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steph hey you
I considered working this into the main essay, but I'm too psyched, I just have to get out why I'm so excited about the Sailor Moon manga being reprinted. The out-of-print Tokyopop manga ihas with outdated art (Japan got shiny rerelease reprint volumes), flipped pages, English dub names and a general Blind Idiot Translation (especially obvious when the translators didn't realize a character was quoting William Blake).  None of the scanlations of this series are complete, either. And the fun story of Sailor V finally reaches the US!

This is Naoko Takeuchi's original vision for Sailor Moon. When asked about the differences between the anime and manga, she replied that the anime's staff was men, while her story was told from a women's perspective- by girls, for girls and about girls.

(Especially obvious since the manga lacks a lot of the male gaze and has none of the nude transformation sequences or skirts flying up the anime boasts, as well as other things)

(and don't get me wrong, the anime is fantastic and feminist as well, and did some things better than the manga. But that's not what we're focusing on!)

This is a story about women- tons of women. Every personality type you can imagine. Young women, old women, queer women, straight women, ditzy women, brainy women. This is story about the bond of friendship between these women and how they are the most powerful people in the universe.

Sailor Moon is classic superhero stuff- eldritch villians, secret identity drama, the power of friendship, face-melting horror, epic battles- but it's set in a world where teenage girls are the greatest heroes.

This is a story where for once, it is the guy (Tuxedo Kamen) who gets captured and brainwashed and killed and resurrected and rescued over and over again by his girlfriend. He's unashamed about it too, suavely thanking her for saving him yet again, rushing to alert her when he spots trouble, flatly tells her that he doesn't have her powers and he got in over his head, it's up to her to save the day. He worries about being a burden on her, he is repeatedly in awe of how strong she is and openly praises her for her power and when asked if Sailor Moon is strong? He unflinchingly replies "she's invincible" And she worries that he'll get hurt, and vows to always protect him.  This is not to say he's not important to the plot and doesn't get his moments to shine- he does so, much more often than in the anime. He just maintains a open and sweet relationship with her, well aware that she's just cooler than he'll ever be- he adores her for it.

He acts as her backup, motivation and emotional support, and he's good at it.  It doesn't make him less of a "man", or less desirable. This is a couple that reaffirmed their love for each other by stating their dream as "protecting the planet, together with you". It's not a relationship without it's ups and downs (more mature than in the anime, there's a lot of serious issues with jealousy, confusion and Mamoru worrying that he's a *burden* to Usagi, poor thing) and there's a lot of spark with them ragging on each other and teasing with each other- but it's always clear they support each other no matter what, and Mamoru is actually a nice guy you'd want your heroine to be with, not a sexist jerk.

Here's a couple of my favorite pages of them to illustrate my point. Behold Mamoru being totall unashamed as he goes "oh wow you save me a lot don't you"




Sailor Moon grabbing Tuxedo Mask and smooching him (their first kiss!) and then telling him to run away because he'll get hurt, she can take care of this monster. Behold how he clutches his jaw in shock and inner monologues about how strong and cool she is omg!







In addition, it's the story about a group of ten (eleven) girls, all with different personalities and powers- but all of them have their strongest relationships with each other, and their mission and female friends are the most important in their life. They have different attitudes towards men- some are boy crazy, some hate men, some don't think about it much, some are lesbians- but none of them need men and Usagi is the only one with a boyfriend. All of them explicitly state their highest goal as to protect their planet and the people they love.

This is one of my favorite pages of Sailor Moon and I cannot wait to see it all reprinted and shiny and properly translated, because it really gets to the core of what it's all about. Sailor Venus coolly states that she has already found her one and only (her best friend, Usagi, and the princess she is sworn to protect) and Mars puts her arm around Venus while bluntly saying "we don't need men. Got a problem with that?" (Some fun slash overtones there, but what I'm focusing on is the defiant and blatant show of female independence, sisterhood and solidarity that is really the core of this series.





Also the awesomeness that is Jupiter's introduction, with her realizing she didn't deserve to be treated like shit by her ex-boyfriend, that she's finally found friends and people that support her in her fellow Sailor Senshi, and that there's no time to cry over boys when there's ass to kick.






This is the manga where the main character is a princess, but also the soldier that protects the princess- e.g. a princess who rescues herself. And unlike most princesses who never become queens (it's desirable to make girls princesses because they get to have the frills, but none of the power), we see that Usagi does become Queen- of the entire world so she can protect it and ensure peace. This is a manga where girls literally rule the world. For the BETTER. This is a manga where girls not only never lose their power or are corrupted by it, but just become more powerful and more important as time passes.

This is also a manga where a mother-daughter relationship is the core of the story in later volumes, where a female legacy plays a big role. We see a little girl determined to take after her mother and be a kick-ass soldier with her own team of warriors. We deal with her insecurity that she'll never live up to her mother- something many girls can relate to. We see a vulnerable young girl struggle with her mother, look up to her mother and ultimately figure out how to be her own hero while following in her mother's footsteps. Female legacy is a huge deal in Sailor Moon, and we see that the torch will be passed on, and there will always be powerful girls protecting the world.

This is a world where femininity is not something to be ashamed of, it's the source of POWER. The girls don't use their pretty clothes and jewels and compacts as playthings to impress men- these things are all weapons against evil, and powerful ones. They declare themSELVES pretty, needing approval from no one. Our hero possesses all the typical "chick" attriibutes- emotional, tearful, forgiving, loving, nurturing- and she uses these attribute to triumph and kicks ass. She burns monsters alive with the purity of her love, sends out supersonic waves that shake the villains down when she bursts into tears, and her friendship and forgiveness is the most effective superpower one could ask for. The "girly" emotions and affectations are not something to be ashamed of or suppressed, but the source of the power these girls wield. They don't have to imitate guy heroes at all or act "masculine" to be taken seriously- girliness is just as powerful. The manga also rips apart the idea that masculine and feminine traits cannot coexist by showing Sailor Jupiter to be the tomboyest toughest fighter...AND the best cook, master of housework and hopeless romantic.

(I should note these girls also kill villains left and right with fire, ice, lighting and love, unlike in the anime, the villians are mostly bit parts and rarely redeemable, so the girls have no problems icing them. There's some definite gore and violence in Sailor Moon- strangling, stabbing with swords, people having their flesh melt off, turning into zombies, being electocuted and burned alive, shanking each other in the streets...)

Each arc of the manga has a specific theme that adds up to a beautiful coming of age story that sees a vulnerable, insecure. clumsy crybaby teenage girl grow to become a powerful and self assured protector of the world. The manga has our main characters develop much faster and more overtly than in the anime, and it's a joy to watch. Each manga arc has it's own particular theme and leap foward for Sailor Moon's character.

The first arc is about love, and sees the contrast between the powerful and honest love Sailor Moon has for her friends to the obsessive, twisted and controlling love the villain embodies. It's about Usagi starting out as a hero, gaining confidence, falling in love for the first time, and truly understanding her connection to other people and the power it brings her.

The second arc is mostly about responsibility- Sailor Moon has to take responsibility for the irrational jealousy and insecurity she harbors towards her future daughter, Chibiusa (future daughter) has to take responsibility for the destruction caused by her actions, the insecurity and inadequacy she feels as well as her own jealousy, she had to deal with death, and she has to take on her power. Usagi is also faced with the idea of parenthood, and the massive responsibilities she'll face in the future. Also, there's a big theme of time and the future in general.

The third arc is about sacrifice, ideals, and moral relativism. Would you be willing to sacrifice an innocent to save the world? Here's where Usagi and the Senshi truly develop their moral convictions, and stubbornly stick to them and fight to defend them. A true clash of ideals between comrades. There's always a choice, always another way, and Sailor Moon will never give up finding it.

The fourth arc is pretty blatantly about dreams and goals and growing up. We deal with the individual goals and dreams of each of the senshi, their insecurities about being unable to reach those dreams, and having to decide what their true goal in life is. We also see Chibiusa struggle with her desire to live up to her mother and her desire to grow up- and we really get to see her grow up. There's also Usagi realizing her goals and truly throwing off her childhood- and Mamoru actually discovering his own power and getting his chance to shine! Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask really become a partnership.

The fifth arc is about war, and it's corruptive and neverending nature. Sailor Moon loses everything, deals with the embodiment of all evil and sacrifices everything. We see her truly accept that being a soldier is part of who she is, and she's glad of it because she got to meet her friends. She also faces the choice of whether to accept death to stop the fighting, or keep going despite the difficulties. If she wipes out the source of evil, does that also mean wiping out the source of humanity?

Other themes that run through Sailor Moon are struggles with her dual identity and which part is really her, and also themes of destiny and reincarnation, and past lives affecting the present.

See, Sailor Moon is actually pretty full of interesting themes and death and drama and development, as well as being chock full of feminism, it's pretty much an epic story, a true heroes journey. The plot is pretty tight with lots of interesting themes and beats that got left out of the anime (it also lacks the filler of the anime) and lots of cool backstory. The art isn't perfect, but it's ethereal and pretty to look at, especially in reprinted form.

I'm also highly excited for Codename Sailor V, the prequel to Sailor Moon, released in the US for the first time. It shows Minako Aino being a kickass independent hero and how she developed and grew into the experienced leader warrior Sailor Venus (while still having a fun and brash personality)- the true beginning of Sailor Moon. It's often light hearted and hilarious superhero hijinks, but it also has some really tragic beats as Minako struggles with whether she should choose duty or love. Also, lots of face kickin; action and extra backstory! A must have!

So, I hope you get how truly epic this manga is and exactly why I'm psyched to see it properly translated with shiny reprint art. Sailor Moon is an awesome feminist manga with an epic storyline, and it would be great if we could all support this new release with cash! I have no doubt that in addition to attracting old fans as a milestone of the genre, it will also draw in new fans with it's pretty soldier sailorsuited girl power and fun read. After all, I only fell in love with the manga and anime last year!

Whew! I just had to express all the reasons for my joy. Sailor Moon shows being a girl as not only okay, but as desirable and powerful. And for that I love it.

Comments

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big_wired
Mar. 22nd, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
I remember watching the anime on TV up here in Canada on YTV obsessively while I was in high school (a big no no for a huge, six foot three inch, 260 pound dude like myself, but then again I'm almost 33 and I watch MLP: Friendship is Magic too without shame) and it just blew me away because there had been NOTHING like it before. The closest we got were the Power Rangers, which would normally have about 1-2 female members, depending on the line up.

And Sailor Moon, in the beginning, is like the classic Sentai set up.

I only ever read a few chapters of the manga and I found it to be pretty darn exciting, so I am looking forward to getting and reading this series. It'll go on my desk right alongside Musashi #9, which is a manga about a teenage super SUPER female Agent who could kick your ass six ways from Sunday, is about as tomboyish as Sailor Jupiter, and makes most criminals quake in their boots just by saying who she is.

I had no idea there was a Sailor V manga, and I can't wait to get that one.

But yeah, I remember a podcast called I Read Comics which talked with Lea Hernandez, and she went on about the anime of Sailor Moon and how revolutionary it was because it was an anime for girls by girls released to America, and how it really spawned popularity in anime in North America. Because unlike American comics, the girls were the main heroes and were the most powerful people on the entire frigging planet, and they saved the men. Even if some of the themes you mentioned about the manga were diluted in the anime, they were still there and still pretty awesome.

You just had to ignore the kissing cousins of the dub of Sailor Moon season S, because the US figures incest to be better than homosexuality. ;p
nevermore999
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I ADORE the anime! I just decided to focus on the manga for this post and point out some things it did better than the anime/themes not present in the anime when going about my "sales pitch".

Like I said, the anime did some things better than the manga (mainly, more focus on Mercury, Jupiter and Mars- the anime really developed their characters and I wouldn't love them nearly as much without it. The manga sometimes focused on Usagi's development a little TOO much. She also loses a bit of her relatability with how quickly she grows out of her flaws. Also, more characterization for the villains, more color and humor and slice-of-life- action, and I vastly prefer the finale of Season 1 to the finale of the first manga arc- the season 1 finale was just perfect and heartwrenching, while the first arc finale was not perfect and had some weird aspects)and pretty much all the themes I mentioned here are present in one way or another in the anime, if diluted- and the anime has some cool themes and plot points the manga didn't too.

Overall, I feel the R arc and the SuperS arc are way better in the manga, so I can't wait to see them published. The S arc in the anime and manga are equally good, the StarS arc is really different in the manga and probably a little better than the anime and first arc I think is better in the anime- though the manga adds a lot of cool backstory and thematic tragedy. So basically, all iterations of Sailor Moon rock, just in different ways. And no denying the impact the anime had.

Ugh, don't get me started on the cousins thing. I know they probably had to do it, and it's hilarious that they didn't bother to sensor the "sensual" scenes, but ugh. The dub made a lot of unnecessary changes and censors, though I'm glad it existed to introduce Americans to SM. Hopefully they'll do a more accurate redub someday.

Codename Sailor V is too amazing, I'm still suprised more people haven't heard of it, but then I visited TVTropes while watching SM, so that's how I became aware. I think I'm going to do a seperate post for a Sailor V breakdown (hopefully not as long) because it's a really fantastic story that lets you get to know Minako, and without it, Sailor Moon wouldn't exist!
(no subject) - big_wired - Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - big_wired - Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
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sageofmudora
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
Wow
This is one of the most beautiful tributes to the BSSM Manga I've ever read. Thank you!
nevermore999
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow
Aw, thanks! *blushes*
Re: Wow - sageofmudora - Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
pingback_bot
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Great Article on BSSM
User sageofmudora referenced to your post from Great Article on BSSM saying: [...] great and points out a few of the most feminist moments. nevermore999.livejournal.com/132687.html [...]
heygirlie
Mar. 22nd, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
Could I link to this at ontd_moonies? This is a great post about the manga (which I appreciate because my SM knowledge is pretty much anime only).
nevermore999
Mar. 22nd, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
sure!
dqbunny
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
I was linked to this article via Tumblr. It is amazing, and you did such a good job at why Sailor Moon is not only awesome, but why strongly influenced me in my early years of college. I had seen the series dubbed when I was in high school, but the manga was introduced to me when I was 19, and it's one of the largest media influences on me (Slayers being another -- which actually predates Sailor Moon by two years when it comes to the novels -- which also has awesome female characters and a heroine who not only kicks a lot of ass and saves her love interest, etc.)

This is why Sailor Moon being license-rescued is such a good thing. My niece, who was born during the original run of the series, is now a teenager herself. I'm hoping to become a parent in the next year or two. It's a series you want to expose children to, especially girls. One of the disappointing thing about modern media is that it's still filled with a lot of masculine-oriented series that pushes the roles of girls aside. Look at Bleach for example. There's the promise of a strong female in Rukia, then she's locked in a tower for an entire arc unable to help herself and Ichigo must save her. Same thing goes for Orihime, who spends her own arc wringing her hands. Look at Pokemon, Naruto and other series where there are shades of strong female characters, but their achievements are overshadowed by the boys.

That's why series such as Sailor Moon, Slayers, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, etc. stand out. They show the awesome power of women, and how we can do amazing things and still be girls. I want my children and my nieces to be exposed to that sort of story and know that girls aren't just sex objects. We're amazing, complex and powerful.
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Well said. I should check out Slayers sometime. :)
(no subject) - dqbunny - Mar. 24th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC) - Expand
pingback_bot
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
a world where teenage girls are the greatest heroes
User heygirlie referenced to your post from a world where teenage girls are the greatest heroes saying: [...] told from a women's perspective- by girls, for girls and about girls." (Click for the full piece [...]
tonyyao82
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Great read! I posted up my thoughts growing up with Sailor Moon here: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/4017014098/sailor-moon-returns

This could be the start of something bigger if Kodansha plays this right.

Having a strong female lead and having the male lead treat the female lead as superior really created a very positive tone for the series that girls can save the world.
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Thanks! Nice article, Makoto was my fave in the anime too.
bow_tied
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
I love what you wrote and agree with this 100%!
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
Thanks!
iwaitedtilldawn
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
"has none of the nude transformation sequences or skirts flying up the anime boasts"

It certainly does! Sailor Moon frequently has transparent or no clothing. Naoko also frequently drew the characters in lingerie or sexy poses, and even drew the main characters in playboy bunny suits. I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of panty shots, but there certainly are many times that there *would* be one... if the characters appeared to be wearing anything at all under those skirts.

Example: http://www.mangafox.com/manga/sailor_moon/v01/c001/37.html
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Takeuchi does do the transparent bodies thing on occasion, but there's not nearly as much getting naked as in the anime, especially in the first couple of arcs- Takeuchi apparently DID have a problem with the amount of male gaze in the anime and the henshin stuff so she must have seen a difference- I was referring to the transformation sequences, I wasn't saying there was never any nudity ever- in fact, I thought I'd put that the manga had "less female nudity", so sorry for being unclear.

And I'm aware of the sexy side art (though I never saw any lingerie), but I was talking about the manga's body of work itself.I guess I was merely trying to get across that Takeuchi had expressed issues with some of the stuff in the anime herself, I should have just said that, I didn't mean to make it sound like the manga was free of fanservice or anything.

And the skirts don't really ever fly up to where panties would be shown, not even in the picture you posted though they stay on the very edge most times - I do think there's a panel in the third act where Usagi lands on her ass and you can see a tiny bit of leotard/panties/whatever so she is supposed to be wearing something under there.
(no subject) - iwaitedtilldawn - Mar. 24th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nevermore999 - Mar. 24th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
iwaitedtilldawn
Mar. 24th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
I am also going to disagree with you here:

"This is a manga where girls not only never lose their power or are corrupted by it, but just become more powerful and more important as time passes."

Chibi Moon is corrupted. Her jealousy, lack of self confidence, and the power she inherited as Sailor Moon's daughter turn her into a villain, Black Lady. She gets over it, but it does happen.

It also arguably happens with Galaxia, the most powerful senshi in the universe, and also with Sailor Cosmos, who is an analogue to Sailor Moon. Galaxia becomes overwhelmed by the burden she attempts to take on and starts a holocaust against the entire universe. Cosmos, overwhelmed by her/chaos, loses hope, and in the process, her family, friends, and planet.

And what of all of the animamates? They all betrayed their own planets and gave their souls to chaos for power, and were eventually killed for it, either by their own masters, or Sailor Moon herself.
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 05:03 am (UTC)
I was pretty much referring to the main ten when I said that. It's often a trope for when women weild a lot of power, they either must suppress it or they lose control and go evil. "Powerful women are scary" etc. For a woman to have the insane amount of power Sailor Moon weilds and not get corrupted, not have to supress it and in fact to grow up to enact positive change across to globe with it as she gets older is a big deal.

Chibiusa was manipulated, but she only unlocked her true power to transform when she turned good again- she didn't become Chibi Moon until after the Black Lady deal. The animates sold out, but not because they couldn't handle their power- just cuz...well, they weren't cool enough. Cosmos didn't get corrupted or lose control, she got scared and gave up. Galaxia just looked down on everyone in the manga.
claudia_vice
Mar. 24th, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
I just wanna say, thanks for an amazing article. I try to explain to friends/acquaintances about how awesomely feminist BSSM is sometimes and no one believes me. 8/
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
ainobethie
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
It has been my mission for the past 6 months or so to introduce Sailor Moon to a group of guy friends but have only received staunch refusal along the lines of "it's so girly and stupid."

My husband introduced me to Sailor Moon. My HUSBAND! I've seen polls that asked Sailor Moon fans their gender. It's always a 50/50 split. Sailor Moon is amazing, has stood the test of time, and will always be a classic and epic series. The SuperS anime even goes so far as to talk about rape and child molestation...without talking about. These are serious subjects!

Sailor Moon is truly a powerful series and I'm glad you wrote this. I'll be sure to share it with them the next time the topic comes up.

Edited at 2011-03-24 04:56 pm (UTC)
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, the beautiful dreams stuff in SuperS was really disturbing and reminiscent of sexual assault. There's a lot of interesting stuff to analyze there, I could probably go into that stuff forever.
rosetteroulette
Mar. 24th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing essay. All I can say is WOW. I really am excited for the manga, and happy that Sailor V's coming out in English. ♥

Can I link this to my journal? I need more people to see this. *^*
nevermore999
Mar. 24th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
Mako <3

And no problem! Feel free to link it. I just put up a (really long) essay on the V manga if you're excited about that: http://nevermore999.livejournal.com/132909.html
umadoshi
Mar. 25th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
This is a great post. ^_^
nevermore999
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Ooh, PGSM! <3
tsarina_sofia
Mar. 25th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
This is such a fantastic post and reminds me of everything I love about Sailor Moon, except it's put so much more eloquently here lol.

I hope you don't mind me linking this to my tumblr?
nevermore999
Mar. 25th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And no problem, of course you can link it.
zarniw00p
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Great post! You really captured all that's great about the manga and with such infectious enthusiasm ^^ I love your ode to the glories of girliness XD I hate to use the phrase but Sailor Moon really is all about girl power!

I especially like your including the panel where Mars/Venus declare that they don't need men, they've devoted their lives to being senshi, that's one scene that really stands out in my memories of the manga, it really defines the ethos of the senshi. Since I'm a sucker for romantic love I always found it rather sad that only Usagi gets her one true love (exception of Uranus/Neptune? ^^) but on the other hand I admire the sentiment that romantic love is not the be all and end all, and that there are more important things in life; in this respect the manga really does subvert the fundamental notions of shoujo manga where romantic love is usually the driving force of the story. And yet we have Usagi and Mamoru in a classic epic love story so I've always thought Sailor Moon was rather conflicted in its themes. The final wedding scene is especially strange, in a way it concludes in very satisfactory typical shoujo manga style, the girl gets her dream guy, but then on the side are all the other senshi dressed in their own wedding outfits (I suppose they're technically bridesmaids but their dresses are definitely more bridal than maiden) - whom are they marrying? Are they all getting married into one happy family, confirming their vows to devote their lives to Usagi and the greater good? Perhaps the concluding message is that romantic love is nice but it doesn't have to be the ultimate purpose in life.

Anyhow, the manga certainly has plenty of themes to get people thinking ^^ I personally think that one needs to watch the anime as well to really fall in love with Sailor Moon as a whole but looking back on the manga, I think it does stand the test of time.
nevermore999
Mar. 30th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I think the manga (and anime) is just trying say that all forms of love are equally valid and important- there's no shame in getting married to a nice guy, there's no shame in going out with someone of the same gender and there's no shame in simply having friendship and sisterhood. Both Usagi's relationship with Mamoru and her relationship with her friends are the centerpiece of the story, (Usagi will do anything for her loved ones, and Mamoru numbers among them as her bf, after all) and she values those relationships equally and so does the manga/anime.

I agree with you about needing to watch the anime to get the full experience. Really, all the Sailor Moon canons (anime, manga, live action etc) are fantastic in their own way, and together they make such a strong and fascinating mythos.
pingback_bot
Mar. 28th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Articles of Note - March 27
User radical_jojo referenced to your post from Articles of Note - March 27 saying: [...] Gushing About the Sailor Moon Manga Rerelease and Feminism [...]
your_insomnia
Mar. 31st, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
Very nice post!

I don't care what people say about Sailor Moon, that it's childish, and repetitive and flawed - it made my childhood magical and it gave me the strength to dream and grow up. I'm almost sure it made me a better person and I hope I will be able to show it to my children as well.

Unfortunately I never got my hands on the manga and I watched only 3 seasons of the anime (I wasn't very proficient at procuring anime when I was 11 years old and at that time they stopped airing it here in the USA). When it finally became more widely available online I thought I was too old to watch it again. But! I decided to watch PGSM - the Japanese live action and that successfully revived and reinforced my love for it.

Now I'm thinking I should save up some money and buy the manga :)
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! I hope you can get your hands on the manga, it's worth it, and I don't think you're ever too old for Sailor Moon.
wickedtrue
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
Ah! Exactly!

I got linked to this on tumblr, and I just had to come over and say THANK YOU. This is exactly why I always loved Sailor Moon, and why I have been passionately in love with manga since I was young girl (terrifying to think about I was 12 and reading scanlations of Sailor V back when it was first published. I'M OLD NOW!).

I hope you don't mind if I link you in my own lj. I must convince more of my friends to buy the new manga!
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
Nope, I don't mind! Thanks and glad you enjoyed!
orihara_kaoru
Mar. 31st, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a great essay! Totally agree with everything you said. I've been a massive fan of Sailormoon for almost 16 years - more than half my life. I just fell in love with the story and the characters and everything about it.

I love how you pointed out how this is inherently a story about female power and how traditionally "female" traits are used as a source of strength instead of a point of weakness.

I have the Sailormoon manga twice over already (the original Japanese tankoubon and the 12 volume re-release from a few years ago), so I won't be getting the new English versions, but I'm really glad a new generation of girls will be able to read and get inspired by the story.
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.
radioactivepiss
Mar. 31st, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
I was linked here!

I've been planning on buying the manga since it was announced it was being re-released- it's one of those things I never got into and always wanted to... and this post just makes me want to all the more. I think this sums up WHY I always wanted to get into it from what I saw. A series focused on female friendship, not rivalry, in a way that didn't just portray it as silly/shallow/nothing more than giggly? That lets the magical, shiny, girly girls genuinely kick massive amounts of ass? Sign me the hell up!

And I didn't even know all that stuff about her and her love interest. I love when expected dynamics are messed with like that, and I can't wait to see it for myself.

I'm saving this post to link to next time I see someone dismiss Sailor Moon/magical girl stuff in general as 'cliche ditzy rubbish'. It's always the girly anime/manga that gets called 'vapid', I've noticed :\

Edited at 2011-03-31 08:21 pm (UTC)
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Sailor Moon is dismissed as vapid for it's girliness, but it's really not. And both the anime and manga are great about female friendship- there's several times where the girls have a crush on the same boy, and rather than fight about it, they either hold a friendly competition to see who can get him first, or one gives up immediately because their friendship is more important.

Anyway, thanks and I hope you enjoy the manga!
ojuzu
Apr. 3rd, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
I tried to watch the anime a few years ago and failed due to the filler (and me not having enough time). Clearly, I should have headed for the manga straightaway: it sounds to be full of all the things I love.

(also wow this is a long and amazing post, thank you!)
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the manga doesn't have any filler, which is nice for some people. Of course, I love the anime too, and if you don't like the filler, you can skip it and go to the plot relevant episodes (you can generally tell what's important just by looking at the episode titles) And thank you!
melissagrey
Apr. 3rd, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
Greatest. Sailor Moon post. Ever. I want to write out a coherent and comprehensive response but I am too much in awe of this post to do anything but gush. I loved Sailor Moon as a child (and now and forever) and I am thrilled that a) it's being reprinted and b) you've accurately summed up exactly why it is the awesomest thing ever. I tweeted a link to this (hope you don't mind) and I wanted to know if it would be cool with you if I linked it to my blog when I finally get around to posting my thoughts on the Sailor Moon franchise. You've said a lot of things better than I could.

-
Melissa
http://thesartorialnerd.blogspot.com

Edited at 2011-04-03 07:01 pm (UTC)
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (sorry for the late reply) And of course linkage is no problem
maverynthia
Apr. 4th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
I knew the anime was more male-gazey (they even lampshade it in one of the cut episodes) but didn't know how much.

Even the anime, Sailor Moon is one of those shows I point to and say "This is an excellent show with strong characters." It was over pinkified to appeal to girl's. Even the first Futari wa Pretty Cure was about black and white. It seems today that the magical girl shows are all about pink and making it as girly as possible and losing a LOT of what made the old shows so good.

Sailor Moon villains felt stronger, more menacing, even when their base object was something silly. I recently watched the balloon Monster Of The Day and she tried to suffocate Sailor Moon as she was protecting Mamoru. While the monsters for Suite Pretty cure just don't seem dangerous. One is a cake, another is a record. They seem "safe" which is what gets peddled to girls a lot. Sailor Moon seemed to pull out the stops, especially at the end of a series. Even in games aimed at men (Ar Tonelico) the setups are "safe, whimsical, cute, not so scary" Which Suite Pretty Cure keeps, while Sailor Moon is like "No.. people die, lots of people, they whole world really. We have to save THAT!" I've got to watch more Futari wa Pretty Cure to see how it compares to both Sailor Moon and Suite Pretty Cure, but older Magical Girl anime just seemed... stronger.. better.. less needing to be pink and fluffy all the time.


I do hope on the reprint/retranslate they ditch the English sound effects. They look silly, jarring even and really bring the quality of the artwork down. :P
nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, it's interesting! I agree, it was cool how the monsters could be both silly and creepy.
(no subject) - marcoxseda - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marcoxseda - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
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nevermore999
Apr. 13th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you enjoyed!
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