It was a pretty nostalgic moment for me to return to a world that I’d only really ever known as a kid. I think it’s pretty obvious that my prior experience with these characters had a rather large influence on my rating for Volume One of the Sailor Moon Manga. I’d only ever seen the show as a child and only in small increments, as this was long before I was able to have a modicum of control over what I watched and realized that even the mere possibility of watching something out of order would make me cringe like nothing else. It still bugs the heck out of me that I’ve never seen the entire show from start to finish. And so, completely on a whim, I picked up the manga series, intent on finally making my way through the entire story of Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, and the Sailor Scouts. And it was just as cheesy and ridiculous as I’d always remembered.
The truth is that I have a fair bit of judgment for my younger self for how much I loved this show. And at the same time, I can’t help but still really appreciate the story. There’s something wonderful about a group of female space warriors who fight evil and come out on top nearly every day of their lives. Now, the fight moves are ridiculous, the story is a bit simple and silly, but it’s actually pretty inspirational. To have such a powerful fighter also be a character who is inherently vulnerable and emotional genuinely feels amazing. And I will always admire Sailor Moon for how much she embodies these differing and how the personality attributes that are typically seen as feminine and therefore weak are actually portrayed as a strength.
The first volume of Sailor Moon introduces us to Usagi Tsukino, an eighth-grader–a fact which I find incredibly annoying on account of the college-aged love interest, Mamoru Chiba and spent the entire rest of the series pretending she was at least a Senior in High School–who learns that she is the legendary Sailor Scout, Sailor Moon, shortly after saving a talking cat with a crescent moon on her forehead. In a short period of time, Usagi learns she is a protector of the Moon Kingdom, that she must find and protect the Moon Princess, and is thrown into a war against the Dark Kingdom that destroyed the kingdom of the Moon in the past. We meet Tuxedo Mask for the first time and watch as Usagi, alongside her cat Luna, search for and find three other Sailor Scouts to join their team.
A fun, albeit slightly ridiculous story, it was an incredibly fun read and a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane. I don’t know if I’ll ever go out of my way to reread it again, but I definitely enjoyed the return. It even inspired me to check out the newest version of the show, Sailor Moon Crystal.