Fanfiction Fridays: drown on dry land by fairymascot

I’ve been awfully busy since I finished Sailor Moon S, which means I haven’t had time to sit down with the next season of the classic show. There’s always time for fanfiction, however. While I was excited to finally meet Sailors Neptune and Uranus in S, they’re by no means the main characters, and I wanted to see how fans imagined their relationship. How did two girls from such different walks of life handle their partnership, both as Haruka and Michiru, and as Uranus and Neptune? What made them into the harder, grittier scouts they became, who judged individual lives against the greater good of the world? This fic from Michiru’s POV digs into how Michiru first discovered Haruka and how their relationship developed over the course of the season.

“Who is that?”

“Huh? Michiru!” Her classmate looks up from the magazine in her hands, unfiltered surprise scrawled all across her face, and the three girls crowded around her follow suit with gapes to match. She presses the magazine closed, tapping her finger against the cover photo that Michiru had just touched. “Her? That’s Haruka Tenoh! You really haven’t heard of her? She’s the youngest motor racer in Japan, and one of the best in the country, too!”

“Oh,” says Michiru, then pauses. “May I borrow this for a bit?”

All four look at her as though she had just now landed from outer space. The magazine’s owner is happy enough to shove it into her hands, however, with an awe-struck exclamation of “Wow, Michiru, this is really rare for you!” as she’s apparently “never interested in this sort of stuff”. Michiru responds with an “Oh, really” that’s more of a stock reaction than a legitimate question, thanks her, and returns to her seat with the magazine in hand.

On the cover, Haruka Tenoh is beautiful. Perched on the driver seat of the racecar like it was built for her, helmet tucked beneath her arm, on an open road where you can see nothing but the sand and sky. “Faster than the Wind”, the bold print reads, and in smaller letters describes the promising young racer who just got the gold in the nation-wide quarter-final and told Japan Entertainment Weekly all about her win and plans for the future, more on page three. Michiru traces a finger across the line of her jaw — high and sharp like a man’s, but with a fascinating sort of delicacy to it — up to the line where her hair begins, short sandy-gold blowing back in the wind. And in that moment, every last hard-suppressed fantasy filters through the newly-formed crack in her mind’s dam, flooding her.

They could be driving along the beach. She would feel warm summer breeze flutter through her hair, and breathe in ocean air. There would be no roads but the one they would make for themselves, and Haruka would turn to look at her, and smile.

Michiru’s chest tightens. This is ridiculous. She really, really shouldn’t.

She turns to page three.

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Sailor Moon R: The Movie: Does the “R” Stand for “Really Gay”?

2016 may be a shitshow, but at the last moment, anime seems to be conducting a noble effort to make the end of the year a bit sweeter. Freshman on the sports anime scene, Yuri!!! On Ice, appears to have skipped the typical queerbaiting of its predecessors and jumped right to a heartwarming portrayal of a healthy relationship between two bisexual men (fingers crossed this won’t get fucked up as it approaches its final episodes); unable to keep himself from his passion, Hayao Miyazaki has stated he’ll return from retirement for just one more feature length animated film with Studio Ghibli; and both Spirited Away and Sailor Moon R: The Movie are getting theatrical releases, Spirited Away in early December and Sailor Moon in January. As I’ve traveled back home for the holiday season, I’m about 90% sure that none of the theaters in my little town are going to be showing either of the two animated films. Like that would stop me, though.

sailor-moon-promise-of-the-rose-coverOut of the Sailor Moon filmography, I remember watching Sailor Moon R—subtitled Promise of the Rose in the North American release—back in the wee days of my youth, and as such it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when I say that it’s hands down my favorite of the three. Aside from the rose motif, little me adored the flower-based baddies and the romantic triangle that had a satisfying conclusion. Older me sat here not even a day ago reminiscing about the film wondering, “did this movie even have a love triangle?” I’m not doubting the shoujo genre or glossing over its flaws, but I watched the dub of the movie, and if there’s one thing I remember about the early dub of Sailor Moon, it’s that anything pertaining to not being straight typically had a shoddily woven rug thrown over it in hopes that the kiddies wouldn’t notice. And the potential love conflict between Darien, Serena, and the antagonist Fiore would have had almost inescapable implications of homosexual love between Darien and Fiore. Yet, upon watching the film again and keeping an eye out for this, I found that Fiore’s feelings probably weren’t intentionally glossed over. Furthermore, while the American dub may actually be gayer than the original Japanese, the ambiguity isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case.

Note: since I’m mainly speaking of the dub, I will be using the names from said original dub.

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Interview: Bonnie Walling and Steven Savage of Her Eternal Moonlight

her-eternal-moonlightHi readers! Recently I had the opportunity to interview Bonnie Walling and Steven Savage, the writing team behind Her Eternal Moonlight, a book compiling the experiences of female Sailor Moon fans. The book features interviews with over thirty fans and discusses the importance of the show’s unique female perspective, the way the emergence of the internet affected its fandom, and how people’s lives have been touched by the story. You can find it at its site and on Amazon!

Click below for the interview!

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Throwback Thursdays: Sailor Moon S

I’ve been very, very slowly working my way through the original Sailor Moon anime, which aired from 1992-1997. Although there is a certain charm to the the first few seasons (titled Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R, respectively), they are often pretty heavy on filler, sag in the middle, and are slow to develop character until the very end. While the five original Scouts are introduced by the end of the first season, Venus, the last, doesn’t appear until episode 33.

Sailor Moon R particularly dragged on, giving us over a dozen episodes with two fillery sibling villains before introducing Prince Demande and the Black Moon arc and finally giving me some character development. When I finished, I was a bit demoralized by the formulaic nature of the show. The only reason I was interested in starting Sailor Moon S was because it would finally introduce Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus (a.k.a. the most explicitly queer of the Sailor Scouts). What I wasn’t expecting was that this season would be so much more engaging on all counts than the rest of the show so far.

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Dear Authors: I’m Begging You to Stop Epiloguing

One of my favorite books when I was younger was Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. It had everything a girl with my interests could have hoped for: a plucky heroine, rebellion, a fantasy setting, court intrigue, epistolary romance… I adored it. When I got to the end of the book, however, I discovered something strange.

The last ten pages of the book promised a never-before-seen addition to the story. Excited to read more about Mel and Danric and the rest, I eagerly turned the page… to discover that the addition was a trite and honestly embarrassing epilogue. It was tooth-rottingly saccharine, and turned the kickass protagonist into a wilting flower too nervous to talk honestly with her husband. I didn’t have much of a critical eye at age eleven, but even then I knew it was a shitty writing decision. So why are so many authors going the way of the epilogue now? It’s terrible in so many ways, and it needs to stop.

harry.potter.hallows.2.

Just. No.

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Magical Mondays: Dancing and Transformation

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane

Rocky Horror Time WarpI’m sure these lyrics are familiar to most of you, dear readers. With the surprising prevalence of The Rocky Horror Picture Show despite its cult status, even if one hasn’t watched the film, many of its (for lack of a better term) memes have stuck in the cultural consciousness. As a younger me, while watching this I wondered what the heck a dance had to do with anything, and honestly as an adult I still don’t know for sure–although I fully know that in this film, things don’t really have to make sense. It just comes out of nowhere. But thinking a little bit harder, maybe it wasn’t as out of place as I originally thought. After all, Rocky Horror isn’t the only piece of media utilizing the magic of dancing in the way it’s typically used: to signify a transformation.

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Magical Mondays: Purity and the Magical Girl Genre

Pretty Cure All StarsI’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of you, dear readers, have seen a magical girl anime or read a magical girl manga. Or, if you haven’t, you’re at least somewhat familiar with the mechanics: say some words, use some object, then get cute clothes to fight crime with. Though there are some similarities to a portion of Western superheroes (ie: Wonder Woman, Superman) the fact remains that these magical teens are getting their powers, in most cases, from some otherworldly power or tech instead of Bruce Wayne-ing it or taking to the ol’ sewing machine. However, it’s not the costumes that interest me today. Instead, it’s what gives these magical teens their powers in a virtuous sense because, let’s face it, you’re probably not going to see a magical warrior with the powers of burning rage, even though that would be really cool.

Spoilers for Madoka Magica beneath the cut.

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