Well the big announcement for the Sailor Moon book is we’re sort of done with the initial draft. However, let me qualify done:
- We decided to make room for more interviews. So we’ve got more to integrate.
- We’re editing the heck out of it . . . well, Bonnie is, because . . .
- I’m doing research for the book. We debated how much is going to be used and the resulting choice was “enough for the book” and “to point people in the right direction”
So where is it now?
We’ve got a pretty good sense of the impact of the show and how the various “sub-impacts” tie together. It needs to be fleshed out a bit, arranged a bit differently, and of course include some more research and data on the show. But frankly, it’s pretty good for an unpolished book.
(As I jokingly put it, it’s currently at “blog post” quality and we’re going to get it into ‘book quailty.”)
And what did I learn?
Well, the last big lesson from finishing up is its very hard to extract the show’s impact on WHAT people did – from fanwriting to learning Japanese to finding carers. Originally we deconstructed the impact to three major influences – activities, careers, and an interest in Japan. However after we examined it, we realize the impact more clearly split on “inspired me or led me to do X” and “I got really interested in Japanese stuff.”
And boy, you shouldn’t underestimate those impacts. People were led to cosplay, fanfic, entire careers, counselling others, and more. People learned Japanese, launched careers in languge, and had their interest lead them to living in Japan. Again Sailor Moon was some kind of ur-anime for inspiring people.
Much more so as it was targeted at women, and as we know from the latest Star Wars merchandising debacle, people forget women in fandom.
Now that it’s in a rough draft, I feel a bit iritated there weren’t more studies done of its impact, even in our “pschological travelogue” style. There’s so much that should have been done – but at least we’re doing it now.
More, I feel a kind of profound awe. THis crazy weird show/series, this fairy tale soap opera sentai drama comedy, changed lives. I knew it, but I never knew the depth – now I do.
I just want to do it justice. Because it deserves it.