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luna-whiskers:

Sailor Moon: Where to Begin

So you’re excited for the Sailor Moon reboot, but you haven’t watched the show since you were eight years old.  Or perhaps you have never—gasp!—had the pleasure of experiencing the pretty sailor suited soldiers.  You want to get into this thing before Sailor Moon Crystal comes out this summer, but it’s intimidating trying to break into a 20-year-old fandom.  Worry not, friends!  This primer is for you.

What is Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon is a manga, an anime, a stage musical, and a live action show about a teenage magical girl who is the reincarnation of a moon princess.  It’s about friendship and love and fighting evil with magical jewelry.  

Did you say musical?

I most definitely said musical.

Where do I start? 

Anywhere you like!  But let’s begin with the original: 

* * * THE MANGA * * * 

Buy || Read Online

Written in 1992 by Naoko Takeuchi, the manga is considered the foundation on which all other versions, including the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal, are based.  The current English-language edition, released by Kodansha Comics, consists of 14 volumes, and is widely available in bookstores.  

Wait!  I had some of the manga in the 90s, and it looked different, and the main character was named Bunny.

That version, released by Tokyopop, was based on the first edition of the Japanese manga.  Because it was released while the English dub of the anime was still on TV, characters were called by their English names for the sake of consistency.  The modern Kodansha version retained the original Japanese names. 

I went to the bookstore and they also had this thing called Sailor V.  What’s that about?

Sailor V is the prequel to the Sailor Moon manga.  You do not need to be familiar with it to understand Sailor Moon, but it is a good read and I recommend it.

* * * THE ORIGINAL ANIME * * * 

Buy || Download

At 200 episodes and three movies, the original Sailor Moon anime is likely the most iconic and well-known version.  While it has been confirmed that the new anime will not be a direct adaptation of the original one, it will almost definitely be taking cues from many of its most memorable aspects.

200 Episodes?  That’s way too much!

The anime is broken up into 5 seasons, with each season spanning its own story arc.  Season One is only 46 episodes long, and can be enjoyed on its own.  At this time, we do not know whether Sailor Moon Crystal will cover the events of the other four seasons.

What about the English dub?  That’s what I watched as a kid.

The English dub is its own entity, with different names and different personalities for many of the characters.  In addition, it only covered the first four seasons, and some scenes and episodes were skipped.  You can enjoy it on its own, but you will be missing out on a lot of content.

* * * MUSICALS AND LIVE ACTION * * * 

Watch Musicals || Watch Live Action

The musicals, called Seramyu, ran from 1993 to 2005 and again in 2013, with a constantly evolving storyline.  The recent 2013 musical, La Reconquista, ran as part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations.  

The live action series, called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, is a 49-episode super sentai-style TV drama that aired in 2003.  It covers the events of the first season of the anime (or first story arc of the manga), with its own unique take on the story and characters.  While easy to pass over because of the cheesy CG animation and fight choreography, the live action is charming and well-written.  

Do I have to know any of this to enjoy Sailor Moon Crystal?

Probably not!  The new anime will be its own entity, starting from the beginning, not a continuation of existing canon.  But with so much great content out there to enjoy already, why not take advantage of it?  Sailor Moon is great in any incarnation!  

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(Talk of suicide, self-harm and depression in the pages and text)

I was feeling mopish and sluggish today so I started reading stuff from shira’s excellent rec list of shoujo ai/yuri manga and holy geez, Pieta is not only one of the best yuri manga I’ve ever read, but one of the best manga, the best comics, I’ve ever read.

I was in tears through this whole thing. which is a pretty big deal for me. It touched me deeply. It looks at suicidal and self-harming depression and the effects of emotional abuse with sensitivity. Never have I seen these kind of issues dealt with in a way that feels so real in a manga.

Both the girls in the couple the series revolves around are or have been mentally ill. The main character, Rio, engages in self-mutilation and indulges in nightmares and comes from a terribly emotionally abusive family. She suffers from severe depression and has been suicidal in the past. There is a suicide attempt during the course of this story, as the above pages have probably already indicated for you. It is incredibly sad and painful to read a lot of the time.

But it’s an incredibly hopeful story at the end about two girls finding each other and finding they can help each other- about their connection and desire to live.

I don’t know, it just touched be very deeply, as someone who has cut, has considered suicide and struggles with depression- i was in tears. I felt it so deeply. 

My book is about two girls in a pretty similar situation and this has helped me realize even more I need to write it better. I want it to be something near this moving. I need to pour more of myself into it.

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barraging:

Haven’t done a manga coloring for a while, so here we go! My two favorites!

barraging:

Haven’t done a manga coloring for a while, so here we go! My two favorites!

(Source: spearrings, via azuresquirrel)

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fullofwhoa asked: Hey Nev! Can I ask you a big favour? Do you have any recommendations for a 10-12 year old girl who likes fantasy and wants to read more manga? My first thought was "Sailor Moon!" but since I'm not that well-read when it comes to manga I'm not sure what would be age-appropriate. If you can think of anything I'd be grateful! <3

If she’s ten,Sailor Moon should be fine. There’s also Cardcaptor Sakura, another magical girl manga, it has 1 bad thing in it (a teacher basically implies to a ten year old student he’s going to marry her when she gets older) but that’s only one page (you can just tear it out) and also just as likely to go over her head since it’s discussed vaguely. Magic Knight Rayearth is a GREAT manga about three girls kicking ass in a fantasy world with no bad stuff. There’s also Angelic Layer, which is set in a future where there’s a sort of scifi battle game using little dolls and one girl’s quest to win it. 

I think Inuyasha would mostly be okay? There’s some iffy running gags and what not so you might want to examine it for yourself, but it’s mostly just a action fantasy. 

Nausicaa is actually based on a 7 volume manga of the same name Miyazaki wrote and it’s very good, it does get a bit dark but I think a 10-12 year old should be able to handle it.

Fruits Basket has fantasy elements, though it’s mostly a romance/friendship manga, but it also has really dark stuff in it (it explores abuse) yet, a LOT of girls seemed to have read it around age ten when it was coming out so maybe that’s fine?

Bride’s Story isn’t a fantasy, but it might be something you want to look at for her because 1. It’s gorgeous and well written 2. It’s really educational about the Silk Road in the 1800s- but it’s also accurate to that time period including, you know, the main character being in an arranged marriage to a 12 year old (it’s made very clear they aren’t planning to get physical any time soon, though) some dark elements and isn’t afraid to show full nudity if her parents have an issue with that. 

Unfortunately a lot of the other stuff I can think of was not released in the US and is only available online. And then other stuff is waaaay too dark for ten.

I really want to rec Fullmetal Alchemist whenever I talk good manga, but you should definitely wait till she’s around 14/15 to suggest that.

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airyairyquitecontrary:

I love the fact that, after beating the spit out of Ed and Al in martial arts training, Izumi then gets out the first aid box and patches them up.
OMGAWWW SHE PATTED ED ON THE HEAD
HEADPATS MEAN SO MUCH TO ED
LOOK HOW IT MADE HIS LITTLE FACE GO

his  little faaaace he has so many emotions

airyairyquitecontrary:

I love the fact that, after beating the spit out of Ed and Al in martial arts training, Izumi then gets out the first aid box and patches them up.

OMGAWWW SHE PATTED ED ON THE HEAD

HEADPATS MEAN SO MUCH TO ED

LOOK HOW IT MADE HIS LITTLE FACE GO

his  little faaaace he has so many emotions

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Early Manga Chapters // Later Manga Chapters

(Source: roymaes, via reisempai)

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she made him bleedwith her words

she made him bleed
with her words

(Source: lameneshma)

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Edvolution- manga style!

so we’ve got frowny three year old Ed neglected by daddy, frowny…five? year old Ed seeking mommy’s praise, and here’s nineish year old Ed being determined, armless eleven year old ed turns into long haired twelve year old Ed (and yes that is his house burning down)

he…does not appear to age at all between 12 and 15 in the manga, though he does change shirts, losing the zipper. But he makes up for stunted growth by packin some extra growth in there between losing his automail and meeting lan fan, getting taller, buffer and broader like whoa and he keeps it up and looks fabulously built in the Briggs arc.

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Evolution of a Winry- manga style!

An evolution more interesting in the manga, because we actually see Winry transitioning from child to preteen. In the first panel she’s around five or six, with short hair. Her parents left when she was little older (seven? eight?) and she’s growing her hair out. Her hair was short when Ed and Al left for training, so we can assume her parents left around the same time? Anyway, by the time Ed and Al get back (roughly age nine?), her hair’s in it’s ponytail though it’s still pretty short- her hair’s also in a ponytail when she hears about her parents being killed, so we can assume that happened shortly after Ed and Al returned from Izumi’s. I GUESS. 

From there it’s the same develpment as in the anime- at eleven her hair’s longer and she’s on the threshold of puberty, we see her again at twelve and her hair’s grown a bit more and she’s pierced her ears. Fifteen, she’s got boobs, hips and super long hair. While she’s in Rush Valley, her shoulders broaden, her bust gets bigger- and she’s filled out even more when we check in with her after Bradley’s threat.