Last month, Saturday 15 August marked the world’s first International Sailor Moon Day (ISMD). The event saw 11 countries and 47 cities partake in this special day. Participating countries included England, Peru, America and Australia, residents gathered from all over to celebrate their favourite magical girl.
The Japanese manga series Sailor Moon was first published in 1992 by Kodansha, which was later adapted to an anime by Toei Animation running from 1992-1997. Popular with young girls, its key themes were friendship, love and girl power! The series has aired all around the world and has been dubbed in English, French and Mandarin.
The franchise has grown since its original release with a live action series, musical theatre production, seasonal themed café in Japan, and every imaginable bit of merchandise; from toys to feminine hygiene products.
It’s no surprise how many supporters joined in celebrating their favourite magical girl. However the day was not initiated by one of the many corporate organisations backing the franchise. Instead, ISMD began from one fans idea, Lisa Terlato, aged 30, from New York City. A big ‘Moonie’, the nickname for a Sailor Moon devotee, she had idolised the magical girl since childhood. First inspired by Toei’s announcement of the reboot Sailor Moon: Crystal in 2012, Lisa saw the perfect opportunity to host a Sailor Moon event and bring fellow fans together.
Lisa hosted a trial event on 29 June 2014 in New York City which was a big success so with the help of her sister Moonie’s she worked to take the next step to make a world-wide celebration; International Sailor Moon Day was born.
The United Kingdom celebrated ISMD in London; over 50 fans gathered in St.James Park, many in cosplay representing their favourite characters. Despite the original show airing in the early 90s there was a diverse spread of ages in attendance, with some as young as seven. Now with the release of the reboot Sailor Moon: Crystal in 2014, a new generation of fans will be born.
Activities during the day included a Sailor Moon quiz testing manga, anime and live action series knowledge. Both a Sailor Moon cosplay and fashion contest then ending the day with a group sing-a-long of the theme song. Other countries hosted similar activities incorporating series marathons, karaoke and powdered donut eating contests.
Actors involved with the original series participated; notably Jennifer Cihi the English singing voice of Sailor Moon. Cihi hosted an international Q&A and performed a song from the show. Even Viz Media were supportive and celebrated online.
Lisa Terlato, Organiser, says “I had tears in my eyes reading all the positive comments about the event and seeing their photos. I am so happy that everybody had a great time from around the world!”
Organisers are already making plans for the 2016 event, with hopes of even more locations participating.