Sailor Moon returns to North America in manga form
The iconic shojo heroine returns to North America after being in a decade long license hell. Kodansha USA announced today that they plan on re-releasing all of Naoko Takuechi’s Sailor Moon manga starting bi-monthly this September, with the prequel prototype series Sailor V to also see English release (Sailor Moon was previously published by Tokyopop – known as Mixx at the time). This is the first time in six years that the manga will be in print (and the first time Sailor V will ever have been published in English), and is the first time in many years that anything regarding Sailor Moon in the English speaking world has been seen.
The Kodansha USA reprint will be based on the 2003 Japanese version which featured improved art, new cover art, artist interviews and commentary, alongside condensing the series from its original 18 volume run into 12 omnibus editions.
Sailor Moon chronicles the story of a highschool girl named Usagi who is one day granted the powers to fight and invading evil. Through her journeys she discovers her past, and whom she really is.
Toei Animation’s anime version of the series became a fixture on YTV for many years and in fact can be cited as one of the earliest success of anime on Canadian television. The series was big enough that YTV enlisted sister company Nelvana to pay for the English production of further episodes of the show, and movies after DiC (now part of Cookie Jar) hadn’t received much success with the US syndicated run. Afterwards the series was picked up by Cartoon Network and gained notoriety in the US. Due to reasons that have never really been explained, Toei Animation pulled the rights to the anime prior to the last season of the show, Sailor Stars, entering into English production. Since then Sailor Moon has largely been silent on the world stage. Well, until recently as the series had been licensed for distribution in Italy, and Germany, with Italy receiving a so far exclusive Nintendo DS game.
Toei Animation’s attempt at rekindling the love of the magical girl shojo genre with Pretty Cure did make it to YTV, but the series proved less than successful, and it is unlikely any further iterations of Pretty Cure will air on the channel.