When I was a kid, I was first introduced to the concept of a sentai by Sailormoon. Before then, I did watch on and off other henshin and magical girls anime but those were merely glimpses. Sailormoon, with its all-female kick ass cast, was the first manga that I regularly bought with Dragonball, and it became my mainstay after that. I sold some of the Malay translated comics later and now regret it; there was an episode with Luna that I simply adored.
I first fell in love with Sailormoon for the art. There was also the fact that unlike other manga or anime then, there was no pleasing the male gaze. Back in those days, I loved Sailormoon cause she didn’t need to show off skin to save the day (Wonder Woman and gang, I am looking at you). There was no need to wear skin-tight leotards to kick ass; day-to-day clothes will do just as fine (this was before I was introduced to Kaoru Kamiya). In fact, intelligence was a prized asset, and smart bookworms who were beautiful yet insecure about themselves (and NOT about their ability to attract boys) nailed it for me.
As Comic Book Girl points out, almost all women here are represented. All types, with different motivations and different reasons for the actions they did. Not all of them were for romantic love (the only villain that did that was in the first arc, but that was one of the arcs I’m not familiar with, I admit) but they revolved around various themes.
Growing up. Taking responsibilities for your actions. Dedicating yourself to a passion, no matter what anyone else said.
Oh, and it’s ok to love both science and the arts at the same time (Mercury’s backstory was the clincher for me in this case).
Sailormoon normalised the concept that it was ok to be female AND independent. It taught me that it was fine to rely on yourself to get yourself out of trouble, especially scrapes that you get into (Sailor V). It taught me that it was fine to like cooking even though I’m a tomboy (Makoto). It taught me that being devoted to a purpose was ok (Sailor Mars). It taught me that it was ok to love books and there is no shame in that (Ami Mizuno).
Most of all, it taught me that I’m an independent human beings, and that it’s fine to be friends with other human beings without wanting to one-up them. It taught me that friends could be people you trust and depend on, and that you’re their support, just as they are yours.
Thank you, Sailormoon.
*Starts saving up for English manga reprint now*