The first time I was introduced to anime was in my early teenage years. I used to watch Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and Tenchi Muyo/Universe/Tokyo. As a teenage girl I was always attached to these anime series especially Sailor Moon and Tenchi. I used to be very imaginative and sort of immersed myself in my own fantasy world, which is why I think I really liked watching these two anime shows in particular.
I or at least the imagined extension of myself in my head could relate to the schoolgirl character Usagi (Serena) in Sailor Moon. As Serena had a secret identity that she was Sailor Moon, I related to that as I felt like I created my own secret identity. Fighting evil, for love and justice was very appealing to me because as a teenager I believed in such things strongly. Although these things aren’t possible in real life, they were possible in my imagination and that’s why I felt strongly attached to Sailor Moon. Her character defied the expectations of a heroine because she was very clumsy yet she had a heart of a heroine. Her disability makes her character stand out and makes the audience love her more because although she is the heroine in the series, she also gave the audience something to laugh about each time she did something stupid. As she grew older she became much more confident and mature and I grew older watching the series. I feel my identity built itself upon her character somehow.
From left: Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury.
Although I don’t know what semiotics was used to construct Serena’s character, however I have observed other anime series that use transformations almost similar to transformations of Sailor Moon. The series Mew Mew Power resembles a Sailor Moon transformation but only slightly. In the series Mermaid Melody the character Luchia’s transformation is almost seems identical to that of Sailor Moon. Luchia’s hair also looks like Serena’s pig tails (minus the meat balls/dumplings) but her outfit looks almost like Zoe’s outfit from Mew Mew Power. The characters of Mermaid Melody almost resemble the characters (especially hair colours and some outfits) from Sailor Moon. The rainbow colours used in both series make the characters look bubbly, fun and good.
From top left: Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus.
From bottom left: Sailor Mini (Chibi) Moon, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn.
Mermaid Melody – From left: Coco, Noel, Rina, Luchia, Hanon, Seira (bottom), Karen.
Mermaid Melody – From top left: Coco, Sara, Karen, Noel.
From bottom left: Hanon, Luchia, Rina.
Mew Mew Power – From Left: Renee, Kiki, Bridget, Corina, Zoey.