Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Intro - Jared Watches 'Sailor Moon Crystal'

The funny thing is that I heard all about how life changes when you get married. Suddenly, you're sharing your entire life with another person (even sharing stuff that you didn't think about before).

In our case, one of those things was anime.

Jared had me watch some of his favorites. I don't consider myself a connoisseur of anime. I have my favorite stand-bys and I'll watch some that friends watch with me. But on the whole, it's just one of those things I don't have time to seek out for myself. I used to many years ago. It just fell by the wayside as time went on. Nothing against it - there are only so many hours in the day, after all.

When Jared and I started dating, one of the first things we watched together (after Doctor Who - totally his idea) was Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I'd see a few episodes, but not the entire series. I enjoyed it quite a bit - and I'm not just saying that because I was afraid if I decided I didn't want to watch it anymore, our weekly show-watching "dates" at Jared's apartment would end (luckily, FMA ended up being a new favorite).

Fast forward to now - we've been married several months and are quite happy with the way life is. But for the life of me, I cannot get Jared to be as enthusiastic about some of my favorite shows as I am with his. To be fair, he's kind of picky about things like comedy. But anime has kind of been a sticking point. I tried to get him to watch Fushigi Yugi and Pretear - he dropped off after 3-5 episodes. Because that's the thing about Shojo anime - particularly the Magical Girl subgenre. The beginning is silly and goofy and doesn't take itself seriously. Toward the middle and the end, it gets SUPER DARK AND GRITTY AND kind of DEPRESSING, before it bounces back into lighthearted fluff.

But then I got Sailor Moon Crystal on BluRay. And then I had an idea.

Doctor Who fans may know of the website Adventures With The Wife In Space, written by Neil Perryman. Back in 2011, Neil had the idea to watch all of classic Doctor Who in order in anticipation of the 50th anniversary and blog about it. Thing is, that kind of project has been done over and over and he wanted to try something different. So, he got his wife, Sue, who isn't nearly as big a fan as Neil is and had never seen an episode of Old School Who, to watch with him and give her thoughts and reactions as they watched. Amazingly, Sue made it through all 770+ episodes of the original 26-season-and-a-TV-movie run of Classic Who (last I heard, they had also started doing the New Series, which wasn't quite as dynamic as their original goal, since Sue had seen much of New Who already). The fun of this was seeing Classic Who through the eyes of the "Not-We" - someone who isn't a rabid fan and who hasn't internalized every second and moment of the series. To her everlasting credit, Sue was a great sport about the whole thing and she seemed to have as much fun with it as Neil and their readers did.

So, I thought - why not do the same thing with Jared and Sailor Moon? Maybe not a full-blown blog with the possibility of follow-up companion ebooks - but maybe just a small project for us to do together. And have him watch Crystal, rather than the original anime from the 90s - no way he'd get through all 200 episodes (even if it is all on Hulu now. Well, the Japanese with English subtitles is). Crystal is shorter and less insanely goofy and the story is more focused. And there are still some light moments.

And, what do you know - he agreed.

I think it helps that I've made it no secret that Sailor Moon is my all-time favorite anime. It's what got me into anime, before I even knew what the distinction was. All I knew was that I loved the story and the characters (some more than others, but we'll get to that, I'm sure). I drifted away over the years (as you do), but now with its resurgence and renaissance - I've gotten back into it full-force. Collecting the manga and the DVDs and even some of the figurines (I have the Sailor Mercury Figuarts and it was one of my great "gets" from Comic Con last year). So, it's not just "Here is this thing that I like - let's watch it together," it's "OMG this is my freaking CHILDHOOD! Will you watch it with me, hubby dearest, please, please, PLEASE?"

Okay, maybe not THAT silly. But you get the point.

The fun of this is that Jared, like Sue with Doctor Who, knows almost nothing about Sailor Moon. He knows that Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter are my favorites (though he sometimes forgets which one is which - I have a Jupiter plushie that he sometimes calls Venus). He does know that the 90s English dub awkwardly tried to play the lesbian lovers in Season 3 off as "cousins." Man, THAT was hilarious when I and our friend Leigh-Ann explained that to him. So much so that when we took our engagement pictures last December, our photographer asked him to whisper something funny in my ear to make me laugh naturally for one particular picture. He said "Cousins" and I started giggling like an idiot (the photographer had no clue what was going on, but she got the shot she wanted - that shot is actually one of my favorites of our whole session).

I anticipate there will be snark. Good grief, I snark at Sailor Moon sometimes (I think everybody does with their favorite things). But it's done in love and fun. And, hopefully, sharing something special with someone I love :)

And no, I don't have a catchy little title for this endeavor. The best I could come up with was "Jared Watches Sailor Moon", which I know is the most bland thing I could have done. What can I say? Anime doesn't lend itself well to quippy lines like "Adventures With The Wife In Space." But it works for us.

Next Up: Episode 1 - Usagi, Sailor Moon

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