Genesis Rodriguez describes the moment she first discovered the Japanese cartoon “Sailor Moon” with a fair amount of sincere drama.
“It changed my life forever, it’s that simple,” said the 20-year-old Hollywood resident. “I wouldn’t be into anime at all, if not for that, and I’m not sure what kind of person I’d be.”
Rodriguez is among the thousands of manga, animation and pop culture fans descending on 2014 Anime Expo, happening July 3-6 at the L.A. Convention Center.
Rodriguez explained how her father’s refusal to sit through “Cinderella” – again – led her to select something entirely new during a trip to the video rental store.
“He and my brother said I had exactly five seconds to pick something different,” she recalled. “I turned around and saw the VHS cover. It was pink and bright, and I recognized its emphasis on girl power.”
Rodriguez was amazed by the stories of the schoolgirls whose superpowers and secret identities help to save the Earth on a regular basis. She soon had Sailor Moon dolls, a clock, backpack and any other paraphernalia she could get her hands on.
The comic and series were developed from the work of Naoko Takeuchi, and were a monster hit in Japan, and later in the U.S.
Rodriguez will dress as Sailor V, the Takeuchi character who preceded Sailor Moon and her cohorts. She will be among the many who spend countless hours preparing costumes and props for the expo.
Making it a family affair, Rodriguez will attend with several of her extended family donning the costumes of Sailor V’s supporting cast, including her 20-month-old niece, who will be dressed as Sailor Baby.
She said among other benefits, the cosplay activities have led her to learn how to sew.
This will be Rodriguez’s first trip to Anime Expo. Last year, she couldn’t take time off from her job: working as a costumed character at Universal Studios.
“It was really sad, but skipping work would have cost me my job,” she said. “This year, I made sure they knew I needed the time off.”
VIZ Media, the distribution company that recently acquired the rights to release the entire “Sailor Moon” series on home video, will celebrate the series at Anime Expo with events on July 5.
A panel will reveal for the first time the brand new cast for the freshly produced English dub and premiere the first two dubbed episodes. Fans attending this official panel will get a special premium poster while supplies last.
There will be a special showing of the first episode of the all-new series “Sailor Moon Crystal” at noon Saturday.
More information is available at www.anime-expo.org. VIZ Media is located on the main convention floor in Booth 1601.