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Manga Review – Sailor Moon


Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi


Review by Cyn C. (Cyn-Sama)


Sailor Moon turned 20 years old this year.  To celebrate, I went out and picked up Kodansha Comics gorgeous re-release.  I keep getting sucked into re-releases, when I already have multiple versions sitting at home, but when they keep raising the quality, I find it very hard to resist.

This release features the original Japanese character names, right-to-left reading, and a very high quality translation.  No more Americanizing the comic to have it appeal to a Western sensibility.  This is about as close to the original as you are going to find.  Forget the MIXX comics translation that called her Bunny (Usagi translates to Rabbit.  Her last name Tuskino, translates to Of The Moon.  Japanese have myths about there being a rabbit that lives in the moon, eating mochi, much like the Western notion of the Man in the Moon, or the moon being made of green cheese, so her name Tuskino Usagi is a play on her being the Rabbit of the Moon).  Forget the horrid American translation of the anime that called her Serena.  This is Usagi in all of her awkward teenage glory.

So, for those of you who don’t already know the story of Sailor Moon, I’ll do a quick synopsis.  Usagi is a cry-baby girl, in Jr. High.  She’s a very poor student, but loyal to her friends.  One day, she runs into a cat with a bandage on her head.  Her innate kindness has her helping the cat, and removing the bandage, revealing a crescent moon on the cat’s head. Later that night, the cat appears to Usagi, and lets her know that she is actually Sailor Moon, protector of the earth.  And, it’s her duty to fight all kinds of nasty monsters, and find the missing princess of the Moon Kingdom.

Klutzy-Usagi does not react too well to this.  But her shrieks and howls of pain are actually a pretty good weapon against her enemies.  Eventually, she triumphs, and becomes a force to be reckoned with.  This leads her to finding more Sailor Sensi (Soldiers) and her true love, Tuxedo Mask.

Dig a little into the history of a manga fan-girl, and you will find someone who grew up on Sailor Moon.  She still appeals to those of us who like to see bad guys vanquished, true love conquered and just enjoy the heart and soul that is at the core of all shojou manga.  I’m so happy to have Usagi and her friends back on my reading list. I grew up watching them.  They were some of the first manga I ever purchased.  Reading them again is a trip down memory lane, in the very best way.


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4 Responses to “Manga Review – Sailor Moon”

  1. Lori S. (Ethelsmom) says:

    I have not read any manga before, makes me want to give it a try! Any suggestions for a first time reader???

  2. Cyn C. (Cyn-Sama) says:

    It all depends on what your favorite genre’s are. Manga, is just like books and movies, in that there is a genre for everyone.

    Sailor Moon falls directly into the Shojou (girls manga) genre, more specifically into the “magical girl” subset, where a girl will find some accessory that will allow her to transform into something else. Another series in the same subset would be Cardcaptor Sakura.

    If you want something a little more action orientated, there’s Gunsmith Cats, about two female bounty hunters. It’s definitely geared to more of a teen audience, so the language is a bit more coarse, and the violence is more realistic.

    Ah! My Goddess, and Ranma 1/2 are good examples of the “harem” subset. They revolve around a guy, who through circumstances beyond their control end up living with multiple women, all who want him for themselves, and hilarity and hi-jinks ensue. Ranma is especially silly, as the main characters have all been cursed so when they get cold water splashed on them, they turn into something else. In Ranma’s case, he turns into a young girl. His father turns into a panda. It’s strange, and silly, but utterly endearing.

    If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always happy to babble about magna.

  3. Jennifer (mywolfalways) says:

    I loved “Sailor Moon” when I was a teen. The Americanized version is definitely a bit different than the ones they’ve released fairly recently that are closer to their original Japanese version.

  4. R E K. (bigstone) , says:

    Well done!

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