As a huge fan of Sailor Moon, one artist decided to reimagine the characters in a fresh new way that resonated with them. In the resulting fanart the Sailor Senshi have undergone a magical transformation into black African women – check out these amazing illustrations below.

Born and raised in New Jersey to Nigerian parents, Odera Igbokwe is an illustrator who “loves to explore storytelling through character archetypes, afro-diasporic mythologies, and magical girl transformation sequences.” Sailor moon is one of Odera’s major inspirations and the recent broadcast of the remake Sailor Moon Crystal inspired them to finally create fanart for it. The project became a way to reimagine the Sailor Senshi as born into new physical bodies while retaining their spirit, and, according to Odera, “The result was me showing the spectrum of women of the African Diaspora in the context of Sailor Moon.” Also a huge fan of J-Pop, Odera has created illustrations to go along with some of their favourite Utada Hikaru songs, as well as plenty of other African-inspired art. When discussing the reaction to the illustrations Odera said that there has been a variety of responses from very positive to more negative, and that the negative reactions are usually linked to anti-blackness and racism. Of course some fans will always react strongly when they see their idols being changed in any way at all, but it is an interesting experiment for any of us to examine our own reactions when we see familiar characters with a different skin colour as usual.

▼Sailor Moon


▼Sailor Mercury


▼Sailor Mars


▼Sailor Jupiter


▼Sailor Venus


▼Sailor Chibi Moon


▼Sailor Pluto


▼Sailor Uranus


▼Sailor Neptune


▼Sailor Saturn


Fanart is a way of paying homage to a work you love while at the same time putting a piece of yourself back into it, and Odera has certainly done that in a personal and unique way. If you dig these illustrations you can buy prints of them here.

Source: NicoNico News [Japanese], Gree News Interview [English]
Odera Igbokwe: Website, Tumblr, Instagram, Online Store