Monday, October 27, 2014

Sailor Moon English Book Collections

I should share a little bit more concerning my love of Japanese manga artist Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon empire.  It would take all day and then some to write it all down, though.  Nonetheless, at its base, this manga/anime series gave me all of my dreams since I first discovered it when I was 12.  So in keeping with that, I've filmed and re-filmed some of the English-language books I collected during my teen years.  And, well, here they are... 

From the Spring of 1999 to the Fall of 2000 came the English novelizations of the first quarter episodes of the Sailor Moon anime. This included episodes that were previously not dubbed for the English adaptation released by DiC Entertainment. The books were written by Tokyopop founder, Stu Levy (he only wrote the first book), and once famed Sailor Moon fanfiction author, Lianne Sentar. I read these books repeatedly as a teen.  Furthermore, I appreciated how the missing episodes were novelized during a time when many of us had absolutely no access to them. (This was a time when everyone was on dial-up and there was no Youtube.) Nonetheless, I was never totally won over by the actual writing. I remember cringing at the inclusion of Western references (one being an American boy band), and the lack of detailed writing surrounding the girls’ transformations and other events that the stories were based upon. I was writing Sailor Moon fanfiction at the time and, honestly, I felt like I could do better; granted the fact that these books were written for younger readers.

Here we have the English adaptations of the Sailor Moon character books–or character guides. During the time they were starting to release, Sailor Moon S was preparing (unknown to me) to air in June of 2000. I think we were about two books in (Mars and Venus were the first releases if I'm correct) before Sailor Moon S aired on Cartoon Network for the first time. Therefore, material from these guides included pictures and references from that season. That would include shots of the Inner Senshi with the Outer Senshi as well as other story points regarding that season.  Unbeknownst to me, I would get the chance to see all of that material from Sailor Moon S come to life months down the road. However, these guides followed mostly the dubbed adaptation of Sailor Moon. That would include the characters' names (at least in regards to the Inner Senshi) and a few other references.

Last is the complete collection of Tokyopop’s (formerly known as Mixxine) English adaptations of Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon manga.  At the same time, the series was running in comic book form and via Tokyopop's Smile magazine between their volumized releases.  Nevertheless, they had their translation issues (like anything translated wouldn’t).  They used the character names from the DiC dubbed.  They also looked like they were printed and reprinted through a Xerox machine.  However, despite all of that, you have to give credit where credit is due and celebrated the fact that we even got these things. Seriously, I could only imagine how difficult it was for Tokyopop to get the rights to the English version of Naoko Takeuchi’s beloved manga series. Heck, I remember as a teen I wrote (yes, as in snail mail) Tokyopop asking if there were any plans on a Sailor V translation. Their answer was quite simple: “Not at the moment.” That turned into never

Nonetheless, I cherished–and I mean cherished–my copy of the first volume the second I bought it out of a local comic book shop. I mean, that thing meant the world to me.  Before, I would constantly look through my Mixxine magazines at the order form, begging for my mom to order them for me.  Eventually they landed in the local bookstores as well, so I just bought them there.  I remember the Summer of 1999 where I read my copy of the first volume repeatedly.  My fingers actually stained the edges of the paper.  Until that point, the only ever time I read Sailor Moon was through the Chinese version. An exchange student used to lend me her copies in exchange for allowing her to read my short stories. 

 Naturally, these books inspired me beyond measure.  And that's putting it lightly.  No, seriously, you don't want to get me started.  I am literally tempted to do a character sketch and manga and anime review of the series.  Including the newly released Sailor Moon Crystal.  

Have you been inspired by Sailor Moon or any other manga or anime?  Share your story.

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