Nothing could have prepared me for everything Sailor Moon is and would be.
When I was a kid, I had trouble sleeping. I know, awful right? Even during the bliss of childhood, I still managed to find enough things to worry about to keep me up at night.
One day, during summer vacation, I woke up way too early probably because I had a nightmare about school being back in or something. I turned my television to the USA network – and there it was – the moment that would change my life forever.
Love at First Sight
At this point, I’d never seen anything like Sailor Moon, and I was obsessed with cartoons. My mom was a working widow, so television practically raised me. I’d seen Strawberry Shortcake, She-Ra, and My Little Pony, but there was nothing like Sailor Moon.
A young girl who complained, got bad grades in school, and who was typically afraid of everything, but somehow always found the courage to keep fighting was mind-blowing. She also got to transform with sparkly ribbons into the coolest outfits I’d ever seen.
From the adorable anime boys to her trusty sidekick Luna, and even the handsome bad guys she got to fight – I became addicted to a television show at age nine.
That summer, I woke up at 8:30 am every day, just to get a glimpse into the world of meatball head and her rambunctious, and varied group of friends.
The crushes and romantic themes were almost too much. Especially the romance between Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Neptune, which I didn’t understand until watching the Japanese version.
The Differences Between Us
I didn’t like how us American kids were shorted and coddled. We were kept away from the more serious themes and our Usagi (Serena) was a vapid and shallow character.
But still I loved everything about Sailor Moon.
I’d never seen so many different types of personalities amongst girls on television, let alone seen them all get along so well and be open about their feelings.
When Ray openly admitted to Serena that she was jealous of her relationship with Darien. It was completely foreign to me! But at that age, I didn’t realize the show was Japanese. I mean they all looked like white people with weird hair and large set eyes.
But none of that mattered.
I became enamored with the storyline between Usagi and Mamoru (Serena and Darien in the English version). I cried when Darien was captured and brainwashed by Queen Beryl and dreamed about there being a second season when the USA Network continued to recycle the first over and over.
I knew it existed, in the depths of my soul I knew. At Blockbuster, I rented and re-rented all the VHS’s I could find, and when school started back, I had my brother show me how to setup a scheduled recording so that I never missed an episode.
The very first time that Serena transformed in front of Darien, I got goosebumps. I still get them now just thinking about how magical and romantic that moment was for me as a kid.
Romance for One
That was the moment the I fell in love with Japanese animation, even though I’d fell in love with cartoons long before then. That was the moment I realized that cartoons didn’t just have to be geared toward boys, that there could be drama, romance, and raw emotion mixed in with jokes and action.
The USA Network never went beyond those first few seasons, but then Cartoon Network brought the rest to life for me. And for that I am forever grateful. The last two seasons weren’t released in the US, until Hulu aired them in 2015.
I was finally able to watch the complete story – and let me tell you. I can see why the US didn’t release it.
The last two seasons consisted of Sailor Moon’s future daughter falling in love with a horse, and a new set of sailor scouts who were transgendered. If you haven’t seen those last two seasons – they are a must watch. The depth, and the uniqueness is so Sailor Moon, and made me so proud to be a fan of the show.
Sailor Moon opened up a world of new animation for me. I still love American cartoons, but anime is a true indulgence that I won’t ever give it up.
Through Sailor Moon, I learned to think outside of the ordinary. It added to my love for animation. And for that, I am eternally grateful.