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Manga Review: ‘Sailor Moon’ Volume 12 by Naoko Takeuchi

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Sailor Moon Volume 12 is a manga with the story and art by Naoko Takeuchi. Kodansha Comics has the North American distribution rights for the manga, and their English adaptation of this volume was released in 2013. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens 13 and up. After reading the entirety of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Volume 12 brings the Sailor Moon manga series to its conclusion. Usagi finds herself in her greatest danger ever, and as Sailor Moon, she has to battle against an enemy that is determined to destroy her. As part of this enemy’s scheme, the other Sailor Scouts who have been kidnapped are turned against Sailor Moon and begin to attack. And if that wasn’t enough, even Mamoru is turned against her. Chibi-usa arrives to help Sailor Moon, but will her being there make a difference?

This volume also answers the question of who Chibi-Chibi-Chan is; however, this answer doesn’t come until right near the end of Volume 12. Personally, I thought the explanation was a little convoluted, but I guess it works with everything else that has been established for the Sailor Moon universe in the previous volumes of the series.

My biggest disappointment has to do with the Sailor Starlights and Princess Kakyuu. After they had such a major introduction in Volume 11, they are become rather unimportant in Volume 12. In fact, after a certain point in Volume 12, these particular characters all but disappear. While I thought their introduction as more Sailor Guardians made the story more convoluted, I had hoped that they could have been more important characters than they ultimately ended up being.

In a lot of ways, I have to say the manga pretty much ended as I expected it to. Considering that we’ve already seen Sailor Moon’s future in the 30th century, I already knew that Sailor Moon and the others would have to win the day and set things right again. The main question ultimately ended up being how this would be accomplished by the end of Volume 12. The ending was enjoyable and works for the series, even if it basically is expected.

If a reader has made it this far into the Sailor Moon series without giving up on it, then I think they will be pleased with the story that wraps up the franchise. And for readers who want to read more Sailor Moon beyond Volume 12, they’re in luck. Kodansha has just released the Sailor Moon Short Stories 1 collection, and will be releasing the Sailor Moon Short Stories 2 collection in November 2013.

As for me, I will say that I’m glad to have finally had an opportunity to read this classic shojo manga series. While I can’t say I became a fan of the Sailor Moon franchise after reading the series, I can at least have some knowledge of it and understand references that are made about the series. And after reading it, I can also say that I understand why this series has become the classic that it has.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.