Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Manga 4 Review

Release Date: 13th March, 2012
Language: English
Version: 2nd Generation Sailor Moon manga release.
Content: Includes Act 17 through 21 of the Sailor Moon manga series and bonus translation notes.
Available to Buy From: / / / / / Barnes & / /

The Sailor Moon manga deserves better.

Cover artwork for Volume 4 of Kodansha's Third Generation Sailor Moon manga release featuring Sailor Jupiter.

Manga Presentation

As with the previous volumes, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 4 looks fantastic. The colours really do pop off the cover and first few pages (moreso than the original Japanese manga) and the black and white pages look fine. Really nothing to complain about here.


Manga Story

Volume four of the manga sees the continuing of the second major arc in the Sailor Moon saga which has Sailor Moon and her Sailor Guardians battling the Black Moon villains from the future.

You can really see Naoko Takeuchi's storytelling improve with each additional volume. While the first story arc is considered epic by many, I think even the most die hard Moonies will admit that at times it felt like more of a plot point and character check list with only Sailor Moon and to a degree, Tuxedo Mask being given any time to develop as characters.

Naoko Takeuchi seems to be deliberately making up for the lack of attention given to individual supporting characters during the battle with the Dark Kingdom by focusing entire chapters to them here. In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 3 we got to see a bit more of what makes Sailor Mercury and Mars tick. In this volume we're given some great moments with Sailor Jupiter and thankfully Sailor Venus who joined the Sailor Team rather late in the battle with Queen Beryl.

We're also introduced to the mysterious Sailor Pluto who possibly has romantic feelings for the future Tuxedo Mask and at the same time, treated to some great insight to Usagi and Mamoru's new romantic relationship.

Unfortunately, as is the case with the manga, the villains are extremely underdeveloped (especially when compared with their anime counterparts) though not focusing on their humanity has the added benefit of making them all the more scary and threatening.

I'm not sure what type of villain I'd prefer, humanised or scary, though and this is one aspect of Naoko Takeuchi's writing that is consistent across all story arcs in the manga (with possible exception to Sailor Galaxia who appears towards the end of the series). Not necessarily a negative though first time readers who grew up watching the anime may be surprised at just how little screen time the manga villains are given here, sometimes even being killed within the same chapter they're introduced in.


Manga Adaption

Kodansha really isn't doing a good job with this release. At all.

While the original Japanese character names are used and the story uncut, this does not necessarily mean it's a good translation.

This translation has obviously been very rushed and as a result the dialogue continues to read incredibly awkwardly and sounds very unnatural and out of character. What's arguably worse is that because of the rushed translation it actually reads like, well... a rushed translation and lacks that special energy that the original Japanese release, Tokyopop's release (despite it's other faults) and even most online fan translations (or "scanlations") have.

Despite being advertised as having an "incredibly accurate translation", what we have here does in no way reflect the characters' personalities in the original Japanese manga (which I own).

It's not just the lack of flow and awkward dialogue that bugs me though, there continues to be inconsistency with the way the character's attack and transformation phrases are written. Sailor Moon's transformation phrase for example is written as both "Moon Crystal Power! Make Up!!" and "Moon Crystal Power: Make Up!!". It shouldn't be too hard to choose a format and stick to it.

There's also numerous instances of place names being written incorrectly, English words like "abracadabra" being spelt strangely (i.e. "abra-cadabra") and some 100% inaccurate translation as seen in a panel with Sailor Pluto who should be commenting on how Chibi Usa and Usagi are always fighting but instead, strangely claims that she's the one that's always fighting and that she's been acting that way for a long time. Huh?

I'm a huge Sailor Moon fan but also a very open minded one. For example I'm a huge fan of the original Japanese manga and anime but also absolutely love the DiC English dub of the anime and even the S and SuperS season dubs by Cloverway. An English release doesn't have to be faultless for me to like it as long as it maintains the fun and exciting energy of the original Japanese release. This release doesn't.

Also as with previous volumes, the two pages of bonus comic strips that Naoko Takeuchi drew/wrote for this re-release have not been included in this English version.

Just to confirm, these missing comic pages are not the manga short stories that were repackaged into the two Short Stories volumes (due for release after #1-12 are out). They are also not the small side notes that were in the original manga release and have now been replaced with cute chibi pics of the characters. These two pages are special comics that were made specifically from Naoko to thank fans for reading Sailor Moon and were included with the re-release of the manga in Japan (which this English re-release is based off of). These specific pages go into the creation of Sailors Pluto, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and it really is a shame that we're not getting them with this release, especially since Kodansha promised that we'd be getting all of the content that was in the Japanese re-release.

For a full list of the translation/adaption issues in this volume, check out my Manga Mistakes page.


Overall Score

If Kodansha doesn't up their game and start injecting some quality into this release (even the chapter page numbers are incorrect for crying out loud) by the time we get to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 12 the only people left buying this release will be the hard core Sailor Moon fans who were already into Sailor Moon and are trying to complete their collection.


(not an average)

Available to Buy From: / / / / / Barnes & / /

  • Sailor Moon 3rd Gen Manga Shopping Guide
  • Is Sailor Jupiter a Sagittarius?
  • Sailor Moon 1st Gen Manga Shopping Guide

    <-- 2nd Gen Sailor Moon Manga Shopping Guide --
    <-- Sailor Moon Shopping Guide Main --

    Are you a Sailor Moon fan? Sign up for my free Sailor Moon newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of the latest Sailor Moon anime, manga, and merchandise news.

  • sailor moon news and updates

    Sign up for my free Sailor Moon email newsletter to get the latest Sailor Moon news sent straight to your inbox. Check it out!

    luna from sailor moon crystal praying

    Enjoying the content on Moonkitty.NET? Please consider sending me a quick donation via Ko-Fi. Every little bit is appreciated and helps support me as I dedicate more time and resources into content creation for the site and its various associated projects.

    sailor moon toys, t-shirts, figures, dvds, blu-rays, cds, and other merchandise
    sailor moon eternal edition manga
    sailor moon naoko takeuchi collection manga
    sailor moon crystal anime blu-rays and dvds
    sailor moon funko pop! figures
    sailor moon t-shirts and tops
    sailor moon proplica item replicas
    sailor moon tamashii nation figures
    90s sailor moon anime dvds
    -- more -->

    Sailor Moon Naoko Takeuchi Collection Volume 7 manga cover artwork featuring Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn.

    Sailor Moon S: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray cover.

    sailor moon crystal anime, sailor moon 90s anime, sailor moon live action, sailor moon musicals, and sailor moon manga
    sailor moon crystal anime episode guide
    sailor moon 90s anime episode guide
    live action sailor moon tv series
    sailor moon musicals
    sailor moon manga
    -- more -->

    sailor moon podcasts, wallpapers, icons and avatars, downloads and media
    sailor moon characters
    sailor moon locations
    sailor moon voice actor interviews
    sailor moon attacks
    moonie mailbag
    -- more -->

    Sailor V from the Sailor Moon Crystal anime series and the phrase Downloads & Media written in rainbow coloured text
    sailor moon podcasts
    sailor moon desktop wallpapers
    sailor moon mobile wallpapers
    sailor moon avatars
    sailor moon christmas content
    -- more -->

    Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus, and Sailor Mercury from the 90s Sailor Moon anime title screen with the word Community written in rainbow coloured text
    Stay up to date with all of the latest Sailor Moon news and site updates by connecting with me on some (or all) of the below social networks and platforms.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Threads
  • Telegram
  • Minds
  • YouTube
  • Rumble
  • Odysee
  • Substack
  • Pinterest
  • Flipboard

    Looking to connect with other Sailor Moon fans? Come on over and join the Moonkitty.NET Facebook Group!

  • White cat Artemis and black cat Luna from the Sailor Moon Crystal anime and the phrase Site Search written in rainbow coloured text