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Sailor Moon: How These Magical Girls Transformed Our World

Time & Location

January 28, 8pm EST


Can you believe that it has been almost 30 years since Sailor Moon was first published in the weekly girl’s manga magazine Nakayoshi in 1992?! It and its animation adaptation quickly broke records and became a milestone of ’90s girls’ manga and anime. Sailor Moon next turned into a social phenomenon by reaching far beyond the boundaries of its genre, gaining widespread popularity among adults as well as children, and appealing to all genders and sexual orientations. Then, as it started being exported to other parts of the world, it became many people’s first introduction to Japanese pop culture.

Why was Sailor Moon such a hit when it first appeared, and why is it still so popular today? What led to Sailor Moon‘s rise outside of Japan, and what impact did it have on the generation that grew up with it?

Join our panel discussion with Kumiko Saito, Mari Morimoto, Samantha Close, and Kathryn Hemmann as they explore the history and legacy of Sailor Moon, as well as the fandom and fan culture it helped create in the U.S.

Please let us know who your favorite Sailor Moon character is on the Eventbrite page when you register. We will announce the results of the poll during the event and discuss it with the panelists.

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. Along with answering the poll, now is your chance to ask the experts a question about Sailor Moon. Please submit your question when you register. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the Q&A session on air as well.

This is a free event. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email. The date and time of the event are Eastern Time. Please check your local time zone.


Dr. Kumiko Saito is an Assistant Professor of Japanese at Clemson University and teaches Japanese literature in English and Japanese as well as advanced levels of Japanese language. Her research centers on modern Japanese literature and contemporary popular culture, fantasy and science fiction, and visual narratives including manga and video games. Her essays appear in edited volumes and journals such as The Journal of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature Studies.
> Official Website

Mari Morimoto has been a freelance translator of manga and Japanese subculture content for over 25 years. Her translating bibliography includes many bestselling titles such as Naruto, Sailor Moon, Dragonball, and Inuyasha, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she regularly interpreted for Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership, Anime NYC, New York Comic Con, Otakon, and Anime Boston, among others. Highlights of her manga career include meeting and rubbing elbows with Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama in 2003, assisting shojo manga legend Moto Hagio at San Diego Comic Con in 2010, and interpreting for Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto at New York Comic Con in 2015.

Dr. Samantha Close is an Assistant Professor of Communication at DePaul University. Her work on English-language fandoms for Japanese anime and manga appear in the journals Transformative Works and Cultures and Participations: International Journal of Audience Research as well as in the anthologies The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body and Sampling Media. She often incorporates creative methods, such as video remix and comics, into her scholarship. Besides fan studies and Japanese media, she is at work on a book about handcrafting and digital platforms.
> Official Website

Dr. Kathryn Hemmann is the author of numerous essays on Japanese fiction, graphic novels, and video games. Their book Manga Cultures and the Female Gaze argues that an awareness of female and queer writers and readers can transform our understanding of media that is often assumed to take a straight male audience for granted. Dr. Hemmann also runs the blog Contemporary Japanese Literature, which features reviews of fiction in translation and short articles on gender, society, and popular culture.
> Official Website

Previous Sessions

EP1: Roundtable: Why Do We Study Anime and Manga?
EP2: Through a Glass Darkly: Identity Crises in Ghost in the Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion
EP3: The Power of Music in Anime
EP4: Satoshi Kon: Tracing the Legacy of an Anime Giant

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