Posts Tagged ‘Sailor Moon’

Jupiter and Mercury – A Sailor Moon Story

April 11, 2020

“I don’t know about all of this stuff, Amy,” Lita said. “How do you figure these things out?” She gestured to all of the technology lying around. Many machines and devices had been meticulously dismantled for parts and for study.

“I’ve always had a way with technology,” Amy said. “even before all of this. Early on after I accepted the power of Mercury, it seemed to adapt to that. It granted me the Mercury Visor and allowed me to make some sense of all of this. I understand technology more than I understand magic.”

“So our trip to the Moon must have been quite a trip for you, huh?” Lita asked.

“Well, it was definitely scary being among the ruins of an ancient civilization,” Amy said. “and the battle was incredibly intense.”

“It was majorly intense,” Lita said. “The doctors say that Mina’s arm will have to be in the cast for weeks.”

“How are your ribs?” Amy asked.

“Still really tender. Still fractured,” Lita said, she lightly touched her side and winced. The fractured ribs had been pretty nasty. “How is your leg?”

Amy glanced over and caught Lita looking at her leg and looked down at it herself. “The brace really helps,” she said and flexed her leg a bit with a smile. “I’m okay.”

“You’re like a cyborg with that thing,” Lita said. “All tricked out.”

Amy blushed slightly. “It’s just something I whipped up to keep me on my feet,” she said. “I could have done better.”

Lita smiled. “Don’t sell yourself short, Amy,” she said. “You’re super smart.”

“And you’re super tough,” Amy said which made Lita smile brightly. “and Serena is super optimistic, Rei is super determined, and Mina is super courageous.”

“We’re all super lucky the hospital bought our car crash story,” Lita said. “We didn’t need any more questions. That battle was brutal but we did it.”

“Barely,” Amy said. “We had each other and that’s the only way we made it through.”

“Luna and Artemis say that our magic should heal us quickly the same as always,” Lita said. “We’re fine. We’re the Sailor Scouts.”

Amy smiled and nodded. “We are,” Amy said. “Nothing’s going to stop that but I just think we could use some help. If I can utilize the Neo Moon technology we found with our current gear, we might have more of an edge against the next threat.”

“Really?” Lita asked. “You think that could work? That’s awesome.”

“Well,” Amy said. “I showed some sketches to Luna and we talked about it for a while. I think I can make something work.”

“So, why am I here?” Lita asked. “Other than bringing you some homemade lunch.” She gestured to the remains of the meal they had just shared.

“Thanks for that,” Amy said. “I kind of forgot to eat breakfast probably because I didn’t go to sleep last night.”

Lita looked worried, Amy pretended not to notice. “Amy, you have to take care of yourself.”

“I know,” Amy said. “I just get so caught up in things that I find it hard to stop. I’ll get some sleep after this. I promise.”

“At home?” Lita asked, pressing her friend for a promise.

“I promise,” Amy said. “Anyway, I invited you here because of your unique abilities.”

“My unique abilities?” Lita asked. “I’m guessing you don’t mean cooking or martial arts.”

Amy laughed. “No,” Amy said. “Those are good skills but I was talking about your lightning. I found some batteries and I need your help to charge them. Nothing on Earth is really doing the trick and Darian hasn’t scouted anything working up there.”

“Neat,” Lita said. “I can do that if you say I can.”

“Great!” Amy said and held out two cylindrical devices connected by thick cables. “Hold these and summon some lightning for me. Be gentle, please.”

“Gentle?” Lita asked. “I come on like a hurricane, Amy. I don’t really do gentle when it comes to lightning.”

“I think you can,” Amy said. “I think there are additional depths that our powers can reach. Just try for me. Take a deep breath and just be gentle.”

“Don’t I need to transform first?” Lita asked. “It’s kind of our thing.”

“I don’t think so,” Amy said. “I think at least some of the power is in us. I put out a fire the other day with a burst of bubbles.”

“Really?” Lita asked. “That’s so cool! Maybe I can jumpstart my mom’s car the next time it dies.”

“Maybe,” Amy said. “For now let’s focus on these machines, ok?”

Lita nodded and took a couple deep breaths. She focused on the place where the thunder came from. She whispered ‘Jupiter Thunder’ and she started to let the electricity flow. There were some sparks but nothing exploded.

“I think we’re in business,” Amy said, reading a meter that was steadily rising.

Top 11 Favorite 90s Characters

February 17, 2018

Top 11


11. Bob (ReBoot)

When I played my first video game on the Atari, I was hooked. Even though the games of my youth were next to impossible, I loved trying each and every game I could get my hands on. Computers were also becoming more and more of a thing as I entered my teen years. I spent a lot of time playing computer games and video games with my friends and we bonded over them. So when Reboot first premiered, I was instantly in love. The show is about the programs that live inside a computer city called Mainframe. The show’s main hero is Bob who is a guardian. Being a guardian means that Bob would enter the games the user played and would “reboot” himself as an enemy character and try to beat the user at the game. If he succeeded, he protected Mainframe and if he failed, that section of Mainframe was destroyed. So it set up most gamers as unintentional villains opposed by guardians like Bob. Bob was always level-headed and did not let fear override his thoughts as he could not afford to get distracted. Bob also had a multitool that could transform into a lot of gadgets he might need to save the day both in the games and out of them. Even with the danger, I envied Bob’s life of basically living in video games.


10. Freakazoid

As I was growing up, my sense of humor started to evolve and animation started to move beyond the laugh track humor of past cartoons. Instead of corny humor of shows like The Flintstones or He-Man, family shows started to really figure out humor. Just because you are putting out a PG product, does not mean that your humor has to insult even its youngest audience members. The makers of Freakazoid obviously embraced a lot of different types of humor. Most of all, they seemed to embrace smarter forms of humor like Monty Python or Bugs Bunny. Combining the silly and the surreal was what that sort of humor was about. Dexter Douglas is a young nerdy teen (like I was!) who got zapped by his home computer and was transported into the Internet. Let’s pause there because I would have loved to be able to be zapped into the Internet. That would have been a geek’s dream. The experience turned Dexter into Freakazoid, a manic but enthusiastic superhero. Freakazoid is always out for a good time but, like Bugs Bunny, he often has to take care of villains just to get back to the fun. Freakazoid was also the defender of Washington, DC which is close enough to my hometown for me to get a little excited. This show had the same humor as The Animaniacs (more on that later) with low humor blended with high humor. Freakazoid was impossible not to root for too.


9. Mega Man

I was an early adopter when it came to video games even though I have always been kind of in the middle of the pack when it comes to skill. Still, I have always loved the aesthetics that video game developers come up with. Even a lot of the worst games at least look interesting. When I was young, I immediately glommed onto Mega Man 2. It was an incredibly difficult game but I loved the franchise’s idea of having elemental-themed enemies with a high degree of character. The show combines the concepts from the video games with anime. Rock is a robot who gets redesigned for battle and uses an energy blaster to fight evil robots. He also had an onboard computer feature that could copy his enemy’s abilities when he touched them which was similar enough to the games. I just remember Mega Man being so cool and confident and I liked the idea of not being stuck with one power but being able to use your enemies’ powers against them. The cartoon was short lived but it included a lot of stuff from the franchise and Mega Man eventually teamed up with his future counterpart Mega Man X as well. What kid didn’t want to be a robot with a robot dog?


8. Xena: Warrior Princess

Before I discovered the Evil Dead franchise, I discovered something else that Sam Raimi and his gang produced. That something was Hercules: The Legendary Journeys but, while it was a good show, Hercules was kind of a bland show compared to its spinoff. Xena was supposed to be a one-off character on Hercules, a brutal female villain for Hercules to contend with. At the end of her turn on Hercules, the audiences loved her so the decision was made for her to reform and to start her own legendary journey to right wrongs. Basically, she was fighting the patriarchy before most people were even using that term. She was also one of the first lesbian characters on television and even gawky preteen me understood that subtext. Xena was a total badass and she never met a situation she couldn’t fight, intimidate, or trick her way out of. She was also funny in the same way that Batman was funny which is funny without trying to be. She also fought a lot of the mythology that I had fallen in love with after reading The Oddysey, The Iliad, and other Greek/Roman tales. She also is one of three characters to get stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque scenario that ended up funny and interesting. (The other two are Sam Winchester and Phil Connors himself, of course). I also often have a soft spot for tough people who secretly have a heart of gold.


7. The Blue Ranger (Billy Cranston)

Power Rangers was a show that I was a huge fan of. I had no idea at all that it was edited from footage from a similar Japanese show. However, Saban was able to turn that into an unstoppable franchise that became its own animal. For me, Power Rangers was something I watched before leaving for school at one point. I remember being really interested in the idea of normal teenage kids becoming superheroes. It also scratched the same itch that magical girl shows would later also scratch. Billy, in particular, was my favorite because he had abilities beyond being a Power Ranger. He was yet another example of blue characters being the smart ones. He was an inventor who came up with a lot of the extra gadgets the original Rangers used and a lot of those gadgets continued into later series. He was also the awkward one, a little insecure about being among other people. When it came to actual Power Ranger powers, he was on par with everybody else. Episodes focusing on him often dealt with more real issues like rescuing a new girlfriend, phobias, or science.


6. Gambit (Remy Lebeau)

When I was a kid, I hated the Boy Scouts of America. I was briefly part of the Indian Guides (now thankfully called Y-Guides) and the Scouts were our rivals. Even today, I do not put much faith in the organization. But when I was a kid, I was kind of averse to “boy scout” characters like Superman and especially Cyclops. I much preferred to see more subversive characters like Wolverine, Rogue, and especially Gambit. Gambit was a thief from New Orleans who had the mutant power to replace an object’s kinetic energy with explosive energy. Anything he touched basically turned into a grenade. He did not wear a team uniform and instead wore a custom costume with a big trench coat. This was at a time when I was very tired of wearing uniforms for sports. While Gambit did not get nearly enough time on the animated series during the nineties, they meted out just enough of him to keep people wanting more. On top of that, I always wished I had his confidence growing up.


5. Darkwing Duck

This was officially my first experience with the combination of Disney and superheroes which would end up often being a very satisfying combination. Drake Mallard is a duck living in the DuckTales universe and he dresses up and fights crime as Darkwing Duck. He is basically Batman, James Bond, and The Green Hornet combined into one hero. He is a serious hero but the show was both a serious superhero show and a parody superhero show. The character of Darkwing Duck is a superhero who fell in love with being a detective and fighting crime. However, he also had a huge ego and tended to be rather clumsy at times. He often only saved the day when he managed to get serious and get out of his own way. He fought alongside Disney-fied versions of popular superheroes and fought Disney-fied versions of popular comic book villains and James Bond-esque villains. Unlike annoying heroes like Inspector Gadget, the humor did not come from him being incompetent but from Darkwing’s quips and physical humor. The character was also a good father to a little girl he had adopted who often helped to fight crime along with DW and his sidekick Launchpad (from DuckTales). As the show continued, Darkwing’s history was added to and there was a lot of great world-building.


4. Yakko Warner

The Animaniacs was a cartoon variety show that focused on a whole cast of zany Warner Brothers style characters updated for the nineties. The main focus of the show was the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot. They were cartoons deemed too zany and disruptive and were sealed in the water tower on the Warner Brothers lot. At the beginning of the series, they finally made their escape and the studio spent the entire series trying to acclimate them to polite society with no success. The kids were not evil, though. They were rambunctious and sarcastic but, like Bugs Bunny, they really only caused malicious chaos when somebody crossed the line and upset them. Their revenge was out of proportion but justified. Out of the three, Yakko Warner was my favorite. His form of comedy was mostly wordplay. He employed puns, sarcasm, and just good old-fashioned tricks with words. He was basically a cartoon form of Groucho Marx. He always seemed to be the smartest guy in the room and he leveraged that to make mean or rude people pay for their behavior. He also sang quite a few of the show’s most memorable songs including the highly educational Yakko’s World and Yakko’s Universe. Like Groucho, he usually ended up as the leader of his siblings and their spokesman. Inside my head, the words always flowed like Yakko but outside, especially as a kid, I was never as glib.


3. Sailor Mercury (Ami)

When I was sitting on my bed, watching episodes of Sailor Moon from Cartoon Network’s line up, I always loved Sailor Mercury the most. She never had the coolest power but in retrospect, her abilities usually gave the Scouts a tactical advantage such as fog or freezing the enemy. I mean, Sailor Jupiter obviously had the coolest powers. However, Ami was present from the fifth episode and it is a good thing that she was. She is by far the smartest of all of the Scouts and was the only Scout to be granted a magical supercomputer. There is only one episode of the original anime when she pulls out her Mercury Goggles which was basically a VR overlay visor for scanning things. That blew my mind because the combination of technology and magic was amazing. I identified with Ami because she was the “smart one” and my teachers kept claiming I was intelligent. I was also interested in the emerging technology of computers just as Ami was. Also, I was probably drawn to Ami because she was the shy and timid one and that was how I felt as well.


2. Spider-Man

In the middle of the decade, Marvel finally got its crap together and started to put out really good animation. Spider-Man is a character who I have always loved. His origins are as a nerdy and shy high schooler who got to magically transform into a superhero after being bitten by a radioactive spider. As a kid, I dreamed of finding my own radioactive spider (figuratively, of course). He also got to work for a newspaper in a sort of creative job all while studying cool science in college. That cool science enhanced his gear with gadgets but his main deal was his brain, his strength, and his speed. The cartoon in the 90s was great. It really captured a lot of what I loved about reading Spider-Man comics and it included pretty much his entire rogue’s gallery. They really captured both Peter’s internal monologue and the quips that Spider-man uses to disarm his foes mid-battle. The show also explored a lot of the angst that a young superhero felt while also trying to juggle a career, school, and a girlfriend. The show and the comics made me feel at the time that I could be Spider-Man which is one of the main strengths of the character. Anybody can be under that mask as long as they have radioactive spider blood too.


1. Batman

When I was a little kid, reruns of the 1966 Batman show came on and, while I enjoyed it, I never really engaged with it. It was better than I Dream of Jeannie reruns because it had superheroes even though Adam West was never really super. My relationship with Batman drastically improved when Bruce Timm and Warner Brothers released Batman: The Animated Series. B:TAS was everything that I wanted Batman to be and it became the bar by which I measured future Batman stories. The Animated Series was an amazing mix of both light and dark. I welcomed the darkness which was so sorely lacking from the campy Adam West series. I realized that Adam West was never really Batman. This was Batman. Kevin Conroy’s strong voice matched the shadowy, adventurous character on screen. His voice could be scary, brave, warm, vulnerable, and even funny at times without losing the character of Batman. The writing made it clear that Batman was not perfect but he lived in a world that believed he was. He put the weight of the world on his shoulders and then still saved the day the best way he knew how.

Top 11 Favorite Anime Series

April 24, 2017

Top 11

I have read a few top lists for anime series (and movies) and there are some of the usual suspects and some that I have not seen yet. My top list may not be the most thoughtfully crafted, profound creations but I enjoyed them. A lot of these were also my gateway into the genre of anime and will be fondly remembered forever for that reason.


11 Record of Lodoss War

I did not see this one on any of the lists. I add this here because it combined anime with high fantasy. It is something that is Dungeons and Dragons-inspired. It is based on a bunch of Japanese fantasy novels but the look of it was definitely Western fantasy. It follows the hero Parn, the son of a dishonored knight who is trying to bring honor back to his family’s name. He is accompanied by his love, the high elf Deedlit, his mentor Slayn, Ghim, Etoh, and Woodchuck. The series eventually shifts to cover characters related to the first cast. It is basically a D&D party adventuring. The characters were always interesting and the adventure was fun to follow.


10 Lupin the 3rd

I love heist movies or heist shows (see Italian Job, Oceans 11, Leverage, The Sting, etc.). The twists and turns of the plans of legitimately skilled criminals are fun to watch. That is what Lupin the 3rd is about. Lupin is an infamous master thief who is descended from a family of master thieves. He pursues thievery with great joy and a flair for the dramatic. Of course, nothing goes right a hundred percent of the time so he is backed up by his crew of Goemon, Jigen, and Zenigata. All of them provide specialized skills to win the day. The art style was also really smooth and just had this international style. The show is mostly madcap capers with plenty of action and comedy.


9 Trigun

Cowboys. Who doesn’t love cowboys? Trigun was a great series about Vash the Stampede, also known as the Humanoid Typhoon. Wanted posters across the land bear the face of this more human than human gunfighter but he is actually a really nice guy. He constantly tries to protect people without blowing his cover. He is pursued by two agents named Millie and Meryl who are partners tasked with documenting the damage Vash inadvertently causes by combatting the bad guys. They and others get sucked into the combat, helping Vash save the day. The show has great artwork and stylistic, well-animated gun fights and combat in general. There is a lot of classic Wild West imagery thrown in with great science fiction technology. This show can get very dramatic but it has a lot of comic moments to lighten the mood.


8 Gurren Lagann

This was a later find for me thanks to a tip from Ross O’Donovan. I like this show because of the unbridled sense of optimism you get from it. No matter what the obstacles are, the characters find some crazy way to overcome it. It is famous for the line “Don’t believe in yourself. Believe in me! Believe in the Kamina that believes in you!” A line used to instill confidence in a character who constantly suffers from anxiety and low self-esteem. The show is full of all sorts of craziness with action, drama, and plenty of wacky comedy. It is about two young guys who emerge from an underground city in a post-apocalyptic land and recover two battle mechs. They team up with a rebellious faction to fight off the monsters and villains that plague the dangerous terrain around them. While things often look hopeless, they are a shining light in the darkness. It is pretty inspiring and sometimes very funny.


7 Naruto

This is kind of the anime I hear people refer to the most. Naruto follows a ninja student who is trying his hardest to be the best person he can be. Naruto was cursed to contain a demon beast inside of himself and he battles that with the help of his friends. The show also follows Naruto’s graduating class at the academy who are all interesting characters. The supporting cast is huge and there are so many characters I identify with and cheer on. Each ninja has their own signature set of powers and abilities that they use to fight with like manipulating the elements, cloning themselves, mind merging with a dog and changing shape among many, many powers. The show constantly surprises me with how dramatic it can be considering half of the characters are happy go lucky goofballs. The thing is, most of the characters are young and they act like you would expect young people to act. The animation is generally super bright and fluid which makes for excellent action scenes.


6 Mobile Fighter G Gundam

When I grew up playing a lot of video games, one of the biggest things in the arcades was fighting games. One of the most iconic fighting games of all time would have to be Street Fighter II where all the fighters represented their countries of origin. That is the feeling I got from watching G Gundam. The show is about a world where futuristic societies in orbit around Earth hold giant robot battles to settle political differences instead of fighting wars. The main protagonist is the representative from Neo-Japan but there are other main protagonists from Neo-America, Neo-France, Neo-China and Neo-Russia. Most episodes are about matches between the giant Gundam mechs who each have their own style of fighting and weaponry which often represent their country somehow. While I like earlier and later Gundam series, this one was so optimistic and energetic and was such a breath of fresh air.


5 One Piece

This one has the potential to be controversial not because this series is not popular but because I first fell in love with it during the 4Kids dub days. Luckily, they kept the same voice cast when the even better Funimation dub started up. Anyway, this is is a story about a young man with magical stretchy Mr. Fantastic powers who has a dream to be King of the Pirates. His goal is to recover a treasure in the most dangerous part of the ocean that will allow him to inherit the power and wealth of the famous Jolly Roger. Along the way, he forms a crew of misfits and underdogs who become a formidable team together. The action scenes are so fun as there are super-powered fistfights, sword fights, gun fights and so much more. The show is also pretty surreal with all kinds of animal people, altered humans and so many other creatures and all of it adds to the action and comedy of the show.


4 Fullmetal Alchemist

This show came when I was just about ready to get back into anime during college. It really resonated with me because it is about two brothers hanging together no matter what and that is how I feel about my brothers. The show is about a world where humans have discovered real workable alchemy and use it as a system of magic in combat. The animation is fluid and beautiful, especially during action sequences where the characters are using alchemy to battle one another. The show is about the conflict between the military, the people and the monsters somewhere in between the two. The Elric brothers stick together through thick and thin as dogs of the military, investigating threats to the nation and eventually uncovering something much bigger. The show is probably the darkest one on this list as the brothers deal with death, resurrection, atrocities, genocide and other grotesque things done by heroes and villains alike.


3 Cowboy Bebop

From the first notes of the show’s theme song, the show has a great jazz feel to it. The animation has mostly muted, softer colors and deep beautiful shadows. The show takes place in a science fiction world but it definitely has both a film noir and a wild west feel to it. The show is about three bounty hunters who do not always get along or work together and yet they share a ship together. Spike is a well-dressed, slick adventurer. Jet is a muscle-bound, older tracker. Faye is a charmer and a con artist. Along the way, they are joined by a girl genius named Ed and her hyper-intelligent dog Ein. The show is inspired by Lupin the 3rd but they took it even farther in feel and execution. There is a great central plot thread but they approached each episode as if it was a movie and it shows. Each episode is pretty much a self-contained story about these characters with a clear story arc. The show has a lot of light, funny moments but it also has a lot of poetic, darker moments.


Sailor Moon

I talked about this show yesterday but it bears repeating that this was such a great show. After I wrote yesterday’s post (which is actually more about me than the show), I watched the show again. Serena is told by a talking cat that she is the legendary Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice. She is joined by a whole team of Sailor Scouts mostly made up of her school friends. Together, they battle against the evil denizens of the Negaverse who want to hurt the citizens of Earth. The characters are so memorable to me and remind me of a lot of people I have known over the years. I have worked in a lot of female-dominated work environments in the past. It was also the first television show I watched that had gay characters in it which is amazing. Also, there is a male character who aids the female protagonist not by fighting her battles for her but by helping her remember who she is and how powerful she can be.


Seven Deadly Sins

This is a show I discovered last year and I am desperately waiting for Season 3. Season 2 was only four episodes long and the cliffhanger was awesome. Anyway, this show is about a group of seven legendary knights who were the best squad in the military service of a country called Leonis. They are the titular Seven Deadly Sins and they have been framed for crimes of treason and are actively being hunted. At the same time, they catch wind of a great danger to the nation and ride off to the rescue. There is so much to explore with this show and the best part is that I get to explore it with characters I would love to hang out with. The action scenes are some of the best I have seen, animated or not. The show just sparks my imagination in ways that few shows do. The show is not for children as there is plenty of gore and risque behavior but nothing feels gratuitous and, so far, there is always a happy ending right around the corner. The finale of the first season was also the first time I teared up in a while and also the first time I cheered at the screen at moments. It probably makes number one on this list because it is still ongoing and I desperately want more so badly.

Sailor Earth

April 22, 2017

In 1998, I was sixteen years old and I had fully embraced being a huge geek. Part of that was learning to love things that I had previously dismissed, something that drives me crazy these days. I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons but anime eluded me largely because I found it hard to connect to something in a different language. That is not to say that I do not enjoy watching things in their original language with subtitles, but when I was younger I needed anime dubbed in English to emotionally connect. One of my friends was a superfan of Dragonball Z and I made fun of him for it because it is fun to bust your friend’s chops. Then the show debuted on Cartoon Network and I fell in love with the art style and the drama of the early episodes. However, of all things shown on Cartoon Network’s Toonami, it was Sailor Moon that captivated my attention.

Sure, the animation on Sailor Moon was a little repetitive but I loved the characters and the light humor and dramatic touches resonated with me somehow. As a child of the eighties, I was exposed to the usual toxic masculinity that would have forbidden me from falling in love with a show like Sailor Moon. However, I always loved the characters on the show and I excitedly taped and watched every episode Toonami showed. I also liked the repetition of the show. Hearing phrases like “In the Name of the Moon, I will punish you!” over and over sounded badass. I loved watching the Sailor Scouts become more and more confident as they fought bigger and badder monsters each episode. The themes of friendship, teamwork, and love conquering hate were good to hear for a kid who had few but strong friendships. Those themes are even more important now.

I had a separate post on the backburner of my mind for ages now about something that is kind of specific to anime. Well, I guess it’s also used on shows like Power Rangers too. I am talking about calling out your attacks and magic spells as they are used. I have yet to come up with an explanation of why I love this trope of fiction. Maybe it is the familiar cadence of their voices accompanied by the satisfying destruction of a monster. Maybe it was the voice actors doing such a good job at showing the confidence that those attacks would solve everything. As an awkward teen, I was drawn to confidence.

I started to write what I now know is fanfiction. I loved the show but I started tweaking it on paper and in my head to have the same heart and soul but better animation. I started specializing the scouts just a little more to show off their individual strengths a bit. I think a lot of us who love fictional worlds so much find ourselves wanting to improve them not out of hate but out of pure love. Of course, a few seasons in and I became fascinated with the one male ally of the protagonists, Tuxedo Mask. As much as I liked the Tuxedo Mask imagery, I wanted him to eventually evolve a bit (he did but not in the way I expected). I wanted Darian to be granted his own symbol. The scouts (inner and outer) had the planets, Darian was basically Sailor Earth.

Out of tape and a Halloween safety light, I created a transformation charm with the Earth symbol that Tuxedo Mask might have used. I carried it around all the time but secretly in my pocket or in my backpack. I hid it at the time but it really was not unlike cosplay prop products that makers around the country work on these days. I imagined using that charm to transform to fight crime much like a lot of the heroes of shows like Sailor Moon, Power Rangers, Digimon, Megaman.EXE and Ronin Warriors. I have been thinking about it lately and I know I daydreamed of being Tuxedo Mask at the time. Not because I wanted to date Sailor Moon but because I wanted to fight alongside the Sailor Scouts while still being a guy.

What Does it Mean!?

February 15, 2016

I was thinking recently about my past. Specifically I was thinking about my teenage years which is usually a bad sign. People work pretty hard to forget their teenage years because they are horrible. Well, I actually can’t speak for everyone. My teenage years were pretty awful. They were the years where my introversion hurt me the most just as my creativity was revving up into overdrive. Those two things were intensified by my emotions and I started to believe everybody was personally rejecting me at every turn. Of course there were people actually trying to hurt me and others but looking back it’s harder to tell which is which.

All of that aside, let me get a little more specific. I was thinking about all of the weird things I did as an artsy teenager that make no sense now. I had a reason back then but now they seem a little silly. All of these things were just begging for a reaction or questions on what they meant. Keep in mind that I have never really talked about this before but maybe I can exorcise a little embarrassment by exploring a few interesting moments.

The Altar of Bad Luck

I spent a lot of my time in my teenage years hanging around the theater. I made the leap from high school theater to the charm and excitement of community theater. I fell headlong into the world of the theater and accepted and absorbed all of the myths and ritual pretty much immediately. This was the time period that I believed in ghosts and wholeheartedly feared the supernatural. One of the theater traditions I was fascinated by was the tradition of wishing somebody to “Break a Leg!” instead of “Good Luck!”. Wishing somebody bad luck mysteriously had the opposite effect within the walls of a theater. So, I internalized that and probably took it in a weird direction. Around that time South Park had become a thing. Kenny McCormick was a character who had the bad luck of being killed in every episode. I sought to harness this bad luck by putting a little doll of him on top of my sound equipment. Not only that, but I surrounded Kenny with tails up pennies. I wanted concentrated bad luck to harvest and turn into good luck. Nobody ever asked me about it.

The Black Coat

I am not even sure where I got the idea for this one. During and before my teen years there was a lot of fiction that came out that featured characters in a long black coat or cloak. Some of them were good guys but a lot of them were bad guys. Of course, it was the late nineties so bad guys were cool and tough and strong. As a geek these were the things I wanted to be but I was not. Well, you could debate that I was “cool” because I did my own thing but I wasn’t popular. Still, when given the choice of what coat to buy, I chose the black coat that went nearly to my knees. It wasn’t canvas or some other cool fabric and was in fact just a thin winter coat made mostly of synthetic materials.

Over time I realized that long coats had a ton of pockets and my coat regularly weighed a ton because I packed it full of books, tools, snacks and drinks. Unfortunately, long black coats started to get a bad rap after the Columbine tragedy and many people stopped wearing them. I refused to let my habit get taken away from me and I wore mine well into college. I heard later that several people incorrectly feared me because of the Columbine connection and my introverted nature. Of course, I deeply regret that and I was really embarrassed when I found out.

The Earth Emblem

I initially made fun of anime when I found about it in my freshman year of high school. A friend of mine had discovered it through trips back to his ancestral Korea and I enjoyed making fun of it a little bit. Then Funimation teamed up with Cartoon Network to introduce people to Dragonball Z and I actually liked something I had previously made fun of. Several anime shows were introduced on the network because the ratings must have been great. I loved the dubbed versions they showed because they made the material more accessible to an American like me. Finally, they released Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network and I didn’t know what to think.

At first glance it was so girly but I watched it and I fell in love with the characters, plot and animation. As a life long fan of superheroes, I loved the concept of magical girls and I wanted to know all about Serena and the Sailor Scouts. I taped the show on VHS to watch alone later and I really loved it. I redesigned and modernized the show several times in probably my first attempts at fanfiction. I loved that all the scouts had devices that helped them transform and use their powers. However, the only male hero Tuxedo Mask didn’t seem to have a device. In my first of two cosplay attempts to date I created a little Earth symbol over a clip-on safety light and carried around for a long time before it went through the laundry.

Olivia Hunter, Monster Hunter Go!

April 17, 2015

Olivia stretched out on the lawn, laying down on a towel with her sunglasses on. She had been reading her book but Tracy had stopped by and kept interrupting so she had given up and pretended to take a nap. As the sun warmed her skin, that pretend nap was quickly becoming a real nap. Any minute now it would reach critical mass and she would be sent off to dreamland probably until she got hungry or one of the ultimate frisbee people tripped over her. She was thankful she had remembered to pack extra strong sunscreen.

She thought that maybe she would get a smoothie after the park and stop by and see what Janey was doing. Maybe she would see if Scott was at the gym. Maybe he wanted to do something together. She was having trouble working up the nerve to talk to him. If she could summon the courage she would ask him out but her face slowly turned hot and crimson whenever she thought of such things.

Suddenly all of those plans were canceled as what felt like an explosion rocked the earth under her. She sat bolt upright and jumped to her feet in time to dodge the crowd of people fleeing from the direction of the Revolutionary War Monument. She took in the scene but couldn’t see much through the trees. All she saw was people running in a blind panic and a plume of smoke coming from somewhere in that direction. Maybe it was the monument or maybe it was just something in that direction.

“Bolt Magic Unleash!” Olivia yelled out and touched the bracelet on her left wrist and it shimmered and then shined and began to spark. Instantly more fabric formed around her even as her bikini changed and stretched. She could feel a tugging on her long blonde hair. After a few moments she stood there in what looked like a yellow sundress with yellow and gold boots. Her messy hair had been tied into a more manageable pigtails. She felt a surge of energy run through her body and then she was sprinting towards danger faster than any human being. She was Lightning and she was a monster hunter and a superhero.

The pavillion at the monument was flooded with what looked like little goblins. Olivia slammed her fist into the nearest one’s face and it tumbled through the air and landed with a thud. It disintegrated into a pile of sparks and smoke as Olivia started punching and kicking some more goblins. The sundress was easy to move in and made hand to hand combat easy. It also magically kept in a modest position which was a definite plus.

“Lightning Shock Wave!” She shouted, pointing her palm at a crowd of goblins. Her palm crackled with light and then a huge wave of electricity launched from her hand. The goblins were engulfed in the energy blast and one by one they exploded violently. Olivia couldn’t help but grin at how awesome it was to wield the awesome power of lightning.

“Careful, Lightning! Take these goons out fast so they can’t surround you!” A voice echoed in her head. She could feel it coming from the bracelet but knew it was Ariel, the strange being that had given her these powers.

“Relax, I’ve got this. Lightning Bolt Go!” She shouted as she unleashed an arc of electricity that took out several more goblins. There weren’t so many more goblins at this point so she set about punching and kicking her way through them. It felt good to get a little action out of her system. She was definitely going to need that nap now though.

A huge two-headed goblin burst through the treeline with a terrific roar. It collided with a column on the pavillion and sent chunks of stone everywhere.

“Hey! That’s city property, Jerk!” Olivia shouted. She hated to see a great monument damaged like that.

“That guy is bigger than the other ones were! Shift into Dragon Armor Mode!” Ariel shouted.

“Right! Lightning Mode D Activate!” Olivia shouted. She traced a lightning bolt across her chest with her left hand and the bracelet shined brightly and then became more of a high tech watch. She slammed the big gold button on the watch and there was an explosion of light around her. She was always amazed at the speed that the armor formed around her body. She was equally amazed that she was never injured in the process. When the light cleared she was dressed head to toe in golden armor. She drew a golden sword.

“Lightning Blade Go!” Oliva shouted and charged the two-headed goblin. Everything seemed to go into slow motion as she ran past her target and slashed her sword hard. She felt it as she made contact and she slid to a stop a few yards behind the monster. There was an agonizing moment and then the goblin exploded. She grinned and pumped her arm. “Yes!”

“Good job, Lightning! Another threat eliminated. Of course, you could have waited for the team to arrive.”

“Eh, I work better alone anyway.”

(Yeah I threw Sailor Moon, Ronin Warriors and Power Rangers into a blender.  I kind of love it though. It’s really fun to write.)


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