Kino Makoto / Sailorjupiter, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon
Making a shrine about a character who appears in both a relatively long manga and anime tends to be a challenge. How does one cover so many aspects that can be presented over a long story? It adds to the challenge if that story happens to be a classic that's been around for quite some time and has developed many interpretations. Going back to the roots of the character and presenting all the aspects in a way that's easy to understand for those who missed out on this classic before and are just now picking it up; yet still interesting for long time fans who get a sense of nostalgia browsing the site, is quite the project indeed. Emerald Star accomplishes that beautifully.
The site covers not only vast information about Makoto, but also about the world around her: her past, present, relationships and abilities. The references to specific anime episodes and manga acts show that the site is well researched, presenting both facts and well thought out interpretations. I especially enjoyed the originality of the "Readables" which discuss other aspects of Makoto that are seldom addressed in fansites. One of my favorite analytical pages of this section is the "Battle Ground." The "Queries" page also stands out to me because it's interactive. Communication between the webmaster and visitor seems to have become reduced recently, so it's good to see a section that allows the visitor to directly participate on the site. This can also be seen in the very amusing "Ultimate Fanatic" page of the "Interactive" section.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is remembered by many, not only for being a magical girl classic that set new standards and a story with many interesting and varied characters, but also for its gorgeous art. Apart from the high quality written content, Emerald Star has a lovely media page with beautiful graphics in the "Interactive" section. Another of my favorite pages of that section is "Always, Makoto" a creative work of writing featuring letters written by Makoto. Overall, visiting this site was a very enjoyable experience that made me see Makoto's character in a new light.
Ava says: Kotono's Sailor Jupiter shrine contains many unique and endearing elements. An example of this is her Always Motoko section. Instead of a relationships section, there is a writing project where Kotono write letter fanfics to each of the Sailor Senshi as from the perspective of Motoko. ES was ahead of its time in innovation, but retains all the benefits of a simpler era of fansites. For its originality and for Emerald Star's long-standing status amongst BSSM websites, it deserves a SOTM.