Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kid’s Stuff, Part II: Sailor Moon #23

Sailor Scout-lesbian kisses form many friendship!

Someone is probably going to come in here and cream me for all the Japanese stuff I’m about to get wrong, but here goes anyway. Sailor Moon began as a cute manga series about a magical girl whose destiny is to fight evil in outer space. Author/Artist Naoko Takeuchi was asked by her editor to dress the character in sērā fuku, the type of sailor uniform Japanese schoolgirls wear. After a brief series focusing on a single “Sailor Scout” called Codename: Sailor V, the book was expanded to include a sentai or team of magical school girls when anime producers came knocking. Titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, a second series was released. The centergy created by mixing a team book with the already popular magical girl genre turned out to be an immense success, spawning one of Japan’s longest running animes with 200 episodes over five years with five complete story arcs, 18 volumes of manga, over 5000 toy and merchandising tie-ins, 33 CD singles and dozens of manga and anime imitators.

Pictured above from left to right: Sailor Mars, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Butch Lesbian, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mini-me.

Not pictured: Sailor Neptune, Sailor, I mean...134340, Sailor Chalupa, “Well hello there, Sailor” and Popeye the Sailor Moon-man.

The Sailor Moon story concerns ordinary teenage high school student Usagi Tsukino, called Serena or Bunny in the American version, who finds that she has the power to transform herself into a super hero after she meets a magical talking cat named Luna. Soon evil bimbos from space are coming out of the woodwork to attack her but she finds herself joined by several other “Sailor Scouts”, each named a planet in the solar system and having various powers. Even better is the dreamy young man Darien who unbeknownst to Bunny is the even dreamier super hero Tuxedo Mask. *swoon*. Gah, this book is just too girly-gay for me to like.

Call all your friends and tell them how gay this series is!

I expected to be bored by the Sailor Moon book, not aroused. Who knew this stuff should sit on the Yuri rack? Because of my limited exposure to the Sailor Moon series, I was completely unaware that two of the Sailor Scouts (Neptune and Uranus) are actually lesbians. You heard me right, an anime about lesbian teenage girls with magical powers who dress in micro skirts that are constantly being filmed in low-angle shots that reveal their bloomers. Why isn’t every red-blooded American male watching this show?

To start off issue 23, we are continuing a fight from issue 22 with a chick who transforms into a medusa-like creature. Here is our establishing shot. Note that word balloons frequently explode off the page like the one in this panel. I’m not really sure why every second sentence must be said AS DRAMATICALLY AS POSSIBLE! Maybe it’s a Japanese thing?
Sailor Moon bests the beastie with her “Moon Spiral Heart Attack” amazing upskirt-bloomer power blast. She also kills about 2% of the elderly pedophiles reading this magazine by virtue of autoerotic asphixation. I am luckily immune to both.

It’s only after the monster chick is defeated that the four Sailor Scouts realize that they are being watched from the shadows. Sailor Moon takes off in pursuit of their peeper. The mysterious woman runs so fast that even under Sailor power, Bunny can barely keep up with her. Suddenly she rounds a corner to find the puzzling guest gone! Actually she ducked into a tree and takes this opportunity to startle Sailor Bunny.

And it’s about this time that the raunchy porn music starts playing in my head. The butch haired blonde in the Sailor suit suddenly comes on to Bunny. Oddly enough, Bunny doesn’t seem to mind all that much. Hmmm?

The fact that Sailor Moon had “contact” with another Sailor Scout seems to worry her talking cat Luna. In fact all the other Scouts' talking cats look rather worried too. I’m thinking they are concerned about Bunny getting an STD.

Meanwhile, the Scouts want to know all about this mystery girl. If Bunny could only clear her head of thoughts of sexual experimentation, she might be able to answer their questions.

But instead all she can do is think about the mystery scout’s gentle caress hovering over her. Her body quivering with anticipation, waiting for the moment that she will feel those soft hands stroking her skin. Bunny’s lips parting slightly as the hot breath of the other girl…wait, wait! WTF am I reading here? Isn’t this a G rated cartoon for teenage girls? I must be just imagining all this lesbian eroticism. At least that’s what I thought the first read through.
So the other Sailor Scouts don’t learn much from Bunny about the nature of her “attacker” and they head off to bed. Bunny is a bit…er, distracted by the newcomer and can’t sleep. She starts looking through the newspaper and happens upon a picture of race car driver Haruka Tenou. Is it just her imagination, or does Haruka look just like the mystery Sailor Scout? I thought at first she was just a little obsessed and in desperate need of some scissoring, but come to find out, Haruka IS the Sailor Scout she just met. And he’s really a she. Everyone meet Sailor Neptune, one of the two Sailor Scouts that we know for a fact is a lesbian. (The rest could be as well because only Sailor Moon gets any kind of time with a male.)

As you can tell from the final three panels there, Sailor Bunny Muffin head falls fast asleep while staring at Haruka’s picture. A sleep that begins with a dream version of Haruka speaking to her in Sailor Neptune’s voice and using her words.

Her dream gets more confusing when Haruka starts kissing her, but it’s Sailor Neptune who ends up finishing the kiss. To which the startled Bun-Bun can only ask “Who?” As in “Who are you really? Let me take off your clothes and find out…” But before she can act on any of those sentiments, Sailor Neptune runs away and the dream turns dark, with some evil force talking about find three talismans from the God of Destruction. A dream that all the Sailor Scouts share. Oh, yeah. This is a book about super powered girls saving the Earth. In all the lesbian excitement, I completely forgot it was just a subplot. And speaking of subplots, get ready cause here them come in droves.

First up: Bunny bumps into dreamy Darien, who unknown to Bunny is really her long lost brother, Racer X…er, sorry I meant her long lost lover Tuxedo Mask. Bun is completely embarrassed about her feelings for women lately and can barely speak to him.

Which is apparently ok, as Darien carries on the conversation for her. Mostly by talking about Michiru Kaioh, a famous violinist who is coming in concert. Actually, unknown to both these characters, Michiru is Sailor Uranus (stop laughing!), the lesbian lover of Sailor Neptune. I’m not making this up! I like how when Darien asks if Bunny likes Michiru, Bunny looks like she’s considering performing sexual acts with her instead of answering. This kid is really sexually confused.

And the book isn’t going to make things any easier for poor little Muffin-bun. Because after school that very same day, she bumps into Haruka Tenou at the local video game arcade. Seeing him raises really weird feelings in our heroine. It’s way easier for her to deflect what’s going on here by blaming it on her dream. Which is silly, because what are dreams but the realized wishes of the subconscious mind? Even more evidence mounts on the next page where she notices that Haruka looks like both a guy and a girl. As for Haruka, he/she plays all coy and gives Bunny tickets to his/her girlfriend’s violin concert. Then calls her Muffin head and disappears like the wind, the same way Sailor Neptune did in the beginning of the book. Duh-Duh-Daaaaan!

The cats, meanwhile, have decided to quit being cutesy sidekicks to sexually confused teenagers and are redirecting their efforts toward a career in business real estate. So it appears the cats are smarter than the rest of characters.

Also we learn that at the exact same time as Michiru’s violin concert, pop star and evil demoness Britney Spears will be singing at Infinity College. Britney having taken on the guise of Mimi Hanyu to disguise herself and her awful motives. Damn you, Britney! Wasn’t ruining the lives of Sean and Jayden enough? Anyway, all the Sailor Scouts want to attend Michiru’s concert except Mina (Sailor Venus). But the Mimi “Hell and Damnation” concert is only open to Infinity College students and Mina is depressed that she won’t be able to get in. *sigh*

While all this is going on, the mastermind behind all the plotting against the Sailor Scouts is consulting her magic scrying pool and lamenting her past losses against them. Down the side of the page is a listing of evil demon chicks and THEIR LEVEL? What is that suppose to mean? Is this like Dungeons and Dragon’s spellcasters? Or is it like Pokemon hit points? Either way it’s bizarrely unrealistic and detracts from the ongoing lez-fest story the rest of the book is trying to tell. The evil bimb tells her underling Mimi Spears that she is not to underestimate the Sailor Scouts because Master Pharaoh 90 (90?!? Woah, he’s not as high as some of the chicks pictured here) will not tolerate mistakes.

Back on Earth, we focus on Serenity, or Rini, or Sailor Chibi-Moon, or Sailor Mini-me or whatever her name is. She goes to visit her sick friend Hotaru, who just so happens to be Sailor Saturn, although she’s not aware of it yet.

Sailor “cutter” Saturn is the gothy member of the squad. She’s like this checklist of all things goth: dark black hair, all black clothes, dainty romantic crap in her room, heavy eye makeup, pallid complexion, sickly and I’m betting those scars from the “accident” are all self inflicted. All we need is a few My Chemical Romance CDs and she’s set. Anyway, mini-me and her share tea and then talk about their mystic amulets and what Hotaru’s Father does for a living. 

All the while they are being watched by two mysterious female figures in sailor suits hiding in the tree outside. Yes, it’s Sailors Neptune and Uranus and how creepy is that? I’m not sure that lesbian super chicks should scope out other women’s private conversations. It’s too much like Superman x-ray visioning through Lois’s clothes. Inappropriate and demented are words I’d use to describe it. At least when Rini leaves, they offer to take her home in their private helicopter.

That first line from Sailor Neptune makes me think both these peeping tom-boys have been hanging out in too many trees with views of Sailor Moon’s windows. And what’s up with that wink from Sailor Uranus when she asks if Rini is “friends” with Hotaru? Don’t they think that Mini-me is a bit too young for them to start recruiting her for their team?
All the scouts are awakened by the low flying helicopter and race to see who it is. When they see Rini exiting the craft they pepper her with questions. She only says that they offered to give her a ride back and that they said they knew Bunny “really well.” If Serenity were my child, I would throttle her for being so careless with her safety. I bet she’d accept a ride from John Wayne Gacy if he promised her a balloon animal.

When Sailor Moon sees them fly off, it’s displayed like she is longing to go with them. Please go! Please! None of the stuff in the crapbox has a chance of getting as raunchy as this is promising to turn out. Not even Issue 3 of Red Fox.

The next day everyone is heading to Michiru’s violin concert. Everyone but Minako Aino a/k/a Sailor V a/k/a Sailor Venus. She decides to sneak into the evil Britney Spears show next door. But to do that she has to alter her appearance to look like an older Infinity College student instead of a teenager. So what does she opt to change into?

Why a boy? There is just too much lesbianism, gender bending and underage sexual overtones in this book. Someone should notify Jerry Falwell. Or whoever has taken over for him since his death.

Mimi “Spears” Hanyu starts to hypnotize the audience into giving up their body, heart and soul to Master Pharaoh 90, much like several Scientology sessions would have you do. Minako realizes something is up and transforms into Sailor Venus using her “Venus Planet Power Make Up”. I think every girl under the age of 17 uses this stuff. It’s when they put it on about an inch thick in most places. Here she is in the final panel giving us one last “almost caught an asscheek” upskirt shot.

With that our issue ends. Sailor Moon, the comic didn’t fair as well as it did in Japan; moving from one company to another, it only lasted 35 issues. The anime show itself was a modest success, but no where near the juggernaut that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or Pokemon became. I’m pretty sure that the lesbian overtones where not even noticed by the American media. I wonder if they had been if it would have helped the show and book's numbers? Guess we’ll never know…

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