I know, it’s been about 8 months since I last reviewed a volume of the Sailor Moon Perfect Edition, but this seemed as good a time as any to pick it up once more. We started up the Sailor Moon ‘Super S’ arc in back in July. And I talked honestly about my complicated feelings for this arc.
In Volume 8 of the Sailor Moon Perfect Edition (美少女戦士セーラームーン), the fourth arc of the series comes to a climax. For the first time ever, all the Senshi of the Solar System fight together against a common enemy…or not, really, but we’ll get there in a moment.
The structure of the story is pretty much identical to the last two arcs – a crystal hidden inside, this the time Mamoru, and the bad guy has another bad guy behind her and in that bad guy is another bad guy who is similar to the other top bosses. Power-ups happen, love and Sailor Moon save the day, the Earth and the kingdom inside the earth that is supposed to protect the earth, but ended up needing protection instead.
There is a word in Japanese, mangekyou (万華鏡) – kaleidoscope. If you know the words to the opening for the original anime, Moonlight Densetsu, you’ll know the line “Heart ha mangekyou” – “my heart is a kaleidoscope.” And in this volume, the Senshi themselves are trapped in a vision that is similar to a kaleidoscope, Michiru even comments on it. I think a kaledioscope is an excellent analogy for this series as a whole. The arcs are reflections, similar, but not quite the same, of each other, with elements that have much in common but look slightly different every time you look at them.
The one big reveal (remember, we called a “20 year old series can’t really have spoilers rule”) is that the Senshi of the planets are not, in fact, the only Senshi…something we’ll want to keep in mind for the next volume. Chibi-Usa really comes into her own here and it should not be much of a surprise then to find that, when she matures a bit more, the Asteroid Senshi will be her protectors, as the Inners are her mother’s..
The final chapters are more shorts focused on Chibi-Usa who, suddenly, is somewhat less irritating, apparently she’s not the only one who has grown up), Makoto and a “popular for all the wrong reasons” Minako/Rei story. It should be popular for the Yuri, instead it’s popular because Minako says the word “fart.” Tee. Hee.
The other truly notable thing in this arc is that the friendship between Chibi-Usa and Hotaru, which was one of the catalysts for the third arc, has survived Saturn’s rebirth, revival and aging and is stronger than ever. It is not unreasonable to see that Asteroid Senshi aside, Chibi-Usa, that is Princess Lady Serenity, will always have the protection of the most powerful Senshi of all.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 1
Service – 1 on principle
Overall – 8
So, despite my feelings of “ugh” going in to this arc, I actually enjoyed this volume quite a bit. It had a real Avengers Assemble moment, when we had all the planetary Senshi (do not give me guff about Pluto, I am not listening) lined up, ready to fight. ^_^