Name: Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon
Mangaka: Takeuchi, Naoko
Volumes: 18 (Complete)
Licensed: Kodansha (Condensed into 12 Volumes – Digital/Print) (Complete)
Age Group: Teen
Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna a talking cat who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts) and together they fight the forces of evil.
Graphics Rating: 5/5
Plot Rating: 3/5
Opinion: Like most girls growing up in NA in the 90s I was OBSESSED with Sailor Moon. Owned all the merch, watched the episodes on tv, even cosplayed Sailor Uranus later in life. I still identify with Sailor Moon as a character. Which is why it is bizarre, even to me, that I only JUST finished the manga in my early 30s.
This review will be a balance of my view of the show and the manga as they are quite different. I definitely have my likes and dislikes of both.
To start the art is almost magical. I love it. It’s so delicate and expressive and really a great example of shoujo design in the 90’s. The girls are cute and I love all of the outfits the heroines and the villains wear.
Where the manga comes out on top of the anime is the relationships in the series. For starters, Mamoru in the manga is so loving and encouraging almost from the start. In the anime he is a huge asshole, which I never minded. It’s crazy to see him as such a loving partner in the present and the future.
I also like the relationships between the girls. For one thing, Usagi is a little bit of an airhead but she grows up a lot more quickly and is less whiney. Because of this the guardians all seem more supportive and caring about Usagi.
Where the series kind of falls flat is the plot. The detailed fantastical settings barely have enough time to make sense. If you asked me to explain what happened the entire last arc with heavenly bodies, sailor stones, and the cauldron I don’t know what to say. Don’t even get me started on time travel.
Another issue is there’s a ton of action but it’s hard to see what’s happening. Sometimes villains would simply, disappear? And I would have to go back a few pages to figure out who killed them and how? Also, the formulaic battles got a little boring.
Overall I still enjoyed reading the series. I still think it’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys soujo. Also, I think anyone who reads the series should also watch the anime as they are different but still great in their own ways.
Final Rating: 4/5
Extra: Watch the Anime :)