Lovefool 12.26.11 | Lunar Life Lessons

Lovefool lists some life lessons learned from the pages of Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon as part of this month’s Manga Moveable Feast.


Happy holidays, nerdlings! I hope your Christmases were filled with tokidoki in your stockings and manga under the tree. Or whatever it is you’re into. We here at Jameson Towers had ourselves a merry little Christmas and we’re rolling into what I consider to be the best part of the holiday season—New Year’s and the annual close of the holiday season, my birthday. This year, specifically, we’re fast approaching my 30th birthday. Big number, huh?
After clearly aging myself, it’s probably understandable that there’s been a fairly significant amount of nostalgia in the last few weeks, assisted by Facebook’s insistence on showing me pictures that acquaintances from high school are posting of a lithe, laughing Lovefool from, oh, about fourteen years ago. So I feel like there’s no small irony in the fact that this month’s Manga Moveable Feast is about Sailor Moon, that teenage obsession of mine that springs up every now and again. And it is certainly springing with a vengeance right now since Kodansha, that venerable savior of Tokyopop’s back catalog, is re-releasing the entire series. Your Lovefool might have those first two re-releases tucked away upstairs herself, even.
To be fair, though, Sailor Moon taught me a lot about being a girl in those days when no one else really wanted to take up the reins. Attire, friends, attitude—Sailor Moon had some handy lessons for the budding young lady who was willing to keep her eyes and ears open. I even picked up a few tips and I was a complete teenage hooligan. No budding young ladies in my family, it was just me and my lopped-off burgundy hair and smoking problem. But still, I picked up a few pointers that I can still use today. Truth be told, I could probably use them a little more these days now that I don’t have that wellspring of teenage feeling to count on.
1.      Be mysterious. Usagi ran into Mamoru in about fifteen different guises, it seemed, even in her dreams, but didn’t actually tell him anything about who she was or what she was doing or even necessarily what was going on. And then, when he did find out, she still didn’t tell him much. Good on her.
2.      Be who you are. Usagi was a lazy daydreamer with crappy grades but she was also a super nice girl and she stuck with what she believed was important, namely saving the world and playing video games and, eventually, talking to a slightly older dude that her cat disapproved of. Normally, I’m a little iffy on the latter (The part where my cat disapproves. I cannot think of a single time I ever dated anyone younger than me.) but sometimes you’ve gotta roll the dice. Usagi was also nice to everyone in the universe, even that one creepy guy who will forever set the standard for Creepy Manga Nerd, and she got to be a Princess.
3.      Be different. Usagi got made fun of pretty mercilessly for any number of things, her clumsiness and distinctive hairstyle among them, but she didn’t try to change. Sure, there was that one episode of the anime where she put on a few pounds, but she joined a gym, kicked someone’s ass, and decided that she was pretty okay. And that hair style was pretty cute and I tried to emulate it for years when I grew my hair out. We don’t all have to be “other girls” or “boys like…” We can be who we are and it occasionally works out well.
4.      Be open to possibilities. Admittedly, when I was a wee thing discovering Sailor Moon, there was nothing but possibility but, now that I’m older, this is still totally relevant and, I have it on good authority, totally sexy. Usagi was informed by a cat that she was going to fight evil using a toy from a video game and, you know what? She did. It seems the least I can do is give the places I end up and the people I meet a chance, you know? Be game.
5.      Be radiant. It took me a minute to decide how to include this in here but, for me, it always seemed that Usagi’s considerable charm comes not from her appearance, which is darling, sure, but from a certain je ne sais quoi, a little I-don’t-know-what, that makes her an irresistible heroine. Even her team, who sees her as savior of the world half the time and a total fuck-up the rest of the time, loves Usagi. Even when she’s pouting and acting like a 14-year-old, Usagi is charming. And, sure, maybe she’s just drawn that way, but it can’t hurt the rest of us to try to cultivate some joy to be able to tap into. Live the life you love, etc, etc. And even if we can’t actually do that because, you know, we’re not magical Moon princesses, maybe we can find something delightful in every day. Because that’s what we have – every day.
Admittedly, I’m a long way away from the girl I was when I was watching Sailor Moon, but writing this has reminded me that these are the things that make up who I am today. Sugar and spice and a healthy interest in space and a taste for random, silly adventure. And I’ve done okay with it so imagine what the nice girls who were watching Sailor Moon got out of it? | Erin Jameson


Click here to read Lovefool’s last rumination on Sailor Moon. For a summary of the series and an introduction to this month’s Manga Moveable Feast, visit A Case Suitable for Treatment.

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