Tuesday 12 September 2017

Sailor Moon and cultural osmosis

Its odd how much information you can just passively absorb. I don't know if its just because of the internet and how nothing is really niche anymore but its an interesting phenomenon. For instance, I have never in my life watched an episode or read an issue of Sailor Moon in any of its incarnations but I am 90% sure that the following are all true facts:

The main character is a bit of a crybaby and has a magic wand.

She owns a talking cat who keeps fat-shaming her.

Her love interest is called Tuxedo Mask and he is a bit of a git in his civilian identity.

The green-haired Sailor and the androgynous blonde Sailor are lovers and the US translators tried to cover up the lesbianism by claiming they were cousins but didn't edit the footage well enough and so managed to broadcast incest they created themselves on a children's television time slot.

Just think about that last one. That's not a fact, that's trivia. That's the sort of information that would once have been the province of the longtime and attentive fan who went looking for the series' back stage arcana. Now its just something that a random schmuck like me can find out by scrolling through a few anime tumblrs.

Its a silly example but it shows how the internet has basically destroyed any knowledge-based barrier to entry on any form of entertainment.

Multiple versions of the series? You can find out the critical consensus on which is the best in minutes. Want to skip the filler episodes in an anime? Wikipedia will have an episode list telling you which episodes are based on the manga and which aren't. On a related note: if you're getting burnt out on an arc, the same episode list will also probably tell you at a glance (no need to read episode description spoilers) when the arc ends. A series has characters with complicated backstories spread over several other series before they appear in the one you're interested in? Full character biography is just a Google search away.

Its fascinating as a social phenomenon and not at all a sleep deprived rationalisation for why I'm considering watching Sailor Moon: Crystal

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