Lately I feel like I’m living my teen years all over again. (Which is convenient, since I write YA fiction!) Not because I’m feeling especially adventurous or hormonal—although to be honest, I didn’t feel like that much as a teenager either—but because some of the stories I loved when I was a teen are being reborn.
For me, junior high was all about Sailor Moon. I fell in love with the show when I was thirteen. I’d never seen a show—or story of any kind—with such a large female cast. It had all sorts of girls: clumsy, smart, poised, sweet, bold, reserved. It inspired and captivated me. To this day, my love for Sailor Moon reminds me to make the characters in my stories diverse, with all kinds of different personalities.
And now Sailor Moon’s back! A brand-new anime is being released, called Sailor Moon Crystal. The story is based on the manga (a.k.a. comic book) version, and the art is gorgeous. I’m really enjoying it so far… And the feeling of nostalgia is priceless. You can watch it on Hulu for free here.
My high school years were all about The Lord of the Rings. I saw Peter Jackson’s version of The Fellowship of the Ring in December of my sophomore year, and it changed my life (and my taste in literature). I devoured the books that spring, and eagerly awaited the next two movies, loving each one more than the last. To this day, The Return of the King is probably my favorite film. It gives me chills, it makes me happy-cry—and it reminds me why I love to read and write in the fantasy genre.
Which is why I am beyond excited to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies next month! Getting to watch new movies based on Tolkien’s work has been so much fun. And delicious nostalgia aside, the new films are great. I like how they’re an “extended version” of The Hobbit novel, with so many tie-ins to The Lord of the Rings. (Though that might be my undying love for the Fellowship talking.)
All told, I’ve enjoyed the chance to witness the rebirth of some of my favorite fictional worlds over the past few years. It’s a fun coincidence—and reminds me of how I came to love stories so much, as well as the decision I made to create stories of my own.
Funnily enough, I spent most of junior high drawing an original comic that was pretty much a Sailor Moon knockoff. The first fantasy novel I ever wrote was a Tolkien-esque tale set in a world with four different races. Granted, they weren’t dwarves, humans, elves, and orcs… But the inspiration was obvious. I owe my start as a storyteller in part to these two fictional universes. It makes me wonder how these latest incarnations might inspire a new generation of storytellers.
(And then I remember that Star Wars VII has yet to come out, and how I spent my years in elementary school running around with a plastic lightsaber and a cape, and I realize that this cycle will keep going for many years to come.)