Sailor Moon – The Most Relatable Heroine

When I was in Middle School, my family had joined the households that enjoyed an expanded channel set to include Cartoon Network. Naturally, as a kid I flocked to it, but I didn’t expect to be exposed to Japanese anime on the programming block called Toonami.
Toonami made a point to showcase action oriented cartoons of both American and Japanese origin including classic Voltron, Thundercats, Dragon Ball Z, Beast Wars, and ReBoot. As a kid there was one show I wrote off as ridiculous and never paid any further attention to, but I’ve recently started watching the subtitled version from the beginning. It’s a series that has a pretty big fan base even among those people I’ve met online. And now I believe I see why Sailor Moon is so cherished.
For the uninitiated, Sailor Moon is the story of how a 14-year-old girl, Usagi Tsukino, is given the ability to transform into the “Soldier of Love and Justice”, Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi manages to thwart evil forces and learn more about herself and others in the process. If it sounds like a superheroine, you’re absolutely right. But, to put it in American superhero terms, Usagi is more Bruce Banner then, say Tony Stark. Usagi is a reluctant heroine. She didn’t ask to become a defender of others, and even her own team of Sailor Guardians suggests she is not cut out for the task ahead.
And therein lays a lot of what makes Usagi such a terrific character. Not only does she not really want to be a heroine, but Usagi is a klutz, prone to emotional outbursts, and the cares of a normal 14-year-old typically take precedence in the early episodes. Think fame, sweets, and daydreaming. When she transforms into Sailor Moon, Usagi’s still susceptible to her 14-year old whims, particularly fawning over a constant savior of her and her friends, Tuxedo Mask.

While Usagi’s whims may annoy her friends, it makes her very accessible to the viewer. Unlike other heroines, she isn’t agile or a combat master like Marvel’s The Black Widow. Usagi isn’t fantastically strong like She-Hulk or DC’s Wonder Woman, and isn’t a confident leader like Storm. What Usagi is, at least in the beginning of the series, is a girl. She wants to please her parents, hang out with friends, be there for them, and imagine a romantic future. It shows the viewer that you don’t have to be the most coordinated, strongest, smartest, or most mature person in the room. You can still make a difference with the right tools. And that to me is the point of at least the show’s initial season.
Also, it’s important to note when Toonami aired Sailor Moon. They showed the anime regularly in the programming block starting in 1999. But Sailor Moon’s anime had debuted in Japan in 1992. What other shows at either time had women as the stars and heroes? I can primarily think of only a handful, but in my mind it shows how important this kind of show must’ve been. Not every show with superheroes had women in starring roles, and here’s a series showing not just a heroine, but also the reluctant heroine who wants to just be a kid. That had to really resonate with kids of all varieties that felt like they were being dragged into maturity.
It amazes me that I stayed away from the show when I was younger. Was I turned off by the dubbed version? Was it the “Sailor Moon Says…” segment that beat the viewer over the head with a message from the episode? I’m not sure what the reason was, but I am very happy with talk and desire flowing for more women to be represented in all forms of entertainment that I came back to view Sailor Moon with fresh eyes.
As of this writing, I have watched 40 episodes in the first season through Hulu. 


Resolving On Resolutions

It’s that time of year and, yes, I do believe in the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. But why? At it’s core, I believe the ultimate idea is to give yourself goals to follow in the new year. I also understand but reject the stereotype of goals failing. Why make someone else’s failure to stick to their goals a reason to make none for yourself?

At any rate, I’m here to talk about my own goals for the coming year. So without further adieu, here they are!

Watch 1 movie I haven’t seen before each week. 

Why make this one of my goals? I have a bad habit of buying some movies and then not watching them. A few examples sitting in my collection include 42The Life of PiAliens, and The Wolverine. I believe by making a concentrated effort to watch more of the movies I own, but I also plan on watching other selections from streaming services and from theaters. As a matter of fact, tonight I’ll be going to see Hidden Figures, which I’m very excited to see.

Complete 2 games each month.

Seems like an awfully simple goal, right? But with the increased size of modern games, and my desire to play perhaps too many games at once led me to pick this as one for the year. But there is a stipulation. Some games I would like to play have a prominent multiplayer component. And most of the time, those parts have no end. So, those parts won’t really help me actually complete a game. With that in mind, completing a game for the purpose of this goal will mean that I saw the credits for the game. I already have one game under my belt for the month: their Final Fantasy I remake on iOS. There’s bound to be more to come!

Increase calories burned.

Truly though, who doesn’t have this as a goal? My belief is that since calories burned is an easy metric to track with my Apple Watch, I can use that as a metric of my success. The idea is by seeing something I can control and measure each day, some weight will drop without the need for weighing. Do I have an end goal? I actually don’t, but at the moment the goal is 500 calories burned in a day. I’ll need to work harder on my days off to reach it, but it is certainly doable.

Cook more often.

It’sno secret if you follow me on Twitter (and you really should), that Gary and I enjoy cooking and watching cooking shows. But we don’t cook as often as I’d like. My goal is to increase how often I do the cooking, wether it’s baking or dinner I feel like I’m ready. Besides, I feel this way I’ll be able to improve my cooking skill. At least so long as I push myself to try new things.

Be more social, but selective.

I don’t get out a whole lot, but I also don’t make that great of an effort to get in contact with local people in order to change that or even to invite them into my home. With that in mind, the goal is to talk to those I want to know better more, and to try and do something with them. I’m anticipating nothing more then games, movies, and food. Still, I think it will be fulfilling. But why selective? I’ve learned that I don’t have an obligation to be social with someone simply because they have an interest in me. After all, if I don’t want to, it wil only serve to affect me negatively. As another prong of this goal, I plan to deactivate my Facebook account. These days, I only look at it when there are notifications for me, and even then those are usually about groups I’m in. The platform holds no interest to me anymore.

Have a new position by year’s end.

I only have so much control over this, but I do still want to try. By the year’s end I hope to have a new position. Will it be in the same company? The same property? I don’t know. But I know the opportunities are there and I will need to find them. Where there is a will there’s a way, after all.

Consistency In All Things

Towards the end of last year I became very bad about keeping to a schedule for the stream and for committing to do much of anything. I went with my desires and didn’t go for what I should have concentrated on. This goes for real life, the stream, the blog, and truly all aspects of my life. That changes this year. If I say I am streaming, then I will stream. If I say I am going to clean the house, then I will. As the header says: consistency in all things.

On that note, starting again on Monday, the 9th of January, the stream will return. I’ll be concentrating on only one game from now on, starting with concluding Deus Ex: Human Revolution. While I will be focusing on games with a story, there will be moments of multiplayer goodness as well. As always, keep an eye on my Twitter for what games I will be playing.

I hope you’ll join me for next week’s post which will be highlighting something I’ve been watching with new eyes: Sailor Moon.