Book Review – Sailor Moon Short Stories 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Sailor Moon Short Stories 2

Author: Naoko Takeuchi

Format: Paperback

Published: 2004

Translated: 2013

 

For me there has always been something about Sailor Moon, the series captured me and never let go.  I enjoy the characters and loved the Anime and yet despite not giving rave reviews of the manga I can’t help but buy the manga and read it and in some ways love it.  It wasn’t long ago that I was in the store and discovered that there was one more book of short stories for Sailor Moon and I had to place my hands on it.

 

If you are at all familiar with the anime the chief story in this book was the source of the Super S Movie about Luna falling in love with a human and wishing to be Human for a short time to help a man who was dying of a heart condition.  In movie form I found the movie to be a bit odd and different but I think I found the movie to be so odd because I watched at the wrong point during the series.  In manga form the story flowed nicely and was rather an enjoyable read.  Additionally the added short stories were quite good.  The most odd of the stories was the Parallel universe story.  It was interesting seeing all of the girls all grown up with children of their own and knowing that Usagi has a second child. Though this was all interesting I felt that Chibi-Usa was a little off point from what she normally is and the fight in the story was a little weird with Ko-usagi (Usagi’s second daughter) finding a pink cat and saving the planet from a herd of rabbits by taking a whole bunch of cats to make a lynx as they are the natural enemy of rabbits.  It was rather bizarre to be honest but not the worst of the short stories.

 

Over all I found the read to be quite enjoyable and I think I would give this short story book a 4 out of 5 pages.  If you like Sailor Moon then this is a pretty good read and isn’t too difficult to follow as some of the other mangas have been for me in the past.

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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!)

Book Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 8 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 8
Author/Illustrator: Naoko Takeuchi
Format: Paperback Manga
Written: 1991
Published: 2004
Translated: 2011
In a long standing series such as the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, one would expect there to be books of transition and that is the case with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 8, it is a book that transitions from one plot arch to the next.  I mentioned in my review of volume 7 that this was the Pharaoh 90 plot arch which wasn’t one of my favorites.  I very much liked the passion and pain expressed from some of the characters when it seemed all hope was lost, particularly as there was a focus on Sailor Saturn who is my favorite outer Senshi and there was a good bit of Tuxedo Mask as well who is my second favorite character in the series over all (just behind Sailor Star Fighter).

Once the story of Pharaoh90 and Sailor Saturn was told, I was excited to see that story picked up right away with the plot arch of the Dead Moon Ciricus and the Amazonians which is a rather fun story to tell.  Having only watched the Anime, I was surprised to see how involved the Amazonians were from the start and I look forward to learning more!  Of course the start of this plot arch was the main focus and so there was a lot of set up going on in this book but I’m not too bothered by it as it was an enjoyable read all the same and I am looking forward to the end of the month when the next book should be available as it left off at a very interesting plot point of Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi-Moon switching places.  It was rather fun to watch in Anime and I think it will be fun to read in maga how these girls deal with being age swapped, and continue to fight evil in the name of the moon!

Over all, I am giving this book a three page rating.  I liked the book and I enjoyed reading it.  I do after all love Sailor Moon but it was a bit weak and very heavy on the images with sounds for the ending of the Pharaoh90 plot arch and there were no translator notes inside the book which is something I very much enjoy reading.  I find the translation notes help give clarity, and I was sad to see them not present this time.  Hopefully the next book will be better for having a very fun plot arch and having a translator section in the back.

Book Review – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 7 by Naoko Takeuchi

Title: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 7
Author/Illustrator: Naoko Takeuchi
Format: Paperback Manga
Written: 1991
Published: 2004
Translated: 2012

If you have read my review of Sailor V then you know that I was something of a late adaptor of Sailor Moon. I admit that I simply love and adore the series as a whole. I will be the first to admit when reading Sailor Moon or watching the Anime you are in for similar and repetitious content but there is still something endearing, at least to me about the whole series. I find the characters in general to be enchanting and catching as each girl is different and yet pulled together by the same cause and I love how love is always the answer and what brings most of the plot together.

If you are at all familiar with the story arch of Sailor Moon then you will know what I am talking about when I say volume seven covers the plot arch with Master Pharaoh 90 and the awakening of Sailor Saturn. Picking up the book I was nearing the end of the plot arch and anticipating that I would reach the conclusion to find that I am not at the conclusion of this particular plot and I have to wait for yet another book before I can read and enjoy the conclusion. As much as I love the outer Senshi as they are my second favorite group of characters (my favorite being the Starlights) this plot arch is one of my least favorites. I enjoyed the Sailor Scouts first awakenings when I read and watched them, and I enjoyed the arrival of Chibi-Usa and the plot with the Dark Moon but aside from the arrival of outer Senshi this plot arch to me is a bit odd and weak. It is a little more complex and convoluted than some of the other plot arcs to me, but that may just be me as I know there are people who adore Sailor Saturn and the Hotaru/Chibi- Usa friendship and in turn probably love this particular plot arch, but not me.

I am actually looking forward to the next volume where this plot arch should come to a conclusion and the next one should begin. I am actually eager to learn if the next book will touch on the Amazonians or if it will simply finish this plot arch and tell one of what I consider side stories focusing on Luna. Either way I look forward to what the next book will bring me as I thoroughly enjoy the entire series even if I feel this particular plot arch that I read is a bit weaker than the others.

For those who enjoy manga or have had a love of Sailor Moon, I would recommend the series to you, and of course reading my less favorite plot line to get a feel for the whole story. This is why I would give the book a four page rating, because despite my not liking the plot arch as well, the story is still rather good and is a must read for those going through the series.

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