I’ve been busy over the last few months and that combined with writer’s block has made me ignore blogging for a while. To fix that, I’ve put together some light posts based on a 30 day anime challenge I came across a few months ago.
I won’t be posting every day. Heck no. But I feel like I need to have some new stuff going while I finish watching some series and write some of the deeper posts that I tend to do here.
So without further ado, here’s #1 on my list.
The very first anime I watched? Sailor Moon.
I was in 3rd grade and I think the first episodes I saw were somewhere between the end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the start of the Doom Tree arc. It was the first thing I remember being obsessed with. I remember creating my own character with her own backstory and powers, the first time I’d ever responded like that to a cartoon. My favorite actual character, though, was Sailor Jupiter because she’s a brunette like me and isn’t super girly.
At some point, I acquired a Sailor Moon t-shirt with all the inner senshi on it, but I never wore it to school because I was afraid that people would make fun of me (hooray for internalized misogyny!). So, I’d come home from school every day, change into my t-shirt, and watch the episodes I’d recorded on videotapes. Sometimes, I got home early enough to watch Sailor Moon as it aired on Toonami. I was hooked and wanted all of my friends to watch it, but they weren’t quite as into the show as I was.
One day, I finally worked up the courage to wear my Sailor Moon shirt to school and hoped that no one would make fun of me for liking something so girly. By 3rd grade, I had already vehemently rejected skirts and dresses and wanted nothing to do with such “boring” things. For most of the day, people either said they liked my shirt or didn’t say anything at all. I remember one girl came up to me and we had some conversation about if Sailor Saturn existed (S had not yet aired in the U.S.).
Then, at after school daycare, a boy who found confidence in hating everything saw my shirt and asked me why I was wearing it in his mopey, there’s-a-giant-stick-up-my-ass tone of voice.
“Because Sailor Moon is cool.”
“Who’d want to watch Sailor Moon and her stupid Sailor Scouts?” he sneered.
That really hurt my feelings because I had been so afraid that someone at school would make fun of me and then it actually happened. I was not at all a confident child, so I had no snarky comeback. Instead, I left and sulked somewhere else.
Thankfully, I had a friend who either saw the whole thing or listened to me tell him about it and he (bless his heart) tried to make me feel better by saying that he thought Sailor Moon was really cool. We played together for the rest of the day, but even so, I never wore my Sailor Moon shirt to school again.
After that, my interest in Sailor Moon waned as I moved on to Pokemon and Thundercats. But it came back with a vengeance in 6th grade when what started as an inside joke between my friend and I about “that stupid show Sailor Moon” became a legitimate obsession, especially when we discovered the uncut Japanese version.
That, my friends, is how I became anime trash.
For the next year and a half, I downloaded and watched all 200 episodes and most of the OVAs and movies (I never saw the Stars movie). My friend bought the manga and I’d borrow the volumes from her. I read through every Sailor Moon website on the Internet, saved every gif and picture, and generally filled my head with as much Sailor Moon knowledge as possible. I wrote fanfiction and original fiction that heavily borrowed from Sailor Moon (which I thankfully never put on the Internet).
I also became a Christian around the same time and got the first taste of my mother’s conservative concerns over my interests and the state of my soul. We had some unpleasant conversations, but they didn’t stop me from liking what I liked. I just learned to be more lowkey about it.
My dad had a more positive view of the whole thing. He saw that I was writing, drawing, learning how to use Windows Movie Maker (for AMVs of course), and attempting to learn Japanese, which, in his mind, were way better hobbies and interests than what other kids my age were getting into.
So, that’s how it all began. 3rd grade me caught Sailor Moon on TV one day and 7th grade me explored it in depth. Now, I’ve seen tons of anime series, been to several cons, cosplayed a bunch, made amazing friends, started this blog and have been interviewed for a Sailor Moon book due to release sometime next year.
Next post: Favorite anime you’ve watched so far. Just take a wild guess, but don’t cut yourself up about it if you’re wrong.