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Friday, July 28, 2017

A Gay Old Time On Sailor Moon

Fact: I have never watched or read anything to do with Sailor Moon.
Fact: The closest I have ever come to Sailor Moon are the three years spent teaching junior high school English on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme, where all of the female students wore uniforms of a similar fashion statement as those worn by the protagonists in the Sailor Moon anime and manga.
Fact: I once wore a Japanese school girl outfit—which is, of course, similar to a Catholic high school girl’s outfit and a Sailor Moon outfit—for Halloween parties, both in Japan and in Toronto. While I have the legs and butt to pull it off, I am not even remotely a handsome woman.
Fact: I know that there are many now-40-something men and women who enjoyed watching Sailor Moon all those years ago.
Fact: There are more 50 and 60-something men who really, really, really like Sailor Moon, and I think that’s because they really have a thing for young-looking girls in catholic school girl uniforms. Ick, doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So… while I can sometimes appear to know more about Japan than the average person, when it comes to Sailor Moon, I have pretty much no, and I mean zero, knowledge at all.

From what I once saw on TV… from their theme song, I learned all I needed to know about the Sailor Moon phenomenon and changed the channel:

"Fighting evil by moonlight
Winning love by daylight"

You think I’m kidding, but no… I heard that… those two OPENING lines of the Sailor Moon anime theme song... I said to myself "screw this crap." I didn’t want to watch it anyway, because who the hell needs to appear as though one is a child molester? 

It’s like the rock group Loverboy—great music, but damned if I was ever going to buy an album from a group with that name. No... it just sounded like a group made up to attack young girls.

Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) - which all told translates to Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (and later as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon), first appears as a shōjo  manga (comic book) series.

Shōjo manga implies that it’s a comic book written with the young female audience in mind.... which is yet another reason why I had/have not had any desire to participate in the ogling of the manga or anime (animated cartoon series). 

Seriously old over-weight guy in light grey sweat pants and Flash tee-shirt sweating at the comic book store.. why are you watching this show? Hey Aqualung... (a reference I fear only one Fan might get)

The manga was written and drawn by Takeuchi Naoko (surname first), published in serialized format between 1991-97 in the magazine Nakayoshi.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon follows the titular adventures of a young schoolgirl named Tsukino Usagi (surname first), as she transforms into Sailor Moon searching for the magical artifact called the "Legendary Silver Crystal" (「幻の銀水晶」 Maboroshi no Ginzuishō, lit. "Phantom Silver Crystal").

Wikipedia says that, during her journey, she leads a diverse group of comrades—the Sailor Soldiers (セーラー戦士 Sērā Senshi)—Sailor Guardians in later editions—as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the Solar System.

The characters are:
Sailor Mercury; Sailor Venus Sailor Mars; Sailor Jupiter; Sailor Saturn Sailor Uranus; Sailor Neptune, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Moon, and token male Tuxedo Mask.

Okay… plot-wise it’s not that bad… not that good either... but whatever… maybe the actual episodes are more interesting... besides being the wrong sex and far, too old, I’m sure some women out there watched it when they were mere girls.

What should turn people off are are the ridiculous naming tactics. Tuxedo Mask? I can live with all the crap about the Sailor girl’s being named after the planets of our solar system…

But Sailor Moon? If she is Earth’s moon… shouldn’t she have the name Sailor Luna? Luna is the name Earth’s moon. Moon is merely a generic term. Mars has two moon’s. Do we call them Moon and Moon? No… Phobos and Deimos!!!

Sailor Chibi Moon? What the fug is that?

I won’t go on about Sailor Pluto because of Pluto being stripped of its planet status… but is there a Sailor Sol (as in Sailor Sun… Sol is the name of our star… our sun).

I think Tuxedo Mask irks me the most…  I get the stupid naming… male-oriented flicks in the James Bond genre have done it for decades, such as Plenty O’Toole and Dr. Holly Goodhead, or, god help me Pussy Galore -  a concept that is actually kind of frightening, when you are thinking of just one person.

A woman saying "I'm Plenty O'Toole" doesn't mean she can handle plenty of toole,  rather that she IS plenty of toole... which isn't the same thing. Yup... she can easily get Plenty O'Toole... but, a dirty name? Sure? But a fail at a dirty name.  Unless she was a nod of th e head towards the gay men who love Bond Girls, the name should be an answer to a ridiculous question, where the guy says: I love Goodhead, or I love my Pussy Galore... but if a straight guy implies he wants Plenty O'Toole...  the joke falls flat for the hetero male and his secret homoerotic love affair for Bond, James Bond... because then it's no longer a secret. 

Anyhow… up until around 2014, in the North American release of Sailor Moon anime, the characters Saior Uranus and Sailor Neptune were always described as being cousins—in order to explain the closeness.
In the Japanese version… the version that us the same visually as what we saw in North America (and by that I mean Europe, too)… Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are indeed lesbians. With each other… so now you get why Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were often seen kissing in the anime episodes.

What do we get from this?

Apparently American censors thought it was better to show lesbian cousins making out rather than just lesbians… because being gay isn’t as sick as being incestuous and gay. Maybe they figured the incest caused their gayness…

I know, I know… the whole thing is just balls-to-the-walls stupid.

Apparently when that decision was made by censors or the American Sailor Moon producers to call the two merely cousins, they may not have seen the characters kissing. Kissing cousins is a thing, right? 

I’m not sure what kind of thing - but I have no information to back up anything about Sailor Moon.

Except for my point about the original versions of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are lesbians. Or are they gay? How come they cane be both? I thought just the men were gay? Do they have an additional nomenclature? Fag, queer?

It doesn’t really matter one frickin bit, however. You know what you can call that gay guy George? George. His fricking sexual identity is none of your damn business.

Somewhere glad as hell I never dated a woman who wanted to dress up in my “Sailor Moon” costume,
Andrew Joseph
PS: Look… I enjoy watching women parade around in sexy clothing or lack there off. I make no bones about it.  But the characters within the Sailor Moon manga and anime are dressed pretty scantily.
So if this is for a young female audience, I have no idea what message the costuming says: Don’t be ashamed of your body and wear what you want because men have no right to judge you in THAT manner?
Maybe. At least the main characters are strong and brave and heroic. Does it matter how they are dressed? By that same token, doesn’t their style of dress (in 1990 to present) detract from their heroic capabilities? The guys that are watching this program aren’t generally watching it for the strong female lead, but rather for the fact that they are dressed in sexy (as in high sitting) skirts and boots reminiscent of high school, and worse junior high school girl’s uniforms. 
PPS: Sailor Uranus… it’s pronounced You-run-us, with “you” stressed heavier. Sailor Neptune, however, is actually slang reference to ”carpet munching.”
PPPS: Obviously I was kidding about Sailor Neptune. I was getting a dig in, because I know everyone else was having a laugh at poor Sailor Uranus (who cracks me up) … as she is always the butt of everyone’s jokes. The end.
PPPPS: What I find VERY interesting is that by making the gay coupl emerely friendly cousins, we can see that at least in THIS case, the Japanese wer far more progresive than theur North American counterparts. 



6 comments:

  1. Aqualung, my friend, has been stuck in my head since I read this. When my oldest started grade school, he had a fascination with Sailor Moon. I didn't quite get it, but we now joke that there were subliminal messages in the show that shaped his fixation with Anime/Manga that still exists today. He's just about the age you were when you started your JET adventure.

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    1. I knew you would get the reference. My first concert was to see Jethro Tull at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. It was the first time I got stoned - from a contact high from being beside everyone else who was smoking up, back in the days when you could smoke (but not toke) in an arena. At least the guards didn't care as long as everyone was well-behaved.
      So... what's your oldest son got "planned" for the next few years?

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    2. The boy is getting married this year to a lovely lady he's been with for 6 years. As a music major who doesn't want to teach, he is currently a disgruntled worker at a desk job. He's doing OK for now, but I hope he finds some kind of work he likes to do. I could see him as a coder ... it would give him the flexibility to do his music on the side. Of course, I can only suggest. When his work becomes intolerable, he'll have more incentive to make a change.

      My first concert was the Doobie Brothers in NY across the lake from you. I will not confirm or deny if I was in an altered state during said concert. (But it was the '70's so ...)

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    3. The fact that it was the "Doobie" Brothers tells me enough. :) I came back from Japan nearly 30 with no clue as to what I wanted to do (except get Noboko) to marry me. Hmmm... maybe a blog... I'll even discuss MY music career.

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    4. Classic Tull. Pass the bottle Santa.

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    5. A Christmas Song in July. Strangely fitting for this year.

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