Self-Indulgence 2: The Wrath of Usagi
Was rummaging through the closet and came across this: the first anime t-shirt I ever owned. Yes, it’s a Sailor Moon t-shirt. Feel free to laugh and mock., you wouldn’t be the first.
I bought this t-shirt back in 1998 or 1999. Pretty sure it was ’98, but either way it’s pretty old as far as US-market anime merchandise goes. I snagged it at a local anime shop, Anime Ichiban, mainly because I was enamoured by the novelty of having a t-shirt with anime stuff on it. I liked Sailor Moon at the time (and still have a certain fondness for it, nostalgia-wise), but I wasn’t a huge fan. I was 20 years old at the time and well past the intended demographic for Sailor Moon, but it amused me the same way reruns of Voltron or Speed Racer amuse me. It was cheesy and repetitive, but it never took itself too seriously and most of the characters were genuinely likable. It was cute fluff to watch when I got home from college.
So I felt no shame in buying and wearing this t-shirt. It wasn’t like it had Sailor Moon posing in her usual fashion or whatever. It was just a headshot and a close-up of her eyes. I thought it was fairly classy and subdued as far as a fanboy t-shirt went. I was happy to see stuff like this popping up.
I wore it around. Rarely to school or anything like that, but I’d wear it when I’d go out to the movies or when I was hanging out with friends. I also made the mistake of wearing it during a particular trip to a local RPG shop.
I went in the store to check out their World of Darkness stuff. I forget what book I was looking for. While I was flipping through whatever book I was interested in, one of the guys that worked in the store said something about my t-shirt. He knew who Sailor Moon was and made fun of it. I forget what, exactly, he said, but I laughed along with him. I figured it was just some friendly barbing. I’m down with that. I’d make fun of a friend of mine if they were wearing the same shirt, but then I’d laugh and move on to something else since I’m just poking fun in the way friends poke fun at each other.
Nope. Not only does this guy go on and on about the shirt, the other guy that works there joins in. They aren’t saying anything rude or disparaging, but they won’t shut the fuck up about my t-shirt. They seem genuinely annoyed by its presence, as if Sailor Moon is some sort of forbidden taboo voodoo or something. Nevermind that one of the guys is someone that I know LARPs Vampire the Masquerade (He invited a friend of mine and I to a session some time in the past. That’s a completely different story to be told at another time.). No, apparently that’s completely normal, but a Sailor Moon t-shirt is strictly off-limits.
I got fed up with their crap and left the store to go to the arcade (The game shop was in a mall and this back when mall arcades were still viable.). The guys never said anything about it again, although they did try to start some shit when I went in at a later date and dared to pick up the copy of the Sailor Moon RPG. I almost bought it just to spite the guy, but I figured I was happy enough with my copy of the Project A-Ko RPG.
And, no, they didn’t give me crap for buying A-Ko. Just Sailor Moon. Assholes. Wish I could say I’m glad to see the store close down just to spit in their faces, but it was also the closest game store to where I lived and had a good selection.