Winning Love By Daylight

So now to wrap up Girl Power Week, it’s time to talk about that which inspired it. And actually, it’s not over, since I’m going to see Lucy this weekend (EVERYONE GO SEE LUCY! NO MORE EXCUSES FOR BLACK WIDOW!) but this has been fun. Anyway, let’s talk about Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon

Two weeks ago I took a deep breath and did a swan dive into Sailor Moon. Jumping into a new fandom is not ever something I do lightly, because while sometimes it winds up being a passing fancy (Twilight, True Blood, actually just vampires in general) it more than likely turns into something that I’m going to be investing a lot of time, energy and money into. (Batman, Doctor Who, The Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson)

So far, I’ve managed to keep a decent lid on the money (I did order the manga on Amazon, but I can handle that.) And also, because binging isn’t terribly efficient for this show, time is also limited. (Going to change once I get my hands on those books though, I think.) And I’m having kind of a singular experience, because I’m going to be watching the original 1992 anime alongside the new anime Sailor Moon Crystal. Granted, the original is being released 2 episodes at a time on Mondays and Crystal every other Saturday, so they won’t be exactly parallel, but overall I’m going to be experiencing this story for the first time over the next few months.

I mentioned when I declared that I was going into this that as a child Sailor Moon didn’t grab me. Watching it now, I don’t understand how that’s even vaguely possible, except that I didn’t understand how serialization worked maybe? Not a clue.

The important part is that I love it now. I love it for a million reasons. I love it because I see so much of myself, especially as a teenager, in Usagi. This overly emotional, dreamy, unfocused, silly girl is everything I was when I was 14. How I didn’t connect with her as a teenager baffles me. But it’s also the reason why she really freaks me out and I prefer seeing her in relation to the other Sailor Guardians rather than on her own. I get plenty of me in my own head.

But I’m loving her much more on Crystal. They actually turn her hysterics into a superpower. When Sailor Moon cries, she emits super sonic waves that harm her enemies. Never before has being a humongous cry baby been so bad ass.

Because I’m still early into the story (Episode 22 of Sailor Moon & Episode 2 of Crystal) I’ve only met Ami (Sailor Mercury) and Rei (Sailor Mars.) I vaguely remembered loving Sailor Mars as a kid, and watching it again as an adult, I can see why I liked her.

If Usagi is everything I see in myself, Rei is everything I wanted to be. She’s so cool and collected. She has a handle on things. She has long silky dark hair and wears badass red pumps. And now, although I don’t think that I picked up on it at the time, Rei is religious, she practices Shinto and helps her family out at the shrine they run, well, her grandpa. Anyway, this is probably the only thing I have in common with Rei, but it’s also one of the things that I like best about her.

That’s not to discount Ami, who I also connect with on a “I wish I could be like that girl” level. Ami is sweet, and kind and intelligent. She’s dedicated to her studies and immediately bonds with Luna. I like that she’s focused on school, and that the other girls are baffled by it, but don’t try to change her. Yes, particularly in Crystal, Usagi is flummoxed by Ami’s shyness, but she also isn’t going to try to force the girl out of her shell.

The thing that’s really grabbing me about Sailor Moon, is how well it fits into my beliefs about cultural feminism. This story does not make a big deal about the fact that it’s about girls. It just is about girls. What I love about it is very similar to what I love about Ms. Marvel. Usagi’s origin story as Sailor Moon isn’t terribly different from Peter Parker’s, or, even more accurately Billy Batson. A chance encounter leads her to a higher destiny. Of course, instead of being bitten by a radioactive spider or finding an ancient wizard, Usagi trips over a magical talking cat from the moon.

You would think I would find that weirder, but I’ve read so many comics in the past year that I just figure that eh, it’s not having her parents gunned down in an alley but it’s about in line with finding an alien with an all powerful ring after a plane crash in terms of being totally goddamn bizarre.

Anyway, the cat is Luna, who is tasked with finding The Sailor Guardians and The Moon Princess (I do know that Usagi is actually the Moon Princess, even if it hasn’t gotten to that point yet, although it’s starting to get teased.) I love Luna. I love her overprotective nature, I love her exhaustion with Usagi, I love her instant connection with Ami, and her determination to find the princess. (I badly can’t wait to see her reaction to the fact that Usagi is the princess…) I did not expect to be quite so attached to the cat.

Here’s what I remembered about Tuxedo Mask from my childhood…his name was Darren, and I thought the top hat was unnecessary. (Generally, I stand by that statement. Top Hats are deeply unnecessary most of the time.) Of course now I know better, his name is actually Mamoru and he’s the reincarnation of the Moon Princess’s human lover. (Thanks Wikipedia!) And, um, OK, here’s where I’m confused…at least in the original does Mamoru know that he’s Tuxedo Mask? I know that he and Usagi are both having weird dreams. Also, she gets drunk and they kiss, but, seriously? What’s the deal there? Because, also he’s dating Rei? I don’t know. This needs straightening out. But he’s had limited doing of anything in Crystal, so we’ll see how he’s portrayed there.

Anyway, those are my current Sailor Moon musings (Sailor Musings?) There will more than likely be more to come as I watch both shows and read the manga. (Maybe as new characters get introduced? I’m not sure how I’m going to play this.)

Hope you guys enjoyed Girl Power Week. I certainly did!

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