My first experience with Sailor Moon involved waking up early before school and turning on the television to watch some cartoons. Amazingly, this animated series about a bunch of magical girls with powers would come on right before Inspector Gadget. So I watched this show called Sailor Moon just because of its timeslot. It had nothing to do with my interest in anime or anything from Japan. As a six year old living in rural Pennsylvania, I didn’t even know where Japan was on a map. Eventually I got into the show and it became an obsession. I wanted to be Sailor Mars. My friends watched the show, too, and we all picked out characters to be during recess based on our hair color and height. Aside from some make-believe during recess time, we had no other way to express our love for this show. As time went by, Sailor Moon blew up – I mean, really blew up. All of the cool Bandai toys from Japan made their way to K-Mart. Soon we all had our very own lockets, wands, and dolls. Like most fads in the US, Sailor Moon disappeared, only to be remembered by Moonies who used it as a gateway drug to Anime and Manga. We also had Dragon Ball Z, but as a girl, Goku didn’t mean nearly as much to me as Serena did. As a little girl, I could relate to her, and like most girls, Tuxedo Mask was my first T.V. crush. It took me ten more years to realize I was in love with a horrible dub that butchered most of the episodes to make the series more ‘fit’ for American children. It would take me even longer to realize the anime strayed far from the manga.
In 2014, dubbing a series the way DiC destroyed Sailor Moon would be seen as offensive and vulgar. Of course, because of my age, I am very leery of dubs and almost always watch my shows with subtitles. Regardless of if you like Sailor Moon Crystal or not, it is good for anyone who is just getting into anime and hasn’t heard of Sailor Moon(yes, it is possible!). I say this because the fandom already exists. While I had to struggle in bidding wars for DVDs on Ebay, new fans can just wait until the new re-release of the old series while they kick back and watch the new one whenever they want. New fans can go and buy any t-shirt they want from Hot Topic or a local fandom store. New fans can also collect those very awesome Figurearts dolls instead of hoarding frizzy haired pieces of plastic that some six-year old tried to eat. The newbies even have easy access to the Kodansha translation of the manga. My TokyoPop collection of poorly translated Sailor Moon manga isn’t even complete because TokyoPop was an incompetent, crappy publisher with stupid print runs. This is also an exciting time because I can actually attend a convention knowing that there will be a panel just for Moonies. Before the new translation of the manga or this reboot you could always find some Sailor Moon cosplayers wandering convention halls but it was seemingly out-of-place at a con where dealers didn’t even have old merchandise lying around to sell.
All I am really saying is that the fandom is already there and it is easily accessible. The internet has made watching anime an easy experience that works within your own schedule. If you miss an episode that is okay because it will always be waiting for you on the internet. Sailor Moon Crystal isn’t for everyone and I understand when some older fans reject it. After all, the series is already ingrained in our minds with a certain impression. Sailor Moon Crystal can be for older fans if we suspend what we already know about the first series. I enjoyed the first episode despite some CGI hiccups and a stiff-faced Usagi. Ultimately,this new series exists to follow the manga without extra story-arcs, strange agendas, or sex changes. It isn’t a high-quality production, but it is at least something new for all of us to look forward to even if we don’t love it.