Woman goes in for tiny tattoo, gets giant ‘Sailor Moon’ sleeve instead

They bonded over fandom and she got the tattoo of her dreams.

Erykane Art is a tattoo shop in Boise that’s gained a loyal local following thanks to the gorgeous artwork of owner Eryka Jensen. Her work is so popular clients and fans on Facebook and Instagram have offered to fly her to different cities to have her do custom tattoos for them.

But some clients come for different reasons—like Reddit user WashuZ, who chose Jensen’s tattoo shop initially because her name is Erika, too.

Luckily for her, she chose the right kindred spirit. A year later, she walked out sporting this:

WashuZ/Imgur

Erika came to the shop hoping for the subtlest tattoo ever—cat whiskers on her inner pointer finger. But once inside the shop, she noticed that one of Jensen’s tattoo guns—the tool used to apply ink—was decorated with art from Sailor Moon, one of her favorite series. 

I wouldn’t be who I am now if I never found Sailor Moon.

“We just started talking about the show,” Erika told the Daily Dot. “We were both huge fans! I mentioned how I saw other Sailor Moon tattoos and that I’d love one as well. I have always wanted a sleeve, so it just fit to put those two together. She knows the show and the characters and I felt that she could put good detail into this.”

“Good detail” is putting it mildly. Over roughly 36 hours of work lasting more than a year, Jensen created a detailed sleeve featuring Sailor Moon and the show’s three adorable cats, Luna, Artemis, and the kitten Diana. And of course no Sailor Moon tattoo would be complete without a red rose.

When Erika shared her tattoo in its all-but-finished state on r/SailorMoon, redditors were impressed and so were we. When we wrote her to ask for the details on how she got such a gorgeous sleeve, Erika shared loads of progress photos with us. Eryka did Erika’s sleeve in three basic parts—the outline for the cats, Sailor Moon, and the background details including Usagi’s scepter, castle, and rose. Then she did the whole thing over again, this time in color.

First, she did the cats:

Next, Miss Usagi herself:

WashuZ

WashuZ

Time to pause for a quick pre-color selfie:

WashuZ

And on to the fun part—color.

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

Washu

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

WashuZ

Erika told us she pushed for bright colors in the tattoo because to her, “a rainbow of colors means happiness.” 

She also said that while she didn’t walk into the store intending to spend the next year of her life getting an elaborate anime sleeve tattoo, it was worth it because Sailor Moon changed her life:

The entire sleeve is personal to me, because of my absolute love for the show. It was one of the first things that I really liked as a young teenager. I had a lot of depression and felt that everything around me was lifeless and dull. I struggled a lot with personal feelings and being different from others. Until I saw this show. It was full of magic, colors, story, and romance. It really transformed me, which I feel a bit silly to admit. I think I wouldn’t be who I am now if I never found Sailor Moon.

Sounds like Moon Healing Activation to us.

Of course there’s really nothing silly about the inspirational properties of anime. Jensen’s sessions are in-demand, and don’t come cheap. Currently her sleeves are done over multiple all-day sessions. A single day session runs $500, which means Erika’s arm is roughly more valuable than the cars some of us are driving.

All this, and she still walked out with the tiny cat whiskers tattoo. 

Photos via WashuZebraStripes/Imgur

Aja Romano

Aja Romano

Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.