The first time I watched the anime classic Sailor Moon, I was 14 years old and depressed and hormonal and aching to go on some life adventure. Tokyo seemed like a magical place, all in beautiful glowing pastels and lavender skies. I did end up living in Tokyo as a young adult. While it was great in many ways, it was nothing like what you’d hope for from a cartoon (of course) and I realized that my dream home was not actually Tokyo. It was the animated version of Tokyo.
As a tax-paying, responsible, socially mainstream, and otherwise normal adult, I have to admit the embarrassing truth: there is still nothing more wonderful than the idea of living inside a shojo anime. When things are outrageously stressful and somewhat bleak, I wish I lived there — over there, in that bright world of tea and cookie cafes, secret magical amulets, flouncy dresses, and hair as long as your knees.
But does it have to be so regressive and escapist? Can we turn it around and make our lives more like a shojo anime instead? Maybe shojo anime can be aspirational? A lifestyle brand, a curated guide to a certain kind of everyday?
[At the very least, it can be a way for me to release stress in some late night escapist blogging.]