February 2, 2015
WHEN I SAY SAILOR YOU SAY MOON: SAILOR, MOON, SAILOR, MOON! *Martina dances around furiously waving tiny pink and yellow pompoms* This recent trip to Japan couldn’t have come with any better timing. With Sailor Moon rebooted this July 2014 as Sailor Moon Crystal, known in Japan as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, I knew it was my chance to get some beautiful Sailor Moon merch. People, including me, thought that Japan would be a mecca for anime and manga stuff but truthfully it’s a mecca for the most recent and most popular ones. From what I’ve read on most forums, you might be able to order stuff to your home in Japan via Amazon Japan, but you’re not going to find it in the stores which was what deviated me the first couple times I went to Japan expecting to find Sailor Moon everywhere. Last year One Piece, Fairy Tail, and Attack on Titan were EVERYWHERE in Japan but this year I saw smaller piles of merch in select corners of the store. But my eyes were set on finding Sailor Moon stuff.
For those of you that don’t know I’m a huge Sailor Moon fan. It played a big part in my childhood after my neighbour Miki started to bring back Sailor Moon stuff for me whenever she visited Japan for the summer. Sailor Moon wasn’t yet translated into English but soon the dubbed Sailor Moon cartoon show would debut in Canada on YTV and I would be rushing home to catch it, face palming anyone getting in my way. For Christmas one year my mom even found me a Sailor Moon jewelry box that when wound up would play a delicate tinkering Sailor Moon theme song while a crystal spun lights all over my room. It was the most magical thing I’ve ever owned. Once I was in high school I was able to head out to J-Town with Miki and find more little Sailor Moon collectables here and there, like a Tuxedo Mask zipper pull (which I still own it), stickers, and even lipgloss in the form of Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick. Collecting the manga was difficult to say the least and very expensive.
The internet became my only place to download single scanned pages of the manga and I remember just looking at the pictures since I couldn’t read Japanese and trying to figure out the rest of the story after the Sailor Moon cartoon ended in Canada. My binder in high school was decorated with terrible quality black and white print outs of Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion. Let me tell you, this is one of the reasons I wish I had an Eatyourkimchi equivalent back in the day so that I could find people with similar interests. It was quite isolating to explain what anime or manga was to people and it was even worse to explain Sailor Moon without looking like a total weirdo. Nonetheless, I really didn’t care what they thought, I was just hoping to share my world. My nerdy love of Sailor Moon never died but eventually moved onto more nerdy things like Buffy The Vampire Slayer (don’t call me during Buffy, I won’t pick up the phone) and diving into the fantasy world of Robert Jordan when my Baka bought me a book called “The Eye of The World” for my birthday one year. All these awesome worlds of adventure have created a rich fantasy culture for me that makes meeting another fellow fan of Buffy, Sailor Moon, Robert Jordan, Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel Comics, Korean dramas and so on, an incredible satisfying conversation.
Eventually I did get to read/watch the whole Sailor Moon series and I was seriously disappointed to find out how much they had changed the characters to fit a North American audience. For example, I found out that Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus were actually in a loving gay relationship in the manga. Can you imagine all the young people watching Sailor Moon that could have looked up to their relationship? I know it’s just a cartoon but it would have been nice for my friends that were struggling with their sexuality in high school to have at least ONE positive role model. Eventually, Buffy The Vampire Slayer would do that with Willow and Tara, but I couldn’t believe Sailor Moon has already done it so many years ago. The point of this giant blog post is to emphasize that Sailor Moon is not just a cartoon I watched as a child, it was something that got me thinking about different cultures and worlds. From the style of the animation to the storyline that allowed men to transform into women seamlessly and without judgement, I thought it was just awesome.
So this long winded blog post is leading up to why I was so insansly excited about walking down the street in Kobe and finding Sailor Moon stuff available in tiny toy pod format (know as gashapon in Japan, I learned something new) for just $3.00! OMG $3.00!!!! So before I write a 287897 page essay on The Importance of Sailor Moon, here are my three different finds! I hope you can feel as excited I was even if you’re not a Sailor Moon fan.
This video is for a gorgeous Sailor Moon cameo charm for a necklace. You’re going to have to watch the video to find out who I got, but I’ll tell you this much, for $3.00 it was great quality! Made with metal, it was super duper detailed. Also…those little plastic capsules are crazy hard to open. I swear! It’s like a lift pushpull thingy. Don’t you judge me!!!
What? You thought this was just one video? I HAVE TWO MORE! BASK IN MY JOY!
This gashapon machine is for a Sailor Moon weapon or transformation keychain. It’s also really detailed and very brilliantly coloured. An amazing Nasty actually sent me a whole bunch of Sailor Moon gashapon finds (I opened it on one of our live chats) and I added my newest find to the zipper pull of my pleather jacket! Now my jacket has TWO Sailor Moon kickass zipper pulls!
Finally, I purchased two Sailor Moon miniature figurines from an anime shop. They’re made out of very hard plastic and also really nicely detailed. They were $5.00 each so I bought one from each scout circle. As much as I wanted to buy 20 of them, I resisted because you really don’t know who you’ll get. I was also practical and bought two tiny glasses covered in Sailor Moon transformation symbols and also two plates! I’ve been having Sailor Moon themed meals since my return to Korea. Poor Simon.