Saturday, February 2, 2013

Manga Review: Sailor Moon (volume one)

So I finally (finally!) managed to get a hold of a copy of the new Sailor Moon release in the US from a friend, excellent! So, I think I said this for my Codename: Sailor V review as well but to recap, apparently I watched some of Sailor Moon as a kid (I remember watching/wanting to watch it but not any of the show, according to my mom my favorite character was "the blonde, vivacious one" which I think means Venus), have read Sailor V, and then saw three or four episodes of the live action show in the past year (which had some god-awful special effects in them). So I'm going into this sorta-kinda blind, I don't actually know what the main plot (plots? arcs?) of Sailor Moon and wasn't super enthused after the live-action/Sailor V/the one or two episodes I think I saw at a girl's night in the past year so let's see how the real thing holds up!

Sailor Moon (volume one) by Naoko Takeuchi

Summary: Usagi was a rather normal middle school girl who likes video games and sleeping in more than homework and was fairly happy with her life. Then one day she finds a mysterious talking cat who gives her magical powers and a mission and her life hasn't been the same since.

The Good: That ended up being a whole lot better than I expected, Usagi stopped being annoying nearly immediately, the characters had, well, character. It was also paced quickly, though formulaically, I liked it! It doesn't seem to be dragging out any of the mysteries too long and like I said Usagi (and the rest of the cast) become likable pretty quickly (as of right now my favorite character is actually Jupiter because she is a Boss). 

The Bad: It was a bit of a slog to get through the first chapter or so (since I remembered the plot of that from the live action version) and I'm wondering how the story keeps going after this first arc finishes, is this going to be a "you defeated on boss BUT THERE'S AN EVEN GREATER ONE LURKING IN THE SHADOWS!" kind of story? Other than that there's not much to say here or in the Good section, it's just the introductory volume and technically not a lot of stuff has happened yet, which isn't a bad thing but just a thing related to telling stories in a comic format, they take a bit more time to get going usually.

The Art: While it's clear that Takeuchi is struggling with drawing some things (poor Luna looks less like a cat and more like a blob with details half of the time) but I was surprised that I liked Tuxedo Mask's designs here more than in all the anime screencaps I've seen, I think it was the lack of giant 90s shoulder pads. All of the human characters are rather pretty to look at (some of the aliens not so much, they also look a lot less distinct from each other) and while there aren't backgrounds in a lot of panels the ones that do show up have a good amount of detail to them.

So, a few days ago I found out that the local library has more volumes (they list up to the most current one, nine, in the catalog but it sounds like they only actually have up to five or six right now) and I requested those so hopefully I'll be able to review those in a few weeks and provide a fuller review. But for the moment yes I liked it, yes I'm reading more, and yes I plan on checking out the new series in summer (but I was already at least going to try it, practically the whole internet was going to do at least that).

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