By Eileen Tse
The crime-fighting Sailor Moon. Photo: Flickr
Aside from the yellow Power Ranger (RIP Thuy Trang), Sailor Moon was probably your first exposure to an Asian face in mass popular culture, even though we were probably too young to realize that Sailor Moon was a Japanese property imported over and dubbed for an American audience.
Although she was a blonde and Asian people normally don’t come naturally blonde (that is a convention in anime and manga character design, especially since manga is in black and white, artists seemed to have gone creative with the colors for covers and insert pages), Sailor Moon was many little girls’ (APA or not) first true female protagonist. Yeah sure, she was ditzy and kinda stupid, but she never turned her back on her friends and was always there to defend humanity. And even if you didn’t particularly like Sailor Moon as a personality, she had a community of other planetary Sailor Soldiers that you could potentially identify with.
Although Sailor Moon took place in a fantastical alternate reality of Tokyo where a couple of teenage girls turned out to be reincarnations of lunar royalty with magical powers, the most important thing about Sailor Moon was that her crew always continued fighting for justice and love, no matter how daunting the adversary.
I could wax on and on nostalgically about the merits of Sailor Moon, so it was to my delight and surprise to find out that the Sailor Moon manga is getting re-released in the United States by Kodansha USA. The series was previously released starting in 1997 by Tokyopop (known as Mixx at the time) in America. I remember those days fondly because I recall reading some Sailor Moon in MixxZine, which was their syndicated magazine, and in the pocket volumes that seem horribly made now since a lot of the pages just slip out of the binding.
Sailor Moon has been out-of-print for about more than five years now, but now Kodansha USA is reviving the manga series and completely renovating the treatment. No longer will Sailor Moon be called “Serena” or Tuxedo Mask called “Darien,” although those names will be forever imprinted into my mind. They’re releasing a more accurate translation of the original Japanese, as well as including translation notes, color pages, and the supplemental short stories. More importantly because I love a good value, they’re condensing 18 volumes into 14. Dang, how can I say no!?! In addition to that, Kodansha USA is publishing the 2 volume “prequel” of Sailor Moon, Codename: Sailor V, which has never been released in America.
The first two volumes of Sailor Moon and Sailor V are out now, with succeeding volumes coming out in two month intervals.
Although my days of avid interest and fandom in Sailor Moon are behind me, there is no doubt that I am still invested in the property, like anyone would be invested in things of their childhood. I can’t wait to revitalize my appreciation for Sailor Moon with this new manga release because (other than being a happy graphic novel consumer) one can never get too old for fighting evil by moonlight.
Note: Originally posted via Berkeley’s Hardboiled.
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