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Manga Review: Sailor Moon Volume Four by Naoko Takeuchi

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Sailor Moon Volume Four 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 2012. Sailor Moon is rated “T” for teens age 13 and up.

Volume Four has a strong focus on Chibi-usa, and how jealous Usagi becomes of her. This jealousy ends up playing a very important role for events that take place near the end of this volume.

In my review of Volume Three, I mentioned that I had a suspicion as to who Chibi-usa really was. It turns out that I was correct about her identity on a surface level; however, there turns out to be more to Chibi-usa and her identity than I had originally thought.

This volume also gives the reader more information on Black Moon, the new enemy who was introduced in the second half of Volume Three. The storylines for Black Moon and Sailor Moon and her friends come together in the 30th century. With help from Chibi-usa, Sailor Moon and the others go ahead in time to the 30th century and all the pieces of the story fall into place. The reader is also introduced to a new character in the 30th century named Sailor Pluto. The volume ends with a cliffhanger that involves Chibi-usa.

One thing that stood out to me at the end of this volume is that the fact that there wasn’t a preview for the next volume included at the end. This really surprised me, because I had come to expect it; while the first two volumes had a preview in Japanese, at least there was a preview included.

As someone who is reading Sailor Moon for the first time, I’m really of two minds when it comes to the story in this volume. On the one hand, I think the story in this volume is an interesting way to continue the series. On the other, though, I feel it’s starting to get fantastical and “out there,” even for a magical girl series like Sailor Moon.

Of course, it probably doesn’t help that I generally don’t care much for time travel stories, because many of them tend to be written in such a way that they don’t truly work; one of the few exceptions to this that I’m personally familiar with is Back to the Future. However, I do give Takeuchi some credit for the fact that she makes a point of the fact that there are problems with more than one of the same person to exist in the same time and space.

Overall, I think that fans of Sailor Moon will enjoy this new pressing of this manga volume. However, newer readers of the series like myself may start finding themselves not enjoying the series as much. Even though I may not be enjoying the series as much as I did when I read the earlier volumes, I am interested enough to keep reading the series to see how the story continues.

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.