Full disclosure: there was a time in my life when I lived by (and when I say lived, I mean planned my entire day around) Cartoon Network’s scheduled programming. Sailor Moon, Cardcaptors, Digimon, Pokemon, and any and every Miyazaki movie ruled my life. I lived and died by it, assigning myself a Sailor Scout depending on my mood: Contemplative? Sailor Mercury. Feisty? Sailor Mars. Center of attention? Sailor Moon, duh. There was never a 3:00 pm that passed where I wasn’t plopped in front of the television fully invested in the fate of various anime characters, and artist Carly Kroll is absolutely taking it back to our early-mid 90’s anime dreams.
Using anime influences from the likes of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptors, Kroll’s work is adorably nostalgic. Calling on bright colors like bubblegum pinks, sunshine yellows, and that specific anime purple that falls somewhere in between lilac and violet, Kroll’s work deals heavily with female protagonists from the not so distant past. Scenes of Sailor Moon fighting evil by moonlight and winning love by daylight, Haku and Chihiro’s unique bond, and the sweetest Luna and Artemis undoubtedly trying to talk some sense into the Sailor Scouts, Kroll’s work is a love letter to the 90’s childhood none of us have ever quite gotten over.
Technically speaking, her portfolio is visually stunning, and just about as near to perfect as you can get. Bold lines and beautifully blended color runs throughout the entirety of her work, as does attention to small details like the eyelashes and subtle nuances of baby pinks and light periwinkles that reflect on Haku’s fur. The dot work found in the background of her Kero piece is both stylistically on point (ha!) and aids an undeniably magical air to the character, you know, in case a tiny, flying, yellow teddy bear wasn’t magical enough already.
On a totally shallow note that has nothing to do with Kroll’s complete mastery of anime characters, she 100% looks like Sailor Moon, and if that isn’t enough of a draw to get a piece by her then fuck it, we don’t know what is, but consider this: When is the next time you’ll ever have a chance to be tattooed by Princess Serenity, the meatball head herself. Answer: Never. Now get in there, ya nerds.