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New Editions of Sailor Moon Manga Announced, Fans Rejoice

By March 19, 2011

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Sailor Moon Vol . 1 In a move that surprised and delighted many manga and anime fans, Kodansha Comics announced on Friday that they will be publishing new editions of Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi, beginning in September 2011.

As an added bonus, they also announced that they will also be publishing Codename: Sailor V, the stories that inspired and preceded Sailor Moon, making them available in their first official English language edition.

Kodansha Comics is promising that this new deluxe edition of Sailor Moon will feature "gorgeous new cover art, retouched interior art and dialogue along with extensive bonus material from Takeuchi, and detailed translation notes." It will follow the format of the deluxe editions released in Japan, so the originally 18-volume series will be re-released bi-monthly beginning in September 2011 as 12 larger volumes, with two additional volumes featuring short stories.

Codename: Sailor V will be making its North American debut as a two-volume series. Codename: Sailor V are the stories that inspired Sailor Moon. It features a masked Sailor Venus as she fights evil and looks for love, then eventually realizes that she must find other sailor guardians (a task she accomplishes in the pages of Sailor Moon).

The Sailor Moon manga series debuted in Japan in 1992 in the pages of Nakayoshi, a shojo manga magazine aimed at young girls. It follows the adventures of Usagi Tsukino," a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess."

To date, over 15 million copies of Sailor Moon manga have been sold in Japan. It has inspired an anime series, live action TV shows and stage shows, tons of toys and merchandise, and has been seen, read and loved by fans all over the world.

Codename: Sailor VPreviously published by TokyoPop from 1997 - 2001, the Sailor Moon manga has been credited as one of the major forces behind the growth of manga in North America, especially because it was so appealing to a group of readers who weren't big comics consumers: young girls. Boosted by regular showings of the Sailor Moon anime series, the Sailor Moon manga was a huge hit. However, in recent years, all volumes of the English edition of Sailor Moon have been out of print, and have been increasingly difficult to find.

In a recent search on eBay and Amazon, a complete set of 18 volumes of the TokyoPop edition of Sailor Moon in "like new" condition was going for $975, although it's been more typical to see sets going for about $500 or single volumes with an asking price of anywhere from $25 to $60 per volume.

With this kind of scarcity and demand out there, it's little wonder that the most frequently asked question at TokyoPop panels in recent years was "When are you going to reprint Sailor Moon?" The answer from TokyoPop reps was usually that they had lost the licensing rights to Sailor Moon from Kodansha (the original publisher and licensor of Sailor Moon) and they weren't likely to get it back.

Kodansha Comics logoWhen Kodansha Comics came on the US scene, they announced plans to re-release Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow in 2009. At the time, fans wondered (and many asked), "What about Sailor Moon?" Well, now we know. From the Kodansha Comics press release:

"I'm very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi's work to her American fans," said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. "As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like SAILOR MOON is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I'm especially thrilled to finally release the prequel, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last."

Even with the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (a.k.a.C2E2) comics show in full swing that day, many comics and anime news outlets spread the news, and even a few non-comics newspapers and websites too.

" It's the title that broke manga in the US -- no comic has had a bigger influence than SAILOR MOON, the manga/anime that kicked off the shojo manga boom, made it safe for girls to read comics and introduced the idea of cosplay to America in a big way."
- Heidi McDonald, The Beat

"Sailor Moon is one of those books people get sentimental about--for a lot of readers and creators, especially women, it was their first comic. It looks like Kodansha is going for those older readers, as they are describing their release as a "deluxe edition," rather than keeping them cheap for teenagers--who would probably find it laughably dated. Kids are cruel that way."
- Brigid Alverson, Robot 6

Check out additional commentary from Anime News Network, Bleeding Cool and ICV2.

Needless to say, as the word spread, the reaction from fans (via Twitter) was instantaneous and almost universally ecstatic.

WHAT WHAT WHAT!?!??!?!? SAILOR MOON RE-RELEASE!?!??!?!?!? Tears, tears of pure joy.
- Narutaki (@narutakiRT)

!!!!!!!!! BEST NEWS ALL DAY, HOLY CRAP
- Aly (@cybody)

OMG! Kodansha bringing back the Sailor Moon manga. *does sparkly shoujo eyes of YAYness*
- Reileen van Kaile (@reileenvankaile)

SAILOR MOON IS BEING RE-RELEASE IN THE US?! OMG CRYING TEARS OF HAPPINESS ;____;
- Nicole (@langmuirwaves)

OH DANGGGG Sailor Moon is coming out here again? OH MAN OH MAN
Ch-ch-check it, guys! SAILOR MOON'S BACK
- Kasey Van Hise (@spacekase)

Other fans were a bit more measured in their reactions, but definitely acknowledged the importance of this title to a generation of comics/manga/anime fans.

Sailor Moon was the gateway drug to comics and anime for so many girls.
-Stephanie Lantry (@StephanieLantry)

I had drinks with Joe Sacco last night, and unrelated to the announcement (obvi) sailor moon came up. He'd never heard of it. meanwhile, everyone under 30 all knew the theme song to the show. Very generational.
-M. Carens-Nedelsky (@MC_Nedelsky)

Several fans mentioned feeling lots of love and nostalgia for a title they read and enjoyed when they were younger, and happiness for a new generation that would be introduced to this shojo manga classic.

My inner 13-year-old is super excited
- Caroline (@fruitykogyaru)

CLAMP's back, Sailor Moon is back... it's like it's 2001 all over again!
- Kate Dacey (@manga_critic)

I'm so happy that a whole new generation of little girls will get to discover- no, actually I'M GREEDY I JUST WANT IT
- Karen Gellender (@KarenGellender)

Many mentioned dissatisfaction with the TokyoPop edition translation of Sailor Moon, which Anglicized many Japanese names and cultural quirksfound inthe original stories, and changed some of the relationships of the characters.

They'll be better that Mixx/@Tokyopop's releases, right? No Usagi / Bunny / Serena name confusion? XD
- Ted Aaron (@Taaron12)

You guys have no idea how long I have waited for sailor moon to come back to north america! And the MANGA? A real translation finally!!
- Steph (@sakabelle)

I can finally collect all of Sailor Moon properly and have faith in the translation. :D
- Humberto Saabedra (@AnimeNewsdotbiz)

And it wasn't just female fans getting excited about the news...

HOLY CRAP, SAILOR MOON!
- David Welsh (@MangaCur)

It was hard not to go around my office going "YOU GUYS!! SAILOR MOON!" without getting weird looks.
- Sean Gaffney (@Toukochan)

srsly guys, Sailor Moon IN AMERICA *re-awakens longtime crush on Sailor Mercury*
- Carlo Santos (@patachu)

Why am I excited about seeing the return of Sailor Moon? I guess it one of those Manga that should always stay in print.
- Tom Stidman (@redneckotaku)

A few comics retailers also welcomed the news of Sailor Moon's imminent return:

I think this is going to be bigger than anyone thinks.
- Ryan Higgins, owner of Comics Conspiracy, Sunnyvale, CA (@RyanHigginsRyan)

Sailor Moon was the original MONSTER female draw for my shop. Huge property.
- Larry's Comics, Lowell, MA (@LarrysComics)

But before retailers get too excited about this, keep in mind that there were also a few comments like this one:

why is it such a big deal the the Sailor Moon manga is re-released? u can read it online for free? i guess if you want to own it but still~
- ・・・(R I B B O N 。)★ (@tsuirocrown)

Which was followed by this reply:

I'd rather Takeuchi-sensei know that I enjoy her work and support future work. It doesn't cost that much to buy!
- Jen D @palmie

Now that you've heard the buzz from around the Internetz, what do you think? Share your thoughts about the return of Sailor Moon below!

Image credits: 2004 Naoko Takeuchi / KODANSHA LTD., 2003 Naoko Takeuchi / KODANSHA LTD.

Comments

March 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm
(1) Karen says:

Great write-up, and not only because I was quoted:). I’m curious about what they’re going to do about the whole Usagi/Serena/Bunny situation as well, but I’m not too worried- due to how the industry has changed, the translation is almost bound to be better than the late ’90s translation as long as they care about it, which they certainly seem to.

Between this, the Card Captor Sakura omnibus releases, and a great magical girl show currently airing (Madoka Magica), it’s such a great time to be a fan of this genre.

March 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm
(2) Mcnedelsky says:

Hey, how come my Sacco/generational comment didn’t make the cut?! :p

March 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm
(3) manga says:

ack! my bad. it’s such a great quote too — i’ll pop it in w/ some other related ones.

March 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm
(4) Mike says:

This is such great news! As a fan of the genre who came to manga too late to get this in its original run, I all but gave up hope of getting to read it. Many thanks to Kodansha for bringing it back! :)

March 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm
(5) Aaron says:

Just a couple weeks back I loaned my little sister the first six volumes of Fruits Basket and thought “man I wish they’d re release Sailor Moon that’d be a great title for me to loan her and for me to own because there’s not enough good Magical Girl Manga out” That and somebody up their must like me because of this and Tenjho Tenge get rereleased my inner knuckle headed teenager and inner MAgical Girl Otaku will have something to both be happy over the only words I can think up to express how happy I am are “shoop da whoop I’ma firin mah lazer” I dont know why thought LOL

March 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm
(6) Manga Therapy says:

I grew up with the anime before its U.S. localization. It will be interesting to see how the manga was like.

This Fall will be Sailor Moon mania.

March 23, 2011 at 2:16 am
(7) Tyler says:

I used to watch the show every day with my little sister :D (I’m 32 now, she’s 25, lol). I’d pretend that I hate it, and she’d watch gleefully. I think this is great news, I’m going to mail her the first volume as a surprise :P

March 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(8) Trinity says:

I was so happy to hear about this, only to have my next thought be “Will Bandai re-dub the anime for Americans?” I can only hope that the frantic sales of the manga will bring the last season of Sailor Moon to America.

March 24, 2011 at 11:27 am
(9) Alicia says:

I am SO excited by this news. I am 18, and first became a Sailor Moon fan when I was 4 after watching Dic’s dub. This last year, my love was rekindled, and after watching the entire anime online, I decided to start reading the manga. Of course, since they’re out of print, I read an AMAZING fan translation. I’m only onto the 4th act, but I am definitely going to try to pick up a copy of these new releases. I hope they re-air the anime in North America again, too.

March 29, 2011 at 10:27 am
(10) ParkerMMP says:

I’ve been looking for Sailor Moon for so long. I actually gave up but now I’m so happy and I can’t wait. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

July 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm
(11) Maddy says:

I had a GIANT freakout when I heard this! On my desk right now I have my Moon Stick and 3 adventure dolls that I love to death. Even though i’m only 11, I still LOVE Sailor Moon and would LOVE to read the manga! It would be a sin if there weren’t new toys made! It there isn’t, I will send e-mails to toy companies no matter how many times I have to to get their attention!

August 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm
(12) sharelle says:

this is the best news EVER!!! Like so many others sailor moon is what got me started on manga and anime. when i was 11 i used to run home from school so i could watch it. Its also why i started to draw in manga style. Im 23 now and i still love it. I have all the anime on dvd and lots of merch but i only have the first 11 manga so im excited to finally compleat the collection. And to finally get to read code name sailor v is a major bonus! Im hoping they release more merch too! That would be amazing! Sailor moon is just one of those special things that stay with you forever.
thank you kodansha!!!

August 22, 2011 at 5:44 am
(13) danisa mishima says:

let’s hope the manga release with ORIGINAL names and without being edited. (the way it should have been the first time.) i have the complete set :D that i collected when i was younger and had such a hard time trying to get the next volume because the store wouldnt order it or it would be sold out… lol!!! so should i sell mine to get the new?? wondering… o.O

August 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm
(14) Cayleigh says:

I think I read somewhere that they are keeping the original Japanese names instead of switching back and forth between the English translations and the Japanese names.

August 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm
(15) danisa mishima says:

awesome!! now im gonna prolly end up buying those too.. :3

October 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm
(16) Sierra says:

Im so excited to collect the Sailor Moon movies . im qettinq ready to turn 18 n.n Mooniee Fan 13 Years .

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