March 05, 2012
It All Began With Sailor Moon.
This is me, in 1996, at the tender age of 5.
Why am I showing you this seemingly ordinary, blurred, unfocused, awkward portrait from my childhood album?
Because you need to understand.
Look closer. Notice those little buns on top of my head, and the pigtails. You might just be able to make out a locket hanging around my neck. Admire my little red socks, pulled up as high as they could go.
This was my uniform. I forced Mum to twist my hair up into those 'meatballs' on a regular basis. I made my friends call me 'Serena' instead of 'Siobhan'. The locket was a magical weapon I got for Christmas, used to fight evil... by the moonlight.
I was obsessed with Sailor Moon.
I remember the day that I first made the connection between Sailor Moon and Japan. A girl in my class had just come back from a trip to Japan, and was doing a show and tell - with real, actual copies of the Sailor Moon manga in Japanese. You had to read them back to front! And the words looked all funny! But there was my idol, winking up at me from the pages of the comic. In the 6 years of my life, I had never been so intrigued.
When I tell people why I chose to study Japanese, I usually spin the 'interested in the language and culture' yarn.
It just doesn't sound right to say that you have racked up a $20,000 student loan because you really liked Sailor Moon as a child.