Last week, May 3rd 2022, the first volume of the much anticipated Naoko Takeuchi Collection of the Sailor Moon manga was finally released. This new version has been delayed a number of times and fans have been excited to finally see it released for a while. They’re wrong to do so. You should not buy this. It’s not a good version of the manga. You should buy the Eternal Edition instead and if you have the Eternal Edition you should read that and just not buy this. It’s your choice of course! It’s your money. You are free to waste your money on a really bad release of the manga. I suggest you don’t. Fans keep asking if they really need to keep rebuying the Sailor Moon manga. Good news! You don’t have to this time!
So what is this version? The Naoko Takeuchi Collection is the equivalent to the Sailor Moon Bunko collection which was released in Japan starting in 2008. I bought all of these and they’re in every sense inferior to the Japanese Complete Editions which were comparable, though slightly smaller than, the English Eternal Editions. The Eternal Editions are great! Big pages with glossy white paper and all of the colour pages from Nakayoshi! The Naoko Takeuchi Collection is a smaller version printed on lower cost paper with black and white versions of those colour pages. Why would you buy this? Are you poor? That’s fine if you are. I have children so I know what it’s like not to have money. If you’re strapped for cash get the digital version of the Eternal Edition with colour pages. It costs about the same.
Granted I haven’t bought this English version. Manga size and paper quality between Japanese and English releases can vary. Pictured above is the English Eternal Edition next to the Japanese Bunko Collection volume 1. The measurements on the Amazon listing for these books tell the same story. The height of this new release (Dimensions: 4.96 x 0.95 x 7.43 inches) is about the same as the width of the Eternal Edition (Dimensions: 7.11 x 0.7 x 10 inches). It’s small. The paper quality of the Japanese release is a cheap greyish newsprint type of paper. This may not be what you’re getting in the Naoko Takeuchi collection but you won’t be getting glossy white pages like with the Eternal Editions and you aren’t getting the colour pages from the original manga.
Update: It seems like one difference in this version is a newer translation. Many people expressed concern with the English translation from the Eternal Edition so the translation in this version may be something that some of you are interested in.
Don’t do it! Don’t buy! It’s not worth it! Save your money! Okay do you still want to buy them? All right then you can always buy and pre-order them using the Amazon links below which helps support the site.
Or better yet buy the not terrible Eternal Edition. You will be happy with that version. I certain have been.
I won’t buy it.
That’s cool. Cool cool cool.
i perfer the 2011 version
Pro tip: don’t buy any of the translations. They’re all subpar, and far less valuable as collector’s items than any of Japanese print runs.
Looks like it’s the not updated version because in a review at Amazon the reviewer is talking about a VHS description at the end and the picture is with the VHS box instead DVD.
So for nostalgia it could be worth for one or the other.
I’ll have to check the Japanese release. I thought it was the updated art in that but I’m not sure.
You might be missing the point here, Adam. Kodansha is releasing this run to simulate the experience of owning/reading the mass-market tankobon volumes in the nineties. It’s at a lower price point for people who don’t care about glossy color pages, and that’s fine. There’s no need to get snobby over premium re-re-releases because at this point all the reprints are mere facsimiles trying to capitalize on nostalgia in their own way.
This isn’t an experience almost anyone outside of Japan has any memory of. The first manga I read were in the late 90s and these were much more expensive and usually had higher quality paper than the versions which had been released in Japan. When I imported some manga I was surprised at the cheap yellow paper they were made of. Perhaps the casual market made sense in Japan where these sold for the equivalent of about 6 or 7 USD and the casual customer base is potentially much larger than outside of the country. I’m just not sure what the appeal is here.
Seems like a money grab. Why, though? Just revise Eternal if something is seriously wrong.
I think it was just easy to adapt what they did in Japan but you’re right. I don’t know why they’re bothering. I don’t know who the market is.
Exactly. You don’t know the market because you don’t have the research for it, yet somehow people somewhere are still buying. To address the other guy, every reprint is a money grab. And it’s not just luxury handbags and wedding paraphernalia: it’s everything.
The hardcore collectors already have multiple sets of Sailor Moon manga and this is just another drop in the bucket. To them, preordering this print run is like collecting variant covers or Q-Posket variants in imperceptibly lighter shades of pink.
It looks like the covers use more of the artwork than the eternal editions, there is noticable difference on some volumes. So that’s nice, I guess.
The new covers look worse than those of the Eternal Edition.
Pro tip: nothing is Eternal, not even the covers of the Eternal Edition.
This is not a collector’s edition. It’s a cheap, pocket version that you can bring with you to the beach, to the train, etc.
Same the japanese version, bunko are sold in train stations and super markets for people who don’t collect manga but still want to read it.
Adam clearly missed the point when he said to buy Sailor Moon digitally instead.
Never underestimate the language/culture/marketing barrier when it comes to Sarah Mune!
Sure but is there a market for this in the west? Is any casual fan going to buy this at a newspaper stand before getting on the subway?
There’s a market for everything, Adam. Especially in the West.
No casual entry-level fan with a limited budget is going to pay 36 CAD for a paperback manga if he/she can get something similar for half the price. Most new fans won’t notice or care about any of the minutiae you’ve mentioned, and that’s fine because they’re new to the fandom. The newspaper stand at the subway station example is a bit dated, but this run approximates an e-commerce version of that.
Aside from the obviously money grab angle, another possible reason for all these republications every few years is that Kodansha might be trying to extend the copyright as much as possible (in case Naoko dies), and if that’s the case then a cheaper reprint is certainly more cost-efficient than a super-luxe glossy premium limited jumbo print run.
I guess if it was something I was casual about I’d go for a more affordable option. I guess I’m usually the type not to get a $6 DVD if there’s a nicer Blu-Ray available but this isn’t how everyone thinks.
I think you guys are being a little too hard on Adam. While I might hesitate to shell out a ton of cash for some Super Ultra Mega Deluxe Eternal Moon Crystal Collection, I would also be really annoyed if I paid for actual, physical manga copies that turned out to be cheap junk.
Here’s the thing: With the exception of ONE book of the newer manga translation (don’t ask which version… it has Neptune on the cover and it’s the end of the Infinity Arc, if that helps), all the Sailor Moon manga I own is the crappy Americanized, flipped art, TokyoPop/Mixx translation. I keep telling myself that I should get “proper” copies of the manga that have good translations and use the original names and don’t flip the artwork, but I never know what the hell to buy because there are so many different versions out there. And I want a translation that doesn’t use “guardians” for “senshi” (yes, I will nitpick that until the day I die) or “generals” for “shitennou” (looking at you, Miss Dream).
It’s getting to the point where I want to find some high-quality scans (either bootlegged or bought, I don’t care anymore) and just make my own version. If my Japanese was better, I’d even consider redoing some of the translation, although trying to do the entire thing would probably kill me.
And this is just talking about the manga, not even getting into detail about my issues with Crystal or the various releases of the original anime. Sometimes being a Sailor Moon fan is suffering…
FYI, all manga is cheap junk. Manga as a medium was never meant to be leather-bound and printed on gilded, archival-quality pages. The people paying for the deluxe editions are just willing to pay more for the junk, but premium junk is still junk.
If you want “proper” copies of manga to collect, then you should be buying the them in Japanese. Translations will always be inferior in some way because not everything translates perfectly with the language/cultural barrier.