We’re currently living in an Age of Nostalgia, where shows from our childhoods are suddenly reappearing and they look a little… different. It can be both a frightening and exciting time, but it is also a time to reconnect with those shows that first made you apart of Fandom.
I remember it like it was yesterday…wow, isn’t that the most cliché line when it comes to nostalgia? Let’s try again, it was 2012 when I found myself in a fandom rut. For some reason it was difficult to find any anime that clicked with me the way I remembered. It was a surreal moment where I began to question myself. Had I outgrown anime or were they simply not making shows like they use to, or was it a combination of both?
I should probably also point out that I was in a deep depression at the time and that might have been part of the dramatic panic this caused me. I watched and rewatched Dragonballz dvds in an effort to recapture the “good old days.” At the time Sailor Moon or Digimon weren’t available anywhere except bootleg copies on youtube. I settled for them though, sighing and smiling at the memories the shows brought up. I distinctly remember telling my friends, “I would pay anything for them to release Sailor Moon and Digimon on DVD… anything.”
Low and behold two years later the announcement came that Hulu would be releasing Sailor Moon, and not just that but a new series was in the works. Later that year Netflix received all the classic Digimon episodes for my binge watching pleasure. Oh 2014, you were a blessing.
While Sailor Moon Crystal didn’t live up to my expectations it was still great to see the interest in my favorite show revived from the dead. Now at conventions I could find new Moonie Merchandise and new fans were experiencing Sailor Moon for the first time. I was a little worried Sailor Moon wouldn’t hold up over the years but you know what, I think it did just fine.
My nostalgia wasn’t so bad that I’ll pretend the first season of the original show doesn’t have faults. The animation isn’t perfect and Usagi has a long way to go before becoming a the Moon Princess, but I already knew all this. For almost two years of my childhood I woke up at 6:30 every morning to watch classic Sailor Moon episodes. I had seen Seasons 1-3 at least four times during that time and knew every fault, every victory, and every comedic moment by heart.
The same could be said for Digimon, I had watched and re-watched my recorded VHS’ of the old series so many times I know exactly where the series drags and where it excels. While Digimon went on to make numerous different seasons nothing quite compares to the characters in the first two, or the story of the third (my favorite season.) Now in 2015, there is news of the digidestined returning in Digimon Tri.
Like Dragonballz, these were the first shows that really exposed me to anime and I was always thirsty for more. But public television and lack of good internet connection really limited me. They sparked my hunger for shows that have exciting plots, fleshed out characters and other worldly situations . They sparked my love for Japanese culture and cartoons that I will carry with me into old age.
With the recent return of these shows a lot of fans may feel disappointed, maybe fearful. Why won’t they just leave our childhood alone?
Well I for one welcome our new rebooted overlords. I imagine this is what it must feel like for some Harry Potter fans whenever new stories come out, or Star Wars fans with the new movies. Love the changes, hate the changes, either way we’ll still watch it and no matter how much you fight you’ll heart will enjoy experience (just a little bit.)
Sure Sailor Moon Crystal wasn’t what we expected but it did revive a love for sailor moon. It gave people the chance to see the manga in animated form, and if we are totally honest it does has some beautiful scenes. Dragonball Super is giving me one last hoorah with my favorite characters. It is still a little early to say how we feel about the Digimon movies that are set to come but the new designs promise a fresh look for classic characters.
More importantly for me, it has ignited an excitement in shows that I haven’t felt for years. I heavily invested my childhood in Sailor Moon and the Scouts so you bet I had opinions about Crystal (both good and bad.) I’m sharing my joy and thoughts on Dragonball Super now, and when Digimon finally comes out I’ll watch it with excitement as well.
The Nostalgia Age is upon us and we shouldn’t fear it. Maybe other shows will follow like Cowboy Bebop, Slayers, or Escaflowne. Let’s not pretend this is a phenomenon limited to the anime fandom. Xena might be getting a new show, The Evil Dead is starting up again on STARS, and this Christmas Star Wars is kicking off a new chapters.
If we really are venturing into an age of reboots and sequels what is the worst that can happen? A shiny new movie maybe? Some new merchandise for us to collect? GASP-New fans will join the fandom?
Take a deep breathe. It’s not the end of your childhood. It’s just the natural course of media. I promise we’ll all be alright.