When I was nine years old, I would wake up at 6am every week day to watch Sailor Moon. It was a show that I happened to stumble upon one early morning as I was channeling surfing and landed on the WB. It caught my attention right away. So far I had been used to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, TMNT, and other shows and cartoons where there were usually only one or two female characters.
Now here was a show where almost all the lead characters were girls, and not just any girls, but school girls with superpowers. This was amazing! I soon became obsessed with this show. I wanted to know everything I could about it, I wanted to own everything I could with Sailor Moon on it.
In the 90’s with little to no access to the internet, finding out about anime was hard, finding physical things about it was even harder. If there were no TV commercials about it or if I didn’t find stuff at the local toy stores, I didn’t know it existed. So what exactly was it about this anime that had me so transfixed? Aside from the immediate appeal of seeing girls fight bad guys, Sailor Moon had a lot to appeal to young girls.
It was about the bonds of female friendship, befriending outcasts, helping people in need, and discovering that even when you feel like you’re weak, you have the power to be strong. I know, this all sounds cheesy now, but when you’re a kid it matters. Of course there was also the epic love story between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask.
A romance that I will admit was not that suitable for children. She’s in middle school when they start dating while he’s a college student! My mom even became concerned when Rini showed up and asked why Sailor Moon had a kid? She didn’t really grasp the concept of Rini being from the future.
Still, even as I got older, I never stopped loving this show. It was like a mystery that I could never find out enough about. At the time, they only showed maybe the first three seasons on TV, so I had no idea how the show ended, and as I got older, I realized the story I knew, wasn’t even the real one.
Once I finally got a computer, I spent so much time looking at fan sites on GeoCities and Angelfire and finding out how much Sailor Moon was censored in the US and how the original version really was. Who knew body lines were so sexual? I so badly wanted to watch the whole series in its original form, but in the late 90’s/early 2000’s they only sold the whole series in a huge box set on VHS in places like Suncoast Video for over $100.
I’d never be able to afford that on my allowance or get my parents to buy me it. Thankfully, as years went by, I didn’t need to buy that box set, because the internet had made it possible for people to start burning and ripping copies of anime for poor fans in countries who couldn’t watch. So I was able to get the whole series on eBay burned to DVDs and finally watch everything.
It was indeed worth waiting for! Still, I wanted to own as much as I could of Sailor Moon and by this time around 2005-2009, Sailor Moon items was becoming scare and rare. Items from the 90’s was being sold and crazy high prices. I even made it to Japan and couldn’t find a single Sailor Moon item anywhere I went.
Was I the only one who still cared? Very soon I would find out that no, I was not. For Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary, Japan has released so many new products. These last five years has been a complete Sailor Moon resurgence, we even got a brand new anime with Sailor Moon Crystal. What’s even better is that these new items aren’t targeted to kids, but to women like me.
They knew there were so many women who still loved this series as much as they did when they were kids. Though, if I’m honest, I’ll say they over saturated the market a bit. No one needed Sailor Moon maxi pads. Still, i’m not going to complain too much.
After a decade of having hardly anything of Sailor Moon, I’m happy that I can get clothes, toys, and makeup now of her. What I have always loved about this anime is that it gave us a group of girls who were all different, but who all wanted to fight for what was right. They didn’t even win all the time, but they fought for what they believed in and sometimes even sacrificed themselves for the greater good.
Sure, that can be said for a lot superhero shows, but it was a mix of the message, the art, the style, the music, and the time period that really made the show great. Sailor Moon was a lot of things for me as a kid. It was the first anime I ever watched, it was the first all-female superhero group I saw, and it was the first time I ever wanted to dress up as a fictional character. So I’m happy to say that after 20 years, I’m still a Sailor Moon fan.