Sailor Moon 2

January 31, 2012

Naoko Takeuchi – Kodansha USA – 2011 – 14 volumes

I was surprised to see that many of my issues with volume one were resolved in volume two. The art settles down and the layouts are less cluttered, the story slows down and takes time to develop the relationship and characters of Mamoru and Usagi (though I still don’t like the latter), and we get some backstory about the Moon Empire and the Empire of Darkness. Even the adaptation feels much more natural this time, though maybe I was just over-analyzing it last time since the story wasn’t gripping me.

This volume covers a lot of ground story-wise, and leaves the random encounters behind in favor of a few battles with Kunzite and more exposition with Queen Beryl and Queen Metalia. The volume stars off by introducing Sailor V, who reveals that she is the princess that the guardians are meant to protect. There’s also some relationship development between Usagi and Mamoru, who know each other’s identities and are drawn to one another. With both Sailor V and the relationship in play, the group faces off against Kunzite, who manages to nearly kill Tuxedo Mask and unleashes the power of the Legendary Silver Crystal. Because of this, Tuxedo Mask is kidnapped and Usagi is devastated. In order to jog their memories, the guardians take a trip to the moon and the relics of the Silver Millennium Empire and receive a message from Queen Serenity. Then they return to fight back against Queen Metalia with the Legendary Silver Crystal.

While I do appreciate the development that Usagi and Mamoru get in the beginning of the volume, and I love all the details about their life in the Silver Millennium Empire, I feel like there just wasn’t enough of the latter. One of my pet peeves throughout the series is that, often, super-interesting details like that are introduced, but not explained well. We do hear a lot about the Empire, its history with the Empire of Earth and Prince Endymion, and what happened to bring it all down, but part of me was longing for a shoujo fantasy flashback that showed us their lives and a lot more detail about what was going on. It’s also implied that Kunzite and the Four Generals were actually Prince Endymion’s bodyguard, but betrayed him for Beryl/Metalia… and then this is not explained, either. I love details like this, and Sailor Moon really does have a lot of interesting story to tell, but just doesn’t get around to it. That’s a real shame.

But what is in here is at least compelling, unlike volume one. We begin to find out about Queen Metalia, the face behind the bad guys, there’s some doubt and confusion from Kunzite, and there’s even some wonderful romance sequences. I had forgotten how sparkly the love scenes in Sailor Moon are. I had a complete girl-gasm when I stumbled across a few choice pages in this volume. I can’t recall if there are more of them after the first arc or two, since the relationship between Usagi and Mamoru is not a primary focus later in the series.

It did get me a little fired up about reading volume three. I know what’s in the immediate future story-wise (poor Mamoru!), but I can’t recall how the first arc resolves. I think I might continue the momentum and read volume 3 next, despite the fact I have both volumes of Sailor V sitting here waiting on me. Something tells me reading those will put me off the series again.

One Response to “Sailor Moon 2”

  1. ame Says:

    and you are correct in that assumption. i LOVE sailor moon as you already know but reading codename sailor v was an absolute chore. i forced myself to read through those two volumes. it was painful. stupid and pointless and only for brief, brief moments did i enjoy it! i purchased them merely to own it all and support the company/series in these scary for manga economic times!!

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