Sailor Neptune vs “3 Day Monk” Usagi: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That (Part 1)

 

Let’s revisit this ridiculously aspirational character from Sailor Moon S. At 16 years old, Michiru holds violin concerts and gallery exhibitions. Her partner is a 16 year old professional race car driver (when the Japanese legal age to drive is 18). They are stupid levels of rich, with luxury apartments in a plum area of Tokyo and helicopters (two!!!), sports cars, and an indoor swimming pool. This veneer of glamour only adds to their mystery – especially for Sailor Neptune, whose origin story and self-awakening is completely unaddressed in any franchise media (leading some to speculate that she is actually the most powerful of the team).

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 1.02.10 PMBut like….how? Michiru, for starters, is set up as the antithesis to the “3 day monk.” Just to get it out of the way, yes Google tells me there are many 16 year old prodigies in real life, whether it in painting or in Nascar racing or violin. And second of all, this happens in a comic universe where mystical alien cats are reborn on earth to provide magical amulets to crayon-haired superheroes. But my question is more about how Michiru can be impossibly polished when her peers can barely get through their day covering the basics of middle school life. The answer given to us in the OG anime is that she fundamentally has a different outlook on life that might be summed up as….“Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That.”

Aint nobody got time for that = giphy

Let’s explore…

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Kinomoto Sakura: Live Your Perfect Day

A few magazines run the same feature lately: getting some celebrity to detail their Perfect Day. I guess it is part of our era of Lifestyle Branding and aspirational living. People don’t want (just) beauty and wealth but to, say, wake at 6am to do yoga on the beach with 3rd wave coffee before a 9am fashion shoot and 1pm instagrammable green concoction for lunch. Well, whatever BUT, I was thinking about the flow of the Perfect Day when watching Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card.

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Stars

I was asked to mentor a young adult in our family. Oh dear. Don’t they realize that I’m a mess?

This is a first draft of a children’s story that I’m putting up on the internet for the world to laugh at, steal, and make those “uh OH-KAY” faces at.

3 children gazed up at the stars. There! That one! They wanted to go there!

“Would there be creatures there like us?”

“Would that world be better than ours?”

“It would be an adventure!”

The first child filled his eyes and heart with starlight each night. Dreaming, but never daring, he peeked out from his bedroom window with chin in hand. Night after night, moon after moon, he gazed at the distant skies until his boyhood wonder tucked itself away like a precious secret, a hard diamond deep inside himself.

The second child decidedly built a spaceship – the greatest spaceship in the history of mankind. Sparing no expense and effort, she fine tuned the machine down to its very nuts and bolts. But she could make it faster though; she could make it shinier though; she could make it perfect. It became itself a star, with its gleaming finishings, marvelous sparkle, and the awe of everyone around, earthbound and anchored in the workshop.

The third, knowing nothing like a fool, shot into the blackness of the universe long ago in an inferior spaceship and was never seen again.

 

Authenticity is Key. Or why “This Beautiful Fantastic” was a terrible movie.

The British film, This Beautiful Fantastic (2016) ticked off every “twee” magical-realism genre box and subsequently fell flat. This is not because I have snobby qualms about genre conventions. In fact, the movie was a fantastic amalgamation of everything that I tend to like: star-eyed heroines, dreamy narratives about self development, and an aesthetic that might be best described as Goth-Anthropologie Shojo. Take a look:

1. Quirky bookish heroine clearly modeled after Amelie with a dash of Lydia Deetz. Bella is played by porcelain-skinned period-actress Jessica Brown Findlay, in vintage blouses and witchy hats.

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50 days left in 2016

It is more or less 50 days until the end of 2016. And while I will not write about the anxiety I feel at the uncertainties of a Trump America, I will say that the emotional response is surprisingly inspiring. No matter your political affiliation, we all feel invested in and committed to our communities. A close friend of mine has always said her guiding post is simply to say, “I want to live by my values.” So we start with what we love, what we believe in, what we hope for. That is where we begin and that is where our community is built. Start with what you love…

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Also, it reminded me that I have a say in how my community is formed. That I have a voice and there is an urgency to use it. That I have to rely on myself, finding strength and happiness within my own measure of life. And despite a rough past week of migraines and overeating and general dislike of myself and utter despair at America…I am doing pretty well. So thanks President Trump for contributing to my improving mental health, in a way.

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November: Nanowrimo + Snow White

Happy Nanowrimo!

I’ve been away for a while, working on my mental health and uh, burgeoning eating disorder (kidding, sort of). But Autumn is still my most inspiring season and I’ve been happily plugging away behind the scenes.Since Nanowrimo is such a public event though, I’ve crawled out of my cave to make some bold statements about my end of year goals.

Lately I am particularly obsessed with this idea of Snow White hiding in the wood at the dwarves’ cottage. The cottage in the wood is the place where she plays housewife, cooking and baking pies, to her alternate family of little-men-children and animals. So, like all fairy tales from past cultures of gender inequity, this could easily be a disturbing metaphor for domesticity as a way to disempower women, RIGHT?

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