美少女戦士セーラームーン 第二期 ブラック・ムーン編 🌑

Act.21 錯綜—NEMESIS

We’ve reached the Nemesis arc, which runs for three Acts.

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this is labeled Act.20, and includes two parts. This week’s reading is the first 50 or so pages, ending on this page:

Final page for this week.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 6
  • Shinsouban vol. 4
  • Kanzenban vol. 3

This is the final Act in both shinsouban volume 4 and kanzenban volume 3.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.21)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.22 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

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

Pages

Release First Last
Tankoubon 4 54
Shinsouban 194 end
Kanzenban 285 end

(Last pages are estimated.)

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Aha! This time I actually read the post and know not to read the whole tankoubon section!! Phew. Thank you as always for your meticulous and helpful posts. :sparkles:

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Act.22 思惑—NEMESIS

This week is the second half of what was originally a long chapter in the tankoubon release.

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this is labeled Act.20, and is the latter half of a long chapter.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 6
  • Shinsouban vol. 5
  • Kanzenban vol. 4

Participation

Looks like we’re down to a small team of active readers!

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.22)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.23 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

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

Pages

Release First Last
Tankoubon 55 98
Shinsouban 5 50
Kanzenban 3 49

(Last pages are estimated.)

1 Like

I caught up with act 21 last night, so will start on act 22 today! I found act 21 easier/quicker to read than the last few weeks have been for me, so I’m hopeful I will zip along more quickly this week.

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I finished Act 18! YAY!

Hopefully in the next few weeks I can get back on track!

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Act.23 暗躍—WISEMAN

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this is labeled Act.21, and was named NEMESIS.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 6
  • Shinsouban vol. 5
  • Kanzenban vol. 4

Participation

Looks like we’re down to a small team of active readers!

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.23)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.24 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

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

Pages

Release First Last
Tankoubon 100 144
Shinsouban 97 141
Kanzenban 97 141

(Last pages are estimated.)

2 Likes

Somehow I read act 23 in one sitting, which isn’t something I’ve done for ages, huzzah. I was confused–oh, I can ask here, right, yay!

General confusion

Okay. So Chibiusa goes off into the time-space void or whatever, and Mamo-chan goes after her, yes. And then Usagi gets back and hears this and is like, I’m going too! And Pluto says it’s too dangerous, but Usagi is insistent. Yes? And then suddenly Usagi is back in her own time?? No? What did I miss???

Also, while I am typing, I must say that this arc has a lot of Choices. :joy:

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After being way ahead at the start, then falling way behind due to business/getting absorbed by other media despite really enjoying the series, I’ve been catching back up! Stopped at the beginning of “SAILOR PLUTO” last night, so I should be caught up to the thread soon.

Enjoying the second arc a lot more than the first, which I felt was strongest in its first half. Takeuchi’s paneling has only gotten more incomprehensible, if anything–“Do you want to make it clear who’s talking here, where characters are standing, or what’s even happening at the end of this fight?” (furiously applying floral-pattern borders to a fever-dream nightmare of panels) “What?”–but it’s so high-energy that it’s part of its charm. Again, Takeuchi seems to be having a blast drawing it.

The mystery with Chibusa is a good throughline, and it’s been nice to see characters like Makoto get more character focus beyond the little bits of characterizing group dialogue they got in the first arc. Also nice that Mamoru’s been more front and center this arc, with things to do and worry about other than simply being the boyfriend or wondering about his past. Did not expect Motoki to be let in on the secret, especially so casually–and even had to reread those pages to make sure I wasn’t misreading a dream sequence or something. But no–it’s just the series’ weirdo energy as always, and he really does know about the base under the arcade now. I don’t mind the monster-(or underling, I guess)-of-the-week-ing, both because it’s a bit of a relief after the last half of the first arc, allows for the first three-fourths or so of the chapters to be used for character spotlighting in this way, and actually helps mask how incomprehensible Takeuchi’s action scene paneling can be, since all you need to catch is that gang shows up to shoot their special attacks at the abductor du jour and send them to the afterlife.

An underrated element of the series is that it takes place in a universe in which people are just all-in for occult theories and conspiracies. Dowsing, seances, aliens–the public can’t get enough of it! Even the over-achieving junior and high-school busybodies are filling out their resumes by chairing occult phenomenon and scifi clubs. It’s goofy and weird and I love it. As much as the series has come to be a pop-culture phenomenon through adaptations, you really never lose the sense that it’s the product of one person wearing her interests on her sleeves in the manga.

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I would have replied sooner, but I didn’t finish up reading the chapter until now!

Short version: At the point when Sailormoon was being insistent, she collapsed from overuse of power, and the others took her home to recover.

(I feel like Naoko Takeuchi was playing yo-yo with time travel.)

Long version.

From Act 22:

When (in the future) Safir was about to kill Sailormoon, she received a massive surge of power from the encased Neo Queen Serenity. This allowed her to transform into Sailormoon, locate the others and awaken them, and by their transforming, bring them to her. (If I understand it all correctly.) After the other Guardians are returned to Sailormoon, there’s a page where an image of Neo Queen Serenity is drawn behind Sailormoon, indicating (I believe) that Serenity is speaking through Usagi. (This is followed by the text of the Guardians’ thoughts, 「セーラームーン!? ……いいえ あれは…… ーーーネオ・クイーンセレ二ティ!?」)

When the time comes for the Guardians to escape, Sailormoon used Pluto’s key, and learns that Tuxedo Mask and Chibiusa disappeared into the mist of space-time.

In Act 23:

Sailormoon wants to go after Mamoru, against Pluto’s judgement. But before they can move, Sailormoon collapses. One of the girls explains to Usagi after she wakes in her room that it’s because Usagi used too much of the power she gained from Neo Queen Serenity. 「うさぎちゃん パワーを使いすぎて倒れちゃったの覚えてる? 一旦 三十世紀から引き返して ここへ戻ってきたのよ」

Unrelated: Did Shingo have a growth spurt since we last saw him?

Glad to see you’re able to get back into it! I fear once I’m back to working not-at-home, I’ll have less reading time (even though I can read on the bus), and may need to cut back on a few things. But Sailormoon’s my priority, so it stays =D

I keep telling myself, “If I were better at Japanese, I’d better be able to infer who’s talking.” Whether that’s actually the case or not, I don’t know…

This is one of my favorite parts, as I don’t remember anything extra for him from the anime. (Well, aside from extra backstory invented by the dubbers because why not?) Maybe there’s more to him later in the anime that I don’t remember, so I’ll find out soon enough. (Up to episode 36.)

This one thing made Anime Motoki suddenly feel so stale to me in comparison =(

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No level of language intimacy is going to be a fool-proof defense against the bane of just randomly having tail-less bubbles.

One last note: The villains this arc are a lot more fun to spend time with than the Dark Kingdom as well, both because they have more memorable visual designs and because of their political infighting and mysterious background with the (internally distrusted, outside of the prince) Wiseman.

Edit – Oh, also! Naru! The series actually gives her a little space to reflect on the fact that she knows Usagi’s gotten into something beyond her and wants to help! Did not see that coming, but was pleasantly surprised.

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That’s one thing I like about the Dark Kingdom in the (original) anime and the live action series. You get a lot of rivalry, and stepping on each others’ toes over who’s doing which task.

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Ohhhh, that makes sense, thank you! I really appreciate your detailed answer. For some reason when she first woke up I was thinking this was some sort of time-space Black Moon trick, and apparently my mind couldn’t quite grasp it was real. :smiley:

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Playing catch-up with the thread:

For some reason, despite not having seen any of the first anime in more than fifteen years, and remembering basically none of its specifics, I’d internalized that this was a plotline in the manga as well. Was happy to realize that the story was moving straight into its second arc sans memory-erasure.

The pacing of Sailor Moon could perhaps best be described as “aggressive,” but I think it’s better for
it.

I feel like this was just common of artists using their colored pages at the time. I know Toriyama basically never adhered to any consistent colors. I definitely feel like she’s prioritizing the individual illustration over design consistency, which is fine, because the colored pages and chapter covers all look great.

Edit – Chapter 19 really goes wild with its chemistry terms, and due to the combination of them and Takeuchi’s loose presentation, I’m still not clear on exactly what’s happening at the beginning of its encounter with the Fool Brothers. Everyone steps into a crystalline enclosure that nullifies their powers because of the magic of enantiomers? The first brother doesn’t actually split up, but just looks like he does, because a crystal structure is growing around the heroes? Or are there beams of light being shot at them? I can’t tell? Something something chirality center, which is a chemistry term with applications to crystalline structures, but I feel basically invoked like it’s magic here?

I’m having fun but am a little confused, and I don’t think it’s because of language issues?

Edit edit – I do actually have one language question, though. This is the first bit of dialogue in the series I’ve felt unclear on. Does anyone have a firm idea of what’s going on in Usagi’s このおひめさまか知んないけど知ってんのっっ あんたの親は‼︎ here? I understand what it’s contracting, but not the thrust of the sentence itself. Anyone enlighten me? Been bothering me for the last two days.

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Yeah, that’s a difficult part, and I just imagined it as “I magicked the magic, and now you can’t move.” I think the one brother did split up, to corral the group into the center, and that’s when the crystal appeared to keep them from moving.

As for Usagi’s line, I think it helps a little to split the sentence on けど, and then un-invert the second half of the sentence by moving the は topic from the end to the front.

  • このお姫さまか知んない
  • けど
  • あんたの親は知ってんの

I took 「このお姫さまか知んない」 as “I don’t know about this princess thing,” but I can’t really a reasoning why into words.

I parse 「知ってんの」 as 知っている + の (questioning) = “Do (they) know?” If I have it any bit right, then I think it makes more sense when connected to the rest. “Do your parents know!! The trouble you’ve caused us!”

In all, I took it as, “I don’t know about this princess thing, but do they know? Your parents! About all the trouble you’ve caused us!”

Or, a little more smoothly in English, “I don’t know about this princess business, but do your parents know about all the trouble you’ve caused us?!”

Looking at the 90’s Tokyo Pop translation (which is often not reliable, but looks pretty good here), they went with, “I don’t know what you’re a princess of, but do your parents know what you’re up to!! All the trouble you’re causing for us!”

The 10’s Kodansha translation went with, “I don’t know what you are a princess of, but do your parents know what you’ve done?! You went around causing problems for everybody!!”

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Ah, attaching the bit about the parents to her complaint in the next half of the bubble made sense of it for me! Thanks! For some reason it just wasn’t clicking.

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Act.24 攻撃—BLACK LADY

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this is labeled Act.22.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 6
  • Shinsouban vol. 5
  • Kanzenban vol. 4

I failed to mention last week, but this is the final Act in tankoubon volume 6. The story continues on tankoubon volume 7.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.24)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.25 and beyond)
  • I’m no longer reading this series

0 voters

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

Pages

Release First Last
Tankoubon 145 end
Shinsouban 97 140
Kanzenban 97 140

(Last pages are estimated.)

1 Like

Voted for “reading along” earlier, since I was caught up right in line, but then I couldn’t put down the climax of the second arc and read through to the end in one sitting.

Looking back at what happened specifically in Chapter 24:

It’s in full climax mode at this point and really gets you excited for the end.

Thoughts
  • “Black Lady” coveting her will-be dad like that might raise a few eyebrows, and initially seems like something that makes more sense for Usagi’s character arc than hers, but Usagi acknowledging her own jealousy, as well as speaking about universal clumsiness while navigating overwhelming emotions, successfully frame it as an aspect of Chibiusa looking for validation for me, and mistakenly trying to achieve it through faux-“grown-up” means, not knowing how to express more healthily that she needs unconditional love.

  • The Wiseman’s true form (and several panels of him this chapter) provides some straight-up horror comic visuals. It’s fitting that the villain is an evil planet, I suppose.

  • Demande’s role makes for an exciting cliffhanger, and it’s nice to see differing villain motivations—a highlight of the arc in general—playing out right to the end. I’d actually missed that he kills Sapphire until searching back through for this post, and was wondering where he’d disappeared to for the climax.

  • I was surprised but delighted by Pluto playing such a large role in the climax. The other Sailor Soldiers are kind of dropped by the arc after their episodic spotlights in its first few chapters, but it more than makes up for it with the arcs it gives Usagi, Mamoru, Chibusa, Pluto, and even the villains.

Other than that, just lots of beautiful and creative panels about as usual.

I suppose this is a bit of a spoiler for my thoughts on the arc as a whole, but it was already cemented by the time I got to this chapter: I like it much more than the series’ opening arc, which I also mostly enjoyed.

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Read act 24 last night. This arc is just okay for me, but I do like it better now that things are reaching a breaking point.

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When I hit the between-chapters page earlier today, I thought, “Wait, that’s it for the chapter? I have to wait a week to continue???” It’s a con of being bound to one chapter per week, but the pro is it ensures I give time to everything else I’m reading through. (At least I’m not having to wait a whole month, like everyone reading along back when it was published.)

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Knowing the arch is close to ending is making me want to do read catch up. I don’t even remember what act I am on, but I have quite a bit of reading to do. ^^

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