Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi, translated by William Flanagan. Sailor Moon Renewal Editions, #1.
My copy: Kodansha Comics (Kodansha USA Publishing), September 2011. Paperback, 240 pages.
Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!
This new edition of Sailor Moon will feature:
-An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
-Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
-New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
-The original Japanese character names!
-Detailed translation notes!
This version of Sailor Moon will be completely true to original. Join us as Sailor Moon returns to the U.S. for the first time in years!
(Well, it not’s really a strict review…
I’m using this “review” as an excuse to share my Sailor Moon life story with y’all.)
My first encounter with Sailor Moon was when I was a little kid perusing the (now obsolete) video and record store Tower Records. I spotted a VHS that had two Sailor Moon either episodes or movies on it, and my mom, knowing Sailor Moon was a fun, girly thing, bought it for me.
I think I watched it once, sad to say, and I no longer own it. Thinking back, I know I would now enjoy it, or would have enjoyed it if I had been a bit older. I was probably eight or something when I watched that Sailor Moon video for the first time, so I think I was too young to appreciate Usagi and her gang of Sailor Soldiers/Scouts. (I do remember Sailor Mini Moon. She was hilarious, and obviously I liked her the most because she was closest in age to me.)
Over the next few years I’m pretty certain I caught a few random episodes of Sailor Moon on television, because I have vivid memories or certain battles against a wide array of villains. I never did seek out the anime or the manga on my own, however. I wasn’t really into that kind of stuff as a kid. It took me a while to get interested and ask friends what they were reading and watching.
When Sailor Moon Crystal was released, I watched the first episode on Hulu because right around that time I was finally discovering the world of Japanese anime — television shows. (Since I was a kid I’d been watching Studio Ghibli films. Please see this post and this post for my in-depth fangirl thoughts on all the Ghibli movies. Now, returning to our regularly scheduled programming…) I really enjoyed the first Sailor Moon Crystal episode and then went back to watch the original Sailor Moon first episode, which was definitely interesting. Somehow, though, I didn’t continue with the reboot (or original) anime series, and I wish I had.
And now a few more years later, I’ve suddenly become very interested in manga. (I tried getting into manga when in middle school and asked a friend for recs, but I wasn’t that into it and scoffed, thinking, “What’s the point of reading a book with pictures?” Oh, snooty little Mallory…) Now I think manga is fun and awesome and kind of crazy. (As of writing this post, I’m currently in the middle of the first volume of Death Note. Whoa, it’s fascinating.) I’m behind on my Goodreads reading goal so I am aiming to catch up and forge ahead by binge-reading various popular manga series. They’re quick to read and addicting, and I have no shame. Because manga is awesome.
So, to get back to what this post is about… One manga that came in at the library recently was the renewal series of Sailor Moon. I scarfed this book up like there was no tomorrow. It’s pretty corny and you need to take it with a grain of salt, but I absolutely loved Usagi’s quest to keep the villains from obtaining the Legendary Silver Crystal. Also, Mamoru — Tuxedo Mask. Can I just say that I am TOTALLY ON BOARD THIS SHIP?! I squealed like an idiot whenever Tuxedo Mask showed up. He’s mysterious and awesome and definitely my favorite character so far, ha!
Now, I’m no Sailor Moon expert, I’m pretty much a newbie, but I can totally see why Sailor Moon is one of the most famous manga and anime of all time — definitely in terms of mainstream manga and anime. It’s about a bunch of kick-ass teenage girls who save the world with their superpowers. They’re smart, they’re pretty — but they also go through the real struggles of young girls who are growing up. When Sailor Moon came out, it was the early ’90s, and I’m guessing girls and young women craved anything with strong heroines. (Even today we’re still craving stories with strong female leads.) Sailor Moon is awesome, and I am thrilled to be joining in on all the fun and adventures even if it is a bit later than I intended.
TL;DR: I know this wasn’t so much a review as it was a rambling… Basically, I loved Sailor Moon, Volume 1, despite some of it’s illogical moments and not-very-well-explained parts, and it inspired me to gush about everything you read above. I will definitely be continuing with the manga, and I might even try the anime again! ♦
Have you read Sailor Moon?
Original or renewal series?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
Have you watched any of the Sailor Moon anime?
Comment below letting me know!