State of the Sailor Moon Fandom: 2020 Edition
After having spent the past 23+ years as a semi-active member of the community, I like to think I have a fairly good finger on the pulse of the Sailor Moon fandom. But as we’ve learned countless times in the past, “gut instinct” tends to fall short of the actual facts.
To commemorate Tuxedo Unmasked‘s fifth anniversary, I figured now was as good a time as ever to poll the fans about their favorite characters, seasons, and version of the Sailor Moon franchise! 1,299 responses later and I think we’re in a place to start identifying some interesting trends.
If you’ve ever wondered who the most popular Senshi is in the English speaking world, how unloved Mamoru is, and how many people still prefer Scouts over Guardians, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re going to dive deep into the fans that have kept Sailor Moon alive even when the franchise lay dormant.
You’re the 352 Moonie to visit Tuxedo Unmasked!
Over the past 20+ of my life that I’ve been following the franchise, I’ve always found myself in awe of the fact about just how great of a time it is to be a Sailor Moon fan right now. However, I can think of few years as pivotal as 2000 was.
After all, it wasn’t every day that you finally got a brand new season of your favorite show after a three year hiatus. Sailor Moon S hit North American shores with such immense force that it wouldn’t soon be forgotten… for better or for worse.
Today I’d like to take you back through time for a glimpse into the Sailor Moon fandom back in the year 2000 as we analyze just how much it has — and hasn’t! — changed in the past two decades. Stick around, read along, and don’t forget to sign my guestbook!
Sailor Moon Says!
Outside of the occasional anecdote or relevant personal stories, I generally avoid focusing much about myself or life experiences here on this blog. At its core, Tuxedo Unmasked isn’t meant to be a blog about me, but rather an objective look at the world of Sailor Moon and an in-depth look at the amazing people who made it possible.
But every once in awhile, as I interact with other fans who’ve also grown to become just as — if not more! — passionate about this series as myself, I start to wonder what it is that drew people to Sailor Moon and keeps them coming back for more.
Today I’d like to share with you the story about how Sailor Moon came into my world and how it quite literally made me into the person I am today. My goal here isn’t necessarily to get my story out there, but to encourage a dialogue for others to share theirs!
Could Rie Miyazawa have been a 90s Usagi?
It’s a moment that happens to us all: you’re just sitting there on the couch on a lazy Sunday, your daughter crawling across your lap as you read a 26 year old book about the world of Sailor Moon. Totally relatable, I’m sure.
As you’re flipping through the pages and deftly avoiding aggressive toddler hands, you come across something that catches your attention: a young Japanese fan’s plea for a live action Sailor Moon — nearly a decade before the concept was even close to becoming a reality. What makes this all the more intriguing, though, is who they thought would be perfect to play the roles of each of the Sailor Senshi.
That’s right, today we’re going to take a step back in time to 1993 and look at some of the hottest names in the Japanese pop culture world as we fill out our totally 90s Sailor Moon cast list. Put on something obnoxiously neon, because things are about to get radical!
Seriously, why are these rumors still a thing??
While I’m generally more interested in expanding on less discussed aspects in the Sailor Moon universe, every once in awhile I find it hard to resist the urge to confront some of the crazier fan rumors running rampant across the internet in a (probably ill-conceived) effort to set the record straight.
By the nature of how these things work, it unfortunately leaves me in the unenviable position of trying to prove a negative (i.e., Bigfoot isn’t real, but it is impossible to provide evidence that it doesn’t exist), so if you strongly believe any of the following, I probably won’t be changing your mind any time soon.
However, if we’re lucky, at the very least least I hope to open up some dialogue on how these rumors came to be, and why they continue to be repeated throughout the Sailor Moon fandom.
Following in the footsteps of the immortal Doctor Beckett, join me on my journey as I strive to put right what once went wrong — Sailor Moon style!
Sailor Moon hawking her curry (YouTube)
The Sailor Moon franchise is definitely no stranger to marketing tie-ups. From medicated eye-drops to tabletop D&D-inspired RPGs, and even including fully-immersive theme park rides, it seems like there’s almost nothing that they won’t slap the Sailor Moon name on.
And I love it.
No, really, I do. I spend entire train commutes to and from work reading up on obscure Sailor Moon products that no one in their right mind could possibly care about.
And that’s why I’ve decided to share some of my favorite with you, my dear valued reader, so that way we can both enjoy some of these memorable pieces of Sailor Moon together. If you’re prone to collecting random merchandise, you may want to put away your credit card now. Some of these can get pricey!
Gekka 7 Promotional Pamphlet
When I learned that there was a Sailor Moon-only doujinshi event being held in Tokyo, it was pretty much a given that I would definitely be there. No matter what I had to do to make it happen, I absolutely needed to be surrounded by the epitome of Japanese Sailor Moon fandom.
In addition to the obvious selfish reasons, this also was a great opportunity for me to introduce the Japanese fan community to readers in the west, who may not have as much exposure to what it’s like to be a fan of Sailor Moon in the land where it originated.
So today I’m going to take you along on my trip to 月華遊星 (Gekka Yuusei; lit. Alluring Moon & Planets), an annual by-fans-for-fans Sailor Moon event held in Tokyo. Stick around — there are a lot of pics here you won’t want to miss!