The Sailor Moon Naoko Takeuchi Collection, a pocket sized budget version of the manga, is coming in April

Sailor Moon Manga Bunko Collection - Covers

Fans may have noticed that a new version of the Sailor Moon Manga is coming starting April 13th. This version, published by Penguin Randomhouse, is being called the Naoko Takeuchi Collection, named after the Sailor Moon manga’s author. So what is this new version and should fans, many of whom have just bought the Eternal Editions, be looking to pick these up? Probably not! Read on to see why I don’t think this is worth your money.

The Sailor Moon Eternal Editions which were released over the past couple of years really were the ultimate version of the manga. These huge volumes were even bigger than the similar sets which were released in Japan. The pages were a high quality glossy white and all colour pages from the original issues of Nakayoshi were reproduced in these. The 10th and final volume was released last month and Code Name Sailor V will be released on April 27th 2021. You might have thought you were almost done shelling out your hard earned dollars on Sailor Moon manga until the news of these new versions dropped! So what exactly is the Naoko Takeuchi Collection all about?

Sailor Moon Manga Bunko Collection - Index - Black and White

The image on the Penguin Randomhouse web site is likely not the final cover art. What is actually pictured is the Japanese cover of the Sailor Moon Bunko Collection. These versions were released in Japan starting in September 2018, as we originally posted about on this site. Though we don’t have all of the specifics about these new versions it seems likely they will be similar to those. There are usually minor differences between the size and paper quality of Japanese and American versions of the comic, which may be the case with these versions.

As the Japanese versions were fairly inexpensive I bought the whole set. The books are fairly unimpressive. These are very small versions of the manga commonly called bunkobon or bunkoban in Japan. They are A6 size which means they are 4.1″ by 5.8″, smaller than any other versions of the Sailor Moon manga I own. Here is a size comparison photo of the Bunko Collection next to the English Eternal Edition which I took back when I got the first volume of the manga. As you can see this is tiny in comparison.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition and Bunko Collection

The quality of the paper is also of a lower quality than the Eternal Editions. Instead of glossy white pages we have a simpler more affordable matte paper. Where the Eternal Editions included a large number of colour pages all of those are included in black and white in these versions. The price matches this, with an MSRP of only $12.99 US per book ($16.99 in Canada) these are quite a bit less expensive than the Eternal Edition, but is it really worth saving that money? If money really is the issue the digital versions of the manga, with colour pages, will cost less even than this budget version.

Sailor Moon Manga Bunko Collection - Inside jacket cover

So why are these called the Naoko Takeuchi Collection? A budget version of the manga is hardly fit to be named after a woman who names characters after precious gems and owns multiple sports cars! Instead these should be called the Ghetto Edition, Cheapskate Edition or Budget Edition, but such a name may not be as likely to make sales! Perhaps we could call them the “Mamoru After He’s Gone Shopping With Usagi Editions”!

In short I’m not sure who the audience is. I similarly wondered this about the Japanese version as I continued to order copies of it. If I were you I wouldn’t bother. Check out the Eternal Editions if you haven’t already! They are fantastic! They are expensive and although the price tag and Canadian prices have meant I haven’t bought them all yet I do plan on doing so. They are worth every penny! Feel free to support the site by buying the physical or digital versions from Amazon using the links below.



Watch a short clip of Naoko Takeuchi mentioning that Super Sentai shows inspired her as a child

Naoko Takeuchi with the Zyurangers

Yesterday I found this photo of Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon, with the Zyurangers, from the Super Sentai series which was adapted as the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series in North America. The photo was posted to Twitter by Tuxedo Unmasked, who runs a great web site by the same name. He later shared a link to the source video, which was a 20th Anniversary video of TOEI’s Sentai Series which aired on March 21st 1995. I can’t embed the video but you can watch the video on YouTube to see the brief appearance by Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi at 16 minutes and 57 seconds. This interview lasts less than 30 seconds.

Naoko Takeuchi discusses Super Sentai series

Why is Naoko Takeuchi, who created Sailor Moon, wrote and drew the Sailor Moon manga, and provided work for various incarnations of the Sailor Moon series, appearing in a show about Super Sentai? As she mentions in this brief clip, she was inspired by Super Sentai series as a child. This special from 1995, which commemorates 20 years of Super Sentai series for TOEI, demonstrates that such series had been around a long time before Sailor Moon. It is often said that Sailor Moon, a series in which many girls transform into coloured uniforms and use attacks to defeat monsters, is a kind of Super Sentai type story about and for girls. This clip confirms that such series were a partial inspiration for the Sailor Moon manga and ultimately the anime and live action series as well.

Sailor Moon

I’ve certainly mentioned this similarity many times in the context of the live action series. The Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series is a Tokusatsu (live action special effects) series much like Super Sentai series are. As Sailor Moon is a manga version of a Super Sentai series the live action version is a way of the franchise evolving into something even more similar to the shows which inspired it. The few recycled sets and even costumes are not proof of that, so much as the general similarities in the basic plots of these series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 18 - The Sailor Guardians with Sailor Venus in the middle

Although Naoko Takeuchi likely drew at least partial inspiration from Super Sentai series, it’s not possible for her to actually have been inspired by Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, which was later adapted in North America as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That series first aired in February of 1992. The Codename: Sailor V manga started in August of 1991 and Sailor Moon, which has more similarities to a Super Sentai team show, was first published in December of 1991. The Sailor Moon anime series began airing in March of 1992, so it’s certainly easy to compare Sailor Moon to Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, because they were both on television at the same time, but without a time machine it’s impossible for either to have been an inspiration for the other.

Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers didn’t start airing until August of 1993 which was still two years before Sailor Moon started airing on TV in the US and Canada in August of 1995. Though Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was adapted from three different Super Sentai series, they kept the Zyuranger outfits for all three of those seasons, so North American fans would mostly only be familiar with those costumes when Sailor Moon’s first 65 episodes played on TV until Power Rangers Zero started in April of 1996 after which the costumes for each series continued to change.

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 5 - Red Ranger

Source: Tuxedo Unmasked on Twitter

As the new Eternal Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are released in English a smaller Bunkobon version is coming to Japan September 28th

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 1 cover - Sailor Moon

As a new even bigger version of the Sailor Moon manga, the Eternal Edition, is being released in English tomorrow an even smaller version will soon be released in Japan! Japanese readers will be getting a Bunkobon version of the Sailor Moon manga which is a smaller and cheaper version of the manga. At only 842 yen, about $7.50 US, this is about half the price of the Complete Editions which were released a few years ago. These are Bunkobon or Bunkoban Editions which are a size which is referred to in Japan as A6, which is roughly 4.13″ x 5.83″. In contrast the new Eternal Editions which are coming out in North America are even bigger than the large Complete Edition Japanese versions and measure a whopping 7.1″ x 9.98″, a bit smaller than a standard 8.5″ x 11″ letter sheet of paper. This is almost double the height and width of the new Bunkobon Japanese versions and roughly 3 times the surface area! Of course the larger English version is also over three times the cost so you really do get what you’re paying for! The Japanese Complete Editions were A5 size which is between the two at 5.83″ × 8.27″. Check out this Tweet by @thesailorbook to see the difference between the new English version and the Japanese Complete Edition. The Bunkobon Edition is not included in this size comparison.

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 2 cover - Sailor Mercury

The first two volumes of the Bunkobon editions will be released on September 28th. The covers are similar to the Complete Editions and Eternal Editions showing art of Sailor Moon on volume 1 and Sailor Mercury on volume 2. Both volumes 1 and 2 are available for pre-order from Amazon Japan. If you’re more interested in buying an English version, with high quality paper and some colour pages, you can order those using the Amazon.com links below. Only volume 1 is released on September 11th while volume 2 won’t be out until November 13th with later volumes coming out in 2019. Since there were delays with volume 1 coming out there may be more delays to that schedule.

Will you be picking either of these up? How many versions of the Sailor Moon manga are you up to now? I think I’ll be up to 9 if I get both of these but I’m starting to lose count. My Sailor Moon books are still in boxes as I’m moving into my new place.

Pre-orders for the 3rd year of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are available until June 30th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Membership Card and Communicator Watch
Pre-orders for membership in the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are open to international users until June 30th, Usagi’s birthday. Fans can order their membership from the Tokyo Otaku Mode web site. As in past years this includes a membership card, special gift and, for those who were members previously, a renewing membership benefit. The special gift is a “Sailor Moon Communicator Watch” which is based off of Usagi’s communicator in the manga which we also saw in Sailor Moon Crystal. Usagi had a much different kind of communicator watch in the original Sailor Moon anime’s Sailor Moon R season though she had a calculator like PDA in the first season. In the live action series Usagi uses a magic cell phone to communicate with her friends.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Princess Notebook and Princess Briefcase

The renewing membership benefit is a “Sailor Moon Princess briefcase” and “Sailor Princess notebook”. Not sure what’s princessey about these. The briefcase isn’t really anything like what I think of when I hear briefcase. It’s more like a folder for holding paper or, in this case, a notebook! Both items feature manga art by Naoko Takeuchi. Neither feature images of Princess Serenity or any other characters in Princess form.

The art on the membership card is fairly underwhelming. This is art we’ve already seen on the special book and 25th Anniversary Tribute Album. This is fairly new art by Naoko Takeuchi so I suppose it decently encompasses the current feel of the franchise.

I’m a bit on the fence about renewing my membership. The idea of the Fan Club is sound, that you sign up and get a special gift and have the chance to get a bunch of exclusive merchandise. That said I haven’t found many of the fan club exclusive offerings terribly compelling. With such a massive amount of Sailor Moon merchandise being sold in Japan over the last few years I hardly feel like I need to buy more but rather pass up a lot of items. The only fan club exclusive I’ve gotten in the past 2 years is the stamp set, which I was quite happy with. A lot of the benefits for Japanese fan club members, like access to items only for sale in Asia or events in Japan, aren’t applicable to international members. Some fans choose to get a Japanese fan club membership though again for fans outside of Japan a lot of those benefits, such as for events held in Japan, aren’t something they can make much use of!

Are you a fan club member? Do you plan on renewing your membership? What advantages has membership in the fan club gotten you?

Happy Birthday to Naoko Takeuchi. In what year was she actually born?

Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi is the creator of Sailor Moon and author of the Sailor Moon manga and today, March 15th, is her birthday! Last year many fans wished her a happy 50th birthday, as I did in a Tweet which went viral after being retweeted by Brianna Wu. Shortly afterwards however a few things made me wonder if it really had been her 50th birthday or that it was perhaps her 51st.

Naoko Takeuchi

Last year a message by Naoko Takeuchi was read at a 25th anniversary event and posted to the official site which I covered previously. She mentions that on the date of the Sailor Moon manga’s first publication, specified in the letter as being July 6th 1992, she was 26 years old. Since July 6th is after March 15th this would indicate that, had Naoko Takeuchi really celebrated her 26th birthday on March 15th 1992, her date of birth would be March 15th 1966. When I saw this I started to wonder if I was wrong about what I assume was her year of birth. Wikipedia, and many other reputable sources, currently list her year of birth as 1967, which would make her 51 years old today.

Naoko Takeuchi

The Wikipedia talk page shows that there is some disagreement over this date. I think Wikipedia is a reliable source of information but when something appears to be in doubt, I always recommend checking out the talk page to see what open discussions people are having about an issue. This mentions that some Japanese pages list her year of birth as 1966. That said the Japanese Wikipedia page and other Japanese sites currently list her year of birth as 1967. Due to her private nature her age was never listed on the official site, only the day of her birth without the year.

The source for the 1967 number appears to have been Hitoshi Doi’s Sailor Moon page. Fans who scoured the Internet in the late 90s will recall this as being a great English language resource by a Japanese Sailor Moon fan. The other source listed is an interview in Punch!! where Naoko mentions that in 1997, when the final episode of Sailor Moon aired, February 8th 1997, that she was happy to get a 5 month vacation at age 30. If Naoko was 30 in February 1997 that would mean that her 31st birthday was on March 15th 1997, making her year of birth 1966. However since there is a 5 month “vacation” mentioned she could simply be saying that she was 30 later in that vacation, making her 30th birthday on March 15th 1997, which would give her a year of birth of 1967.

With most signs currently pointing to a 1967 year of birth the statement on that letter stating she was 26 when Sailor Moon began doesn’t add up. This could be an indication that most online sources, all derived from the same place or the result of some assumptions about the Punch!! interview, are incorrect or simply that she misremembered or mistakenly mentioned being 26 at the time the series began. She could simply have recalled being that age when she began working on Sailor Moon earlier that year or simplified the math estimating her age at the beginning of 1992 rather than the later part of it.

So what’s the truth? I couldn’t say for sure. With so many sources repeating the 1967 number that seems the likely correct value but there is enough doubt placed on it for me to think there’s a legitimate possibility that she’s actually born in 1966. I’m putting all of the information out there so you can decide for yourself. This isn’t important like, say, when we’ll get more Sailor Moon Crystal.

This brings up the other issue. Does it really matter? Not really. It is Naoko Takeuchi’s birthday. She’s in her early 50s and was in her mid to late 20s when she wrote Sailor Moon. Her family may care about what kind of joke card to get her or how many candles to put on her cake but her exact age doesn’t make a big difference in the lives of fans. I’m just stubbornly interested in discovering the truth about the world so when I see something that doesn’t add up I must strive to know what the right answer is. If you’ve got any thoughts or insight into this feel free to mention it in the comments.

Happy Birthday Naoko Takeuchi. Thanks for everything!

Sailor Moon stamps which are coming to Japan will be available internationally through the Sailor Moon Fan Club

Sailor Moon Stamp set

Sailor Moon stamps are coming to Japan! 10 different stamps, featuring the Sailor Soldiers in manga designs by Naoko Takeuchi, will be released in Japan. These are 62 yen stamps, which is equivalent to 55 cents American, so this would be your standard stamp used for postage on an envelope. A special stamp set will be sold in Japan for 5,900 yen, nearly 10 times the cost of a all 10 stamps combined! Fans in Japan will be able to buy a collector’s stamp set from the post office and many fans worldwide will be able to do the same if they are part of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club! The set is listed on the Tokyo Otaku Mode site for fans with a membership. This set sells for $63.99 US, which is a bit more than the exchange for 5,900 yen but somewhat comparable. Pre-orders are being taken now. The product will ship in March 2018.

Sailor Moon Stamp set full contents

The set includes more than just the 10 stamps! There is also a stamp holder, 8 premium post cards based on manga art and 24 deluxe postcards which are manga cover art for both the original and the most recent editions of the manga. A clear folder which is included in both the fan club and post office package is slightly different between the two. I believe it’s simply a different colour.

Do you plan on getting this set? Keep reading for individual images of the contents!

Continue reading

The Dream story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will be two theatrical films directed by Chiaki Kon

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event

Yesterday there was a special live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday, June 30th. The main news pertaining to new Sailor Moon Crystal, which is what everyone has been waiting for, was that the upcoming 4th story arc or 4th season will not be presented as episodes but as two theatrical films. These will be played in theatres in Japan but it isn’t clear at this time what that means for international fans. Will we get the films in theatres ourselves? Will it be streamed online at a later date, perhaps split into individual episodes? A free simulcast seems a bit unlikely as there wouldn’t be much of an incentive to get people into theatres if the movies were available online on the first day. We will have to wait and see for more details as we still don’t have any timeline of when this might happen. After the event this information was posted to the official site.

Chiaki Kon - Director of Sailor Moon Crystal phase 3

We’ve also learned that these two movies will be directed by Chiaki Kon, who was the director for the Infinity Arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. I really dug the animation style of the latest season so I’m happy to see her return, but it doesn’t look like all fans share that sentiment.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Happy Birthday

The rest of the live event wasn’t all that compelling. Since it was Usagi’s birthday there was a cake and Happy Birthday to You was sung, which it seems is now public domain and not subject to copyright.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical trailer - The Starlights and Princess Kakyuu

There was also a new trailer shown for the upcoming Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final. This included another look at the new characters from this musical. This trailer can be seen embedded below.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Reading a letter from Naoko Takeuchi

There was also a message from Naoko Takeuchi which was read by Sailor Moon’s voice actor Kotono Mitsuishi. No new information was included but it was about looking back at her time with the manga and thanking fans. This letter was also shared on the official site. This letter mentions that in 1992 she was 26 years old. This doesn’t match with many sources stating that she was born on March 15th 1967. If she was indeed 26 in 1992 this would put her year of birth at 1966. According to the Naoko Takeuchi Wikipedia talk page there are sources which indicate that she was born in 1966. It would seem plausible that this is in fact the case. This would mean that my most viral Tweet where I wished Naoko Takeuchi a happy 50th birthday in March of this year was in fact wrong as she would have turned 51 this year. Without confirmation of her year of birth we can’t be sure one way or another.

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Usagi's birthday live event - Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 intro

The most annoying part of the event was when they screened the intro and ending themes from the last story arc. This would have been a great time to see something new instead of something we’ve seen well over a year ago!

For now we must continue to wait for more details about these two movies and what they mean for North American fans or the possibility of a Stars story arc. Sailor Moon fans have certainly learned to be patient with Sailor Moon Crystal!

Continue reading

A new iPhone case, sold with or without crystals, is available exclusively to official Sailor Moon Fan Club members

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

A new item is now available for pre-order from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club. If you’re not already a Fan Club member, you’re pretty much out of luck as the period to sign up has long since passed. The latest item is a cell phone case for Apple iPhones featuring an image of Princess Serenity by Naoko Takeuchi which was made for the Sailor Moon Exhibit. It comes in a somewhat affordable “Normal Version”, only $20.99 US, or a “Crystal Version” which is a significantly less affordable $140.99 US. Preorders can be done until January 27th and the item will be released in March.

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

What kind of gems account for this difference in price? Any actual precious stones would likely drive up the price much more than $100. These are Swarovski crystals which are basically cut glass. Actually that’s not completely accurate. These are lead glass which is a kind of glass that has a high refractive index which basically means it’s more shiny than normal glass! The case is available for iPhones only and at that it’s only for 6, 6s and 7 models. I’m out of luck to get one to fit my iPhone 6+ but maybe I’ll just buy another Sailor Moon case and stick some rhinestones on it.

What do you think of this case? Will you be picking one up?

Source: Sailor Moon Fan Club Newsletter, Otaku Mode Shop

Watch Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva perform a Sailor Moon inspired routine

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva dressed as Sailor Moon

Russian World Champion figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva is a huge Sailor Moon fan. She shows us this by performing a Sailor Moon inspired skating routing in costume to the music of Moonlight Densetsu, the opening theme of the original Sailor Moon anime. Naoko Takeuchi, the creator of Sailor Moon, was so impressed by this routine that she met with Evgenia Medvedeva after a recent performance and gave her a signed Sailor Moon sketch. Watch a video which features some clips of that performance below.

To see just how much of an anime fan Evgenia really is check out her Instagram and Twitter feeds. It’s nice to see younger fans who weren’t around when the original Sailor Moon anime was out who are still getting into this great series.

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva with Naoko Takeuchi

Source: Crunchyroll News and Sankei Sports

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva dressed as Sailor Moon

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva dressed as Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon episode 39 - Ami, Rei and Minako skating

There is no new Sailor Moon Crystal episode this week. Why not read the manga instead?

Luna reading vol. 12 of the Sailor Moon manga

Had Sailor Moon Crystal continued beyond episode 26 using its regular schedule, Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition, would be released this coming Saturday, August 1st. There will be no Act 27 this weekend. We don’t know when we will get it. The final episode’s closing scene left us with the words “À bientôt” which insinuates we may get it some day, but not right away. What is a fan to do? I would suggest you pick up the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi.

I’ve mentioned in my reviews time and time again just how closely Sailor Moon Crystal resembled the manga. It was so close that mentioning the similarities was a waste of time. It made more sense to point out the occasional differences, of which there were few. I prepared myself for each new episode of the show by rereading the equivalent Manga chapter and after doing so the episodes always played out just as expected. If you’ve enjoyed Sailor Moon Crystal to date the easiest way to continue following that story is to pick up the manga where the show left off.

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Usagi reading a Sailor V manga

For years reading the manga was not easy, as English releases of the manga released by Tokyo Pop were out of print, but the latest release of the manga by Kodansha is easy to find at many stores and online retailers. Feeling cheap? You can read the fan translations over at Miss Dream, but I would always recommend supporting the series by buying the manga. If you’re starting from the beginning, I don’t need to teach you how to count. If you’re starting where Sailor Moon Crystal takes off the first Kodansha comic you’ll want to pick up is volume 6 with Sailor Chibi Moon on the cover. This book starts the Infinity Arc which is where Sailor Moon Crystal would have, and hopefully someday will, continue with its next episode.

As always you can buy these books using these Amazon links to support the site.