I just found out that today is Naoko Takeuchi’s birthday.
I feel as I need to come up with something to say and that is has to be epic, poetic, all-encompassing, and good. Something about what her stories meant to young women the world over, the universality of her characters, the importance of the themes in her work and the emotional and physical toll the production took her and how grateful we are as fans. And how we still love her most popular work even 20 years later.
But all that comes most to my mind is just what her manga meant to me - personally - as an American teenager growing up in a small New England town. Connecting me with my first female best friend. Bringing me to New York into Kinokuniya and my first introduction to Japanese language and culture. Making me feel proud instead of geeky that I loved astronomy and Greek mythology because it allowed me to get the science and allusions she put into her manga. Making me interested in Japanese mythology so I could understand the other layers she had in her work.
Teaching me that it’s okay to be clumsy. That grades aren’t everything. That if a boy doesn’t like me for ME he’s not worth it. That anything worth having doesn’t come without hard work and sacrifice. That sometimes you’ll be bullied and you still perform even while your skates fill with blood. Most importantly: That there is a bigger world out there than the whitewashed little town I lived in. And that I wanted to - needed to - see that world.
I love the Sailor Moon anime. A lot. Like, a lot. There is a lot I learned from the anime during my formative years as well, a lot of friendships and real-life corners I turned and decisions I made that steamed from my friend originally turning on the TV to channel 7 that day all those years ago - like ripples in a pond. No doubt.
But these things I wrote about above are all things I learned from Naoko Takeuchi’s manga specifically. So thanks, Naoko Takeuchi for your creations - especially Sailor Moon. It was awesome and beautiful. I love that you took things you loved: myth and science and fashion and friendship and your country and your world and wove it all into a story that fascinated fans more than it had any right to for longer than it probably should have.
Thanks, Naoko-sensei. You will forever be the brightest shining star.
All of THIS. I had to reblog it ♥ :’)