Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 12

By Naoko Takeuchi. Released in Japan as “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon” by Kodansha, serialized in the magazine Nakayoshi. Released in North America by Kodansha Comics.

And so at last we come to the climax of Sailor Moon’s story. We’ve seen her start off as a whining crybaby of a superhero, and advance to the point where the obvious solution is “kill the entire population and then let Sailor Moon resurrect everyone”. She’s gained friends, a lover, and a future child. Her life has, despite the ongoing war against various miasmic shrouds of darkness, been pretty damn awesome. So what happens when you take all of that from her? Worse, when her enemies are alien versions of her – Sailor senshi from other planets who were the Sailor Moons of their worlds, now fighting with Galaxia in an effort to gain some form of happiness and peace? Why is Usagi Tsukino the special one, why is she the hero, why (if we get right down to it) is she the messiah? This is heavy stuff for a manga that runs in a magazine for 7-9 year old girls.


Of course, Usagi’s never truly alone in this volume, if only as we need people to stare at the enemy and scream her name. The Starlights, Princess Kakyuu (who decides it’s time to man up and become a senshi at EXACTLY the worst time, I feel I should note), and of course the mysterious Chibi-Chibi. Best of all, when things are at their worst, and she’s being attacked by evil forms of all her friends (which is incredibly creepy and wrong – they’re not only using “Galaxia” versions of their attacks, but the expressions of cruel glee on “Venus” and “Saturn’s” faces as they try to kill Sailor Moon just screams out WRONG), back from the future comes Chibi-Usa and her own senshi, the Asteroids, to protect their own slowly dissolving future. I’ve given Chibi-Usa a bad rap over the years, but in the manga, where there’s no filler or drawn-out irritation to deal with, she’s become a really great character. Even if there’s not much she can do here.

Despite all this, in the end it’s down to Usagi herself to save the day, as you would expect. In this she’s helped by Chibi-Chibi, whose real identity is finally revealed (and is quite different from the anime, I note). Well, sort of revealed. Takeuchi has always had pacing problems, and the ending of the series can be quite rushed in places. Sailor Cosmos would seem to be a future Sailor Moon who was unable to take the pressure and ran away, but it’s unclear if she’s meant to be our Sailor Moon or one of the many, many senshi we see scattered throughout this arc (my personal favorite being ‘Soul Hunter Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon’, who cries out for an origin story, one that I hope involves Jem and the Holograms in some way).

The decision Usagi has to make, though, is laid out very well. Chaos is the origin of conflict in this universe, and Usagi can destroy it, leading to eternal peace (but her friends will all be gone), or bring back her friends and doom the world to an ongoing battle with darkness. This is laid out in such a way that it sounds like Usagi makes a horribly selfish decision, but that’s not what’s happening here at all. Life *is* conflict. Life is struggle. Choosing eternal peace is merely choosing death. And if you can’t reach out to save your friends and try to create a future that will last as long as it possibly can, then what’s the point of fighting in the first place? Usagi makes the right decision here, noting offhandedly that she’s never fought for peace or justice, but just for the sake of her friends and loved ones.

Who return at the end, because this is not a sad manga. (On a side note, I’d also like to address something that is really upsetting to me, as seen on the TVTropes page for Sailor Moon. The page states that since we don’t see the cats resurrected at the end along with everyone else, that we can assume they were genuinely killed off. No. That is 100% incorrect. I am sick of you fandom psychos going around to every happy, heartwarming, uplifting series we have and trying to inject your own DC Comics angst and murder into everything. Sailor Moon is a story about a messiah who resurrects the world MULTIPLE TIMES, for Christ’s sake. We didn’t see the cats as Naoko didn’t have room to fit them in in the rushed final chapter. They’re not dead just so that you can say that there’s always tragedy somewhere. This reminds me of all the readers who followed series like Negima or Bleach, and got very upset when their perfect unhappy endings were ruined by the day being saved. What the hell are you reading manga for? Go away. I hate you. The cats live.) And we have a wedding, where Usagi notes she can tell she’s already pregnant with Chibi-Usa. The final page may feel a little self-congratulatory towards Sailor Moon, but really, she’s been through a lot here. Cut her some slack. (Also, Minako’s top hat in that cover page is awesome.)

And so the main series of Sailor Moon concludes, though there are two volumes of short stories still to come. And in the end, after re-reading the series, I find that if anything I love it even more. A classic magical girl tale, not afraid to have kickass women defending love and justice, or whiny crybabies who save the universe. The stories could get a little similar at times (this arc even lampshades that, with the cloud of darkness noting all the other clouds of darkness Sailor Moon fought earlier were its siblings), and yes, 60 chapters of manga will never have the same time to develop character that 200 episodes of anime do as well. But you can have both in your heart, and cherish them equally. I am so pleased that this series is back in print. Everyone should read it.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. Good rant, it reminds me of all the pricks who go on every WMG page to add the ‘Oh the hero is in a coma and it’s all in his head’ theory. This theory is USELESS because you can apply it to everything and it brings nothing substantial to the discussion. In general, WMG pages are really bad.

  2. I’m tempted to go give it another shot at the library again, but volume 1 bored me so much I did the very rare thing of not finishing it. Sure, it was mostly just gathering the team members, but it bored me sooo damn much! It sounds like it might be worth it to trudge through the first arc though…

Speak Your Mind