美少女戦士セーラームーン 第三期 デス・バスターズ編 👨‍🔬

美少女戦士セーラームーン Home Thread

Following the fall of the Black Moon clan et al., the third story arc arrives, and with it a new thread. What new adventures await Usagi, Mamoru, and the others?

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Act.27 無限1—予感

The sailor guardians have achieved peace, and can finally live normal lives again. Just so long as there are no premonitions.

This is the first of many Acts titled 無限. Looking at the table of contents, it looks like this title’s use goes on forever.

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 7 24 110
Shinsouban 6 27 2
Kanzenban 5 27 6

This is the final Act in tankoubon volume 7. The story will then continue in volume 8.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.27)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.28 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

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Saturday: “I managed to get 18 pages in. Not bad, considering the Evil Baddie text it opened with.”

Tuesday: “Another 19 pages. Guess I’ll be finishing Act.27 tomorr–wait, is it seriously 67 pages long?!”

Naoko, why~~~?

My thoughts so far, using the kanzenban page numbers:

Page 11
One of these days, Usagi may just get that sleep-drooling problem under control.

Page 13
i_0013x1
I have no idea what Chibiusa is eating. That’s not bread or toast, right?

Page 13
i_0013x2
I like it when a character gets an expression you normally don’t see from them.

Page 14
Mamoru attempting tough love to try and get “Usa” into shape?

Pages 25 and 33
It’s nice to see Naru and Umino are still getting appearances as the cast list gets bigger.

Page 40
I’m not certain about these attack names.

Is that “Venus Wink Chain Sword”? (Doesn’t look like a sword, but maybe it’s sharp like a blade?)

Jupiter’s 「コ ココナッツ」 attack a cyclone of…mini coconuts? (Attack imagery missing for confirmation.)

I should be able to finish up reading Act.27 in the next two days. Just have to aim for about 15 pages per day.

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Act.28 無限2—波紋

I’m feeling just a wee bit fatigued from the length of last week’s Act, but it’s a new week and a new Act, so I’ve gotta keep going!

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 8 25 1
Shinsouban 6 28 75
Kanzenban 5 28 71

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.28)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.29 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

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Act.29 無限3—2人 NEW SOLDIERS

As I’ve ventured into the first story arc that I know almost nothing about, I wonder how many details I may be missing. I felt confident in my understanding until suddenly Usagi joined Chibausa in sleeping over at Mamoru’s place. Well, no time to ponder on it, as it’s another week.

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 8 26 58
Shinsouban 6 29 130
Kanzenban 5 29 127

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.29)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.30 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

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I missed the new thread going up!

It seems like discussion may have died off…? I finished the series the other day, but the third arc is still something I read through within the past month or so, and I livetweeted quite a bit of it for memory jogs, so … let’s take a pass through. At least one of my favorite chapters is coming up. I’m going to cheat and bring in some links to tweets from my liveread here and there, because they were fresher in the moment than these reflections will be. Page number references are for the Kanzenban:

Act 27

Summary

Starts off on probably the most cryptic bit of narration in the series, as an unknown figure talks about a multitude of different lights converging in, and drawing both one another and the narrator toward, the “Omega Area.” The Tairon Crystal, whose power one element within the lights of planetary guardianship comes close to, is also name-dropped here, and there’s zero context for any of it. Plus we get Rei and Mamoru’s cryptic dreams about the “guiding light of the talismans” being the “beginning of the end.” A lot to mull over.

At breakfast, Usagi’s dad casually talking about atavistic reversion is another one of those great, “Oh right; everyone in the world of Sailor Moon is just really into the occult and paranormal” beats.

Pages 22 and 23: Takeuchi said, “I’ll draw buildings, but no one fucking bother me with helicopters or cars.”

BOOK PAGES: https://twitter.com/cipher_db/status/1271974325839474688?s=21 (It was a lot of fun knowing that Takeuchi must have actually scoured used bookstores for pages to chop up for these, and lo and behold after finishing the series, I actually found an interview from her where that’s one of the first things to come up.)

The scene in which Usagi and Haruka are racing is confusingly presented no matter how you slice it, I feel. It seems like Usagi gets up to 300 km/hour, then crashes, while Haruka wins by putting out 400?

The entry into Infinity Academy is fun, and I was surprised the chapter ended without a major action setpiece, although Juper and Venus do destroy some Daimon early on. The villains’ plans at this point remain horribly, horribly vague, but also intensely weird enough to act as a sufficient hook. Also, the fish fountain? Wild. Wonderfully strange, specific centerpiece for the villains’ lair. I wonder where Takeuchi got the idea (or design?) for it from.

Act 28

Summary

The details of Hotaru’s home-life at the beginning of the chapter build up sympathy for her in a hurry, with understandable resistance to Kaolinite (who we know from the previous chapter is a major creep) cozying up to her father, and worrying at length about the increasing frequency of her physical attacks and moodswings–it’s quite bleak.

I like that there’s no fussing around with the Sailor Soldiers not being able to guess the identities of the new Sailors (or rather, new Sailor and new Tuxedo Mask, as they’re presenting themselves at this point). They pin Haruka and Michiru down as likely culprits immediately.

Neither Mamoru nor Kaolinite knowing exactly what the “light of destruction” is, or how to interpret the three lights that accompany it, or vision of three talismans, respectively, puts an interesting spin on the conflict, as neither the heroes nor villains have a full picture of what forces they’re getting caught up in. (I have more to say about that later.)

Chibiusa becoming class president is good stuff.

More book-page(!) backgrounds, on 110.

Action scene: Okay, yes, Eudial is a villainous henchwoman, and yes, she’s about to sacrifice the souls of the students she’s brought along on the retreat to … I mean, I know what it is now, but it’s still a little vague at this point–Takeuchi really likes to keep her villainous organizations a mystery until the halfway point of arcs–but god damn, the Sailor Soldiers outright murder her before she has time to so much as move. Looks like I had a little livetweet thread around this chapter, so here’s that. More on Sailor Soldier murder: https://twitter.com/Cipher_db/status/1272148884484026373

Act 29

Summary

I can finally call the villains the “Death Busters” now, as their name was revealed at the end of last chapter! I have so, so much to say about these guys down the line as we get more and more of their backstory and they start to seem more and more absurd (in a good way), but for now we’re still in the dark about most of their plans and even the nature of what they are as an organization.

Haruka kissing Usagi is … preeeetty questionable in the moment, but I left room for it to be justified down the line while reading. Usagi’s single-panel vision of Haruka as a woman on page 136 is quite striking, and I was surprised by how much earnest space her confusion over her attraction to Haruka is given.

The Witches 5 all having RPG-style levels is ridiculous and I love it.

The night scenes with Chibiusa and Hotaru, and then Chibiusa and Michiru and Haruka, are quite sweet. Plus, we get our first appearance of actual female-presenting Haruka and her outfit is rad.

Usagi’s description of Michiru’s music and the accompanying water metaphors is a sequence that’s stuck with me even after finishing the series. Lovely little serene moment.

Boy-Venus! That is all. Mimete, much like Eudial, doesn’t get to do much of anything before being killed off, but I don’t mind the action taking a backseat for the general intrigue of these chapters, which propels the series right along. I was having a lot of fun with this part on first pass.

At the end, we get–I believe, upon flipping back through–are first utterance of the ~星を守護に持つ introductions–a phrase that caused me no end of grief at first. After searching and puzzling it out, I came away understanding that it would be equivalent to ~星に守られる in lower-register, more modern speech. (I was originally having trouble telling of the phrasing would render it passive or active–if they were guardians of said planet, or being protected by it, but it’s the latter.)

The next chapter is on the short-list of contenders for my favorite in the whole series–it’s insane and has a little bit of everything, and the arc is just one straight, crazy ride that never lets up from there.

Fitting, right?

(Starting this arc, each arc will have a subtitle like this at the front of each chapter to make the start and ends of story lines clear.)

Re: attack-name questions under Act 27: Yes, “Venus Wink Chain Sword” and “Jupiter Coconut Cyclone.” I’m not sure why this first appearance adds an extra コ, as there won’t be one by the next time she uses it. (Just checked.) These are not even close to the weirdest attack names in the series.

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The power of the golden 60 circle! At about sixty days into my current WK level, I’m not certain when I’ll reach that point, but slow and steady I go.

That’s fairly expected with the club’s design. Although there’s an available pace of one chapter per week, it’s not meant for everyone to keep at that pace. Thus discussion becomes more difficult to take part in.

Funny, I was thinking similar. Like, they just go in and kill the enemy without a moment’s hesitation.

What’s weird for me is that I didn’t care much for Haruka to begin with due to the hair-pulling, even though I never felt the same in Aqua/Aria when Akatsuki pulls on Akari’s hair in a similar way. Maybe it’s a matter of distance between the puller and the pullee?

As for the questionable moment, that’s pretty much cemented my not really liking Haruka. I’ll see if anything happens to change that, but right now she’s on part with an Arc 2 villain for me.

This is why I’m looking forward to getting to this point in the anime. Although, I’m still only near the end of the first story arc over there =(

I’ve never read or watched the third arc before, so there’s much anticipation for me.

As for my thoughts on Act.29…

Tickets and more tickets

When Mamoru saw Usagi had tickets already, although I knew this wouldn’t happen, I was kind of hoping Mamoru would walk over and tell Usagi to give ticket to Chibiusa, because Usagi’d be going with him.

Usagi's character flaws

It looks like the story’s going to further play up the jealousy character flaw in Usagi which I figured would have been fairly resolved in the last story arc. But I suppose getting over being jealous over one’s future daughter is a bit different from being jealous over a prodigy musician.

Name changes

I feel there’s a strong contrast between Mamoru dropping the “ko” off of Usako, and Haruka calling her Odango-chan. I’m eagerly awaiting Mamoru’s reason.

i_0144c

It took me long enough to get used to Usagi calling Minako “V-chan” that it feels weird for her to say Mina-chan.

Three-strikes against Haruka

They just learned that Chibiusa can keep a secret (with Hotaru), and already they’re exploiting that.

Hair-pull, kiss, secret. That’s the third strike against Haruka for me.

Act.30 無限4—SAILOR URANUS 天王はるか SAILOR NEPTUNE 海王みちる

Will this be the Act where the Sailor Guardians are finally assigned Levels of their own?

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 8 27 112
Shinsouban 6 30 184
Kanzenban 5 30 183

This is the second-to-last Act in the tankoubon release. The story continues in volume 9.

It crept up on me, but this is the final Act in the shinsouban release, with the story continuing in volume 7.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.30)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.31 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

Are you reading this alongside the original anime? I spotchecked episodes here and there while I was reading, since I was curious–thanks, official YouTube uploads–but it didn’t really seem to capture what hooked me about the manga. (Which I think is basically unadaptable, so I’m not simply lamenting that it wasn’t 1:1.)

I’ve watched the first seven or so episodes of the live-action series since starting reading, and think I enjoy that the most of the adaptations. It changes a lot, but in a way that I think still has the spirit of the manga (that is, being really, really weird while also being sincere with its characters) and is suitable for the medium. It’s definitely not executed with as much aplomb as the manga though, since it is unintentionally funny at times–namely any moment Tuxedo Mask is on screen.

Anyway, Act 30! The world’s first perfect comic:

Summary

I’m going to cheat and let this Twitter thread do the talking, because even if I ported over all the images and comments, I don’t think it’d beat what was a basically live reaction. (No spoilers; thread is limited to live-read thoughts on Act 30.)

But yeah–this chapter basically has it all, and might be my single favorite “episodic” chapter in the series. That is, discounting the more serious chapters placed in the climax-half of each arc. It’s a perfect 40-or-so pages of genre comics.

Fantastic art–that frontispiece!–jawdropping weirdness (“It’s a miniature galaxy. We made it during science class” takes a while to be outdone, though surprisingly it is outdone), significant plot development as we learn more about the Death Busters and Haruka and Michiru are outed at the school, a surprisingly mature, thoughtful resolution to a few chapters of tension between Usagi and Mamoru, somehow equal turns sweet and funny, and at the end of it all, Haruka cuts a woman in half with a sword(!), and we get to visit Motoki and co. to cap off on the cliffhanger of Pluto somehow being alive in the present. Nothing but hits.

That’s not even touching on small, sweet character moments like Chibiusa realizing she misses her home and Makoto catching it and comforting her. Or Usagi sensing and empathizing with Haruka’s melancholy as she approaches her again, which is part of what winds up making the earlier kiss feel a little less creepy, once we learn more about Haruka later in the arc. Though even stripped of that hindsight, in the moment it’s just a good bit of character mystery. I don’t even mind that this chapter sets up a major time-travel sin. (At least from my reading; I guess we can talk about the grail more down the line.)

The only thing more incredible about Act 30 than its content is that it’s somehow followed up by a chapter that’s nearly as good. I’m pretty sure the back two-thirds of this arc are what took the series from something I thought was “just” a lot of fun into something I actively think is fantastic, and why I stopped trying to pace myself at all and just rushed to the end within six weeks. I’m particularly enthusiastic about this and the next chapter, but in general my thoughts about the series from here out might be mostly gushing. Once every ten pages or so from this point onward it finds a way to make my eyes pop in disbelief at some plot or visual aspect, while also doing solid character/thematic work, and like, what more could you want from a superhero comic?

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Since I’m still on the Dark Kingdom arc in the anime, it’s not quite alongside in the series of being aligned. But I am watching all the Sailormoon. (The next episodes I have to watch are original anime ep39, Crystal ep7, and live action ep36. The anime, I’m watching in Japanese without subtitles, then later watching the English dubs, so that slows me down a bit.)

One of my favorite things about the live action series is how the four generals are handled in it. It’s my favorite take on them.

I’ll have to hold off reading this until I get through the act (only about 6 pages in so far), but I’ve been joying reading what you’ve written so far.

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Motivated by wanting to vote that I am reading along, I finished the rest of last week’s section just now. I am enjoying this arc more than the last one so far, though I care less about the new villains than the new probably-not-villains. <3

Since I don’t know anything about what happens from here, at all, I am not reading your guys’ posts, but maybe later I will come back and see what you’re saying–something to look forward to.

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Act.31 無限5—SAILOR PLUTO 冥王せつな

Does it have to be a new chapter already? I was enjoying having a chapter focused on my favorite character last week.

Judging by this week’s title and title page artwork, I expect a flashback involving seven Dragon Balls to show how we got here. (Although my expectation is that this is Sailor Pluto before she became guardian of the door.)

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 8 28 162
Shinsouban 7 31 7
Kanzenban 5 31 237

This is the final Act in the tankoubon release. The story continues in volume 9.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.31)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.32 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

Some thoughts on Act.30, kanzenban page numbers:

Page 192

I normally don’t bother reading kanji for attack names, but it’s nice to see one I recognize all the kanji for at a glance. I take it the Kanji would read as 天界(てんかい)(しん).

Page 196

I still want to know what’s up with this sleeping arrangement, considering on page 209, Usagi says she needs to go back home to do her homework. Does Usagi call home and let her parents know she’s staying over at a high school guy’s apartment? Or are these just afternoon naps to recover strength following after fights against the baddies?

Page 204

I was surprised Ami didn’t know about the Holy Grail until I realized that Japanese middle school kids, even ones as well read on topics as Ami is, probably don’t follow Arthurian literature as much as I did in middle school.

Page 218

i_0218x

When using English words, including the reading in furigana is very important. Otherwise, readers may not know how it’s pronounced.

Page 219

i_0219x

Another option for English words is to just write them in kana to begin with, so they can be pronounced correctly. (We are still in Japan, right? They seem to go a bit overboard in their English words at this school.)

Page 221

This is not how technology works!

Page 223

Nice dynamic artwork of Ami.

Page 223

i_0223xb

When it comes to using English, sometimes we really don’t care how the word is pronounced…

Actually, I do like how kanji is used to give the meaning of the word.

Page 231

At first it bothered me just a bit that these two already have planet power transformations, but then I recalled that the others got theirs by traveling to the future and having it bestowed on them. If anyone’s unfair, it’s that the middle school guardians already have this transformation that Haruka and Michiru probably had to put a lot of time, effort, and training into gaining.

Page 232

i_0232x

Once again, nice to see kanji I know.

What would the kana be for this? Perhaps 宇宙(うちゅう)(けん) and (らん)(ぶう)?

At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about kanji. I feel like kanji is my friend. I feel like kanji and I are getting along mighty fine. Nothing can change that.

Page 235

Kanji and I aren’t talking right now.

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A fun way to organize your thoughts! I very much enjoyed reading them. :smiley:

Summary

I think I would read that the same way.

I am also curious about this sleeping arrangement!! I don’t mind it, it’s just out of the blue.

Ahh, I hadn’t put together 聖杯 and Holy Grail, lol, thank you for the connection.

I wonder about the furigana sometimes, when it’s supposed to cover just about everything like this. Like how numbers (written in numerals) don’t usually get furigana, but in a manga I read the other day, one page had 3日 without furigana for the number but then the next page had 2日 with furigana for both number and kanji…

I feel like サイエンスクラス has to be part of 無限 whatever school’s we’re better than everyone shtick. Their system is so advanced! Or something.

It’s a technology/magic hybrid, right? I am willing to handwave this, lol.

I liked how Ami was ready for whatever, what a champion she is.

I don’t think I even noticed that DANGER furigana and that is hilarious, thank you.

I don’t know enough about this stuff to comment on this comment so will leave it be with this placeholder.

I agree with your readings here as well except my gut wants that ぶ to be ぷ in 風.

That was certainly a bubble all right!!

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I definitely handwave the water thing. But the camera should be showing her from the other side!

Oh, that does sound more right!

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My thoughts on Act.31 (kanzenban page numbers):

Page 240


Finally, we see Pluto without those really big earrings! (I don’t care for them much.)

Page 241

i_0241x
Once again, I like that “minor” characters haven’t been completely forgotten as more characters are added to the main cast.

Pages 244–246: Too much Evil Baddie talk! I’m used to the font style by now, but when reading it for ten pages in a row, it can be a bit draining. (What? It was only three pages in a row?)

Page 249


This is pretty much the response you’d expect from a child who’s only 900 years old.

Page 270

i_0270x
Not to brag or anything, but I can accomplish this without an evil plant being involved.

Naoko discovered how to draw a new facial expression! =ꟼ

i_0256t i_0257t i_0265x i_0282x

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Act.32 無限6—3戦士

The completion of this Act will be the halfway point of the story arc!

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 9 29 4
Shinsouban 7 32 59
Kanzenban 5 32 289

Just two more Acts left in kanzenban volume 5.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.32)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.33 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

Act.33 無限7—変身 SUPER SAILORMOON

Looks like the second half of the story arc’s off to a super start.

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 9 30 55
Shinsouban 7 33 109
Kanzenban 5 33 339

This is the last Act in kanzenban volume 5.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.33)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.34 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.

An exciting section! The reading seemed to go faster than usual. :+1:

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Act.34 無限8—「無限迷宮」1

I got to the last page of Act.33, and thought, “You’re ending the chapter here and now???” I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter.

Act Location

Release Vol. Act Page
Tankoubon 9 31 104
Shinsouban 7 34 160
Kanzenban 6 34 3

The tankoubon and shinsouban releases are down to their last two chapters. They will continue in volumes 10 and 8, respectively.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.34)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.35 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

You can always change your answer later if you’d like.