The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: December 3rd, 1999

I'll Tell You Why

By: Janelle

After reading Jackie Chiang's Lemures file titled 'Why" I felt the need to respond and defend myself and other webpage makers with my own Lemures file. I'd like to state that I'm not attacking Ms. Chiang--obviously, there must be other people who feel the same way as she did for her to feel so compelled to write an editorial about it. I feel it is my job to reply to her Lemures in order to set the record straight.

To say that we shut down our sites because it is a trend is ridiculous. That is an insult to myself and others. I pride myself in knowing that I can think for myself and it was *myself* that told me I needed to close my page down, not a "trend." But it's not just about me. I don't care if people think I did it because it was a trend, what do I really care? Those people don't know me. However, to say that Mara K, Jupe, Apatt, Saturn Lee, and others shut down their pages because it is a trend is an insult to them and their creative genius. They were the trend-setters, not the trend-followers. Others desperately hoped that their pages could look as good as theirs (including me) or could be as informative. They are the last people to blindlessly follow a trend. Who in their right mind would trash a site that they put their soul into because "everybody was doing it?" I asked Jupe herself what she thought about it and she responded: "I wouldn't close a webpage down just because it's trendy. I suppose that designing can be a mainstream thing: Rounded corners, bordered backgrounds, chopped up tables images, etc. Anyway, accusing people of closing down pages because it's trendy is simply ridiculous. I had a reason, contrary to popular belief, and that reason was not because closing down the page is the latest trend."

To insinuate that we're delusional and not able to deal with the real world because we don't like flames is absurd. Who makes a webpage to be flamed? Not even people who think flames are funny necessarily want flames. Allow me to state this because people seem to think this was a primary cause in the ESMG closing down--I did NOT close my site down because I got flames. I get very, very few flames. In the past 3 years I've only recieved 6 of those [not linked to the Anti-Mercury page.] Everyone has a way of dealing with criticism. Some people take it with a s mile, others are so detached from emotion that they cease to feel pain or anger when they are criticized, and then there are some who are very sensitive. I for instance read them, stew about it, then forget about it. But no one is really delusional enough to think that mean people don't exist in the real world or in cyber-land. The existence of cruelty doesn't mean you have to swallow it or accept it. I find it funny that people say things like, "So what if people flame you? Get over it." yet are the same people who wouldn't be able to handle criticism in the real world. Do you tell someone who's depressed in real life to 'live with it, everyone gets made fun of?' I hope not. What makes the online world any different? We're still all connected (I've been watching too much lain, I think.) I've met VERY few people in my six years on the internet who actually enjoy getting insulted, believe it or not. To call someone weak or delusional because they don't want to deal with it anymore is being a bit cruel. Some people just can't handle mean comments.

Additionally, even for those who can handle flames, everyone has a breaking point. Mine came when I realized that for all the work I was doing, I wasn't having very much fun doing it. In fact, I felt like it was a chore. No, it wasn't 1 or 2 flames that made me shut down my site. I receive enough praise and well-wishing that no amount of flames could have brought the ESMG down. Rather it was me getting tired of having to deal day-in and day-out with the intricacies of the Sailormoon community. I was talking to Mara K. the other day, and she said this: "The last straw didn't come until last August when there was a goofy-ass flame war going on in my forum. I realized that I hadn't updated PPP in a few months and had no desire to do so again. So, after consulting with Satika, who was supposed to become my partner-in-crime, I decided to shut it down and give her all rights thereof. And you know what? It's been super ever since. I mean it. No more goofy e-mail, no more stupid self-congratulatory rants, no more 14-year-olds angst filtering its way into my life. It's like having a very sick relative who's been suffering for a long time; you're sad when they finally pass away, but it's also a great relief, because neither you nor they are suffering anymore."

Shocking but true, but that's how a lot of webpage owners feel. Some who feel this way have confided in me and told me not to tell anyone because they didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Obviously those people care more about their visitors than the visitors care for their feelings.

Does saying we've "moved on" mean we think we're more mature and we've grown out of "kiddy" Sailormoon? Of course not! I love anime made for an even younger audience than Sailormoon. It simply means we've moved on to better things. And yes, I do mean better. You can love Sailormoon all you want, but in the very most objective look on it--it is just a little above average. Most anime is 'average.' Don't be blind, anime's like any medium with it's good, average, and down-right bad stuff. Despite this, Sailormoon will always have a place in my heart. Unlike many, I'm an objective person. I know the music I listen to is pretty bad, I know that my taste in clothing is rather odd--that doesn't make me dislike it anymore. Yes, Sailormoon has its moments of genius, where you are at the edge of your feet--but It is by no means, "the greatest TV anime ever made." How can anyone make that statement without ever watching every anime ever made? Hell, I've seen well over 80 different anime series/movies/ovas and I still can't tell you what the best anime ever created was. I'd also like to say that people who like a new favorite anime every week is kind of rare and those people aren't going to make a webpage only to shut it down the next week for their new favorite. I knew the girl who Jackie mentioned in her article who hated Sailormoon in the course of a day. It didn't happen overnight, I could see the progression. This girl was watching Japanese Sailormoon when Jackie Chiang and I were still watching DIC Sailormoon. While I'm not going to say that Magic Knight Rayearth is better than Sailormoon, the ending surely is an eye-opener.

My favorite anime of all time (though I won't say it's the best anime ever created) is Fushigi Yuugi. It's been my favorite for about three years now and it still hasn't gotten old. The minute I saw that anime I felt like a brand new person, it was so fresh, so original, so incredibly moving that I realized that there's so much more to the anime world than Sailormoon. I used to make a hobby out of turning moonies 180 to die-hard FY fanatics in a course of just days. Many people who've "moved" on or shut down their sites are starting new ones to new anime--and who says they're going to shut it down the minute another anime comes along? Who says the anime they're dedicating new pages to are dead and over? Jackie wasn't very informed when she said that Utena, Escaflowne, and Fushigi Yuugi were over. Fushigi Yuugi still has novels being published, Utena has a movie, and so does Escaflowne. Sailormoon has musicals? So do lots of other anime. We aren't trying to destroy the Sailormoon community, we're trying to share our eye-opening experiences with you! With my old Fushigi Yuugi site I opened many moonies into Fushigi Yuugi, and I still get their emails today thanking me for opening a door for them.

I am by no means bashing Sailormoon, because it's still a great show full of very endearing characters who I'll always love, even if my like for the show itself wanes. But I think you will be VERY hard pressed to find a person who has seen alot of anime (more than Pokemon, Ranma, Tenchi, Akira, etc) and is still a fanatical Sailormoon fan. It's just very rare. Why should anyone try and make people feel guilty for expanding to other anime? Be proud for them! Visit the Utena Network ( which Mara K and other Sailormoon-webpeople have a hand it, it's a great site. So is Jupe's Angel Eyes ( And me? I have which I'm working furiously on. Are we going to close these pages as soon as a new anime comes out as Jackie said? Maybe, maybe not. But I'd go for the latter. Hey, having a Sailormoon webpage for 3 years and then wanting to move on is hardly getting a new favorite show every week.

No, the closing of little more than 10 sites is not a big deal. Who ever said it was? But you can't stop the some people feel genuinely sad that the site is closing. I've gotten nearly 300 emails of support from people who've never emailed me before and some old friends as well. A few emails have been so sincere and touching that I've cried. Someone said it was like losing a friend who they'd been with for 2 years, always there when they needed help. Others said that they recently found my page and were sad that they never saw it before. I learned from some people that my site closing down was the topic of conversation at the locker or at the lunchroom. My hits have skyrocketed. It's kind of the exact opposite of what I expected. But when comes down to it, it's just another page. I realize that and I'm fine with that. Others realize it, or at least they will realize soon. Why can't everyone understand and be as supportive as these people have been? The closing of my webpage was my decision, my choice. No one has the right to tell me what I did or what Jupe, Mara K, Apatt, Amer, Xplo, Saturn Lee, or any of the others I may have forgotten did was to follow a trend, or because we're selfish, or that we want attention, or we have fickle tastes. We have our own reasons...and I assure you, none of them are as trivial as that, so please give us the respect we deserve as fellow webmasters.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Janelle.

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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