May 2008

Since we speak mostly Japanese at home, most of the children’s books we have for our girls are also in Japanese. Recently we received some older children’s books from another Japanese family whose children are older and have grown out of them. Among them were 4 Sailor Moon storybooks. For those who haven’t heard of it and can’t be bothered to look it up, it’s essentially an all-girls Power Rangers kind of story. My girls currently love watching episodes of Pretty Cure 5 which is pretty similar, so I figured they would like Sailor Moon too.

So the other night I was reading them some books before bedtime, and Karisa asked me to read one of the Sailor Moon books we had just got. I thought the whole experience was so strange that I scanned the whole thing and put it here. So here we go!
(Note: you can click on the small images to see the full-sized ones. They are really big, but with the readership of this blog the bandwidth shouldn’t be a problem.)
I’ll do a simple text translation in italics, and then my comments in normal text.

Episode 27 of Sailor Moon S (Super): Haruka and Michiru are also Sailor Scouts!

Usagi (Sailor Moon’s secret identity) and her friend Minako (Sailor Venus) run into their friends Haruka and Michiru outside of the gym. However a suspicious woman in the car has followed them! “They must have the Talismans I’m looking for!”

(Upper-left corner) The bad guy, Unknown Professor, tells his underling Yujial, “get the Talismans, and the world will be ours!”

OK. the only thing that really wierds me out here is the girl in the far left, Haruka. She looks more like a pimp then she does a girl, and in fact you can’t tell she’s a girl at all until she transforms later. I also like how the mysterious bad-guy is a professor. Way to enforce negative stereotypes concerning academic achievement to young girls. Sailor moon is hardly the first to do this though, in Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets in English) the ultimate bad guy was Professor X.

Yujial chases them into the gym, where they are trapped in the locker room. First she attacks Minako. “Your spirit is mine!” (shoots her with purple light syringe-thing). They try and run away, but are trapped by Yujial and her ally, Diamond Door-nobu-da!

OK, this Door-nobu-da has to be the stupidest monster I have ever seen in any sentai series, and I include all of the original Power Rangers in that statement. She has a doorknob sticking out of her forehead, two more wrapped doorknobs for hair buns, a locker door attached to her left hand, and for a right hand she has what looks like a giant crappy Swiss army knife.

Yujial realizes that Minako’s spirit isn’t the Talisman she’s looking for. “I’ll destroy this worthless thing.” “No, don’t! She’ll die!” Yells Usagi. What can Usagi do? She can’t transform into Sailor Moon in front of her friends, they’ll find out who she is! While Usagi hesitates, Door-nobu-da attacks Haruka and Michiru!

So Door-nobu-da’s attack consists of… shooting doors at people.

Usagi has no choice. She transforms into Sailor Moon! Haruka and Michiru are suprised. “Usagi is Sailor Moon??!!” Usagi uses her special attack to return Minako’s spirit. “Moon Spiral Heart Attack!”

If you think that special attack has a wierd name, just wait.

“Destroy these girls!” Yujial commands. Door-nobu-da shoots door after door at Usagi, knocking her down. Haruka and Michiru come to her rescue. They are actually Sailor Scouts too! Haruka transforms with the words “Uranus Planet Power Makeup!” Michiru transforms with the words “Neptune Planet Power Makeup!”

OK, this has to be coincidence, but it just seems weird. The somewhat gender-ambiguous Haruka is… Sailor Uranus. I’ll just leave it at that. Also, take a look at the weapon that Yujial has pulled out. It looks like a chopped vacuum cleaner (complete with motorcycle handlebar on the bottom) and says ‘Turning 360 degrees’ on that half, and then connected with some hoses to another cylinder with a picture of an ear of corn on it. I have no idea what to make of this.

Usagi is shocked to find out that Haruka and Michiru are secretly Sailor Scouts. The duo then unleash their special attacks against Door-nobu-da, “Deep Sub-maji!” “World Shaking!” Door-nobu-da is destroyed! Then Yujial attacks. “I’ll show you my power! Fire Buster!”

OK, I have no idea what Sailor Neptune’s attack here is supposed to be. It’s written ディープ サブマージ (diipu sabumaaji), but I have no idea what it’s supposed to be in English, assuming it comes from some English word in the first place.

When Yujial is about to finish the two off, Minako comes to the rescue! “Venus Star Power Makeup!” She then attacks Yujial. “Venus Love-me Chain!” Now surrounded by four sailor scouts, Yujial runs away. “I’ll get you next time!”

‘Venus Love-me Chain’ doesn’t seem like a name for a very potent finishing move, but I guess if it works you can name it whatever you like.

“Usagi is overjoyed to find out that her two friends are also Sailor Scouts. “Let’s fight together from now on!” she says. However Uranus and Neptune refuse. “Our mission is to find the Talisman. That has nothing to do with you two.” And before Usagi and Minako can answer, Haruka and Michiru leave. “Why can’t we be friends?” Minako asks. “I don’t know, but I think we’ll see them again.”

The mysterious allies disappear! Will we ever see them again? As long as the ratings hold, you better believe it!

“Hey girls! Get your parents to buy all these other Sailor Moon books!”

(Note from Derek: my wife Ryoko has a small blog of her own in Japanese. She posts a lot of pictures and stories of our family, but my mother is unable to read them. So I will be adding some English translations of Ryoko’s posts for those that may be interested.)

Today is Mother’s Day.

I slept in and when I woke up I heard Derek making breakfast. He made oatmeal, and with yogurt, juice, and some chocolate put it on a tray and gave me breakfast in bed!

Thank you, Derek! But I’m not very good with mornings and didn’t have much of an apetite… When I got out of the shower, Karisa and Eren said ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and gave me a card that Derek had helped them make. They had done their best to sign their names too, with Derek’s help.

At church they gave a rose to each of the mothers’ after Sacrament meeting, and the children sang a song for all the mothers.

Derek also made dinner for me, Spaghetti with a spicy tomato sauce, with some spicy Italian sausage and garlic. Karisa helped cut the onions. It made me really nervous, but Karisa seemed really happy to try and help.

From morning to evening everyone tried to make the day relaxing for me. I’m really thankful to have such a wonderful family. Thank you!

Also, recently Karisa has shown a lot of interest I playing the piano. Derek studied the piano for 8 years, and is showing Karisa some basics. Of course she couldn’t concentrate for more than about 10 minutes, but it’s great that she was having fun! I hope some day she can play a duet with her father…
Derek and Karisa playing the piano