The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: September 22, 1999


By: Jackie Chiang

Okay, I've been reading all these articles about Sailormoon sites closing down. My personal opinion about all this? Trend. It's become fashionable to close your site down since all the "cool" sites are doing it. You really think that all these people, at the same exact time, decided "I hate my page and/or I hate Sailormoon"? Hate to say it, but bull. Sailormoon's become uninteresting? Nothing's happening with it? Double bull. Hey, guess what? Evangelion's over! Hey, you know what? Ranma 1/2 is long since "dead". Hey, person over there! Utena the TV series has ended! I haven't yet seen anyone decide to tell the poor Eva, Ranma, Utena fans "Hey, webpage owners, get a life! They're OVER! Move ON! It's not interesting!" I'm into a lot of anime that's ended- Escaflowne I love; Nadesico is wonderful; Oniisama E. is from the 70s or 80s, but I've never heard anyone to tell me not to like them just because they're "over".

Oh darn, it's just so hard to be innovative with all these other Sailormoon sites all over the net and with no new material coming out. You think that by making yet another Evangelion page or yet another Utena page that you're not doing the same thing? Come on! I don't have that much creativity in me when it comes to websites, but if I possessed the skill and ability to create elaborate graphics and set-ups, I'd hope that surely I could do something new and inventive! (Or maybe if people weren't so intent on making a new set-up for every holiday, month, season of the year, they'd have more to work with?) Maybe I am privately glad that my page is not perfect- I can always update, change, and redo it to make things better. I sincerely doubt that most of people who are closing their pages had perfect pages.

Rats, unappreciative visitors being bratty and nasty and sending me horrid e-mails. How about a reality check? The Internet (as well as in real life) has a lot of crummy people. There are mean people, there are stupid people, there are the immature and ignorant, there are the rotten and the selfish. It's a fact of life, and if you expect to be given only happy e-mails all the time, then there's something not quite right in your thinking. Sure, some may sting and some may hurt, but toughen up. Make a flames page to mock the idiots who try to get to you. Get comfort from your friends. Do whatever. Just get over it. I find it really hard to believe that IF you have a really good site, a lot of visitors and positive feedback, that one or two flames or bad e-mails from idiots out of 100 is enough to drive people to close their sites forever. I'm a fairly sensitive person, and I've gotten I don't know how many flames and or criticisms. I haven't closed my page yet. The whole flames/bad e-mails thing is just an excuse, one that doesn't beg copying but somehow HAS made its way to many pages already. It's easy to go with the easy way out. I prefer honesty to a cliche answer pre-made for you. If you're closing your page only to make a new one to something else, are you going to close that new one too at the first site of criticism? You're naturally going to get SOME kind of flame or insult, it's pretty hard not to!

These visitors are ripping me off and plagiarising me. So what? It's happened to me before. I either report the pages or blacklist them. I've had my images stolen, text copied, entire pages almost copied word for word for word. You can't expect people to NOT steal your images, it's going to happen. You can try to appeal to the decent folk out there, but a lot of people aren't decent and will steal anyway because they're lame. That's basically just what you say- they're lame, if they're plagiarising me a lot, I'll report them to their server and/or a webpage review site or whatever. Have a person who's direct linking? Change your file names around, replace them with obscene images, have fun with getting revenge, not mad and say, "Boo hoo, I'm going to close my page."

It's not fun anymore. "Damn, my SM page isn't fun anymore, so I'm going to close it down/not update and make a new page to another anime, so that in a year or two, I'll get sick of that one and say 'It's not fun anymore', close that page down, start a new one..." That's a pretty stupid cycle if you ask me. If maintaining a page bores you, WHY DO IT at all? Why even bother to create a page? Face it, if maintaining your huge SM page bores you now, your new huge pages to other anime are going to eventually bore you as well. You may love your new anime right now, but in a few years, "Pfft" and your webpage to that anime? "Pffft X2"

I happen to agree with the person who wrote the article that said that moving past Sailormoon does not equal an increase in maturity level. That's totally ridiculous. There's such thing as moving on, but that doesn't mean you've become maturer. I know a lot of older fans who are mature people and who still like Sailormoon. Heck, I know people who like Sailormoon, Evangelion, Utena, and My Little Ponies! Don't say "mature", that's just lame. Personally, I find it slightly immature to go bouncing around anime series, one day saying that this anime is their absolute favorite, the best, then the next day, "Oh, that old thing? I can't see why I liked it, it's so boring" or "I've matured, I've moved on." I realize that loving an anime or an object isn't like love between people or between pets or whatever; still, there's something unnerving about claiming a love for an anime, only to turn around and say it sucks or is boring the very next year. True story: I had a friend a couple of years ago, she was an avid Sailormoon fan, liked Jupiter a whole lot. Then suddenly, one day, she said: "Sailormoon sucks! Only the Outers are cool! CLAMP rules! Worship CLAMP!" She became extremely irritating to be around, thank heavens she never came around again. (Insert Sailormoon promotion right here: I really think anyone who thinks MKR is better than SM needs to have his/her head checked... like that annoying leader from my HS anime club who screamed in anime-style voices "Kawaii!" and "Kakkoii!" when she knew zip Japanese... *ahem*)

Sailormoon's gotten uninteresting. I read a notice by one webpage owner that was extremely hostile. It said that everyone should move on past Sailormoon and to get over it as it was over. I don't know. Personally, I think it's interesting so long as you make it so. Fanfic writing is one method people use to do that; fanart, I think to a lesser degree. My own feeling is that Sailormoon is a great anime and manga. There are filler episodes, and it got repetitious, and there was SuperS (though some people like SuperS, so maybe that's not a good example), but if you look at it from an overall perspective, I think it's pretty damn unique. The characters? They're still fascinating to me- extremely well developed, great personalities. I don't know, I'm not trying to change people's minds, just that I think there's still so much in there, even when it's over... Do you read a book, get into it, then afterwards, when it ends, say, "It's over, thus, it's uninteresting"? This may be irrelevant, but the Sailormoon musicals (Sera-myu) are still going strong, they're still popular in Japan. In fact, there are new dolls being made based on the musicals with sets modeled after the stages in the musicals. There are even going to be new anime comics based on the musicals published. Not *all* of Sailormoon is dead is what I guess I'm trying to say. I bet that not many fans even know about the musicals, or if they do, they haven't seen them. (Recommendation of the day: Skip the SM/SMR and SMS musicals and get right to the SuperS and beyond ones, you're not missing much by not seeing the first two.)

If truly you can't stand Sailormoon any longer, you hate it so much or it irks you, fine. Close your page. There's really no point in keeping something that you're hostile towards. But why are some webpage owners so bitter about it? They should be happy they get to severe the tie. But I think it's a loss, really. It's my opinion that if you just off your page, delete it, that's it, the end, that you've somehow wasted a lot of your life on a page that you got rid of in maybe ten minutes. Well, to be more truthful, I think if you can delete your page so easily it must not have been that good to begin with, unless later you regret it. It happens. I've thrown away fanfics and fanart only to realize later that I should have kept 'em, that they weren't so bad actually, were pretty good really, could have been much better with some improvement. The things that I honestly can say suck, I delete or throw away without thinking about it for too long, and I don't regret those. I would keep the site up, space permitting, or burn it onto a CD or something. Maybe keep it as a momento, if you're going to have a job or a resume working with HTML or design, show that off. That's what I really plan on doing if and when I ever close my own page down. I don't foresee that happening anytime soon, Sailormoon is still my favorite anime/manga.

Which brings up something else. Someone once e-mailed me saying that she knew my interest in Sailormoon was waning, everyone else's was. I was pretty ticked off about that, though I knew the girl didn't mean anything bad by it, she just assumed that I, like everyone else, was getting tired of it. I hate to break it to some of you, but not everyone has seen all 200 episodes, all 3 movies, all 18 tankubon, all five (six) artbooks, all the musicals, all the specials, and has all the CDs. It's really a fallacy to say that EVERYONE is tired of Sailormoon. That's just the fad working. I can't tell if my interest has lessened- I'm rather obsessed at the moment in getting more musical tapes, I want them over new anime, I'd like to have a musical doll (preferably Outer, if they're ever made), and I waste a lot of money on Uranus and Neptune doujinshi. ^^; But I do know that there are people who still ask me where to get the original episodes, subtitled tapes, dolls and merchandise, etc (because they don't read my page all that well), and most of my friends haven't seen all 200 episodes either. And I also know that I've seen all 200 episodes, 3 movies, 18 tankubon, five artbooks and the sixth online, most of the musicals except for the lst one, and have a lot of CDs, and I'm still not tired of it. Maybe I'm the exception, but I don't think you can call the fad a rule either.

The following might tick more people off if you weren't already, so you are warned: I really don't have anything against the Kraiders, but I'm slightly pissed at some things regarding them. That is, namely, that people seem to be focusing on these pages (and pages that are Kraider-like or Kraider-friends) closing/not updating as some sort of apocalypse. My question: WHY are these pages closing such a big deal? Some people are suddenly like: "OH MY GOD! THEY'RE CLOSING/NOT UPDATING! THEY'RE CLOSING/NOT UPDATING! WE'RE ALL DOOOOOOOMED!" Then a couple of them say, "Hey, wait a minute.. WE can be the new generation of pages" or "THESE new sites are going to be the new Kraiders." That's all good and well, but hey, yo, over heeereee. My page has been around for three years or so, doing pretty well despite problems with servers (new URL is BTW for those of you wondering). It has been up for a long time, longer than most of these pages shutting down. Guess what? I'm not closing! I don't plan on closing, I don't think I will either! Is my page's existence some sort of bad thing? Do people not realize or care about the pages that have remained up, before, during, and after the fall of the pages in question? Is being old bad? This probably seems self-centered, but it is also quite self-centered of many Sailormoon fans to think that these type of pages (pretty with nice set-ups) are the only Sailormoon pages on the web.

I'm glad that some of the people seem to realize that there are new pages popping up, like daisies though it's almost fall, and that newbies turning into more die-hard Sailormoon fans will replace the ones that left. However, I can't help but feel slightly bitter that there IS so much attention placed on some pages leaving. No doubt some fans are thinking about what the page owners said, about being unappreciative. By looking forward to new pages, maybe they're thinking about what to do differently. At the same time, they're giving off negative feelings about the pages that remain, who aren't Kraider-like, who've remained steadfast for one, two, three, four, however many years. There aren't, in my opinion, webpage gods. I think that some people need to realize that these pages closing isn't some sort of huge, all powerful, everlasting shift that will affect all of Sailormoon-kind for the rest of their puny lives. Yeah, a lot of pages are closing at once, it's a fad IMO, but it's still not some sort of doomsday, more like a cult effect (I'm not calling them cults though). 30 pages closing out of however many- 10,000? 100,000? - isn't going to create a huge deficiency in the reproduction system of webpages. Maybe there won't be as many pretty, nicely designed pages (though I think there are still many left), but the end of the Sailormoon webpage isn't going to come anytime soon. I mean, even the Amazoness Quartet has been as dependable as ever, they've improved actually, done a lot better, remained inventive, and they were here for three good years.

Now I'm back to the whole webowners versus visitors thing. Flames and nasty e-mails already addressed above. I think that visitors have a right to be peeved at owners who just suddenly decide one day to delete their page. I think there are warning signals- no updates for a while- but really. The owners should be appreciative that they have so many visitors who liked their hard work and effort, not angry (so long as the webpage visitors remain polite, polite being the key word). What if one day Hitoshi Doi just closed down his page? I think that would make a lot of people upset. What if you went to your favorite store in the mall, only to find it had closed down due to lack of interest in clothes anymore (how unlikely is *that* ^^;;;)? The point I'm trying to make is that visitors are mad because they *care* so much. That's not really anything to become peeved at.

On the reverse end, yes, visitors should respect the webpage owner's wishes. And, well, once a page is gone, it's gone, and it ain't coming back, so there's no point in wasting energy about that. And, if your favorite webpage's owner no longer likes the series, why do you want to visit that page? The owner can't possibly share the same interest with you anymore, you know it'll be updated by someone who's thinking "Oh, God, not this SM page.. God, I wish I could be watching (insert anime name here) right now instead...", and you can't force him or her to like it again. If the owner hates updating the page or doesn't like unappreciative visitors, well, you can't change that either. HTML *is* a rather annoying chore, I'm not too fond of it myself. To prove that you're not one of the unappreciative ones, just write a nice e-mail to the owner explaining that you're disappointed that the page closed, but you really liked it when it was up, and thank you for making it. That might make the webpage owner less bitter (though probably not inclined to put the page back up). As for making yourself less bitter, just remember that there are a lot of other pages out there, many you haven't seen, some of which are making themselves into elite groups right now. Yeah, most of them probably suck, but some will improve, and you're bound to find a gem in there someplace, right? Who knows? Maybe you'll find the next great page! And if not, maybe you should make your own page!

I think the good compromise already suggested by CereCere of the Amazoness Quartet is just to keep your page up but don't update it. That way, your visitors can still enjoy your site, and you don't have to worry about taking care of it- just take off your e-mail addresses, guestbooks, whatever, and leave a message explaining the situation, etc. Sure, the dumb ones might still bother you, but just brush them off as being dumb. (And if they continue to annoy you, use the filters most e-mail programs/servers have.)

To sum everything up nicely:

  • Pages closing right now is IMO a fad usually supported by flimsy excuses.
  • Plagiarism and theft is going to happen, but just report the cases that you find.
  • If a page becomes un-fun, it's pretty damn likely your new pages are going to become un-fun too.
  • Not liking Sailormoon anymore doesn't mean you've become maturer.
  • Just because Sailormoon ended doesn't mean it's uninteresting to everyone else.
  • If you honestly hate your webpage, close it.
  • If you don't like Sailormoon, don't continue updating your page.
  • In the two cases above, consider keeping a copy of the page someplace, or keep it up if possible and just not update. That creates a win-win situation: your visitors can still visit; you won't have to worry about updating or pretending you like something that you don't.
  • Pretty pages leaving SM isn't the end of the world. There are a *zillion* SM webpages out there; like 30 leaving; and a ton entering.
  • Life's short and weird, so be bitter for a little bit, get over it soon, then go enjoy your favorite anime and manga.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Jackie Chiang.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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