The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: July 13th, 1999

Where did all the fans go?

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 web design tips and fancy javascript wizards. Now it lies 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 is progress.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Simon Chong.

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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