While I’ve certainly written more than my fair share of off-color topics in the past, from what the Sailor Soldiers wear under their skirts to their mathematically-derived bust sizes, I never thought I’d actually be writing about an authorized Sailor Moon… condom, with Ms. Takeuchi’s seal of approval. While this isn’t the type of trivia I usually discuss, this seemed worthy of a further look and something I thought would be fun to share with fans in the west. So, what’s all this about?
Whether you’re an anime or manga fan in Japan, Europe, America, or anywhere else around the globe, odds are that you’re intimately familiar with cosplay, and may have even done it yourself. While cosplay isn’t limited to — or even unique to — Japan, it is without a doubt well-known for the high quality of the costumes and incredible attention to detail by the cosplayers who bring our favorite characters to life. Today, I’d like to talk about the experiences of one such cosplayer.
The internet, as I’m sure you know, is home to a great many bizarre theories, half-baked connections, and misunderstandings. But for every ten poorly-considered campaigns to buy breakfast pastries to save your favorite anime, there are at least one or two legitimate pearls of wisdom to be found. Today I want to take a look into a Japanese fan theory making the rounds on the internet that Ms. Takeuchi was inspired by the 1985 cartoon She-Ra: Princess of Power1 when she made Sailor Moon.
Well, it’s just about time for the debut of the 2016 Sailor Moon Crystal cafe at Anion Station from April 4, 2016 (Mon.) through May 9, 2016 (Mon.). I’ve already made plans to go later this week and am really looking forward to it, but after staring at the menu for awhile and planning what I want to get, I realized that there aren’t really any English resources for fans living abroad and, to make things worse, the menu is all one image online so you can’t even enter it into Google Translate or some other automated translation program to get an idea of what’s going on.
This may or may not be of any interest to anyone, but for anyone who’s curious what flavor a drink inspired by your favorite Sailor Soldier ends up being, this might be helpful! So, without further ado…
For anyone who’s been involved in the Sailor Moon fandom for an extended period of time, this is a story that’s probably familiar to you already. But occasionally, I like to take a look back at the evolution of the Sailor Moon fandom and see where we as Sailor Moon fans have come from and how the community has changed over the years. But let’s talk a bit about the bizarre connection between Sailor Moon and Pop-Tarts!
Back in the late 1990s, there was a group/website known as Save Our Sailors (hereinafter, SOS)1 which was dedicated to campaigning to finish the Sailor Moon dub. The original dub done by DiC only went halfway through Sailor Moon R and ultimately left English-speaking fans with no way to see how things with the Black Moon Family turned out, shy of importing fan-subbed copies. For reasons which are unclear, the members of SOS had determined that the reason why Sailor Moon was dropped in North America was due to a lack of sponsors and, further, that Kellogg’s would be a great potential sponsor for the show.
How they reached that conclusion and that having a “procott” (basically, the opposite of a boycott where everyone buys a certain product on a certain day) was, to put it gently, unscientific at best, but there was definitely heart behind their ideas! According to the members of the SOS Team:2
During the Summer (after we found out that the show was going to be dropped), we started to write down every commercial on the show.
When we finished the list we took off those things which we all couldn’t buy.
The products shown at the top are the ones our members got to vote for. These products had the most commercials. We thought whoever put on the most commercials deserved to be nominated!
So begins the epic story of the Great Strawberry Pop-Tart Procott to Save Sailor Moon (hereinafter, the GSP-TPSSM). I’m ashamed to say that unfortunately I didn’t take part in it since I didn’t even know Sailor Moon existed back on December 14, 1996, though I doubt my paltry several dollars would have helped much. As we all know with our 20/20 hindsight, not only did the GSP-TPSSM fail, but it was ultimately General Mills – Kellogg’s main competitor – that wound up sponsoring bringing Sailor Moon back to the airwaves (even if only in syndication and with no new episodes).3
And there you have it! The bizarre tale of how a group of very dedicated (and well-meaning) fans managed to forever tie the Japanese anime Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon to a sugary-sweet breakfast pastry that none of my Japanese friends will ever eat.4
Only tangentially-related, but I’ll leave you with this video of Super Sailor Moon selling potato soup!
This is something a little bit different from what I usually cover here, but I wanted to briefly stop and take a look at not just the world in which the characters of the Sailor Moon universe live, but also how the fans had developed their own culture to show their appreciation for the series. This isn’t something I will be doing all that often, but I think it’s definitely interesting to show how the Sailor Moon fandom has evolved into what we have today. So, without further ado, I bring you Moonie Codes!
mooniecode(1.12.05) SM:5+ F:vM9+[+]Sf+:pSCl D:sNe-Ta-:vEs X:**[*]:a197s|1d:m17sO:?d+:s[+]:o:a[+]:h+[+]:x P:a24:s6:w:f[+]:eGrBGz:hBrD:t[-]:cWh:bB+:*Li:yH?:r+|-
For those of who looking at this mass of letters and numbers and who were neither regular internet users in the late 1990s or fans of Sailor Moon, this jumble of text looks like something between a corrupt file or an encryption key. Alas, this is the kind of insanity that hardcore fans used to put in their e-mail signatures, post on message boards, put on their homepages, or even sign guestbooks with to show their level of fandom. First created by the user Tolaris1 on July 15, 1997, the Moonie Code is a play off of the Geek Code2 and was created as a quick way for you to succinctly write all of your preferences, opinions, thoughts, and beliefs on Sailor Moon in one block of text.
How does it work?
Well, in the author’s own words:
The moonie code consists of a few sections. Each section starts with a capital letter and is used to describe a part of your amazing and unique personality.
Each section, as noted above, is marked by a capital letter and then followed by a colon to help mark it from the rest. Let’s take a look at a few examples and deconstruct it a bit!
Means that, on a scale of one to ten, you’re between a 5 and a 6 as a Sailor Moon fan.
F is for your favorites, be it senshi, villian, supporting cast, or season. v is for villians, so the code above shows that the poster likes Mistress 9 quite a bit (the + sign) and liking her more and more (the additional [+] sign) as well as Saphir. The p is for your favorite season/act, and the author of this code likes S and Classic.
I’ll save you the boredom of analyzing each part in detail, but this should give you an idea for how a Moonie Code was put together.
Okay, but why?
For anyone who grew up with Gmail and nearly unlimited e-mail storage, high speed internet, web 2/3.0, and Facebook, this is a completely valid question. The early internet, however, was a completely different beast what what we have now with far more basic forms of communication and — more importantly — far fewer images (as a matter of necessity).
Message boards, where they existed, generally did not have user images and rarely did profiles contain any bios or detailed information. The primary form of communication between fans was over e-mail and “mailing lists,” on which all registered members receive a copy of each e-mail sent in the group. This is where things like these Moonie Codes would shine, since you could communicate through your signature your love for the series in each and every e-mail or message board post without having to tell the same story over and over again.
That’s nice, but what exactly is a Moonie?
You could probably pick up on this on your own, but it’s probably worth pointing out: a “Moonie” was one of the many names being tossed around for Sailor Moon fans in the US in the late 90s. Much like Trekker vs. Trekkie, though, there were many people who didn’t care for the term (and the Moonie Code even has a section allowing you to put that information in!).
So there you go, a brief primer on the Moonie Code, and a snapshot back in time on what the Sailor Moon fandom on the internet was like in the US back in the late 90s. In case you want to know more (or want to make your own Moonie Code), I’ve copied the original Moonie Code readme file here. Enjoy!