At its surface, Sailor Moon is an innocent anime series featuring magic cats and long legged school girls fighting evil forces. And all of that is true, but one must look at the original Japanese anime (or manga) to see that this show served as a queer respite for kids all around the world! For those who have no idea who Sailor Moon is, it originally started out as a manga series by Naoko Takeuchi in late 1991. In 1992, it was adapted to an anime television series in Japan, with subsequent American syndication.
Speaking as a gay cis man, I was always drawn to strong female characters, especially ones who are flawed (see: Judy Garland). Usagi, Sailor Moon’s girl name, is just that. She’s a clumsy school girl who can’t keep her grades up by day, and then she’s saving the universe from monsters come dinner time (err, “fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight”). She became my after school safe zone: a positive, empowering reprieve.
When Sailor Moon made her way to the USA, a lot of the dubbing - and consequently a lot of the story line, was seriously edited. For starters, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus were, in fact, lesbian lovers in the Japanese version. There were even scenes where they expressed their deep love and devotion for each other. However, to American kids, these two sailor soldiers were COUSINS. While Sailor Neptune exuded all of the conventional feminine qualities, Sailor Uranus exclusively wore tailored suits or pants and cut her blonde hair very short - so much so that she had to explain in an episode that she didn’t “recall ever saying that she was a guy”. In short, she didn’t associate with gender norms - furthermore, she incessantly hit on Sailor Moon. Color my little gay ass INTRIGUED!
In the very first season, two of the main male villains, Kunzite and Zoisite have a very curious dynamic. They were also exceptionally sweet to each other, and created a interesting depth to their characters. In one scene, Kunzite gives Zoisite a rose “to match his beauty”. This was, for some reason, not dubbed out for the English version!
Some characters didn’t even make it to America, or made it to America in a censored way. Fisheye, a fish who was given human form by Zircona (bear with me), is a cross dressing man in Japan, but a full blown woman in America. And let’s not forget the Sailor Starlights, who disguise themselves as a boy band (of whom Sailor Moon and the girls go on dates with!), and transform into women as their super hero form.
Despite the American censorship, Sailor Moon shone as an incredible and relatable source of entertainment for a lot of kids of the 90s. Also, Usagi loves bread. Like LOVES bread.
In the name of the moon, I will give you the recipe now.
Sailor Moon’s Moon Pie Galaxy Cake
Graham Cracker Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream and a Chocolate Galaxy Mirror Glaze topped with Crushed Banana Chips
3 cups crush graham crackers
1 cup flour
5 tsps baking powder
1 cup Butter, softened
1.5 cups of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1.5 cups milk
2 cups butter, softened
1 tsp of almond extract
1.5 containers of marshmallow cream
2 cups powdered sugar
Galaxy Mirror Glaze
1.5 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
12 oz white chocolate
1 packet of Gelatin (2 tbsp) and an addition 1/4 cup of warm water
Gel food coloring: Light Blue, Dark Blue, Purple, Pink, Black
1/4 cup Banana Chips, crushed
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease and line with parchement paper four 8’ round pans. Whip the softened butter until light and fluffy, then slowly add the sugar. While that beats, mix and sift together all remaining dry ingredients. Add eggs to the sugar and butter mixture one at a time and then add the vanilla. Once incorporated, alternate adding the dry ingredient with the milk. Separate evenly (use a digital scale!) between the four prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Put all marshmallow butter ingredients in the mixer and combine until voluminous. Begin layering the cake, and add a layer of cocoa crispies between each layer. Completely coat the entire cake and stick in the freezer for about 35 minutes. When you take it out the frosting should be malleable with your fingers, so you then can smooth it out to perfection. Stick back in the freezer while you make your glaze.
Bloom the gelatin the 1/4 cups of water. Combine the sugar, water, and white chocolate in a sauce pan and turn on low while mixing. Once the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted, add the gelatin. Separate the mixture into 5 bowls and add each food coloring into the bowls. I made more light blue that anything else, but it’s up to you!
IMPORTANT: the cake NEEDS to be frozen on the exterior and the mirror glaze NEEDS to be around 85F - otherwise the glaze will run right off your cake!
When the temperature is right, pour on the cake however you wish!
To create the crescent moon with banana chips, take left over cardboard and draw an 8” diameter circle. Draw the crescent moon within that circle and cut out the stencil. Pierce the stencil with toothpicks to slightly hover about the glaze and sprinkle the banana chips through the stencil!
Shout Moon Prism Power and you’re done! Enjoy with all of your girlfriends before you talk about boys or fight evil!