watching sailor scouts {draft}

Neptune + Uranus fan art by brownrabbits

It’s been about a year since I’ve started seriously watching Sailor Moon. When I say “seriously,” I mean watching the Viz dub of the original ’90s anime, in order, sometimes fully engaged, and with some episodes playing in the background as half my attention is elsewhere.

This is opposed to my first time glancing at the show: “casually,” as a wee kid, catching the odd episode of the DIC dub when I happened to be up early enough on the weekend. 

Though the aesthetic is enchanting, thus far the narrative is not always so. I’m rarely a binger. So I’m not surprised I only just finished the first season, all 46 episodes. That sounds like a lot but it’s actually around 16 hours of show watched through out a year or so. What do you expect of me? I consume a lot of media and it’s all interlaced as time flows. I’m at the tail end of season 4 of Buffy for example, and I’ve been on way through it for several years. Also, I just finished Hannibal and I’ve been watching it since it aired in… I want to say… 2013? Chef’s kiss ending, btw.

I’m committed to finishing Sailor Moon, the series, movies, the reboot… however long it takes. I’m excited that the last season is supposedly the best according to a lot fans. How rare is that? There’s just no denying the mesmerizing hand drawn art. I mean, the monster designs alone can inspire an inner drag queen for years. Sure, there’s problems with the Barbie doll bodies and cliche love & marriage story beats… but it’s an iconic series nonetheless and as media scholar and enthusiasts, I’ll feel more justified in my critiques once I finish it all. Also, there’s plenty of queer text/subtext I can write about at some point (particularly the Viz dub). Plus, I just hate how all the top anime lists are full of shonen stories about boys and men hitting each other. Wouldn’t you agree that the Goku vs Freeza battle is so boring to look at compared to the season 1 finale of Sailor Moon?

The boys cry out: it’s too cute, too girly. You’d think they’d grow bored of macho violence as they age. But it doesn’t seem like it. I’m watching Sailor Moon as an antidote to my toxic masculine upbringing. Today as an enby looking for the femme inside, I watch a flawed cartoon produced decades ago for the sisters across the hall.