Sailor Moon 7 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/9/11
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Old friends and new enemies lurk in the mysteries surrounding Mugen Academe. The Death Busters crave the Hoste, the human energies, of Sailor Moon and her friends – and they’ll prey on the girls’ dreams and weaknesses to get it! Furthermore, prophetic dreams hint of “talismans” that could awaken a “Deity of Destruction.” Could these things be connected to the guardians’ power? And are the Sailor Senshi capable of murdering the innocent to save the entire world?
This new edition of Sailor Moon features:
- An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
- Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
- New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
- The original Japanese character names!
- Detailed translation notes!
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
Story & Art: Volume 7 covers the second part of the Infinity Arc. While I'll try to avoid going into spoilers, it highlights the return of a beloved character, and the rise of new powers, both good and evil. The story starts to get very intense in this volume and a lot of plot and background story revolving around Hotaru and Mugen Academy that was alluded to in Sailor Moon 6 is revealed here. Takeuchi's art is some of the most beautiful in this volume, and as always, there are several color images for the first few pages of the book. The fully-translated preview of Volume 8 is also back at the end of the book.
Translation & Writing: The translation itself doesn't seem to have any serious flaws like in some prior volumes. However, it does have serious typos which could have been avoided with a simple spell-check, or from being carefully read even once before being published. Multiple words in the book are missing spaces, causing two separate words to become one jumble; a "what" gets turned into "whatt", and letters are omitted ("Pease" instead of "Please"), "Sasanqua Camilla" instead of "Sasanqua Camellia", even though it's referred to as the "Christmas Camellia" in the very next panel. (It's a flower, not a Duchess.) What's upsetting about this is the fact that it's been happening since Volume 1 of this new release from Kodansha and very little is apparently being done with regards to quality control. This is especially discouraging since Kodansha is releasing later prints that correct the errors and have plans to release a box-set which presumably will also have these errors fixed. Good that they're fixing their error? Sure. The fact that 7 volumes in to this series, 1 full year after the release of the first volume that they're still releasing a faulty, typo-ridden product, however, is irresponsible and punishes the fans that eagerly await to buy the first release of each volume (and are more or less creating the demand that's resulting in reprints and box-sets) and frankly, is extremely unprofessional of a professional manga company. Many of us were hopeful that after the mostly-accurate and minimal-typo Volume 6 that these kinds of mistakes were no longer going to be an issue, but apparently Kodansha can't be troubled to skim, read, edit or spellcheck their products before sending them out to the printers.
Summary: Great story, great art, great series and you should read and enjoy it. You might, however, consider waiting for a later printing when Kodansha considers getting around to fixing their mistakes.
Translation-wise, I feel like I'm reading an entirely new volume. I admit to being a little vague on exactly how the original Mixx/TokyoPop translation read, but I can honestly tell that there's a difference here. The only thing I raised an eyebrow over was the statement that Uranus was both a man and a woman. This was probably intended to read as her having male personality traits as well as female ones, but it's a little vague and considering that for the longest time there were urban legends that Uranus *was* a guy in her non-senshi form, I wish that this was a little clearer. (Long story short, for a long time in the 90s and early 2000s there were stories that back in early Moon Kingdom times Uranus had a twin brother and that the reincarnated Uranus was a man in human form and transformed into a fraternal twin sister in senshi form.) Given Haruka/Uranus's infamous history where some have tried giving her a sex change, I felt that this could have used a note in the back of the book. It's a small quibble, but one that might confuse some readers as to the context. Read as-is it sort of seems like they're saying Uranus is a hermaphrodite.
Other than that, there aren't really any huge problems. I'm struck by how sci-fi the book is in comparison to it's overly shoujo anime adaptation, but it's all in good fun. I'm eagerly awaiting the next volume of this series, especially to see how the artwork looks. I believe I can see where there's been a lot of cleanup on the artwork, but even with that this artwork has aged rather well and is a style that manga fans should definitely look at!
A must have for shoujo and manga fans!
Volume 7 really explores what is going on with Hotaru and fills us in on her past, and with Sailor Moon finally getting a `power-up' and briefly transforming into Princess Serenity, we finally get an explanation as to just where the rest of the senshi have been all this time, and why they are making the choices they are.
As with all all previous volumes of Kodansha's Sailor Moon manga this volume's cover is visually very impressive. The colours on the cover really pop (again, more than the original Japanese cover) and the pages are printed very clearly with no signs of the smudges that plagued Volume 5.
As mentioned in my review of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #6, this Infinity Arc is where Naoko Takeuchi really begins to shine.
The characters look absolutely beautiful in every situation and the pages as a whole have a more fluid flow to them, especially when compared to some of the earlier volumes which admittedly suffered from some awkward flow problems when reading from panel to panel. There also appears to be a good use of empty space and more variety of angles that makes the whole volumes appear more dynamic.
The pacing has also improved considerably, allowing a good balance of plot progression and character development which ironically should be more difficult considering the sheer volume of Sailor Guardians now present in the story yet all of them are given their moment whether it's Sailor Pluto awakening, Sailor Jupiter with her gardening or Sailor Chibi Moon growing as a more independent Sailor Guardian.
While most of the characters are written really well, it was Hotaru, the soon to be Sailor Saturn that I found the least interesting to read which is bizarre considering how much screen time she's given within this volume and the amount of information we're given about her. While her backstory and the revelation that she's a cyborg are really cool, her personality is very one note and I'm unsure if that's simply due to the character itself or the translation which waters down most of the characters' personalities when compared to how they sound in the original Japanese volumes.
This volume of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon really disappointed. While Volume 6 still had unprofessional mixing of Japanese words, mind boggling sound effects and some very strange spelling for the Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto's civilian names, for the most part it read fairly well. Volume 7 however maintains all of those problems and reverts back to the awkward dialogue and stiff wording of previous volumes.
The majority of the dialogue once again felt very awkward and the translation quality in general also took a severe step back with a quite a few instances of dialogue that seemed to have been word for word translated without taking the time to account for the differences in Japanese and English word order. A lot of dialogue once again comes across as inappropriately formal or posh and several words or phrases such as "You're kidding!" and "aberrant" are repeated on an almost comedic level.
While previous volumes had instances of Japanese words being mixed in with the English, the problem seems to be a lot more jarring in this volume in some places which sound as if they were translated by a high school manga club instead of a professional. Take for example this line of dialogue which includes three Japanese words mixed in with the English: "Hotaru-chan? You mean that sempai from Mugen Academy that you met recently?". There is no reason at all for any of those words not to be translated. "Hotaru? You mean that older student from Infinity Academy that you met recently?"
Kodansha seems to be targeting the younger minority of the fandom that loves to mix in Japanese words in everyday English conversation but all I can see this achieving is alienating the rest of the fandom and making it very difficult for the casual Sailor Moon fan who remembers watching the anime in the 90s to pick it up.
Beyond the language issues, there's also a lack of basic consistency in this volume with one character being referred to by two different names in this volume, The Deity of Destruction and Goddess of Ruin while being called God of Destruction in the previous volume. Inconsistency with names and phrases is nothing new to this release (Sailor Mars' attack was given two completely different names way back in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1 for example) and it's disappointing that we're now over halfway through the series and this sort of quality control is still lacking.
It really is depressing that we're now into the second half of the main series and still having so many problems with this release. The Sailor Moon manga is such a vibrant, fun story to read and it's a shame that Sailor Moon fans who are reading the manga for the first time are not getting a version with the type of quality translation that a series as big as this deserves.
OVERALL SCORE: 2.5/5 (not an average)