So I see a lot of Sailor Moon talk and love going around thanks to the new series coming up, so here’s a special edition to Throwback Thursday.
You know some of the talk I’d hear about Sailor Moon wasn’t always positive. She’s clumsy. The scouts wear short skirts. They’re naked when they transform. Things like that. But looking back at the series I can honestly say that none of that was on my mind when I first got introduced to the series in the 90s. Back then, Sailor Moon was actually the most shocking thing I had seen on T.V., but not for those reasons.
It was shocking because it was a team of girls fighting monsters.
Most of the stuff I watched (or played) had a bunch of men. There would be the occasional woman: Street Fighter had Chun-Li and, later, Cammy, but that was still 2 women in a giant roster of men. Dragonball Z had Bulma and Chi-Chi but they didn’t really do any fighting and Chi-Chi spent her time on-screen being highly against it, especially with Gohan. X-Men, which I loved for Storm and my personal “OMG A BLACK WOMAN,” still only hand a handful of women on the team.
I had never ever seen anything that was an entire group of women saving the day. And even if the main villain was a woman (Queen Beryl), that wasn’t a new thing to me thanks to Disney and the evil Queen and Maleficent, and even then they were defeated by the princes.
Sailor Moon and the scouts beat Beryl. Women fought and saved the day.
To me Sailor Moon was to DBZ what Barbie was to G.I. Joe. They were pretty and they were girly, but they were still capable. It’s love and justice, they’re pretty and some attacks are full of hearts and bubbles but it didn’t mean those attacks were useless. “Venus Love Me Chain” sure, but it hurt like a bitch. And don’t think there isn’t some thunder and fire in the mix, too. Barbie, for all the crap she may get, has been president, an astronaut, a teacher, a doctor, she’s been everything. Absolutely everything. Sailor Moon was the first anime — first THING, really — with a full cast of girls doing what the boys typically did: fight monsters and save the world. And it wasn’t like I didn’t like these quote, unquote, “boy” things. I did like them, a lot actually, but it was nice to have this group of girls kick ass. I loved fighting games, for example (still do), but I always, always picked the girl. Always. But I’d only have one or two options. Sailor Moon? Oh please, sweetie, take your pick.
Not only that, but it was kinda nice having the male lead — Tuxedo Mask — need to be saved by Sailor Moon. Sure he’d come in and help out when he needed to, but at some point he got captured by the villain. HE did. Not SHE. And it was up to her and the scouts to rescue him.
And oddly enough, it was also nice to have Sailor Moon be so, well… clumsy. She whined. She complained. She worried about normal things as much as the big things: bad grades and the city being destroyed. That was kind of a nice change of pace. It was nice having a lead character who got this awesome ability and was like, “Why me,” instead of, “Let’s do it.” It was nice seeing her grow from, “But I wanna eat ice cream and play video games,” to, “Don’t worry, you can depend on me.” It was nice to see these girls have normal problems along with the heavy stuff. There’s an episode where Jupiter is like, “I’m too tall no one ever wants to dance with me.” There’s an episode where Mercury worries about going away to school. As much as I loved DBZ it was, “We gotta save the world. We gotta train and save the world.”
Actually, there’s a part in DBZ that I’ll never forget, where Goku is focused on fighting Cell, and he just knows that Gohan can do it because he has so much potential. Gohan freezes up and Piccolo is essentially like, “He’s not ready. He’s not a warrior, he’s a kid.” And it never occurs to Goku until then that, wow, he’s right. He’s got all the power in the world but he’s a kid, he’s scared, he doesn’t want to. I feel like Sailor Moon did that. I feel like that’s realistic. She’s 14. She’s allowed to be worried and doubt herself and, well, just want to go to the mall. That’s normal. That’s human. Just because we’re capable of doing something doesn’t mean we don’t worry about it, don’t stress about it, and sometimes… just don’t want to. “I don’t want to go to work today.” “I don’t feel like going to school.” “Can’t I just sleep all day?” “I really want a vacation.”
Is it annoying? Sure, hearing someone complain can be aggravating beyond belief. The difference with Sailor Moon — and where she really shines — is that it’s not like she doesn’t give a shit. When she fights she fights hard for what she believes in. She complains for a moment then she stands up, gets that skirt and bow ready, and fights for love and justice.
So yeah, I wasn’t watching the show like, “Ugh do they have to dress like that?” I was watching the show like, “Wow, look at these warriors! In heels! That’s amazing!”
So, Sailor Moon, thanks for showing me that girls can do it, too 🙂
You can find more of my cosplay over at Brichibi Cosplays.