"We're pretty sure if 'Sailor Moon' was placed in a good time slot it would be as big as 'Power Rangers,' " says Suzy Yu, a 15-year-old fan from Torrance who plans to distribute information about the Support Our Sailors campaign at a Japanese animation convention to be held at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and Anaheim Convention Center June 28-30.
In Japan, where animated shows are often viewed as mainstream programs rather than children's entertainment, "Sailor Moon" is a prime-time hit. The series has also found popularity in European countries such as France and Italy. In Canada, it is one of the youth-oriented YTV cable network's most watched daytime programs.
The Internet has clearly united "Sailor Moon" followers from around the world. North American fans can go online to find out what happens to the super-heroines in future episodes courtesy of viewers in Japan or those with imported bootleg videotapes. Others, like Borsuk, have fun scripting their own "Sailor Moon" scenarios in cyberspace in the absence of new English episodes.
One person who isn't much impressed with "Sailor Moon" is Larry Wall of San Francisco, father of fan Heidi and her 9-year-old sister, Geneva.
"It's pretty repetitive and formulaic," he says. "They spend a lot of time being boy-crazy, which I would just as soon not encourage. It's probably one of those things where it might be damaging to some kids but not to others."
But to fans like Heidi, the series is something of a godsend. "With 'Sailor Moon,' [girls] have somebody to look up to," she says. "It has strong female roles. They have the same problems as us but they're also doing cool stuff with super powers."
* "Sailor Moon" airs weekdays at 7:30 a.m. on KCOP-TV Channel 13.