A Tribute to “Sailor Moon” – by Gabby Gonzalez

A Tribute to Sailor Moon – by Gabby Gonzalez

 

My first experience watching a magical girl anime was when I rented Sailor Moon S. It’s the third movie that came out of an already successful anime TV series, but it was my first experience with anything like it. I fell in love with Sailor Moon the minute I saw her. I was interested in the girls’ clothes and their transformations. As a little 6-year-old tomboy, I was mesmerized by these girls who are kickass and also have magical transformations into cute, maybe questionable, outfits. One of the biggest scenes from the movie is when in Sailor Moon’s dream, Mamoru tells her not to fight back and that he loves her the most. Sailor Moon realized this is a lie because who he loves the most is their daughter Chibusa. This scene changed my life.

In most American media, the women usually pick their love interest over everything. To see Sailor Moon reject an idealized version of her boyfriend is groundbreaking. After this experience, every time I would go to rental store I would rent this movie—however, I came to realize they had the anime series on VHS. I started to watch Sailor Moon religiously. Sailor Moon meant so much to me as a child. I saw different types of girls who are all kickass and different in their own ways, and are a team. It made me smile, unlike the Western cartoons at the time that were enforcing the Smurfette principle.

 

I also realized, without really knowing, that Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are in a relationship and everyone accepted them in the anime. Obviously in the English dub of early 2000s, they changed them to “cousins” without changing the dialogue—which many fans have coined “kissing cousins”. This was one of the first instances of a normalized lesbian relationship in a TV show. When I think nostalgically about my childhood, one of my first memories is of watching Sailor Moon all the time. Sailor Moon taught me that friendship is just as valuable as romantic relationships, and that femininity can be just as strong as masculinity. And each character redefines femininity into her own model. I will always look back at those memories as happy ones. Sailor Moon gave me a safe space to explore myself when I could not have otherwise. Thank you, Sailor Moon, for giving me all those memories.

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