By: Simon Chong
Some may recall that as Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon wound
down, ratings for the show dipped (with the exception of
the last few Stars episodes, which were simply brilliant
IMHO). Some may put it down to the Starlights and their
yo-yo gender switching and questionable fashion sense. Some
may attribute it to having to put up with too much Chibi
Usa in the SuperS series. My theory? People grow up.
At its initiation, Sailormoon may have had widespread
appeal. But as the years went by, fans would have begun to
sacrifice their leisure time in favour of scholastic
endeavours - study and homework. Let's face it, school gets
harder and workloads get bigger as you rise up the ranks.
And in some countries (most notably Asian ones), academic
success determines your entire future. It's no wonder that
ratings dropped, as older otaku in Japan had to forego
their cartoons and hit the books instead. And what about
webmasters? I started a site 2 years ago, having the free
time to work on it all weekend and 3 afternoons a week.
This year, I've been flat out studying and doing
assignments from the beginning of easter all the way
through till the beginning of July. Go figure what happened
to the frequency of page updates.
And of course, kids can't be kids forever. When Sailormoon
first came on TV Down Under, I watched it religiously. It
was cute. It was funny. But several years down the track,
I'm 19 years old, and I much prefer the philosophical
insights of Evangelion to sugary plots of love and justice.
What's entertaining and fun to an 9 year old may not appeal
to a 19 year old, and personal taste evolves with maturity.
Ben Goodger is an old friend of mine, and I've
had the rare opportunity to watch the development of the
now semi-famous Millenium site from its infancy as blue
text on blue cloudy background. It started off as SM
information. Then it moved onto deeper insights into the
characters. Then it abandoned SM information in favour of
abandoned as Ben turns his attention to a completely
personal site showcasing blindingly beautiful design and
coding. See the evolution?
At the risk of sounding blasphemous, Sailormoon won't last
forever. The fact that its following has lasted so long
since the starseeds were released into the heavens is
testimony to the beauty of Naoko-sensei's imagination, but
people move on and discover new anime. Fans won't be held
back, and the crowd will eventually be whittled down to but
a core of wand waving otaku as the studios continue to
amaze us with new additions to the manga phenomenon. Such
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