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Ami’s First Love: A Sailor Moon Treasure Hunt

Run Run July 1995, Credit: missdream.org

I’ve been slowly working through a re-read of the Sailor Moon manga, this time, with my Eternal Editions. This edition has been quite thrilling–the large size nearly replicates how the images were originally presented in Nakayoshi and there are color pages galore! I just finished reading the side story, Makoto’s Melancholy when my eyes fell onto the next page–the color preview for Ami’s First Love (image above). And I noticed something I had never realized before–you can actually read the text on several items in the illustration! I set out to investigate!

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Liberation with Moon Gorgeous Meditation

Super Sailor Moon faces the camera with the moon kaleidoscope held out horizontally.

Right now I’m reading through the beautiful Eternal Edition of the Sailor Moon manga. I’m nearly finished with the Dream Arc and this is where Super Sailor Moon uses the attack Moon Gorgeous Meditation. It occurred to me that “meditation” was a rather odd attack name. Sure, it’s not as out there as Star Gentle Uterus, but meditation generally involves sitting still and calming your mind. That’s not exactly what I would call “attack mode.”

Sailor Moon’s attacks generally involve light, like Moon Princess Halation, the heart as in Moon Spiral Heart Attack and Rainbow Moon Heartache or healing as in Moon Healing Escalation. I was thinking it’s possible that meditation belonged in the healing category since meditation is often used to decrease stress and anxiety. Meditation has a long history so I decided to investigate a bit further–and what I found was surprising!

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the icy face of the animated snow kaguya

In 2021, it was announced the Sailor Moon musical, Kaguya-hime’s Beloved, would stream worldwide. It was available from December 2021 through the beginning of February 2022. I have seen it and it is delightful!

In celebration of this musical, I decided to revisit this classic story from the manga which provided the storyline of the second animated Sailor Moon movie. I’ve written about this story before, looking at a real life “Moon Princess” that influenced this story–Dr. Chiaki Mukai, the first Japanese woman in space. This time, I wanted to take a closer look at the villain of this story, Snow Kaguya.

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Japan Foundation’s Takarazuka Virtual Panel

Last year, the Japan Foundation sponsored a virtual panel on Sailor Moon. Naturally, you can’t talk about Sailor Moon without talking about Takarazuka. The host and panelists promised there would be talk about Takarazuka in the future. Well, that future has arrived! Last month, Takarazuka: The Interplay Between All-Female Musicals and Girls’ Culture in Japan streamed virtually on Youtube. The panel featured the following academics:

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Did Jenny Shimizu inspire the Sailor Starlights?

So, one day I’m on Twitter, as usual, and I come across this tweet that just knocks me over:

And it got me thinking–was it possible that Naoko Takeuchi actually based Sailor Star Fighter off of 90s lesbian icon Jenny Shimizu? Come with me and let’s find out!

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Japan Foundation’s Sailor Moon Virtual Panel

How is everyone? As I write this post, it’s been a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m hanging in there, but it definitely takes conscious effort to make sure my mental health is on the right track. I hope you are hanging in there too!

Navigating this “new normal” has been an adventure, but I suppose one of the bright spots is virtual events. They allow for a wider audience to access really awesome content and experiences. This past year the Japan Foundation has been hosting a series of virtual panels on anime and manga. They’ve done panels on the works of Satoshi Kon and Ghost in the Shell. So naturally, it was only a matter of time until there was one on Sailor Moon!

This panel featured several academics–Dr. Kumiko Saito, Dr. Samantha Close, Dr. Kathryn Hemmann and Mari Morimoto–who you may remember was one of the translators of the English Sailor Moon manga, the Kodansha 2nd generation edition. I’ve linked the panel above for you to watch, but I wanted to provide a written summary of the event as well.

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In the Beginning, Woman was the Sun Podcast

A Japanese woman is reading a book with a blue cover. In the background other Japanese women in Western and Japanese clothing read a book with a blue cover as well.

How’s everyone? I hope you are hanging in there during this pandemic! To assuage your boredom, I have another podcast to recommend you to. Issac Meyer is a historian and teacher who is the creator of the History of Japan podcast. He recently did a three part episcode featuring Japanese feminists Raicho Hiratsuka and Fusae Ichikawa. Definitely check out Part 1 where Shojo Power! gets a shout out!

Episode 329 – In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun, Part 1

Episode 330 – In the Beginning, Woman was the Sun, Part 2

Episode 331 – In the Beginning, Woman was the Sun, Part 3


Shojo Power! on Manga Machinations Podcast

manga machinations black and white logo in english with katakana underneath

So I don’t get to listen to podcasts as much as I used to, and I have a list a mile long to dive into, BUT a lovely little podcast that I’ve enjoyed listening to invited me onto their show! That podcast is Manga Machinations, a podcast that focuses on more obscure and unknown manga. Obviously Sailor Moon is not obscure, but I had the opportunity to discuss important Japanese feminists which hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet. LOL.

The podcast features dakazu, darfox8, seamus and Morgana. In addition to being lovely people, each brings their own unique experience and background to the podcast. dakazu lives in Hawaii and seamus lives in Ireland which makes it a podcast that literally spans the globe! Please enjoy!

Time stamps courtesy of Manga Machinations:

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Happy 6th Birthday Shōjo Power!

sailor moon drops human luna

It’s that time of year again! Every July Shojo Power! celebrates its birthday. Since it’s our 6th birthday, onto the Top 6 stats!

Top 6 Posts that Published This Past Year

  1. The Real Trans Rep in Sailor Moon
  2. The Real Life Princess Kaguya: Dr. Chiaki Mukai
  3. The Greatest Attack Name of All Time: Star Gentle Uterus
  4. Gender & Passion in Claudine: Manga Review
  5. Shojo Power! Podcast Episode 2 Slim City
  6. Shojo Power! Podcast Episode 3 Sailor Mercury

Top 6 All-Time Posts This Year

  1. Beautiful Like You: Black Lady’s Uncomfortable Electra Complex
  2. The Top Ten Most Epic Deaths in Sailor Moon
  3. Is Sailor Chibi Moon Too Sexualized?
  4. Anne’s Fabulous Sailor Moon-Themed Wedding!
  5. Blame It On the Sluts: Nostalgia Critic’s Review of Sailor Moon
  6. Stop Fat Shaming! Episode 4 Feminist Commentary

Top 6 Most Memorable Keywords

  1. why is chibiusa in love with her dad

Why indeed!

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It’s been a joke among Sailor Moon fans for years–Sailor Star Maker’s attack call is “Star Gentle Uterus.” And now, North American and English speaking fans can finally legally enjoy it with the release of the final season of Sailor Moon, Sailor Stars. I imagine a lot more Sailor Moon fans will be asking the same questions we all have at some point—-how???? Why??? Well, I’m here to shed some light on that!

I, myself, was in the dark for the longest time regarding these questions. In fact, it wasn’t until quite recently that I learned that some fans identify the inspiration for the Sailor Starlights as coming from Hindu mythology. In Hindu mythology, there are three main gods–Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver), and Shiva (The Destroyer). This fits very nicely with the names of the Sailor Starlights–Sailor Star Maker aka The Creator, Sailor Star Healer aka The Preserver and Sailor Star Fighter aka The Destroyer. Which brings us back to Sailor Star Maker’s infamous attack, Star Gentle Uterus.

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