Monday, June 15, 2009

Sailor Moon!

I recall being about 9 or 10 years old, sitting in the waiting room at Kendall Regional Hospital, when I first heard about Sailor Moon. I had picked up a newspaper I found and was looking for the tv schedule when I saw an article about the new fall line-up. It was probably 1994 or so, and in those days, I didn't have a computer where I could magically watch anything I wanted by performing a Google search. I saw a big black and white picture of this girl with long blond hair wearing some kind of a sailor/school girl outfit. That's the first time I ever saw a picture of Sailor Moon. The article said it would premiere on UPN in about a month, at 2pm I believe. I got home from school (Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary at the time) that day and turned on UPN and saw my first episode of Sailor Moon. I was instantly hooked. I watched every episode of the first season, and again once they repeated it. I was excited when they finally brought in a second and third season to American televisions. My fascination with Serena (Sailor Moon) became very strong and I began pleading with my mother to videotape the show for me because sometimes I didn't make it home in time to watch. Me and my best friend Miriam at the time were complete fanatics. We knew all the words and all the characters and all the songs and all the moves. We would draw pictures of them. I was Sailor Moon and Miriam was Sailor V. The obsession became stronger with time, and there was even a point in my childhood fantasies where I was truly convinced that on my 14th birthday, Luna the cat would follow me home from school just like she followed Sailor Moon. She would tell me that I, too, was part of the Sailor Scouts (or Sailor Senshi, as they're called in Japan.)

But I turned 14 and nothing of the sort happened. I still watched Sailor Moon, but teen angst was beginning to rise and I had more important things to watch and make fun of. Miriam and I went our separate ways and Susan and I became best of friends. Susan likes Sailor Moon, but she wasn't the hardcore fanatic Miriam and I were. Time passed and I began to find out about the changes they'd made to Sailor Moon, how much had gotten lost in the translation. The show was taken off UPN's syndication and was picked up by Cartoon Network for a while. They translated an additional season, but made several changes to the character (for example, the lesbian couple were said to be "just friends" so conservative parents wouldn't throw a fit.)

By the point, I began to lose hope of ever watching the finale to Sailor Moon. I found an online website that had scans of the manga and read some for a while, but later lost the link due to some issues with AOL. Anime Hurricane, an anime and comic shop in my old neighborhood, opened up and I would have my mother drive me over to buy subbed copies of the episodes of Sailor Moon I hadn't seen. Unfortunately, Anime Hurricane was a bit slow in receiving new copies of the subs so it was a few weeks in between purchases. Eventually, I lost hope and gained new interests. Life moved on and I was in highschool. Made new friends. Got in to trouble. The usual schtick.

But I never really forgot about Sailor Moon. She and the rest of the Scouts always stayed firmly in a little spot in my heart. Recently, I began organizing my old videotape collection and started marathon watching the old episodes i'd recorded as a child. They always bring me fond memories. However, the unsettled feeling remained. I still haven't finished Sailor Moon!

They were selling the dvds at Best Buy for a while for a good $100 or so, but at the time it was too rich for my blood (hell, it still is.) Someday, i'd love to buy them. And if I ever have a little girl, i'll be sure to introduce her to the warrior of love and justice.

For now, however, i've found a pleasant substitute. As it turns out, I hadn't performed a Google search for the show in a while and now i've found a website that has all 200 episodes streaming online! Definitely a most fortunate discovery!

I just finished watching the very first episode, in JAPANESE, and it was fantastic. Very different from the English versions. I'll be spending the next few weeks watching the rest in hopes that I can finally lay my curiosity to rest about what happens next on Sailor Moon!

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