Moon! Prism! Power!
Late February, indie makeup brand ColourPop released a collaboration with ‘90s anime Sailor Moon. Over 35 million copies of the Sailor Moon manga have been sold worldwide and the series continues to make its name in a multimillion-dollar franchise. The cultural impact of Sailor Moon is immeasurable, with multitudes of social media accounts creating fanart and cosplay around the series. The collection sold out within minutes, a testament to the popularity and impact of the beloved anime. In light of this collaboration, which ColourPop boasts as its most requested collection, I want to reflect on what the anime meant to me growing up.
Sailor Moon, which ran on networks across North America, holds a special place in my heart. I vividly remember being in Grade 3, sitting on the floor watching rerun after rerun of Sailor Moon. With its sparkly-eyed characters and pastel backgrounds, the show may look like another cutesy anime. However, if that was the case it wouldn’t have had the lasting impact that it did on me. The anime taught me so much friendship. Watching Sailor Moon, I learned the importance of respecting my friends no matter what disagreements we faced, to not only listen but to also try to understand their points of view. Most importantly, I learned that depending on others isn’t a sign of weakness and is, in fact, the ultimate sign of strength.
In Sailor Moon, the main character, Usagi, goes by the eponymous alias when she fights evil alien entities. However, she isn’t alone in her battle. Sailor Moon is assisted by a team of girls called the Sailor Scouts. Their friendship gets tried with occasional bickering between the team. One arc that resonated me is when Sailor Moon and one of the scouts were entangled in a love triangle over a boy, a situation that was similarly playing out in my own life. Unlike other shows that default to messy rivalries, Sailor Moon showed us a character that empathized with her friend. Usually, scenarios like these end in a huge argument, especially when you’re a teenager first learning to deal with complicated feelings. But neither I nor the characters handled it that way. We respected each other’s feelings and learned that this alone could get us through disagreements, no matter how messy they got.
Throughout the series, the Sailor Scouts, when they wore their everyday guises, would visit a cafė where they ate parfaits and tackled issues they were facing. Whether they discussed the dark forces that threatened the Earth or personal problems that each individual scout faced, a conversation was always had. This taught me that a huge part of friendship and teamwork is confiding in one another.
Perhaps that seems obvious, but I was the kind of teenager who kept everything bottled up until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I found myself sobbing in random places and arguing over insignificant things that, looking back, I wouldn’t care about now. But that’s the thing: sometimes life is a chaotic mess. I now make it a habit between my friends and I to ask for life updates and hold deep conversations, getting into the nitty-gritty of how they’re feeling. Equally important is the ability to be understanding when friends confide in you. People who love you and invest their time and effort into your friendship are usually more than willing to listen to you.
No matter the rivalries and pettiness that would come between the Sailor Scouts, they were first and foremost a team and always had each other’s backs. The intergalactic soldiers, with abilities to control the elements, could defeat many foes alone but instead operated as a team, and were ultimately stronger for it. During battles, they never hesitated to let their fellow scout step in and assist. Their dependence on each other isn’t founded in a lack of confidence in their own ability, but rather a trust in each other.
Sailor Moon’s character interactions gave me gems of advice I hold close: your friends deserve your respect, willingness to listen and understand them builds powerful bonds and that strength is found in numbers. The anime will always hold a dear place in my heart because of these reasons and many more. I am glad it was part of my childhood and it’s still a part of me today.