Friday, July 23, 2010
Sailor Moon Manga
Before the Sailor Moon manga, Takeuchi published Codename: Sailor V, which centered around just Sailor Venus. She devised the idea when she wanted to create a cute series about girls in outer space, and her editor asked her to put them in sailor fuku. When Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime, the concept was modified so that Sailor V herself became only one member of a team. The resulting manga series became a fusion of the popular magical girl genre, the Super Sentai Series, of which Takeuchi was a fan. Recurring motifs include astronomy, astrology, Greek myth, Roman myth, geology, Japanese elemental themes, teen fashions,and schoolgirl antics.
Talks between Takeuchi and her publishers originally envisaged only one story-arc, and the storyline developed in meetings a year prior to publications, but having completed it, Takeuchi was asked by her editors to continue. She issued four more story-arcs, often published simultaneously with the five corresponding anime series. The anime series would only lag the manga by a month or two.
The complete original manga spans 52 chapters, known as Acts, as well as ten separate side-stories. Its main series appeared in serial form in Nakayoshi, Kodansha's shōjo manga magazine, from 1991 to 1995; the side-stories were serialized in Kodansha's Run Run. Kodansha has published all the chapters and side-stories in book form. The first edition came out as the series was being produced, from 1992 through 1997,and consisted of 18 volumes with all the chapters and side stories in the order in which they had been released.
The second edition, called the shinsōban or "renewal" edition, began in 2003 during the run of the live-action series. Kodansha redistributed the individual chapters so that there are more per book, and some corrections and updates were made to the dialogue and drawings. New art was featured as well, including completely new cover art and character sketches (including characters unique to the live-action series). In all, the new edition consists of 12 story volumes and two separate short-story volumes.
By the end of 1995, the thirteen Sailor Moon volumes then available had sold about one million copies each, and Japan had exported the manga to over 23 countries, including China, Mexico, Australia, most of Europe and North America.
Kodansha released special art books for each of the five story arcs, collectively called the Original Picture Collection. The books contain cover art, promotional material, and other work done by Takeuchi. Many of the drawings appear accompanied by comments on how she developed her ideas, how she created each picture, whether or not she likes it, and commentary on the anime interpretation of her story.
Another picture collection, Volume Infinity, appeared in a strictly limited edition after the end of the series in 1997. This self-published artbook includes drawings by Takeuchi as well as by her friends, her staff, and many of the voice-actors who worked on the anime. In 1999 Kodansha published the Materials Collection; this contained development sketches and notes for nearly every character in the manga, as well as for some characters who never appeared. Each drawing is surrounded with notes by Takeuchi about the specifics of various costume pieces, the mentality of the characters, and her particular feelings about them. It also includes timelines for the story arcs and for the real-life release of products and materials relating to the anime and manga. At the end, the Parallel Sailor Moon short story is featured, celebrating the year of the rabbit.