Book Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Vol 1 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title:  Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories Vol. 1

Author/Illustrator:  Naoko Takeuchi

Format: Paperback

Publication: 2004

Translation: 2013

So it was while I was checking out a local comic book shop of a friend of mine that I went exploring the manga section of the store curious about purchasing a new series that I had heard about and watched to discover that there was a short stories collection of Sailor Moon that I had never heard of.  I was nearly jumping up and down with excitement.  If you have read any of my previous blogs you know that I am a fan of Sailor Moon and this was a must purchase for me (particularly when the store is having a buy one book get a second half off – more adventures and reviews to come because of this sale).

Just barely glancing into the book I was already excited to see that there were several stories that were Chibi-Usa centric.  I’ve been on a recent Chibi-Usa kick due to re-watching the series lately and doing a bit of role playing pertaining to her character.  When I opened the book I admit that I was not disappointed.  This book was as it says it is a group of short stories, things that you never see happen in the anime and of course not in the Manga.  It is kind of fun to think that our beloved Sailor Senshi have other adventures beyond just dealing with the typical Youma.  Of course, the monsters in this book were very much like the others in some ways but in others it was different as some of the villains possessed the bodies of others to do their dastardly deeds.

I think over all my favorite part of this manga as I read it was that it wasn’t focused on Sailor Moon.  I love her just as much as the next and she was featured in several stories and did even fight but it was other senshi that dealt with most of the problems on their own and that was kind of cool to me.  Of the stories I think my favorite was probably “Rei’s and Minako’s Girls School Battle” as it followed Mina being herself and being absolutely hilarious as she tries to fit in at Rei’s school in disguise.  While my least favorite was “The Secret Hammer Price Hall” which focused on two new characters who are supposedly the same age as Chibi-Usa but look to be much older.  They are fashion fanatics, focus on the material talk like valley girls and cosplay and Sailor Senshi.  It was kind of a long and slightly boring story as though out the story  Chibi-Usa had to explain to Hotaru and the readers a lot of the odd terms that these girls used such as Häagled which is their way of saying ate Häage-Dazs ice cream.  I kind of found this annoying having to read so many explanations.  I also didn’t appreciate the objectification of these two girls at the end of the story.  I accept the history behind Sailor Moon and who it is geared for in some respects but when it comes to very young girls like these two girls are supposed to be I have a bit of a problem with – even if they look to be a lot older than Chibi-Usa.

Over all, I would give this book a 3 out of 5 pages as it was a good read but not something I would dub a must read – really this book is more for true fans of Sailor Moon which I like to claim I am even if I am a late adopter into the series.

Book Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon vol 11 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol 11

Author/Illustrator:  Naoko Takeuchi

Format: Paperback

Written: 1991

Translated: 2013

 

Yes, I have been on a bit of a manga kick and for that I apologize, and I ask that you dear readers bear with me as I satisfy my need for highly illustrated stories of a Japanese origin.  Now I will say that even if I wasn’t on a bit of a manga kick I would be reading and reviewing this book.  This is a book that I have been salivating and dying for since I knew about it.  It is a book that could not release and arrive in the library fast enough for my tastes.  As to why I was so excited for this book, it is because it covers my absolute favorite plot arch of Sailor Moon.

 

I fell in love with the Star Lights plot arch early on and found Seyia to be a very loveable and endearing character to me.  I loved the romance between Seyia and Usagi despite having been a big fan of Maramou and Usagi. In addition to this being such a fun plot arch to watch via anime, I participate in a role play that plays off of Sailor Moon.  (Yes I role play but I find it is a great creative exercise that keeps me writing on regular basis which is essential to any person who wants to become a professional author.)  In this role play I write Seyia after a fashion and have fallen more in love with said character and those characters that surround Seyia.  So yes, in short I was very much looking forward to this book.

 

I knew going into this book, things would be a bit different and there wouldn’t be the music to help carry the story along like in the anime.  (I admit I’m a person that is moved by music.)  Yet expecting changes and what I got were two different things.  The book was very fast paced, and I’m not comparing it to the anime when I say this I know things are abbreviated in some ways in book form than they are in the tv series but at the same time I wasn’t expecting things to move as fast as they did.  I mean the Pharro 90 plot arch was very drawn out and this one has thus far been much abbreviated.  I was surprised to see what happened to Maramou at the start of the story, and it was interesting to see Haruka and Michiru to go back to high school.

 

There were still similarities between the anime and the manga that still stood the same but I found that the emotions and reasoning behind a lot of dialogue and actions were simply lacking in the manga versus the anime. It wasn’t just the lack of music that causes me to say this.   The animosity between Haruka and the Star Lights seems rushed and pushed with very little cause, and the same is true with the romance between Seyia and Usagi.  The revelation of Kaykuu was flat and not awe inspiring in the manga as it was in the anime.

 

Over all I think I was a little disappointed with the book and I don’t think it is because I anticipated it as much as I did.  In addition to everything else there were moments of confusion on my part such as the appearance of Diana, and I’m not sure I am fond of the home planets thing that was brought up in the story either.  Yet despite my disappointments and confusion the story was still decent and I’m curious to how the series will conclude in the final volume of Sailor Moon.  I know that it will be considerably different than in the anime considering that there are other characters missing that weren’t missing in the anime so I wonder how emotional this final battle will be in comparison to the anime.  In the end I will give the book a 3 page rating where I had hoped to have been able to give a 4 page rating, a number I would assign the anime, and it is in this one case that I would recommend the “movie” over the book.

Book Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 10 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 10

Author/Illustrator: Naoko Takeuchi

Written: 1991

Published: 2004

Translated: 2013

Format: Paperback

When approaching this particular volume of Sailor Moon, I didn’t entirely know what to expect, and yet at the same time I was surprised.  In the past my familiarity with the anime gave me a bit of knowledge of how the manga was going to progress but gradually the two seem to be parting ways in many respects and I love both for their uniqueness.

Over all, this book was a lot more action packed than some of the other manga’s I have read which can be a good and bad things considering I had to rely on images more than words.  Oddly despite my adoration of certain picture books that I have shared on this blog, I find relying on images more difficult than relying on words, but despite this difficulty on my part I did rather enjoy this volume of Sailor Moon.  I was particularly fond of some of the moments shared between Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon as well as the relationship that develops between Helios and Chibi-Usa.

It was also fun to learn the truth about the Amazonians and how there was more to the past of the sailor senshi than I initially imagined.  In a way my pre-conceived notions about the sailor scouts has been turned on its side and it is nice to have something new to think about rather than dealing with the same-o same-o.  In the end it was a rather good story and I think I would give it another three stars as I eagerly await the next volume to come out!

Book Review: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 9 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 9

Author/Illustrator: Naoko Takeuchi
Format: Paperback Manga
Written: 1991
Published: 2004
Translated: 2013

I would like to start off by saying that this book was not what I expected.  It was a good story but it was vastly different from the Anime.  I know the manga and the anime are different and I expect that I just didn’t realize that the story arch with the Amazonians was as different as this was.  The issue with the age swap that I mentioned in my last Sailor Moon review was dealt with rather quickly and there were no real issues with it like in the anime but it was still told well and a scene that didn’t come until later in the anime happened near the beginning of the story arch and I’m glad it did.  The interaction between Helio and Chibi-Usa is so much better in the manga than the anime that it makes me happy.

Though I did enjoy the read, I did have a few issues with it.  One of my problems with the story was that there was a bit of jumping around in the story that didn’t make sense and made me turn back a page to make sure I didn’t miss something or accidentally turn two pages instead of one.  Each time this was not the case.  The other issue that I found with the book and it was more an issue having come from the anime first is the lack of getting to know some of the villains like you do in the anime.  Fish Eye, Tigers Eye and Hawke Eye are all just one bit characters in the manga while they were major villains in the anime.  Also Hawke Eye was a girl in the book as Makoto called Hawke Eye a she as she was in a full on dress.  In the anime, Hawke Eye was a boy the reason for this gender change is beyond me.  Lastly the Amazonians are very much in this plot and I don’t mind that but as a reader I don’t get a reals sense for them.

Over all, I would give the book a three out of five pages as it is nice to read and I like the books but there are just some issues that I can’t get past.  (As a side note I was grateful to discover translation notes in the back of the book which really makes a world of a difference!)

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