The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is Highest-Ranking Manga on BookScan’s Top 20 Graphic Novels List for September 2018

NPD BookScan’s Top 20 Graphic Novel list for September 2018 features 11 manga titles:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Volume 4 by Akira Himekawa (#3)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 14 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#5)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#6)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#7)
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generatiosn Volume 4 by Ukyō Kodachi, Mikie Ikemoto, and Masashi Kishimoto (#8)
  • Splatoon Volume 4 by Sankichi Hinodeya (#9)
  • Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Volume 1 by Naoko Takeuchi (#11)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#12)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 13 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#14)
  • My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kōhei Horikoshi (#18)
  • RWBY Official Manga Anthology Volume 2 (#19)

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume Two

Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume Two is a manga by Naoko Takeuchi, and it was published in North America by Kodansha Comics in 2013. The volume is rated “T” for ages 13 and up; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 2
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 26, 2013

As the name of this volume implies, this manga is a collection of short stories that feature the Sailor Moon characters. There are a total of three stories included in this volume: “Princess Kaguya’s Lover,” “Casablanca Memory,” and “Parallel Sailor Moon.”

“Princess Kaguya’s Lover” is not only the longest of the short stories in this volume, it’s the longest of all the short stories that appear between the two volumes of Sailor Moon Short Stories. It turns out that “Princess Kaguya’s Lover” is the story that served as the basis for the Sailor Moon S anime film.

At the beginning of the story, a scientist named Kakeru Ohzora finds a crystal, which he keeps for observation. Later, Kakeru rescues Luna as she’s about to be hit by a car. He takes Luna to his workplace and helps her to recover; in the process, Luna finds herself falling in love with Kakeru.

Meanwhile, a comet that Kakeru discovered and named Princess Snow Kaguya, is headed toward Earth. Kakeru, his childhood friend Himeko Nayotake, Luna, the Sailor Scouts, the comet, a strange snowstorm, and the story of Princess Kaguya come together to finish the rest of the story. Of the three stories that appeared in Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume Two, I thought that this was the best one. I especially appreciated how this story was able to take the Japanese folktale of Princess Kaguya and weave it into a compelling story for the Sailor Moon universe. Technically, some of the basic concepts in Sailor Moon were inspired by this folktale, but this story blatantly uses the folktale for its premise.

At the end of “Princess Kaguya’s Lover,” there are a couple of pages written by Naoko Takeuchi about when she went to the Kennedy Space Center in order to do some research for this story. There are also two pages about antiques that inspired artifacts that appear in both “Princess Kaguya’s Lover” and “Casablanca Memory.” I thought these were a nice touch to add to this volume.

“Casablanca Memory” is a story that focuses on Rei and the estranged relationship she has with her father. A music box that plays a depressing song also becomes a central focus of this story; unfortunately, this falls back into familiar territory for the Sailor Moon franchise, because the music box is a way that an enemy is trying to take over the world. While I enjoyed Rei’s portion of the story, I didn’t like the music box element as much; for the most part, the short stories had been able to avoid most of the clichés from Sailor Moon and Codename: Sailor V, so it was a little disappointing to see this cliché rear its head.

The final story is “Parallel Sailor Moon,” and it’s set in the year 1999. The Sailor Scouts are now adults, and the story focuses on their kids. Chibi-Usa and Hotaru are now middle schoolers, and the other kids introduced in this story are all third graders. The story and humor focuses on Ko-usagi, the younger daughter of Usagi and Mamoru. Personally, of the three stories in this volume, this was my least favorite. I think this was due in large part to the fact that this story was supposed to be humorous, but I really didn’t find it to be that funny.

Even with the couple of issues I have with Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume Two, I actually found it to be a more enjoyable read than Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume One was. Even though I enjoyed this volume one, I still believe that this volume will appeal more to the die-hard Sailor Moon fans who want to read more adventures featuring Sailor Moon and her friends.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Sailor Moon:

Manga Review: Codename: Sailor V Volume Two

Codename: Sailor V Volume Two is a manga written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, and it is the prequel to the Sailor Moon manga series. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and the company released their English adaptation of this manga volume in 2011.

Codename: Sailor V Volume 2
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 15, 2011

Codename: Sailor V focuses on Minako Aino, an outspoken and boy crazy 13-year-old middle school student. In the first volume, Minako meets a talking cat named Artemis, and learns that she has an alter ego called “Sailor Venus.” As Sailor Venus, Minako has the mission to protect the Earth in the name of her guardian planet, Venus. Artemis gives Minako a crescent shaped moon compact, as well as a magical pen that allows Minako to transform into Sailor Venus.

There’s definitely a major difference between the storytelling in the first volume and this volume. While the first volume contained stories that were written in such a way that they followed a predictable formula, Volume Two doesn’t rely on this nearly as much. While the Dark Agency is still around, they aren’t the sole enemy to appear in this volume.

The first story does involve the Dark Agency, but instead of luring people with teen idols, they initially lure them with chocolate so they gain weight, but then open up a weight loss spa to trick people into thinking they’re losing weight, but all that’s really happening is that the Dark Agency is sucking out the power. After Sailor V rescues everyone, a new character enters the story: a mysterious guy who wears a mask and calls himself Phantom Ace.

Phantom Ace becomes a new sensation, and he has a television show. After Phantom Ace comments that he feels any woman has it within her to be beautiful, his female fans want to become more beautiful. A new business called Fashion Building Heroine opens up to cash in on this frenzy, and of course the Dark Agency is involved. As part of their regimen, they hypnotize the girls to want to destroy Sailor V. This story becomes very important, because the Inspector General of the police department ends up discovering Sailor V’s true identity.

After this, there’s a three-part arc that doesn’t feature the Dark Agency as the antagonists. Each part features one of three siblings going up against Sailor V, and each one has a name related to animals; each sibling dresses to look like the animal their name represents. The first one is based on a cat, and she uses cats to try to suck away the humans’ energy. The second one is based on a dog and uses dogs to try and suck people’s energy; this story also features Minako being brought in to help a mangaka get her popular shojo manga chapters out in time. The third one is based on a mosquito, and sets up a blood bank to collect blood to feed her mosquitoes. I have to say that of all the stories that appear in Volume Two, these three are definitely the strangest. In some respects, it almost made me wish they were stories featuring the Dark Agency as the antagonists instead.

The next story in Volume Two is, in my opinion, probably the best story to appear between the two volumes of Codename: Sailor V. In this one, Minako meets a boy in her class named Maiku Otonaru who has a heart condition and can’t compete in sports like the others; however, he is scheduled to have surgery and dreams to be able to participate in athletics. His family owns a karaoke club, and the Dark Agency pants microphones into the karaoke clubs all over town, and the microphones drain away the user’s energy. It becomes personal for Minako when Otonaru becomes one of the victims.

The last story is a two-part story arc that ultimately reveals the identity of the head of the Dark Agency. It also sets the stage for the beginning of the Sailor Moon manga series.

After reading both volumes of the Codename: Sailor V manga, I still have to say that I can only truly recommend these two volumes to readers who are already fans of the Sailor Moon manga that want to know the establishing story that leads up to Usagi discovering that she is Sailor Moon. More casual fans of Sailor Moon, as well as readers who have not read Sailor Moon prior to reading Codename: Sailor V, may not enjoy these two volumes quite as much.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Codename: Sailor V Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Codename: Sailor V:

Manga Review: Codename: Sailor V Volume One

Codename: Sailor V is a manga written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi, and it is the prequel to the Sailor Moon manga series. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and the company released their English adaptation of this manga volume in 2011.

Codename: Sailor V Volume 1
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 13, 2011

The main character of Codename: Sailor V is Minako Aino, a 13-year-old middle schooler who can be distracted, outspoken, and boy crazy. Her life is changed when a talking white cat named Artemis comes to Minako and claims that she possesses the ability to transform into a beautiful girl with a lot of power. Artemis calls Mianko’s alter ego “Sailor Venus,” and that it’s her mission to protect Earth in the name of her guardian planet, Venus. To help her out, Artemis gives Minako a crescent shaped moon compact and a magical pen. With the pen, Minako can transform into her alter ego, which she calls the “Soldier of Justice, Sailor V.”

It turns out Sailor V’s adversary is the Dark Agency, which sends out kids as teen idols in order to enslave the public and suck their energy. Sailor V always thwarts the enemy and is able to beat the police to the scene of the crime. Sailor V’s heroics gain her both the envy and admiration of the police force.

If you’ve read Sailor Moon prior to reading Codename: Sailor V, then you basically know the tone of the story and the art style to except in the two volumes of this series. However, unlike Sailor Moon, Codename: Sailor V is a compilation of short adventures that end up feeling rather formulaic and also relies on only one villain organization. For most of the stories in the first volume, a new teen idol arrives and capture Minako’s interest, she discovers they’re actually a minion of the Dark Agency, takes on a temporary disguise before transforming into Sailor V, and then uses the compact to defeat the enemy. This formula is broken in the last few stories. In one story, the teen idol is replaced with a videogame, another sees the Dark Agency minion disguised as a stewardess, and the last story sees the Dark Agency member posing as a member of a gang of juvenile delinquents.

Overall, I have to say that the Sailor Moon manga series is stronger than Codename: Sailor V. However, Codename: Sailor V is an important part of the Sailor Moon series, since it establishes the Sailor Moon universe and explains why Sailor Venus was already found before Usagi was discovered to be Sailor Moon. Speaking of Usagi, she gets a couple of brief cameos in this first volume of Codename: Sailor V.

After reading this volume, I can only truly recommend it to readers who are already fans of the Sailor Moon manga series that want to read everything that’s associated with the franchise. If you’re a more casual reader of the Sailor Moon manga, then you may not get much enjoyment out of Codename: Sailor V.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Codename: Sailor V Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume One

Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume One is a manga by Naoko Takeuchi, and it was published in North America by Kodansha Comics in 2013. The volume has been rated “T” for ages 13 and up; after reading this volume, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume 1
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 10, 2013

As the name of this volume implies, this manga is a collection of short stories that feature the Sailor Moon characters. There are three stories that are included in “Chibi-Usa’s Picture Diary,” three stories that are included in “Exam Battle Stories,” and one story is included in “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Side Story.”

The first story in “Chibi-Usa’s Picture Diary” is called, “Beware of the Transfer Student.” This story sees Chibi-Usa transferring to Juban Elementary School; however, she is not the transfer student being referenced in the title. The transfer student is Lilica, the daughter of an ambassador who appears to be thin and frail. However, whenever a boy in the class offers to take her home, the boy disappears and doesn’t return to school the next day. Once day, when Chibi-Usa and come of her classmates go to take some homework to Liliana, they discover more than they bargained for.

This story ends up evolving into a typical Sailor Moon story, where an enemy is disguised as someone ordinary, and Sailor Moon and her friends accidentally learn the truth and have to fight the enemy. If you’ve read enough Sailor Moon, then you know what to expect from this story.

Next is, “Beware of Tanabata.” In this story, it’s Chibi-Usa and Usagi’s birthday. Mamoru buys a Sailor Moon watch being sold by a woman in a cloak, which he gives to Chibi-Usa as a birthday present. At school, she discovers that this has become a hot item with the other girls. This story is also set around Tanabata, a festival connected to the story of “The Princess and the Cowherd.” It turns out there’s more to the Sailor Moon watches than anyone realizes, and Tanabata plays an important role in the story.

This story also ends up using the storytelling formula that’s been utilized in Sailor Moon. This time, an object is used by the enemy to get people to do what the enemy wants, and Sailor Moon and the others find out about it and have to fight the enemy. Again, if you’ve read enough Sailor Moon, you know what to expect from this story.

The next story is, “Beware of Cavities,” which sees Usagi and Chibi-Usa eating too many sweets and getting a cavity. A trip to the dentist ends up uncovering yet another plot, this time with an enemy using a dentist office to pull off their scheme. This is largely another typical Sailor Moon story; however, I found that this particular short story to be one of the stranger ones to be included in this volume.

Next is, “The Melancholy of Mako-chan.” Mako and the other high school Sailor Guardians are studying for their entrance exam. Unfortunately, Mako is more interesting in cooking, cleaning her house, and buying new things for her house than she is in studying. It turns out that there’s a villain that ties into Mako’s not wanting to study.

Next in the exam stories is, “Ami-chan’s First Love.” Ami has been taking mock exams and going to prep schools in order to try yo beat a person who is always tying with her. Ami uses the name “Mercury,” while the other person uses the name “Mercurius.” Ami becomes obsessed with beating Mercurius, and she also hopes to learn who Mercurius is. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s another villain involved in this story.

The final exam story is, “Rei’s and Minako’s Girls School Battle?” Minako becomes jealous of Rei, since she attends a different school than the other girls and Rei’s school is seen as a more prestigious place. When Rei tries to explain how boring her school is, Minako doesn’t believe it. Rei invites Minako to come undercover in order to experience it for herself. Unfortunately, a villain is able to penetrate the school and there’s another battle to fight.

The final story sees Chibi-Usa hanging out with two of her classmates, Naru and Ruruna. They speak like Valley Girls, and they also like to shop and cosplay. From the moment I saw these two, I had a hard time believing they are classmates of Chibi-Usa’s. I’m sorry, but these girls are rather tall and well-endowed for third graders. This alone already makes this particular story rather unbelievable. Hotaru joins them, and they visit a pawn shop the two shopaholics like to buy from. When loan sharks try to destroy the property, a demonic aura is released and another villain appears. By the time I finished reading this volume, I found this final story to be the strangest one that was included.

After reading Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume One, I came to the conclusion that this volume is being aimed at and will appeal a lot more to the die-hard Sailor Moon fans who want to read more adventures featuring Sailor Moon and her friends. Since I’m a more casual reader of Sailor Moon, I don’t think I enjoyed this as much as I could have, and I suspect other casual readers of the series may not get much out of it, either. Not that it’s necessarily bad, I just think that these short stories will mean more to the die-hard fans.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Short Stories Volume One that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Sailor Moon:

Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume 12

Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Sailor Moon’ Volume 12 by Naoko Takeuchi on Blogcritics.

Sailor Moon Volume 12 is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2013. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens 13 and up. After reading the entirety of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Volume 12
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: July 16, 2013

Volume 12 brings the Sailor Moon manga series to its conclusion. Usagi finds herself in her greatest danger ever, and as Sailor Moon, she has to battle against an enemy that is determined to destroy her. As part of this enemy’s scheme, the other Sailor Scouts who have been kidnapped are turned against Sailor Moon and begin to attack. And if that wasn’t enough, even Mamoru is turned against her. Chibi-usa arrives to help Sailor Moon, but will her being there make a difference?

This volume also answers the question of who Chibi-Chibi-Chan is; however, this answer doesn’t come until right near the end of Volume 12. Personally, I thought the explanation was a little convoluted, but I guess it works with everything else that has been established for the Sailor Moon universe in the previous volumes of the series.

My biggest disappointment has to do with the Sailor Starlights and Princess Kakyuu. After they had such a major introduction in Volume 11, they are become rather unimportant in Volume 12. In fact, after a certain point in Volume 12, these particular characters all but disappear. While I thought their introduction as more Sailor Guardians made the story more convoluted, I had hoped that they could have been more important characters than they ultimately ended up being.

In a lot of ways, I have to say the manga pretty much ended as I expected it to. Considering that we’ve already seen Sailor Moon’s future in the 30th century, I already knew that Sailor Moon and the others would have to win the day and set things right again. The main question ultimately ended up being how this would be accomplished by the end of Volume 12. The ending was enjoyable and works for the series, even if it basically is expected.

If a reader has made it this far into the Sailor Moon series without giving up on it, then I think they will be pleased with the story that wraps up the franchise. And for readers who want to read more Sailor Moon beyond Volume 12, they’re in luck. Kodansha has just released the Sailor Moon Short Stories 1 collection, and will be releasing the Sailor Moon Short Stories 2 collection in November 2013.

As for me, I will say that I’m glad to have finally had an opportunity to read this classic shojo manga series. While I can’t say I became a fan of the Sailor Moon franchise after reading the series, I can at least have some knowledge of it and understand references that are made about the series. And after reading the series, I can also say that I understand why this series has become the classic that it has.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Volume 12 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume 11

Article first published as Manga Review: Sailor Moon – Volume 11 by Naoko Takeuchi on Blogcritics.

Sailor Moon Volume 11 is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2013. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens 13 and up; from what I’ve read of the series, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Volume 11
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: May 21, 2013

A new story arc begins in Volume 11, and Mamoru is heading off to America to study at Harvard. When Usagi goes to see Mamoru off, he gives her a ring. After she’s given the ring, something strange happens to Mamoru and Usagi passes out. She’s rescued by three people who have not appeared previously in the series. Around this same time, Chibi-usa returns to the 30th century

Shortly after, a boy band called Three Lights hits it big, and the three members transfer into Usagi’s high school. As the volume progresses, it’s revealed there’s more to Three Lights than meets the eye. Chibi-Chibi-Chan also enters the storyline; she looks an awful lot like she should be related to Usagi somehow, but the child doesn’t give any information about who she is or where she comes from.

The new villain introduced in this arc is Sailor Galaxia. She is wanting to acquire all of the Sailor Crystals, and it appears she is ultimately after Sailor Moon for her Silver Moon Crystal.

With this volume, Takeuchi has drastically expanded the concept of the Sailor Guardians and now there are a lot more of them that come from all over the Milky Way. To be honest, by the time I finished the volume, I found myself feeling rather overwhelmed and a bit confused by just how quickly Takeuchi expanded the Sailor Moon universe.

One of the biggest questions in this volume is who exactly Chibi-Chibi-Chan is; however, by the end of the volume, the reader is still no closer to understanding who she is at the end of the volume than they were when she was first introduced into the story. There’s only one more volume of the Sailor Moon series left, so I suspect more information about Chibi-Chibi-Chan will be revealed during the final volume.

While I have thought that the plots in some of the earlier volumes were strange, I think this story arc wins the prize for being the strangest of them all. Volume 11 spends a lot of time building up the storyline, introducing a whole bunch of new characters, and expanding on the already established universe; combining all of these elements makes this particular volume a bit of dense read. With only one volume left, I’m afraid Takeuchi ended up rushing through this storyline in order to conclude it.

There’s a preview of Volume 12 at the back of the book that’s in English. It’s definitely from the first five pages of the next volume, and it picks up exactly where Volume 11 ends.

After reading Volume 11, it seems like it would probably appeal more to the die-hard Sailor Moon fans than to more casual readers like myself. It’s not that it’s a bad read, but I think a more casual reader is more likely to be left confused by this storyline than anything else, and may not feel as invested to go on to Volume 12 in order to find out what happens.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Volume 11 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume 10

Article first published as Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume 10 by Naoko Takeuchi on Blogcritics.

Sailor Moon Volume 10 is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2013. Sailor Moon is rated T” for teens 13 and up; from what I’ve read of the series, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Volume 10
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: March 26, 2013

The entirety of Volume 10 is devoted to the Dead Moon Circus arc. Fortunately, this story arc is resolved at the end of this volume, so there’s a new story arc to look forward to in Volume 11.

Volume 10 includes several revelations that involve Usagi, Mamoru, and Chibi-Usa. There reader also learns the truth about Helios, the unicorn that appeared before Usagi and Chibi-Usa back in Volume Eight. The reader also learns about Queen Nehelenia, the main mastermind behind the Dead Moon Circus. This volume also marks the return of Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Neptune fighting alongside the other Sailor Scouts.

I apologize if my description of the plot is a little sloppy, but if I say too much more, I would really be wandering into “spoiler” territory. If someone reading this review has never read the Sailor Moon series or hasn’t reached this point in the series yet, I don’t want to ruin the story from them.

Looking over my review of Volume Nine, I had made a prediction that it probably wouldn’t be Sailor Moon searching for the artifact that should be able to save Mamoru. Well, it turns out that I was wrong with my prediction; however, I’m not going to explain why it was wrong, because that runs the risk of wandering into “spoiler” territory. However, I probably should have guessed that while the visuals I saw at the end of the Volume Nine potentially supported by prediction, that the main heroine would have to be the one to help her true love.

Overall, the execution of this story arc is what I’ve come to expect from reading the previous nine volumes of the Sailor Moon manga series. While I may not have necessarily figured out many of the things that were revealed in this volume before their revelation, they didn’t really faze me when the revelations were made.

There’s a preview for Volume 11 included at the end of this volume, and it’s actually in English. It’s a very brief scene, and it may potentially give a hint as to what could be involved in the next story arc; it will be interesting to see if I’m right about this when I get a chance to read Volume 11.

If you’ve made it through Volume Nine of Sailor Moon and enjoyed what you read, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with Volume 10.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Volume 10 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume Nine

Article first published as Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume Nine by Naoko Takeuchi on Blogcritics.

Sailor Moon Volume Nine is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2013. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens 13 and up; from what I’ve read of this series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Volume 9
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: January 29, 2013

The story of the Dead Moon Circus takes up all of Volume Nine, and this story arc will continue into Volume 10. Mamoru keeps collapsing and doesn’t feel well, and an x-ray shows he has “shadows” on his lungs. Mamoru tries to hide how serious his health issue really is from Usagi. Usagi, meanwhile, has managed to switch bodies with Chibi-Usa, and the Sailor Scouts need to find a way to return the two back to normal.

The Sailor Scouts also find that for some reason, they are unable to transform after the eclipse happens. Over the course of Volume Nine, each Sailor Scout goes through an experience that causes her to regain her transformation abilities. This volume also shows what has happened to Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Neptune after they parted ways with the other Sailor Scouts in Volume Eight.

The identity of the unicorn that Usagi and Chibi-Usa met in Volume Eight is also revealed, and the reader learns what connection the unicorn has with the health issue that Mamoru has been dealing with.

Volume Nine did an incredible job of truly establishing all the pieces for the Dark Moon Circus story arc, especially since this arc was just getting going at the end of Volume Eight. Volume Nine delved a bit into the Dark Moon Circus, and the reader comes to understand a bit more about this new enemy’s motivations.

From what takes place in Volume Nine, it appears that Volume 10 will be placing an emphasis on trying to find an artifact that the unicorn says should be able to save Mamoru if it’s used with Sailor Moon’s Legendary Silver Crystal. However, from what is shown on the last page of Volume Nine, I think it’s not going to be Sailor Moon undertaking the search for the artifact.

By the time I finished reading Volume Nine, I had a better understanding of the villains. Combining this knowledge with the stakes that have been placed on Mamoru’s storyline, I really want to read Volume 10 in order to find out how this story arc will advance. Unfortunately no preview was included at the end of this volume, either in Japanese or in English, so I truly have to wait until I can read Volume 10 to have any kind of idea of what will happen.

If you’ve made it up to this point in the Sailor Moon manga series, then I suspect that you’ll enjoy reading Volume Nine.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Volume Nine that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume Eight

Article first published as Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume Eight by Naoko Takeuchi on Blogcritics.

Sailor Moon Volume Eight is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2012. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens 13 and up; from the volumes I’ve read of this series so far, I would agree with this rating.

Sailor Moon Volume 8
Written by: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Volume Eight finally sees the arrival of Sailor Saturn, the emissary from the abyss of death. She has to deliver her judgment, which is normally destruction. But what happens in the climax for this story arc takes all of the characters by surprise. I’m sorry for how vague this is, but going into too any more detail will be providing spoilers to readers who may not have read this volume yet.

The next Sailor Moon story arc also begins in Volume Eight. Chibi-Usa is supposed to heading home to the 30th century; however, on the day she’s supposed to head back, a total solar eclipse is taking place. While this rare event is taking place, two mysterious things happen. First, a unicorn appears before Usagi and Chibi-Usa, saying it needs help; however, it disappears before elaborating. Also, a mysterious ship appears in the sky as the eclipse happens, and it claims to be from the Dead Moon Circus. The reader is also introduced to a new enemy, but it’s hard to truly understand what the new enemy’s motivation is, because they don’t appear much in this volume. Volume Eight ends before this arc has truly had much of a chance to get going.

When I read this volume, I was glad to see that the story arc that made up the content of Volumes Six and Seven finally came to an end. Not that it was necessarily a bad story, but I could tell at the end of Volume Seven that it had to be getting rather close to wrapping up.

Unfortunately, the resolution of the previous story arc took up enough pages in Volume Eight that there wasn’t enough room in this volume to truly get the next story arc going. Like I said earlier in the review, I don’t truly understand the new enemy or what their motivation is yet, so it’s hard for me to feel like I absolutely have to read Volume Nine to see where the story goes. The plot point with the unicorn is kind of interesting, but it’s not compelling enough to make up for the fact that the enemy and their motivation isn’t very developed by the end of the volume.

There is no preview included for Volume Nine, either in Japanese or in English. Considering how little the new story arc is established at the end of this volume, not including some kind of a preview is a little disappointing. In addition, there are also no translation notes included, which I also found to be a little disappointing.

If you’ve enjoyed the previous seven volumes of the Sailor Moon manga series, then you may or may not enjoy this volume. As someone who is reading the Sailor Moon manga for the first time, I personally found Volume Eight to be a bit of a disappointment.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Sailor Moon Volume Eight that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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