27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I'd heard a lot about the Sailor V manga and let me tell you, it's all true. Not only can you see where Takeuchi started toying around with the character designs for Sailor Moon, but you can also see where some view it as close, but not quite as good as Sailor Moon. (Still worth reading, though!)
First I just have to say that like Sailor Moon, the artwork is gorgeous. It's a little rough in places compared to her later work (especially since the new Sailor Moon), but it's still incredibly fun to look at. The story is also interesting since it's both a standalone manga as well as being linked to the SM universe. I have to warn readers that they should take this manga with a grain of salt as far as how it fits into the SM world since you'll see various things that don't match up with what we know about the Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon. This is because Sailor V was initially released before Sailor Moon was and eventually sparked the idea for what is now her best known series.
The most fun of this volume is to look to see where Takeuchi started playing around with character designs. Minako (Sailor V) was quite obviously a springing board for Usagi, as she shares many of Usagi's characteristics and surroundings, most notably Usagi's parents and a few of her classmates. It's interesting to also see how the story changed over time, as the Sailor Moon series started up not long after Sailor V started up and ran alongside the Sailor V manga. (Sailor V releases started coming out more sporadically.) You can see some of the Sailor Moon characters (most notably Usagi), which was pretty neat.
Translation-wise, this isn't bad. I did spot a grammatical error in the volume and at times it does suffer from awkward translating, it's pretty well done and actually flows a little better than the Sailor Moon translation did. (Possibly due to it being potentially less scrutinized by the fanbase as the SM manga would be.)
This isn't as strong as the Sailor Moon manga is, but it's still very fun and it's a must buy for fans of Sailor Moon. For those who aren't as die-hard? Well, personally my gut reaction is to collect everything and tell everyone else to (hey, I'm a completist), but some might find that this just doesn't grab them as much as the Sailor Moon series does (or vice-versa). For them it might be worth checking out in the bookstore before buying it.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2011
I've still got the original 1993 Japanese graphic novel. A comparison:
- This version contains some color pages, the original one does not
- This version has improved printing quality over the original, with much nicer details
- This book is about half an inch taller and wider than the original
- The pages are unflipped and many background sounds / signs / etc are left in Japanese. There's translations in the margins, blank areas, and in a list in the back.
- The original character names are preserved
Overall, I'd say this is a BUY for any Sailor Moon / Sailor V fan, even if you still have the originals.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
The release date of Sailor Moon vol. 1 and Codename: Sailor V vol. 1 was today, so I rushed in to the bookstore in the Japan Center, San Francisco and I was so happy to see a special stand of these books piled on top of each other with a huge promotional poster. Finally! We've been waiting for this since Kodansha announced it in March! Now for my reviews:
Pretty Guardian-Sailor Moon Volume 1:
The new translated releases of Sailor Moon are indeed better than the "Mixx-takes" that Tokyopop made. Now we expect the characters to retain their original names, as well as honorifics, like Usagi-chan, Ami-san, etc, and no more of Serena, Darien, Rini... Color pages are included too as well as some notes in the back. The manga drawings are enhanced and in the standard manga book format (not the pocket mixx ones) too. In Sailor Moon volume 1, we get the 6 chapters: "Act 1: Usagi, Sailor Moon, Act 2: Ami, Sailor Mercury, Act 3: Rei, Sailor Mars, Act 4: Masqeurade Dance Party, Act 5: Makoto, Sailor Jupiter" and "Act 6: Tuxedo Mask." This book starts out half of the Dark Kingdom Arc and leaving you wondering what's going to happen next with Usagi and Mamoru. Overall, this is a good buy for Sailor Moon and Shoujo manga fans. The translation couldn't be any more accurate, the Japanese sound effects are kept, but translates what it says and we don't have to worry anymore about the pages coming apart! Although, instead of calling Motoki "oni-san" or "oni-chan," they simply call him "bro." That's kinda a head-scratcher though.
Codename Sailor V Volume 1:
For those of you who never got to experience the thrill of reading Sailor V, here's your chance! Before Usagi was Sailor Moon, Minako Aino was Sailor V and lead her own, if not serious and filled with action, comical, girly adventures about wanting to become an idol, TV star, wanting boyfriends, etc. The Sailor V manga's English translation is done in the same manner as Sailor Moon with notes at the end, colorful pages, Crazy words lower-case font and Japanese text with subs. The books includes the chapters: "Vol. 1: The Birth of Sailor V, Vol. 2: Minako in Game Center Crown, Vol. 3: Sailor V arrives! Channel 44 Pandora's ambition, Vol. 4: The Ambition of Pwtite Pandora, Vol. 5: The machinations of the Dark Agency, Vol. 6: Showdown! Sailor V VS Cyber-Girl Warrior Lurga, Vol. 7: Sailor V on vacation-Desire for Hawaii" and "Vol 8: Love on Boulavard-Full throttle turbo"
All the stories in the Sailor V manga are hilarious and more-girl oriented in my opinion.
Overall, these are all good buys. With Sailor V finally on bookshelves in the US and with Sailor Moon completely renewed and retranslated, waiting for the remaining 11 volumes (for Sailor Moon, one more for Sailor V, and 2 more short story books) to come out is something us Moonie fans will be looking forward to.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2011
I had been anticipating this release of a long time. I love the artwork and the fact it's finally in the states. I was sad to see SO many typos and awkward wording in the English translation! I am a HUGE Sailor Moon and Sailor V fan but I was expecting so much better. Why so many typos? Did they not proof read or something. The sound effects are strange and some of the wording like calling someone Bro and stuff like that just seems strange. Love that they tried to keep some of the true Japanese in it but they kept it in awkward places. Please Kodansha do better next time. Us fans deserve a PERFECT release. We are grateful for one but typos and odd wording??? Come on!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2011
Since the beginning of Sailor Moon fandom, Moonies have longed for an English language release of the Codename Sailor V manga! Finally after all these years it's here! Does it meet expectations?
As with the new Sailor Moon manga, this release of the Codename Sailor V manga uses the newly remastered Japanese editions which feature new covers and visually improved interior artwork on almost every page that was redrawn by Naoko Takeuchi herself.
The English language release (the first time in general for the Codename Sailor V manga series!) does a very good job of adapting this content. It is slightly larger than the Japanese version as is usual with any manga release in the US and features a regular book cover as opposed to the slipcase on the original but that is not really a big issue as, again that is to be expected. In fact the colours on the cover have more "pop" with this glossy finish than the original Japanese cover does.
As impressed as I am with the presentation of this release I'm going to have to remove a star due to some serious visual issues that affect it's presentation due to the adaption which I'll discuss later in this review.
Presentation: 4/5 stars
I have always been a fan of the Sailor V manga since way before reading this English language release. For the uninitiated, Sailor V follows the story of Minako Aino, an ordinary schoolgirl who is awoken by a mysterious white talking cat, Artemis and becomes the super crime fighting heroine, Sailor V (she also goes by her true name Sailor Venus though calls herself "Sailor V" as a kind of cool abbreviation or "Codename").
If this story sounds similar to Sailor Moon it's because Sailor Moon was actually written after this Sailor V began publication (though the Sailor V manga, while entirely set before the events in Sailor Moon, actually originally continued publication until after Sailor Moon had finished).
Despite the similarities between the two series there are some nice aspects that set it a part. For one, while Sailor Moon is more about gathering a team and completing a mission, Sailor V is for all intents and purposes focused almost exclusively on Minako which allows a lot more time for character development concerning herself and her supporting characters.
We're given some awesome information concerning the series mythology that may surprise newcomers such as her having her own castle orbiting the planet Venus (something that isn't brought up again until much later in the Sailor Moon manga) and the revelation that there is someone in charge of Artemis called "Boss" (for more on "Boss", click here). I also enjoyed the attention to detail as seen in explaining that her compact recharges itself in the moonlight and it was great to see Sailor V doing actual "crimefighting" and helping the average person as opposed to in Sailor Moon where the battles are much more epic. That's not to say that the battles in Sailor V aren't big though. There's some very interesting and fun baddies here that, dare I say it, are more interesting to read than Queen Beryl and her lackeys and it's fantastic to see Sailor V be given a variety of attacks that are visually different from one another.
Another pleasant surprise is the variety of locations seen in this volume. While we do visit the typical Sailor Moon locations in Tokyo, readers are given a special treat when the story takes a more global turn in the second half of the volume as several characters head to Hawaii and Greece in a chapter that literally had me laughing out loud.
I really can't fault the story in this first volume of Codename Sailor V at all. It has a perfect combination of humour, drama, characterisation, action and mystery with perfect pacing. The story is definitely deserving of a full score.
Story: 5/5 stars
As with the first volume of the Sailor Moon manga, Codename Sailor V #1 has similar issues with awkward dialogue. While the nice pacing of the story actually helps lessen the impact of the English adapted script there are still several instances that affect the reading experience such as the inclusion of dated English phrases such as "putting on airs", a phrase that I had never heard before that forced me to ask my followers on Twitter and Facebook for it's meaning.
Turns out it basically means "acting high and mighty" and is considered old fashioned English normally spoken by our grandparents' generation or posh people. The fact that myself and about 50% of people I asked didn't know what it meant is one problem with the script (Why not use "They're acting all high and mighty" or "They think they're better than us", etc) but the other is that it's used my Minako (a 14 year old Japanese schoolgirl) and a tough gang member! Apparently the two characters are so similar in personality that they speak the same and they both like to use phrases spoken by people in two generations their senior.
The mixing of Japanese phrases in the English adaption returns once again with a lack of useful translation notes to help non-Japanese speakers navigate this English language release. Even if you know your "chan", "san" and "sensei" other phrases that the average reader wouldn't know such as "sempai" and "hime" remain untranslated while "Oniisan" gets awkwardly translated as "Bro" once again.
The selection of which words to translate seems completely random depending on what chapter you're reading. For example "hime" is translated as "princess" (as it should be) in Sailor Moon #1 yet here it remains "hime" concerning the character "Shizuka Hime Dark" which could easily have been translated as "Princess Shizuka Dark" or even "Dark Princess Shizuka".
Even if you like the inclusion of Japanese words in your manga, you have to admit the lack of consistency and quality is hard to ignore. "Luga" is "Lurga", "Ai" once again is "Beauty" instead of "Love" and there are odd ":"s added to Sailor V's special attacks where none existed in the original Japanese and don't exist for the attacks in the English version of Sailor Moon.
If you can look past these issues, the overall plot is translated well and nothing seems to have been censored (unless you count characters using childish phrases like "Dummy!", "Daddy!" and "Mommy!") which would have earned this issue a 3 1/2 stars for the adaption. Unfortunately there are some other issues that are present here that didn't exist in the re-release of the Sailor Moon manga.
Many fans have speculated that these releases were rushed and there is some pretty good evidence to support this in Sailor V where readers can see some of the original Japanese text (I'm not talking about the sound effects) half-arsed deleted in the speech bubbles. An example is on page 24 in the lower left hand bubble (you can see the kanji) and the top right bubble (the "." from a Japanese "?" is sitting in the bottom of the bubble, though I will admit this "." is not a big issue).
A better example of how rushed the lettering was is seen on page 166 with the text on the clock which has been embedded directly over the Japanese text without it being removed. (Those squiggly lines next to "right now" are the Japanese writing.)
There's also some rather obvious typos that I just picked up on during my first casual read through of the manga such as "You're always up go no good." on page 112 and "Their odorous!" on page 180. Both of these could have been caught before publication if more care was given to releasing a quality product.
Add to this the continuing strange sound effects (i.e. schoolgirls screaming "KYYYAAAAA!!!" at a sexy guy and then "KYYYAAA!!!!" when they're being attacked, "CROWWWD", "GRATCH", "GAMPH" and "SNFF") and I really can't give it a good score for adaption.
Keep in mind that this takes into account the lettering, publishing and everything else involved in the English language adaption in addition to the translation for Japanese to English.
Adaption: 1/5 stars
I am a massive Sailor Moon fan and an even bigger Sailor V fan. Nothing would make me happier than to give this English language adaption of the manga a five star rating. In fact that's what I would give the original Japanese release. However with the awkward dialogue, distracting sound effects, unprofessional honorifics, grammar mistakes and rushed graphic work I find it hard to believe that anyone, no matter how big a fan they are, would give this release a 100% positive review. In fact I would assume that the bigger a fan is the more picky they would be with an adaption.
With this in mind I would like to say that I am not one of those fans who thinks it's impossible to release a manga that will be equal to the Japanese original. While I own and enjoy my Japanese versions of the manga and anime, I am not at all a purist. In fact I'm actually as big a fan of the DiC version of the Sailor Moon anime as I am of the uncut original Japanese versions.
All I ask for in an English language adaption, Sailor Moon or not, is the same artwork as the original (which we get thankfully and it looks fantastic!) and a script that sounds completely natural to an English speaker that has been checked for spelling, grammar and print errors and has a consistent quality throughout.
Codename Sailor V #1 is a must read for Sailor Moon and Sailor V fans though unfortunately this release does not give fans the quality release that they deserve.
Kodansha really needs to spend more time on creating a quality product rather than depending on fans' desire to own the Sailor V and Sailor Moon manga if they want the rest of their releases to sell as many as these first two have.
Overall Score: 2/5
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Sailor V is more of a origin story for Sailor Venus a character in the popular series "Sailor Moon". The original creator Naoko Takeuchi's first magical girl story before there was Sailor Moon there was Codename Sailor V. This book has 8 volumes put into one manga. Originally In the early 90's Sailor V was a short story run on a local Japanese magazine named "Run Run" it later was released into 3 manga volumes in japan. The U.S. never got a Sailor V manga until September 13th, 2011. This new release has all new accurate translation,updated artwork,and the original Japanese character names. Each volume is very short the longest volume is probably number 8 standing at a approximately 50 pages long maybe less, Is very short which is why Sailor V was put into only 2 big volumes.
The story focuses on a 13 year old girl named Minako or Mina who runs into a talking cat Artemis who tells her she is to become a guardian Sailor Venus Or Sailor V for short. To protect people from evil but in the first two stories from wrong as Sailor V also helps average civilians. She is super hero version of a cop but with magical powers. Sailor V must stop evil, The Dark Agency from brain washing japan and eventually the world. The Dark Agency puts out cloned pop stars to sing brain washing lyrics and who ever listens to them will be The Dark Agency slaves until that certain pop star is killed off by Sailor V. The story bounces back and fourth between Mina balancing her school work and being Sailor V while trying to find time for herself. Like Sailor Moon Mina is always late for school,slacks off her school work,and prefers to be playing video games when she has free time.
The art work is beautiful done and the book cover is eye catching with a very feminine logo but with a big bold V as a logo as if saying Sailor V is girl but can kick butt too. The new manga is very entertaining even though the book is thick I couldn't take my eyes of the pages till I finished the whole book. The Sailor V manga was taken well by the U.S. and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good old fashion magical girl story.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
Codename Sailor V begins the story of how Minako first meets Artemis and begins to train with her powers. Awakened to stop the enemies from gaining power, Minako quickly finds out that she can transform into Sailor Venus - Codename Sailor V. Unlike Sailor Moon, Sailor V is alone (except for Artemis) in her battles, with no additional Sailor Senshi, or Tuxedo Mask to help her. At 13, Minako is the youngest of the inner senshi, and it is hilarious to watch her goof off while Artemis yells for her to train more seriously.
Volume 1 of Sailor V manga keeps the original Japanese names, maintains honorifics, and the right to left format of the manga as well. It's a wonderful chance to read the manga that inspired the Sailor Moon series, and as such should be read by any Sailor Moon fan. An excellent chance to see what Minako was doing before she joins up with the rest of the Sailor Senshi and has never before been released in the United States.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
Sailor V and Sailor Moon have some obvious similarities, but there's quite a bit different too.
Sailor Moon gets dark, people are sacrificed, tortured and killed. Sailor V is more lighthearted and comedic. Unfortunately they never honored Sailor V on the big screen like they did for Sailor Moon. All 3 volumes are great to read, and I must admit I'm still very happy to this day Sailor Moon is very popular! If I hadn't reserved a copy, I wouldn't have been able to read this today, and you don't deprive any Sailor Moon fan of their beloved pretty soldiers!
The translation is a little hazy, it was obviously meant for people that have taken the time to understand Japanese terms and jokes. Sometimes it sounds like a little of the King's English has popped up here as well. I guess the Canadian translators just like it classier!
Full of fun and laughs, Vol. 1 is a must! Definitely jump into Sailor V, if you like Sailor Moon, the prequel is just as fun. Just a different formula.
Fighting against the Dark Agency, under Kunzite's domain, this action/comedy/romance is so fun you wonder why it never made any series, OVAs or a movie...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
[Taken from my blog.]
I had rather low expectations for this. I watched the anime when it was on TV and I was really little, so I don't remember any of it, and I never read it. But then, not too long ago, I watched it online, and was very unimpressed. Really unimpressed. Which made me wary to read the manga. But I've heard a lot of good things about it, and I know that it was big when it first got translated and people were really excited about it coming back, me included. And I'd already decided that I was going to give both series a try, only I'm still not sure for how long.
Now, with those low expectations, I kind of enjoyed the manga. I wasn't all that impressed, and none of it was beyond what I was expecting, but it wasn't bad. Which is actually pretty good, in my book.
We meet Minako Aino, also known as Sailor V. She isn't very smart, is pushy, falls 'in love' with guys way too easily, plays video games a lot, and doesn't really believe the cat when he talks to her. Minako is alright as a character, but I'm not all that attached to her. I think it's mostly how easily she becomes obsessed with things that bothers me, as it does with anyone, in books and not. Also, she was fighting when told, except for at certain points when she would say that she'd never really chosen, or agreed, to fight for them. And she seems exactly like the people she's inadvertently saving, an annoying teenager that would fall for anything people are saying. It might be more cliché, though, if she were to be annoyed by it all originally, though. I don't know which I would prefer.
Pretty much all of the book consists of Minako fighting villains rather easily for a chapter each, most of which (if not all) are from the Dark Agency. One of the villains is a boy from her school, several others are pop-stars, one's a tourist hostess. Except for the last one, where she helps out a guy that she has a crush on and a gang he's involved in. But it kind of bothers me that she's winning so easily, and how she's doing it seems a little... dumb? But, you know, whatever. Don't want to complain or nitpick the logistics too much.
She's also, kind of, rivaling with the police, one of whom hates her and another that admires her. I didn't mind the police, found them (or, the one that admires her) a bit entertaining. We didn't get much of the personality of her friend, except that she's a lot like Minako, but we did get to see a bit from the geeky boy at her school, Amano, who was just alright. I did like Artemis, the cat, for however much we did get of him. Oh, and I noticed the small appearances that Usagi made, which I found interesting. Nice to know that she'd planned that (assuming that she did write Codename: Sailor V first, which I believe she did?).
I'll be reading the next one when I get it, which I'm not sure when that'll be. Soon, maybe? There are only two volumes of Codename, though, right? Since they're in an extended version, or whatever? I hope so, since I haven't heard anything about a third volume being released. And I want to start Sailor Moon, which I already have one volume of, but I want to finish Codename first. It's the prequel, and I like going in order, so it bothered me a bit that Kodansha was releasing them at the same time. But, that's alright.
I'll be reading it, nonetheless, and hope I don't have to skip ahead to Sailor Moon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2011
I am a fan of Sailor Moon and I purchased the re-release along with Sailor V, and I have to say that I enjoyed Sailor V so much more than the original. It is funny, and I usually don't find humor from countries other than America that funny, has super CUTE illustrations and has a simple, yet fun, storyline. If you like Sailor Moon, definitely give this a try. It's cheap too, so why not?!