Subject: [FFML] Re: [Query] "Sailor Moon is Everyone's Mother!": Crystal Tokyo dystopias
From: "Ukyou Kuonji" <ucchans@ameritech.net>
Date: 2/29/2004, 9:38 PM
To: "Paul Richard Corrigan" <corrig11@msu.edu>, <ffml@anifics.com>


It's been a while, Paul... of course, I haven't been exactly outspoken
lately, myself.

  I regret to inform the list that my latest Karekano epic, "From the
Diary
of Amy Bellette," is still not finished and is unlikely to be by the next
Anime Central in May.

A disappointment, but no great surprise, I must admit.  Trying to come up
with an acceptable conclusion is a very difficult thing (although somehow,
as awful as it seems, one suspects the participants just about *have* to
muddle through somehow), and I apologize for not having been more help on
that score, either.

Those responsible have been sacked (or would have been
if they'd been employed in the first place--but enough about my
unsuccessful
job search process).


Oh dear.  My sincerest condolences.  I honestly thought your prospects
sounded good, frankly, and while Ottawa is much further than East Lansing,
it isn't as if you're here in town that often, anyway.  Besides, it sounded
like the ideal place for you, personally.  I am truly sorry those interviews
have not panned out thus far.

  However, I am still alive,

Well, that's always a good sign.

and having watched the live action "Pretty
Guardian Sailor Moon" series has revived my interest in Sailor Moon, and
in
decently written SM fanfic, and I've been rereading the classics (Ken
Wolfe,
Chris Davies, et al.) lately.

Uh-oh.  At this point, you're heading into the one major anime fandom I know
next to nothing about, nor have I ever particularly cared for - no offense
to those who *do* favor SM; everyone has their preferences after all.  Just
to warn you, much as I would want to help out here, I will absolutely be
unable to do so.

  One thing I've been unable to find is a dystopian fic set in Crystal
Tokyo. The idea that Crystal Tokyo is in fact a dystopia is itself
respectable enough. Many authors have touched on the possibility of the
Crystal Kingdom being a totalitarian state peopled by a "purified"
mind-controlled populace, a magical version of North Korea (Mark Latus'
"I'm
Here to Help" is one). Other have suggested that Crystal Tokyo was founded
by less than ethical means (Ken Wolfe's "Secrets," for example, where the
end of our civilization and the rise of Crystal Tokyo is engineered by
someone close to Sailor Moon herself).

  None, however, have gone into much detail about what life would be like
in
a dystopian Crystal Tokyo. All the Crystal Tokyos we see fleshed out in
detail are perfectly utopian, though the details of the utopia vary.
(Chris
Davies' Crystal Tokyo is essentially libertarian, with Serenity quoting
Rober Heninlein on the non-existence of free lunches.) When people from
the
present are spirited to Crystal Tokyo, granted, they tend to be miserable
there (e.g. Sean Gaffney's avatar in "Made of Stone," Chris Davies' Priss
in
"Best of All the Years"),

Actually, wouldn't that be a hallmark of a dystopia to begin with; if the
people within were truly miserable, how long would it really last?  Granted,
North Korea and Cuba have both endured for nigh onto half a century, and,
not being versed in political science, I am in no position to explain their
continued functionality, especially given visible(?), viable alternatives
(which Crystal Tokyo, in the Silver Millenium, would not have, if I
understand the story correctly).

but it's invariably the person from the present
who's got the problem, not Crystal Tokyo,

I mentioned that Sailor Moon is not a strong suit of mine; one of the series
I've been watching lately has been Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai.  I can
certainly see a fic where Arumi and Sasshi wind up in 'Abenobashi Crystal
Shoutengai,' and want to get out because, of course, it's still not home.
But that's not quite the same concept you have in mind here, after all.

which, being a utopia, is
"practically perfect in every way," as it were.


It's been a long time since seeing that movie: did anyone in the story
actually have a problem with Mary Poppins' perfection?

  If the list could possibly supplement my literature review, and point
out
a fanfic of substantial merit that _has_ explored a dystopian Crystal
Tokyo
in some detail, I'd appreciate it. If not, it would be easy for an SI
character to get to Crystal Pyongyang--send spies to the 21st century,
posing as SM cosplayers, who seduce and kidnap luckless otaku with few
friends outside fandom who'll be mostly unmissed (and won't affect the
timeline much), pace kidnappings of Japanese by North Korea.


True indeed, and so many would be more than willing to go, especially with a
cute Japanese girl in sailor senshi gear willing to give our hapless otaku
something that most RL females haven't been willing to (somehow, it reminds
me of the Children of God cult that flourished some twenty years back with a
proselytization method known colloquially and euphemistically as "flirty
fishing")

The question is, why?  Why bother abducting people for "Crystal Pyongyang",
especially 'luckless otaku'?  What would any of us have to offer to such a
place?  Furthermore, given that this 'luckless otaku' is presumably having a
lousy time of it in real life, how awful "Crystal Pyongyang" would have to
be for him not to consider it an improvement (see, for instance, the trials
of Skyler Sands in 'Ma Vie et Roses/La Femme')!

  I'm not ready to write it myself because I'm not sure what, if anything,
he'd do there, or if and how he'd be able to escape. Some feedback on the
idea might inspire me some (and get some on-topic discussion going on this
list).

I'm pretty sure this isn't the feedback you were anticipating, Paul, and I
apologize yet again.  Still, maybe a little Osaka-san, out-in-left-field,
speak-first-and-think-later-if-at-all might get a few more folks' juices
going, for all I know.

Paul Corrigan
corrig11@msu.edu
Studio Poutine: www.msu.edu/user/corrig11/poutine.htm

PS The quote is from Chibi-Usa in the SMR movie, unintentionally a very
creepy line, when you consider that Sailor Moon is omnipotent where Chibi
comes from. It sounded like a propaganda slogan.

Either that, or a colossal insult, if you ask two syllables to 'mother...'
Knowing the spore (not that I do), she just might.

I have an image in my head
of Sean and Hotaru from "Made of Stone" taking shelter under a poster of
Serenity reading "Sailor Moon is Everyone's Mother!" If I get to ACen, and
I
get Sean G.'s permission, I might commission a fan artist to draw it.

What say, Sean?  Sounds kinda cool, in a Big Brother, 1984 kinda way...

Itsu mo,
Ucchan  ^_^


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