blagi: (Kunzite/Zoisite)
[personal profile] blagi

I'd known Sailor Moon existed for a while, even seen bits of episodes some early mornings and the doll commercials. I knew the show had a girl named Amy, a cat and a blonde girl who wore a green jumper, and that was it. I didn't give it much thought.

Then I discovered my first "anime I knew was an anime", Pokemon. That spiraled into me becoming curious about the anime fan subculture and finding out many of my Pokemon friends were also fans of Sailor Moon and Dragonball. When I was 16, Cartoon Network aired the second half of R, dubbed by DiC, and I was hooked. It was episode 70 ("Promises Fulfilled") that really drew me in. Though for a while I would place Pokemon characters in the plot and created a whole 'verse from it, it would be a while before I became a fan of the show for itself.

I saw one of the earliest episodes during the summer and was confused by Usagi fighting alone and a blonde dude in a gray uniform I didn't recognize. Then there was an episode where Mamoru was being a dick to Usagi, even though I'd previously seen them kissing in the eps I watched. So I asked on a Usenet group and they informed me that the episodes I'd seen recently were from the first season, and the ones that got me hooked on the show were from R.

I started looking more and more into it as time went on. I found out about Kunzite and Zoisite being gay, so I went into their arc knowing Zoisite was originally a guy. Which still didn't stop me from falling in love with Zoycite/Malachite. Usagi/Mamoru (or rather, Serena/Darien) was my first ship, but Zoycite/Malachite and Alan/Ann (En/Ail) ensnared me just as quickly. The Major Moments for me were: Darien and Serena's kiss in ep 70, "A Crystal Clear Destiny" and later the end of the Doom Tree arc and Zoycite's death. (Which still makes me tear up even after seeing the uncut version of the scene, btw.)

During the fall of 2000, I went on a Sailor Moon Pic Hunting Spree. I would go to all sorts of image galleries and print out pages and color cartridges worth of artbook pictures, anime images, screenshots, even hentai. This was before you could easily buy anime, manga and artbooks in stores or order online so this was as close to an artbook as I was going to get. I read the FAQ by Ken Armondee and learned about the differences between versions, the edits made when the anime was dubbed, episode by episode comparisons.

I still kept watching the dub, though. It was the only version available to me. But later on I'd go through a "DiC sucks" phase where I'd trash the dub and stan for the Japanese version despite having never seen a single uncut episode. I was able to order a few fansubbed eps at one point, though.

Sailor Moon was also my go-to example of soft, sparkly, lovey shoujo. Like, I'd compare the types of lemons on the internet and come up with "wild hardcore fucking vs sweet lovey lovemaking". Sailor Moon had both kinds! And a lot of yuri, too. Makoto/Ami and ChibiUsa/Hotaru were my first yuri ships ever, and the latter introduced me to my friend Amazoness Duo.

I also discovered my first yaoi ship in Kunzite/Zoisite. Which I became...obsessed with. Like, as much as I loved my other ships, those two dominated my every thought most of the time. I became obsessed with the Dark Kingdom/Negaverse in general (no pun intended), and oddly enough my first m/m fic ever was Nephrite/Jadeite complete with horribly OOC Jadeite. Luckily I ended up re-writing that one! But anyway, I became a DK fangirl. Not to the point of hating the Senshi for winning, of course. No, my answer was to make the guys angsty and tormented over having to fight them because that evil meanie Beryl was forcing them to. (Which is technically true in the manga/Crystal, but I worked with the 90s anime and that mostly omitted their backstory and connection to Endymion. So yeah.)

Now's when I'll go on a bit of a detour and discuss my Dark Kingdom fangirling in specific. I quickly grew obsessed with the Shitennou (who I called the Generals back then), but I still loved Zoycite and Malachite. So I did what any sensible teenage fangirl would do: I made a big deal of "stealing them from DiC" and added them to the original roster. They were just background workers for the most part, who interacted with the others and served as decoys and did stuff. I still like this idea and use it for fics and RP verses, complete with fleshing out Zoy and Mal's backstories, since they obviously wouldn't have been there in the Silver Millenium.

Unfortunately, I was also in a super defensive period of my life. Since anime wasn't as popular and I came from years of school bullying and being shy in general I would get so defensive about like, everything. Especially my insistence that Zoisite and Zoycite were different people. (Which, technically, they are, but back then I didn't have the patience or the meta-ing skills or knowledge of the original to explain how). I'd write defensive rants, feel persecuted when others disagreed with me, and one time even went into an emo fit because some moron whose opinion didn't matter made fun of me for it. Yeah, I wasn't a very stable 18-year-old, and it showed. I projected a LOT of this onto the Zois and their respective ships. And, like a certain Rocketshipper I can't stop making fun of, would get angry at canon for being mean to my presh babbus. Including trying to re-write episode 35.

Now, I still adore the idea of Kunzite dying in Zoisite's place. It would make for an interesting AU plotwise. However, it's not canon. Which, unfortunately, I would refuse to accept via shoehorning it into RPs as if it were. Instead of accepting my fanons and fic 'verses as just that, I'd act like my versions were more canon than the real story. I'd pretend anything I didn't like never happened and that my preferred ships and plot threads did.

(Not to mention if Kunzite died, Zoisite would go on a roaring rampage of revenge rather than sit and cry all the time. Unfortunately, I did not consider this at the time.)

This, my friends, is why I pick on Cori Falls so much. I see a lot of my younger self in her fic series and rants, and my younger self kind of sucked. Luckily, I hear she's mellowed out over time.

Anyway! One of my other favorite stupid plots was Nephrite having fallen in love with Zoisite and being bitter towards him for picking Kunzite, while Jadeite pined for Nephrite in the background. I came up with a horribly tragic backstory for Sen/Shi, which included Jadeite going suicidal when Rei dumped him and Nephrite trying to rape Makoto while Kunzite and Zoisite fell in love behind Minako and Ami's backs and accidentally broke their hearts when the girls caught them kissing. When I decided to revamp the backstory, the only thing that stayed was the K/Z falling in love behind their girls' backs bit. Because I learned how to understand Nephrite and Jadeite more as I got older.

I hated Queen Beryl. I hated her 90s anime self for killing Zoisite, so I didn't care about her manga self. I just wanted to hate her for being awful and mean and to make her the evil baddie behind all the bad stuff in certain RPs. Kidnapping everyone for kicks, locking them in cells, I even wrote fics where she seduced Kunzite/Malachite and drove the respective Zois to suicide. *SHUDDER* Yeah, I was messed up back then. Thankfully I outgrew this hateboner and learned to appreciate her for the evil witch she was. And started shipping her with Zoycite. Actually, I have some unfinished hatesex written for those two!

I did a LOT of RPing back then, too, with my friends Tabi, Magpie, Amazoness Duo, Draggie and a few others. We'd stay up all night playing out all the angst and the hurt/comfort and the fluff and the cuddling and the weeping and the drama and man, some of those were embarrassing. XD And I could be a very selfish and needy partner! (Thanks, by the way, dudes, for putting up with that and not reporting my ass to BRPS.) Some highlights include Tabi and I throwing a bunch of villains, a few Senshi and characters from other canons into the Dark Kingdom for maximum angst and drama, AD and I doing the same only with JUST Sailor Moon characters plus a melodramatic game of Spin the Bottle, and all manner of crack RPs with Draggie.

...I've talked a LOT about 2001-2002 Sailor Moon fandom here, oops. Then again, those were my formative years in that fandom. I kinda fell out of it in 2003 due to falling in love with other anime and feeling a bad association with my depression years. But every so often the nostalgia bug would bite me and I'd go on a spree of making icons, writing ficlets, reading fic, looking at old sites, talking about it on LJ, etc. I even tried to get a kink meme going, which had some nice fics before it petered out and died.

I met a girl similar to my younger self during one of those nostalgic periods. She was 17, played Zoisite and enjoyed sappy angst and h/c, so we RPed Zoisite getting TB and Kunzite tending to him. That was a nice one, but the less nice one...well, long story short, this is how I learned to appreciate Jadeite for the douchebag he was and stop buying into the weepy uke characterization of him. Especially when paired with Nephrite.

Flash forward to 2012. Thanks to my friend Karu, I rediscovered my utter undying love of En/Ail when we started talking about them and later RPing them. The RP died out, but it was amazing while it lasted.

Flash forward two years, when Viz announced they were redubbing the entire 90s anime. I was happy and excited to check it out...and then I heard Lucien Dodge as Zoisite.

I fell in love all over again. And this time, I'd learned to appreciate Zoisite as the character he really is and certain aspects of canon for what they were. No more poor helpless Zoisite, no more evil bully Nephrite, no more acting like Zoi's death never happened. Instead I've come up with other silly little headcanons and fanons but at least these are fun and cute and I acknowledge them as noncanon. (Even if I think Zoisite and Usagi would've been adorable BFFs, dammit.) The Viz dub gave new life to these characters, especially Amanda Miller as Mako and Michelle Ruff as Luna. I appreciate DiC's terrible dub as a nostalgic guilty pleasure and still love Zoycite, but I also love Abridged for making fun of it so much.

I also finally read the manga, not in full as of this writing, but I have every volume and one of the short sidestories so I'm more knowledgable on that front. And I've been watching Crystal, which isn't perfect but still a nice installment that gives me all the UsaMamo feels. And I intend to play Another Story and watch the live-action series. And some of the musicals.

I've come to understand certain characters a bit more, too, not just the DK guys. Setsuna is less of a lonely wangstbucket than she is a mature woman who balances her serious side with her carefree side and is a bit solemn as her Senshi persona. Tigereye and Fisheye? From screenshots alone I can gather that Fisheye just loves to flirt and tease while Tigereye is kinda homoerotic and may have repressed feelings for Fishy. Manga Rei and Anime Rei are different animals, but both have their strong points and Usagi crushes on both of them. Anime Usagi may mature more slowly than her manga counterpart, but she's got a lot of heart and tries her best. And Beryl? Even her anime self hints at some tragic layer with her unrequited feelings for Endymion. Oh, and Mimete's old backstory was shelved. She's not a tragic lonely bullied nerd, she came from two famous parents who got fucked over by life and is melodramatic as hell in trying to outdo them. And her brother's alive and wanted her to go into accounting to protect her. Yeah.

As far as shipping goes, I've become more open with that and learned to appreciate pairings I used to hate or not believe would work (Sen/Shi, Nephrite/Naru, Makoto/Minako). The only ships I refuse to accept are anything het with Haruka and Michiru, but that's a given. :P Also Seiya/Usagi. I don't hate Seiya, though.

My ficcing abilities have improved quiiiite a bit in the last 16 years. I've written up plans for a re-write of what was going to me my magnum opus before I realized it sucked. I've summarized how I would do certain RPs over if I could. I've developed AUs and 'verses. I've revamped backstories for villains and other time periods.

Oh, and I've written more porn.

Basically, I came into my Sailor Moon Second Honeymoon with more awareness and maturity. (Though I use THAT term loosely, lol) And I talk a lot about backstories and ideas and stuff.


* I had Minako and Makoto confused for ages-I thought "Lita" was the blonde with the red bow aka Sailor Venus and "Mina" was Sailor Jupiter aka the brunette with the ponytail. Possibly because Rini said something to Lita and Mina responded and I missed her calling her "Mina". Luckily that was cleared up for me in good time, before I could COMPLETELY embarrass myself.

*I thought Zoisite and Jadeite were related because they were both blond. I hadn't yet realized Zoisite's hair was a shade or two darker than Jadeite's.

*My first completed Sailor Moon lemon was a purposely shitty Zoycite/Jedite lemon. Three people MSTed it...after I gave them permission to. Or rather, insisted they do.

*I tried to write a romantic lemon about Serena and Darien caught in a snowstorm after episode 70. I never finished, and then I started a reboot of that same premise and added Mamoru bonding with Kenji a little. I never finished that either!

*I shipped Minako/Amano for a time because of a fanfic where they were shown married, even though I'd never read the Sailor V manga.

*My first crack yuri ship was Setsuna/Minako. My first crack yaoi ship was Hawkeye/Rubeus.

*I wanted to write Pokemon/Sailor Moon crossovers involving Ash crushing on Serena and crying to her about his feelings for Misty while Misty and Darien angsted about their inability to come forward with their feelings.

*I shipped Gary/Hotaru at one point. I don't even know WHY.

*I owned the original Mixx manga translations that called Usagi "Bunny". I sold them on eBay.

*I used to read ASMR and all of the Sailor Moon MSTings on SVAM. I still have a bunch of those saved to text files.

*I frequented AFS-M.


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January 2015

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