Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sailor Moon

Scrawled over all of my notebooks in any spare space or margins, scraps of paper littered around my desks and my diary are the names of some of the strong or aesthetically creative women I've drawn strength from myself over my nineteen-something years on this Earth. Sailor Moon has to be up there: back in the good old days when there were three dedicated children's television channels on the most basic package of Foxtel and at the end of every episode there was a thoughtful message to give hope to all the ordinary little girls watching. I was just one of them, and looking back this show still has elements of everything I love: talking animals, girls being girls (spacing out over guys on occasion), breaking out of character/ ruining the moment and showing vulnerability as well as a Japanese cultural background. So I threw together a small photo set which I will add to as I watch some of the first discs and gorge myself on green tea. That sounds Kawaii right? Oh wait, I'll also be making tiaras and witch hats for my old Furby. NOW I'm Kawaii <3

Ann Muddy's take on the Sailor Scouts. So this is the first of the images not taken from the series itself or drawn by me. I'd hate to upset Bethany Moody- she's a great girl and it's fair to say I was fan-girling all over the kitchen to find out one of my favourite artists liked Sailor Moon enough to draw them with voluptuous curves and modest skirts. This is one of many Sailor Scout themed artworks I have on my Etsy watched list, because I admire water colours and cloud like hair- because what could be better than having a pillow of hair billowing behind you?

Despite the fact I bought DVDs of some fourteen discs, I don't own any of the episodes containing Mini Moon, shown in pink so I guess I compensated for my own personal loss by featuring her in a lot of these shown images. I honestly didn't think there would be beyond more than fourteen discs of goodness lurking around in some hidden Internet Store, but I guess I was wrong considering there were also movies and more seasons... It was a big franchise OK? It made the Japanese school girl uniform I guess prolific amongst popular culture in Western society as well as impossible to imitate hairstyles. Thanks to the 1990s making a comeback in general the double side buns have been getting popular, but I've yet to see them followed up by long locks ending in cute curls though. You never know, maybe it will break out into mainstream styling.

I've been sick and tired of looking at straightforward diagrams these past few weeks and now I'm free to read books, hop on the exercise bike as well as absorb all the content movies and DVDs have to offer me! So therefore, because I've been so overloaded by the onslaught of science it's perfectly reasonable for me to indulge in sparkly backgrounds, fluttering hearts and girls with pink hair. I also badly want to dip dye my hair pink- or at least read initially and let it fade so my family and friends don't ostracise me too much. Basically, I want to be ten years old, fight evil and have pink hair. 

Can we just discuss how awesome Lena is? Sure she was stereotyped as sort of a tough and masculine girl who got in trouble for fighting or whatever, but she also had cute little rose earrings, cooked and cleaned and was just altogether a great character. The show sort of failed to show that women can be tough, smart and beautiful all at once but you can always take away different attributes from a single character you admire and aim to be like them. That was good to see- also a show about female superheros fighting evil. Power rangers typically had fewer females than males and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles followed the fellowship of some mutated teenage boys. Sailor Moon focused on the problems girls faced and broke the fourth wall on occasion to discuss them, briefly and at the end of every episode. You just don't see enough shows tackle that anymore.

As if this show needed to be any better or fulfill any other wish for a girl aged between five and sixteen there was even a Pegasus at one stage with beautiful wings and mysterious eyes hidden behind long lashes... Don't be ridiculous, I would never be silly enough to have a crush on a  telepathically communicating, dark and mysterious unicorn. I just used to get lonely sometimes when I was a kid and imagined what my life would be like if I could fly overhead riding a white horse that could potentially gauge a few eyeballs out if people were bullying me. I've always been this strange, but to be fair, I was just sick of being ordinary and wanted people to notice me for being special or peculiar. Isn't that the whole point of going to Prom or whatever where everyone sees you dressed up and looking beautiful?

Source: Trance Doll (Etsy)
I was also swept away with the romanticism of the Moon Kingdom, planetary princesses and grand balls were pink sparkly things were involved and heart-shaped tiaras. Although I've managed to trade all that in for Lana Del Rey's cover of Nirvana's "Heart-shaped Box" I still on occasion flip from grunge and black lips to soppy stuffed toys and two-dimensional graphics. Princesses and royal-watching... puh-lease! I would rather follow the story of a reluctant female super hero/ princess that is both adorable but cowardly sometimes. Because having off moments doesn't make you a bad feminist or a weak person, it makes you human and there's nothing wrong with that.

Source: Shoujo Retro (Etsy)

At the same time that I was watching Sailor Moon, I was also watching Pokemon. Despite having a stronger franchise, video games etc. I just didn't feel comfortable in what was easily a male dominated Anime world. The first two Gameboy generation games only let you play as a male and that kind of hurt a bit, despite the fact that there were also female characters. In a world were MTV runs shows like 'Sixteen and Pregnant' there's not enough shows that sort of open the gateway towards feminism the way Sailor Moon does and did- I'll be hanging on to my DVDs until my kids are ready for it and can maybe also appreciate the values and stuff the characters represent and uphold.

Amen Artemus, amen- fighting for rights amongst felines and matrimony will probably be the next big political battle once homosexuals have the same rights as anyone else (because they should). I think Sailor Moon really pioneered the idea of being guided by a Spirit Animal which did lead to a lot of flexibility and freedom of the plot. The cats gave guidance and guidance to the teenage girls in their alter egos as well as life in general; which let them take hold of their own destinies and stuff which is really what's needed in an actiony cartoon story where the protagonists are teenagers and still trying to figure it all out. Plus the parents are totally oblivious that their daughters are sneaking out at night fighting bad guys- that's always a promising interpretation when you're ten years old and you also begin to think romantically about boys... Gah- what am I saying? Talking cats are great, so is fighting for love, justice and in the name of the Moon. Adele OUT.

Images: Google Images, Tumblr, Sailor Moon Screencaps, Etsy.

1 comment:

  1. I was just telling my girlfriend the other day how i wish i could relive my childhood just so i could watch this show again.