"Vomits in corner." Is actually an update I posted while reading. There was a part of this story where I actually walked away. Don't get me wrong, I l"Vomits in corner." Is actually an update I posted while reading. There was a part of this story where I actually walked away. Don't get me wrong, I love it when a story goes out of the lines to shock me and give me something different. However, transforming someone, then basically have some incest kissing, making me gasp in horror—and the characters—then ignoring it after that is sloppy. And disturbing. Whey was that even put in?
This whole volume for me was sloppy. A huge step down. Besides that vomit inducing bit that had no purpose or follow up. As if the author was in a rush to get to the end of this plot arc. My over analyzation of why Mamoru ignores Usagi and showers his love on Chibiusa was for not. Because everything is explained away. Mamoru loves Usagi so much that he doesn't want her to be worried so he protects Chibiusa so that Usagi doesn't have to worry. Though I think a "Be safe my love, I'll protect Chibiusa don't worry!" Would be nice. Or if they're not in danger a little affection for both the girls would be good. The choppy parts finally show that Mamoru, Usagi, and Chibiusa spent fun time together. Yet the way even that information is divulged is so choppy that it can only be assumed that was in the past.
The cold Neo Queen Serenity wakes up. And suddenly she's not cold. She's regal but clearly has some of the fun quirks that makes us love Usagi! It's just weird. The impression that was given before was that Serenity was cold and aloof to everyone but King Endymion. Was she just playing at it so that she wouldn't change the future? Usagi is then suddenly explaining how much she loves Chibiusa. Even though all readers have seen is how suspicious and cold she is of Chibiusa. This is baaaaad. No plot development or character growth here. Things are just kind of explained and readers are just supposed to go with the flow. Well. I'm disappointed.
What I do love is that this is Mamoru and Usagi's first real "fight". They survive it and come out stronger and more in love. Which is lovely. Usagi loves Chibiusa now, which makes for some warm and more interesting moments. Chibiusa becomes stronger . . . somehow though her transformation into Dark Lady is really shoddily put together. In this state the vomit inducing moment happens . . . and is ignored. What drove this to happen? (Oh, I know what it is. But this is a kids manga!) Besides that there really isn't anything else of note on character development. There's a tragic death that "wakes" everyone out of their stupor and tries to "explain" everyone's sudden change of heart. But the death is lost on me as the character was not well developed enough to pull on my heart strings. Though part of me goes, "ah, and I wanted more of her." However, this series has already proven that it can and will bring characters back to life, so maybe readers will get to see more.
In the end. This was crappy plotting. Horrid. This volume. No. The Black Moon arc as a whole needed more time to develop. The pacing and tiny amount of time it was given to be told really held this story back. Worst, it held every single character back! (Though I did get some Makoto development in the previous volume. Thank you.) Points for the artwork still being solid. The art has clearly grown even lovelier. It's a shame it seems everything else has digressed backwards. Takeuchi admits that Chibiusa and this arc was created to give her somewhere to go with he story, and it shows. Here's hoping she gets her footing in the next arc. Warily I go trudging on ahead.
Sexual Content: Some incest kissing. And then some nice safe kissing.
This needs to be said: "The choppy still continues." At first it wasn't noticeable at all, but then towards the end there's scenes that show ChibiusaThis needs to be said: "The choppy still continues." At first it wasn't noticeable at all, but then towards the end there's scenes that show Chibiusa where it was flashbacking, present daying, and then—?—confusion. It was so rough I had to go back and read it again to understand it. I'm still a little iffy on what happened “exactly” 100 percent. But I got enough of it that I'm not too worried.
What I love is how the guardians are slowly being picked off. However, what I loved the most is that this allowed some time with Makoto, Sailor Jupiter. It allowed readers to see past her strong "yankee" persona and see the softy she is. Plus, I caught a hint of a romance? What's even cooler is how the time traveling is coming in, and I believe it's affecting Usagi. It's interesting how she's jealous of Chibiusa and the attention that Mamoru gives her. Clearly Mamoru immediately understands who Chibiusa is and her importance to him. Usagi. Well let's be honest she's a bit of a selfish person. Mamoru is her man, and I understand that in both lives she really hasn't had time with Mamoru. They still need to build up their love and trust. So Usagi's jealousy is understandable. Unlike a lot of readers I can see how this could lead to her future self becoming distant with someone she's supposed to love unconditionally. Jealousy is a powerful emotion. Plus, let's be honest Mamoru does kind of ignore her . . .
The Black Moon arc is in full swing and the art style is truly inspiring. The future world of Crystal Tokyo is gorgeous, even in its death. The villains are meh. The evil Prince Demand having a crush on Neo Tokyo Princess Serenity is a very interesting plot device. Looking at the drawing of Serenity who could blame him? Usagi clearly is still an average girl at heart, she's only human. So as her heart breaks so does her powers. What I'm hoping for is that by seeing the negative emotions shape her present and future she can enter a more positive state of being. That her love can extend past her ultimate obsession for Mamoru. Also, I think Mamoru's complete obsession with taking care of Chibiusa is kind of creepy. Outside of some alone time where he comforts Usagi, after she's had a total heart breaking melt down, he really doesn't do much to assure Usagi—or me—that he is thinking of her. There should be two women he's worried about here!
All right away from my tangent. The dramatic events of this title and the repercussions of time travel are refreshing! Especially since it's not just the affect upon the world, but the characters down to their emotional levels. The introductory of Sailor Pluto was fun and as always I'd love more on her. At least Jupiter got some development and I'm hoping this is a sign that other guardians will get the same attention. Tuxedo Mask finally gets some powers! (No rose tossing thank you!) Usagi's personal growth is fascinating--I f you can't tell by my serious over analyzation above—and I'm practically just as hungry for more of that and if Mamoru might finally realize that he's got two leading ladies to share the love with. Especially after that cliffhanger. No really. Have the next volume on hand!
Sexual Content: Kissing. And I'm seriously wondering if the kiss that was hinting at a steamy make out session . . . may have been more steamier then we're led to believe.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
Ah, the end of the Dark Kingdom arc, and the beginning of the Black Moon Arc. While I thoroughly enjoyed the finale of the Dark Kingdom arc, and I havAh, the end of the Dark Kingdom arc, and the beginning of the Black Moon Arc. While I thoroughly enjoyed the finale of the Dark Kingdom arc, and I have to say I have a bit of a girl crush on Sailor Venus now, it was choppy. Which surprises me as this is the third addition to the series. Usually meaning story and art panels become smoother. Not choppier. The finale was indeed choppy. If it had been a bit smoother this volume probably would have gotten a higher rating from me. Alas, the chop-chop and then the "villain of the week" comes back. And even they were a tad skippy.
That being said, I really-really-really liked the wrap up of the Dark Kingdom arc. The romance between Usagi and Mamoru has hit that beautiful sweet spot. Or as I like to call it, the "ahhhhhh" moment. Combining past lives into a present day romance, tragedy, and by it's own right a happy ending. While it's not the end, clearly, it's a happy one for the story arc. Even better, is that while Usagi and Princess Serenity officially become one, Usagi states it's still her. There is a more mature side of her present and continues to grow, but I still love that she’s still her silly self. Which readers get to see in old-school Princess Serenity.
I'm still a weeeee bit bummed that the other characters aren't getting more development. There's some, especially as someone is slowly picking off the Scouts. But it doesn't really make me feel closer to the ladies. Sailor Venus had some amazing page time as the true leader of the Sailor Scout’s group as she does everything in her power to protect the Princess/Queen of the Moon. A-mazing. I can see why Takeuchi created SailorV first, and kept her in the Sailor Moon universe. (Yeah, see my girl crush is shining.)
The mini-Usagi, or Usa/Chibiusa, has been a character that made me lose interest in the Anime after she was introduced. (OK, I lied—again—I made an anime reference. Sorry!) Mainly because I found the character even more annoying then the Anime version of Usagi. Chibiusa really hasn't gotten much page time at this point. Instead of seeming like a brat, she comes off as a lost child. One who's lost her parents and clearly needs Sailor Moon's help. Now if only the Scouts could help themselves!
If it wasn't for the powerful ending of the Dark Kingdom arc 2/5 would be my solid rating. The new storyline isn't starting out terribly strong and the choppiness isn't helping. There are some moments that I did enjoy in the opening of the Black Moon arc. I just wish things were more . . . fleshed out. Dare I say, more time spent on opening this up. Yep, I'm saying maybe a chapter dedicated to getting to know our characters more and building up the new trouble brewing for our Sailor Scouts!
Sexual Content: Kissing. Clean. Maybe a bromance!
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
Kukuku! This volume really surprised me! Especially the relationships between Usagi and Mamoru (Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask). Takeuchi did a wonderfulKukuku! This volume really surprised me! Especially the relationships between Usagi and Mamoru (Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask). Takeuchi did a wonderful job of making me feel for these two in such a short amount of time. Especially, once the all the scouts finally meet up—SailorV finally comes in. The whole Princess of the Moon was handled very well, and if the art for the missing princess had been a bit more vague I think it could have almost fooled readers. Make that a really big almost. Ok. No the readers would have never been fooled. Still it's the thought that counts.
The art is still gorgeous and the color pages are so pleasing! Ah, they're fantastic. It all goes together well with the memory reveals, and the origin story. Mythology! Yes, thank you! (It was sorely missing from the anime.) The tragic past of Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity is the right kind of tragedy and melodrama I love. Especially when there's plenty of sweet notes to make my cynical heart go all "ahhhhhhhhh!"
It can be argued that this volume still has it's "monster of the week plot". Let's be honest most super hero/fighting manga do. This time around Takeuchi does a wonderful job with volume two and lifts it up from the last volume’s cheesier standardized monster of the week fodder. Even more I enjoyed the gem stone guys—as I fondly call the guys named after rocks—when their twist came up. Which I wasn't expecting, but wish it could have been explored more! There was a hint of a lost love with Sailor Venus that is just begging to be realized!
It's a official I'm hooked! Volume 2 is a great indicator of how this series can grow. Usagi has already grown so much, but what I love is that deep down she's still the fun and lazy person she was before. She's just growing up. More growth on the other scouts would be the cherry on top, but there's still plenty of time for that. The funny thing is that harsh manga judge inside of me wants to give this series a lower rating, but I've been converted. Especially since Sailor Moon gets to save damsel Tuxedo Mask as well as be saved sometimes. It's official the manga is working for me, when the anime couldn't. (I lied, I mentioned the anime.)
Sexual Content: Some kissing not much else. Clean!
When I was just a little one I remember rushing home after school to catch the latest adventures of Sailor Moon. It was the only cartoon targeted forWhen I was just a little one I remember rushing home after school to catch the latest adventures of Sailor Moon. It was the only cartoon targeted for girls. Despite my love of TNMT, Batman the Animated series, Gargoyles, and so on I was only too eager to have a girly show. Years later I tried watching the anime . . . and it didn't work out so well. News of the anime reboot came out and I tried yet again! It was a fail, and I knew why now. I had enough anime viewing experience to easily realize why years ago I couldn't make it through the Sailor Moon anime. Fillers. Too much, everywhere. And I’m one of those OCD types that has to watch them all. In order. No skipping. Plus, it hit me how many of the characters were annoying. The fondness for the show as a child, who didn't quite understand how formulaic and repetitive each episode was. (Though the character did annoy me then as well.) That fondness has always stayed with me and I’ve always wished that I could jump in on the series and finally meet all the new characters that I never got to see (it was pulled of of none cable TV in the middle of season 2). Somehow it escaped my attention that this series is only 18 volumes, or now 12. That’s worth a go!
After finishing volume 1 there is a formula to the bad guys, however each chapter is exciting because a new guardian (AKA senshi/Sailor Senshi/Sailor Scout) is found and introduced. At the end readers, and the rest of the guardians, have not met SailorV. Sure it can be said that the story is rushed, but I thought the pacing wasn't bad. Though at times the story was choppy. But let's be honest this is one of Naoko Takeuchi earlier serialized works, so it's not 100% polished. But this is targeted at younger audiences making it easy to put 1 and 2 together.
The art is lovely. To be honest 90s style manga is really hit or miss for me. Depending on who the creator is it can look horrid, and at times it looks simply lovely. Naoko Takeuchi's style has always been gorgeous, especially all the color art in this reprint. The anime never captured the beauty of Takeuchi's art style. (Here's hoping the reboot will.) Even if the storyline may stutter the art doesn't. The action scenes are well done, and I can completely see why this helped to make "girl manga" with action popular. Thank you. Also, I know no one is going to die at this point. But the danger seems more real. With villains talking about getting the guardians’ heads and so on.
Tuxedo Mask (AKA Tuxedo Kamen) is way cooler here. Also, no stupid rose tossing powers. Thank you! He has a bigger role in the overall story in just this one volume. Which in turn makes him a much more attractive love interest. Now for Usagi (AKA Serena). In the anime for me Usagi went from being cute and quirky, to me fantasizing about offing her. Yeah, she was that annoying. In the manga she outright says she likes eating, sleeping, she get's low grades, and she's a "crybaby". But she comes of much more likeable and child like. Cute even. Even in this first volume you can see some growth. It feels so nice that I like Sailor Moon! Plus, I love that she wears a mask, sometimes. The other guardians present in this volume have a fun introductory so that we know them and their basic personalities. This is volume 1 so I'm not too worried that they haven't had much more depth.
This is the start of the "Dark Kingdom" arc and for this reprint spans to Volume 3. Overall this is for younger kids at this point. Sure each chapter introduces a new "monster of the week", but it's not as stifling as the anime and I think adults will definitely like this version more. Got my hands on the rest of the series and I'm very curious as to how the manga is going to develop. If you're a Sailor Moon fan you'll want to read these. If you're like me and just couldn't make it through the anime, but always wanted to experience the universe this is your chance! Some readers may not be able to handle the "sugary" feeling of this adolescent targeted manga. But if you're a cartoon junky and love the adult or children's kind I think you're clear. If you’re reading it for it’s “classic” status take a chance, and maybe even try going as far as volume 2 if this one didn’t impress you.
(In my future reviews of later volumes I will not be making anymore comparisons to the anime. In this review I just wanted to help other readers who may have not liked the anime, but might try the manga!)
Sexual Content: Clean kiddies. There's some close intimate moments with Tuxedo Mask and Usagi, but nothing else.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
***It should be noted that I read a fan translated version in which no one tried to "tame down" this manga (Yeah, I'm looking at you CMX. Feel. The. S***It should be noted that I read a fan translated version in which no one tried to "tame down" this manga (Yeah, I'm looking at you CMX. Feel. The. Shame.) Thank goodness for purists.***
Boobs. Breasts. Tits. Yahoos. Whatever. There I've addressed the supersized lady parts found in this series. To be honest anytime I see an anime or manga with breasts of these proportions I can't take it seriously. They’re there to make me laugh and create a fun drinking game. (You know for every jiggle or "boing" take a shot. This gets you pretty drunk awfully fast with some series . . . ) It was one such drinking game that introduced me to Tenjho Tenge waaaaaaaaay back when. Funny thing was, I was actually interested in the storyline. Yet it's another anime that leaves you hanging. So years later I decided to finally check out the manga to get the full story.
Despite the horribly over large cleavage, the art is really decent. The action scenes play out well and they look great! Too many action manga are actually ruined by the art featured in the action scenes. My only compliant is that all the females tend to look the same, especially in this volume. They've all got mega huge bazookas, but their faces all look the same. I get two of the girls Aya and Maya are sisters, but Bob's girlfriend looks just like them! In fact when I suddenly saw this girl pop up all nude I thought why is Aya getting it on? Oh, and she cut her hair? Despite my irks about the overly done cut out girl looks, I like that the women in this manga can be just as tough as the men. Maya even kicks some serious booty!
Everyone gives me a hard time that I like the anime . . . because of the story. But there is a story! This first volume hints at the past of the school and the council as some punishment is dealt out on Bob and Nagi. Manga about fighting schools are kind of my guilty pleasure, but so few try to do much besides overly big bosomed girls and crazy fights. I enjoy that there's some back story yet to be revealed and that I find each character intriguing. Oh, and if you're a fan of the anime be warned. The anime doesn't play out the nudity, but the manga does. There's lots of violence, smut (which could have been more sexy if the hooters were more realistic, but I know it's not targeted towards me as the audience in mind), and some mysteries!