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NOSTALGIA AS A WEAPON: THE SAILOR MOON RENAISSANCE IS A FEMINIST MISSION BEHIND THE LINES OF POP CULTURE

By Juliet Kahn

Sailor Moon did not enter my life so much as consume it. I was eight, and in the space of a few weeks I learned all the attack names, bought the first two issues of the manga, went through three different understandings of how to pronounce “Takeuchi”, and developed a tiered list of my favorite characters.

I spent hours spelunking the MIDI-laden cave that was Geocities, learning the language of dub-versus-sub wars, exploring webrings, indulging in awful pidgin Japanese, and realizing that I was not actually the only person in the world that loved this show. I filled the drawer of my nightstand with printouts of art book pages (I never did anything with them, but they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen and I needed to possess them somehow). I scraped up a special outfit — a white turtleneck and blue pleated skirt, with my hair in pigtails — just to wear while watching the show.

Opinions crowded my head, the first ones I’d ever really developed on my own: on translation choices, best and worst story arcs, ideal romantic pairings. I didn’t just write Sailor Moon fanfiction — I wrote Sailor Moon poetry. It was, by far, the most vivid and vital part of those last few playground years.

Today, Sailor Moon is inescapable. There’s the new anime of course, and the new musicals, the merchandise, and the retranslation of the manga. But it’s the emblem of a wider renaissance as well, a resurgence of love for mahou shoujo, or magical girl anime and manga — a movement led by women well out of their childhood years.

A quick stroll through Tumblr reveals Sailor Moon cupcakes, punky Sailor Moon jackets, heartfelt essays about what the portrayal of lesbianism in Sailor Moon meant to the reader, dozens of artists working together to reanimate an episode of the anime, Sailor Moon nail art tutorials, cats named Luna, Beryl, Haruka and everything in between, hand-sculpted figurines, ornate embroidery projects, and an endless avalanche of fanart. Sailor Moon as an Adventure Time character. Sailor Moon cheekily clutching a Hitachi Magic Wand. Sailor Moon as a vicious biker chick. Sailor Moon protesting the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

Sailor Moon fans have not so much rediscovered their love for Naoko Takeuchi’s sword-and-sparkle epic as they have elected her queen mother of their imaginations and ultimate aspirational self. She is, simultaneously, symbol, cause, and leader.

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Welfare ruling stuns foreigners | The Japan Times

Just give the article a full read. This just baffles me beyond any comprehension. Japan has been talking about trying to become a global economy for years now, especially with the upcoming Olympics in 2020 and the massive change to English education in it’s public schools, and yet this is how they’ve decided to treat it’s foreign residents. They have successfully reverted to their isolationist period and made nearly any hopeful resident thinking about staying in Japan for life question where their future may lie.

If this doesn’t get an appeal of any kind, I will definitely not be staying in this country. At first I was a bit sad that my boyfriend didn’t want to stay and live in Japan, but now I’m starting to think he’s got the right idea. He wants to move to Ireland and that’s beginning to sound like a swell idea. Abe needs to get the fuck out of office and his old fart cronies need to take a long walk off a short pier with him. They are quite literally dooming this country for any possible future of economic and population recovery.

skull-a-day:

Mark Noll shared this incredible customized violin made for a fundraiser.  He explains, “Cantebury School purchased a dozen violins for their Suzuki Music Program. The violins were unusable and not able to be returned. The Florida Craftsman Gallery asked artists to transform them into pieces of art to be auctioned off, with the proceeds befitting the Music Program. The violins will be auctioned in an on-going silent auction both at the Gallery and on the website. Bids will be taken from July 18th to August 23rd. 100% goes to buy new instruments for the kids”

bequilles:

prettylittle-timebomb:

So I have always been extremely embarrassed that my left ear is deaf. I tried to hide it in every way possible. It made me feel broken and useless, especially listening and playing music. My original idea was to put music notes behind my ear, but for some reason the idea just didn’t feel quite right considering I couldn’t hear said music. I came up with the mute symbol idea because lately I have learned to embrace my deafness. I tend to joke around that my left ear is like my mute button when I want to ignore someone. Now I am no longer ashamed and find strength in the humor of my tattoo.

That is pretty great.

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