The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: May 28th, 2000

A Stepping Stone

By: Papillon

Razynne, creator of, has a section within her BSSM site where she talks about her opinions and thoughts on BSSM. One of articles is called Sailormoon Love-Hate List. It describes the good and bad aspects of Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon. Some of the bad things started me thinking. She says that many episodes are just filler, and that you know the senshi are going to win in the end anyway. She says the characters are somewhat one- dimensional, and that the animation isn't very good for three of the five series.

Many of these aspects she describes are typical in the sudden cropping up of American cartoons aimed at preteens. Turn on the TV any Saturday or Sunday morning and you're likely to find at least one or two stations playing this type of cartoons. Sailormoon is, of course, a step above these. It has attracted fans of many ages and nationalities, and is therefore more successful than any of these morning cartoons can ever hope to be. However, the comparisons can be made.

Pretty Soldier Sailormoon is, without doubt, an anime. However, it has many the same characteristics that Americans associate with cartoons. It doesn't have all of them, to be sure, but it does have some. These attributes make it, in my opinion, a very good stepping stone.

For many people, this is the first anime they ever see. They become obsessed with it, and also learn more about Japanese culture. Eventually, they become interested in other anime. However, without Sailormoon, would they have been introduced to the whole Japanese culture and the love of anime? Many people would say yes, but it is hard to believe they would have done so as fast without Sailormoon.

This is not a pro-DiC article. I do acknowledge that the dub had an integral part in introducing many people to the original and other anime. However, the dub could have been made much better. There is such a thing as a good dub. The Gundam Wing dub, with the original songs, or the Neon Genesis Evangelion dub, who also makes subtitled original versions available. DiC has no excuse for making a bad dub, since it has been shown you can have a good dub.. Pretty Soldier Sailormoon is the medium point for many people. It is not so foreign that they would be repelled. It has enough familiarity that they can relate and understand. Later on, they become more interested in the foreign part and they find more about anime and Japan.

If a fan of Sailormoon, or even Sailor Moon, goes to a store to buy fan goods, most likely the store will have goodies from other anime. It is rather hard not to become interested when such a large variety is provided to you. Many well-known owners of quality BSSM sites have sites on other anime. If a fan really likes the BSSM site, they may visit the other sites the creator has, and learn more about other anime.

I wonder, sometimes, what my life would be like right now if Pretty Soldier Sailormoon had never existed, never been created. Anime is such an integral part of my life now, and it has also made website creation a big part of my life now. I think I could honestly say that it has changed my life. If I had never gotten interested in it, then many things would be different. Half the things I got for my birthday I would never have gotten. I would never go on the computer and I would never have learned HTML or graphics creation. I would not have made several of my good friends, because we met through love of anime. I would not have been motivated to learn about another culture, or to take Japanese classes, which I am now taking. I lived oblivious to the world of anime and Japan, and, really, Asia. Until Sailormoon.

I've mostly moved on from Sailormoon now. It's no longer my favorite anime, and its faults are all too obvious to me. Yet these faults are what made it the middle point for me. It was the step up to many things, and without it, I would still be stuck down there with the rest of the ignorant population of the US. So, you see, I owe Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon and Naoko Takeuchi a great deal. Thank you, my stepping stone.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Papillon.

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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