A six-year-old girl sprawled out in front of the TV. Her curly hair a mess. Her eyes behind glasses narrowed in the contemplation only a young child can have. Her school uniform is rumpled, her feet bare, and the crumbs of her afternoon snack around her lips.
Her attention is also rapt and ready.
Because the opening guitar rift has totally caught her attention.
Ah to remember those halcyon days of youth. Alright you kids, and adults, here’s a bit of a history lesson for you all. Sometime in the like the mid to late nineties, there was a big boom of anime imports into the States. I think it started with Pokemon and the fire was lit.
For the most part, though, kids were bombarded with the dubbed versions of popular Japanese children’s anime. Or what we believe is children’s anime thanks again to the dubbing and censors.
Like I said it started with Pokemon and just kind of flamed and lasted for quite awhile. I remember growing up with Digimon playing in the background in the morning. Then it was Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Dragonball Z in the afternoon on the Toonami block of Cartoon Network.
If you were really brave, then you would stay up late to sneak glimpses of Adult Swim’s anime lineup with fare such as Inuyasha.
I am, however, getting way off topic. Needless to say though, I grew up on this.
Sailor Moon still holds a very, very special place in my heart.
(Also I’m using the dubbed names because it would be what more people are familiar with. Because I have a soft spot for the dub and it’s what I watched in childhood.)
The show was about a group of girls with magical powers fighting against the forces of darkness. The leader was Sailor Moon, Serena, who is, in the beginning, a bad student, a bit brash, and a huge crybaby. Joining her was brilliant and shy Amy (Sailor Mercury), fiery and tempermental Raye (Sailor Mars), romantic and tomboy-ish Lita (Sailor Jupiter), and boy-crazy dreamer Mina (Sailor Venus). Together they formed the Sailor Scouts (or the Sailor Senshi) and the battle the forces of evil in the form of Queen Beryl and the Negaverse with the help of the mysterious Tuxedo Mask.
Now there is a lot of plot and backstory that I am skipping over because the mythology of Sailor Moon is…complex to say the least. Just so complex and long.
Then there’s time travel and the Outer Scouts (including the legitimate lesbian couple who were made into cousins in the dub) and the world nearly ended about a dozen times. Let’s not even get into the Sailor Starlights right now.
So yeah. Lots of background.
It was a bunch of girls kicking ass and taking names against bad guys. Of course I liked it. There weren’t a lot of shows like that for girls. Even years later when I wince over the impractically short skirts and heels along with the long transformation sequences, it was still an awesome show for little girl me. It was freaking awesome to watch Serena go from a huge crybaby to champion of justice Sailor Moon.
And, for the most part, it seems like it was something awesome for other little girls as well. Sailor Moon was a show that kicked all kinds of ass.
It emphasized the importance of love, courage, friendship, and hope. It showed a girl who never really did anything on her own start to become a leader in her own right. She found her own courage and strength. It showed a disparate and diverse group of girls become strong women. It was awkward, cheesy, funny, heartfelt, and dark in equal turns.
That’s what made the show wonderful. It is what makes the show continue to be wonderful.
It wasn’t perfect because oh believe me dubbed anime for children can be pretty cringeworthy in spots (especially with knowledge of the Japanese version). I can’t bring myself to dislike it though because yeah maybe it was filler but at least it was filler that inspired rather than detracted little girls (and boys too).
Although yeah, I do agree that those transformation scenes always lasted forever.
Still, watching Sailor Moon throws me back to a simpler time when getting cookie crumbs on my school shirt was the biggest worry I had at the moment as I jumped around the room and pretended that I too was a Sailor Scout.