The week’s big news in the world of comics and graphic novels is the announced return of Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon, a much-beloved shojo (or girls) comic, one of the key titles that ushered in manga boom beginning around 2000. Alongside other now out-of -print series like Tokyo Mew Mew and Marmalade Boy, Sailor Moon proved the importance of female fans to a skeptical (and yes, startled) comics industry.
Originally published in 1997 by Tokyopop (known then as Mixx), Sailor Moon is remembered by many librarians for its terrible binding, poor printing and paper quality; the volumes flew off the shelves until they fell apart. Kodansha Comics is resurrecting the series with a brand new translation and a deluxe edition (although what makes it “deluxe” is not yet clear). The series will be released bi-monthly starting in September 2011 and will combine the original 18 volumes into 12 plus one more of side stories.
Even though its been out of print for over six years (and was difficult to get even when it was in print), Sailor Moon is a title that my readers, young and old, still request. Many adult fans embraced the anime series during it’s 1995 airing in Canada and the US. Despite some unwelcome changes in the characters and relationships in the dubbing, the charm of this traditional magical girl series highlights what was missing for many comics readers here in the US: it was squarely aimed at girls. The enthusiasm continues to trickle down to younger fans, whose interest is further fueled by the series’ unavailability.
This new release will also be accompanied by the first-time US publication of the prequel series Codename: Sailor V, focusing on the adventures of Sailor Venus. With other manga series still going strong at over fifty volumes, the twelve volumes plus a side collection should be well worth the investment.
Since the publication has just been announced, vendors are not showing it on their catalogs yet.