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Sailor Moon: My Gateway Drug to Anime
Essay by L.B. Bryant

Sailor Moon means to me... in short, it means a lot. When I was in high school, anime was still a largely foreign concept to me. I had seen some movies and series but for the most part the world was still very foreign to me. I had friends who were into it but none of them really took the time to try and introduce me to it for whatever reason -- except for one friend named Taylor.

As her and I grew closer, she introduced me to her favorite series, Sailor Moon, which I had only heard about in passing at the time. Soon though she was introducing me to the entire world of the series including the characters, the stories, the lessons that it taught -- everything. And I was in love. Not with her mind you. With the series.

Although I had seen a bit of the earlier seasons, the first full season that I caught on television was the Sailor Moon S series which featured Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus as cousins. Looking back I laugh at the idiocy of making these two characters cousins when the hardcore fans knew full well that they were a lesbian couple but I also remember back when the relationship between those characters was first introduced and Taylor and I immediately were on the phone raging to each other that they would make such a big change to the series such as that.

What Sailor Moon meant to me: I had a real friend that I could laugh and rage with!

And that's what Sailor Moon meant to me. It meant that I had a real friend that I could laugh and rage with. In those years I didn't have many true friends and I've lost touch with pretty much everyone that I was connected to during that time for various reasons. The one person from that period of my life that I am still connected to though is Taylor and yes, we still occasionally geek out together about Sailor Moon (despite both of us being our 30's) especially now that the series has been rescued by Viz Media and will be coming back to the internet on Crunchyroll this summer.

Little did I know however that Sailor Moon would just be the tip of the iceburg for me. After I was done watching Sailor Moon I needed more. I HAD to have more of this thing called anime and that's what led me into things like Sakura Wars, Princess Nine and a wealth of other titles that I had never even heard of. Eventually this little hobby became an obsession which involved me writing about the anime by writing reviews. Soon after that it became a job. Fast forward a couple of years and now it's become a career and a lifestyle that I wouldn't trade in for anything in the world. And it all began with a friend from high school reaching out to me and sharing something she loved with someone she sort of knew from school.

Below: It's all about the friendship! Some younger girls discovering the joys of Sailor Moon in a Japanese commercial from 1994.

A Sailor Moon commercial from 1994

That's what Sailor Moon means to me: friendship and opportunity. Without Sailor Moon I very highly doubt I would have ended up on the path that I'm on today. Without this series I can honestly say that my life would be much different from what it is today and that I wouldn't be nearly as happy or fulfilled.

Sailor Moon was my gateway and key and for that I will be truly grateful for as many years as I am walking on this planet.

Sailor Moon: My Gateway Drug to Anime

Below: Sailor Moon cosplay from the 90s! Source.

Sailor Moon cosplay from the 90s

Below: An American anime magazine from 1996 featuring Sailor Moon.

An American anime magazine from 1996 featuring Sailor Moon.

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