Book Review: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 01 by Naoko Takeuchi

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Sailor Moon was an elusive anime to me growing up. It was on Toonami at 3PM and my school bus didn’t drop me off until 4PM. I watched the show when I was sick or on weekdays when I happened to not be in school. A part of me is thankful I never watched it enough to know what was going on. They ripped that poor anime to shreds, sometimes deleting whole episodes.

Sailor Moon can be considered a classic. It set the stage for future ‘magical girl’ manga and anime. I don’t know what took me so long, but I have finally picked up the manga.

Usagi Tsukino is a 14-year-old middle school student. I would describe her as a spacey, nerdy crybaby. She doesn’t do too well in school, loves the arcade and is easily upset. Who better to protect the world as Sailor Moon?

Once Usagi’s mystical powers are brought to her attention, she is told she must seek out her allies. These additional sailor scouts are themed after the planets. They’re ultimate goal is to protect their princess and the ‘legendary silver crystal,” which holds immense power.

The divide between good and evil seems pretty cut and dry. Battles are fast and to the point. Most of the story line focuses on finding the other scouts. In addition to Sailor Moon, three other planetary-themed scouts make an appearance. There is also the ever mysterious Tuxedo Mask. There’s not a lot to say about the man for the moment except that he’s connected to the sailor scouts in some way. He just keeps popping up and then whooshing away.

Sailor Moon Vol. 1, Ch. 4, P 29
(source: Sailor Moon Vol. 1, Ch. 4)

I expected the story to play out simply, as this is a manga geared toward girls closer to Usagi’s age.  What I didn’t expect were the hints at missing memories. It seems like every character, upon discovering their power, felt as if they remembered once having those abilities.

Sailor Moon Vol. 1, Page 34
(source: Sailor Moon Vol. 1, Page 34)

The villains maintain they’re mystery throughout the book with seemingly no more motive than to have the ‘legendary silver crystal’ to themselves. I hope their motives will be expanded upon in  future books. Furthermore, I am extremely curious about these lost memories.

In conclusion:

  • Fast paced story-line
  • Lost of unique characters
  • A black and white concept of good and evil
  • Motives for all characters are pretty simple
  • Mystery surrounding missing memories

Rating: 3 Stars

Takeuchi, Naoko. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. New York, NY: Kodansha Comics, 2011. Print.
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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 01 by Naoko Takeuchi”

  1. Hey TK, (I like how that rhymes, “hey TK”….lol it’s the simple things in life that makes me smile) anyways, the whole Anime thing has always been a mystery to me…..it’s like those Beanie Babies and tickle me Elmo; I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m in my thirties, is anime more of a younger age thing? Although I’ve met people my age who are into it………anytime I ever came across one of the shows I would try watching it for a couple minutes but since I just don’t get it I always turn the channel…I think it was your blog (I could be wrong cuz I hav a hard time keeping track of everything) where u said u were thinking of putting anime character on your homepage as a fixture of your website but u opted not to because u read somewhere that people tend to not connect well with blogs that have anime pic’s, I totally understood the thought behind it because, since I’m not into anime person I find the whole fascination with it as….well….confusing…..but i find a lot of things confusing in life, and hell, I have really close friends of mine who can’t understand why I like drinking coffee

    1. I’ve never claimed to be normal, so I’m just going to add anime as another thing that makes me weird.

      I would explain anime/manga as similar to comic books. In some ways, they are exactly like comics and the cartoons based off them except that anime is from Japan. If you get into the shows that are meant for older audiences, the story-lines get more complex. This makes it hard to jump in the middle of any given series.

      To me, anime is just one more trademark of my nerdom. Pair that with video games, books and a fascination with technology, and I’m the complete nerd package.

      …and it’s weird. I admit it’s weird.

      1. I guess it’s a sign of our maturity that we admit we are weird 😉 though I probably will never understand anime, likewise few of my friends will ever understand why I spend so much time reading 🙂

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