When I was at the age between four and six, Sailor Moon lay at the centre of my life. Not just my life but all other girls’ lives also revolved around Sailor Moon. Every Saturday at 7 pm, we would sit in front of the TV to watch a new episode of the Sailor Moon anime series. We would wear Sailor Moon clothes and play with various Sailor Moon items. At kindergarten, we talked about Sailor Moon, drew its characters with crayons and sang its theme song. We girls were this much crazy about Sailor Moon.
When I was five, one day, we got a pamphlet at our kindergarten about a Sailor Moon exhibition happening at a community event space in our town. From that day, this exhibition became the most important conversation topic among all the girls in the kindergarten. Every day, somebody would share the story of their visit to this exhibition. According to their stories, we could meet one of the characters from Sailor Moon at the event (somebody was wearing a mascot costume, but for us children, they were real characters!). Whenever somebody said they had visited the exhibition, we would ask her
“Which character did you meet there?”
Some people met Sailor Moon herself, and others met Sailor Jupiter or Sailor Venus or other main characters from the series. I was impressed by all these stories and wanted to visit the exhibition myself.
A few weeks into the exhibition, I finally got the permission to go to the exhibition. My father was going to take me there! The event space was located in the outskirt, and we took subway to get there. All along the way, I was nervous to meet Sailor Moon.
“Do you think Sailor Moon will be there, Daddy?”
I kept asking while we travelled on the subway.
The exhibition took place in a large hall on the second floor. As soon as we got off the escalator, I saw walls of illustrations from the Sailor Moon series. They were exciting, but they were not what I was looking for.
“There she is, sweetie! Sailor Moon is there!”
My father said in a cheerful voice as he pointed to a large mascot costume standing at the far end of the exhibition. Excited, I looked in that direction and found Sailor Chibi Moon standing there. My father wasn’t a real follower of Sailor Moon series, and he couldn’t distinguish between different characters.
“Daddy, that’s not Sailor Moon. That’s Chibi Moon!”
I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t Sailor Moon, but I still wanted to meet the character.
“Let’s go closer,” my father said and we walked toward Sailor Chibi Moon.
The Sailor Chibi Moon was gigantic. She was taller than my father. Even though her gesture seemed friendly, I suddenly got scared and stopped before meeting her. I stood about 2 meters away from her and watched other children take photos with her.
“Aren’t you going to say hello to her?”
My father asked me wondering why I was hesitating all of a sudden. I told him that I was scared. He tried to encourage me, but I was unmovable. We stood there like that for a while. Then my father said that it was time for us to leave.
“Your mother is waiting for us at home. We gotta go now.”
“Already?” I glanced at the Sailor Chibi Moon once again. Nobody was around her. She was looking at me, with a friendly gesture that I can come closer.
“Are you sure you don’t want to say hello to her?” My father asked me for one last time.
I thought it would be too shameful not to meet her properly after coming all this way. So, I mustered up my courage and walked toward the huge Sailor Chibi Moon. The Sailor Chibi Moon was delighted to see me and she held my hands. Unfortunately, my father didn’t carry a camera, so we didn’t take any photo together. After that handshake, I said goodbye to the Chibi Moon, and we left the exhibition.
As we descended on the escalator, I said to my father
“She wasn’t scary. She wasn’t scary at all! Her hands were soft!”
My father laughed and said
“Of course she’s not. What made you think that she was scary in the first place?”
The next day, I proudly announced to my friends at kindergarten that I had met Sailor Chibi Moon at the exhibition and shaken hands with her.