Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Summary: 14 year old Usagi discovers she is actually Sailor Moon, a guardian who must find the Legendary Silver Crystal and protect the princess who it belongs to. With the help of a talking cat named Luna, she finds allies to help her fight the enemy.
Reasons for picking this book: I was having a hard time finding any lists of book translated to English that wasn’t just Kafka, I mean Kafka is fine but I just am not in the mood for it right now. My friend Katlin loves Sailor Moon and has been suggesting it to me for forever, so I decided I might as well read it now.
Review: I never went through an anime phase, I tried but I didn’t ever get into it. I remember when I was about eight I watched a couple episodes of Sailor Moon but my mom thought it was annoying and banned it. (Such power). So I really don’t have much exposure to it before reading this.
The whole reading right to left thing took me a while to get a hold of, I kept reading things out of order and getting confused but I eventually got the hang of it.
This manga is super cute, I thought it was fun and pretty feminist as well. I’d let my daughter read this at any age. I like that Usagi is fairly flawed but still saves the day. Reading this was fun and I would definitely want to read more.
One thing which I didn’t like, and it honestly could be because of translation, but the fact that the bad guys are constantly just called “the enemy” annoyed me. Like give them a name of some kind, calling them the enemy all the time was too vague for me.
I’ve heard a lot about how there is a lot of fetishization of girls in anime and manga but I didn’t feel like that was happening here. To me, I felt this story was actually pretty empowering. The Sailor Scouts protect other girls that are being exploited. There are a few cases were they save men but by and large it is girls that they’re coming to the rescue of. I really enjoy that aspect, especially when Sailor Moon chews out the enemy for what they’re doing and points out how and why it is wrong.
I know from my vague knowledge of Sailor Moon that she and Tuxedo Mask are soul mates and all but I honestly think there could be a strong argument made for Usagi being bisexual. She’s always the first to point out how beautiful other girls are. And to me, it’s not in a jealous sort of way… What she’s more jealous of is things like book smarts, video gaming or food. I honestly think Usagi is admiring these girls’ looks.
Overall, really liked this manga and I would read the rest of them.
Recommendations: I think this could appeal to a lot of people regardless if you like anime or not. I do not like anime, in fact I whine and bitch every time my husband watches some because I just don’t like it. But Sailor Moon is different, I like it, the stories and the characters.
Up next: The Girl On The Train – a murder mystery