Sailor Moon

When A Hobby Becomes An Identity

Morgana does the self-observational thing regarding her fannishness: I am happy in my self-awareness and my obsessiveness and my over-thinking-it-ness. I am happy to live partially in my head…

Winter 2014 SF Anime Preview

What’s coming to the intersection of anime and sf worlds in January? (Spoiler: No Sailor Moon, unfortunately.) So many new and renewed shows you’d think it was Christmas or something!

Doujinshi: Distinctly Japanese

There are many expressions of fandom that cross genres and cultures – fan fiction, fan art, even cosplay.  But there is one form in particular that is distinctly Japanese, both in its origin and in its current form, and that is doujinshi.  The term refers to anything that is self-published (“doujin” means “same person”), but […]

Wonder Woman’s Foreign Successors

I’ve been reading Mike Madrid’s The Supergirls, a really fantastic look at  the history of superheroines in mainstream American comics. I just reached the 1970s, and the karate-chopping, white-pantsuit-wearing, depowered Wonder Woman era that came with it—a sharp contrast to Ms. Magazine’s famous, Diana-emblazoned inaugural issue. For those not in the know, Gloria Steinem put Wonder […]

Pretty Soldiers: Hotaru Tomoe

Hotaru Tomoe is abused by her father. She suffers from an illness that leaves her breathless, weak and wracked with pain. She is picked on by her classmates. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are planning to murder her. Her magical senshi power is to bring about the apocalypse. She possesses healing abilities, but their strangeness […]

Pretty Soldiers: Minako Aino

Minako Aino revels in frivolity. She loves pop music and cake, she trades shoujo manga with her friends, she wants to be an idol singer someday. She loves fame and glamour and if she existed today, you can bet she’d be updating the official Sailor Venus twitter account every hour because “omg today’s monster had […]

Pretty Soldiers: Makoto Kino

The strength of characterization in Sailor Moon is, in my opinion, what has made it such an enduring series. When we were children, we chose our favorite and used her to represent who we were and who we hoped to be. And there was such a diversity of choice—they’re tomboys, wannabe idols, obsessed with video […]

Anime As An Art Form

One of the greatest things that anime ever did for me was give me the desire to create.  I was a really bookish kid, and the idea of writing had always been pretty appealing to me.  Anime – and later on, manga as well – introduced me to the idea that I could not only […]

Sex and the Senshi

(Author’s Note: This article deals with issues regarding sex and sexuality in a non-explicit manner. Regardless, it might not be safe for work.) Usagi, the titular character of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, is a great character. We watch her grow from a clumsy, lazy, self-centered teenager into a fearless goddess of justice who takes down […]

The Fallen Magical Girl and the Crisis of Adolescence

The Fallen Magical Girl is a trope as endemic to the mahou shoujo genre as the transformation sequence.  Though she once swore fealty to ideals of love and justice, now she obeys only herself, or perhaps the whims of some dark master. Her altruism has been gouged out, her idealistic nature soured. She is bitter […]

Cat Heaven: Neko-sama in Animanga

There is a small fishing island in Japan, Tashirojima, which has been dubbed “cat heaven” because of the phenomenal amount of stray cats living there – there are more cats than people! It sounds, to me, completely idyllic – what could be better than walking out your front door to be greeted by a group […]