美少女戦士セーラームーン 第二期 ブラック・ムーン編 🌑

I’ve been trying my best to keep quiet about this one thing Naoko kept doing, but finally I had to take action. I have “corrected” one of her panels.

Here are the original page numbers for comparison:

  • Tankoubon Volume 6 Page 184
  • Shinsouban Volume 5 Page 136
  • Kanzenban Volume 4 Page 136

Note that you have to look at both the page before this one, and this one, to fully appreciate the edit.

Here is the page with the corrected panel.

I’m low-skill in image editing, so I couldn’t move the sound effect.

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Oh you’re right! Haha this is too good! :joy:

I’m amazed at the amount of details you notice. I tend to get a bit lost in all the sparkle and gloss over these. :sparkles:

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I do wish I could turn off noticing some of this. It’s happened quite a bit so far in Sailormoon, this right hand/left hand switch, and it stands out to me every time.

Props go missing occasionally as well. In one scene, a girl sees Chibiusa turn Luna-P into an umbrella. The girl is holding an ice cream cone. After Chibausa makes birds appear from under the umbrella, the girl is scared, and hangs on to her mother who’s now appeared in the scene. But…the girl’s ice cream is now missing. To add to the confusion, the mother tells the daughter that they need to hurry along home because it’s cold out. So…why did you buy your kid an ice cream cone when the weather’s cold?

In the grand scheme of things, the hand thing is a minor complaint. It just feels like it should have been an easy thing to get right. Naoko was doing about 45 pages a month of Sailormoon, and that was on top of however many pages a month of her main series, Sailor V. I don’t know how much help she had. I look at a lot of other comics I read that have a much smaller page count per chapter, simpler artwork, and often times no background, and I do appreciate the work Naoko did all that much more.

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Now that you mention that (and yes, her monthly page count even with just Sailor Moon alone was fairly insane), how long into Moon’s run did Sailor V keep going? Also, is there a general sentiment that that was her passion project whereas Sailor Moon was more a contractual obligation as part of the multi-media initiative Toei wanted? (If so, I’ll definitely have to read that one day, since Sailor Moon already seems pretty wild and idiosyncratic.)

Does it remain firmly fixed in Moon-“prequel” mode even later into its run?

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Saliormoon ran from December 28, 1991 to February 3, 1997.

Sailor V is harder for me to pinpoint (I’d need more time than my work schedule morning break I’m on at the moment), but it was originally a one-off piece published August 3, 1991. I don’t know offhand when it became serialized, but it may have started April 1992. It ran until July 3, 1997.

I never really looked into these dates before. I’d read that she worked on the two series concurrently. But when you consider Sailor V is 16 chapters to Sailormoon’s 60 chapters (plus various short and long side stories), it looks like Sailor V took a back seat to Sailormoon. It also looks like the one-off spurred Sailormoon, but Naoko maybe wanted to continue Sailor V once Sailormoon got off the ground. (Just idle speculation on my part. I’m sure there are interviews out there with actual details.)

If I remember right, there are some cameo appearances, like Usagi and Naru walking by in the background in a chapter of Sailor V. I’ve also read that the events of Sailor V cannot fit into the timeline of Sailormoon.

It is interesting to consider Sailor Venus’s appearance (rough estimate without looking into it, maybe August 1992) was alongside Sailor V’s still being early on in its run (at best, maybe six chapters).

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Act.25 対決—DEATH PHANTOM

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this is labeled 「Act.23 再生—NEVER ENDING」.

Edit: I failed to mention, this is another tankoubon Act that was double-length, and was later split in two.

Here is the final page of the Act.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 7
  • Shinsouban vol. 5
  • Kanzenban vol. 4

We’re down to two Acts left in the Shinsouban and Kanzenban volumes. The story continues in Shinsouban volume 6 and Kanzenban volume 5.

Notice: The Kanzenban release has two side-stories in volume 4. Due to these being spread around between releases (such as roughly volume 11 in the Tankoubon release, and volumes 11 and 12 in Shisouban, and scattered about in Kanzenban), the weekly reading schedule is skipping side stories for now.

But don’t let me stop anyone who wants to read them now! For anyone who wants to get to know the characters better, these first two short stories feature Chibiusa in the first and Rei in the second.

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.25)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.26 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 50
Shinsouban 142 189
Kanzenban 142 189

(Last pages are estimated.)

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Thank you for the information about the tankoubon version! I should really remember to check the home thread, but I never do, so you are saving me.

The tricky thing for me was I forgot that this arc has two long acts that were each split in two. The splits tend to happen near the end of a story arc, where a lot of action happens.

After the current split act, the next one (following a one-act-per-week schedule) comes up in September. In that case, there’s a super-long act that was split into three acts on re-release. (I’ll of course try my best to mention that when it comes up!)

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Well ahead now, but thoughts from my recent blind trip through Act 25:

Act thoughts
  • I love that the all-cast illustration preceding the chapter in the Kanzenban doesn’t help clarify anything. Also, I was a bit confused by Chibiusa’s two classmates appearing here, as the Kanzenban saves their introduction for the back of the volume.

  • Pluto’s sacrifice takes up a huge chunk of the chapter, and I think it makes an effective bit of tension and pay-off for her small arc of frustration over not being able to more directly help. Also a fitting way to restore Chibiusa to normal.

  • Then again, I don’t know how … great the message about hugs and kisses not being the only proofs of affection are, versus watching over and thinking of someone from afar, if Chibiusa is saying she never gets that kind of physical affection from her parents. They aren’t exactly stranded far away from her. They all live in the same castle.

  • The spatial distortions caused by the encroaching Nemesis as it attempts to destroy them are petty funky.

  • I wondered if Demande mightn’t get some moment of redemption, but he’s dispatched rather bitter and crazed as he attempts to take everyone out before Nemesis has the pleasure. Ah well. He didn’t deserve anything else.

  • Nemesis/Death Phantom drawing them all into its core to provide access to its weakness is a bit baffling, but somewhat alleviated by revelations next chapter (or rather, later in the same chapter, in earlier releases). Plus maybe—ignoring “next chapter’s” revelation—he was simply overconfident in his ability to absorb the Silver Crystal from there. Orrrr … I guess I can speak more about how to make sense of these scenes after everyone’s through the content for next week.

On a side note, the official SM YouTube channel has been uploading episodes of the '90s anime, so I watched the first episode of S earlier, as that’s the arc I’m in in the manga. It is … jarring.

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I’m still here, back on Act 19!

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Too late for the readthrough at this point, but heads up in case this release catches up at any point:

Tweet

https://twitter.com/news_saturn/status/1276400019504017410

Upcoming digital-only full-color Kanzenban release announced. No date visible, but volumes 1 and 2 will go on sale soon. Confirmation that they align with the Kanzenban comes from another photo downthread. Given how quickly digital colored editions tend to come out in Japan, it’s actually possible they’ll outpace this thread and become another reading option for it.

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Interesting. Thanks for the info!

I feel like every time I buy Sailormoon, it’s outdated in a few years… (Bought shinsouban, here’s kanzenban. Bought kanzenban, here’s colorban…)

I know Naoko’s touched up the artwork from release to release, but sometimes it feels like she got bored with it and skipped a bunch of things that could be improved, then she starts it back up again a bit later on. (It can be a bit jarring when Mercury’s hair is redone in a lot of panels, and then the original art for several pages.)

I wonder if she’s doing the color for these, or if there’s a separate team that specifically does this.

I think I’ll let my physical copies end with the kanzenban, but I’ll probably get the color ones digital for a re-read in a few years.

Edit: The covers shown there remind me of the covers of the Saint Tail re-release, in that it’s clearly not even trying to resemble the original artist’s style. In other words, I’m wondering if Naoko has any involvement at all on it. Would love to know more if anyone happens across a link with info (even if in Japanese).

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This reminds me, I'm still waiting for someone to decide to do a digital release of the anime-manga.

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Act.26 再生—NEVER ENDING

Could this be the end of the Black Moon arc already? It feels like only a short while ago that it began.

Notice: In the tankoubon release, this the second half of 「Act.23 再生—NEVER ENDING」.

This Act appears in the following releases:

  • Tankoubon vol. 7
  • Shinsouban vol. 5
  • Kanzenban vol. 4

This is the final Act in the ShinsoubanKanzenban volumes. The next story arc begins next week in Shinsouban volume 6 and Kanzenban volume 5.

There are two side-stories appears in Kanzenban volume 4. These are not part of the scheduled reading, but it never hurts to read them when you feel up to it. It’s a good chance to get to know Chibiusa and Rei a little better. (I’ll probably read them a little here and there after finishing the current week’s Act until I complete the two side stories.)

Here are the titles of these first two side-stories, and which volume each appears in:

Title Tankoubon Shinsouban Kanzenban
ちびうさ絵日記
第1話 転校生にご用心!
Volume 5 Short Stories Volume 1 Volume 4
カサブランカ・メモリー Volume 11 Short Stories Volume 2 Volume 4

I didn’t even realize that this short story already appeared in the tankoubon release!

Participation

  • I’m reading along (ready for Act.26)
  • I’m taking my time (still on an earlier Act)
  • I’ve gone on ahead (Act.27 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 51 108
Shinsouban 191 250
Kanzenban 191 250

(Last pages are estimated.)

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I don’t want to keep being the only person to respond to new chapters, but…

(Again, based on scrolling back through, since I’m quite aways ahead now and haven’t been pacing myself at all):

Reactions
  • On first read, I thought Sailor Moon had genuinely defeated Nemesis at the end of last chapter, based on the way this one starts, and was let down by what felt like an anti-climax. I was glad when, a little way into this batch of pages, it was revealed she had been whisked away to the actual planet for the final confrontation.

  • On that note, though, a lot of what’s actually happening with Nemesis in the climax is … not particularly clear. The “Nemesis” that threatened everyone last chapter was merely an illusion of the Black Crystal, but … does that mean they weren’t truly in danger? Was the power of the Black Crystal itself still threatening to warp space around them and crush them, even in if the planet wasn’t truly there? Why/how were they apparently sucked into the planet’s core? The only sense I can make of it is that drawing them in like that facilitated Sailor Moon’s transfer to the actual planet somehow, but uh … your guess is as good as mine. Oh well!

  • After Chibiusa says everything is her fault for attempting to take the Silver Crystal, Neo Queen Serenity assures her it isn’t, but … Is it, actually, in terms of causation? Story unclear on this. Was the appearance of the Black Moon clan as soon as Chibiusa took the crystal merely a coincidence, or did it give them their in?

  • Usagi reaching into Mamoru’s chest and pulling out what she calls a “newborn light,” only for it to immediately turn into a superhero, is a page to make Grant Morrison blush.

  • Sailor Moon and Chibiusa striking the final blow together (with emotional support from Mamoru) is a fitting end to the arc.

  • I’m not even going to try to begin to make heads or tails of Sailor Moon’s time-travel, especially given later events, but the end of the arc does seem to establish that an idea of different futures/split timelines, as Neo Queen Serenity and Sailor Moon throw caution to the wind by meeting each other, despite both musing that such an encounter shouldn’t take place for the proper flow of history. Though, really, the main plot of the arc itself should already have established an idea of branching histories. Ah well. It doesn’t get any clearer from here, and in fact gets substantially worse.

  • Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity meeting is a good moment for the series’ prominent coming-of-age themes, which have emerged front-and-center this arc.

  • The ending of the chapter with Chibiusa’s good-bye is surprisingly touching! While I predicted her sudden return, I didn’t expect the joke of her having volunteered present-day Usagi and Mamoru to train her on their behalf.

  • On ending scenes with Mamoru: I think that, for now, Usagi finding the courage to face her future obligations in the form of Mamoru’s support is a nice, sincere way to acknowledge the very real role of loved ones–significant others or otherwise–in allowing individuals to stand up to the tasks before them, and incorporate their relationship into the book’s coming-of-age metaphors. However, the extent to which this can be read as Usagi finding strength only through the presence of a significant other, at the cost of individual resolve, is perhaps a bit suspect, and led me to actually hoping for a temporary breakup or similar plotline to explore the ways in which this need not be the case. I’d like to see something which allows her to gain confidence independent of Mamoru, to the extent that he might be cherished but not needed, which seems like both a healthier message and relationship model. Something to keep an eye on in future chapters. As a completed character arc, it strikes me as iffy, but as a stepping stone in a continuing series, it may yet turn out fine. Even taken solely in context of the arc, it feels perfectly sincere and affecting–perhaps just not the best message to leave a young audience with.

Arc rankings, as of the end of arc #2:

  1. Arc 2
  2. Arc 1
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Trying to understand the specifics of the space/time travel or even just everyone’s powers - both Senshi and their enemies of the week - just leaves me scratching my head every time, haha.

I think I thought the silver crystal being missing caused NQ Serenity to not be able to effectively fight off the invasion, at least. Of course it’s also possible that Nemesis sensed the disturbance/moment of weakness… or maybe even both…? I don’t know if this is still spoiler worthy, but. :smiley:

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Regarding fault.

On the page where Neo Queen Serenity addresses Mercury and the others, she claims sole responsibility. 「わたしの責任です」 She says she’s lost her power as a sailor guardian since she became queen, and she didn’t have the strong heart and courage needed to defeat Death Phantom. 「あの 暗黒の犯罪者 デス・ファントムを強い心と勇気を持って倒すことが出来なかった」

I understand this to mean she couldn’t defeat Death Phantom when he caused an uprising on Earth, resulting in him instead being sent to Nemesis. If Neo Queen Serenity was able to destroy him back then, then the recent events never would have happened.

Adding in my own thoughts on events, I fully expect Death Phantom was waiting for the right time to strike, and Chibiusa taking the Silver Crystal was that time. I wonder if Death Phantom was able to have any influence on the kids who picked on Chibiusa. (I don’t recall seeing anything that would necessarily suggest that.)

Regarding timelines.

I’m simply doing my best to maintain suspension of disbelief. Time is broken. Rather than the meeting of Usagi and Neo Queen Serenity (something not really any different than than Mamoru and King Endymion meeting), I’d say Sailormoon losing her transformation brooch, then being given a brand new one, alongside the other guardians being given new transformation abilities, can only change the past’s future.

When the future selves of Mercury and the others were shown earlier in the arc, I took notice of their sailor outfits matching their regular transformations. Granted, at the time Naoko Takeuchi likely had no idea how long the series would run and didn’t know she would give them different transformations. But since Neo Queen Serenity powers up their transformations in the last Act of the story arc, it feels like she’s just going all out on changing the past. (And that’s not even mentioning sending the moon scepter back in time.)

Regarding dependence.

My thoughts on this are going to be a bit colored by some of the various Sailormoon adaptations that came out later, but one key theme I see is depending on others. Most of the characters start out rather alone (Ami with no friends; Makoto without her parents and transferring schools; Rei’s parental situation), and their strength is working joining forces and working together.

I keep wanting to write more, but end up not getting around to it. Perhaps that should be an area of focus for me going into the next arc: force myself to write something after each reading session. I may even find I didn’t understand something as well as I thought, giving me the opportunity to review it.

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I’ve lost my book :frowning:

I can probably grab another copy this weekend though. Maybe Book Off has one lurking somewhere!

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Yay! I found it!

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On S.5.212, Death Phantom uses 惑星. Previously, only 星 was used (in the sense of planet) I think. Or would we say Nemesis is a star? Anyway, what’s the difference between 星 and 惑星? Is it just more selective?

p. 238-241…Dammit, now I’m crying!

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