Series: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #1
Published by Kodansha Comics on September 13th 2011
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!
Sailor Moon and I go way back. This was the first anime I ever watched. I remember getting up super early very morning for school just so I could watch it. Even years later when I need a good fix, it is right there waiting for me, now in its newly rereleased manga.
In the first volume, readers are introduced to Usagi (Serena), Ami, Rei, and Makoto (Mina) and their sailor guardian counterparts: Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. Having usually encountered the US version of names, it was a bit strange to make this switch in my head.
I knew going into this series that things were going to be a bit different. The Japanese anime was 200 episodes; however, the manga has only twelve volumes. Of course, the anime had plenty of filler episodes, so once you cut all that out, you are left with the true tale.
Sailor Moon, Volume 1 takes up a good portion of the volume focusing on discovering the scouts. With each chapter basically introducing a new ally and moving readers closer to getting involved with the bad guys: the Dark Kingdom.
I really hate comparing the manga to the anime, but when that is what you are so use to, it takes over a bit. So I apologize in a advance.
One of the biggest changes that I have noticed thus far is how Mamoru (Darien) discovers Sailor Moon's true identity. It was kinda sad that the discovery element was not there. Basically, it just happened. No surprise really. Just 'she looks strangely like Sailor Moon'… 'you are'… 'great, let's move on'.
Sailor Moon, Volume 1 was a nostalgic bundle. All my favorite characters are back, and for the most part, just how I remember. Although, I will admit that Usagi was a bit surprising. She was not as big a crybaby (aka annoying) here. That is definitely one plus in the manga's favor. Rei and Mamoru were also different. Rei is much more approachable. Mamoru was almost like an completely different character. He was softer. And him in a school boy uniform… swoon!
Naoko Takeuchi is a one super skilled artist. Both in black / white and color. Each panel, at times, can seem like a work of art. And there are plenty that I would love to have in a frame.
Sailor Moon, Volume 1 went beyond all my expectations. I was hoping for a simple walk down memory lane and got so much more. If you have seen the anime, and enjoyed it, this is one manga you cannot skip. A tale that is oh so familiar, but has plenty of differentiations to keep your attention throughout. Highly recommend!