SAILOR MOON 1 (ETERNAL EDITION) by NAOKO TAKEUCHI (2018)
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
I love Sailor Moon. I’ve loved it since I was very young, going to first grade with my Sailor Moon backpack and my Sailor Moon notebook that I carried everywhere. I watched the original anime with the kind of religiosity I otherwise reserved for Pokemon, and when I grew up, I knew I wanted to be a sailor scout. Despite my fervor for this classic magical girl franchise, I’ve never read the manga until now. As expected, I loved it. Here are some reasons why…
If you have no idea what Sailor Moon is, here’s a quick crash course: 14 year-old Usagi Tsukino is your average teenager living in Japan. She likes to sleep and eat and is a self-proclaimed crybaby. Usagi is simply bumbling through life when, one day, she meets a talking cat with a crescent moon on its forehead. The cat tells her that she is actually Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice, and is responsible for finding a mystical silver crystal, as well as protecting a princess from another planet. Usagi must search for the rest of her fellow guardians, while battling the forces of evil that are constantly in her way.
If all of this sounds a little ridiculous, it’s because it is. Sailor Moon is over-the-top and fun and helped revitalize a genre in Japanese animation and manga centered around girls with magical powers, appropriately called magical girl. Magical Girl anime/manga has been around for decades, but the introduction of Sailor Moon in the 1990s helped make the genre as popular as it is today. These days, Sailor Moon is everywhere. Usagi and the rest of her friends appear on clothes, lunch boxes, backpacks, stickers, coffee mugs. Anything you can think of.
What’s so great about Sailor Moon, and this volume of the manga specifically, is that it focuses so much on friendship between girls. Usagi is never jealous of her friends or any other girl, for that matter. She and her friends always support one another and never fall into the age-old I’m not like other girls stereotype. Another great thing about this series is Usagi herself. She’s such a delight to read about because she is far from your perfect heroine. She’s failing in school because she’s always falling asleep, she’s always hungry, always has her head in the clouds, but by the end of this first volume of the manga, readers can sense a growing maturity in her that will carry on for the rest of the series.
In addition to Usagi, the other characters that appear in this manga include: Ami, Rei, Makoto, and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask. While Ami, Rei, and Makoto are all sailor scouts along with Usagi, Tuxedo Mask is a sort of gentleman thief who always seems to show up when Usagi and her friends are in trouble. He’s as ridiculous as his name suggests, but he and Sailor Moon share a burgeoning romance that readers (myself included) will no doubt devour. Each chapter of the manga explains how the different sailor scouts come to realize that they are indeed sailor scouts, and the last chapter ends on a cliffhanger that made me want to go out and find the second volume immediately.
Sailor Moon is a classic for a reason. It’s a delightful story of friendship and girl power and I’d recommend it to anyone, not just fans of manga. You can pick up our beautiful deluxe edition of Sailor Moon 1 at the Oreana Library today!