You Never Forget Your First Love
It was the summer of 1997, an eight year-old was flipping through the channels and stumbled on a cartoon. There was a girl with buns on either side of her head and long blonde pigtails, she had a talking cat, and was fighting a monster. She wasn’t the best fighter, but she tried really hard. Despite falling on her face and her cat making fun of her, there was a mysterious man in a tuxedo that gave her encouragement. She won the fight, but honestly seemed surprised she did.
This was how I discovered Sailor Moon.
I had found something I had never seen outside of the Power Rangers—a girl fighting against the forces evil in the universe. Sure, I had seen my share of Disney movies with strong-willed princesses, but this was an on-going series, not a one-and-done movie.
Sailor Moon became my first diehard obsession. The internet called to me, promising many rabbit holes of information to dive into.
Soon enough my dad took me to a comic shop and I found the Mixx Comics translations before I even knew they were actually excerpts from the manga. It was so different from the show (I was so lost) but I loved all of it.
To my dad’s dismay, I used up all the color ink printing out beautiful images I downloaded that were scans of the Sailor Moon artbook pages.
I copied the art style, filling up pages of notebooks. I wanted to draw these characters, I wanted to be an animator and create more of this awesome thing.
I had dreams of being Sailor Moon and had a major crush on Tuxedo Mask. In the fourth grade, I managed to find a cheap Sailor Moon costume and was out-of-my-mind excited to finally become her for Halloween. My mom found the perfect red boots, my grandma put my hair in pigtails and sprayed glitter all over it. There are Polaroid pictures of me and my best friend, dressed as a cheetah, doing one of the many poses Sailor Moon is known for.
All of this continued to the point where I didn’t need to look up new information, I knew it all by heart. I tried to write fan fiction and it was terrible, but I had this desire to create something. I wanted more of the story I loved, I had so many unanswered questions, but after two hundred episodes, three movies, 12 manga volumes, and short stories (because clearly it wasn’t enough)—that was it.
(Sailor Moon Crystal doesn’t count, that’s a post for another day)
So what now?
What do I do with an obsession I’ve cultivated for most of my life?
There’s no more mythology to uncover.
But remember, I said I wanted to “create something”? An urge to allow different voices to have their own stage, go on their own adventures, fail, grow, love, and stumble through it all until they stand on their feet facing the enemy—even if they’re terrified—but they know it’s the right thing to do.
And that’s what I’m doing.
Because, if I can’t continue living in the post Silver Millennium era of ‘90s Tokyo . . . then I have to create a new universe to embrace, right? As V.E Schwab said, “Get up, get up, there are worlds to conquer.”
I’ve laid the brick and mortar, shaped the characters like clay, breathed life into them—and immediately locked them all in a room to see who would speak first. That’s when things get interesting.
And when I’ve finished that world, I’ll make another one.
And if I ever get lost crafting mountains with sentences and castles with dialogue . . . I can always come home to the place that inspired me to write all of the others. Because the moon is ever watchful and bootleg anime DVDs are a standard definition hug full of love that doesn’t quit.