Manga Reviews: Sailor Moon Volume 1, 2, & 3

Reviews for each volume have spoilers for the preceding volumes.

Series: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Eternal Edition Volume 1
Author: Naoko Takeuchi
First published: 1992
Ongoing: no
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: December 15, 2018 (reread)

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon follows a young woman named Usagi who stumbles upon a talking cat named Luna. Through Luna, Usagi learns she is actually a Sailor Scout, a chosen guardian to the mysterious moon princess. She must find the other guardians and the princess and protect the princess.

I fully acknowledge that my high rating of the first volume stems a lot from nostalgia. Art in 90s manga has never been my favourite but there is something undeniably pretty about Takeuchi’s art style. It was also a pleasure meeting Usagi again and watching her befriend all the Sailor Scouts. I do wish this series had better character development though, and that it wasn’t so episodic in nature. Yes, there is an ultimate story arc, but for the most part each chapter follows the same formula of bad guy appears, girls transform, bad guy is defeated. As for the characters, while I feel like I know them I think I only feel that way because I’m already familiar with them. And while I’ll always root for Mamoru and Usagi, their relationship is severely lacking in any real substance. In regards to the conflict, the tactics the villains use to control and collect energy are a bit repetitive and easy. To be perfectly honest I’m not sure who the age demographic/target audience is for this manga, and without the nostalgia factor I don’t really see this appealing to many.

Series: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Eternal Edition Volume 2
Author: Naoko Takeuchi
First published: 1992
Ongoing: no
Rating: 3/5 stars
Date read: March 20, 2020 (reread)

Volume 2 picks up right where volume 1 left off. We finally get to meet our Moon Princess, Sailor V.

The story continues! Unfortunately the storytelling aspect of this series is its weakest element, and it relies too heavily on convenience to move the story forward. There was a plot twist revealed in this volume that was neither ground-breaking nor shocking and added to the story in no way whatsoever. Plot wise this unfolds more or less the way you would expect it to. On the plus side I like that we got more into the backstory of the Moon Princess, though I would have appreciated more depth when it came to her romance with the Earth Prince. Their romance plays a central role in the story, so I wanted more from it then just love at first sight. This volume also had the brainwashing trope, which is something I always dread when it comes to manga and anime. It’s just so overused and cheap. I am pleased that the story arc wrapped up well in the first two volumes though.

Series: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Eternal Edition Volume 3
Author: Naoko Takeuchi
First published: 1992
Ongoing: no
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Date read: May 23, 2020 (reread)

Volume 3 of Sailor Moon picks up right where Volume 2 left off, with a strange girl pointing a gun at Usagi’s head and demanding she fork over the Mystical Silver Crystal.

Β If you didn’t enjoy Sailor Moon‘s first story arc I think you’ll like this one even less. Our villains this time around… I can’t think of any other way of putting it other than that they’re aliens. The focus on crop circles, new magic, time travel, and alien invasions, it was just a bit too much for me and had me feeling like I was watching a really bad episode of The X-Files. As for the characters, while I appreciated that each of the first few chapters chose a different Sailor Scout to focus on, I still don’t feel we got any real depth into their characters. Usagi was particularly annoying in this volume, especially her getting jealous over Chibi-Usa. Chibi-Usa was never a favourite character of mine, and I don’t feel she was improved with this reread. I really hope this arc wraps up in the next volume because it’s probably my least favourite.

If you’ve read Sailor Moon or plan to, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading! πŸ’—

9 thoughts on “Manga Reviews: Sailor Moon Volume 1, 2, & 3

  1. I started watching the Sailor Moon show for the first time last year and I love it! Its interesting to see the plot from manga vs. the show. I’m not sure if I’d read the manga anytime soon, but your review was great! πŸ₯°πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

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