Instead of looking at an unlicensed series this week, I thought I might switch gears a bit and talk about Kodansha’s recent announcement that they are re-releasing Sailor Moon.
My relationship with Sailor Moon starts, believe it or not, when I was six years old. The local FOX channel, at 6AM, showed the Sailor Moon anime, before Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and the Garfield cartoon show. At the time, I didn’t know anything about anime or manga – it was still years away from when Viz Media and other publishers would begin publishing manga in the USA.
I have come to learn that this anime was licensed in order to capitalize on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers fad, and was a very heavily edited and re-scripted version of the first two seasons of the Japanese show. At the time, I remember thinking that it was a fun show, but I wasn’t as obsessed with it as my twin brother, who would drag me out of bed in the morning to watch it. We both liked it better than the Power Rangers, him most likely for the fight scenes, and me, most likely for… well, the fight scenes. The fights in Sailor Moon were cool! They were bright and flashy, and they captured my imagination as a 1st grader.
My second run-in with Sailor Moon came when I worked as a youth librarian for the Fairfield County District Library before college. At that time, the library had started to get into the manga craze. It had picked up a few books from this publisher called Mixx Entertainment (which would eventually become TokyoPop), and had some of the Mixx Pocket editions of Sailor Moon. I remember them distinctly because they were some of the hottest books in the youth collection – they were always on hold, checked out, and I know we replaced them at least once due to wear and tear. I looked through them a time or two, but never managed to sit down and read the content. The names were all familiar from the show, but the books were just not something I was into at the time, so I let them go. Sadly, when I went back to try and read them a few years ago, they had long since been destroyed by loving fans.
Kodansha has made more than a few people happy with the announcement of the rerelease of Sailor Moon. The series is nestled in a nostalgia of a simpler fandom, when many aging otaku were in college or high school – it probably rings quite a few bells. Still, even for those of us who weren’t reading manga when Mixx was printing copies of Sailor Moon, the rerelease of this series gives new readers a chance to experience what many fans consider a classic for the genre. It is a fun and exciting time to be a manga reader these days; just make sure you go out and buy yourself a copy when Kodansha releases the first omnibused volume in September of 2011.
What experiences have you had with Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts? Did you watch the anime as a kid, or read the manga? Are you a first-time reader? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments.