It’s time for December’s Manga Moveable Feast, and this month’s topic is Sailor Moon. It’s a manga that I tend to talk about at the drop of a hat, and so I immediately volunteered to be the host for this month’s event.
(A brief warning: there is really no way to make this discussion spoiler-free. I realize there are people who, with Kodansha’s re-release, are coming to the series for the first time, and I apologize to them. But Tokyopop’s complete manga and four of the five seasons of the anime have been out in North America for years and years. And I also want to gush about the Outers later on. So you have been warned: this will spoil the series.)
In college, I vaguely seemed to have Sailor Moon on the outskirts of my attention as one of those cute Japanimation cartoons the kids were talking about. As I got into anime and manga via Ranma, I began to note there were several fanfics that had him meeting up with Serena/Usagi (delete where applicable) and their cohorts, but nothing that really drove me to find out more. It was really when Mixxzine began to appear, serializing the story, that I started to realize just what it was that was making children and adults talk about this phenomenon.
There’s really so much to talk about. The strength of the main cast, who are all decidedly feminine and yet will not hesitate to kick anyone’s ass if so required. The manga (and anime) examining what it means to be a defender of justice and how, unlike other previous magical girls, this is not something that they happily give up when they grow up and get married. Usagi and the others are not just magical girls, they are the future rulers of the entire planet. And despite all of that, the manga also shows us that they are not only free to pursue their dreams, but are actively doing so. The sheer brutality of both the manga and the anime – I know that when people actually saw the ending of the first season uncensored, a lot of tears were shed; and let’s not even talk about the manga, where one volume began with Usagi staring at the reader as her flesh melted off her head revealing her skull beneath. (She got better.) And there’s any number of things that can be said about Haruka and Michiru, who managed to break several barriers both here and in Japan. Even when censored into ‘cousins’, you could see who they really were.
Obviously I can’t say all these things myself. Nor would I want to, when there are much better writers out there to do so. I will chip in during the week for an essay or two, but this is a call to bloggers, readers, or interested parties to write about the series.
A few things to note:
1) Obviously this is the MANGA Moveable Feast, but I feel that when you’re discussing Sailor Moon, especially in North America, where most of us saw the anime first, you inevitably find yourself discussing both, even when they differ. In fact, especially when they differ. As a result, please feel free to mention the anime as well. And you can also talk about Sailor V, of course.
2) As I said before, you may discuss the entire series. You may want to, as I did, put a quick note at the top if you’re going to be getting into the nitty-gritty of the Black Moon arc or the Starlights arc. But it’s not required.
3) I realize the manga is being reprinted and not entirely available yet, and that the anime is also out of print, but it goes without saying: please do not link to scanlation sites or torrent sites.
4) If you don’t have a webspace or blogsite but want to contribute, just let me know.
To participate, you can either post your article on Twitter, making sure to tag it with the hashtag #MMF so that I will see it (I am @Toukochan on Twitter, you could also add my name to the tweet); or you can email the link to my attention at gaffneys at gmail dot com. (Sorry, spammers suck.) I will post daily links as is the custom. The MMF runs from today through January 1st.
I look forward to seeing everyone’s awesome articles, essays, reminisces, or just plain old gushing.
And now, post-MMF, here are all the daily links in one handy page: