We’ve finally arrived at the last volume in the first box set, halfway to reading the entire series.
This volume kicks off the Infinity arc. A lot happens in this volume. We’re introduced to a new group of villains, and two mysterious new Sailor Guardians, Neptune and Uranus, appear with their own agenda. Meanwhile, Chibiusa makes a new friend, Hotaru, who seems to have some connection to incidents involving students from an elite school turning into monsters.
So the first couple of arcs were great, but the last arc in particular seemed rushed. The pacing in this volume is great, and other characters besides Usagi and Mamoru actually get a chance to hog the spotlight (particularly Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, who absolutely steal every scene that they’re in). This volume also contains a Mercury-centric chapter, which makes me happy.
At this point it appears like someone finally got to Kodansha about the translation, because the dialogue seems much more natural now. I’m still scratching my head over the way Haruka’s last name is rendered as “Ten’o” (which is apparently correct but isn’t really how your average Japanese speaker would write it). That doesn’t mean there aren’t awkward moments, but the entire volume is much more readable now, and I’m glad they appear to have made an effort to fix things (or maybe I’m just used to the awkwardness and I didn’t notice). It still sucks that you have to stick around for five volumes of awkwardness, but if so, this one’s a treat to read, trust me.
Also, Haruka and Michiru are definitely not cousins. I just thought I’d make that clear.