Posted by : Wendy B Wednesday, 28 September 2011

J.M. Frey's Twitter conversation turned blog post, The Power of Sacrifice and the Price of Being a Hero, lead us to an interesting discussion on the subject of children and the loss of their innocence in anime/manga:

It is disturbing that so many of the anime heroes that lose their humanity are children. It reminds me of a quote from The Outer Limits which, paraphrased, basically states that the greatest tragedy of war is turning our children into heroes.

I am also led to think about Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. At the end of the hero’s journey, they are no longer a part of the community they went forth to save. With children, this is even more tragic, because not only do they lose their community and family, but their entire childhood…
Our conversation reminded me of the need to add Sailor Moon to the list of geekery to introduce my daughters to. I used to have the Japanese and Chinese manga, but they are barely learning to read English and French. I can't hit them with that yet.

Then, bless her, J.M. alerted me to the re-release of the English-language versions, starting this month! With added features that make it more true to its source:

- An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
- Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
- New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
- The original Japanese character names!
- Detailed translation notes!

 Writes Sean O'Hara:
Most of you probably remember Sailor Moon as a rather silly cartoon series from the mid-90s. And you're probably looking at me wondering, "Why is he reading a stupid kid's comic?" What you have to understand, though, is that what aired in the US was a bowdlerized dub of a series that was itself heavily watered down from its source material. Among the more notable offenses, the American dub handwaved away all the deaths in the series, turned one gay male character into a straight woman, turned a lesbian couple into cousins, and added in facile "and knowing is half the battle" tags to the end of the show. The two part series finale was so heavily censored that it ended up airing as a single episode, and another half dozen episodes were simply never aired in the US.

So, yeah, the Sailor Moon you watched back in the day was not the real Sailor Moon written by Naoko Takeuchi.
The girls have been watching a few videos on Youtube, and if my VCR still worked, I'd let them see my old fansubbed movies and forever ruin their understand of the English language, but this. This is much better.

Which reminds me... they are also ready for Magic Knights Rayearth, created by my beloved CLAMP.

 Rayearth starts out as your typical school girls granted magical powers to save the day, but trust CLAMP to ensure that good and evil is never black and white.

Sailor Moon and Rayearth are prime examples of why I love manga over North American comics, particularly for young children. They aren't afraid of what we consider to be adult themes, such as death, responsibility  and even sexuality (no, I'm not talking about hentai).

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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