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Sailor Moon 9 by Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon 9 (original 2004; edition 2013)

by Naoko Takeuchi

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199359,063 (4.29)None
Title:Sailor Moon 9
Authors:Naoko Takeuchi
Info:Kodansha Comics (2013), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 264 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Kodansha, Manga, Shojo

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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 9 by Naoko Takeuchi (Author) (2004)



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The art is really beautiful in this volume - I feel that Naoko-sama has improved quite a bit, the characters all look more elegant and adult. In this volume, the Dead Moon Circus - revealed to be a rival moon kingdom from ancient times - has cursed the heart of planet Earth, Elysion. Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask, being the Guardian of Earth and tied to the planet, is in tremendous pain. The Pegasus, which has appeared to Chibi-Usa, reveals himself to be the priest of Elysion, named Helios, and implores Super Sailor Moon to attain the "golden crystal" for it is the only thing that can heal Elysion and Mamoru.

Chibi-Usa finally seems to be outgrowing her obsession with Mamoru as Helios shows interest in her. This does lead to a very weird image of a horse kissing a girl on the mouth on page 61, (but he's really a young man in his true form.) In this volume, we get to spend some time with each of the Inner Guardians, as their dreams for the future are called into question.

We get to see a more personal side to the Guardians. Ami's pain over her parents' divorce is revealed. Rei is shown to have ambition to take over her grandfather's Shinto shrine, but also admits to a degree of uncertainty, and her pet ravens - cleverly named Phobos and Deimos after the moons of Mars - get a chance to shine.

Makoto's dream is perhaps the sweetest and the saddest: ". . . both my parents died early on, and I've been living on my own for a long time now . . . so I'd like to get married and create a happy household quickly. And then open a small flower shop and cake bakery." (p.127) Sad because ultimately each girl comes to the realization that her one and only destiny is to be a Sailor Guardian and protect Princess Serenity. Makoto is really a girly-girl at heart who likes sweet things like flowers and cakes, but she is "monster strength Jupiter" and her job - her duty - is to fight and protect her friends and the princess.

During their individual trials, each of the girls also remember the Outer Guardians - Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - to the point where Sailor Venus (who was once the group's leader) begins to feel upset and insecure. It takes her bond with her cat partner, Artemis, to restore her power.

My personal favourite was the last chapter, where we see the Outer Guardians. Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna are all living together in a big, beautiful house, raising Hotaru - now a tiny child with a precocious mind, who is growing at a supernatural rate. I really loved seeing the four of them living together as a family. The scene where child-Hotaru has an encounter with Sailor Saturn, who is sleeping inside of her, is beautifully haunting.

Overall, this is one of my favourite volumes in the Sailor Moon manga series. It's beautiful, and we get to see more depth to the characters. It's pretty bittersweet, considering the ultimate realizations that everyone's dreams must dissolve into their duty of being Guardians and protecting Princess Serenity. But even despite all that, I really love it. ( )
  catfantastic | Oct 17, 2013 |
The Dead Moon Circus has come to Tokyo, and they are targeting each of Sailor Moon's friends individually. One by one, they isolate a Sailor warrior and feed on the doubts in her heart, turning her against Sailor Moon and the lifelong duty to protect her. Weakened by their inability to transform into their superpowered state, Ami, Rei, Minako and Makoto struggle to fight off the darkness that threatens to overwhelm them. They aren't the only ones in trouble. Mamoru has mysterious black shadows in his lungs and he is starting to cough up blood. Chibi-Usa continues to be contacted by the pegasus Helios, but he is rapidly losing power. As the darkness of the Dead Moon Circus spreads throughout the city, a beautiful queen named Nehelenia may be the greatest threat the Earth has yet faced.

My favorite thing about this volume? We finally spend some quality time with the secondary cast, away from the Moon Family. For the first time, readers are introduced to the childhoods of Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus, and their future goals and dreams are explored in greater depth. I wonder if they are achievable, however – for example, Makoto and Minako dream of love and boyfriends, but their duty and devotion to Usagi seems to preclude any long-term romance. While this doesn't yet seem to bother Ami and Rei – heck, Rei could very well be a lesbian with no interest in men whatsoever – but I think these four women are cursed to never realize these dreams, and I find it tragic. Why should Usagi have all the fun? But that's destiny, I suppose.

In one of the last chapters in this book, Takeuchi returns to the “outer” planets, and readers find out what Sailors Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn have been up to while the Dead Moon Circus has plagued the others. Here, too, it was nice to have a little character development and see just what these folks are up to when they aren't running around in short skirts fighting evil. But by the final pages, events have been set in motion that will surely lead to big fat happy reunion of all ten warriors, which promises that Vol. 10 should be epic. ( )
2 vote makaiju | Mar 23, 2013 |
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Do not combine the original print with the shinsouban. The original print for Sailor Moon has 18 volumes and the reprints (shinsouban: 新装版) have the chapters regrouped to complete in 12 volumes.
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Amidst the chaos caused by Usagi and Chibi-Usa's body swap, courtesy of the Amazoness PallaPalla, the Sailor Guardians' primary concern remains Mamoru's illness and its possible link to the newcomers in town, the Dead Moon Circus. The Amazonesses and their circus animal lackeys go after the guardians one by one, tempting them with false visions. However, each of the Sailors manage to defeat the enemy after their inner selves show them their individual heart crystals and new weapons. Meanwhile, it is still a toss-up who the "young maiden" is that Elysion priest Helios seeks: She who shall find and unlock the Golden Crystal that will save Earth, Elysion, and Mamoru!… (more)

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