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Back when I was growing up in Los Angeles, as anime was just establishing a foothold overseas, my high school animation teacher gave us a class project of reproducing an existing animated character of our choosing. As I applied the finishing touches of green and pink paint to mine, I got some quizzical looks from my classmate, and more than a few comments of, “Dude, do you have a thing for girls in pleated skirts?”

As accurate as their insights were, my choice of subject had nothing to do with my preferences in women’s fashion, and everything to do with being a huge fan of the anime Sailor Moon. Confused as my classmates had been, the series’ phase of international obscurity was short-lived, and now not only is Sailor Moon loved around the world, it’s got its own art exhibit going on in Los Angeles right now.

Hosting the event is Q Pop, an art gallery and retailer in the city’s Little Tokyo neighborhood. Owner Chris Mitchel’s establishment has previously put on exhibitions focusing on the Monkey King and Japanese tokusatsu rubber-suit monster shows. Since last week, though, visitors have been coming to Q Pop for its Magical Girls Heroines: Sailor Moon and Sailor Senshi art show, featuring artwork produced by fans of the hit magical girl anime and manga franchise.

Opening night saw a huge turnout, with a line stretching down the block to get into Q Pop’s exhibit space. Waiting inside were dozens of pieces paying tribute to the pigtailed defender of humanity and her cohorts.

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Not surprisingly, Sailor Moon herself got the bulk of the attention, with several creators putting their own unique spin on the series’ heroine.

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While most kept things close to the character’s original design, a few showed strong Western cartoon and comic influences.

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Others took a decidedly more abstract route.

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The artists didn’t limit themselves to two-dimensional images, either, as evidenced by this Sailor Moon hand mirror with gothic overtones.

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Sailor Moon is an ensemble show, though, and some pieces focused on other members of the cast, such as this rendition of mysterious Sailor Saturn.

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The artist behind this scene featuring Sailors Uranus and Neptune apparently wasn’t fooled by the localized Sailor Moon’s presentation of the two as “very close cousins.”

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Some fans remember Chibiusa, known as Rini in U.S.-broadcasts, as whiny and annoying, but these pieces show the character can also be cute…

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…or terrifying.

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Sailor Venus, the series’ other principal blond, enjoys a bit of high-end shopping with the titular heroine in this realistically-styled drawing.

▼ We understand that in the anime, Sailor Venus is also a popular actress, but is Sailor Moon’s middle-class middle-school allowance going to cover for all that Gucci?

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Picking sides among members of the Sailor Moon team can be difficult for long-time fans, though, and a number of creators went with group shots of the assembled main cast of five.

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▼ Remember, it’s not really Sailor Moon without a scene of someone pigging out on snacks.

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▼ The piece on the right, with its modern, cell-painted look, is making us all the more impatient for the new Sailor Moon anime coming in July.

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In this reimagining, where the Sailor Senshi all carry katanas, do their weapons still have colorful names, like “Rainbow Prism Flower Spleen Stabber?”

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Much of the artwork on display is also for sale, although if you’re looking for something a little more budget-priced, Q Pop also has a selection of Sailor Moon merchandise.

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And of course, wherever the artistic spirit crosses paths with the love of anime, you can find cosplayers.

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The exhibit wraps up this weekend, so if you’re a fan, take a cue from Sailor Moon herself, and dash headlong into Q Pop, or head over to Things to Do in L.A. for more info!

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Event site information
Q Pop
Address: 128 Astronaut E S Onizuka St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Open 12 noon-9 p.m.

Source: Things to Do in LA
Images courtesy of: Things to Do in LA. Thanks for the tip, guys!