Thank you…Rachel and Travis for organizing the event.
Viz Media for your sponsorship of the Los Angeles fan gathering and for bringing back Sailor Moon.
Jane, Paige, Vivian, Claire, Jessica, Regina, Travis, Dana, Chong, Mariza, and Rachel for sharing your stories with me.
Sailor Moon has served as a symbol for strength, a beacon for hope, and of course a Soldier for Love and Justice. She and her squad of Sailor Soldiers have fought against the gender stereotypes, and empowered others to being more loving and accepting of themselves and one another.
Those who attended the Los Angeles fan gathering on International Sailor Moon Day have similar sentiments. Many of the fans at first enjoyed the animation and vibrant personalities of Usagi and her friend. Then they watched the series again and saw beyond the glitter and sparkle. They saw Usagi and her friends preach, if not display, the positive messages about femininity, girl power, gender equality, friendship, independence, and so much more!
A number of people recounted the first episode they watched and how they were so impressed by the multifaceted characters who were extremely relatable and outspoken.
Jessica’s first Sailor Moon episode was “Episode 7: An Uncharmed Life”* in which Rei Hino became Sailor Moon. Until then, Jessica had never seen a hero like Sailor Moon before. She was goofy and lazy, terrible at life, but was the Moon Princess! Not to mention, Jessica related to Makoto’s struggles as a tall girl, and admired Haruka’s sense of duty and honor.
Mariza’s first Sailor Moon episode was “Episode 5: Computer School Blues” in which Ami Mizuno was first introduced. But it wasn’t until later, when she watched the series again, that she realized that there were life lessons and ethics imbued in the show. For her, the “Sailor Says” segment was a great feature, something that she would hope to share with younger girls.
Jane was about 8 or 9 years old when she watched Sailor Moon with a friend who was all about girl power. Jane appreciated that the female characters were so diverse in personality and behavior.
Regina watched Sailor Moon on Channel 13 on Sunday morning. She loved the feminist values that were highlighted in the show. Characters were flawed and had different personalities, but they shared common values and supported each other through and through.
On top of that, folks say that watching Sailor Moon has not only changed their life in incredible ways.
Vivian, who watched Sailor Moon on Spanish TV, was exposed to issues revolving around gender and sexuality. Now in college, she understands the narrative and progressive messages about gender fluidity better.
Chong was dazzled by Sailor Moon’s music and themes of love, justice, and friendship. He overcame gender stigma and embraced his identity as a Korean-American.
Paige, who grew up as a tomboy, embraced her femininity and connected with others through the lessons she’s learned in Sailor Moon and the subsequent animes she watched after Sailor Moon.
Rachel was inspired to become a soldier of love herself. She was accepted into the Master of Social Work program at USC and stated that she wants to do non-profit community outreach.
Dana used Sailor Moon to create a safe space for herself to learn from these tough girls moral lessons and overcome her struggles with bullying. She loved the series so much, she shared Sailor Moon Crystal with her daughter, so that her daughter can find the same empowerment and strength Dana has.
Speaking of sharing…There were a few attendees who were new to the fandom. They were introduced to the show by their friends.
Claire only recently started watching Sailor Moon because of Vivian. She really enjoyed the positive messages about femininity and girl power.
By now you must have seen people repeat the same themes: femininity, girl power, morals, diversity in personalities, friendship, and self-discovery. That’s because many fans of Sailor Moon share similar values and connections to the series. They love it for all these reasons and more, because they still each have unique experiences watching the series.
Travis believed that Sailor Moon is a story for people who are trying to find themselves. It is a story of a story of self-discovery, maturity, independent and inspiration. It is a story where love conquers all.
It is that story and more. It’s also a story about self-acceptance, self-confidence, cooperation, and support. There are many interpretations of the story of Sailor Moon, most of which are correct, and can be learned when you go to the next Sailor Moon fan gathering and talk with people about why Sailor Moon is important to them.
This is for the inaugural celebration of International Sailor Moon Day in Los Angeles, and here’s to many more!
※ Because many of the attendees at the gathering first watched the DiC English dub version, I used the titles DiC gave Sailor Moon episodes.