English: Sailor Moon
Synonyms: Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Published: Feb 1992 to Mar 1997
Authors: Takeuchi, Naoko (Story & Art)
Score: 8.311 (scored by 6237 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
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May 13, 2013
Far more mature, darker and tragic than its anime counterpart, the manga of Sailor Moon reads less of a magical girl series and much more of a dark sci fy tale riddled with references to chemistry, science, alternate worlds and time travel. More than frilly mini skirts and mesmerizing transformations, this manga breaks the mold of the single magical girl given powers for her own amusement, and instead features a cast of warriors tasked with defending the earth and the universe with deadly powers.
Featuring a large cast of characters, five interconnected story arcs , magic and romance, Sailor Moon has all the makings of a brilliant, perfect series.
And it is brilliant indeed; but perfect? Not so much. Despite its pros, this manga does have shortcomings as well, making it a flawed human masterpiece, that in some places falls short of the anime adaptation. Nonetheless, this is a great manga and an absolute classic that after 20 years is still loved and honored as one of the greatest contributions to storytelling ever.
Story (9) - Broken into five interconnecting story arcs and spanning 52 acts, this highly imaginative story lures the reader into a brilliant and wonderful fantasy world with mystery and adventure around every corner. Each of the five main arcs follows the formula of the Senshi defeating that arc's villain, and then the main "big bad" of that arc. Formulaic it may be, it somehow manages to keep things interesting and fresh by the way the story is told, and what the Senshi are up against, and how their powers continually develop as they become more powerful. The five arcs are as follows:
Dark Kingdom (Classic)
Black Moon (R)
Much darker and far more sinister than the anime counterpart, the arcs are all faced past, and told without a moment of blankness between them. This does unfortunately have the reverse effect of coming across as rushed or even underdeveloped, but nonetheless the arcs keep the reader on their toes until the very end of the series.
Art (8) - This manga features some really beautiful looking artwork. Dainty, delicate and fine, the pages look almost too fragile to handle. Characters are all drawn with slender, delicate looking bodies supplied with very long limbs and perfect, if rather developed figures. Large, long lashed eyes and small rosy mouths set off pointy Shoujo faces and thick, silky hair. The Sailor uniforms are standard save for some small details different for each soldier, yet very stylishly appealing and evolve into some seriously beautiful outfits by the end of the manga. A lot of emphasis is given to outfits and jewelry, making this series sparkle with a very feminine flair. The artwork on the whole is early Shoujo 90's, but time has not touched its appeal except to make it more nostalgic in the passing years.
So with all my praise of the art, why did I not give it a perfect score?
I would have easily, had it not been for inconsistency in proportion, the sketchiness of some scenes and the poorly drawn bodies and limbs in some areas. Looking closely at some panels, the bodies are off, and the fingers and legs bend at angles that make them appear boneless. Many of the drawings (especially in the early chapters) look incomplete, as if they were just rough sketches instead of the final product. As the line work for the series is very fine and thin, it can sometimes look unprofessional and not up to the highest standards.
If the artwork would be only touched up so that all these little problems would be corrected, the art would be perfect. As it is, it comes quite close to being so.
Character (7) - This is an are where the anime really outshone the manga entirely. In the manga, the only characters who are really perfectly developed are Sailor Moon (Usagi) herself and her daughter. They are so rich in character and well defined, it is impossible not to like them, nor feel a connection to them. Usagi is beautiful, multidimensional character. Unlike the anime, in the manga she is far more mature and rather sensual. Still incredibly compassionate and kind, she does not forgive her enemies as easily as she does in the anime, and more often than not shows them no mercy. Again, unlike the anime she does not use her powers as a joke, and takes them very seriously. The lighter sides of her personality are downplayed in the manga, and she comes off as much more mature, sensible and majestic than her counterpart. The anime really ruined Chibiusa's (Usagi's daughter) characterization, but here in the manga she really shines and her wonderful, loving personality is miles away from the anime version that made her so hated.
However, this is where the excellent characterization stops. In the anime, Senshi and villains alike are given in depth characterization, making them much more human and sympathetic with the audience and very well rounded. In the manga, this is not so.
The Senshi are barely given any time to develop their own characters and exist mainly as "Sailor Moon's fellow soldiers". It is very difficult to know them, and if the anime did not exist, the majority of the manga would have left their personalities in the dark. Because there are so many Senshi, only hints are given to what they are actually like, and when they are on screen in the manga, they exist to help Sailor Moon...And that's about it. The manga attempted to develop some of them more by giving them chapters only about themselves. However, one chapter is not enough to really let people know a character, and the result is a frustrating peek into a poorly written character. All the Senshi have so much potential to shine like they do in the anime, but because the manga does not let them, they personalities are left in the dark. Untouched, and under developed.
The same problem lies with Usagi's boyfriend Mamoru (though alas, even WITH characterization, he would still be a very bland, boring character as he is in the anime). The villains again fall short of their anime counterparts; the anime giving them back-stories, layered motivations, chances to redeem themselves...etc. The manga just puts them up as obstacles the Senshi must overcome, and while the main villains are quite interesting, the side villains are not developed whatsoever and completely not memorable. They exist only to do the bidding's of the higher ups, and when their duties are done, vanish forgotten.
Enjoyment (10) - In spite of the problems with the series, it really hooks the reader in with it's themes and storyline, and the complexity of the main characters. Starting off as a whimsical and lighthearted magical girl manga, it quickly sheds its simple cover and becomes a rich world of magical warriors set in a highly imaginative world. Never slow or dull, the manga keeps the readers on their toes and takes them along a very enjoyable ride.
Overall (10) - Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is a masterpiece. A flawed masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless. It somehow manages to work its way through its flaws in a way not many series can. Far more than the regular magical girl tale of pretty outfits and cute attacks, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon weaves a wonderful tale of lost kingdoms from the distant past, the sinister terror of villains of the present day and how time travel affects the ever changing future which grows darker with every arc.
Filled with a little something for everyone, this manga has stood the test of time for a reason, and will continue to do so forevermore. read more
Jan 29, 2008
Art: The artwork is great. I really love the trademark long, flowing hair.The covers, both original and reprint, are well designed and eye catching. My only complaint is that the main bad guys often look the same- Chaos, Pharaoh 90, and Queen Metallia all look like big black blobs to me.
Character: While Usagi, Chibi-usa, and Mamoru are well developed and interesting, the vast majority of the others aren't. They are often put aside to make more room for the other characters. The other sailor senshi are given personalities and backstory, but they don't really mature or change. This is understandable because of the lack of time, but some of the characters spend a significant amount of time completely out of the picture- kidnapped or dead.
Enjoyment/Overall: As I said in the story section, I went into my first read already enjoying the Sailor Moon story, and the manga version did not disappoint. It offers the same basic story I came to love while giving me enough different things to keep me interested. The artwork is good looking as well. Sadly, the English version of the manga is out of print. I would highly recommend the purchase of this series if you ever come across it. I would also recommend the artbooks as well. read more
Jul 15, 2008
Story: The story, and all five story arcs, were great. My favorite arcs were Black Moon and Stars. The story rather quickly goes from 'pretty girls in uniforms saving the world from aliens' to something much deeper, and that is a great thing.
Art: The art is great as well. I love Naoko Takeuchi's style; it is so flowy and pretty.
Character: Great characters, although, it focused a lot on Usagi, Mamoru and Chibiusa. I know that there were side stories about some of the other characters, but I didn't get to read those since Neo Nobility didn't have them. The Princess Kaguya story that focused on Luna was also great like its anime counterpart, "Sailor Moon S The Movie: Hearts In Ice". I'll give the characters a 10 anyway since the main characters were great.
Enjoyment/Overall: As I said, I loved this manga. It took me a couple of weeks to read since it was eighteen volumes/fifty two acts long, but it was well worth it. I recommend this to any Sailor Moon fan; it's a great read. This gets a ten. read more
Apr 28, 2008
May 25, 2008
For the Classic Arc - The generals(shittenou) weren't purly evil as the anime protrays them, there are much deeper then that. Zoisite and Kunzite weren't gay, and Rei's personailty is complete contrast to what the anime made her.
S- Amara(Haruka) was much more fememine hence she wore girl clothes at times unlike the anime where she never did.
SuperS Arc- Rini(Chibi-Usa) wasn't all alone in the future but had scouts of her own and you'll never guess who they are. :)
Stars- Now this is one season that is really the most changed thanks to the anime. First Kakyuu had a lover, Starlights were girls PERIOD from the start. ChibiChibi wasn't the same person as the anime. Amara and Seiya didn't hate each other as much (Note the concert scene didn't happen the same Instead Seiya complimented Amara, and ignored Michelle/Michiru).
Also the Seiya and Yaten's personailties are completly different then what the anime made them too. Seiya is alot more like Darien/Mamoru and Yaten was the outgoing one.
Overall moonies the manga is a must read, and to new fans I suggest reading it as well along with the anime.
Mar 19, 2013
So for my love about Sailor Moon I feel it is my duty to write a review for the anime or the manga.I picked the manga cause it is more straightforward and direct than the anime,which spans 200 episodes or something he majority of which are uninspired enemies that don't even exist in the manga.
Upon reading the manga a sort of nostalgia overwhelmed me,I'm sure it's the same case for most people.I was enjoying my time reading and the first arc was pretty nice but it's after that when this manga exposes its true weaknesses.Which is...Tsukino Usagi is a Mary Sue character.I can already imagine everyone of you staring at me with horror as if uttered something unthinkable,but it's the truth no matter what.That's this manga's drawback and it's a serious one one.I know Usagi is the main character...but she could always share some of her spotlight and important role with the rest of the characters.They're her soldiers but honestly what's the point if she overpowers them all EVERY SINGLE TIME?
I like the character designs and abilities,but unfortunately,if we don't take into account the first arc where they are introduced they end up being pretty much useless.Usagi is another important person so she saves the day while the rest have fallen.I'm very bothered by this cause.I can't even believe it took by surprise when she defeated another antagonist,I was thinking..."This cannot be happening,is this what I loved so much?"
See,because the manga is a lot shorter than the anime this weakness is pretty apparent,whilst in the anime it is covered by the fillers that make the rest of the characters have more story and be useful.
After touching on this very important drawback that takes away so much I'd like to proceed to the following:
As far as the art is concerned I cannot say much since I hardly have much experience with manga of that year.I've rated it a 6 cause...it's Sailor Moon...and it's not that bad...and you can tell what is going on.
Moving on...Sure the story has been done many times considering the popularity of Sailor Moon and how successful it's being.I'm sure at the time it was pretty much ahead of its time.Heck I still enjoy watching unfold(on the anime).That should be a 7.
I already touched on the topic about the characters,really big mistake to put the focus on Usagi the whole time even if she is the main character.Gets a 3 from me.
Enjoynment...would have been more but like I mentioned earlier what was done with the characters really bothered me and took away from the experience.Perhaps I had other characters I liked besides Usagi who didn't act on their full potential or on a role that suited them way better than Tsukino.
Overall,I feel it deserves a 6.It offered many things to the anime/manga world and it has establish itself as the representative of the genre(magical girl).We should not be blinded by the fact of how much we loved it when the truth is it has not aged well at all from many aspects(1.characters,2.art,3.story)
I was a tiny bit influenced by my own childhood memories though I feel the anime is superior to the manga despite its never-ending fillers for reasons mentioned above.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. read more
Oct 24, 2009
Unlike the anime, the manga arcs all flow into each other amazingly well. For example, Sailor Moon and the others get their power ups at the end of each arc, through much better means than in the anime. The manga is darker, but not without humour, and tells a much deeper and better story. Most notably is SuperS. The anime turned this into a cheesy, fluffy story, where in the manga it is very dark. Neherenia is a much more notorious villain, the amazoness quartet holds a far greater fate. Also, the golden crystal (and the silver crystal, for that matter) are much more important.
The anime also ignores the manga specials, save one. They animated "Ami Chan's first love", but not the stories focused around Jupiter, or Venus & Mars.
The main characters are much more developed individually in the manga, whereas most of their growths (save Usagi) are ignored or forgotten about in the anime. (For example, the Starlights in the anime each interact with other senshi, and have experiences that change them, but this is later forgotten about. Most notably, Ami's words to Taiki, and Minako's to Yaten)
The anime also changed many of the characters, most notably the outer senshi, Venus and Mars. Sailor Venus is a much more important character in the manga, where she was sold short in the anime. She is the leader of the inner senshi, and participates much more than in the anime. Especially in the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arcs. Mars in the manga is a much more elegant and serious character. She and Venus are both portrayed well in the live action, but not the anime. The anime also ignores the relationship between Venus and Mars, which is very powerful, whether you regard it as romantic or not.
Sailor Saturn is also sold short in the anime. She is in S, SuperS and Stars arcs, as a major character. She interacts with the other senshi a lot more, and has a much bigger purpose. The outer senshi are much more important to the story, and never vanish like they do in the anime.
Uranus is also somewhat different, mostly in that she shows her more feminine side much more in the way she dresses. Pluto also has a bigger role, especially during the Black Moon arc.
Chibiusa is also much less annoying, mostly because you can't hear her talk, and she doesn't try and steal the spotlight so much. And, Tuxedo Kamen is actually useful! Instead of waving a cane around and throwing flowers, he actually is granted real powers by his four generals! The four generals also change a lot from the manga to the anime, and not in a good way.
The art in the manga is very elegant, and the artbooks are beautiful.
I promise that if you are a Sailor Moon anime fan, you'll love the manga. I think it is far greater, and I wish the anime had stuck to it more. The live action stayed closer, but created it's own story, but even that was better than the anime. I still appreciate the anime, but the manga is by far the better story. (I wish they would do what Fullmetal Alchemist did, and release a new version that's true to the manga!) read more
May 16, 2008
Starting a few days ago I decided that I would read the manga, and I just recently finished all of it, and it was wonderful, but it seemed rather rushed. Each villian went down so quickly, and each story arc ended rather fast. I prefer the anime to the manga because of this. When I watched the anime, I got to know each character better, including the villians, and story arcs didn't have to move so quickly.
In the end for me: the manga was a great way to pull me back into the Sailor Moon fandom, and would be a nice introduction to it for someone new, it was a lot of fun to read, and I would recommend it. But after, I would recommend watching the anime; which I plan to go do again myself. read more
Jan 31, 2009
Nov 20, 2009
Story by naoko is really great deeper story than the anime version because of quite poor animations (except movies and some crucial episodes) so my dream would be a SailorMoon Revival ;)