When I was in my early twenties, manga and anime barreled right into the Cartoon Network line up and snagged my interest. One particular badly-yet-addictive dubbed anime really stole my heart: Sailor Moon.
I didn’t really catch onto the appeal until 1997, when the series starting to gain momentum, thanks to Tooami. I backtracked and caught up on what I missed, and it didn’t take me long to turn into a rabid Moonie. I picked up the manga from the book store and became immerged into the mythology of the entire Sailor Moon universe. Hooray for girl power promoting astrology and short shirts! Hell yeah!
Fast forward to a recent time, and Japan has once again provided me another reason to love them, because here came Sailor Moon, the 2013 edition! Sailor Moon Crystal slowly drew me back in to the wonderful pink-sugar encrusted violence of Sailor Moon.
I’m very happy with the new series, but the entire Moonie universe is something different for me. It is amazing how close to 20 years later, Adult Lyn and Young Adult Lyn have some different takes on the still-beloved story.
Then: Darien/Mamoru was hot – one of those cartoon crushes that gets you a lot of odd looks. I actually liked Tuxedo Mask, and it was quaint to see a guy filling the usual role of the girl, aka, the hot, slightly useless love interest. I always thought Rei and Mamoru was a cuter couple, and that Usagi wasn’t really worth the trouble of the romance. What young girl doesn’t dream about attracting a hot orphan with a hot car and a love of roses and tuxedo shirts? I was still in high school, so the appeal was just perfect.
Now: I still like Mamoru, but….now that I am an adult, the romance is slightly creepy. A seventeen year old guy infatuated with a girl from middle school? This same man lets this fourteen-year-old girl sleep in his apartment? If I was Usagi’s mother, I would hit the wall if this was happening to my daughter. I’m really not such a big fan of the budding romance, especially at the start of the series. I really want to grab Usagi and shake her by the shoulders. Girl, really, get a hold of yourself! You attempted suicide because you tried to kill you boyfriend? You break down into tears and become useless just with the thought of this dude? YOU SLEPT IN HIS APARTMENT? Just….no.
Then: Bigger fan of the dubbed series artwork. The animated series had some issues, but the artwork vastly improved later in the series, especially the movies. Just, WOW. The artwork made me uncomfortable at the time, and it wasn’t as light hearted as the anime. I shied away from the more feminine and slightly suggestive imagery.
Now: Bigger fan of the manga. The style is one of my favorites, and I loved the overly feminine feel of the drawings and the romance of the posture. Naoko is the master of flowery, super-girlish poses and delicate imagery.
Our Hero, Sailor Moon
Then: Couldn’t stand her.
Now: I totally get her now! I’m not that smart at times, I can be spacey and, no lie, somewhat chubby. I’m a bit of a cry baby and I can’t seem to focus on the stressful, serious parts of life. I try to cheer up the people I love, and I will freaking moon tiara your butt if you screw with my friends, or my cat. I understand how her power comes from the honestly to herself, how she doesn’t compromise who she is for others, but encourages and supports everyone that comes in contact with her warm heart and big smile.
Then: I really liked Ami, since her element was water, and I tended to identify with her meeker, more timid attitude. At times, I became slightly annoyed with Rei, and I tended to dislike Makoto. I flat out could not tolerate Mina. I love the outer senshi
Now: I like Ami quite a bit still, I like Ami so much more now that I am delving into the manga. I am also finding that I straddle the line between Ami and Rei. Every day, I am becoming Sailor Mars. I understand her intolerance of stupid people and even stupider actions. Makoto suffers from poor character development, but I love that she is a cook, and that she feels slightly self conscious of her body. So I can identify with her. However, some things never change – Mina still annoys the living daylights out of me. Still love the outer senshi!
Then: I liked it because of the bubblegum quality, the cheesy music, and the girl power.
Now: I like it because of the message of friendship, group dynamics, growing up, accepting yourself, and, still, the girl power. Okay, I lied. I still love the bubblegum stickiness of all the hearts and love and punishment.
Do you have an old “fandoms” that have changed for you over time?