. The arcs change at the speed of light leaving very little room for character development for the senshi minus the titular character. The absurd fat-shaming is much more intense, especially in a side story. The astonishing transformations are rarely displayed at full length due to the medium’s ‘limitations’. And by reading through the story, it dawned on me that the regime idealized here is monarchy; though this is equally true for the anime.
|All of the girls in their princess attires|
|the Sailors holding hands in a circle- stars’ outfits that existed only in manga|
Each character had a certain personality and during the anime series character development was evident, although not at the same scale for everyone. Unfortunately, much attention was given to the inner senshi and much more on Mamoru & Usagi; and I must say I adore the outer senshi, although it wasn’t always like this…I remember I could relate more with Ami, since I was a very good student as well and admired her intelligence. There was a time, when I liked Makoto’s girliness and masculinity at the same time. Girly and chic outfits yet strong. I also loved Queen and Princess Serenity. In fact, till some years ago, I wanted to have a gown like theirs for my wedding 😛 And Hotaru had a unique outfit and wonderful purple eyes…Well. there were minor characters I came to like but if I go on listing…just to name a few: Nephrite, Pegasus, Princess Kakyuu etc.
All in all, Sailor Moon was an enjoyable watch back then, that apart from its mainstream faults gave me the motive to learn more interesting things, opened my mind and gave me sweet memories -it certainly deserves to be hosted in the header of our blog, don’t you think?