It was funny seeing all the manga bloggers explode into a twittergasm yesterday, and I was among them because when the news broke that Kodansha was going to bring back Sailor Moon into print I was absolutely delighted . I’m glad that I never tried to assemble a complete collection through the exorbitant prices the old Tokyopop editions go for on ebay – I bought a few used copies of Sailor Moon when I could find them reasonably priced, and ended up selling them in a more reasonably priced bundle on ebay myself.
I have an erratic history with manga. I started buying it in the first wave, when Mai the Psychic Girl, Area 88, and Nausicaa were coming out in small monthly editions instead of the larger books that are ubiquitous today. The entire comics market in the 90s really turned me off comics in any form, including manga. I was still interested in Japanese culture, and managed to study Japanese in college and go over there on a study abroad program, and I read absolutely no manga while I lived there. I stopped reading comics and manga regularly and only started again when I was in graduate school. I actually rediscovered manga when I was house sitting for a librarian who had a teenage daughter who was crazed for Sailor Moon and Rurouni Kenshin. There were volumes of manga scattered around the house, and when I picked up and read them I was reminded of why I enjoyed manga so much in the first place. Sailor Moon was so wonderfully goofy, with its magical girl incantations, Tuxedo Mask running around with a rose clenched between his teeth, and Usagi the ditsy yet powerful heroine.
Sailor Moon might have silly moments, but it combines them with a surprising number of fights. The story grows more complex as the series progresses. The cultural impact of Sailor Moon was huge in Japan and here, where it was a gateway manga for many girls. I’m not sure if those girls will pick up these new deluxe editions or if new readers will be picking up the series. I’m just selfishly happy that I’ll be able to read this series again.