Saturday, March 17, 2012

Volume 4

POW!  Right in the kisser.
To begin, I'd just like to say that this cover is probably my favorite of all the reprint covers.  Jupiter's pose, dynamic and literally crackling with energy, captures her spirit.  All of the English covers have had richer, bolder colors, but this one really pops.  I feel like I'm going to take a rose-scented fist to the face any second.

Before I dive into the nitty-gritty of this volume's contents, I want to make some general comments:
-Tokyopop messed up many of the act numbers. for example, Act 17 is labeled as Act 13 in Tokyopop's 4th volume, but the next act is properly labeled as 18 in the next volume.

-Someone suggested that I redirect some of my criticism of William Flanagan to the person responsible for editing his work.  At first, I and many others didn't think that there even was an editor working on this project, because none is listed in the book credits.  However, Brad from was able to track down the editor through Twitter.  She says that Kodansha's policy is to only credit the translator and the letterer of each manga.

This brings me to two thoughts:  (1)  Kodansha is kind of a dick to not credit people for their work.  (2)  This woman is doing a terrible job at editing.  No one can fault her for not catching mistranslations, but does she really just gloss over the grammar mistakes, typos, and completely bizarre English word choices?  Again, these are not problems that I encounter in the other manga that I read.

-"Sparkling Wide Pressure" is correctly translated in this volume.

-Once again, Naoko's bonus "punch" comics, specially written for this reprint, have not been included.  If you'd like to read them, you can find them on Miss Dream.

I'm going to start with positive examples, because unfortunately, I have a lot less of them to offer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

SuperS Anime Part 1: Why it Doesn't Suck

In between manga releases, I've decided to keep this blog active by posting about other things related to Sailor Moon and the fandom.

I have only watched the Sailor Moon SuperS anime series once in my lifetime.  Considering the depth of my fandom and the fact that I've watched every other season multiple times, this revelation is surprising even to me. I couldn't even tell you how long ago it was that I watched it, either, but since I did so via VKLL fansubbed VHS tapes that I had ordered online, we're likely talking a decade or so ago.  Even though I did buy the subtitled DVDs when they were released in the US, I never watched them--and I certainly didn't watch more than 2-3 episodes of that dubbed travesty that aired on TV, because I had the sense to realize that I was slowly but steadily dying inside after sitting through all of S dubbed, and I wanted to live past the age of 60.

So what's my malfunction?  Why have I only watched it once?  Here's what I remember.  I was addicted to Sailor Moon throughout most of my teenage years.  Seeing the anime subtitled, uncut, and unedited for the first time in the forms of the 3 movies and the S season heightened my addiction.  I knew that SuperS was not well-regarded by the fandom, but I was certain that I was such a SUPER FAN that I would absolutely love it.  I bought the series, watched it, and was sorely disappointed.  As much as I had wanted to agree with outliers like the creator of In Defense of Supers, I found myself agreeing with the unsatisfied majority--"Chibiusa is annoying!" "There are no Outers!"  "It's not serious enough!"

All these years, I've had this very strong notion that the SuperS anime sucked royally as a result of just one viewing back when I was a teenager.  Well, now I'm an adult, and I've realized that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about when I try to explain why SuperS is the worst representation of Sailor Moon on television.  I list reasons that other people might agree with, but I'm not even sure if they're valid, because it's likely that after 10 years of memory erosion, those reasons aren't even my own.  So I decided it was high time to put on my big girl pants and watch SuperS again with the mind of a thinking, reasoning adult.

And here's what I have to say:  SuperS does not suck.  It doesn't even come close to sucking.  It has some big problems, but so does every other iteration of Sailor Moon.  My main problem in evaluating the series when I was a teenager was that my expectations were a hot mess.  Fresh off the high of watching subtitled S, and adamant in the idea that Sailor Moon was a serious business adult show ruined forever by America, I was dismayed by the lighter tone of SuperS, the (mostly) nonthreatening villains, and the replacement of the Outer Senshi with a fruity horse.  I think I spent the whole season waiting for things to happen that wouldn't.  It was a sad affair, and I am proud to now list in detail all the major reasons for why I enjoyed my second viewing of SuperS.