November 17, 2011

Sailor Moon Manga Musings - Vol. 1


Hello Moonies! The SMObss has been quiet lately, and I miss writing here, but Tumblr and Twitter have become much more effective ways to find information and share images. The fandom on these sites is so much more active and creative than just me here all alone in my little blog. It's also easier to "re-tweet" interesting links or "re-blog" fan art without having to link and quote sources than writing about them here where they'll most likely be ignored. So be sure to follow the SMObss Twitter and Tumblr if you haven't already, I make a great effort to skim through blogs and tweets to share interesting links and funny finds. It's also a lot of fun! Anyway, that was just an intro, now, on the post!

The biggest news these months is undoubtedly the re-release of the English Sailor Moon manga. Are you all getting your copies? Are you super excited to go through the series and acquire these gorgeous new volumes for you Sailor Moon collections!? (I am!)

The SMObss is not only a place to find news, but also a personal blog. I'd like to write my personal re-discovery of the Sailor Moon manga. I read some of the manga a long time ago, about 15 years ago. It was tremendously difficult to acquire the manga in Mexico back in the day because there wasn't a big publisher putting it out in the market and the many attempts of smaller editorials failed to deliver a quality product and suddenly dropping the series, leaving us with incomplete series. Our best shot was to buy the Spain version. This was extremely expensive for us, there was no real market for it and had to be special ordered. At this time, there was hardly any internet, let alone e-commerce, so there was no way to just click and order them online. Over the lapse of 4 years I went to a special comic store and had to order them at jacked up prices. The last volume I got was volume 8 before the store closed and was left, once again, with an incomplete set. Sad. u.u

Times have changed! There's more access to downloadable content, easier ways of reading online. I could've read the manga anytime the last 12 years, but there was something about HAVING it that made me desist. I didn't want to see it in a screen. I wanted to touch it, turn the page, look at the colored illustrations, and basically OWN IT. News of the re-release couldn't have made me happier! I will now own a complete set of gorgeous prints that glisten so perfectly and can immerse myself into new depths of this fantastical interplanetary tale! However, as I flipped through the pages, it dawned on me that I remember NEXT-TO-NOTHING about these books! It's like this is a whole new adventure, like the first time!

So I now introduce to you: "Sailor Moon Manga Musings"! Just to be clear here, Manga Musings IS NOT a formal review of the content, features of the manga, or quality of translations, Brad has got you covered with that on Moonkitty.net. These are more like short entries of the discoveries and details that I'd forgotten about or hadn't noticed before. This is more of a personal voyage. Some of these might be very obvious to you (so no "OMG, YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THAT?! EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT!!" comments allowed :p), but like I said, it's a new adventure for me!  So excited! If you are going on this ride with me, then I really hope you enjoy these entries and share cool things too! 

Sailor Moon Manga Musings. Vol. 1!

Codename Sailor V, Vol. 1

Opening this manga was a discovery in itself. I've never owned it or read it before.  I'm so surprised at how fast things start to happen! The SV manga was a kind of experiment for Naoko-hime, so I guess she was in a rush to get the story moving along and get into the good stuff, but there are things I'm left wondering about. For example she mentions how Minako's relationship with her mom isn't that great, but we don't see them really going at it, just the same ol' teenage rebellion phase.  Well, I guess we can just take her word for it. Artwork is completely new to me. It's like being an explorer and happening to discover King Tut's tomb: In unimaginable wonder! A treasure. There are a lot of scans out there, but I had never seen all the images before.  It's so early Naoko and I love this style! Out of all the art in the manga, this image in particular struck me the most. Minako looks so good here, like a REAL, BAD ASS heroine :'D!

Halfway through the first chapter, we see her castle. HER CASTLE!! I was already pumped at this revelation so-so-so early in! Picture it: You're a 13 year old, ordinary girl who has this revelation from a talking cat.  It's like a "Harry, yer a wizard!" moment, (I've been reading HP lately :p) but much to my dismay, not much happened after that. I was expecting some kind of explanation or at least Mina ASKING what this meant, but instead she forgot about it completely. HOW COULD YOU IGNORE the fact that there is an amazing ancestral structure created by ancient Gods floating in space and has YOUR name written all over it!? I think NASA would have plenty of questions, but no, not Minako! She don't care. She just wants to hand that love letter to Higashi, the guy she has a crush on. xD!


Another thing I was new to: Sailor V kicks. She kicks. A LOT. Left and right, monsters and zombies fall easily at her relentless high-heeled thrash. She does it a few times in the SM manga and once or twice in the anime, but in this manga she's completely fierce/fearless. It's odd because we hardly ever see the senshi getting so physical like this (Sailor Jupiter being the exception), they normally engage the enemies with their sparkly, glittering magical powers. I enjoyed the idea though, the fact that she isn't weak or faint-hearted. Sailor V just rolls up her sleeves and does all of the dirty work without thinking twice about it. I approve!!


OOOOOooohh!!! So, that explains stuff like this:

 Cosplay pic by: x_Laya_x

Here are other little details that caught my attention: This scene involves Artemis yelling at Mina, telling her she needs to go home and study to be a good Champion of Justice, to which Minako responds by yanking him into her arms and warning him that people would "dissect him like sashimi" if they heard a talking cat. The original Japanese sound effect of her pulling Artemis is "mogah" which –I'm guessing– is just the sound of a small yelp stuck at the throat when being pulled from the neck. The translation for that little sound became:


That's right! "MMFLL" is now an official onomatopoeia! How do you even pronounce that?  If you're being held by the throat, you're only able to half-mutter vowels. Try it! The weird contortion your tongue has to make between the M, F and L makes no sense and is so unnatural. xD!! FML maybe?

Moving on. I always knew that the crescent Jewel Box was from Sailor V, but it's the first time I've seen it being used in the manga. I was wondering why they had created this toy, because it doesn't make sense in the Sailor Moon anime.  Of course now I see they based it off Sailor V's weapon, but I still don't know how it got there, how it got the green-light to be produced. Was one of the toy designers a huge Sailor V fan and then went up to the board and said "LOOK! MOONS!" and they said "COOL! PRODUCE IT!"... I'd love to listen in that meeting.


Another detail about it that I didn't know about the Crscent Compact is that it that is charges with the Moonlight. HOW FRIGGIN' CUTE IS THAT?! It has to load up with the Moon magic to maintain its powers. This is such an adorable connotation. The powers they use are PHYSICALLY linked to the magic of the Moon. But wait... does that  mean that the power dies out, like a cellphone? We all know how helpless one feels to go a day without a fully charged phone and suddenly dies on us. What if Mina can't charge it because she fell asleep before placing it under the moonlight? Or what if there is no Moon that night? Does it require a full Moon? Does it only charge-half way on new Moon? How long does a full charge last? What if she moves to the North pole where there is only daylight half a year and only night the other half? Does it store half a year worth of Moonlight and can go uncharged the other half of the year? Oh man! So many questions about this. XD


I still think it's a cute idea. But the cutest part of the manga in my opinion was the few Usagi cameos we get throughout the story and the fact that Mina is getting ready "for that day", the day she will have to face her destiny as a Sailor senshi and defend her princess. She is fully aware of it and prepared.
SQUEEEEEE!! x3

Just for shits n' giggles and because we're on the subject, here is the fan-made Sailor V anime intro by Fabzt10 which still makes my jaw drop to the floor of how well this is edited to make it seem like the real deal.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1


Okay so, Sailor Moon isn't a COMPLETELY new experience. I do remember some things here and there, so there are less amount of surprises. Still, nice to reconnect.

First thing I noticed is that when Sailor Moon makes her introduction, the is a Symbol right in the middle of the name. it was cute, but is this part of the original manga? I checked out both Japanese reprint AND original prints for the symbol and sure enough, there it was! So I'm glad they kept it, but it's weird. I wonder, why Naoko-hime decided to use it in the first place? This is the symbol for Islam as far as I  know. I have nothing against the use of it, I'm just randomly wondering if she was aware of that or just used it 'cause it was cute?.... Oh well. It's purty. xD

A few pages later, Sailor Mercury is given her iconic mini computer, and it has this sort of blinking light that shows where the enemy is. That's cool, we've seen that in the anime; a compass or GPS of sorts that will show the way to the evil lair. But then it does something funny: the light jumps off the screen and moves. At first I was all: "OMG!!! This laser moves on the ground towards the enemy!" This would totally make sense and now we would finally know how they find the bad guys in the strangest places, right?


But then it reminded me of something funnier: 

Follow the red dot! FOLLOW IT Sailor LOLCATS! HAHAahahahahha!! That was it, the dot never appeared again. It would have been nice to see it in action. Oh well! 

The first edition in the 90's was kind of drafty and dated, which is why the 00's reprint has a lot of drawing corrections (closed lines, colored uniforms), technology updates (Amy was first using a 3.5" floppy diskette for her Crystal Seminar studies and was corrected to be a CD in the re-print), some of the senshi gadgets were added or cleaned up, etc. There were other minor changes here and there, but here is one that was weird for me: The scene is Amy going into Crown Parlor to talk to the Sailor V game because there are a lot of strange occurrences in the city. The computer doesn't speak an understandable language, so it is represented with strange symbols. The re-print had these symbols re-designed, a totally unnecessary thing to do, but okay, it's fine, it's not something that affects the story, but, if you look at them closely, this new dialog are just the inverted planetary symbols. So now the "mysterious" computer language now reads: 

"Chiron Uranus Venus Jupiter Saturn Pluto Neptune
Ceres Mercury Saturn Pallas Mars Chiron Neptune..."

 THAT ISN'T MYSTERIOUS, THAT IS LAAAAME!! If this were ANY OTHER comic book that didn't rely SO heavily on planetary symbols, it would be ok, but this "correction" doesn't seem to make much sense. Ummm...WTF Naoko-hime? xD


And finally, the Star locket. The everlasting representation of Endymion and Serenity's love for each other. The sweetest thing ever. I remember about the manga version being different from the anime, but I didn't remember it was specifically a watch with the Moon phase calendar. At first I thought: "Hmm, why would anyone need to keep careful track of the phases of the moon with such clock-precision meticulousness?" Fact: Most ancient civilizations always regard the Moon as a female Goddess. From ancient Greece to the Aztecs, it is always is regarded as a representation of womanhood and fertility. The reason is quite simple: The Moon has cycles. 28 DAY CYCLES. Women's period. OMFGGGGG!!!! IS MAMORU KEEPING CAREFUL TRACK OF USAGI'S PERIOD!?!? Well, he doesn't know how to use it very well, you know, knocking her up on the very first night and all. HAHAHAHAHahaha!


ROMANTIC LOVE LOCKET IDEALIZATION = RUINED. MWAHAHAhahahahaah!

I went Googling for an image of an actual Moon phase pocket watch to find one like Mamoru's.  This is the closest one I could find, with the moon window covering the upper part. Most are circular except for this one. I dunno, It basically looks very cute and I think I now want one for my SM collection. :3

LONGEST.POST.EVAH!  I finally finished this, and now Volume 2 of Sailor Moon and Sailor V are already out. I expect to buy them next week and I hear they're pretty thick volumes, so next Manga Musings might be even longer (dear Lord, I hope not!). 'Till next time Moonies!! Lemme know it you found funny stuff too! :D

November 17, 2011

Sailor Moon Manga Musings - Vol. 1


Hello Moonies! The SMObss has been quiet lately, and I miss writing here, but Tumblr and Twitter have become much more effective ways to find information and share images. The fandom on these sites is so much more active and creative than just me here all alone in my little blog. It's also easier to "re-tweet" interesting links or "re-blog" fan art without having to link and quote sources than writing about them here where they'll most likely be ignored. So be sure to follow the SMObss Twitter and Tumblr if you haven't already, I make a great effort to skim through blogs and tweets to share interesting links and funny finds. It's also a lot of fun! Anyway, that was just an intro, now, on the post!

The biggest news these months is undoubtedly the re-release of the English Sailor Moon manga. Are you all getting your copies? Are you super excited to go through the series and acquire these gorgeous new volumes for you Sailor Moon collections!? (I am!)

The SMObss is not only a place to find news, but also a personal blog. I'd like to write my personal re-discovery of the Sailor Moon manga. I read some of the manga a long time ago, about 15 years ago. It was tremendously difficult to acquire the manga in Mexico back in the day because there wasn't a big publisher putting it out in the market and the many attempts of smaller editorials failed to deliver a quality product and suddenly dropping the series, leaving us with incomplete series. Our best shot was to buy the Spain version. This was extremely expensive for us, there was no real market for it and had to be special ordered. At this time, there was hardly any internet, let alone e-commerce, so there was no way to just click and order them online. Over the lapse of 4 years I went to a special comic store and had to order them at jacked up prices. The last volume I got was volume 8 before the store closed and was left, once again, with an incomplete set. Sad. u.u

Times have changed! There's more access to downloadable content, easier ways of reading online. I could've read the manga anytime the last 12 years, but there was something about HAVING it that made me desist. I didn't want to see it in a screen. I wanted to touch it, turn the page, look at the colored illustrations, and basically OWN IT. News of the re-release couldn't have made me happier! I will now own a complete set of gorgeous prints that glisten so perfectly and can immerse myself into new depths of this fantastical interplanetary tale! However, as I flipped through the pages, it dawned on me that I remember NEXT-TO-NOTHING about these books! It's like this is a whole new adventure, like the first time!

So I now introduce to you: "Sailor Moon Manga Musings"! Just to be clear here, Manga Musings IS NOT a formal review of the content, features of the manga, or quality of translations, Brad has got you covered with that on Moonkitty.net. These are more like short entries of the discoveries and details that I'd forgotten about or hadn't noticed before. This is more of a personal voyage. Some of these might be very obvious to you (so no "OMG, YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THAT?! EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT!!" comments allowed :p), but like I said, it's a new adventure for me!  So excited! If you are going on this ride with me, then I really hope you enjoy these entries and share cool things too! 

Sailor Moon Manga Musings. Vol. 1!

Codename Sailor V, Vol. 1

Opening this manga was a discovery in itself. I've never owned it or read it before.  I'm so surprised at how fast things start to happen! The SV manga was a kind of experiment for Naoko-hime, so I guess she was in a rush to get the story moving along and get into the good stuff, but there are things I'm left wondering about. For example she mentions how Minako's relationship with her mom isn't that great, but we don't see them really going at it, just the same ol' teenage rebellion phase.  Well, I guess we can just take her word for it. Artwork is completely new to me. It's like being an explorer and happening to discover King Tut's tomb: In unimaginable wonder! A treasure. There are a lot of scans out there, but I had never seen all the images before.  It's so early Naoko and I love this style! Out of all the art in the manga, this image in particular struck me the most. Minako looks so good here, like a REAL, BAD ASS heroine :'D!

Halfway through the first chapter, we see her castle. HER CASTLE!! I was already pumped at this revelation so-so-so early in! Picture it: You're a 13 year old, ordinary girl who has this revelation from a talking cat.  It's like a "Harry, yer a wizard!" moment, (I've been reading HP lately :p) but much to my dismay, not much happened after that. I was expecting some kind of explanation or at least Mina ASKING what this meant, but instead she forgot about it completely. HOW COULD YOU IGNORE the fact that there is an amazing ancestral structure created by ancient Gods floating in space and has YOUR name written all over it!? I think NASA would have plenty of questions, but no, not Minako! She don't care. She just wants to hand that love letter to Higashi, the guy she has a crush on. xD!


Another thing I was new to: Sailor V kicks. She kicks. A LOT. Left and right, monsters and zombies fall easily at her relentless high-heeled thrash. She does it a few times in the SM manga and once or twice in the anime, but in this manga she's completely fierce/fearless. It's odd because we hardly ever see the senshi getting so physical like this (Sailor Jupiter being the exception), they normally engage the enemies with their sparkly, glittering magical powers. I enjoyed the idea though, the fact that she isn't weak or faint-hearted. Sailor V just rolls up her sleeves and does all of the dirty work without thinking twice about it. I approve!!


OOOOOooohh!!! So, that explains stuff like this:

 Cosplay pic by: x_Laya_x

Here are other little details that caught my attention: This scene involves Artemis yelling at Mina, telling her she needs to go home and study to be a good Champion of Justice, to which Minako responds by yanking him into her arms and warning him that people would "dissect him like sashimi" if they heard a talking cat. The original Japanese sound effect of her pulling Artemis is "mogah" which –I'm guessing– is just the sound of a small yelp stuck at the throat when being pulled from the neck. The translation for that little sound became:


That's right! "MMFLL" is now an official onomatopoeia! How do you even pronounce that?  If you're being held by the throat, you're only able to half-mutter vowels. Try it! The weird contortion your tongue has to make between the M, F and L makes no sense and is so unnatural. xD!! FML maybe?

Moving on. I always knew that the crescent Jewel Box was from Sailor V, but it's the first time I've seen it being used in the manga. I was wondering why they had created this toy, because it doesn't make sense in the Sailor Moon anime.  Of course now I see they based it off Sailor V's weapon, but I still don't know how it got there, how it got the green-light to be produced. Was one of the toy designers a huge Sailor V fan and then went up to the board and said "LOOK! MOONS!" and they said "COOL! PRODUCE IT!"... I'd love to listen in that meeting.


Another detail about it that I didn't know about the Crscent Compact is that it that is charges with the Moonlight. HOW FRIGGIN' CUTE IS THAT?! It has to load up with the Moon magic to maintain its powers. This is such an adorable connotation. The powers they use are PHYSICALLY linked to the magic of the Moon. But wait... does that  mean that the power dies out, like a cellphone? We all know how helpless one feels to go a day without a fully charged phone and suddenly dies on us. What if Mina can't charge it because she fell asleep before placing it under the moonlight? Or what if there is no Moon that night? Does it require a full Moon? Does it only charge-half way on new Moon? How long does a full charge last? What if she moves to the North pole where there is only daylight half a year and only night the other half? Does it store half a year worth of Moonlight and can go uncharged the other half of the year? Oh man! So many questions about this. XD


I still think it's a cute idea. But the cutest part of the manga in my opinion was the few Usagi cameos we get throughout the story and the fact that Mina is getting ready "for that day", the day she will have to face her destiny as a Sailor senshi and defend her princess. She is fully aware of it and prepared.
SQUEEEEEE!! x3

Just for shits n' giggles and because we're on the subject, here is the fan-made Sailor V anime intro by Fabzt10 which still makes my jaw drop to the floor of how well this is edited to make it seem like the real deal.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1


Okay so, Sailor Moon isn't a COMPLETELY new experience. I do remember some things here and there, so there are less amount of surprises. Still, nice to reconnect.

First thing I noticed is that when Sailor Moon makes her introduction, the is a Symbol right in the middle of the name. it was cute, but is this part of the original manga? I checked out both Japanese reprint AND original prints for the symbol and sure enough, there it was! So I'm glad they kept it, but it's weird. I wonder, why Naoko-hime decided to use it in the first place? This is the symbol for Islam as far as I  know. I have nothing against the use of it, I'm just randomly wondering if she was aware of that or just used it 'cause it was cute?.... Oh well. It's purty. xD

A few pages later, Sailor Mercury is given her iconic mini computer, and it has this sort of blinking light that shows where the enemy is. That's cool, we've seen that in the anime; a compass or GPS of sorts that will show the way to the evil lair. But then it does something funny: the light jumps off the screen and moves. At first I was all: "OMG!!! This laser moves on the ground towards the enemy!" This would totally make sense and now we would finally know how they find the bad guys in the strangest places, right?


But then it reminded me of something funnier: 

Follow the red dot! FOLLOW IT Sailor LOLCATS! HAHAahahahahha!! That was it, the dot never appeared again. It would have been nice to see it in action. Oh well! 

The first edition in the 90's was kind of drafty and dated, which is why the 00's reprint has a lot of drawing corrections (closed lines, colored uniforms), technology updates (Amy was first using a 3.5" floppy diskette for her Crystal Seminar studies and was corrected to be a CD in the re-print), some of the senshi gadgets were added or cleaned up, etc. There were other minor changes here and there, but here is one that was weird for me: The scene is Amy going into Crown Parlor to talk to the Sailor V game because there are a lot of strange occurrences in the city. The computer doesn't speak an understandable language, so it is represented with strange symbols. The re-print had these symbols re-designed, a totally unnecessary thing to do, but okay, it's fine, it's not something that affects the story, but, if you look at them closely, this new dialog are just the inverted planetary symbols. So now the "mysterious" computer language now reads: 

"Chiron Uranus Venus Jupiter Saturn Pluto Neptune
Ceres Mercury Saturn Pallas Mars Chiron Neptune..."

 THAT ISN'T MYSTERIOUS, THAT IS LAAAAME!! If this were ANY OTHER comic book that didn't rely SO heavily on planetary symbols, it would be ok, but this "correction" doesn't seem to make much sense. Ummm...WTF Naoko-hime? xD


And finally, the Star locket. The everlasting representation of Endymion and Serenity's love for each other. The sweetest thing ever. I remember about the manga version being different from the anime, but I didn't remember it was specifically a watch with the Moon phase calendar. At first I thought: "Hmm, why would anyone need to keep careful track of the phases of the moon with such clock-precision meticulousness?" Fact: Most ancient civilizations always regard the Moon as a female Goddess. From ancient Greece to the Aztecs, it is always is regarded as a representation of womanhood and fertility. The reason is quite simple: The Moon has cycles. 28 DAY CYCLES. Women's period. OMFGGGGG!!!! IS MAMORU KEEPING CAREFUL TRACK OF USAGI'S PERIOD!?!? Well, he doesn't know how to use it very well, you know, knocking her up on the very first night and all. HAHAHAHAHahaha!


ROMANTIC LOVE LOCKET IDEALIZATION = RUINED. MWAHAHAhahahahaah!

I went Googling for an image of an actual Moon phase pocket watch to find one like Mamoru's.  This is the closest one I could find, with the moon window covering the upper part. Most are circular except for this one. I dunno, It basically looks very cute and I think I now want one for my SM collection. :3

LONGEST.POST.EVAH!  I finally finished this, and now Volume 2 of Sailor Moon and Sailor V are already out. I expect to buy them next week and I hear they're pretty thick volumes, so next Manga Musings might be even longer (dear Lord, I hope not!). 'Till next time Moonies!! Lemme know it you found funny stuff too! :D