Viz Media Licenses Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal

We interrupt this manga blog to bring you important anime news.

Viz Media announced today at Anime Central that they have won everything ever and are our new gods, provided we pay them the appropriate tribute.


What I meant was that viz Media announced at Anime Central that they have the license to the Sailor Moon anime, and will be releasing remastered Blu-Ray/DVD sets (season half-sets) starting this fall. It will also start streaming on Hulu Monday with the first four episodes subbed, with 2 per week to follow.


It is getting a new dub, cast to be announced.

It will be all 5 seasons, including Sailor Stars, as well as the 3 movies and assorted TV specials.

It is uncut.

It will come with various DVD extras.

They promise Haruka and Michiru will not be cousins.

Oh yes, they also announced… Sailor Moon Crystal, the reboot airing in Japan this summer. They have that as well.

So yes, as I said at the start, Viz Media announced today at Anime Central that they have won everything ever and are our new gods, provided we pay them the appropriate tribute. And by that I mean money. SPEND ALL THE MONEY ON SAILOR MOON.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories, Vol. 2

By Naoko Takeuchi. Released in Japan as “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon” by Kodansha, serialized from various sources. Released in North America by Kodansha Comics.

And so we come to the final final volume of the Sailor Moon manga. Kodansha has indicated there’s an artbook coming along, but for the moment, this is it. And I really wish that it ended better. I’ve been a huge supporter and preacher for this entire series, pointing out how awesome it is, and thus it saddens me that this collection of three short stories has only one that really measures up to the standards set by the series in the past. And no, that’s not the one the anime chose to adopt into a movie. (I do give big props for that cover, though, which has a post-coital Usagi and Mamoru in bed, with Usagi winking at the viewer. Fourth-wall breaking has always been in the Sailor Moon manga to a degree, but this really takes it in new directions of cute.)


Let’s start with the story that takes up over half this volume, Princess Kaguya’s Lover. This was adapted into the 2nd of the 3 Sailor Moon movies, Sailor Moon S. And indeed that’s quite deliberate: Takeuchi wrote it with a movie in mind. I don’t think it ran in a magazine, but instead appeared straight in the original tankobon. It also stars Luna. Luna, Artemis, and Diana have gotten dramatically less focus in the manga than they did in the anime, which ironically helps the story a bit here. We’ve never seen Artemis pining over Luna quite as much as we do in animated form, so there’s less bafflement at Luna’s treatment of him. And the invasion of yet another female villain poised to destroy the world is handled with the usual Sailor Moon aplomb. At heart, though, this is a love story about a cat and a human, and that’s just sort of uncomfortable, even if Sailor Moon does transform Luna into a human so she can say goodbye to her (already in love with his childhood friend) crush. (Also, Venus and Jupiter have birthdays 6 weeks apart! Throw them separate parties, sheesh.)

Casablanca Memory is the reason to pick up this volume, as it’s excellent. Given Rei had to share a short story with Minako last time (and that really was Minako’s more than Rei’s), it’s fitting she gets one of her own. This takes place early on in the Senshi’s lives, around the time they first met Jupiter. Rei’s background has been quietly mentioned before, but this story is all about it: her father is a prominent politician with no time for family, and has assistants to remember things like “when is Rei’s birthday” and “get her something nice.” Her mother was a quiet supporter of her father, but fell ill and died, which Rei has never forgiven him for. Then there’s Kaido, the assistant of Rei’s father, who’s like an older brother to her… or maybe something more. The story isn’t perfect – it’s never clear if Kaido is possessed or was posing as a Dark General all this time, and his death is also very ambiguous. But it really gives you a good sense of Rei, and is at least very much in character.

And so we come to Parallel Sailor Moon, the final story in the manga, and the nadir of the series. This was written a couple of years after the series ended for an artbook, and the author noted it was in an alternate universe AND THANK GOD, because everyone in this is shallow and awful. Takeuchi has, throughout the manga, had a bad habit of making her characters shallow and annoying for the sake of humor. Since this story is all humor, that’s all we get. The premise has our heroines all grown up and married, with kids of their own, and apparently not senshi as they all live in modern-day Tokyo. They’re all noted to be daughters of prominent families who had arranged marriages, and the kids are “wise above their years” cynics who would not be out of place on an 80s ABC sitcom. Usagi has had a 2nd child, Ko. Ko is hyper-annoying and loves to eat, and everyone hates her. There’s not even the “we love Usagi for all her faults” here, except for one panel where they realize she’s in trouble. It’s just “Ugh, her.” I just… I identify with the characters more than anything, so seeing them portrayed like this hurts my soul. I laughed once the entire story, when Hotaru remarked about how they were going to take over the world as civil servants. That was it.

There are a few extras here, with a timeline for the series (real-life timeline, i.e. publishing dates) and Takeuchi’s description of visiting Cape Kennedy to see space shuttle launches. But overall, despite Rei being cool and beautiful, this book is for those who want t have the complete collection, and I suspect that of all the re-releases it will be the one I dip into least. Still love Sailor Moon, though.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories, Vol. 1

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

There’s an important thing to keep in mind when reading this first of two collections of short stories that were interspersed throughout the series’ run: they didn’t run in Nakayoshi. They ran in a sister magazine, run Run, which was also home to Sailor V. Run Run no longer exists today, but I seem to recall when it was around that its core audience was girls about 2-3 years younger than the usual Nakayoshi audience. And that’s not even getting into the fact that these are quick side-stories Naoko dashed off in between chapters, so are naturally going to be a bit more comedic and fluffy than the core plotline.


If all of this sounds a bit defensive, well, let’s just say that ‘light and frothy’ doesn’t begin to describe this volume of Sailor Moon extras, most of which are very silly and not exactly lending themselves to deeper analysis. Four of the stories star Chibi-Usa and her friends (with occasional rescues from Sailors Moon and V), while three others detail the struggles of the Inners to pass high school exams. The first one is around the R continuity (Chibi-Usa has just arrived, and is meeting her very busty friend Momo… Ranma fans will immediately be reminded of Shampoo), but most of the stories take place around the SuperS continuity – indeed, a few of them were adapted into the SuperS anime – with the final one seeming to be around Stars, given it has Hotaru.

This is not to say I did not 100% enjoy these stories, as I did. I like Naoko’s style of blatant humor, and she has a knack for amusing caricature faces. The Chibi-Usa stories at the beginning are pure fun for kids, with the kids getting into danger and having to transform to get themselves out of it. The story at the end is slightly longer and attempts to have more depth, but there’s only so far you can go when you find out that Naru’s sister is not only a kogal but is also named Naruru. It’s good to know that Japan has horrible naming sense as well. (Also, kudos to Mari Morimoto for the translation of this chapter, which was filled with topical Japanese slang that Chibi-Usa and Hotaru pointed out and lampshaded throughout, thus making it virtually unadaptable. A very nice job.)

My favorite part of the book, I will admit, are the three stories focusing on the Inners. Makoto’s is probably the weakest, but we do get some amusing scenes of her procrastination through cooking and housework, and also hear about her late parents for what may be the only time in the manga OR anime canon. (They’re killed in a plane crash when Makoto was a little girl, which is used here as both an amusing gag and to have Mako gain sympathy points from her friends.) Ami’s First Love is probably the best written of the three, and it’s no surprise that the anime adapted this into a short film for theaters. Ami can be very tightly wound, so seeing her coming unglued at finding a student who’s just as perfect in studying as she is is hilarious, particularly when she gets so upset by this she seems to make herself ill.

And then there’s Rei and Minako. I’ve discussed how much I love this chapter before, silly as it is, and that hasn’t changed. The manga version of Rei – cool, collection, a bit ‘ice queen’ – is in such contrast to Minako’s extrovert that it makes sense that she’d want to see what Rei’s life at school is like – and yes, she’d want to ask if Rei farted. I think that Minako regards Rei as a bit too perfect, and this is just her own tactless way of trying to reassure herself that Rei is human after all. Of course, all that her visit to Rei’s perfect Catholic school ends up doing is tweaking Minako’s own insecurities – and that leads to Rei seeming genuinely upset at Minako getting angry, showing she *isn’t* the perfect ice princess. Rei is likely very lonely at that school where she only has admirers, and just can’t express her friendships in the way that Minako wants her to. Still, they manage to bond by… well, Rei being possessed and trying to kiss Minako. And afterwards being crankier than ever. But Minako’s feeling good again, and that’s what’s important. Bless these children.

So if the Sailor Moon series was a full-course meal, then this is dessert. Don’t go into it expecting anything more than delicious sweets that are easy on the eyes but not all that good for you, and you should be fine. Also, Rei has never farted. She is better than all of us.