Review: Sailor Moon Vol. #12 + Retrospective

This is it. This is the final review for the Sailor Moon manga series. It seems like I’ve been reviewing this series for years and I only bought the sets in January.

I love the cover for this one, btw. All the covers are great though.

Sailor Moon is on her own. Her friends and allies are being picked off left and right, and all she can do is seek out Sailor Galaxia for a final epic confrontation that will determine the fate of the galaxy and the cosmos.

No pressure.

This volume is basically one drawn out conflict between Sailor Galaxia and Sailor Moon. This is when the gloves come off and we see how much Sailor Moon has changed from the clumsy girl who really needed Tuxedo Mask to rescue her in her first few battles to a young woman with faith in herself and her friends (even when she’s scared out of her wits).

There’s really not much I can say about #12 other than the fact that it’s pretty much all action, all the time with a few brief pauses for origin stories, because who doesn’t love origin stories? And this time, the epic final battle actually feels epic (basically the opposite of how I felt the Nemesis arc ended). The chips are down and the cards are on the table.

I am so glad Kodansha got their act in gear and hired a translator who didn’t literally translate everything, because this volume could have been much more confusing. Again, I did notice some spelling errors, but overall, I’m relieved that at least the last few volumes were given the translation I’ve been waiting for since the very beginning.

So, since there’s not much more for me to say about #12, here are some thoughts after reading the entire series.

As I’ve said consistently (I just said it above) it’s such a shame that the translation was handled so poorly, especially for a series as popular as Sailor Moon. Seriously, this is why you don’t listen to the purists who think that everything must be absolutely as close to the Japanese as possible, because what you end up with is this mess.

Which arc was my favourite? I really liked the Infinity arc and thought that it had a very strong beginning. The Dream arc was also great, as we got to spend a bit more time with the Inner Senshi, and learn more about their dreams and plans for the future. I love the Stars arc, finding out about other Sailor Guardians all across the galaxy, although, why are there guardians of planetoids and satellites but no Sailor Sun?

Probably because she’d just steamroll over everything if she was ever introduced.

Well I guess technically Endymion is the unofficial Sailor Earth and Sailor Sun.

Other things of note, the box art for the sets is gorgeous and when you put both sets together it makes a full picture of the main cast. The stickers are adorable but I’m not going to use them at all (I have a thing against using feelies). I love the cover art for the individual volumes (although the third edition covers are absolutely gorgeous). Sadly, even if the third edition is translated into English, this will probably be the only version of the manga I will own, although I’d take a look to see if the translations are actually decent.

Overall, this is such a great series. I grew up with the characters through the anime and I met some characters for the first time while reading the manga. It’s just such a shame such a classic has been given such a lackluster translation, although apparently not the worst translation, which is actually pretty scary when you think about it.

Anyways, the lackluster translation was probably my biggest complaint overall. The art was great, and I definitely thought the storylines improved over time even though the format essentially stayed the same (ie. the Monster of the Week plots) there were enough variations to keep things interesting.

Honestly, even with the lackluster translation, this is still a great series and if you are the one person who likes magical girls and hasn’t bought this, I’d say it’s still worth a buy unless you want to wait and see if the third edition’s being translated.

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