Though it wasn’t the first anime I watched (that would be Samurai Pizza Cats if I remember correctly), Sailor Moon was one of the most influential cartoons for me growing up. I will always remember seeing it for the first time and thinking how different it was compared to the other cartoons I watched. The art style was more realistic than the cartoony/warped thing that Nickelodeon had going on at the time. It was so… well… pretty! It also focused on girls that were more than shopping and gossiping, girls that were intelligent and courageous.
It changed the way I looked at television & comics and drastically changed my art-style. I’d been leafing through a lot of how-to-draw-comics type books and sketching what I saw from them, going through the exercises they provided. What I drew felt very stiff and flat. When I started drawing more in an anime style to mimic Sailor Moon I was suddenly drawing flowing figures with big eyes and cute outfits. I’ll admit that during this time muscle structure and figure proportion were pretty much thrown out the window, but I had so much fun with it! It provided a much-needed change in direction and gave me a shot-in-the-arm I needed to really get going with art.
Because it inspired me to ramp up on the drawing and develop my own characters and stories, Sailor Moon (even the bastardized american dubbed version, but that’s an argument for another day) will always have a special place in my heart. So, seeing Abraham Cruz’s rendition of the Sailor Moon characters on my feed this afternoon brought a smile to my face. I especially like Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter:
Anime and Manga get a lot of hate in the fine art world, probably because many aspiring artists draw those styles and nothing else, neglecting any kind of formal study. For me studying from life and most recently, my figure drawing classes, makes me appreciate the beauty in anime and manga even more. (For the record, the anime & manga I refer to is not Pokemon, or Digimon, or Yugio, or pretty much any anime associated with a card game. Try Death Note or Full Metal Alchemist for some really interesting stuff.)
Alright, back to real life where there aren’t any beautiful transformation sequences and my cats don’t talk to me.