sailor moon
when I was a young girl growing up in japan, sailor moon was a show I would commonly see while watching tv. at the time, while I did love it, I didn't entirely understand what I was watching beyond thinking it was a cool show and that the characters were very pretty. I eventually discarded it for other tastes as I entered into middle school and high school, and it was forgotten for a while.

however, when I was an older teen I came back to it when a friend mentioned I reminded them a lot of usagi from the series. this brought back many distant memories, and I decided I wanted to get into it again - however, since the show was incredibly long, I opted to go for reading the manga instead.

barely into the first volume, I fell in love. not only is naoko takeuchi's artstyle gorgeous, but the characters were so lovable, the pacing was easy for me to stay interested in, and the themes meant so much to me now that I was an adult. within days of finishing the manga online, I ordered the full physical set for myself and began to read it over and over in my spare time, falling more in love each time.

naoko takeuchi wrote sailor moom when she was still a struggling artist, and going through a very difficult time in life. when asked for her inspiration for the series in an interview, she stated "I was lonely, so I wrote about girls I wished were my friends." I think this really does reflect what sailor moon means to me as well, as an avid reader of it. These girls feel like friends to me - they go through so much development in those 80 short chapters, and they experience a true bond between girls and for girls that means so much to me. the manga has an unabashed representation of feminist values, bisexuality, lesbianism, and transness that was essentially unheard of in the 80s when it was written. because of this, whenever I read the manga I truly do feel like I'm coming back to an old friend, to someone and something that understands me.

I've not particularly been a fan of the anime since I was a child, but to me that's okay. The manga expresses values of beauty, justice, love of all kinds, bonds between women, and lgbt pride that truly make me happy, so I'm happy to stick with reading it and enjoying what it has to offer. I've gotten into many magical girl series over the years, but sailor moon will always be very very special to me and close to my heart. It was what allowed me to truly fall in love with the heart of what the magical girl genre represents, and I will always be grateful to Naoko for creating an emotional, deep, and strong story that will always resonate with me.