Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (March 9, 2022)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! Last week as I was reading Sailor Moon, I turned to my husband and said something I’m sure I’ve said a million times before: “I really love all of their clothes! They have the best fashion. They’re so great! I want that entire outfit. This is one of the things I love about this series.” And, because he’s always curious to know why people love things, he asked me to explain what I liked about the fashion in Sailor Moon. But I couldn’t really come up with a good answer. I mean, I know I like it. I’ve even written about it on this site a few times. And it’s not just Sailor Moon, I have a lot of anime and manga fashion that I love, and I feel pretty strongly about it (if I ever write that dissertation-length article about Fruits Basket I have in my head, Tohru Honda’s fashion would definitely be featured). But…why? Well, two days after this conversation I was browsing Anime Feminist, the website The Hayes Code shared with us last week, and I found the answer! In the awesome article, “Clothes Make the Guardian: Fashion and femininity in the Sailor Moon franchise,” Sydney Mae put into words so perfectly why I’ve always been drawn to the clothing in Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon demonstrates, time and time again, that the power of femininity and female friendships makes the girls strong. Although this is a prevalent theme throughout the show, this celebration of unashamed femininity is most strongly reflected in its fashion.

Sydney Mae

I mean, just look at these incredible and powerful fashion icons!

She makes her case by comparing the original anime and manga to Sailor Moon Crystal, which I actually haven’t seen, but I understood exactly what she was saying about the ways that clothing is used in the series. When I was younger and watching Sailor Moon, I felt so strongly that I wanted to dress like these amazing women who were so strong and confident and varied in their styles and personalities. It would still be a few years before I gained more confidence and fully embraced the style I wanted, but I’ve always known that Sailor Moon was what got me started on that path. And while clothing might not seem that important, I’ve always been the type to express myself through my clothes, and, for me at least, fashion has been an important part of navigating my own version of femininity and identity as a woman. There are a lot of things to love about Sailor Moon, and it’s entirely possibly (and more than okay!) if the fashion isn’t something everyone cares about, but if you’re interested in learning more about this subject, I highly recommend you read Sydney Mae’s article. And, while I’m on the subject, there are a ton of other thoughtful articles to read on Anime Feminist, so let me highly recommend one more thing today: spend some time browsing Anime Feminist and support the great work they’re doing!

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂